Diabetes is all too common in the United States. The American diet is high in sugars, carbohydrates, and fats that cause or contribute to high blood sugar. Excess caffeine can, indirectly by way of the thyroid, contribute to hormonal imbalances that cause diabetes. Some of the symptoms include:
- Frequent urination
- Blurred vision
- Weight loss accompanied by increased appetite
- Erectile dysfunction
What Causes Diabetes?
Simply put, diabetes is caused by high blood sugar, or “too much glucose in the blood.” This is a problem with insulin, whose job is to carry blood sugar into the cells of the body. A lack of insulin or faulty insulin response by the cells results in too much glucose in the blood. Another cause of diabetes is simply too much sugar intake— especially fructose. Here is a summary of the causes of diabetes:
- Diet: Too much sugar. Too much fat. Too much caffeine.
- Obesity: Often resulting from dietary problems, obesity can cause a loop of insulin and hormonal problems that can cause or worsen diabetes.
- Thyroid imbalance: Hormonal imbalances from thyroid and adrenal problems can affect insulin response and cause or contribute to diabetes.
- Poor liver health: If the liver cannot cleanse the blood and process excess blood sugar, the result is diabetes.
- Chronic use of steroids: These drugs can change your body chemistry and cause or worsen diabetes.
A new set of dietary habits is the first line of defense against diabetes. Here is a summary of these dietary strategies, along with some other natural treatments:
- Avoid sugars: Sugars come in the form of sucrose (cane sugar and maple syrup), lactose (dairy products), fructose (fruit and corn syrup), corn starch, dextrose, glucose (usually glucose is converted by the body from other sugars), sorbitol, and malt.
- Reduce carbohydrates and starches: The body converts starches from carbohydrates into glucose. Avoid simple carbs, which include fruit, fruit juice, dairy products, honey, and sugars. Also avoid peanut butter, soybean oil, cheese, and processed meat. Keep complex carbohydrate consumption under control, including breads, pasta, beans, grains and fibrous vegetables (squash and eggplant, for example). Remember that whole wheat products are better than refined products. Better yet, replace wheat with other grains, such as oats, bran, rye, and barley.
- Eat lower glycemic food: Healthy foods for maintaining good blood sugar levels include green leafy vegetables, potatoes, yams, whole grain breads, nuts, legumes, chicken, and fish. Raw foods have a lower glycemic level than cooked foods.
- Take herbs to help control blood sugar: Herbs that help include fenugreek, garlic, bilberry, ginseng, and olive leaves (or extract). Other helpful supplements for diabetes include chromium, vanadium, cinnamon, and bitter melon.
- Strengthen your immune system: If you have diabetes, you should definitely take a multivitamin. Concentrate especially on getting enough antioxidants, as they help prevent free radical damage that causes many common diabetes complications (blindness and the necessity of limb amputation). Spirulina provides vitamins and minerals, while helping to balance blood sugar.
- Cleanse: If you crave sweets, you may be suffering from a lack of protein or you might have parasites in your system. Cleansing your liver and colon cannot only help with these cravings, but can help reduce your blood sugar levels by providing better nutrient absorption.
For 1,000 years, Japanese culture has used flour made from a plant called konjacmannan (glucomannan). An extract of konjac mannan helps provide protection from diabetes by lowering blood sugar.
Lipoic acid, known as LA, or alpha lipoic acid (ALA) are both excellent antioxidants and blood purifiers. What’s more, LA enhances your body’s insulin sensitivity and the glucose response to insulin. This is good news for diabetes patients. You can get LA supplements without prescription and should take them on an empty stomach. Food sources of LA include spinach, broccoli, tomatoes and Brussels sprouts.
Gymnema sylvestre (gurmar leaf) is called the poor man’s insulin in India, and if chewed, will block the receptors on your taste buds that register sweetness on your tongue. Sweets will taste like cardboard and this will take away your desire for sweets. When Gymnema sylvestre is taken orally for six weeks, the desire for sweets will be eliminated.
Aloe vera juice (get the pure filet of aloe, not products that use the whole spike because the outer skin of the aloe vera plant has a toxin in it) controls blood sugar. Aloe has more oxygen in it than any other plant. Colloidal silver is also beneficial for diabetes.
Diabetics are prone to heart disease, so either have a lot of garlic in your diet or take garlic supplements, as garlic provides many cardiovascular health benefits. Use sesame oil to reduce hypertension and B complex vitamins to help prevent both heart disease and diabetic neuropathy, which is a precursor to limb amputation. Diabetics are also prone to yeast infection, so include a healthy dose of vitamin E in your supplement regimen.