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Is There a Cure for Diabetes?

written by: Ravneet Kaur • edited by: Diana Cooper • updated: 4/23/2011

Can you cure diabetes using natural or conventional treatment methods? This question troubles the minds of individuals suffering from diabetes, because it is a pernicious disease. Let us find out the answer to this question.

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    Can You Cure Diabetes?

    Diabetes is a chronic metabolic disorder that can affect the body's capacity to produce insulin and/or regulate blood sugar. The disease affects millions of individuals worldwide. According to some statistics, about 170 million individuals suffer from the disease worldwide, and the number is constantly rising. Hypertension, stress and obesity aggravate the problem of diabetes. The disease is a leading cause of disability and death, as it involves all the organs and impacts their functioning. Coronary and renal diseases are often linked to diabetes. Although there is no cure for diabetes at this time, there are ways to keep it under control.

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    Natural Treatment

    Plant extracts are used in the treatment of diabetes. Bitter gourd, onion and fenugreek are some of the herbs that can be used in the treatment for diabetes. Bitter melon or gourd comprises an insulin-like protein, known as polypeptide-P, which works like insulin in the body. Researches claim that a unique phyto-constituent is also found in bitter melon that has a hypoglycemic effect called charantin, which helps lower blood sugar levels. Its fruit is used as a medicine as it is rich in phosphorous, which helps clean the blood. Scientists assert that regular yet controlled use of bitter gourd can help fight many diabetes-related disorders. Excessive use of bitter melon can cause diarrhea and abdominal pain. Pregnant women should consult their dietician before using bitter melon. Before consuming bitter gourd on a regular basis, diabetics should consult their doctor.

    Clinical evidence shows that onion consists of allyl propyl disulphide, APDS, an active ingredient that prevents the liver from breaking down insulin and regulates its production by the pancreas. This way, this onion ingredient helps increase the amount of insulin, which is so dearly required by the body to regulate sugar levels in the blood.

    Clinical tests have shown that fenugreek holds antidiabetic properties. The tests have found that fenugreek seeds are rich in fiber, which can effectively lower blood sugar levels and also blood cholesterol to some extent. Moreover, studies also claim that fenugreek’s soluble fiber content can help weight control. However, pregnant ladies should not use fenugreek. It should be taken only after consulting a physician.

    Saturated fats fall under the category of harmful fats for diabetics and heart patients, as these raise blood cholesterol, which poses a grave risk of heart disease. Diabetics are more prone to heart diseases and thus should limit their intake of saturated fats and rather opt for unsaturated fats, such as vegetable oil and fish oil. According to the American Diabetes Association, diabetics should consume unsaturated fats; however, the consumption of these fats should also be regulated because these are high in calories and can cause weight gain, though not as dangerous as saturated or trans fats.

    Diabetes should be controlled by changing your eating habits and making some lifestyle changes, such as indulging in some sort of physical activity daily. Diabetics should eat a healthy balanced diet with less amounts of carbohydrates and calories. Diabetics should eat green vegetables and fruits because they contain a large amount of fiber, which slows down digestion and controls blood sugar in your body. Fiber also keeps the cholesterol level limited as it controls bile acid.

    A healthy diet and lifestyle can help diabetics control blood sugar levels. In addition, a diabetic should check his blood glucose level regularly, consult his physician and dietitian and adhere to their advice.

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    Conventional Treatment

    Insulin and prescription drugs are available for diabetics. Intensive insulin therapy is a must for type 1 diabetics, whose pancreas cannot produce insulin. However, insulin therapy produces best results when diabetics introduce a dietary and exercise regimen best suited for them. Consulting a doctor and registered dietician will help them understand the best diet and exercise regimen for themselves.

    For some diabetics, even if their pancreas produces insulin, their bodies are unable to use it properly. For such patients, there is one class of medicine that makes the body more sensitive to insulin, such as metformin, Actos and Avandia. The second class of diabetes medication belongs to those durgs that stimulate beta cells to produce more insulin. Such drugs are Amaryl, Diabeta, Glucotrol, Micronase and Glynase.Then there is a third class of diabetes medicine that helps slow down the breakdown of sugar and starches in the body, such as miglitol and acarbose. All of these classes of drugs are significantly popular with diabetics; however, these have side effects on different persons. Therefore, these should not be taken without a doctor's prescription. Some medications in combination with other drugs or insulin can cause hypoglycemia, causing low blood sugar levels.

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    Stem Cell Therapy

    Researchers claim that stem cell therapy has the potential to cure diabetes. According to them, transplanted stem cells, either injected into the pancreatic artery with a catheter or injected intravenously, help reset the immune system in order to prevent it from attacking insulin-producing cells in the pancreas. Further, such patients are required to take toxic immunosuppressive medications to ensure that the islet cells are protected from transplant rejection and autoimmunity.

    Extensive research is still going on to find out more sources of stem cells and the effectiveness of stem cell therapy in reversing diabetes. However, researchers assert that the implantation might prove effective if the patient is in the first stage of diabetes, when the insulin producing islet cells in the pancreas have not been irreversibly destroyed and can respond to the stem cell therapy.

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    Is There a Cure for Diabetes?

    It is a big question in everyone’s mind suffering from diabetes: Can you cure diabetes? Frankly speaking, there is no cure for diabetes; however, you can control diabetes to some extent by following a strict diet and exercise regimen, seeing your doctor and nutritionist regularly, monitoring your blood glucose regularly, keeping a check on obesity, and avoiding smoking and drinking habits. Remember, a combination of exercises and a balanced diet will help you bring down your blood glucose levels and keep this fatal disease in control.

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    Disclaimer

    The information given in this article is not intended to replace the advice by a licensed doctor or registered dietician.

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    References

    1. Natural Diabetes Cure: http://www.diabetes-daily-care.com/natural-diabetes-cure.html

    2. Conventional Treatments for Diabetes: http://www.diabetes-daily-care.com/diabetes-treatment.html

    3. Green Leafy Vegetables Reduce Diabetes Risk, Study Finds: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/08/100819214607.htmRead more: http://www.healthguideinfo.com/diabetes-nutrition-exercise/p113805/#ixzz1JsJTSy9H

    4. Eating Right With Diabetes: http://www.diabeteslibrary.org/View.aspx?url=Diabetes_Healthy_Diet