Diabetes mellitus is a chronic disease caused by inherited and/or acquired deficiency in production of insulin by the pancreas, or by the ineffectiveness of the insulin produced. Such a deficiency results in increased concentrations of glucose in the blood, which in turn damage many of the body's systems, in particular the blood vessels and nerves.
There are two principle forms of diabetes:
Certain genetic markers have been shown to increase the risk of developing Type 1 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes is strongly familial, but it is only recently that some genes have been consistently associated with increased risk for Type 2 diabetes in certain populations. Both types of diabetes are complex diseases caused by mutations in more than one gene, as well as by environmental factors.
Diabetes in pregnancy may give rise to several adverse outcomes, including congenital malformations, increased birth weight and an elevated risk of perinatal mortality. Strict metabolic control may reduce these risks to the level of those of non-diabetic expectant mothers.
Impaired glucose tolerance (IGT) and impaired fasting glycaemia (IFG) refer to levels of blood glucose concentration above the normal range, but below those which are diagnostic for diabetes. Subjects with IGT and/or IFG are at substantially higher risk of developing diabetes and cardiovascular disease than those with normal glucose tolerance. The benefits of clinical intervention in subjects with moderate glucose intolerance is a topic of much current interest.
Risk factors for diabetes depend on the type of diabetes.
Although the exact cause of type 1 diabetes is unknown, factors that may signal an increased risk include:
Researchers don't fully understand why some people develop prediabetes and type 2 diabetes and others don't. It's clear that certain factors increase the risk, however, including:
Any pregnant woman can develop gestational diabetes, but some women are at greater risk than are others. Risk factors for gestational diabetes include:
The symptoms of diabetes may be pronounced, subdued, or even absent.
Type 1 diabetes can't be prevented. However, the same healthy lifestyle choices that help treat prediabetes, type 2 diabetes and gestational diabetes can also help prevent them:
Lose excess pounds. If you're overweight, losing even 7 percent of your body weight — for example, 14 pounds (6.4 kilograms) if you weigh 200 pounds (90.7 kilograms) — can reduce the risk of diabetes.
Don't try to lose weight during pregnancy, however. Talk to your doctor about how much weight is healthy for you to gain during pregnancy.
To keep your weight in a healthy range, focus on permanent changes to your eating and exercise habits. Motivate yourself by remembering the benefits of losing weight, such as a healthier heart, more energy and improved self-esteem.
Sometimes medication is an option as well. Oral diabetes drugs such as metformin (Glucophage, Glumetza, others) may reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes — but healthy lifestyle choices remain essential. Have your blood sugar checked at least once a year to check that you haven't developed type 2 diabetes.
In general :
Long-term complications of diabetes develop gradually. The longer you have diabetes — and the less controlled your blood sugar — the higher the risk of complications. Eventually, diabetes complications may be disabling or even life-threatening. Possible complications include:
Nerve damage (neuropathy). Excess sugar can injure the walls of the tiny blood vessels (capillaries) that nourish your nerves, especially in your legs. This can cause tingling, numbness, burning or pain that usually begins at the tips of the toes or fingers and gradually spreads upward.
Left untreated, you could lose all sense of feeling in the affected limbs. Damage to the nerves related to digestion can cause problems with nausea, vomiting, diarrhea or constipation. For men, it may lead to erectile dysfunction.
Most women who have gestational diabetes deliver healthy babies. However, untreated or uncontrolled blood sugar levels can cause problems for you and your baby.
Complications in your baby can occur as a result of gestational diabetes, including:
Complications in the mother also can occur as a result of gestational diabetes, including:
Prediabetes may develop into type 2 diabetes.
HOMOEOPATHIC MANAGEMENT -
Diabetes mellitus* is a condition in which the normal mechanism of the body for controlling the level of glucose (sugar) in the blood stream has gone awry. A hormone called insulin, which is produced by the pancreas, is responsible for controlling the movement of sugar, in the form of glucose, across from the blood stream into the individual cells of the body. Intracellular glucose is the “fuel” of the cells, without which they cannot work. In diabetes, either the pancreatic beta cells fail, and thus insulin is not produced; or the body become insensitive to the action of insulin with the same end result. So diabetes is really a condition of “starvation in the midst of plenty” where the glucose piles up in the blood stream and spills over into the urine, but the individual cells are starved of glucose.
