Diabetes is a serious condition that already affects the lives of nearly 200 millions of people throughout the world, with the highest incidences of the disease being in North America and Europe. Some forms of this illness can be treated with diabetes supplements, as it is often associated with lifestyle choices, diabetes is currently known to affect at least 24 million people in the USA alone. The worst case scenario is to have Type 1 diabetes, which can be an inherited predisposition, where the autoimmune system attacks the insulin production resulting in the body having abnormally high and dangerous blood sugar levels. Type 1 diabetes can currently only be controlled/treated by having insulin injections.
Type 2 diabetes.
Type 2 diabetes is less serious form, but nonetheless requiring control and treatment, of the disease arising from a lowering in the ability of the pancreas to produce insulin. If diagnosed early enough any worsening in the condition of Type 2 diabetes can be averted. However, if not diagnosed early enough and/or not treated correctly then Type 1 diabetes can follow. The onset of Type 2 diabetes is invariably linked to lifestyle; with those who are of normal weight for their height, eat healthily, don’t smoke, drink alcohol in moderation and exercise regularly – being 89% less likely to develop Type 2 diabetes. Put another way, 55% of Type 2 diabetics are obese people. Subsequently, changes to lifestyles, diet and exercise can help to combat the development and symptoms of Type 2 diabetes as too can taking some health supplements.
One of the symptoms of diabetes is nerve damage, and the health supplement alpha-lipoic acid is a powerful anti-oxidant capable of neutralizing free-radicals that can damage nerve cells. Alpha-Lipoic acid does this by working with the vitamin B, C and E in your body to convert foods into energy for later use, rather than the free-radicals that can do the damage – increasing the flow of blood to nerves improving the conductance of nerve impulses. Diabetic neuropathy is a long-term complication of diabetes caused by the uncontrolled high glucose levels in the blood and alpha-lipoic acid can counter this through its anti-oxidant properties. Also, alpha-lipoic acid is known to help Type 1 diabetes sufferers to respond to their injections of the hormone insulin; it has been shown in studies that a 600mg dose of alpha-lipoic acid benefited users with lowered levels of blood sugar. Although restricted animal studies at present it appears alpha-lipoic acid could also improve the eyesight of diabetics. Early tests have shown it to be of use in preventing cataracts forming in animals.
This plant has been used medicinally since the time of Aristotle in ancient Greece. It is used in the treatment of gall bladder and liver ailments, but it is its ability to help control cholesterol levels by reducing its synthesis in the liver that can help diabetics. However, the main benefit here is that artichokes contain a polysaccharide called inulin - that slows down the rate at which the body digests food. This property means that when eaten as a vegetable it may help some individuals to control their levels of blood sugar after meals.
The humble bilberry can help diabetes sufferers with deteriorating eyesight. Quite simply high levels of blood sugar are bad for your eyes and diabetes sufferers invariably have deteriorating eyesight. Bilberries are a well established health supplement for maintaining healthy eyes and managing, if not treating, a range of eye/vision disorders. They do this by strengthening the tiny blood vessels, capillaries, in the eyes – increasing the flow of oxygen to improve the overall vision.
It’s worth mentioning vitamin B separately in the treatment of diabetes as both biotin and panthenoic acid are particularly important vitamin B complexes to the treatment of diabetics. Available in multi-vitamin and vitamin B complex tables, other good sources of biotin and panthenoic acid are foods such as liver, nuts, rice, fish, whole grains and legumes.
The trace mineral chromium is known to help the body to use insulin; subsequently a deficiency of Chromium will mean that the body isn’t using its own insulin efficiently. Hence, taking a chromium supplement will help anyone, let alone diabetics, to maintain good blood sugar levels. Chromium supplements can help anyone that is insulin resistant by making the pancreas produce more insulin, which in turn can help to counter the effects of the excess glucose in the blood. So, a Chromium supplement could be important in preventing the onset of Type 2 diabetes.
A final comment.
The above are the main health supplements that you can use to help in the treatment of diabetes. However, diabetes is a serious condition and you should only use them after seeking advice and discussing your condition with your medical consultant. Finally, there is a third type of diabetes – gestational diabetes, that can occur in around 2% of pregnancies. Although this condition does lead to a higher risk of Type 2 diabetes in later life – during the pregnancy it can be treated.