Diabetes. Most of us have someone in our lives that has been affected by diabetes. It may even be you, and maybe you do not even realize it.
Personally I have seen people with type 2 diabetes lower their bloods sugars back to normal, and no longer need the medications they were taking. Ive seen this happen within ONLY 3 WEEKS!
An estimated 9.7 million Americans have Type 2 Diabetes and are unaware of it. There are 29.3 million adults that have been diagnosed with diabetes. Research suggests 1 out of 2 adults have pre-diabetes, and 90% don't know it. It is currently at 55% of people who have diabetes, and that number is growing quickly! This is why it is essential to your health to get blood glucose (blood sugar) measured annually. Knowing your blood sugars can help to prevent serious health complications and even save your life.
There are a few different ways to test you blood sugars. A fasting glucose is when there has not been any food or drinks (except water) for at least 8 hours before the blood test. A non-fasting (random) glucose is when the blood is checked at any time of the day. The hemoglobin A1C tests how the blood sugars have been running for the past 2-3 months, and gives the average. This is the most accurate way to test your blood sugars. There is no need to fast when getting the A1C checked.
An oral glucose tolerance test is similar to a non-fasting or random glucose. For this test you are to drink a special sweet drink, and then your blood sugars are checked after 2 hours to see what your blood sugars are. This is how the check pregnant women's blood sugars to see if the have gestational diabetes (diabetes when you're pregnant).
It is important to get your blood sugars checked and to know what the results mean.
Levels Normal Pre-diabetic Type II Diabetic
Fasting Glucose mmol/L <100 100-125 >126
Non-fasting (random) Glucose mmol/L <140 140-199 >200
Hemoglobin A1C % <5.7 5.7-6.4 >6.5
It is important for YOU to KNOW what these results mean. One of my specialties was working with pre-diabetic patience, and helping them understand their test results, and then working to lower their blood sugars back to normal. However, something that was reoccurring in speaking with many of the "pre-diabetic" patience, was that when their blood sugars were in the Type II Diabetic range, they would tell me that their doctor did not tell them they were type 2 diabetic.
Risk complications related to high blood sugars:
There are many long-term complications from untreated high blood sugars. These would include:
Diabetic neuropathy (damage to the blood vessels of the retina), which could lead to blindness.
Diabetic nephropathy (kidney damage or kidney failure)
Feet problems that are caused but nerve damage or poor blood flow, which can lead to serious infections, and in some cases amputation
Bone and joint problems
Teeth and gum infections
Skin problems, which can include bacterial infections, fungal infections, and non-healing wounds
Did you know that people who have had type 2 diabetes have been able to lower their blood sugars back to normal? Even people who were previous taking medications and/or insulin, to help control blood sugars, have been able to get off their medication, and keep their blood sugars normal just by living a healthy lifestyle. Some of the best things to do to help lower the blood sugars back to normal are to exercise leisurely after meals, get plenty of sleep, and eat plenty of high fiber foods.
In just 2 weeks there are clearly noticeable results on the blood sugars when placed on a high-fiber, plant-based diet. The Pritikin Longevity conducted a study that placed 650 diabetic people on a high-fiber, plant based diet. 71% of those who were on oral medication were able to discontinue their use, in just 2 weeks. 39% of those on insulin were able to stop completely. That’s just 2 weeks!
Remember that it is important to continue taking your medications as directed by your physician, until told different. While type 1 diabetes are insulin dependent, following a healthy lifestyle can help decrease the amount of insulin needed. Below are tips on how to naturally lower your blood sugar and stay clear of type 2 diabetes.
Some quick tips to help lower blood sugars are:
Increase the total amount of fiber to 30-40 grams per day. The average American consumes around 15 grams a day. Foods that contain fiber are fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds, and legumes.
A great way to increase fiber is to add ½ a cup of beans to your largest meal. Research has shown beans help to keep the blood sugars more stable for several hours. Say you eat a ½ cup of beans with your lunch today, your blood sugars could be lower after your dinner because of the beans you ate at lunch time. Beans are a low glycemic food, which means they do not increase the blood sugars much. Beans contain fiber and resistant starch which increases colonic fermentation (gut bacteria). Gut bacteria takes fiber from foods and turn them into propionate, which gets into our system and slows down the rate at which food leaves our stomach. This makes the impact of our blood sugars and keeps them lower for lower periods of time.
Increase your fruits and vegetables intake. Fruits and vegetables are typically low in calories and high in nutrients and fiber. Make sure to get 5 plus cups of fruits and vegetables a day.
Whole food fats are the way to go. These would include nuts, seeds, olives, avocadoes and coconut. There are the healthy type of fats that naturally occur in plant-based foods.
Taking a leisurely walk after a meal can help lower your blood sugars from 1-3 points per minute spent walking. Say you walk for 15 minutes after your meal, this can help lower your blood sugars 15-45 points.
Cut down or out on the soft drinks and other calorie liquids. These tend to be high in calories and sugar, which will make the blood sugars spike up quickly. Choose water in place of these drinks, or try a sparkling naturally flavored water when craving a soft drink.
The best and most accurate way to see if you are pre-diabetic or type 2 diabetic is to have your hemoglobin A1C checked. It’s important to ask your doctor to run this test along with your other blood work.
If you or someone you know is suffering from diabetes and want some more personalized advice, click below to schedule your consultation with Kylee, a Registered Dietitian. She specialized in helping people lower their blood sugars and return to normal levels. Your health is worth it!
For more information and recipes that can help reverse type 2 diabetes, click below to get my cookbook, Simply Fresh!