This guest post comes from Gale Tern, author, alternative health proponent, and blogger at Arthritis Pain Central.
According to the National Diabetes Fact Sheet, approximately 8% of the U.S. population, or 26 million people, have diabetes. And 79 million people are prediabetic (blood sugar levels higher than normal). As you can see there are a lot of people who suffer from this disease or are at risk of developing it.
While most of us refer to diabetes as the sugar disease, diabetes mellitus (it’s technical name) is actually a group of diseases where blood sugar levels are elevated. They are elevated either because the pancreas doesn’t produce enough insulin, or because the body does not respond to insulin which is produced by the body. Elevated blood sugar levels produce the classic symptoms of diabetes- increased thirst, frequent urination, and increased hunger.
Type 1 diabetes refers to insulin-dependent diabetes where the body does not produce insulin. Type 2 diabetes, or insulin resistant diabetes, is the most common form of diabetes. In this type of diabetes the body fails to properly use insulin.
Diet and Diabetes–Start With the Simple Steps First
Other than through prescription drugs and insulin injections, the main avenue used to combat diabetes is diet. And what you refrain from eating is as important as what you do eat. For example, did you know that soft drinks are a major contributor to Type 2 diabetes? Studies conducted by researchers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical Schools found that the consumption of soda pop and other sugary drinks dramatically increase the odds of developing adult-onset diabetes (Type II diabetes).
The results of this study were published in the Journal of the American Medical Association back in 2004. Many scientists speculate that high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) which is used as a sweetener in most soda pop today is responsible for this sudden increase in diabetes cases. HFCS wreaks havoc with our bodies. This unnatural sugar made from corn does not stimulate the body to produce insulin which means that there is no way for the body to know to absorb this sugar from the bloodstream. Thus, HFCS elevates glucose levels in the bloodstream.
I know there are studies out there that claim that soda (particularly diet soda) in moderation poises no major health hazard. I disagree. Aspartame which is found in most diet sodas is a excitotoxins—it destroys certain types of brain cells. So if you are diabetic, I would even stay away from diet soda.
Combating Diabetes Through Diet
I mentioned that you should stay away from soda pop and sugary drinks if you have diabetes. In addition, there are things you need to add to your diet to combat diabetes. The good news is that research has shown that diabetes may be the result of deficiencies of chromium, magnesium, zinc, copper, biotin, vitamin D, niacin, coenzyme Q10 and manganese. So supplementing with these nutrients would be prudent. In addition, alpha lipoic acid, a natural antioxidant, has also been shown to help fight diabetes. Finally, studies have found that the spices ginger and cinnamon can lower blood sugar levels.
So there is hope for those who suffer from this disease or those who are at risk for it. The message here is that you will need to take your health into your hands if you want to get better.
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May 15th, 2011