Diabetes affects as many as 30 million people in America alone. That’s nearly 10 percent of the population! If one out of every ten Americans is affected by a disease, it is time to take a closer look as to what causes it, and how to treat it.
In this article we will go over the standard treatment options for diabetes, natural therapies, and complimentary treatments everyone should be using. We will also detail why using pure essential oils to treat diabetes may be the most promising treatment option there is.
What Is Diabetes?
Diabetes is a disorder characterized by high blood glucose levels that are a result of the body’s inability to either produce or use insulin. Typical symptoms of diabetes include increased hunger, frequent urination, sluggishness, weight loss, excessive hunger and thirst, and even blurred vision.
What Causes Diabetes?
The exact causes of diabetes are still unknown. What is known are the factors which may influence diabetes, as well as accompanying diseases which are found in people with diabetes.
Type 1 diabetes is characterized by the bodies’ inability to produce insulin. This is caused by the Immune system attacking and destroying the cells which produce insulin. There may be a genetic link to type 1 diabetes, and environmental factors can come into play.
Type 2 diabetes is by far the most common. It is characterized by either the body’s inability to utilize insulin or make enough of it to keep up with intake. Type 2 diabetes shows a clear link to obesity, inactivity, and genetic makeup.
Medical Diabetes Treatment Options
There is no known cure for diabetes. As such, western doctors often turn to the use of medicines to control diabetes symptoms. There is a wide range of medicines to treat diabetes-each with a ride range of side effects. The most common diabetes medicines are listed below, along with their side effects.
- Metformin: Generally used as the first line of treatment for diabetes sufferers, Metformin makes your body more sensitive to insulin, so that it is more effectively absorbed. Side effects of metformin include dizziness, nausea, and diarrhea.
- Thiazolidinediones: These medicines also make the body more sensitive to insulin. Some serious side effects, including weight gain and increased risk of heart failure, have been noted.
- Sulfonylureas: These medications help your body produce more insulin. They are often used in conjunction with other medications. Side effects include weight gain and low blood sugar.
- Meglitinides: These medicines act like sulfonylureas, in that they stimulate insulin production in the pancreas. The difference is in the effect. Meglitinides have more of a “burst” effect; they are faster acting and taper off more rapidly. The common side effect is low blood sugar.
- Insulin Therapy: Ingested insulin becomes essentially useless once it is digested in the stomach, which is why insulin must be injected. Most patients choose to use long lasting injections once a day. Common side effects are pain, redness, itching and swelling at the site of the injection.
- SGLT2 inhibitors: These medications work to prevent the kidneys from absorbing sugar back into the bloodstream. Instead, the sugar is passed as urine. Side effects include yeast infections, urinary tract infections, hypotension, and of course, increased urine.
As awareness about the effects of these chemical medicines on the body rises, so does the inclination for patients to choose natural remedies for diabetes symptoms.
No matter which route you take to control your diabetes symptoms, complimentary treatments are a must. As much as the words “Diet & Exercise” can make anyone cringe; they are vitally important to those looking for diabetes relief.
When you are seeking relief from diabetes symptoms, the most important factor is your diet. Diets high in processed carbs, refined sugars and animal products can make diabetes symptoms worse. Making simple changes in your diet can make all the difference in controlling diabetes symptoms.
One of the more important changes to make is to switch to a high fiber diet. To put it simply, fiber helps to slow the rate at which carbohydrates are broken down in the body. As carbohydrates are broken down into glucose, adding high fiber foods to your diet helps to keep your glucose levels steady throughout the day. Great examples of high fiber foods are coconut, avocado, artichokes and black beans. Instead of simple carbohydrates such as white potatoes, choose more complex, fibrous carbs like sweet potatoes and yams.
Though traditionally used as medicine, science is now catching up to the idea that food can be a natural remedy to diabetic ailments in modern culture.
Green Tea shows promise at naturally preventing type 2 diabetes. The main antioxidant in green tea is EGCG, which is shown to improve insulin activity and glucose control in the body.
Foods rich in omega-3 oils improve circulation in the body, reducing the likelihood of blood clots, stroke, and heart disease. They do this without changing glucose or insulin activity like some medications. As diabetes sufferers are up to eight times more likely to have a stroke or heart attack in their life, including heart healthy omega-3 oils from sources like fatty fish can be an amazing preventative measure.
According to many studies, when added to the diet, a supplement of chromium manages diabetic symptoms. Chromium is taken as a supplement or found in many foods such as broccoli, whole grains, and even brewer’s yeast.
Essential Oils For Diabetes
As extractives of medicinal plants, pure essential oils provide safe, natural remedies to diabetes patients. The high content of bioactive compounds in essential oils are readily absorbed through the nose or skin, and begin their action immediately.
