What is diabetes?
To treat diabetes without drugs requires you to understand what diabetes is and how it might impact on your life. There are two types of diabetes: Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes.
Type 1 diabetes is a serious condition, where your body has stopped producing insulin. Insulin is the hormone created in the pancreas that helps to control the release of glucose into your system. Type 1 diabetes, in most cases, is irreversible and will need to be controlled by insulin injections.
Type 2 diabetes is a condition where your body’s creation of insulin is compromised. There are many reasons why type 2 diabetes develops. However, a large body of opinion suggests that poor lifestyle choices that lead to obesity has increased the number of people suffering with the condition. The extent of this increase is considered a crisis in many Western countries – the UK government estimates that Type 2 diabetes accounts for approximately 10% of the NHS budget. This makes it a bona fide crisis of modern healthcare.
Diabetes can develop as we age and has an effect on our lifestyle because our body becomes insulin tolerant. In other words, our body no longer reacts to the effects of insulin and blood sugar levels increase. The side effects of this are devastating – including the loss of limbs, blindness and kidney failure.
Getting screened is easy. First, there is a simple finger prick blood test, which will give your blood sugar level. If you are at threat of developing diabetes, then you should have your blood screened regularly. Finding out the level of fat around the liver and other major organs is another indicator of liability to develop diabetes. Although obesity puts you at risk of diabetes, it is the amount of fat that accumulates around the liver that is of most threat to our health.
Avoiding Type 2 Diabetes
The key to avoiding Type 2 Diabetes is in your diet. This does not mean avoiding sugar, fat or carbohydrates. Calories are a misleading measurement too. The way to manage the glucose entering the bloodstream is to be aware of the glycaemic load (GL) or glycaemic index of food (GI). The higher the glycaemic index the larger the amount of glucose to enter the blood. High GI food has two effects on your weight 1) too much glucose in the body gets stored as fat in the body 2) High GI food burns fast, which means we get hungry again quickly.
The index measures how quickly the sugar is absorbed from carbohydrates. The way the food is processed, the ripeness of fruit and vegetable and the amount of fat/ protein can all impact on the GI of the food. The general rule is the fresher the food and the least amount of processing the better. Seeded bread, brown rice, brown pasta and nuts are foods that are generally low in GI.
The general advice for avoiding Type 2 diabetes then is: maintain a healthy body weight by eating foods which have slow release carbs rather than calorie counting. Reduce your intake of high sugar food (and alcohol – which is very high in sugar!) High sugar foods are simple carbs – which shoot the glucose up in the blood and burn quickly. You should eat the right sort of fats and get some exercise. Rather than drawing flavor out in food using sugar, use spices instead.
Reversing Type 2 diabetes
The obvious way to reverse diabetes is to lose weight. Insulin tolerance is caused by an excess of simple sugars in your diet. So, the answer is to remove this from your diet. It is impossible to remove all sugars from your diet – and this is not desirable either. However, you need to exercise off the sugar you take on board.
Some nutritionists believe that the best way to stop glucose build up is to intermittently fast. There are many different models of IF – whether it is to have an eating period of eight hours and a fasting period of 16 hours. There are also models of fasting that suggests one or two days a week without food. Whatever the strategy, the idea is that the excess glucose burns off.
There are also supplements that can help. Gymnema Sylvestre can help to reverse the Type 2 diabetes in many ways. First, it stops you craving sugar. The supplement suppresses the taste of sugar on your tongue, which means you do not want to eat a lot of sugar. This can be part of the problem – few people realise there is an addictive quality to sugar. Secondly, it can reduce the amount of the sugar absorbed into the intestines. Both these effects can control Type 2 diabetes.
However, gymnema sylvestre can also stimulate insulin release in the pancreas. This means that it can reverse the effects of Type 2 diabetes. The good news is that it can also control stomach problems, constipation, liver disease and water retention. This is one useful supplement!
Overall, what do you need to know?
To treat diabetes without medication seems straightforward. The first route to treatment is through diet. This can also prevent Type 2 diabetes. Learning about GI and GL and working out which foods to eat is an important preventative method – and a possible treatment. Basic rules include: fresh and very little processing – in other words – simple cooking methods.
Finding a means of burning off the excess glucose is another way to treat diabetes without medication – using exercise or intermittent fasting. The answer is balance and creating a lifestyle that you can maintain. Designing a diet, an exercise program, a timetable of fasting – which you start temporarily and then stop – will only have an impact on diabetes for the time that you make the changes.
Finally, you can support your treatment or prevention of Type 2 diabetes by taking Gymnema Sylvestre. This can prevent diabetes by reducing craving for sugar and reducing the amount of glucose entering the blood stream. It can also treat Type 2 diabetes because it can stimulate insulin production in the pancreas.