Diabetes - Detailed Info

According to recent statistics, diabetes is the fastest growing illness in the US and Americans are at risk for developing this disease more now than ever before. Medical researchers project that as many as one in three Americans will be affected by some stage of diabetes by the year 2030, making this an undeniable epidemic.

What is Diabetes?
Today diabetes mellitus (commonly referred to as just "diabetes") is a blood sugar disease . . . a disease in which the body either does not produce or does not properly utilize insulin. Insulin is a hormone that is needed to convert sugar, starches and other food into energy needed for our daily life. One such group of cells, the beta cells, produce insulin in response to blood glucose. These beta cells are tiny insulin factories that sense the level of glucose in the blood stream, and produce insulin in precise proportion to that level. Insulin will cause body cells to take up the sugar, causing blood sugar to quickly return to its normal range.

Diabetes ravages virtually every organ system, as the normal glucose-insulin balance is disrupted and excess amounts of sugar damage the fine capillaries of the eyes and renal system, causing blindness and kidney failure.

Diabetes is divided into two main types;
·         In type 1 diabetes, the islets (clusters of cells scattered throughout the pancreas which sense sugar in the blood and release the necessary amount of insulin) are destroyed by the person's own immune system, which mistakenly identifies these essential cells as foreign invaders. Once the islets are killed, the ability to produce insulin is lost, and the overt symptoms and consequences of diabetes begin.
·         Type 2 diabetes is associated with insulin resistant cells. It is much more common and usually develops in older adults. Insulin is a chemical messenger. It signals proteins called GLUT-4 transporters to rise up to the cell's membrane, where they can grab on to glucose and take it inside the cell. In patients with insulin resistance, the cells don't get the message. They simply can't hear insulin "knocking" on the door, which results in elevated blood levels of both insulin and glucose. We do know that insulin resistance is correlated to obesity particularly the type where your weight collects around your middle (like an apple). We also know that physical inactivity contributes to insulin resistance, as does eating too much.

Gestational (pregnancy-related) diabetes can occur in some women during pregnancy usually toward the end of pregnancy. Almost all women have some degree of impaired glucose intolerance as a result of hormonal changes that occur during pregnancy. It affects approximately 3 to 5 percent of all pregnant women. That means that their blood sugar may be higher than normal, but not high enough to have diabetes. Usually the mother's pancreas is able to produce more insulin (almost three times the normal amount) to overcome the effect of the pregnancy hormones on blood sugar levels.

Oxidative stress is implicated as a cause of insulin resistance and diabetes - Obesity and insulin resistance are associated with elevated oxidative damage. Abnormally high levels of free radicals and the simultaneous decline of antioxidant defence mechanisms can lead to damage of cellular organelles and enzymes and increased lipid peroxidation. These changes in oxidative stress can also be correlated with increased fat accumulation, obesity, and consumption of high-calorie/high-fat diets.  Findings have shown that genetic antioxidant mutation has limited effect on insulin resistance in lean mice. Antioxidant over-expression protects mice from obesity-induced insulin resistance. Antioxidants are beneficial in prevention of glucose metabolism dysfunction.

Diabetes prevention by improving one's diet and incorporating exercise into daily routine is very important. For those who already have developed diabetes, however, there are important natural ways to manage the illness.

There are several herbs which are found to be very effective in treating diabetes and lowering blood sugar level without any side effects.
Dandelions (Taraxacum)
Ginseng (Panax)
Bael (Aegle marmelos)
Cinnamon (Cinnamomum Zeylanicum)
Gurmar Leaves (Gymnema sylvestrae)
Holy basil leaf (Ocimum basilicum)
Fenugreek (Trigonella foenum graecum)
Gur-mar (Gymnema Sylvestre)
Turmeric (Curcuma longa)
Maidenhair tree (Gingko biloba)
Onion (Allium cepa)
Nopal leaves (Opuntia Ficus-Indica)
Nayantatra (Vinca rosa)
Neem (Azadirachtha indica)
Garlic (Allium sativum)
Sagar gota (Ceasalpinia crista)

1. Avoid any foods containing high amounts of sugar.
2. Avoid foods that are full of fat.
3. Avoid foods containing refined flour as they raise sugar levels in the blood.
4. Avoid Red meats. Meats that are low in fat i.e. lean meats like fish and chicken should become part of your daily diet instead.
8. Take plenty of green vegetables, black gram, soy, fish etc.
5. Avoid Foods that are rich in salts. They should be alternated by using herbs like garlic, rosemary, ginger and turmeric.
6. Avoid sugar in any form - rice, potato, banana, cereals & fruits containing high percentage of sugar content. However, eating apples, blueberries & strawberries is greatly helpful in diabetes.
7. Include at least one bitter dish in every meal.
9. Vegetables such as lettuce, spinach, broccoli, okra(Lady Finger), bitter Gourd, string beans, cucumber, onion and garlic, fruits such as Indian Gooseberry, Jambul Fruit and Grapes and grains like Bengal gram and black gram should be included in the diet.
10. Raw vegetables & herbs play a part in stimulating the pancreas and enhancing insulin production.

