MoonDragon's Pregnancy Information
Introduction & Overview
For "Informational Use Only".
For more detailed information, contact your health care provider
about options that may be available for your specific situation.
Diabetes In Pregnancy Overview Gestational Diabetes & Causes Gestational Diabetes Differences From Other Types of Diabetes Development & Detection of Gestational Diabetes 50-Gram Oral Glucose Screening Test 3 Hour Oral Glucose Tolerance Test (OGTT) Testing Glucose Levels Ketone Testing Insulin Injections
The Effects of Gestational Diabetes on Pregnancy & Baby Fetal Macrosomia & High Maternal Glucose Hypoglycemia Long Term Effects of GDM For Baby Neonatal Jaundice Pre-eclampsia Eclampsia (Toxemia of Pregnancy Reducing Problems Associated With Gestational Diabetes Exercise Is Important Other Tests Used To Monitor Gestational Diabetes After Baby Arrives
DIET & NUTRITION:
Diabetic Diet Suggestions Herbal Recommendations Holistic Recommendations Supplements & Nutrients Notify Your Midwife or Health Care Provider Diabetes Nutritional Supplement Products
DIABETES IN PREGNANCY OVERVIEW
Gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) is the most common form of diabetes in pregnancy. It refers to diabetes which was first discovered during the present pregnancy. In other words, the woman was not known to have diabetes before this pregnancy. This does not rule out the possibility that she may have had diabetes which was undiagnosed. It is important to know that gestational diabetes can be managed and you can have a healthy baby.
Approximately 3 to 5 percent of all pregnant women in the United States are diagnosed as having gestational diabetes. It usually begins in the fifth or sixth month of pregnancy (between the 24th and 28th weeks). Information about diet, exercise, measurement of blood sugar levels, and general medical and obstetric care of women with gestational will be included in this information page. The information given here are general guidelines and only your midwife or health care provider can prepare a program specific to your needs. You should feel free to discuss any concerns you may have with your midwife or other health care provider, as no one knows more about you and the condition of your pregnancy.
Between 90-98 percent of the time, GDM disappears when the baby is born. Occasionally the diabetes persists, or impaired glucose tolerance (a pre-diabetes state) persists after the baby is born. However, even if the diabetes disappears, the mother has an increased risk of developing Type II (Type 2) diabetes in the future.
GESTATIONAL DIABETES & CAUSES
Diabetes (mellitus) of is a disorder that prevents the body from using food properly. Normally, the body gets its major source of energy from glucose, a simple sugar that comes from foods high in simple carbohydrates such as table sugar, honey, molasses, jams, and jellies, soft drinks, and cookies, or from the breakdown of complex carbohydrates such as starches found in bread, potatoes, and pasta. After sugars and starches are digested in the stomach, they enter the blood stream in the form of glucose. The glucose in the blood stream becomes a potential source of energy for the entire body. The body requires some assistance to get glucose from the blood stream to the muscles and other tissues of the body. In the body, that assistance comes from a hormone called insulin. Insulin is manufactured by the pancreas, a gland that lies behind the stomach. Without insulin, glucose cannot get into the cells of the body where it is used as fuel. Instead, glucose accumulates in the blood to high levels and is excreted or "spilled" into the urine through the kidneys.
When the pancreas of a child or young adult produces little or no insulin, this condition is called juvenile-onset diabetes or Type I diabetes (insulin-dependent). This is not the type of diabetes that women develop during pregnancy. Unlike women with Type I diabetes, women with gestational diabetes have plenty of insulin. In fact, they usually have more insulin in their blood than women who are not pregnant. However, the effect of their insulin is partially blocked by a variety of other hormones made in the placenta, a condition often called insulin resistance.
The placenta performs the task of supplying the growing fetus with nutrients and water from the mother's circulation. It also produces a variety of hormones vital to the preservation of the pregnancy. Ironically, several of these hormones such as estrogen, cortisol, and human placental lactogen (HPL) have a blocking effect on insulin, a "contra-insulin" effect. This contra-insulin effect usually begins about midway (20 to 24 weeks) through pregnancy. The larger the placenta grows, the more these hormones are produced, and the greater the insulin resistance becomes. In most women the pancreas is able to make additional insulin to overcome the insulin resistance. When the pancreas makes all the insulin it can and there still isn't enough to overcome the effect of the placenta's hormones, gestational diabetes results. If all the hormones somehow be removed from the mother's blood that the placenta produces, the condition would be remedied. This is what happens after the delivery of the baby and placenta at the time of birth.
After the baby is born, no other tests may be needed to check the mother's blood glucose levels. However, gestational diabetes may make the mother at risk for diabetes with her next pregnancy and also later in life. It may take several weeks after the baby's birth before gestational diabetes goes away. To make sure it has gone away, the midwife may check the mother's blood glucose at one of her postpartum visits (usually at one or two months postpartum).
GESTATIONAL DIABETES DIFFERENCES FROM OTHER TYPES OF DIABETES
There are several different types of diabetes. Gestational diabetes begins during pregnancy and disappears following the birth of the baby. Another type is referred to as juvenileonset diabetes (in children) or Type I diabetes (in young adults). These individuals usually develop their disease before age 20. People with Type I diabetes must take insulin by injection every day. Approximately 10 percent of all people with diabetes have Type I (also called insulin-dependent diabetes).
Type II diabetes or non-insulin-dependent diabetes (formerly called adult-onset diabetes) is also characterized by high blood sugar levels, but these patients are often obese and usually lack the classic symptoms (fatigue, thirst, frequent urination, and sudden weight loss) associated with Type I diabetes. Many of these individuals can control their blood sugar levels by following a careful diet and exercise program, by losing excess weight, or by taking oral medication. Some, but not all, need insulin. People with Type II diabetes account for roughly 90 percent of all diabetics.
Pregnancy is a kind of "stress test" that often predicts future diabetic problems. In one large study more than one-half of all women who had gestational diabetes developed overt Type II diabetes within 15 years of pregnancy. Because of the risk of developing Type II diabetes in the future, you should have your blood sugar level checked when you see your midwife or health care provider for your routine check=ups. There is a good chance you will be able to reduce the risk of developing diabetes later in life by maintaining an ideal body weight and exercising regularly.
