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Can You Manage Your Blood Sugar Naturally?

If you have type 2 diabetes, paying attention to exercise, diet and supplements could help you manage your blood sugar more naturally.
Can You Manage Your Blood Sugar Naturally?
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Metformin is a first-line medication for people with type 2 diabetes. Although doctors also prescribe it for different disorders, from polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) to prostate cancer, the majority of people taking it use it to control their blood sugar. Consequently, the news that several metformin drugs are contaminated with the probable carcinogen NDMA is alarming. Perhaps you, like other readers, are wondering if you can manage your blood sugar naturally. With type 2 diabetes, this is possible, though it may require significant effort.

How Do You Manage Your Blood Sugar?

Q. I recently read that some metformin pills are contaminated with a potential carcinogen. I would like to control my slightly elevated blood sugar levels naturally. Can you educate me on some natural approaches?

Learning About Metformin Contamination:

A. Valisure is the online pharmacy that tests all the medications it dispenses. It found that many batches of metformin contained the nitrosamine NDMA.

You can get your metformin tested for free by going to www.Valisure.com and clicking on “Test My Existing Medication.” You will need to sign up and order the Impurities Test. Use the coupon code METTEST. The company will send you a sample kit in which you can send back two metformin pills in the mail. Allow up to six weeks for results. Coupon availability is limited and no samples from VA or MA can be accepted. This offer is strictly for readers of The People’s Pharmacy.

Natural Ways to Manage Your Blood Sugar:

A variety of tactics can help control blood sugar for those with type 2 diabetes. (People with type 1 diabetes must use insulin, although changes in diet and exercise could help reduce the amount and timing of insulin they need to inject.)

Cutting back on carbs is a good first step. Exercise can also be quite beneficial (Diabetes/Metabolism Research and Reviews, online March 13, 2020). Losing weight can often make a difference to help you manage your blood sugar (Nutrients, April 26, 2019). