Updated: May 2
Are you looking for natural and alternative ways to treat and reverse type 2 diabetes?
No one wants to hear the news that they are diabetic. If however you are among the millions of people around the world diagnosed with type 2 diabetes then his video is for you. Making changes to your diet and lifestyle is an effective strategy to preventing or treating type 2 diabetes. Some of the underlying causes of type 2 diabetes can be improved and the blood glucose metabolism can be rest to normal levels by following some evidence-based strategies.
This blog will enable you to control your diabetes more easily and effectively and may also allow you you to reset your need for medication. Type 2 diabetes can be successfully controlled by a combination of healthy nutrition, exercise and maintaining healthy weight and body mass index (BMI).
WHAT IS DIABETES?
Diabetes is a condition where pancreas can no longer process foods with high-carbohydrates and a high percentage of sugar. Diabetes is a chronic health condition in which our body cannot remove glucose from our blood effectively, especially after eating or drinking any carbohydrates. This reduced ability to remove glucose/sugar from blood leads to condition call hyperglycaemia or elevated blood glucose level.
WHAT IS INSULIN?
When we consume carbohydrates, our body breaks them down into simper forms of sugar called glucose. Glucose is then released into blood stress for immediate release as energy or for storage for later use. In order to store and use glucose our body produces a hormone called insulin. This is manufactured or developed by beta cells pancreas. Beta cells are monitor the amount of blood sugar in our blood stream to increase or decrease the production of insulin. When the blood glucose levels is high, the beta cells release more insulin to deal with it. The balance between energy and insulin is what provides us the energy we need to function normally. Diabetes impacts this process and the ability of our body to naturally produce insulin.
TYPES OF DIABETES
Type 1 Diabetes can happen at any age and is also called as insulin dependant diabetes.
It is an autoimmune disease. This is mostly caused due to genetic reasons. Type 1 diabetes sufferers will have the disease for life, since the cells that produce insulin are destroyed and cannot be reproduced.
Gestational diabetes typically develops during pregnancy and is easily manageable and goes away after child birth.
Type 2 Diabetes is also called diabetes mellitus. It normally impacts overweight individuals especially during their old age. Sedentary lifestyle has been attributed as the main cause for this kind of diabetes. It is generally called the adult onset diabetes - although a number of children are also being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes primary because of obesity. Around 90% of total diabetes cases are type 2. In Type 2 diabetes, the pancreatic cells are able to produce normal amounts of insulin. However, for reasons unknown the body is unable to use this insulin effectively. This condition is also called insulin resistance. The ineffective insulin levels in the body leads to spikes in blood sugar levels which in turn damages the beta cells.
This form of diabetes can be hereditary as well.
RISK FACTORS FOR TYPE 2 DIABETES
- Being overweight
- Lack of exercises or physical activity
- Family history of diabetes
- Unhealthy diet
- High blood pressure
EARLY SIGNS & SYMPTOMS
Type 2 diabetes generally triggers after 40. The common symptoms include
- Excessive thirst
- Frequent urination
- Blurred Vision
- Weight loss
- Slow wound healing along with loss in muscle mass
- Tiredness and Hunger
The treatment generally involves dietary and lifestyle modifications, incorporating moderate forms of exercise and eliminating unhealthy foods and sugar. Sometimes you may need to take diabetic medication. People suffering with type 2 diabetes are advised to keep check on their blood sugar levels in order to avoid complications. Some are even advised insulin injections.
FACTORS THAT CAUSE DIABETES
In order to eliminate diabetes from your life, you must understand the factors that cause it.
Some of the factors are:
Obesity - Being overweight or obese has been identified as number one risk factor for diabetes. In fact 80% of people diagnosed with type 2 diabetes are overweight
Cigarette Smoking - Smoking increases the level of inflammation in your body. This increased the risk of diabetes in smokes as opposed to non-smokers. Smoking can increase the blood glucose levels in your body and worsen insulin resistance
Lack of physical activity - can increase risk of diabetes
Saturated Fats- Replacing your saturated fat with healthy fats such as avocados, nuts and olive oil can reduce insulin resistance.
Low Fibre Diet - A diet rich in fibre helps in decreasing the amount of insulin needed after a meal.
Sugar Sweetened Beverages - Research shows that people who consume as low as two sugar sweetened beverages in a day have a 26% higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
Men with low Testosterone - Research is now showing that low testosterone and diabetes have a connection and that men with type 2 diabetes are 2 times more likely to have lower testosterone.
HOW TO MANAGE DIABETES
You main focus should be to ensure that your blood glucose, blood pressure and cholesterol levels are in control. Here are some tips to manage your diabetes
- Medications : The first line of action here is to treat your type 2 diabetes with anti-diabetic medication, oral of insulin administration. You must monitory your blood sugar levels closely since type 2 diabetes is a progressive condition and you may need to adjust your medication depending on your blood sugar level. All adjustments should be done under medical supervision. However only medicines will not be able to control your diabetes. There are several other attached condition, which we will discuss.
- Regular Examination of blood glucose levels : Medications, stress, physical activity, pre-existing medical conditions and foods we eat can all impact our blood glucose levels. Please consult your health care provider on the frequency you need to check your blood glucose levels.
- Quality Sleep - Sleep quality is extremely important to effectively manage diabetes. Did you know that even a single night of sleep deficiency can reduce sensitive to insulin by almost 25%? Reduced sleep or insomnia can result in hormone fluctuations which in turn leads to high blood glucose levels and weight gain. If you are suffering with sleep disorders or insomnia, watch this video to find out how to improve your sleep quality using nutrition.
- Stress Management - Physical or mental stress can aggravate diabetes. The degree at which stress impacts your blood glucose levels varies for each individual.
