Diabetes: Type II
53 Case Studies
19 Member Stories
110 Research

Type 2 diabetes can be prevented or reversed naturally with a healthy lifestyle. A Mediterranean diet, quitting smoking, reducing stress, and getting more exercise can help. Type 2 diabetes is largely preventable, and about 9 in 10 cases could be avoided by taking several simple steps. Learn how to stop and even reverse type 2 diabetes with natural therapies.

What is Diabetes Type 2?

Diabetes Type 2 (or Diabetes mellitus) is a condition in which the pancreas no longer generates enough insulin or when cells stop responding to the insulin that's produced. Glucose in the blood can't be absorbed into the cells of the human body, causing blood sugar levels to rise. Symptoms include frequent urination, exhaustion, excessive thirst, and appetite.

Diabetes mellitus is a chronic disease that causes serious health issues including renal (kidney) failure, heart disease, stroke, and blindness. According to a WHO fact sheet, 9% of people above 18 years of age suffer from diabetes, in the world (WHO Factsheet N°312, 2015). Diabetes type 2 is one of the most common forms of diabetes, with more than 90% of diabetics affected. Roughly 14 million Americans have diabetes. Unfortunately, as many as a third are unaware they have it.

Every cell in the body requires energy in order to function. Your body's main energy source is glucose, a simple sugar caused by the digestion. Glucose in the digested food circulates in the bloodstream as a ready energy source of cells. Behind the stomach. insulin binds to receptor sites on the outside of cells and acts as a key to open a doorway into the cell through which glucose can enter. 

Some of the sugar can be converted into concentrated energy sources such as glycogen or fatty acids and stored for later usage. Whenever there is not enough insulin produced or when the door no longer recognizes the insulin crucial, glucose stays in the blood rather than entering the cells. The body will attempt to dilute the high level of glucose from the bloodstream, a condition known as hyperglycemia, by pulling water from these cells and into the bloodstream. It is not unusual for people with undiagnosed diabetes to be continuously hungry, to drink large quantities of water, and to urinate frequently as their bodies try to eliminate the extra glucose. This creates high levels of glucose in the urine.

At the same time that your system is trying to eliminate glucose from the blood, the cells are starving for sugar and sending signals into the body to consume more food, thus making patients incredibly thirsty. To give energy for the hungry cells, the body also tries to convert fats and proteins to glucose levels. The breakdown of fats and proteins for energy triggers acid chemicals called ketones to form in the blood. Ketones also will be excreted in the urine. Since ketones build up in the blood, a condition called ketoacidosis may occur. If left untreated, ketoacidosis may lead to coma and death.


See: Signs of diabetes in women

What causes Diabetes Type 2 Symptoms?

The causes of diabetes mellitus are uncertain, however, there appear to be equally hereditary (genetic variables passed on in families) and ecological elements involved. Studies have proven that some men and women that develop diabetes have shared genetic markers. In Type I diabetes, an autoimmune reaction is thought to be triggered by a virus or a different microorganism that destroys the cells which produce insulin.

In Type II diabetes, the pancreas can produce enough insulin, but cells have become resistant to the insulin produced and it might not function as effectively. Symptoms of Type II diabetes may start so gradually that someone might not know that he or she has it. Early signs are tiredness, intense thirst, and frequent urination. Other symptoms may include sudden weight loss, slow wound healing, urinary tract infections, gum disease, or blurred vision. It's not strange for Type II diabetes to be discovered while a patient is visiting a doctor about a health issue that was caused by the yet undiagnosed diabetes.

Individuals who are at elevated risk of developing Type II diabetes mellitus include people who:

• are fat (greater than 20% over their ideal body weight)

• belong to a high-risk ethnic population (African-American, Native American, Hispanic, or Native Hawaiian)

• have been diagnosed with gestational diabetes or have delivered a baby weighing more than 9 lb (4 kg)

• have elevated blood pressure (140/90 mmHg or over )

• have a high-density lipoprotein cholesterol level less than or equal to 35 mg/dL and/or a triglyceride level greater than or equal to 250 mg/dL

• have had impaired glucose tolerance on the previous testing

See: Signs of diabetes in men

Type 2 Diabetes Treatments

There's presently no treatment for diabetes. Diabetes can be life-threatening if not correctly managed, so patients must not attempt to deal with this condition without medical supervision. Treatment of diabetes focuses on two goals: keeping blood glucose within the normal range and preventing the development of chronic complications. Alternative treatments can't replace the need for insulin but they may improve insulin's effectiveness and may lower blood glucose levels. Additionally, alternative medicines may help to treat complications of this disease and improve wellbeing.

