Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Managing and Preventing Diabetes Naturally

Diabetes affects nearly 23 million people in the United States today. And this number is likely to continue going up as more people are diagnosed every year. I'm writing this post because I know theres many people out there living with this condition and that it runs in my own family so I may be at risk of getting it someday. However, I don't just want to write about ways to manage diabetes, but to actually prevent it to begin with. Prevention is better than the cure, as they say. Of course, you should always speak to a doctor concerning your diabetes and any alternative therapies you use.

Diabetes type 2 is a metabolic disorder that happens when too much glucose is secreted by the pancreas or in some cases not enough glucose is released. Glucose is a simple sugar needed by all living things for energy and can easily be found in carbohydrates and natural sweeteners (like honey), however, too much glucose in the bloodstream can result in complications such as stroke, heart disease, kidney disease, neuropathy, blindness, infection, inflammation, and amputation. One of the tenants of holistic health is that a health problem does not affect just one organ or area of the body, but affects your overall wellbeing. The inflammation that many diabetics experience along with high blood sugar levels is often a sign of other underlying medical problems such as autoimmune disease. Type 1 Diabetes is somewhat different from type 2 because its an autoimmune disease in which your immune system destroys the pancreas cells that produce insulin. Type 1 diabetics must take insulin for the rest of their lives as the pancreas is no longer able to produce insulin to fuel the body. Most of the prevention and treatments below are for type 2 diabetes only.
  • A grain-free diet is probably one of the best ways to manage and prevent diabetes in the first place. Why grain-free? Grains, both processed and home-produced, are major sources of sugar in the American Standard Diet. Removing grains from the diet makes it easy to stick to a low-carbohydrate diet full of healthier foods like vegetables, fruits, nuts, and meat stock.
  • The GAPS diet protocol eliminates grains entirely while also taking out potential food allergens. Food allergies are a sign of inflammation, which in turn mean the immune system may not be functioning very well due to a condition called gut dybiosis. Over time this condition can lead to more serious autoimmune diseases like type 1 diabetes, multiple sclerosis, and rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Add lots of healthy animal-based fats like butter and raw milk to your diet. No, saturated fat will not blow up your heart. The real proteins in animal and dairy products is critical to proper structural functioning, development, stabilizing hormones and moods, and building amino acids in the human body.
  • Engage in at least thirty minutes of physical activity everyday or simply do something that requires physical exertion. Exercise is the best way to burn off glucose.
  • Supplement with L-carnitine, which is a derivative of the amino acid called lysine. Lysine is important in allowing fatty acids to enter into the mitochondria making for easier metabolism.
  • Its also important to get a regular supply of trace minerals such as chromium, magnesium, zinc and vanadium. A deficiency in any of these minerals can cause problems.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Kelli! My mom would be delightful to read this. She's been worried about her diabetes and she wants to find something helpful without taking her medicines everyday.