Type 1 diabetes is typically diagnosed in children and young adults. In type 1 diabetes, the body does not produce the hormone insulin. Without this hormone, the body cannot convert sugars, starches, and other food into the energy it needs to function in everyday life.
Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes. In Type 2 diabetes, one of two occur. Either the body does not produce an efficient amount of insulin or the cells simply ignore the insulin the body produces. Insulin is necessary for the body to be able to convert the food we eat into energy. Insulin takes the sugar from our blood into our cells. When this sugar (glucose) builds up in our blood rather than being transferred to our cells, it can cause two problems. Short-term, our cells are starved for energy. Long-term, the build up of glucose levels in our blood can have negative effects on our eyes, kidneys, nerves or heart.
Alternative therapies are “diverse medical and health care systems, practices, and products that are not presently considered to be a part of conventional medicine.” Some people with diabetes have approached alternative medicine as a way to treat their diabetes. While some of these therapies may be effective, it is necessary to take precaution and let health care providers know what they are doing. Some of these alternative medicine therapies include:
Acupuncture -Skilled placement of needles into skin to trigger natural painkillers in the body; used by people with painful nerve damage due to diabetes
Biofeedback -Use of guided imagery as relaxation and stress-reduction technique; used by people who believe condition can be eased with positive images
Chromium - Chromium supplementation to improve diabetes control; There is not yet sufficient information to prove this is effective
Ginseng -A plant that some studies have shown have glucose-lowering effects
Magnesium -Study of relationship between magnesium and...