2015-11-20 / Community

November IS... National Diebetes Awareness Month

How to lower blood-sugar levels without medication

Diabetes is a disorder in which the body cannot properly store and use the energy found in food. To be more specific, diabetes compromises the body’s ability to use glucose. According to MediLexicon International, type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease in which the body wrongly identifies and then attacks pancreatic cells, which causes little to no insulin production. Those with type 1 diabetes usually must rely on insulin shots to remain healthy.

Type 2 diabetes involves insulin resistance or insufficient insulin production and is the more common form of diabetes. The pancreas may still produce insulin, but not enough to meet the demands of the body. Insulin resistance occurs in some cases because a consistent high bloodglucose level causes cells to be overexposed to insulin and then makes cells less responsive or immune to its effects.

Diabetes treatment can include a combination of strategies, including the following nondrug remedies. • Diet: Diabetics can work with their doctors and nutritionists to come up with a diet that will be most effective. Some advocate for eating foods that are low in carbohydrates or ones with a low glycemic index. Others say that it is more important to restrict caloric intake rather than sugar intake.

Work with a professional to create a healthy diet and follow it as closely as possible. Eat meals at the same time each day so you can better regulate blood-sugar spikes and lulls. Skipping meals may cause you to overeat later in the day, which can throw glucose levels off-kilter.

• Exercise: Many people with type 2 diabetes are carrying around extra weight. Exercise can help them shed pounds and maintain healthier weights.

But exercise does more than just help you lose weight. The Joslin Diabetes Center says strength training exercises are an important component of workouts. By maintaining lean muscle mass, you can get rid of a larger amount of glucose in the bloodstream, thus helping manage diabetes in the process. Get at least 20 to 30 minutes of moderate activity several days per week.

• Supplementation: Some people find that certain natural ingredients can help regulate blood-sugar levels. For example, pure, organic apple cider vinegar taken over time can help people with diabetes manage their blood-sugar levels more effectively.

A small amount of cinnamon per day may be able to reduce fasting glucose levels by anywhere from 18 to 29 percent, according to a study in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.

Always speak with a doctor before trying any home remedies to treat diabetes or exploring any alternatives to traditional diabetes treatments.

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