Diabetes is on the rise in America. More than 23.6 million people have already been diagnosed with this disease and, unfortunately, many more will be diagnosed this year. Diabetes is a very serious disease that, if not taken care of, can lead to all sorts of complications or even death.
There has been some breakthroughs in controlling this disease, especially for those who have type 2 diabetes. People are finding that by taking certain supplements, they can lower their blood sugar, thus lowering their risk of having problems with their eyesight, kidneys and other internal organ. These supplements can also help with other problems arising from diabetes such as sexual dysfunction, obesity and hot flashes in women.
Listed below are ten common problems that people with diabetes may have that can be controlled using daily supplements and what supplements will help.
Cinnamon And Ginseng Tea Helps Lower Blood Sugar
It has been found that ingesting cinnamon can help lower many diabetics blood sugar. This is a common household spice that can be used to help lower the blood sugar in type 2 diabetics. Ginseng tea is another common supplement that tends to help women with type 2 diabetes. By drinking a cup a day, women especially, will find that their blood sugar levels will stay normal.
Diabetic Women Who Want To Have Children
This is a very big concern for any woman who has diabetes. They cannot just get pregnant. Instead, they have to make sure that their blood sugar levels have been within the normal rate for quite some time before they even think of having a child.
Diabetic women have to be monitored more closely when pregnant, especially during the first six weeks of pregnancy. This is when the fetus’ organs and extremities are forming. Having high blood sugars during these first few weeks can result in the baby being deformed, dying in the womb or compromising the mother’s health as well. This is due to the fact that if the mother’s blood sugar levels are high, the extra blood glucose (and the ketones arising from this condition) will make it’s way through the placenta and to the baby.
Diabetic mothers to be can take supplements of Vitamin D, folate and calcium in order to keep this from happening. Taking these supplements will also lower the risk of the mother having preeclampsia, or high blood pressure, during her pregnancy.
Because of these risks, many women start taking these herbal remedies before they get pregnant instead of waiting to begin prenatal vitamins within 2 or 3 weeks of getting pregnant. However, it is always best for these women to consult with their gynecologist before taking any supplements.
Diabetes And The Heart
One of the biggest concerns for a diabetic is watching their cholesterol intake and trying to keep their heart healthy and functioning as it should. The longer a diabetic has diabetes, the longer the vessels of the heart are exposed to having problems and being damaged. Women who have diabetes are twice as likely to having heart disease as women who do not have the disease.
So how do you protect yourself and your heart? Taking supplements, along with eating food that has health promoting properties can be a good start in protecting your heart. Eating foods that are high in Phytosterols like nuts and legumes is a good start. Also, try to add psyllium fibers (found in many cereals and Metamucil) will help, along with eating lots of barley and oats brans. These help to considerably lower your cholesterol level which in turn helps the heart.
Omega 3, which is found in fish, will help lower triglyceride levels. By lowering these levels, you will help keep the vessels in your heart healthy and will decrease the chances of having any inflammation around the heart. A great vitamin to take, especially for women, would be any type that has calcium, iron and potassium. Vitamins that contain B6, B12, E and C are also heart happy, as is pomegranite that can be found in grapes. The seeds and skins of the grapes can help lessen hardening of the arteries.
The Eyes Have It
Having your eyes go bad, or completely going blind, is another big concern for people with diabetes. If your blood sugar stays high, the excess blood glucose will attack and damage the nerves and small blood vessels in the eyes.
Diabetics should try to make sure they eat plenty of fruits, vegetables and whole grains. These will help stop the damage that can be done to the eyes. Also, try taking supplements such as Vitamin E and Vitamin C.
Being overweight not only causes complications in diabetes, but is also a large factor in someone having Type 2 Diabetes. By losing weight, you can control your blood sugar levels and bring them back to normal.
Supplements that contain glucomannan and psyllium can be a large factor in helping women to lose weight. They should be taken before meals because they expand in the stomach, making you feel full before you even begin to eat. They also slow down the digestion process, which keeps you feeling full for longer periods of time.
