People with diabetes may experience chronic thirst, excessive urination, excess hunger, muscle wasting, weight loss, dry skin, itching, rashes, numbness, tingling of the hands and feet, neuropathy with severe pains, vascular degeneration, atherosclerosis, heart disease, retinopathy, loss of sight, kidney disease, gangrene in dependent limbs due to poor circulation (diabetes is the No. 1 cause of amputation). Tests reveal elevated blood sugar levels and sugar in the urine.
Diabetes doubles the risk of suffering a heart attack or a stroke. It dramatically increases the risk of kidney disease, blindness (from retinopathy), amputations (due to lack of circulation to limbs), infections, and complications from childbearing. The reason diabetics have such high rates of these disorders is because the illness is associated with exceedingly high blood cholesterol levels, which prevent the circulation of blood and oxygen to organs and limbs.
What is Diabetes?
From Modern Western Medicine
There are two kinds of diabetes, type I, known as juvenile diabetes, and type II, also called adult-onset diabetes. Type I occurs when the pancreas fails to produce adequate insulin, the hormone used by the body to make blood sugar (glucose) available to cells. Many theories exist as to why the pancreas is unable to produce insulin, but recent evidence reported by Johns Hopkins University suggests the consumption of dairy products by sensitive children causes the immune cells to respond with excessive aggressiveness to antigens in cow’s milk. These antigens may attach themselves to cells in the pancreas. Once attached, the antigens are attacked by immune cells, that in the process, destroy both the antigens and the pancreatic cells that produce insulin. All of this occurs in childhood (hence the name of this type of diabetes). Without regular injections of insulin, the sufferer lapses into a coma and dies.
Type II, the most common form of diabetes, occurs in adulthood (usually in people older than 40). For most adult-onset diabetes, the pancreas actually produces more insulin than is necessary, at least in the early stages of the illness. The problem is that dietary fat and cholesterol infiltrate the blood and block insulin from making glucose available to cells. As the disorder continues, the pancreas weakens, and production of insulin diminishes until insulin injections may be necessary. Most type II diabetics do not need insulin, at least in the early or middle stages of the disease.
Because the glucose is not consumed by cells, blood sugar becomes abnormally high, causing excessive urination and constant thirst and hunger. But more dangerously, cells cannot obtain fuel to function, causing fatigue and eventually the death of cells and the body itself.
From Traditional Medicine
Diabetes is clearly a disease of civilization. In population groups where little animal fats and no refined sugars are consumed, diabetes is rare to nonexistent.
In addition to the causes already described, traditional medicine points to stress, adrenal exhaustion, and prolonged demands on the pancreas and liver as secondary causes of the disease. Coffee, nicotine, alcohol, and recreational drugs all cause the adrenals to be overstimulated and eventually unable to function.
The possibility of curing diabetes depends on the type a person suffers from, the severity of the illness, and the length of insulin dependency. Type I (juvenile) cannot be cured, but many of the related problems associated with—diabetes—such as heart disease, claudication, amputation, and blindness—can be avoided if the person adopts a diet low in fat and rich in complex carbohydrates. He or she should also get regular exercise. Type II diabetes can be controlled and even cured by an appropriate diet and lifestyle. (The Pritikin Longevity Center in Santa Monica, California, restores to normal function more than 75% of type II diabetic who arrive at the center taking diabetic medication.)
Who Gets Diabetes?
Thirteen million Americans suffer from diabetes, with the majority (90%) suffering from type II, or adult-onset diabetes.
- Reduce dietary fat and cholesterol to lower blood cholesterol, which reduces or eliminates the need for medication for type II diabetes.
- Reduce dietary fat and cholesterol to lower blood cholesterol and thereby avoid related circulatory problems, including heart disease, stroke, claudication, retinopathy, and amputation.
- Increase fiber and complex carbohydrates to lower cholesterol. Fiber binds with cholesterol and helps eliminate it from the system. It also lowers blood insulin levels.
- Exercise daily.
Foods to Eat
Chew everything well to improve nutrient assimilation and make it less likely you will overeat. The following foods are helpful for all types of diabetes:
- Whole grains, especially millet, brown rice, sweet rice, and wheat
- Chlorophyll-rich foods, especially wheat or barley grass, spirulina, and chlorella
- Whole and cooked fruit
The following foods have an insulin-like action and should be included regularly:
- Brussels sprouts
- Green beans
- Oatmeal or oat flour products
- Soybeans and tofu
- Raw, green vegetables
- Wheat germ
- Fresh flaxseed oil (high in linolenic fatty acid, which enables insulin to be more effective)
- GLA oils (available in evening primrose, black currant seed oil, and spirulina)
- Cooked vegetables and fruit
- Carbohydrate-rich vegetables: winter squash, carrots, rutabagas, parsnips, garbanzo beans, black beans, peas, sweet potatoes, yams, and pumpkin
- Pungent vegetables and spices, onions, leeks, black pepper, ginger, cinnamon, fennel, garlic, and nutmeg
- Small amounts of certain sweeteners and cooked fruits, rice syrup, barely malt, molasses, cherries, and dates
For excess-type diabetes, typified by a robust person who is overweight and constipated, with signs of excess such as ruddy complexion, thick (possibly yellow) tongue coating, strong pulses, and an outward-oriented personality:
- All of the above
- Raw vegetables and fruit (fruit should be either acid or subacid, because the acidic, sour flavor lowers the blood sugar; for example, lemons and grapefruit)
Foods to Avoid
- Foods rich in fat, especially animal foods, such as red meat, eggs, and dairy products
- White flour
- White rice
Herbs to Treat Diabetes
- Cinnamon (triples insulin efficiency)
- Hawthorn (for heart and cholesterol)
- For all pancreatic problems:
1 part uva ursi
1 part goldenseal
1 part elecampane
2 parts dandelion root
2 parts cedar berries
1 part fennel
½ part ginger
Mix the powdered herbs and put them in #00 capsules. Take them after every meal:
- Huckleberry leaf tea: drink 1 cup, 3 times a day
- Barberry: one of the mildest and best liver tonics known: tincture, 10 – 30 drops; standard decoction or 3 – 10 g
- Fenugreek seeds (one of the oldest known herbs; used by Hippocrates—good for regulating insulin); dosage is 3 – 9 g
Hot and cold packs over the pancreas and kidneys will help insulin production and kidney elimination.
- Beta-carotene: 15 – 30 mg per day
- Vitamin B complex: 50 mg per day
- Vitamin C: 100 – 500 mg per day
- Vitamin E: 200 – 400 IU once per day
- Vitamin B6: 250 mg per day (especially useful in pregnancy-onset diabetes)
- Zinc: 15 mg per day (essential for insulin secretion)
- Perform some aerobic exercise at least five times per week. Do not exhaust yourself. Walking and stretch 4 or 5 times a week for at least 30 minutes per session, or as much as can be accomplished. Vigorous exercise will also lower blood sugar levels and reduces the need for insulin. Exercise also improves circulation, which tends to be poor in diabetics.
- Avoid competitive sports. Diabetes is associated with high-blood cholesterol and heart disease. Competitive sports can easily bring on a heart attack or stroke.
- Avoid contact sports to prevent bruising. Diabetics often suffer from poor circulation. Bruising can create pools of blood in tissues and give rise to infection and gangrene.