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Category: Diabetic Articles (Page 2 of 7)

An Apple A Day Keeps the Doctor Away

As the cooler fall temperatures replace the sweltering summer heat, there is no better time to enjoy this season’s bounty of delicious, juicy apples!

You may be familiar with the expression of eating an apple a day will keep the doctor away. There is growing evidence to justify the health benefits of consuming this shiny, crispy fruit.

An apple is the perfect treat to satisfy your sweet tooth.

Packed with phytonutrients (helps defend against environmental challenges) , apples can help you maintain healthy blood sugar levels.

Apples have antioxidants that can help reduce glucose absorption and stimulate insulin receptors.

Research indicates that polyphenols* in an apple can have a positive effect on insulin sensitivity and carbohydrate metabolism.

Apples are also an excellent source of the fiber called pectin, which works together with polyphenols and can help reduce triglycerides.

Research suggests that it is best to consume apples in their whole food form. Recent studies compared the intake of whole apples to the intake of applesauce and apple juice. The researchers discovered that less hunger and greater satisfaction was reported after consuming the whole apple.

Additionally, when eating a medium apple about 15 minutes prior to a meal, calorie intake of that meal decreased by 15 percent. Whole apples take longer to chew and eating the skin contributes to a higher fiber intake.

So go ahead and enjoy biting into a great Granny Smith or if you prefer a mouthwatering Macintosh, whatever kind of apple your taste buds like!


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Lowering Blood Pressure: The Medications and the Natural Treatments

The Medications

If you take blood pressure medications to address hypertension, you will need to take a blood pressure lowering drug for the rest of your life. These medications do not change the underlying reason that the blood pressure is high and so you have to take the medications continuously for them to work.

These drugs are attempting to address the reason for hypertension, which is the small smooth muscles inside your arteries that tense up. When these muscles tense up, the arteries become narrower, more rigid and less flexible. These medications will lower pressure by slowing your heart beat, or interfering with nerve impulses to your arteries, or removing water from your body, or blocking biochemical reactions, or preventing calcium from entering the cells that make up the walls of your arteries.

Blood Pressure medications alter basic body functions not only in the blood vessels but other parts of the body as well. Because all of the body’s systems work together, these drugs can create a wide array of side effects.

There are different types of blood pressure medications.

Beta-blockers: Are used to control irregular heartbeats. These drugs limit the ability of the heart to beat faster and as a result they reduce the ability of the person to physically respond to “fight or flight” during an emergency. Fatigue is a side effect. Beta Blockers can increase the risk of Type 2 diabetes.

ACE Inhibitors: Lowers blood pressure by decreasing certain substances in the blood that tighten the blood vessels. It will dilate the blood vessels so the blood will flow more smoothly and the heart can pump blood more effectively using less pressure. Common side effects are violent cough, dizziness, fatigue and flu like symptoms. It can also produce a pounding or uneven heart beat.

Diuretics: Stimulates the kidneys to flush excess fluid and sodium out of the body. Less blood volume allows the heart to move the blood easier. Side effects are loss of potassium, dry mouth, dehydration, and raised blood sugar levels.

Calcium Channel Blockers: Keeps the blood vessels and heart from absorbing calcium, which causes the blood vessels to contract. Common side effects are headache, nausea, constipation, rash, dizziness and fluid retention.

Alpha Blockers: Stops certain nerve impulses to the blood vessels causing the vessels to relax. Common side effects are low blood pressure, dizziness, headache, pounding heartbeat, nausea, fatigue, fluid retention and an increase of the cholesterol levels in the blood.

Vasodilators: Cause the muscles in the blood vessels to relax, preventing the muscles from tightening and the walls of the blood vessels from narrowing. Side effects are headache, nasal congestion, chest pain, rapid heartbeat, pounding heartbeat, fluid retention and dizziness.

It is often recommended to take two or three of these drugs at the same time, which creates even more side effects as a result of the chemical interactions between the medications.

Natural Treatments: Addressing the underlying cause of the high blood pressure

Since blood pressure is affected by the small smooth muscles that line the inside walls of your blood vessels, the reason that these muscles tense up needs to be addressed.

The Reason: The loss of vital minerals by poor diet, nutritional deficiencies, being overweight, alcohol and caffeine in excess, emotional and physical stress and being diabetic results in these small muscles tensing up.

It is the replacement of vital minerals to your body that is essential to the natural and effective control of blood pressure by relaxing the blood vessels and making them supple again.

