Diabetes is a serious disease that can dramatically affect the sufferer’s quality of life. Some of the long term effects of diabetes include stroke, heart attack, blindness, and amputations. Diabetes can potentially take decades off of your life. This article will help you learn how to prevent diabetes naturally and review what you can do to help reduce the effects of diabetes if you already have the disease.
- Simple Definition of Diabetes
- Naturally Preventing Diabetes
- Taking Supplements to Prevent Diabetes
- Buying Diabetes Supplements
- Further Reading
Simple Definition of Diabetes
Diabetes is a disease that is caused by the body not producing enough insulin (Type 1 Diabetes) or the cells of your body become resistant to insulin (Type 2 Diabetes). Insulin is a hormone that allows your body to use the glucose (sugar) in your blood. Diabetics’ cells can’t use glucose therefore their cells will be starved for energy while the glucose in the blood increases. High glucose levels in the blood cause damage to the blood vessels and nerves.
Am I at risk for Diabetes?
Here are some risk factors for diabetes:
- Family member with diabetes
- Over 45
- High blood pressure
- African American, American Indian, Asian American
- Sedentary lifestyle
Some symptoms of diabetes include:
- Increased thirst
- Increased hunger
- Increased need to urinate
- Lack of energy
- Slowly healing wounds
- Weight loss
- High blood pressure
- Blurred vission
Naturally Preventing Diabetes
Obesity and Diabetes
Excessive fat promotes the onset of diabetes. Fat cells secrete a hormone called resistin which blocks the uptake of insulin. The more excess fat you have the more of this hormone that is produced making your body secrete more and more insulin to maintain healthy blood sugar levels. Forcing your body to produce more insulin has a negative impact, it can cause the cells that create insulin to wear out and stop producing insulin.
Exercise and Diabetes
Exercise along with a healthy diet is a key way to prevent diabetes as well as stave off numerous other medical conditions. Those at risk with diabetes who regularly exercise can help keep off fat and promote healthy insulin levels. Sustained exercise can also relieve the effects of diabetes such as heart disease and poor circulation. Exercise also helps promote a healthy self image which plays a role in good mental health.
Diet and Diabetes
Making dietary changes is one of the most effective ways to prevent diabetes. A healthy diet along with exercise helps control your weight. Simple carbohydrates such as sugar and starch (such as potatoes, white bread, pasta and white rice) release glucose into the blood so quickly your cells can’t use it fast enough. High levels of glucose in the blood damages the cells in your bodies. Complex carbohydrates such as whole grains, beans, vegetables and many fruits are more difficult to digest and slowly release glucose in the blood, allowing your body to process and use the glucose.
Taking Supplements to Prevent Diabetes
Science has made great strides in finding ways to naturally prevent diabetes. There are many supplements that help increase insulin sensitivity to promote healthy blood sugar levels. Taking supplements to prevent diabetes can be considered an easy win in the fight against diabetes. The below supplements can be found relatively cheaply and have had a long history in helping people keeping their diabetes under control or preventing diabetes entirely.
Cinnamon Extract and Diabetes
Scientific research has recently shown that cinnamon extract is an invaluable tool in controlling and preventing diabetes. Research suggests that cinnamon acts on insulin receptors similar to the way that insulin does and helps sugar in the blood to be more effectively used by cells. Cinnamon extract can also help reduce sugar cravings, helping you control your weight and prevent diabetes. Another side benefit of cinnamon is its ability to help maintain healthy cholesterol levels.
The most effective cinnamon extract for the prevention of diabetes is a cinnamon water extract. Taking the extract before or during a meal helps the body effectively control blood sugar. Taking a cinnamon extract is a relatively safe method to naturally prevent diabetes since you have more than likely have consumed cinnamon and know if you have any allergic reactions but it is still recommended to discuss any supplements you plan on taking with your doctor.
Lipoic Acid and Diabetes
Another excellent supplement to take to help prevent diabetes is lipoic acid. Lipoic acid is a coenzyme that your body uses to process glucose. Taking a supplement of this compound helps your cells utilize the sugar in your bloodstream. Lipoic acid has numerous other benefits. It is a powerful antioxidant and it also improves the functioning of other antioxidants. Lipoic acid can help improve memory and may help in reducing the symptoms of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.
