Scientists from various parts of the world involved in a 6 million study have come up with an interesting revelation: Long-term remission from type 2 diabetes is possible just by losing 1 gram of fat from the pancreas. While this finding comes as a surprise to many, there are some facts about blood sugar that we are all aware of. Type 2 diabetes has a strong association with your lifestyle. What you eat determines your susceptibility to this condition and also, how well you can manage it.
Type 2 diabetes affects the body’s ability to either produce insulin or to use insulin effectively, you need treatment to keep your blood sugar levels within a normal range. Although there are numerous treatment options available to keep your blood sugar levels in control, home remedies can work wonders in achieving this task. Here are top 10 effective home remedies to maintain your blood sugar levels and lead a healthy life with diabetes.
#1 Holy Basil (Tulsi) Leaves
The leaves of holy basil are packed with antioxidants and essential oils that produce eugenol, methyl eugenol and caryophyllene. Collectively these compounds help the pancreatic beta cells (cells that store and release insulin) to function properly and increase sensitivity to insulin. An added advantage is that the antioxidants present in the leaves help beat the ill effects of oxidative stress.
Tip: Consume two to three tulsi leaves whole or about one tablespoon full of its juice on an empty stomach to lower the blood sugar levels. Here are top 10 health benefits of tulsi.
#2 Flax Seeds (Alsi)
Due to their high fibre content flaxseeds help digestion and aid in the proper absorption of fats and sugars. Consuming flax seed helps reduce a diabetic’s postprandial sugar level by almost 28 percent.
Tip: Consume one tablespoon of ground flaxseed powder every morning on an empty stomach with a glass of warm water. However, do not have more than 2 tablespoons per day, as it can be detrimental to your health. Here are 11 ways to include flaxseeds in your diet.
#3 Leaves Of Bilberry (Neelabadari) Plant
The leaves of bilberry have been used in Ayurveda for many centuries to control diabetes. Recently, the Journal of Nutrition stated that the leaves of the Bilberry plant contain high amounts of anthocyanidin, which enhance the action of various proteins involved in glucose transportation and fat metabolism. Due to this unique property, bilberry leaves are a great way to lower one’s blood sugar levels.
Tip: Crush bilberry leaves in a mortar and pestle and consume 100 milligrams of this extract every day on an empty stomach.
#4 Cinnamon (Dalchini)
Also known as dalchini, it improves insulin sensitivity and lower blood glucose levels. Having as little as ½ teaspoon of cinnamon per day can improve one’s insulin sensitivity and help controlling weight, thereby decreasing one’s risk for heart disease.
Tip: Include about 1 gram of dalchini into your daily diet for about a month to help lower blood sugar levels. Read more health benefits of cinnamon.
#5 Green Tea
Unlike other tea leaves, green tea is unfermented and is high in polyphenol content. Polyphenol is a strong antioxidant and hypo-glycaemic compound that helps control the release of blood sugars and helps the body use insulin better. Read more 10 types of flavoured green tea that have 20 health benefits.
Tip: Steep a bag of green tea in hot water for 2-3 minutes. Remove the bag and drink a cup of this tea in the morning or before your meals.
#6 Drumstick Leaves
Also called moringa, the leaves of this plant are best known for their ability to boost one’s energy. These have also been declared a superfood. In the case of diabetics, the moringa leaf increases satiety and slows the breakdown of food and lower blood pressure.
Tip: Take a few drumstick leaves, wash and crush them to extract their juice. Now take about 1/4th cup of this juice and drink it on an empty stomach, every morning to keep your sugar levels under control.
#7 Psyllium Husk (Isabgol)
Also known as psyllium husk is often used as a laxative. When isabgol comes in contact with water, it swells to form a gel-like substance. This slows the breakdown and absorption of blood glucose. Isabgol also protects the stomach lining from ulcers and acidity.
Tip: Cosume isabgol after every meal, ideally with milk or water. Avoid having it with curd as it can lead to constipation. Read in detail about 8 health benefits of isabgol or psyllium husk you didn’t know.
#8 Bitter Gourd (Karela)
Bitter gourd is rich in plant insulin-polypeptide-P, a bio-chemical that mimics the insulin produced by the human pancreas and thus, reduces sugar levels in the body. It is also known to be highly beneficial for diabetics owing to the two very essential compounds called charatin and momordicin, which are the key compounds in lowering one’s blood sugar levels.
