Diabetes is a condition in which the amount of glucose (sugar) in the blood is too high because the body is unable to distribute it properly, and can lead to a number of complications if untreated.
In people with Diabetes, the body’s method of converting glucose to energy is not working as it should. After eating, the blood glucose (which is obtained mostly from the food we eat, but can also be made in the liver) rises and insulin is released into the blood. Insulin is a hormone made by the Pancreas (an organ that lies behind the stomach); that helps glucose to enter cells where it is then used by the body as fuel. Insulin therefore plays a vital role in regulating the level of blood glucose by carefully distributing it within the body for use in different ways and stopping circulating levels from becoming too high.
Diabetes Mellitus is the most common form of Diabetes and is often more common amongst those that are overweight/obese.
There are two main types of Diabetes Mellitus.
- Insulin-dependent Diabetes Mellitus (IDDM). Type I
Insulin dependent Diabetes develops when there is a severe lack of insulin in the body because most or all of the pancreatic cells have been destroyed. This type of Diabetes usually appears in people under the age of 40, often in childhood, and is treated by diet and insulin injections.
- Non-Insulin-dependent Diabetes Mellitus (NIDDM). Type II
Non- Insulin dependent Diabetes develops when the body can still produce some insulin, (though not enough for its needs) or when the insulin is not working correctly. People with this type of Diabetes are often over 40 years of age and overweight. It is treated with diet, lifestyle adjustments, self care measures and sometimes tablet medication.
Those with gestational Diabetes Mellitus are women in whom glucose intolerance develops during pregnancy.
Over the years there have been a number of studies conducted by various Reflexology groups, individuals and organisations throughout the world with regard to the effectiveness of using reflexology to assist with the problems associated with Diabetes Mellitus with very positive outcomes. Some of these studies may be viewed by contacting any of the many Reflexology Associations throughout the world.
Reflexology can assist with poor circulation, lowering blood sugar levels, (sometimes reducing the amount of insulin needed). It can also help control other health issues often associated with Diabetes such as Hypertension. It is rapidly finding acceptance in hospitals and clinics around the world, both as an independent therapy and as a support to other forms of health care. With the appropriate cover, some private health insurance funds offer rebates on reflexology treatments.