Diabetes - Types, Signs & Symptoms, Diagnosis & Treatment
Definition of Diabetes
Diabetes mellitus, commonly known as diabetes is a group of metabolic disorders characterized by a high blood sugar (glucose) level over a prolonged period of time, because the body does not produce enough insulin.
Glucose, or blood sugar, is the main and most important source of energy for most living organisms. All human cells use glucose for their energy needs. The brain uses the most, and during fasting can account for up to 80% of glucose consumption in the whole body. Serum glucose is the quantity of glucose in the blood. Glucose concentrations in the blood (serum glucose) are maintained within a narrow range through the action of various hormones (i.e. insulin and glucagon) and mechanisms (i.e. gluconeogenesis, glycogenolysis, and glycolysis). Glucose can be measured in a laboratory using blood samples or with glucose meters using reactive strips.
Insulin, a hormone released from the pancreas, controls the amount of sugar in the blood. When a person eats or drinks, food is broken down into materials, including sugar, that the body needs to function normally. Sugar is absorbed into the bloodstream and stimulates the pancreas to produce insulin. Insulin allows sugar to move from the blood into the cells, once inside the cells, sugar is converted to energy. Which is either used immediately or stored until it is used.
If the body does not produce enough insulin to move the sugar into the cells, the resulting high levels of sugar in the blood and the inadequate amount of sugar in the cells together produce the symptoms and complications of diabetes.
Symptoms often include frequent urination, increased thirst, and increased appetite. Acute complications can include diabetic ketoacidosis, hyperosmolar hyperglycemic state, or death. Serious long-term complications include cardiovascular disease, stroke, chronic kidney disease, foot ulcers, damage to the nerves or damage to the eyes and cognitive impairment. Diabetes is due to either the pancreas not producing enough insulin, or the cells of the body not responding properly to the insulin produced.
Types of Diabetes and its Causes
Diabetes mellitus is classified into four broad categories: type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes, gestational diabetes, and "other specific types". The "other specific types" are a collection of a few dozen individual causes. Diabetes is a more variable disease than once thought and people may have combinations of forms. The term "diabetes", without qualification, refers to diabetes mellitus.
Prediabetes is a serious health condition where blood sugar levels are higher than normal, but not high enough yet to be diagnosed as type 2 diabetes. Prediabetes puts you at increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and stroke.
You can have prediabetes for years but have no clear symptoms, so it often goes undetected until serious health problems such as type 2 diabetes show up. It’s important to talk to your doctor about getting your blood sugar tested if you have any of the risk factors for prediabetes, which include: Being overweight, being 45 years or older, having a parent, brother, or sister with type 2 diabetes, Being physically active less than 3 times a week, ever having gestational diabetes (diabetes during pregnancy) or giving birth to a baby who weighed more than 9 pounds or having polycystic ovary syndrome.
Race and ethnicity are also a factor: African Americans, Hispanic/Latino Americans, American Indians, Pacific Islanders, and some Asian Americans are at higher risk.
Doctors sometimes refer to prediabetes as Impaired Glucose Tolerance (IGT) or Impaired Fasting Glucose (IFG), depending on what test was used when it was detected. This condition puts you at a higher risk for developing type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. You can get a simple blood sugar test to find out if you have prediabetes. Ask your doctor if you should be tested.
Type 1 Diabetes (T1D):
Is an autoimmune disease that occurs when T cells attack and decimate the beta cells in the pancreas that are needed to produce insulin. The pancreas makes too little insulin or no insulin. Without the capacity to make adequate amounts of insulin, the body is not able to metabolize blood sugar (glucose), and toxic acids (ketoacidosis) build up in the body. There is a genetic predisposition to type 1 diabetes.
The disease tends to occur in childhood, adolescence or early adulthood, before age 30, but it may have its clinical onset at any age. The symptoms and signs of type 1 diabetes characteristically appear abruptly, although the damage to the beta cells may begin much earlier and progress slowly and silently.
This form was previously referred to as "Insulin-Dependent Diabetes Mellitus" (IDDM) or "Juvenile Diabetes". The cause of this autoimmune response is unknown.
Type 1 diabetes is partly inherited, with multiple genes, including certain HLA genotypes, known to influence the risk of diabetes. In genetically susceptible people, the onset of diabetes can be triggered by one or more environmental factors, such as a viral infection or diet. Several viruses have been implicated, but to date there is no stringent evidence to support this hypothesis in humans. Among dietary factors, data suggest that gliadin (a protein present in gluten) may play a role in the development of type 1 diabetes, but the mechanism is not fully understood.
It can occur at any age, and a significant proportion is diagnosed during adulthood. Latent Autoimmune Diabetes of Adults (LADA) is the diagnostic term applied when type 1 diabetes develops in adults; it has a slower onset than the same condition in children. Given this difference, some use the unofficial term "type 1.5 diabetes" for this condition. Adults with LADA are frequently initially misdiagnosed as having type 2 diabetes, based on age rather than cause.
Type 2 Diabetes (T2D):
Is the type in which the beta cells of the pancreas produce insulin but the body is unable to use it effectively because the cells of the body are resistant to the action of insulin. Although this type of diabetes may not carry the same risk of death from ketoacidosis, it otherwise involves many of the same risks of complications as does type 1 diabetes (in which there is a lack of insulin).
This form was previously referred to as "Non-Insulin Dependent Diabetes" (NIDDM) or "Adult-Onset Diabetes". The most common cause is a combination of excessive body weight and insufficient exercise.
Type 2 diabetes is the most common type of diabetes mellitus. Many people with type 2 diabetes have evidence of pre-diabetes (impaired fasting glucose and/or impaired glucose tolerance) before meeting the criteria for type 2 diabetes. The progression of pre-diabetes to overt type 2 diabetes can be slowed or reversed by lifestyle changes or medications that improve insulin sensitivity or reduce the liver's glucose production.
Type 2 diabetes is primarily due to lifestyle factors and genetics. A number of lifestyle factors are known to be important to the development of type 2 diabetes, including obesity (defined by a body mass index of greater than 30), lack of physical activity, poor diet, stress, and urbanization. Excess body fat is associated with 30% of cases in people of Chinese and Japanese descent, 60–80% of cases in those of European and African descent, and 100% of Pima Indians and Pacific Islanders. Even those who are not obese may have a high waist–hip ratio.
Dietary factors such as sugar-sweetened drinks is associated with an increased risk. The type of fats in the diet is also important, with saturated fat and trans fats increasing the risk and polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fat decreasing the risk. Eating white rice excessively may increase the risk of diabetes, especially in Chinese and Japanese people. Lack of physical activity may increase the risk of diabetes in some people.
Gestational Diabetes (GDM):
Gestational diabetes resembles type 2 diabetes in several respects, involving a combination of relatively inadequate insulin secretion and responsiveness. It occurs in about 2–10% of all pregnancies and may improve or disappear after delivery. It is recommended that all pregnant women get tested starting around 24–28 weeks gestation. It is most often diagnosed in the second or third trimester because of the increase in insulin-antagonist hormone levels that occurs at this time. However, after pregnancy approximately 5–10% of women with gestational diabetes are found to have another form of diabetes, most commonly type 2. Gestational diabetes is fully treatable, but requires careful medical supervision throughout the pregnancy. Management may include dietary changes, blood glucose monitoring, and in some cases, insulin may be required.
Though it may be transient, untreated gestational diabetes can damage the health of the fetus or mother. Risks to the baby include macrosomia (high birth weight), congenital heart and central nervous system abnormalities, and skeletal muscle malformations. Increased levels of insulin in a fetus's blood may inhibit fetal surfactant production and cause infant respiratory distress syndrome. A high blood bilirubin level may result from red blood cell destruction. In severe cases, perinatal death may occur, most commonly as a result of poor placental perfusion due to vascular impairment. Labor induction may be indicated with decreased placental function. A caesarean section may be performed if there is marked fetal distress or an increased risk of injury associated with macrosomia, such as shoulder dystocia.
Other Types of Diabetes:
Maturity Onset Diabetes of the Young (MODY) is a rare autosomal dominant inherited form of diabetes, due to one of several single-gene mutations causing defects in insulin production. It is significantly less common than the three main types, constituting 1-2% of all cases. The name of this disease refers to early hypotheses as to its nature. Being due to a defective gene, this disease varies in age at presentation and in severity according to the specific gene defect; thus there are at least 13 subtypes of MODY. People with MODY often can control it without using insulin.
Some cases of diabetes are caused by the body's tissue receptors not responding to insulin (even when insulin levels are normal, which is what separates it from type 2 diabetes). This form is very uncommon. Genetic mutations (autosomal or mitochondrial) can lead to defects in beta cell function. Abnormal insulin action may also have been genetically determined in some cases. Any disease that causes extensive damage to the pancreas may lead to diabetes (for example, chronic pancreatitis and cystic fibrosis). Diseases associated with excessive secretion of insulin-antagonistic hormones can cause diabetes (which is typically resolved once the hormone excess is removed). Many drugs impair insulin secretion and some toxins damage pancreatic beta cells, whereas others increase insulin resistance (especially glucocorticoids which can provoke steroid diabetes).
Signs and Symptoms of Diabetes
Symptoms of Prediabetes:
There are no clear symptoms of prediabetes, so you may have it and not know it. Some people with prediabetes may have some of the symptoms of diabetes or even problems from diabetes already. You usually find out that you have prediabetes when being tested for diabetes. If you have prediabetes, you should be checked for type 2 diabetes every one to two years. Results indicating prediabetes are:
- An A1c of 5.7–6.4%,
- Fasting blood glucose of 100–125 mg/dl,
- An OGTT two-hour blood glucose of 140–199 mg/dl.
Symptoms of Type 1 Diabetes:
The signs and symptoms of type 1 diabetes often appear after a flu-like illness and gradually intensify over the course of a few weeks. People who have type 1 diabetes may also have nausea, vomiting, or stomach pains. Type 1 diabetes symptoms can develop in just a few weeks or months and can be severe. Type 1 diabetes usually starts when you’re a child, teen, or young adult but can happen at any age. Typical symptom may include:
Increased thirst (Polydipsia) and frequent urination (Polyuria):
This diabetes symptom is common with type 1 diabetes, excess sugar (glucose) builds up in your bloodstream. A high level of blood glucose pulls water from your body's tissues, making you thirsty. As a result, a symptom of thirst or you drink more fluids and urinate more. The excess sugar in your bloodstream passes through your kidneys and leaves your body in your urine.
Extreme hunger (Polyphagia):
Another diabetes symptom of diabetes is extreme hunger. Because of inability to produce insulin, the hormone necessary for glucose to enter cells and fuel their functions - leaves your muscles and organs energy depleted. A symptom of hunger makes you feel like eating more until your stomach is full, but the hunger persists because, without insulin, the glucose produced from dietary carbohydrates never reaches your body's energy-starved tissues.
Despite eating a lot to relieve their constant hunger, another diabetes symptom of people with type 1 diabetes is rapid loss of weight. That's because the body's cells are deprived of glucose and energy, as glucose is lost into the urine. Without the energy glucose supplies, cells die at an increased rate before they can divide and replace themselves. Muscle tissues and fat stores shrink, and body weight declines.
Another diabetes symptom is blurred vision. A high level of blood glucose pulls fluid from all your tissues, including the lenses of your eyes. The decrease in fluid affects your ability to focus.
A diabetes symptom that occurs when your cells are deprived of glucose, you become tired and irritable.
People (usually with type 1 diabetes) may also experience episodes of Diabetic Ketoacidosis (DKA), a metabolic disturbance characterized by nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain, the smell of acetone on the breath, deep breathing known as Kussmaul breathing, and in severe cases a decreased level of consciousness.
A rare but equally severe possibility is Hyperosmolar Hyperglycemic State (HHS), which is more common in type 2 diabetes and is mainly the result of dehydration. Treatment-related low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) is common in people with type 1 and also type 2 diabetes depending on the medication being used. Most cases are mild and are not considered medical emergencies. Effects can range from feelings of unease, sweating, trembling, and increased appetite in mild cases to more serious effects such as confusion, changes in behavior such as aggressiveness, seizures, unconsciousness, and rarely permanent brain damage or death in severe cases. Rapid breathing, sweating, and cold, pale skin are characteristic of low blood sugar but not definitive. Mild to moderate cases are self-treated by eating or drinking something high in sugar. Severe cases can lead to unconsciousness and must be treated with intravenous glucose or injections with glucagon.
Several other signs and symptoms can mark the onset of diabetes although they are not specific to the disease. In addition to the known ones above, they include headache and itchy skin. Prolonged high blood glucose (hyperglycemia) can cause glucose absorption in the lens of the eye, which leads to changes in its shape, resulting in vision changes. Long-term vision loss can also be caused by diabetic retinopathy. A number of skin rashes that can occur in diabetes are collectively known as diabetic dermatomes.
Symptoms of Type 2 Diabetes:
Type 2 diabetes symptoms often develop over several years and can go on for a long time without being noticed (sometimes there aren’t any noticeable symptoms at all). Type 2 diabetes usually starts when you’re an adult, though more and more children, teens, and young adults are developing it. Because symptoms are hard to spot, it’s important to know the risk factors for type 2 diabetes and visit your doctor if you have any of them. Type 2 diabetes has the same symptom as that of type 1 diabetes but may include these symptom:
Slow-healing sores or frequent infections:
This diabetes symptom affects your body's ability to heal and fight infection. Bladder and vaginal infections can be a particular problem for women.
Nerve damage (Neuropathy):
This diabetes symptom is due to excess sugar in your blood that can damage the small blood vessels to your nerves. Symptom may include tingling and loss of sensation in your hands and feet, as well as burning pain in your arms, hands, legs and feet.
Kidney damage (Nephropathy):
Nephropathy can cause you to need dialysis or a kidney transplant due to kidney failure.
Eye damage (Retinopathy):
Retinopathy can cause blindness and increase your risk of glaucoma and cataracts.
Such as reduced blood flow, nerve damage, infections, and poor healing of wounds.
Heart diseases and problems:
Such as coronary artery disease with chest pain, heart attack, stroke, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol.
Red, swollen, tender gums:
This diabetes symptom is due to the infection in your gums and in the bones that hold your teeth in place. Your gums may pull away from your teeth, your teeth may become loose, or you may develop sores or pockets of pus in your gums, especially if you have a gum infection before diabetes develops.
Symptoms of Gestational Diabetes:
It’s normal to develop some degree of insulin resistance in late pregnancy. This could lead to gestational diabetes in certain people, especially if they already had a level of insulin resistance before becoming pregnant. Gestational diabetes (diabetes during pregnancy) usually shows up in the middle of the pregnancy and typically doesn’t have any symptoms. It occurs in around 2% to 10% of pregnancies. If you’re pregnant, you should be tested for gestational diabetes between 24 and 28 weeks of pregnancy so you can make changes if needed to protect your health and your baby’s health.
Blood glucose targets for gestational diabetes are similar to those recommended in pregnancy for type 1. Fasting blood glucose should be below 95 mg/dL, below 140 mg/dL an hour after eating, and below 120 mg/dL two hours after eating. With help from your health care providers, you can learn to check your levels multiple times throughout the day with a home blood glucose meter.
Test and Diagnosis of Diabetes
As many as 1 in 3 adults in the United States (about 96 million people) has prediabetes. This puts them at risk for developing type 2 diabetes. Among those, it’s also suspected that around 80% don’t know they have it. Prediabetes often shows no symptoms at all for years. There are now over 37 million people with diabetes in US alone. As of 2019, an estimated 463 million people had diabetes worldwide (8.8% of the adult population), with type 2 diabetes making up about 90% of the cases. Rates are similar in women and men. Trends suggest that rates will continue to rise. Diabetes at least doubles a person's risk of early death. In 2019, diabetes resulted in approximately 4.2 million deaths. It is the 7th leading cause of death globally. Average medical expenditures among people with diabetes are about 2.3 times higher.
Reuters reported that over 100,000 Americans died in 2021 from diabetes. In 2020, the number of deaths due to diabetes was almost similar. We do not want this trend, so it is vital to understand how we can keep this problem as far away from us as possible.
This means that it’s important to get your blood glucose levels tested if you have any of the common risk factors for diabetes:
- A family history of type 2 diabetes, having a close (first or second degree) relative with diabetes
- Being older than 45
- Being overweight or obsese
- Having low levels of physical activity
- Belonging to a certain race/ethnic group (Native Americans, African-Americans, Hispanic Americans, Asians/South Pacific Islanders)
- Having signs of insulin resistance or conditions associated with insulin resistance, such as high blood pressure (hypertension), low good cholesterol and/or high triglycerides (dyslipidemia), and polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)
- Having had diabetes in pregnancy (gestational diabetes)
If you fit into one or more of these categories, asking your health care provider for a simple blood test might help you avoid a lifetime of diabetes. It can also lower your risk for other conditions, such as heart disease, kidney conditions, eye problems, and stroke. It’s also crucial to keep track of blood sugar levels in diabetes to avoid serious complications of hypoglycemia and hyperglycemia.