Taking the vitamins and minerals your body is deficient in will naturally relax the muscles, relax the blood vessels and lower the blood pressure.

Magnesium is a key mineral. The body needs a proper balance of potassium, sodium and calcium. When the body is deficient in magnesium, the balance is disrupted.

We can’t get enough magnesium in our food supply as the soil is depleted of magnesium, and other vital minerals. Thus, supplementing your diet with whole food nutrients that will nourish the cells of your arteries will naturally lower blood pressure.

Where can you get these minerals?

How can you lower your blood pressure levels naturally without having to use additional drugs or medications.

The Blood Vessel Support Formula is a medical food specifically formulated for the dietary management of hypertension (high blood pressure). It is a unique combination of vitamins, minerals and herbs in a new and special form, and in sufficient dosage to provide your body with the nutritional support it needs to slow, stop and reverse high blood pressure.

For more information go here to get the Blood Vessel Support Formula


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Fish Oil and Nerve Pain Relief

Nerve pain, which is also referred to as neuralgia, is pain that follows the pathway of the nerve. It can have many different causes.

Sometimes a injury or site along the nerve pathway can be identified. There are many causes and it can be from inflammation, compression of the nerve, tissue damage from accident or surgery or tumors can cause nerve pain.

Nerve pain can cause discomfort in the face and surface of the eye. Other types of nerve pain are triggered by specific conditions, such as shingles, anemia, bacterial infections and diabetes. Chemicals such as those used in chemotherapy create nerve pain.

Neuralgia often develops into a condition called neuropathic pain. When this becomes chronic, it can cause damage to the myelin sheath that surrounds and insulates the sensory nerves or the motor nerves.

Then, just like an electrical circuit with exposed wiring, nerves that shouldn’t be communicating directly with each other cross paths and create the wrong signals being sent.

Dr. Gorgon Ko describes several case studies of chronic pain in the February 2010 “Clinical Journal of Pain.” Five patients with neuropathic pain experienced lasting relief by taking high dosages of EPA and DHA. Dosages of 2,400 to 7,200 mg a day contributed to improvements that were maintained for as long as 19 months”

It then follows that the higher the Omega-3 (EPA & DHA) content of the fish oil, the more it will nutritionally support and help your body to maintain normal nerve function.

* Average fish oil has 300 mg (EPA & DHA) Omega-3s.
* Higher Quality fish oil has 600 mg (EPA & DHA) Omega-3s.

Not all fish oils are the same. The highest quality fish oil comes from cold water fish, and the best cold water fish oil comes from the deep cold waters off the Norwegian coast. Cold water fish from deep waters have less exposure to toxins that are in the more shallow waters.

If the label does not state “cold water,” it is low quality warm water fish oil.

Omega 3 – The Missing Nutrients
800 mg EPA & 400 mg DHA
Enteric Coated – Citrus Flavor
Cold Water Fish Oil


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High Blood Pressure and Type II Diabetes

High blood pressure commonly occurs to diabetics. In truth, diabetes and high blood sugar levels are really only two of the many symptoms caused by insulin resistance.

Insulin resistance is caused by a diet that is too high in carbohydrates over a long period of time. In an attempt to keep blood sugar levels in a normal range the body produces increased levels of insulin.

Increased insulin levels can cause blood pressure to increase in one or both of the following ways:

The arteries of the body are normally like soft flexible rubber tubes. Each time the heart pumps the arteries expand slightly to maintain the blood pressure within normal levels.

The arteries are lined with smooth muscle tissue. High insulin levels promote the strengthening and thickening of smooth muscle tissue. This results in the walls of the arteries becoming thicker and more rigid. Thus when the heart beats the arteries can no longer expand as well as before and the blood is now forced through a narrower tube resulting in higher blood pressure levels.

Another way blood pressure levels go up is that insulin resistance (high insulin levels) promotes the buildup of plaque within the arteries of the body (atherosclerosis). This has been observed in numerous clinical trials and long-term studies. As plaque builds up within the arteries, the opening for blood to flow through the arteries becomes narrower, the heart must beat harder, resulting in raised blood pressure levels.

In some cases people will develop high blood pressure before developing high blood sugar levels. In other cases high blood sugar levels show up first, which is followed by high blood pressure levels.

To lower high blood pressure levels, most doctors prescribe one or more pharmaceutical drugs. These drugs can often artificially lower the blood pressure levels, but they do not address or correct that which is causing the blood pressure to be high in the first place — the high insulin levels in the body. This results in people often having to take blood pressure medications for life and never being rid of the problem.

