If you are trying to prevent pre-diabetes or early stage diabetes then you must learn how to control your blood sugar levels. It’s so easy to take medication to do this. But why would anyone want to live the rest of their lives using expensive meds . . . to control something that can be done naturally.
You must be in tuned to your body’s signals and be proactive. Knowledge plus action is the key to controlling diabetes without medication.
Know why your blood sugar levels fluctuate
We all have spikes in our glucose levels throughout any twenty-four hour period. Most of us are able to process the excess sugars we get from the foods we eat and either use it for immediate energy needs or store it for future use. We do this with the aid of insulin produced in our pancreas. Unfortunately, there is a growing number of people – almost one third of the US population – whose bodies can’t efficiently transport sugars from the blood to the cells. Their bodies are becoming, or have become, insulin insensitive. In other words they are in the pre-diabetes stages.
These people must rely on medication to do the job their bodies would normally do for them. With training and dedication you can prevent pre-diabetes and early-stage diabetes using limited or no medication.
Please note: Before eliminating any prescribed medications please check with your doctor. It may take you awhile to completely switch over to an all natural method of controlling your blood sugar. If you are on medication then you must wean yourself off them under medical supervision.
Ways to lower your blood sugar without medication
Here are 11 ways to control of your blood sugar levels without medication:
- I am a big advocate of doing physical training to prevent diabetes. And I believe that you must do a consistent exercise program that includes cardiovascular routines, resistance or weight training and flexibility training at least five days per week. Working out this way makes your body more sensitive to insulin. This means that glucose is able to get down to the very cell level where it can be used for needed energy or be stored.
- Sitting or being inactive for long periods of time is one of the short-comings of our modern society and it results in poor control of our blood sugar levels. In addition to your regular exercises, be conscious of how long you are being inactive. Keep a timer close at hand and set it for half an hour intervals. Take a five minute break at that time and do an active stretch at your desk or work area or go for a walk.
- Just as important as exercise, if not even more so, is the type of foods we eat. If you are a carb person – love to eat breads, excess pasta, starchy foods like potatoes and who likes to drink sugary drinks, then it’s time to change now. We must cut the types and amounts of excess carbohydrates we consumet and replace them with a more natural diet – as little additives as possible. I have tried different methods of getting my calories over the years and the one I use and would recommend is the Mediterranean style diet.
- Eat more fibrous foods. Fiber is not broken down but passes through our digestive system. When you eat them as part of a balanced diet they will slow your body’s absorption of carbohydrates and help with fat loss. It also adds bulk to our stool. Add foods containing soluble fiber – fruits, legumes, grains – to your diet. Other types of foods with good fiber are vegetables like cabbage, leafy greens, carrots; also grab a handful of nuts and seeds on the way out the door since most are full of fiber.
- You must give your body good quality rest at nights. Because diabetics have more glucose in their blood they tend to have limited sleep pattern. The main cause of this is the need to get rid of excess sugar by urinating more often. If you have to wake-up two, three or more times each night your days will not go well. You need about 7.5 hours of sleep each night – some more, some less.
- Reduce stress. If you let stress take control . . . your day is ruined. Your vison becomes blurry, your heart beats faster, your blood vessels tighten-up and your breathing becomes shallow. And worst of all you reach for your comfort (junk) foods to calm you down. When we learn to deal effectively with the causes of our stress we can have a peaceful and productive day and a restful night.
- Lack of Chromium and magnesium – Shortage of these two minerals can affect your blood sugar levels. Many diabetics claimed magnesium helps with leg cramps at night. Leg cramps is a direct result of high blood sugar and the resulting nerve damage it causes. Magnesium occurs naturally in dark green veggies, bananas and fish. Chromium picolinate will help with burning fat calories and excess carbs. I took picolinate for a time but I had no noticeable results. If you eat healthy eggs from grass fed chicken, meats, broccoli, string beans regularly then your chromium levels should be ok. You can check your levels of chromium and magnesium and make adjustments.
- Keep a food journal – Write down all the foods you eat for a two week period. It will help identify any food that may affect the control of your blood sugar level.
- Drink more water – Drinking water regularly throughout the day will keep your body hydrated. It has an added benefit to pre-diabetics and diabetics – water will help to flush out excess sugars through your urine and lower your blood sugar. Drink pure water and not water with additives – especially high fructose.
- Reduce your weight – especially your waistline. By controlling your weight you will control your blood sugar levels. You must reduce your waistline – women 35 inches or less and for men less than 40 inches – since an expanded waist can increase your risk of developing pre-diabetes or diabetes.
- Check your blood sugars regularly and visit your doctor who can give you medical guidance. Knowing what activities causes your blood sugars to fluctuate will give you better weapons to control it.
The above list is not complete but is a good start in controlling your blood sugar without medication.
Diabetes is a very debilitating disease. It can lead to serious complications – blindness, amputation, dialysis, and even death. If you were prescribed medication to treat the condition then follow your doctor’s order. While doing so, start putting the above methods into practice. Be sure to let your doctor know what you are doing.
As a personal trainer I encourage to learn more about your condition and make your day more active. Start by getting a copy of my book How to Prevent Pre-diabetes where I explain various exercises to help with preventing pre-diabetes and early-stage diabetes.