DEVELOPMENT & DETECTION OF GESTATIONAL DIABETES
Any woman might develop gestational diabetes during pregnancy. Some of the factors associated with women who have an increased risk are:
- Obesity, before pregnancy.
- A family history of diabetes or previous history of high blood sugar or GDM in a previous pregnancy.
- Having given birth previously to a very large infant over 9 lbs.
- A stillbirth for unknown reasons.
- A child with a birth defect.
- Having too much amniotic fluid (polyhydramnios).
- Women who are older than 25 are at greater risk than younger women.
- Ethnicity: higher rates of GDM occur in Native American, Asian, Latino, or African-American women.
- Although a history of glucose in the urine is often included in the list of risk factors, this is not a reliable indicator of who will develop diabetes during pregnancy. Some pregnant women with perfectly normal blood sugar levels will occasionally have sugar detected in their urine.
However, almost half of the women diagnosed with gestational diabetes have none of the above risk factors. This is why many health care providers recommend that all women should be screened for GDM at 24-28 weeks. Earlier if the woman has any of the risk factors listed above. This is when the pregnancy hormones which raises blood sugar the most (cortisol) peaks. Another hormone which is very influential in GDM is progesterone, which peaks at 32 weeks.
The Council on Diabetes in Pregnancy of the American Diabetes Association strongly recommends that all pregnant women be screened for gestational diabetes. Many midwives believe that this may be overkill for the general population of women when there is a 95 to 98 percent chance that an expectant mother may not have GDM. These midwives reserve glucose screening testing as a last resort. They prefer to help all women to have a nutritious diet and health lifestyle. This helps to prevent possible problems from the onset of prenatal care. They assist those women that are having positive glucose or ketone detection in their urine during their prenatal visit(s) by evaluating and adjusting dietary and lifestyle habits. If glucose is still detected in their urine, a blood test with a glucometer (hand held portable device) is usually done. Again diet and exercise is important and is reviewed. If this test is still positive, than the midwife may then suggest screening tests.
50-GRAM ORAL GLUCOSE SCREENING TEST
The most common is the 50-gram glucose screening test. No special preparation is necessary for this test, and there is no need to fast before the test. The test is performed by giving 50 grams of a glucose drink and then measuring the blood glucose level one-hour later. A woman with a blood glucose level of less than 140 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dl) at one-hour is presumed not to have gestational diabetes and requires no further testing. However, some health care providers may recommend retesting at 32 weeks. If the blood glucose level is greater than 140 mg/dl the test is considered abnormal or "positive". If the One-Hour test is 185 mg/dl, then the health care provider may skip further testing and proceed to treat the GDM. Not all women with a positive screening test have diabetes.
3 HOUR ORAL GLUCOSE TOLERANCE TEST (OGTT)
If the one-hour test is positive, the consequently, a 3-hour oral glucose tolerance test must be performed to establish the diagnosis of gestational diabetes. Many midwives do not like to have pregnant women restricting their diets or fasting during their pregnancies and may be concerned about the nutritional aspects of this testing method.
If your midwife or health care provider determines that you should take the complete 3-hour glucose tolerance test, you will be asked to follow some special instructions in preparation for the test. For 3 days before the test, eat a diet that contains at least 150 grams of carbohydrates each day. This can be accomplished by including one cup of pasta, two servings of fruit, four slices of bread, and three glasses of milk every day. For 10 to 14 hours before the test you should not eat and not drink anything but water. The test is usually done in the morning in your midwife's or heath care provider's office or in a laboratory. First, a blood sample will be drawn to measure your fasting blood glucose level. Then you will be asked to drink a full bottle of a glucose drink (100 grams). This glucose drink is extremely sweet and occasionally makes some people feel nauseated. Finally, blood samples will be drawn every hour for 3 hours after the glucose drink has been consumed. The normal values for this test are shown below.
3-Hour Oral Glucose Tolerance Test (OGTT) for Gestational Diabetes
Diagnostic Criteria Normal Mean Values Blood Glucose Level Blood Glucose Level
(From 752 Unselected Pregnancies)
If two or more of your blood sugar levels are higher than the diagnostic criteria, you have gestational diabetes. This testing is usually performed at the end of the second or the beginning of the third trimester (between the 24th and 28th weeks of pregnancy) when insulin resistance usually begins. If you had gestational diabetes in a previous pregnancy or there is some reason why your midwife or health care provider is unusually concerned about your risk of developing gestational diabetes, you may be asked to take the 50gram glucose screening test as early as the first trimester (before the 13th week). Remember, merely having glucose in your urine or even having an abnormal blood glucose on the 50-gram glucose screening test does not necessarily mean you have gestational diabetes. The 3-hour glucose tolerance test must be abnormal before the diagnosis is made. Some health care providers state statistics indicate that large babies and other complications of GDM can occur even if the numbers on the OGTT are lower than these diagnostic numbers. These numbers are quite high, because normal blood sugar in pregnancy is in the 60 to 120 mg/dl range. So, you have a health care practitioner that may recommend treatment even if you do not meet the criteria for diagnosis.
TESTING GLUCOSE LEVELS
Once you are diagnosed as having gestational diabetes, you and your midwife or health care provider will want to know more about your day-to-day blood sugar levels. It is important to know how your exercise habits and eating patterns affect your blood sugars. Also, as your pregnancy progresses, the placenta will release more of the hormones that work against insulin. Testing your blood sugar level at important times during the day will help determine if proper diet and weight gain have kept blood sugar levels normal or if dietary changes or extra insulin is needed to help keep the fetus protected.
It is usually recommended that women with GDM test blood sugar 4 times a day: before breakfast (a fasting test), and 1 or 2 hours after breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The fasting test provides information about how hormones are affecting your blood sugar. The after-meal tests provide information about how well the meal plan is controlling your blood sugar. The midwife or health care provider will use this information to adjust the meal plan as needed to control your blood sugar.
If your blood sugar is only tested once or twice a week at your midwife's visit, there is not enough information to ensure that blood sugars are well-controlled all the time. However, if your blood sugars are in the goal range after a week of 4-times-a-day testing, your midwife or health care provider may give you permission to test less often.
The blood sugar goals in most GDM programs are:
Fasting blood sugar 60 to 90 mg/dl.
1 hour after meals <140 mg/dl.
2 hours after meals <120 mg/dl.
