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A Natural Approach to Diabetes

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What is diabetes?
Diabetes is a disease when you have too much sugar in your blood. It causes a lot of complications like heart disease, loss of nerve sensation, blindness, etc.

What are the different types of diabetes?
There's Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes. Type 1 diabetes is where the body does not have enough insulin. These diabetics must inject themselves with insulin. Type 2 diabetes is late onset diabetes, when the sugar in your blood doesn't get absorbed into your cells. The cells become resistant to insulin. There are a number of risk factors for diabetes: being sedentary, lack of exercise, being over weight, genetics. What they have found in late onset diabetes is that the more obese you are and the more abdominal body fat you have, the more insulin resistance you have. The cells don't respond as well to get the sugar out of your blood and into your cells.

Can type 2 diabetics regulate their blood sugar levels through diet?
Type 2 diabetics can entirely control their condition through managing their diet including:
• Avoid simple carbohydrates, choosing more complex carbohydrates,
• Choosing good lean protein, such as fish, lean meats, poultry
• Eating lots of vegetables

What's the difference between simple and complex carbohydrates?
Simple carbohydrates are things like bagels, white bread, muffin, pasta or white rice. These foods get turned into sugar right away. So right after consuming a simple carbohydrate, your blood sugar levels go up instantly.
Complex carbohydrates like multigrain bread, brown rice, something that is more fibrous and more of a true grain, is slower to digest. So, instead of your blood sugar level spiking right away, there is more of a gradual increase, so your body, through the pancreas and insulin release is much better able to manage the blood sugar spikes.

What are some natural approaches people can use to treat diabetes?
Natural approaches include acupuncture, diet and supplements.
Diet was reviewed above.
Supplements: It has been found the people with low levels of niacin (B3)
and Magnesium are more prone to diabetes. So, taking a multivitamin will help prevent deficiencies. Chromium, alpha lipoic acid, cinnamon, bitter melon, and ginseng will help balance your blood sugar.

There are a lot of options to consider, you should w ork with a naturopathic doctor to tailor a program that is right for your personal well being. This is especially true for diabetics who are typically on medication. So if you start to use some of the natural solutions to bring down your blood sugar levels, then you need to be supervised by your medical doctor and your naturopath to ensure your blood sugar levels don't drop too fast. Otherwise you may experience episodes of hypoglycemia, which could cause fainting. All diabetics should have a blood sugar monitor.

You can find a naturopathic doctor through the Find a Practitioner link on our website.
Viewers can also submit questions to Dr. JJ though the ask Dr. JJ link on the website, which takes you to www.askdrjj.com.


Add a Comment2 Comments

EmpowHER Guest

First, let me disclose...I am a nationally certified strength and conditioning specialist. My job is to help elite athletes perform their best.


I want to point out that this article is propaganda.

Compare the fiber in white rice vs. brown rice (for example) and you'll see that brown rice DOES NOT have more fiber than white rice.

What is commonly known as "complex carbohydrate" is starch. Starch is glucose, as has been illustrated so well by the glycemic index.

Notice no mention of broccoli, asparagus, spinach, cauliflower, green beans, etc...(the non-starchy carbohydrate foods) are never listed as healthy carbohydrates for diabetics.

That's because they're healthy foods for diabetics, but they're not tax-subsidized like the starchy (read SUGARY) grains, like rice.

Diabetics would do very well to stay away from all grain products.

It's not an accident that they refuse to list the starch on the nutritional label. They don't want you to know all that sugar is in that multi-grain bread.

March 14, 2009 - 8:11pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

I have had type 2 for almost 3 years and to read a statement like:

"Type 2 diabetics can entirely control their condition through managing their diet including:
• Avoid simple carbohydrates, choosing more complex carbohydrates,
• Choosing good lean protein, such as fish, lean meats, poultry
• Eating lots of vegetables"

is, to say the least, untrue, bad advice and bad journalism.

Since the human body is the most complex life form on earth and each one is unique, how can the blanket statement above be true?

I would suggest "better control their condition" would make more sense.

March 15, 2009 - 8:19am
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.



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