Diabetes refers to a group of metabolic diseases that alter the way your body manages its sugar or blood glucose levels.
In Type 1 diabetes, the pancreas is damaged by the body’s own antibodies and is unable to produce any insulin. People suffering from this form of diabetes have to take daily insulin injections to control their blood sugar levels.
Type 2 diabetes, also known as non-insulin dependent diabetes, is on the rise, especially among young children and teenagers due to the problem of increasing childhood obesity and a lazy lifestyle accompanied by the lack of exercise or any other physical activity.
This type of diabetes is caused by insulin resistance in the body, i.e., your pancreas still produces some amount of insulin; however, the production is far short of your body’s requirements, and the cells are not able to utilize the insulin as they should.
All these factors lead to the build-up of sugar in your bloodstream, increasing your blood glucose to alarming levels.
High blood sugar levels if left unchecked can often cause severe complications such as:
- Heart disease, stroke
- Dental problems, including gum disease, thrush, dry mouth, oral ulcers, and cavities
- Kidney disease or impaired kidney function
- Nerve damage or diabetic neuropathy
- Causes & Risk Factors for Diabetes
- Symptoms of Type 2 Diabetes
- Preventing Type 2 Diabetes
- Home Remedies to Manage Type 2 Diabetes
- Method 1: Apple Cider Vinegar
- Method 2: Bitter Melon
- Method 3: Okra Water
- Method 4: Exercise and Yoga
- # Exercise
- # Yoga
- Method 5: Fenugreek
- Method 6: Diet
Causes & Risk Factors for Diabetes
- Type 2 diabetes is often inherited from parents or grandparents; studies have shown that certain parts of your DNA or genetic code determine how your body produces and processes insulin.
- Obesity and extra belly fat.
- Excessive and uncontrolled glucose production by the liver.
- Irregular sleeping habits, getting too much or very little sleep.
- Stress, anxiety, and depression.
- Lack of exercise or any strenuous physical activities.
- High blood pressure, low HDL levels, and high triglycerides.
- Developing gestational diabetes during pregnancy or giving birth to a baby weighing more than 9 pounds.
- Polycystic ovary syndrome or pCOS, for women.
Symptoms of Type 2 Diabetes
- Frequent urination.
- Feeling extremely thirsty throughout the day.
- Feeling exceedingly hungry even after eating.
- Weakening of sight or blurred vision.
- Slow healing of injuries or wounds.
- Increased feelings of irritability or fatigue.
- Unexplained weight gain or loss.
- Numbness or tingling in your hand or feet.
- Recurring yeast infections(skin, urinary, or vaginal).
Preventing Type 2 Diabetes
- Keep yourself physically active and fit; ensure that your body weight adheres to your recommended BMI.
- Quit smoking, especially after the age of 45 as you are at high risk for developing type 2 diabetes once you cross this threshold.
- Increase the levels of HDL cholesterol in your body and limit or reduce LDL consumption as much as possible.
- If type 2 diabetes runs in your family, take measures to prevent as long as possible by controlling your sugar intake at an early age.
- Keep track of your blood sugar levels by getting an A1C test; this test checks your blood glucose levels for the past 3 months. Once you have your results, do what is required to keep your sugar levels under check.
- It is never too late to start living a healthy lifestyle; adopt a more active routine, and switch over to a healthy eating plan today.
Home Remedies to Manage Type 2 Diabetes
Diabetes is a lifelong disease; however, with the right exercises and diet, you can keep it under control and still enjoy a long and healthy life.
Continue reading to discover six simple home remedies, exercises, and dietary habits to successfully manage, control and treat diabetes.
Method 1: Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar provides multiple health benefits and can indeed be called a panacea for all ills.
Raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar is especially beneficial for those suffering from type 2 diabetes as it contains acetic acid, which lowers the glycemic index of certain foods, thereby preventing sudden spikes in your blood sugar levels.
Cinnamon, on the other hand, is also helpful for regulating your blood sugar levels, as it improves your body’s sensitivity to insulin. Furthermore, this sweet spice can also be used a substitute for sugar in beverages such as tea, coffee, and your favorite apple pie.
Things you’ll need:
- Apple cider vinegar (lowers the glycemic index of foods) – 2 tablespoons
- All-natural apple juice (rich in fiber) – 2 tablespoons
- Cinnamon (improves sensitivity to insulin) – ½ teaspoon
- Cold Water – ¾ cup
- Vanilla liquid stevia – 4 drops
- Ice cubes – 2 to 4
Step 1: Put all ingredients in a jar
- Pour out 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar in a jar.
- Add 2 tablespoons of natural apple juice, followed by ½ teaspoon of cinnamon powder.