Tip: Consume karela at least once a week either as a subzi or in a curry. If you want quick results, try having a glass of karela juice on an empty stomach once in three days. Read more about 8 healthy reasons to drink bittergourd or karela juice!
Found abundantly in India, the bitter leaf has a number of amazing medicinal properties. Neem enhances insulin receptor sensitivity, helps improve blood circulation by dilating the blood vessels, lowers blood glucose levels and reduces one’s dependence on hypoglycemic drugs. Here are more health benefits of neem.
Tip: Drink the juice of the tender shoot of neem leaves on an empty stomach for best results.
#10 Indian Blackberry (Jamun)
A glycoside present in the seeds of Indian blackberry prevents the conversion of starch to sugar. It lowers blood sugar and helps prevent insulin spikes. Jambul also has properties that can protect you from heart diseases and other vascular disorders.
Tip: Eat around 5 – 6 jamuns in the morning to control your blood sugar levels. Alternatively, you can also add a spoonful of jamun seeds powder to a glass of warm water or milk and drink this daily for better control of diabetes.
Type-2 diabetes is a condition which affects the way the body processes blood sugar. In this condition, the body of the patient either doesn't produce the hormone insulin or it resists the effects of insulin, making it incapable of regulating blood sugar. There are over 10 million cases of Type-2 diabetes in India every year. Some of the reported symptoms of Type-2 diabetes include excessive thirst, frequent urge to urinate, hunger, fatigue and blurred vision. This condition may be managed through medication, exercise and by following a healthy diet. It is crucial for a patient of Type-2 diabetes to follow a strict and healthy diet, which prevents any sudden spikes in blood sugar levels. This is why diabetics must carefully analyse every food on their plate and include more foods that control blood sugar.
Green pea or matar is one such vegetable that diabetics may benefit from including in their diet. One of the most popular desi vegetables, green peas are utilised in Indian cooking across the subcontinent. Although peas are a winter vegetable, nowadays they are available around the year. Green peas can be added to a variety of dishes to add nutrition to them.
Benefits Of Green Peas For Diabetics
There are a number of reasons why green peas are good for patients of Type-2 diabetes:
1. Low in Calories
A 100 gm portion of green peas contains only 80 calories (as per the data by United States Department Of Agriculture). Low-calorie foods are important for diabetics as being overweight is a risk factor for Type-2 diabetes. Additionally, weight gain in diabetics makes it even harder for patients to control blood sugar levels.
2. Rich In Potassium
A deficiency of potassium may increase risk of diabetes and hence this mineral is important for those who are vulnerable to the condition. Green peas contain 244 mg of potassium per 100 gm (as per USDA), which may be good for diabetics. Additionally, potassium is important for keeping blood pressure levels under check.
3. Rich In Protein
A 100 gm portion of green peas contains 5 gm of protein (as per USDA data). Protein is a satiating nutrient, which may prevent hunger pangs. Additionally, protein is important for weight management, which is also important for diabetics.
4. Rich In Fibre
A 100 gm portion of green peas contains 14 gm of carbohydrates, including 5 gm of fibre (as per USDA data). Fibre is perhaps the most important nutrient for diabetics to focus on. This nutrient is crucial for regulating blood sugar levels and blood pressure. This is because it is digested slowly in the body, releasing blood sugar slowly and preventing any spikes.
Diabetics may add peas to their rice dishes, salads, breakfast omelettes, upma, pies and even pastas. It is important to consult your dietitian before adding any food to your diabetes diet.
Black seeds, or kalonji, may not be entirely unknown to Indians, but it is certainly a rare find in Indian kitchens. The culinary uses of the seeds, also known as black cumin or Nigella Sativa, are many, including using them to top flatbreads, as well as adding it to a number of dals and curries. Black seeds are quite aromatic and can add a distinct flavour to some dishes that they are used in preparing. However, these seeds are quite under-appreciated for their health benefits, which are numerous. They are rich in potassium, protein, fibre as well as a number of essential vitamins and minerals, as well as healthy fats, amino acids and antioxidants.
