Alternative Medicine/Please help/diabetes
QUESTION: Dear Dr Wald. Please help if you can. I am a diabetic(type 2). On paper I should not be experiencing the complications that I have, because everysince I became diabetic(I have been diabetic for only 4 years). My a1c's have been normal(average frm 4.8 to 5.4), yet I have these major complications. Painful polyneuropathy(urinary/gastro dysfuntion neuroapthy), foot ulcers/ eyeproblems(cataracts/dry eyes), impotence. All of this with normal a1cs in only 4 years. My doctors are perplexed, and all they can say is that I am a unique case. When I became diabetic, I wanted no parts of drugs or insulin, therefore I used herbs(I take ojamin from India(you can google it). It has kept my sugars normal. Since doctors had no answer for me, on why this is happening to me, I decided ot do my own research, and found out that really the real cause of diabetic complications are the high sugar spikes after you eat, and that the a1c is a average, but it does not take into account the high sugar spikes after you eat, especially if you eat once a day(I eat once a day). The a1c is a average blood sugars for 3 month period. And yes, I have high sugar spikes after I eat. I wish I would have known this, because this ignorance my cause me my life, because diabetes is a progressive illness,and I have major complications early in this disease. I thought that as long as the a1c was normal, then I was okay. from what I have just recently read that is not the case. So I am thinking about taking insulin, since I have read, that it gets sugars down the quickest after you eat. Before I do that, I want to ask as many persons/doctors as possible that is educated on diabetes are their any natural/herbal product that can simulate what insulin does, or that can keep a diabetics sugars from rising, and be just as effective as insulin is? If you have any advice/opinion on what I as a diabetic can do to achieve this(stop high sugar spikes after I eat with natural herbs), God knows I would be very grateful, because I do not want to take drugs or insulin(unless It is a necessity. which is really the case now, but their might be a herb that can get my sugars down quickly just like insulin can). That is what I am asking of you Dr Wald. Can you give me any advice on how I can help better manage my post meal sugar spikes after I eat. Any advice you can give, that can help me achieve this, I will be forever grateful. Thank you. Elbert Vaughn
ANSWER: Hello Elbert:
As you have learned, diabetes is a complex condition. You should know that diabetes is considered "heart disease' meaning that the number one cause of death and disability in diabetics include increased risk of heart attack and blood vessel disease. Often diabetes comes along with high blood lipids and high blood pressure; but not necessarily at the same time. You mentioned that your doctors are perplexed. I am perplexed that they are perplexed because, even though your hemoglobin A1c has been relatively stable, damage to blood vessels and other tissues continues. When the blood sugar, as measured by HgA1c, is beyond 4.5 percentage points, damage to the nervous and cardiovascular system and other tissues of the body continues overtime. Your doctors are just used to seeing, it seems, diabetic complications with high HgA1c levels then you have. The bottom line is that you are not imaging all of these issues. My approach is to recognize the reality that individuals respond in unique ways that are not always reflected upon testing. However, I would run other types of tests on you no doubt. At this point all I can do is provide some general educational guidance regarding certain nutritional supplements that contain nutritional compounds that might help. Greater detail on how they work, based on studies, is provided under the Tech Sheet section at: www.blooddetective.com
Blood Sugar Balance - contains nutrients studies to promote healthy blood sugar balance
Alpha-lipoic acid - to protect nerves that have undergone peripheral neuropathy
B12 Methylated - nerve repair, memory, energy
Blood Pressure Balance - to help manage high blood pressure
Cogni Boost: to help protect blood vessels and manage good memory
Immuno-Balance: to help support a healthy immune system
Magnesium Chelate: to help improve insulin sensitivity, stress and nerve and muscle problems.
Krill Oil - to help support the nervous, vascular and cardiovascular system.
I hope that this information is helpful,
THESE STATEMENTS HAVE NOT BEEN APPROVED BY THE FDA (FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION). THIS INFORMATION IS MEANT FOR EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY.
