Type 2 diabetes is becoming a disease that is afflicting many people today. The standard American diet is a contributing factor to why people develop Type 2 diabetes. It is believed that the onset of Type 2 is gradual. That is why adults usually develop the disease after 40 years of age. As we age the body becomes less tolerant to sugars. Eating the Standard American diet over a lifetime can contribute to many conditions, one of which is adult onset diabetes.

However, Type 2 diabetes is no longer just an adult disease. There are vast amounts of children that are developing Type 2 diabetes. Children are susceptible to diabetes because of childhood obesity. The standard American diet coupled with a lack of physical exercise sets the stage for this debilitating condition.

*Unlike people with type 1 diabetes, people with type 2 diabetes produce insulin; however, the insulin their pancreas secretes is either not enough or the body is unable to recognize the insulin and use it properly. This is called insulin-resistance. When there isn't enough insulin or the insulin is not used as it should be, glucose (sugar) can't get into the body's cells. When glucose builds up in the blood instead of going into cells, the body's cells are not able to function properly.*

What Are the Symptoms of Type 2 Diabetes? The symptoms of type 2 diabetes vary from person to person but may include:

Increased thirst

Increased hunger (especially after eating)

Dry mouth

Nausea and occasionally vomiting

Frequent urination

Fatigue (weak, tired feeling)

Blurred vision

Numbness or tingling of the hands or feet

Frequent infections of the skin, urinary tract or vagina*

Alternative treatments have been around since 1550 BC in which can potentially help diabetes sufferers:

Acupuncture: A procedure in which a practitioner inserts needles into designated points on the skin. It has been shown to offer relief from neuropathy, the painful nerve damage caused by diabetes.

Biofeedback: A technique that helps a person become more aware of and learn to deal with the body's response to pain. With Guided Imagery, a person can think of images of controlling a chronic disease, such as diabetes.

Relaxation: A technique that counters the harm of stress. The blood sugar goes up whenever a person is under a lot of strain at work or at home. Meditation, yoga, biofeedback, self hypnosis, guided imagery, etc., are all methods to reduce stress leading to relaxation. All require some training but once practiced successfully an individual will need less insulin, blood flow will improve and blood pressure will drop.**

Herbs for Diabetics

Some plants have the ability to lower blood sugar, they are called hypo-glycemics. These plants contain insulin, a substance similar to insulin. These plants are effective for people who are noninsulin-dependent diabetes and can be contribute to the comprehensive management program. Listed below are some popular examples.

Cinnamon: can boost the ability of insulin to metabolize glucose.

Cayenne: can significantly relieve nerve pain associated with diabetic neuropathy.

Garlic: has demonstrated blood sugar lowering action.

Green Tea: two cups a day are recommended.

Kelp: has many trace elements, chromium for one, which is important to carbohydrate metabolism.

Oats: oat bran, the ground inner husk, has become popular as a dietary means for diabetes.

Onions: Studies have shown the blood sugar lowering action of onions.

Antioxidant-rich fruit and vegetables: eaten five times a week cuts macular degeneration in half.

Some herbs that may not be as commonly recognized to aid:

Eucalyptus, Evening Primrose, Aloe, Alfalfa, Bilberry, Ginkgo Biloba, Ginseng, Goldenseal, Psyllium Seed, Nettle, Spirulina...

*WebMD Article "Type 2 Diabetes Overview",©2005-2008 WebMD, LLC. All rights reserved. ** "Natural Treatments for Diabetes" R.N. Ellsworth pp. 16-17, pp.18-23 . Woodland Publishing, Copyright 2000.