Natural Diabetes Remedies
Ancients have long used natural treatments for diabetes.
Keep Blood Sugar Levels Down Without Medication
Centuries ago, Chinese physicians tested for diabetes by observing if ants were attracted to the urine of their patients. Sweet urine was the clear sign of glucose, along with a wasting of flesh, or weight loss.
Before insulin and laboratory-manufactured medicines, ancient doctors prescribed natural remedies for the treatment of diabetes. Although these should not replace medical treatment, the following methods have been clinically shown to lower blood sugar levels:
Cactus. Native Mexican Indians have used nopales, or cactus (opuntia) petal leaves to lower blood sugars for years. Recent studies have confirmed its effectiveness in reducing blood glucose due to the sticky pectin found in its mucilage. Simply, blend prepared and chopped cactus with some water to thin. Drink two tablespoons of cactus juice in the morning and two tablespoons at night. (See Hubpages.com’s “How to Lower Blood Sugar with Cactus”)
Green foods. Wheatgrass and bitter melon also have a positive effect on leveling blood glucose. For centuries, cultures around the world have used these to lower blood sugar naturally.
Cinnamon. As little as 1 gram of cinnamon a day can have positive effects for diabetics. The beneficial component in cinnamon is not affected by heat which makes it a good addictive to decaffeinated coffee or tea.
Coffee. Studies show that coffee drinkers have a 30 percent lower risk for developing diabetes. But stick with decaffeinated. Caffeine is known to cause spikes in blood sugar.
Tea. Both black and green teas boosts insulin activity while the polyphenols contained in the tea reduces the amount of the enzyme, amylase, that is necessary to convert starch into glucose. However, one must balance the desired effects of tea with the undesirable effects of the tea’s caffeine. Decaffeinated teas are the way to go.
Water. Water was the first natural remedy prescribed by the human body itself. Diabetics experience excess thirst as a way for the body to flush out the excess glucose from the blood. Drink plenty of water.
Exercise. Burn off the surplus of glucose in the blood. Sugar is an energy source. Use it up with plenty of exercise.
Stress reduction. Stress causes the body to release hormones that, if produced on a chronic basis, can have harmful effects including increasing insulin resistance.
Avoiding the Causes of High Blood Sugar Levels
Diabetes is not only an inherited disease. While genetics play a strong role in determining whether or not one will develop the metabolic disorder, health experts agree that the recent surge in diabetes cases is a response to contemporary dietary practices. More than ever throughout history, humans consume foods that are heavily processed with sugar.
Sugary drinks, especially colas and sodas, are the main culprit. Refined wheat products and other starchy foods-pastas, breads and pastries-follow a close second. Couple these with an increasingly sedentary lifestyle, as humans no longer rely on physical labor to earn their sustenance, and an overload of calories puts enormous demands on our pancreas, liver and kidneys to metabolize excess glucose.
Food to Avoid to Manage Blood Sugar Naturally
The natural remedies for lowering blood sugar will not counteract poor health habits. For diabetics who do not take medication or who refuse treatment, it is critical to avoid the following foods, even in moderation:
Sugar. Glucose comes in many forms and even natural sugars such as fructose from fruit causes blood sugar to shoot up. Be aware that sugar is found in many products from pickles to sauces.
Sodas and caffeinated drinks. Caffeine causes blood sugar spikes. Sodas contain sugar.
Be sure to read the labels of sodas to be aware of their carbohydrate amounts.
Refined wheat products. Refined food products contain too many calories and starch that gets converted into glucose too quickly. Products to avoid include pasta and noodles, breads and pastries.
Alcohol. Diabetics already put too much strain on their kidneys and liver without adding the stress of metabolizing and filtering out the harmful effects of alcohol. Drinking alcohol hastens the progression of the disease.
Aspirin. Check with your doctor about the possible problems associated with taking aspirin and acetaminophen. These substances are known to cause liver problems.
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A joint effort
Taking control of your diabetic care should not substitute for your doctor-prescribed treatment program, but including these natural remedies to lower your blood sugar will have positive effects on your blood sugar management. Keep track of your blood sugar numbers and report them to your physician. Both of you may be pleasantly surprised to see how these natural diabetes remedies can help.
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