What is Diabetes?

Diabetes is a chronic biochemical disorder which affects the body’s ability to use carbohydrates, sugars and starches. People 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.

More than 16 million Americans alone suffer from diabetes. Diabetes is often referred to as an epidemic in the Western World today.

There are two main types of Diabetes, referred to as Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes.

Type 1 Diabetes usually surfaces in childhood and is usually associated with the inability of the pancreas to produce insulin. People with Type 1 Diabetes are also called Insulin-Dependent because they have to take insulin for life.

Type 11 Diabetes is also called Adult Onset Diabetes and usually occurs after the age of 40. People with Type 11 Diabetes do produce insulin in the pancreas, but their body cells have become resistant to it.

Although people with controlled diabetes can lead a normal healthy life, uncontrolled diabetes means chronically elevated blood sugar levels which slowly destroy proteins in the body, causing considerable damage to tissues and organs.

Complications from untreated or poorly controlled diabetes include kidney damage, heart disease, nerve damage, and even blindness.

How do I know whether I have Diabetes?

Diabetes must be diagnosed by a medical doctor, endocrinologist, homeopath or naturopath. However here are some of the more common symptoms.

If you are at all concerned about whether you have diabetes, especially if you are overweight and have a family history of diabetes, please seek medical advice.

Some Symptoms of Diabetes:

* Frequent and excessive urination
* Always thirsty
* Chronic fatigue, lethargy and weakness
* Cuts and wounds never seem to heal normally
* Weight loss without dieting
* Loss of libido
* Numbness and tingling in hands and feet
* Recurring infections, especially Urinary Tract Infections, Thrush and Athletes Foot
* Blurred vision

What causes Diabetes?

There are no clear answers about the causes of Type 1 Diabetes in which the pancreas stops producing insulin. Some theorists believe that Type 1 Diabetes may be an auto-immune response or could be caused by a virus.

Type 11 Diabetes, which begins in adulthood, is strongly linked to obesity and an unhealthy lifestyle.

Both Type 1 and Type 11 Diabetes are known to have a strong genetic link. This means that if you have people in your family who have diabetes, then it is even more important to follow a healthy diet, exercise regularly and to take supplements and herbal remedies which can help to prevent diabetes. (see below for more tips on healthy lifestyles for diabetics).

Can herbal remedies and dietary supplements help?

There is a great deal of evidence to suggest that the use of carefully chosen herbal remedies and dietary supplements can help to both prevent diabetes and to keep it under control in those who have already developed it.

Along with the correct lifestyle changes, herbal remedies and dietary supplements can reduce or eliminate the need for prescription medication and can also aid in preventing some of the tissue and organ damage associated with uncontrolled blood sugar levels.

What else can I do to help myself?

Exercise regularly. It has been shown that people who exercise regularly are 50% less likely to develop Type 11 Diabetes.

Eat plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables as well as foods containing whole grains, which contain Vitamin B and chromium, both known to be important in controlling blood sugar levels.

If you are overweight, lose it! Obesity is one of the major risk factors in Type 11 Diabetes.

Reduce your intake of refined and processed foods containing high fat and sugar levels.