I refer to Diabetes as a mother illness because of what I have learned and seen from many cases. High or low blood sugar is behind many health conditions and most people don’t know.
They keep trying to treat the disease without success because they are not aware of underlying abnormal sugar metabolism in their system.
And the truth of the matter is that if the sugar problem is not handled, cure or improvement of the condition cannot be gotten.
This is why practitioners of natural medicine need to add sugar tests to their vital tests during consultation.
Then if the patient has high or low blood sugar, you have to handle that first before treating the other condition that brought him/her.
Your body uses glucose for energy. It breaks glucose down to release energy using the hormone insulin. The pancreas is responsible for this process.
A healthy glucose metabolism supports the proper functions of the whole body. It releases energy that your body uses to function properly.
There are two types of diabetes, type I and type II. Type is congenital, people with this were born with faulty sugar metabolism and have to depend on insulin injections for life.
However, type II diabetes is caused by many factors like a wrong diet and an unhealthy lifestyle.
Both types of diabetes cause an impairment to sugar metabolism thereby causing abnormal levels of blood sugar and other health problems.
Effects of High Blood Sugar
When people come with any complain, part of your vital tests should include a blood sugar test. The vital tests I run for people are:
- Blood pressure
- And then I add the blood sugar test.
Some of the complaints having high blood sugar as an underlying cause are:
- Frequent urination
- Excessive thirst
- Frequent hunger
- Headaches (most complaints of headaches are caused by high blood sugar and dehydration)
- Skin problems
- Smelly breath (smells like fruits)
- Dry or flushed skin
- Difficulty breathing
- Dental issues; sugar allows bad microbes to grow in the mouth and cause problems
- Slow-healing wounds
- Blurred vision. This might be a surprise to you but high blood sugar is behind almost all eye problems you can think of. This includes glaucoma, cataracts, pterygium, etc.
- Cardiovascular disease: people with diabetes are more likely to have a heart attack. Diabetes is considered a coronary artery disease equivalent. This means if someone has diabetes, he or she has already had coronary artery disease even if it has not yet been diagnosed.
This is so serious that if 2 people come to you complaining of chest pain, and one has suffered a heart attack before while the other has diabetes.
It is more likely that the person with diabetes is currently having a heart attack. In the past, experts use to believe that dietary cholesterol was the main culprit behind atherosclerosis.
However, current research has shown that it is excess levels of sugar in the bloodstream playing a greater role.
- Sexual dysfunction: Someone comes to you complaining of sexual dysfunction, don’t just start treating immediately, check for sugar levels.
I had two cases in which the sexual dysfunction had underlying causes of high blood pressure and diabetes.
High levels of sugar in the bloodstream reduce the flow of blood to the heart and sexual organs. Men who have long-term diabetes also suffer from erectile dysfunction.
Women too with diabetes suffer from vaginal dryness, low levels of sexual interest, and difficulty attaining orgasm.
- Cognitive decline: Do you know that Alzheimer’s disease is referred to as “Diabetes of the brain”? Other health experts call it “type III diabetes”.
There is a strong link between diabetes and cognitive decline no matter your diagnosis. Studies have even shown that people with diabetes have the fastest rate of cognitive decline.
The main mechanism behind this is unknown but health experts believe that reduced flow of blood to the brain is responsible.
- Bone and joint problems: I saw this one practically with my mom. She had arthritis and at that time, her blood sugar was high. But right now that it is under control, the complaints and symptoms have stopped.
Diabetic neuropathy occurs when high blood sugar causes damage to the nerves throughout the body. This leads to numbness and tingling in the hands and feet, and pins and needles sensations.
Damages caused by diabetic neuropathy can even cause damage to the joints of the body. It causes instability and deformations in the joints, especially in the feet. This condition is called diabetic arthropathy or Charcot joint.
Also, excess levels of glucose in the blood can stick to the surfaces of the joints, reduce joint motility, and degrade collagen.
- Kidney disease: diabetes causes kidney disease by damaging the blood vessels in the kidneys. The longer someone has diabetes and the longer it goes uncontrolled, the greater that person’s risk of having kidney disease.
