Diabetes is a multisystem disease, which often affects the eyes, kidney, blood pressure, heart, wound healing and much more. It is connected to abnormalities in insulin production and/or utilization. Many people go on with their lives and do not realize they are diabetic, especially in developing nations. It is a major cause of heart disease, blindness, stroke and wounds that delay in healing, often in the legs and results in amputation.
The main reason for paying attention to your blood sugar level is to determine the treatment approach most suited for the person. Once insulin use (hypodermic needle use) is started it cannot easily be stopped. The individual will have to use it unfailingly for life, 2 to 3 times daily. The pancreas often stops producing anymore insulin. There is often no chance of healing of the condition. At this point insulin cannot be taken orally because of digestive destruction of the insulin. Who wants to use needles, on themselves 2 to 6 times daily; one to prick your finger, the next to give yourself the insulin injection.
There are better ways to get help and avoid insulin injection.
(a) Take the oral medication ordered by your doctor such as metformin, etc.
(b) Most importantly, the diabetic needs to get well informed about the disease and take necessary changeable measures e.g. weight loss, good diet, exercise , etc.
There are generally two major types of diabetes:
Type 1: diabetes mellitus
Type 1 is also referred to as “insulin dependent” diabetes. It occurs between ages 10 – 12 years and could even be from age 3 years to 30 years. It involves progressive destruction of pancreatic cells, and is often a genetic issue. Signs of Type I diabetes begin to appear when the pancreas no longer produces insulin. Several symptoms begin to present themselves and these include: sudden weight loss, excessive thirst (polydipsia); excessive hunger (polyphagia) and excessive urination (polyuria). Such a person requires regular supply of insulin injection to carry on life activities.
Type II diabetes
This is the most common form of diabetes among people over 40 years of age who are generally overweight or obese. It can be attributed to genetic causes. This type of diabetes has defied the old assumption (of adult onset) and is now seen in children and young adults.
In this kind of diabetes the pancreas continues to produce some insulin, nevertheless the insulin is insufficient or poorly utilized by the body tissues.
This material is for the common man, to help him know what to do about their diabetic issues. Ignorance is part of the big picture. It is important to know what causes your blood sugar to rise or fall in relation to what you consume.
Low – glycemic foods
These foods, contribute sugar into the blood stream slowly, and gives a person with diabetes or insulin resistance, the opportunity to stabilize their blood sugar levels and improve overall health condition. Such foods include, yoghurt, oranges, brown rice, whole grains, legumes and the beans family, dry bread is good if readily available.
High – glycemic foods
These foods dump large amounts of unwanted sugar into the blood stream very fast, and this causes a sudden rise in blood sugar levels, and sudden clinical manifestations of diabetes. These kinds of food cause high sugar levels: soft drinks, jams, corn and corn materials or products, fried potatoes, white bread and pastries, white rice, high sugar foods and products e.g. artificial sweeteners.
It is important to know that other organs and glands, e.g., the adrenals, produce hormones which also are important in blood sugar regulation and control.
People that have Type I Diabetes are subject to situations in which the blood glucose levels are often high (hyperglycemia) and sometimes very low blood sugar (hypoglycemia). These two conditions can lead to medical emergencies that could be very serious.
Hyperglycemia can come gradually over several hours or days. The risk increases during ill-health, when insulin need rises. Blood sugar can rise to the point of a coma, often known as diabetic keto-acidosis. Long-term problems may include stroke, heart disease, and nerve damage and kidney failure.
Hypoglycemia comes suddenly and can be caused by too much exercise, missed meal, too much insulin, etc. Signs and symptoms include: dizziness, sweating, hunger, confusion, numbness or tingling of lips. Palpitations are very common. Untreated hypoglycemia may lead to trembling, confusion, double vision and may lead to coma. Some remedies for diabetes include the use of the following natural materials.
(a) Eating garlic, parsley and watercress; in their raw state as vegetables or in form of fresh vegetable juices; carrot may be added to these to sweeten the taste and add more nutrients to the mix. This mixture lowers or reduces blood sugar.
(b) Garlic in combination with carrot juice and brewer’s yeast, vitamin C, E and B complex, two to three times daily would lower blood sugar level. Garlic is important in this disease situation because it contains some minerals that aid in the metabolism of carbohydrate.
