Through the centuries more than 400 plants have been prescribed as diabetes remedies. In Europe, Asia and the Middle East, raw onions and garlic have long been favorite anti-diabetic drugs. Ginseng is popular in China. (I personally don’t recommend it if you experience heart palpitations or have high blood pressure or kidney problems). The common edible mushroom is widely used in some parts of Europe to control blood sugar. Barley bread is a common treatment in Iraq for diabetes. Cabbage, lettuce, turnips, beans, juniper berries, alfalfa and coriander seeds turn up as treatments in many cultures. Gymnema Sylvestre is an Indian herb used in Ayurveda, the ancient Hindi medicine system of India. Its primary application was for adult – onset diabetes (NIDDM), a condition for which it continues to be recommended today in India.

When scientists at East China Normal University in Shanghai fed diabetic rats pumpkin extract for 30 days, levels of insulin in their blood returned almost to normal, as did the # of insulin cells. Pumpkins R a known source of antioxidants, this fruit contains a molecule that seems to help the pancreas regenerate insulin – producing cells destroyed by diabetes.

    The surprising fact is such food remedies do have an anti-diabetes rationale

Modern tests confirm that all of them, or compounds isolated from them, can lower blood sugar and /or stimulate insulin in animals, humans or cell cultures.

Foods That May Be beneficial:





Fenugreek Seeds



High – Fiber Foods


High Chromium Foods (Broccoli)



What Diabetes is and how food can affect it


   Active body cells need energy (ATP) and they get it from carbohydrate foods that are broken down into glucose. (The fuel that keeps our bodies running is sugar. Doctors call it glucose). Soon after we eat, glucose pours into the bloodstream and is carried to individual cells throughout the body. Before it can enter these cells, however, it requires the presence of a hormone called insulin. And therein lies the problem.  Diabetes is essentially too much sugar in the blood. It happens when your pancreas (most of the pancreas is engaged in producing enzymes needed by the digestive system, but dotted within the gland are thousands of small groups of cells. These are the islets of Langerhans, and it is here that the insulin is produced.) Produces no insulin or insufficient or ineffective insulin, the hormone that stimulates cells to absorb and store glucose (sugar). If the insulin can’t handle glucose, blood sugar levels rise abnormally, causing much havoc, including excessive urination and thirst, weakness, fatigue and cardiovascular, kidney & nerve damage.

There are 2 main types of diabetes. The more severe, less common Type I diabetes strikes children and sometimes young adults, usually under age 35. Since cells of the pancreas that secrete insulin R gradually destroyed, presumably by some sort of immune reaction, Type I diabetics must take insulin injections because their pancreas produces virtually no insulin. Type I is also known as insulin – dependent diabetes or juvenile diabetes.


A far wider threat to most Americans is Type II diabetes, which almost always develops after age 40. Ironically, people with this type diabetes often have lots of insulin, but it doesn’t perform well because cells are “resistant” to it. Such diabetes, also called non-insulin-dependent or adult-onset, accounts for 90% of all cases, afflicting some 12 million Americans, perhaps as many as ½ who do not know they have it.

   Since what U eat has a major impact on blood sugar and insulin, food is a prime player in triggering and controlling diabetes.


 Here R some ways food can affect diabetes:

  • ·        Overloads of certain foods that cause sharp spurts of blood sugar put burdens on insulin; restricting such foods keeps blood sugar levels more even.

  • ·        Certain foods contain compounds that stimulate the activity and potency of insulin or act directly to regulate blood sugar.

  • ·        Antioxidants in food, such as vitamin C and E, may ward off free radical attacks on beta cells that worsen inflammation and other damage. Such antioxidants also counteract oxidation of diabetes’ LDL cholesterol, which is more susceptible to harm than that of non-diabetic individuals. Type II diabetics R 2 to 3 times more vulnerable to heart disease than non-diabetics.

  • ·        Especially intriguing is the prospect that the onset of Type I diabetes may be fostered by very complex delayed “allergic reactions” to food constituents, such as proteins in milk.

