The Centers for Disease Control estimate that almost 10 percent of Americans struggle with diabetes. This is a dire statistic – and the growth of diabetes here in America is mainly due to an increase in type 2 diabetes, also known as the kind of diabetes caused by diet and lifestyle.
A Quick Rundown on Diabetes
Diabetes can be understood as an inability to produce insulin, which is the hormone that metabolizes sugar. The human body digests nutrients (like sugar or glucose), and those nutrients get put into the bloodstream. From there, glucose is supposed to be metabolized and absorbed by your cells. That can’t happen without insulin – so when a diabetic eats anything with sugar in it, he or she can quickly build up too much sugar in his or her bloodstream, but none of that sugar is actually giving them energy.
There are two types of diabetes:
Type One Diabetes is an autoimmune condition where the immune system attacks the cells in the pancreas which produce insulin. This leads to little to no insulin produced within the person’s body. Usually, this type of diabetes begins during childhood and will last for the person’s whole life. While the cause of type 1 diabetes isn’t nailed down completely, medical professionals believe that it comes from a genetic condition and can be triggered by viral infections.
Type Two Diabetes is actually better termed as “insulin resistance.” The person’s body is still making insulin, but not enough to meet demand. Genetics may also play a part in developing this type of diabetes, but lifestyle and diet factor heavily into the development of type two diabetes. Poor diet, lack of exercise, and obesity are all main contributing factors in the formation of this kind of diabetes.
Naturopathic Options for Diabetes Treatment
Because different factors cause type one and type two diabetes – and often present at different times of life – they are treated a bit differently when it comes to naturopathic medicine. However, there are holistic options for both types of diabetes that either support existing medical treatment or, in some case, may ultimately mitigate symptoms of diabetes. In this article, we are trying to include a brief description of procedures that can be used to benefit both diabetes types.
- Changing your diet can support glucose regulation. Removing foods with a high glucose content and/or refined sugars can absolutely benefit a diabetic both in the short and long term. Foods with a low glycemic load include many vegetables, nuts, seeds, avocados, meat, eggs, wild caught fish, and some dairy.
- Simple lifestyle changes can ease diabetes symptoms. Often, changes in your lifestyle are extremely hard to keep up. However, this can be one of the most important factors in controlling diabetes symptoms. Beneficial changes include: eating healthy foods, exercising, managing stress, getting regular checkups, quitting smoking, and reducing alcohol consumption.
- Take supplements that help control diabetes. There are many herbs, vitamins, and minerals that can help control diabetes. These include:
– Chromium Picolinate
– Omega 3s
– Alpha Lipoic Acid
– American Ginseng
– Coenzyme Q10
- Add specific spices to your meals. Following a healthy diet doesn’t mean your food has to be bland and tasteless. In fact, there are spices that can help your body fight inflammation and work with your body to improve the efficiency of the insulin you do have. These include:
– Brewer’s yeast.
- Opt for a stress-free lifestyle or find activities that relieve stress. Not all of us can afford to live stress-free lives. You may a high-stress job, a newborn in the house, or an active family. While many of these things may provide you with great pleasure, they can also cause stress. Holistic practices like acupuncture and massage can be used to relieve stress. Additionally, exercise is a great stress reliever, and can help support your diabetes treatment – so heading to the gym or signing up for yoga classes may just be a two-for-one! For additional ideas for stress-relieving activities, take a look at step 5 of this article.
Diabetes treatment can require big lifestyle changes. If you have high blood sugar, are genetically predisposed to diabetes, or have diabetes right now – contact us today. We can provide naturopathic options to help you treat, control, and fight back against hormone disorders like diabetes.