Alternative Approaches To The Treatment Of Diabetes — страница 2

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include insulin or an oral hypoglycemia medication (Hull 285). Since diabetes that is incorrectly treated can be life threatening, a person should never try to treat the disease without the help of a doctor, and any and all treatments should be discussed thoroughly. However, there are alternative supplemental treatments that can vary diet, or offer supplemental vitamins and other minerals that can restore blood levels, or treat secondary effects of the disease. Even stress reduction practices may help lower blood glucose levels(Funk and Wagnalls 184). An old therapy has recently been applied to the treatment of diabetes – acupuncture. Stimulation of certain points with acupuncture needles may help relieve some of the pain associated with diabetic neuropathy. Acupuncture has

also been found to boost the immune system and minimize circulatory system complications. It should be noted that the use of acupuncture to assist in the treatment of diabetes, or any other disease, should only be through a consultation with a licensed practitioner (MEDICAL ADVISOR 320). Herbal therapies for the treatment of illness have been around for thousands of years. The use of herbal therapies is only effective in the treatment of Type 2 diabetes – people with Type I who need insulin to manage their diabetes will not benefit from any herbal substitute (Medical Advisor 320). There are several types of herbs that can benefit the Type 2 diabetic. Blueberry leaves have been found to lower blood glucose levels and help maintain the vascular system. These herbs may also

prevent hemorrhages in the eyes if diabetic retinopathy has developed. Blood flow can be maintained at adequate levels with supplements of Ginkgo extracts. Other benefits of Ginkgo help in the treatment of other long term effects of diabetes such as heart disease, hypertension (high blood pressure), and elevated cholesterol levels. Onion has been known to free up insulin, thus lowering blood glucose levels. One study showed that diabetics who had a powdered form of burdock after a starchy meal had a lowered incidence of hyperglycemia (Medical Advisor 321). Perhaps the most non-chemical, non-herbal aid in fighting diabetes is life style. Diabetes like many other chronic illnesses can benefit from reduced levels of stress, increased levels of exercise, and overall well being. Tests

have proven that diabetics under stress often eat more, and sometimes forget to take their insulin. However, there is also evidence that stress directly creates physiological changes that make the diabetes worse. Tests have shown that during periods of high anxiety, the body produces large quantities of the stress hormones to provide extra energy for battling the source of the stress. One of the major components of this activity is increased blood sugar level. In normal people, the sugar is readily used by the cells as extra fuel, but in diabetics, it simply accumulates in the blood, aggravating the condition (MIND BODY 134-135). Before the discovery of insulin in 1921, the most common remedy for diabetes was rest. Therefore, the use of relaxation and biofeedback techniques are

common tools known to lower levels of stress hormone, and thereby reducing levels of blood sugar. However, these tools has not proven effective in people with Type I diabetes, only those with Type 2 have benefited. The bottom line is that high levels of stress have physiological effects that influence glucose metabolism and can increase blood sugar levels, making diabetes more difficult to control (MIND BODY 141). Diet is the central control point for both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes. A diabetic diet needs to be customized to individual calorie and nutritional needs. In general, however, experts have found that diets that are low fat and fiber-rich work the best. Diets high in starches help the body process glucose more efficiently. Foods that are rich in soluble fiber slow the

absorption of food into the blood – thus helping to prevent sharp swings in blood sugar levels. If a diet is low in fat, the body doesn’t have to work as hard to metabolize the fat, so there is more freedom to concentrate on processing carbohydrates. And lastly, the high- fiber low-fat diet generally promotes weight loss, which in turn lessens the severity of diabetes (Healing Foods 176-177). Exercise has been shown to increase the tissue levels of chromium, which the body uses to regulate blood glucose and cholesterol levels. For those with Type 1 diabetes, exercise has been found to increase the body’s ability to use available insulin so that fewer insulin injections are needed. Type 2 diabetics often benefit from moderate exercise, but should avoid heavy lifting and