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The objective in naturopathic treatment of diabetes is to reduce high levels of glucose in the blood and ensure the overall well-being of the patient utilizing natural therapies such as diet, exercise, nutritional supplements and herbs (depending on each individual case).
In diabetes, the quality or the quantity of insulin produced is less and this is what leads to the increase in glucose (blood sugar) levels in the blood. Fortunately, it is very possible with Naturopathic treatment for patients to live a normal and healthy life, as our treatments are highly effective. Oftentimes patients can get their diabetes under control and never need conventional medication (this is common with type 2 diabetes).
Naturopathic treatments for diabetes are safe and responsible and very doable. Patients can lose weight, gain significant energy, and reduce their glucose numbers, cholesterol values, and even reduce blood pressure levels. Some patients will see their damaged nerves and kidneys recover full functioning, and those without such damage will have have the tools to prevent it from developing.
What is Diabetes?
There are various types of diabetes but the most common are type 1, type 2 and gestational (during pregnancy).
Type 1 diabetes: the body’s immune system is not functioning properly and attacks the beta cells of the pancreas that produce insulin. This type of diabetes often runs in families.
Type 2 diabetes: cells that respond to insulin become resistant (desensitized) to it. Insulin is what safely transports the sugar into our cells, so this means that diabetics who are untreated will have elevated blood sugar. This is an extremely unhealthy state to be in because it results in global inflammation. Nerves, kidneys and the cardiovascular system will be the first organ systems to get damaged, but really a wide range of symptoms can accumulate and unfortunately unmanaged diabetes can ultimately lead to potentially fatal consequences.
Gestational: whereby a woman becomes diabetic during her pregnancy...this is more common than you’d think, because women often crave sugar when they’re pregnant.
While it is not possible to reverse type 1 diabetes, numerous studies have shown that type 2 diabetes can be prevented and delayed by the use of diet and lifestyle measures alone. Regular physical activity is one of the most powerful preventative therapies and in fact out performs almost any other intervention including various medicines. Weight loss is also extremely important in helping preventing or reversing type 2 diabetes.
What Are the Symptoms of Diabetes?
The classic symptoms of diabetes are:
- increased thirst
- increased hunger
- increased frequency of urination
- Feeling really “out of it” on and off (as your sugar is up and down)
Other common symptoms include:
- Intense sugar cravings
- weight changes
- eye problems
- foot problems
- heart problems
- In some cases numbness and tingling will occur in limbs
Naturopathic doctors are well-trained and are able to provide patients with excellent treatment options for diabetes. Dr Smith, ND may utilize modalities such as nutrition, lifestyle counselling, botanical medicine, traditional Chinese medicine, or Intravenous Therapy. Many scientific studies have validated the use of naturopathic treatments for helping achieve optimal health for diabetics.
Management of controllable factors include: poor diet, over-eating, nutritional deficiencies, high refined grains and sugar consumption, lack of exercise, and being overweight/obese. Environmental toxins and hormonal imbalances are also noted for initiating or contributing to insulin resistance, and subsequently Dr. Smith, ND will assess for these issues also.
Dr Smith individualizes each treatment plan as every person experiences diabetes differently and may use various therapies differently to manage the core issues and complications of diabetes. A comprehensive treatment plan that includes diet modification, exercise and other medications truly is the best way to regulate blood sugar and manage diabetes.