The reason that blood pressure medications are normally by prescription only is that they can be lethal if taken incorrectly.

This is clearly covered in the following excerpt by two professionals in the medical field:

“A type of therapy used by the majority of physicians in our country for the past forty years is the administration of drugs at sublethal levels. Drugs, of course, are alien chemicals that are not normally present in the cellular environment of the human body. They radically alter man’s biochemical-physiological internal environment and often occasion very severe side effects. Needless to say, drugs do not halt or prevent the disease process, especially degenerative disease; at best they offer symptomatic relief, while the fundamental, underlying disease process continues uninterrupted.”

excerpted from Brain Allergies
by William H. Philpott, M.D. & Dwight K. Kalita, Ph.D.

Diabetes and its many symptoms can be turned around and your overall health improved by getting onto a high protein/low carbohydrate diet, taking the correct nutritional supplements, and putting a little exercise into your life!


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Are You Getting the Information You Need from Your Doctor

When you or a loved one becomes ill, it is usual to turn to the family doctor or specialist for advice. But if the recommended solution for the illness gives you concern or just doesn’t make sense to you, what should you do?

You should find another health professional that will direct you to a course of action (who will explain it in a way that you can fully understand) that makes complete sense to you.

Remember, if a person cannot explain something to you in a way that you can understand and that makes sense to you, that person really doesn’t understand it himself or herself.

But how can it be that doctors will direct patients to do something that that they themselves do not really fully understand, or is not in the best interest of the patient?

We hear how this can come about from one of the most highly regarded doctors in the medical profession today, from an article entitled:

Conformity* of Thought Among Doctors

[*Definition – Conform: bring into agreement; make similar.]

“More than any other profession, medicine develops, even demands, conformity among its practitioners. The concept of ‘accepted practices’ carries considerable weight in the medical profession.”

“For the young physician, the pressures of conformity start in medical school and are intensified in the training programs that follow.”

“The amount of material that a medical student or a training physician is expected to learn and understand, in addition to the time that he or she must spend caring for patients, is so large, that little time can be spent asking whether what is being taught is the best approach to a particular problem.”

“Since there is general conformity of medical practices and education across the country, there is little reason for the physician in training to have any doubts that he or she is learning the superior, if not the only, method of treating our common diseases.”

“After completion of medical training, conformity is necessary to receive hospital privileges and to acquire patients by referral from other doctors. The fear of disapproval from other physicians may sometimes be greater than the desire to do what seems best for the patient.”

“This fear is justified, for nonconforming physicians can be stripped of their ability to practice medicine regardless of the benefit their patients may be receiving from their particular approach.”

“Therefore, conforming to today’s accepted practices ensures a degree of safety for the physician. Regardless of the outcome of a therapy, good or bad, physicians are above blame if they have complied with the currently accepted approaches.”

“They can take comfort knowing that they did ‘what was considered best.’ This of course could be true, but what was thought best at any time in history is only just that – what was thought best at that time.”

“It bears repeating: The history of medicine, even to the present day, is as much a sequence of failures abandoned as well as successes built upon. Yet each ‘abandoned failure’ was strongly believed in and practiced in its day.”

“Even modern medicine is constantly cleaning house. It is estimated that 50 percent of all accepted medical practices are abandoned or replaced by safer or more effective ones every 20 years!”

“Until then, whatever is the ‘accepted practice’ of the day will be dispensed [Definition: provide to a number of people.] with enthusiasm and confidence by most physicians.”

“It is not hard to see, therefore, how something as simple as looking to diet and exercise as the first-line, even superior, therapy for the diabetic could be ignored, even belittled, given the present enthusiasm for drugs and technology that is brought about by medical training and continued by the forces of professional conformity.”

excerpted from Reversing Diabetes
by Julian M. Whitaker, M.D.

Always be willing to ask questions and demand answers, and demand that the answers make sense to you. If your doctor can’t explain what you want to know, or “does not have the time”, then it’s time for you to find another doctor who will and can. Do not allow yourself to settle for second-class service or a second-class doctor.


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What is Pre-Diabetes or Insulin Resistance?

Other than the genes you inherited, there are two primary causes of insulin resistance:

1) A long-term diet that has been high in carbohydrates and
2) Nutritional deficiencies.

