DIABETES, ITS CAUSES, EFFECTS & TREATMENT
As yet there has been no universally accepted theory as to the cause and cure of diabetes. It has been regarded and still by different authorities is regarded as due to a disease of the pancreas, of the muscles, of the nervous system, of the kidneys. Sometimes it has been considered as a metabolic and nutritional disturbance, and still again as a form of autotoxemia and acidosis.
The body in which diabetes develops generally is considered to have been supplied with an over-abundance of sugar and starch foods. One reason for this belief, of course, is the appearance, in those affected by the disease, of an abnormal amount of sugar in the blood and the excretion of sugar in urine, where it does not belong. It is true that the diabetic is unable to deal with sugars and other carbohydrate foods satisfactorily. But when the body has been overfed on all classes of food, it can not be expected to assimilate properly any class.
It is the disturbance of metabolic processes by this overtaxation that accounts for the body’s comparatively ready response to a program of diet and hygiene which allows recovery of a normal metabolic balance. Many cases of this disease, some of which have been “given up” under orthodox treatment, have been greatly benefited or corrected entirely through the fast, the fruit diet, the milk diet, and suitable exercise.
Symptoms- The first characteristic of diabetes is a presence of sugar in the urine, together with a large amount of urine. Additional symptoms are great thirst, voracious appetite, gradual and often rapid loss of weight, weakness, dry and harsh skin, and often inability to sleep. Boils frequently develop, also cataracts, and there may be gangrene of the extremities, also, in some cases, a tendency to coma.
This is a disease that often is well established before it is suspected. Its onset is gradual as a rule, but may develop abruptly after some severe shock. It may appear at any age, but the usual age is from thirty to sixty. When it appears in early life the outlook is far from bright. Jewish peoples are particularly susceptible to this disease.
This is one of the serious diseases steadily increasing in prevalence. It ranks with heart disease, kidney disease and cancer as degenerative diseases that are steadily increasing in frequency.
Treatment- Diabetes is a condition in which there can be no great amount of compromise; a rigid treatment must be followed. The majority of people feel that diet is the only important factor in the treatment (except insulin), but diet is only one-half of the treatment. It is necessary that food be utilized, that sugar taken in as such or formed from starch foods be oxidized, and exercise is the only way in which this can be assured in a physiological manner.
The absolute fast rarely is given in a case of diabetes because of the tendency to the development of acetone acidosis, which is serious condition leading to coma and death unless prompt and correct treatment is given. Instead, a fruit diet usually is employed. Any of the citrus fruits may be used, a diet of six to eight oranges a day or two or three grapefruit being ideal. This gives an allotment of fruit-sugar by which the acetone acidosis will be prevented, while at the same time this sugar is so natural that it is oxidized perfectly.
Citrus fruit will not increase the diabetic condition, or the amount of sugar in the blood or urine, contrary to the general belief. Such a diet may be continued as long as the general condition will permit.
Afterward, diet should include an abundance of fruits and green vegetables with a minimum of starch foods of any kind, but with small amount of milk or other protein, such as cottage cheese. Instead of this diet the strict milk diet may be employed with benefit, but usually these cases do better on skimmed milk.
I recall one case of diabetes that was in a serious condition on beginning the treatment who went several days on fruit and then began the strict milk diet. The patient was seen thirteen and a half years later, and heard from three years still later, and throughout all of these years he had remained strictly on the milk diet with the addition of two oranges a day. He was using practically throughout this time for quarts of milk daily. At the age of sixty-five, at a height of six feet he weighed 175 pounds and was apparently in sound health. He felt well in every way, performing his daily duties without any sick leaves, and had absolutely no appearance of sugar in the urine or excess sugar in the blood at any time upon examination. Incidentally, he remarked that if he lived to be hundred years old he would never change from this diet.
One advantage with the milk diet is that it is not necessary to measure the foods for carbohydrates. There is practically a definite amount of carbohydrate (seven per cent) in cow’s milk whatever the pasturage or the food received by the milch animals.
As insulin is in such common use today in the treatment of diabetes by medical men, it should be made clear that this substance, although it has great value in reducing the percentage of blood sugar, is not in any way a cure for the disease. As soon s its use is discontinued the blood sugar will again begin to increase in quantity. When using insulin, however, the diet need not be so carefully watched. But is not to be considered as a cure for the disease.
As for exercise, nothing is better than walking. During the exercise there should be deep breathing. If one can indulge in golf or moderate tennis or swimming or rowing, or any other such open-air activities, or in tramping the hills while hunting, or in taking cross-country walks, perhaps with the camera to lend interest, no special types of exercise need be taken.
However, even greater benefit will result from general exercises involving every muscle group in the body. There must be enough exercise to increase heart and lung activity so that muscle-sugar will be burned up and so that there will be no appreciable amount of sugar stored within the body. Naturally there must be plenty of relaxation but the tendency to lie around and coddle the disease may lead to succumbing quickly from diabetes.
On should accustom oneself also to cold baths or to as cold baths as possible for prompt reaction. The body utilizes fuel foods much more rapidly where reaction from cold baths is necessary. Naturally, one must take into consideration any possible disease of the heart or arteries or kidneys, but where diabetes is uncomplicated or when there is no other condition serious enough to contraindicate activity and cold baths, these should form a part of the diabetic’s program for long life.
Foods Not Allowed for a Diabetic Patients
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