Diabetes : What is it?
The following information is for educational purposes only and is meant to complement any medical treatment, not to prescribe or diagnose any condition. Please consult with your doctor before starting any medical or nutritional program.
With the invention of all our modern and refined processing for foods we have seen an increase in diabetes in our world. Some of the races that have diabetes in large numbers are the Hawaiians and the Native American Indians. Their bodies have a hard time adapting to the modern foods. More than any other disease, diabetes can be managed quite well with nutrition.
There are two types of diabetes: the first, diabetes insipidus, is more rare and has to do with a deficiency in the pituitary hormone called vasopressin. The other possibility is that the kidneys have an inability to respond properly to that hormone. People with this form of diabetes have several symptoms that make it stand out: they have tremendous thirst and they urinate large amounts regardless of how much they drink, and this shows us the weakness in the kidneys.
Diabetes Mellitus Type I is often called insulin-dependent diabetes It occurs at a young age and is sometimes called “Juvenile Diabetes.” It is often caused by a viral attack on the system, but most experts are of the opinion that the body’s immune system is weak when this occurs. With the destruction of the beta cells in the pancreas which manufactures the insulin, the body is unable to utilize glucose, the main food for the body. Consequently, the level of glucose is high in the blood since the body can’t absorb it. This is often called "insulin resistance." The diabetic's blood becomes "too thick" or "sticky" and this causes blood clots or thromboses that damage blood vessels.
This can lead to the creation of excessive levels of free radicals (oxidants which break down the body faster) and makes the person more susceptible to the following problems: Diabetics have a larger risk of kidney disease, arteriosclerosis, blindness, heart disease or nerve diseases, as well as being more prone to infections. This is because of their body’s resistance to insulin, which is the hormone that actually drives the glucose into the tissue and cells as a nutrient. When this does not happen the body becomes metabolically weak. The glucose molecules engage in an abnormal coupling with body proteins, a step called “glycosylation.” Consequently, this disrupts the protein’s ability to function biochemically and further weakens the immune system.
Some of the more common symptoms are abnormal thirst, again; irritability; weakness; fatigue; excessive urination; extreme loss of appetite or excessive hunger, and in the worst cases, vomiting and nausea. Some of these diabetics can have hyperglycemia type symptoms, which is too much glucose in their blood or at other times hypoglycemia when there is too low blood sugar. Both conditions can be serious. The worst of all these conditions is hypoglycemia, which can come from just missing a meal, or too much exertion or an insulin overdose. The symptoms could be dizziness, confusion, excessive sweating, and if not treated may lead to a coma. With hyperglycemia it could look the same as far as the symptoms, with not being able to keep down fluids as one of the danger signs. This means there is too much blood sugar in the system. It is more common during an illness and could also result in a coma. These two can be serious medical emergencies with life and death consequences.
A poor diet may be one of the biggest factors leading to diabetes. It often occurs with people who are overweight or who eat a diet high in refined sugar, highly processed foods, low in fiber, with too many complex carbohydrates and with too much meat, and who don’t exercise.
The second category is Type II or non-insulin dependent diabetes, and more often occurs when people are older, and usually with people whose family may have a history of diabetes. This disorder is a little different in that the pancreas does produce insulin, but for some reason the insulin is not effective. Some of the common symptoms are poor vision; fatigue; frequent urination; skin infections, and slow healing of wounds as well as unusual thirst, drowsiness, and tingling or numbness in the feet. This disease is also linked to a poor diet. The National Institute of Health says that there are twenty to twenty-five million people with diabetes type problems, many have undetected Type II (some five million). Diabetes is the third leading cause of death in America. It can be detected with a simple urine test.
There is lots of controversy about nutrition but most experts agree that if there is excessive weight, a weight loss program is essential. Consult with a doctor who specializes in nutrition. As with other health challenges, each individual is different and I believe we need to treat the whole person. Many will recommend a high complex carbohydrate, low fat and high-fiber diet with lots of fresh vegetables, moderate fruits and green vegetable juices.
Excess fat cells create chemical messengers that block the body's ability to actually respond to the insulin. As the fat comes off the diabetic's own insulin works better and the blood sugar level can improve. Garlic and onion are always great for healing the body. Add some capsaicin, a natural derivative of hot peppers to spice it up and it is also very healthy.
Eat more steamed and raw vegetables, complex carbohydrates moderately, low fat foods (cut down on animal fats), and increase grains and whole foods. Avoid white flour, salt and white sugar as they elevate blood sugar levels. Eat more legumes, root vegetables, brown rice, and nut butters. Vegetable sources from protein are much better because high fiber helps reduce blood sugar urges. Eat proteins such as beans and tofu, salmon, and tuna two or three times a week. These fish have the Omega 3, great for the immune system. Eat lots of raw olive oil for your dressings or spread it on breads instead of butter; never use margarine.
Treat Cholesterol: High cholesterol increases the diabetic's risk for heart disease and stroke. Treat High Blood Pressure: Even modest blood pressure elevations greatly increase the risk of diabetes complications. Most diabetics should be compulsive about maintaining blood pressure control.
