Health is a state of wellbeing in mind, body and soul. A wholistic approach to diet helps to heal and restore the physical, mental and spiritual health of patients. It is helpful to understand the pathophysiology of diseases in order to create a treatment plan including the diet to improve the overall wellbeing of the person living with the chronic disease.
Diabetes is a metabolic disorder which if not diagnosed early and managed properly can be life-threatening. The organ which produces insulin is the pancreas and it is insulin which allows the body to metabolize and utilize sugar efficiently. In the diabetic child or adult, there is either little production of insulin or poor utilization of insulin by cells and tissue.
Symptoms of diabetes
Increased frequency of urination
Unexplained weight loss even when the appetite is good
Mouth and skin fungal Infections
Wounds which heal slowly
Behavior and emotional problems
The wholistic diabetic treatment
Diabetes is treated with insulin for the Type 1 Diabetes. Oral medication or a combination of both oral medication and insulin is prescribed for Type 2 Diabetes. Weight management (diet and exercise) must be a part of the treatment for obese diabetics.
The Diabetic Diet
There are some diabetic patients that can be managed with non-drug therapy. Dietary counseling and close monitoring of the blood sugar levels allow some diabetics to live a good quality of life. There is no one diet that is given to all diabetics.
The key elements of a diabetic plan include foods rich in nutrients, low in sugar, low in fats and calories. The diabetic is encouraged to eat whole grains, and a wide variety of vegetables and fruits. Dietitians encourage their patients to eat three meals a day at regular times. Healthy snacks are recommended mid-morning, mid-afternoon and before bedtime. This helps your body better use the insulin it produces or gets through a medication. The diabetic diet does contain desserts and snacks which can be enjoyed to enhance the mood and reward the efforts of the patient. This is done with careful food choice and portion control that do not sabotage the blood sugar control.
Natural Remedies which support blood sugar control
Plant based therapies for diabetes must be used with caution and under the supervision of a registered health practitioner as there could be unsafe lowering of the blood sugar level. Some of the natural remedies include cinnamon, ginseng, ginger and milk thistle.
Dietary supplements should include chromium and magnesium
A Word of Caution
It is not advised to abandon the conventional diabetic treatment. Always discuss with your doctor any drug-free therapy which you are considering. Oftentimes the emotional issues for diabetics is linked with the chronic nature of the illness, restrictive diets and the development of diabetic-related complications. These should be discussed freely with the doctor and health coach as many of the issues can be addressed and resolved.