Tests for Diabetes:
People with all types of diabetes generally have a higher level of sugar in their blood than people without it. When you have diabetes, it’s important to keep a close eye onyour blood glucose and to make note of your average levels. This way, you can quickly identify possible problems, such as when the levels change suddenly. “Testing for diabetes is actually pretty simple these days”, says Dr. Katarzyna Lipska, a specialist in diabetes medicine and management at Yale Medicine. But, she added, “no test is perfect. And so we usually recommend that if something is abnormal that [the test] be repeated so that it’s confirmed".
There are several ways to diagnose diabetes, including Hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c, or just A1c), Fasting Plasma Glucose (FPG), and Oral Glucose Tolerance (OGT) tests. Most tests for diabetes involve measuring the amount of glucose contained in a small blood sample. Your results will be shown as either milligrams of glucose per deciliter of blood (mg/dL) or as a percentage (%). Each way usually needs to be repeated on a second day to diagnose diabetes. A1c tests are most useful for diagnosis and monitoring the progress of the condition, while FPG tests are better for day-to-day monitoring of blood glucose levels. Your health care provider might also perform certain other tests in specific cases, such as antibody tests for type 1 diabetes. Testing should be carried out in a health care setting (such as your doctor’s office or a lab). If your doctor determines that your blood glucose (blood sugar) level is very high, or if you have classic symptoms of high blood glucose in addition to one positive test, your doctor may not require a second test to diagnose diabetes.
Hemoglobin HbA1c or A1c:
The A1c test measures your average blood glucose for the past two to three months. The advantages of being diagnosed this way are that you don't have to fast or drink anything. Diabetes is diagnosed at an A1C of greater than or equal to 6.5%.
Finger-prick HbA1c should not be used unless the methodology and the healthcare staff and facility using it can demonstrate within the national quality assurance scheme that they match the quality assurance results found in laboratories. Finger prick tests must be confirmed by laboratory venous HbA1c in all patients. In patients without symptoms of diabetes the laboratory venous HbA1c should be repeated. If the second sample is < 48mmol/mol (6.5%) the person should be treated as at high risk of diabetes and the test should be repeated in 6 months or sooner if symptoms develop.
Situations where HbA1c is not appropriate for diagnosis of diabetes:
- All children and young people.
- Patients of any age suspected of having Type 1 diabetes.
- Patients with symptoms of diabetes for less than 2 months.
- Patients at high risk who are acutely ill (e.g. those requiring hospital admission).
- Patients taking medication that may cause rapid glucose rise e.g. steroids, antipsychotics.
- Patients with acute pancreatic damage, including pancreatic surgery.
- In pregnancy.
- Presence of genetic, haematologic and illness-related factors that influence HbA1c and its measurement.
Patients whose HbA1c is under 48 mmol/mol (6.5%):
- These patients may still fulfill WHO glucose criteria for the diagnosis of diabetes.
- The use of such glucose tests is not recommended routinely, but use WHO glucose testing in patients who have symptoms of diabetes or clinically are at very high risk of diabetes.
|Result||< 5.7%||5.7% - 6.4%||≥ 6.5%|
Fasting Plasma Glucose (FPG):
This test checks your fasting blood glucose levels. Fasting means after not having anything to eat or drink (except water) for at least 8 hours before the test. This test is usually done first thing in the morning, before breakfast. Diabetes is diagnosed at fasting blood glucose of greater than or equal to 126 mg/dl and fasting plasma glucose concentration ≥ 7.0 mmol/l (whole blood ≥ 6.1 mmol/l).
|Result||< 100 mg/dL||100 - 125 mg/dL||≥ 126 mg/dL|
Oral Glucose Tolerance (OGT):
The OGT tests measure blood sugar before and after you drink a glucose-containing liquid. This usually involves fasting for 8 hours before the first test, drinking the liquid, then having follow up tests at 1, 2, and potentially 3 hours later. It tells the doctor how your body processes sugar. The results at each point are compared to test how quickly your body compensates for a spike in blood glucose. Diabetes is diagnosed at two-hour blood glucose of greater than or equal to 200 mg/dl and two hour plasma glucose concentration ≥ 11.1 mmol/l two hours after 75g anhydrous glucose.
|Result||< 140 mg/dL||140 - 199 mg/dL||≥ 200 mg/dL|
Also called Casual Plasma Glucose Test is a blood check at any time of the day when you have severe diabetes symptoms. Diabetes is diagnosed at blood glucose of greater than or equal to 200 mg/dl and random venous plasma glucose concentration ≥ 11.1 mmol/l.
What is the proper blood sugar level?
The proper blood sugar level varies throughout the day and from person to person. People with diabetes often have higher blood sugar targets or acceptable ranges than people without the disease.
Ranges vary depending on a number of factors, including:
- Age and life expectancy
- The presence of other medical conditions
- Diagnosed diabetes and its length
- Other cardiovascular diseases
- Artery problems
- Damage to the eyes, kidneys, blood vessels, brain or heart
- Personal habits and lifestyle factors
- Other diseases
Blood sugar levels are often lowest before breakfast and before meals, and highest in the hours following meals. Most blood sugar charts present the recommended levels as a range, taking into account differences between individuals.
|Checking time||Target blood sugar levels for patients|
|without diabetes||with diabetes|
|Before meals||100 mg/dL||80–130 mg/dL|
|1-2 hours after starting the meal||< 140 mg/dL||< 180 mg/dL|
|For a period of 3 months (A1c test)||< 5.7%||< 7%|
< 180 mg/dL
Some forms of temporary diabetes, such as gestational diabetes, also have separate blood sugar recommendations. Please consult your doctor for specific information.
A1c tests are most useful for diagnosis and monitoring the progress of the condition, while FPG tests are better for day-to-day monitoring of blood glucose levels. Your health care provider might also perform certain other tests in specific cases, such as antibody tests for type 1 diabetes.
|Without diabetes||≤ 99 mg/dL||140 mg/dL||≤ 5.7%|
|Prediabetes||100-125 mg/dL||140-199 mg/dL||5.7% - 6.4%|
|Adults with type 1 or 2 and kids with type 2 diabetes||60-130 mg/dL||≤ 180 mg/dL||≤ 7%|
|Children with type 1 diabetes||150-200 mg/dL||120-140 mg/dL||≤ 7.5%|
|Pregnant women with type 1 diabetes||≤ 95 mg/dL||120-140 mg/dL||≤ 6%|
|Gestational diabetes||≤ 95 mg/dL||120-140 mg/dL||n/a|
For patients without diabetes:
For people who don’t have diabetes, an A1c test result lower than 5.7% is considered normal. If your level is between 5.7% and 6.4%, you may have what is sometimes called prediabetes. This means that you have higher than normal blood glucose but don’t meet the criteria to be diagnosed with diabetes.
An FPG test result of 99 mg/dL or lower means that you’re within a safe range. A result between 100 to 125 mg/dL is in the prediabetes range, and you might need follow-up testing. A safe range for an OGT test result is around 140 mg/dL 2 hours after the test starts, while 140 mg/dL to 199 mg/dL is considered a prediabetic range.
If results suggest that you have prediabetes, your provider might order more tests and offer ideas for lifestyle changes that can help bring your blood glucose levels down. The goal is tolower your risk of developing type 2 diabetes later in life, or to delay its onset as long as possible.
For adults with type 1 or 2 and children with type 2 diabetes:
What is considered a normal blood glucose level varies from person to person. It’s affected by factors such as weight, age, activity level, and whether you have any health conditions. Your health care provider will generally account for all these factors to develop a target glucose level.
A broad baseline range is between 60 mg/dL and 130 mg/dL when fasting and up to 180 mg/dL 2 hours after you begin eating, or under 7% on an A1c test. Results that are higher than the range are called hyperglycemia (high blood sugar), while results that are lower are called hypoglycemia (low blood sugar). The borders between extremes of the ranges are not precise, but they are useful markers for monitoring general trends.
Careful monitoring is especially important for people with type 1 diabetes, as they are at higher risk of both hyperglycemia and hypoglycemia.It’s also useful for reducing long-term damage to your body, because it helps you stay within the healthy range for as long as possible throughout the day. This is called your “time in rang,,” and health care providers generally aim for about 70%, which equals around 16 to 17 hours per day.
For children with type 1 diabetes:
While some diabetes organizations may suggest lower targets, the generally recommended A1c level for children with type 1 diabetes is under 7.5%. However, continuous glucose monitoring (CGM), which involves a special wearable device that constantly monitors blood glucose, is thought to be a better approach. This is partly because only about a quarter of children with type 1 meet this A1c standard. The target glucose level for newly diagnosed children using CGM is generally around 150 mg/dL, with some variation allowed during sleep hours (between 150 mg/dL and 200 mg/dL).
Children who have been diagnosed for some time and already have an established treatment plan might have a more aggressive target of around 120 mg/dL. As with adults, time in range for children with type 1 diabetes is typically around 70% (16 to 17 hours a day).
For pregnant women with type 1 diabetes:
It’s very possible to have a healthy pregnancy if you have type 1 diabetes. But if it isn’t well controlled and monitored, type 1 can increase your risk of pregnancy complications. As a result, the target blood glucose range may be lower than you are used to and require more regular monitoring.
Fasting blood glucose should be below 95 mg/dL, below 140 mg/dL an hour after eating, and below 120 mg/dL 2 hours after eating. A1c tests may be used to monitor how effectively your blood glucose is being controlled over the course of your pregnancy, with a target of below 6%.
For patients with gestational diabetes:
It’s normal to develop some degree of insulin resistance in late pregnancy. This could lead to gestational diabetes in certain people, especially if they already had a level of insulin resistance before becoming pregnant. Gestational diabetes occurs in around 2% to 10% of pregnancies in the US. For this reason, your health care provider will test for it once your pregnancy is confirmed and again between the 24th and 28th weeks of the pregnancy, when it’s most likely to develop.
Blood glucose targets for gestational diabetes are similar to those recommended in pregnancy for type 1. Fasting blood glucose should be below 95 mg/dL, below 140 mg/dL an hour after eating, and below 120 mg/dL two hours after eating. With help from your health care providers, you can learn to check your levels multiple times throughout the day with a home blood glucose meter.
Criteria for diabetes:
Diabetes mellitus is characterized by recurrent or persistent high blood sugar, and is diagnosed by demonstrating any one of the following:
- Fasting plasma glucose level ≥ 7.0 mmol/L (126 mg/dL)
- Plasma glucose ≥ 11.1 mmol/L (200 mg/dL) two hours after a 75 gram oral glucose load as in a glucose tolerance test (OGTT)
- Symptoms of high blood sugar and casual plasma glucose ≥ 11.1 mmol/L (200 mg/dL)
- Glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c) ≥ 48 mmol/mol (≥ 6.5 DCCT%)
- Your 2-hour oral glucose tolerance test result is equal to or greater than 200 mg/dL
|Condition||2-hour glucose||Fasting glucose||HbA1c|
|Normal||< 7.8||< 140||< 6.1||< 110||< 42||< 6.0|
|Impaired fasting glycaemia||< 7.8||< 140||6.1 – 7.0||126||42 – 46||6.0 – 6.4|
|Impaired glucose tolerance||≥ 7.8||≥ 140||< 7.0||< 126||42 – 46||6.0 – 6.4|
|Diabetes mellitus||≥ 11.1||≥ 200||≥ 7.0||≥ 126||≥ 48||≥ 6.5|
A positive result, in the absence of unequivocal high blood sugar, should be confirmed by a repeat of any of the above methods on a different day. It is preferable to measure a fasting glucose level because of the ease of measurement and the considerable time commitment of formal glucose tolerance testing, which takes two hours to complete and offers no prognostic advantage over the fasting test. According to the current definition, two fasting glucose measurements above 7.0 mmol/L (126 mg/dL) is considered diagnostic for diabetes mellitus.
Per the World Health Organization (WHO), people with fasting glucose levels from 6.1 to 6.9 mmol/L (110 to 125 mg/dL) are considered to have impaired fasting glucose. People with plasma glucose at or above 7.8 mmol/L (140 mg/dL), but not over 11.1 mmol/L (200 mg/dL), two hours after a 75 gram oral glucose load are considered to have impaired glucose tolerance. Of these two pre-diabetic states, the latter in particular is a major risk factor for progression to full-blown diabetes mellitus, as well as cardiovascular disease. The American Diabetes Association (ADA) since 2003 uses a slightly different range for impaired fasting glucose of 5.6 to 6.9 mmol/L (100 to 125 mg/dL).
Complications of Diabetes
All forms of diabetes increase the risk of long-term complications. These typically develop after many years (10–20) but may be the first symptom in those who have otherwise not received a diagnosis before that time. The major long-term complications relate to damage to blood vessels. Diabetes doubles the risk of cardiovascular disease and about 75% of deaths in people with diabetes are due to coronary artery disease. Other macro vascular diseases include stroke, and peripheral artery disease.The primary complications of diabetes due to damage in small blood vessels include damage to the eyes, kidneys, and nerves. Damage to the eyes, known as diabetic retinopathy, is caused by damage to the blood vessels in the retina of the eye, and can result in gradual vision loss and eventual blindness. Diabetes also increases the risk of having glaucoma, cataracts, and other eye problems. It is recommended that people with diabetes visit an eye doctor once a year. Damage to the kidneys, known as diabetic nephropathy, can lead to tissue scarring, urine protein loss, and eventually chronic kidney disease, sometimes requiring dialysis or kidney transplantation. Damage to the nerves of the body, known as diabetic neuropathy, is the most common complication of diabetes. The symptoms can include numbness, tingling, pain, and altered pain sensation, which can lead to damage to the skin. Diabetes-related foot problems (such as diabetic foot ulcers) may occur, and can be difficult to treat, occasionally requiring amputation. Additionally, proximal diabetic neuropathy causes painful muscle atrophy and weakness. Very high and very low blood sugar level or diabetes- related buildup of acid in your blood can cause confusion, lethargy and even coma and death. So if you are experiencing such symptoms it is best that you contact your doctor immediately. Other diabetes complications such as numbness of feet, visual problems should be reported immediately to your doctor.
There is a link between cognitive deficit and diabetes. Compared to those without diabetes, those with the disease have a 1.2 to 1.5-fold greater rate of decline in cognitive function. Having diabetes, especially when on insulin, increases the risk of falls in older people.
Diabetes can have many adverse effects on your teeth, including:
- Dry mouth
- Difficulty tasting
- Higher risk of decay
- Infection susceptibility
Because of these risk factors, it is important that you visit an experienced dentist. Seeing a provider who understands the care you will need is essential to your oral health.
Now that you know what it does to your teeth, you should know why and how it happens. Diabetes itself causes a decrease in the production of saliva in your mouth, which results in dry mouth. Saliva is what keeps your teeth naturally clean in between brushing and without it, you are at a much higher risk of getting cavities. As far as gum disease, or periodontal disease goes, it is not just diabetics who are at risk. Everyone has some amount of bacteria living in their mouth at all times and are at risk for developing gum disease. Since diabetes makes it harder for your body to control blood sugar, it makes it harder to prevent infections. The bacteria in your mouth will take advantage of this lessened defence and put your oral health in danger. Periodontal disease is when bacteria goes in between your teeth and your gums, creating less of a solid foundation for your tooth to sit in. As a result, over time, many periodontal disease sufferers lose teeth that do not have the ability to stay in the gums. Preventing and treating periodontal disease is essential to stopping tooth loss.
While it might look like diabetes is tough on your oral health, it is something that can be treatable when you work side-by-side with your dentist. Working with an experienced dentist, like Dr. Kiavash Hossini, a dentist in Port Coquitlam, you can make a plan of attack against any oral health concerns caused by diabetes. One of the most important things that you can do is make sure that you are keeping up with your routine dental exams and hygiene appointments. Some patients may be recommended to come in more frequently than others in an effort to keep your teeth and gums healthy and strong. Additionally, good home care will help you in between your dental appointments.
Outside of consulting with your dentist, you should also consult with your healthcare provider about any diabetes concerns that you might have and make sure that any medication that you are taking is in fact keeping your blood sugars under control. There are other steps that you can take to help keep you healthy, including:
- Brush twice a day, floss once a day
- Quit smoking
- Keep any removable denture or appliance clean daily
- Control your blood sugar levels, using medication as directed and following the recommended diet plan
- Visit the dentist for regular check-ups
It is still important to keep in contact with your medical and dental providers to keep your oral health as good as possible, but you can help the process by taking care of yourself well, including following a healthy diet and practice good oral hygiene.
