Diabetes is a disease in which your body is unable to adequately process glucose, leading to high blood sugar levels which damage the body over time. Your major source of energy is blood glucose and is extracted from the food you eat. Insulin, a hormone produced by the pancreas, aids glucose absorption into cells for use as energy. Your body may not be able to produce enough (or any) insulin, or you may have built up a tolerance. This causes your cells to absorb little to no glucose, leaving it remaining in your blood.
Having too much glucose in your blood can cause a number of major health issues, the most common being damage to your blood vessels leading to poor circulation and major organ damage. Other possible complications from frequent high blood sugar include:
- Heart disease
- Nerve damage
- Kidney disease
- Vision issues (such as glaucoma or cataracts)
- Digestive issues (such as nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain)
- Much more.
What Is Type 2 Diabetes, And How Does It Differ From Type 1 Diabetes?
Type 1 Diabetes
Type 1 Diabetes is caused by an autoimmune condition, where your immune system targets and kills the insulin-producing cells in your pancreas – causing the body to produce little or no insulin. The exact reason why the immune system targets these insulin producing cells specifically is unknown, however it is thought that genetics play a role. Type 1 Diabetes is most commonly diagnosed in children and young adults (sometimes called Juvenile Diabetes) although it can strike anybody at any age. As there isn’t a cure for the disease, people with Type 1 Diabetes must regularly take insulin for the rest of their lives. Around 10-15% of all diabetics are Type 1.
Type 2 Diabetes
Type 2 Diabetes is developed when your body becomes resistant to the normal effects of insulin, causing your pancreas to work harder and harder to produce more insulin. Over time, your pancreas may not be able to produce enough insulin to overcome the body’s built up resistance, leading to high blood sugar levels. The insulin producing cells in the pancreas can also become overused, leading to the death of these cells. Type 2 Diabetes typically develops in adults over 45 (sometimes called Adult Onset Diabetes), however it can affect people of any age including children. Hereditary factors can cause a strong genetic disposition to Type 2 Diabetes, however risk of Type 2 Diabetes is greatly increased if people have high blood pressure, are overweight/obese or do not regularly exercise. Type 2 Diabetes is the most common form, with 85 – 90% of all cases being Type 2.
How A Naturopath Can Help Reverse Type 2 Diabetes.
Although there is no cure for Type 2 Diabetes, research shows that people can achieve remission and maintain normal blood sugar levels without medication. This is done by making intensive dietary adjustments, losing weight and supporting your liver and it’s ability to process fats.
Losing weight will not only help reverse diabetes but will reduce cardiovascular disease, chronic illness will also increasing energy levels.
Additionally, research shows that people with poor liver function or those who have a fatty liver have a higher chance of developing type 2 diabetes. The same research also shows that improving liver function helps to reverse type 2 diabetes.
Naturopathically we have many ways to improve liver function and reverse a fatty liver.
Remission does not mean that you are entirely cured from Diabetes. As Type 2 Diabetes is a chronic illness, there’s always a potential that symptoms can return even if you’re in remission. With that said, some people can spend years without having to worry about their glucose levels or the health issues that come with Diabetes as long as a healthy diet and regular exercise routine is upheld.
As Diabetes is a progressive disease, catching it early is the best way to stop it from developing further. Changing your diet and lifestyle within 10 years of insulin resistance beginning to form (and ideally within 4 years) provides a good chance you can experience measurable benefits to your lifestyle. As such, it’s important to get a blood test if you notice any of the symptoms including:
- Increased thirst (to a point of excess)
- Increased urination
- Lethargy and feeling tired
- Always being hungry
- Having cuts that heal slowly
- Skin infections
- Blurred vision
- Gradually weight increase
- Mood swings
- Feeling dizzy
Get Started Managing Your Diabetes
Improving liver function, weight loss and diet can be your strongest weapons when managing Type 2 Diabetes, however it can be difficult to lose weight and develop/maintain a healthy anti-Diabetes diet. Our team at Capalaba Natural Health can work with you to develop a diet and lifestyle to help you get on top of your Type 2 Diabetes. Give us a call on (07) 3823 3103 to chat to our Award Winning Naturopath Tony Daniel and get started on your Diabetes management journey today and start feeling healthy!