Posted: Monday, February 11, 2019. 10:43 am CST.
The views expressed in this article are those of the writer and not necessarily those of Breaking Belize News.
By Gerald Zuniga, M.D:
Concerned about the widespread nature of diabetes type II within our society, falling into an endemic status and also as a pandemia, ( on the world stage) I decided to prepare and share the following with you all. I want to see my people healthy!
I will not discuss in depth the physiopathology of diabetes mellitus type II rather I will share some important tips with you so that you can take some measures to better your quality of life once acquired the disease. Diabetes mellitus type II starts as a disease but can evolve to manifest itself as a syndrome. You may ask yourself, what is a syndrome? A syndrome is a cluster of diseases at the same time. It is having many diseases at the same time. In the case of diabetes mellitus type II, and when I say diabetes thereafter I am referring to the same, it is important that the patients know that they could eventually suffer from many diseases and these include the following: Diabetic nephropathy, Diabetic neuropathy, Diabetic retinopathy, Diabetic neovascular glaucoma, and Cataract,. The suffix -pathy in medicine means disease of. Hence, cardiopathy means disease of the heart. Cardio: heart and pathy: disease of. The complications of diabetes also includes skin diseases, diseases of the gastrointestinal tract, (like diarrhoea and constipation), hypertrigliceridaemia ( high triglycerides in the blood) hypercholesterolaemia, (high cholesterol in the blood) atherosclerosis ( hardening of large and small arteries ), cardiopathies and increased risks for cerebrovascular events which includes stroke or its transitory variant. So diabetes is a complex disease with many complications when left unattended to. This being said, the disease must be taken seriously. Its proper management is paramount but most importantly the prevention.
What is Diabetes MellitusTypes II?
Diabetes Mellitus Type II is its medical name, but regularly we say diabetes type II as short. There is also diabetes mellitus Type I. Also important to know that there is diabetes insipidus. The mellitus and insipidus are not related but they share related symptoms. However, here we are talking about diabetes mellitus type II which as I stated is a complex metabolic disorder. Diabetes is a chronic metabolic diseases characterized by constant high blood sugar levels due to the lack of or low production of insulin or a resistance to insulin. Insulin is a hormone produced by the beta cells in the Inslet of Langherhans of the pancreas. The normal range for glucose in the blood in fasting is 70 – 110mg. Haemoglobin A1C is used to determine the behaviour of your blood glucose in the past 2-3 months giving a clearer idea of your cell glucose metabolism. All cells in our body have glucose as their energy source. Some cells more than others. The cells that are most intolerant to glucose shortage are the brain cells and this phenomenon is more observed in babies causing them to suffer even from convulsions or fits because their brain is still developing. Crying is the reflex that nature endowed babies with as a signal for their need for food and should not be ignored. However, adults, too, can suffer from convulsions because of the same phenomenon which we call hypoglycaemia. This phenomenon is seen a lot with insulin users because of an erratic usage of insulin. It is quickly corrected by sucking a sweet or candy or drinking a sugary drink. As I always tell my patients, that the hypos or the lows can quickly kill you in a matter of a few minutes. These include hypovolemia ( low blood volume), hypothermia ( low body temperature), hypoventilation (weak breathing), etc. The hypos are medical emergencies. Hypoglycaemia which is low blood sugar can kill you in a few minutes. Meanwhile, hyperglycaemia which is high blood sugar, the level has to be really high to have symptoms and signs. Hence, many don’t know they are diabetics until late. So as I was saying, glucose is the energy source for our body cells especially the brain cells. It is like the gasoline for a vehicle. When suffering from diabetes types II, because of a deficit in the production of or a resistance to insulin, you have a lot of glucose outside the cell but you lack the key which is insulin for the glucose to enter the cell for the cell to be energetic and active. It is like a group of you wanting to enter your locked house but for you all to enter you need the key. So the cells starts to get sluggish and sad. This process of sluggishness causes chronic inflammation and even early death of the cell as a cellular response and the first to be affected are the small blood vessels called capillaries or microvasculature and later affect the macrovasculature or large blood vessels.
