Diabetes is one of the most common health problems in our society today. According to recent statistics from the World Health Organization (WHO), there are 285 million people worldwide with diabetes. That’s almost 10% of all adults aged 18 years or older. The number of children under the age of 15 who have been diagnosed with the condition has risen dramatically over time – more than doubling since 1980.
Type 1 diabetes occurs when your pancreas does not produce enough insulin due to an autoimmune disease such as Graves’ Disease or Type 1 Juvenile Diabetes. This form accounts for only 5-10 percent of cases worldwide. On average it takes 7 years before patients are diagnosed. There are several ways you can tell if you might be suffering from this condition, some symptoms are listed below :
- An increased thirst level
- Excessive urination
- Unexplained weight loss
- Fainting episodes
- Blurred vision or extreme fatigue
- Feeling tired even after sleep
- Extreme hunger pangs that wake you up at night
- Sudden onset of blurred vision
- Itching around the mouth
- Increased sensitivity to light
- Hot flushes
Diabetes is a serious chronic condition that impacts how insulin functions, making it harder for your body to regulate your blood sugar.
The disease can be caused by several factors including genetics, obesity, diet, age, and even illness such as infection with viruses like hepatitis C. It’s also important to note that while type 1 diabetics are diagnosed at an early stage of life, most people develop Type 2 diabetes over time through unhealthy eating habits, lack of exercise, and other lifestyle choices.
As you’ll see below, there are many natural remedies for type 2 diabetes. Some will work better than others depending on each individual’s specific needs. For example, some may have side effects so it’s best not to start taking them without consulting your doctor first. Also, remember that any changes to your medication regimen should only occur after discussing it with your physician.
Natural treatment for diabetes include herbs, which are particularly helpful when used together for optimal results. These include cinnamon, licorice root, juniper berries, and zinc. They all contain compounds which increase the effectiveness of one another. Read ahead to discover which ones might be beneficial for you!
Top natural remedies for type 2 diabetes
This water-soluble vitamin helps maintain cell growth and health. Biotin works primarily inside our bodies’ fat stores where it plays a role in converting carbohydrates into energy. When we’re sick or under stress, biotin deficiency has been linked to depression, fatigue, and memory loss. Biotin also supports bone strength and repair, heart function, skin elasticity, hair follicles, immune system activity, and nerve transmission. You can get biotin from food sources like eggs, milk, green vegetables, whole grains, meat, fish, legumes, and soybeans. If you’ve noticed problems related to biotin deficiency, talk to your healthcare provider about getting extra biotin supplementation.
2. How does Biotin treat Diabetes?
Research indicates that supplementing with biotin could improve fasting plasma glucose levels in patients who take metformin . In addition, research shows that those who took 1000 mg/day of biotin had lower A1c levels compared to placebo group. Although more studies need to be done before definitive conclusions can be drawn, preliminary data suggests that biotins improves glycemic control. As always, discuss potential benefits and risks with your medical professional prior to starting any dietary supplements or medications.
3. Gymnema sylvestra
Known as “sickness herb” in India, gymnemic acids found in Gymnema syrup have shown significant promise in helping reduce serum glucose levels in both animals and humans. Studies show that this substance lowered fasting glucose significantly but didn’t affect postprandial (after meal) glucose levels. This means that gymnamic acid reduces overall blood sugar levels rather than just reducing the spike after meals.
There are three types of gymnemias – leaf extract, bark extract and syrup made from tree sap. While they haven’t yet been studied extensively, their hypoglycaemic properties appear promising and worthy of further investigation. However, due to possible interactions between gymnemic acids and certain antidiabetic drugs, consult your doctor if you use these supplements or plan to do so.
Chromium is a trace mineral needed in small amounts by the human body to regulate carbohydrate metabolism. Chromium is known for its ability to prevent muscle breakdown during periods of intense physical exertion. Most chromium supplements come in pill form although liquid forms are becoming increasingly common.
