A diagnosis of diabetes can have a severe effect on your quality of life – but there is so much that you can do naturally to help maintain your health.
What is Diabetes?
Diabetes is a chronic health condition that can affect your whole body and needs daily self-care and ongoing management to prevent any complications arising. People with diabetes have either no or not enough natural production of the hormone insulin, which is your body’s tool for processing blood sugar or glucose.
If your insulin levels are insufficient then your levels of glucose can’t be well regulated or maintained at healthy levels.
Our bodies should convert glucose from the food we eat into energy for our bodies to use; when people with diabetes eat glucose (in carbohydrates, dairy and anything containing sugar) it can’t be converted into energy and instead just stays in the blood raising the blood sugar level in the body.
Anyone can develop diabetes and there is no cure, but with proper management, you can live a long, healthy and happy life with minimal disruption from the condition.
When untreated or unmanaged, diabetes can result in many complications including heart attack, stroke, kidney disease, limb amputation, depression, anxiety, blindness and a shorter lifespan.
Different kinds of Diabetes
Type 1 – in this form of the disease the sufferer’s pancreas has no ability to produce insulin. Usually detected early in life, this person’s immune system is activated to destroy the insulin-producing cells.
Around 10% of people with diabetes have Type 1. The remaining 90% of sufferers of diabetes have either Type 2 or Gestational diabetes, both forms of the disease which are increasingy rapidly.
Type 2 – this form of the disease is a progressive condition in which the body becomes resistant to insulin or loses the capacity to produce insulin. It is slow-developing and is diagnosed later in life, and may be prevented or slowed by changing health-related habits.
Gestational diabetes – this form of the disease affects pregnant women and will usually go away again after the baby is born (although for some women high blood sugar levels will remain).
What symptoms should you be looking for?
Many people with diabetes show no symptoms at all, or the first symptom might be a heart attack or stroke. Symptoms you can watch out for include:
- Being excessively thirsty
- Passing more urine
- Feeling tired and lethargic
- Always feeling hungry
- Having cuts that heal slowly
- Itching, skin infections
- Blurred vision
- Gradually putting on weight
- Mood swings
- Feeling dizzy
- Leg cramps
What can you do to prevent it?
Although age and a family history of the disease can be prime causes, there are many other things that you can affect which will reduce your chances of developing diabetes. These include:
- Maintaining a healthy weight
- Not smoking
- Not drinking
- Eating a healthy diet
- Getting regular exercise
How is diabetes treated?
Depending on the form or severity of the condition, you may need medication or insulin injections to maintain proper levels of insulin in your system. All people with Type 1 will need insulin medically provided as treatment.
But for many people, treatment is really just following a healthy diet and making wise choices when it comes to your body.
And because almost all cases of diabetes are preventable, you can start making changes now that can keep this condition at bay.
How can you naturally treat diabetes?
There are some natural ingredients which have been shown to reduce and help regulate your body’s blood sugar levels. Many people find these natural products to be of great help.
We recommend that you discuss these natural remedies with your doctor before taking any of them, as taking too many can lower your blood sugar too much.
Aloe vera juice can help lower blood sugar levels, as well as reducing blood fats, decreasing swelling and helping bodies and cells to heal faster. It also improves your digestive system health.
These little berries are high in anthocyanosides which promote blood vessel strength and may help fight eye weakness and damage in people with diabetes. They improve blood circulation, prevent cell damage and may also assist in lowering blood sugar levels.
This fruit is high in a number of vital vitamins and minerals that have become well known for treating diabetes. Anti-diabetic properties include charantin and lectin which lower blood sugar and polypeptide-p which has insulin-like qualities.
Cinnamon is a handy spice that can improve blood sugar levels as well as increasing insulin sensitivity. It also gives your body a sense of having sugar, so you can add it to oatmeal as a sweetener and use it to replace sugar in other ways in your diet.
Often used in curries, fenugreek is high in soluble fiber which has been shown to lower blood sugar levels by helping with digestion, absorption of carbohydrates and glucose tolerance. It also lowers cholesterol and is a rich source of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
Ginger might be a little bit magic when it comes to diabetes. It helps with long-term blood sugar control and can improve the uptake of glucose into muscle cells without using insulin. It can also lower the secretion of insulin by serotonin receptors in the brain and can delay and reduce the onset of eye problems related to long-term diabetes.
Ginger has lovely anti-inflammatory properties and helps with heartburn, pain, and indigestion.
A rich source of dietary fiber, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, okra also has blood sugar lowering benefits. It has been shown to slow the rate at which sugar is absorbed into the blood from the intestinal tract. A vegetable, you can easily add okra to many kinds of dishes or snack on roasted okra seeds.
High in a whole range of essential vitamins, minerals, and nutrients, coconut is also a wonderful fighter of disease.
Using coconut flour and coconut oil as excellent replacements for white flour and butter in cooking also helps you to maintain a healthy weight, reduce the chances of heart disease and lower cholesterol.