(c) Potassium is often low in people with low blood sugar and in cases of acidosis. Potassium is often lost in frequent urination, and may lead to symptoms that include, sweating, dizziness, headaches, blackout and even, coma. If a person has these experiences and has low blood sugar, a little intake of potassium chloride would improve the situation and prevent issues such as fainting, blackout and coma. This measure of potassium can be found with regular consumption of garlic with meals. Garlic is a rich source of potassium. Avoid potassium supplement without doctor’s supervision.
(d) Zinc is an important mineral found in the prostate, pancreas, liver, spleen. This mineral zinc is also a component of insulin taken by diabetic persons. Zinc in the pancreas of diabetic people is much lower than that in non-diabetic ones.
(e) Manganese and sulfur are also minerals found in the pancreas and when these minerals are deficient diabetic symptoms can be noticed.
(f) Honey mixed with garlic is good to be taken at least daily. Honey contains a rare kind of sugar (levulose) it’s good for diabetic and non-diabetic persons, because the human body absorbs it slower than regular sugars. This helps in the control of blood sugar levels.
(g) Parsley tea is one tea that should be used regularly especially men. It is good for diabetes (blood sugar lowering), prostate problems and urinary and kidney issues.
(h) Daily intake of cabbage, carrot, lettuce, spinach, tomatoes, in salad with honey and lemon or lime, brings blood sugar levels to normal ranges. Lots of fruits with honey and less starchy foods will keep blood sugar in normal ranges.
(i) Boil and cook kidney bean pods in plenty of water, drink the water and you will experience improvement in your blood sugar level.
(j) Brewer’s yeast has been identified as aiding the pancreas to produce insulin and this in turn helps to prevent the incidence of diabetes. Use brewer’s yeast on fruit juices and on all that you eat, especially natural foods.
(k) Some vitamins are important in the control, prevention and in some case cure of diabetes. The vitamins include: Vitamins A, B, C, D, and E: (B complex must include B6) and some bone meal. For these minerals to be effective it is best to eat raw natural fruits, vegetables, protein sources, light on meat. Good walking exercise will help. Cinnamon is a necessary element to include in your diet if diabetes is involved.
(l) It is important to avoid saturated fats and simple sugars.
(m) Consume high complex carbohydrates, high fiber diet, and low-fat. Large amounts of raw fruits, vegetable, and fresh juices (home- made) if available; this helps reduce insulin needs; fiber reduces surges of blood sugar, so also chia seeds.
(n) Foods, like fish, brewer’s yeast, garlic, vegetable and spirulina, egg yolk, help keep blood sugar stable.
(o) Your best protein source for a diabetic includes whole grain and legumes.
(p) It is necessary to reduce your insulin dosage before any exercise or eat more carbohydrate before exercise.
Emergency self-help action for diabetic issues
(1) When and if symptoms of hypoglycemia occur promptly consume some sugar substance such as soda pop, candy, fruit or fruit juice or anything else that contain sugar. In 15 – 25 minutes if there is no change, take another sugar substance dose, if this fails seek medical attention at once.
(2) Every insulin dependent diabetic must always carry a glucagon kit and know how to use it and the best time to use it. It is important to avoid tobacco in any form, because
(a) It constricts the blood vessels and inhibits good circulation.
(b) It is necessary to keep feet warm, dry and clean. Always wear only white clean cotton socks and proper fitting shoes.
(c) Poor circulation leads to lack of oxygen to some parts of the body, especially the feet and nerve damage (often less of pain awareness) are serious factors in diabetic patients, because if not watched could lead to diabetic ulcers. Avoid any injury to feet and daily examine your feet.
(d) Diabetes and high blood pressure often go together and can result in kidney problems and diseases. Be watchful about this such situations always.
(e) Smoking not only constricts blood vessels, it leads to kidney damage that may in turn lead to kidney failure and dialysis may be the only option.
(f) Type II diabetics must make necessary efforts to reduce weight, modify diet, take tablets for diabetes and insulin will not be necessary, if caught early.
