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Diabetesis a disease in which your blood glucose, or blood sugar, levels are too high. Insulin is a hormone that helps the glucose get into your cells to give them energy. With type 1 diabetes, your body does not make insulin. With type 2 diabetes, the more common type, your body does not make or use insulin well.

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Without enough insulin, the glucose stays in your blood. You can also have prediabetes. This means that your blood sugar is higher than normal but not high enough to be called diabetes. Having prediabetes puts you at a higher risk of getting type 2 diabetes.

Over time, having too much glucose in your blood can cause serious problems. It can damage your eyes, kidneys, and nerves. Diabetes can also cause heart disease, stroke and even the need to remove a limb. Pregnant women can also get diabetes, called gestational diabetes.

A blood test can show if you have diabetes. Exercise, weight control and sticking to your meal plan can help control your diabetes. You should also monitor your glucose level and take medicine if prescribed.

Remedies:

There is a genetic association with diabetes, which people cannot change, but if everyone kept the controllable factors well-managed, we still would not be seeing the preponderance of diabetics. The controllable factors include: poor diet, over-eating, nutritional deficiencies, high refined grains and sugars consumption, high saturated fat consumption, lack of exercise, and being overweight/obese.

Environmental toxins and hormonal imbalances are also noted for initiating insulin resistance. In the comprehensive visits with patients in which naturopathic physicians specialize, naturopathic physicians will investigate all of these “Obstacles to Cure” to uncover which aspects need to be specifically addressed per individual patient. In most patients many, if not most, of all of the etiologic factors are involved.

The naturopathic physician will then do a thorough physical exam, including basic evaluations as well as those specifically associated with diabetes, like checking the feet for nerve damage. Doctors will do the standard lab tests, checking for cholesterol, liver and kidney function, anemia, and all the blood sugar monitoring labs. Doctors may also do tests to measure vitamin D (necessary for glucose regulation), inflammatory markers, and cardiac risk profiles, including checking for environmental toxemia and thyroid, adrenal, and reproductive hormonal imbalances.

Diabetic patients will need to change their food intake to a low carbohydrate diet, and be taught how to get good protein variety in their diet, what kinds of oils are healthful, and how to include vegetables and a little fruit in their dietary regimen. Patients are encouraged to get an hour of exercise five days a week, and are taught methods to help regulate their stress, if that is a factor in their glucose control.

Patients will be given various supplements, which are invaluable. They work synergistically with the other aspects of the comprehensive protocol to replace deficient nutrients; help lower their glucose levels and decrease their insulin resistance; reduce inflammation, lipids and blood pressure; and protect them from diabetic induced damage. Patients may at times need to continue on standard prescriptive medication, may need to start medications or commonly, due to naturopathic care, may be able to reduce or stop medications. The naturopathic physician will effectively monitor the need for medication and make appropriate suggestions about the need for their use.

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