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Nutritional Support for Type II Diabetes Mellitus
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Type II Diabetes or Adult Onset Diabetes is a common disease affecting approximately 4% of the population. Most commonly, the body doesn’t use the naturally occurring insulin that helps in the absorption of sugar. That is why the person with diabetes has to decrease the amount of sugar eaten. Otherwise, all the sugar goes around to the various body organs, especially the kidney and eyes and destroys tissue.

Diabetes can be significantly helped by changing your diet

Cut back on high fat, refined foods, starches, and sugars. Change your lifestyle. The goal in treatment, whether by herbs, nutrients or insulin is to keep the blood glucose level around 120 – right about where it would normally be. That is the physician’s job, the patient’s role is to follow some general guidelines that will improve the quality of life, decrease the potential of the serious complications of diabetes and may decrease the dependency on insulin of the diabetic patient.

Diet

The most important part of successfully controlling adult onset diabetes is controlling what you eat. You need to regulate the amount of sugar, starches, fat, and refined foods eaten. For example, if the dinner meal were spaghetti and meatballs and salad, you would need to eat less spaghetti or eat whole-wheat spaghetti and eat more salad and meatballs in the meal. Spaghetti, like white breads and other pastas is a refined starch that converts into glucose in the body.

It would be helpful to think of eating a bowl of spaghetti or a slice of white bread as eating sugar. If however, a small amount of spaghetti is eaten with a protein and fiber, the body handles its effects better. The protein in the meat and the fiber in the salad slow the glucose released into the blood stream. This lessens the harmful effects of the excess glucose – remember the kidneys and eyes. Even better, substitute the high fat meatballs with low fat turkey or chicken in the salad.

Try to make the following changes:

  1. Eat whole grains. Buy spelt, quinoa, whole wheat, corn, or rice pastas, whole wheat bread. If it is white, then think of it as sugar.
  2. Eat lots of fiber. Fiber is found in beans, grains, fruits, and vegetables. Because fruit contains high amounts of a type of sugar that converts into glucose, limit fruit to 1 piece daily.
  3. Minimize the amount of sugar you eat. Sugar is in everything from soft drinks, to pastries, to catsup. Always eat protein and/or fiber if eating sugar. Don’t substitute artificial sweeteners (except the herb Stevia) for sugar. The artificial sweeteners are associated with many over 25 complaints ranging from headaches to vertigo. More importantly the American Diabetic Association recommended that anyone with diabetes not to eat any sorbitol.
  4. Keep the diet low fat. Some fat like those found in avocados, nuts, and grains is needed, but not the kind that you can pour.

 Physical Activity

Exercise stimulated the cells that absorb the glucose in the body to do their job. Exercise can take many forms from walking the dog, to parking farther from the store in the parking lot, to the chair aerobics often demonstrated on television. It is important to do some form of exercise daily. It is a great tool that helps your body control the diabetes.

 Spiritual, Mental, and Emotional

Type II diabetes often follows a major trauma in the person’s life such as the loss of a spouse. Instead of seeing diabetes as a sentence that must be carried out, think of it as an opportunity to get back into mental, emotional and physical balance. Maybe the disease is forcing the person to look at him or herself.

Why is this happening? Now (s)he must think about everything (s)he put into his/her mouth. Suddenly, the body is out of balance; it has decided not to do a job that it had been doing for years. So how do you regain this balance? If you already have a religious belief, strengthen it. If this has been an area in your life that you have ignored, then embrace it. There are so many different ways to approach it in both Eastern and Western disciplines.

Whatever you chose, take time to think about your life and its direction. Lessen negativity in your life. Work on improving relationships that add to your life and eliminating those that make you unhappy. Focus on being happy and productive.

Getting Serious

Type II Diabetes Mellitus is a high maintenance condition. It is important to monitor the blood glucose levels several times daily. Oral insulin is a wonderful drug that helps control the disease, but is a poor substitute for what your body can do naturally. Your body releases insulin as needed, the oral dose releases its load when taken whether or not it is needed at that moment.

By working with your diet and lifestyle, you can minimize the dependency on the drug and help your body relearn how to absorb sugar safely. Diabetes is a disease with serious consequences. If it is uncontrolled, the patient may develop kidney disease possibly leading to failure, blindness, and poor wound healing which may result in gangrene and amputation. If controlled through diet, exercise, prudent use of insulin, and spiritual/mental/emotional harmony, not only are these potential conditions minimized, but also you have increased your overall health and well being.

 

 

 

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Dr. Juniper Martin
11825 SW Greenburg Road,
Suite A2
Tigard, OR 97223
503-443-2332