Herbal Supplements
Diabetes and Herbal Remedies
Diabetes, so widespread and commonly known disease, develops when body does not produce or properly use insulin. This hormone hormone is responsible for converting sugar, starches and other food into energy needed for daily life. So far the cause of insulin’s dysfunction has not yet been discovered, although it is believed that genetics, environmental factors, obesity and lack of exercise define this disorder.
Diabetes affects both children and adults, and unfortunately huge number of population lives being unaware they have this disease.  
Fasting Plasma Glucose Test helps to define and diagnose diabetes. The disease is classified into 4 types.
Type 1 diabetes results from the body’s inability to produce insulin allowing glucose to enter the body cells. Type 2 diabetes results from insulin resistance when the body still produces the hormone, but not properly. It is the most spread type of diabetes. Gestational diabetes affects pregnant women. Pre-diabetes occurs when the glucose levels in blood of the person are higher than normal, but not as high as in patients diagnosed with Type 2. It is also a spread type of the condition.
The first signs if diabetes are excessive thirst and appetite, increased urination and unusual weight loss or gain. Fatigue, nausea and vomiting may be confused with the symptoms of other conditions and need to be paid special attention to. Women should consider the chance of diabetes in case of frequent vaginal infections.
Other signs of diabetes include blurred vision, dry mouth, slow healing of sores and cuts, itching skin in the groin or vaginal area. A potentially deadly complication of type 1 diabetes is ketoacidosis. The patient experiences weakness, excessive thirst, frequent urination, abdominal pain, the breathing becomes deep and rapid, there may appear the sweet breath smelling like nail polish remover. This condition requires immediate medical attention.
Diabetes includes a complex of diseases that is caused by problems with the hormone insulin. Generally, obesity and lack of physical activity are two of the most common causes for development of type 2 diabetes. The problem with insulin production is caused by the pancreas dysfunction or body’s resistance to insulin. In these cases glucose is built up in blood instead of being processed in body cells to enable their proper functioning.
Traditional Approaches
For people with type 1 diabetes daily injections of insulin is the basic procedure to enable body with proper functioning. Types of insulin vary in the length of action and are usually only taken 2-3 times a day around mealtimes. For patients with type 2 diabetes insulin injections are not obligatory and medications depend on blood glucose levels. The medications that lower blood sugar levels include sulfonylureas, biguanides, alpha-glucosidase inhibitors, thiazolidinediones, meglitinides, and the variety of insulin types.
Alternative Approaches
Researches prove that some herbal preparations reveal beneficial qualities for treating diabetes.
Ginkgo biloba extract, for example, is effective useful for prevention and treatment of early-stage diabetic neuropathy and is able to significantly improve measures of color vision in patients with early diabetic retinopathy. Side effects if gingko biloba may give you dizziness, gastrointestinal upset, palpitations, constipation, or allergic skin reactions.
Pterocarpus marsupium has a long history of use foe diabetes treatment in Indian herbal medicine. The extracts of this tree are able to regenerate functional pancreatic beta cells. This action has not been noted from any other drug or natural agent.
Bitter melon (or balsam pear) fresh juice or the extract from unripe fruit are used against diabetes in Asia, Africa and South America. Active compounds of this plant are charantin, extracted by alcohol, and momordica, containing an insulin-like polypeptide. The former one contains hypoglycaemic agent composed of mixed steroids that is more potent than some types of the drugs used for the treatment of this condition. The latter chemical is beneficial because of polypeptide-P which lowers blood sugar levels in type 1 diabetic patients.
Blueberry leaves containmyrtillin that possesses insulin-like effects, but is less toxic and its effects last longer (up to several weeks). The chemicals in blueberry also act against free-radical damage, strengthen vascular system and treat eye diseases, including diabetic retinopathy.
Asian Ginseng is the herb widely used in Chinese medicine. It enhances the release of insulin from the pancreas and increases the number of insulin receptors. Moreover, ginseng possesses direct blood sugar-lowering effects. Other diabetes herbs to consult about with your herbalist include stevia, gymnema sylvestre, and fenugreek.
2011-05-29 05:58:55
what about aegle marmaleous can v use for diabetic
2010-09-16 10:30:55
what about holy basil?
2009-03-19 15:36:42
This is the first I heard about chinese herbs for type 2 diabetes. What herb out of the many do you suggest for lowering sugar the besr.
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