Healthy Tips for Diabetes
Nov 23, 2021
34 million people in America have Diabetes and 1 in 4 people do not know they have it. This disease is the 7th leading cause of death and the number of diagnoses have almost tripled in the last 10 years. During Diabetes Awareness month, we here at Noor want to share the best supplements to prevent diabetes and manage blood sugar, as well as some other lifestyle choices that will keep the heart and blood healthy.
What is Diabetes
Diabetes is diagnosed when the body’s cells can no longer “open its doors” to uptake sugar (glucose). The “key” to opening the door of the cells is Insulin, a hormone produced by the pancreas. When the pancreas stops secreting insulin, doesn’t secrete enough, or our cells stop responding to insulin, our blood glucose levels rise. A constant stream of elevated blood sugar levels can cause damage to the heart, kidneys, eyes, and nerves.
There are 3 different types of Diabetes.
Diabetes Type 1 is an autoimmune disease. This is when the pancreatic cells attack themselves and the body can no longer produce insulin. This is an insulin-dependent type of Diabetes, whereby blood sugar levels must be monitored closely, and insulin injections must be taken every day. Up to 10% of people who have diabetes have this type and it can be developed at any age including childhood, hence the other common name of Type 1 Diabetes being Juvenile Diabetes.
Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus is the most common type, occurring in mostly middle-aged and older adults. In type 2, your body is either not making enough insulin or the body’s cells isn’t responding to Insulin. This type of Diabetes can be kept under control with selective food intake, supplements, weight management and exercise.
Diabetes type 3 is called gestational diabetes and its occurrence only happens in pregnant women. Although it goes away after pregnancy, these women are at a higher risk of developing type 2 later on in life.
Causes and Symptoms of Diabetes
There are many risk factors that can contribute to the diagnosis of Diabetes. These include:
- Genetics (a family history of diagnosis)
- Having High Blood Pressure
- A lack of Exercise
- A poor Diet; specifically, a high sugar and fat diet
- Being a Smoker
The most common symptoms of Diabetes include frequent urination, blurred vision, increased thirst, fatigue, and numbness or tingling in the hands and feet.
Supplements for Diabetes
Many may wonder, what vitamins can a diabetic take? Not all vitamins are safe for diabetics and with that being said, there are some vitamins that diabetics should avoid. These include chewable tablets, sweetened liquid formulas and lozenges. These all contain added sugar and would not yield beneficial. However, multivitamins are good for diabetics, as they help get nutrients that may be missing from the diet, which helps the body function more optimally. Below are some of the best supplements to prevent Diabetes and also to lower blood sugar levels if you’ve already been diagnosed.
Chromium is an essential trace mineral which means our bodies do not need a lot of it for proper function. Adult women only need 25 mcg, while adult men only need 35 mcg a day. It enhances carbohydrate, protein, and lipid metabolism. Taking Chromium helps to improve glucose tolerance and stabilize blood sugar levels by improving the way the body uses insulin. You can find this mineral in whole grains, broccoli, brewer’s yeast, green beans, beef, and poultry. Talk to your doctor about possible deficiency and the right dosage for you.
This common kitchen spice is not only for baking and flavor, it contains amazing health benefits as well. Whether in stick or powder form, cinnamon is a powerful antioxidant, protecting the body from free radical damage while strengthening the immune system. It works by helping the cells respond to insulin more effectively, which allows sugar to enter the bloodstream and in turn lower blood sugar levels. Cinnamon is one of the best supplements for diabetes because it tastes great and can easily be added into recipes. Supplementation usually comes in a concentrated extract form and can be taken safely for blood sugar support for those with Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus.
Aloe Vera Leaf
This bitter tasting prickly plant has been used for thousands of years in herbal medicine. Inside of the plants leaf is a clear gel-like fluid that has been used for everything from digestive ailments to dental health. Studies suggest that the pulp can help to lower blood sugar in non-insulin dependent diabetics. The concentrated juice is available in stores, or you can blend the inner pulp with water and drink daily for prevention.
The glycemic index is a number from 0-100 assigned to each food with pure sugar being “100”. These foods are assigned based on how slowly or quickly it converts the food into glucose, making your blood sugar levels rise. Foods that rate 55 and under are said to cause a slow and steady rise of blood sugar, which is a favorable outcome in diabetics. Foods that rate 56-100, release glucose into the bloodstream much quicker as the number rises and should be avoided or consumed with caution. Taking note of common food ratings on the glycemic index can help when preparing meals or incorporating new recipes into the diet.
How to Prevent Diabetes
Diabetes prevention boils down to the way we eat, how active we are and the vitamins we take. Try to avoid fatty and high sugar foods as it burdens the pancreas and the heart. Exercising helps to burn off that extra energy (glucose) and get it out of the bloodstream. Being conscious of these things makes Diabetes more manageable.
All in all, Diabetes is a growing problem in America and prevention is key. Some things we can begin to do are maintain a healthy weight with the glycemic index and exercise, keep the heart healthy with supplements and daily movement and stay up to date with the latest research and resources from the American Diabetes Association. Remember to follow the glycemic index to keep blood sugar levels balanced naturally, take supplements for Diabetes, and surround yourself with supportive people as you make the necessary changes in pursuing a long and healthy life.