The CDC estimates that one-third of people with diabetes have chronic kidney diseases.
People with diabetes should check their kidney function every year.
- Depression: recent studies are showing that blood sugar level is a greater depressant than taking insulin shots and blood sugar readings daily.
High sugar levels increase the levels of neurotransmitters associated with depression in the brain. Also, high levels of sugar alter the regions in the brain that control emotions thereby resulting in mental health issues.
- Vision problems: undiagnosed and untreated diabetes can cause eye problems. It damages the retina and causes mild vision problems like dark spots, difficulty focusing, or flashing lights.
Blurred vision can also occur and lead to blindness.
- Impaired immune system: persistent high levels of sugar can weaken the immune system thereby making diabetic people susceptible to infections.
So if you have patients complaining of recurrent or chronic infections, please check their sugar levels.
- Congenital heart disease: In this post of ours, maternal diabetes is one of the causes of congenital heart disease in children.
These are some of the diseases with high blood sugar as an underlying factor. If anyone suffering from any of these has high blood sugar, you must treat that first so that your treatments and herbal drugs will be effective.
Also and very important, if the patient is in the stage of pre-diabetes, you have to treat the person for diabetes. Don’t wait until it gets to diabetes.
When this high blood sugar is left unnoticed or untreated, ketoacidosis can result. This condition makes the body very acidic, induces a diabetic coma, and can even cause death.
What About Hypoglycemia?
Every cell of your body needs energy to function and sugar is the main source of this energy. The brain, heart, skin, eyes, digestive system, and other important organs and systems of the body need sugar.
Effects Of Low Blood Sugar
- Mood changes
- Sleep disturbances
- Headaches (lack of glucose can cause this)
- Sleep disturbances like nightmares and crying out loud during sleep (this is caused by very low sugar levels at night)
- Lack of coordination
- Tingling and numbness of the mouth
- Muddled thinking
- Visual disturbances
- Loss of consciousness
- Hypoglycemia unawareness (lack of symptoms of low blood sugar and a very dangerous condition). It happens when people have low blood sugar frequently.
- Rapid heartbeat
- Intense hunger
- Racing pulse
- Cold sweats
- Gastroparesis (food spend too much time in the stomach before entering the small intestines thereby causing pain, nausea, and vomiting).
- Pale skin
- Difficulty concentrating
- Hormonal imbalance
- Difficulty speaking
- Changes in behavior and personality
- Dynamic emotional instability (irrational outbursts, crying without any reason, impulsive anger or frustration, and wanting to be left alone)
- Food aversion (people complaining of lack of appetite should be checked for low blood sugar)
- Kidney disease
- Nerve damage
- Clammy skin
- Blurred vision
- Your liver starts tapping into glucose reserves
Low blood sugar makes coordination and everyday tasks difficult. If left untreated, it can result in seizures, loss of consciousness, heart attack, brain bleed, inability to eat or drink, and even death.
Sugar problems, whether high or low are not to be played with or taken for granted. A lot of people are walking about with undiagnosed sugar problems.
Checking for sugar levels even if the symptoms don’t look like a sugar problem will help you save someone’s life.
From the above signs and symptoms, you should be amazed at what undetected abnormal levels of sugar in the body can do.
How To Measure Sugar Levels
I use two trusted brands of glucometer to check sugar levels in my patients.
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101 mg/dl to 125mg/dl is pre-diabetes while any reading above 126mg/dl is diabetes.
I use fasting blood sugar only to help me know their real sugar status. I don’t use random blood sugar tests.
If your glucometer gives the reading in mmol/l like the Acu-answer brand, you can convert it to mg/dl by multiplying the score by 18.
1mmol/l = 18mg/dl. Keep this formula at the back of your mind.
And I do my random blood sugar test very early in the morning, before 9:00 AM before the liver starts breaking down glycogen into glucose.
Conclusion on Diabetes
I wrote this post specifically for the practitioners of natural medicine but I believe non-practitioners can learn a lot from here and protect their health.
I will be posting on potent natural remedies for diabetes along with diet and lifestyle guidelines, if you don’t want to miss that post, subscribe to our once-a-week newsletter to get notified when the post is live.
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