Poor blood sugar management can affect your health negatively in a number of ways. For example, your white blood cells can weaken, lowering your immune system and leading to gum or tooth infections. As another example, you could develop retinopathy that leads to blindness if left untreated. At Knox Wellness Experience in Knoxville, TN, we understand the importance of diabetes treatment and proudly offer several tools for natural diabetes support.
What Is Included in Diabetes Support?
Diabetes support is tailored to the individual based on unique factors. However, you can expect your Diabetes Support plan to include nutrition advice, natural herbs, glutathione infusions, and an exercise plan.
A major part of your diabetes support plan will be nutrition advice. If you suffer from diabetes, you can go a long way in managing your blood sugar levels by managing what and when you eat. As a general rule, you should avoid consuming trans fats and ensure a maximum of 7% of your daily calories comes from saturated fat. As another general rule, approximately 50% of every plate you make should comprise non-starchy vegetables.
Yet another good rule of thumb is that 25% of your plate should be made up of protein, like quality, minimally processed cheeses, poultry, seafood, and meat. Also, it is a very good idea to eat whole grains rather than highly processed grains or to even skip the grains entirely. Instead of grains, get your carbohydrates from sweet potatoes and other complex root vegetables.
When to Eat
When you should eat depends significantly on your lifestyle. However, as a general rule of thumb, you should strongly consider eating three small meals and somewhere around three or four nutritious snacks per day if you suffer from type 1 diabetes. Keep in mind that if you suffer from type 1 diabetes, the dose of insulin you will need, as well as the type of insulin you are prescribed, will vary based on your activity level and diet.
In addition to avoiding certain foods and beverages and carefully considering when you eat, you should also strongly consider including certain herbs in your diet. For example, cinnamon is known to reduce levels of fat, LDL cholesterol, total cholesterol, and sugar in the blood of people with type 2 diabetes. If you commit to consuming one, three, or six grams of cinnamon daily depending on the severity of your diabetes, your health can improve significantly.
Alpha lipoic acid can also be taken daily to improve your health if you suffer from type 2 diabetes. Specifically, this fat- and water-soluble antioxidant can safely and effectively improve the symptoms of diabetic neuropathy. Your body makes a marginal amount of this antioxidant on its own. However, to get enough ALA, you may need to purchase a supplement from your local grocery store or pharmacy or increase your intake of:
- Red meat
- Brewer’s yeast
Alpha lipoic acid isn’t the only antioxidant that can benefit you significantly if you suffer from diabetes. Glutathione is another antioxidant that plays several critical roles in your health. One of these roles is maintaining glucose homeostasis by improving insulin sensitivity. If you suffer from such side effects of diabetes as retinopathy or neuropathy, glutathione infusions can help significantly.
An Exercise Plan
Exercise is important for your health regardless of whether you suffer from diabetes. However, it is particularly important for people who suffer from diabetes due to the vital role it plays in helping to manage blood sugar levels. The American Diabetes Association advises that you do not go more than two consecutive days without getting at least 30 minutes of aerobic exercise. Some of the best aerobic exercises for people with diabetes are:
- Tai Chi
While exercise is highly effective for blood sugar management, make sure you are safe before, during, and after exercising. It is important to speak to a doctor before you begin a new exercise routine to verify that it will be safe for you. Moreover, if it has been a while since you have exercised, make sure you take things slowly. Here are some other steps you should take to ensure you remain safe.
Check Your Blood Sugar
Checking your blood sugar levels before you exercise is one of the most important things you can do to keep yourself safe. Your blood sugar levels should be no more than 249 milligrams per deciliter before you start working out. If your blood sugar levels are too high, ketoacidosis could occur due to an insufficient supply of insulin. If you start feeling ill while working out, stop and test your blood sugar levels again.
Note that it is also important that your blood sugar is not too low before you begin your exercise routine. If you have fewer than 70 milligrams of glucose per deciliter of blood before you exercise, eat a small snack consisting of a quick carbohydrate. If you start to feel the indicators of hypoglycemia and your serum glucose test reveals your blood sugar is too low while exercising, take a 15-minute break and take in some carbs in either solid or liquid form.
Don’t Go Too Hard
To reiterate, it is important to take things slowly if it has been a while since you have exercised regularly or you are starting a new workout routine. It is also highly advisable to set aside 40 minutes for your workout. While you should get 30 minutes of moderate cardio five days weekly for your health, it is a very good idea to spend five minutes warming up at a light intensity and five minutes cooling down at a light intensity.
If your blood sugar drops too low while you’re exercising, you may want to sip on four ounces of juice rather than sucking on hard candy to bring your blood sugar levels back up. However, regardless of whether you opt for liquid or solid carbs during your workout, you should make sure you stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water, before, during, and after your exercise session.
Always Keep a Charged Cell Phone
If you go for a walk in your neighborhood, keep a charged cell phone on your person so you can contact your local dispatch center in the event of an emergency.
Do I Have Diabetes?
To find out whether you have diabetes, you need to attend an appointment with a medical professional. However, there are warning signs that may suggest you suffer from diabetes. While diabetes symptoms vary on an individual basis and by type of diabetes, some of the most common signs of this condition include:
- Extremity numbness or tingling
- Frequent urination, especially at night
- Extreme thirst
- Extreme appetite changes
- Blurry vision
- Extremely dry skin
What Causes Diabetes?
There are a number of potential causes of diabetes. Two of the most common causes of type 2 diabetes are a sedentary lifestyle and obesity. In fact, they are responsible for somewhere between 90 and 95% of the diabetes cases in the country. While you can drastically mitigate your risk of developing type 2 diabetes by getting a handle on these two risk factors, another cause of type 2 diabetes is severe damage to the pancreas.
What Are the Risk Factors of Diabetes?
There are a number of diabetes risk factors, some of which you cannot change. For example, your risk of developing type 1 diabetes is significantly impacted by your age, heritage, and family medical history. As another example, your risk of developing type 2 diabetes is significantly impacted by your race, genetics, and age. However, there are steps you can take to mitigate your risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
If you suspect you have diabetes but only have prediabetes, you can mitigate your risk of developing type 2 diabetes by becoming more physically active. Your risk increases when you exercise for fewer than 90 minutes weekly. Losing weight will also drastically reduce your risk of developing this devastating disease. Furthermore, cleaning up your diet can reduce your likelihood of developing type 2 diabetes.
The Bottom Line
Your diabetes support plan will be customized based on your unique situation. However, you can expect it to include advice on what to eat, including herbal supplements for blood sugar management, and what foods and beverages to avoid. Your treatment plan will also include exercises to perform consistently to keep you healthy, and it may include glutathione infusions. Contact us today at Knox Wellness Experience in Knoxville, TN to schedule a free consultation.