Although naturopathic medicine offers a wide variety of treatment options in the management of diabetes, at the heart of it the long-term positive effects on Type II Diabetes can be seen with lifestyle changes.
Exercise has been shown to not only slow peripheral neuropathy (impaired sensation), often seen with diabetes, but also reduce cardiovascular mortality risk. This is significant given that cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in the diabetic population. Furthermore, resistance training alongside a healthy diet improves glycemic control, increases lean muscle mass and bone mineral density.
Even a five percent reduction in weight can reduce the progression of type II diabetes by sixty percent!
The glycemic index (GI) of food measures how quickly a specific food is broken down into glucose in the body. Foods that have a higher glycemic index are not the best choices in the management of diabetes.
Replacing high GI carbohydrates with low GI carbohydrates can have clinically significant improvements on cardiovascular risk and blood glucose measures after meals.
Eating a primarily plant-based diet including vegetables, legumes, healthy fats, fish, poultry, a variety of herbs and spice, with moderation in fruit and red meat intake can play a significant role in blood pressure reduction and management of cholesterols levels.
Sometimes it simply boils down to assessing our lifestyle and seeing what changes can be implemented to have a meaningful effect on our overall well being.
Tripathi BK, Srivastava AK. Diabetes mellitus: complications and therapeutics. Med Sci Monit. 2006;12(7):RA130–147.
Ismail-Beigi F. Pathogenesis and glycemic management of type 2 diabetes mellitus: a physiological approach. Arch Iran Med. 2012;15(4):239–246.
Albright A, Franz M, Hornsby G, et al. : American College of Sports Medicine. Position Stand: exercise and type 2 diabetes. Med Sci Sports Exerc 2000;32(7):1345–60.
American Diabetes Association Physical activity/exercise and diabetes. Diabetes Care 2004;27(90001):S58–S62.
Yardley JE, Hay J, Abou-Setta AM, Marks SD, McGavock J. A systematic review and meta-analysis of exercise interventions in adults with type 1 diabetes. Diabetes Res Clin Pract. 2014;106:393–400.