 (“It’s incorrect to say that sugar causes diabetes. The real cause is insufficient or ineffective insulin – the hormone that controls how the body metabolizes sugar. To blame sugar is to put the cart before the horse”) Dr. Gerald Bernstein, American Diabetes Association)

Get moving on Diabetes



Type 2 is three times more common today than in 1970. And its effects are more devastating than most people realize. Thankfully, it’s preventable.


If you really think about it. Chances are, one out of every 10 people you see has diabetes. And many of them are unaware of its terrible long- term effects.

  To understand diabetes, it’s important to know a bit about how the body works. Here’s a little biology lesson:

 AS mammals, we burn glucose (a form of sugar) as our predominant fuel. We eat food, it’s digested and broken down into simpler components in the intestines, then it is transported to the blood stream. The glucose component floats around to provide the body’s cell with fuel. Glucose is moved into the cells by a hormone called insulin, produced in the pancreas. If the pancreas doesn’t produce enough insulin or if the body’s cells become resistant to insulin, the cells are starved for energy because the glucose stays in the bloodstream. This rise in blood sugar; detectable by your doctor is diabetes. (a simple blood test will do).


There are 2 basic types of diabetes.

   As explained on the previous page. Type 1, or juvenile diabetes, occurs when the pancreas fails to produce insulin. It’s an autoimmune disease in which the immune system destroys insulin – making cells. AS a result, there’s 0 insulin, so the cells consume other fuel, with deadly results. Lucky, we have effective ways to deliver insulin to

Type 1 diabetics so they can lead normal lives.

   Far more common is Type 2 diabetes. The # of suffers has tripled in the past 30 years. That alarming increase has propelled another American phenomenon – obesity, which also has tripled in the past few decades. The vast majority of people with Type 2 diabetes are overweight. Being too heavy reduces the body’s sensitivity to insulin, leading to a rise in blood sugar. It’s particularly alarming that Type 2 diabetes is found in children. In the past, few children had it. Now, almost 20% of children with blood sugar abnormalities have Type 2 diabetes, the one associated with obesity.


The last decades also have brought better understanding of how the body uses sugar, an improvement in glucose monitoring, an expansion of medication and aggressive treatment by physicians. In the 80s many people with abnormal blood sugar levels were told they had “borderline” diabetes and were given no medication at all in order to avoid the side effects of the older, cruder drugs. Unfortunately, those patients didn’t take diabetes seriously. So the American Diabetes Association redefined diabetes a few years ago to eliminate that borderline group. A good analogy is pregnancy. Either a woman is pregnant or she’s not. There is no such thing as “borderline” pregnancy. Likewise, your body either uses sugar normally or it does not. And if it’s not normal, specific conditions can result:


Ø  Retinopathy. Diabetic Retinopathy is a serious eye disease that can result in blindness. In fact, diabetic retinopathy is still the leading cause of blindness in the US.

more on this subject

One in 20 Type {1} and one in 15 Type [2] diabetics develop retinopathy The development of laser therapy will probably reduce the prevalence of diabetes – induced blindness. However, laser therapy isn’t recommended for milder forms of retinopathy since the occasional side effects (hemorrhage, retinal detachment, and visual field loss) may outweigh the benefits.


Ø  Nephropathy. (Kidney Disease) Kidney disease due to diabetes is a common complication and a leading cause of death in diabetics. Like the other long – term complications, good blood glucose control goes a long way in reducing the risk of diabetic nephropathy. In addition to monitoring blood sugar levels, periodic monitoring of a diabetic patient’s kidney function (blood urea nitrogen, uric, creatinine, and creatinine clearance) is important.


Ø  Atherosclerosis. This hardening of the arteries leads to damage and blockage in the vessels that supply blood to the heart, brain and legs. The result can be heart attacks, strokes and poor circulation. Many diabetics circulation is so poor that they have several amputations of feet, toes, knees and legs.


