Diabetes is the seventh leading cause of death in the United States, and there are around 34.2 million US adults who have it, according to CDC estimates. Also, 1 in 5 of them don’t know they have it. Unfortunately, by the time it's discovered you have diabetes, you may already have had some lasting damage done to your body.
The good news is that many different treatments are available to help manage the effects of this disease. One such treatment is effective and non-invasive red light therapy, which is effective for those who suffer from diabetic-related nerve damage and other side effects.
WHAT IS DIABETES?
Diabetes, or diabetes mellitus, is a group of diseases that cause too much sugar to accumulate in the blood (elevated blood glucose levels). It is a chronic condition that can lead to numerous long-term health problems. If left uncontrolled, it can cause medical problems such as heart and kidney disease, stroke, blindness and even amputation in some cases.
Diabetes can also cause extreme hyperglycemia (high blood sugar levels) or hypoglycemia (low blood sugar levels. When this happens, people can fall into a life-threatening diabetic coma if their levels get too low or too high. For these reasons and others, it is important to manage diabetes early to minimize its effects and maintain good health.
WHAT IS PRE-DIABETES?
Pre-diabetes is a condition in which the blood sugar levels are higher than normal, but not high enough to be classified as diabetes. People with pre-diabetes have an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes, heart disease and stroke if their health isn’t managed properly.
Your doctor may recommend lifestyle changes such as eating healthy, exercising regularly, quitting smoking and maintaining a healthy weight to help prevent or delay type 2 diabetes.
Nevertheless, diabetes has no cure, and symptom management is the only way to coax the disease into remission. In addition, many diabetes medications come with unpleasant side effects such as weight gain, insomnia and heart problems.
WHAT CAUSES DIABETES?
Most cases of diabetes are caused by lifestyle factors such as lack of exercise, poor diet, obesity, or a combination of these factors. Other causes can include certain medications, hormones, genetics, and even secondhand smoke in the home during childhood.
In every case, sugar builds up in the bloodstream, causing serious complications for many parts of the body. The reason for this is that the pancreas fails to produce enough insulin, or the body doesn't use it effectively.
WHO IS AT RISK OF DIABETES?
Diabetes is more common in certain populations. People who are overweight or obese, of African descent, over the age of 45, have a family history of diabetes or have hypertension (high blood pressure) are at higher risk for developing type 2 diabetes.
Additionally, women who had pre-diabetes during pregnancy (gestational diabetes) also have a higher chance of developing type 2 diabetes later on in life.
WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENT TYPES OF DIABETES?
There are several different types, but the most common types of diabetes are Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes, gestational diabetes and prediabetes. Here is some brief information about the main types.
TYPE 1 DIABETES
Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disorder that occurs when the body attacks and destroys the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas. People with this type of diabetes must take daily insulin injections to manage their blood sugar levels. It presents itself mostly in childhood, but can also be diagnosed in adulthood.
TYPE 2 DIABETES
This type of diabetes is the most common form and is caused by a combination of lifestyle factors. It occurs when the body doesn’t produce enough insulin or doesn’t properly use the insulin it produces. It can often be managed with lifestyle changes, medications and sometimes insulin injections.
This type of diabetes occurs during pregnancy and is more common in women who are over age 25, overweight or have a family history of diabetes. It typically resolves after childbirth.
You often hear of Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes, but type 3C is rarely mentioned. It is a recently emerging disorder, but doctors are learning more about it. Nearly 80 percent of the time, complications of or chronic inflammation of the pancreas cause 3C. Cystic Fibrosis is another cause of Type 3C diabetes.
Maturity onset diabetes of the young, or simply MODY, is a rare form of diabetes that usually occurs in children or young adults and is caused by genetic mutations. It is often misdiagnosed as Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes because it has similar symptoms. It doesn’t require insulin injections to be managed.
This type of diabetes is a rare condition that occurs in newborns. It can be managed with insulin injections or oral medication, but it typically goes away on its own after the baby’s first year.
This type of diabetes occurs due to taking corticosteroid medications, which interfere with the body’s ability to make and use insulin. It usually resolves when the patient stops taking the medication.
WOLFRAM SYNDROME DIABETES
Wolfram syndrome is a rare genetic disorder that can cause diabetes, vision loss and deformities of the bones. It is managed with insulin injections or oral medications but can also be fatal if left untreated.
Alström syndrome is also a rare genetic disorder that can lead to diabetes, hearing and vision loss, heart problems and other organ damage. It is treated with lifestyle changes, medications and insulin injections.
LATENT AUTOIMMUNE DIABETES IN ADULTS (LADA)
This type of diabetes is an autoimmune disorder in which the body attacks and destroys its own insulin-producing cells. It can be managed with lifestyle changes, oral medications or insulin injections, depending on the severity of the condition.