Some midwives or health care providers prefer than the 1-hour after meal blood sugar be <120, because this is closer to normal blood sugar.
Self blood glucose monitoring is done by using a special device to obtain a drop of your blood and test it for your blood sugar level. Your midwife or other health care provider will explain the procedure to you. Make sure that you are shown how to do the testing before attempting it on your own. Some items you may use to monitor your blood sugar levels are:
Your midwife or health care provider can advise you where to obtain the self-monitoring equipment in your area (usually available at most local pharmacies and drug stores). You may want to inquire if any places rent or loan glucose meters, since it is likely you will not be needing it after your baby is born.
- Lancet: a disposable, sharp needle-like sticker for pricking the finger to obtain a drop of blood.
- Lancet Device: a spring-loaded finger sticking device.
- Test Strip: a chemically treated strip to which a drop of blood is applied.
- Color Chart: a chart used to compare against the color on the test strip for blood sugar level.
- Glucose meter: a device which "reads" the test strip and gives you a digital number value.
You may need to test your blood several times a day. Generally, these times are fasting (first thing in the morning before you eat) and 2 hours after each meal. Occasionally, you may be asked to test more frequently during the day or at night. As each person is an individual, your midwife or health care provider can advise the schedule best for you.
Most manufacturers of glucose testing products provide a record diary, although some midwives and health care providers may have their own version. A Self Blood Glucose You should record any test result immediately because it's easy to forget what the reading was during the course of a busy day. You should always have this diary with you when you visit with your midwife or other health care provider or when you contact them by phone. These results are very important in making decisions about your health care.
In addition to blood testing, you may be asked to check your urine for ketones. Ketones are by-products of the breakdown of fat and may be found in the blood and urine as a result of inadequate insulin or from inadequate calories in your diet. Although it is not known whether or not small amounts of ketones can harm the fetus, when large amounts of ketones are present they are accompanied by a blood condition called acidosis, which is known to harm the fetus. To be on the safe side, you should watch for them in your urine and report any positive results to your midwife.
To test the urine for ketones, you can use a test strip similar to the one used for testing your blood. This test strip has a special chemically treated pad to detect ketones in the urine. Testing is done by passing the test strip through the stream of urine or dipping the strip in and out of urine in a container. As your pregnancy progresses, you might find it easier to use the container method. All test strips are disposable and can be used only once. This applies to blood sugar test strips also. You cannot use your blood sugar test strips for urine testing, and you cannot use your urine ketone test strips for blood sugar testing.
Overnight is the longest fasting period, so you should test your urine first thing in the morning every day and any time your blood sugar level goes over 240 mg/dl on the blood glucose test. It is also important to test if you become ill and are eating less food than normal. Your midwife or health care provider can advise what's best for you.
Unfortunately, despite careful attention to diet some women's blood sugars do not stay within an acceptable range. A pregnant woman free of gestational diabetes rarely has a blood glucose level that exceeds 100 mg/dl in the morning before breakfast (fasting) or 2 hours after a meal. The optimum goal for a gestational diabetic is blood sugar levels that are the same as those of a woman without diabetes.
There is no absolute blood sugar level that necessitates beginning insulin injections. However, many midwives or health care providers begin insulin if the fasting sugar exceeds 105 mg/dl or if the level 2 hours after a meal exceeds 120 mg/dl on two separate occasions. Blood sugar levels measured by you at home will help your midwife know when it is necessary to begin insulin. The ability to perform self blood glucose monitoring has made it possible to begin insulin therapy at the earliest sign of high sugar levels, thereby preventing the fetus from being exposed to high levels of glucose from the mother's blood.
Women whose gestational diabetes does not require that they take insulin during their pregnancy, will not need to take insulin during their labor or delivery. On the other hand, a woman who does require insulin during pregnancy may be given insulin by injection on the morning labor begins, or in some instances, it may be given intravenously throughout labor. For most women with gestational diabetes there is no need for insulin after the baby is born and blood sugar level returns to normal immediately. The reason for this sudden return to normal lies in the fact that when the placenta is removed the hormones it was producing (which caused the insulin resistance) are also removed. Thus, the mother's insulin is permitted to work normally without resistance. Your midwife or health care provider may want to check your blood sugar level the next morning, but it will most likely be normal.
DIABETIC DIET SUGGESTIONS
Dietary changes are an important aspect of the treatment and specific diet instructions will be provided. Following the prescribed diet will decrease the risks to mother and unborn child. A low fat, high fiber diet including raw vegetables and fresh vegetable juice is recommended. Avoid saturated fats and simple sugars. Avoid or restrict alcohol use.
MoonDragon's Nutritional Information - Gestational Diabetes: Nutrition & Diet
These diet changes will involve increased fiber intake, fat restriction, elimination of concentrated sweets, and possibly the monitoring of caloric intake to prevent excessive weight gain.
Consultation with a dietician is often recommended for educational purposes, to answer your dietary questions and to provide follow-up encouragement.
REDUCING PROBLEMS ASSOCIATED WITH GESTATIONAL DIABETES
In addition to your midwife, there are other health professionals who specialize in the management of diabetes during pregnancy including internists or diabetologists, registered dietitians, qualified nutritionists, and diabetes educators. Your midwife may recommend that you see one or more of these specialists during your pregnancy. In addition, a neonatologist (a health care provider specializes in the care of newborn infants) may also be called in to manage any complications the baby might develop after delivery.
One of the essential components in the care of a woman with gestational diabetes is a diet specifically tailored to provide adequate nutrition to meet the needs of the mother and the growing fetus. At the same time the diet has to be planned in such a way as to keep blood glucose levels in the normal range (60 to 120 mg/dl). The meal plan will control blood sugar as well as provide optimal nutrition for pregnancy.
The meal plan controls blood sugar by controlling how much carbohydrate food is eaten. Carbohydrates, both sugars and starches, are converted into blood sugar in our bodies. Eating less carbohydrate prevents high blood sugar. Some carbohydrates are digested more slowly and therefore raise blood sugar less than others. In general, your GDM nutritional plan will follow these principles:
A very small breakfast with little carbohydrate, such as 8 oz milk with one slice of toast and an egg or peanut butter for protein. 3 small meals and 2 to 3 small snacks (smaller meals cause lower blood sugars). Avoidance of concentrated sweets and sugars, including fruit juice. Plenty of non-starchy vegetables. Low-fat protein foods such as chicken, tuna, or lean meat. Lower-fat food choices in general, to keep weight gain at a healthy level. Low-fat or non-fat milk, yogurt or cheese for adequate calcium.
