Diabetes is a chronic disease, in which the patient’s body does not produce a sufficient amount of insulin (a hormone of the pancreas which controls the conversion of sugars in the body), or the insulin is not effectively used in the body. Diabetes is then reflected in increased levels of sugar (glucose) levels. This disorder of carbohydrate metabolism may also affect the management of other nutrients and thus adversely affect our overall state of health. Over the time, this can lead to the development of a heart disease, kidney, eye and nerve damage etc.
Several types of Diabetes are known:
- Diabetes type 1 (dependent) – develops early in life, is caused by the pancreas no longer producing insulin. The individual is dependent on external insulin intake. It is a less common form of this disease.
- Diabetes type 2 (non dependent) – appears only after thirty years of age, constitutes approximately 90% of cases of diabetes. This kind of disease is independent of insulin and occurs because of impaired insulin release from pancreas or it’s reduced efficiency.
- Gestational diabetes – occurs in women during pregnancy. After pregnancy it gradually disappears.
The causes of diabetes are different – in the case of diabetes type 1, the pancreas ceases to produce insulin – this condition can occur after a viral infection, poisoning organism or genetic influences. Some scientists see the cause of this disease in autoimmune reaction in which the body attacks its own pancreatic cells. Patients must then take insulin for life.
Diabetes type 2 develops from insulin resistance – pancreas can produce insulin, but the body cells do not respond adequately to it. The most common cause of this type is obesity.
Gestational diabetes has been associated with the action of hormones, obesity and hereditary dispositions.
Classical treatment of diabetes type 1 consists mainly of controlled insulin dosage, adherence to diet and adequate physical activity. For type 2, diabetes diet is important – the foundation is to reduce the energetic value of the food, significant reduction of intake of simple sugars and saturated fats and regular intake of cereal foods and fresh vegetables.
The following supplements can be combined with the prescribed medicaion for both (I. and II.) types of Diabetes. During the use of certain products, it may be necessary to change the dose of insulin or drugs that lower bloog sugar – but such change must be approved by the attending physician.
B complex vitamins support the creation of enzymes that convert glucose into energy (a good source are B group vitamins derived from yeast).
GTF chromium (picolinate) improves insulin function and reduces bloog sugar and cholesterol levels.
Very effective ingredient are extracts from the indian plant Gymnema sylvestre – it contains the gymnemic acid that improves carbohydrate metabolism and reduces appetite for sweets. Regular consumption of fish oil (omega-3 fatty acids) increases HDL (beneficial) cholesterol in the blood and reduces the risk of atherosclerosis.