Complications of high blood glucose level (hyperglycemia):
Blood vessel damage:
High glucose levels in the body damage the inner lining of blood vessels. This is because high glucose increases damaging (reactive oxidative species, CRP) and inflammatory compounds (cytokines), and makes it harder for the vessels to relax (via reducing NO). The resulting oxidative stress in the blood vessels causes inflammation. Proteins and leukocytes accumulate, harden blood vessels, and eventually lead to the formation of plaques that block blood flow (atherosclerosis). This is the root cause of heart disease in people with diabetes. If left untreated, high blood sugar can lead to stroke, heart disease, and other blood vessel disorders, the most common complication of type 2 diabetes.
A recent analysis of 20 studies concluded that even in the nondiabetic range, elevated blood sugar increases the risk of heart disease.
In a study of over 68.000 people without diabetes, higher blood sugar levels were associated with an increased risk of heart attacks over the next 4 years.
Nerve damage (neuropathy):
Diabetic neuropathy happens when high glucose causes nerve damage in people with diabetes. High glucose increases inflammation in the nerves, resulting in mild numbness and pain in the legs and feet or problems with digestion, urination, and heart function. A common complication of diabetic neuropathy is called the diabetic foot, with ulcers, infections, and minimal to no feeling in feet or legs. Loss of feeling in the foot may lead to more injuries and open wounds, while a lower immune response in people with diabetes makes it harder to fight the infections off.
Kidney damage (nephropathy):
Kidney damage (nephropathy) is another common complication of both type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Diabetes can damage the delicate filtering system in the kidneys. Severe damage can cause kidney failure and even end-stage kidney disease, which requires dialysis and a kidney transplant.
Weakened immune system:
High blood glucose impairs white blood cells (neutrophils), reduces antioxidant activity, and reduces immunity (humoral). This increases the risk of skin disorders and infections. This can be seen from studies that looked at HbA1c. In a study of over 1000 healthy people, elevated HbA1c was associated with impaired immune response (T-cell).
Dementia refers to memory loss, impaired brain function, and low cognitive activity.
In one study (meta-analysis), diabetes was associated with 73% increased risk of all types of dementia, 56% increased risk of Alzheimer’s dementia, and 127% increased risk of vascular dementia. Vascular dementia is a decline in thinking skills because of reduced or blocked blood flow to the brain, causing oxygen and nutrient deficiency.
Impaired vision or hearing (retinopathy):
Diabetic retinopathy (damage to blood vessels in the retina) is a frequent complication of diabetes, and the most common cause of blindness in the working-age population. Fluid build-up in the eyes (diabetic macular edema) also causes loss of vision in those with diabetes. Blindness can be prevented by regularly monitoring and controlling both blood sugar and blood pressure. Hearing impairment is also more common in people with diabetes. This may be due to the effects of high glucose on the blood vessels and nerves in the ear.
In a study of 199 diabetics (type 2), 108 patients (54.3%) suffered from dry eye syndrome. This is a condition that causes irritation and blurred vision.
In a meta-analysis, both types of diabetes increased the risk of hip fractures. In type 2 diabetes, bone density is increased, whereas it is decreased in type 1 diabetes.
Studies suggest that individuals with type 1 diabetes have a higher risk of depression, anxiety, and eating disorders. If you have diabetes and are suffering from a mental health issue, don’t hesitate to ask for help and support.
Studies suggest that diabetes may increase the risk of liver, pancreas, uterus, colon/rectum, breast, and bladder cancer.
In a study of over 1.3 million Koreans, cancer was more common in individuals with diabetes and/or high glucose levels.
Additionally, a meta-analysis (of 23 studies) showed that individuals with both diabetes and cancer have a higher chance of mortality than individuals with cancer alone.
In one study, 17,860 men were categorized into three groups: non-diabetic, prediabetic and diabetic, of which 1663 got prostate cancer (after a follow-up). Diabetics were more likely to develop prostate cancer, which may be due to hormonal changes caused by elevated glucose levels. The exact causes are unknown, though.
A case-control study evaluated fasting blood glucose levels of around 1100 participants. Individuals with higher fasting blood glucose levels over the last 11 years had a higher risk of pancreatic cancer.
Complications of low blood glucose level (hypoglycemia):
Hypoglycemia, or very low glucose levels, has severe health effects and increases the risk of serious complications in people with diabetes. It is a very dangerous state that can lead to coma and even death, depending on its severity or duration. The brain relies on glucose to function. Long-term, very low glucose levels could damage cognitive function, particularly in young children. Hypoglycemia can usually be prevented by regular glucose monitoring, as well as being consistent with your lifestyle and drug regimen.
Glucose is fuel for the brain. Inadequate glucose supply over time will result in dementia. Severe episodes may even lead to coma and death.
Patients with type 2 diabetes have a higher chance of getting heart disease (cardiovascular disease). But the mortality rates from heart disease are even higher in those who experience severe hypoglycemia. Acute hypoglycemia activates the fight-or-flight response (sympathetic nervous system), which releases epinephrine. This increases heart rate and blood pressure, which can be especially risky for patients with a history of complications.
Hypoglycemia can cause visual disorder in individuals with diabetes and has been linked with double vision (diplopia), dizziness/blurred vision and loss of contrast sensitivity. Hypoglycemia also makes your eyes more sensitive, reduces eye muscle responses, and generally heavily damages and kills cells in the eye (retinal cell dysfunction, retinal cell death, and cone cell death). All these factors can heavily impair vision, and may even cause blindness.
Recurrent hypoglycemia episodes generate feelings of powerlessness, anxiety, and depression amongst patients and their families. Acute hypoglycemia can result in mood swings including irritability, stubbornness, and feelings of depression.
Prevention, Treatment and Management of Diabetes
There is no known preventive measure for type 1 diabetes. You will not develop type 2 diabetes automatically if you have prediabetes. For some people with prediabetes, early treatment can actually return blood glucose levels to the normal range. Type 2 diabetes, which accounts for 85–90% of all cases worldwide, can often be prevented or delayed by maintaining a normal body weight, engaging in physical activity, and eating a healthy diet.
The relationship between type 2 diabetes and the main modifiable risk factors (excess weight, unhealthy diet, physical inactivity and tobacco use) is similar in all regions of the world. There is growing evidence that the underlying determinants of diabetes are a reflection of the major forces driving social, economic and cultural change: globalization, urbanization, population aging, and the general health policy environment.
Diabetes management concentrates on keeping blood sugar levels as close to normal, without causing low blood sugar. This can usually be accomplished with dietary changes, exercise, weight loss, and use of appropriate medications (insulin, oral medications).Learning about the disease and actively participating in the treatment is important, since complications are far less common and less severe in people who have well-managed blood sugar levels. Per The American College of Physicians, the goal of treatment is an HbA1c level of 7-8%.
Attention is also paid to other health problems that may accelerate the negative effects of diabetes. These include smoking, high blood pressure, metabolic syndrome obesity, and lack of regular exercise. Specialized footwear is widely used to reduce the risk of ulcers in at-risk diabetic feet although evidence for the efficacy of this remains equivocal.
To control and manage type 1 diabetes, you need to inject insulin regularly, up to eight times per day. You must also test your blood sugar frequently, using a home blood-sugar monitor. You use that information, in consultation with your doctor to regulate your insulin dosage, diet and exercise.
Treatment of type 2 diabetes also starts with home blood-sugar monitor testing. But only a fraction of people with type 2 diabetes need insulin injections. Most can be controlled with blood sugar dietary changes, healthy diet, regular physical exercise and oral medications, a normal body weight, and avoiding use of tobacco. Type 2 diabetes may be treated with medications such as insulin sensitizers with or without insulin. Control of blood pressure and maintaining proper foot and eye care are important for people with the disease. Insulin and some oral medications can cause low blood sugar. Weight loss surgery in those with obesity is sometimes an effective measure in those with type 2 diabetes. Gestational diabetes usually resolves after the birth of the baby.
If you are diagnosed with type 1 diabetes or type 2 diabetes, you should definitely must be under doctor’s care and management. And you should never stop using your medications or injections, or alter your dosage, without your doctor’s approval.
Some of the oral medication normally given to type 2 diabetes patients are:
- Glyburide (Micronase), medication that spur the release of more insulin
- Metformin (Glucophage), medication that slows your liver’s release of stored sugar
- Acarbose (Precose), medication that slows the digestion of carbohydrates
- Troglitazone (Rezulin), medication that increases cellular insulin sensitivity
Unfortunately, none of these drugs or medication is very effective over the long term. During the first year of treatment, these drugs may improve blood-sugar control in about 90% of people who take them. But as years pass by, the drugs stop working for about half of those who take them. If that happens, you have to use insulin injection instead.
There are other medical developments that may include a pancreas transplant for type 1 diabetes. You may ask your doctor for added information. To enjoy a healthier lifestyle even if you are afflicted with diabetes, you may follow some simple suggestions using blended medicine. Though the following suggestions are more tailored for type 2 diabetes.
What is Diabetes Management?
A diabetes management plan is a personalized plan that details how you can manage your diabetes. It takes into account your individual health goals, medications, and lifestyle. Following your plan can help you achieve your blood sugar goals, reduce your risk of heart disease and stroke, and other complications, such as kidney disease and nerve damage.
A diabetes management plan includes:
- Regular checking of your blood sugar levels
- A healthy diet plan to keep blood sugars in target range
- A plan for physical activity
- Medications to manage blood glucose levels
- Stress management measures that may include counselling, meditation or other activities.
Decreasing blood sugar:
If you don’t have diabetes but your blood glucose is in the prediabetic range, your health care providerwill likely recommend a few lifestyle changes to bring your levels down to the safe range. This usually takes the form of weight loss, changes to your diet (reducing the size of your portions and avoiding foods high in sugar, simple carbohydrates, and saturated fats), and regular exercise. A plan to lose between 5% and 10% of your body weight within 6 months is a common recommendation. However, this approach doesn’t always work if you have type 2 diabetes and won’t work at all if you have type 1.
- Higher levels of physical activity (more than 90 minutes per day) reduce the risk of diabetes by 28%. Exercising moderately (such as brisk walking) 30 minutes a day, five days a week.
- Adding more movement to your daily life can be as simple as just moving around more while working, stretching regularly, and avoiding sitting as much, in addition to more structured exercise.
- Dietary changes known to be effective in helping to prevent diabetes include maintaining a diet rich in whole grains and fiber, and choosing good fats, such as the polyunsaturated fats found in nuts, vegetable oils, and fish.
- Limiting sugary beverages and eating less red meat and other sources of saturated fat can also help prevent diabetes.
- Weight loss, if you are overweight, losing 5% - 7% of your weight. Losing 7% of your body weight (or 15 pounds if you weigh 200 pounds). Don't worry if you can't get to your ideal body weight. Losing even 10 to 15 pounds can make a huge difference.
- Tobacco smoking is also associated with an increased risk of diabetes and its complications, so smoking cessation can be an important preventive measure as well.
- You should work with your health care provider to develop a lifestyle plan, but you may also need medication to control your blood glucose levels throughout the day and prevent dangerous spikes. If you have type 2 diabetes, you may be able to take medications by mouth, such as metformin.
- You might also need calculated doses of insulin released into your bloodstream; the amounts you should take will depend on your blood glucose test results. This can be done with regular injections throughout the day or with a device attached to your body called an insulin pump, which automatically administers it as needed.
Increasing blood sugar:
Hypoglycemia, where your blood glucose is lower than 70 mg/dL, is a common problem for people with type 1 diabetes. It’s important to know how to handle it when it happens. Hypoglycemia can be caused by a number of things, such as taking too much insulin, waiting too long before eating or not eating enough, and exercising a lot more than usual.
- Eating something that can raise your blood glucose. But in severe cases, where your blood glucose dips below 55 mg/dL, this might not be enough.
- If you’re at risk of this, your health care provider might prescribe an injectable medication called glucagon to use in an emergency. You can use it yourself, or someone else can use it on you if you’re not able to.
- You will then need to seek emergency treatment after the injection to make sure that your glucose levels make it back up to a safe level.
The 15-15 Rule:
This is a helpful guideline for raising your blood glucose when it’s in the 55 mg/dL to 69 mg/dL range. It means that you should eat 15 grams of carbohydrates, then wait 15 minutes and check your blood glucose. If your blood glucose level is still too low, repeat the process until you’re back in your target range. After this, you should try to eat something nutritious and low in fat (fat slows the absorption of sugars) to make sure it doesn’t get too low again.
Alternative Medicine for Diabetes
Controlling blood sugar levels is very necessary at all costs. This can be done by routine monitoring in the morning, one or two hours before and after having a meal, and before going to bed. So, it is important to know the safe levels and adjust the required eating habits and calorie intake accordingly. Low blood sugar is often fatal and appears with the symptoms of sweating, shaking, anxiety and nervousness, hunger, irritability, confusion, or dizziness. To prevent these conditions, the patient should be immediately treated with something sweet to increase the low blood sugar levels. For high blood sugar levels, physical exercise, adherence to medication, and excessive water intake are recommended.
Most medications used to treat diabetes act by lowering blood sugar levels through different mechanisms. There is broad consensus that when people with diabetes maintain tight glucose control – keeping the glucose levels in their blood within normal ranges – they experience fewer complications, such as kidney problems or eye problems. There is however debate as to whether this is appropriate and cost effective for people later in life in whom the risk of hypoglycemia may be more significant.
There are a number of different classes of anti-diabetic medications. Type 1 diabetes requires treatment with insulin, typically with a combination of regular and NPH insulin, or synthetic insulin analogs. Type 2 diabetes may also be treated with insulin at later stages. Some medications for type 2 diabetes are taken by mouth, such as metformin, while others are only administered by injection, such as GLP-1 agonists.
Is generally recommended as a first-line treatment for type 2 diabetes, as there is good evidence that it decreases mortality. It works by decreasing the liver's production of glucose. Several other groups of drugs, mostly given by mouth, may also decrease blood sugar in type 2 diabetes. These include agents that increase insulin release (sulfonylureas), agents that decrease absorption of sugar from the intestines (acarbose), agents that inhibit the enzyme dipeptidyl peptidase-4 (DPP-4) that inactivates incretins such as GLP-1 and GIP (sitagliptin), agents that make the body more sensitive to insulin (thiazolidinedione) and agents that increase the excretion of glucose in the urine (SGLT2 inhibitors). When insulin is used in type 2 diabetes, a long-acting formulation is usually added initially, while continuing oral medications. Doses of insulin are then increased until glucose targets are reached.
Cholesterol and blood pressure lowering:
High cholesterol levels and high sugar levels also interfere with blood pressure by damaging the blood vessels, and ultimately contribute to the onset of cardiovascular diseases. Diabetic patients are also found to have been linked with cardiac problems and therefore, have high chances of having a heart attack and stroke. To prevent these diabetes complications, it is suggested to eat healthily, reduce weight, consume less salt and low levels of fats and properly adhere to the medication prescribed by the physician.
Cardiovascular disease is a serious complication associated with diabetes, and many international guidelines recommend blood pressure treatment targets that are lower than 140/90 mmHg for people with diabetes. However, there is only limited evidence regarding what the lower targets should be.
A 2016 systematic review found potential harm to treating to targets lower than 140 mmHg, and a subsequent systematic review in 2019 found no evidence of additional benefit from blood pressure lowering to between 130 - 140mmHg, although there was an increased risk of adverse events.
2015 American Diabetes Association (ADA) recommendations are that people with diabetes and albuminuria should receive an inhibitor of the renin-angiotensin system to reduce the risks of progression to end-stage renal disease, cardiovascular events and death. There is some evidence that angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors (ACEIs) are superior to other inhibitors of the renin-angiotensin system such as angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs) or aliskiren in preventing cardiovascular disease. Although a more recent review found similar effects of ACEIs and ARBs on major cardiovascular and renal outcomes. There is no evidence that combining ACEIs and ARBs provides additional benefits.
People with diabetes can benefit from education about the disease and treatment, dietary changes, and exercise, with the goal of keeping both short-term and long-term blood glucose levels within acceptable bounds. In addition, given the associated higher risks of cardiovascular disease, lifestyle modifications are recommended to control blood pressure.
Can prevent progression from prediabetes to diabetes type 2, decrease the risk of cardiovascular disease, or result in a partial remission in people with diabetes. No single dietary pattern is best for all people with diabetes. Healthy dietary patterns, such as the Mediterranean diet, low-carbohydrate diet, or DASH diet are often recommended, although evidence does not support one over the others.
