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Complementary Medicine Alternatives for Diabetes

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Diabetes mellitus is a disorder that prevents the body from effectively converting sugars and starches into energy. Insulin-dependent (type I) diabetes occurs when the pancreas gland stops producing insulin (a hormone that helps in the conversion process), whereas non-insulin-dependent (type II) diabetes happens when the body doesn’t properly use the insulin it has.

The following alternative therapies all recommend that diabetes treatment be accompanied by an exercise regimen (including walking, jogging, or swimming) and a weight-loss program.

A correct diet offers people with type I diabetes the chance to stay healthy with less insulin and offers people with type II the possibility to manage the disorder without any drugs. Furthermore, a proper diet may even prevent diabetes.

Many practitioners of nutritional therapy believe that a typically Western, high-fat diet   limits the way that cells can use naturally occurring insulin and injected insulin. But fat isn’t the only concern: High amounts of protein tax the kidneys, which may already be stressed because in diabetes, excess blood sugar is excreted through these organs. Therefore, dietary recommendations call for lowering fat significantly and reducing protein. In the place of fat and protein, unrefined carbohydrates should be significantly increased.

Bioflavonoids, such as naringen (from the inside of grapefruit skins), hesperidin, and quercetin can help alleviate some of the degenerative effects of high blood sugar. They block the buildup of sorbitol, a substance that may be responsible for the kidney, eye, and nerve damage caused by diabetes.

In the treatment of diabetes, herbs are mainly used for their ability to control elevated levels of glucose (sugar) in the blood. Several herbs can have beneficial effects:

  • Bilberry leaves can be made into a tea or, more often, taken in capsule form as a standardized extract (standardized to contain 25 percent anthocyanosides). This herb often requires several months of treatment before its effect begins.
  • Fenugreek seeds are used in powdered form or as a tea.
  • Garlic and onion can easily be added to meals. These may also ward off heart disease, a possible complication of diabetes.

Traditional Chinese medicine often treats diabetes with a combination of herbal therapy, acupuncture, calorie-restricted diets, and exercise (including qigong). Some traditional Chinese physicians have identified close to 20 different diabetes syndromes, which vary according to the degree of imbalance in vital life energy, or qi, as well as yin and yang.

The treatment goal is to return the flow of vital life energy to its ideal state. The physicians often prescribe multi-herb diabetes treatments, which are boiled with water and then taken as tea. Several of the herbs, such as panax ginseng, are selected for their mild ability to lower blood sugar levels.

As biomedical advancement expands many alternatives are available to suppress diabetes and make it less aggressive to our body with the side effects of prescriptions. Here are a just a few diabetic treatments that just may be the right fit for you.

  • Electromyographic biofeedback and relaxation techniques can teach people with diabetes to reduce stress, which is important because stress hormones can increase the levels of blood sugar.
  • Hydrotherapy for Diabetes — Alternating hot and cold compresses and showers, as well as castor oil packs over the abdomen may be helpful.
  • Hypnotherapy for Diabetes — Hypnotic trances can be used to lower stress and offer the subconscious mind suggestions that the body needs less insulin.
  • Yoga for Diabetes — Studies have shown that regular sessions of poses and breathing exercises can improve blood sugar levels.

~ Special Thanks to the editors of Consumer Guide

***People with diabetes, especially those with the insulin-dependent (type I) disorder, should not abandon their conventional treatment to experiment with alternative therapies on their own. Always consult a qualified practitioner of alternative medicine. For example, there have been reports of people with type I diabetes who traded their insulin treatments for faith healing, resulting in some damage to their kidneys or eyes.

By Candice Frederick

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