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Blood Sugar Management

Can one get rid of diabetes mellitus (Type 1 & 2), if I he/she stops eating carbs?

No, diabetes mellitus is an incurable disease once you have diagnosed with it. However, it can be controlled/managed with healthy lifestyle and dietary habit consistently and lead a normal life like others.  Not eating carbohydrate or severely restricting carbs is nearly impossible for any length of time, especially for diabetics; in fact, not even recommended for a healthy individual.  It is not healthy as this practice will cause malnutrition at some extent especially on essential macronutrients (carbohydrate), which is playing important role in supplying instant energy to body cells compared to fats or protein sources. Eat healthily and moderately will be smarter than restrict it completely.

What are the signs and symptoms of sugar imbalance?
  • Frequent urination
  • Always feel fatigue
  • Unusual weight loss
  • Constant hunger
  • Craving for sweets
  • Excessive thirst
What will happen if the blood sugar is poorly managed?

If blood sugar level is persistently high, long-term complications that may develop are:

  • Diabetic neuropathy (nerve damage)
  • Diabetic retinopathy, may lead to vision loss gradually
  • Diabetic nephropathy (kidney damage)
  • Poor blood circulation
  • Increase the risk of cardiovascular diseases
What is blood sugar imbalance?

Blood sugar imbalance is a condition in which your body does not handle glucose effectively resulting blood sugar levels fluctuate throughout the day. Long-term blood sugar imbalance can be harmful to our body cells.

How to manage sweet food craving?
  • Nourish the body with a balanced diet 
  • Eat regular meals to stabilize blood sugar level 
  • Choose healthy snacks such as fruits to satisfy your sweet tooth 
  • Avoid artificial sweeteners
  • Exercise regularly 
I often feel tired and lethargic after a heavy meal. This occurs especially after lunch and is usually accompanied by headaches. I also crave for sweet foods when I am hungry. Please help.

Your body does not handle glucose effectively. Poor diet, sedentary lifestyle, excess body weight and stress are some of the factors that cause blood sugar imbalance. Common symptoms include fatigue, cravings for sweet foods, increased appetite, and drowsiness that occurs shortly after meals. 

 
Dietary and lifestyle modifications are necessary to maintain a healthy blood sugar level. Your diet should be low in carbohydrate and moderate in protein and fat. Increase the consumption of vegetables and fruits that are rich in fiber. Processed food and refined carbohydrates such as sweets, desserts and noodles should be avoided. 
 
Certain herbs are known to aid in blood sugar regulation. They are:
  • Gymnema contains gymnemic acid which helps to regenerate the insulin-secreting beta cells in the pancreas and enhances the production of insulin. 
  • Fenugreek is found to increase glucose utilization and slow down carbohydrate absorption. 
  • Holy basil improves glucose utilization 
  • Bitter melon helps lower glucose absorption. 
These beneficial herbs are suitable for individuals with high blood sugar and it is best taken together for synergistic effect.
I am a diabetic patient and I have been monitoring my blood sugar level all this while. However, my blood sugar level is inconsistent and varies from 7.0mmol/L to 13.0mmol/L. What should I do?

The blood sugar of individuals with diabetes may alter significantly with diet. After meals, the blood sugar level will rise and after you had a night’s rest, it will usually be low in the morning. High dose of insulin or oral diabetes medications also causes the blood sugar to be too low and vice versa. 

Another factor that affects blood sugar level is an illness. Illness or infection exerts physical stress on the body which increases the insulin requirements. Thus, it is important to carefully monitor blood sugar levels when you are suffering from any illness. 
 
On the other hand, physical activity can lower blood sugar since glucose is used to supply the body’s increasing needs. However, one is advised to consider the type of physical activities because vigorous exercise can actually bring down your blood sugar to dangerous levels. 
 

Gymnema, fenugreek, bitter melon and holy basil are herbs traditionally used lower blood sugar level in diabetic individuals.

  • Gymnema contains gymnemic acid which helps to regenerate beta cells and enhance the production of insulin. 
  • Fenugreek and holy basil help to reduce blood sugar level 
  • Bitter melon helps to lower glucose absorption in the intestinal tract
 
Diet plays a vital role in our health and wellness and this is an undeniable fact especially for diabetes patients. Adopt a high fiber diet that includes oat bran, brown rice and wholemeal bread. Reduce the intake of saturated fats such as red meat, poultry skin and fried foods. Frequent small meals instead of three large ones are recommended.

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