Diabetes definition
The word diabetes originates from the Ancient Greek word διαβήτης (diabētēs) which translates to “to siphon (to pass through)”, specifically used to signify “excessive urination”.[1] While the word mellitus comes from the classic Latin word mellītus, meaning sweetened with honey; roughly translating Diabetes mellitus to the excessive passing of sweet urine. [1] This is a paramount description of the condition as it is primarily characterised by high levels of glucose in the blood and urine.[2]

The top 3 characterising signs of Diabetes are:
Polyuria: Increased urination
Polydipsia: Increased thirst
Polyphagia: Increased appetite[2]

Prevalence & Classification
​Australian Government statistics show an increase in diabetes of more than double in the last 26 years, rising from 1.5% of the Australian population in 1989 to 4% in 2013.[3] Of those being diagnosed with diabetes, the majority (more than 85%) were diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes while over 12% had Type 1 Diabetes.[4] Additionally, Gestational Diabetes is becoming more prevalent with 1 in 20 pregnancies being affected in 2007.[3]    

Gestational Diabetes
Gestational Diabetes is a condition that can occur during pregnancy in susceptible women. As gestation progresses, the increase in pregnancy hormones steadily leads to increased glucose levels in the blood, as tissue sensitivity to
insulin decreases.[8] Unlike individuals with
Type 2 Diabetes, women with Gestational Diabetes are less able to increase their
pancreatic insulin production to compensate
for their increase in insulin resistance.[8] Depending on the severity of the condition,
​insulin injections may be needed to manage the diabetes, until not long after delivery when the condition usually resolves.[8]​​​


1. Simpson, J & Weiner, E 1989, The Oxford English Dictionary, Clarendon Press, Oxford.

2. Cooke, D & Plotnick, L 2008, “Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus in Pediatrics”, Pediatrics in Review, vol. 29, no. 11, pp. S.374-385.

3. Australian Institute of Health and Welfare 2013, Diabetes (AIHW), viewed 22 July 2015, <http://www.aihw.gov.au/diabetes/>

4. Australian Bureau of Statistics 2012, Australian Health Survey: First Results, 2011-12 Diabetes mellitus, viewed 22 July 2015, <http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/Lookup/D4F2A67B76B06C12CA257AA30014BC65>

5. Van Belle, TL, Coppieters, KT & Von Herrath, MG 2011, “Type 1 Diabetes: Etiology, Immunology, and Therapeutic Strategies”, Physiological Reviews, vol. 91, no. 1, pp. 79-118, viewed 23 July 2015, <http://physrev.physiology.org/content/91/1/79.short#ref-165>

6. American Diabetes Association 2014, ‘Diagnosis and Classification of Diabetes Mellitus’, Diabetes Care, vol. 37, no. 1, pp. s81-s90, viewed 23 July 2015, <http://care.diabetesjournals.org/content/37/Supplement_1/S81.long>

7. Hechtman, L 2012, Clinical Naturopathic Medicine, Churchill Livingstone, Australia.

8. Reece, EA, Leguizamon, G & Wiznitzer, A 2009, ‘Gestational diabetes: the need for a common ground’, The Lancet, vol. 373, no. 9677, pp. 1789-1797, viewed 26 July 2015, <www.sciencedirect.com>

9. American Diabetes Association 2013, ‘Standards of Medical Care in Diabetes’, Diabetes Care, vol. 36, no. 1, pp. s11-s66, viewed 26 July 2015, <http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3537269/>​​

Diabetes mellitus commonly referred to as just Diabetes, is a complex condition, which can affect the entire body. Being a chronic affliction it takes constant monitoring and care to establish appropriate management.

What Naturopathic services can do for you: Naturopathy can aid in the management of diabetes by increasing insulin sensitivity, decreasing sugar cravings, restoring appropriate glucose levels, minimising possible complications, improving mood, aiding with weight loss and much more. Vanessa tailors each treatment plan to your individual needs, considering all aspects of the disease, including the cause, progression and potential complications of the condition. Regarding Type 1 Diabetes, Vanessa is also familiar with the Dose Adjustment For Normal Eating (DAFNE) program. Clink below to find out more. 

Type 2 Diabetes
Type 2 Diabetes, in contrast to Type 1, is more
so a lifestyle disease, where certain eating
habits along with a sedentary life can promote abdominal obesity which can lead to altered glucose tolerance and insulin resistance.[6] Eventually this resistance results in high
glucose, as the insulin being forcefully
​produced is not as effective.[6]   

Diabetes can lead to several complications if not properly managed; these can include but are not limited to Neuropathy (nerve damage), Nephropathy (kidney damage), Retinopathy (vision impairment) and Cardiovascular Disease.[9] These complications can be prevented with proper management, which can be achieved by introducing healthier eating habits, increasing daily activity and additionally by incorporating a nutritional and herbal regime.  

Symptoms associated with Diabetes

  • Excessive thirst
  • Excessive urination
  • Excessive appetite
  • Constant sugar cravings
  • Feeling tired and lethargic
  • Slow wound healing
  • Frequent infections
  • Irritability
  • Blurred vision
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Mood swings
  • Feeling dizzy​


Type 1 Diabetes
Type 1 Diabetes also referred to as
juvenile-onset diabetes or insulin-dependent diabetes, is a chronic autoimmune disease
where, in genetically susceptible individuals,
the immune system attacks its own insulin-producing beta-cells in the pancreas; leaving the individual with minimal and eventually no insulin
production.[5] As insulin is required to remove glucose from the blood stream into the body’s
cells for energy production, a lack of insulin
results in high glucose levels in the blood.[5]