1) Base Line Nutritional Guidance for Diabetics
2) Nutritional Guidance for Complications of Diabetes
3) Dietary Considerations for Diabetics
1) Base Line Nutritional Guidance for Diabetics
Blood Sugar Levels: Imbalances in blood sugar can contribute greatly to depression. Chromium is an effective and gentle supplement for assisting in balancing blood sugar levels naturally. If you are diabetic, or hypoglycemic, or hyperglycemic, or have diabetes in your family, you suffer a much greater chance of developing arteriosclerosis than someone who does not have diabetes. The diabetic suffers first from decrease kidney function, decreased eyesight leading to blindness, and decreased feeling in their feet, which eventually leads to open sores in their feet. The common cause is more rapid atherosclerosis / arteriosclerosis. Controlling blood sugar is very important for these patients. Approximately 16 million people in the United States suffer from diabetes, and several other million from hypoglycemia. It has been shown that many of these individuals respond very effectively with the use of herbs and nutritional supplementation, which can complement conventional medical treatment and assist against some complications of these chronic but manageable diseases.
Diet is a major factor in controlling blood sugar levels. This cannot be understated!
The herb Gymnema Sylvester has been used in India for over two thousand years to help balance blood sugar levels.
Chromium: Considerable evidence now indicates that chromium levels are a major determinant of insulin sensitivity. Chromium, an essential micronutrient, functions as a cofactor in all insulin-regulating activities. It deficiency is widespread in the USA.
Niacin: Niacin (Vitamin B3) administered in relatively low levels (100mg), along with 200 micrograms of chromium, has been shown to be more effective than chromium alone.
Weight Loss: One factor that is without dispute is the effect of obesity on Diabetes. Obesity is associated with insulin insensitivity, and the amount of fat and its distribution also seem to be important. Weight gain results in carbohydrate intolerance, higher insulin levels and insulin insensitivity in fat and muscle tissue. Weight loss corrects these abnormalities and significantly improves the metabolic disturbances of diabetes.
Weight loss, in particular a significant decrease in body fat percentage, is a prime objective in treating the majority of type 2 diabetic patients since it improves all aspects of diabetes and may result in a "cure":
References for the word "cure."
1) Dolhofer, R. and Wieland, O., "Increased glycosylation of serum albumin in diabetes mellitus". Diabetes, 1980,24, pp. 417-22.
2) Brownlee, M., Viassare, H and Cerami, A. "Nonenzymatic glycosylation and the pathogenesis of diabetic complications" Ann. Int, Med, 1984, 101, pp. 527-37
3) Murray, M. and Pizzorno, J. "Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine" 1991, pp. 272
Exercise: Exercise increases tissue levels of chromium and increases the number of insulin receptors in type 1 diabetics. It is possible that the many beneficial effects of exercise are directly related to improved chromium metabolism.
Available from: Primarily your own motivation.
Magnesium: Magnesium levels are significantly lowered in diabetics, and lowest in those with severe retinopathy. The degree of diabetic control affects serum magnesium levels. Poorly controlled diabetics have significantly lowered magnesium levels. Low magnesium levels appear to be a significant risk factor in the development of cardiovascular disease, particularly coronary artery spasm. Magnesium supplementation is needed in diabetics since it is a common deficiency, possibly prevents retinopathy, and reduces the risk of atherosclerosis.
Pyridoxine: Pyridoxine (Vitamin B6) has been shown to be deficient in diabetics with neuropathy (decrease nerve conduction). Peripheral neuropathy (the outside parts, decreased nerve sensations in feet and hands) is a known result of pyridoxine deficiency. Pyridoxine is also important in preventing other diabetic complications because it is an important coenzyme in the cross-linking of collagen and inhibits platelet aggregation. (Two important causes of atherosclerosis.)
B-Complex: B vitamins have long been known as the "Anti-Stress Vitamins." B vitamins are essential in providing support against anxiety and depression. The more stress we have in our lives, the faster the B vitamins are used up. This is important to understand, as B vitamins are also critical in: energy production; maintaining healthy nerve function; liver detoxification processes; healthy skin and muscle tone; and are essential co-factors in hundreds of other chemical reactions with the body. Homocysteine levels, when elevated, can cause stroke, heart disease, and Alzheimer’s disease. Homocysteine levels are reduced by proper amounts of B6, B12 and Folic Acid. B vitamins are important in the functioning of the liver and in energy metabolism. They are necessary for the formation of the red blood cells, numerous hormones, and specific neurotransmitters. Adding a full B vitamin complex, and or adding all the B vitamins separately, is part of the standard protocol in EDTA IV Chelation therapy. If high amounts of stress are present in your life, it is essential to increase the amount of B vitamins in your diet. You will not be able to get enough B vitamins in your food to meet your body’s physiological needs, when modern day stresses are prevalent in your life.
