Diabetes is a group of diseases that cause high blood glucose (often called “blood sugar”). When we eat anything made of sugar, it is broken down by digestion into tiny particles that enter our blood. Then a hormone called insulin sends a message to our cells to absorb the sugar. But when this process doesn’t work right it remains in the bloodstream and can lead to health problems.
High Blood Sugar
Our bodies are in a constant battle to remain stable. It is sort of like walking on a balance beam, but when this stability is lost, health problems result. Blood sugar is particularly important with regards to stability and when it gets out of whack, especially over and over for a long period of time, you can end up with all sorts of problems. For example, you could have issues your eyes, blood vessels and nerves that can lead to kidney problems, foot pain, wounds that won’t heal and even strokes and heart attacks! 1
Type 1 Vs. Type 2 Diabetes
When you have Type 1 diabetes, it is because the cells that normally produce insulin have been destroyed. Usually this is because of an autoimmune disorder in which your own immune system kills off these cells. When this happens of course, your other cells never get the message to absorb glucose and blood sugar stays high. Since there is no cure for type 1, victims must inject themselves with insulin every time they eat. 2
Type 2 is far more common and can happen for two reasons. First, cells may not react to the insulin that is released. Second, not enough insulin may be released in the first place. In either case, blood sugar remains high. It is a common disease today because it shares a strong association with being overweight or obese. There are also various drugs and treatments available for Type 2. 3
Natural Treatments for Diabetes
As mentioned earlier, there is no cure for type 1 diabetes aside from insulin injections. However, there are some natural treatments for type 2 diabetes that may help. So here are a few:
Change your diet/lose weight
Although consuming sugar might not directly cause the disease, a diet high in calories that causes weight gain can. 4
Take alpha lipoic acid
There is some evidence that this antioxidant may prevent some of the secondary effects caused by diabetes. In addition, it might also help your body control blood sugar better. 5, 6
Eat more cinnamon
This common herb enhances insulin activity. It also may improve your body’s ability to use glucose properly. 7 But for some folks this may not be realistic and a supplemental cinnamon product will do just fine.
Those that exercise regularly are much less likely to get diabetes. Exercise improves your body’s ability to control blood sugar and helps you maintain a healthy weight. 8 So the more you are active, the better.
Can Chiropractic Help With Diabetes?
There is no evidence at this time that chiropractic has a direct effect on diabetes. However, your chiropractor may be able to help you make good lifestyle choices that will help you manage better. Also, a regular adjustment may help and provide more motivation to be active.