Alternative Medicine for Diabetes

Instructor: Artem Cheprasov
Diabetes is a very well-known and serious medical disorder that has been treated in numerous ways. This lesson goes over some potential non-mainstream techniques that could be used to help a person with diabetes.

Diabetes

When you insert a key into a door, you expect to enter through that door and into a room. But what if you don't have a key? Or what if the door lock jams and resists your entry into that room? You are like a blood sugar molecule, the key is like a hormone called insulin, and the room is a like a cell in a body. If the body doesn't produce enough insulin (you don't have a key) or the body resists the effects of insulin (the door lock jams) then sugar cannot leave the blood and enter into a cell. That is what we call diabetes, which is a condition that leads to elevated blood sugar levels.

This lesson goes over alternative approaches to dealing with diabetes, besides the regular medication you may have heard about, such as insulin therapy.

Diet

Some people have found one of the most important approaches to diabetic therapy to be diet. Now, eating a healthy diet by itself is not an 'alternative' therapeutic approach to managing diabetes. In fact, it's very mainstream. However, some of the things you are about to learn with respect to diet and diabetes aren't as mainstream so be sure to discuss any dietary changes with your doctor first before making them.

People with diabetes may want to ensure they eat three meals a day, at regular times. A recommended diet would likely be high in fiber, with some protein and flaxseed oil, and low in refined carbohydrates like those found in candy. Any snacks in between these meals should be small and preferably something like nuts, vegetables, seed and fruits.

Additionally, foods and spices that might decrease blood glucose (sugar) levels include:

  • Vinegar (Drinking vinegar is not recommended, but it is often found in things like salad dressing.)
  • Grapefruit
  • Peanut butter
  • Cinnamon

Just as importantly, you should be aware of things to avoid eating! People with diabetes should avoid simple sugars, like those found in all sorts of desserts and sodas. White, refined grains should be also avoided. Instead, choosing whole-grain bread is a better idea. Cow milk might also be linked to the development of diabetes in some genetically predisposed individuals. Alcohol should be avoided as well.

Supplements

There are also many supplements holistic healthcare professionals sometimes recommend to people with diabetes. These supplements include:

  • Chromium, a mineral that might balance blood sugar levels.
  • Alpha-lipoid acid. This is an antioxidant that may improve your body's response to insulin. Just make sure to avoid confusing it with the omega-3 fatty acid called alpha-linoleic acid.
  • Berberine, a compound found in many different plants. It might help lower blood sugar levels.
  • Turmeric, which is a spice that might reduce the levels of blood sugar.
  • Cinnamon. (You've already read about this one!) Cinnamon might improve your body's response (sensitivity) to insulin.
  • PGX (PolyGlycoPlex), a kind of fiber that can help reduce glucose levels in some people with diabetes.
  • Vitamin B12 and vitamin C; both of which may help manage complications of diabetes, such as kidney disease.

Other Alternatives

The list above is by no means complete but we need to move on to other alternative treatments available for diabetes. One of these is the use of pressure points throughout the body, using a technique known as acupressure. Since diabetes is an endocrine disorder and because it may lead to poor circulation, the following points could be used to help some patients:

  • Governing Vessels 24.5, which helps to prop up the endocrine system
  • Gallbladder 21, which might help improve a person's circulation

On the note of circulation, massage of the feet may help diabetics with this problem as well.

Similar to acupressure in its basic concepts, is an alternative technique known as reflexology. Reflexology points that correspond to the pancreas, liver as well as the thyroid, pituitary, and adrenal glands could be massaged. Beneficial effects may not be seen until months of daily therapy have been performed.

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