Most diabetes patients are not aware of how to control diabetes naturally. They often simply rely on the doctor’s recommendation without giving it too much thought. This is because diabetes is a chronic disease that needs lifelong management and, frankly speaking, diabetes can be debilitating if it’s at its worst.
Moreover, some diabetes treatments are accompanied by side effects that patients would rather avoid. Because diabetes is a condition characterized by high blood sugar and its treatment often involves medicines to lower sugar levels, diabetes patients may experience sudden low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) if they do not appropriately monitor their glucose level and adjust their dosage of diabetes medication.
The good news is that diabetes need not be unmanageable. Patients can learn how to control diabetes naturally through some behavioral changes such as maintaining a healthy body weight, getting sufficient exercise, and following the recommended dietary guidelines.
With diabetes, patients should regularly monitor their blood sugar levels, count carbohydrates in the food they eat daily, and stick to a healthy eating plan. They also must get sufficient exercise so that sufficient glucose gets into the cells to provide energy for normal body functions.
Physical activity is considered one of the best ways to control diabetes naturally because it helps increase insulin sensitivity. It also helps to decrease blood sugar levels, triglycerides, and cholesterol. It can also help you maintain a healthy weight, which is one of the most influential factors when developing diabetes.
Exercise has been proven to make diabetes easier to control by improving blood sugar levels and reducing insulin resistance. One study in Diabetes Care showed that 150 minutes per week of moderate activity, such as walking, reduced diabetes risk by 58%.
Diabetes is a chronic condition that can be controlled with healthy lifestyle modifications so diabetes patients needn’t feel overwhelmed by it. With some conscious efforts to improve blood sugar levels and maintain an ideal body weight, diabetes can go away eventually or stay under control for life.
So, there are ways on how to control diabetes naturally. Here are the ten diabetes control techniques to help diabetes patients live better and more diabetes-friendly lives:
- Maintain A Healthy Diet
A healthy diabetes diet is believed to be one of the most efficient ways to control diabetes.
The best diabetes diet to control diabetes will include whole foods that are rich in fiber and low in processed carbohydrates.
Whole foods include vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds, unrefined grains (like whole grain pasta), beans/legumes (like chickpeas), lean meats (grass-fed beef), wild fish (like salmon), eggs, olive oil.
Avoid refined carbohydrates like white bread, white rice, bagels, cookies, doughnuts, muffins, cakes.
These foods provide energy very quickly to the body but are not healthy to control diabetes because they can cause blood sugar spikes and insulin resistance.
- Maintain a Healthy Weight
Maintaining a healthy weight is one of the most effective ways to control diabetes.
Being overweight can cause the body not to respond to insulin.
If this happens, diabetes is more difficult to control and diabetes complications will occur earlier in life.
Even losing 5-7% of your body weight can reduce diabetes risk by 60%.
This means that if you weigh 200 pounds, you should lose 10 pounds to significantly decrease diabetes risk.
Also, obesity can lead to diabetes by changing how the body produces and uses glucose. These changes make it harder for cells to use insulin properly, which leads to diabetes development.
- Eat Small Meals
Instead of eating three meals a day, diabetes patients are better off with 6 small meals throughout the day.
Smaller meals help to control diabetes because insulin is released in short bursts rather than one big release after a meal.
One particular study showed that diabetes patients who ate 6 small meals instead of 3 large ones saw significant improvements in blood sugar levels and cholesterol rates.
- Eat Fruit at The Right Time
Fruit is healthy to control diabetes because it contains fiber and nutrients, but it can also raise blood sugar levels.
To get the most diabetes-friendly benefits from fruit, diabetes patients should eat it along with other foods that help slow down how fast the body takes in sugars.
For instance, diabetes patients should eat whole fruits instead of drinking fruit juices because juices spike blood sugar levels very quickly.
Additionally, the best time to eat fruit is about 30 minutes before breakfast or lunch so it will not affect blood sugar levels when taken with other food.
- Add Cinnamon to Your Diet
Cinnamon is packed with diabetes-fighting properties because it contains chromium, which helps to improve insulin sensitivity. Studies show that cinnamon helps to increase insulin sensitivity and reduce diabetes complications caused by uncontrolled diabetes.