Your midwife or health care provider will determine the correct amounts of the different foods and design a menu based on your schedule, the foods you like, your blood sugar levels, and your nutritional needs in pregnancy. The breakfast is generally very small because the pregnancy hormones, which raise blood sugar, are at highest levels in the morning.
Note: Not all of these recommended supplements and herbs are recommended during pregnancy and lactation. These are general suggestions for people with diabetes health issues. Always consult with your midwife or health care provider before taking any medication, dietary supplement, or herbal therapy while you are pregnant and breastfeeding your baby.
Beanpod tea, made up of kidney, white, navy, lima, and northern beans, detoxifies the pancreas.
Most legumes are a good meal choice for diabetics. even though Beans contain starch, they are also rich in protein, fiber and saponins, all of which can help to balance blood sugar. Eat bean burritos, make chili with beans, put kidney beans in salads and prepare bean dips. Homemade bean soup is always nice, especially during the winter months when it is cold and miserable outdoors.
Bitter Melon (Momordica Charantia), Gudmar (Gymnema sylvestre), and Gulvel/Guduchi (Tinospora Cordifo) are herbal remedies used in Ayurvedic medicine to regulate blood sugar levels.
Cedar berries are excellent nourishment for the pancreas.
Dandelion root protects the liver, which converts nutrients into glucose and improves liver function and the metabolism of fats. Note: If you suffer from gallbladder problems, avoid large quantities of dandelion.
Fenugreek seeds have been shown to reduce cholesterol and blood sugar levels.
Fenugreek seeds, Blackberry and Blueberry leaves have a beneficial effect on pancreatic function. Mix in equal parts to make a tea blend. Use 1 teaspoon of the mixture for each cup of water. Steep for 30 minutes and then strain. Drink as much as 2 quarts daily.
Take Garlic capsules and/or eat fresh Garlic in salad dressings or prepare a Garlic tincture. For the tincture, peel 8 to 10 whole bulbs of garlic and place in a blender with enough vodka or brandy to cover. Puree and transfer to a glass jar. Ensure that the garlic is fully covered by adding additional vodka, as needed. Let stand in a dark, warm place for about 2 weeks, shaking it daily. Filter out the garlic pieces and take 1 teaspoon of the tincture 3 to 4 times daily.
Ginseng tea is believed to lower the blood sugar level. Caution: Do not use this herb if you have high blood pressure.
Huckleberry helps to promote insulin production. Huckleberry leaf is used by naturopathic physicians to treat sugar diabetes and ailments of the kidneys and gallbladder.
Stimulate the metabolism. Because the excessive sugars and fats in the blood stream can cause damage to the blood vessels, it is especially important for diabetics to maintain healthy circulation. Ensuring that all organs get enough oxygen is the only way to prevent complications, such as blindness, loss of kidney function and circulatory disease in the extremities. Blueberries and Hawthorn berries can help protect blood vessels from damage, too, just as keeping blood-sugar and cholesterol levels in check and stave off many complications. Regular use of saunas and hot baths can help stimulate the elimination of toxins from the body.
Juniper berries have been found to lower blood glucose levels.
Other herbs that may be beneficial for diabetes include Bilberry, Buchu, Goldenseal, and Uva Ursi. Bilberry leaf isused in connection with vascular and blood disorders and shows positive effects when treating varicose veins, thrombosis, and angina. Bilberry extract is high in bioflavonoid complex anthocyanosides and supports healthy vision. Bilberry is useful for maintaining a healthy digestive system, is an anti-inflammatory and an antioxidant. Buchu herb has traditionally been claimed to treat a wide variety of disorders, some of which include stomach complaints and urinary tract infections. Buchu leaves act as a diuretic and antisepic, and today is used in treating inflammation of the urethra, blood in the urine, bladder infections, and other chronic urinary trat infections. Goldenseal is an antibacterial and antiseptic. Use especially when mucus turns thick and discolored. Use short term only with other herbs. Uva Ursi, also known as bearberry, has a specific affinity for the genito-urinary organs, especially for urinary tract infections, cystitis, nephritis, urethritis, pyelitis, hematuria (bloody urine), yeast infections, vulvitis. Uva Ursi leaves were officially a drug for urinary antiseptic in the United State Pharmacopoeia (U.S.P.) and the National Formulary N.F. from 1820 until 1950. Caution Do not take Goldenseal on a daily basis for more than one week at a time, and do not use it during pregnancy. If you have a history of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, or glaucoma, use it only under a health care provider's supervision.
Beanpod Herbal Products Bilberry Herbal Products Bitter Melon Herbal Products Blackberry Herbal Products Blueberry Herbal Products Buchu Herbal Products Dandelion Herbal Products Fenugreek Herbal Products Garlic Herbal Products Ginseng Herbal Products Goldenseal Herbal Products Gudmar (Gymnema) Herbal Products Guduchi (Gulvel) Herbal Products Hawthorn Herbal Products Huckleberry Herbal Products Juniper Cedar Herbal Products Uva Ursi Herbal Products
Opinions may differ as to the optimal ratio of dietary carbohydrates, proteins and fats for prevention and treatment of diabetes. However, it is safe to say that carbohydrates trigger the release of insulin. As more carbohydrates are consumed, more insulin is produced. The current epidemic of obesity and diabetes in the United States indicates that we are asking our bodies to burn the wrong fuel - refined carbohydrates in this case. It has been suggested by Dr. Gerald Reaven of Stanford University that a diet consisting of 45 percent complex carbohydrates, 40 percent "good" (polyunsaturated) fats, and 15 percent protein will benefit individuals with insulin resistance, the precursor to diabetes. It is estimated that as many as 70 to 80 million Americans may be affected by insulin resistance syndrome. Medications such as metformin (Glucophage) and rosiglitazone (Avandia) are prescribed to combat insulin resistance.
Eat a low-fat, high-fiber diet including plenty of raw fruits and vegetables as well as fresh vegetable juices. This reduces the need for insulin and also lowers the level of fats in the blood. Fiber helps to reduce blood sugar surges. For snacks, eat Oat or Rice Bran crackers with nut butter or cheese. Legumes, root vegetables, and whole grains are also good. Remember to regulate your carbohydrate intake. See Hypoglycemic Diet for helpful dietary suggestions to prevent hypoglycemic episodes.
