Thursday, March 01, 2007

Natural/Alternative Treatments

The word natural has been used so much that it is nearly meaningless. Just because a product is all natural, it does not mean it is healthy. Even herbal remedies must be carefully monitored for two (at least) types exist. Medicinal herbs and food herbs are the most common descriptions. Medicinal herbs can be dangerous, ma huang is the one that immediately comes to mind. This is usually known as ephedra. And while ma huang is safe when used properly, it is easy to abuse. The one property that it has it it gives tremendous energy. That is why so many people have died from it. The herb gets abused because it is easy to build up a tolerance to it, and rather than go off it for a week, people increase the amount to get the desired effect. That is when trouble starts. No one would double up on presciption drugs without careful monitoring by a doctor, yet because a product is an herb, people just assume it is safe and healthy to use too much ma huang. The result, as we all know, is that it was taken off the market because a few foolish people overdid it. At least that is the story everyone was given. Prescription deaths account for thousands of deaths per year, so it is pretty clear that the removal of ephedra was all about the Benjamins.
Back to the topic at hand.

Since type 2 diabetes is a disease brought on by an unhealty lifestyle, it should be obvious that it can be reversed though a healthy lifestyle. I have been adopting some lifestyle changes recommended in Dr Fuhrman's book Eat to Live available at :
As of today, I am pretty much a vegan. While not perfect, I would estimate that my meals are vegan around 90% of the time. I do take supplements from Sportron International because they make me feel good. I'm keeping my sugar under control with no diabetic medication. This is pretty remarkable because I previously was taking 4 mg of Amaryl, and it was not giving me sufficient control. I am a major proponent of alternative treatments. One caveat does exist, though, one must do a bit of research first. So many products exist that it is important to understand some of the science behind them. I was taking a supplement that helped lower my sugar because it contained the sugar busters that have been used for centuries. These are cinnamon, bitter melon, gymnema sylvestre, nopal cactus, American ginseng, fenugreek, and chromium. The product, Cinnamon 6, was very good, but did not meet all my needs. It is around $40-$50 for a month's supply. It would probably be good for someone who is a newly diagnosed diabetic who hasn't suffered all the complications yet.
Many simple things are available to help diabetics. For example, just a sprinkle of cinnamon on a bowl of oatmeal in the morning has been shown to help control glucose. Since many diabetics suffer from neuropathy, a simple, inexpensive yet very effective treatment is available.
Using a bucket of warm water and one of cold, simply soak feet in one for 5 minutes, then switch to the other. Repeat 3 times. Cost is negligible, yet it helps so much.
Just be cautious and check the water temperature before putting feet in. Many diabetics have reduced sensation and could cause damage if water is too extreme either way. But doing this every night has brought relief to many.
Also, hot peppers are a good thing for reduced circulation so common in us diabetics. I've been eating them at 2 meals a day, and it seems as if I'm getting a benefit. It may be all in my mind, but at least I feel better.