Studies suggest that chromium picolinate taken daily for two years improved fasting glucose levels by 13% among individuals with impaired fasting glucose. Furthermore, researchers believe that chromium picolinate reduced the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes by nearly 50%. Because this study was conducted using animal subjects, additional clinical trials are necessary to determine whether similar results would hold true in humans. Talk to your healthcare provider about supplementing your current diabetic treatment plan with chromium picolinate.
If you think too much manganese could cause liver damage, consider the following fact: Manganese is actually essential to normal brain function and pancreatic beta cell functioning. Research suggests that excess manganese intake leads to hyperglycemia. One reason why excessive manganese consumption increases blood glucose levels is because it interferes with insulin production. Another theory states that manganese blocks receptors in the thyroid gland responsible for making hormones which influence metabolic rate and blood sugar regulation.
In 2006, the National Institutes of Health reported that men who ate large quantities of red meats were 27 percent more likely to die prematurely than vegetarian men. A 2002 review published in Clinical Reviews in Allergy & Immunology suggested that moderate doses of manganese can enhance insulin sensitivity and decrease reactive oxygen species (ROS), which interfere with cellular functions and contribute to inflammation. In 2008, researchers concluded that consuming less than 3 milligrams per day of manganese resulted in increased oxidative stress in pregnant women. Oxidative stress occurs when free radicals attack tissues causing damage. Since manganese stimulates the generation of free radicals, experts recommend keeping total manganese intake low.
Your pancreas produces insulin to transport sugars into cells. Zinc appears to play a critical part in regulating the amount of insulin produced by your pancreas. Low levels of zinc in turn lead to insufficient secretion of insulin.
Insufficient insulin then raises blood sugar leading to complications like blurry vision, dry mouth, frequent urination, constipation, headaches, weight gain, brittle nails, slow healing wounds, poor wound healing, slowed recovery from colds, flu, diarrhea, etc., osteoporosis, arthritis, nervous tension, exhaustion, lethargy, mood swings, depression, anxiety, PMS, hypertension, cardiovascular diseases, cancer, birth defects, miscarriages, premature delivery, and decreased immunity.
Treatment usually involves adding zinc to your regular nutritional regimen. Many foods naturally contain zinc but vegetarians tend to fall short. Other good sources of zinc include seafood, dark chocolate, egg yolk, cereals, nuts, beans, lentils, peas, broccoli, oysters, kidney and lima beans, beef, pork, chicken, potatoes, spinach, kale, tomatoes, avocados, cantaloupe melon, sweet corn, papaya, mangoes, oranges, peaches, pineapples, apples, pears, prunes, apricots, raisins, dates, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, brown rice, oatmeal, cashews, chickpeas, hummus, black bean dip, tofu, kelp powder, brewer’s yeast, and dulse flakes.
7. Juniper Berries
While no conclusive evidence exists linking diabetes and juniper berries, practitioners of traditional Chinese Medicine claim that drinking tea containing extracts from the fruit of Juniperus communis (“JUN”), along with other medicinal plants, can aid digestion and absorption of nutrients. Researchers at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine discovered that mice fed JUN drink solution experienced reduced rates of blood sugar spikes following oral gavage of glucose, suggesting that JUN enhances glucose tolerance.
Scientists suspect that these substances act as antioxidants capable of neutralizing harmful molecules called free radicals which destroy healthy tissue. Free radical scavenging action may explain why Juniperberries are effective against lung infections, various cancers, inflammatory conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease, atherosclerosis, Alzheimer’s disease, cataracts, glaucoma, macular degeneration, Parkinson’s disease, retinopathy, dementia, stroke, varicose veins, gastritis, duodenitis, hemorrhoids, and colon polyps.
