Include Magnesium & B Vitamin Rich Foods:
Magnesium helps to improve blood sugar signaling patterns and cellular energy levels. The best magnesium and B vitamin rich foods include dark green leafy veggies, avocados, grass-fed animal products, raw cacao and pumpkin seeds.
You can also do Epsom salt baths to support your magnesium levels. It would also be wise to supplement with a good magnesium and B complex supplement. Look for magnesium L-threonate which is the best form of magnesium for crossing the blood brain barrier.
When it comes to B vitamins, it is best to look for one with pre-activated forms such as methyl-folate, methyl-cobalamin , Pyridoxal-5-Phosphate form of B6, and Riboflavin-5-phosphate form of vitamin B2. The methyl groups are in the active form and will be better utilized by the body.
How Sweet Is It
When we eat, carbohydrates are broken down into glucose, the bodys primary energy source, which is released into the bloodstream. The pancreas responds to this spike in glucose by producing insulin, a hormone that is essential for enabling glucose access to the bodys cells. Excess glucose that cant be used for energy conversion is stored in the liver in the form of glycogen, which is then released when insulin levels are low . This helps keep blood sugar levels stable. Diabetes occurs when the pancreas doesnt produce enough/any insulin or the insulin produced isnt used efficiently, leaving the body unable to effectively move glucose out of the bloodstream, leading to unhealthy blood sugar levels. Unfortunately, the body doesnt always indicate something is wrong until a prediabetic state has moved into full-blown diabetes, but its important to watch out for the following symptoms:
- nerve pain or numbness
- dark patches in the folds of the skin
Risk Range: To help determine the risk of diabetes, routine bloodwork will typically be prescribed. For example, fasting blood glucose levels can show how much sugar is circulating in the blood overnight at a fasting state, and the hemoglobin A1C test can provide the average blood glucose level over a three-month span.
Normal, healthy range: FBG is < 5.6mmol/L and/or A1C is < 5.5%
Normal, but increased prediabetic risk: FBG is 5.66.0mmol/L and/or A1C is 5.55.9%
Prediabetic: FBG is 6.16.9 mmol/L and/or A1C is 6.06.4%
Managing Type 2 Diabetes: Control Sleep Apnea
Many overweight people with type 2 diabetes also have sleep apnea, a condition in which a person stops breathing temporarily while sleeping.
People with type 2 diabetes and sleep apnea are at higher risk of death from heart attack and stroke. Their blood sugar levels also fluctuate more dramatically while sleeping than in those who have type 2 diabetes, but not sleep apnea, according to one study. These fluctuations have been linked to a higher risk for diabetic complications.
Severe cases of sleep apnea may need to be treated with surgery or by wearing a special device while sleeping, but less severe cases can be managed by losing weight. Talk to your doctor if you suspect you may have sleep apnea loud snoring is one sign. A special sleep test can diagnose sleep apnea.
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Diabetes And Your Blood Sugar:
Diabetes is classically diagnosed by one of three different mechanisms.
Hemoglobin A1C : This is a form of hemoglobin or red blood cell that is measured to identify the average plasma glucose concentration over a 3 month period of time. When Hb is exposed to plasma glucose there is a glycation reaction that takes place. As blood sugar increases the fraction of glycated Hb increases.
Healthy HbA1C levels are considered below 5.7 although most functional medicine doctors like to see them below 5.4 and ideally below 5.2. HbA1C levels above 6.5 are clinically diagnosed as diabetes mellitus. From 5.7-6.5 it is considered pre-diabetic.
Fasting Plasma Glucose Test : This test measures fasting morning blood sugar levels. The individual is instructed not to eat any food within 12 hours of the test. So the individual typically told to skip breakfast and the test is usually performed in the mid-morning.
Fasting blood sugar under 100 mg/dl is considered normal and healthy although most functional medicine doctors want to see this under 90 mg/dl. The range from 100-126 mg/dl is considered pre-diabetic and over 126 mg/dl is considered diabetic
Normal OGTT levels should be under 140 mg/dl although most functional medicine doctors want to see them under 120 mg/dl. The pre-diabetic range is from 140-200 mg/dl and over 200 mg/dl is considered diabetic.
Stop Being A Weekend Warrior
To keep diabetes at bay, physicians recommend 150 minutes of exercise a week. Just don’t do this all at once. Exercise helps the body become more sensitive to insulin, but the effects of this insulin sensitivity last just 36 hours ideally, you should be exercising every day or every other day not once on the weekend for several hours.
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Be Cautious With Carbs
Reversing prediabetes starts with healthy eating, and that often means staying away from certain foods that may result in blood sugar spikes.
The first rule of thumb is to cut down on simple carbs and get rid of sweetened beverages altogether. These easy-release carbs are usually loaded with sugar, plus they usually have no protein, fat, or fiber that can help slow down digestion. As such, they cause your blood sugar to skyrocket and, consequently, increase your chances of getting diabetes.
Refined carbohydrates are another class of foods that spells bad news for anyone on a mission to reverse prediabetes. Examples include:
- Processed-wheat pasta
They rank very high on the Glycemic Index because they tend to be digested very quickly in your gastrointestinal tract. You should try to stay away from these refined carbohydrates whenever possible in order to to reverse prediabetes. Please note that while whole wheat products are often touted as healthier, they often are high glycemic as well.