Diet therapy

Diet and moderate exercise are the first treatments implemented in diabetes. For many Type II diabetics, weight loss might be an important objective to assist them to control their diabetes. The number of calories required is based on the individual's age, weight, and activity level. The calorie consumption also has to be distributed over the course of the whole the day. This distribution allows surges of glucose entering the blood vessels are kept to a minimum. In 2002, a Korean study demonstrated that eating a combination of whole grains and legume powder has been valuable in lowering blood sugar levels in men with diabetes.

Keeping track of the number of calories offered by different foods can be complicated, so patients are usually advised to visit a nutritionist or dietitian. An individualized, easy-to-manage diet program can be set up for each patient. The American Diabetes Association and the American Dietetic Association recommends diets based on Using food exchange listings. Each food exchange contains a known amount of calories in the form of protein, fat, or carbohydrate. A patient's diet program will include a certain number of exchanges from each food category (protein or meat, fruits, bread and starches, vegetables, and carbohydrates ) to be eaten at meal times and snacks. Patients have flexibility in deciding on the foods that they eat so long as they don't exceed the number of exchanges prescribed. The food market program, along with a plan of moderate exercise, can help diabetics shed weight and improve their general health. Certain foods will be highlighted over other people to encourage a healthy heart as well.

Supplements

- CHROMIUM PICOLINATE. Some studies have had conflicting results on the efficacy of vitamin picolinate supplementation because of the control of blood sugar levels. In 1 study, approximately 70% of the diabetics receiving 200 micrograms of chromium picolinate daily reduced their requirement for insulin and drugs. Though some studies have demonstrated that supplementation caused substantial weight loss, and decreases in blood glucose and serum levels, others have demonstrated no advantage. Chromium supplementation can lead to hypoglycemia and other side effects.

MAGNESIUM. Magnesium deficiency may interfere with insulin secretion and uptake and worsen the patient's management of blood glucose.

- VANADIUM. Vanadium has been shown to attract blood sugar to normal levels in diabetic animals. Additionally, people who took vanadium were able to decrease their need for insulin.

- Traditional Chinese Medicine

Non-insulin dependent diabetics that practiced daily qigong for a year had decreases in fasting blood glucose and blood insulin levels. Acupuncture may relieve pain in patients with diabetic neuropathy. Acupuncture can also help to bring blood sugar to normal levels in diabetics who don't require insulin.

Best when used in consultation with a Chinese medicine doctor, some Chinese medicines that alleviate indicators of complications from Diabetes include:

• Xiao Ke Wan (Emaciation and Thirst Pill) for diabetics having elevated levels of glucose in urine and blood.

• Yu Quan Wan (Jade Spring Pill) for diabetics with a deficiency of Yin.

Ingredient Pill with Rehmannia) for stabilized diabetics using a lack of Kidney Yin.

Pill) for stabilized diabetics with a deficiency of Kidney Yang.

 Learn more about how Acupuncture treatments for Diabetes work.

- Ayurvedic Treatments

Ayurveda does not even regard diabetes as a disease and is not mentioned in Ayurvedic text.  Rather, there are other signs of diabetes is mentioned in 'Madhumeha', one of the many kinds of Prameha Roga. Madhumeha is termed as a Maha Rog (Major Disease) because if not treated in time, it can lead to major complications such as eye problems, joint pains, kidney failure, sexual and urologic problems, and many more.

It is therefore not surprising that as diabetes is a metabolic disorder, it cannot be merely treated by controlling sugar levels. The treatment of any illness including Prameha / Madhumeha aims at restoring the balance of doshas and the normal function of Dhatu. If Doshas marginally increase, restriction of diet combined with increased activity is adequate as a curative measure. If the doshas are considerably increased, one should administer drugs to neutralize the doshas. 

Ayurveda identifies diet, exercise, and lifestyle changes for the management and possible reversal of diabetes. Many spices and herbs can be used in the treatment of diabetes. There are now over 1,200 species of plants which have known glucose-lowering consequences. 

