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.

Nutrition

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.

Caution:

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 Training

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.

Rebecca R. Ammons

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