Wednesday, April 24

Effectiveness of Dietary Supplements for Diabetes

If you stay in India, you could not have missed the name of diabetes. In fact, the chances are that you know more than one person who suffers from diabetes in your immediate surroundings. A study by a leading US organisation estimates that more than 40 billion Indians suffer from diabetes. The numbers are likely to go even higher in the coming time. This takes India to the top of the chart with diabetic citizens. dietary supplements

healthcare for diabetes

While many reasons are being explored, there are no conclusive results on what makes Indians so diabetes prone. Could our dietary habits and lifestyle be the reason for this? Find out your answer along with the role supplements play in controlling diabetes.

Understanding Diabetes-What Is Diabetes?

Diabetes refers to a group of conditions that result in excess sugar in the blood (also known as the blood glucose level). It could either be due to some problem in the pancreas resulting in low production of insulin. This is known as Type 1 diabetes. Or it may be due to the way in which your body processes the glucose in the blood. This is known as Type 2 diabetes.

Some people who have relatively high blood sugar than the average amount are known as pre-diabetics. With time, pre-diabetes may lead to Type 2 diabetes. Since diabetes cannot be totally cured, the emphasis is laid on diabetes management along with proper treatment.

In fact, with good management and effective changes in lifestyle, you can step ahead of your condition and lead a normal life.

Diabetes Management

For all incurable medical conditions, the emphasis is always put on proper management. Before we proceed to see the steps involved in diabetes management, it is essential for us to understand the goals here.

The primary goals of a diabetes management plan are to:

  • Keep the blood glucose level as controlled as possible.
  • Ensure that your blood pressure does not go above 140/90  level.
  • Reducing the chances of diabetes related complications.
  • Maintaining cholesterol level within the normal range.

Once you are steadfast in your goals, taking steps to manage your condition becomes easy. Here are the key steps in diabetes management:

  • Going for regular check-ups with your healthcare provider.
  • Monitoring the level of blood sugar and blood pressure at regular intervals
  • Timely intake of medicines as prescribed by your physician.
  • Being up to date with all the lab tests as prescribed by your doctor
  • Regular physical exercise
  • A planned diet

What Role Does Diet Play In Diabetes?

One of the most crucial points in diabetes management is the intake of a proper diet. There are already several restrictions that are posed regarding diet on every diabetic patient. Keeping these restrictions in mind, one has to come up with such a diet that supplies all the necessary nutrients in the required quantity.

dietary supplements for diabetes management

Many people go with the notion that diabetes means now you will have to cut down on all your favourite food. That is absolutely baseless. You may have to restrict the quantity of intake, but you definitely do not have to chalk anything totally off the list. (Unless recommended by the doctors). Along with a balanced diet, the healthcare industry and patients are now exploring the role natural supplements can play in diabetes management.

What Are Supplements?

Food or dietary supplements are products that are meant to provide you with vitamins, minerals and nutrients. They help you in sustaining a healthy diet without missing out on any of the essential elements. Unlike the common misnomer that people have, dietary supplements are not meant to totally replace the food that you are taking. They only help in boosting the nutrient absorption by the body.

Supplements for Diabetes

As a diabetic, it is important for you to ensure that your body gets all the nutrients that it needs. Unless you get proper levels of nutrition, your body will not be able to fight your condition well. Apart from that, having dietary supplements also keeps you ready to fight other associated problems that are often observed in diabetic patients.

Various researches are going on to investigate the role of different types of supplements for diabetes patients. So far, conclusive results could only be found about chromium and magnesium. Let us see how they help in diabetes management:

Chromium

Studies have revealed that boosting the level of chromium in the blood automatically reduces the level of glucose in the blood. For those who are struggling to maintain the level of glucose, chromium could be an excellent solution. However, an unregulated amount of chromium intake is also red-flagged by the physicians.

An excess of chromium can cause kidney damage, muscle dystrophies and even skin conditions. That is why before you start taking any supplement, it is essential to consult with the doctors and get a complete health check-up. Further opting for the organic supplements is recommended over the synthetic ones.

Magnesium

In most of the diabetic patients, the level of magnesium is found to be lower than usual. Magnesium is directly tied to the metabolism of glucose in the blood. That is why researches have tried to see what an enhanced level of magnesium could do for diabetes patients. And the results are positive. A minute and regulated amount of magnesium intake could improve the metabolism of glucose in the body.

However, just as in the case of chromium, high amounts of magnesium can also have detrimental effects on the body. Some of the common reactions of magnesium include diarrhoea and painful cramps.

Research is underway on the role of omega-3 fatty acids, alpha lipoic acids and so on. However, no conclusive results about them have not yet been found.

Final Thoughts

Overall, it may be concluded that supplements are beneficial for diabetes patients, but only when it is consumed in a regulated amount. Further, care needs to be taken as the reactions from overdose can even be fatal. Before you start taking any dietary  supplements, make sure you consult with a doctor. We hope, with this blog, all your queries regarding the role of supplements for diabetes has been resolved.

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