With over 2 million new cases every year and 8.3% of the population suffering from diabetes, we are compelled to take a deeper look at the ailment that plagues so many in this country. Let us begin by distinguishing between type 1 and type 2, for it is type 2 that is most predominant and most preventable, accounting for over 95% of all diabetes cases. Type 2 diabetes could be labeled a ‘self-created monster, ‘ when realizing how crucial diet is tied to it’s manifestation.
According the to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Type 2 diabetes can be prevented and controlled through “healthy food choices, physical activity, and weight loss.” With over 26 million people in this country battling such an easily preventable and curable issue, what is stopping America from becoming diabetes-free?
Walk down any grocery aisle in almost every supermarket in the nation, pick up a box or can and read the label. You would be hard-pressed to find a label that did not say ‘sugar’ on it, at least somewhere in the ingredient list, if not the first or second item. We are overwhelmed with sugar in this country: sugary soda’s, sweet cereals, sugar in our creamers, sugar in yogurt, sugar in tomato sauce, dried fruit coated with sugar, nuts and sugar, sugar added to juice, to peanut butter, to everything! You can hardly get away from it when you try. We are also a dessert eating people in this country, the temptation for cookies, brownies, cakes and pies are everywhere.
Sugar is not the only culprit in contributing to diabetes type 2, but it is one of the largest. Other problem foods are white flour items such as breads, pastas, crackers and cereals as well as other simple carb foods like potatoes. Carbs immediately turn into simple sugars in our bodies and are usually accompanied by the processed refined sugars as well. Those who are eating processed, packaged white flour products, potatoes and sugary snacks are usually lacking in healthier items such as fresh vegetables, whole grains, nuts and seeds.
We have created a culture where it is nearly impossible to eat healthy, from day one. Babies are offered sips of soft drinks, toddlers snack on sugary cereals and sugar-laden lunches. Kindergartners are sent home with sweets as ‘treats’, churches reward children for ‘good behavior’ similarly. Fast food restaurants spot the country side offering little beyond diabetes-promoting foods such as sodas, white flour buns and french fries. What are we to do? Our coffee gets sugar, our pasta has sugar, our bodies are processing simple carbohydrates and sugars at an alarming rate!
A very important factor in helping to combat all this sugar is exercise. Sedentary folks are more likely to develop type 2 diabetes because our bodies need movement, oxygen and internal massage in order to properly perform all of its functions. Think about your glands, who don’t have muscles of their own, just sitting there accumulating toxins. When we move and exercise we also massage, twist and cleanse our glands and organs so they can detox, receive more blood supply and reset. The simple act of increasing your heart rate for even 5 minutes per day can do wonders for the entire body, including the vital organs that prevent diabetes.
In this culture we are too much a ‘t.v. people.’ We spend hours per day in front of computers and televisions and forget to stand up, stretch and get some much needed oxygen. In so many ways, diabetes 2 is a self-created monster, as it could be prevented by proper self-care.
What else can we do?
There are several herbs being used today in the prevention and treatment of type 2 diabetes, such as cinnamon, chamomile and tulsi – or holy basil. Tulsi is an Ayurvedic herb from India and for centuries has been called ‘the king of herbs.’ Tulsi is famous for it’s adaptogenic properties as it helps the body and its systems modify and shift according to stress – in other words, it helps the body ‘normalize.’ Studies have shown that tulsi has the ability to lower blood sugar without causing a ‘sudden or drastic decline.’
Chamomile also has been tested for it’s blood-sugar lowering properties with much success. It may be useful in preventing the onset of diabetes or in keeping blood-sugar levels under control. This herb does have anti-coagulation properties much like tulsi does, so if you are on blood thinners, it is a good idea to consult a professional about using these or other herbs to help with diabetes.
Cinnamon is getting high regards in the press these days for it’s effect with lowering blood sugars effectively. In studies where patients were given 1 gram of cinnamon per day for 40 days, blood sugar levels dropped by 24%.
Diet, herbs and exercise are not the only factors to consider when hoping to reverse the self-created monster of diabetes, or prevent it all together. Many metaphysical practitioners suggest that the real cause behind type 2 diabetes is usually a significant event or ‘trigger’ in which the person feels like ‘all the sweetness has been removed from life.’ This initial cause then later leads to the actual physical symptoms and problems associated with the dis-ease. It is recommended to look back into ones life to a time when this emotion might have been felt to begin the healing process and the reversal of such bodily response. It is said that those who lose their joy of life are more susceptible to developing a serious illness like diabetes.
In order to stay healthy and fit with optimal blood sugar levels and avoid the possibility of creating a monster such as diabetes into your system, it is vital to address your diet, lifestyle and emotions and not to neglect the most important part of life – joy.
Written by: Stasia Bliss