The Hidden Diabetes Killer
Diabetes is a disease that eliminates a lot of essential nutrients from our body.
High blood sugar, whether type 1 or type 2 diabetes, overwhelms the kidney’s ability to re-absorb glucose. To compensate, our kidneys try to lower high blood sugar levels by increased urination. (The Greek root words of diabetes mellitus means “to pass through” and “sweet or honey” – ie: urinate the sugar out.)
The problem with this is that it also removes a lot of needed nutrients. When urination increases, the diabetic patient loses water and magnesium, zinc, B12, B6, folic acid, and many other nutrients. Water is replaced by drinking but most people do little to replenish the water-soluble nutrients that are also swept out. The diabetic condition demands that these nutrients be replenished – and in large supply – to prevent the bodily devastation that comes from nutritional deficiencies.
Yet, of the thousands of patients with diabetes, it is rare for a conventional physician to put them on a nutritional supplement regimen to counteract these inevitable losses.
If You Waste It, Replace It
The continual nutritional losses that occur in people with diabetes cause body parts to deteriorate or simply fall off. Diabetes is our number one cause of blindness, amputations, and kidney failure – and it dramatically increases the risk of both heart attack and stroke. Let’s examine some of these losses and their consequences.
- Magnesium. Excessive urination washes out magnesium. Very low magnesium levels are present in 25 percent of diabetics and most don’t reach the average levels of the non-diabetic population.
As magnesium levels decrease, glucose control deteriorates because magnesium is essential to normal carbohydrate metabolism. Low magnesium levels are associated with diabetic retinopathy, high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease and diabetics with the lowest magnesium levels have the greatest risk of going blind.
Magnesium is also involved in glucose transfer across cell membranes and it improves insulin sensitivity and glucose control as well. Shouldn’t all people with diabetes be taking supplemental magnesium?
- Zinc. Zinc is another water-soluble nutrient that is flushed from the body. This deficiency may impair the immune system, particularly T-cell function, which could lead to more infections and non-healing ulcers. Zinc deficiency also can cause hair loss as well as diarrhea, which triggers further nutrient losses still.
- B complex vitamins. B1, B6, B12, and folic acid are water-soluble and therefore vulnerable to loss via excessive urination from diabetes. This leads to increased homocysteine levels and dramatically increased risk of cardiovascular disease.
Low levels of B6 can cause glucose intolerance, depression, cracked lips, and dry skin.
A B12 deficiency, over time, can produce mental disturbances, anemia, and impaired nerve function. A lack of folic acid may bring on depression, forgetfulness, insomnia, irritability, and fatigue.
- Antioxidants. Both type 1 and type 2 diabetics are routinely low in virtually all of the water-soluble antioxidants, and type 2 diabetics are often low in fat-soluble vitamins A and E. At the same time, high blood sugar causes severe oxidative stress, which consumes whatever antioxidants are available. If antioxidants are not liberally replaced, then free radical damage is accelerated.
- Vitamin C. Vitamin C is a water-soluble antioxidant and vulnerable to urinary losses as well as poor cellular uptake. Blood cell levels of vitamin C are often substantially decreased in diabetics. As you probably know, severe vitamin C deficiency causes scurvy, which leads to bleeding gums, bruising, and poor wound healing. Furthermore, lack of vitamin C is linked with susceptibility to infections.
Glucose Control Won’t Solve the Problem
Good glucose control reduces urinary losses of micronutrients. However, it does not eliminate them. This point is missed entirely by virtually every conventional physician. Even those with good glucose control still go blind and suffer amputations.
It is imperative that everyone with diabetes take a comprehensive, high-dose daily multivitamin and mineral supplement to compensate for nutritional losses. You’re going to have to follow, on your own, a nutritional supplement program. It’s highly unlikely your physician will stress its importance but, if you have diabetes, it is imperative that you take a potent daily multivitamin and mineral supplement.
Antioxidants are important because diabetes unleashes a storm of oxidative stress, or free-radical damage. This can play a key role in the vascular and nerve damage that underlies diabetic complications. That’s why we include extra antioxidants in the Ultimate Foundation, including coenzyme Q10, acetyl-L-carnitine, and N-acetyl-cysteine.
Alpha lipoic acid (ALA) is especially important. ALA has the unique ability to work in both water- and fat-soluble mediums and to regenerate vitamins C and E, and other antioxidants. It also enhancing glucose uptake, increasing insulin sensitivity and protecting against beta cell destruction. Studies show ALA can help reduce pain, burning, numbness, tingling, and other symptoms of neuropathy. Benefits also have been demonstrated for diabetes-related eye, kidney, and cardiovascular disease.
Damage Can Be Reversed
If you already have diabetic neuropathy, slow-healing skin ulcerations, vision loss, kidney problems, or cardiovascular disease, there’s still hope. Our body has amazing abilities to heal itself but, once again, you’re going to have to take the initiative.
Diabetes is costly in terms of both human suffering and medical expenses, which are roughly two-and-a-half times higher for people with this condition. Today, one of every five health care dollars is spent on patients with diabetes.
The purpose of our Dia-Mazing and Foundation multi-nutrient supplements is to help change the body’s function and give it the nutrients it needs! A high-potency daily multi-nutrient supplement is key to sidestepping complications. Adding weight control and lifestyle changes strongly enforce the control of blood sugar.
It is achievable and can be done.
ACCORD Study Group. Effects of combination lipid therapy in type 2 diabetes mellitus. N Engl J Med. 2010 Mar 18.
ACCORD Study Group. Effects of intensive blood-pressure control in type 2 diabetes mellitus. N Engl J Med. 2010 Mar 14.
ACCORD Study Group. Effects of intensive glucose lowering in type 2 diabetes. N Engl J Med. 2008 Jun 12;358(24):2545–2559.
Balakumar P, et al. The multifaceted therapeutic potential of benfotiamine. Pharmacol Res. 2010 Feb 25.
Singh U, et al. Alpha-lipoic acid supplementation and diabetes. Nutri Rev. 2008 Nov; 66(11):646–657.
Unger RH. Reinventing type 2 diabetes. JAMA. 2008;299(10): 1185–1187.
Modified from Health & Healing with permission from Healthy Directions, LLC.