Foot problems are a big risk. All people with diabetes should monitor their feet. If you don't, the consequences can be severe, including amputation. Minor injuries become major emergencies before you know it. With a diabetic foot, a wound as small as a blister from wearing a shoe that's too tight can cause a lot of damage. Diabetes may also decrease your blood flow, so your injuries can be slow to heal. If your wound is not healing, it's at risk for infection.
Caring for the diabetic foot is an extremely important part of the diabetic's daily care and this can be achieved naturally and holistically. Many studies have demonstrated that honey has antibacterial activity in vitro, and a small number of clinical case studies have shown that application of honey to severely infected cutaneous wounds is capable of clearing infection from the wound and improving tissue healing. Research has also indicated that honey may possess anti-inflammatory activity and stimulate immune responses within a wound. The overall effect is to reduce infection and to enhance wound healing in burns, ulcers, and other cutaneous wounds.
Other tips:
• Wash your feet every day with mild soap and warm water.
• Test the water temperature with your hand first.
• Don't soak your feet.
• Don't use antiseptic solutions, drugstore medications, heating pads or sharp instruments on your     feet
• Always keep your feet warm
• Don't get your feet wet in snow or rain.
• Wear warm socks and shoes in winter
• Don't smoke or sit cross-legged for long periods as both decrease blood supply to your feet.


•             Results of a systematic analysis in the journal BMJ Open revealed that the prevalence of Type II diabetes is low in countries where consumption of black tea is high. Black tea flavonoids improve insulin sensitivity to protect against diabetes. The study analyzes black tea consumption in 50 countries across all continents to arrive at this result.
•             The improvements in diabetic conditions coincide with better weight loss and fitness the Journal of the American Medical Association.
•             Studies have been done which show significantly strong evidence that auto-antibody reactions against the A1 beta-casein particles in cows' milk, may contribute to beta cell (pancreas) dysfunction and Type I diabetes. Our body breaks the dairy down into both whey and casein proteins. In cross reactivity or micro-mimicry reactions, the body attacks the casein molecule as a foreign invader, and it also begins to attack beta cells in the pancreas because they look very similar. The correlation has been shown through multiple studies worldwide.
•             Vitamin K is one such agent, as it is shown to lower the risk of developing diabetes in an elderly cohort by more than 50 percent by promoting the removal of calcium from the blood to prevent heart disease and diabetes. Researchers publishing in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition
•             Researchers from the University of Pittsburgh Department of Psychiatry have published that increasing the amount of sleep that teenagers get could improve their insulin resistance and prevent the future onset of diabetes.
•             Research published by Austrian scientists in the Journal of Clinical Investigation suggests an unhealthy balance of gut flora could cause obesity and metabolic syndrome which have long been linked to type 2 diabetes.
•             Researchers from the Salk Institute for Biological Studies have published that fasting can decrease diabetes progression.
•             According to a research summary published by the Institute for Scientific Information on Coffee (ISIC) suggests that people who drink three to four cups of coffee each day have 25 percent lower risk of developing Type II diabetes. The key ingreadients linked are the chemicals chlorogenic acid and trigonelline which are both found in caffeinated coffee.
•             A study published in the journal Global Public Health shows that countries that consume greater amounts of high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) have a 20 percent higher incidence of diabetes compared to countries that use none or low amounts. Corn syrup (fructose) when eaten in excess causes negative metabolic effects including excess weight gain with accumulation of fat and insulin resistance.
•             Published in the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease, a recent study out of Rhode Island Hospital (RIH) confirms that Alzheimer's is marked by brain insulin resistance and corresponding inflammation, a condition that some researchers are now referring to as type-3 diabetes. According to it Alzheimer's progresses as a result of the brain developing resistance to insulin, which in turn prevents proper lipid (fat) metabolism. Over time, these lipids build up in the brain rather than properly absorb, which results in increased stress and inflammation, as well as the symptoms commonly associated with dementia.
•             A study published in the journal Diabetes Care explains that increase in blood levels of vitamin D results in a roughly 24 percent reduction in diabetes risk, while another study similarly reveals that Vitamin C, Magnesium and Zinc deficiencies are also being linked to diabetes.
•            CoQ10 is a biochemical required for cellular energy production and antioxidant protection. CoQ10 is a crystalline powder that is insoluble in water. Absorption follows the same process as that of lipids and the uptake mechanism appears to be similar to that of vitamin E, another lipid-soluble nutrient. This process in the human body involves the secretion into the small intestines of pancreatic enzymes and bile that facilitate emulsification and micelle formation that is required for the absorption of lipophilic substances. Food intake (and the presence of lipids) stimulates bodily biliary excretion of bile acids and greatly enhances the absorption of CoQ10. Exogenous CoQ10 is absorbed from the small intestinal tract and is best absorbed if it is taken with a meal.