There are two types of lipoic acid that are sold as a supplement; the two types are alpha lipoic acid and R-lipoic acid. The more effective of the two supplements for the prevention of diabetes is R-lipoic acid. The drawback to R-lipoic acid is it is more expensive than alpha lipoic acid. It is not recommended to take both alpha lipoic acid and R-lipoic acid together because the combination has been found less effective than taking R-lipoic alone for the natural prevention of diabetes. Either supplement can be taken effectively with or without food.
Bitter Melon and Diabetes
The supplement bitter melon comes from the bitter melon plant which is native to India. Bitter melon has been used in India for hundreds of years in culinary dishes and in medicine. The folk medicine of India had used bitter melon for a great many maladies and recent scientific research has backed up some of the uses. A recent study has shown that bitter melon can be as effective in lowering blood sugar as the pharmaceutical drug Glibenclamide. Compounds in bitter melon have been shown to increase insulin sensitivity in the body, allowing glucose in the blood to be processed more effectively.
As the name implies, bitter melon is an exceptionally bitter food, which is one reason why one would want to take this substance in a supplement form. Due to the varying strength of the extract, be sure to follow the directions on the supplement's container. Bitter melon should be incorporated into the diet for ones quest in how to prevent diabetes.
Prickly Pear Cactus (Optunia) and Diabetes
Prickly pear cactus, also known by its scientific name Optunia, can be taken as a supplement to naturally prevent diabetes. Studies have shown that this supplement is also effective in lowering blood sugar levels. Prickly pear has also been used as a natural cure for stomach ache and diarrhea for hundreds of years.
Buying Diabetes Supplements
Below are some links to the supplements reported on in the article. You can choose to buy from Amazon.com or iHerb.com. iHerb.com has a wide selection of supplements, fast shipping and usually offer some free items that are quite useful. iHerb.com sells only supplements so they are usually able to provide better prices than Amazon.com and have a larger supplements reviews database. Also included is a $5 off coupon code for first time iHerb.com purchasers. Click on the tabs below to switch between the Amazon.com and iHerb products. NewNaturalTherapy.com receives a small percent of the purchase price from the links. We use the proceeds to pay for server hosting costs and to fund further research into disease prevention and mitigation which we provide at no cost to the public. If you feel this information has been helpful follow the links and purchase the products if they will be of use to you or please consider donating using this link.
NuNaturals Pure Liquid Cinnamon Extract, 2 Ounces (Pack of 2)
Planetary Herbals Full Spectrum Cinnamon Extract, 200 mg, Tablets , 120 tablets (Pack of 2)
Source Naturals R-Lipoic Acid 100mg, 60 Tablets
Prickly Pear Cactus Medicine: Treatments for Diabetes, Cholesterol, and the Immune System
Prickly Pear Cactus Tea
Source Naturals Alpha Lipoic Acid 300mg, 120 Tablets
Twinlab Nature's Herbs Bitter Melon 450mg, 100 Capsules (Pack of 3)
Opuntia Prickly Pear Cactus supplement 100 Capsules - provided by Advanced Physician Formulas
Don't forget to use the $5 coupon code at checkout!
Recommended iHerb Products:
Doctor's Best, Best Cinnamon Extract, 125 mg, 60 Veggie Caps Starwest Botanicals, Cinnamon Powder, Organic, 1 lb Doctor's Best, Best Stabilized R-Lipoic Acid, 100 mg, 60 Veggie Caps Doctor's Best, Best Alpha Lipoic Acid, 150 mg, 120 Capsules Nature's Herbs, Bitter Melon, 450 mg Each, 100 Capsules Nature's Way, Opuntia Prickly Pear, 250 mg, 100 Capsules Nature's Way, Blood Sugar with Gymnema, Certified 381 mg, 90 Capsules Abkit, Alpha Betic for Diabetic Health, Advanced Multi-Vitamin, 30 Caplets