Plant fiber concentrates like psyllium (Metamucil, etc.) do more than just help with constipation problems. They can also help with absorption of sugar and starches. Some of these more common fibers have modest blood sugar lowering effects: glucomannan, guar gum, legume fiber, oat gum, pea fiber, apple pectin, and psyllium. Of course, the best way to get fiber is from increasing the fresh fruit and vegetables and legumes you eat so you get the fiber directly.
Avoid tobacco since it constricts your blood vessels and can be much more harmful to your condition. Eat more carbohydrates or reduce your insulin before exercise as it produces more insulin-like effect on the body. Exercise can cause low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) requiring a reduction in dose of insulin or diabetes pills. Diabetics with unrecognized heart disease are less likely than non-diabetics to feel chest pain (angina) as a warning sign that they are exercising too vigorously. (Consult with your doctor).
Most diabetics could cut down and eventually cut out their insulin or diabetes pills through a holistic program centered on nutrition. They could probably all benefit, reducing their risk of long term complications; however, you need to work with a medical doctor that uses nutrition in his or her practice.
Many carbohydrates that people think of as being good for a diabetic can actually raise the glucose level of blood dramatically, e.g., whole wheat bread, many breakfast cereals, a baked potato, raisins, prunes or most dried fruit and carrot juice. Carrot juice is far too sweet. Better to juice a few little carrots and put in more greens such as kale, spinach, celery or wheat grass. Find a good green drink with many of the greens, which is also a great source of chlorophyll. Think: alkaline balance. Other carbohydrates such as pasta, pita bread, unleavened bread or bible bread, boiled potatoes, grapes, oranges, lemons or honeydew raise blood sugar only modestly.
Reduce the use of honey, molasses, etc. They do raise blood sugar, but most diabetics can tolerate them in small amounts, e.g., 1-2 tsp. a day if they are careful; however, it is better to try and do without. Replace those with fructose (fruit sugar) and lactose (milk sugar) as they do not raise blood sugar much and can be used in moderate amounts. A small percent of diabetics do not do well on a high carbohydrate diet, even one that is low in simple sugars and high in complex carbohydrates. Their blood sugar rises as do their triglycerides and cholesterol, so just increase the greens and legumes along with proteins.
Avoid fish oil capsules containing large amounts of para-amiobenzoic acid (PABA) as well as salt and white flour as they tend to raise blood sugar levels. Also, avoid taking large amounts of the amino acid cysteine because it can break down the bonds of the insulin hormone.
Mental calmness is critical for all health. Stress increases the adrenal glands' output of adrenaline and cortisone, two hormones which act to increase blood sugar. Relaxation training and stress management techniques help improve blood sugar control. Sometimes bio-feedback training could be very valuable -- see a professional.
Vitamins and Minerals
I recommend close medical supervision, for any treatment using vitamins or nutrition.
Chromium Picolinate, 400-600 mcg daily (Combination of chromium picolinate, vanadyl sulfate, and other vitamins and minerals that work together to regulate blood sugar levels), or
Diabetic Nutrition RX from Progressive Research Labs
Brewers yeast with added chromium can work too.
Biotin, 3-16 mg doses, but over 3 mg requires close medical supervision
Vitamin B-6, 50 mg. Take the B’s together
Vitamin B1, 50-100 mg, Inositol, 50 mg daily
B-12 injection or lozenges- or sublingual for best results
Vitamin C, 1000-6000 mg
Calcium, 1000-1500 mg daily
Coenzyme Q10, 60-120 mg
L-Carnitine, L-Glutamine and Taurine, 500 mg of each (twice daily on empty stomach). Take with some Vitamin C for absorption, which mobilizes fat, reduces
the craving for sugar, and aids in the release of insulin.
Manganese, 5-10 mg daily, do not take with calcium.
Magnesium, 600-700 mg
Quercetin, 100 mg 3 times per day
Vitamin E, 400-900 units
Zinc, 50-80 mg
In conclusion, regarding the emotions or how diabetics are living their lives from The Wisdom of the Body:
Diabetes people are living their life in an attitude of UNACCEPTABILITY of life at the most basic level (Sugars). They are never SATISFIED, never FULFILLED, and never CONTENT, they are always a work in progress.
Sources: Dr. James F. Balch, M.D., Phyllis A. Balch, C.N.C., and Dr. Richard Podell, M.D.
The last sentence taken from Wisdom of the Body by Roger Cotting, Dr. Diane Mistler (Misty), and Connie Smith, RN, about their work and teachings.
see http://www.molinamassage.com for more information and other articles.
Othon Molina Ph.d. c LMT has been involved in the health field as a manual therapist and personal trainer for over thirty five years. He has studied with some of the top doctors and healers of our times. His specialty is treating sports injuries, back problems, and teaching others about how to improve their health using nutrition and training. He has just published his first book “Your beautiful body”
Some of his clients include: Bob Hope, Jane Seymor, Essam Kashoggy, Jim Nabors, Tony Robbins, Mark Victor Hansen, Carol Burnett, San Francisco Ballet, Allvin Alley Dance troup, some of the top olympic and international elite athletes, team doc and trainer for the German professional triathletes. He also trains massage therapy teams all over the world. He has worked in the medical tent for the Kona Ironman for over 9 years and continues to this day. see http://www.molinamassage.com for more information and other articles.
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