Ø  Neuropathy. Nerve damage to the extremities can cause pain and numbness in the hands and feet. Many diabetics cannot feel their feet, and injuries as simple as a stubbed toe can lead to serious infections that are difficult to treat.


Ø  Sexual dysfunction. Many male diabetics experience an inability to sustain an erection because of damage to the small vessels in the groin.


Ø  Infections. Especially common are yeast infections and other fungal infections, including jock itch, ringworm and athlete’s foot.

When U look at the list of what diabetes can do to U over the long term, it makes sense to treat it if U have it. Some populations have a tendency toward


 African Americans, Hispanics, Native Americans, Asians, American and Pacific Islanders. Women who develop diabetes during pregnancy is another article which I don’t have at hand at present.






Insulin-dependent (Type I) diabetes can cause: Frequent urination, Excessive thirst or hunger, sudden weight loss, Weakness and fatigue Irritability, Nausea and vomiting. 
Non insulin-Dependent (Type II) diabetes can cause: Any of the insulin-dependent symptoms or signs, blurred vision or changes in vision, tingling or numbness in the legs, 
feet or fingers, Slow healing of cuts, frequent skin infections or itchy skin & drowsiness. See your doctor if you have any of these signs or symptoms. 
Although no cure for diabetes exists, proper treatment can control the disease and prevent complications. For additional information, contact the American Diabetes Association, 
1660 Duke St., Alexandria, Virginia 22314, 800-232-3472. How Diabetes Affects Women. The risk of diabetic ketoacidosis, often called diabetic coma, is 50% higher among 
women than men. This condition is brought on by poorly controlled diabetes and marked by high blood-glucose levels and ketones (byproducts of fat metabolism) in the blood. 
Women with diabetes are 7.6 times as likely to suffer peripheral vascular disease than non-diabetic women. 
This disorder results in a reduced flow of blood and oxygen to the feet and legs, and its principal symptom is intermittent pain in the thighs, calves or buttocks during exercise. 
Because pregnancy is especially risky for women with diabetes, blood-glucose control before conception and throughout pregnancy is vital to the health of both the baby and 
mother. Pregnant diabetics are also up to five times as likely to develop toxemia (a disorder marked by hypertension, protein in the urine, edema, 
headache and visual disturbances) and hydramnios (excessive amounts of amniotic fluid) as non-diabetic pregnant women. Pregnancy prevention methods 
may also produce potential hazards for the diabetic. Birth-control pills can affect blood-glucose levels and diabetes Control; the intrauterine device (IUD) 
may lead to infections. Because women with diabetes are already at a higherrisk of infection, most should not use the IUD. Approximately 2%-5% of non-diabetic pregnant
 women develop gestational diabetes -a third form of the disease-during pregnancy. 
This relatively uncommon condition usually disappears after delivery, but some 40% of these women eventually develop Type II diabetes within four years after giving birth, 
especially if they were obese before they became pregnant. How Diabetes Affects Men The prevalence of impotence in diabetic men over the age of 50 has been reported to 
be as high as 50%-60%. Impotence occurs when the nerves that cause an erection become damaged or, due to damage of blood vessels, the penile artery becomes blocked. 
Whatever a man's age, an abrupt change in the quality of orgasms could be the first sign of a serious underlying disorder like diabetes.  In younger-onset cases
 (usually insulin-dependent diabetics younger than 30 years old), men may develop retinopathy, a progressive vision disorder that can lead to blindness. 
The same condition affects female diabetics, but it occurs more rapidly in men. 
    Sunday Nov. 27th I read an article in the Daily News pg. 33 regarding research on type I diabetes, some type of testing by tripping up the immune system with the help 
of mouse cells. Scientist will try to see if they can stop or delay type I diabetes by derailing the immune system cells that attack the body’s insulin producers. 

What is Gastroparesis?