Let’s look over the most promising studies surrounding the use of essential oils for diabetes.
1. Cinnamon Bark Oil
The bark of the Cinnamomum zeylanicum tree has long been associated with blood sugar control. It has been noted for its “insulin like effects”, and when it is researched, we indeed find that it benefits the blood glucose levels. One recent study linked cinnamon and diabetes regulation. Researchers noted a reduction in levels of glucose, cholesterol, and triglyceride levels in the blood of patients with Type 2 diabetes who took cinnamon regularly.
Another such study showed that cinnamon intake reduces glucose levels in patients with poorly controlled Type 2 diabetes. Patients who simply added one gram of cinnamon to their diet every day over the course of 12 weeks showed significant reductions in fasting blood glucose levels. The study also demonstrated the antioxidant capabilities of cinnamon.
Using pure cinnamon essential oil in a diffuser allows you to inhale the benefits of cinnamon bark throughout the day.
2. Coriander Oil
Using pure coriander essential oil also shows promise in the fight against diabetes. In a promising study posted to Pubmed, an extractive of coriander treats diabetes symptoms in test subjects. The essential oil has been shown to reduce serum glucose and increase insulin release; the effect is a normalization of blood glucose levels. This is great news for people with diabetes.
Another such study backs up this evidence. Test subjects were given a preparation including coriander, and the research suggests that coriander can lower blood sugar in people fighting Type 2 diabetes.
3. Clove Oil
Clove essential oil has long been revered for its antioxidant properties. Used since ancient times in medicine and food preservation, clove oil shows promise in diabetes prevention as well. One study found that clove oil may help prevent Type 2 diabetes caused by oxidative stress. Researchers found that the application of clove oil reduced key pancreatic stressors believed to be linked to diabetes.
Clove essential oil mixes well with cinnamon, and can be vaporized in an aromatherapy diffuser for 30-60 minutes daily.
4. Black Pepper Oil
As a spice, Black pepper has made it to every dinner table across the country. It may be more beneficial than ever thought, though. Recent research suggests black pepper essential oil could manage or prevent Type 2 diabetes symptoms. The study found that black pepper essential oil inhibited enzymes that are prevalent in diabetes patients. This was mainly attributed to the antioxidative compounds within the essential oil.
The study also concluded that these same compounds are beneficial in reducing blood pressure- further supporting positive lifestyle changes.
5. Cypress Oil
Weight loss is heavily stressed in diabetes treatment. By losing 7 percent body fat, the chances of developing diabetes are reduced by over 60 percent. That is a drastic reduction. As such, essential oils which help with weight loss help to support healthy diabetes control.
Cypress oil supports weight loss in people with diabetes. Through the action of one of its main compounds, δ-3-carene, pure cypress essential oil can help with the elimination of fats. Δ-3-carene disperses easily into fat cells, and can help break them up for elimination. A topical application of cypress oil diluted in a carrier oil passes through the skin; allowing for the active compounds to get right to work. To support this action, be sure to drink plenty of water. Urine is 4% fat by volume. Urinating more increases the chances of expelling more fat from the system.
6. Grapefruit Oil
Using pure grapefruit essential oil is another way to support weight loss and diabetes symptoms. The scent of grapefruit oil triggers receptors in your brain which make you feel full. The antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compounds in grapefruit oil also helped reduce weight gain in prediabetic subjects. Researchers found that test subjects given grapefruit extract over a period of 5 weeks gained less weight than those of the control group.
7. Lavender Oil
Treatment of diabetes symptoms includes the treatments of factors which may lead to diabetes. Stress plays a key role leading to diabetes, as stress raises cholesterol and blood pressure. People with high cholesterol levels and high blood pressure are at a much higher risk of developing diabetes.
As such, focusing on essential oils which reduce blood pressure and stress can help support your diabetes plan.
Lavender essential oil is an amazing staple of any medicine cabinet. There is no oil better known; mainly because of its relaxing scent and popularity in the fragrance industry. Beyond its famous scent, there is actually a long list of Lavender essential oil benefits.
Rather high up on that list is the ability of lavender essential oil to reduce blood pressure. One study found that lavender essential oil can reduce blood pressure through inhalation. Patients who inhaled lavender essential oils at regular intervals showed an increase in alpha and theta brainwaves, and reported feeling more refreshed and alert.
Lasting Lifestyle Changes
One of the most important things to note when treating diabetes symptoms is the need to make lasting lifestyle changes. All treatment options, from chemical medicines to essential oils, need to be supplemented by dietary and lifestyle changes. Using pure essential oils can’t be seen as a replacement for these changes. Instead, they can be celebrated as natural ways to enhance your lifestyle and influence steps towards more natural living.