Diabetes has two types – Type 1 and Type 2. The treatment plans for each are different as in Type 1; the body cannot produce its own insulin. In Type 2 diabetes, producing enough insulin or having insulin resistance is the issue. Maintaining a healthy diet and getting proper exercise are beneficial to helping manage symptoms. Can CBD help diabetics with blood sugar regulation and other symptoms? We’ll take a look in this guide.
What is Diabetes and How is it Caused?
Diabetes is essentially a group of diseases. They affect how the body and brain use blood glucose. Glucose is what provides the body with energy to fuel the brain and energize cells for proper muscle and tissue formulation.
Prediabetes and gestational diabetes are reversible. Type 2 diabetes can be reduced to prediabetes with proper diet, exercise and regulation. Some Type 2 diabetics are able to control their health well enough to stop taking prescription medications and just use diet and exercise to control blood sugars.
In Type 1 diabetes, symptoms often come on suddenly and are often more severe. Most require insulin or other significant medications to control symptoms.
When blood sugars are high, it is common to feel excessively thirsty and tired. You may also notice that you need to urinate frequently. Irritability may also be present. Blurred vision is another symptom.
When blood sugars are low, dizziness and shakiness may be noticed. A headache may also be a symptom.
Serious complications can occur when blood sugars get dangerously high or too low. The downside of having diabetes is that it takes longer to recover from illnesses, injuries, cuts/scrapes and medical procedures.
Diabetes is caused when the pancreas is unable to make a proper amount of insulin and deliver it to the body. Insulin works to lower how much sugar is in the blood system. Glucose is needed to help regulate proper levels and it comes from the liver and food.
The cause of Type 1 diabetes is not known, but causes the immune system to attack itself while causing destruction to the cells in the pancreas that produce insulin. This barely leaves any insulin for the body to use, so sugar builds up in the blood stream.
Type 2 diabetes can be caused by years of a very poor diet and no exercise. It can also be due to hereditary factors or the inability of your cells to properly react to insulin. In this case, the pancreas just can’t make enough. Being overweight puts a person at higher risk for Type 2 diabetes. Women that have PCOS (Polycystic ovary syndrome) are also at a higher risk for Type 2 diabetes.
Common Treatments for Diabetes
Type 2 diabetics are often prescribed oral medications such as Metformin, Glucophage and Glyburide. New medications are available, but come with serious side effects. A low-carbohydrate diet is often recommended. Eating fresh, healthy foods is better. It is important to pay attention to the portions of foods that you eat as many foods contain natural carbs and sugar. It is best to speak with your medical provider about how to calculate the proper amount of carbs for your specific needs.
Type 1 diabetes is treated with insulin. Some may also take other medications. A healthy diet is also suggested to help promote proper immune system function.
Complications from Diabetes
The complications from non-treated or improperly regulated diabetes can be significant and can result in death. It is important to listen to your doctor’s instructions when you are diagnosed with diabetes. Of course, you will have cravings for things that you really shouldn’t have, but limiting those cravings as much as possible can help prevent complications.
One of the most serious complications is amputation. This can be a serious complication of some medications, but can also be the result of poor diabetes management. Amputations may be a single toe, a foot or most of a leg.
Diabetics are at higher risk for heart disease and other serious cardiovascular diseases. It is very important to exercise, limit alcohol consumption, refrain from smoking and eat a healthy, low-carb diet. Getting 30-minutes of exercise a few days a week is great, but taking a walk every day is even better.
High blood pressure is also common in diabetics. This can increase the risk of stroke, vision loss/complications, kidney disease and heart attack. It is important to refrain from eating too many fried foods, high-fat foods and should limit your salt intake.
Kidney disease can lead to kidney failure. Again – proper diet and exercise along with monitoring your blood sugar levels several times a day is ideal.
Diabetic Ketoacidosis (DKA)/Ketones. Ketones are measured in the urine. These can fluctuate with illness. Doctors will monitor your urine for warning signs. DKA can be serious.
Difficulties with your eyes can occur. Some eye diseases are associated with diabetes. It is important to get regular eye exams and opt for dilation to look for these diseases.
Other serious complications can occur in diabetes, but with a proper diet, exercise and proper management, you can reduce your chances of experiencing these risks.
Several studies have been conducted to explore the efficacy of using CBD and/or cannabis to help with regulating diabetes. CBD can be very beneficial to diabetics. It may help protect the heart as it possesses vasodilator properties to aid in reducing inflammation in blood vessels to allow for proper blood flow.
Diabetic neuropathy can be very painful and aggravating. CBD is a neuroprotectant, so it helps protect nerves from increased damage and may help heal some of the damage already sustained. It helps calm nerves so that they remain calm and healthy.
Some information exists indicating that CBD may help reduce insulin resistance. This helps in maintain more stable blood glucose levels. The combination of CBD plus THCV may be even more effective as THCV has been found to aid in proper blood glucose regulation.
CBD may help increase metabolism to aid in proper weight management. The extra metabolism promotes activity and helps your body burn fat and unnecessary calories to help keep weight gain to a minimum.
High blood pressure may also be reduced with the help of CBD, as can the experience of restless leg syndrome (RLS).
Another tidbit of information is that CBD does help strengthen the immune system, so your healing time from illness may become less. It may also help you become sick less often.
*Note: I am personally a Type 2 diabetic and can attest to the positive aid that CBD has been for helping regulate my blood glucose levels, improved my immune system, regulates inflammation and has helped me lower my risk of complications as I have reached pre-diabetes stage following a significant change in diet, weight loss and increased exercise.
There are multiple benefits of CBD for diabetics. For some, it may help eliminate a medication, but not replace all of them. CBD is a wonderful aid, but for most, is not enough to manage diabetes alone. It can, however, reduce symptoms, reduce risk of complications and help make the body healthier.