Most baked goods, condiments, dressings, and spreads may have added sugar. You should limit intake of your favorite sweet and savory foods, like sweets, desserts, candy, honey, sweet tea, punch, agave, syrups, sweetened yogurt, jellies, jams, and all sorts of pastries.
Foods with âempty caloriesâ like white pasta, crackers, pretzels, and chips should be eliminated from your diet, as well.
Carbohydrates And Blood Sugar
Carbohydrates, or carbs, usually come from starches or sugars and turn into glucose when they are digested. When glucose enters the bloodstream, its called blood glucose, or blood sugar.
The more carbohydrate eaten in a meal, the more sugar is absorbed into the bloodstream and usually the higher the blood sugar will be.
Although very few people would agree that sugary foods are good for you, some foods that we think of as healthy such as fruit can have a lot of sugar. And many people dont know that starchy foods such as bread, rice, pasta, and potatoes quickly turn to sugar when you digest them.10
For some people, eating a potato could raise blood sugar as much as eating 9 teaspoons of sugar! It can be hard to predict exactly how someones blood sugar will respond, as this will likely vary based on genetics and baseline insulin sensitivity.11 By testing your blood sugar before eating and every 30-minutes after eating for up to two hours, you can quickly learn how different foods affect your blood glucose level. The results may surprise you!
Chart: Dr. David Unwin
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Reversal Vs Remission Vs Cure
The terms âreversalâ and âcureâ mean very different things. Type 2 diabetes can be âreversedâ but not âcuredâ because the disease will continue to progress if long-term behavior change is not maintained.
âRemissionâ is another term thatâs often used interchangeably with âreversal.â While the definitions are slightly differentâthe goal is the sameâto control diabetes and return blood sugar to below diagnostic thresholds.
Remission happens when blood sugar returns to sub-diabetes levels, and stays that way for more than three months without any diabetes medicationÂ².
So What Foods Increase Insulin Production
All carbohydrates to some degree at least will raise your blood insulin levels. That is why I consider type 2 diabetes a form of carbohydrate intolerance. Protein can also raise levels but to a much lesser degree. The only macronutrient that keeps your insulin levels and, therefore, your blood sugar stable is FAT! Therefore, if you are trying to reduce insulin levels, you need to reduce your amount of certain carbohydrates and replace them instead with healthy, natural fats.
What does that mean in terms of actual FOOD CHOICES though?
When I say healthy, natural fat think nuts and seeds, avocados, omega 3 fats , extra virgin olive oil and whole eggs.
And when I talk about reducing certain carbohydrates, I mainly mean reducing your intake of refined carbohydrates such as pasta, rice and bread. Non starchy vegetables are fine and can be eaten in abundance. Many fruits are packed with carbohydrates, so if youre trying to reduce your carb intake, try and limit your intake to low-carb fruit, such as rhubarb, watermelon, berries, peaches and blackberries.
It is really important to say that I do not believe that there is one perfect diet for everyone. Different people respond to different diets.
However, if you have a diagnosis of type 2 diabetes or if you have been told you are at high risk or if you have significant abdominal obesity, here are 11 ways to start reversing the effects immediately:
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Get Your Minerals And Vitamins From Foods
Theres no evidence that mineral and vitamin supplements help you manage your diabetes. So, unless youve been told to take something by your healthcare team, like folic acid for pregnancy, you dont need to take supplements.
Its better to get your essential nutrients by eating a mixture of different foods. This is because some supplements can affect your medications or make some diabetes complications worse, like kidney disease.
Prediabetes And Type 2 Diabetes
If left untreated, prediabetes can turn into fully-fledged type 2 diabetes, a chronic health condition in which your body is unable to effectively absorb glucose for metabolism, resulting in high blood sugar. Uncontrolled diabetes can lead to an array of health complications, from stroke and heart attack, to kidney disease, tissue damage, blindness, and a string of life-threatening infections.
While a prediabetes diagnosis should be a loud wake-up call, it doesn’t imply that you will automatically get type 2 diabetes. Reversing prediabetes is possible with certain lifestyle changes. But itâs important to note that prediabetes itself can be damaging – many diabetes already have tissue damage by the time of their diagnosis. A wake up call and a call to action.
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Jamie Grill/tetra Images//getty Images
It’s time to get familiar with this trendy, water-rich veggie. “One cup of raw jicama contains only 49 calories and 4 grams of net carbs ( 11 grams of carbs and 7 grams of fiber. When baked, jicama can taste very similar to carb-rich foods such as French fries, making it a delicious, low carb option,” says Palinski-Wade. Plus, the fiber helps keep blood sugar stable to help cravings steer clear.
Resistance Training To Switch Your Metabolism:
High intensity interval training and resistance training are the best forms of exercise to reverse diabetes. Due to the high intensity, this form of exercise utilizes all the stored sugar in the liver & muscles during the exercise bout. In response, the cells of the muscle and liver take-on an insulin-like effect and have a significantly increased affinity for glucose to fill their storage tanks.
