Approximately 95 per cent people suffer from type 2 diabetes, which is primarily obesity and lifestyle-related diabetes that can be prevented by diet modification and exercise. We normally diagnose diabetes when fasting blood sugar is more than 125 mg/dl, which is primarily affected by hours of fasting and quantity and quality of carbohydrate meal consumed during dinner the night before.
A postprandial blood sugar level of more than 200 mg/dl is diagnosed as diabetes. The majority of obese people, who are in between the 100-125 mg/dl fasting sugar ranges and/or 140-200 mg/dl post-lunch ranges are at risk of developing diabetes and termed as pre-diabetic. Diabetes can be reversed at pre-diabetic stage with lifestyle modification (diet and exercise).
Home remedies can help you tremendously in controlling blood sugars at pre-diabetic stage and preventing its progression to diabetes.
Now, we have a more reliable test called HbA1c (Glycated Haemoglobin), which shows an average of blood sugars over last 3 months which is not affected by hours of fasting and quality of food consumed. A normal person has a HbA1c value of 5.7% or less. A pre-diabetic person’s HbA1c value ranges between 5.7-6.4%; 6.5% and above is diagnosed as diabetes.
Type 2 diabetes is a progressive disease. When diabetes develops, approximately 60% of pancreatic beta cells are dead and eventually, over time, beta cells keep on diminishing and finally a stage arrives when exogenous insulin is necessary to control blood sugar.
5 Surprising Facts about Type 2 Diabetes
- The highest relative rates of type 2 occur in the small island republic of Nauru in the South Pacific. More than 30 percent of the 10,000 residents are afflicted. The main reason here is obesity – more than 90% of all adults are obese.
- Type 2 diabetes is more common in African Americans, Latinos, Native Americans, and Asian Americans/Pacific Islanders, as well as the aged population.
- Both types of diabetes share the same name, but the treatment is very different: whereas type 1 patients are dependent on insulin injections, type 2 patients can lower their insulin resistance with exercise and healthier eating habit, plus medication.
- The symptoms of type 2 diabetes can sometimes be so mild you don’t notice them. In fact, according to WebMD, about 8 million people who have it don’t know it.
- While daily high-quality sleep is important, too much sleep might be just as risky, with Canadian researchers revealing the risk of type 2 diabetes doubles among people who sleep more than eight hours a night. The magic sleep number, research has suggested, is between 7-8 hours a night.
Natural home remedies are fruits and vegetables, which help lower blood sugar levels by reducing carbohydrate absorption from the gut, delaying gastric emptying or preserving and promoting beta cell function.
Also, in the case of already developed diabetes, these home remedies, along with medication, can help keep blood sugar under control. In diagnosed diabetes patients, it is not an alternative to medication but adjunct to medication.
Commonly-used natural home remedies for type 2 diabetes include fenugreek (methi), bitter gourd (karela), cinnamon (dalacini), Indian gooseberry (amla) and black plum (jamun). Other natural home remedies include guava, green tea, okra, aloe vera, cloves and peas.
All these home remedies are effective only if they are consumed daily for at least 2-3 months. In known diabetes patients who are already on insulin or certain medication, occasional or sudden use may induce hypoglycaemia. In such a case, it is advisable that you consult your diabetologist before starting such home remedies.
About the author
Dr Nikhil Prabu is a Mumbai-based Consulting Diabetologist. He did his post-graduate studies in Diebetology from College of Physicians & Surgeons of Mumbai at Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital & Research Centre Mumbai and completed his MBBS from R.C.S.M. Govt. Medical College, Kolhapur in 2008 (MUHS).