There are two types of diabetes, and both respond very well to naturopathic treatment and management. Type I Diabetes ordinarily has its onset in childhood and is the result of immune destruction of the Beta Cells in the Pancreas, resulting in the total or near total cessation of the production of insulin. Type I Diabetes has also been called Insulin Dependent Diabetes, or Childhood Onset Diabetes. However, people as old as age 35 have developed Type I Diabetes; and many type II Diabetics eventually become dependent on injected insulin to manage their condition.
Diabetes: Type I and Type II
By far the most common type of diabetes is called Type II Diabetes. It used to be called Adult Onset Diabetes, because it was almost unheard of in children, but with the epidemic of obesity in children, and more sedentary lifestyles and the advent of a snack-food-based diet for our children, Type II Diabetes is becoming more and more common in children. The name Non-Insulin Dependent Diabetes is also inaccurate, for the reason mentioned in the paragraph above.
Type I Diabetes is currently incurable – once the insulin-producing cells of the pancreas have been destroyed, there is no way to recreate them. Much of the advanced research in Diabetes is looking into whether there is a way to grow new pancreatic cells (one of the important applications of stem-cell research.) However, an oft-overlooked aspect of the management of Type I Diabetes is that often the immune destruction of the pancreas is not complete when diabetes is first diagnosed. So a child or younger person with a new diagnosis of Type I Diabetes may have the chance to preserve some small but useful degree of Beta Cell function by vigilantly managing their condition immediately following diagnosis, generally by tightly controlling blood sugar (using insulin, diet, and possibly other measures.)
Naturopathic medicine has much to offer the Type I Diabetic, largely in the realm of diet and exercise, but certainly nutritional and herbal supplementation when indicated.
Type I Diabetes is a textbook case for the naturopathic credo of “Prevention” since the complications that occur in long-standing Type I Diabetics are the most serious consequence of the condition, and proper management of the condition, and proper nutrition, can help prevent these problems (such as Kidney damage, cataracts, retinal problems, and blood vessel damage that results in heart disease.)
Type II Diabetes: Insulin Resistance by another name
Type II Diabetes is eminently treatable with naturopathic medicine and therapies, primarily diet and nutrition, exercise, and nutritional supplementation. In fact, it is our opinion that Type II Diabetes is less a disease than it is a symptom of insulin resistancethat was not detected and treated in a timely manner. However, nearly every pathological aspect of Type II Diabetes is nothing other than severe insulin resistance, and thus can be treated in the same way – with diet and lifestyle changes, and scientific nutritional supplementation! Given the number of people with Type II Diabetes; the amount spent on medication and medical treatment for this epidemic condition; and the degree to which it is treatable, and in many cases reversible with natural treatment, it is likely that the financial fortune of the entire health care system could go from bad to excellent if every person with Type II diabetes commenced a naturopathic diet- and lifestyle-based treatment program!
Regardless of what type of diabetes you have, and the amount of time that has passed since your diagnosis, I can help you to a new level of health and control over your condition; get your blood sugar and Hemoglobin A1C in better shape; and help prevent the complications that are often (but should not be) considered inevitable in diabetes. Please explore the rest of this website, to learn more about the general philosophy and practice of naturopathic medicine. Of course, I am happy to meet with you to discuss your particular situation, and to explore with you how I can help you feel your best.