Diabetes: What is it?The following information is for educational purposes only and is meant to
complement any medical treatment, not to prescribe or diagnose any condition.
Please consult with your doctor before starting any medical or nutritional program.
With the invention of all our modern and refined processing for foods we have seen
an increase in diabetes in our world. Some of the races that have diabetes in large
numbers are the Hawaiians and the Native American Indians. Their bodies have a
hard time adapting to the modern foods. More than any other disease, diabetes can
be managed quite well with nutrition.
There are two types of diabetes: the first, diabetes insipidus, is more rare and has to
do with a deficiency in the pituitary hormone called vasopressin. The other
possibility is that the kidneys have an inability to respond properly to that hormone.
People with this form of diabetes have several symptoms that make it stand out:
they have tremendous thirst and they urinate large amounts regardless of how
much they drink, and this shows us the weakness in the kidneys.
Diabetes Mellitus Type I is often called insulin-dependent diabetes It occurs at a
young age and is sometimes called "Juvenile Diabetes." It is often caused by a viral
attack on the system, but most experts are of the opinion that the body's immune
system is weak when this occurs. With the destruction of the beta cells in the
pancreas which manufactures the insulin, the body is unable to utilize glucose, the
main food for the body. Consequently, the level of glucose is high in the blood since
the body can't absorb it. This is often called "insulin resistance." The diabetic's
blood becomes "too thick" or "sticky" and this causes blood clots or thromboses that
damage blood vessels.
This can lead to the creation of excessive levels of free radicals (oxidants which
break down the body faster) and makes the person more susceptible to the
following problems: Diabetics have a larger risk of kidney disease, arteriosclerosis,
blindness, heart disease or nerve diseases, as well as being more prone to
infections. This is because of their body's resistance to insulin, which is the
hormone that actually drives the glucose into the tissue and cells as a nutrient.
When this does not happen the body becomes metabolically weak. The glucose
molecules engage in an abnormal coupling with body proteins, a step called
"glycosylation." Consequently, this disrupts the protein's ability to function
biochemically and further weakens the immune system.
Some of the more common symptoms are abnormal thirst, again; irritability;
weakness; fatigue; excessive urination; extreme loss of appetite or excessive
hunger, and in the worst cases, vomiting and nausea. Some of these diabetics can
have hyperglycemia type symptoms, which is too much glucose in their blood or at
other times hypoglycemia when there is too low blood sugar. Both conditions can be
serious. The worst of all these conditions is hypoglycemia, which can come from
just missing a meal, or too much exertion or an insulin overdose. The symptoms
could be dizziness, confusion, excessive sweating, and if not treated may lead to a
coma. With hyperglycemia it could look the same as far as the symptoms, with not
being able to keep down fluids as one of the danger signs. This means there is too
much blood sugar in the system. It is more common during an illness and could also
result in a coma. These two can be serious medical emergencies with life and death
A poor diet may be one of the biggest factors leading to diabetes. It often occurs
with people who are overweight or who eat a diet high in refined sugar, highly
processed foods, low in fiber, with too many complex carbohydrates and with too
much meat, and who don't exercise.
The second category is Type II or non-insulin dependent diabetes, and more often
occurs when people are older, and usually with people whose family may have a
history of diabetes. This disorder is a little different in that the pancreas does
produce insulin, but for some reason the insulin is not effective. Some of the
common symptoms are poor vision; fatigue; frequent urination; skin infections, and
slow healing of wounds as well as unusual thirst, drowsiness, and tingling or
numbness in the feet. This disease is also linked to a poor diet. The National
Institute of Health says that there are twenty to twenty-five million people with
diabetes type problems, many have undetected Type II (some five million). Diabetes
is the third leading cause of death in America. It can be detected with a simple urine