What You Can Do To Help Prevent Diabetes
There are several things you can do to help reduce your risk of developing diabetes.
- Eat a healthy diet that is low in added sugar and processed foods.
- Exercise regularly to keep your weight within a healthy range.
- Get regular checkups to monitor blood sugar levels and catch any changes early on.
- Stop smoking and limit alcohol consumption.
- Get your flu shot. Studies show that diabetes can develop due to infection from influenza and other viral infections. Talk to your doctor about getting regular flu shots to help reduce your risk.
Can Red Light Therapy Help Diabetes?
Many people are unaware, but red light therapy (RLT) has shown promise in studies as a potential treatment for Type 2 diabetes. In fact, red light therapy has been shown to improve blood sugar control as well as lower the dose of diabetes medications needed by patients with diabetic nerve damage.
HOW CAN RLT HELP DIABETES?
Red light therapy has proven scientific results that show it penetrates deep into tissues and cells without harming them to deliver relief for a variety of diabetic-related complications.
Therefore, it is an effective diabetes alternative relief method that can be used for treating the feet or hands (which are often the first parts of the body affected by diabetes). Read on to learn more about the benefits of RLT for diabetics.
IMPROVES BLOOD FLOW
One of the potential benefits of light therapy is a significant increase in blood circulation. Studies show that red light therapy increases the energy that cells contain, triggering physiological effects such as increased blood flow. This indicates that issues are receiving more oxygen and other nutrients that are important for healing. In addition, the light helps the body, and circulatory system rid itself of toxic byproducts.
This is especially important for people with diabetes because poor circulation can lead to many complications, including numbness or tingling in the feet and hands (pins and needles), skin ulcers, vision problems and even amputation if the condition gets bad enough.
Through the power of RLT, diabetes sufferers will have much better blood flow, meaning more oxygen and nutrients are delivered to tissues. This benefit helps improve overall health and reduces the risk of developing complications.
RELIEVES PAIN & INFLAMMATION
Over time, diabetes releases high levels of blood sugar which damages the nerves and blood vessels throughout your body. This typically presents as pain, inflammation and a decreased ability to heal.
Another effect of diabetes comes from constricting the amounts of nitric oxide produced by the body, hindering normal blood flow. This effect can lead to a debilitating circulatory condition known as peripheral arterial disease, where a narrowing of the blood vessels reduces blood flow to the limbs.
Light therapy for inflammation has been shown to help reduce these symptoms because it releases nitric oxide. When nitric oxide is released through RLT, it delivers vital nutrients and oxygen more effectively to damaged tissues. This release assists in the repair and regeneration of injured tissues, which then relieves pain and inflammation.
IMPROVES NERVE FUNCTION
Diabetic nerve damage, or neuropathy, is a common complication of diabetes. It can cause pain, numbness, tingling, and difficulty walking. Red light therapy has been shown to improve nerve function in people with diabetic neuropathy.
INCREASES COLLAGEN PRODUCTION
Collagen is a protein that helps keep skin elastic and healthy. As we age, our collagen production decreases, which can lead to wrinkles, sagging skin and other signs of aging. In clinical studies, red light therapy has been shown to increase collagen production and rejuvenate the skin without side effects, helping improve the overall appearance of the skin and giving it a more youthful appearance.
HELPS NEUROPATHIC PAIN
One of the most promising benefits of red light therapy is its ability to stimulate nerve regeneration. This is important for those who have diabetic neuropathy. The condition can be extremely painful and difficult to treat, but RLT has been shown to stimulate nerve regeneration at a cellular level, which helps alleviate pain by restoring damaged nerves.
HOME-BASED RED LIGHT THERAPY FOR DIABETES IS AVAILABLE NOW
At Bright Health, we know that getting diagnosed with diabetes can be extremely scary for people, especially when you think about the long-term implications of this disease. That's why we offer our FDA-cleared Red Light Therapy Foot Pain Relief Device to help improve circulation and reduce pain associated with diabetic neuropathy, as well as other foot conditions like arthritis, plantar fasciitis and tendonitis.
RED LIGHT THERAPY IS SAFE AND EFFECTIVE
Bright Health only offers light therapy for diabetes that has been proven safe and effective through clinical trials. So, if you're looking for a natural way to improve your health and reduce the risk of developing complications associated with diabetes from the comfort of your home, red light therapy may be right for you.
You can use Bright Health's RLT Foot Pain Relief Device 20 minutes a day, several times a day, and it may be the most comfortable foot therapy of its kind on the market. If you're interested in learning more about our infrared light therapy, please visit our website at BrightHealth.com to read the science behind how it works or contact us for more information!