4 Secrets for Preventing Diabetes & Controlling It

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Filed Under: Blood Sugar
Last Reviewed 10/22/2014

4 Secrets for Preventing Diabetes & Controlling It

Many people think of diabetes and heart disease as two separate conditions, but they're closely related. The most common problem is atherosclerosis—the hardening of the arteries that usually starts before full-blown diabetes is diagnosed. The accumulated plaque typical of atherosclerosis can rupture or break apart, causing blood clots and blockages that can lead to either a heart attack or a stroke.

Additionally, insulin is known to have anti-inflammatory properties. However, when the body becomes resistant to insulin, there is a corresponding increase in inflammation in the body—which, in turn, contributes to a decline in cardiovascular health. In other words, heart disease almost always starts to develop during the pre-diabetes stage known as “insulin resistance.” In fact, diabetes is one of the most significant risk factors for cardiovascular disease.

Since November is American Diabetes Month, I wanted to take this opportunity to give you the facts about diabetes and cardiovascular disease, along with how to stop diabetes before you get it.

What Are the Signs that You Could Be Developing Diabetes?

Because of the serious health problems that can develop from insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes, it’s important to know what signs of trouble to look for:

  •     Dry mouth
  •     Increased thirst
  •     Frequent urination
  •     Increased hunger (particularly after you’ve already eaten)
  •     Feeling weak or tired
  •     Blurred vision
  •     Headaches
  •     Loss of consciousness (this is a rare sign)

Plus, there are two key symptoms that can also tell you if you're experiencing insulin resistance and headed toward developing diabetes:

  • Blood pressure increases. Insulin promotes smooth-muscle growth in blood vessel walls, which then contributes to the formation of plaque. The buildup of plaque causes arteries to thicken and become rigid. Blood pressure then rises because more pressure is needed to force blood through arteries that have become stiff and narrow due to excess insulin. Additionally, excess insulin can cause blood vessels to go into spasm.
  • Weight increases. As a result of the body’s ineffective use of blood glucose, carbohydrates get stored as fat.

The Good News Is You Can Prevent (and Control) Diabetes, Naturally

If you suspect your blood sugar is going up, ask your doctor to order a hemoglobin A1C blood test, which is like doing three months of finger stick tests, all at one time. If your HbA1C is above 5.9 it’s an early warning sign that you could soon develop diabetes. Another red flag that you could soon develop diabetes is if your HDL “good” cholesterol numbers are down and your triglyceride levels are elevated.

Even if you’re in the “diabetes warning zone” you can knock it out, before it develops. Plus, if you already have diabetes, the exact same steps can work to help you control your blood sugar.

1. Lose weight. Shedding extra pounds is the single most effective way to keep diabetes at bay. To help stabilize your blood sugar and lose unwanted pounds, you want to lower your carbohydrate intake, including avoiding products made with white flour and sugar. If you want to sweeten your coffee or tea, add ribose which is sweet, but has a negative glycemic effect. Plus, add blood sugar stabilizing healthy proteins to your diet including organic eggs, wild salmon, buffalo, organic chicken, and lamb.

2. Make these 5 foods part of your low-carb diet: avocados, nuts (macadamia nuts, walnuts, and almonds), chick peas, lentils, and broccoli. All of these foods require very little insulin for your body to process, and they help to slow the release of glucose into your bloodstream.

3. Exercise your way out of trouble. Daily exercise, such as 30 minutes of brisk walking, not only helps you shed extra pounds, it helps to build muscle. More muscle helps your insulin receptors to function far more efficiently. Don’t like to walk? Yoga, Pilates, tennis, and golf (without a golf cart) are great options as well. The best exercise you can do is one that you enjoy and will do regularly.

4. Supplement your way to better blood sugar. Cinnamon helps to supports insulin sensitivity and function, I recommend eating ½ to 1 teaspoon of cinnamon a day. Gymnema sylvestre extract (300 mg daily) slows the release of glucose into your bloodstream. You can also help to protect against the oxidation of excess blood sugar with alpha lipoic acid (ALA) (100-300 mg daily).

If you already have diabetes, the exact same steps can work to help you control your blood sugar.

Now it’s your turn: Have any of these diabetes prevention methods worked for you?

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