Where do we have a lot of capillaries?
We have a lot of capillaries in the kidneys, retina of the eyes, the nerves, and the penis. Hence, the medical conditions or complications these individuals suffer from as I mentioned earlier . Namely, chronic renal failure, diabetic retinopathy, and peripheral neuropathy, and erectile dysfunction as chronic conditions and not minimizing acutized conditions like hyperosmolar hyperglycaemic nonketotic coma which can take one to an intensive care unit. Diabetic retinopathy leads to blindness despite the advent of laser treatments and the neuropathy manifest itself by severe pains especially in your lower extremities leading to diabetic foot or feet and amputations if left unattended and it a pain that pain killers do little or nothing to alleviate it.
For chronic renal failure, we have peritioneal and hemodialysis but hemodialysis is now more widely used. None is a treatment. Rather it is a palliative measure used to eliminate creatinine from your body which is a waste product from protein in your diet and from your body’s own cell metabolism. If this creatinine is not removed, it intoxicates the body especially the brain causing uremic encephalopathy. Not treated is can conduce to death. As I said, hemodialysis is a palliative measure preparing you for a kidney transplant. If you are lucky of having a donor and after many compatibility test, you may receive a kidney transplant at a cost of around $25,000 – $35,000USD and even more depending on which hospital and country the transplant is done and after the kidney transplant if you are fortunate you need to drink expensive immunosuppressants all the rest of your life. Also a kidney transplant with diabetes is a complicated situation because the cause has to be controlled. Remember, when diabetic your immune system is weak and with chronic renal failure it is worse. Your haemoglobin is low and it is important to oxygenate your cells. By the way, chronic renal failure patients should always walk around with a mask to avoid respiratory diseases. It is an important preventive measure especially when there is an outbreak airborne infectious diseases like the flu. The cost of hemodialysis is around $1750USD or more monthly till you die with all the risk involved especially infections and low blood pressure. Isn’t it cheaper to prevent, especially when there is a genetic predisposition ,or control the disease. Diabetes types II is a family disease eventually because it affects the bread winners of the home.
How could I know if I am suffering from diabetes mellitus type II?
Does diabetes gives you warning? Yes, it does. It tells you I don’t want to invade your body but if you are carefree I will surely take over. The warning of diabetes is a triad, meaning 3. It has 3 basic manifestations. The 3 polies. What are they? They are polyphagia, polydipsia, and polyuria. In small change, polyphagia is that tendency to be eating and eating with low saciety. You don’t get full. Polydipsia is that tendency to be drinking a lot of water and still feel thirsty and polyuria is that frequent going to urine. Those are the signs that you need to pay keen attention to.
That being said, diabetes is a very expensive disease for the individual, the family, and for the state because it has an important economic impact and it creates a pressure on a health budget. Nature is aware that it gave us the disease. Hence, nature has responded to you but you may not be aware of it. If you live here in Belize City, you may be observant of a phenomenon that you see sorroci (Mormodica Charantia) climbing all around. That is nature’s or God send to you. God give the disease but he also give the cure. The growth of sorocci was seen more after our grandparents burnt the fields doing the slash and burn method of farming. We see it now even in towns and cities. In Belize City, for example, It is nature’s response. Don’t ignore it.
Can diabetes type II be cured?
Contrary to the teachings of the conventional or alopathic medical community which to this date has no cure for diabetes type II, it can be cured with a holistic approach. There are many families of drug used by us in the medical community to control diabetes but there is the body’s natural phenomenon of tolerance when you find out you are a combined drug and so on and later only insulin works and the calvary continues.The treatment can be from within a few month to 2 years. So diabetes and high blood pressure can be cured but it needs discipline, responsibility, and dedication. However, weigh the benefit in comparison with hemodialysis, kidney transplant, or blindness as explained above. It is always cheaper to prevent these complications.
