Role of alkaline water in the management of diabetes – Part 2
In the first part of this article, “The role of alkaline water in the management of diabetes” published in last Thursday’s edition of the Guardian Newspaper, I ended by saying thus: Under normal circumstances, the osmotic forces that maintain the extracellular fluid volume are primarily from its salt, sugar and occasionally, its uric acid content. More often than not, in states of dehydration there is depletion of the level of salt.
In a bid to maintain the osmotic forces, the brain increases the level of sugar to compensate for the low salt reserves; this increases the blood glucose level more. It has been discovered that this function of the brain is carried out by an amino acid known as tryptophan. Tryptophan is the primary ingredient from which the four main neurotransmitters (serotonin, tryptamine, melatonin and indolamine) are manufactured. Tryptophan and its neurotransmitters are responsible for the regulation of the salt balance of the extracellular fluid; it is the natural brain regulator for salt absorption in the body. Severe reduction of the level of tryptophan is thought to accompany dehydration. Low levels of tryptophan have been found in the brains of some diabetic animals. Let me emphasize that in dehydration, the amino acid tryptophan is diminished and so is the salt reserve of the extracellular fluid. This may be yet another cause of diabetes.
Management of diseases
In medicine to successfully treat any disease, the cause of the disease must be established. I have been able to show to a large extent that the cause(s) of diabetes mellitus are two fold. Firstly, diabetes can be caused by dehydration through the inhibiting action of Prostaglandin E (PgE) on the beta cells of the pancreas blocking the production of insulin. The function of insulin is to drive glucose into the cells when the level is higher than normal in the circulation. Not only that, potassium and water accompany the glucose into the cells. In a state of dehydration, this water entering into the cells deplete the already low level of free water in circulation. To prevent this from happening, PgE inhibits the release of insulin and redirects water to the pancreas.
Apart from insulin production, the pancreas produces a bicarbonate buffer solution, which neutralizes the acidic stomach, contents when released into the duodenum (first part of the small intestine connected to the stomach). Secondly and as I have just shown, diabetes can be caused by salt imbalance in the extracellular fluid space. This salt imbalance is commonly seen when the body is severely dehydrated. This is made worse by the low levels of the amino acid tryptophan, which is involved in the regulation of the salts in the extracellular space.
Research has also shown that diabetics are deficient in antioxidants such as chromium and vitamin E. Magnesium that enhances the function of insulin may also be deficient in diabetics.
In the management of diabetes, the following points should be borne in mind:
1. Hyperglycaemia is a sign of diabetes, which has an underlying cause.
2. The focus of treatment should be the cause and in this case, dehydration, salt imbalance in the extracellular fluid space and antioxidant deficiency.
3. The complications of diabetes, such as atherosclerosis that can lead to heart disease and stroke, retinopathy (blindness), nephropathy (kidney failure) neuropathy and foot disease that can lead to amputation of a limb can be potentially fatal and early detection and proper treatment of diabetes can reduce the incidence of these complications and mortality.
The first thing to do in this disease as in most others is to ensure adequate hydration of the body by drinking sufficient water daily. Three to four litres of alkaline water daily are highly recommended. With proper hydration of the body there will be no need for PgE secretion, which inhibits release of insulin. Also, tryptophan deficiency will not occur and extracellular salt imbalance will be absent. The alkaline water being made so by the presence of minerals such as magnesium, potassium, calcium etc. should be able to supply sufficient minerals to makeup for the deficiencies.
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