Ask the Diabetes Educator Archive

Q:

I am very interested in the upcoming field of Mind/Body Medicine and have some close friends who are stricken with diabetes. I am wondering what are possible biological, social, and psychological factors which may impact the etiology, progression, or recovery from diabetes.

A:

There are many factors that can contribute to diabetes at the levels you mention. The majority of those manifesting the disease have a genetic disposition. The triggers of stress, inactive lifestyles, traumas and other environmental factors are affecting those disposed at earlier ages than noted previously.

For the majority of those diagnosed with diabetes, improving lifestyles becomes the first line of defense, often meaning a shift to more activity and food intake changes. There are nutritional supplements and herbals that may be helpful. Therapeutic massage, nerve stimulation, manipulation, biofeedback, Reiki, and meditation are some of the techniques that may be used to lower stress and revitalize energy flow with the body. Research is beginning to be done more in areas considered to be "alternative".

In my own practice, I have employed many of these interventions, with the result being medication requirements are often lessened or completely discharged. Being supportive of one with diabetes is a great place for you to start in delaying the progression of the disease.

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