Diabetes Treatment: A Look At Conventional And Natural Options

Diabetes treatment may include both natural and conventional options.  Treatment depends on the type of diabetes mellitus (type 1 or type 2), as well as other factors such as age, the severity of the disease and other (related or unrelated) medical conditions.

Diabetes Treatment

Treatment of diabetes is most effective when the disease is detected early.  Early detection provides the best opportunity for effective treatment, which can significantly reduce the risk of long-term complications.

Additionally, other contributing risk factors such as obesity and high cholesterol levels can be addressed, to minimize the risk of other serious associated conditions, such as heart disease.

Benefits of Early Diabetes Treatment

Uncontrolled diabetes usually results in numerous long-term complications.  These complications arise, primarily, because of damage to small blood vessels (microvascular disease) as well as damage to large blood vessels (macrovascular disease).

Microvascular disease can result in kidney failure and neuropathy (nervous system damage).  Neuropathy can cause loss of feeling and numbness in different parts of the body, as well as sexual dysfunction.  In severe cases, the eyes may also be affected (retinopathy), leading to visual impairment and blindness.

Cardiovascular disease is the most common manifestation of large blood vessel damage, which can lead to strokes, heart attacks and aneurysms.  The best defences against these long-term complications are early detection and effective control and treatment of diabetes.

The treatment of diabetes depends on the stage (severity) of the disease, the type of diabetes and whether there are any associated disorders.  Each person's medical circumstances are likely to be different, hence the need to tailor diabetes treatment to suit individual requirements.  Generally, though, treatment of diabetes tends to include some natural and/ or conventional options.

Natural Diabetes Treatment Options

  1. Diet - Special attention must be given to the types and quantities of foods consumed by someone affected by diabetes.

    Healthy Diet

    Diet plays a pivotal role in effective diabetes treatment, since the foods we consume have a direct impact on blood glucose levels.

    When healthy eating is combined with other healthy life-style practices (such as regular exercise), it provides enormous health benefits.

    Each patient should have their diets specially tailored, by a registered dietitian, to ensure that they are eating the foods that are most beneficial to them, given the stage and type of their diabetes and any other health conditions. A dietitian will normally conduct a complete analysis of the patient's medical history and profile, and recommend an appropriate diabetes diet suitable for each patient's unique circumstances.

  2. Exercise - Exercise is an essential element of diabetes treatment and control.

    Walking Exercise

    Apart from helping to control blood glucose levels, there are many other health benefits of regular physical activities.

    For persons affected by type 2 diabetes, exercise is directly beneficial to insulin cell receptors, which help to reduce insulin resistance. Additionally, exercise aids in weight loss, helps to lower high blood pressure and increases the efficiency of the cardio vascular system.

    The benefits of regular exercise are enormous. Every diabetic patient should talk to his or her doctor about implementing an appropriate exercise program.

  3. Natural, alternative treatment options - There is a growing interest in natural, alternative treatment options for diabetes.

    More and more people are embracing alternative options for treatment of diabetes and other medical conditions, as it offers a more holistic and natural option, without many of the side-effect of conventional treatment options.

    Herbal treatment is the predominant alternative treatment for diabetes and other health conditions. Alternative treatments also tend to include dietary and lifestyle adjustments and food supplements.

    Supplements may include omega-3 fatty acids, magnesium, vitamin B6, vitamin C and Zinc, among others. Some patients have reported very satisfactory results with alternative diabetes treatment options, with little to no side-effects.

    If you take oral medication and/ or insulin it is advisable to first check with your health care provider if you decide to use alternative remedies. Although herbal remedies tend to interact well with prescription and over-the-counter medicines, it is always advisable to consult your doctor before incorporating alternative medicines to supplement conventional treatment. This allows the doctor to assess the relative safety of the alternative treatment and to also monitor its effectiveness, over time.

    In fact, if the alternative medicine proves to be very effective, the doctor may reduce (or discontinue) the dosage of the conventional medicine.

Conventional Diabetes Treatment

  • Insulin treatment - Individuals affected by type 1 diabetes must take insulin daily, since their body is unable to make its own.


    This, however, is not the case with individuals who have type 2 diabetes.

    Their bodies can produce insulin but cannot effectively use it. Sometimes, though, they may require an insulin boost to help keep their blood glucose level within the normal range.

    Insulin must be administered by injection... It cannot be taken orally. The appropriate dosage and frequency with which insulin should be administered is determined by the patient's doctor.

  • Oral medication - In some cases, lifestyle adjustments (i.e. exercise, weight loss and diet modification) do not adequately lower the blood glucose level of some persons with diabetes.

    Diabetes Oral Medication

    When this happens, persons with type 1 diabetes usually require insulin treatment and those with type 2 diabetes may require oral medication (medication taken by mouth) and, in some cases, insulin medication.

    Oral medication is a primary diabetes treatment for persons with type 2 diabetes. This helps their bodies to utilize insulin more efficiently. There are many different types of oral diabetic medications. The doctor will prescribe the one(s) he or she feels will be the most effective.

Whether you decide to use conventional and/ or natural (alternative) diabetes treatment, it is important to remember that effective results can only be achieved through discipline and consistency.  The long-term effects of diabetes can be significantly reduced with regular exercise, a healthy diet, regular blood glucose monitoring and regular consultations with your doctor.

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