A Closer Look at Diabetes: Natural Approaches That Help with Sugar and More

A Closer Look at Diabetes: Natural Approaches That Help with Sugar and More

by Mikele K.

Article 4 – April 1, 2019

Happy April Olive Branch Customers! Today is April 1, 2019, and do we have a sweet article for you today. This week’s article is on another topic we see at the store that many come in looking for alternative ways to treat and manage. Our topic stems from last weeks’ autoimmune disorder talk, and that is Diabetes. In this week’s article, we will touch lightly on the types of diabetes, natural methods that assist in lowering blood sugar, and a detailed look into an herb that is causing quite a stir in the store (and doctor’s offices around the country).

Before we begin, some statistics to let you know where we stand (as a country) with diabetes:

According to the National Institute of Health:

  • Total: An estimated 30.3 million people have diabetes (9.4 percent of the U.S. population)
  • Diagnosed: An estimated 23.1 million people have been diagnosed with diabetes (7.2 percent of the U.S. population)
  • Undiagnosed: An estimated 7.2 million adults, ages 18 years or older are undiagnosed (23.8 percent of people with diabetes)

The results are staggering to say the least. I know on a personal level we are seeing an increase in customers wanting information about lowering blood sugar lately – mainly men. A majority of those we speak with are on some sort of glucose management in the form of pills or insulin, depending on severity. Once again, as previously stated in our earlier blogs, many people are misinformed and/or uneducated on how to treat and/or manage their condition. So, if you’ve been diagnosed with diabetes, let’s educate you on what’s going on with your body!

OK, so you’ve been diagnosed with diabetes. There are technically three different types of diabetes:

  1. Type I – Is considered an autoimmune disease where the body attacks insulin producing cells of the pancreas. This type is most common with children, and low occurrence in adults. Atypical patient can’t produce insulin, and require lifelong insulin. This type is commonly known as “juvenile diabetes”.
  2. Type II – There is controversy that this type is autoimmune-based, but this is commonly inherited genetically, and through lifestyle risk factors such as poor diet, sedentary lifestyles, and some environmental factors. Typical treatments are diabetic medications, and possibly insulin replacement depending on severity to control blood sugar
  3. Gestational – This type of diabetes occurs with pregnant women; The condition usually disappears once the baby is born; however, a history of gestational diabetes increases a woman’s risk of developing type 2 diabetes later in life. The condition may be managed through eating a healthy diet, and physical activity, although diabetes medication, including insulin, may also be required to manage blood sugar levels.

Now, this is a condensed listing of the three types of diabetes. Since type 2 diabetes is more common as a whole in this country, as well as what is seen in the store, we shall continue and expand our discussion on type 2 diabetes. Treatment of type 2 diabetes usually includes replacing the function of damaged tissues, and possibly steroid therapy to suppress dysfunctional immune cells. While conventional treatment of Diabetes, in essence, does work, but like all synthetic medicines, they carry the potential for side effects both short and long-term. Where do you go from here? Hang tight, there are options.

While we do not prescribe, nor recommend going against the advice of any medical professional, we do ask that you educate yourself. It would be helpful to have a heart-to-heart conversation with your family doctor to see what works best for you. The best possible outcome for this scenario would be to heal yourself naturally, and get off or avoid synthetic medications for treatment. There are quite a few treatments that greatly assist and can even help you get off your diabetic medications. Here are some suggestions from dailyhealthpost.com, as well as our from our team:

