diabetes, often called adult onset diabetes, is one of the most
common health problems affecting Americans today. According to
the Joslin Diabetes Center, over 18 million Americans have
diabetes – nearly 6% of the population. In addition, they
estimate that another 41 million Americans have a condition
called pre-diabetes, which will develop into diabetes if left
untreated. Research has shown that those with type 2 diabetes
are four times more likely to have heart problems or a stroke.
They also are at greater risk for blindness, kidney disease,
nerve damage and limb amputation due to nerve and tissue damage.
Diabetes is the sixth leading cause of death in the United
States today, accounting for the deaths of over 210,000 people
Type 2 Diabetes Does:
is a disease in which the body either produces insufficient
insulin to properly metabolize sugar (glucose), or cannot
properly use the insulin that it produces. Insulin is a hormone
produced by the pancreas. Its job is to ‘unlock’ the body’s
cells to allow them to use glucose for energy, pulling it from
the blood as it passes through the cells. In people with type 2
diabetes, that process doesn’t happen, and glucose builds up in
the blood. The excess glucose in the blood can lead to
complications like heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, eye
problems, nerve damage and tissue damage.
Symptoms of Type 2 Diabetes:
symptoms and warning signs of type 2 diabetes are:
Persistent or frequent thirst
Unexplained weight loss
Increased hunger as the body tries to fuel itself
Blurred vision resulting from damage to the blood vessels of the
Tingling or numbness in the hands or feet from poor circulation
Frequent skin, bladder or gum infections
that don't heal over time
Persistent, unexplained fatigue
Causes Type 2 Diabetes:
Despite the amount
of research devoted to learning about type 2 diabetes, science
has yet to definitely pinpoint a cause. A growing number believe
that diabetes may be involved with a malfunctioning immune
system, but there is only preliminary evidence to support that
theory. Scientists have identified a number of risk factors that
help them identify those that are most likely to develop type 2
predisposition is a significant factor in the development of
type 2 diabetes. At least 25% of those diagnosed with type 2
diabetes have a parent or sibling with the condition.
Weight is one
of the most significant risk factors for type 2 diabetes.
Studies have shown that reducing weight by as little as 10%
can reduce the chances of developing type 2 diabetes by 58%.
increases the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
Age is less of
a factor than it used to be, but type 2 diabetes is far more
common in those over the age of 45.
lifestyle contributes to the risk of developing type 2
A history of
gestational diabetes increases the likelihood of developing
type 2 diabetes.
Babies with a
birth weight of less than 5 pounds or more than 9 pounds are
at greater risk for developing type 2 diabetes in later
Ethnicity is a
factor in developing type 2 diabetes. African-Americans,
Hispanics, Native Americans and Hispanics are all at greater
risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
pressure is associated with higher risk of developing type 2
cholesterol levels have been implicated in the development
of type 2 diabetes.
If you have one or
more of the above risk factors, the American Diabetes
Association recommends annual blood tests to keep track of your
blood sugar level.
Treatments for Type 2 Diabetes:
news is that research has shown that lifestyle and diet changes
have a significant effect in preventing and treating type 2
diabetes. A major study released in 2001 showed that people with
prediabetes who ate a healthy, well-balanced diet and included
moderate exercise in their routine three times a week reduced
their chances of developing type 2 diabetes by 58%.
addition to lifestyle changes, there are several medications
that doctors prescribe to help control glucose levels in the
blood. These include insulin, hypoglycemic agents and
alphaglucosidase inhibitors. Researchers have also discovered
several nutritional supplements and herbs that help lower blood
sugar levels. These include:
have shown improved blood sugar control in those patients who
take 200 to 1000 mcg of chromium picolinate.
- Magnesium: Because
low levels of magnesium in the blood are associated with type 2
diabetes, many experts believe that magnesium supplements may
improve the action of insulin in the body and lower glucose
several studies, vanadium in the form of vanadyl sulfate
increases the body’s sensitivity to insulin. In one preliminary
study, adults taking vanadium were able to lower the amount of
insulin they needed to control blood sugar levels.
Zinc: Zinc is
essential for the pancreas to produce insulin. It is also a
potent antioxidant that protects the cells from damage. Research
has shown that when zinc and chromium are taken together, the
effects of chromium are increased by 34%.
- Bilberry extract:
Preliminary research suggests that bilberry extract lowers the
levels of blood glucose when taken regularly. This may be
because of its high levels of antioxidant phytonutrients.
Cinnamon: A study
conducted by the Human Nutrition Research Center of the USDA
showed that cinnamon extracts increase the effectiveness of
insulin in the body.
Evening primrose oil, Capsaicin,
Alpha lipoic Acid:
Capsaicin, evening primrose oil and alpha lipoic acid have all
been studied widely and preliminary results suggest that all
three are beneficial in preventing damage from diabetic