Black seeds are consumed in the whole form or in the form of its cold-pressed oil that is extracted from the seeds. One of the best uses of black seeds is the use of black seed or black seed oil for regulating blood sugar levels in diabetics. The oil may be especially beneficial for Type-2 diabetics as it can benefit them in multiple ways. There are powerful antioxidants in black seeds or kalonji which have positive impact in a number of ways on the overall health of Type-2 diabetics.
Black Seeds And Black Seed Oil For Type-2 Diabetes
Here are some incredible benefits of black seeds and black seeds or kalonji oil for Type-2 diabetes:
1. Regulates Blood Sugar Levels
Some research has indicated that black seeds or kalonji may help regulate blood sugar levels. The studies have shown that adding kalonji or kalonji oil to diabetic diet may improve fasting and average levels of blood sugar.
2. Regulates Cholesterol Levels
Diabetics are at an increased risk of heart diseases as diabetes tends to lower the levels of High Density Lipoprotein (HDL) or good cholesterol and increase the levels of bad cholesterol or Low Density Lipoprotein (LDL). Black seeds help in reducing this risk by improving the levels of good cholesterol as it is rich in poly- and mono-unsaturated fatty acids. Black seeds have no cholesterol and studies have shown that adding kalonji to your diet can decrease levels of blood LDL and blood triglycerides.
3. Fights Inflammation
Hyperglycaemia or increased blood sugar level is also linked with increased inflammation in the body. So people suffering from Type-2 diabetes tend to have high levels of inflammation, which is where black seeds come in. Research has shown that including kalonji oil or kalonji in your daily diet can reduce symptoms of inflammation and oxidative stress in the body, allaying further health complications or risks related to inflammation in patients of Type-2 diabetes.
Kalonji or black seeds are also incredibly rich in potassium- a mineral that diabetics are deficient in and that is helpful in maintaining blood pressure in blood sugar patients. Furthermore, it is incredibly rich in iron and the immunity-boosting Vitamin C, which are both important for improving overall health in diabetics. Patients of Type-2 diabetes may hence, benefit from including black seeds or kalonji, or its oil in their daily diet.
Gestational diabetes arises in certain women who cannot overcome the insulin resistance that develops during pregnancy. In most cases, the condition goes away after the baby is delivered. However, women who have gestational diabetes have increased risks of developing Type 2 diabetes later in life.
It’s important to note that gestational diabetes is not actually the cause of that long-term increased risk of Type 2 diabetes. In fact, it’s the other way around: the increased risk of Type 2 diabetes was there all along, even before pregnancy, and is the cause of the gestational diabetes.
“Gestational diabetes appears to be an early symptom of an abnormal ability to secrete insulin,” explains Dr. Lorraine Lipscombe, director of the Centre for Integrated Diabetes Care at Women’s College Hospital (WCH). “It’s an early sign of a disorder that can eventually lead to Type 2 diabetes.”
Insulin, a hormone secreted by the pancreas, regulates blood sugar levels. Abnormal insulin secretion can lead to high blood sugar, which is the main characteristic of diabetes.
Treatment for gestational diabetes protects the baby from the effects of high blood sugar and from the increased insulin production required to control it. Because insulin is a growth factor, women with gestational diabetes may have large babies, which increases the risk of delivery complications. The increased need for insulin can also stress the baby’s pancreas before birth.
“There is evidence emerging that if they are exposed to high blood sugars in pregnancy, the baby’s pancreas has to work harder and that can lead to a potential increased risk of diabetes and insulin secretory defects in the baby,” Dr. Lipscombe explains. “That’s the other concern: that over the years it predisposes the baby to a higher risk of Type 2 diabetes, so it’s a vicious cycle.”
Gestational diabetes is treated in pregnancy to try to avoid or minimize the short- and long-term risks to the baby. For mothers, it can provide an early warning of their own health risks.
“Women get gestational diabetes because they have risk factors for Type 2 diabetes, but it hasn’t developed yet,” Dr. Lipscombe says. “As they get older, especially if they gain weight or if they have an unhealthy diet, or they have other factors that play into the increased challenge to the pancreas, then eventually the pancreas has to work harder, and eventually it fails to the point where they get Type 2 diabetes.”
While it may increase the baby’s future diabetes risk, research indicates that gestational diabetes does not add to a woman’s pre-existing risk of Type 2 diabetes.
