Metabolism is the process wherein the body naturally breaks down what we eat,specifically carbohydrates and fats, and turn some of it into glucose which becomes the body’s source of energy. This component is being used by the cells with the help of insulin for various functions like growth, wound healing and regeneration. However, if the cells are not able to absorb glucose, it will be accumulated leading to hyperglycemia. This is either because the body is not producing sufficient insulin levels, is not producing any insulin, or the cells are not functioning properly. The inability of the body to use up glucose is called diabetes. There are various causes for this condition ranging from age to severe health conditions, and may be treated or manged through lifestyle changes, medications and in some cases, natural diabetes remedies may be used.
Diabetes can be categorized into three which are:
a. Type 1 diabetes- sometimes called insulin dependent, this pertains to the condition wherein the body mistakenly destructs the beta cells which are producing insulin which results to insulin deficiency. Some people may develop secondary diabetes which is almost similar to type 1 diabetes but the body is not destroying the beta cells, rather, some other factors like pancreatic disorders and cystic fibrosis.
b. Type 2 diabetes- also known as non- insulin dependent type, this is considered to be the most common of all types of diabetes. Unlike type 1 diabetes where insulin is destroyed by the body, in type 2 diabetes, the pancreas produce insulin, however, it may not be enough or the insulin itself is not functioning properly. Utmost ninety percent of the diabetic population are affected with this problem.
c. Gestational diabetes- this is when diabetes is developed during pregnancy, and when left untreated, may harm the baby. Most cases of this type of diabetes are temporary. This problem is said to be caused by the excessive production of hormones by the placenta during the 25th to 28th week of pregnancy.
Each type of diabetes have different causative factors. The exact etiology of type 1 and type 2 diabetes is unknown however, doctors have noted some probable derivatives for type 1 diabetes which may include pancreatic disorders and genetics. Type 2 diabetes may be caused by age, genes, medical history, ethnicity, unhealthy food choices, being obese, and being physically inactive. Gestational diabetes may be caused by too much amniotic fluid, being obese while pregnant, and genetics. Treating this condition may also vary from person to person and what type of diabetes the person has. Very often, people who are suffering from any of the conditions are given prescription medications to help them manage the problem. However, some people, mostly adults who are in their fifties or so, prefer to use natural diabetes remedies rather than medications.
The use of natural remedies in treating or managing certain health condition have been used for quite a long time. Its efficacy in helping the body function normally or as normal as possible have been proven by various herbal practitioners and several doctors. This method is said to be far more safer especially for those who are suffering from several conditions and are already old. They say that the use of herbs not only saves their liver and kidneys from being damaged but also extends their lives because of its plentiful benefits.
With regards to natural diabetes remedies, there are various spices, vegetables and even fruits considered to help manage the glucose levels of the body naturally. This may include:
1. Bitter melon or bitter gourd- This herb is getting a lot of attention with regards to its benefits for people suffering from diabetes. It has components such as charantin and glycosides momordin, which are medically known to reduce the levels of glucose in the blood. It also helps several tissues absorb glucose, helps the liver synthesize glucose, blocks enzymes that produces aldohexose and aids in the oxidation of glucose. It is also proven to lower cholesterol levels which in turn reduces the risks of diabetics to develop other conditions like atherosclerosis and hypertension.
2. Ginseng- This well known herb is also said to help regulate diabetes. Several clinical studies have been made and results showed that people who took either ginseng tea or capsules had better blood sugar levels compared to those who were given placebos, this is because of the function of ginseng in stimulating the tissues to absorb glucose. Some studies also say that consuming ginseng helps normalize the functions of insulin, helping the cells in absorbing and storing glucose.
3. Broccoli- Other natural diabetes remedies are vegetables including broccoli. This green vegetable is said to have adequate amounts of chromium and sulforaphane which both helps in reversing the symptoms of diabetes. Chromium is known to help stimulate cells to produce more insulin and help it turn carbohydrates into glucose. Sulforaphane helps by enhancing the production of certain enzymes that are responsible for protecting blood vessels from incurring damages and stimulating them to absorb glucose and turn it into energy for later use.