- Measure out and add 4 drops of vanilla liquid stevia.
Step 2: Add water and ice cubes
- Pour 6 oz of water into the jar.
- Mix all ingredients thoroughly.
- Add 2 to 4 ice cubes.
- Drink every morning on a regular basis to keep your diabetes in check.
- Alternatively, you can simply mix 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar in a glass of water and drink it in the morning on an empty stomach, if you don’t mind the taste.
Method 2: Bitter Melon
Bitter melon may be bitter, but drinking it will definitely leave you better.
This green fruit contains active compounds that help manage and control diabetes:
- Charantin – It lowers blood glucose levels
- Vicine – It has a hypoglycemic effect
- Polypeptide-p – It is an insulin-like substance that controls blood sugar
- Lectin – It suppresses appetite, lowers glycemic levels, especially after meals.
Single-Step Treatment: Drink bitter melon juice
- Drink 2 glasses of bitter melon juice daily.
- You can also mix 1 to 3 tablespoons of bitter melon juice and blend it with other tastier juices such as apple, carrot, or sweet cucumber before meals.
- You can also go for bitter melon supplements; 1 capsule per day containing standard extracts of 500 mg or whole fruit extract in a 4:1 ratio.
- Add stir-fried bitter gourd to your meals; consume a portion once daily.
Following this remedy on a regular basis will significantly lower your blood glucose within a month; continue regular consumption to keep type 2 diabetes in check.
Method 3: Okra Water
In recent years, okra has gained prominence as a blood sugar-lowering food.
Making okra a part of your regular diet will greatly aid in keeping your diabetes under control.
Things you’ll need:
- Medium-sized okra (lowers blood sugar) – 4 to 5 pods
- Air-tight container
Step 1: Chop up okra pods & soak them in water overnight
- Take 4 to 5 medium-sized fresh okra pods and wash them properly to remove all impurities.
- Chop them in half and then place them in an airtight jar.
- Pour water and fill the jar completely.
- Fix on the lid and let the okra soak in the water for 8 to 24 hours; it’s best if you do this in the evening and then let the pods soak overnight.
Step 2: Strain and drink the okra-infused water
- In the morning, squeeze the soaked okra pods to drain out the sap.
- Remove and throw away the pods and drink the water.
- Drink daily in the morning to lower your blood sugar.
Follow this remedy for 4 to 6 weeks for a significant reduction in your blood glucose levels.
Method 4: Exercise and Yoga
A sedentary and laid-back lifestyle is one of the major factors responsible for the increasing incidence of diabetes, especially among teenagers and children.
Swimming and dancing involve vigorous physical activity and if done on a regular basis, i.e., 2 to 3 intense sessions a week, from an early age can help prevent diabetes and control the body’s blood sugar and cholesterol levels.
Aerobics and strength-training exercises are extremely beneficial if you are living with diabetes. Doing 30 minutes of moderate- to high-intensity aerobic workouts for 5 days in a week can greatly help in lowering your blood sugar and cholesterol levels. If you are also trying to lose weight, do two 30-minute sessions per day.
Try to fit in 2 weekly strength training sessions alongside your aerobic workouts.
Tai Chi exercises are also particularly beneficial for diabetes patients, as the slow movements stretch out your body muscles along with reducing stress and anxiety.
A. Brisk Walking
- Start with a few warm-up and stretching exercises.
- Stand up straight; keep your hands by your side and your back upright.
- Make sure to keep your head in line with your spine and look forward not downward.
- Keep your arms by your side and swing them freely as you walk.
- Start walking naturally and make sure to land on your heels.
- Maintain a brisk or fast pace for the entire duration of your walk.
Do this every day in the morning for at least 30 minutes.
- Swimming is a heavy cardiovascular exercise that helps in boosting your body’s metabolism and burning off energy.
- Start with easy swimming styles like freestyle and move on to more vigorous back and breast strokes.
- Begin with 2 to 3 sessions of 20 pool laps a week, and then gradually increase it to 5 times per week.
- Check your blood glucose levels before and after your sessions to monitor the effect on your glucose levels.
- Adjust your swimming sessions accordingly.
- Cycling for 30 minutes daily helps burn calories and keep diabetes under control.
- Intense cycling sessions also improve lung capacity and heart health.
- Go for mountain biking whenever possible as it is a much more strenuous exercise and burns off more energy.
- Check your blood glucose levels before and after your sessions to monitor the effect on your glucose levels.
A. Bow Pose (Dhanurasana)
- Lie down on a yoga mat with your face downwards.
- Keep your feet hip-width apart and hands at your side.
- Gradually lift your legs and bend your knees.
- Stretch your hands backwards to hold your ankles.