The types of carbohydrates consumed are at least as important as the total carbohydrate loading. High-glycemic foods such as white rice, white flour products, pasta, starchy vegetables, and many processed foods are quickly converted into blood sugar during digestion, causing insulin to go up. Carbohydrates found in lower glycemic foods such as asparagus, broccoli, cabbage, green beans, and low-starch vegetables and fruits are converted into blood sugar more slowly, which only gradually raises insulin levels. Avoiding "white foods" might be best.
Supplement your diet with Spirulina. Spirulina helps stabilize blood sugar levels. Other foods that help normalize blood sugar include berries, Brewers Yeast, dairy products (especially cheese), egg yolks, fish, Garlic, Kelp, sauerkraut, soybeans, and vegetables.
Get your Protein from vegetable sources, such as grains and legumes. Fish and low-fat dairy products are also acceptable sources of protein. Kidney function in people with type 2 diabetes seems to benefit from dietary Soy Protein. This protein also raises the level of "good" cholesterol.
Avoid saturated fats, trans-fats, hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils, and simple sugars (except when necessary to balance an insulin reaction). While total fat intake does not seem to change the risk of getting diabetes, the trans-saturated fats and hydrogenated oils found in most fast foods can greatly increase the risk. Beneficial fats and oils include extra virgin Olive Oil, Salmon Fish Oil, Almond Oil, Avocado Oil, nuts and seed oils such as Sesame Seed Oil, Flaxseed Oil, Sunflower Oil, and Pumpkin Seed Oil.
Eat more complex carbohydrates or reduce your insulin dosage before exercise. Exercise produces as an insulin-like effect in the body. Talk to your health care provider about the right approach for you.
Type 2 diabetes can be controlled by diet and exercise alone, but oral medications or injections of insulin can be added if regulating the diet does not work. Obesity is a major factor in type 2 diabetes, and a weight reduction program is often all that is required to control it.
It was once thought that people with diabetes should avoid sweetened foods. For weight control, this is still the case. However, research has shown that sugar - a simple carbohydrate - does not cause the greatest increase in blood glucose. Eating baked potatoes or some breakfast cereals causes a greater rise in blood sugar. Indeed carrots raise blood sugar more than ice cream does. It is on this principle that many high-protein, low-carbohydrate diets are based. It is essential, therefore, that people with diabetes measure their intake of both simple and complex carbohydrates - not simply those coming from sugar.
MoonDragon's Womens Health Information: Obesity - Description Overview
MoonDragon's Womens Health Information: Obesity - Herbal Suggestions For Weight Loss
MoonDragon's Womens Health Information: Obesity - Holistic & Dietary Information
MoonDragon's Nutrition Information: Diets - Weight Control Diet
MoonDragon's Nutrition Information: Diets - Weight Loss Diet
Do not take fish oil capsules or supplements containing large amounts of para-aminobenzoic acid (PABA), and avoid salt and white flour products. Consumption of these products results in an elevation of blood sugar.
Eat more carbohydrates or reduce your insulin dosage before exercise. Exercise produces an insulin-like effect in the body. Discuss with your health care provider about the right approach for you.
A higher Magnesium intake lowers the risk of getting type 2 diabetes. The journal Diabetes Care published a study in which overweight women who consumed large amount of magnesium were 22 percent less likely to develop type 2 diabetes than women who consumed lower amounts. A diet rich in nuts, whole grains, and vegetables that are high in magnesium may be beneficial.
Do not take supplements containing amino acid cysteine. It has the ability to break down the bonds of the hormone insulin and interferes with absorption of insulin by the cells.
Do not take extremely large doses of Vitamins B-1 (thiamine) and Vitamin C. Excessive amounts may inactivate insulin. These vitamins may, however, be taken in normal amounts. See Nutrient Table for recommendations.
If symptoms of hyperglycemia develop, go to the emergency room of the nearest hospital or medical center. This is a potentially dangerous situation. Intravenous administration of proper fluids, electrolytes, and insulin may be required.
Avoid taking large amounts of Vitamin B-3 (Niacin). However, small amounts (50 to 100 milligrams daily), taken by mouth, may be beneficial. In one study, large amounts of niacin raised blood sugar levels in people with non-insulin-dependent diabetes by as much as 16 percent. Over time, this could cause dependence on insulin or medication. Niacin can also cause the level of uric acid in the blood to rise, indicating probable kidney dysfunction and an increased risk of gout. However, niacinamide, a form of niacin, shows down the destruction and enhances the regeneration of the insulin-producing beta cells in the pancreas, and therefore may be helpful for those with type I diabetes.
Chromium deficiency may be a key player in the type 2 diabetes problem. In addition, Chromium may help improve body composition - that is, the ratio of fat to muscle. Chromium is not generally available in plant foods as plants have no requirement for it and thus do not concentrate it. Brewers Yeast, beer, whole grains, cheese, broccoli, and meat are good dietary sources, but not all are good choices for people with diabetes. Inorganic forms of chromium are poorly absorbed. Chromium Picolinate is an effective organic form that is readily available as a supplement. See Nutrient Table for dosage and details.
Many nutrients recommended for people with diabetes are available in combination supplements. See Diabetic Supplements for a list of products.
If you have a child with diabetes, be sure his or her teacher knows how to respond to the warning signs of hypoglycemia and hyperglycemia.
If symptoms of hypoglycemia develop, immediately consume fruit juice, soda pop, or anything else that contains sugar. If that fails to help within 20 minutes, repeat this regimen. If the second treatment fails, or if you cannot ingest food, seek immediate medical attention and/or administer a glucagon injection. Anyone who has insulin-dependent diabetes should always carry a glucagon kit and know how to use it.
MoonDragon's Nutrition Information: Diets - Hypoglycemic Diet
Avoid tobacco in any form. It constricts the blood vessels and inhibits circulation. Keep your feet clean, dry, and warm, and wear only white cotton socks and well-fitting shoes. Lack of oxygen (because of poor circulation) and peripheral nerve damage (with loss of pain sensation) are major factors in the development of diabetic foot ulcers. Try to avoid injury, and take measures to improve the circulation in the feet and legs. See Circulatory Problems.