According to the The American Diabetes Association (ADA), "reducing overall carbohydrate intake for individuals with diabetes has demonstrated the most evidence for improving glycemia", and for individuals with type 2 diabetes who cannot meet the glycemic targets or where reducing anti-glycemic medications is a priority, low or very-low carbohydrate diets are a viable approach.For overweight people with type 2 diabetes, any diet that achieves weight loss is effective.
Weight loss surgery in those with obesity and type 2 diabetes is often an effective measure. Many are able to maintain normal blood sugar levels with little or no medications following surgery and long-term mortality is decreased. There is, however, a short-term mortality risk of less than 1% from the surgery. The body mass index cutoffs for when surgery is appropriate are not yet clear. It is recommended that this option be considered in those who are unable to get both their weight and blood sugar under control. A pancreas transplant is occasionally considered for people with type 1 diabetes who have severe complications of their disease, including end stage kidney disease requiring kidney transplantation.
For type 1 diabetes it is important to keep a check of the carb intake and determine the insulin levels you need to take. However, in type 2 diabetes, patients are usually observed to ensure that they’re not overweight. Being obese means the normal functioning of insulin in the body is hard to maintain. Therefore, for patients suffering from type 2 diabetes, the major focus is to take a diet that helps in burning fat and consequently results in controlling body weight.
Studies suggest that physical exercise is a very important factor in disease management if you have type 2 diabetes. However, as the disease develops, patients feel weak and therefore, become physically less active. As we all know, exercise burns calories, and the calories are sufficient primarily from sugar reserves present in the blood.
Physical exercise is known to improve the control over blood glucose levels and consequently delay or prevent the onset of type 2 diabetes, helping you avoid diabetes complications. It also positively interferes with lipid metabolism and in cardiovascular diseases by controlling blood pressure and thus ensures a healthy lifestyle and an improved quality of life.
Physical exercise contributes by improving the response of the body to blood sugar levels. This suggests the importance of exercise and if it is incorporated in the daily routine of a diabetic patient, it would greatly help in maintaining the blood sugar levels in a safer range thus, preventing complications.
Numerous studies have underscored these benefits, and some of the results of these studies have been highlighted below:
- Exercise lowers HbA1c values by 0.7% in those who suffer from diabetes. Those studied were also taking a variety of different medications and following a plethora of different diets. Thus, this improvement occurs regardless of whether people lost weight or not after exercising.
- Every form of exercise including resistance and aerobic exercise helps to lower insulin resistance in those adults with abdominal obesity.
- Combining two different forms of exercise has proven to be far more beneficial than performing one form of exercise.
- Those with diabetes who walked for at least two hours per week were far less likely to die as a result of heart disease when compared to their counterparts. Those who exercised for four hours per week cut their risk more dramatically.
- Women who had diabetes and spent four hours per week exercising had a 40% lower risk of developing heart-related diseases than those who did not exercise at all. These benefits continued even after researchers included other factors including BMI and heart disease risk factors including smoking.
Avoid smoking and alcohol:
You may not realize it, but smoking and drinking alcohol can make your diabetes worse. It is highly advisable to quit smoking if one is suffering from diabetes mellitus, especially type II, and wants to stay safe from diabetes complications. Studies suggest that smoking has been associated with aggravating the risk of developing heart, eye, nerve, and kidney diseases. It can also cause decreased blood flow to the limbs, leading to diabetic ulcers and infections, premature deaths, and also interferes with the normal glucose metabolism in the blood.
Chemicals present in cigarettes produce inflammatory responses, thus interfering with the cell’s potential of responding to insulin and taking up glucose from the bloodstream. As a result, the excess of glucose is accumulated in the body, mainly increasing the belly fat that further worsens the disease condition. To conclude, smoking may result in serious consequences in diabetic patients if left ignored. Therefore, diabetic patients should consider quitting smoking – an excellent tip to avoid diabetes complications and multiple health conditions.
Guidelines for alcohol intake are similar to those for the general population, which recommend that women and men limit their average daily intakes of alcohol to one drink and two drinks per day, respectively. In addition, individuals using insulin or medications that promote insulin secretion should consume food when they ingest alcoholic beverages to avoid hypoglycemia (alcohol can cause hypoglycemia by interfering with glucose production in the liver). Conversely, an excessive alcohol intake (three or more drinks per day) can worsen hyperglycemia and raise triglyceride levels in some individuals. People who should avoid alcohol include pregnant women and individuals with advanced neuropathy, abnormally high triglyceride levels, or a history of alcohol abuse.
Your doctor will tell you that smoking is a risk factor for heart disease, which is a major cause of death among people with diabetes. Additionally, drinking alcohol can increase the risk of developing high blood sugar levels.
Stress can affect your blood sugar levels in a couple of ways. If you’re stressed out and have low blood sugar, it’s best to eat something sugary right away (like a candy bar or some fruit). In the case of high blood sugar, if your stress level is at an all-time high, try eating something salty or fatty to bring down those levels. Stress management techniques such as meditation are known to help people with diabetes manage their stress levels better overall. These were a few tips that can help you manage stress. It is recommended that you visit your doctor regularly and get their opinion before trying out anything new.
Pay special attention to infections:
High blood sugar levels result in reduced blood flow, especially in the limbs. This reduced blood flow also results in loss of sensation and flushing of the cellular debris. If left unnoticed, it may result in blisters from where microorganisms can directly enter and cause infections. These infections may take longer than usual in recovery and are often observed to spread in the nearby area inside the body. It mainly occurs in the feet. Therefore, to prevent the problems associated with the diabetic foot and stay safe from diabetes complications, the following preventive measures is highly recommended:
- Wash your feet with lukewarm water routinely, while preventing soaking the feet at the same time as it may lead to dry skin that is more prone to infections
- Wash and moisturize your hands and feet with petroleum jelly or with moisturizer. This not only prevents the dryness of the skin but also prevents the growth of microorganisms in the foot
- Do not over-moisturize your feet as moisture can also support the growth of microorganisms
- Regularly check your feet for blisters, sores, calluses or swelling. Also avoid walking barefoot, even in your home
- If you detect any foot problem, consult a physician as early as possible
Nutrition and diet for diabetes:
For diabetes management and control, it is generally advised that the person should start to make adjustments on his lifestyle. This include maintaining a simple diet, eating foods that are less saturated with fat and cholesterol. By reducing or eliminating animal products and eating more fiber-rich plant foods such as whole grains, beans, fruits, and vegetables.
Eat a lot of foods that are rich in antioxidants. Plant-derived foods are rich in the antioxidant nutrient including beta-carotene and vitamin C and E. Antioxidants neutralize free radicals, preventing this unstable oxygen molecules from damaging healthy cells. Free radicals not only lay the groundwork for the most serious complications of diabetes, they are also the cause of high blood sugar level. Include fiber-rich food to your diet. Foods that is rich in fiber helps in controlling the blood sugar level. It works by holding the nutrient in the digestive tract longer, allowing a slower absorption rate and reducing blood sugar ups and downs. Soy products and Tofu can also help people with diabetes. Soy is a good source of amino acids, glycine and arginine, that help block the body’s synthesis of cholesterol. Low levels of magnesium have been established in certain studies to be a factor in developing diabetes. Beef up your diet with magnesium rich food such as grains, nuts, and leafy green vegetables. According to Tandem Diabetes’ experts, “You should avoid alcohol and sugary drinks because they contain carbohydrates that affect blood glucose levels".
- Use less salt in meals
- Select healthy carbohydrate sources, such as whole grains, fruits, vegetables, dairy items, and pulses
- Avoid consuming red meat and replace them with lentils, vegetables, poultry, and fish
- Select healthy fats such as those obtained from nuts, fish, fruits (Avocado), and vegetables
- You may also take vitamin, mineral supplements and herbs to help you in diabetes management and control.
The recommended macronutrient distribution (percent of calories from carbohydrate, fat and protein) depends on food preferences and metabolic factors (for example: insulin sensitivity, blood lipid levels, and kidney function). Intakes suggested for the general population is often used as a guideline. Day-to-day consistency in carbohydrate intake is associated with better glycemic control, unless the patient is undergoing intensive insulin therapy that matches insulin doses to mealtime carbohydrate intakes.
The amount of carbohydrate consumed has the greatest influence on blood glucose levels after meals, the more grams of carbohydrate ingested, the greater the glycemic response. The carbohydrate recommendation is based in part on the person’s metabolic needs, the type of insulin or other medications used to manage the diabetes, and individual preferences. For optimal health, the carbohydrate sources should be whole grains, legumes, vegetables, fruits and milk products, whereas foods made with refined grains and added sugars should be limited.
Different carbohydrate-containing foods have different effects on blood glucose levels after they are ingested; for example, consuming a portion of white rice causes blood glucose to increase more than would a similar portion of barley. A food’s glycemic effect is influenced by the type of carbohydrate in a food, the food’s fiber content, the preparation method, the other foods included in a meal, and individual tolerances. For individuals with diabetes, choosing foods with a low glycemic index (GI) over those with a high GI may modestly improve glycemic control. A food’s glycemic effect is not usually a primary consideration when treating diabetes, however, because clinical studies investigating the potential benefits of low-GI diets on glycemic control have had mixed results. Nonetheless, high-fiber, minimally processed foods—which typically have lower glycemic effects than do highly processed, starchy foods—are among the foods frequently recommended for persons with diabetes.
A common misperception is that people with diabetes need to avoid sugar and sugar-containing foods. In reality, table sugar (sucrose), made up of glucose and fructose, has a lower glycemic effect than starch. Because moderate consumption of sugar has not been shown to adversely affect glycemic control, sugar recommendations for people with diabetes are similar to those for the general population, which suggest minimizing foods and beverages that contain added sugars. However, sugars and sugary foods must be counted as part of the daily carbohydrate allowance.
Fructose, a naturally occurring monosaccharide in fruit, has minimal effects on blood glucose levels when compared with similar amounts of sucrose or starch. Although some food products marketed to people with diabetes are sweetened with fructose, intakes of fructose should be limited—to no more than 12 percent of total calories—to avoid excessive energy intakes or adverse effects on blood lipids (high fructose intakes may increase blood triglyceride levels in some individuals). Sugar alcohols (such as sorbitol and maltitol) have lower glycemic effects than glucose or sucrose and may be used as sugar substitutes. Artificial sweeteners (such as aspartame, saccharin and sucralose) contain no digestible carbohydrate and can be safely used in place of sugar.
Whole Grains and Fiber:
Recommendations for whole grain and fiber intakes are similar to those for the general population. People with diabetes are encouraged to include fiber-rich foods such as whole-grain cereals, legumes, fruits, and vegetables in their diet. Although some studies have suggested that very high intakes of fiber (more than 50 grams per day) may improve glycemic control, many individuals have difficulty enjoying or tolerating such large amounts of fiber.
In individuals with diabetes, a Mediterranean-style dietary pattern that emphasizes monounsaturated fats may benefit both glycemic control and cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk. In addition, increased intakes of omega-3 fatty acids from fatty fish or plant sources may improve the lipoprotein profile and various other CVD risk factors. Other guidelines related to fat intake are similar to those suggested for the general population: saturated fat should be less than 10 percent of total calories, Trans fats should be minimized and cholesterol intake should be less than 300 milligrams daily.
Protein recommendations for people with diabetes are similar to those for the general population. The average protein intake is about 15% of the energy intake. Although several small, short-term studies have suggested that protein intakes above 28% of total calories may improve glycemic control or lipoprotein levels in diabetic individuals, other studies did not show any benefit. In addition, high protein intakes are sometimes discouraged because they may be detrimental to kidney function in patients with nephropathy.
Micronutrient recommendations for people with diabetes are the same as for the general population. Vitamin and mineral supplementation is not recommended unless nutrient deficiencies develop; those at risk include the elderly, pregnant or lactating women, strict vegetarians, and individuals on calorie-restricted diets
By taking vitamin E, diabetes patients may manage and prevent its complications. Clinical nutritionists normally recommend taking 600 to 800 international units (IU) a day. But be cautioned that taking vitamin E more than 400 IU should be taken under doctor’s supervision.
The mineral chromium plays a key role in the manufacture of insulin and in the maintenance of blood sugar with normal range. Normal recommended dosage is from 400 to 600 micrograms per day. But you must have your doctor’s approval before taking chromium supplement.
Several studies have shown that animals deprived with zinc develop high blood sugar. Other studies have determined that diabetes increases the excretion of zinc in urine, reducing the amount of the mineral in your blood. Normal recommended dose is at 30 to 50 milligrams per day and should be taken under medical supervision.
As mentioned earlier, magnesium helps in controlling high blood sugar content. If you feel like you are not taking enough magnesium from your diet, you may take in some extra magnesium supplements. Normal suggested dose is at 20 to 30 milligrams a day.
Borage Oil and Primrose Oil:
These oils contain gamma-linoleic acid, which improves blood circulation through your small blood vessels. These small blood vessels are the ones that are normally blocked if you have chronically high blood-sugar level. A good number of patients with high blood sugar levels have shown remarkable improvements after taking borage oil and primrose oil every day. Ask your doctor for a dosage.
Alternate-day fasting (ADF):
Alternate-day fasting can improve endothelial functions in mice with type-2 diabetes. This paper has managed to turn a few heads. More importantly, it has created the idea that alternate-day fasting can be beneficial when battling diabetes. Through alternate day fasting, you can lose weight and reduce the risk factors that cause type-2 diabetes. It also regulates insulin levels, which further serves the purpose of battling diabetes. Besides, alternate-day fasting can also help tackle heart disease.
Alternate-day fasting is a variation of intermittent fasting. Here, you fast one day and eat whatever you would like the next, preferably something healthy. In doing so, you reduce calorie intake, which allows a more efficient regulation of insulin levels.
Increase water intake:
Water is a drink with zero sugar present in it. Therefore, it is considered the best for diabetics. Studies suggest that drinking more water helps in lowering blood sugar levels and thus helps you avoid diabetes complications. The body of diabetics is actively trying to remove excess glucose and for doing this more water is required as sugar is excreted through urine. This increased demand for water by the bodies of diabetics is also linked to dehydration. Therefore, it is very important to keep the body hydrated all the time as it is critical for carrying out daily chores. At the same time, it is helpful in flushing out the excess sugar present in the bloodstream.
Herbal medicine and supplements:
Herbs and supplements work to lower your blood sugar levels. In doing so, they provide numerous health benefits as well as protect you from diabetes. Rosemary is one such herb that helps balance blood sugar levels and also fights cholesterol. This way, the herb promotes weight loss and allows you to maintain a healthy body weight. Like Rosemary, sage has a similar impact. It, too, lowers your blood sugar levels like Rosemary and has a significant impact when you consume it on an empty stomach. Oregano, Aloe Vera and Ginger have similar blood sugar-combating properties. These natural herbs have been used for centuries to deal with many health problems, including diabetes. Even in an age where medical science is at its best, people frequently go back to these herbs when seeking natural means to deal with diabetes.
Supplements mimic the effects of these herbs when dealing with diabetes. They release chemicals that either neutralize high sugar levels or prevent carbs from turning into sugar which might increase blood sugar levels.
Banaba (Lagerstroemia speciosa)
Banaba is a flowering plant that grows in warm climates like the Philippines and India. Banaba is widely used in the Philippines and other Asian countries in traditional medicine as herbal treatment for diabetes. In India, Banaba is also used in Ayurvedic medicine for the treatment of diabetes.
In a 2011 study "Antioxidant effect of Lagerstroemia speciosa Pers (Banaba) leaf extract in streptozotocin-induced diabetic mice" published in Indian J Exp Biol., aqueous leaf extract of L. speciosa (Banaba) effectively decreased the blood glucose in streptozotocin-induced diabetic mice after 15th day of Banaba exposure. Further, Banaba leaf extract have the potential to inhibit lipid peroxidation and effectively intercept/neutralize reactive oxygen species such as super oxide, H2O2 and NO based free radicals. The aqueous banaba leaf extract (150 mg/kg bodyweight) duly reduced STZ generated reactive intermediates and radical species helping to regulate normal levels of antioxidative markers like superoxide dismutase, catalase, glutathione-S-transferase and reduced glutathione.
