The Natural Way Health Clinic
Diabetes Mellitus, more commonly referred to as diabetes, is a chronic disorder of carbohydrate, fat and protein metabolism characterized by fasting elevation of blood sugar (glucose). It is caused by a lack of, or resistance to, the hormone insulin, which is produced by beta cells of the pancreas. Insulin helps cells in the liver, skeletal muscles, and fat tissue to absorb glucose from the blood.
Diabetic patients are either unable to produce insulin, or their cells have become resistant to insulin and they are unable to move glucose from the bloodstream to the cells, leading to increased sugar (glucose) levels. The state of elevated sugar level is called hyperglycemia.
Naturopathic doctors can be an integrative part of a diabetic health care team that helps diabetic patients to manage diabetes and prevent the development of serious chronic complications. Diabetic patients must perform regular blood tests and home glucose monitoring under the supervision of their health care providers. Medication needs careful monitoring when natural therapies are implemented.
The first step in naturopathic medicine is the willingness of a patient to understand their condition and make changes in diet and lifestyle. Naturopathic doctors encourage diabetics to become actively responsible for their own health.
The goal for a patient and his or her health care team is to bring high blood sugar level under control and to stabilize it at a normal level as much as possible.[viii] Individualized nutritional plan and physical activity program are essential for diabetic management.
Herbal medicine can be used as a supportive therapy for monitoring diabetic patients. There are many plants that have demonstrated a hypoglycemic action. However, herbs will not substitute insulin therapy when it is indicated for the diabetic patient.
A regular and moderate amount of physical activity such as walking, dancing, cycling, swimming, gardening has to be an essential part of a diabetic treatment plan.
Description Courtesy of The Ontario Association of Naturopathic Medicine