In the case of pancreatic beta cell failure, insulin is the only possible treatment, and must be given regularly by injection. This type of diabetes is known as type 1 diabetes or formerly “insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus”. Let me say at this point that there is no homeopathic alternative to insulin, although some remedies may help to reduce the insulin requirements. People with type 1 diabetes are often quite young at the time of diagnosis, and will often have lost a lot of weight before diagnosis is made.
In the case of the cells being resistant to insulin, management can often be achieved by a healthy diet, regular physical activity, drugs and sometimes insulin – this is type 2 diabetes and used to be known as “non-insulin dependent diabetes mellitus”. These people are often in their middle years at time of diagnosis, and are often overweight, and can thus be helped considerably by dieting and regular physical activity.
Management of diabetes
So where can homeopathy contribute to the management of diabetes? First of all, homeopathic treatment can help improve the general health of a person with diabetes. If a person with diabetes is in good health, his or her insulin requirements will be steady and the blood glucose well controlled. If the general health is poor, it can be very difficult to achieve good control.
This can be helped by administering a “constitutional” remedy, based on the totality of the patient’s symptoms and characteristics. The effect will be to improve the general sense of well-being, to improve diabetes control, and maybe to lower the insulin or drug requirements.
The remedy Syzygium (Jambol seeds) has a reputation for a specific effect on diabetes, and can be given in mother tincture, three drops daily in water. I cannot claim much success with this, but a veterinary colleague has reported excellent results in dogs.
Boericke’s Materia Medica mentions several other remedies, which cause diabetic symptoms, such as an increased urinary output and the presence of sugar in the urine (glycosuria), in their provings. Uranium nitricum is one of these, and it is associated with great emaciation and fluid retention, thirst, nausea and vomiting. It can be tried in low potency, twice daily.
Unfortunately, if the blood glucose level is not well controlled in diabetes, several serious complications can arise. It is important that people with diabetes have regular checks to detect any complications early. However, homeopathy can help to alleviate some of the symptoms of these complications.
The peripheral nerves can be damaged giving rise to blunting of sensation in the feet and hands. This can be dangerous because minor injuries, such as blisters, will not be felt and will thus be ignored. They can then progress to seriously infected ulcers which will take a long time to heal. I must stress that although homeopathic remedies can help here, they must be used in a complementary and not alternative way, because conventional medicines such as antibiotics may be vital to prevent gangrene from occurring.
The numbness may be helped by Conium (hemlock) especially if this is accompanied by weakness of body and mind, difficulty walking because of trembling and weakness, and dizziness.
Plumbum (lead) may be useful if the numbness is accompanied by hypersensitivity with neuralgic pains. These pains are better for hard pressure and rubbing, and worse at night.
The infected ulcers can be helped to heal by using Calendula (marigold) both externally as a lotion, and also internally, using a 6c potency twice daily.
The urine must be regularly checked for the presence of protein which would indicate that the kidneys have become affected. Good diabetes control will minimise the risk of kidney damage.
Unless severe damage has occurred, homeopathic remedies can help renal function. Apis mellifica (the honey bee) can stimulate a good urine flow and improve fluid retention. Natrum muriaticum (salt), Lycopodium (club moss) and Sulphur are all wonderful constitutional medicines which can improve renal function if the patient fits the type.
Although not a life-threatening complication, recurrent thrush can make life pretty miserable. Again good blood glucose control minimises the problem, but there are several homeopathic remedies which can help with the symptoms.
The one I most commonly use is a potency of the fungal organism itself, Candida. I use Candida 30c three times a day until the symptoms remit. This also tends to prevent recurrences.
Other useful remedies are:
Erectile dysfunction (impotence)
This is a problem that causes a lot of distress, and for which there is no easy conventional solution. Good diabetes control is of the essence, but homeopathic treatment can also help. Again, I would use a constitutional remedy wherever possible, with the addition of the following remedies in low potency:
People with diabetes in the past were put on diets rich in fats to compensate for the sugar and carbohydrate that they could not eat. It is now realised that this is not necessary and nowadays people with diabetes have much healthier diets, low in fats and with an average carbohydrate content. It is possible therefore that the high rate of atherosclerosis (furring of the arteries) seen in people with diabetes is as a result of their diet, and not of the disease itself. Atherosclerosis causes heart disease, stroke, poor circulation in the limbs and kidney damage. Hopefully the incidence of these complications will now reduce.
Most of the information has been collected from experience , different sources , books , newspapers, clinical cases etc for the benifit of humanity and guiding people to adapt the new way of disease free lifestyle.
Internationally renound Homeopath & nutritionist.