Vitamin C: Vitamin C is the single most cost effective antioxidant (dollar-to-dollar amount for antioxidant properties), than all other available antioxidants. Vitamin C performs many vital functions within the body. It increases the strength and integrity of connective tissue including the inside of your blood veins, producing significant positive effects upon the cardiovascular system. Vit C supports the immune system, fights viruses and some bacteria, functions as an important antioxidant and enhances adrenal gland function. Vitamin C was first discovered because of unresolved scurvy when sailors were out on the seas. Scurvy is the breakdown of small capillaries, or small blood vessels. Additional Vitamin C is needed during times of stress.
Vitamin E: Vitamin E has been shown effective in suppressing free radicals. Studies have shown that mixed tocopherols have greater enhanced immune system benefits, improved antioxidant properties, and improved cardiovascular benefits above and beyond alpha tocopherol alone.
Complex Carbohydrates: Complex carbs are the good, whole foods like vegetables, fruits and whole grains. Simple carbs are the junk food that usually takes pretty good like pastries of all kinds, ice cream, candy bars, and anything else that has sugar as a main ingredient. Complex carbs digest slowly, producing gradual increases in blood sugar levels. Simple carbs digest rapidly and produce spikes in blood sugar levels, followed closely by dramatic drops in blood sugar levels. This dramatic up and down blood sugar roller coaster effect of simple sugars is plays havoc on the body, and can actually be one of the causes of type 2 diabetes. However, complex carbs are more difficult to digest than simple carbs. The most effective method of controlling normal digestion of complex carbohydrates is with the help of digestive enzymes. Raw foods have naturally occurring digestive enzymes, however any amount of cooking will kill those enzymes. Modern living requires outside help in the form of digestive enzymes.
Plant based Digestive Enzymes are very effective in digesting carbohydrates.
Digestive Enzymes: Must have a very high quality, bioavailable, preferably broad spectrum formula, for rapid and complete digestion of foods, to prevent developing possible food allergies. Raw food has intact enzymes that assist in the digestion of that food group. Cooking destroys enzymes. Our bodies also have enzymes that assist in digesting foods, however enzyme function diminishes with age. Failure to completely digest foods leads to incomplete assimilation of nutrients. The result is the development of a number of chronic medical conditions, food allergies included. Plant based digestive enzymes work at any pH; meaning once it is in your stomach, it starts working right away. Animal based digestive enzymes do not begin to work until after your stomach pH drops very low; thus any person with hypochlorhydria (a lack of hydrochloric acid in the gastric juices), may never benefit from animal based digestive enzymes. Enzymes taken with meals will be used up in the stomach while they help digest that meal. Enzymes taken on an empty stomach will go into the blood stream intact. Blood conditions such as stacking of red blood cells (RBCs) like a stack of coins (RBC Rouleau), or red blood cells clumping together (RBC Aggregation), or accumulations of Uric Acid Crystals in the blood, can be greatly helped with a combination of Plant Digestive Enzymes and Antioxidants, taken on an empty stomach. (See our section on
Health NOTE: Individuals with extreme cases of Gastritis, Gastric or Duodenal Ulcers should begin their Enzyme Supplementation with very little (or no) Protease. Then slowly introduce Protease in approximately 4-6 weeks. This is due to the situation that Protease may temporarily have a burning sensation on individuals with these situations.
Individuals who are unable to control their blood sugar levels suffer from Diabetes. Diabetic individuals either fail to produce adequate insulin, the hormone responsible for lowering blood sugar, or their cells are resistant to the effects of insulin. Elevated blood sugar may result in numerous complications involving disease of the eyes, nerves, kidneys and heart. Additionally, diabetics are at greater risk for poor wound healing and infection due to immune system dysfunction. There are two forms of diabetes: insulin dependent; and non-insulin dependent.
All diabetic patients should be monitored by medical experts when utilizing nutritional treatments which may alter blood sugars.
Perhaps the single largest problem that causes most of the complications of diabetes like blindness, kidney failure, many other complications, and eventually kills diabetics, is vascular problems. Vascular problems seem to be the common dominator of diabetic complications. Atherosclerosis / arteriosclerosis, leading to heart disease and stroke, are well known to have a far greater incidence level in diabetics. Diabetes is listed as one of the causes of heart disease. In the EDTA Chelation Registry I was involved in, diabetics always received a much higher risk factor scoring than non-diabetic patients. EDTA Chelation has been successfully tested and used as a therapy for vascular problems (heart disease, atherosclerosis, etc) for over 50 years. We would highly recommend referencing our section on Chelation.