When you eat, your body breaks the food down into sugar (glucose), which then enters your blood stream. When the glucose in the blood increases, the body produces insulin to push the sugar out of your bloodstream and into the cells where it can be used. When insulin is doing its job, it will keep your blood sugar in normal range.

The human body evolved eating meat, fat and high fiber vegetables, with some roots and tubers.

Eight thousand years ago the “agricultural revolution” took place, with man learning how to domesticate grain. Virtually overnight, man became dependant upon carbohydrates as the main source of food. Archeologists point to that exact time period that the average height of man drops by two inches and all of the degenerative diseases we have today became prevalent in the society of that time.

Carbohydrates are simply long chains of sugar molecules hooked end-to-end. When a person eats carbohydrates their normal digestive process breaks up these chains into the individual sugar molecules, and they pass right through the intestinal wall into the bloodstream, and load up the bloodstream with sugar.

If this happened every once in a while it would not be a problem. But as diets today are so high in carbohydrates, people have a constant high level of sugar pouring into their bloodstream year after year.

This requires the body to continuously produce high levels of insulin to keep that sugar level down. (Remember, Insulin’s job is to push sugar out of the bloodstream into the cells where it is used for energy.)

Eventually the cells in the body become insensitive to the effects of the insulin. There are little doors to the cell (called “cell receptors”) where insulin pushes the glucose into the cell. When these cell receptors become insensitive to the insulin, insulin cannot open these doors. This is called insulin resistance.

To handle this problem the body begins to produce even higher levels of insulin. This continues until their pancreas (where insulin is made) reaches the maximum amount of insulin it can produce, and when the insulin resistance of the cells increases again, the blood sugar begins to rise out of control.

The result is type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes is actually an extreme case of insulin resistance.

When the body has become insulin resistant, the body needs a low carb pre diabetes diet to maintain normal bloods sugars and needs specific nutrients supplements to re-sensitize the cell receptors of the body to the insulin the body is making.


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Your Nerves and Vitamins

Your Nerves and Vitamins

The daily intake of vitamins, minerals and other nutrients affects the ability of the nervous system to perform its many necessary functions. There are several vitamins and minerals that directly influence nervous system functioning and health, and it is important to see to it that these are taken at adequate levels.

Because of the fact that commercial farmland today is extremely depleted of minerals, eating fresh fruits and vegetables nowadays no longer ensures that you will receive the vitamins and minerals that your body needs to maintain health and vigor. Because of this, most people supplement with vitamins and minerals.

Unfortunately, most of the vitamin and mineral supplements one finds in drug stores and health food shops are just isolated man-made chemicals, and they are not even close to the real vitamins and minerals found in fresh fruits and vegetables.

To be effectively absorbed and utilized by the body, vitamins and minerals must be the way they are in food. It’s like eating all the nutritious food you need, but without the bulk of the food.


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Are Pre-Packaged “Low Carb” Foods Really Low Carb?

In the last couple of years there have been more and more prepackaged foods going onto shelves in supermarkets and health food shops that are advertised as having a “Low Carb” content.

Being a diabetic, it is important to maintain a low carb intake for several reasons: 1) carbs convert to sugar (glucose) in the digestive tract and raise blood sugar levels, 2) to compensate for the increase in sugar coming into the bloodstream, the body increases its production of insulin, which adds to the already existing problem of insulin resistance that diabetics must deal with, and 3) the excess sugar in the bloodstream that cannot be pushed into the cells of the body for food and energy get converted into triglycerides (fat) and get packed away in the fat cells causing weight gain.

To maintain a low carb diet the diabetic must have the correct information on the carb content of the food he or she is eating. Many new pre-packaged foods today have prominent wording the front of the packaging about it being “Low Carb” and stating that the product has only so many “net carbs” or “effective carbs” per serving.

Some of the “low carb” products that can be found on shelves are energy bars, noodles and even cookies. In inspecting several of these products, the energy bars had 2 “Effective Carbs” per serving, but when looking at the nutritional panel on the back it said Total Carbohydrates per serving was 24. The noodles advertised 5 “Net Carbs” per serving on the front, but the nutritional panel on the back stated Total Carbohydrates per serving was 43. The cookies advertised at only 2 “Net Carbs”, yet the nutritional panel stated Total Carbohydrates at 15.

How can this contradiction be and which information is correct?

Not counting carbs occurs two ways: The first is that some food manufacturers use sugar alcohols as ingredients to sweeten their products. The common sugar alcohols used are mannitol, sorbitol, xylitol, lactitol, isomalt, and maltitol amongst others.