- Take a deep breath; inhale and lift up your chest.
- Raise your legs by pulling on the ankles.
- Rest your weight on the abdomen; stretch your head upward and hold your breath for as long as you can.
- Exhale slowly and lower your legs to the floor.
- Return to initial position.
Perform this posture 3 to 5 times daily.
B. Corpse Pose (Savasana)
- Lie down on a padded surface and use a neck pillow if you want.
- Position your legs apart at a comfortable distance and keep your toes pointed outwards.
- Place your arms by your side at a slight distance from your body.
- Direct your thoughts inward, focusing on each and every area of your body starting from your right foot and so on.
- Take a deep breath and exhale slowly, relax and loosen up your body as you do so.
- Let go of your physical self and simply focus on breathing for 10 to 15 minutes.
- Slowly return to the physical plane and open your eyes; observe and focus on your surroundings.
Perform this pose every night before going to bed to control diabetes-induced hypertension.
C. Child’s Pose (Balasana)
- Kneel down on a padded surface and join your feet; then place your knees hip-distance apart.
- Take in deep breaths and slowly exhale; focus on your breathing and let all anxieties slip away.
- Exhale and slowly lower your upper torso.
- Rest your chest on your thighs and bend forward till your forehead touches the floor.
- Stretch out your arms in front; keep them in line with your shoulders.
- Set your palms flat on the floor.
- Hold the position for up to 1 min.
- Take deep breaths as you slowly raise your upper body, keeping your arms stretched out.
- Exhale slowly while lowering your arms.
Do this once daily before going to bed.
D. Quick Breathing Exercise (Kapalbhati Pranayam)
- Kneel down on a folded blanket.
- Sit up, keeping your back straight; assume a cross-legged position.
- Position your hands on your knees and keep your palms open outwards.
- Take in a deep breath through your nostrils till your lungs and stomach are fully stretched.
- Exhale swiftly and vigorously via your nose; contract your stomach muscles while exhaling.
- Repeat 15 to 20 times to complete a round.
Do this every day for 5 to 10 minutes for increased metabolism and to manage and control diabetes.
Method 5: Fenugreek
Fenugreek seeds contain a high amount of soluble fiber and help lower your blood glucose levels by slowing down digestion and carbohydrate absorption.
As a result, you feel full for a longer time after eating a moderate amount of food, and your blood sugar levels rise slowly but steadily.
However, do consult your doctor for the right dosage based on your weight and other factors.
Single-Step Treatment: Consume soaked fenugreek seeds daily
- Increase the intake of fenugreek seeds in your diet. Either sprinkle it over your food as garnish or opt for the powdered form. They are also easy to grow in your kitchen garden.
- Alternatively, you can soak 2 tablespoons of fenugreek seeds in a glass of water overnight.
- Drink the water along with the seeds on an empty stomach the next morning.
- Do this daily for a few months to significantly reduce your blood sugar levels.
- You can also drink 2 tablespoons of powdered fenugreek seeds with a glass of milk daily to manage and control diabetes.
Method 6: Diet
A healthy and well-balanced diet can effectively manage your blood glucose levels and keep them under control.
Eliminate sugar from your diet entirely; use healthy substitutes such as stevia, cinnamon, and others.
Avoid eating carbohydrates such as white rice and potatoes, include as many fresh fruits and vegetables in your diet as you can.
Limit your consumption of meat, especially of processed and red meat. Instead opt for healthy and lean protein food including chicken and omega 3-rich fish like salmon, herring, lake trout, etc., 2 to 4 times a week.
You should also reduce your consumption of refined carbohydrates such as white bread and pasta and include more whole grains or complex carbohydrates in your diet, i.e., brown or multigrain bread, brown or wild rice, quinoa, millets, rye, barley, etc. Eating these high-fiber foods help suppress appetite and sharp spikes of blood sugar levels after meals.
Opt for healthier versions of common foods like fat-free and sugar-free yogurt, sugar-free drinks and smoothies, etc.
- Include plenty of ginger and garlic in your diet to manage and control diabetes; add them to stir-fried meat and vegetables, soups, etc. You can even add their pickled versions in salads.
- Drink loads of water throughout the day as it keeps you hydrated and helps your kidneys flush out the extra sugar via urine.
- Control your appetite or meal portions; eat on smaller plates and avoid buffets.
- Eat plenty of eggs as they are an excellent source of protein and contain chromium, which helps control blood sugar levels.
- Eat magnesium-rich foods such as bananas, avocado, dark leafy greens, dark chocolate, and beans to keep your sugar levels in check.
- Always ensure that your blood sugar level >12 mmol/l, as anything lower than this can lead to hypoglycemia.