BRENDA GILL: Treating Diabetes (NIDD)
Diabetes is a condition that affects almost 135 million worldwide and has become a national health crisis. The main factor in the majority of people is excessive carbohydrate consumption, which requires a large production of insulin everyday. This in turn leads to abdominal obesity with insulin insensitivity and/or beta cell destruction. Most of the trauma of diabetes is completely preventable.
Normal blood sugar levels eliminate all of the complication risks. Unfortunately, diabetes treatment addresses the symptom of hyperglycemia, but should be refocused to treat the cause—an addictive and compulsive over-consumption of carbohydrates.
Therefore, food is the primary medicine—the amount of carbohydrates must be restricted and added to fixed portions of protein. The most successful blood sugar controlling diet is explained in “Dr. Bernstein’s Diabetes Solution”. Dr. Bernstein is a diabetic with balanced blood sugars and no complications after a lifetime of insulin. He eliminates cereal/bread/crackers/potatoes/pasta and any desserts and replaces those with vegetables and limited fruit.
It is important replace cow dairy with goat or sheep dairy, which decreases saturated fats that alter binding sites for insulin. It’s also important to increase fish to increases omega 3 fatty acids that enhances insulin binding. Garlic also decreases blood sugar. Also, avoid smoked meats because they destroy beta cells.
For more details on foods search glycemic index eating and that will give you the foods that break down slowly that minimize blood sugar rise. Generally, the easiest way to keep the protein equal to the carbohydrates is to have equal portions on your plate. For instance, ½ the plate could be fish and the other ½ veggies, or an apple can be cut in slices and almond or sunflower seed butter put on each slice or blueberries & soy yogurt.
So, you can see you always need to ask yourself with what you eat—is my protein(eggs/chicken/ turkey/fish/lamb/buffalo/sheep/goat products/soy/beans/legumes/nuts and seeds) equivalent to my carbohydrates (fruit and veggies). Then you’ll always be on track.
Be aware that increases in blood glucose can result with the use of cortisone, Birth control Pills and inhalers. Also, high iron, heavy metals, hypothyroidism and viral colds can cause pancreatic damage. I’ve also found that Splenda that is used as a “sugar replacement” decreased biotin that helps to stabilize blood sugar. So, that is definitely not what should be used as a sweetener—use stevia instead.
The most important nutrients to consider supplementing are niacinamide, a slow release form of B3, biotin, zinc, chromium, magnesium, manganese and vitamins C, E, and B6.
The most effective herbs I use are Gymnema, Syzygium, Fenugreek, Taraxacum, Opalopanax, Momordica, Cinnamon and fennel, usually in some combination in a tincture form.
A tremendous life and health giving opportunity is given to those diabetics that address the cause of their disease and work through the challenge. It takes time, support and guidance with a health care professional experienced with this approach. The rewards are certainly worth the effort!
Brenda Gill is a naturopath practising in Rossland, BC.