Alcohol now and then may help. A growing body of evidence links moderate alcohol consumption with reduced risks of heart disease. The same may be true for type 2 diabetes. Moderate amounts of alcohol - a drink a day for men, a drink every other day for women - increases the efficiency of insulin at getting glucose inside cells. And some studies indicate that moderate alcohol consumption decreases the risk of type 2 diabetes. If you already drink alcohol, the key is to keep your consumption in the moderate range. If you do not drink alcohol, there is no need to start - you can get the same benefits by losing weight, exercising more, and changing your eating patterns.
CHROMIUM PICOLINATE: A COMPLEMENTARY NUTRITIONAL THERAPY FOR DIABETES
Chromium Picolinate is a nutritional supplement that can help control diabetes. As the name implies, it is a combination of two different substances: chromium and picolinate. Chromium is a mineral that helps to increase the efficiency of insulin, the hormone that controls blood glucose (blood sugar) levels; picolinate is an amino acid derivative that allows the body to use chromium much more readily.
The shape of individual insulin molecules is important to the hormone's effectiveness. If the molecules maintain their proper shape, the insulin can effectively transport glucose into the cells, where it is needed. Without chromium, insulin molecules become misshapen, and can no longer serve as an effective transportation system, glucose builds up in the bloodstream, starting a chain reaction that eventually leads to diabetes.
Scientists have long known that chromium is a vital nutrient, but not until chromium was combined with picolinate was a truly effective means of providing supplemental chromium developed. In the body, chromium takes the form of an ion, a particle with an electrical charge. This charge is repelled by the body's cells, making it difficult for chromium to enter the cells. Picolinate is a chelator, a substance that can bind with an ion and neutralize its charge. Once chromium and picolinate join together, the chromium's repellant charge is done away with. The body's cells then are able to accept the chromium.
The effectiveness of chromium picolinate has been tested on individuals with a number of different health problems, including diabetes. Research shows that most people with diabetes experience a decline in blood glucose levels after they start taking daily chromium picolinate supplements. As a result, it is believed that chromium picolinate may be able to help many people with diabetes (especially type II diabetes) to control their blood sugar levels. This in turn would allow them to cut back on their intake of insulin and other drugs, likely resulting in fewer side effects. Furthermore, since improving the action of insulin also helps the body to use fat as a fuel, chromium picolinate can help reduce obesity. This means that it may enable some people with type II diabetes to lose enough weight to stop taking drugs entirely.
However, it is not recommended that people with diabetes simply go out and buy chromium picolinate supplements and start taking them. Anyone who has diabetes, especially type I diabetes, must exercise caution with this supplement. Its effects on insulin requirements are very real. Blood sugar levels must be monitored carefully and the appropriate dosages of insulin and/or other drugs adjusted as needed in response. Otherwise, a potentially dangerous insulin reaction may occur as a result of too little glucose in the blood.
Anyone interested in using chromium picolinate for the treatment of diabetes should first seek the advice of a qualified health-care provider, preferably a nutritionally oriented practitioner who has experience in this area.
Almond (Sweet) Herbal Oil Products Avocado Oil Herbal Products Brewers Yeast Herbal Products Chromium Supplement Products Diabetic Supplement Products Flaxseed Oil Herbal Products Garlic Herbal Products Kelp Herbal Products Magnesium Supplement Products Oat Herbal Products Olive Oil Herbal Products Pumpkin Seed Oil Herbal Products Rice Herbal Products Salmon Fish Oil Supplement Products Sesame Seed Oil Herbal Products Soy Protein Supplement Products Spirulina Herbal Products Sunflower Oil Herbal Products Vitamins B-1 Supplement Products Vitamin B-3 Supplement Products Vitamin C Supplement Products
Unless otherwise specified, the following recommended doses are for adults over the age of 18. For a child between 12 and 17 years, reduce the dose to 3/4 the recommended dose. For a child between 6 and 12 years old, use 1/2 the recommended dose, and for a child under 6, use 1/4 the recommended dose.
NUTRIENTS Supplement Suggested Dosage Comments Very Important Alpha-Lipoic Acid As directed on label. For treatment of peripheral nerve damage in diabetic patients. Helps control blood sugar levels. Chromium Picolinate 400 to 600 mcg daily. Improves insulin's efficiency, which lowers blood sugar levels. Caution: If you have diabetes, consult with your health care provider before taking any supplement containing chromium. Or
Diabetic Nutrition Rx
As directed on label. Add to your regular foods and drinks as a nutritional supplement.
Mix the desired amount into your favorite foods to taste. Dissolves easily and brings added nutritional value to all foods. Sprinkle over salads, cottage cheese, and yogurt. Excellent as a vitamin supplement. Add a tablespoon in your favorite morning juice. A combination of chromium picolinate, vanadyl sulfate, and other vitamins and minerals that work synergistically to regulate blood sugar levels and correct deficiencies. Caution: If you have diabetes, consult with your health care provider before taking any supplement containing chromium.
Diabetic Nutrition RX Supplement Products Or
(With Added Chromium)
As directed on label. An excellent source of protein and several B-vitamins. Take with chromium supplement. Garlic (Kyolic) As directed on label. Decreases and stabilizes blood sugar levels. Enhances immunity and improves circulation. L-Carnitine 500 mg twice daily, on an empty stomach. Take with water. Do not take with milk. Take with 50 mg Vitamin B-6 and 100 mg Vitamin C for better absorption. Mobilizes fat. Plus
500 mg twice daily, on an empty stomach. Take with water. Do not take with milk. Reduces the craving for sugars. Plus
500 mg twice daily, on an empty stomach. Take with water. Do not take with milk. Aids in the release of insulin. Quercetin
100 mg 3 times daily. Helps protect the membranes of the lens of the eye from accumulations of polyols as a result of high glucose levels. Raw Adrenal Glandular
Raw Pancreas Glandular
As directed on labels. Aids in rebuilding and nourishing these organs. See Glandular Therapy. Vanadium As directed on label. Vanadium aids insulin's ability to move glucose into the cells. Use Vanadyl Sulfate form. Vanadyl Sulfate is a trace mineral that is believed to help support normal glucose and lipid metabolism. Vanadyl Sulfate is a supplement derived from the trace mineral vanadium. Vitamin B Complex 50 mg of each B vitamin daily, with meals 3 times daily (amounts of individual vitamins in a complex will vary). Do not exceed 300 mg daily from all supplements. B vitamins work best when taken together. Plus Extra
5 to 50 mg (5,000 to 50,000 mcg) daily. Improves the metabolism of glucose.
