Diabetes type 2 and your diet, symptoms, treatment and prevention

The following article gives information about diabetes and what causes it.

This is a growing condition and research suggests that it can be controlled by combining medical and natural methods. As part of our regular newsletter there will be examples of successful alternative treatments.

What exactly is diabetes? Can you prevent and treat it?

The human body is made up of billions of cells. There are many different types, and the body needs to develop, grow or replace old cells constantly. All of these cells need energy. Our bodies get the energy it needs from the foods we eat. These foods are broken down by the stomach and they pass through the digestive tract. Nutrients from the foods are absorbed or converted to types of energy that our bodies can use. A key type of energy the cells needs are certain forms of sugar, which the cells use as the energy source. A natural chemical the body needs to create these energy reactions is insulin.

Diabetes occurs either when the pancreas stops producing insulin or the body is unable to use the insulin it produces. Both result in glucose, ( an important body fuel), not being absorbed by the cells. Insulin is needed to be present and working in the right amounts for this absorption to occur properly.

There are two types of Diabetes:

Type 1 diabetes

Type 1 is insulin dependent and diabetics must inject themselves with insulin daily to control blood sugar levels. The pancreas of Type 1 individuals is not producing insulin or producing insufficient insulin, the result of which is the body is unable to process glucose (sugar).

This causes a high level of glucose to stay in the blood, and low absorption of the vital energy-producing glucose by the tissues and cells.

This leads to the blood sugar levels swinging wildly between Hyperglycaemia and Hypoglycaemia.

a) Hyperglycaemia - when there is an abnormally large amount of sugar in the blood

b) Hypoglycaemia - when there is an abnormally small amount of sugar in the blood.

Type 1 usually first appears under the age of 30, particularly in adolescents and it can develop rapidly.

Type 2 diabetes

In type 2 diabetes, the body produces its own insulin, but the cells are unable to respond to it properly. This form of diabetes is associated with people with excessive weight, obesity and in some cases pregnancy.

It usually affects people aged 40 and over. It is usually possible for those with Type 2 to avoid taking drugs and to regulate the condition with changes to their diet and lifestyle.

In most cases, this sensible approach is more effective and more long lasting, and usually permanent.

Over the years we have seen more people become aware that improvements can be made with this condition. People realise it can be managed and even be eliminated altogether - but it needs lifestyle changes. Without this, nothing will improve.

At the same time, too many people refuse to believe that this has occurred because of their own errors with diet or exercise etc. They rely on drugs to control insulin levels and don't reverse the condition because they haven't taken personal responsibility.

Make the necessary lifestyle changes and you will soon realise that things can improve.

Always consult with your health practitioner when making major changes to your lifestyle or exercise program. Do things sensibly, one step at a time.

A dolphin leaping and moving through waves

Improve your circulation

Diabetes can cause narrowing of the small blood vessels throughout the body. The higher the blood sugar levels, the more the small blood vessels narrow. Resulting in the vessels carrying less blood and circulation is impaired. Poor circulation can lead to a number of complications connected to diabetes: eye, foot and kidney problems. See the circulation article for lots more tips.

It can often seem like a bit of a vicious circle, but you have to start somewhere. Start with a better diet, sufficient exercise to get the blood moving, plenty of good water and rest.

There are number of foods and herbs that can assist in controlling the blood sugar levels.

Some well known herbs and foods to help you:

Eating a large number of different fresh vegetables and fruits sources can be a very good start to improving one's diet.

Some key food sources include a number of green plant sources including spirulina, chlorella and some sea vegetables like seaweed and kelps etc.

This is one of the key reasons we produced our Superfood product. It includes numerous key elements and it helps provide a great source of protein, vitamins and minerals without spiking blood sugar levels.

Goldenseal will bring elevated blood sugar levels plunging down and step up the production of insulin in the pancreas. For type 2 diabetics this is great news, but for hypoglycaemics it is something to watch very carefully. Goldenseal can help but it is not a full cure. A tincture extract can be taken approximately 15 drops, two or three times daily.

Scientific studies have shown that onions reduce blood sugar levels for longer periods than insulin, but more slowly. Ensure you have plenty in your diet. Onions are best eaten raw as cooking partially destroys its active compounds, which are contained in a highly volatile oil. Like onions, garlic has a significant ability to control blood sugar levels. Garlic has a strong odour so take as a tincture or other supplement. Either way try to ensure your diet is rich in garlic.

Fenugreek contains six compounds that help regulate blood sugar levels. Modern research shows that fenugreek seeds not only lower blood glucose but reduce insulin levels, total cholesterol and triglycerides, while increasing HDL (the good cholesterol).

Olive leaf acts as a hypotensive (lowers the blood sugar levels) and dilates the walls of blood vessels. Thereby increasing blood flow and circulation through the body and to vital organs. It has no side effects even when taken over a long period, so it is good for diabetics.

Cayenne pepper is a wonderful herb to stimulate circulation. When your blood is circulating more efficiently you don't need as much of the chemicals that your body produces. A little will go a long way.

A retired plant scientist and a former Smithsonian botanist, James A. Duke and Edward S.Ayensu believe that Korean ginseng is a remedy for a wide variety of disease or ills. In their two-volume reference work "Medicinal Plants of China", they report that among other ailments ginseng can be good for this condition.