- Quit Smoking - As we discussed before smoking elevates your risk of diabetes. If you are a smoker, dealing with complications of diabetes becomes all the more difficult. The reason for this is smoking narrow your blood vessels, elevates your blood glucose levels and leads to inflammation. This also means that there is an increased threat of blood vessel damage, kidney damager and food and leg infections in smokers.
- Regular Exercise - Exercise not only has a helps in controlling and even reversing diabetes but also helps in burning fats and maintaining an optimum weight. Dedicating time to do any form of exercise at least 30mins a day can improve your insulin sensitivity, maintain your blood glucose level and even diminish your risk of developing heart diseases.
Brisk walking, running, cycling, moderate aerobics, yoga are some of the recommended exercises that can elevate your heart rate and control your diabetes.
- Dental care - The possibility of tooth decay increased in people impacted with diabetes. This is because in diabetes, the blood sugar level not only rises in your bloodstream, but also in your saliva. Since diabetes makes it difficult to fight infection, dealing with tooth decay can be extremely frustrating. Hence food dental hygiene and care is very important.
- Foot care - Diabetics must always keep their feet dry and clean. Nerve damage is one of the most common complications of diabetes. Diabetic neuropathy may lead to numbness in your feet which will make your ability to feel calluses, sores, blisters etc very difficult. Hence regular and careful foot examination is recommended.
THE DIABETIC NUTRITIONAL STRATEGY
Diabetics do not need to follow a complex diet plan. Their nutritional requirements are similar to non-diabetics. A diabetic meal plan includes a nutritious, balanced diet, low in fat and containing reasonable amount of calories. Processed sugar and carbohydrates need to be taken with caution.
Here are some tips that you can incorporate with respect to the diet that you follow.
1. Consume Whole grains and lean proteins.
Most of us have grown up eating refined white rice and white bread. Refined foods are lacking in all the great nutritive stuff that available in the foods. Whole grains on the other hand contain all the nutrition you body needs to absorb naturally like disease fighting anti-oxidants and phytocheminals, vitamins, iron, fibre, magnesium and vitamin E. Increasing daily consumption of whole grains can help reduce the risk of cancer, stroke, heart disease along with diabetes.
2. Consume unsaturated fats only - Fats contain essential fatty acids that can enable you to control blood pressure, inflammation and blood clotting. Controlling blood pressure and inflammation is extremely important in managing diabetes.
There are two kinds of fats:
The good fats or the unsaturated fats which are further classified as monounsaturated fats (olive oil is the most popular) or poly-unsatured fats (there are present in sunflower, soybean and corn oil). The monounsaturated fats can diminish the level of bad cholesterol and elevate the levels of good cholesterol in your body. The omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids are the poly saturated fats - these are extremely important for human body.
The bad fats which can be further broken into saturated fats (found in cheese, butter, whole milk ice cream, fatty meats, palm oil) and the trans fats (found in fried, processed, pre-packaged foods). Saturated fats can lead to heart diseases, inflammation, diabetes and even cancer. Trans fats are considered to be the most dangerous ones.
Consume one good source of omega 3 fatty acids every day. Here are some excellent sources of omega 3 fatty acids:
Veg: Walnuts, Flaxseeds, Soybean oil, Canola oil, Eggs, Flax oils
Fish: Wild Salmon, Tuna, Sardines, Mackerel
3. Eat more vegetables.
The finer in vegetables can bind to cholesterol and therefore facilitate flushing it out of the bloodstream. Try increasing your intake of vegetables by adding one extra serving every week. I will cover in detail the specific foods you should eat and you should avoid later in this video.
4. Eliminate prepackaged and processed foods: It is very important to eliminate refined carbohydrates, processed and pre-packaged food from your diet. These are simply empty calories that lead to a number of health problems including diabetes and obesity.
5. Eat at regular intervals: It is important to understand that you only need to reduce 7% of your body weight in order to dramatically reduce the risk of diabetes. The best approach that works with diabetics is:
- Keeping track of what you eat
- Following a regular eating schedule
6. Exercises for controlling diabetes
Staying active is a great way to cope with diabetes. This helps regulate your blood sugar and reduce the risk of heart biases.
7. Supplements to help Diabetes
Research proves that some sensible supplementation can help in managing insulin resistance. While I always recommend to get all nutrients from your diet and by eating the right foods, it might not be possible for everyone to do this.
Multivitamin Supplement - Metformin, a medicine used to treat diabetes often interferes with the absorption of vitamin B12. And most people are deficiency in Vitamin D these days. The best strategy is to take a multivitamin every day and Vitamin D supplement once every week for three weeks. As long as you have sun exposure you can reduce or stop Vitamin D supplement.
Magnesium - Magnesium plays an important role in the regulation of blood sugar. A high dietary magnesium consumption is linked to lower fasting insulin concentration and hence reduced risk of developing diabetes. Please note that excess magnesium supplementation can lead to abdominal cramps and pains. Therefore try to get all magnesium from natural sources such as avocados, spinach, artichokes etc. If you need supplements limit it to 350mg per day.
Vitamin D - Some physicians suggest vitamin D deficiency as the root cause of development of insulin resistance and diabetes. Foods sources of vitamin D include fish, cheese, egg yolks and oysters. Sun light is a way to get Vitamin D into your body.
Omega 3 Fatty acids - As discussed Omega 3 is very important in prevention and treatment of diabetes. If you are not consuming enough omega 3 fatty acids through foods choose supplements that provide at least 600mg or more of omega 3.
As a disease diabetics is not hard to manage. It requires proper nutrition, lifestyle changes likes physical activity and reduced stress. Using these strategies you can effectively reduce the risk of diabetes, treat it and also reverse it.
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