Biotin does not appear to have any toxic levels when taken at high doses. Studies have been done with doses between 5 mg (5,000 mcg) to 15 mg (15,000 mcg) daily. Biotin is not known to be toxic. Oral biotin supplementation has been well-tolerated in doses up to 200 mg/day in people with hereditary disorders of biotin metabolism. In people without disorders of biotin metabolism, doses of up to 5 mg/day for two years were not associated with adverse effects.
Biotin Supplement Products And
50 mg daily. Important for circulation and for prevention of atherosclerosis. Vitamin B-12 As prescribed by health care provider or directed on label. Needed to prevent diabetic neuropathy. Injections (under a health care provider's supervision) are best. If injections are not available, use a lozenge or sublingual form. Zinc 50 to 80 mg daily. Do not exceed a total of 100 mg daily from all supplements. Deficiency has been associated with diabetes. Use zinc gluconate lozenges or OptiZinc for best absorption. Coenzyme Q-10 80 mg daily. Improves circulation and stabilizes blood sugar. Coenzyme A As directed on label. Facilitates the repair of RNA and DNA. Supports the immune system's detoxification of many dangerous substances. Can streamline metabolism, ease depression and fatigue, and increase energy. Works well with CoQ10. Magnesium 750 mg daily. Important for enzyme systems and pH balance. Protects against coronary artery spasm in arteriosclerosis. Manganese 5 to 10 mg daily. Take separately from calcium. Needed for repair of the pancreas. Also a cofactor in key enzymes of glucose metabolism. Deficiency is common in people with diabetes. Psyllium Husks
As directed on label. Take with a large glass of water. Take separately from other supplements and medications. Psyllium husks are good fiber sources and fat mobilizers. Flax seed is a good fiber source as well as a source of essential fatty acids. Important Vitamin A 15,000 IU daily. If you are pregnant, do not exceed 10,000 IU daily. An important antioxidant needed to maintain the health of the eyes. Use emulsion form for the best absorption. Plus
25,000 IU daily.
As directed on label.
An antioxidant and precursor of vitamin A. Needed by all cells for repair and rebuilding. Important antioxidant needed to maintain the health of the eyes. Vitamin C
3,000 to 6,000 mg daily, in divided doses. Essential in immune function and tissue repair. Deficiency may lead to vascular problems in people with diabetes. Vitamin E 200 to 400 IU daily. Improves circulation and prevents complications through its antioxidant properties. Use d-alpha-tocopherol emulsion form for easier assimilation and greater safety at higher doses. Helpful Calcium 1,500 mg daily. Important for pH balance. Copper Complex As directed on label. Aids in protein metabolism and in many enzyme systems. Maitake 1 to 4 grams (1,000 to 4,000 mg) daily. Maitake mushroom extract may help to normalize blood sugar levels. Multi-Enzyme Complex
As directed on label. Take with meals. To aid digestion. Proper digestion is essential in management of diabetes. Pantethine
As directed on label. A form of pantothenic acid that reduces LDL cholesterol and helps prevent buildup in the arteries. Pycnogenol
Grape Seed Extract
As directed on label.
As directed on label.
Contains powerful antioxidants that also enhance the activity of vitamin C and strengthens connective tissue, including that of the cardiovascular system. Spirulina
As directed on label. Take between meals. To supply protein, needed to build and repair tissue. Also acts as an appetite stimulant.
NOTIFY YOUR MIDWIFE OR HEALTH CARE PROVIDER
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MoonDragon's Pregnancy Information: Gestational Diabetes (GD) Index
MoonDragon's Pregnancy Information: Gestational Diabetes (GD)
MoonDragon's Pregnancy Information: Gestational Diabetes Introduction & Overview
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MoonDragon's Nutrition Information: Gestational Diabetes: Nutrition & Diet
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DIABETES NUTRITIONAL SUPPLEMENTAL PRODUCTS
Information, products and supplements to support treatment and management of blood sugar and diabetes, a disease of the pancreas related to the release of insulin into the blood stream. Consult with your health care provider or midwife before taking any nutritional supplement or changing your dietary/medicational plan. Please note that some of these products may not be recommended for use during pregnancy. Be sure to read product descriptions carefully before using.
