A diagnosis of type 1 diabetes can be a scary thing.
Typically diagnosed in children, it can leave parents scrambling to understand what foods are and aren’t safe to eat.
It might mean that old favourites may now need to be restricted, which some younger children may not understand.
Although most people who are diagnosed with type 1 diabetes are diagnosed in childhood, it can occur at any age.
We’re a Toronto naturopathic clinic, and we want to offer solutions to help manage type 1 diabetes.
Keep reading to learn more about this disease and measures which can be taken to keep it under control.
What Is Type 1 Diabetes?
Type 1 diabetes is a condition in which the body fails to produce insulin.
Insulin is a hormone which aids the body in controlling blood sugar levels.
Individuals with this type of diabetes need to either inject insulin or use an insulin pump to control their insulin levels and their blood sugar levels.
Symptoms Of Type 1 Diabetes
The symptoms of type 1 diabetes often have a fast onset.
Some things to watch out for include:
- Numbness in the hands or feet
- Feeling thirsty all the time
- Frequent urination
- Dry mouth
- Rapid, unexplained changes in weight, primarily weight loss
- Loss of energy
- Blurry vision
- Cuts and wounds being slow to heal
- Frequent infection
What Causes Type 1 Diabetes?
Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disorder.
This means that the body attacks itself, resulting in the inability for the body to produce insulin.
Risk factors include age (it’s more likely to develop in children and teens), and genetic factors.
Naturopathic Treatments For Type 1 Diabetes
If you or your child is diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, there are a number of things you can do in order to help manage the disease.
Keep reading for some tips to help keep things under control.
1. Monitor Your Carbohydrate Intake
There are three main types of carbohydrates, sugars, fibres, and starches.
In the digestive tract, carbohydrates are converted into sugar and can cause blood sugar levels to rise.
Some types of carbohydrates will cause blood sugar to rise faster than others, and monitoring your intake of them is critical to preventing blood sugar spikes.
Additionally, be careful of foods labelled as “sugar-free”, as they often contain sugar alcohols which can still have carbohydrates and raise blood sugar levels.
2. Eat Non-Starchy Vegetables
Starch is a type of sugar, which means starchy vegetables such as peas, corn, and potatoes will raise blood sugar higher than non-starchy veggies.
Vegetables which have low, or no, starch and are high in minerals, fibre, vitamins, and phytochemicals include:
- Leafy green vegetables such as kale and spinach
3. Live An Active Lifestyle
Maintaining an active lifestyle is an important aspect in managing diabetes.
Physical activity can help keep blood sugar levels low.
The American Diabetes Association has a recommendation of a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate to intense aerobic activity per week, along with two sessions of resistance activity.
Individuals with type 1 diabetes will need to monitor their blood sugar levels carefully during exercise, as they are at risk for it dropping too low.
4. Supplement With Gymnema Sylvestre
Gymnema Sylvestre is an Ayurvedic plant which is thought to have the effect of decreasing blood sugar levels.
The name of this plant, when translated from its original Hindi means “sugar destroyer”.
In addition, because it blocks sugar receptors, Gymnema sylvestre can make sweet, sugary foods less appealing.
5. Supplement With Chromium
A 2015 study in Current Opinion in Clinical Nutrition and Metabolic Care found supplementing with chromium may help to control diabetes and issues related to it.
Another study in Diabetes Care found supplementation with chromium picolinate helped with insulin sensitivity and regulation of glucose levels.
Book An Appointment With Annex Naturopathic
Have you or your child been diagnosed with type 1 diabetes?
Are you overwhelmed thinking about ways to manage this disease,
Annex Naturopathic is here to help.
One of our naturopathic doctors will help you to create a plan which fits your lifestyle, in order to naturally manage your (or your child’s) diabetes.
Contact us today to set up an appointment.