I received an email from a person who’s doctor told him that he was a borderline diabetic. He was told to change his diet and to loose weight but was not prescribed any medication. His question was “is there any natural remedies to help me avoid having to take drugs?”
It sounds like you may be developing what is known as Type-2 diabetes. There are in fact two quite different forms of this illness, one that requires the use of insulin by injection and the other that can be controlled by diet alone or in more difficult cases the use of drugs taken in pill form. These are known as Type-1 and Type-2 diabetes respectively. Estimates indicate that there are well over 1 million diabetics in the UK with a similar number or people with the problem but going undiagnosed. The problem lies in the fact that many of the early symptoms of diabetes are quite mild and could be brushed aside. This is especially the case in Type-2 diabetes. Type-1 sufferers tend to be diagnosed in childhood and require insulin injections to replace the deficiency they have. For most, once stability is achieved this keeps their condition in good order. A few, however, do experience great difficulties in regulating their balance and may require a complex mix if insulin types. For those finding life difficult and need extra help and support Diabetes UK offers a great service, their web site is worth checking out. Once the dose balance is achieved they normally manage their problem well with occasional check ups from their GP or diabetic nurse. Type-2 diabetics on the other hand present more of a problem since the condition may have been developing over many years and be associated with other health problems such as obesity and heart disease. Picking up Type-2 diabetics can be tricky since some of the early signs may simply be fatigue and tiredness, an increased tendency to pass urine at night and an increased thirst. Other signs include recurrent thrush and persistent itch and in some cases unexplained weight loss. You can imagine that very few of us would take ourselves to the doctor because we are feeling a bit tired and fatigued and probably put any night time trips to the toilet down to drinking more in the evening! Its only when these symptoms escalate or are associated with additional problems that enough is enough and a check up is called for.
Unlike Type-1 diabetes, where insulin is deficient or absent, Type-2 sufferers may actually over-produce insulin! This over production of the hormone occurs because the receptors on cells in the body that normally respond to the action of insulin fail to be stimulated by it – this is known as insulin resistance. In response to this more insulin may be produced. However this overproduction eventually exhausts the insulin-manufacturing cells in the pancreas and they pack up. When this happens there is simply insufficient insulin available and the insulin that is available may be abnormal and therefore doesn’t work properly. This all sounds rather inevitable but many Type-2 patients never reach this point because they take their health into their own hands and change their diet and lifestyle. As simple as this sounds it can have dramatic health promoting effects on the body and even reverse some early insulin resistance symptoms. This is especially the case if you are over weight. Keep this in mind; the bigger your body fat mass the more cell surface area there is for insulin to act on and insulin resistance is a common result. Reduce your body fat mass and your insulin becomes more effective.
To help you on the way consider following a low glycaemic diet. There are plenty of books on this available at Amazon and the foods and recipes suggested are very suitable for a Type-2 diabetic. A look at Diabetes UK website will give plenty of online advise and diet recommendations as well as an online CarbCounter!
Also think about taking a supplement containing the trace mineral chromium. This has the ability to improve the sensitivity of your bodies cells to insulin; an important aspect of early diabetes where a situation known as insulin resistance develops. It’s a safe supplement and for many a very effective dietary aid. I normally suggest taking 1 capsule (200mcg) with lunch and dinner. However, diabetics on prescribed medication should seek professional advise before starting any dietary supplements.
Information on global incidences of diabetes’s
Nutritional factors that influence insulin (Click the manual download button)
The effect of chromium on diabetes (Click the manual download button)