Learn more about how Ayurveda treatments for Diabetes work.

- Natural Herbal Remedy

Herbal medication can have a positive effect on blood glucose and quality of life In diabetics. The outcomes of the clinical study of different herbals are:

• Artemisia (Herba-Alba) decreased blood sugar.

• Gurmar (Gymnema Sylvestre) Diminished blood sugar levels along with the need for insulin.

• Coccinia indica enhanced Glucose tolerance.

• Trigonella foenum graecum decreased blood glucose and improved glucose tolerance.

• Bitter melon (Momordica charantia) decreased blood glucose and improved glucose tolerance.

• Cayenne pepper (Capsicum Frutescens) helps relieve pain in the peripheral nerves (a type of diabetic neuropathy).

Other herbals that may treat or Protect Against diabetes and its complications include:

• Bilberry (Vaccinium myrtillus) May lower blood glucose levels and maintain healthy blood vessels.

• Garlic (Allium sativum) can Lower blood glucose and cholesterol levels.

• Onions (Allium cepa) can help lower blood sugar levels.

• Ginkgo (Ginkgo biloba) Improves blood flow.

-  Yoga Therapy

Blood sugar, increased glucose tolerance, decreased need for diabetes medications, and enhanced insulin procedures. Yoga also enriches the sense of well-being.

You can find the many Yoga poses that help diabetes mellitus here.


-  Biofeedback Therapy

Many studies have been conducted to test the benefit of adding biofeedback to the diabetic's treatment plan. Usually have been included. Biofeedback can have important effects on diabetes Including improved glucose tolerance and decreased blood glucose levels. In addition, biofeedback can be used to treat diabetic complications and enhance wellbeing.



See: Diabetic Shock or Severe Hypoglycemia

How to prevent diabetes

Research continues on how best to prevent diabetes and to discover those at risk for developing diabetes. The physical and psychological stress of illness, surgery, and alcoholism may increase the dangers of diabetes. Maintaining a wholesome lifestyle is critical to preventing the onset of Type II diabetes and preventing further complications of the illness.

In early 2002, researchers announced that patients at high risk for developing diabetes who obtained an ACE inhibitor called ramipril lower their risk of developing diabetes significantly. Still another research at Duke University showed that continuing intensive exercise could forestall the development of diabetes or cardiovascular disease in high-risk patients. The advantages of long-term exercise even continue one month following exercising stops. In 2003, advances in genetics discovered a key gene that can explain why some people are more vulnerable to the disease than others.

See: Insulin Side Effects

References

1. Foster, Daniel W. “Diabetes Mellitus.” In Harrison’s Principles of Internal Medicine. 14th ed. Edited by Anthony S. Fauci, et al. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1998.
2. Garber, Alan J. “Diabetes Mellitus.” In Internal Medicine. Edited by Jay H. Stein, et al. St. Louis: Mosby, 1998.
3. Karam, John H. “Diabetes Mellitus & Hypoglycemia.” In Current Medical Diagnosis & Treatment 1998. 37th ed. Edited by 4. L.M. Tierney, Jr., S.J. McPhee, and M.A. Papadakis. Stamford, CT: Appleton & Lange, 1998.
4. McGrady, Angele, and James Horner. “Complementary/Alternative Therapies in General Medicine: Diabetes Mellitus.” In Complementary/Alternative Medicine: An Evidence-Based Approach. Edited by John W. Spencer and Joseph J. Jacobs. St. Louis: Mosby, 1999.
5. Sherwin, Robert S. “Diabetes Mellitus.” In Cecil Textbook of Medicine. 20th ed. Edited by J. Claude Bennett and Fred Plum. Philadelphia, PA: W.B. Saunders Co, 1996.
6. Smit, Charles Kent, John P. Sheehan, and Margaret M. Ulchaker. “Diabetes Mellitus.” In Family Medicine, Principles, and Practice. 5th ed. Edited by Robert B. Taylor. New York: Springer-Verlag, 1998.
7. Ying, Zhou Zhong, and Jin Hui De. “Endocrinology.” In Clinical Manual of Chinese Herbal Medicine and Acupuncture. New York: Churchill Livingston, 1997.
8. Gayle Encyclopedia of Alternative Medicine

See: High Protein Low Carb Diet for Diabetes

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