More people in the world today suffer from diabetes than ever before. If you are one of them, don’t lose hope. New methods for diagnosing, treating, and managing symptoms of diabetes are being discovered all the time. It’s easier than ever to live a long, healthy, happy life with diabetes.
Before we get into medications and treatments, let’s start by increasing our understanding of what diabetes is. This disease is characterized with abnormal levels of glucose in the blood. It is caused by the body’s inability to use insulin from the pancreas.
While your doctor may insist on conventional treatments, new diabetes research indicates that you need additional proactive approaches. For many patients, early detection of signs of the disease helps in preventing complications. Therefore, do not ignore any signs no matter how mild they are. This is especially true for people suffering from Diabetes Type 2.
When left untreated, the presence of high glucose in the blood causes damage to blood vessels and nerves. This in turn causes complications such as stroke, heart disease, kidney disease, dental diseases, blindness and even amputations.
Signs and Symptoms
The following are common signs and symptoms of the disease.
- Constant thirst
- Persistent urge to urinate
- A feeling of emptiness in the belly even after eating
- Blurred vision
- Extreme fatigue even when not working
- Loss of weight even when you are not dieting
- Bruises or wounds that do not heal fast
- Pain, tingling and numbness in the feet and hands
Conventional Treatment of Diabetes
Your doctor may not have told you about natural diabetes treatments. Instead, they may focus on conventional medications, which can introduce undesirable side effects. In fact, your doctor may prescribe a combination of several drugs depending on your blood sugar levels.
Common examples are Metformin, Meglitinides, Sulfonylureas, DPP-4 inhibitors, Thiazolidinedones and SGLT2 inhibitors. Others are GLP0-1 receptor agonists and insulin therapy. For overweight and obese patients, bariatric surgery may be an alternative. These conventional treatments are helpful and even necessary for many diabetics, but they’re not the only treatments available.
New Diabetes Research
New diabetes research has increased our understanding of the causes of and treatments for of diabetes. These studies might just unearth unique ways to control blood sugar. For example, a Senior Lecturer in Biomedical Science at UK’s Anglia Ruskin University led a team of researchers to investigate the effects of junk food.
Dr. Havovi Chichger, who also published the findings, used rodent models to demonstrate the effects of too much sugar and fat in the diet. They fed the rats with biscuits, chocolate bars, cheese and marshmallows for two months.
The researchers then examined the effects of these high fat and high sugar diets on the levels of blood sugar in the rodent’s kidneys. They discovered that diets with high fat and sugar caused a high increase in glucose receptors in the kidney.
The use of junk foods in the research perhaps demonstrates why diabetes is common in certain countries such as the US. Many people in these countries feed on highly greased foods, junk and processed foods.
Another new diabetes research highlights the connection between stress and Type 2 Diabetes. Dr. Rebecca Hasson, the Director Michigan University’s Childhood Disparities Research Laboratory worked with 150 obese teenagers. She says that teenagers are prone to biological storms in the form of stress.
To measure the levels of cortisol in the teenagers, she asked them to spit five times in test tubes at different times of the day. Cortisol is the hormone that deals with stress. Generally, the researcher discovered that Latino and African American children from her survey were exposed to high stressors as a result of their increased likelihood to be living in poverty or experiencing other life challenges.
This suggests that stress could directly accelerate the likelihood of having Type 2 Diabetes and the complications that it brings. If these studies are anything to go by, then you need to overhaul your procedures to treat or manage diabetes.
New Ways to Treat Diabetes
One study revealed that in 30 percent of diabetes patients, the efficiency of drugs reduced after few years of usage. This realization forced doctors to rethink the treatment approaches, and options have been discovered. These options can effectively be tailored to suit the needs of different patients.
For example, Dr. Nora Saul, the Manager of Education Services at the Joslin Diabetes Center recommends Byetta and Samlyn to be used where conventional treatments have little or no effect. In addition, the center recently announced four more drugs for the treatment and management of both types of diabetes: Onglyza, Tadjenta, Victoza and Bydureon.
She insists that new medications had to be sought since Type 2 Diabetes is progressive. While a drug may show positive signs in a patient, those signs wane as the disease enters a new level. While some patients report positive effects after insulin injections, some need additional oral medications to see any positive effect.
Unique Ways to Control Blood Sugar
Byetta is a new diabetes drug comes in form of an injection where patients have to take two shots in a day. It is especially ideal for people who have used oral medicines but have failed to their control of blood glucose.
It functions by mimicking incretin hormones, thus improving your control of blood glucose. Other benefits are the stimulation of insulin in the body and the assistance in emptying the stomach. As you feel full faster, the new drug actually aids weight loss. The only deterrent is the fact that it can cause nausea.
Victoza is supposed to be injected once a day at a certain time. On the other hand, doctors recommend the injection of Bydureon once in a week. These drugs have the same effects as Byetta.
Symlin is perhaps the most versatile of all new ways to treat diabetes. This is because patients of Type 1 can benefit just as those suffering from Type 2 diabetes. You should inject it during mealtimes.
Researchers caution you from mixing it with insulin in the same syringe. This will necessitate an extra injection. When used appropriately, it reduces spikes of blood glucose, helps you to reduce food intake and ultimately aids your weight loss.
Natural Diabetes Treatments
Tradjenta, Januvia and Onglyza are natural diabetes treatments meant to be taken once a day by patients with type 2 diabetes. While they do not cause weight gain, they slow down the breakdown of incretins, effectively releasing insulin for longer periods. Researchers say that these new treatments arm patients with a valuable arsenal against the complications of diabetes.
To complement your dietary intake, medical practitioners recommend a number of supplements. Chromium, Ginseng, Magnesium, Vanadium and Coenzyme Q10 are emerging as new ways to treat diabetes.
Other alternative natural diabetes treatments include acupuncture, guided imagery, yoga, meditation and biofeedback. Relaxation and traditional Chinese approaches such as yoga are also effective. As you focus on your inner self, you prevent stress and negative attitudes.
Take Charge of Your Life
You need to take charge and control your life to manage this disease. The New York State Department of Health states that exercise is a very important part of a diabetes treatment regimen.
You don’t have to hit the gym to get exercise. Walking, cycling and jogging are perhaps the least strenuous yet efficient exercises for diabetes patients. For this reason, walk to your friends or relatives houses to see them, as opposed to calling or emailing them. While there, engage in fun games and activities that reduce stress. Rather than hiring someone to wash your car, clean your house, or walk your dog, do these things yourself and enjoy the sense of accomplishment that accompanies them.
As you take your health in your hands, you will realize there are many unique ways to control blood sugar. Ultimately, you hold the key to your wellness, and not your doctor or medical insurance company. More importantly, stay updated with information on managing the disease, as researchers report new developments regularly.