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Demystifying Diabetes

Updated: Apr 28, 2022

Deep dive into the basics of diabetes and how to control it naturally.

Let’s talk about diabetes. This is a very common condition in America and throughout the western world. According to the CDC, 34 million people in America have Diabetes and 1 in 5 people don’t know they have it! I think it is a good time to talk about it because it is one of the biggest pre-existing conditions that make a person more susceptible to Covid-19.

In this article I want to describe both types of diabetes and give you 3 ways you can help your body heal from diabetes without medications.

There are 2 different types of diabetes and they are conveniently name type 1 and type 2 type. Regardless of the type of diabetes you have, they both have the same issue. High blood sugar.

Type 1 diabetes is an auto immune condition that occurs usually in early childhood. It is a condition where the Beta cells of the pancreas, where insulin is made, are attacked and insulin is no longer produced.

Type 2 diabetes is typically diagnosed later in life and caused by lifestyle choices. However, it is not becoming more common in children as well. In this condition, there is usually enough insulin in the beginning but the insulin receptors on cell membranes are desensitized to insulin and so when insulin comes to bind it cannot and you end up with high blood sugar.

This causes the pancreas to produce a lot of insulin to attempt to get some of the sugar into the cells. Now there is a lot of insulin and sugar in the blood. This also puts a strain on the pancreas to produce this much insulin and it can exhaust the Beta cells to the point where they stop working. This is when you would need to inject insulin in order to get the sugar back into this into the cells. I always urge people to get treatment before this stage because it is much easier to treat before external insulin injections are needed.

There is a problem in the body with high circulating blood sugar and blood insulin levels. Both sugar and insulin are pro-oxidants which mean they circulate around the body and “rust” the lining of our blood vessels. Which causes damage and build-up of immune cells trying to “fix” the damage which leads to plaques and clogged arteries.

This is why you often hear of amputations needed for uncontrolled diabetes, because the tiny blood vessels are effected first. So it begins with issues in the eyes, kidneys and fingers and toes. These are termed “end organs” and they get the most damage and should be checked regularly by your doctor.

There are 2 big physiological issues that I see in diabetes: the blood sugars get too high and there is not a way for the sugar to get into the cells. With type 1 there is no insulin being produced and with type 2 the receptors on the cells do not recognize insulin and there for it cannot bind.

The big goal would be to decrease blood sugar levels as well as increase the ability of the receptors to recognize blood sugar to bring it into the cell.

The good thing is, there are many ways to do this. Let’s talk about the 2 most important ones and then one bonus!

The number 1 thing diabetic patients should look to change would be the things they eat. If the issue with diabetes is high sugar in the blood, a simple cure could be to not eat any sugar or things that become sugar in the body. If you avoid sugar in your diet, it will dramatically reduce the disease pathology of diabetes. There are several diets that have been coined recently, such as the ketogenic diet or the paleo diet. These diets focus on eating whole foods and more fat and protein and less carbohydrates.

When I work with individual patients, I tailor the diet more toward where the person is at and what is achievable to them. I also identify food sensitivities with muscle testing so that we can know exactly what foods the patient should be avoiding and what foods would be good for them.

Now that we have addressed the way sugar can get into the blood, let’s talk about how to help with the cell receptor sensitization.

The best and cheapest thing that we can do to help the insulin receptors is to exercise! 30 minutes of walking each day is enough to start to reverse the effects of diabetes on the cell’s insulin receptors. If you want an easy way to think of this, as we exercises we are “sweating” the blockage off of the receptors so that the insulin has an easier way to bind. Also, as we exercise, our muscles and bones need more energy so there is more of a need to get sugar, which is the body’s energy, into the cells to help it work.

One of the most important times to go for a walk is after eating a meal because your body will more easily put the sugar where it needs to go. It is not good to do vigorous exercise after a meal because this will turn off the rest and digest nervous system which we need after a meal.

Last but not least, as promised, here is my bonus remedy for diabetes. Berberine. If I was only allowed to give one thing to my diabetic patients, to directly help with the disease process of diabetes, it would be berberine. In studies it has been shown that berberine can increase insulin from the pancreas, reduce insulin resistance, improved insulin binding in liver, muscle and fat tissues. It also improves blood cholesterol levels and reduces plaque buildup. It can also help with energy production in the cells’ mitochondria, the energy center of the cell. This herb has so many different and important mechanisms that it usually goes on the treatment plan for all my diabetic patients.

The most important thing to note about diabetes is that there needs to be blood sugar management. Whether it is by insulin, diet, exercises or supplements, the blood sugar needs to be kept low to avoid deterioration.

I am always here to help! With all patients, no matter the diagnosis, I always do a comprehensive analysis and complete lifestyle and supplement based treatment. I treat using the things mentioned in this article as well as homeopathy, hydrotherapy, Chinese Medicine, botanical medicine and much more. Your health is important to me, let me know if I can assist you in any way.

- Dr. Heidi Albete, ND

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