Brian is the founder of the
Pulse of Oriental Medicine. He teaches at the Pacific College
of Oriental Medicine and maintains a private acupuncture
and herbal practice in San Diego, California, and is the
author of Powerful Body, Peaceful
Mind: How to Heal Yourself with Foods, Herbs, and Acupressure.
"I have diabetes, Type II. I would
like to change my diet and lifestyle. Any suggestions?"
The main problem in Type II Diabetes
is that sugar in the blood is under-utilized. The
decreased creation of cellular energy from blood-sugar,
and also the excess of sugar in the blood cause the
symptoms of diabetes...
The goal is to lower blood sugar levels and
help your body improve its use of insulin (which helps the
body utilize blood sugar).
Meal planning, exercise, and weight loss are
the main solutions. Doesn't sound like a whole lot of fun,
does it? Indeed, Chinese Medicine explains why we may get
stuck in a vicious cycle that makes most difficult what
we need to do most (see my food
Diabetic Cookie Recipe - Many years ago, there really wasn’t a diabetic cookie recipe that tasted good, but with the new sugar substitutes there are so many things that can be done, and done well!
|| 85% of type II diabetics are overweight
when diagnosed (it's interesting though that people with very
little body-fat are also disposed to get Type II Diabetes;
One professor, Dr. Ernest Pfeiffer, goes as far as to say
| that "It's almost a law that any
person 30% overweight for 30 years will become a [type II]
So, you have to lose weight if you're overweight.
But, how? Changing the diet, exercising, AND...
Many physicians overlook food allergies, an auto-immune process.
Up to 10% of Type II Diabetes, at least in Caucasian populations,
may be autoimmune (see
this reference). According to Stephen
Levine, PhD., "The evidence is strong for the allergic causation
of arthritis, asthma and diabetes." More information is available
Smokies Diagnostic Laboratories. Be sure to read their FAQ
(Frequently Asked Questions) on the subject as well. If you find
out you are allergic to certain foods and you eliminate them from
your diet, you may end up with dramatic loss of extra poundage.
More research on Food Allergies:
|| The American Diabetes Association has a
I would only comment on the section, "Are there herbs that
will help my diabetes?" Their answer is good, but it
misses an important point about Chinese Medicine, which
is that Chinese Medicine has its own system of disease categorization/diagnosis.
This categorization often overlaps biomedical diagnoses,
but not always. It's just another vantage point. You know
the difference between looking at something with a telescope
(one eye) and binoculars (two eyes)? When you look with
two eyes from slightly different angles, you see life in
three dimensions. It's similar with biomedicine and Chinese
Medicine. By looking from both angles, we can see much more
about a disease and its treatment. A Chinese Medical doctor
would take into consideration your biomedical diagnosis
of type II diabetes, and then still do an intake, inquiry,
and examination aimed at discovering the relevant Chinese
Medical diseases and patterns. From there, they could prescribe
herbs, diet, and lifestyle changes, as well as do acupuncture.
If you want to make the process of planning and sticking
to a menu easier, check out Paul Darby's Menu
Creator software. It has 5 specific settings, from losing
weight to gaining muscle to a diabetes-specific menu creation.
According to Bob
Flaws and Philippe Sionneau, all Type II Diabetics should:
- Avoid refined sugar, sugar products, junk foods, alcohol,
caffeine, and tobacco (I know, all the fun stuff)
- Eat protein snacks between meals
- Eat complex carbohydrates (these sugars get into the bloodstream
at a slower, more even pace)
- Reduce caloric consumption
- Increase exercise
It has been said that milk
consumption is related to the incidence of diabetes. However,
subsequent studies have not proven that milk causes any kind of
autoimmune process (see
review). There is indication that genetics are part
of the cause, but the whole picture is by no means clear. The
hope is that the completed human genome will help future researchers
discover to what extent prevention is possible.
In the meantime, if I had Type II Diabetes, I would follow the
above suggestions, as well as see a practitioner for personalized
herbal formulas and acupuncture. (More information
a practitioner in your area)
Yours in Health,
Brian Benjamin Carter