Type 2 diabetes has been known as "adult-onset" diabetes, however, with the rise of easily accessible processed foods, young kids these days are showing signs of developing type 2 diabetes.
In a "normal" body, when you eat food, your blood glucose levels increase. This causes insulin to be secreted to help lower blood glucose by absorbing it into the cells. This is used as energy for the cells to thrive. When blood glucose levels get too low, the pancreas secretes glucagon which releases stored glucose to raise blood glucose levels. Both insulin and glucagon are secreted by the pancreas and these two hormones keep our blood glucose levels in check.
I say type 2 diabetes, because there's a type 1 as well. Type 1 diabetes is also known as "insulin dependant" diabetes because the pancreas does not produce (or produces very little) insulin. A type 1 diabetic will need to inject themselves with insulin and monitor themselves to ensure their blood glucose levels don't drop too low. This is an autoimmune condition usually diagnosed as a child.
Type 2 diabetes is a disease of lifestyle, characterised by insulin resistance. If we think of insulin as a taxi driver which transports blood glucose to the cells. Insulin is a fancy tax driver that knocks on the cells' door to deliver blood glucose. In type 2 diabetes, the cells are "deaf" to insulin's knocks and don't respond to insulin telling them to absorb glucose from the bloodstream. This causes a build up of blood glucose in the bloodstream.
People relate type 2 diabetes directly to sugar consumption. While this is something to consider, there are many more things that can cause insulin resistance and then, diabetes.
Processed, refined foods that have nasty additives and preservatives that cause our body to crave that food - let me assure you that this is NOT sugar. These are things like high-fructose corn syrups, glucose syrups, propionate and more. And, of course, these in excess with little to no while nutrients are recipe for dis-ease.
Remember that sugar is energy for the body, so if we consume sugar with nutrient dense foods, you are feeling your body's energy needs. Whereas, if we consume sugar with empty nutrient-scarce calories we are creating a recipe for disaster. Think of energy drinks loaded with caffeine, unnatural, processed sugars and no nutrients. You are stimulating your body without giving it nutrient support.
My general advice for you, if you currently have diabetes is foremost to work with a skilled naturopath to work towards insulin sensitivity and leading a healthier life!
But my favourite type 2 diabetes specific herbs and supplements are:
This is a great herb to add to foods to help regulate blood glucose levels.
I love adding it to my morning oats and I've seen people enjoying cinnamon in their coffee.
Where you can, opt for Ceylon cinnamon. Although more expensive, it has been found to have higher levels of antioxidant and less additives!
We know vitamin C as an immune related vitamin, and yes, it is great for helping keep the immune system in check
But it's also really great for diabetes
Vitamin C has been shown to regulate blood glucose levels due to its antioxidant properties and helps diabetics attenuate hyperglycaemia
Chromium is a wonderful nutrient that helps to increase the action of insulin (which is major win here) as well as helps cells absorb glucose
It also has antioxidant properties and aids digestion and mood!
This is definitely a wonder-herb when used correctly with diabetes!
Berberine helps decrease hyperglycaemia, it helps sensitise cells to glucose absorption and helps with lipid metabolism!
There is a huge nutritional aspect to diabetes too! Classic advice is reduced carbs, reduced processed, refined foods, increase fat, protein and fibre intake. A skilled practitioner will be able to help with addressing dietary changes in a way that is right for you, as well as assessing the best supplement therapy for you to be on.
Type 2 diabetes is reversible but it requires dietary, lifestyle and habit changes which can be hard. Any skilled, knowledgable practitioner will know to work with their patients abilities and limitations. If you would like to beat your diabetes, contact me for a personalized treatment plan, tailor made to suit you. You can email me on firstname.lastname@example.org or send a message via my contact form ☺️
Yours in health,
~ Love Health & Wellness ~