Despite medication advancement on diverse management options for diabetes type 1 and type 2, there are still unsatisfied patients seeking out non-traditional alternatives to close the gaps in their diabetic treatments. Functional medicine approaches treatment through supplements, herbs, diet, and exercise.
The causes of diabetes are: genetics, poor diet, autoimmune (type 1), chronic stress relating to cortisol, nutrient deficiencies, obesity, medications, fungal overgrowth, chemical toxicity such as POPS (persistent organic pollutants), and artificial sweeteners.
Exercise and diet constitute alternative treatment for type ii diabetes. Diet has an immense impact on the blood glucose level and general health. According to the American Diabetes Association (ADA), diabetes patients should do resistance exercises at least twice weekly for those who lack any restrictions. Furthermore, the World Journal of Diabetes reported that physical activity is useful as a treatment for type ii diabetes since it boosts glucose tolerance, decreases blood pressure, and blood glucose levels. However, diabetes type i patients must be on the lookout for hypoglycemic episodes when exercising by monitoring their blood sugar concentrations.
Patients must take care of drug-drug interaction between the supplement or herbs and conventional medications, reducing their efficacy.
Aloe Vera is currently under clinical trial for lowering blood sugar levels. The plant contains more than 70 active compounds such as enzymes, lignin, vitamins, anthraquinones, minerals, saponins, salicylic acids, amino acids, and phytosterols. These compounds enhance blood glucose control and possible complications. Aloe vera also contains magnesium, manganese, zinc, and chromium, which improve insulin’s effectiveness.
Gymnema is an Ayurvedic treatment from the Hindi people in India that loosely translates to the ‘sugar destroyer.’ It is postulated to decrease blood sugar concentration by mitigating insulin levels and glucose metabolism when chewed by diabetic patients. Likewise, other blood lowering diabetes treatments include nopal and cinnamon. Nopal is from a prickly pear cactus cooked to produce its effects and contains vitamins A, C, and E, quercetin, carotenoids, calcium, and iron. Apart from increasing the sensitivity of insulin, cinnamon decreases blood cholesterol levels.
Fenugreek is a seed that has been used for centuries as a spice and reduces both cholesterol and hemoglobin glucose (hba1c). Fenugreek seeds assist in the stimulation of pancreatic gland cells to enhance insulin secretion, decreasing sugar levels. Additionally, it lowers fasting glucose and improves glucose tolerance.
Other diabetic treatments include fiber, berberine, and barley. Berberine has several plan sources like barberry and reduces hba1c and blood glucose levels in diabetic patients. Barley, apple cider vinegar (ACV), and fiber lessen the blood sugar concentration. Furthermore, barley and fiber contain a high amount of protein that improves insulin, inflammation, and cholesterol control in diabetes patients. Contrarily, ACV contains acetic acid that decreases fasting sugar concentration and the glycemic load for high carbohydrate intake. Additionally, vinegar minimizes the levels of postprandial glucose by slowing digestion of starch, glucose production by the liver, and emptying of the stomach.
Other additional diabetic treatments include zinc and chromium. Diabetes patients typically lose chromium in urine more than healthy people, which influences insulin resistance. Studies indicate that concurrent use of oral diabetes drugs with chromium supplements enhanced control of blood sugar. Likewise, diabetic patients lose zinc more than healthy people, and its supplementation in therapy decreases blood sugar complications.
Contact the Sacramento Naturopathic Medical Center for questions regarding professional, high-grade supplements.