In a 2009 study "Triterpene acids isolated from Lagerstroemia speciosa leaves as alpha-glucosidase inhibitors" published in Phytother Res., the potential antidiabetic activity of ethyl acetate extract of the leaves of Lagerstroemia speciosa was investigated by alpha-amylase and alpha-glucosidase inhibition assay. Six pentacyclic triterpenes (oleanolic acid, arjunolic acid, asiatic acid, maslinic acid, corosolic acid and 23-hydroxyursolic acid) were isolated from Lagerstroemia speciosa. Their structures were determined by spectroscopic analysis and their alpha-glycosidase and alpha-amylase inhibitory activities were investigated. They exhibited no or weak inhibitory activity against alpha-amylase and middle alpha-glucosidase inhibitory activities. Corosolic acid, which shows best bioactivity against alpha-glucosidase (IC50 = 3.53 microg/mL), contributes most to the alpha-glucosidase inhibitory activity of EtOAc extract. The kinetics of inhibition of corosolic acid was also discussed. Results from this study might provide the scientific evidence for Lagerstroemia speciosa for the treatment of diabetes in traditional medicine.
In a group study that has been conducted for Glucosol™, on US Patent Issued on August 31, 2004, a US patent drug containing corosolic acid. There was a reduction of weight for diabetic subjects. Similar study was done for non-diabetics and it was found that corosolic acid does not alter either the absorption or clearance of blood sugar in non-diabetic subjects, while retaining its weight-loss effect (Corosolic acid formulation and its application for weight-loss management and blood sugar balance).
The following details the preparation and application of Banaba herbal medicine for diabetes:
- Dry Banaba leaves and fruits for about two weeks
- Cut Banaba leaves into peices
- Boil the dried Banaba leaves and fruits in water,
- One cup of dried banaba leaves and fruits to one cup water.
- Let it steep for 30 minutes,
- Strain the leaves and fruits.
- Take the Banaba herbal tea for 4 to 6 times daily.
- Although studies have shown that Banaba does not contain any toxic ingredients. It is recommended that before taking any herbal medicine for your diabetes, consult with your doctor.
Bitter Melon - Ampalaya (Momordica charantia):
Ampalaya (Momordica charantia) also known as Bitter Melon is a tropical and subtropical vine of the family Cucurbitaceae, widely grown in the Amazon, Carribean, South east Asia such as Philippines for its edible fruit.Bitter melon as the name implies has a bitter taste due to the presence of momordicin, and is believed to be among the most bitter of all vegetables. Ampalaya is a widely used herbal remedy to lower the blood sugar levels for diabetic patients.
A 2015 study "Antioxidant properties of Momordica charantia (bitter gourd) seeds on Streptozotocin induced diabetic rats" published in Asia Pacific Journal of Clinical Nutrition, investigate the antioxidant activities of the aqueous extract of seeds of Momordica charantia in streptozotocin induced diabetic rats. Oral administration of seed extracts at a concentration of 150 mg/kg b.w for 30 days showed a significant decrease in fasting blood glucose, hepatic and renal thiobarbituric acid reactive substances and hydroperoxides. The treatment also resulted in a significant increase in reduced glutathione, superoxide dismutase, catalase, glutathione peroxidase and glutathione-s-transferase in the liver and kidney of diabetic rats. The results clearly suggest that seeds of Momordica charantia treated group may effectively normalize the impaired antioxidant status in streptozotocin induced-diabetes than the glibenclamide treated groups. The extract exerted rapid protective effects against lipid peroxidation by scavenging of free radicals there by reducing the risk of diabetic complications.
A 2014 review from in vitro to human studies "Momordica charantia and type 2 diabetes" published in Current Diabetes Reviews, describes anti-diabetic effects of bitter gourd reported in the literature and discusses what still needs to be clarified for developing an evidence-based and safe use of the bitter gourd for diabetes. Analyses of bioactive compounds have shown that bitter gourd is rich in nutrients and phytochemicals of which some have anti-diabetic effects. Juices, powders, extracts, and isolated compounds have been tested in vitro and in vivo. Bitter Gourd increases insulin secretion of the pancreas, decreases intestinal glucose uptake, and increases uptake and utilization of glucose in peripheral tissues. Although human studies with type 2 diabetics are weak in their design and/or results, some of the studies do indicate anti-diabetic effects in patients and safety for bitter gourd treatment in humans. In the future, well designed studies with rodents will help to understand what kind of bitter gourd variety, dosage, preparation, and duration of administration is optimal. Such results will help to design human studies which are necessary to prove the effectiveness of bitter gourd in patients.
In a 2012 study "Momordica charantia for type 2 diabetes mellitus" published in Cochrane Database Syst Rev., Momordica charantia (Bitter Gourd) is not only a nutritious vegetable but it is also used in traditional medical practices to treat type 2 diabetes mellitus. Experimental studies with animals and humans suggested that the vegetable has a possible role in glycaemic control. The study assessed the effects of mormodica charantia for type 2 diabetes mellitus.
Cinnamon - Canela (Cinnamomum verum, Cinnamomum zeylanicum):
Cinnamon, originates from Sri Lanka, is actually a one of the earliest and most well-known household herbs utilized in Jamaica today. The herb can be found in its powdered form in just about all kitchens throughout the island. Cassia has been utilized in Chinese medicine for centuries. There are numerous other types of Cinnamon, mainly from Asia and Madagascar. Even though Cinnamon is known and utilized as a spice it provides a variety of health advantages that numerous may be unacquainted with. Cinnamon has the power to increase insulin sensitivity, and this helps in the prevention of type 2 diabetes and metabolic resistance. Cinnamon helps in lowering of blood sugar level in a person, and hence, is known as anti-diabetic food. Cinnamon slows down breaking up of carbohydrates in the digestive system, after entering the blood stream, thereby reducing blood sugar level. Hence, Cinnamon can sometimes act as a boon for diabetic patients.
A 2012 research on “Effects of Cinnamomum zeylanicum (Ceylon cinnamon) on blood glucose and lipids in a diabetic and healthy rat model” by the Diabetes Research Unit, Department of Clinical Medicine, University of Colombo, Sri Lanka published in PubMed concluded that “Cinnamomum zeylanicum lowered blood glucose, reduced food intake, and reduced atherogenic LDL cholesterol”.
The United States Department of Agriculture’s Agriculture Research Service studied Cinnamon’s capability to deal with type 2 diabetes, and published its findings in he May 2010 issue of The Journal of Diabetes Science and Technology. Researchers saw that Cinnamon was able to normalize the effects of type 2 diabetes in in vitro animal and human tests. The research determined that Cinnamon may play an essential future role for treating metabolic disorder, type 2 diabetes plus some cardiovascular-related illnesses.
A 2008 study "Antidiabetic Activity of Alcoholic Extract of Cinnamomum zeylanicum Leaves in Alloxon Induced Diabetic Rats" published in People’s Journal of Scientific Research 9 Vol 1 by Mukul Tailang, Bhaskar K Gupta, Amrish Sharma about oral administration of ethanolic extract of Cinnamomum zeylanicum leaves to alloxan-induced diabetic rats sigificantly reduced their blood levels under acute and subacute studies.
Clinical studies have created combined outcomes on whether or not Cinnamon could affect blood sugar levels in type 2 diabetes, explains MSKCC. A report in the June 2007 edition of The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition claims that including Cinnamon to rice pudding decreases the rate at which the stomach empties by 34.5 to 37%, when compared with subjects who consume rice pudding alone. Slower emptying time aids in preventing remarkable increases in blood sugar. If you take medications which affect blood sugar levels, don’t use Cinnamon or even drink Cinnamon tea without conferring with with your doctor.
Cinnamon has been recommended by the American Diabetes Association (ADA) in 2006 for controlling diabetes. Dr. Fuhrman quotes few important research works on diabetes including the study on "Complementary and alternative medicine for the treatment of Type 2 diabetes" and states that “The bark of Cinnamomum trees contains phytochemicals that enhance insulin signaling and facilitate glucose uptake and storage by the body’s cells".
Another 2005 study "Antidiabetic effect of Cinnamomum cassia and Cinnamomum zeylanicum in vivo and in vitro" published in PTR. Phytotherapy Research by Verspohl Eugen J et al., about effect of Cinnamomum cassia and Cinnamomum zeylanicum in vivo and in vitro showed that Cassia extract has a direct antidiabetic potency.
A 2003 study published in Diabetes Care evaluated the benefits of a daily dose of Cinnamon in 60 people with type 2 diabetes. Divided into groups of 20, the groups were given, respectively, 1-, 3-, and 6-grams doses of Cinnamon in tablet form (an amount roughly equivalent to one-quarter teaspoon to 1 teaspoon). After 40 days, all three groups experienced a reduction in their fasting glucose (by 18% to 29%), triglycerides (23% to 30%), LDL cholesterol (7% to 27%), and total cholesterol (12% to 26%). By contrast, the hemoglobin A1C (HbA1c) remained unchanged in all participants.
Cinnamon tea, which is high in anti-diabetic properties, is the safest way to regulate and lower blood sugar levels. Cinnamon contains elements that can help lower blood sugar levels by reducing insulin fighting capability and increasing insulin efficacy levels in the body. The spice-infused tea works in the same way as insulin does, transferring sugar from the bloodstream to the tissues. Cinnamon tea, taken after meals, helps in the digestion of carbohydrates in the stomach and prevents a spike in blood sugar levels. Suggested use: ¼ teaspon of Cinnamon a day added to coffee, fruit juice or cereal. It may also delay the onset of type of diabetes.
Cat's Whiskers - Balbas Pusa (Orthosiphon aristatus):
Cat's Whisker (Orthosiphon aristatus) is a tropical herbaceous perennial plant that is native in Southeast Asia usually found in China, Taiwan, Philippines, Thailand and even in Australia. Balbas pusa, commonly referred to as Java tea is a herb used as medicine for many centuries.
In a study conducted for Orthosiphon by Sriplang K, Adisakwattana S, Rungsipipat A, Yibchok-Anun S., published in Department of Pharmacology, Faculty of Veterinary Science, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand, the results have demonstrated that there is reduction in blood sugar level for non-insulin dependent diabetics after being subjected for treatment in six months. Orthosiphon also acts on hypertension (high blood pressure). It reduces water and therefore as it has no side effects it can be used in place of pharmaceutical diuretics whether these are potassium saving, uricosurics, or others. It also has a significant effect on high renal blood pressure. As a consequence of treating high blood pressure, kidney stones and disorders can also be cured. Effects of Orthosiphon stamineus aqueous extract on plasma glucose concentration and lipid profile in normal and streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats. The study has shown that In oral glucose tolerance test, the extract (0.2-1.0 g/kg) significantly decreased plasma glucose concentration in a dose-dependent manner in both normal and diabetic rats.
Swamp Cabbage - Kangkong (Ipomoea aquatica):
Kangkong (Ipomoea aquatica) is a semiaquatic, tropical plant that flourishes naturally in water and moist soil. Kangkong is an edible plant harvested as a leaf vegetable. Kangkong thrives in tropical and subtropical regions and is more commonly found in Southeast Asian countries. Kangkong can grow rapidly spreading through waterways forming floating mats that can block water flow and passage of small water crafts. The USDA categorized Kangkong as a “noxius weed” and is included in prohibited aquatic plant list.
A 2013 study "Dietary supplementation with Ipomoea aquatica attenuates maternal and fetal oxidative stress in streptozotocin-diabetic rats" conducted in Department of Biochemistry and Nutrition, India published in Journal of Diabetes reported that by administering powdered kangkong supplements to pregnant rats, both the mother and the fetus exhibited an increased resistance in diabetes induced oxidative stress versus a control group. The results suggest that kangkong supplementation during pregnancy may provide beneficial effects against diabetes induced oxidative stress both for the mother and the fetus.
Kangkong is considered safe even for pregnant women and breast feeding mothers. Kangkong is actually used to treat diabetes during pregnancy. Kangkong might have a side effect of lowering the blood sugar levels. Caution is advised if you are taking diabetes medicine.
Cayenne Pepper - Siling Labuyo (Capsicum frutescens):
Siling Labuyo (Capsicum frutescens) is a variety of cayenne pepper commonly found in Southeast Asian Region. It is commonly mistaken as Capsicum annum which has many similar physical characteristics but Siling Labuyo has more pungent odor and taste. Siling Labuyo is believed to lower blood cholesterol and can help cure diabetes.
In a 2009 crossover study "Pharmacological effects of capsicum frutescens in decreasing plasma glucose level" done in Thailand, published in Journal of Medical Association of Thailand, 12 healthy volunteers were given oral glucose tolerance test while taking placebo or 5 grams of capsicum. The results showed that plasma glucose levels in volunteers who received capsicum were significantly lower than those in the placebo group at 30 and 45 minutes (p < 0.05). Furthermore, plasma insulin levels were significantly higher at 60, 75, 105, and 120 minutes (p < 0.05). When comparing before and after capsicum intake, the results showed the insulin levels were maintained. This study suggests that 5 grams of capsicum can decrease the plasma glucose level and may have clinical implications in the management of type 2 diabetes.
Soursop - Graviola (Anona muricata):
Graviola tree (Anona muricata Linn.) is a small tree, usually about 5 to 7 meters high. Graviola is a fruit bearing tree, broadleaf, flowering, and evergreen that is native to Central America, the Carribean and South America. Graviola can be found in Mexico, Colombia, Brazil, Peru, and Venezuela. Graviola or Soursop are also native in sub-Saharan African countries. Graviola is adaptable to tropical climate and are currently cultivated for its fruit in most Southeast Asian countries such as Malaysia, Indonesia and Philippines.
An article in African Journal of Traditional Complementary and Alternative Medicine about in 2008 have reported that a clinical study done on rats induced with diabetes mellitus then fed with Graviola (Annona Muricata Linn) extracts showed positive effects of lowering the blood sugar levels in animals. Another study reported by the same publication showed that animals with induced diabetes mellitus that consumed Graviola extract has shoed remarkable increase of antioxidants in their blood and that there is less liver damage. The findings of this laboratory animal study suggest that Annona muricata extract has a protective, beneficial effect on hepatic tissues subjected to STZ-induced oxidative stress, possibly by decreasing lipid peroxidation and indirectly enhancing production of insulin and endogenous antioxidants. Although the reports suggested that Graviola extracts have promising medicinal benefits for diabetes mellitus. there is no sufficient study done on its effects to humans with diabetes.
Indian Guduchi - Gulancha Tinospora - Makabuhay (Tinospora cordifolia):
Makabuhay (Tinospora cordifolia) or Guduchi is a popular Ayurveda medicinal plant, also called Heavenly elixir or divine nectar, widely used to promote overall health. Makabuhay claims health benefits for diabetes, glucose metabolism, inflammation, immune system support, and neurology. Makabuhay plant is a native plant from tropical and subtropical rainforests in the Far East such as in India, Philippines, Sri Lanka and Malaysia.
Makabuhay has a long history of medicinal use in India in Ayurveda medicine. Ayurvedic practitioners in India used Makabuhay to promote longevity, prevent diseases and to treat various illnesses from arthritis to treatment of cancer. In the Philippines, Makabuhay plant extract is traditionally combined with Coconut oil to treat rheumatism and arthritis, abdominal pains (kabag), scabies, skin ulcers and others.
A 2013 research "Anti-diabetic Property of Tinospora cordifolia" conducted in the Indian Medicine Research Laboratory in Sri Ramachandra University published in Phytomedicine, studied the mechanism of the active ingredients of Tinospora cordifolia against key marker cells of insulin dependent glucose transporter-4 (Glut-4) and the predominant protein that influences glucose metabolism. According to results, the Glut-4 and the dominant protein were modulated by Tinospora cordifolia, Moreover, the uptake of glucose was likewise mediated suggesting the anti-diabetic properties of TC compounds.
Makabuhay (Tinospora cordifolia) might have a side effect of lowering the blood sugar levels. Caution is advised if you have diabetes. The doses of your diabetes medicine might need to be adjusted.
Black Plum - Java Plum - Duhat (Syzygium cumini):
Black Plum was found throughout the Philippines, planted in many regions spontaneous. Probably of prehistoric introduction from Malaya, also occurs in the Indo-Malayan region generally. Naturally the tree grows in India, Himalayas, Malaysia, Sri Lanka and Australia. It got introduced to Fiji, Cook Islands, Guam, French Polynesia, New Caledonia, Florida, Hawaii, Palau, Niue, China, Tonga, Palau, Malaysia, Indonesia, Australia, Christmas Island, India, Africa, South America and Caribbean.
Black Plum is used for treating various diseases especially diabetes and associated complications. The plant possesses several compounds which are found to be the characteristics of plant. The pharmacological activities on diabetes were carries out with seed. There are not so much works with pharmacological actions of phytochemical constituents of Black plum. On the basis of these facts, the role of Black Plum in variety of treatments and recommended that further clinical and phytochemical research should be carried out on the plant for making safer drugs.