Many cultures around the world consume Lichens as a source of nutrition and medicine. Lichen contains bioactive components called phytochemicals which promote anti-inflammatory responses. Phytochemical compounds contained within Lichen are believed to provide protection against UV radiation, pathogens, toxic chemicals, allergens, and other environmental hazards. Lichen is often considered a superfood since it provides numerous vitamins, minerals, amino acids, enzymes, fatty acids, carotenes, chlorophylls, flavonoids, fiber, protein, nucleosides, phosphorus, potassium, calcium, iron, magnesium, selenium, sodium, sulfur, copper, chloride, fluoride, iodine, zinc, and silica.
It is recommended to eat raw Lichen or cook it thoroughly to avoid ingesting toxins and microbes. Lichen tastes bitter and must be chewed thoroughly until it dissolves completely. Lichen tablets are sold commercially and can be purchased online.
Used medicinally throughout history, Cinnamon is commonly added to sweets, baked goods, teas, hot cocoa drinks, sauces, soups, marinades, salad dressings, dips, candies, cakes, breads, ice cream, cheese spreads, butter, yogurt, jams, jellies, cough drops, chewing gum, cookies, popcorn, crackers,
Additional Natural Treatment for Diabetes
The good news? You don’t need to wait until you start experiencing complications like blindness, heart attack, stroke, kidney failure, etc., to take action. In fact, many of us could benefit greatly by using some simple lifestyle changes right now to improve our overall health and prevent future illness — without having to worry about side effects or long-term damage from drugs. Here are 11 tips on how we can help ourselves feel better while improving our chances against chronic diseases…
Water is essential to life itself. We’re made up mostly of water so drinking adequate amounts should be a priority. Our bodies also require water for digestion and elimination. However, too much sodium chloride in our diets causes bloating and swelling which leads to fluid retention. Drinking large quantities of plain water will cause constipation because the fiber content gets washed out during the process. Opt instead for fresh filtered tap water or distilled water. Avoid sodas and sugary drinks. Instead drink healthy beverages like green tea and herbal teas. Add lemon juice and cayenne pepper to make them slightly acidic but still sweet tasting.
You can add flavorings to keep things interesting. Try adding Stevia herb extract powder, fruit juices, coconut milk, or nut milks. Some other creative ideas include making smoothies with spinach, bananas, strawberries, blueberries, cherries, grapes, peaches, raspberries, etc.; blending berries; soaking dried fruits overnight in apple cider vinegar; or cooking vegetables and then pureeing them into soups. Just remember healthier foods taste delicious.
If possible try to get 8 glasses per day of fluids. Aim to go to the toilet every 4 hours.
11. Exercise and Weight Loss
Engaging in regular physical exercise helps reduce body fat levels and lowers blood pressure. Losing just 3kgs (about 6lbs) reduces your risk of developing cardiovascular disease by 40%. Other benefits include improved glucose tolerance, reduced cholesterol count, lowered resting heart rate and lower risk of obesity related illnesses. Make sure you eat well balanced nutritious food whilst exercising – especially carbohydrates.
When trying to lose weight ensure you consult your physician first. They may recommend additional tests depending on your current state of health. Be aware that losing weight requires dedication. Many people give up sooner than they expected and end up gaining back what they lost. Do not let this happen to you. Stick with it no matter what.
12. Diet and Nutrition
Eliminate processed foods from your diet completely. These contain high fructose corn syrup, trans fats, preservatives, additives and chemicals. Replace white flour products with whole grain varieties. Eat plenty of raw fruits and veggies. Choose lean protein sources like fish, poultry, eggs, nuts, seeds, beans and legumes. Lean cuts of meat should be eaten sparingly. Limit red meats particularly pork. Watch portion sizes. Consume moderate amounts of dairy products like cheese and yogurt. Fish oil supplements are beneficial for lowering triglycerides. Omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oils can also stimulate cell growth and repair thus reducing inflammation. Another great source of omega-3s is chlorella algae.