Eating meals that are high in protein instead of carbohydrates will also help lessen the hunger pangs and are much better for your blood sugar levels. If you like tea, trying drinking lots of green tea. Green tea is healthy for you and gives you many benefits while helping you to lose weight because of it’s metabolism boosters. And make sure to stick to a reduced calorie type of diet, along with exercising a lot.
Hormones and Diabetes Don’t Mix
One of the hardest times for women with diabetes to keep their blood sugar levels under control is during their menstrual cycle. This is due to the fact that hormones can seriously throw their blood sugar out of whack. And women with diabetes also encounter earlier menopause which makes them more of a target for heart problems.
Unfortunately, there have been no supplements that are consistent in helping with the problem of diabetes and hormones. However, Vitamins E and B6 do give some relief from the cramping, bloating and other problems that go along with having a period.
Hot flashes can also be lessened by exercising a lot during your menstrual cycle. Other great ideas for dealing with the hot flashes that go along with menstrual cycles and menopause is to avoid eating any foods that you have noticed seems to trigger these hot flashes. Dressing in layers also helps, since you can peel off a layer of clothes when a hot flash occurs and then put it back on after the hot flash has passed.
Diabetes Can Be Depressing
Links have been found to depression in women and having diabetes. Most psychiatrists and endocrinologists believe that the stress due to having and managing diabetes can lead women to be at a greater risk for being diagnosed with depression.
The best help with keeping depression out of your life as a diabetic is by eating lots of fish. If you are a vegetarian or you do not like fish, then try taking some type of supplement that has Omega 3 in it.
No Feeling For Diabetes
One of the most common and damaging effects of diabetes is developing neuropathy in your extremities. Neuropathy usually starts with the toes and feet, the part furthest away from the heart, and works it’s way up the body. However, neuropathy can also strike the fingers and hands.
Symptoms of neuropathy are numbness and tingling in the affected areas. There is also a sensation of burning as the nerves become damaged. Most of the time, neuropathy is the side effect of years of not taking proper care of your diabetes and having extended periods of high blood sugar levels. So, of course, taking care of your diabetes and making sure you have great A1C readings when going to the doctor is the biggest preventative step of stopping neuropathy.
B vitamins can help stop the damage of the nerve endings in your body, thus stopping diabetic neuropathy. Vitamin B1 that is found in foods like leaks, shallots, onions and garlic also helps. Spinach, broccoli and beef contain alpha lipoic acid, another great preventative supplement. If you want to try taking supplements to try to help with stopping diabetic neuropathy, then make sure that the vitamin you are taking has 100% of the daily B vitamins.
Sexual dysfunction is one of the biggest fears in males that have diabetes but it can also be a big concern for women as well. If your diabetes has not been under control for several years, the nerve damage listed above will not only affect your fingers and toes but your sexual organs, too.
Diabetes messes with diabetics sex lives by limiting the blood circulation to the sex organs and messing with the nerves in them. Many diabetics become depressed because they lose their sexual urges, can’t enjoy the act or basically, can’t “get it up”. This is not only an embarrassing condition, but a very frustrating one as well, not just for the diabetic but their spouse as well.
There are certain supplements that diabetic men and women can take to get the circulation flowing again and stop the nerve damage so that you can enjoy sex once again. Vitamin B1 or any supplement with amino acids included are great supplements to help with this problem.
Supplements Are Not Just Any Supplement
This last one is just a tip to emphasize the use of supplements to help with your diabetes. You may think that you can go out and buy just any supplement listed above and that it will help, but that is not always true. While the supplements may state that they have the vitamins or things that you need, they will not have the same effect as other supplements. So how do you know which ones to buy?
The best thing to do is try to stick with the name brand supplements. Yes, they may cost more, but they will also help more, making them worth the extra money. You will want to stick with brands that have a good reputation such as GNC. When buying the products, check the label to make sure that the supplement was made under approved conditions.
If you see several other ingredients in the supplement you are looking at that have not been mentioned, then you should steer clear of these until you talk to your doctor. In fact, you should talk to your endocrinologist or family doctor before taking any kind of supplement for your diabetes.
The most important thing about caring for your diabetes is to make sure that you monitor your blood sugar levels and keep them at the most normal level that you possibly can. This is the biggest key factor in living a long and, for the most part, healthy life with diabetes.