A study of Syzygium cumini seed extract "Anti-hyperglycemic and Anti-hyperlipemia Effects of Syzygium Cumini Seed in Alloxan Induced Diabetes mellitus in Swiss Albino Mice (Mus musculus)" published in Med Aromat Plants 3:166 by Mohd. Sufiyan Siddiqui, Bhaskar Sharma and Gurudayal Ram, showed anti-hyperlipidemic and hypoglycemic activity in alloxan induced diabetic mice. SC significantly (p<0.05) reduced serum glucose, TC, TG, LDL, VLDL, and increased HDL. LD50 was found to be 1000 mg/kg. No toxic symptoms were observed at 150 and 250 mg/kg doses.
In a 2017 study "The therapeutic potential of Syzygium cumini seeds in diabetes mellitus" published in Journal of Medicinal Plants Studies by Kumari Binita, Veena Sharma and Savita Yadav, various active constituents in the seeds help control glucose homeostasis through its effects of different pathways of the hyperglycemic process viz., insulin mimetic and insulinotropic effect. It acts as an antidibatic by stimulation of insulin release from beta cells or by lowering glucose absorption in the intestine, hepatic glucose production, and boosting sensitivity of insulin by enhancement of peripheral glucose uptake and utilization, activation of nuclear PPAR-y.
A 2008 study of isolated compound mycaminose and EA and ME of Syzygium cumini seeds against STZ-induced diabetic rats "Anti-diabetic activity of Syzygium cumini and its isolated compound against streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats" published in Journal of Medicinal Plants Research Vol. 2, by A. Kumar, R. Ilavarasan, T. Jayachandran, M. Deecaraman, P. Aravindan, N. Padmanabhan and M. R. V.Krishan, showed anti-diabetic effects with significant reduction (p<0.05) in blood glucose.
An animal 2004 study of aqueous extract from Syzygium cumini bark "Syzygium cumini and the regeneration of insulin positive cells from the pancreatic duct" published in Brazilian Journal of Veterinary Research and Animal Science by Deila Rosely C Schossler et al., showed stimulation of development of insulin positive cells from the pancreatic duct epithelial cells.
White Mulberry - Moras - Morera (Morus alba):
The plant is native to Central and eastern China. It is now grown in plantations, and for ornamental reasons in gardens and parks throughout the warm temperate world, and is naturalized both in Europe and North America. It is generally a short-lived tree with a lifespan comparable to that of humans, although there are some specimens known to be over 250 years old.
There are more than a few references for Morus alba use in cancer, diabetes, infection, and neurodegenerative disorders. Root juice of white mulberry agglutinates the blood and kills worms in the digestive system. Leaf juice is used to prevent throat infections and inflammation and it is its diaphoretic and emollient properties helps with this action. Having a cooling and laxative property, the fruit juice is also use to treat fevers, colds, diarrhea, malaria, constipation, and intestinal worms. Plant is perhaps best known for its effects on diabetes. The active ingredient in white mulberry, commonly referred to as 1-DNJ, is able to shut down or slow down sugar processing in the body, resulting in more manageable blood sugar levels. This can greatly improve quality of life for diabetic patients.
A 2017 results of a randomised double-blind placebo-controlled clinical trial, randomized, repeat-measure, phase 2 crossover design "Mulberry-extract improves glucose tolerance and decreases insulin concentrations in normoglycaemic adults" published in PLoS One by Mark Lown, Richard Fuller, Helen Lightowler, Ann Fraser, Andrew Gallagher, Beth Stuart, Cristopher Byrne, and George Lewith, evaluated the glycaemic and insulinemic response to test (Reducose/mulberry extract) and reference products. The mulberry leaf extract significantly reduced plasma glucose increase after maltodextrin ingestion, along with significant suppression of total insulin rise. Results suggest a potential for T2DM prevention and regulation of dysglycemia.
A 2016 study "The Effects of Supplementary Mulberry Leaf (Morus alba) Extracts on the Trace Element Status (Fe, Zn and Cu) in Relation to Diabetes Management and Antioxidant Indices in Diabetic Rats" published in Biological Trace Elements Research, Vol. 174, Issue 1 by Ewelina Król, Magdalena Jezka-Skowron, Zbigniew Krejpcio, Ewa Flaczyk, evaluated the effects of dietary supplementation with mulberry leaf extracts on trace element status (Fe, Zn, and Cu) in relation to diabetes management and antioxidant indices in high-fat diet fed/STZ diabetic rats. Results showed an acetone-water extract decreased hepatic and renal Fe stores, while an ethanol-water extract increased hepatic Cu levels in diabetic rats. Results confirmed significant hypoglycemic and antioxidant potential of both mulberry leaf extracts in diabetic rats.
"Comparative study of hypoglycaemic activity of morus alba with oral hypoglycaemic drug (metformin) in alloxan induced diabetic rats" published in International Journal of Basic and Clinical Pharmacology, Vol 5, No 6 (2016), by Naveen Kumar Madalageri, Lavanya Nagaraj, evaluated the hypoglycemic effect of aqueous extract of leaves of Morus alba in alloxan-induced diabetic albino rats. At 600 mg/kg dose, Morus alba significantly reduced blood glucose levels compared to control (P,0.01), but statistically insignificant (p<0.05) compared to standard drug Metformin.
A 2015 study "Effects of White Mulberry (Morus alba) leaf tea investigated in a Type 2 Diabetes model of rats" published in Acta Poloniae Pharmaceutica - Drug Research, Vol. 72 No. 1, by Rachel Dorothy Wilson and MD. Shahidul Islam, investigated the anti-diabetic effects of low and high doses of white mulberry leaf in a rat model of type 2 diabetes. Study results showed brewed white mulberry tea leaf has hypolipidemic rather than antidiabetic effects.
A 2008 study "Evaluation of hypoglycemic effect of Morus alba in an animal model" published in Indian Journ of Pharmacology, Vol 20, Issue 1, by Jamshid Mohammadi, Prakash R Naik evaluated the hypoglycemic effect of Morus alba leaf extract in an animal model. Results showed positive effects in diabetes-induced Wistar rats, restoring the diminished beta cell numbers.
A 2007 study "Influence of Mulberry Leaf Extract on the Blood Glucose and Breath Hydrogen Response to Ingestion of 75 g Sucrose by Type 2 Diabetic and Control Subjects" published in Diabetes Care, by Mitchell Mudra BA, Nacide Ercan-Fang MD, Kitao Zhong MD, Julie Furne BS, and Michael Levitt MD, evaluated the effect of co-ingestion of mulberry leaf extract with 75 g sucrose on blood glucose response, breath hydrogen response, and sucrose absorption in type 2 diabetic patients. Results showed significant reductions in blood glucose increases for the initial 120 minutes. The mulberry-induced reduction in blood glucose was attributed to mulberry's inhibition of intestinal sucrase. The increase H2 suggests the supplement induced sucrose malabsorption.
In a 2005 study "Hypoglycemic effect of Egyptian Morus alba root bark extract: Effect on diabetes and lipid peroxidation of streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats" published by Abdel Nasser B Singab et al., flavonoid rich fraction of an alcohol root bark extract of Egyptian Morus alba was studied for hypoglycemic activity in stretozotocin-diabetic rats. Study revealed the extract may protect pancreatic beta cells from degeneration and diminish lipid peroxidation.
Madagascar Periwinkle - Amnias - Tsitsirika (Catharanthus roseus):
Madagascar Periwinkle is native of south-eastern and eastern Madagascar, found growing as wild plant species in rain forest. It is established in many parts of the Philippines and is often very abundant along sandy seashores. Tsitsirika contains more than 70 powerful alkaloids, most of which are well-known for their medicinal properties. It contains the anti-cancerous vincristine and vinblastine as well as anti-hypertensive reserpine. It also helps in managing your blood sugar levels. Madagascar Periwinkle is traditionally used to treat diabetes in many Asian folk medicines. In the Philippines and China, the plant is boiled for several minutes and consumed daily to help manage insulin level in the body and minimize high blood pressure.
A 2019 study "Potential Effects of Alkaloid Vindolicine Substances in Tapak ara Leafs (Catharanthus roseus L. G. Don) in Reducing Blood Glucose Levels" published in Journal of Medicine and Health by Agung B S Satyarsa evaluated the potential effects of alkaloid vindolicine from leaves of Catharanthus roseus in reducing blood glucose levels in type 2 diabetes mellitus. Previous studies have showed vindolicine alkaloid to increase ß-cell activity and increase insulin secretion. The alkaloid also showed a role in activating pancreatic ß-TC6 cells.
A 2015 study "Anti-diabetic potential of Catharanthus roseus Liinn. and its seffect on the glucose transport gene (GLUT-2 and GLIT-4) in streptozotocin induced diabetic wistar rats" published in BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine by Waleed M Al-Shaqha, Mohsin Khan, Anis Ahmad Chaudjary et al., evaluated the molecular mechanism of the antidiabetic potential of Catharanthus roseus. It was hypothesized that the insulin mimetic effect of an ethanolic extract of Catharanthus roseus might add to glucose uptake through the improvement in expression of genes of glucose transport (GLUT) family messenger RNA 0mRNA) in liver. Study evaluated the antidiabetic efficacy of Catharanthus roseus ethanolic extract and expression of GLUT-2 and GLUT-4 gene in STZ induced diabetic rats. Results showed the antidiabetic effect was a result of complex mechanisms of GLUT gene mRNA expression.
A 2012 study "Effect of Aqueous Flower Extract of Catharanthus roseus on Alloxan Induced Diabetes in Male Albino Rats" published in International Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences and Drug Research by A. Natarajan, K. Syed Zameer Ahmed, S. Sundaresan, A. Sivaraj, K. Devi, B. Senthil Kumar, evaluated an aqueous flower extract for antidiabetic and antihyperlipidemic potential on alloxan induced diabetes in male albino rats. Results showed significant reduction in blood glucose, reduction in lipid profile, and histological observation of reduced pancreatic fatty changes and inflammatory cell infiltrates.
A 2010 study "Antihyperglycemic activity of Catharanthus roseus leaf powder in streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats" published in Pharmacognosy Res. by Karuna Rasineni, Ramesh Bellamkonda, Sreenivasa Reddy Singareddy, and Saralakumari Desireddy, evaluated the antidiabetic and hypolipidemic effect of C. roseus leaf powder in STZ induced diabetic rats. Results showed lowering of plasma glucose and plasma insulin, with significant enhancement of plasma cholesterol, triglycerides, LDL and VLDL, and normalization of atherogenic index of the diabetic rats.
A 2003 study "The juice of fresh leaves of Catharanthus roseus Linn. reduces blood glucose in normal and alloxan diabetic rabbits" published in BMC Complement Alternative Medicine by Srinivas Nammi et al., showed a dose-dependent lowering of blood glucose in both normal and diabetic rabbits comparable to the standard drug, glibenclamide. The mechanism of action was probably through enhanced secretion of insulin from the ß-cells.
In a 2001 study "Effect of an antidiabetic extract of Catharanthus roseus on enzymic activities in streptozotocin induced diabetic rats" published in Journal of Ethnopharmacology by Som Nath Singh, Praveen Vats et al., decreased enzymic activities in liver of diabetic animals were significantly improved after extract treatment. Increased levels of lipid peroxidation indicative of oxidative stress were also normalized by extract treatment.
Devil’s Cotton - Anabo (Abroma augusta):
Anabo was found from the Batan Islands and northern Luzon to Mindanao. It is available in Eastern Africa, South & Tropical Asia and Australia. It is cultivated widely in India from Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Tripura and Meghalaya, in thickets, waste places, and open secondary forests at low and medium altitudes. Also reported from India to southern China to Malaya. It is cultivated for ornamental purposes. The research shows that the leaf extracts of devil’s cotton helps to treat Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus which assist the glucose absorption. The presence of water soluble fibers helps to lowers the metformin activities. It also prevents the physical and chemical interaction. It also eliminates the drugs absorption which is still need to be investigated.
In India, it is used in Ayurvedic medicine in order to treat the diabetes. Coccinia indica and Abroma augusta helps to cure the diabetes. The extract of dried roots (powdered) and leaves should be provided regularly for about eight weeks. It stimulates the glucose tolerance and lipid profile of serum.
A 2017 study "Taraxerol, a pentacyclic triterpenoid, from Abroma augusta leaf attenuates diabetic nephropathy in type 2 diabetic rats" published in Biomedicine and Pharmacotherapy by Ritu Khanra, Niloy Bhattacharjee, Tarun K Dua, Saikat Dewanjee et al., evaluated the therapeutic potential of taraxerol isolated from a methanolic leaf extract of A. augusta against diabetic nephropathy using a rodent model of type 2 Diabetes Mellitus induced by high fat diet and a single dose of STZ. Taraxerol treatment significantly restored the biochemical parameters near to normalcy. Taraxerol treatment stimulated glucose metabolism in skeletal muscle, regulated blood glycemic status and lipid profile in the sera, reduced, reduced secretion of pro-inflammatory cytokines and restored renal physiology in type 2 Diabetes Mellitus rats. Results suggest the potential for taraxerol as a new therapeutic agent for diabetic nephropathy.
A 2015 study "Abroma augusta L. (Malvaceae) leaf extract attenuates diabetes induced nephropathy and cardiomyopathy via inhibition of oxidative stress and inflammatory response" published in Journal Transl Med. by Ritu Khanra, Saikat Dewanjee, Tarun K Dua, Ranabir Sahu, Moumita Gangopadhyay, Vincenzo De Feo and Muhammad Zia-Ul-Haq, evaluated the protective effect of defatted methanol extract of Abroma augusta leaves against type 2 Diabetes Mellitus and its associated nephropathy and cardiomyopathy in experimental rats. Results showed oral administration of AA at doses of 100 and 200 mg/kbw per day could reduce hyperglycemia, hyperlipidemia, membrane disintegration, oxidative stress vascular inflammation and prevent activation of oxidative stress induced signaling cascades leading to cell death. Study suggests a potential for a prophylactic role against type 2 Diabetes Mellitus and its associated reno-cardiotoxicity.
"In vitro Effect of Aqueous Extract of Fresh Leaves of Abroma augusta L on the Diffusion of Glucose" published in Bangladesh Pharmaceutical Journal, Vol. 16, No 1 (2013), by MD Tariqul Islam, MD Ajijur Rahman, MD Anwar-Ul Islam, showed the dietary fiber present in the aqueous extract of leaves may be potentially effective in the management of type 2 Diabetes Mellitus by reducing post-prandial glucose absorption from the gastrointestinal tract.
A 2012 study "Effects of Aqueous Extract of Fresh Leaves of Abroma augusta L. on Oral Absorption of Glucose and Metformin Hydrochloride in Experimental Rats" published in ISRN Pharmaceutics by Tariqul Islam, Ajijur Rahman, and Anwar Ul Islam, evaluated an aqueous extract of root bark in the management of type 2 Diabetes Mellitus and to observe its effects on the absorption of metformin from the GI tract of rats. Results showed significant reduction of glucose absorption There was also significant reduction of absorption of metformin in alloxan-induced diabetic rats. Results suggest benefit in improving glycemic control in diabetic patients, but should not be co-administered with metformin in the management of type 2 Diabetes Mellitus.
A 2003 study "Lowering of blood sugar by water extract of Azadirachta indica and Abroma augusta in diabetes rats" published in Indian Journal Exp Biol. by Halim EM, evaluated the use of combined (1:1) water extract of dried powder of root and leaves of A. augusta and A. indica orally to alloxan induced diabetic rats. Results showed A. augusta roots and A. indica leaves given as a water extract had hypoglycemic action and had better effect than given alone.
Custard Apple - Sugar Apple - Atis (Annona squamosa):
Custard Apple is said to have originated from West Indies, but the fruit was carried through Central America to southern Mexico. For a long time, the custard apple was grown and naturalized in countries like Peru and Brazil. Proof suggests that these fruits have been grown in the Bahamas, Bermuda and southern Florida. This fruit rapidly spread across tropical Africa around the 17th century and was grown in South Africa as a dooryard fruit tree. In India, the custard apple was prevalent in parts of Kolkata. Eventually, it gained popularity on the east coast of Malaya, south-east Asia and the Philippines. 80 years ago, custard apples were found in abundance in Guam, a region off the western Pacific Ocean.
Custard Apple is one of the nutritious and healthy fruit. There are several advantages of consuming custard apple. The health benefits of custard apple have been proven in various research studies, folklore remedies and Ayurvedic medicine.
"Anti-diabetic and acute toxicity studies of Annona squamosa ethanolic leaves extract" published in International Journal of Phytomedicine (2017) by Farah - Saeed, Mansoor Ahmad, evaluated the anti-diabetic and acute toxicity of A. squamosa ethanolic extract of leaves in alloxan-induced diabetic albino rats and mice. On acute toxicity testing, no toxicity was observed at 800 and 1600 mg/kg doses. At 5000 mg/kbw dose, 100% fatality was observed within 24 hours. Using doses of 100, 200, and 400 mg, leaves extract showed significant anti-diabetic activity.
