Diabetes is a group of diseases marked by high blood glucose levels resulting when the body isn’t able to produce and/or use a proper amount of insulin. After eating, the digestive system breaks down carbohydrates into glucose. As the glucose passes through the pancreas—where insulin is created—insulin hormones move a certain amount of glucose out of the bloodstream and into cells so the body can use the glucose as energy. Those with diabetes are not able to transfer an appropriate amount of glucose into energy to get them through the day. According to the American Diabetes Association 23.6 million children and adults in the United States—7.8% of the populations—have diabetes¹.
Type 1 diabetes, which is usually diagnosed in children and young adults, occurs when the body is unable to produce insulin. In the case of type 2 diabetes—the most common form—either the body doesn’t produce enough insulin or the cells ignore the insulin as it tries to transfer glucose for energy. Yet a third form is gestational diabetes, which occurs in women who may not have had diabetes before becoming pregnant and may return to normal health after pregnancy. It usually appears around the 28th week or later of pregnancy or later and should be addressed immediately.
Symptoms of the various types of diabetes can include frequent urination, unusual thirst, extreme hunger, unusual weight loss, extreme fatigue, irritability, frequent infections, blurred vision, or cuts and bruises that are slow to heal. Diabetics often feel a tingling in the hands and feet and can suffer from recurring skin, gum or bladder infections. In many cases of people with type 2 diabetes, they may not feel any symptoms at the onset of the disease.
Treatment of all types of diabetes should begin with consulting your physician and creating a plan to monitor and treat the disease, which often includes a healthy meal plan, scheduled physical activity, daily blood glucose testing and insulin injections. Diabetes is an autoimmune disease and, while there is no known cure for the disease, taking a daily probiotic supplement, in addition to your physician-prescribed medical regimen, can help boost a person’s immune system and improve general health. Probiotic formulations like Vidazorb® may work to reduce some of the painful symptoms caused by diabetes.
Probiotics are live microorganisms which, when consumed in adequate amounts, provide a health benefit to the host. Everyone naturally has hundreds of trillions of microorganisms in his or her intestines and probiotics, affectionately known as “good bugs,” help maintain a healthy balance of bacteria and obstruct proliferation of harmful bacteria. Of additional help to those with diabetes, regularly taking probiotics should cut back on inflammation caused by certain infections.
When choosing a probiotic, it is important to find one that has a high number of bacteria colony forming units (CFUs) and uses strains that have been clinical tested. Vidazorb® carries up to 10 billion CFUs per tablet, delivering a therapeutic dose of beneficial microorganisms with each use. Also, many over-the-counter probiotics use only one bacteria strain, in insufficient amounts to make an impact. The best products combine two to five key, researched bacteria strains that work together to best provide health benefits. It’s important for diabetics to consult their nutritionist and physician before adding a supplement to their diet, but I recommend Vidazorb® to my patients because the chewable, non-refrigerated tablets are convenient and the strains used, including Chr. Hansen’s LA5® L. acidophilus and BB12® Bifidobacterium, are some of the most effective I’ve seen.