There are two basic forms of diabetes; these are called Type 1 and Type 2. Most people in the UK who are diagnosed with diabetes have Type 2. We don’t actually know for sure what causes Type 1 diabetes, although it seems to be linked to a problem in the body’s immune system. If you have Type 1 diabetes, your pancreas can’t produce enough of a hormone called insulin. You need insulin to take glucose (sugar) from your blood and give it to cells throughout your body. Type 2 diabetes is most common in people who are overweight. This type of diabetes tends to appear later in life, although it can be found in young people too. You may be more at risk of diabetes if your parents have the illness, if you are of Afro-Caribbean or South Asian descent, or have high blood pressure and/or high levels of cholesterol.
Symptoms of Diabetes
The primary symptoms are:
- Needing to pee frequently
- Feeling very thirsty
- Losing weight
Other possible symptoms include:
- Breath smells like pear drops
- Feeling more hungry
- Thrush infections in genital area
- Blurring in vision
- Wounds don’t heal easily
Most people who have Type 1 diabetes get diagnosed during childhood, but as Type 2 diabetes can begin later in life, it’s more difficult to identify. If you develop diabetes as an adult you might think that the symptoms are caused by other things. For example, you might believe you are peeing more because you are drinking too much, or that you have cystitis (especially if you have itching around the genitals). You might think that you are tired all the time because you are getting older, or working too hard.
Problems Caused by Diabetes
If you have diabetes and you don’t get the correct treatment, you can develop serious and even life-threatening medical issues. Your eyesight can be permanently damaged. You can have poor blood circulation, which can cause severe problems with your feet. And you can develop medical issues with the major organs in your body, including your heart, liver or kidneys.
Natural Ways to Treat Diabetes
If you suffer from diabetes you might want to look at natural ways to relieve your symptoms and improve your health. Here I explain how you can use diet, lifestyle changes or complementary medicine to help yourself. As always, I recommend that you talk to your doctor before using any of the methods described in this post. You should continue taking any prescribed medication until your doctor feels that you no longer need it.
Low Calorie Diet to Reverse Type 2 Diabetes
Over recent years, several studies have been carried out on the positive effect of very low-calorie diets in treating Type 2 diabetes. In one study, around 30 people cut their daily intake to around 600 to 700 calories, with good results. A larger study carried out in the UK has confirmed the effects of a low-calorie diet. This trial, known as DiRECT, involved nearly 300 people. They stopped taking diabetic medication and treatments for high blood pressure. Instead, they cut their daily calorie intake to around 825 to 850 calories per day for 3 to 5 months. After that, they gradually increased their food intake to a level that could maintain a healthy lifestyle. Nearly half the patients went into remission (that is, they no longer had symptoms of diabetes). Around three quarters found that they could continue to manage their health without taking diabetes medication after the trial.
Get a Good Night’s Sleep to Control Blood Sugar
Sleep is very important in maintaining good health. It gives our bodies time to recover and re-energise after the hustle and bustle of the day. But you might not be aware of how much effect a good sleep can help in the treatment of diabetes. A recent study by the ZOE team (known for their Covid-19 and nutritional research) shows that staying up late or not sleeping well make it difficult for our bodies to control blood sugar levels. And staying in bed next morning doesn’t make up for late nights! What’s more, earlier nights can also reduce your chances of heart disease. So to improve your health, try to go to bed before 23:00 and get up early instead.
Treating Diabetes with Homeopathy
Research shows that homeopathic remedies can be very useful in treating symptoms of both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes. Some remedies act specifically as tonics for the liver and/or kidneys and can help prevent people with diabetes from developing secondary problems in these organs.
Syzigium jambolanum (Black plum/Java plum) to reduce blood sugar
Syzigium jambolanum is one of the top remedies for the treatment of high blood sugar levels. It is made from the fruit of the Jambolan tree. As well as being a homeopathic remedy, S. jambolanum has also been used for many years in Ayurvedic medicine. A scientific study of rats with Type 2 diabetes showed that S. jambolanum mother tincture was very effective in reducing the level of glucose in the blood. It also seems to help protect the liver against damage caused by diabetes, enabling it to metabolise carbohydrates and fats more effectively.
Chelidonium majus to treat liver and kidney problems
This plant-based remedy can help to relieve liver, spleen and kidney disorders, including jaundice. It is one of the most important homeopathic liver treatments. Some of the symptoms that suggest the need for Chelidonium include:
- Yellowing of the skins and the eyes (that is, signs of jaundice)
- Enlarged liver
- Constant pain under the right shoulder-blade
- Constipation, with stools like hard, round balls
- Needing to pee a lot (urine may look like beer)
- Kidney stones or gallstones
- Old ulcers that won’t heal and seem to spread
A scientific study has shown that homeopathic Chelidonium majus can even be effective in fighting liver cancer. The patients in the trial were given the remedy in either the 30C or 200C potency.
Foot Reflexology and Type 2 Diabetes
People who suffer from Type 2 diabetes can sometimes develop severe problems with their feet. Diabetes can cause the blood vessels and nerves of the feet to deteriorate. This may first show itself as itching, cracking and peeling of the skin that doesn’t seem to respond to creams and lotions. As the disease progresses, patients may complain of tingling and burning. Eventually the nerves become so badly damaged that the patients lose feeling in their feet. This is known as peripheral neuropathy. In the most serious cases damage to the feet can even lead to foot amputation.
If you have signs of peripheral neuropathy, you can really benefit from foot reflexology. The treatments can improve blood circulation through the foot, stimulate the nerves and encourage healing. A clinical trial showed that patients with foot damage through Type 2 diabetes responded very well to reflexology. The overall texture of the skin on their feet improved significantly and they suffered less from wounds and skin peeling.