Symptoms Of Type 2 Diabetes
Typically, many people who have type 2 diabetes may not experience symptoms. This is why it is very important to get blood work if you have any risk factors for diabetes that can identify elevated blood sugar levels, and to get blood work as you age as part of routine preventative care. If symptoms do occur, they vary from one person to another and include:
- Constant thirst
- Increased hunger
- Dry mouth
- Nausea and/or vomiting
- Increased urination
- Fatigue and weakness
- Blurred vision
- Numbness or tingling in the feet or hands
- Frequent infections of the urinary tract, skin, or vagina
- Sores that won’t heal or heal very slow
The complications of type 1 and type 2 diabetes are directly related to sustained high blood sugars and can happen over years of uncontrolled diabetes. Type 1 diabetics have no real choice other than to take in enough insulin to combat the high blood sugar and to watch the amount of sugar they take in.
However, type 2 diabetes is manageable with good eating habits, exercise to burn fuel, medications to lower insulin resistance and by using various natural therapies. Type 2 diabetics have more personal control over their future because diet and exercise can greatly affect the amount of sugar circulating in the blood. No amount of lifestyle changes will cure diabetes of either type but at least with type 2 diabetes, some of the complications can be overcome and the sufferer can avoid the side effect diseases, and live a long and relatively healthy life.
Alternative Treatment And Complementary Care
Conventional medical doctors will offer treatments available in traditional medicine for any conditions their patients suffer from, and that includes diabetes. Alternative therapies, when used in conjunction with conventional medicine is a practice known as complementary medicine, also referred to as integrative care.
Instead of replacing conventional medicine, various natural therapies are used in
conjunction to complement that care. This provides for a well-rounded course of treatment
that can enhance the patient’s well-being and improve the diabetic outlook.
There are many effective natural treatments for diabetes that fall under complementary care. Many people have found them to be a great asset to their medical regimen. More and more patients are seeking natural therapies that can improve their blood sugar counts and to possibly reverse type 2 diabetes.
Holistic medicine is a practice that treats the person as a whole, including, mind, body and soul, as opposed to simply treating a specific disease or its symptoms as is often the case in conventional medicine.
Type 2 diabetes patients are some of the best candidates for the holistic approach because the disease is highly manageable. Its management is key to preventing many of the complications and comorbidities associated with diabetes, like heart disease, amputations, diabetic retinopathy, kidney disease, depression, and stroke that often result from long periods of out of control blood sugar.
A holistic practitioner is a healthcare provider that works in partnership with their patients to encourage and facilitate a holistic approach to wellness. These professionals are sometimes medical doctors themselves that take a holistic approach to treatment, or they will work with your doctor while recommending complementary therapies in conjunction with conventional medical care.
A holistic practitioner can identify the specific needs of a patient and either administer (depending on their expertise) appropriate therapies or make appropriate recommendations.
No matter the approach or the recommended therapies, the goal is always the same to ensure overall wellness for the patient, which will include physical, emotional, and mental components.
Those with diabetes can benefit greatly from this type of approach, and some may find they no longer require prescription medication.
Natural Complementary Therapies For Diabetes
People with diabetes seek relief from their symptoms in a variety of ways, and all natural therapies described here may be of great help in managing this serious disease. They do not have to replace conventional medical care; they can complement it in order to provide a holistic and comprehensive approach to treatment.
Any safe and natural therapy that can help manage blood sugars and prevent
the serious complications of diabetes should be investigated and considered
Seek the guidance of a doctor or a holistic practitioner to choose appropriate complementary therapies that are safe and appropriate for you, your condition, and any medications you may be taking.
Nutrition And Plant Foods
One of the most important elements in diabetes management is diet. It is food and eating practices that affect blood sugars the most. An unhealthy type 2 diabetes specific diet will lead to out of control blood sugar, which greatly increases risks for heart disease, stroke, neuropathy, retinopathy, kidney disease, and premature death.