  • Cinnamon-Research indicates that powdered cinnamon, about a half teaspoon a day, may help prevent diabetes or reduce blood sugar in adults who have diabetes. One study found that cinnamon helped reduce levels of cholesterol and triglycerides in people with type 2 diabetes.
  • Garcinia Cambogia- According to the American Diabetes Association, “Natural weight loss can help lower your blood pressure, improve your blood fat levels and lower blood-glucose levels especially for those who are not in the healthy range”. Because Garcinia Cambogia uses natural extracts, it will definitely help shed the excess pounds the natural way
  • NOW SuperCitramax-Super CitriMax is a potent combination of herbal extracts rich in hydroxycitric acid (HCA), naturally derived from the Garcinia cambogia fruit in India and designed to help support a healthy body weight and proper glucose management.
  • Berberine – discussed further in this article
  • gymnema Sylvestre – makes sugar taste bitter so you limit your food cravings
  • flax seed-How does flax help control blood sugars? Flaxseeds may improve insulin sensitivity in glucose intolerant people. After 12 weeks of flax, researchers found a small but significant drop in insulin resistance, perhaps related to the drop in oxidant stress due to the antioxidant qualities of flaxseeds. Studies show a tablespoon of daily ground flax seeds for a month appears to improve fasting blood sugars, triglycerides, cholesterol, and hemoglobin A1c levels in diabetics was a non-blinded, non-randomized small study.
  • l-arginine-L-Arginine has long been recommended as part of the nutritional treatment of diabetes alongside medication. L-Arginine increases the rate of release of insulin from the pancreas, improving diabetics’ tolerance of sugar. The dangers that stem from diabetes are side effects of having a high blood sugar level
  • chard-Swiss chard nutrition is especially well known for having special chemical properties that make it extremely useful for preventing and treating diabetes. Swiss chard helps the blood sugar-regulating system within the body by helping to regulate activity of the enzyme called alpha-glucosidase, aiding in the slow release of glucose (sugar) into the blood stream
  • corn silk- Corn silk has been used like a folk remedy for diabetes in China for hundreds of years. Corn silk extract has become used as a treatment for diabetes worldwide and it is no longer just a folk remedy
  • genistein -A number of health benefits are attributed to isoflavones and recent evidence indicates a potential for genistein as a preventative and therapeutic treatment for patients with IR and diabetes. Following dietary supplementation, concentrations of circulating genistein may reach as high as 7 µM in humans and rodents, suggesting that many of the studies conducted with genistein in both cell culture and animal models have physiological relevance.
  • nigella sativa – The black cumin seed of Nigella sativa contains a high level of essential oils, which is why black seed oil has immense medicinal healing power, especially when dealing with diabetes. Research suggests this is due to the high levels of antioxidant activity that is found in black seed, which helps to protect the pancreatic cells from the harmful effects of free radicals. This makes black seed oil one of the best alternative treatments for people who suffer from diabetes (according to “Bangladesh Journal of Pharmacology”, 2009).
  • stevia -stevia sweetener is attractive as a sugar substitute that does not cause an adverse affect on blood glucose levels. Even more encouraging for the stevia and diabetes link, stevia has also been shown to increase insulin sensitivity. Meaning, it may reduce insulin resistance, helping the cells use insulin.
  • Turmeric – Turmeric has anti-inflammatory property that helps in suppressing inflammation caused due to diabetes.
  • Turmeric serves as an antioxidant and helps to reduce oxidative stress observed in diabetes.
  • Turmeric lowers blood sugar levels.
  • Turmeric can repair pancreas cells and benefit in type 1 diabetes.
  • It can reverse prediabetes
  • a healthy diet – reducing sugar and carbs, along with a rounded diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables helps with weight loss and keeping sugar levels in check
  • exercise – walking just 20 minutes each day has significant effects on the body. Seek out a fitness trainer for more info.
  • quality regular sleep – strive for 7-8 hours each night

Of all the suggestions mentioned above, we will finish the article out by discussing the herb berberine for the treatment of high blood sugar associated with diabetes. With diabetes being a metabolic disorder, a multi-faceted approach is needed. Diabetes is characterized with inflammation (the source of many diseases) and should be treated as such to bring the inflammation down. According to an article by Dr. Mercola, Berberine is a yellow-colored alkaloid compound found in several different plants, including European barberry, goldenseal, goldthread, Oregon grape, phellodendron, and tree turmeric.

Berberine has antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and immune-enhancing properties. It’s effective against a wide range of bacteria, protozoa, and fungi. It can be used topically on cuts and other wounds, and it’s perhaps most commonly used to treat gastrointestinal issues, including traveler’s diarrhea and that from food poisoning.

However, what newer research is uncovering (and what traditional medicine has likely known for centuries) is that the benefits of berberine extend far beyond its antimicrobial properties. As reported in the Natural Medicine Journal:

“In recent years, the botanical extract berberine has been pushed from relative obscurity to front and center on our supplement shelves due to newly published research. Over a third of the approximately 2,800 studies on berberine listed on PubMed were published in the last 5 years. These studies reveal that berberine may have clinical applications in a range of conditions.”

Dr. Mercola also states: One of the most celebrated studies on berberine compared taking 500 milligrams (mg) of the compound two to three times daily for three months with the diabetes drug metformin. Berberine was able to control blood sugar and lipid metabolism as effectively as metformin, with researchers describing berberine as a “potent oral hypoglycemic agent.” A separate meta-analysis also revealed “berberine has comparable therapeutic effect on type 2 DM [diabetes mellitus], hyperlipidemia and hypertension with no serious side effect.”

On top of the blood sugar lowering effects, an article in the Natural Medicine Journal by author Jacob Schor ND, FABNO, as well as Dr. Mercola, berberine is also effective in treating:

  • reduces inflammation
  • helps lower blood pressure
  • lowers cholesterol
  • lowers triglycerides
  • reduces oxidative stress in the kidneys
  • cancer* (in review by scientific community for validation)
  • metabolic syndrome

In summary, type 2 diabetes is a controversial blood sugar disease based on an autoimmune disorder theory that stems from inflammation dealing with the pancreas’s inability to regulate sugar properly via metabolic syndrome and other factors. While conventional medicine is traditionally prescribed, some may wish to approach this disorder naturally. Out of many natural therapies, berberine has shown promise to reduce blood sugar levels, as well as other conditions associated with metabolic syndrome and/or diabetes. The Olive Branch carries different versions of berberine, on top of other blood sugar lowering herbs mentioned in this article. We also have educational literature to help educate yourself on diabetes, as well as berberine, to help manage your diabetes/blood sugar. If you have any questions, please stop in and talk with one of our team members to see if berberine would be a good addition to your blood sugar management regimen today.

Sources For Your Convenience:

https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/diabetes-types

https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2015/06/22/berberine-benefits.aspx

https://www.naturalmedicinejournal.com/journal/2012-12/clinical-applications-berberine

https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/health-statistics/diabetes-statistics

~In Good Health

Mikele K. @ The Olive Branch

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