Therapy - Diabetes
Diabetes mellitus is a widespread disease: according to official estimates, it has spread so rapidly in recent years that around 7 million Germans currently suffer from diabetes. At the World Diabetes Conference in Melbourne in December 2013, the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) stated that the number of people worldwide with diabetes has risen and continues to do so - to approximately 382 million now. The main causes arise from habits such as overeating and obesity resulting from a lack of exercise, which often come as results of an industrialized, unbalanced diet.
The term diabetes encompasses a group of various metabolic diseases. These disorders lead to hyperglycaemia – in other words, an excess of sugar in the blood.
The hormone insulin is required for the transport of blood sugar (glucose) from the blood into the cells. This hormone is released by beta cells in the pancreatic islets (island-shaped cell clusters in the pancreas). Insulin plays - in the truest sense of the word - a key role by facilitating the uptake of glucose by cells across their cell membranes. Without insulin, the cell membrane remains impermeable and does not allow glucose into the cell. In diabetics, insulin is either not produced in a sufficient quantity or at all.
While healthy people are able to completely metabolize dietary carbohydrates in the body, the metabolism of a diabetic is not able to produce enough blood sugar to adequately fuel their cells. The sugar, thus, remains in the blood stream, where it can do damage to cells and blood vessels.
Types of diabetes
There are two forms of diabetes:
Type 1 diabetes ("juvenile diabetes"). It often develops early on in life and is the result of an autoimmune disease.
Type 2 diabetes has many causes. One cause may be the faulty insulin receptors on the cell membrane’s surface. Progressively, insulin is able to funnel less and less glucose from the blood stream into the cells. This has been attributed to a pathological membrane structure which lacks long-chain omega-3 fatty acids, in particular, DHA.
About 90 percent of sufferers have type 2 diabetes, which more frequently affects people above the age of 40, but especially after age 60. This type was once referred to as "adult onset diabetes," – however, due to a lack of exercise and an unbalanced diet this type is often diagnosed today even among children and adolescents. For this reason, experts predict a further increase in diabetes cases.
Diabetes has serious health consequences: According to the German Diabetes Association, diabetes mellitus is the most common cause of coronary heart disease, heart attack, and puts patients at risk for dangerous circulatory issues in the legs and feet. Among there are peripheral arterial disease (PAD) or the sudden circulatory collapse of an organ or a body region (apoplexy).
At the same time, it diabetes may also cause the smallest blood vessels to thicken. This results in reduced blood flow to the tissue, which ultimately leads to the tissue dying. This so-called microangiopathy can manifest itself as chronic renal failure (diabetic nephropathy), nerve damage (diabetic neuropathy), or blindness (diabetic retinopathy).
The figures: The risk of heart attack and stroke among diabetes patients is three to six times greater compared to the general population, and their risk of going blind is as much as 25 times higher.
In the case of diabetes type 1, the beta cells which are produced in the pancreatic islet of the pancreas are destroyed. This results in a total lack of insulin, which makes itself apparent relatively quickly through symptoms such as increased thirst, increased urination, weight loss, reduced performance, fatigue, etc.
Diabetes type 2 presents as a result of insulin resistance or a relative insulin deficiency and its onset is often gradual and can progress typically over many years with few symptoms. The pancreas may initially try to compensate for an increasing insulin resistance by increasing insulin production. It is not until the pancreas tires after years of excessive insulin production and can no longer pass sufficient insulin on to the blood that the blood sugar of affected people begins to increase drastically. Non-specific symptoms such as abnormal fatigue, tiredness, and a loss of performance ability may become noticeable.
The underlying cause of diabetes type 1 is an autoimmune disorder which attacks and destroys the beta cells in the pancreatic islet of the pancreas. Viral infections may also exacerbate diabetes.
The majority of diabetes cases of type 2 result from insulin resistance typically due to a poor diet, which is includes a lack of omega-3 fatty acids, in combination with obesity resulting from a lack of exercise. This leads to increased blood sugar levels, which in turn stimulate the pancreas to secrete an increased supply of insulin. Ultimately, over the course of the disease insulin secretion by the pancreas is exhausted which ultimately ends in absolute insulin deficiency.