---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------
QUESTION: Dr Wald, thank you so much for your advice, and time. Dr Wald, I wanted to ask a follow up question after my doctors appointment with my endocrinolgist(Dr Arnold). My appointment was yesterday. I wanted to pose the question to her first before asking a follow up question to you. You pointed out to me(about if a1c is greater than 4.5 that damage is being done to the body). I asked Dr Arnold does damage to tissue and blood vessels occurr to a diabetic if the A1c is greater than 4.5? She still says that a normal a1c is anything below a 6.0, and that she still feels that I am a unique cause, because of the major symptoms I am experiencing. I have much love for Dr Arnold. She is my favorite doctor(I have 5), but she is just wrong. I believe what you said. I am not imaging these symptoms. In fact my neurologist diagnosed me with peripheral neuropathy(Dr arnold feels it is caused by something else). She even believes the foot ulcers that I have had(I have had 2)may not be related 2 diabetes. I have all the symptoms which are typically from diabetes(cataracts,foot ulcers, neuropathy, impotence). Yet, 2 of these symptoms she does not think diabetes is the cause(foot ulcers/neuropathy). Unfortunately, I can not pursue extra test to rule out other potential causes of the complications I am experiencing(I have no health insurance). I don't have the money for additional test(which are very expensive). I believe all the symptoms I am experiencing are all caused by my diabetes.
Dr Wald, you gave me suggestions on what I can take that can begin to address my post meal spikes and complications(thank you). Dr Wald, what I am really concerned about is diabets effecting my brain, and eyes. It is 2 late for my eyes(I have cataracts, flashes of lights and lattice degeration), it has already effected my eyes, but hopefully I can prevent any additional damage. The key Dr Wald is the post meal spikes. I have to keep them under 140 after 2 hours after I eat. I am around 140 to 160 after 2 hours after I eat. Since, I am generally able to keep my numbers in that vicinity 2 hours after I eat, I need to keep them lower. I have read that non-diabetics after they eat their sugars are genearlly under 120, and most are at basline(under 100). So I have to strive to try to keep my sugars under 120, because that is the only thing that can explain these symptoms. I don't know how I can achieve this, but hopefully with your insight it can be done.
Dr Wald you made 8 recommendations of products that I could take that would address the problems I am experiencing. Dr Wald, I want be able to purchase all of those products, but what I need to address is the post meal spikes. You recommended Blood sugar Balance. I will purhase that product. I just wanted to ask you is their anything in addition to taking that product that I could do to achieve a post meal number under 120 or a a1c below 4.5? Because my last a1c was a 4.8, and I nearly starved myself to death to achieve that. I don't know how it will be possible to achieve consistenly have a a1c that low, but I got to do something.
Dr Wald, I am so worried about diabetes effecting my brain. I have memory problems, and I am not as sharp mentally as I was(I know,because I can never come up with word or things to say when explaining or speaking with other people. It is like I am a moroon, because I now have to think what to say, instead of it coming natural when I am in conversation). I am well aware that diabetes over long perionds can cause memory and cognitive problems. I want to do everything to protect my brain from the effects of diabetes. You mentioned B12 Methylated for memory, and Cogni boost. Dr Wald, I probalby can only afford to purchase 2 of the 8 products that you recommended. I will purchase the blood sugar balance, but out of the 2 products that you listed in your reply to me which one would(in your opinion) be more likely to protect my brain from the effects of diabetes? If you would be so kind Dr Wald, again if there are any additional tips/hints I can do(while being on blood sugar Balance), that would assist me in lowering my post meal spikes, please share them with me, and which product(in your opinion)would protect a diabetic from the effects of diabetes on the brain(out of the 2 you listed to help with memory). Thanks for your previous advice, and I look forward to your reply. Thank you. Elbert Vaughn
Regarding diabetes, if your blood sugar and or hemoglobin A1c are too high, your doctor would recommend either insulin and/or various hypoglycemic agents to be taken by mouth such as Metformin. If your doctors have not recommended these already then they are not, medically speaking, appropriate.
There is much wrong information out there regarding how to balance blood sugar. You must understand that blood sugar is controlled by many neuro-hormonal mechanisms in the body. Food is only one of the factors that influence blood sugar; stress is another; exercise is another all on top of genetics. I am telling you that there is no "magic bullet" natural remedy that will fix diabetes. Only a well-rounded health and life plan can potentially do this. Also, no natural supplement is an equivalent to insulin. Yes, foods and various vitamins and herbs can help lower blood sugar in various ways, but for a person on insulin no herb or nutrient will be its equivalent. I have tried and seen almost everything over my 23 year career treating diabetics.
Unfortunately Elbert, you will have to seek out the advice of a trained health care professional in the area of nutrition. First, do lots and lots of research on your own and ask lots of questions. It all "sounds good", but you must be monitored.
Lastly, I cannot help but think that there is much more going on with you due to the many unanswered questions. For now I would say this to you: DO NOT BE AFRAID. You are an intelligent person who wants to get well and this is half the battle. Study and seek out help.
I do hope that this information is helpful to you.
Dr. Michael Wald