According to the National Diabetes Statistics Report of 2014, 29.1 million people within the United States have diabetes. Approximately 27.8% of these individuals are undiagnosed. With such a staggering number of people living with, and being treated for diabetes, an incredible amount of misinformation exists.
Two types of diabetes exist, each with their own complications and symptoms. Type 1 diabetes is much less common than type 2 diabetes; contributing to 5% – 10% of all diabetic cases. Those diagnosed with type 1 diabetes are dependent on taking insulin for most, if not all, of their life. Currently, the only known cure for type 1 diabetes is a pancreas transplant.
However, with over 90% of all diabetics being diagnosed as having type 2 diabetes, the common misconception is that type 2 diabetes is not reversible. In some individuals, there is a genetic tendency, or predisposition, toward type 2 diabetes. The reality is, most individuals with type 2 diabetes or pre-diabetes CAN prevent or even completely reverse the disease with a healthy diet, regular exercise, and by avoiding processed foods – especially high fructose corn syrup (HFCS).
The Rise of Diabetes in the U.S.
Diabetes causes more deaths in the U.S. each year than breast cancer and AIDS combined. Complications associated with diabetes, such as heart disease and stroke, are the cause of two out of three deaths of those with type 2 diabetes. Currently there is an epidemic within the United States as the number of individuals with diabetes has been rising steadily each year. In 1980, 5.8 million people were diagnosed with diabetes, compared with 29.1 million today. The number of those diagnosed with type 2 diabetes is expected to rise significantly in the near future.
An article published in Everyday Health and medically reviewed by Doctor Pat F. Bass, associate professor of medicine and pediatrics at Louisiana State University Health Services Center-Shreveport, states, “It is estimated that one in three Americans living today will eventually develop diabetes, and that the number of cases will increase in this country by 165 percent by 2050.”
Although pre-diabetes and type 2 diabetes are on the rise (mostly due to unhealthy lifestyle choices and processed foods), they are often reversible. Obesity, unhealthy eating habits and a lack of exercise are the most common factors causing this epidemic. With healthier lifestyle changes and natural treatment, one can most often prevent or reverse both pre-diabetes and type 2 diabetes.
Diabetes is NOT a Blood Sugar Disease
When diagnosing type 2 diabetes, most doctors will prescribe medications in order to lower your blood sugar levels. What they may not tell you is that high blood sugar levels are just one of the many symptoms associated with diabetes. While serum glucose levels need to come down to a normal range, it is important to understand that blood sugar levels are not the root cause.
Type 2 diabetes is actually caused by your body’s inability to use insulin properly. The root cause starts with a poor diet, full of excess grains and sugars, which leads to insulin resistance. I suggest eating a balance of organic, whole food groups. Fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins are generally a good guideline. Excess sugars from soft drinks, processed foods, and binging on saturated fatty foods should be avoided.
Alternatives to Medication DO Exist
The multi-billion dollar diabetic medication industry grows larger and larger every day. Most people diagnosed with diabetes believe, and are told by their physicians, that they must take medications (many times with harmful side effects) in order to control their disease. While corporate drug makers want you to believe that medications will help you treat diabetes and lessen your symptoms, in the vast majority of cases I do not consider drugs to be the best way to treat the disease longterm.
In fact, there are groups such as the Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP), which is a large number of people with a high risk of diabetes who focus on weight loss and increased physical activity. This group has shown considerable reduction in the development of type 2 diabetes (58% decrease) during a three-year period. Approaching type 2 diabetes from a natural, holistic view can empower individuals to control, and often reverse, type 2 diabetes.
As previously mentioned, type 2 diabetes can be reversed and even prevented in most patients if diet and exercise are handled properly. Controlling the amount of sugar, especially high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), which is consumed, will help dramatically. With strict adherence to a well-balanced diet that does not include high amounts of saturated fats, processed foods, and unnecessary sugars (especially HFCS), the body will react positively and be able to regulate insulin levels in the body more effectively. This can be difficult in our environment of “on-the-go” meals and “fast-food” restaurant habits, but the results are worth it!
According to the American Holistic Health Association, alternative medicine providers take on the disease from an entire lifestyle perspective: treating diet, exercise, stress reduction and other lifestyle considerations rather than prescription medication. The American Diabetes Association recommends taking dietary supplements to ensure the body is getting proper nutrition. According to the National Health Interview Survey, 22 percent of diabetic patients used some type of herbal therapy and 31 percent used dietary supplements.
Natural Supplements Can Also Help
AIong with proper diet and exercise, I have recommended two supplements for my pre-diabetic and type 2 diabetic patients for many years: Foundation Vitamin Formula and Diacose Formula by Diamond Nutritionals. Diamond Nutritionals’ products are professional, high-grade products made in America.
Diacose Formula is formulated for cardiovascular and diabetic health with ingredients that are best for maintaining healthy blood glucose levels. I’ve listed the beneficial ingredients below:
An essential B vitamin, meaning humans cannot make their own biotin; therefore, it must be ingested through the diet. Biotin has often been overlooked in the support of healthy blood glucose levels. Biotin has been found to enhance insulin sensitivity and improve glucose and insulin tolerances.
A key constituent in the molecule known as glucose tolerance factor (GTF). GTF facilitates the uptake of glucose into cells in conjunction with insulin. Research has concluded that non-insulin dependent diabetic patients have a compromised chromium status, when compared to healthy patients.
3. Gymnema Sylvestre
A woody plant that grows in the tropical forests of India and parts of Africa. Its beneficial properties are thought to reside in a group of compounds called gymnemic acids. Gymnema extracts are associated with increased pancreatic function and insulin release.
4. Lipoic Acid
Once known as thioctic acid, it is considered one of the most versatile antioxidants. Lipoic acid is able to recharge the antioxidants vitamin E, ascorbic acid, and glutathione. Lipoic acid modulates glucose and insulin sensitivities. It also acts as an antioxidant, decreasing oxidative stress, the main stimulus for diabetic complications.
Has been found to have insulin mimetic properties. It has been used clinically to help manage serum glucose levels.
Widely used for glucose support. The constituents known to give cinnamon its glucose supporting activity are called Type A polymers. In human studies, cinnamon has been shown to lower blood sugar and improve insulin resistance. Studies have also found improvements in fasting blood sugar levels after cinnamon supplementation.
Overall, understanding the disease is most important in order to live a healthy life and avoid or lessen complications.
Maintaining a healthy diet, exercising regularly and knowing your family history for the disease are important steps to avoid triggering onset. I suggest you explore multiple options from different physicians and make sure that you understand each of the treatment plan steps that are recommended to you if diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. Many diabetes medications have dangerous side effects and controversial reports.
Any medication that is prescribed by your physician should be properly researched before blindly accepting. Diabetes is not just a blood sugar problem! By focusing solely on elevated blood glucose levels, as opposed to the root causes, it can lead you down a dangerous road. The good news is that by making healthier lifestyle choices, most patients can effectively reverse pre-diabetes and type 2 diabetes naturally.