Natural remedies and their effects
In the case of type 1 diabetes, the main treatment goals are mitigating the symptoms and preventing long-term consequences. In addition to reducing the amount of simple carbohydrates (sugar, white flour, ready-to-eat products, etc.) consumed, increasing one’s intake of essential fatty acids can also play a key role. Health fatty acids lay the foundation for healthy cells and a healthy cell metabolism. This is critical for communication between cells, and, in particular, for the function insulin receptors on the surface of the cell membranes.
Particularly high quality, natural, gently pressed oils make ideal sources of healthy fatty acids. Polyunsaturated fatty acids can be consumed in special compositions which can have beneficial effects on the presentation of diabetes and its consequences. As Dr. Johanna Budwig stated in her 1979 book, Fettfibel:
"The electromotive force of the [...] highly unsaturated fatty acids, biologically driven by the accompanying substances of the oils in whole oil compositions, is necessary in people to uphold membrane function in its entirety." "These whole oils [...] are essential for biological existence today, essential to being human. "
During her lifetime, Dr. Johanna Budwig tirelessly reiterated that she knew of no other oil which possessed the same beneficial effects on health as flax seed oil- which is made up of nearly 70% omega-3 fatty acids. For this reason, she set strict quality standards for the production of flax seed oil. It is paramount to ensure that the electron richness of the flax seed oil is preserved, thus, conserving its intense beneficial effects for the human organism.
Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA)
The vegetable Omega-3 fatty acid, ALA, supports the structure of cell membranes, especially those of blood vessels and blood cells. Thus, ALA richly contained in flax seed oil represents an important cell building block. It can help determine the fluidity, flexibility, and, therefore, the activity of cell membranes. These characteristics are vital for important metabolic processes- such as the transport of glucose into the cell- to run optimally. If the insulin receptors in the cell membranes are active and accessible for the insulin, the cell membrane will become permeable allowing the influx of glucose from the blood stream to reach the inside of the cell.
ALA also helps to regulate elevated triglyceride levels, a risk factor for the development of vascular damage which is typical of diabetes.
Membrane flexibility and fluidity are characteristics which are crucial for red blood cells. Only thanks to their flexibility are they able to penetrate even the smallest of capillaries in order to supply our renal tissues, retina, and nerve cells with enough oxygen and nutrients to maintain their function.
Flax seed oil counts as the omega-3 fatty acid source with the highest content of ALA. Dr. Johanna Budwig tirelessly reiterated that she knew of no other oil which possessed the same beneficial effects on health as flax seed oil- which is made up of nearly 70% omega-3 fatty acids. For this reason, she set strict quality standards for the production of flax seed oil- from the sowing of its seeds to the pressing process and proper storage procedures.
The body is capable of synthesizing further vital omega-3 fatty acids, such as EPA and DHA, from ALA. However, the amounts of EPA and DHA which are yielded from such reactions are generally low. Therefore, daily diet should be supplemented with these essential fatty acids. Algae oil makes an excellent, sustainable source of DHA.
Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)
Particularly in brain and nerve cells, docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) is an important building block of cell membranes. Nerve cells require an adequate supply of DHA in order to communicate with each other. It beneficially affects diabetic neuropathy and failing eyesight. In addition, the body can also make certain tissue hormones that control inflammation in the body from DHA.
Gamma-linolenic acid (GLA)
Another substance good for combatting inflammatory reactions triggered by chronically high blood sugar is gamma-linolenic acid (GLA). GLA is an omega-6 fatty acid and is found in a significant amount in nature in borage seed oil. This unique fatty acid protects the vascular system- in diabetics in particular- through its anti-inflammatory effects. This leads to improved blood flow to the organs and peripheral tissues. This can help to prevent serious complications from diabetes, such as nerve damage, poorly healing wounds, impaired vision to blindness, and kidney function failure.
Nutrition and Co.