Diet is of utmost importance to the overweight or obese. According to the Centers For Disease Control, even a 5% to 7% loss in bodyweight can prevent or delay the onset of type 2 diabetes in the overweight. Thousands of people have reversed their type 2 diabetes with significant weight loss following bariatric surgery. For these reasons, a nutritionist can be the greatest asset in diabetes management.
Diabetes’ direct relationship to diet, food intake, and weight control naturally leads to the exploration of which plant foods best assist with managing the disease and controlling weight.
Diabetics experience the best outcomes with blood sugar control and maintaining a healthy weight when they eat a low glycemic index and high fiber diet, which includes lean meats and other natural protein sources (legumes, beans, nut butters, nuts, tofu, and tempeh), healthy whole grains, fruits and vegetables.
Some plant foods do offer greater benefits for diabetes management than others do.
In general, caloric intake naturally drops with a plant-based diet. The way the body assimilates plant-based calories differs significantly from the way processed foods and meat dense meals are assimilated. More of the food goes toward immediate maintenance and energy. The higher fiber content of fruits and vegetables slows digestion and the flow of glucose into the bloodstream.
The complex carbohydrates of fruits, vegetables and grains must be broken down by the digestive system and less of the food converts to sugar which is stored as fat when not needed by the body. There is also less fat presented in meals with this type of diet; fat is quickly stored if the body does not need it immediately. This storage presents itself as weight gain when the intake outpaces the body’s needs.
The following plant foods provide many desirable benefits for type 2 diabetics. Plant foods generally contain higher fiber content which typically indicates a lower glycemic index. They also contain significant amounts of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, which support metabolic function and treat the symptoms and conditions associated with diabetes.
List Of Foods
Apples: When eaten with the skin, apples provide four grams of fiber. This makes them filling and dampens their sugar’s impact on blood glucose levels. Wash them well if you are not able to pick up organic apples. They are on the Environmental Working Groups list of high pesticide exposure fruits and vegetables.
Avocados: The high monounsaturated fat content of avocados slows digestion and blood sugar release. A diet high in good fats may also help improve insulin sensitivity over time. Diabetics are also at a higher risk for heart disease, and regular intake of healthy fats promotes heart health.
Barley: A high fiber whole grain, barley is absorbed more slowly by the body. Including it in meals can lower post dinner blood sugar levels up to 70%.
Beans: Beans bring both protein and fiber to meals, which keep post meal blood sugar levels steady. Pinto, kidney, and black beans are high in soluble and insoluble fiber. Beans are a healthier fat protein than animal fats like beef.
Berries: Berries provide a sweet treat packed with fiber, which lessens their impact on blood sugar. Berries contain antioxidants, which prevent oxidative damage to tissues caused by diabetes and are believed to boost insulin production.
Broccoli: This vegetable is a nutrient powerhouse containing a days’ worth of Vitamin C, other antioxidants, chromium, and fiber. It supports overall health and the chromium supports long-term blood sugar management.
Carrots: A high beta-carotene content and low sugar levels make this a go to vegetable for people managing diabetes. It’s consumption is linked to lower diabetes risk and improved blood sugar control.
Nuts and seeds: Rich in protein, fiber, and monounsaturated fats. Nuts and seeds are filling, digest slowly, and have a low impact on blood sugar levels.
Oatmeal: Whole oats, steel cut varieties are best and are complete whole grains. This slows the digestion process and the absorption of sugars into the bloodstream.
Olive Oil: Olive oil provides anti-inflammatory nutrients. It is a heart healthy oil, a critical consideration for diabetics. Olive oil also contains oleic acid that may help reverse insulin resistance.
Kale and Leafy Greens: Greens are some of the most beneficial plant foods. They contain important antioxidants along with fiber and potassium. Spinach, Kale, collard greens, and Swiss chard are all excellent additions to a type 2 diabetes friendly diet.
These plant foods provide high nutritional value. Notice, none of the foods mentioned here are exotic or difficult to obtain. Prepare them in a number of different ways to add to variety to the diet and replace other unhealthy food choices.