There are several excellent natural remedies for diabetes including diet therapy, particularly for type 2 diabetes, the kind of diabetes that occurs in those over 40 years of age, due to relative insulin deficiency (insulin, the hormone that controls blood sugar levels, is being produced adequately but tissues are resistant to its action).
Nearly 50% of newly diagnosed cases of diabetes can be managed by diet alone. This would apply mainly to type 2 diabetes cases, with type 1 diabetes patients (the kind of diabetes occurring in those less than 40 years of age, due to an absolute deficiency of insulin) needing insulin therapy in addition to diet.
Let us take a look at the various options you have when it comes to controlling your diabetes, starting with diet. Be sure to attempt these remedies in consultation with your physician because you may need medication along with these remedies.
Home Remedies For Diabetes
Dietary measures are required in all diabetic patients to achieve normal metabolism. The main aims of dietary management is avoidance of symptoms of hyperglycemia, reduction in blood glucose levels and decreased fluctuations, weight reduction in those who are obese to decrease insulin resistance.
Low-energy, weight-reducing diet is recommended in the obese diabetic patient so as to decrease insulin resistance. The diet should be low in refined carbohydrate and high in unrefined carbohydrate, and restricted in total energy content. All diabetic patients should take a diet with appropriate energy content. Such a diet would depend on your age, sex, weight, activity and occupation.
Fifty percent of the daily caloric intake should be derived from carbohydrate, of which a significant amount should be in the form of dietary fiber (as found in breakfast cereals, wholemeal bread, beans, pulses, peas, oats, fruits and vegetables). Intake of fat should be restricted to 30–35% of energy needs. Abstinence or moderation of alcohol intake is advisable. You may need to consult a dietitian or your physician to figure out what diet is best for you.
This is a herbal product that is very popularly used in a variety of ailments including diabetes. Studies show that it lowers blood glucose via three ways:
(1) slowing down absorption rate of carbohydrates,
(2) Enhancing utilization of glucose by cells, and
(3) Increasing insulin secretion by pancreas. The daily requirement is 1 to 3 g in the form of tablets or capsules.
With its insulin-like actions, cinnamon has been found to reduce blood sugar levels to a significant extent.
Additionally it has been shown to reduce triglycerides and cholesterol, thus reducing the risk of complications in the diabetic patient. The recommended daily dosage is 3 to 6 g. It is available in the form of capsules, which are to be taken after meals.
There are several minerals like chromium, magnesium, zinc and vanadium which have been shown to have a beneficial effect in diabetes. Chromium taken in the dose of 1000 micrograms daily helps by reducing insulin resistance. It is found in chicken, meats, brewer’s yeast, shellfish, whole grains and corn oil.
Magnesium is found in whole grains, seeds, nuts, green leafy vegetables and some nutritional supplements. It acts by increasing insulin production and decreasing insulin resistance. The daily dose is 250–350 mg. Exercise caution because high doses can cause side effects like loss of appetite, nausea, diarrhea, muscle weakness, confusion, breathing difficulty, lowered blood pressure, and heart rate irregularities.
Zinc increases insulin production. It is found in a variety of foodstuffs like split peas, almonds, walnuts, egg yolk, chicken, beef liver, lamb, oysters, and sardines. Vanadium reduces insulin resistance and has many insulin-like actions in the body. Since higher doses can be toxic, daily intake should be less than about 30 micrograms.
Other Natural Remedies
There are several other natural remedies for diabetes that have been shown to be effective in one or more studies. They are aloe vera, gymnema, fenugreek seeds, ginger, garlic, grape juice, asparagus, and parsley. Gymnema aids the cells in utilization of glucose and also increases production of insulin.
Fenugreek seeds are used by many people in preparation of their meals. They not only lower insulin resistance but also increase the release of insulin. Aloe vera has many phytosterol compounds that help in reducing the blood sugar levels.
Whatever be the natural remedy that you end up trying for controlling your diabetes, do so under the close supervision of your physician. This is to ensure that the combined effect of the medication you may be taking and these natural remedies does not adversely lower the blood sugar levels to below normal.
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