What Is Diabetic Neuropathy?

February 4, 2008 by  
Filed under DIABETES

Causes and Symptoms

If you are diabetic and have neuropathy, then you are familiar with the painful, burning, and sometimes tingling sensation of neuropathy. Neuropathy is thought to be caused by a loss of blood supply to nerves in the body. This is a dangerous condition and can caused fatalities. Nerves affected can be any of those in the human body, including the nervous system that is associated with internal organs, such as the heart, lungs, and liver.

In some cases, the neuropathy can give a diabetic the appearance of someone who has had a stroke. Drooping in the face, mainly around the eyes and mouth can occur. Difficulty swallowing, speech impairment, vision problems, and erectile dysfunction are only a few of the problems caused by neuropathy.

Control

The only known way to prevent neuropathy or to control its’ spread is by having very strict control of your blood glucose levels. Even with this strict attention, the neuropathy can only be reversed or prevented if the onset is recent. Years of neuropathy cannot be reversed. This means: If you have diabetes, start a tight regimen now. Do not delay. Years of damage cannot be repaired!

There are some drugs which can give some relief of symptoms, but due to the amount of side effects at this time, stronger drugs are not available. In some cases the drugs that are the strongest have debilitating side effects. Your doctor can be consulted for your best options, you should not rely on research alone to choose a medicine for this disability. This is extremely important in this day and age when drugs are available over the internet for purchase.

I want to be very clear here. If you purchase medication online for this disability, you can die. Only use the medication your doctor prescribes.

Alternative Treatments

New approaches are being studied to treat neuropathy with good results. One of the most recent is the study of a special form of the vitamin B12. The results were mixed with this treatment. Another diet additive was an anti-oxidant known as a-lipoid acid. A dose of under 1800 milligrams was used, as higher doses caused nausea. Some benefit was shown in the clinical trials, though the study has not been published.

Vegans will not be surprised that a vegan diet with moderate exercise has been shown to improve diabetes symptoms, including neuropathy. This diet is high in vitamins, anti-oxidants, and the vitamins the body needs. Low in cholesterol and other body harming byproducts, a vegan diet promotes good health and good glucose control for diabetics.

Natural Diabetes Treatments

January 23, 2008 by  
Filed under DIABETES

Avoiding the injection?

In recent years, particularly since the 1990’s, people have been looking more and more to nature to solve health issues. Almost every single day there is more information released in the news and online that details new and amazing uses for one herb, extract, or food. Often one will be touted as the ‘Wonder Cure’ for diabetes.

As of right now, there is no wonder cure-all for diabetes. With the recent breakthrough in medical science covered in my earlier post ‘Scientists Jumpstart Insulin Production In Diabetic Mice’, there may one day actually be a cure. But for now, here are the facts.

Herbs and spices for good health.

Just this month, scientists in China have found that a compound in pumpkin can help regulate blood glucose levels. The complete verdict is still out, but pumpkin is full of vitamins and minerals your body needs. It never hurts to add more into your diet.

Cinnamon has long been a favorite among herbalists for helping the body control blood glucose levels. Science has proven the validity of the claims, along with alleged arthritis treatment. To experience the benefits of cinnamon, include the spice in your diet each and every day. At least a teaspoon is needed to show results in arthritis and sugar levels. If you drink tea, try mixing it into your tea. Making your own cinnamon toast with Sucralose/cinnamon is easy! Toast your bread, spread one side with a low calorie margarine, then sprinkle a little cinnamon and sweetener onto the ‘buttered’ side.

Bitter Melon or Balsam pear has had confirmed results in lowering blood sugar. In fact, the juice and extract works so well it can cause hypoglycemia in diabetics who use it in conjunction with traditional medicines. Over use can result in abdominal cramps and diarrhea, so it is not recommended for children. This is one herb to use quite a bit of caution with, if used at all.

Garlic and Onions have been confirmed to have many health benefits. Lowering glucose levels, cutting cholesterol, and helping the body fight disease. Unless you have allergies to this family of plants, garlic and onions are a perfect addition to any diet.

What Now?

Even if you incorporate foods and herbs known to help with controlling blood sugar levels, you should not stop your insulin routine. Only your doctor can give you medical advice concerning your diabetes and you should never stop treatment on your own. You can, however, add foods and spices to your diet. If your sugar levels become more controllable, mention the foods you are eating to your doctor. It is possible through diet to control diabetes better, but until there is a cure, you still need to use caution with any treatment, natural or otherwise.

Sources:Diabetes Holistic Online and dlife

What Is Diabetes?

December 27, 2007 by  
Filed under DIABETES

The word diabetes is common enough. Nearly everyone has heard it and may know someone who has it. But how many know what it is?

Diabetes is a medical condition identified by continual abnormally high levels of glucose in the blood. It is a disease that results when either the body fails to produce adequate insulin or the cells resist using the insulin produced.

In the first case (too low an amount of insulin produced) diabetes is called Type 1. In the second instance, the condition is known as Type 2 diabetes. Type 1 constitutes about 7% of cases, with Type 2 responsible for 90% or more. The disease affects about 7% of the population of the U.S., occurring more frequently among those age 60 or older.

There are other types, such as gestational diabetes that sometimes afflicts pregnant women, and others. But they are much less common and, in some cases, temporary.

Typical symptoms for either type are abnormally frequent urination, produced by the body’s attempt to clear excess glucose by elimination. As a result, unusual thirst is common, compensated for by drinking higher than average amounts.

Type 1 has historically been known as juvenile onset diabetes, since it affected mostly younger people. Similarly, Type 2 was called adult onset diabetes, since it was found mostly in older adults. In Type 1 diabetes, it’s believed that one of the primary factors causing the disease is an autoimmune system malfunction that affects the pancreas. Type 2 may be caused or worsened by obesity and other factors.

Both have genetic components as risk factors. But in either type, and regardless of the cause, the net effect is the same: an inability to clear glucose out of the bloodstream because of inadequate or faulty insulin production or use.

Insulin is the hormone chiefly responsible for regulating the level of glucose in the body. Many foods that contain carbohydrates are broken down by digestion and produce primarily glucose. That glucose is taken up by the body to supply the energy needed for cell repair, muscle movement and a thousand other functions. Insulin helps the glucose make its way into the cells.

When insulin is produced in too low an amount, or the body’s cells resist the intake of glucose by interfering with insulin’s function, diabetes is the result. Since the pancreas produces the overwhelming majority of the body’s insulin, when some condition causes it to malfunction, diabetes can result.

The condition, whether Type 1 or Type 2, is usually chronic. But chronic doesn’t mean that nothing can be done to minimize the effects. With proper diet and what are today relatively simple treatments, diabetes of either type is manageable. And the disease itself comes in a range of degrees. In some cases, the amount of insulin produced or used is only slightly under what’s needed. In other cases, the pancreas produces almost none or the cells resist it strongly.

Since excess glucose left in the bloodstream can lead to a range of complications, diabetes can have a number of follow on effects. But how severe those effects are depends on the severity of the insulin deprivation or resistance.

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NOTE: The contents in this blog are for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as medical advice, diagnosis, treatment or a substitute for professional care. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health professional before making changes to any existing treatment or program. Some of the information presented in this blog may already be out of date.