Whether or not you have Diabetes yourself, you likely know someone that has it. To help give insight into this condition, we’ve compiled some information about it, what causes it, tips on recognizing it, and actions to take if you find yourself or a loved one faced with it.
“I had a feeling that my feet were frozen. They would “crunch” when I wiggled my toes. My walk was more of a shuffle than a stride.” J.H.
Diabetes is a condition whereby metabolism is affected by elevated glucose (sugar) levels in the body. Glucose is created in the body naturally when food is eaten and then broken down in the digestive system. Once created, glucose is then transported through the blood, connecting with the hormone insulin, to provide the body fuel at a cellular level.
The pancreas is responsible for making the right amount of insulin for the glucose to provide and transport energy from the blood to the cells. Those with Diabetes typically suffer from a pancreas that makes too little insulin, or none at all. When excess glucose builds up in the blood, not only can it not be given to the cells as energy but causes a host of symptoms such as headaches, increased thirst, tiredness, or blurred vision.
Themost prevalent types of Diabetes are Type 1 and Type 2. Type 1 Diabetes can occur at any age, but is most commonly diagnosed from birth through the 30’s. Because the body’s immune system either destroys the insulin-producing cells, or the pancreas does not make sufficient amounts of it, insulin injections are needed several times a day to ensure proper amounts.
Type 2 Diabetes develops after age 40, usually, but can occur in younger people too. Those with Type 2 Diabetes have an underactive pancreas or trouble assimilating it. Type 2 sufferers can manage their condition by self-monitoring their blood glucose levels, and employing diet and exercise to control and ease uncomfortable symptoms.
“I feel better daily… My eating habits have greatly improved. I will never eat the same as before. No need to take glucose medicine for diabetes.” R.A.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 29 million Americans have Diabetes, with 25% of those not even aware they have it. Another 86 million adults (more than 1 in 3) have prediabetes – heightened blood sugar levels not high enough to be classified as Type 2 Diabetes.
Symptoms of Diabetes can come on slowly and include:
- Extreme thirst
- Frequent urination
- Lethargy, and drowsiness
- Heavy or labored breathing
- Increased appetite
- Sudden weight loss
Because more than one in three adults have prediabetes, a special note should be made to the seriousness of the condition. Listen to your body and watch for anything out of the ordinary. Any of the above symptoms can start quietly and escalate slowly. If you find that you are losing weight, for example, but nothing seems to be different with your diet or activities, your body could be telling you that you have prediabetes, withpossible future onset of diabetes.
For those with prediabetes, 15-30% will develop Type 2 Diabetes within five years if they are overweight, do not eat a healthy, balanced diet, or do not participate in moderate physical activity.
Long term or unchecked, Diabetes can cause eye, kidney and nerve damage, and raises your risk for cardiovascular disease, stroke, and kidney failure.Low blood flow is also common, which can lead to amputation if not treated soon enough. The importance of paying attention to these symptoms cannot be overstressed.
90% of those suffering from Type 2 Diabetes were diagnosed due to obesity and/or lack of physical activity.
“I was an overweight, unhealthy person with diabetes, high cholesterol and high blood pressure… [Less than a year and a half later] I no longer need medication for diabetes. I’ve been off medication for five months now, and I have lost 80 pounds.” D.T.
If you have been diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes, the following are the best foods to consume to ease your symptoms:
- Berries, especially raspberries and strawberries
- Eggs, a great source of protein that helps control blood sugar.
- Olive oil, which has over 30 anti-oxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds.
- Nuts have fat, protein and fiber, and control blood sugar.
- Non-starchy vegetables are low in calories and high in nutritional benefits.
- Beans, a fiber that slows digestion andregulates blood sugar.
- Fish, the best source of omega-3 fatty acids.
- Sweet potatoes are packed with antioxidants, vitamin C and potassium.
- Cinnamon also helps bring down blood sugar levels.
There are many ideas and opinions on how best to treat Diabetes. Drugs are an option, but not necessarily the best option for you.
“My feet are ‘happy feet’. I lost 22 pounds with the diet and my diabetes is under control.” J.H.
“I am lighter, have more energy and am on my way to controlling my diabetes without drugs.” M.P.
If you have some of the symptoms of Diabetes, even if you have not been diagnosed, we can help. We are well-versed in handling Diabetes naturally and can help you determine your best course of action. Educate yourself on the many natural avenues available to handle Diabetes, paths you may not be aware of now, but that could provide the healthiestfuture for you.Share this information with friends and loved ones and encourage them to seek help if they are experiencing symptoms. The sooner you catch high blood sugar or Diabetes, the easier it will be to handle.
Make a difference in your life, or that of a loved one.
Dr. Dana Ballerini
1442 Irvine Blvd, Suite 101
Tustin, CA 92780