How I Treat Diabetes
Many health professionals maintain that juvenile diabetes can only be treated by insulin injections and will not respond to the natural approach. I used to believe this, too, until one young man who consulted me about five years ago changed my thinking.
John B. was a 15-year-old newly diagnosed diabetic who rejected the prescribed insulin needles. He self-treated his problem successfully, using a diet determined by food allergy testing combined with several of the nutritional and herbal supplements described below. Five years later, John has had no relapse in his condition. His blood sugar levels remain normal – without drugs or insulin injections.
If you’re among the two million Canadians with diabetes, rest assured that it is indeed possible to live happily with this condition. Most diabetics who consult me are already taking oral medication or insulin injections, and are looking for ways to control their blood sugar levels more naturally. This is certainly possible and well worth the effort, regardless of whether you have Type I or Type II diabetes (see sidebar bottom of page for definitions). In some cases, oral hypoglycemic agents and even insulin shots can be eliminated.
Controlling Blood Sugar with Diet
Lifestyle and dietary factors have a tremendous influence on your blood sugar levels. The first, most critical step is to quit smoking. Cigarettes contain added sugar and are contaminated by fungi and their toxins. They must be eliminated because they can make blood sugar control by diet and nutritional supplements virtually impossible.
Next, avoid all sources of simple carbohydrate. Follow a low glycemic index diet (check the book Enter the Zone by Dr. Barry Sears). Arrange testing for food allergies because troublesome foods can play havoc with your blood sugar. The highest glycemic index foods are breads, cereals, pastas, starches and dairy products. These also happen to be the most common unsuspected food allergies.Eating allergenic or high glycemic index foods will rapidly induce insulin. They will make blood sugar control worse, increase cravings for sweets, and lead to greater weight gain, higher triglycerides and higher cholesterol.
In addition to allergy testing, I highly recommend blood, urine and hair mineral analysis to assess the levels of both essential nutrients and toxins such as lead, cadmium, mercury and aluminum. Blood and saliva tests for hormones (thyroid, DHEA, testosterone, cortisol, progesterone, estrogen and others) are also helpful because blood sugar can be greatly affected by one’s hormone levels .
Special Therapeutic Foods
I encourage you to include one or several of the following special therapeutic foods in your daily diet. They can dramatically lower your insulin requirements:
* Brewer’s yeast – 1 tbsp. (15 mL) twice daily provides a rich source of the mineral chromium, which helps normalize glucose tolerance.
* Soybeans and other legumes – 1 cup (250 mL) or more daily of kidney beans, lentils, black-eyed peas, chickpeas, soybeans or lima beans retards the absorption rate of carbohydrate into the bloodstream.
* Onions and garlic – half a clove of garlic or half a medium sized onion twice daily normalizes blood sugar regulation by decreasing the rate of insulin elimination by the liver.
* Aloe vera gel – 1⁄2 tsp. (2 mL) twice a day stimulates the increased synthesis of insulin by the pancreas.
* Fenugreek seeds – 1⁄2 oz. (12 mL) twice daily reduces fasting and postprandial (after a meal) blood sugar levels in both juvenile and adult-onset diabetics by improving cell sensitivity to insulin.
* Blueberry (bilberry) leaf tea – 2 cups per day reduces high blood sugar levels through the action of the active component, myrtillin.
* Bitter melon (balsam pear) – a tropical fruit widely cultivated in Asia, Africa and South America. Its juice contains several compounds with strong blood sugar lowering action (drink 2 oz/50 mL per day).
* Jerusalem artichoke and asparagus (1-2 cups/250-500 mL daily) – contain inulin, a soluble fibre that stabilizes blood glucose levels, preventing both hyper (high) and hypoglycemia (low blood sugar). Other excellent sources of inulin include chicory, the dahlia plant, dandelion, burdock, garlic and onions.
Top Five Supplements
The following are the five most important nutritional supplements for better blood sugar control. The doses should be adjusted according to biochemical tests and other individual needs. Monitor your blood sugar levels with a glucometer regularly, and adjust drug, insulin and supplement dosages accordingly.
* Gymnema sylvestre – an herb that lowers blood sugar by increasing insulin levels gradually. Recommended dosage: 2000 mg. 3 times daily.
* Chromium picolinate – an essential mineral that is an active ingredient of GTF (glucose tolerance factor). Chromium corrects both high and low blood sugar levels. Dosage: 1,000 mcg daily.
* B-complex vitamins – especially B1, B3, B6, B12, biotin and folic acid because they are involved in the metabolism of carbohydrates by the body. Dosage: 100 mg or more daily.
* Multi trace mineral supplement – especially magnesium, vanadium, manganese, zinc, copper, selenium, potassium and silicon for their effects on the pancreas and numerous hormones that regulate blood sugar levels. Dosage: 3 to 6 capsules daily.
* Antioxidant supplement – containing beta carotene, vitamins A, C, E, grape seed extract, alpha lipoic acid and bioflavonoids. These nutrients will help prevent high blood sugar levels, as well as some of the complications of diabetes like peripheral neuropathy and retinal problems. Dosage: 3 to 6 capsules daily.
Ideally, consult a natural health care practitioner and get properly tested for nutritional deficiencies, toxicities and food allergies. Improvement in your blood sugar levels, as well as your general health, is just a few weeks or months away.
Supplements that Dr. Rona has recommended to his patients
SIDEBAR #1 Basic Definitions
Type I (juvenile) or insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM) occurs most often in children and adolescents. It is an autoimmune disease thought by some researchers to be linked to an allergy to cow’s milk or other unsuspected foods. Others have connected it with childhood vaccinations, especially the hepatitis B vaccine.
Type II (adult) or non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM) usually develops in people 40 years or older. It is generally related to being overweight. Most cases of Type II diabetes are thought to be controllable almost entirely by diet.
In addition to those foods described in this article, the following natural foods will also help to control your blood sugar levels:
* Berries * Celery * Cucumber * Green leafy vegetables * Sprouts * String beans * Parsley * Psyllium * Flaxseed * Lemons * Oat bran * Radishes * Sauerkraut * Sunflower seeds * Squash * Watercress