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 Naturopathic Medicine: Adult Onset Diabetes 

  • Chromium-rich foods such as Brewer's yeast, lean beef, calf's liver, whole wheat bread, wheat bran, rye bread, oysters and potatoes. Chromium is the central element in a very important molecule called the "glucose tolerance factor" (GTF). Research has shown that GTF is needed to allow insulin to do its work in getting sugar into the cells where it can be used as fuel for the entire system. Chromium is also available concentrated droplet form, and is helpful in controlling sugar cravings.

  • Zinc rich foods such as oysters, ginger root, wheat germ, lamb chops, pecans, brazil nuts and split peas. Zinc is a co-factor in many of the thousands of biochemical reactions that our body continuously performs. Paying attention to zinc intake is especially important for people who live in coastal regions and prefer to eat locally grown foods. This is because the rainfall tends to wash trace minerals in the soil out to sea, and minimal levels are absorbed into the produce.

  • Foods high in water-soluble fiber: flax seed, pectin, guar gum, oat bran, mucilage.

  • Whole grain and legume carbohydrates , such as squash, sweet potatoes and carrots.

  • Pumpkin, whole rice, yams, mung beans, stringbeans, cucumber,celery, peach, millet, spinach, blueberry, mung beans, peas, yams, tofu, cabbage, daikon radish, mulberries. And don't foget garlic and onions.

  • Foods rich in Iodine, Silicon, Phosphorus such as kelp, dulse, Swiss Chard, turnip greens, egg yolks, wheat germ, cod roe, lecithin, sesame seed butter, seed and nuts, raw goat milk.

  • Garlic, more garlic, wheat germ, liquid chlorophyll, alfalfa sprouts, buckwheat, watercress, rice polishings, apple, cherries. But avoid fruit juices or dried fruits. They have too much concentrated fruit sugars. It's best to avoid really sweet fruits like pears, bananas or figs.

  • To protect your heart and blood vessels, increase omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. These are found in vegetable, nut, and seed oils, salmon, herring, mackerel, sardines, walnuts, flaxseed oil, evening primrose oil, and black currant oil. Don't cook with these oils; use them raw in salad dressing, or to thicken a soup after it has been prepared.

  • Spices that are used in East India to control diabetes are cinnamon, turmeric, bay leaf, and cloves. Find some new recipies calling for these tasty flavors.
    There are also nutritional supplements that can be useful in curbing DM, which will worsen if not agressively tended to. However, the list of vitamin and mineral "pills" can be overwhelming, so get the help of a nutritionally trained doctor, naturopath or progressive dietician to help choose the right ones for you. Here are some of the likely choices:
    • Biotin 16 mg daily
    • Myo-inositol 1 gram daily
    • Vitamin B3
    • Vitamin B6 100 mg daily especially if you have reduced nerve function in your legs. This is dangerous for diabetics. Pay attention and don't let this sign progress.
    • Vitamin B12
    • Vitamin C 2 grams daily. Increase until your stool becomes soft, then cut back to the level of Vitamin C that allows a normal stool.
    • Vitamin E 100 I.U. and increase slowly to 400 I.U. daily
    • Chromium 200 mcg daily. Look for a supplement that says "Glucose Tolerance Factor" on the label.
    • Magnesium 500 mg daily
    • Manganese
    • Phosphorus
    • Potassium
    • Zinc picolinate 30 mg daily
    • Bioflavonoids: such as Rutin and Quercetin, 500 mg daily
    • Coenzyme Q10, about 60 mg daily to improve heart function
    One last piece of relatively "new" information relating DM to diet, that is particularly important for children. Recent studies have difinitively linked the ingestion of cow's milk by children to development of DM. Cows have four stomach with which to digest their own milk. Cow's milk is just not fit for human consumption, especially not when it's full of bovine growth hormone and antibiotics. Don't feed your children cow's milk. They just don't need it; in fact it's bad for us all unless you are dying of starvation and its the only available source of protein. The only "healthy" dairy product for homo sapiens (that's us) is yogurt, which is already partially digested with enzymes.

    How can I use Physical Medicine to help control my Diabetes?
    Regular aerobic exercise should always be part of your treatment plan. This is important for cardiovascular fitness, for weight management and to stimulate peripheral blood flow. Make sure to have a snack before and after exercising. You can also use short cold showers or baths to promote blood flow. Some people enjoy a form of stimulating massage called a "salt glow" in which the therapist lightly rubs rock salt onto your skin. Never apply hot packs or other heating devices to the head, hands or feet. Warm your extremities gently by applying heat to the thighs or upper arms first.

    Are there plants to treat Diabetes? How can Botanical Medicine help?
    A great lesson can be learned from native American populations (American Indians and Alaska Natives). These peoples very rarely suffered from DM until they began to eat a "Western" diet. Now, sadly, the disease is rampant in their communities. The indigenous diest of these peoples contained many plant foods that served as insulin analogues. Most notably of these medicinal plants are the Panax species which include Devil's Club (Oplopanax horridum) and Ginseng. Other therapeutic plants for DM include:
    • Allium cepa (onion). More onion.
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     About The Author
    Emily Kane NDA graduate of Bastyr University in Seattle, she completed both the Naturopathic and Acupuncture/Oriental Medicine programs. Her preceptor work (similar to residencies) took place in Seattle, West Virginia and China,......more
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