All diabetic should have a glucometer. Always jot down your blood sugar result so as to present it to your doctor. The datum pre breakfast is important. Also, there is now personal meter to measure your glycosilated haemoglobin. Technology is advancing.
After suffering from diabetes, you have difficulties with the metabolism of fats so your diet should be low in fat, high in fiber(vegetables, whole grain cereals like whole grain oats), adequate amount of protein. Vegetables are rich sources of vitamins, minerals, and phytomolecules that can even avoid certain cancers. Fiber rich diet also avoid constipation. Divide your meals in small portions so as to avoid a blood sugar rush. Drink adequate amount of water, if you don’t suffer from kidney failure. Once with kidney failure the amount of liquid intake should be regulated to avoid body swelling which can be determined by ankle or foot swelling because of gravity. I don’t recommend that you use sweetners like the famous one you buy at store. The sweetner that I recommend is stevia. It also has antioxidant property. Based on the recommendations from serious studies on the sweetner in the so called “diet drinks” and years of clinical experience. So as I said earlier, I don’t recommend that you drink the so called “diet drink”. They contain a sweetner that is not compatible to good health. If you so desire, drink a normal bottled or canned drink sweentened with cane sugar diluted with water. Honey could also be used in diabetics. It depends on your overall condition. So this goes to all. Avoid drinking the so called “diet drinks”. It is contrary to good health according to scientific studies with no conflict of interest. Control the consumption of tropical fruits they are usually richer in sugar than fruits from temperate regions like apples and grapes. When you eat apples and grapes consume the skin or peel and seeds. For example, the seeds of grapes are rich in resveratrol. Hence, the health benefit of a cup of red wine. Resveratrol is a very important phytomolecule for good health. It controls low density cholesterol which better off circulation to theheart and brain and avoiding stroke and heart attack respectively and peripherically avoiding the neuropathy we had talked and consequently avoiding amputations. Increase uncooked foods in your diet as much as possible. Healthy eating habits are important not only in content but in style. What do I mean by this? You need to eat wuth a relaxed mind. Chew your food properly. Digestion begins in the mouth and the proper milling or chewing of the food by the teeth and the incorporation of salivary juice is important. Remember, that saliva is not only to soften food before swallowing to cause less friction on the esophagus but it also contains important enzymes. Hence, we say digestion begins in the mouth.
Most take metformin for their diabetes. Always make sure that your creatinine level is normal. This is change or to regulate the dose and avoid the accumulation of lactic acid in your muscle and avoid cramps. I had told you about sorroci. Make a tea of sorroci, cinnamon, and ginger. There are many articles in important medical journals about the blood sugar lowering property of sorroci and cinnamon. Drink at least 3 cups daily and you follow up your blood sugar level with your glucometer and be assessed by your doctor. Ginger helps in neuropathy because it has vasodilation property so it improves the circulation removing toxins that causes inflammation of the nerves. Hence, the pain as a response. Remember, the lows kill in minutes. If you feel cold, sweaty, have goose bumps, blurred vision, altered consciousness, you can have a suspicion that your sugar is low and you must suck a sweet. Daily exercise is also important for good health overall and the same for diabetics. Unfortunately, our country is not an exercise friendly nation. Not even for the most practical exercise like walking. Our central and governments need to design and redesign our communities where emphasis is placed on human integral development. Pranayama which is an element of yoga can be done at home or in your office. Where you breath in profoundly and you exhale for a couple of minutes. Remember, I talked about anxiety and depression both are stressful situations and products of stress themselves. So pranayama helps you to relax and oxygenate your cells and hence detoxifies. Stress management is very important here and for good health in general. Control your emotions. Avoid neurotic behaviours. You do yourself a lot of harm with such conduct.
