Diabetes is one of the most serious and threatening health conditions in the world. It is a result of excessive concentrations of glucose in the blood. There are two known types of diabetes; type 1 happens when there is an insufficient production of insulin in the body while type 2 diabetes refers to the inefficient response of cells to insulin.
In type 2 diabetes, the patient will require constant supplementation of insulin in order to maintain his blood sugar levels. But insulin supplementation may lead to a cycle of inconvenience. Since it’s difficult to estimate how much insulin is needed by the person in order to ease the ill-feeling caused by the increased sugar levels in the blood, medication may bring sugar levels lower than normal. The patient may start to feel weak and dizzy, and get the need to take some sugar to even it out. This cycle can lead to weight gain and make fighting diabetes even more difficult.
There are natural alternatives to managing blood sugar levels without opening the body to further complications. Natural methods like exercise, eating the right kind of foods, taking natural supplements and, overall, maintaining a healthy lifestyle is the best way to control the levels of sugar in the blood and lower the risk of developing diabetes.
Limit the Sweets
You get your daily dose of sugar from the food that you eat. Eating foods containing minimal amounts of sugar is strongly advised, especially for people with diabetes and even those who want to prevent the onset of the disease. But sweets are very tempting. The best way to cope with the craving is by limiting the intake of sugar foods and avoiding total deprivation. The latter will only lead to a stronger craving and will make sugar-craving more difficult to overcome. A well-balanced diet is a first step to maintaining a healthy blood sugar level. A small bite of cake and a big serving of whole grain foods, for example, is one way of doing it.
A healthy diet is not simply enough – not without sufficient exercise. Regular exercise stimulates the liver to produce glucose that the body needs in order to cope up with the activity and makes it send signals to the brain to stop the craving for sugar. This may lead to an increase in blood sugar level during exercise, but studies show that sugar levels are relatively lower during the day and also at night. Exercise also helps a person have and maintain a healthy body mass index which is key to better managing glucose in the blood.
Count Your Carbs
There are generally two types of carbohydrates: Simple and Complex. Simple carbohydrates are those that are found in tempting foods such as jams, sweet drinks, candies, and cakes. So you can limit your intake, or opt to avoid it altogether. In order to limit the sugar entering the body, it is necessary to take note of the amount of simple carbohydrates that you eat. White bread is strongly discouraged for people with diabetes. Studies showed that white flour contains a chemical that impairs the body’s natural production of insulin. Furthermore, instead of counting calories, a study showed that counting the carbohydrates a person eats is more effective in better managing blood sugar levels.
Complex carbohydrates, on the other hand, provide energy to the body. Examples include wholegrain foods, fruits, vegetables, brown rice, oats and beans.
Follow a Diet of Virgin Olive Oil, Nuts, Fish and Beans
People living in the Mediterranean have been found by studies to have 83 percent lower risk of developing diabetes compared to people from other parts of the world. This is due to the fact that a usual Mediterranean diet includes vegetables, virgin olive oil and fish that have been found to contain monounsaturated fats that help in improving the cells’ response to insulin – and it also appears to be good for the heart too! Talk about hitting two birds with one stone.
Get More Fiber
Fiber is the only content of food that is not absorbed by the body. Soluble fiber inhibits the absorption of sugar and is advised for people who have diabetes or at high risk of developing the disease. Whole grain products are rich in fiber and are also recommended over products made from refined flour.
Help Insulin Response and Production through Food
There are foods that have been proven to treat and reduce the risk of developing diabetes. These foods normally contain antioxidants. Antioxidants are known for their anti-inflammatory properties that protect the body from the damage caused by free radicals, promote the production of insulin and stimulate to cells to be more responsive to insulin. Examples include Alpha-lipoic acid, Bilberry extract and vitamins C and E.
The body is equipped with natural responses tailored to fit different situations. When the person feels stressed, the body releases hormones like adrenaline in order to help it cope with the pressure. These hormones signal the release of stored energy which then floods into the blood stream. This results to increased sugar levels in the blood. Staying calm and composed at any situation prevents this from happening. There are natural ways to keep the body calm; one easy way of doing this is by breathing deeply until the senses are soothed. Talking to a friend or signing-up for relaxation classes are also advised. Meditation and yoga may also be utilized
Cut down on Alcohol
Though there are a few health benefits to drinking liquor, the health hazards are very overwhelming that people are advised to take liquor moderately. For people who are taking insulin medications or drugs that stimulates the body to produce more insulin, drinking alcohol on an empty stomach can help blood sugar levels. But alcohol has been found to lead to bad decisions on which food to eat – and it also predisposes you to overeating. In addition to this, alcoholic drinks like beer contains high amounts of carbohydrates. So you may want to put a rein on that bottle
Get a Good Night’s Sleep
Getting enough and quality sleep everyday can help maintain a normal blood sugar level in the morning. Studies have shown that sleep apnea can result to elevated blood sugar right after waking up and even before taking breakfast. Though this may sound a little farfetched at first, but it’s a fact that during sleep, most of the important body processes take place. This includes the reparation of cells damaged while the person was awake, and the production of an important substance needed by the body to control glucose in the blood: insulin.
The pancreas is the organ responsible for producing insulin and production happens at intervals 24 hours a day – most of it happens while the person is asleep. Unhealthy sleeping habits can interrupt this process and thus lead to less insulin being produced. People with diabetes who have sleeping problems will normally feel ill during the morning due to increased sugar levels. This is the reason why medical experts advise sufficient sleep in order to promote sufficient insulin production.
Avoid Caffeinated Drinks
People with type 2 diabetes have been found by different studies to experience an increase in the blood sugar levels after consuming caffeinated beverages. Though there are health benefits to drinking tea and coffee, it is advised that people with diabetes, or those who wants to lower their risk of getting the disease, avoid caffeine as much as possible. A study conducted by a group of researchers from the Duke University Medical Center in North Carolina found that study participants who took caffeine tablets equivalent to around four cups of coffee showed an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes. This is a result of caffeine’s influence to the production of adrenaline; adrenaline excites the senses by stimulating increasing blood sugar levels.
Document Your Improvement
One of the best ways to cope with the condition is by knowing which things makes you feel and perform better. Take note of the things that made you feel better and the things that pushed you to take an insulin shot. This way you won’t need to try so many things just to see your blood sugar lower down a notch.