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Adrenal Glandular Products Alfalfa Herbal Products Almond (Sweet) Herbal Oil Products Aloe Vera Herbal Products Alpha Lipoic Acid Products Appetite Suppressant Products Astragalus Herbal Products Avocado Oil Herbal Products Basil Essential Oil Products Beanpod Herbal Products Beta Carotene Products Bhumy Amalaki Herbal Products Bilberry Herbal Products Bioflavonoids Supplement Products Biotin Supplement Products Bitter Melon Herbal Products Blackberry Herbal Products Blackseed Herbal Products Blood Sugar Management Products Blueberry Herbal Products Books - Diabetic & Blood Sugar Brewers Yeast Herbal Products Buchu Herbal Products Calcium Supplement Products Carnitine Supplement Products Carotene Complex Products Cedar Berry Herbal Products Cinnamon Herbal Products Chlorella Herbal Products Chromium Supplement Products Coenzyme A Supplement Products Completia Diabetic Products Coenzyme Q-10 Supplement Products Dandelion Herbal Products DHEA Supplement Products Diabetic FootCare Products Diabetic Nutrition RX Products Diabetic Supplement Products Eleuthero Herbal Products Fenugreek Herbal Products Fiber Supplement Products Flaxseed Herbal Products Flaxseed Oil Herbal Products Garlic Herbal Products Ginkgo Biloba Herbal Product Ginseng Herbal Products Glucomannan Supplement Products Glutamine Supplement Products Goldenseal Herbal Products Grape Seed Herbal Products Gudmar (Gymnema) Herbal Products
Guduchi (Gulvel) Herbal Products Hawthorn Herbal Products Huckleberry Herbal Products Inositol Supplement Products Juniper Herbal Products Kelp Herbal Products Magnesium Supplement Products Maitake Mushroom Herbal Products Manganese Supplement Products Multi-Enzyme Supplement Products Mushroom Complex Herbal Products Natural Calm Supplement Products Oat Herbal Products Olive Oil Herbal Products Pancreas Glandular Products Pancreatic Support Products Psyllium Herbal Products Pumpkin Seed Herbal Products Pycnogenol Supplement Products Quercetin Supplement Products Reishi Mushroom Herbal Products Rhodiola Herbal Products Samento Herbal Products Rice Herbal Products Salmon Fish Oil Supplement Products Seabuckthorn Herbal Products Sesame Seed Herbal Products Soy Protein Supplement Products Spirulina Herbal Products Spirutein Protein Supplement Products Stevia Herbal Products Sugar Balancer TCM Products Sunflower Herbal Products Sutherlandia Herbal Products Taurine Supplement Products Thyroid Glandular Products Uva Ursi Herbal Products Vanadium Supplement Products Vitamin A Supplement Products Vitamins B-1 Supplement Products Vitamin B-3 Supplement Products Vitamin B-5 Supplement Products Vitamin B-6 Supplement Products Vitamin B-12 Supplement Products Vitamin B-Complex Products Vitamin C Supplement Products Vitamin E Supplement Products Wolfberry (Goji) Herbal Products Yarrow Herbal Products Yohimbe Herbal Products Zinc Supplement Products
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Big Belly? High Body Mass Index? High Blood Pressure? If this sounds like you, you may be one of the millions of North Americans with Metabolic Syndrome. Predicted by medical experts as the likely number one risk factor for heart disease-Metabolic Syndrome, or MSX, describes a constellation of conditions, including those mentioned above, of which the body' resistance to insulin is a primary feature. A byproduct of obesity, 25 percent of the adult U.S. population is now estimated to have MSX. The Metabolic Syndrome Program offers readers a sensible lifestyle-based approach to treating MSX. One of the first books to name and address this condition, The Metabolic Syndrome Program outlines a realistic plan of treatment-without magic pills or quick-fixes to a growing and little-known threat to public health. The Metabolic Syndrome Program includes: Facts about MSX, the risk factors associated with it and its impact on your overall health. The role of nutrition in combating MSX. The truth about fats, carbs and proteins and the balance needed to maintain optimal health. All the latest research on insulin resistance, Type 2 Diabetes, hypertension and Cardiovascular disease-the worst outcomes of metabolic syndrome. Detailed information on natural supplements that can be used to combat the risk factors of MSX. Recipes and meal plans that will help you make the immediate lifestyle changes required if you are one of the millions at risk for MSX. "Karlene Karst has done an excellent job outlining the seriousness of obesity and insulin resistance, and their ensuing complications,while providing a nutrition and lifestyle action plan to help you get back to the basics of good health." --Sam Graci, author of the Path to Phenomenal Health and The Food Connection. "The Metabolic Syndrome Program provides an effective comprehensive solution by detailing a clear, rational approach to a complex topic." --Michael T. Murray, N.D., co-author of the Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine.
Nutrition Basics: Blood Sugar Supplement Information
AROMATHERAPY: ESSENTIAL OILS DESCRIPTIONS & USES
Allspice Leaf Oil Angelica Oil Anise Oil Baobab Oil Basil Oil Bay Laurel Oil Bay Oil Benzoin Oil Bergamot Oil Black Pepper Oil Chamomile (German) Oil Cajuput Oil Calamus Oil Camphor (White) Oil Caraway Oil Cardamom Oil Carrot Seed Oil Catnip Oil Cedarwood Oil Chamomile Oil Cinnamon Oil Citronella Oil Clary-Sage Oil Clove Oil Coriander Oil Cypress Oil Dill Oil Eucalyptus Oil Fennel Oil Fir Needle Oil Frankincense Oil Geranium Oil German Chamomile Oil Ginger Oil Grapefruit Oil Helichrysum Oil Hyssop Oil Iris-Root Oil Jasmine Oil Juniper Oil Labdanum Oil Lavender Oil Lemon-Balm Oil Lemongrass Oil Lemon Oil Lime Oil Longleaf-Pine Oil Mandarin Oil Marjoram Oil Mimosa Oil Myrrh Oil Myrtle Oil Neroli Oil Niaouli Oil Nutmeg Oil Orange Oil Oregano Oil Palmarosa Oil Patchouli Oil Peppermint Oil Peru-Balsam Oil Petitgrain Oil Pine-Long Leaf Oil Pine-Needle Oil Pine-Swiss Oil Rosemary Oil Rose Oil Rosewood Oil Sage Oil Sandalwood Oil Savory Oil Spearmint Oil Spikenard Oil Swiss-Pine Oil Tangerine Oil Tea-Tree Oil Thyme Oil Vanilla Oil Verbena Oil Vetiver Oil Violet Oil White-Camphor Oil Yarrow Oil Ylang-Ylang Oil Aromatherapy
Healing Baths For Colds
Using Essential Oils
AROMATHERAPY: HERBAL & CARRIER OILS DESCRIPTIONS & USES
Almond, Sweet Oil Apricot Kernel Oil Argan Oil Arnica Oil Avocado Oil Baobab Oil Black Cumin Oil Black Currant Oil Black Seed Oil Borage Seed Oil Calendula Oil Camelina Oil Castor Oil Coconut Oil Comfrey Oil Evening Primrose Oil Flaxseed Oil Grapeseed Oil Hazelnut Oil Hemp Seed Oil Jojoba Oil Kukui Nut Oil Macadamia Nut Oil Meadowfoam Seed Oil Mullein Oil Neem Oil Olive Oil Palm Oil Plantain Oil Plum Kernel Oil Poke Root Oil Pomegranate Seed Oil Pumpkin Seed Oil Rosehip Seed Oil Safflower Oil Sea Buckthorn Oil Sesame Seed Oil Shea Nut Oil Soybean Oil St. Johns Wort Oil Sunflower Oil Tamanu Oil Vitamin E Oil Wheat Germ Oil
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MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics Index MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Amino Acids Index MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Antioxidants Index MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Enzymes Information MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Herbs Index MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Homeopathics Index MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Hydrosols Index MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Minerals Index MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Mineral Introduction MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Dietary & Cosmetic Supplements Index MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Dietary Supplements Introduction MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Specialty Supplements MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Vitamins Index MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Vitamins Introduction
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