In the long-term, efforts should be made to reduce existing excess weight and exercise should be made part of the daily routine. Stress should be avoided, as this can also lead to fluctuations in blood sugar. Learning various relaxation techniques as well as learning to consciously manage stress can help with these some of these aspects.
For people who suffer from diabetes in particular, making positive changes to their eating habits can beneficially affect their health. First and foremost, any existing deficiency in healthy, polyunsaturated fatty acids should be compensated. At the same time, unhealthy fats such as trans fats or an excess of omega-6 fatty acids should be avoided. It is of vital importance to incorporate beneficial long-chain fatty acids such as ALA into a varied, balanced, lacto-vegetarian diet made up of wholefoods. Similarly to how Dr. Johanna Budwig envisioned nutrition should be when she developed her oil-protein diet. Particular attention should be paid to the quality of the selected of fatty sources. Only in this way - as Dr. Johanna Budwig reiterated again and again – are the cells able to come into the whole benefit of the full electron richness of the oils. Great importance must be attached to the selection of the seed, the crop rotation, the pressing process, as well as to any further processing. For this reason, Dr. Johanna Budwig defined and recorded strict quality standards. For the extraction, she developed a very gentle pressing process, the "Original Dr. Budwig pressing method" – which is still used under the name today.
Diabetics should strictly adhere to the guidelines laid out by the oil-protein diet. It is especially important that diabetics avoid sugar, sugar-containing foods, and products made from white flour. It is also important that diabetics get an adequate supply of dietary fiber. There are a wealth of dietary treatment plans and advice available which have been specially adapted to the diabetic’s dietary needs.
A smooth start
Before beginning the oil-protein diet, one should allow a few days to prepare for the dietary transition. This takes some of the shock off of the digestive tract and prepares the body for the change of diet beforehand. During these 2-3 days, 200 - 250 g of shredded flax seed should be mixed into Fermentgold or other freshly squeezed juices and consumed throughout the day.
Should one become ill, any existing dietary deficiency – especially one pertaining to essential, polyunsaturated fatty acids - should be compensated. It is important to integrate beneficial fatty acids into a varied, balanced, lacto-vegetarian wholefood diet. Just as Dr. Johanna Budwig’s designed her concept of the oil-protein diet. People in poor health should follow the regulatory guidelines of the oil-protein. Only then can their cells and, thus, the person as a whole restore order in vital cellular processes and become healthy again. If you have any questions about the implementation of the oil-protein diet, please do not hesitate to call to the Dr. Budwig Foundation’s helpline or contact an experienced Dr. Budwig consultant.
Take good care of your digestive tract!
Whether our cells actually benefit from the food we consume each day, depends largely on our intestinal health. The decisive factor is our intestines’ ability to absorb the nutrients that we eat. Dr. Johanna Budwig, thus, recommended daily consumption of fresh sauerkraut juice or sour milk to maintain our intestines and their intestinal flora. Furthermore, the regular consumption of dietary fiber plays an important role in healthy bowel function. Therefore, an integral part our daily diet should include 1-2 tablespoons of shredded and fortified flax seed, blended into a Budwig cream, made of quark and flax seed oil, or in Muttersaft (pure, unfiltered, unsweetened first-press juice of a fruit or berry) such as Fermentgold.
Dr. Budwig consultants
The Dr. Johanna Budwig Foundation is committed to supporting those in suffering from ailments to their health. In the spirit of this commitment, we are happy to recommend qualified "Dr. recommend "Budwig consultants, who have been trained in the implementation of the oil-protein diet. Currently, we are working on setting up a corresponding nationwide network.
Important note: Dr. Johanna Budwig had no doubt that many modern ailments could be treated with her oil-protein diet. The Dr. Johanna Budwig Foundation has made it its mission to supplement her work with modern, intensively reviewed scientific findings. These are vital issues too serious for false hopes. Therefore, we find it very important to emphasize: While there are primary scientific findings which indicate that the oil-protein diet may support- under certain circumstances – medical treatments, diet alone cannot replace proper medical treatment. We distance ourselves from promises of false miracles.