Additionally, this form of training enhances growth hormone secretion through the next 24-36 hours enabling the body to burn more fat for energy . This HGH affect also enhances the bodys ability to heal the damaged pancreas and insulin receptors on the cell wall.
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Don’t Rely On Supplements
New research finds that whole foods think mainly fruits and vegetables contain molecules that help activate the nutrients your body needs for weight and blood sugar control. “That’s why food works and supplements don’t,” King says. “When you purify the vitamins out of the vegetables, you also eliminate the molecules that can activate the body’s own machinery to produce a whole lot of antioxidants.”
Optimize Your Vitamin D:
Low vitamin D3 is associated with chronic inflammation and insulin resistance. Vitamin D is arguably one of the most powerful nutrients responsible for modulating and coordinating the immune system.
Vitamin D maintains the normal resting levels of reactive oxygen species that are elevated in the -cells during diabetes. Vitamin D also has a very significant role in maintaining the epigenome. Epigenetic alterations are a feature of diabetes by which many diabetes-related genes are inactivated by hypermethylation.
Vitamin D acts to prevent such hypermethylation by increasing the expression of the DNA demethylases that prevent hypermethylation of multiple gene promoter regions of many diabetes-related genes. When Vitamin D is deficient, many of these processes begin to decline and this sets the stage for the onset of diseases such as diabetes .
A metanalysis published in June 2019, looked at 19 RCT studies involving 747 intervention subjects and 627 placebo controls. The results showed that compared with the control group, the short-term vitamin D supplementation group had a decline in hemoglobin A1c , insulin resistance, and insulin .
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Going From How To Cure Diabetes In 30 Days To How To Control Diabetes For Life
A slight shift in mindset is required, which will make your progress much quicker and much faster. Adjust to the idea that you cannot make your diabetes go away . However, you can keep it from disrupting your life by making a few minor changes . Your diabetes need not bother you at all, even if you live to eat. It would help if you ate right.
Strategies For Blood Sugar Control:
Here are the best action steps to get started with on your journey for blood sugar control. You should always consult with your physician before stopping or changing medications or taking on new health strategies.
The supplements I discuss are not at this time FDA approved to prevent, mitigate, treat or cure diabetes and should not be confused as such. However, they can be helpful for supporting key nutrients and supporting a healthy inflammatory process.
Additionally, you should be working with a functional health practitioner to help guide you through these strategies. This is not an exhaustive list and there are other natural therapeutic strategies that I and functional health practitioners will utilize to help individuals with Diabetes.
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Use Antioxidant Rich Herbs:
Carminatives are herbs that help to improve digestive health by reducing pathogens in the gut, stimulating the production of stomach acid, bile and pancreatic enzymes and modulating the gut microbiome.
Examples of these herbs include turmeric, ginger, oregano, garlic, basil, thyme and rosemary. These herbs are help to improve digestion, reduce inflammation and support a healthy brain. There are a number of ways to use these that I discuss in the following image. I like putting the herbs on foods, using herbal teas, fermented foods and essential oils.
Chromium Deficiency And Diabetes:
Insulin resistance also takes form with several nutrient deficiencies including chromium, biotin & vanadium. Chromium based studies have repeatedly demonstrated improvement in blood sugar levels, insulin sensitivity and lipid profiles. Chromium modulates the cells intracellular signaling systems to effectively lower blood glucose %3A47-9″ rel=”nofollow”> 14, 15, 16).
Biotin, in very large doses enhances the effects of enzymes involved in glucose metabolism. One small study even demonstrated the reversal of diabetic neuropathy Chromium and biotin synergistically improve glucose tolerance
One of the most effective natural treatments for diabetes is vanadium. This unique trace mineral works to lower blood sugar by mimicking insulin and improving the cells sensitivity to insulin .
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How To Lower Blood Sugar With Diet
What happens if you remove foods that raise your blood sugar from your diet? Is there anything good left to eat? We think so. In fact, we have a whole guide on the best foods to control diabetes.
But a picture is worth a thousand words. These are just a few of the delicious foods that dont raise blood sugar for just about everyone:
Many people with type 2 diabetes are now choosing a diet based primarily on low carb foods, and many clinicians are catching on as well.14
A person with type 2 diabetes will often notice that, starting with the first low carb meal, their blood sugar improves. The need for medications, especially insulin, is usually dramatically reduced. Substantial weight loss and health marker improvements often follow.15 Finally, people usually feel better and have more energy and alertness.16
Choosing foods low in carbs is an effective way to help you control your blood sugar and is safe for most people. However, if you are taking medications for your diabetes, you must work with your healthcare provider to adjust your medications when you change your diet since the need for medications, especially insulin, may be greatly reduced.17
If you are looking for a doctor who will work with you to control your diabetes with a change in diet, our map may help you find one.
Very Low Calorie Diets
Very low calorie diets can also lead to rapid weight loss and diabetes reversalâµ. However, these diets can only be followed for a few months, after which weight maintenance and continued diabetes control are difficultâ¶. Very low calorie diets are usually medically supervised and require an intake of less than 800 calories per day.
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