Diabetes

Background

Diabetes is when there is too much sugar in your blood. Your body makes insulin to carry sugar from the blood into your cells where it can be burned as fuel. If your insulin is too low or is not effective (insulin resistance), the sugar can’t get into your cells and builds up in your blood.

Type 1 Diabetes

In Type 1 diabetes (most often in younger people), there is too little insulin. This occurs because the cells making insulin were destroyed by your body when it confused parts of those cells with an outside infection. Taking insulin is usually necessary, but we will talk about how to prevent complications of the diabetes. Avoiding both sugar and dehydration (drink water) are critical here. The good news is that there will likely be alternatives to insulin shots and we are even creating the ability to put new insulin-creating cells back into your body in the future. For now though, frustrating and annoying as it is, please stay with your medical program of insulin and monitoring your blood sugar. Instead of sugars, use Stevia and use sugar free candies, ice cream, chocolate, etc. Enjoy your pleasure, but since the Atkins Diet came through, there are sugar free ways to do it.

When blood sugar goes too high, it spills into the urine, pulling water with it. This causes increased urination and thirst. When this happens in Type 1 diabetes, dehydration can cause your blood sugar to skyrocket and put you in the hospital. Stay hydrated!

Type 2 Diabetes

In Type 2 diabetes (usually in overweight adults) there is plenty of insulin, but the insulin does not work (called "insulin resistance"). This is triggered by being overweight and genetics. In men, if associated with high blood pressure and high cholesterol, it is called “Metabolic Syndrome” and is often caused by testosterone deficiency (a blood level under about 450 should be treated). In women, paradoxically, an elevated testosterone can cause diabetes.

Complications of diabetes (heart, vessel and nerve) can often be prevented naturally.

Treatment

Diet and Exercise

Don't be overweight

Lose weight if you are overweight. This restores your own insulin’s effectiveness and is often enough to make the diabetes go away — especially if you add regular exercise to your regimen.

Avoid sweets

Stevia, artificial sweeteners, and sugar free chocolate with maltitol like the “Russell Stover” sugar free brand are OK.

Increase fiber intake

Recommended Supplements

Multi-nutrient powder

The vitamins B12, B6 and Inositol can help prevent (or heal) diabetic nerve injury. These can be found in a good multi-nutrient powder. Treating the magnesium deficiency routinely caused by the diabetes helps decrease the risk of heart disease (do not take magnesium if you have kidney failure without your doctor’s OK). The antioxidants may decrease the damage from the high sugar, and other components may help increase insulin sensitivity.

Lipoic acid

Take the supplement lipoic acid 300 mg 2x day to prevent and treat diabetic nerve pain.

Acetyl-L-Carnitine

If you have diabetic nerve injury, add acetyl-l-carnitine 1,500-3,000 mg a day.

Medications

Metformin

For Type 2 diabetes, try the medication "metformin" instead of insulin. Though you may need insulin, it simply causes more weight gain and more insulin resistance in the long term. For these reasons, use the treatments discussed here so your doctor can get you off your insulin.

Other Therapies & Advice

Treat low testosterone

In men, if the blood testosterone level is under 450, consider bioidentical testosterone hormone by prescription. You should aim for a blood level of 700-900. (See Testosterone Deficiency.) In women, the opposite occurs and so they need to lower testosterone if it is too high (by using the medication Metformin and avoiding sugar).

Treat heart problems

If you develop heart problems, see Heart Disease.

More Information Online

Addressing Diabetes Naturally

More articles on diabetes

Contributor: 

Dr. Teitelbaum

Jacob Teitelbaum, M.D. is a board certified internist and author of the popular free iPhone application “Cures A-Z,” which was ranked in the top 10 of all health/wellness downloads on iTunes. Dr. Teitelbaum is the author of the perennial bestseller From Fatigued to Fantastic! (Avery Penguin), which has sold over half a million copies; Pain Free 1-2-3 (McGraw-Hill); Three Steps to Happiness--Healing Through Joy (Deva Press); the Beat Sugar Addiction Now! series (Fair Winds Press);  Real Cause, Real Cure—The 9 root causes of the most common health problems and how to solve them (Rodale Press); The Fatigue and Fibromyalgia Solution (Penguin/Avery);and his latest, The Complete Guide to Beating Sugar Addiction (Fair Winds Press, 2015).