Diabetes is a metabolic disorder in which blood-sugar (glucose) levels are above normal—either the body doesn’t produce enough of the hormone insulin, which breaks down sugar in the blood, or it cannot utilize its own insulin properly. Diabetes can cause serious health complications including blindness, kidney failure, heart disease, and even limb loss. The good news is that if you are one of the 20.8 million Americans struggling with diabetes (type 1 and type 2 combined) there are natural approaches to help avoid these life-threatening conditions.
As in almost all areas of health, exercise and proper diet can help tremendously for diabetes. That does not mean a heavy exercise regimen nor does it mean a radical weight loss. Moderate exercise and a weight loss of only 5% or slightly more can make a substantial difference (and that holds true for those considered significantly overweight as well as those carrying a few pesky extra pounds. To achieve a 5% or more weight loss may require no more than cutting out soft drinks and taking regular walks for example. At any rate, losing 5% is easily achievable with modest exercise and a sensible diet that includes plenty of vegetables, especially raw and lightly steamed vegetables, some fruits (though little or no fruit juice because of its high sugar content), fermented whole grains, and getting rid of dangerous trans fats.
Iodine and Diabetes:
Iodine is a key element in fighting diabetes because it helps regulate the thyroid and is essential for a healthy liver, gallbladder, pancreas, spleens and more. While it is well known that diet, obesity, food allergies, viral infections, and stress are all contributing factors for diabetes, it is less widely recognized that these factors are often either a cause of or caused by a weak liver, spleen, and pancreas.
For example, obesity is the result of poor diet and/or a sluggish liver which causes a sluggish metabolism. A sluggish liver is often associated with gallstones because the liver and gallbladder are interconnected. And gallstones are formed because of "bile stasis" due to a sluggish gallbladder. Fatty liver (a common complication of diabetes) is also an indicator of liver weakness, and chronic diarrhea (yet another common diabetes symptom) is caused by a weak spleen according to Chinese medicine.
It is well known that diet, obesity, food allergies, viral infections, and stress are all contributing factors for diabetes, but my understanding is that these factors either cause or are caused by a weak liver, spleen, and pancreas. For example, obesity is the result of poor diet and/or a sluggish liver which causes a sluggish metabolism. A sluggish liver is often associated with gallstones because the liver and gallbladdder are interconnected. And gallstones are formed because of "bile stasis" due to a sluggish gallbladder. Fatty liver (a common complication of diabetes) is also an indicator of liver weakness, and chronic diarrhea (yet another common diabetes symptom) is caused by a weak spleen according to Chinese medicine.
In women, iodine's ability to revive hormonal sensitivity back to normal significantly improves Insulin sensitivity and other hormones.
For diabetes, take at least 50 mg per day of Iodine (a combination of both elemental and potassium iodine) and selenium must also be taken in order for iodine to work properly.
Natural Remedies for Diabetes:
In addition to sensible dieting and physical activities, the following have all shown the ability to help with diabetes:
• GTF Chromium (Glucose Transport Factor Chromium) - The primary role of insulin is glucose transport is the primary role of insulin, chromium's main function is increasing insulin's efficiency in regulating blood sugar levels. In one study of 180 men and women with Type II diabetes, researchers divided the subjects into three groups, each receiving twice daily doses of either 200 mcg or 500 mcg of chromium or a placebo. The patients were allowed to continue with their usual diet and medications. At the end of two months, those who took 1,000 mcg of chromium daily showed significant improvement in insulin response, the number if insulin receptors, and levels of blood lipids (fats and cholesterol)0. It took four months the group taking 400 mcg chromium daily to improve as much as the higher dosage group. However, all the patients taking chromium showed measurable improvement in their diabetes-related symptoms
Source: "Chromium in the Prevention and Control of Diabetes" by Richard A. Anderson, PhD, Journal of the American College of Nutrition, 1998
• Pycnogenol - Pycnogenol is a powerful antioxidant derived from French maritime pine tree bark and the subject of more than 180 studies over 35 years which has been shown to reduce high blood pressure, LDL cholesterol and blood glucose without affecting insulin levels. Of particular note is its ability to reduce leakage into the retina by repairing capillaries in the eyes. While still largely unknown to American doctors, Pycnogenol is the leading prescription for diabetic retinopathy in France.
