How these simple treatments have eased problems for people with diabetes

How these 6 simple treatments have eased problems for people with diabetes

 First, before giving this treatment a trial, first consult your doctor. Though, people who used it testified how effective it has proven, but consulting your doctor first is adviseable

When it comes to controlling blood sugar, there are several known approaches you can follow: exercising regularly, eating foods that are low on the glycemic index (GI), getting enough sleep, managing stress well, and taking your diabetes medication correctly. But as anyone with type 2 diabetes, knows, taking all of these steps is easier said than done and sometimes it’s hard to resist seeking out different remedies.

While researchers unfortunately haven’t yet identified a cure for diabetes, unconventional solutions for better managing blood sugar exist, and many people with diabetes have stumbled upon them through their own experience and personal research.

Following are just a handful, all practiced by real-life people with diabetes, and backed up by medical advice.

1. Bitter Melon as a Possible Way to Help Lower Your A1C
Greta Lint, of Ashboro, North Carolina, had an A1C that signaled type 2 diabetes. So, in addition to proper exercise, dieting, and medication, her endocrinologist suggested she try eating bitter melon, a long, bitter gourd grown in South America, as well as parts of Africa, Asia, and the Caribbean.
He said that, anecdotally, all of his patients who have followed his advice have seen a considerable drop in their A1C,” Lint says.

Lint found the bitter-tasting fruit at an Asian grocery store and added sun-dried slices to her tea. Although the melon made her brew taste like “a weakened version of the water left from when you cook spinach,” within three months, Lint’s A1C dropped from 6.5, which indicates diabetes, to the normal reading of 5.9.

2. Magnesium Supplements to Help Correct Nutritional Deficiencies
If you’re living with diabetes, you likely know foods with fiber, protein, and healthy fat can be beneficial for your blood sugar and your waistline. But people with diabetes also should prioritize magnesium, as this group tends to be deficient in this mineral. That’s what Jennifer Reich, of Allentown, Pennsylvania, says her doctor advised when she was seeking help for her own type 2 diabetes.

Research supports this notion: A review published in the journal Biological Trace Elements Research suggested that chronic magnesium deficiency is associated with insulin resistance, the hallmark of type 2 diabetes.

Carolyn Dean, MD, ND, a member of the medical advisory board for the Nutritional Magnesium Association who is based in Kihei, Hawaii, says magnesium is important because it helps insulin ferry glucose to cells, fueling the body. Insulin resistance prevents this process from taking place. “If there is not enough magnesium to do this job, both insulin and glucose become elevated. The excess glucose gets stored as fat and contributes to weight gain and diabetes,” says Dr. Dean, explaining that magnesium also “activates hundreds of enzymes that control digestion, absorption, and the utilization of proteins, fats, and carbohydrates.”

3. Warm Milk With Cinnamon and Honey to Prevent the Somogyi Effect

Stephanie Rayman, of Shalimar, Florida, was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes at the young age of 32, likely due to a family history of the disease as well as a personal history of gestational diabetes, she explains. But she has found some success in lowering her blood sugar by drinking warm milk with honey before bed. Of course, staying hydrated is important for people with diabetes, and cinnamon has shown some benefits for the disease, but what role might this combo with honey play?

Jewel Sheehan, MD, a resident in pediatrics and anesthesia at Stanford University in California, who has not treated Rayman, says the combination of warm milk, cinnamon, and honey could help stabilize Rayman’s blood sugar and prevent a phenomenon called the Somogyi effect, which is marked by high blood sugar in the morning.

4. Cinnamon Alone to Potentially Help Lower Blood Sugar
Yet cinnamon taken alone can be a great addition to your diabetes diet. That’s because some research suggests the spice may help regulate blood sugar in people with type 2 diabetes: A review published in September 2013 in the journal Annals of Family Medicine noted that cinnamon may lower fasting glucose levels, reduce LDL, or “bad,” cholesterol levels, and not affect your A1C.

Plus, Derocha says, “Cinnamon does not give any carbohydrate or sugar calories to increase human blood sugar, but it still gives you that taste of sweetness that you may be craving.”

She recommends adding cinnamon to help add a punch of sweetness to yogurt, cereal, oatmeal, cottage cheese, tea, or coffee. “Adding cinnamon to peanut butter to dip apples into or use as a spread is also fun. It can be a great addition to baking where one can then cut added sugars from the recipe,” Derocha says.

5. Chromium Picolniate Supplements to Help With Insulin Production

“I’m not diabetic, but I know enough to take chromium,” says Shelby Miller, of Columbia, South Carolina, who explains the supplement has resulted in lower blood sugar readings. Miller may be onto something: A study published in the journal Diabetes suggested the picolinate form of the mineral may help people with type 2 diabetes improve their A1C readings, glucose tolerance, insulin production, and cholesterol.

Robin Foroutan, RDN, a holistic health counselor who is based in New York City, explains that while it’s unclear exactly how chromium works, the mineral appears to enhance insulin’s signaling activity and ultimately lower blood sugar. “Furthermore, there is evidence that people with a chromium deficiency tend to have elevated blood sugars or are insulin resistant,” Foroutan adds.

So how much chromium do you need to take to reap these possible benefits? Foroutan recommends 200 to 500 micrograms of chromium picolinate per day. “Too much chromium can actually worsen blood sugar control, though toxicity is rare,” she says.

The best way to tell whether you’re deficient in chromium is to try adding it to your diet and seeing how it affects your blood sugar levels — with clearance from your medical team, of course. Consider supplementing your diet with a multivitamin, she suggests. Depleted stores of any trace mineral can have big impacts on how the body functions, and because different minerals affect each other’s absorption, taking these minerals together in a multivitamin or multimineral is ideal,” Foroutan explains.

Shelby Miller takes her chromium in a yeast form, which Foroutan says is found naturally in brewer’s yeast. Unfortunately, not many studies have evaluated if the yeast or picolinate forms of chromium are better absorbed.

6. Green Tea to Control Blood Glucose and Possibly Lower Diabetes Risk

Drink tea every morning and every night to help control your blood sugar. Try to follow the best naturopathic research out there to decide which ones to take, but it seems researchers agree green tea can pack some major benefits for people with diabetes.

That’s because green tea contains polyphenols, which are antioxidants that can boost our metabolism and inhibit the enzyme amylase, which turns carbs into glucose.
This, in turn, could decrease the breakdown and absorption of glucose into the blood, Derocha says.

Meanwhile, a study published in the journal Phytochemistry suggested that green tea may help control glucose, lower the risk of heart disease, and promote weight loss.
What to Know Before Trying an Alternative Diabetes Treatment

Although these tips have proven successful for some people, it’s important to consult your medical team before incorporating any major changes into your diet and lifestyle, especially when it comes to alternative treatments,
It’s also important to consider how supplements may negatively interact with your current diabetes or other medication, Suhl says. For example, without knowing what supplements you’re on, your doctor may prescribe a drug that lowers blood sugar and the medication may drop your blood sugar too much.

There are other issues that could affect the success of these therapies. If you’re not deficient in magnesium, for example, taking a supplement might not help you at all — and even if you are, you might need to take above the recommended dose to see results.

Furthermore, studies have produced conflicting results on whether supplements are at all beneficial for people, regardless of whether they have diabetes. “That’s not to say they don’t help, but to date, research studies have not established this is the case,” adding that, as a result, the American Diabetes Association doesn’t recommend them.

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