(g) Check your blood sugar 3 to 4 times daily, as suggested by your doctor or medical personnel. This is important. Diabetes is a complicated disease and each patient is encouraged to always work with a knowledgeable nutrition specialist in taking care of this condition.
Type II diabetes can be prevented and controlled by making changes in our lifestyle, improving our diet choices and increasing our levels of activity or exercise. Diabetes gradually damages the kidneys and is not easily identified until it is too late. Change your diet, exercise, lose weight.
If you are 20% over your recommended weight based on your height, weight and body frame; you are considered overweight and heading towards obesity. If these extra weights are in your middle body area, (waist, hip and abdomen) you are at risk of developing this disease. Walking is a good exercise, avoid eating late especially sugar substances.
Eating a diet made up of only 20% carbohydrates will likely show an improvement in your blood glucose level, lower your blood pressure and even help lower your weight.
Diabetes and your feet
Over 30% of diabetics experience neuropathy (less of sensation in the feet especially). This condition damages the nerves, you may not feel pain. In the case of injuries and infection, ulcers may develop and shape of feet altered, amputation is possible. Act now if you are the diabetic Type II.
(a) Examine your feet every day, ask somebody you trust or your doctor or medical personnel to help you examine your feet. Look out for cuts, redness, sores, swellings infections, etc., (a nail can be attached to your feet and you will not feel it.) Please examine your feet daily.
(b) Always use warm water (properly checked by somebody else, because diabetics sometimes cannot feel temperature changes easily), with mild soap to help remove calluses that interfere with sensitivity. Dry carefully, especially between the toes. Use light petroleum jelly, then socks and shoe.
(c) Do not wear tight shoes, let them be fitting and free with good socks. Put a new socks daily, acrylic material, or cotton.
(d) Avoid going about barefoot even in the house; to prevent injury. At night it is important to clear the path to the rest room to avoid bumping, falling, bruises, etc.
(e) Learn the proper way to cut toe and finger nails, because if done wrongly could lead to infection. Always cut straight across and file down the corners gradually.
(f) If you are diabetic avoid using hot water-bottles or pads to warm your feet especially at night. Wearing socks could be a better approach.
(g) Always avoid leg crossing when sitting down to avoid obstructing blood flow to all parts of the body, especially to the upper and lower extremities (hands/legs).
(a) A high protein diet is especially risky for diabetics because such a diet stresses the kidneys and may lead to kidney failure and death.
(b) Heart disease is the leading cause of death in diabetics.
(c) Avoid fat sources in the diet such as meat, fish, turkey, chicken, dairy materials (except plain yoghurt used moderately as good bacteria sources), cooking oil except olive-oil used moderately.
(d) Excessive fat consumption will cause the pancreas to secrete too much insulin to meet the demand of digestion. This in turn wears out the ability of the pancreas to deal with excess sugar and fat stored as glycogen. (e) High levels of insulin increase plaque build-up in the blood vessels and can lead to cardiac death.
(f) Hypoglycemic medications and insulin can cause hypoglycemia. These medications hasten the aging process of diabetics, increase complications of the disease and other cardio-vascular diseases and may cause early death in diabetics.
(g) Avoid fat because it leads to increased insulin secretion and weight gain. High insulin secretion leads to increased appetite and the consequence of weight gain which is insulin resistance over time.
(h) People who are diagnosed as type 2 diabetics, medication should not be the first line of action. Instead follow determined nutritional approach using natural, raw foods and fasting for good treatment and control. This is very important to consider.
(i) High fat and protein diet cause rheumatoid arthritis which can afflict people with diabetes or hypertension.
Chia seed and diabetes
Chia seed has the highest levels of omega – 3 in any plant form. It is an energy source. Chia seeds are also very high in easily digestible protein, vitamins, soluble fiber, antioxidants, essential fatty acids and minerals.
Chia seeds, soaked in water (one teaspoon to 300cc of water) left to stand for 2 – 24 hours in a refrigerator if possible, will form a gel, and in the stomach, creates a physical barrier between carbohydrates and the digestive enzymes that break them down. This slows the subsequent conversion of carbohydrates into sugar; which in turn is of very great benefit for diabetics. Chia seed is full of natural antioxidants. These seeds encourage regularity of bowel movement also.