Type 2 Diabetes and Natural Treatments
When we eat sugar, Insulin is released into the blood and it “opens the doors” on the cells of the body that need the sugar for fuel. The sugar enters the cells, thus lowering the level of sugar (and insulin) in the blood.
Having high levels of sugar in the blood is not healthy because the sugar is then able to “stick” or glycosylate the cells of organs and vessels and stop them from functioning well. For example, circulation decreases to the feet allowing ulcers and even gangrene to occur.
People who have type 2 diabetes really have Insulin Resistance, meaning that plenty of insulin is available but the cells are not responding to it. The cell’s “door” stays closed even though the Insulin is knocking on it Very Loudly. As a result the sugar level in the blood stays elevated.
The Insulin levels are elevated too. As the cells develop insulin resistance and do not respond to the insulin, the body’s solution is to release more and more insulin. This is also unhealthy as high levels of insulin will contribute to high blood pressure, osteoporosis and there are some studies now showing a relationship between high insulin and cancer.
I like to get a 4 hour Glucose & Insulin Tolerance Test for patients who I suspect are hypoglycemic and pre diabetes type 2. This means that the patient begins the test after a 12 hour fast. Their baseline blood sugar & insulin level at fasting are collected. They then drink a standardized amount of sugar. The Insulin and Glucose Levels are then collected at ½ hour then hours 1, 2, 3 and 4.
What this test will tell me is the degree of Insulin Resistance for a particular person in addition to when it occurs most profoundly for them.
In terms of treatment there are three powerful basic tools.
- Nutritional Supplements
I recommend any of the Whole Food, Plant Based Diets. I also recommend watching the film “Forks Over Knives” which discusses plant based diets in detail and documents several cases of the reversal of Type 2 Diabetes as well as diabetes close friends, High Cholesterol, High Blood Pressure and Obesity. A plant based diet includes anything that grows on the earth: legumes, nuts, seeds, vegetables, fruits, and grains in their whole, unprocessed form. It excludes or limits animal proteins and animal products and it encourages the use of medium chained fats which do not get stored in the body. (Coconut oil)
Do what you love. Feel how good it is to be in your miracle body. Treat yourself kindly. Enjoy movement. Get Support. Create community in movement: yoga, exercise classes, team sports, walking, cycling. Connect with nature: gardening, walking, roller blade, skiing, skating. Make small goals and keep them. Forgive yourself and start again. Start gently. Believe in yourself. Know you are supported by a Loving Universe. Be Grateful. Visualize. What you focus on you get more of. Most of all do what you love.
There are several supplements that protect the body from high sugar levels and help to make insulin more effective at clearing the blood of sugar.
Mineral/Vitamins: include Chromium, Vanadium and Alpha Lipoic Acid. In several studies with Type II diabetics, the addition of ALA increases insulin sensitivity by up to 50%.
Helpful Herbs include: Cinnamon. At least three clinical studies have been performed to test the blood sugar lowering and insulin-sensitizing affects of Cinnamon. Fenugreek and Ginger. Ginger has demonstrated promising results in basic science and animal research testing its ability to improve insulin sensitivity. Turmeric improves the action of disrupted insulin-response pathways in diabetes. Some of my other favorite herbs for the treatment of diabetes include: Gymnema sylvestre, Bitter Melon and Garcinia cambogia.
In Office Procedures:
In long term diabetes treatment, I will give regular nutrient injections of B12, B Complex and Folic Acid to protect the nervous system. If we need to lower the blood sugar quickly, I will give an intravenous dose of Alpha Lipoic Acid followed by a saline flush and the insulin sensitizing minerals including chromium and vanadium. This very effectively lowers the blood sugar and starts to improve insulin sensitivity by bypassing digestion and getting the nutrients directly to work in the blood.
That is all for now!
If you have any questions or topics you would like Dr Janel or Dr Knutson to address, please post them on the Specialty Natural Medicine Facebook page.
Blessings and Expanding Goodness in your New Year,
Dr Kathleen Janel
Welcome Dr Maegan Knutson!
We are so happy to welcome Dr Knutson to Specialty Natural Medicine!
Dr Knutson is such a wonderful addition to our clinic. In addition to being a wonderful Naturopath, she brings Acupuncture to the Specialty Natural Medicine practice!
She will be supporting patients in a 3 week detoxification that you can follow on our Specialty Natural Medicine Facebook Page. This means you can participate, even if you do not live in the Seattle Area! Thru the internet she will answer your questions, teach you about your body’s detoxification systems and give support during the 3 weeks of the detox program.
Specialty Natural Medicine
New Year’s Detoxification Program 2012
You are invited to join us in our first annual New Years’ Detoxification Program. With the holidays ending, January is a great time of year to start fresh and a Naturopathic detox is a great way to do it. This detox program is going to be an interactive investment in your health. Our detoxification group is going begin on January 30, 2012 and last 21 days. Everyone in the group will follow a whole foods eating plan and restrict toxins (alcohol, caffeine, sugar and certain inflammatory foods). Your digestive system is a great place to start improving your toxin elimination. Our bodies have several amazing systems of detoxification including the lungs, kidneys, skin, digestive and blood/lymphatic pumps. During the detox you will learn about these systems, your body, and what self care techniques help you feel your best. Contact us to sign up ASAP.
Looking towards better health in 2012,
Dr. Maegan Knutson
Specialty Natural Medicine Open House
Save the Date!
January 27th 2012
Please join us for our open house to meet Dr Maegan Knutson and sign up for her first annual Detox Group. We will have light refreshments including gluten free beer and wine. We will be giving away one free detox program package during the open house. All are Welcome.
Alkaline Diet Recipe: Antioxidant Green Smoothie
This is a POWERHOUSE! Full of the MOST antioxidant-rich green, alkaline foods it is filling, alkalizing, antioxidant-rich, healthy oil-rich, protein-rich and simply delicious.
Alkaline Antioxidant Green Smoothie
A handful of Kale
A handful of Spinach
2 Broccoli heads or 1 cup Broccoli or other Sprouts
A handful of Lettuce, Romaine or Collard Greens (stems removed if needed)
Juice of 1/2 Lemon
A little water to the texture you like
Other options: Apple/Kiwi/Celery/Fresh Cilantro/Fresh Sage/1/2 clove Garlic/Watermelon/Protein Powder (pea, rice, soy, hemp, legume, whey)
All you have to do is blend it all up! Start by blending the avocado, cucumber and lemon juice to form a mushy paste, and then start adding the other ingredients.
You can blend in a little ice if you prefer it chilled, or add a little chili if you like it HOT.
This will fill you up for hours. It is great after a work out, for breakfast or a snack.
OPTIONAL: if you find it all too veggie when you first start alkalizing, you can blend in a little fruit of your choice to sweeten it up or add some capsicum (pepper) for sweetness.