Diabetes, or diabetes mellitus, affects over 1.4 million people in the UK, and it’s possible that a million more have it without knowing.
Diabetes happens when the amount of glucose in the blood is too high because the hormone that regulates the amount of glucose – insulin – either isn’t produced in enough quantities, or isn’t produced at all. If there isn’t enough this is known as Type 2 diabetes; Type 1 is when the insulin stops working completely.
Type 2 is the most common form of diabetes in the over 50’s which is why I felt it necessary to discuss it here.
The main reasons why some, rather than others, are more susceptible to this condition, are:
– Having a large waist or being overweight
– Having a family history of the condition
– Being of Black or South Asian origin
– Being over the age of 40, or over 25 if you’re Black or South Asian
Complications of type 2 diabetes are a long-term frustration for many people. Even a mildly raised glucose level, which may be symptomless in the short term, can have long term damaging effects on the blood vessels. This can often lead to complications years after diagnosis, however a natural alternative could be the answer, as a treatment for reducing these complications has been developed called Intermittent Hypoxia Therapy.
Intermittent Hypoxia Therapy
Intermittent Hypoxia Therapy (IHT) also referred to as mountain air training, has been developed during the last fifteen years as a preventive, therapeutic and rehabilitative treatment. This treatment may be very relevant to protect diabetics against the many complications they face by regulating the bodies supply of oxygen.
IHT could tackle the following principal type 2 diabetes complications:
Combat the feeling of exhaustion
Tackle certain diseases of the circulatory system
Improve poorly managed diabetes mellitus (which can result in blindness)
Reduce diabetic damage to the kidney
Manage blood sugar levels
Help with weight problems
Forestall gangrene generally affecting toes, feet, or legs (it is caused by poor blood circulation)
Help to relieve fluid-retention (which causes body parts to enlarge)
“Living low-training high” is the motto of many London athletes, and is the principle behind IHT. They train at an altitude of about 1800 meters above sea level, because they know that a reduction in oxygen levels can improve endurance and performance. Not only does high altitude training improve exercise performance in elite athletes it’s now known that IHT with exercise, could reduce your appetite, due to the effect on the metabolism that occurs from this combination – an added benefit for diabetics who are often overweight or even obese, and those with poor blood circulation.
Studies have demonstrated positive results in obese patients’ fitness, physique and improved metabolism when training with IHT. This is because the technique reduces the time and exertion necessary for exercise to be effective – a benefit to those with orthopaedic joint conditions through the reduced need for strenuous exercise.
IHT is also great for providing Nitric Oxide, which plays a pivotal role in vascular disease complications, an all-too-common problem in diabetics. Vascular disorders can be associated with either the buildup or deficiency of Nitric Oxide within the body so by managing this, IHT could become an effective preventive.
If you are worried about being at risk of diabetes then here are some of the warning signs to look out for:
– Increased thirst
– Having to urinate all the time, especially at night
– Extreme tiredness
– Blurred vision
– Genital itching or regular episodes of thrush
– Wounds which are slow to heal