Diabetes And Diet

"To find cure for diabetes is my ultimate dream, but anything to make it easier is a step up."
Lynn Rich, diabetes educator and diabetic patient

According to World Health Organization (WHO), there are 422 million diabetic adults worldwide.  Each year, 1.5 million deaths are being attributed to this disease.

WHO's country and regional data on diabetes show that in year 2000, the Philippines has 2,770,000 reported diabetes cases; the number is expected to rise to 7,798,000 by 2030.

Meanwhile, International Diabetes Federation (IDF) says the "Philippines is one of the world's emerging diabetes hotspots and ranked in the top 15 in the world for diabetes prevalence."

Diabetes defined

The US Center for Disease Control and Prevention defines diabetes as "the condition in which the body does not properly process food for use as energy. Most of the food we eat is turned into glucose, or sugar, for our bodies to use for energy. The pancreas, an organ that lies near the stomach, makes a hormone called insulin to help glucose get into the cells of our bodies. When you have diabetes, your body either doesn't make enough insulin or can't use its own insulin as well as it should. This causes sugars to build up in your blood. This is why many people refer to diabetes as 'sugar.' Diabetes can cause serious health complications including heart disease, blindness, kidney failure, and lower-extremity amputations."

There are different types of diabetes, and some of it are more prevalent than others:
(See links at www.diabetesresearch.org, www.webmd.com, & www.diabetes.ca)

Type 1 Diabetes. Also known as Juvenile or Insulin-Dependent Diabetes causes the body to have an autoimmune disease where the body's immune system attacks part of its own pancreas. It causes the immune system to see the insulin producing cells in the pancreas as foreign, so it destroys them.

Type 2 Diabetes. People with type 2 diabetes make insulin, but their cells don't use it as well as they should. Doctors call it insulin-resistance. At first, pancreas makes more insulin to try to get glucose into the cells. But eventually it cannot keep up, and the sugar will build up in the blood instead.

Gestational Diabetes. It is a temporary condition that occurs during pregnancy. It affects approximately two to four percent of all pregnancies and involves an increased risk of developing diabetes for both mother and child.


Causes and symptoms of diabetes

Different types of diabetes may have the same symptoms but may have different causes.
(See links at www.niddk.nih.gov & www.healthline.com)

Causes of Type 1 diabetes:

Genetic susceptibility. Heredity plays an important part in determining who is likely to develop type 1 diabetes. Genes are passed down from biological parents to child. Genes carry instructions for making proteins that are needed for the body's cells to function. Many genes, as well as interactions among genes, are thought to influence susceptibility to and protection from type 1 diabetes. 


Beta cells autoimmune destruction. In type 1 diabetes, white blood cells called T cells attack and destroy beta cells. The process begins well before diabetes symptoms appear and continues after diagnosis. Often, type 1 diabetes is not diagnosed until most beta cells have already been destroyed. Recent research suggests insulin itself may be a key trigger of the immune attack on beta cells. The immune systems of people who are susceptible to developing type 1 diabetes respond to insulin as if it were a foreign substance, or antigen. To combat antigens, the body makes proteins called antibodies. Antibodies to insulin and other proteins produced by beta cells are found in people with type 1 diabetes. 

Environmental factors such as food, viruses, and toxins, may play a role in the development of type 1 diabetes, but the exact nature of their role has not been determined yet. Some theories suggest that environmental factors trigger the autoimmune destruction of beta cells in people with a genetic susceptibility to diabetes. Other theories suggest that environmental factors play an ongoing role in diabetes, even after diagnosis.

Causes of Type 2 diabetes:

Genetic susceptibility. Genes play a significant part in susceptibility to type 2 diabetes. Having certain genes or combinations of genes may increase or decrease a person's risk for developing the disease. The role of genes is suggested by the high rate of type 2 diabetes in families and identical twins and wide variations in diabetes prevalence by ethnicity.