A 2013 study "Antidiabetic and Antihyperlipidemic Activity of Annona Squamosa Fruit Peel in Streptozotocin Induced Diabetic Rats" published in International Journal of Toxicological and Pharmacological Research by Ashok Sharma, Tara Chand, Manoj Khardiya, Kailash Chand Yadav, Rajesh Mangal, Ashish K. Sharma, investigated the effect of various extracts of fruit peels of Annona squamosa on blood glucose and lipid profile in STZ-induced diabetic rats. Results showed significant reduction in blood glucose and a significant decrease in lipid profile.
Another 2012 study "Antidiabetic Activity Of Annona squamosa L. In Experimental Induced Diabetic Rats" published in International Journal of Pharmaceutical & Biological Archives by Ranveer S. Tomar and Siddharaj S. Sisodia, evaluated the antidiabetic activity of a hydroalcoholic extract of Annona squamosa in experimentally induced diabetic rat model. Extract of leaves showed significant reduction in blood glucose after glucose loading, with activity comparable to glibenclamide.
A 2011 study "Evaluation of Antidiabetic Activity of Annona Squamosa Linn Seed in Alloxan – Induced Diabetic Rats" published in International Journal of Preclinical Research, Vol. 2, Issue 2 by Ravinder Sangala, DevenderRao Kodati , Shashidher Burra, Jayaprakashreddy Gopu, Ajay Dubasi, of methanolic and ethanolic extracts of seeds showed significant hypoglycemic activity in both normal and alloxan induced diabetic rats.
Longevity Spinach - Sabuñgai - Kamañgi (Gynura procumbens):
Sabuñgai is a medicinal herb originating in India, Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam and Africa, its natural range extending from the Himalayan foothills to southern China and the Philippines, in thickets along streams, in old clearings, etc., at low and medium altitudes, ascending to 1,500 meters, from northern Luzon to Mindanao, in most islands and provinces. It also occurs in Thailand and Indo-China to Malaya.
Research concluded that Longevity Spinach can induce a hypoglycemic effect in diabetic animals. It has been verified to considerably reduce fasting blood sugar levels and reduce glucose spike during glucose tolerance test in diabetic rats but not normal rats. You may drink the potion in the stew of Longevity Spinach leaves once every day for better result.
"Stimulatory Activity of Gynura procumbens in 3T3- F442A adipocytes" published by Mohd Bohari, Siti Pauliena et al., at The Universiti Teknologi Malaysia Institutional Repository, study results suggest the antidiabetic effect may be mediated through the stimulation of glucose uptake and the potentiation of insulin action.
A 2010 study "Antidiabetic Properties and Mechanism of Action of Gynura procumbens Water Extract in Streptozotocin-Induced Diabetic Rats" published in Molecules by Zurina Hassan, Mun Fei Yam et al., evaluating the water extract of Gynura procumbens in streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats showed a hypoglycemic effect by promoting glucose uptake by muscles.
In a 2000 study "Effects of an Ethanolic Extract of Gynura procumbens on Serum Glucose, Cholesterol and Triglyceride Levels in Normal and Streptozotocin-Induced Diabetic Rats" published in Singapore Med Journal Vol. 41 by XF Zhang, BKH Tan, ethanolic extract of leaves significantly suppressed elevated serum glucose levels in diabetic rats. The extract did not significantly suppress glucose levels in normal rats. Results conclude the leaves of GP may be biguanide-like activity.
Chinese Salacia - Matang-Ulang (Salacia chinensis):
Chinese Salacia is a threatened medicinal plant, found in thickets and forests at low altitudes, often near the sea, in Zambales, Bataan, Batangas, Quezon, and Camarines Provinces in Luzon; and in Mindoro, Palawan, Biliran, Romblon, Leyte, Panay, Bucas Grande, Mindanao, and the Sulu Archipelago. Also occurs in India, through Malaya to tropical Australia. In traditional South and Southeast Asian herb medicine, Ayurvedic and Unani medicine, Chinese Salacia is used as antidiabetic agent. In India, hot water extraction of the whole plant has been used orally as anti-diabetic.
In a 2016 study "Natural Antidiabetic Potential of Salacia chinensis L. (Celastraceae) Based on Morphological, Phytochemical, Physico-chemical and Bioactivity: A Promising Alternative for Salacia reticulata" published in World Journal of Agricultural Research, Vol. 4, No. 2, by Keeragalaarachchi K.A.G.P.1, R.M. Dharmadasa, Wijesekara R.G.S.2, Enoka P Kudavidanage, Salacia reticulata is widely used in traditional systems of medicine for the natural control of diabetes. However, obtained from the wild, there is limited supply. Study evaluated Salacia chinensis as an alternative natural antidiabetic, in various parameters of phenolic and flavonoid content, radical scavenging activity, brine shrimp toxicity. Results showed Salacia chinensis displayed positive results in all monitored parameters justifying its used as an alternative natural antidiabetic source, while easing the demands on Salacia reticulata.
A 2012 study "Effect of mangiferin isolated from Salacia chinensis regulates the kidney carbohydrate metabolism in streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats" published in Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Biomedicine by Periyar Selvam Sellamuthu, Palanisamy Arulselvan, Balu Periamallipatti Muniappan and Murugesan Kandasamy, evaluated the effect of mangiferin in STZ-induced diabetic rats. There was a significant decrease in blood glucose. Results showed the antidiabetic potential of mangiferin, mediated through the regulation of key carbohydrate metabolic enzyme activities.
In another 2012 study "Phytopharmacological aspects of Salacia chinensis" published in Journal of Pharmacognosy and Phytotherapy by Uday Arvind Deokate, Somashekhar Khadabadi, Salacia chinensis has been reported to have antidiabetic function through a-glucosidase inhibitory activity. Active constituents affect multiple targets in diabetes, obesity, and associated cardiovascular diseases through modulation of PPAR-a-mediated lipogenic gene transcription and angiotensin 11/angiotensin II type 1 receptor, inhibition of a-glucosidase, aldose reductase, and pancreatic lipase.
A 2010 pilot study "Nephroprotective role of Salacia chinensis in diabetic CKD patients" published in Indian Journal Med Sci. by Singh RG, Rathore SS, Kumar R; Usha, Agarwal A, Dubey GP., evaluated Salacia chinensis for effects on stabilization of renal functions and endothelial dysfunction in chronic diabetic kidney disease. Results show Salacia chinensis may retard the progression of chronic kidney disease. There was also a significant decline in markers of endothelial dysfunction (serum homocysteine and IL-6 levels).
"Studies on chemical constituents of Salacia prinoides" published in Zhong Yao Cai. (2008) by Gao X H, Xie N, Feng F, of an herbal formulation of Salacia chinensis with an extract from Hippophae rhamnoides or Coccinia indica studied for the prevention of endothelial dysfunction and microvascular complications. In a study on streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats, Salacia chinensis showed better glucose lowering effect than S. oblonga. Antidiabetic function has been attributed to α-glucosidase inhibitory activity.
In a 1996 study "Triterpenoid compound for the treatment of diabetes" in Appl. No.: 08/633,396 by Inventors: Inman; Wayne D. (Belmont, CA), Reed; Michael John (Menlo Park, CA), a novel hypoglycemically active triterpenoid compound was isolated from S. prinoides, useful for treating insulin-dependent type 1 and non-insulin diabetes type 2 diabetes.
Bird's Eye - Marrango - Danggo (Azadirachta excelsa):
Bird's Eye is native to the Philippines, Malaysia, Borneo, Indonesia, Vietnam, Papua New Guinea, usually in old clearings or secondary forests; sea level to 350 meters altitude. and exotic in Singapore and Thailand. Malays used the plant to lower blood glucose. Seed oil used in traditional medicine for treatment of diabetes, antibacterial, wound healing and as antifertility medicine.
In a 2021 study "Azadirachta excelsa Improves Renal Morphology and Function in Streptozotocin Induced-Diabetic Sprague Dawley Rats" published in WJST: World Journal of Science & Teachnology by Nur Syimal Aain Azmi. Noorain Hashim, Nurdiana Samsulrizal, Noor Syaffinaz Noor, Mohamad Zin, long-term diabetes is associated with serious complications, one of which is nephropathy. Study evaluated the effect of Azadirachta excelsa extract in delaying the progression of diabetic nephropathy in Sprague-Dawley rats by measures of fasting blood glucose, kidney oxidative stress, structure and function. Results showed significant reduction (p<0.05) of MDA level and increase (p<.05) of GPx level in both quercetin and extract treated groups. There was also improvement in kidney function parameters and morphological changes of diabetic rats. Results suggest renal therapeutic effects of Azadirachta excelsa and quercetin.
A 2014 study "Attenuation of Pancreatic Histology, Hematology and Biochemical Parameters in Type 2 Diabetic Rats with Azadirachta excelsa" published in International Journal of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering by S Nurdiana, A S Nor Haziqah, M K Nur Ezwa Khairunnisa, S Nurul 'Izzati, Y Siti Amna M J Norashirene, I Nur Hilwani, evaluated the protective effect of Azadirachta excelsa on pancreas and possible toxicity in high-fat diet-fed diabetic rats. Results showed antidiabetic activity via improvement of the structure of pancreatic islets of Langerhans and amelioration of hematology and biochemical parameters.
A 2013 study "Antidiabetic Activity of Azadirachta excelsa Extract on Alloxan Induced Diabetic Rats" published in The Open Conference Proceedings Journal by S Nurdiana, Jega A J Elizabeth, 'Izzati S Nurul, evaluated the antidiabetic properties of an ethanolic extract of Azadirachta excelsa in Sprague-Dawley rats. Results showed significantly reduced blood glucose and concentration of HbA1c in diabetic rats by 72.89% and 6,58%, respectively. Plasma insulin level was significantly increased.
Curry Leaf - Karipata (Bergera koenigii):
Karipata is native to Assam, Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, Hainan, Himalaya, India, Laos, Malaya, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Vietnam, grows primarily the wet tropical biome. This herb is used for diabetes, dysentery, fever, inflammation, and to treat hypertension.
In "A Review of Anti-hyperglycemic Effects of Curry Leaf Tree (Murraya koenigii)" published in Borneo Journal of Pharmacy, (2022) by Vinotha Sanmugarajah, Gowri Rajkumar, human clinical trials have been done to assess efficacy of Murraya koenigii leaves in reducing blood glucose: In 60 type 2 diabetic patients, 10 g of leaf powder for 14 days showed a significant variance betweennt pre- and post-prandial blood glucose. Leaf juice,100 ml twice daily for 7 days showed significant (p<0.00003) reduction in blood sugar level in 20 experimental group patients. Administration of leaves powder showed significant difference in fasting and post-prandial blood glucose at 5% significance level among diabetic patients. Some studies attribute the anti-diabetic potency to carbazole alkaloid.
A 2015 study "Glycaemic Evaluation of Murraya koenigii in Alloxan-induced Diabetic Rabbits" published in International Journal of Biochemistry Research & Review, Vol. 7, Issue 4, by T. Akande, S. T. Balogun, H. Abdullahi, T. O. Ogundeko and M. S. Ramyil, showed dose-dependent antidiabetic activity with maximum effect at 300 mg/kg. Extract showed significant (p<0.05) dose-dependent hypoglycemic effect on normal and alloxan-induced diabetic rabbits.
A 2013 study "Anti-diabetic effect of Murraya koenigii (L) and Olea europaea (L) leaf extracts on streptozotocin induced diabetic rats" published in Pak J Pharm Sci. by El-Amin M, Virk P, Elobeid MA, Almarhoon ZM, Hassan ZK, Omer SA, Merghani NM, Daghestani MH, Al-Olayan EM., evaluated aqueous extracts of Murraya koenigii leaves and Olea europaea leaves for antidiabetic activity in streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats. Results showed both extracts exhibited potent antihyperglycemic and hypolipidemic effects, attributed to the presence of antioxidants such as carbazole alkaloids and polyphenols.
A 2012 study "Antidiabetic Potential of Murraya koenigii Roots in Alloxan-Induced Diabetic Rats" published in International Journal of Pharmacognosy and Phytochemical Research by Harneet Singh, Manisha Vats and Satish Sardana, evaluated alcoholic and aqueous extracts of M. koenigii roots for hypoglycemic effect in alloxan induced diabetic rats. Aqueous root extract at 400 mg/kg dose exhibited maximum fall (57.76%) in fasting blood glucose of rats after 21 days of treatment. Results suggest potential as drug therapy or adjunct to dietary therapy for controlling diabetes.
"Studies on the glycemic and lipidemic effect of Murraya koenigii in experimental animals" published in Journal of Ethnopharmacology, Volume 112, Issue 2, (13 June 2007), by Achyut Narayan Kesari, Shweta Kesari, Santosh Kumar Singh, Rajesh Kumar Gupta, Geeta Watal, induced severe diabetic rats showed a favorable effect in bringing down the severity of diabetes. There was also a decrease in TG levels and an increase in HDL cholesterol.
In another 2004 study "Effect of extract of Murraya koenigii leaves on the levels of blood glucose and plasma insulin in alloxan-induced diabetic rats" published in Indian Journal Phy. Pharm. by V. Ravindra J.P., Jayaprakash and Narayana K., daily administration of aqueous extract and methanol extract of leaves for eight weeks in alloxan induced diabetic rats showed significant reduction of blood glucose. The hypoglycemic effect might be mediated through stimulation of insulin synthesis and/or secretion from the beta cells of pancreatic islets of Langerhans.
Licorice - Anis (Glycyrrhiza glabra):
Licorice is native to the Mediterranean of southeast Europe and parts of the South-West Asia and particularly to the Indian subcontinent. Licorice root has been used in both Eastern and Western medicine to treat a variety of illnesses ranging from the common cold to liver disease. Some scientific research suggests licorice root to be effective against diabetes but research have been conducted on animals only.
As per a study published in The Journal Molecular Medicine Reports, Licorice contains glabridin, which has hypoglycemic effects. Another study published in The Journal Drug and Chemical Toxicology suggests that it may have therapeutic effects for diabetes, given to its antioxidant and hyperglycemic properties.
According to a study, roasted licorice effectively helps treat diabetic nephropathy, whereby kidney damage occurs due to prolonged diabetes. Licorice has inhibitory traits that help prevent and treat the symptoms associated with this condition. These symptoms include glomerulosclerosis which often leads to diabetic nephropathy as a consequence of long-term diabetes. The study found that a different molecule, glabridin, protects nerve cells and prevents cognitive decline in diabetes and other neuropathic conditions.
A 2018 randomized double blind clinical trial "Changes of Insulin Resistance and Adipokines Following Supplementation with Glycyrrhiza Glabra L. Extract in Combination with a Low-Calorie Diet in Overweight and Obese Subjects" published in Adv Pharm Bull. by Mohammad Alizadeh, Nazli Namazi, Elham Mirtaheri, Nafiseh Sargheini, Sorayya Kheirouri, evaluated the effects of dried licorice extract along with calorie restricted diet, on body composition, insulin resistance and adipokines in overweight and obese subjects. Results showed supplementation with dried licorice extract plus a low calorie diet increased vaspin levels in obsee subjects. However, the anti-obesity effects of the intervention were not stronger than a low-calorie diet alone in the management of obesity.
"Study of Glycyrrhiza glabra on glucose uptake mechanism in rats" published in International Journal of Drug Discovery and Herbal Research 2011 by Nitin Gupta, Sateesh Belemkar, Puneet Kumar Gupta and Ashish Jain, shows Glycyrrhiza glabra affects peroxisome proliferation activated receptors, thereby regulating the expression of genes that play an important role in glucose metabolism.
Kudzu - Baai - Tahaunon (Pueraria montana):
The plant is native to East Asian countries (India, Indochina, China, Japan, Korea, Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines and Papua New Guinea.). Probably it is also native to, or an early introduction to, some western Pacific islands (i.e. Fiji, New Caledonia, the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu). It was introduced to South America and Southern United States, Africa, Central Asia, Ukraine and Caucasus. It is also present in the coastal districts of north-eastern Northern Territory, and is regarded as being native to this area.
Earlier research suggests that taking puerarin, a chemical in kudzu, 750 mg daily by mouth along with the diabetes medication rosiglitazone (Avandia) decreases blood sugar in patients with type 2 diabetes. It also improves kidney function in people with diabetic nephropathy.