Because these sugar alcohols are not technically sugar (even though they do contain carbs and do raise blood sugar levels — but more slowly than sugar) the food manufacturers do not count their carb content or label it as zero.

The second way that carbs are not counted is: Fiber is known to help lower blood sugar levels. Because of this, certain food manufacturers count the number of grams of fiber per serving and subtract that number from the number of carbohydrates. Of course this is not based on any scientific evidence that the fiber cancels the carbs, but these food manufacturers do it anyway.

By using the above two techniques the result is “Net Carbs” or “Effective Carbs” which are advertised on the front of the packaging as the carb contents per serving.

But if you look at the nutritional panel on the back of these products it lists the true Total Carbohydrates per serving, which is required by law to be shown there.

So, do not be fooled by misleading advertising gimmicks, judge the carb content by looking at the Total Carbohydrates in the nutritional panel on the back of the product. If you have been using these incorrectly labeled products, you now know the real carb content of the foods you are eating. This will make it easier to keep your blood sugar levels under control.


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Why You Don’t Want Reduced Fat Milk in Your Diet

If you were to visit a milk processing plant, you would see it is filled with all types of stainless steel equipment and machinery.

Inside that machinery, the milk shipped from farms around the processing plant is completely re-made, so that there is so much protein, so much butterfat, etc.

This is done so that the milk products produced are both uniform and meet the standards for milk products set by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

First the milk is separated with special machinery into fat, protein and various other solids and liquids. Once separated, these are remixed to set levels for whole, low-fat and no-fat milks.

The butterfat left over goes into butter, cream, cheese, toppings and ice cream.

When the fat is removed to make reduced fat milks, they replace the fat with powdered milk concentrate. All reduced-fat milks have dried skim milk added to give them body, although this ingredient is not usually on the labels.

The powdered skim milk concentrate is created by high temperature spray drying. The result is a very high-protein, low-fat product.

The milk is forced through a tiny hole at high pressure, and then blown out into the air. This causes the cholesterol in the milk to oxidize (chemically changed).

NOTE: The natural cholesterol found in food contributes to health and is a vital part of every cell membrane in your body.

However, you do not want to eat oxidized cholesterol. Oxidized cholesterol contributes to atherosclerosis (the buildup of plaque inside the arteries), which causes high blood pressure that eventually leads to heart attacks and strokes.

So when you drink any kind of reduced-fat milk thinking that it will help you avoid heart disease, you are actually consuming oxidized cholesterol, which contributes to the process of heart disease as it builds up on the inside walls of your arteries.

The moral to this story is stay away from any kind of reduced fat milk. If you are going to buy milk buy only whole milk!

If you are lucky enough to live where it is available buy raw unpasturized milk, one of nature’s finest foods.


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Diabetes – Handle Symptoms or Reverse It

Ron Rosedale, M.D., is an internationally recognized expert in nutritional and metabolic medicine [metabolic: of or having to do with the series of processes by which food is converted into the energy and products needed to maintain life] and an anti-aging specialist. In this excerpted article he reviews the incorrect approach “conventional medicine” is taking towards diabetes. He says:

“As I have stated previously, and one concept that I would like to make well-known to save thousands and perhaps millions of lives as soon as possible, is that diabetes is not a disease of blood sugar, but a disease of insulin and perhaps more importantly leptin [a hormone produced by the fat stored in the body].

“Until that concept becomes well-known in the medical community, articles will continue to be published revealing the inadequacy of current conventional medical treatment for chronic diseases such as diabetes and heart disease, and the falsity of their advice about nutrition.

“Typically treatment concentrates on fixing a symptom, in this case elevated blood sugar, rather than the underlying disease.

“Treatments which concentrate merely on lowering blood sugar for diabetes while raising insulin levels can actually worsen rather than remedy the actual problem.

“Elevated insulin levels are highly associated and even causative of:

*heart disease,
*peripheral vascular disease [blockage of blood vessels to the arms or legs],
*stroke,
*high blood pressure,
*cancer,
*obesity and many other so-called diseases.

“Since most treatments for type 2, insulin resistant diabetes, utilize drugs which raise insulin or actual insulin injections itself, the tragic result is that the typical, conventional medical treatment for diabetes contributes to the obvious side effects and the shortened lifespan that diabetics experience.”

A proper diet with reduced carbs, effective nutritional supplementation and adding just a bit of regular exercise is a very effective and natural way of reversing the diabetic condition.


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