There are numerous natural ways to treat diabetes and even possibly avoid it altogether. Diabetes is one of the most prevalent diseases around the world. In North America, it is estimated that approximately 8.8% of the population is afflicted with this disease and it is costing us millions in health care costs every year. The rates are considerably higher in some ethnic groups.
Diabetes is a health condition where your body cannot produce enough insulin (Type 1) or cannot use the insulin it does produce effectively (Type 2). When there is too much sugar (glucose) in a person’s bloodstream, many other serious health issues can arise such as kidney failure, stroke, heart disease, or even amputations of limbs. Many individuals are forced to treat their diabetes with medication i.e Metformin or insulin injections.
These treatments are not cures but merely ways to treat the disease. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if the disease could be reversed? In many cases, it actually can! In this article, we are going to look at 7 natural ways to treat diabetes without medications.
#1. Avoid Sugar
A diet high in sugar is not healthy for anyone, especially those who are diabetic or genetically-dispositioned to the disease and therefore, there are so many reasons to quit sugar.
Refined sugars (think white sugar not naturally found) are especially harmful as our bodies find it more difficult to process. However, if you are already diabetic, consuming natural sugars found in fruits and foods high in carbohydrates like white bread and pasta can also increase your blood glucose levels.
Be aware that many foods are high in sugar without being sweet tasting. These foods are your worst enemies in your efforts to control the disease. Become a “label reader” – anything ending in “-ose” (glucose, sucrose, lactose) is essentially sugar to your body. Weaning yourself off of sugar may be difficult but definitely feasible.
#2. Reduce Stress Levels
When we are under stress, our insulin, cortisol, and cytokine levels increase. This leads to weight gain, insulin resistance and possibly Type 2 diabetes. These are just a few of the effects of stress on the body.
To manage diabetes, it is critical to control those stress levels. Although it is not an easy task, it is indeed possible. Try personal meditation (try searching “guided meditation”), controlled breathing, or maybe even play some soft music to calm yourself. Taking time for yourself and learning to sometimes say “no” to too many requests can assist in keeping those stress levels manageable.
#3. Keep a Journal
Often many of us do not even realize what we are doing on a daily basis is detrimental to our health. Begin keeping a journal about your current statistics – height, weight, blood pressure, and body measurements. Also, document everything that you eat down to that little extra chocolate chip cookie after supper. When we write things down (or keep track electronically if you prefer), we begin to notice trends and patterns.
When we take a realistic look at what we are actually consuming, we can begin to set goals to change it. We also will begin to see the progress in our documentation and that progress can be a great motivator to continue altering our behaviour.
#4. Eat Nutrient-Rich Foods
The old adage “we are what we eat” rings true when it comes to treating and reversing diabetes. When we consume nutrient-rich foods, our bodies are ultimately being given what they need to function properly. This means they are able to regulate blood sugar levels more efficiently.
So what kind of foods should you be choosing?
- Fatty fish like salmon
- Leafy greens
- Chia Seeds
- Turmeric & Black pepper – Apart from diabetes control, you probably know of some other health benefits of turmeric and black pepper.
- Greek Yogurt
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Flax Seeds
- Apple Cider Vinegar
Foods high in fiber and low in sugars and carbohydrates are best.
#5. Exercising regularly
Exercise on a regular basis – this means every single day – is essential if you are committed to finding ways to treat diabetes. Exercise does not mean you need to be going to the gym every day and running as fast as you can. Go for a vigorous walk or jump some rope.
The point is to increase your heart rate and get that blood flowing. The exercise helps to balance the glucose levels in your blood and lower your insulin levels. It also helps to keep your weight in check and even help you to lose excess pounds.
#6. Get Quality Sleep
Many of us are suffering from the effects of sleep deprivation but our bodies require a quality 8 hours of sleep to function properly. Not getting the optimal 8 hours of sleep nightly damages your metabolism and causes spikes in your sugar levels and cravings. Consequently, you eat larger portions and foods that are not necessarily healthy.
If sleep evades you on a regular basis, try to create a sleep routine. Go to bed at the same time each night (even on the weekends), turn off the electronics an hour before bedtime, and perhaps have a warm bath or cup of tea. Play some soothing music in a dark room where the temperature is cooler. Your body will thank you.
#7. Eat Unprocessed Foods
Our bodies are like a well-oiled machine if there are given the proper fuel. That means staying away from refined, processed foods. Sure, it’s easier to just microwave something out of a box after a long day. However, your body will reap the results of that poor choice and if you are dedicated to finding ways to treat diabetes, eating unprocessed food is key.
But I don’t know how to cook, Kim? Sign up for a cooking class, watch some Youtube videos or cooking shows. Do not be afraid to experiment and try new things.
If you feel intimidated, try one of those rotisserie chickens found at any grocery store. It’s real chicken and you actually can make cheap and healthy chicken meals from it.
Diabetes can be a life-altering disease if you let it become so. However, with some careful planning and healthy choices, you can avoid the disease or at least find ways to treat diabetes…
Take care of yourself, people! We are only given one body and each and every decision we make affects it. Examine those decisions and make those choices that are going to be the most beneficial to your overall health.