This term is to describe delayed empting of the stomach, which can be caused by gastric surgery, a vagotomy, or hypothyroidism. It can also result from neuropathy in patients with either type of diabetes. Although the exact etiology of gastroparesis is unknown, elevated blood glucose levels may damage the vagus nerve, delaying gastric emptying. Signs & symptoms of gastroparesis include abdominal bloating, nausea, vomiting of undigested food, gastric reflux & loss of appetite. Inconsistent gastric empting leads to an erratic glucose level, putting the patient with diabetes in a vicious cycle of hyperglycemia leading to gastroparesis, &eventually to hyperglycemia.

The most conclusive study is a nuclear medicine gastric – emptying test, which documents the rate of gastric emptying after the patient eats a meal tagged with a radioisotope. Gastric empting is considered delayed if 60% or more of the meal remains in the stomach after 2 hrs.

It is best to avoid fatty foods & foods that R high in glucose, as well as high fiber foods such as citrus fruits & broccoli, which can delay gastric empting even in healthy adults. Eating sm. meals throughout the day is ideal. Exercise to keep optimal body results.


Glycemic Index


The Glycemic index may be misleading, it measures how much a 50 – gm serving of a specific food boosts blood sugar levels. It is most often used to measure the effects of carbohydrate – rich foods. The idea is that low – Glycemic foods R healthier than high – Glycemic foods because high – Glycemic foods can trigger spikes in blood sugar & insulin, which can increase the risk of obesity, diabetes & heart disease. These foods leave people hungry sooner. Part of the problem is that the Glycemic index does not address the nutritional value of a food apart from its carbohydrate content. Rarely do we here of the rankings of vegetables, fish or meats on the Glycemic index. Researchers have recommended measuring the “Glycemic load,” which reflects a food’s typical serving size. It turns out that carrots have an extremely low Glycemic load, which is good. White bread, pasta, corn flakes, & instant rice have extremely high Glycemic loads. In contrast, peanuts, milk, lentils  & apples – all far more nutritious than high – starch foods – have low Glycemic loads. Broccoli has no effect on blood sugar whatsoever.



Diabetic foot care



 Individuals with diabetes must be extra vigilant when it comes to foot care, paying careful attention to keep their feet warm & dry. Moisturizer should be applied daily to prevent the skin from itching & cracking, but care must be taken not to moisturize between the toes, where it could lead to skin breakdown & infection. Because feet can get cold during chilly winter nights, anyone with diabetes should wear socks to bed if their feet get cold. However, those with diabetes should never use a heating pad or hot water bottle to keep their feet warm.

             There’s a test that you can go for called glycated hemoglobin (hemoglobin A1c) test. This test is considered the gold standard for determining whether a person is diabetic or not. Standard glucose tolerance test is only accurate for people who have a normal digestive tract. Unfortunately u will find that a lot of people who might have type 2 diabetes also have irritable bowel syndrome or intestinal malabsorption problems.

Comparing Values from the ADA and the ACE
Values ADA ACE
A1C <7% <6.5%
Before Meals 90-130 mg/dl <110 mg/dl
1-2 hours After Meals <180 mg/dl <140 mg/dl
Blood Pressure <130/80 mmHg <130/85 mmHg
LDL Chol. <100 mg/dl <100 mg/dl
Trigylcerides <150 mg/dl <150 mg/dl
HDL Chol. >40 mg/dl >45 mg/dl


 I read an article in the reader’s digest about a young man who was diagnosed with diabetes created a website called

 Diabetes is now the 7th leading cause of death in the US with 24 million diagnosed cases. More People are being diagnosed at a younger age.


Lifestyle changes R key for all diabetics.


Source of reference: Food your Miracle Medicine, Jean Carper, New Foods for Healing, Selene Yeager and the Editors of Prevention, Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine Michael Murray, ND and Joseph Pizzorno, ND., Proven Health Tips Encyclopedia American Publishing Corp., A visual Guide to the Human Body John O. E. Clark.,  Daily News. Nursing 2006 Volume 36 #9 pg. 18, Lets Live Nov. 2002 Mag. Pg. 19, Time. Feb. 12 07, NIM  Readers Digest pg. 16 2.09,,



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