Diabetes is a group of metabolic diseases that affect how your body uses glucose, commonly known as blood sugar. Glucose is vital to your health as an important source of energy for the cells making up muscles and tissues. It's also the brain's main source of fuel.
There are several different forms of diabetes, let's start with type 1 and type 2.
Around 1.25 million adults and children in the United States have type 1 diabetes. In this form, the pancreas produces little to no insulin, causing the diabetic patient to be reliant on lifelong, daily insulin therapy.
This is the most common form, affecting an estimated 29 million Americans. Type 2 occurs when your body is either resistant to the effects of insulin or doesn't produce enough insulin for a healthy glucose level.
Both of these types of diabetes commonly cause symptoms such as frequent urination, and extreme thirst and hunger. Diabetes can cause long-term damage to the body, raise the risk of heart disease and stroke, and can affect the kidneys, eyes, nerves, digestive system and the skin.
Prediabetes & Gestational Diabetes
Two other types of diabetes, prediabetes and gestational diabetes, are potentially reversible—which is good news considering 86 million Americans have prediabetes, a condition where your blood sugar levels are high, but not high enough for a diabetes diagnosis. Nearly all type 2 diabetics are prediabetic first. In this stage, early treatment can result in normal blood glucose levels and prevent progression to type 2.
Gestational diabetes (GDM) occurs during 18% of pregnancies due to the body's inability to make the necessary amount of insulin. Typically, GDM goes away after the mother delivers, but some women do go on to develop type 2 diabetes later in life.
When managing diabetes, the goal is to minimize any elevation of blood sugar without causing abnormally low levels of blood sugar. Type 1 diabetes is typically treated with insulin, exercise and a diabetic diet. Type 2 diabetes is first treated with weight reduction, exercise and a diabetic diet, but if these measures fail to control the elevated blood sugars, medical doctors will prescribe oral medications. Then if all else fails, the patient will need to begin insulin treatment.
Chiropractic & Diabetes
We recommend that diabetic patients to receive regular chiropractic adjustments so the nervous systems communicate effectively and efficiently with the organ that produces insulin, the pancreas.
Build a healthy lifestyle that includes exercise, a diet consisting mainly of raw vegetables and organic meats and fish, and most importantly, reducing the intake of processed sugar, dairy and grains.
Research has shown that increasing your vitamin D intake, boosting your magnesium and limiting your fruits can help decrease your risks. Egg yolks and fatty fish are great food sources for vitamin D. To up your magnesium, include foods like spinach, kidney and black beans, lentils and quinoa. For low sugar fruits, stick to berries like raspberries, blackberries and cranberries. Avoid fruits with very high sugar levels like tangerines, cherries, grapes, mangoes and bananas.
Healthy lifestyle changes are absolutely critical for diabetes prevention—or to help pull your body into remission. Research has also shown that many type 2 diabetics have been able to eliminate insulin treatment due healthy lifestyle changes.
Get Checked & Spread the Word
With 29 million children and adults in the United States afflicted with diabetes—and 86 million more with prediabetes, we need to do all we can to spread the word on prevention. If you are over 45 years old, you should consider getting tested for diabetes and if you're under 45, but overweight and have an additional risk factor, you should also think about getting tested.
Visit www.diabetes.org for more information on what you can do in your community, and for additional support for those who have diabetes and those who want to decrease their risk of developing diabetes.
Make an appointment to talk to a chiropractic doctor about diabetes and chiropractic.
Read on to learn more:
The musculoskeletal effects of diabetes mellitus, The Journal of the Canadian Chiropractic Association, Mar. 2006
Association Between Complementary and Alternative Medicine Use, Preventive Care Practices, and Use of Conventional Medical Services Among Adults With Diabetes, Diabetes Care, American Diabetes Association, Jan. 2006
Use of complementary and alternative medicine among people living with diabetes: literature review, Journal of Advanced Nursing, May 2007
National Patterns and Correlates of Complementary and Alternative Medicine Use in Adults with Diabetes, The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, Nov. 2006