8 Ways to Naturally Manage Type 1 Diabetes
Type I diabetes is a disease that occurs when the pancreas doesn't produce enough insulin. Insulin is a hormone that helps cells to open up and receive glucose for energy. If the cells are unable to receive glucose, they can starve to death, causing tissues and organs begin to degenerate. Because the body lacks sufficient insulin in type 1 diabetes, this is a serious danger to millions of Americans living with the disease.
Symptoms of type 1 diabetes include:
- Abdominal pain
- Absence of menstruation
- Increased thirst
- Increased urination
- Weight loss despite increased appetite
People living with type 1 diabetes need to test their blood sugar often to see how their lifestyle choices are working together to control diabetes. Testing usually takes place before meals and at bed time.
To properly manage type 1 diabetes, diet and exercise are key. Regular exercise helps to control the amount of sugar in the blood, and helps to burn excess calories and fat to achieve and maintain a healthy weight.
Meal planning for type 1 diabetics should be consistent to allow food and insulin to work together to help regulate blood sugar levels. Frequent snacking and small meals can help to keep blood sugar at a constant level, resulting in fewer symptoms for the diabetic.
Several natural remedies can also help to heal some type 1 diabetics. So far, no single remedy has worked for all diabetics because of differences in body and lifestyles, but you may find one of these eight remedies works for you.
Fig Leaves are well known for treating diabetes and can work to treat other issues like bronchitis, liver cirrhosis, high blood pressure, ulcers, and skin problems. When people with diabetes have used fig leaf extract, they needed less insulin, indicating that fig leaves contain anti-diabetic properties. It is best for a diabetic to take the fig leaf extract in the morning with breakfast. An additional remedy is to boil leaves of the fig tree in fresh filtered water and drink it as a tea.
Black seed, also know as Nigella Sativa, is a cure-all that has been used for over 2,000 years and has been used to treat everything from acne to pancreatic cancers. It contains over 100 chemical compounds and has vitamins such as calcium, potassium, zinc, magnesium, and vitamins A, B, C, D, and E. You can purchase black seed oil that can be used both internally and topically. To take internally, mix the oil with fruit juice. To start on the black seed treatment, take 6 teaspoons of the oil a day (3 times per day at 2 ounces per serving) for seven days. Then cut down to 2 teaspoons in the morning and 2 in the evening for four days. Follow by taking two teaspoons of oil for two days. Make sure you get plenty of water in the morning and you can also rub the oil all over the body for ten days during the treatment time. If you do not see any improvement, you can repeat this treatment.
Fenugreek is an herb you may find on your spice rack at home. Fenugreek contains the antioxidant and alkaloid choline along with vitamins A, B, C, iron, and fiber, as well as protein. It helps the body to regulate blood sugar and can also be used to treat irritations of the skin, lungs, and colon. To use fenugreek, take 5-30 grams with each meal - up to 90 grams per day. Do not exceed 100 grams per day as it will cause stomach upset and nausea. Do not take with other medicines; wait at least two hours before taking fenugreek. The common side effects are diarrhea and gas. Consult your doctor before taking if pregnant. If you experience difficulty in breathing, tightness in chest, development of rash, swolling or itchy skin, stop taking right away.
Cinnamon is another handy herb found in spice racks throughout the country. Cinnamon contains antioxidants and provides manganese, fiber, iron, and calcium. Cinnamon has been reported as a good treatment to help regulate diabetes following a study conducted in 2003 by Khan and Associates. 60 people were tested and one third of the group was given a placebo. The end results showed improved overall health of the group, and glucose was down 18 percent: LDL (bad) cholesterol and triglyceride levels were also reduced. Take a half a teaspoon a day to soften cell membranes. Because cinnamon mimics insulin, it may reduce your need for injected insulin immediately.
Grape seed extract has been the focus of several studies and has been shown to improve the conditions associated with type 1 diabetes. Grape seed has success in protecting the liver cells and setting up defense mechanisms against reactive oxygen species produced by hyperglycemic conditions. Grape seed comes in capsules of 50 mg to 100 mg, and it's suggested to take 50 mg per 50 pounds of body weight, not exceeding 300 mg in a day. Spread your grape seed intake to three times a day. You can also grind whole grape seeds and place them in vegetarian capsules as an alternative to purchasing them as a supplement.
Olive oil is the focus of new research suggesting that diets rich in some monounsaturated fats such as olive oil may prevent diabetes, and ingesting olive oil can reduce LDL and triglycerides levels in the blood. By reducing cholesterol levels, you can prevent such diseases as cardiovascular, atherosclerosis, and diabetes. Type 1 diabetics may benefit from taking olive oil daily, before bed time.
Bitter melon contains insulin like properties and has been shown to work well in the treatment of diabetes. It can help to lower blood and urine levels and is suggested to use frequently. Bitter melon should be juiced and then taken on an empty stomach first thing in the morning. The seeds can be ground into a fine powder and eaten, or used to make a tea.
Vitamin C has been found in research to normalize sugar levels when taking 100-600 mg daily, in as little as a month. By regulating blood sugar, diabetics can avoid eventual eye and nerve damage from too much sugar.
Though no one diet has been shown to work for all diabetics because of differences in bodies and genetics, it does give a nice place to start. By eating a diet of raw whole foods (including raw milk), avoiding processed junk foods, and making some simple life changes, like adding in exercise, you too can experience relief from this debilitating disease.