Avoid fried foods, sugar, salt and alcohol. Alcoholic beverages increase calorie intake, decrease inhibitions and encourage overeating. Sugar contributes to dehydration. Salt raises blood pressure and increases blood volume. Fried foods are loaded with saturated fats. All three factors contribute significantly to raised cholesterol levels. Eating fried foods causes production of free radicals (unstable molecules). Free radicals lead to tissue injury, premature aging, cancer development, and DNA mutations resulting in various forms of degenerative and inflammatory conditions. Processed “white” sugars convert to toxic advanced glycation endproducts leading to cellular dysfunction, impaired wound healing and accelerated atherosclerosis.
Eat breakfast within an hour of waking up to jumpstart your metabolism. Breakfast is important to sustain energy levels through the morning and protect against appetite surges later in the day.. Include low GI carbs in your breakfasts to avoid spikes in blood sugar. Protein rich snacks are necessary to control hunger pangs and maintain energy levels.
Snacks should ideally consist of complex carbohydrates and proteins. Low carb alternatives are available nowadays. Check labels carefully to find such options.
Exercise and diet are two key components in maintaining optimum health. Without proper nutrition, muscle mass cannot grow and muscles become weak and brittle. Your skin reflects your internal wellness. Healthy eating habits combined with daily exercises will promote vibrant looking skin.
13. Stress Management
Stress management techniques range from meditation to yoga. Research shows that stress affects us physiologically, psychologically and emotionally. Learn relaxation methods. Practice deep breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, self-massages, acupressure massage, Reiki therapy, Qi Gong/Tai Chi, or whatever works best for you. Get sufficient rest and shut off electronic gadgets at least 30 minutes prior to bedtime. Practice mindfulness meditation to stay calm, relaxed and focused.
Meditation allows us to connect deeper with our inner Self and soul. Cultivating compassion towards others frees us from selfishness and anger. Mindfulness meditation practice brings harmony to mind, body and spirit. Studies show that meditating regularly lowers blood pressure, improves mood, enhances memory function, and relieves anxiety. Regular yogic practices assist in managing thoughts, emotions and behavior patterns.
Yogis believe that breath plays a very significant role in regulating mental functions. Breathing properly promotes concentration and focus.Yoga offers numerous opportunities for learning to relax deeply and concentrate fully. By practicing postures correctly, you learn to breathe rhythmically and progressively strengthen different parts of your body.
Asana is one of the main activities in Hatha Yoga. An ancient Sanskrit word meaning ‘seat’, asanas are poses performed to achieve specific results. They tone and stretch the entire skeletal system, build strength and flexibility, and provide relief from pain, tension and stiffness.
Incorporate gentle movement in everyday tasks. Walk slower, stand taller, sit upright, look straight ahead, move arms gracefully, lift objects easily, open doors gently, bend down, stoop down, grip things firmly and use both hands effectively. Engage core muscles when doing housework. Lift heavy items slowly and comfortably. Use stairs step by slow steps rather than running full pace. Dont hurry along the way. Stretch periodically.
Acupuncture stimulates acupuncture needles placed near certain points along the ears, nose, shoulders, knees, elbows, fingers, toes, etc. Stimulation of those areas provides instant therapeutic effect. Acupuncture regulates blood flow and nerve impulses helping fight infections and relieve pain.
Herbal medicines are used widely in China for thousands of years. Today, herbs continue to play their part in treating myriad ailments. Ayurveda Medicine System believes that plants possess special powers that balance the human constitution known as ayus.
Ayur means eternal and veda refers to knowledge received from nature. Ayurveda focuses on prevention, purification, cleansing, rejuvenation, promotion of longevity and optimal health.
Ayurvedic physicians prescribe medication according to individual needs based upon medical history, examination, pulse diagnosis, tongue analysis, aroma evaluation, reflexology mapping and radiological findings.
I hope you enjoyed reading about these natural remedies for type 2 diabetes. Next blog post will be focused on natural treatment for diabetes and herbal diabetes remedies.