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Type 2 Diabetes


Type 2 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 annually.


What Type 2 Diabetes Does:

Diabetes 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:

The symptoms and warning signs of type 2 diabetes are:

· Persistent or frequent thirst

· Frequent urination

· Unexplained weight loss

· Increased hunger as the body tries to fuel itself

· Blurred vision resulting from damage to the blood vessels of the eyes.

· Irritability

· Tingling or numbness in the hands or feet from poor circulation

· Frequent skin, bladder or gum infections

· Wounds that don't heal over time

· Persistent, unexplained fatigue


What 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 diabetes.

  • Genetic 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%.

  • Smoking 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.

  • A sedentary lifestyle contributes to the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

  • 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 life.

  • 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.

  • High blood pressure is associated with higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

  • High 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:

The good 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%.


In 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:



Chromium picolinate:  Studies 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 levels.


         Vanadium:  In 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%.

Nutritional Supplements

-        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 neuropathy.


-         Biotin, Vitamin B6, Niacin:  Vitamins in the B complex family help lower blood sugar levels by promoting healthy cell functioning.

Coenzyme Q10 &
Omega 3 fatty acids:  These help control cholesterol and high blood pressure, two risk factors associated with diabetes.


Based on all the available research, healthy lifestyle choices and superior nutrition seem to be key elements to both preventing and treating diabetes. There’s some good preliminary and ongoing research suggesting that nutritional supplements can help reduce blood sugar levels, increase the effects of insulin and substantially lower the damage of conditions associated with type 2 diabetes. A high quality nutritional daily nutritional supplement like Total Balance Unisex Premium can provide a synergistically balanced array of the most effective supplements for your total health, including those that have been shown most effective in helping to prevent and treat type 2 diabetes.


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