4. Cinnamon- this common herb used for adding flavor in food is also considered to be one of the many natural remedies for diabetes. Several studies have stated that the component in cinnamon called hydroxychalcone helps lower blood sugar, triglycerides and bad cholesterol. They say that this component helps insulin become more sensitive therefor it increases the synthesis of glycogen.
5. Salba- This grain is not as well known as the others stated but is also proven to help manage diabetes. Just like the other herbs, it helps regulate glucose levels by provoking the cells to absorb glucose and store it for future use. It also helps break down carbohydrates and cholesterol which means that the chances of diabetics to develop hypertension is lessened significantly. Salba also increases a person’s stamina thus helping the body use up excess glycogen making it one of the most effective natural diabetes remedies.
6. Cranberries- This fruit is known for its high levels of antioxidants which helps rid off the body from free radicals. Recent studies have seen beneficial effects of the fruit for people suffering from diabetes. Besides being an antioxidant, cranberries help stimulate the pancreas to produce more insulin to help in the processing of glucose. It is also found to be helpful in lowering the levels of LDL or bad cholesterol, therefore lessening the chances of people suffering from diabetes to develop conditions like atherosclerosis and heart problems.
7. Diet- Diet is the most important aspect in managing diabetes. People who are suffering from diabetes are advised to have diets high in protein, fiber and carbohydrates. There are various protein sources considered to be healthy, this includes beans, white meat, dairy products, and soy. Fiber sources include beans, brown rice, whole grains, root crops and nuts. Carrots, squash, and oats are sources of carbohydrates, some fiber sources also contain adequate amounts of carbohydrate. All these may be eaten by people with diabetes but in regulated amounts. Also, the preparation and cooking of their food is as important as their food choice.
8. Exercise- One of the most common advise of doctors with regards to natural diabetes remedies for patients suffering from diabetes is to be more active physically. Low key exercise like walking uses up stored energy which will alert the body to process glucose and turn it into glycogen for the body to use. This method also helps overweight people to loose weight which in turn lowers the bad cholesterol levels in the body. This reduces the person’s risk of developing secondary conditions like hypertension and heart diseases.
Besides natural diabetes remedies, there are other methods in treating the condition. Medication such as Sulfonylureas, Biguanides, and Alpha Glucosidase Inhibitors may be used to reverse the symptoms of the condition. Sulfonylureas work by stimulating the beta cells to produce more insulin that are more sensitive to glucose. Biguanides are the most used medications for regulating diabetes. It functions by inhibiting the liver’s production of glucose especially after eating. Alpha Glucosidase Inhibitors work by blocking the absorption of carbohydrates in the digestive tract which in turn lowers the levels of glucose after eating. These drugs are considered to be helpful however, they have some side effects to be considered. The most common side effect from these drugs is diarrhea. Some consumers have complained about nausea, headaches and reduced protection from heart diseases. These are few of the reasons why some people prefer using natural diabetes remedies over medications.
Aside from medications, doctors will advise patients to undergo lifestyle changes. Quitting certain habits like smoking and drinking is said to be beneficial in maintaining a healthy glucose level. Avoiding junk and fast foods will also reduce a person’s risk in developing other conditions related to diabetes and prevent the condition from becoming more complicated. There are cases wherein people who have diabetes develop severe blockages in their arteries which needs surgeries for it to be treated. People who have diabetes are not advised to have surgeries done because of their delayed wound healing and increased risk of developing infections which will lead to gangrene or necrosis.
Before trying any of these natural diabetes remedies, make sure to check with your doctor about the probable effects and side effects of each. Some herbs may alter the effects of some drugs which is why doctors should also be informed about other conditions a person may be suffering from and if he or she is taking medications for treatment. People should also be knowledgeable about natural ways to manage diabetes symptoms and be informed about certain factors that are to be avoided.