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Diabetes - What Is It - How To Treat It
Also known as sugar diabetes, or diabetes mellitus, this is a condition where the body produces very little or no insulin, the hormone needed to transform carbohydrates into energy. Consequently, sugar accumulates in the blood. Symptoms include the constant need to urinate, thirst, recurrent infections, fatigue and weight loss. There are 2 types of diabetes: insulin dependent diabetes (IDD) usually begins in childhood and requires regular intake of insulin; non-insulin dependent diabetes (NDD) typically begins later in life. All treatments should be carried out in collaboration with your doctor.
Dietary Treatment: Professional dietary treatment from a registered dietitian or a naturopath is recommended, and can be effective in treating diabetes. In mild cases of non-insulin dependent diabetes, the following dietary recommendations may help: 50-60 per cent of your diet should be high fibre wholegrain complex carbohydrates (wholemeal bread, rice, pasta, oatmeal, bran and other unrefined cereals). replace red meats with fish and chicken. Eat soya bean products as often as possible. Eat plenty of beans, peas and root vegetables. Replace full fat milk products with skimmed milk products.
Cut out all foods containing sugar. Avoid all sweet fruits and juices. Eat plenty of vegetables (raw when possible), especially cucumbers, garlic, soya beans and tofu, avocado, Jerusalem artichokes, and brussels sprouts. Cut out alcohol and caffeine (coffee, tea, cola, chocolate). Take 2 tablespoons of brewer’s yeast daily. This contains chromium, which helps to normalize blood sugar metabolism. Research studies show olive oil to be helpful. Incorporate into your diet as much as possible.
Herbal Treatment: Onion and garlic have been shown to lower blood sugar levels significantly. Eat as much cooked and raw garlic as possible, or take 3-6 garlic capsules daily. Fenugreek seed is known to have anti-diabetic effects and should be liberally incorporated into your diet.
Chinese Medicine: Diabetes has been documented in Chinese literature in ancient medical texts. Lilyturf root, grassy privet, lotus seed and Chinese yam are generally recommended. Insulin dependent diabetics may find help with professional treatment.
Exercise: Regular exercise is very important in treating diabetes. It reduces the need for insulin injections, it prevents the accumulation of cholesterol and limits weight gain. Aerobic exercise (swimming, brisk walking, jogging, or cycling) 3 times weekly for 30 minutes is a good routine.
For insulin dependent diabetics, regular injections of insulin are essential. Your doctor will also make dietary recommendations.
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