Stevia - Sweet Leaf (Stevia rebaudiana):
Stevia, originally native to Paraguay and Brazil, commercially cultivated in Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay, Central America, Thailand and China, was recently introduced and cultivated in the Benguet region for its sweet leaves. If you ask dietitians about sugar, sugar substitutes, and natural sweeteners, they will all say the same thing: the best sugar is no sugar at all, with Stevia being the second best when it comes to sweeteners of all kinds. Stevia seems to be a new generation sweetener that is all the rage right now, but in fact, it is a well-known natural sweetener. As we would expect, it had its fair share of controversy back in the 80s, when The U.S. Food and Drug Administration FDA deemed it unsafe for consumption. Years later, after careful review and debates including dietitians, nutritionists, and doctors, the FDA lifted the ban in the 2000s, labelling rebaudioside A, the sweetest Stevia extract, as generally safe for consumption. Today, we have a handful of foods and beverages containing Stevia-based sweeteners, but Stevia seems to have more health benefits than just being a no-calorie healthy sugar.
Still focusing on the field of blood sugar control, weight loss, and cholesterol control, as one can easily imagine, Stevia sweeteners are safer for diabetics than artificial sweetenes. Those following a diabetic diet plan know they should give up on sugar and stir away from chemical artificial sweeteners, found to raise blood sugar levels even more than regular sugar. In other words, if you are a diabetic or in high risk of diabetes, do not pick up diet soda, no matter what the label says about “zero sugar” or “zero calories”.
Animal-based studies showed that a daily dose of 250 and 500 milligrams of Stevia sweetener significantly reduces fasting blood sugar levels and stable insulin resistance, triglycerides and alkaline phosphatase (which is usually higher in cancer patients). Human studies showed similar results: consuming Stevia lowers blood glucose and insulin levels, aiding in glucose regulation. If you are in risk of diabetes, talk to your doctor and dietitian about the safe consumption of Stevia sweetener to achieve balanced insulin levels.
A 2015 randomized, controlled, cross-over and double-blinded trial "Effectiveness and safety of Stevia rebaudiana dried leaves as an adjuvant in the short-term treatment of type 2 diabetes" published in JMPHTR, 3 by Ángela Pallarés, Genís Carrasco, Youssef Nava, Oriol Pallarés, Isabel Pérez, Rosa Rifá, Miriam Rodríguez, shown utility of stevioside and related compounds to improve blood glucose and blood pressure in type 2 diabetes patients. This randomized, controlled, cross-over and double-blind study evaluated the effectiveness and safety of Stevia rebaudiana leaves in reducing blood glucose and mean arterial pressure in patients with type 2 diabetes. Results showed dried leave, in short-term use, significantly reduce postprandial blood glucose in all patients, and decreased mean blood pressure in hypertensive patients without detectable adverse effects throughout 24 hours after ingestion.
A 2011 study "Antidiabetic activity of medium-polar extract from the leaves of Stevia rebaudiana Bert. (Bertoni) on alloxan-induced diabetic rats" published in Journal Pharm Bioallied Sci. by Himanshu Misra, Manish Soni, Narendra Silawat, Darshana Mehta, B K Mehta, and D C Jain, investigated the medicative effects of medium-polar (benzene:acetone 1:1 v/v) extract of leaves from Stevia rebaudiana on alloxan-induced diabetic rats. Results showed a delayed but significant (p<0.01) decrease in blood glucose level, without the hypoglycemia and greater reduction in body weight which are worrisome effects of sulfonylurea drugs (glibenclamide). The Stevia extract was found to antagonize the necrotic action of alloxan and suggests a revitalizing effect on ß-cells of the pancreas.
A 2008 study "Comperative efficacy of powdered form of Stevia rebaudiana Bertoni leaves and glimepiride in induced diabetic rats" published in Bangl. J. Vet. Med. by M. H. Sumon, M. Mostofa, M. S. Jahan, M. E. H. Kayesh and M. A. Haque, valuated the effects of powdered form of Stevia leaves on blood glucose concentration and body weight in STZ induced diabetic rats. Results showed significant hypoglycemic effects. There was also a decrease in body weight, although not significant, compared to Glimepiride which increased body weight significantly. The body weight reducing effect of Stevia leaves powder may be due to inhibition of glucose from the intestine as well as induction of gluconeogenesis in the liver and muscles.
A 2005 study on STZ-induced diabetes in rats "Mechanism of the Hypoglycemic Effect of Stevioside, a Glycoside of Stevia rebaudiana" published in Planta Med. by Tso-Hsiao Chen et al., showed stevioside lowered blood glucose. It dose-dependently decreased the protein levels of phosphoenol pyruvate carboxykinase, reduced insulin resistance in diabetic animals. Study concludes stevioside regulates blood glucose by enhancing insulin secretion and insulin utilization in insulin-deficient rats.
In a 2000 double-blind placebo-controlled study of the effectiveness and tolerability of oral stevioside in human hypertension published in Br Journal Clin Pharmacol., using stevioside capsules (Nan Kai Chemical Factory, Tien Jing, China) 250 mg, 3 times daily, the study found stevioside to be a safe and effective compound or supplementary therapy for hypertension. Study showed stevioside caused vasorelaxation through an inhibition of Ca influx into the blood vessels.
An older 1986 study on the effects of aqueous extracts of Stevia rebaudiana leaves on glucose tolerance in normal volunteers "Effect of Stevia rebaudiana on glucose tolerance in normal adult humans" published in Braz Journal Med Biol Res. by Curi R, Alvarez M et al., showed an increase in glucose tolerance, with a significant decrease of plasma glucose during the test and after overnight fasting in all volunteers.
Preparation of fresh Stevia:
- Add several leaves to a cup of hot liquid. (About 3 tablespoons of chopped fresh leaves equal one cup of sugar or 1 tsp of processed Stevia extract powder.)
- Fresh whole leaf extract: Steep a tea ball packed with fresh stevia leaves in just-boiled water for 30 minutes. Add the liquid to foods where its green color is compatible.
Preparation of dried Stevia:
- Dry in a warm dark and dry area.
- Grind the dry leaves to a fine powder. Store in an airtight container away from light.
- One tablespoon of dried powder equals a cup of sugar or 1 tsp of processed Stevia extract powder.
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM):
Practitioners of Traditional Chinese Medicine attribute diabetes to the depletion of yin. The imbalance of the yin and yang causes Heat to dry up bodily fluids, leading to the thirst and excess urination associated with diabetes. For diabetes treatment, prevention and management, low-fat diet is recommended together with intake of plenty of water and eliminating sugar, salt, spicy foods, coffee and alcohol. Chinese herbs used as medications such as Rehmannia root (Rehmannia glutinosa), Kuzu or Pueraria root (Pueraria montana), Licorice root (Glycyrrhiza glabra), and Schisandra fruit (Schisandra chinensis) can also help in diabetes treatment and management.
Ayurvedic practitioners consider diabetes, or prahema a disorder or urine caused by an excess of Kapha dosha, which disrupts metabolism. Ayurvedic treatment and management of diabetes depends on your owns dosha, or constitutional type. But generally, practitioners prescribe a combination of dietary restrictions (less fat, fewer sweet). Herbal medications (including fenugreek and turmeric), daily exercise (including yoga), and Ayurvedic massage therapy (panchakarma) for diabetes treatment.
Acupuncture is another effective treatment for diabetes. Acupuncture only has one job, to create stimulation in the central nervous system. In doing so, the procedure helps release various chemicals into your brain, muscles and spinal cord. These chemicals, in turn, stimulate your body’s natural healing capabilities, promoting healthy physical and mental well-being. Acupuncture has been used in the past to treat diabetes naturally. To this day, it is still used in many parts of the world as a natural cure for this health problem. Through acupuncture, you can manage your blood sugar levels and lose weight too. Because of that, it becomes easier to manage your diabetes. You can consult your professional acupuncturist for this kind of therapy treatment. For self care approach, try acupressure instead. Simply apply penetrating finger pressure to each of the following points for 3 minutes.
- Kidney, located in the hollow between your Achilles tendon and the inside of your anklebone.
- Stomach, located on your foot in the webbing of your second and third toes.
- Spleen, located four finger-widths above your inner anklebone on the back inner border of your shinbone.
Besides, acupuncture helps protect your pancreas’ islet function. Doing so helps maintain insulin production, which is vital for dealing with blood sugar levels. Acupuncture also helps ensure hormonal balance through which maintaining your blood sugar levels becomes less difficult.
Aromatherapy is used for many purposes. In many cases, it is used as a way to help people relax. That is why aromatherapy is widely used in spas as well as in hospitals. Through aromatherapy, it is possible to provide pain relief, improve mood and create a relaxing environment. However, did you know that aromatherapy can also be used in battling diabetes?
Aromatherapy uses the properties of essential oils to work its magic. The same essential oils can provide temporary relief from diabetes-related issues. For instance, Lemon Balm, Coriander seed and Black Pepper seed are widely used as essential oils in aromatherapy. These extracts can somewhat help maintain blood sugar levels. In doing so, they help you deal with diabetes. However, aromatherapy can never be used as an alternative to medical care. It is merely a way to provide temporary relief.
Essential oils are extremely popular in modern culture. Some people use them almost exclusively, and others who consider them folklore and push past them on their way to the doctor’s office. The fact is, essential oils are anything but new. They are not a fad. Essential oils have a proven track record that dates back thousands of years. Essential oils are plant extracts that have been pressed or steamed from the various parts of a plant. This leaves you with a highly concentrated form of oils that contain all of the properties of the plant. It can take several pounds of a plant to make one bottle of essential oil.
These oils will have an effect on your blood sugar levels, stress levels, and may increase insulin levels. For this reason, you must keep a close watch on your blood sugar. As stated, essential oils are powerful. If they work better than you expect, do not be caught off-guard. Test your blood sugar with your diabetic blood sugar meter every day before you use the essential oils. After you have used the oils, retest.
This oil is rich in vitamin A, C, K, folic acid, calcium, and magnesium. It helps regulate glucose levels in the blood by activating enzymes whose primary function is to remove sugar from the blood. Coriander helps prevent overeating.
Helichrysum or Grapefruit:
Being overweight does not automatically make you a diabetic, but it is a key factor in controlling diabetes when you have it. It also increases your chances of developing type 2 diabetes over time. Weight management is a key factor in controlling the condition. Usually, losing weight is one of the first instructions a doctor will give a newly diagnosed patient. Essential oils may help.
A study published in 2015 showed when rats with obesity consumed extracts of either Helichrysum or Grapefruit as supplements, they gained less weight and had fewer signs of inflammation and less excess insulin than rats who did not consume any supplements.
After a workout, a massage with a base oil that contains Helichrysum or Grapefruit essential oils which may help promote weight control and relaxation.
The essential oil from black pepper may help manage or prevent type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure. Black pepper carries a lot of antioxidants that actually block some enzymes that contribute to diabetes and high blood pressure.
A study done in 2013 suggests the essential oil can help treat these conditions and in combination with other therapies may assist a person in removing them from his life.
Clove bud reduces the levels of enzymes in the pancreas. This can play a role in combating diabetes. It is believed to prevent symptoms of diabetes that are the result of oxidative stress. Oxidative stress happens when the diabetic body no longer produces enough antioxidants to fight unstable molecules that damage cells in the body.
Doing yoga for 20-30 minutes each day can improve your nerve condition. It further helps improve your metabolism, balance hormone and glucose levels and boost your strength and balance. Besides, practicing yoga daily can enhance your flexibility, which means you do not have to worry about hurting yourself while doing various physical tasks or exercises.
Yoga also helps battle diabetes. You can increase the number of insulin receptors in your body through yoga. That, in turn, improves insulin kinetics and reduces insulin levels. As these alterations take place, anyone with diabetes will have their blood sugar levels lowered. As long as you continue yoga, you will see significant improvements in your health and blood sugar levels.
Stones and crystals:
Very broadly speaking, diabetes is primarily a metabolic disorder. It is also a result of problems with the pancreatic hormone known as insulin, which causes high levels of blood sugar. If we look at it from a crystal point of view, the major energy pathways associated with diabetes is Solar Plexus. Stones and crystals in relation to diabetes must not only deal with the endocrine system, but also protect the circulatory system and correct chemical imbalances within these systems: There is also a need to be able to protect against the side effects that diabetes is known for; sensory nerve damage, kidney damage, vision problems, poor circulation, weight control and heart disease. Throughout the ages, some stones and crystals have been more recommended than others. Diabetes is connected to the Solar Plexus chakra, and it is therefore recommended to place these stones and crystals on your Solar Plexus for 15-20 minutes a few times a week. These are certain gems that have been used throughout the ages to provide some relief from your diabetes.
Once you have chosen one or more of the above, best results are achieved by carrying them with you or wearing it continuously. A small bag or pouch can be handy to carry them in, and you can place them in bed at night. Or you may prefer to work with your crystals on the Solar Plexus for 15-20 minutes a few times a week. Research in the field is still in the initial stages, so it requires many more studies and experiences before it can be definitively stated that stones and crystals work against diabetes. This means that there is only one way to find out if stones and crystals are for you, by trying them out. It is a brave decision to make and therefore also one that you should not be alone in making. Therefore, it is recomended that you to talk to your doctor before you start using stones and crystals for diabetes.
Citrine is the stone that is specifically known to be very helpful in helping with diabetes. It is an unusually beneficial stone that carries the power of the sun. It helps to give energy to life. It transforms the vibration that helps the pancreas and spleen stay fresh and healthy. It is used to improve endurance and energy levels in the body. It is used to help hormonal imbalances, chemical imbalances in the body and is known to help reverse degenerative diseases, as well as to relieve your fatigue.
Serpentine is a beneficial, versatile and metaphysically protective stone. It helps you gain more control over your life. It helps to consciously direct healing energy towards problem areas. Is very cleansing and detoxifying for the body and blood. It relieves diabetes and hypoglycemia.
Emerald is a stone that regenerates and restores. It improves the ability to enjoy life to the fullest and ensures physical, mental and emotional balance. It eliminates negativity and encourages positive action. It relieves diabetes. Soothes the eyes and improves vision and has a detoxifying effect on the liver.
Red Jasper has a stabilizing effect that allows you to use your energy in a balanced way. It is used to aid healing by maintaining positive progress in all types of ailments and diseases. It is especially useful for diabetes and heart problems. Increases blood circulation and encourages positive blood flow.
Malachite is one of the most effective physical healing tools as it is filled with copper carbonate that gives it its vibrant blend of green healing colors. It gives the pancreas the support it needs for people with diabetes to free themselves from the energy of diabetes in the energy field. It is also good for digestion; and it helps to "digest" the sugar so that you can use the energy from it in a good way. It is best worn at the waist.
Sodalite is useful in the treatment of disorders of the digestive system and is said to help prevent diabetes. It strengthens the metabolism and the lymphatic system, increases the immune system and can help with weight loss. It also has a calming effect on the thyroid, nervous system and glandular functions. By balancing the endocrine system, it strengthens the metabolism, reduces stress and provides physical endurance. To get the full benefit of Sodalit, it is best worn over a longer period.
Chrysocolla is an amazing crystal on many levels. With a natural and beautiful mix of colors, created due to its high copper content, it has a strong healing energy. It balances the blood and treats blood disorders. It supports the pancreas and helps with the regulation of insulin and blood sugar. It is especially useful for type 2 diabetes.
Bloodstone is an excellent powerful healer of the blood and a powerful healer that can help cleanse and detoxify the body. It stimulates the metabolic processes. Helps with fatigue, removes energy blockages and helps to create an even and gentle flow of energy in the body. It benefits all the blood-rich organs and regulates blood flow through the circulatory system. It detoxifies the liver, kidneys, spleen and bladder. Protects the cardiovascular system, the endocrine system and helps with diabetes.
Ruby detoxifies the blood and improves circulation and is extremely beneficial for the heart. Ruby stimulates the adrenal glands, kidneys and spleen and helps where there is insufficient circulation and energy flows in the feet and legs. It also helps with weight problems, which is something very useful for diabetics.
Once you have diabetes, protection should always be a priority. This is because it takes longer for a person to heal when having diabetes. In this case, the legs are the most exposed part of the body. To prevent them from any harm, you may require quality socks that can protect the skin. It would be best if you researched this to make sure that you invest in the best kind of socks for your needs. Quality socks should have thermoregulation, and they should not hinder blood circulation. This way, you will have proper management of diabetes by protecting your nerves. These socks vary in quality and brand.
Learning about diabetes and how to manage it is an important part of living with the condition. There are a number of books, websites, and other resources available to help you learn about diabetes. Your doctors and healthcare service providers will also help you in case you have any doubts.
In countries using a general practitioner system care may take place mainly outside hospitals, with hospital-based specialist care used only in case of complications, difficult blood sugar control, or research projects. In other circumstances, general practitioners and specialists share care in a team approach. Home telehealth support can be an effective management technique.
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