The Problem On Diabetes
In this world where chronic diseases abound from poor diet and lack of exercise, who has not heard of diabetes? It seems that diabetes is one of the medical illnesses which have stemmed from modernization and busy lifestyles. Diabetes has been described by books as a disease wherein there is a defect in metabolism, or the way the body uses up food to build energy to provide for the needs of bodily tissues. We already know that when we take in food, especially those with carbohydrates, the body digests them or breaks them up into glucose, a simple form of sugar that can be absorbed by the blood.
Glucose passes from the intestines into the blood which takes it to various tissues of the body so that the cells can utilize glucose to perform various processes such as growth and energy creation. However, glucose cannot pass through the cells without the action of insulin, a hormone produced by the pancreas in the abdomen. Normally, the pancreas secretes just the right amount of insulin for the glucose to move into cells. However, in people with diabetes, the pancreas is not able to secrete insulin in sufficient amounts or it lacks insulin at all. In some cases, the cells are resistant to the action of insulin. Thus glucose does not enter the cells and continually builds up in the blood, some of which is excreted by the kidneys as urine. As a result of these processes, the body cannot utilize glucose well for energy and the person remains weak and feels fatigued.
There are three types of diabetes: type 1, type 2 and gestational diabetes. Type 1 diabetes is a result of an autoimmune disease affecting the pancreas, making it secrete little or no insulin. Type 2 diabetes, on the other hand, is the most common type, and is due to the resistance of the body cells to the action of insulin. This type of diabetes is usually encountered in older individuals, in overweight people, in sedentary lifestyles and in certain families. Gestational diabetes is a type of diabetes resulting during pregnancy and usually disappears after the baby's birth.
The symptoms of diabetes range from weight loss to unexplained thirst and hunger, frequent urination, blurred vision and slow healing wounds. When no treated, diabetes can result to complications such as eye problems, skin problems, cardiovascular diseases, non-healing wounds, infections, gastropathy, stroke, atherosclerosis, nerve problems, erectile dysfunction, and many more. This is why it needs to be treated as soon as possible. Diabetes is a treatable medical condition, in the form of medications and lifestyle changes. However, these medications are not without side effects. This is why experts recommend lifestyle modifications first before giving medical treatment. Many people are continually searching for natural remedies with fewer side effects than conventional medicines have on the body.
Traditional Chinese Medicines and Diabetes
New research published at the Endocrine Society's Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism (JCEM) has said that traditional Chinese herbal medicines can slow down the progression of pre-diabetes to full-blown diabetes. Pre-diabetes is a condition in which a person has elevated blood sugar levels but not high enough to be diagnosed as diabetes. Still, people with pre-diabetes are said to be at risk for many medical complications as full-blown diabetics do. These patients are also at high risk for deadly disease such as cardiovascular disease and stroke.
This study is a randomized double-blind trial which utilized 389 pre-diabetics from 11 research sites in China. Some of these subjects were made to take a capsulated from of a mixture of 10 different Chinese herbal medicines (called Tianqi) for one year, three times daily before meals. The study found out that Tianqui reduced diabetes risk by 32.1 % as compared to placebo. The effect was comparable to that of medicines metformin and acarbose. The results are favourable, because now people may have natural alternatives to conventional diabetes medications. Still more studies should be done with regards to its safety and efficacy. For more articles on how to control diabetes, feel free to browse other articles on this site.