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Are you looking for Type 2 Diabetes Support?
At least 10% of people over forty in the UK are living with Type 2 diabetes, and the number is growing. It’s classed as a lifestyle disease, meaning in most cases it can be prevented or reversed.
This blog will provide you with some natural approaches to reduce your risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.
Diabetes is all about insulin, your body’s means of regulating the amount of sugar in your blood. This hormone is produced by your pancreas. There are two forms of diabetes. Type 1 diabetes is usually a lifelong condition, and it’s caused by an inability of the pancreas to produce insulin and must be controlled by medication. Type 2 diabetes is associated with difficulties using the insulin that’s produced.
Insulin is critical for good blood sugar control because it tells your body’s cells to withdraw sugar from your blood to use for energy. Blood sugar naturally increases after a meal. However, too much sugar in your blood can damage blood vessels and nerves, so to reduce it, sugar is shunted into your body’s cells to provide them with energy. But if your blood sugar tends to regularly shoot up too high, insulin will be constantly pumped out to deal with this, and your cells become less sensitive to its message over time. So, sugar stays high in your blood and your cells don’t receive the energy they need. This condition is called insulin resistance.
If blood sugar imbalances persist for too long, eventually your pancreas will become exhausted from perpetual hard work, and it won’t produce insulin when it’s needed.
High sugar in the blood can lead to complications like nerve damage, heart disease, vision problems, kidney issues and foot problems.
Sugar peaks and troughs can be reduced by avoiding added sugar and sources of concentrated sugar like fruit juice. Sugar is added to all sorts of foods including savoury sauces, dressings, baked beans and cereals, so make a point of checking the label. It’s best to consume carbohydrates in an unrefined form, meaning brown rice and pasta, complete with their natural fibre.
In some people, caffeine can upset blood sugar control by changing the way the body responds to insulin.
Chronic stress significantly impairs how insulin is used 1, so try yoga, meditation or deep breathing exercises to actively control your response to stress.
This essential mineral is needed for insulin to do its job, and it’s been seen in studies to reduce insulin resistance. It’s naturally found in meat, eggs and broccoli, although your practitioner may recommend a supplement if you have blood sugar issues needing addressing.
This herb has been used for centuries, but in more modern research it has been found to improve blood sugar control in Type 2 diabetes patients 2. It’s delicious sprinkled over yoghurt or porridge, in smoothies or as a topping for chia pudding.
Even one night’s broken sleep will seriously affect your blood sugar level (3). Try to set a consistent bedtime and avoid screens for two hours before you go to bed.
Broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables like cabbage, cauliflower, kale and rocket contain a substance called sulforaphane, found in research to help blood sugar control.
Flax and chia seeds, rich in fibre and healthy fats, have both been found to help regulate blood sugar levels. Enjoy them sprinkled on cereal or porridge, and keep them in the fridge.
Fenugreek seeds contain a type of fibre thought to slow the absorption of sugar from food and improve the way insulin is released.
Berries such as blueberries contain substances called anthocyanins, which have been found to improve glucose control.
Other important nutrients for effective blood sugar control include vitamin D, mainly obtained from sunshine so chronically lacking in this country. Also important is magnesium, found in green leafy veg, nuts and seeds, but deficient in at least one-third of the UK population.
Type 2 diabetes doesn’t develop suddenly, it takes years to develop. By making diet and lifestyle changes now you can reduce your future risk. If you or a loved one are already affected by Type 2 diabetes, you have the power to regain control over your health. Changes needn’t be daunting, as we are here to help. You’ll be supported every step of the way with personalised advice tailored to your circumstances and health goals. Contact Embracing Nutrition to find out more.
Do you need support for type 2 diabetes or for preventing type 2 diabetes? Then book a free 15-minute discovery call to see if Functional Medicine is for you.
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