Obesity and physical inactivity. An imbalance between caloric intake and physical activity can lead to obesity which causes insulin resistance and is common in people with type 2 diabetes. Central obesity, in which a person has excess abdominal fat, is a major risk factor not only for insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes but also for heart and blood vessel disease, also called cardiovascular disease (CVD). This excess "belly fat" produces hormones and other substances that can cause harmful, chronic effects in the body such as damage to blood vessels.


Metabolic syndrome. Also called insulin resistance syndrome, it refers to a group of conditions common in people with insulin resistance, including:

  • Higher than normal blood glucose levels
  • Increased waist size due to excess abdominal fat
  • High blood pressure
  • Abnormal levels of cholesterol and triglycerides in the blood

People with metabolic syndrome have an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes and CVD. Many studies have found that lifestyle changes, such as being physically active and losing excess weight, are the best ways to reverse metabolic syndrome, improve the body's response to insulin, and reduce risk for type 2 diabetes and CVD.

Gestational Diabetes:

Scientists believe gestational diabetes is caused by the hormonal changes and metabolic demands of pregnancy together with genetic and environmental factors.

Insulin resistance and beta cell dysfunction. Hormones produced by the placenta and other pregnancy-related factors contribute to insulin resistance which occurs in all women during late pregnancy. As with type 2 diabetes, excess weight is linked to gestational diabetes. Overweight or obese women are at particularly high risk for gestational diabetes because they start pregnancy with a higher need for insulin due to insulin resistance. Excessive weight gain during pregnancy may also increase risk.

Family history.Having a family history of diabetes is also a risk factor for gestational diabetes, suggesting that genes play a role in its development. Many gene variants or combinations of variants may increase a woman's risk for developing gestational diabetes. Studies have found several gene variants associated with gestational diabetes, but these variants account for only a small fraction of women with gestational diabetes.

Common symptoms of diabetes:

  • Increased thirst and hunger
  • Frequent urination
  • Weight loss or gain that has no obvious cause
  • Fatigue
  • Blurred vision
  • Wounds that heal slowly
  • Nausea
  • Skin infections
  • Patches of darker skin in areas of the body that have creases
  • Irritability
  • Breath that has a sweet, fruity, or acetone odor
  • Reduced feeling in hands or feet

Moringa and diabetes

Several studies show moringa may help in the treatment of diabetes. An article featured at www.naturalnews.com tells of the experimental use of moringa extract on diabetic rats and the results were amazing. Moringa has helped reduce the rats' levels of harmful malondialdehyde (toxic byproduct of lipid oxidation that is often found in people suffering from diabetes) from a staggering 385 percent to 186 percent, and has increased their levels of important antioxidant, glutathione (an antioxidant found in Moringa that contains anti-diabetic properties), from 22 percent to 73 percent.

"Experimental findings clearly indicate the potential benefits of using the aqueous extract of M. oleifera leaves as a potent antidiabetic treatment," the researchers concluded.

Moringa Oleifera is globally acclaimed for its nutritional profile. It is packed with 17 times the calcium of milk, 15 times the potassium of banana, 10 times the vitamin A of carrot, 9 times the protein of yogurt, 4 times the chlorophyll of wheatgrass, and 25 times the iron of spinach. It has Omega 3,6,9 oil, and zeatin. It also contains more than 92 nutrients, 46 types of antioxidants, vitamins A to Z, 36 anti-inflammatories, 18 amino acids, and 9 essential amino acids, making moringa the only food plant that is close to perfection.

These extraordinary life-giving and life-nourishing qualities of moringa have helped people through the years, including diabetics.

With or without diabetes, it is commendable to include moringa in our daily healthy diet. Out in the market today is MalungaiLifeOil natural food supplement. It has captured in a gel the natural nutrients that make moringa superfood that trumps other superfoods. It helps boost the immune system so the body can fight back against harmful diseases, including diabetes and its complications.

Reference links:


*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
Always seek the advice of a health care professional.


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