“A number of studies have compared women who do and do not get pregnant, who have similar risk profiles,” Dr. Lipscombe says. “One group will get gestational diabetes in pregnancy and the other group won’t get it because they never got pregnant. And it appears that the pregnancy does not increase the risk further. So the gestational diabetes does not make them progress to Type 2 diabetes more rapidly.”
Although the lifetime risk of Type 2 diabetes for women with gestational diabetes may be as high as 50 per cent, it is not a certainty. Research suggests that lifestyle can play an important role in managing those risks for women who have had gestational diabetes.
Research using data from the Nurses’ Health Study II looked at the long-term health of study participants with a history of gestational diabetes.
“For the women who remained more active and kept their weight healthy, their risk of diabetes was much lower despite the gestational diabetes,” Dr. Lipscombe says. “So we know that by keeping to a healthy weight and staying physically active you can reduce your risk of Type 2 diabetes even if you had gestational diabetes. It’s not a fait accompli – you can do something about it.”
Encouraging healthy changes
That’s one of the reasons Dr. Lipscombe and her colleagues at the Women’s College Hospital Research Institute are studying a preventive program. Now in its pilot phase, it is designed to support new mothers who have had gestational diabetes to make healthy lifestyle changes. The home-based program is adapted from WCH’s highly successful Women’s Cardiovascular Health Initiative program. It includes telephone counselling and a personal health coach to help women build healthier habits to reduce their long-term risk of Type 2 diabetes.
“It’s not easy to engage new mothers to change their behaviour when they’ve just had a baby,” Dr. Lipscombe says. “We’ve trained the coaches to be sensitive to the fact that these women are in a very demanding period of their life, but it is a time when bad habits do form because of those challenges.”
There is no data from the trial yet, but it has completed recruitment. Dr. Lipscombe reports that they have received positive feedback from participants: 98 per cent would recommend the program to other mothers with gestational diabetes, and 96 per cent described their own experience in the study as good, very good or excellent.
“We’ve had over 70 women who have come back for their final assessment and many have really made positive changes and were starting to see positive results,” she says. “It’s our hope that they will sustain that long-term.”
Diabetes is a known and common medical condition in which glucose or sugar levels gradually build up in a person's bloodstream. In such conditions, enough insulin is not present for moving sugar inside your cells. When such a situation arises, sugar is utilized for obtaining energy. Due to this, your body will tend to rely on alternative sources of energy in the muscles, tissues, and organs. This process continues resulting in a chronic disorder.
Symptoms of chronic or Type 2 diabetes
Warning signs of type 2 diabetes usually develop very slowly. You might have it for years without even knowing about it. Due to excessive sugar building within your bloodstream, fluid tends to come out from tissues. In turn, your thirst might increase and lead to frequent and excess urination because of additional water consumption. If you have chronic diabetes and is unaware of it, then gradually fluid might be pulled out from eyes' lenses and lead to blurred vision along with an inability to focus properly.
Some patients with type 2 diabetes also get affected by frequent kidney, skin, bladder infections. Due to high blood sugar level, such infections might take a long time to heal completely. If you possess dark patches and velvety skin especially in the folds of neck and armpits or any other body parts, then it will be a wise decision to consult your physician immediately as it is another warning sign of chronic diabetes.
Besides increasing thirst, another basic and contradictory symptom of type 2 diabetes is increased hunger along with weight loss. Despite consuming more food than usual to cope up with the increased hunger, an individual having high blood sugar may lose weight. You might also feel irritated or tired if the cells of your body are deprived of sugar. Various other symptoms including foot pain, yeast infections, itchy skin, numb feeling, etc. are also present and the signs become severe and more dangerous with the progress of the disease.
What is the perfect time to visit a doctor?
If you notice any of the above mentioned symptoms of chronic diabetes, then that is the best or perfect time to see a physician. It is not mandatory that you will definitely have this health disorder if you observe any symptom within yourself. If you have excessive work pressure for a couple of days, then for sure you will feel exhausted. But, that does not mean your fatigue is the warning sign of diabetes. For being, sure enough, it is best to consult a trained medical practitioner.
Without proper treatment, diabetes can also become threatening to life. This chronic health disorder might result in complications related to heart, and during pregnancy, it can prove deadly.Maintaining a healthy eating habit, controlling weight, performing a daily physical exercise and consuming recommended medications will help in controlling high blood sugar level.