Diabetes affects between 10 to 20 million people in the US alone and is the most common disorder of the endocrine system. Diabetes occurs as a result of disorders in the blood level of insulin. Insulin is a pancreatic hormone that converts blood sugar into energy.
Type 1 Diabetes results from shortage of insulin. It is also known as Insulin Dependent Diabetes Mellitus (IDDM) or juvenile onset diabetes.
Type 2 Diabetes occurs due to the body's inability to process insulin adequately. 90% of diabetic cases are of this form. It is also known as Non-Insulin Dependent Diabetes Mellitus (IDDM) or adult onset or stable diabetes.
Causes of Diabetes
Type 1 Diabetes is generally a genetic condition that is triggered by a viral infection. It mainly affects people under the age of 30. The pancreas are unable to produce insulin and as a result the body tries to produce energy by burning fat and muscle.
Type 2 Diabetes develops in people over the age of 40 and has a strong correlation with obesity. In this case even though there is sufficient or excess insulin, the body is unable to process it effectively. Blood sugar levels are boosted by excess food intake and there is not enough insulin to convert the extra sugar into energy.
Gestational Diabetes is similar to Type 2 diabetes and is a temporary condition in pregnant women.
Risk Factors of Diabetes
High blood pressure
High blood triglyceride levels
Ethnicity: More prevalent among African Americans, Native Americans, Hispanic Americans, Japanese Americans
Risk begins to increase after age 45 and significantly after age 65.
Excessive thirst and appetite
Increased urination (sometimes every hour)
Unexplained weight loss
In women, frequent vaginal infections. Menstruation may also stop sometimes
In men, impotence
In men and women, yeast infections
Herbal Ayurvedic Remedy for Diabetes and Blood Sugar Control
Gymnema abolishes the taste of sugar, which effectively suppresses the craving for sweets. The leaf extracts contain gymnemic acid which inhibits hyperglycemia and also acts as a cardiovascular stimulant. Gymnema controls the blood sugar level without reducing it to below the normal blood sugar level and has been very effective in Types 1 & 2 Diabetes More info...
Karela, also known as Bitter Melon is a herb that helps regulate blood sugar levels and keeps body functions operating normally. It contains Gurmarin, a polypeptide considered to be similar to bovine insulin, which has been shown in experimental studies to achieve a positive sugar regulating effect by suppressing the neural response to sweet taste stimuli.
Diabetes - Prevention & Lifestyle Changes
Type 2 Diabetes or Non-Insulin Dependent Diabetes Mellitus generally affects people over age 40 and has a significant correlation to being overweight. Diabetes is sometimes also called a western lifestyle disorder. It has been shown that when other cultures start adopting the western lifestyle primarily with regard to diet, diabetes cases shoot up.
Therefore if we revert to a more natural diet avoiding refined sugars and processed food, the body will better be able to cope with processing glucose.
Some steps that can be taken to control diabetes are:
1. Diet - A high fat, high sugar diet completely throws off your body's ability to process insulin. There is not enough insulin to process glucose to energy. You can help your body by having a balanced diet and controlling your sugar intake.
2. Exercise - Exercise helps in burning fat, reducing stress and reducing weight. These are key ingredients of diabetes control. Diabetics however should be careful to avoid weight lifting or other forms of exertion that involve pushing or pulling heavy objects as these activities raise blood pressure
3. Vitamins and Supplements - Gymnema Slyvestre or Meshashringi is a herb that has the curious effect of deadening the taste buds on the tongue to the taste of sugar for a few hours. As a result sugar & foods containing sugar are simply not attractive any more. In addition the Gymnemic acid has a hypoglycaemic effect thus helping to control blood sugar. It is the most important herb in Ayurveda for controlling blood sugar levels.
Vitamin B6 and B12 may help decrease the severity of diabetic neuropathy and reduce insulin demands in Type 2 Diabetics.
It has also been shown that seasoning your food with cinnamon with as much as 1/4 tsp at every meal may help regulate blood sugar levels
The Medical Advisor: The Complete Guide to Alternative & Conventional Treatments
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