Some diabetes patients add 1 teaspoon of cinnamon powder to their breakfast cereal or smoothie. This allows the patient to benefit from the diabetes-controlling properties of cinnamon without consuming many calories because it has low sugar levels.
Research has shown that diabetes patients who took 1 gram of cinnamon per day for 12 weeks saw significant decreases in blood sugar levels and hemoglobin A1C (HbA1c), a marker that reflects average blood sugar control during the past three months.
- Reduce Stress
Stress can lead to diabetes complications if it isn’t controlled, therefore stress reduction techniques must be implemented along with medication and diet changes to control diabetes.
Doctors recommend diabetes patients find alternative ways of reducing stress such as meditation, yoga, or exercise.
Because meditation and yoga can help bring down blood pressure and heart rate, which reduces the risk of diabetes complications such as kidney failure and blindness.
Patients who take 5–10-minute breaks throughout the day to relax and breathe deeply reduce blood sugar levels and allow the body to better respond to insulin.
- Get an Adequate Amount of Sleep
Sleeping is vital to control diabetes because it replenishes your body’s energy and prevents diabetes complications such as diabetes fatigue.
Patients who get at least 6 hours of sleep per night have more stable blood sugar levels and require less diabetes medication to reduce blood sugar levels. Research has shown that diabetes patients who slept 5 or fewer hours a day had over twice the risk of developing diabetes than those who got 7 or 8 hours of sleep a night.
Sleeping well also reduces stress which is very important when diabetes control is concerned because uncontrolled diabetes can cause diabetes complications such as diabetes burnout and weight gain.
- Drink Sufficient Water
Diabetes patients should drink lots of water to control diabetes because they often feel thirsty and also it helps reduce diabetes symptoms such as diabetes fatigue.
Water helps diabetics avoid diabetes fatigue by giving them energy, plus it helps reduce blood sugar levels by flushing out excess sugar in the kidneys so insulin works more efficiently in the body.
The recommended amount of water per day is about 8-10 glasses for adult diabetes patients, but younger children need more water than that according to the National Institutes of Health.
- Control Cholesterol
If diabetes patients don’t control their cholesterol levels, diabetes can cause diabetes complications such as diabetes damage to the arteries and even lead to stroke.
Doctors recommend diabetes patients eat an overall heart-healthy diet low in saturated fat along with exercising regularly because it helps reduce high cholesterol levels.
Diabetes patients should always check their blood lipid profiles closely because diabetes can increase LDL (bad cholesterol) or decrease HDL (good cholesterol).
If diabetes patients take medication for high cholesterol, they must still watch their diet and exercise habits to help improve overall health.
People who smoke are more likely to develop diabetes, experience diabetes complications, have diabetes-related mortality rates, and lose diabetes control.
This is why the American Diabetes Association strongly advises people with diabetes not to smoke. It may be hard to quit smoking but it greatly benefits to control diabetes. According to the ADA, “For each year an individual keeps off cigarettes, his or her risk for diabetes decreases by about 10 percent.”
One study showed that within three years of quitting smoking, patients see a decrease in diabetes complications which shows how effective smoking cessation is at controlling diabetes naturally.
In summary, if diabetes patients incorporate these ten tips into their daily routine along with the changes to their diet such as eating smaller meals more frequently throughout the day and cutting out carbohydrates from foods such as pasta or bread for a better to control diabetes.
This will help lower blood sugar levels in diabetics which can prevent diabetes complications such as diabetes fatigue and weight gain while also reducing stress which is vital when diabetes control is concerned because uncontrolled diabetes can cause diabetes complications such as diabetes burnout and weight gain.
These diabetes control methods lead to diabetes management which can help diminish diabetes complications and better quality of life.
Research has shown that the earlier diabetes is diagnosed then the more likely it is to control diabetes to be achieved through natural methods without having to take insulin shots or other types of diabetes medications.
It is vital for diabetics who don’t want to take medication for their condition but still want to attain better diabetes control should stick with healthier lifestyle changes instead of diabetic diets because this will make a huge difference in the long run.