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Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Type 1 Diabetes: How to Manage Diabetes Naturally


Diabetes is a biochemical disorder which affects the body's ability to use carbohydrates, sugars and starches. Children with diabetes are not able to produce sufficient insulin or are unable to use the insulin they produce effectively enough to break down glucose or sugar in the blood and make it available to the body.
Type 1 diabetes used to be called "juvenile diabetes" because it generally affects younger people. Type 1 diabetics don't produce the insulin they need to use the glucose from food that is essential for all body functioning. Insulin deficiency due to selective destruction of secreting pancreatic beta cells is the cause of type 1 diabetes. Patients always need Insulin and are prone to weight loss.
All doctors would agree that proper diet and exercise would help diabetics. What they don't stress to their patients (partly because many of them don't realize) is that diet and exercise are actually the best defense against the killer complications from the disease.
Any diabetes treatment that does not include optimizing your nutrition is not really a treatment. Unfortunately, medicine focuses on keeping your blood sugars within a normal range- as long as that's being accomplished, you're "treated". Type 1 diabetics have islet cell antibodies. These antibodies tell your body to attack and destroy the islet cells of your pancreas, which are responsible for making insulin. If caught early enough, a perfect type 1 diabetes treatment would be to stop the autoimmune response.
Diet is a very important aspect in the treatment of juvenile diabetes. A long-term change in eating habits that ensures the right balance of carbohydrates, fats and proteins is essential. Portion control and eating at regular intervals during the day is also important. Losing excess weight also helps the body to use the insulin and regulate blood sugar more efficiently. Vitamins, minerals and other nutritional substances are also all important building blocks of systemic health.
Even tiny amounts of your own insulin could help keep your blood sugar in normal range as well as reduce your insulin requirements. If type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease, then antioxidants are an ideal natural diabetes treatment. People with autoimmune diseases usually see an improvement in their conditions and a slowing of the progression when they use supplement with antioxidants and proper nutrients.
According to some sources an Ayurvedic herb from the rain forests of India, known as Gymnema Sylvestre may be the answer for some Type 1 diabetics (1). In Type 1 diabetes a very specialized group of cells in the pancreas, known as Beta-cells, located in the pancreas are damaged.
1) Gymnema Sylvestre has been used for hundreds of years throughout India and has been known as the "destroyer of sugar". This herb is still in use as a regular treatment for Type 1 diabetes. It is said to benefit diabetics by reducing the need for insulin and lowering fasting glucose levels which it does through active components such as gymnemic acid, thought to increase production of Beta-cells and reduce blood glucose levels.
Additionally, Gymnema Sylvestre has been used in Ayurvedic and naturopathic medicine to reduce LDL and triglycerides, raise HDL, control sugar cravings, aid in digestion, and in weight loss. Loss of sugar cravings and weight reduction associated with this herb are likely due to its effects on the taste buds, which makes sweet things bland, resulting in a "spontaneous" calorie reduction.
One study of Type 1 diabetics taking 400 mg of Gymnema Sylvestre daily for 6 months to 2 1/2 years showed a significant reduction in daily insulin needs while taking the herbal extract. They also showed a significant improvement in blood sugar levels. Gymnema Sylvestre reported no ill side-effects at all while some patients even reported increased feelings of alertness and general well-being.
2) Chromium Picolinate is a mineral supplement and highly absorb-able nutritional form of chromium - an essential nutrient for sugar and fat metabolism.
3) Bilberry has excellent anti-oxidant properties. Regular use of Bilberry helps to support healthy vision as well as the health of the tiny blood capillaries which carry oxygen to the eyes, which are often affected by diabetes.
Along with these treatments (conventional or natural), type 1 diabetic patient must also ensure proper blood-glucose levels by carrying out regular blood tests and following a special diet. It is better to have some counseling assistance and group support which will help the patient to lead the normal life.
Tom Marshal is a freelance writer specialized in topics that cover health of the general public. Have you found this article helpful and informative?
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