People with diabetes cannot properly process glucose, a sugar the body uses for energy. As a result, glucose stays in the blood, causing blood glucose to rise. At the same time, however, the cells of the body can be starved for glucose. Diabetes can lead to poor wound healing, higher risk of infections, and many other problems involving the eyes, kidneys, nerves, and heart.
There are two types of diabetes mellitus. Adult-onset diabetes is also called type 2 or non-insulin-dependent diabetes. In type 2, the pancreas often makes enough insulin, but the body has trouble using the insulin. Type 2 responds well to natural therapies.
Childhood-onset diabetes is the other form of diabetes mellitus. It is also called type 1 or insulin-dependent diabetes. In type 1, the pancreas cannot make the insulin needed to process glucose. Natural therapies cannot cure type 1, but by making the body more receptive to insulin supplied by injection, it may help. It is particularly critical for people with type 1 to work carefully with the doctor prescribing insulin before contemplating the use of any herbs, supplements, or dietary changes mentioned in this section. Any change that makes the body more receptive to insulin could require critical changes in insulin dosage that must be determined by the treating physician.
People with diabetes have a high risk for heart disease. As a result, information in the section on arteriosclerosis is also important to read.
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