While people with diabetes should be in the care of a qualified health care provider, natural ways to lower blood sugar can complement their treatment. This can be especially important for those with mildly elevated blood glucose or those with prediabetes. The FDA has yet to approve any medication or treatment for elevated blood glucose or prediabetes. The American Diabetes Association estimates that over 57 million people in the Unites States have prediabetes. Lowering your blood glucose can help prevent or delay the onset of type 2 diabetes and reduce the medication needs if you already have any type of diabetes. Before attempting to lower your blood glucose with any complementary treatments, speak to your health care provider.
Cinnamon may reduce blood glucose levels, triglyceride levels and cholesterol in type 2 diabetics, according to a study performed by NWFP Agricultural University in Pakistan. Study participants were given doses of 1, 3 or 6 grams of cinnamon daily with results showing a reduction in the fasting serum glucose. The University of Maryland Medical Center (UMMC) reports that other studies have produced similar results and that cinnamon may play a role in managing diabetes.
Low Carb Eating
A diet low in carbohydrates reduces the blood glucose response that carbs cause. Whenever you eat carbohydrates, your body breaks them down into glucose. This causes an increase in blood glucose levels. A diet rich in vegetables, fruits, protein, healthy fats, such as omega-3, and whole foods can help reduce blood sugar levels. Some people have had success managing their diabetes on low carb diets. Dr. Bernstein, a diabetic, successfully uses a low carb diet in his life and to treat his patients.
Exercise lowers blood sugar levels. In addition, it builds muscle which uses glucose more efficiently, further lowering blood glucose. Exercise decreases insulin resistance, a factor in the development of prediabetes, type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome. Exercising as little as 30 minutes a day five days a week can help reduce the chances of developing high blood sugar.
According to scientific research reported by the Garvan Institute of Medical Research, some of the components of bitter melon work in a similar fashion to exercise. Bitter melon activates a protein that is integral to the metabolism of glucose. Bitter melon can be eaten or taken as a supplement.
American ginseng has lowered blood glucose levels in studies on people with type 2 diabetes, according to the UMMC. Ginseng is widely available as supplement. It is suggested that ginseng taken before or with a meal will help reduce blood glucose postprandial blood glucose levels. As with other natural ways to lower blood sugar, ginseng use should be discusses with your doctor.
ADA: Diabetes Statistics
Cinnamon Improves Glucose and Lipids in People with Type 2 Diabetes
University of Maryland Medical Center: Diabetes
MedlinePlus: Type 2 Diabetes
A Ton o Bitter Melon Produces Sweet Results for Diabetes