Type 2 Diabetes or Non-Insulin Dependent Diabetes Mellitus generally affects people over age 40 and has a significant correlation to being overweight. Diabetes is sometimes also called a western lifestyle disorder. It has been shown that when other cultures start adopting the western lifestyle primarily with regard to diet, diabetes cases shoot up.
Controlling diabetes therefore would mean reverting to a more natural diet and to a healthier lifestyle.
Some simple steps that can be taken to control diabetes are:
1. Diet - A high fat, high sugar diet completely throws off your body's ability to process insulin. There is not enough insulin to process glucose to energy. You can help your body by having a balanced diet and controlling your sugar intake. Avoid refined food as much as possible. Incorporate whole grain foods like whole wheat, brown rice, millets, corn, bulgur, buckwheat, bran, oats, wheat germ and couscous. Try them in new recipes and you will find that changing your diet is actually fun after all.
2. Exercise- Shun a sedentary lifestyle. Exercise helps in burning fat, reducing stress and reducing weight. These are key ingredients of diabetes control. While being a regular at the gym is great, you may not always have the time or motivation for it. The best method is to work exercise into your life. Take the stairs as much as possible, park at a distance and walk, walk about while talking on the phone. Adopt simple habits that involve exercise. Diabetics however should be careful to avoid weight lifting or other forms of exertion that involve pushing or pulling heavy objects as these activities raise blood pressure.
3. Quit Smoking - You will be doing your body a world of good by giving up smoking. Not only does smoking increase your risk of getting diabetes by 3 times, but your body also is unable to respond to insulin. Smoking while having diabetes also increases your risk of getting complications such as eye, kidney and nerve problems.
4. Reduce Alcohol Consumption - Many alcoholic drinks contain sugar. Excessive alcohol can decrease your blood sugar to dangerous levels and can also increase triglyceride levels and blood pressure. Cut down on your alcohol consumption to no more than 1 drink a day. Drink slowly and only with food. Avoid mixed drinks that contain high sugar levels.
5. Vitamins and Supplements - Gymnema Slyvestre or Meshashringi is a herb that has the curious effect of deadening the taste buds on the tongue to the taste of sugar for a few hours. As a result sugar & foods containing sugar are simply not attractive any more. In addition the Gymnemic acid has a hypoglycaemic effect thus helping to control blood sugar. It is the most important herb in Ayurveda for controlling blood sugar levels. Another important herb/vegetable is Bitter Gourd or Karela. Vitamin B6 and B12 may help decrease the severity of diabetic neuropathy and reduce insulin demands in Type 2 Diabetics. It has also been shown that seasoning your food with cinnamon with about 1/4 tsp at every meal may help regulate blood sugar levels