How to Lower Your Blood Sugar with Natural Diabetes Treatments
If you have diabetes, pre-diabetes or insulin resistance, you know how difficult it can be to control blood sugar levels. You may experience intense carbohydrate and sugar cravings, become depressed from your dependence on insulin and other medications, or continually struggle to maintain a healthy weight, among other issues.
The good news is that there are natural ways to lower your blood sugar levels. The most critical are engaging in regular exercise and maintaining a healthy diet. However, preliminary research indicates using a variety of supplements can help individuals manage and lower blood glucose levels.
Exercising with Diabetes
If you have diabetes, be sure to check your blood glucose levels 30 minutes before, and just before participating in a physical activity.
Target Range: 100 – 250 mg/DL
If you blood sugar level is lower than 100 mg/dL, eat a light snack to prevent hypoglycemia.
As you know, maintaining blood glucose levels within a normal range is the most important thing you can do to prevent long-term damage to your body and diabetes-related health complications, now and in the future.
Learn how to lower your blood sugar with the natural diabetes treatments below, and choose the ones that are best for you. And always be sure to discuss any exercise and nutritional changes with your physician, especially if you have diabetes.
Lower Blood Sugar through Routine Exercise
Whether you have diabetes, are at high risk for developing diabetes or just want to prevent future illness, following a regular exercise regimen is one of the best ways to maintain and improve your health.
Just 20 minutes of vigorous physical activity four times a week, or 30 minutes of moderate physical activity 3 times a week, can lower fasting blood sugar levels, according to a study presented at the 54th annual meeting of the American College of Sports Medicine.
And it’s true…exercise lowers blood sugar levels.
To fuel your exercise, your muscles tap into their glucose reserves for energy. When that supply is exhausted, your body begins to use glucose from your bloodstream, which causes your blood glucose levels to drop. After your workout, your liver replenishes the supply, causing your blood sugar levels to drop even lower.
In addition to lowering your blood sugar, regular exercise will increase your insulin sensitivity, lower your blood pressure and cholesterol, burn fat and improve your circulation.
Lower Blood Sugar with Diet
Most experts agree that a low carbohydrate diet that is high in protein is the best choice for those wanting to lower blood sugar levels. “The Insulin Resistant Diet” by Cheryle R. Hart, M.D. and Mary Kay Grossman, R.D. explains how to prevent insulin resistance and stabilize your blood sugar levels by modifying your diet.
Alpha-lipolic Acid (ALA) – This is an antioxidant that protects your body from cell damage. Incorporating foods like liver, spinach, broccoli and potatoes into your diet on a regular basis may help lower your blood sugar levels. Some people also take ALA diabetes nutritional supplements to prevent or treat diabetic neuropathy. According to a joint study between the Mayo Clinic and a Russian medical center, ALA supplements can reduce the pain, numbness and burning associated with the most common type of diabetic neuropathy.
There are a variety of other dietary considerations that may assist in lowering your blood sugar levels. Keep in mind that although researchers have conducted studies around diabetes nutritional supplements and diets, more scientific evidence is needed to substantiate the actual, long-term benefits. Before making any significant changes to your diet, or adding any type of nutritional supplement, be sure to discuss the choices with your physician.
Polyphenols – Polyphenols are another antioxidant found in tea and dark chocolate, believed to promote vascular heath and glucose control, as well as lower lipid levels. However, caffeine can have detrimental affects on your health, so opt for decaf versions of your favorite beverages. Green tea contains another polyphenol known as EGCG, which has shown beneficial affects on lowering blood glucose levels in mice. However, more research is needed to understand if it will help lower insulin levels or prevent diabetes in humans.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids – These important fatty acids are found in fish (salmon, tuna, halibut, etc.), flax seed, fish oils and vegetable oils, like canola and soybean. Omega-3s are known to lower triglyceride levels and reduce inflammation, but do not affect blood sugar or cholesterol levels. Extensive research indicates omega-3 fatty acids help prevent heart disease, cancer and other chronic diseases, so many people have adopted it into their diets by taking it as a supplement.
There are some early indications that adding a particular type of cinnamon into your diet can help lower blood sugar levels, as well as cholesterol and triglycerides. However, like the majority of supplements, more research is necessary before listing cinnamon as a major natural diabetes treatment.
Lower Blood Sugar with Diabetes Supplements
By far the best diabetes nutritional supplement is a good diabetic vitamin, taken on a daily basis. In addition to the dietary considerations listed previously, there are a variety of other diabetes nutritional supplements that may help you lower your blood sugar levels, as well as reduce or eliminate insulin resistance.
Of these supplements, chromium is probably the most popular – although some forms of the mineral are more effective than others. It can be used to reduce cravings for carbohydrates. And because insulin resistance is associated with deficient levels of magnesium and potassium, they are other popular diabetes supplements.Garlic
Other diabetes supplements being researched for their potential positive health contributions and ability to lower blood sugar levels include:
Prickly pear cactus
Regardless of which methods you choose, monitoring your blood sugar levels to be sure they are within the normal range is critical. Whether you have diabetes and want to reduce your dependence on medication, or are healthy and looking to prevent future disease, following a regular exercise regimen and nutritious diet will help. You’ll feel and look better, too.
Learn more about diabetes health risks, complications and prevention in the Diabetes Articles & Resources area of DiabeticCareServices.com.
The Insulin Resistance Diet - www.irdiet.com
Johns Hopkins Health Alerts - www.johnshopkinshealthalerts.com
Natural Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine - nccam.nih.gov
Medscape Medical News - www.medscape.com
Mayo Clinic - www.mayoclinic.org
Diabetes Journals – www.diabetesjournals.org
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