Diabetes and Herbs
You Might Not Be Able To See The Connection Between Diabetes and Herbs.
But Keep Reading And Discover How One Ancient Herb May Be Able To Help!
The American and Canadian Diabetes Associations report that 18 million Americans and over 2 million Canadians have diabetes. Another scary statistic is one third of these people do not even know they have it.
Having diabetes or being susceptible to developing diabetes can be very dangerous as it puts you at increased risk of developing serious health problems like heart attack, stroke, nerve and kidney damage, eye disease and impotence.
So let's get educated and learn about diabetes and herbs, or more specifically how Ganoderma lucidium may fit in in this equation.
But first let's define what diabetes is, the types of diabetes, diabetes symptoms, who is at risk and then how Ganoderma lucidum may be able to help bridge the gap between diabetes and herbs.
What Is Diabetes?
Diabetes is a disease where the body does not produce or properly utilize the hormone insulin to bring down the level of glucose in the blood.
High blood sugar levels are dangerous because chronically elevated blood sugar levels slowly destroy proteins which causes damage to cells, tissues, and organs.
Types of Diabetes
There are four types of diabetes and these are:
Type 1 diabetes
This type is the result of the pancreas not being able to produce insulin. This type of diabetes is also called insulin dependent diabetes because you have to take insulin to control blood sugar.
Approximately 5-10 percent of the people who are diagnoses with diabetes have type 1.
Type 2 diabetes
This type is also called Adult Onset Diabetes and usually occurs after the age of 40. With this type of diabetes, the pancreas does produce insulin but the cells of the body can not properly use the insulin the pancreas creates or the pancreas does not produce enough.
Most people are diagnosed with this type.
This type of diabetes affects pregnant women who have never had diabetes before causing high blood sugar levels in the mother. Doctors still do not know what causes this type, but think it may be the result of the hormones in the placenta that help the baby to grow also block the action of the insulin in the mother. This causes her to have resistance to insulin. This resistance to insulin results in high blood sugar levels because glucose can't leave the blood to get into the cells for energy and as a result the mother may have to take up to three times the normal insulin to manage her gestational diabetes.
About 4 percent of all pregnant women in Canada and the U.S. develop gestational diabetes during pregnancy. I just happened to be in this 4 percent as I had gestational diabetes with both my pregnancies
Pre-diabetes occurs when your blood sugar levels are higher than normal but not high enough to be diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.
The American Diabetes Association estimates that there are 41 million Americans that have pre-diabetes.
Often many of the diabetes symptoms seem harmless and can go undiagnosed. Early detection is important because it may reduce the chance of developing serious health problems. The American Diabetes Association recommends you see your doctor right away if you have one or more of the following diabetes symptoms.
frequent urination excessive thirst
extreme hunger weight loss without dieting
increases fatigue irritability
Are You At Risk?
It is reported that 18 million Americans have diabetes and one third of these people do not even know they have it. Take a look at the following risk factors identified by the American Diabetes Association and discover if you are at risk of developing diabetes.
Family history of diabetes overweight
Aged 40-75 impaired glucose tolerance
Have high blood pressure
Aboriginal, Asian, African, Hispanic decent
Gave birth to a baby greater than 9 pounds
Now that we have looked at what diabetes is, what the diabetes symptoms are, and the risk factors. Let us now explore the relationship between diabetes and herbs, more specifically (Ganoderma lucidum).
Diabetes and Herbs, How Ganoderma lucidum May Help
Reishi's use in the treatment of insomnia, gastric ulcers, liver disorders, chronic hepatitis, arthritis, nephritis, asthma, bronchitis, high blood pressure and poisoning is part of its application in Traditional Chinese medicine. One may be hesitant to think that Ganoderma lucidum may be able to bridge the gap between diabetes and herbs, but the following information may change your mind.
Polysaccharides from Ganoderma seem to protect the insulin producing cells in the pancreas from damage and also have a hypoglycemic effect as demonstrated by the following studies.
In a study entitled the Hypoglycemic effect of Ganoderma lucidum polysaccharides . Researchers at Peking University used polysaccharides isolated from Reishi to investigate the hypoglycemic effect of Ganoderma lucidum in normal fasted mice. The researchers concluded that the polysaccharides isolated from Ganoderma lucidum "possesses the hypoglycemic effect on normal mice".
In China at the Peking university researchers did a study entitled In vitro and in vivo protective effect of Ganoderma lucidum polysaccharides on alloxan-induced pancreatic islets damage . This study was done to determine the protective effect of Reishi's polysaccharides against alloxan-induced pancreatic islets damage. From this study the results "suggest that Ganoderma lucidum polysaccharides was useful in protecting against alloxin-induced pancreatic islets damage in vitro and in vivo...".
Ling Zhi-8 an immunomodulating protein found in Reishi seems to protect against insulitis which is inflammation of the cells that produce insulin in the pancreas caused by an autoimmune response.
In The study An immunomodulating protein, Ling Zhi-8 prevents insulitis in non-obese diabetic mice in Japan, Ling-Zhi-8 was tested for its effect against Type 1 diabetes in nonobese diabetic mice. In the mice treated twice weekly with Ling-Zhi-8 insulitis was prevented, but in the untreated mice extreme insulitis and a reduction in the number of insulin producing cells was observed.
From the above studies it seems there may be a relationship between diabetes and herbs. From the above studies Ganoderma polysaccharides have a hypoglycemic and protective effect, while the immunomodulating Ling Zhi-8 component of Reishi prevents damage to the insulin producing cells of the pancreas caused by an autoimmune response. Who would of thought that Ganoderma may bridge the gap between diabetes and herbs