Diabetes and Politics
Most want us to believe that diabetes mellitus type II is a diet related disease. Far from the truth. We as zoopolitikons have created and applied a political system which is not compatible with good health and most of the time there is not a multitasked team within a government at high level who work together to design health policies, economic models, educational methodologies, and food security measures to improve the quality of life of its citizens. Diabetes is the disease of ultracapitalism where we have the extremes. Greed and scarcity. Both of these conditions have serious physiopathological impacts on the human body. Both greed and scarcity creates anxiety. Anxiety stimulates the production of adrenaline and other neurotransmitter which interferes with the insulin production and metabolism pathway. The body experiencing this daily: diabetes, high blood pressure and gastric diseases are the consequences. There is where a government comes in. It is the utmost responsibility of a government to be a facilitator. Our Constitution is clear that we are organized as a society to achieve HAPPINESS. Are we happy as a nation? How do we reduce scarcity? We do so by creating stable jobs for our citizens? And I say stable jobs, because it is same if you are working and you are working worrying that you can loose your job anytime because of political victimization, racial discrimination, religion, etc. We have a high rate of unemployment and ironically havng plenty resources but unfortunately not the will. Create stable jobs, reduce violence and you will see that the rate of this and other diseases will automatically reduce. Anxiety is a killer. It creates havoc in the human body and there is a principle in biophysics that after constant excitation there comes inhibition. So anxiety comes depression which can reach the level of schizophrenia. Don’t you see a lot of these cases on our streets that our authorities don’t care addressing. They don’t give a darn. Is it because the majority are black brothers and sisters? With a rehabilitation program they can be rescued. Don’t anxiety and depression conduce to drug use and abuse. Isn’t the system we have created a creator of an unhealthy society? When will we as a nation brake and make the necessary changes? Now greed. Greed has similar impact on the body but it goes higher because it enter the spiritual realm. Greed is a Gunam. Hence, you will find out the many health benefits that people receive who are involved in charity work with a pure heart. Even their cancer gets cure in certain cases. Greed is one of the worse because it cause deprivation. When you want everything for yourself you deprive someone from something who could even have more use for it. My late grandfather, Evangelisto Zuniga, a.k.a. Banjay, used to say “What does it profit a man to gain the whole world and suffer the loss of his own soul.” Very powerful, isn’t it? Hence, I said that ultracapitalism is a contributing factor to physical and spiritual diseases. So both scarcity and greed are ingredients for corruption. What a vicious cycle! Belizeans have not been happy for decades. Are we condemned not to be happy. I refuse to believe. There are 8 conditions that contributes to diseases and diabetes is no exception according to Siddha Mefical Science which I am finishing a Doctoral Degree in. They are: 1. Melancholy (Kaanam), 2. Hatred (Krodham), 3. Miserableness, (Lopam), 4. Animosity (Machariam), 5. Illegal Love (Mogam), 6. Indifference (Idumbai), and 8. Envy. Conventional medicine thst we learn in mainstream medical faculties at universities don’t address these.
I may clarify that I am not an advocate for a socialist regime of government. It is antithesis of the supposed equality that they hallmark. There is no society where there is a perfect pyramid than it. Where the base are compise of people eating eggs and the tip which is a handfull who are eating caviar. All in the name of equality and they are also the owners of the resources using the name of the states. I am a lover of freedom. Freedom of speech, ideas, movement but obviously there is responsibility. Freedom of speech doesn’t mean you can say whatever you want neither the caprichousness in socialism that prohibits freedom of movement should be condemned. If the system is good, you will go back. Why are there caravans going to the U.S? It is not perfect but it works. We need a balance. All extremes are contraproductive. Life and history have thought us that but we are stubborn to learn.
So diabetes deserves seriousness from ourselves as society and from the health policy makers and I insist that it be declared as national emergency.
Hope this has been of use of use to you.
The sole objective here is conscientialization. Your health is your primordial responsibility.
Prevention is always cheaper than cure. For you and for your love ones.
Share this with your love ones!
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