As a followup to last month’s article on patient dumping, I’ll present some ways to take charge of diabetes using natural cures. Keep in mind that the techniques are similar whether you’re trying to control cholesterol, heart disease, lipids, kidney failure or any number of diseases using natural cures. Your goals are, at a minimum, better health, lower cost, less medication and to eliminate any reason your provider might have to discharge you from their care. After all, if your health is managed well, or even improving, your healthcare provider will likely take most of the credit for that.
If you read my earlier article on patient abandonment, you know that the possibly of being dumped by my healthcare provider came up because I refused to buy a medication I couldn’t afford. A little research, though, encouraged me to try some natural cures and take matters into my own hands. So, while I insisted she let me use an over the counter insulin, I fully intended to supplement that with natural cures like dietary changes and supplements known to be effective.
Patient Abandonment vs. Provider’s Right to Choose Whom They Treat
As mentioned in the previous article, the potential for patient abandonment was disturbing, but to learn that there might be a legitimate reason for her to dismiss me from her care really woke me up. A justifiable reason would be that she hadn’t been able to manage my glucose, which had been out of control for over a year. Along with my refusal to take the $700 medication that she recommended because it is the practice standard, she could cite her inability to manage my case as well as claim I was being non-compliance with her recommendations. Of course, she would be obligated to find an alternate provider to take over my care, but that might mean settling for a doctor, PA or NP that I wouldn’t choose for myself. But, then again, maybe the non-compliance thing is enough for her to dismiss me from her care. I don’t plan to find out.
As a full-time RVer I run the risk of a doctor refusing to take me because
- a) I’m covered by Medicare
- b) My home address isn’t local
- c) I’m transient and might pick up and leave, so why accept me at all.
So, this is something all full-timers need to keep in mind as healthcare comes increasingly under government control. Access to a care provider could, one day, restrict us to the zip code where we domicile. And for many of us, that’s not a place we’ve ever called home. With that in mind, it’s to our benefit to simplify our healthcare providers’ jobs by not giving them anything they can’t manage.
Fortunately, I was able to buy myself some time. Between the appointment when she stated that she might not be able to continue caring for me and the follow up appointment I was able to demonstrate that I could control my blood sugars with the inexpensive “old formula” insulin. But it wasn’t the insulin alone that worked. I did plenty of research on foods, herbs, seeds and supplements and found many easy (and tasty) ways to lower my blood sugars. I was also able to eliminate two other costly and dangerous diabetes meds that are known to cause kidney damage.
Natural Cures for Diabetes
Diabetes is a common disease, and becoming more common at younger ages. So, I’m glad to be able to tell you about several effective alternatives. I’ve tried most of these with excellent results as natural cures that enhance the medications I have to take.
OKRA: I found an article touting okra as a natural cure for diabetes. It said to cut up two or three pods of okra and soak them in a glass of water overnight. In the morning simply discard the okra and drink the water. The idea is that the mucousy water coats the stomach, slowing the absorption of carbohydrates, and slowing the increase in blood glucose levels. I took it a step further. I learned to cook the okra quickly by adding the whole pods to boiling water, then boiling them for just three minutes. It confines the mucous within the pod making it less messy to eat. I eat about eight pods a day and save the water it boiled in for sipping throughout the day or to use in soups.
NIGELLA SATIVA: This little seed, often called black seed, comes from Egypt and the middle east. It’s referred to as the “natural cure for everything but death.” It has many medicinal uses, too numerous to mention here. But lowering blood glucose is one of them. I bought a pound on E-Bay for about $27.00. There are so many ways to use this seed: grind it up and sprinkle it on salads, meat, fish or in casseroles; steep a teaspoon of it in hot water for tea; eat the seeds whole. For my purposes, I chose to make a cup or two of tea each day and sprinkle it in salads. A sprinkle of real cinnamon or ginger boosts the flavor and effectiveness of the nigella tea.
CINNAMON: Cinnamon is not the powder you’re accustomed to using. That is actually cassia, made from the bark of a similar tree, and is not the pure cinnamon we think it is. Unlike cinnamon, cassia is potentially toxic if taken in large amounts. True cinnamon is easy to distinguish from cassia if you find it in sticks. Cinnamon looks like curled up layers of flaky bark, something like the way a croissant has like flaky layers, or the way a cross cut of a cigar looks like rolled up layers. Cassia, on the other hand, looks like a roll of thick leather, a solid sheet curled in on itself. No flaky layers. Cinnamon has the ability to increase metabolism and thus, lower blood glucose. Real cinnamon is many times more effective than cassia.
ALPHA LIPOIC ACID: Alpha lipoic acid is an antioxidant. It reduces inflammation, enhances insulin sensitivity (lowering blood glucose) and regenerates other antioxidants. This is only a partial list of what ALA does, and it’s worth looking up. But for now, just know that it helps make insulin more effective. The recommended effective dose is between 400-800 mg/day.
CHROMIUM PICOLINATE: Chromium is known to enhance the action of insulin. The brand I found comes in 1000 mg tablets.
ERYTHRITOL: Erythritol occurs naturally in fruits such as melons and grapes. Monk fruit, an exceptional source of erythritol, is 200 times sweeter than sugar. You can find sugar substitutes made from Monk fruit in your grocery store. Monk fruit sweetener has a low glycemic index and is thought to stimulate insulin secretion. Erythritol also reduces the damage caused by oxidative stress from diabetes.
CUMIN: Cumin is a common spice used in many Mexican dishes, guacamole and dips. I’ve used it for years and was pleased to find a research abstract that showed that cumin was as effective as glibenclamide (a common antidiabetic drug) and more effective in controlling oxidative stress and inhibiting formation of advanced glycated end products known to damage small blood vessels in diabetics. Considering the damage many diabetic drugs have caused, it’s great to find a natural cure to replace one of these.
GINGER: This wonderful spice was shown to improve insulin sensitivity and to reduce fasting plasma glucose, HbA1C, insulin, insulin resistance, triglycerides, total cholesterol and two markers of inflammation, C-reactive protein and prostaglandin E2. As natural cures go, this one is effective for several diseases. I added a generous sprinkle of ground ginger to my Nigella Sativa tea and it was delicious.
TURMERIC EXTRACT: Another study published in the journal of the American Diabetes Association, Diabetes Care showed turmeric extract to be 100% effective in preventing prediabetics from becoming diabetic. Natural cure, natural preventative.
NUTS: We now snack on a nut mixture of equal parts roasted pecans, almonds and cashews. I’m going to add peanuts and pistachios to this mixture for some additional benefits. Cashews have shown to lower blood sugar, and the others are good for balancing lipids, adding healthy fiber, heart health, and being a snack that satisfies for long periods of time.
The list of beneficial minerals seems so endless and abundant, I now wonder why anyone has diabetes. But since we do, it’s nice to know there’s lots of help waiting on the grocery shelf. I should also mention magnesium here. Magnesium is such a beneficial mineral for diabetes and almost every other bodily function that it’s definitely an essential.
So many of these spices work well, alone or blended together, with meat, fish, rice, sauces, teas, and desserts that it can only add a pleasant variety to mealtime. But the real plus is knowing that I’m eating my way to a lower blood glucose and avoiding another expensive drug/chemical in the process. While this seems to be frustrating my practitioner, there really isn’t much she can do if I come to her with little to treat. And I’m enjoying the challenge, the competition to see if my methods out-treat hers.
I’ve only scratched the surface as I’m still finding more natural cures in the form of ordinary foods and spices, so please share what you know, or would like to know, in the comments section. Thanks for reading.
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