• "Oleander Extract" - A carefully prepared aqueous extract of the oleander plant made according to the directions in the book "Cancer's Natural Enemy" by Tony M. Isaacs or available in essentially the same form as Sutherlandia OPC (which also contains 20% Sutherlandia frutescens, the famed "South Africa Cancer Bush") online at http://www.sutherlandia.opc . Diabetics who have used this remedy report being able to either reduce or eliminate medications altogether, often being able to control their diabetes with diet alone. Note: Oleander is highly toxic in raw form, but safe when boiled and strained according to the directions in the book.
• Bitter Guord - Make a watery juice of a small Bitter Guord (remove seeds) and drink every morning. Bitter Guord also helps to clear pimples and maintain a good skin, and is good for de-worming the intestines.
• Gymnema Sylvestre - Is a plant that grows in the tropical forests of central and southern India and in parts of Africa. Herbalists in India have used the leaves of this long, slender plant as a treatment for diabetes for more than 2,000 years. The Hindu word "gumar," which means "sugar destroyer," describes the primary use of the herb in traditional Indian medicine. So strong is this herb that powered gymnema root has also been used to treat snake bites, constipation, stomach complaints, water retention, and liver disease. Doctors in India note that Gymnema Sylvestre is used in the treatment of diabetes mellitus and in food additives against obesity and caries.
• Prickly Pear Cactus (Nopal) - Prickly pear could reduce blood sugar rises after a meal by up to 50 per cent according to a recent study. Prickly pear cactus is widely used to control blood sugar and diabetes and the cactus pads are consumed regularly in Mexico,.
• Blackseed Oil (Nigella Sativa) - Also called black cumin seed (be sure that it is Nigella sativa regardless of what it is referred to as). Blackseed oil is legendary for its medicinal properties and has been used for thousands of years (Click here for more information). Preliminary research in animal trials has shown that that an extract from Nigella sativa seeds can reduce elevated blood sugar levels and the antioxidant activity of the extract may prevent the complications associated with uncontrolled type II diabetes.
• Fenugreek seed - Soak fenugreek seeds in about one teaspoon in water at night, drink that water in the morning and chew and eat the soaked seeds. Helps reduce blood sugar.
• Green plaintain peels - Wash a green plantain and peel it, then put the peel in a jar and cover with water. Let sit overnight, and then drink this water three times a day. Lowers your blood sugar level. Keep drinking as needed and change the peel every other day and refill the jar with water.
• Agaricus Blazei Murrill (ABM) Mushroom – referred to in it’s native Brazil as “The Mushroom of the Gods” with good reason due to it’s amazing immune boosting and disease fighting properties. Available in health food stores and online at various sites including http://www.agaricus.net.
• Alpha Lipoic Acid - In Germany, alpha-lipoic acid is an approved medical treatment for peripheral neuropathy, a common complication of diabetes. It speeds the removal of glucose from the bloodstream, at least partly by enhancing insulin function, and it reduces insulin resistance, an underpinning of many cases of coronary heart disease and obesity. The therapeutic dose for lipoic acid is 600 mg/day. In the United States, it is sold as a dietary supplement, usually as 50 mg tablets. (The richest food source of alpha-lipoic acid is red meat – but to insure proper health, use lean cuts of organic beef that has not been subject to antibiotics or feed lot practices).
• Cat’s Claw – Used by indigenous tribes in Peru and South America to treat diabetes. Available at health food stores.
• Cinnamon - Cinnamon has been shown to help regulate blood glucose levels and several studies indicate that it may be helpful against diabetes, particularly type II diabetes.
• Mullaca - Mullaca is employed in herbal medicine systems today in both Peru and Brazil. In Peruvian herbal medicine the plant is called mullaca or bolsa mullaca. To treat diabetes, the roots of three mullaca plants are sliced and macerated in 1/4 liter of rum for seven days. Honey is added, and 1/2 glass of this medicine is taken twice daily for 60 days. In addition, an infusion of the leaves is recommended as a good diuretic, and an infusion of the roots is used to treat hepatitis. For asthma and malaria, the dosage is 1 cup of tea made from the aerial parts of the plant. In Brazilian herbal medicine the plant is employed for chronic rheumatism, for skin diseases and dermatitis, as a sedative and diuretic, for fever and vomiting, and for many types of kidney, liver, and gallbladder problems.
• Other Good Foods and Supplements - Almonds, apples, oranges, coconut oil, and substances high in omega three oils (olive oil, flaxseed oil, fish oil, borage oil).