Type 2 diabetes, also known as diabetes mellitus, arises from a combination of insufficient physical activity, excessive consumption of unhealthy foods, emotional stress, inadequate sleep, exposure to toxins, and genetic factors. Frequently, individuals with type 2 diabetes turn to natural remedies alongside conventional medicine to manage their condition. Incorporating natural medicines and utilizing food as a form of treatment can be a beneficial complement to diabetes care. Nonetheless, it is crucial to exercise caution, as the improper combination of herbs, supplements, and medications, without proper knowledge or guidance, can lead to a condition of low blood sugar known as hypoglycemia.
We strongly recommend checking with your healthcare provider before trying any new treatments. Below, you'll find a list of some top natural remedies for type 2 diabetes.
Home Remedies For Type 2 Diabetes
Apple Cider Vinegar
The primary component in ACV is acetic acid, believed to contribute significantly to its health benefits. There are evidence-based methods for using ACV, such as taking 2 tablespoons before bedtime to reduce morning fasting sugar levels. Additionally, consuming 1-2 tablespoons with meals can lower the glycemic load of a carbohydrate-rich meal. I typically advise patients to either consume ACV alone before a meal or incorporate it into salad dressings or teas.
Fiber and Barley
Consuming fiber is effective in reducing blood sugar and insulin levels. The recommended daily fiber intake is approximately 30 grams, yet most Americans only get 6-8 grams, which is insufficient. While fiber supplements like Metamucil (psyllium husk) are an option, the optimal approach is to incorporate more vegetables into your diet. Barley, a high-fiber and high-protein grain, is supported by ample data for its role in improving blood sugar, insulin, cholesterol, and reducing inflammation. Barley is convenient to prepare, requiring no soaking, and typically cooks in less than 15 minutes on the stovetop with water and salt.
Primarily present in brewer’s yeast, a chromium deficiency can impede glucose metabolism. Evidence indicates that chromium supplementation can contribute to lower blood sugar and A1C levels. It's essential to exercise caution if you have kidney disease when considering this supplement.
Individuals with diabetes often exhibit zinc deficiencies. Research suggests that zinc supplementation can lead to reduced blood sugar and A1C levels, impart antioxidant effects, and help address complications associated with diabetes. However, high doses of zinc may hinder the absorption of other minerals like copper, necessitating guidance on appropriate dosing.
While the sap of aloe vera is recognized for its laxative properties, it's crucial to opt for the gel's juice. Increasing evidence supports the use of the gel, the mucilaginous material inside the leaves. When purchasing, ensure the product is aloin- and anthraquinone-free to avoid potential digestive issues.
A favored botanical derived from plants like goldenseal, barberry, Oregon grape root, and Coptis, berberine is known for its potential to decrease blood sugar and HbA1c levels. It's important to note that this herb can interfere with the metabolism of traditional pharmaceuticals and should never be taken during pregnancy.
A tasty and medically beneficial treat known to assist in lowering both blood sugar and cholesterol levels.
This seed, commonly used as a food spice, has been employed for centuries for its medical benefits in reducing cholesterol and HbA1c levels. If your urine smells like maple syrup after consumption, don't worry – it's a harmless and recognized side effect.
Hailing from centuries of use in India, evidence is aligning with its medical benefits, showing positive effects on glucose metabolism, insulin levels, and as a supplement to enhance the outcomes of traditional pharmaceuticals. Due to its synergistic interaction with medications, close monitoring of blood sugar is essential to avoid hypoglycemia.
Ever noticed nopales on the menu at your favorite Mexican restaurant? Now you can confidently order them, as they are known to help lower blood sugar. Nopales are the pads of the prickly pear cactus and, when cooked correctly, are delicious! They can be enjoyed, for example, with eggs or in a salad.
Alternative or Complementary Treatments
Acupuncture involves the insertion of extremely thin needles into specific points on the skin. Some researchers suggest that acupuncture stimulates the body's natural pain-relieving mechanisms. This practice has demonstrated effectiveness in alleviating chronic pain and is occasionally utilized by individuals experiencing neuropathy, the painful nerve damage associated with diabetes.
Biofeedback is a method designed to enhance awareness and coping mechanisms for the body's response to pain. This therapeutic approach prioritizes relaxation and stress-reduction techniques to help individuals better manage their physical responses to pain.
Guided imagery, often practiced by professionals employing biofeedback, is a relaxation technique. During guided imagery, individuals contemplate tranquil mental images, such as ocean waves, or visualize scenarios where they gain control over or cure their ailment. Advocates of this technique assert that positive mental images can contribute to easing their condition.
In conclusion, alternative therapies such as acupuncture, biofeedback, and guided imagery offer diverse approaches to managing chronic pain and associated conditions. Acupuncture, with its insertion of thin needles into specific points on the skin, has demonstrated efficacy in relieving chronic pain, particularly in individuals dealing with diabetes-related neuropathy. Biofeedback, focusing on enhancing awareness and coping with the body's response to pain, emphasizes relaxation and stress reduction.
Additionally, guided imagery, often practiced alongside biofeedback, introduces the use of peaceful mental images to promote a positive impact on the individual's well-being. These alternative methods showcase the potential for holistic approaches to pain management, providing individuals with additional tools to address their unique health challenges.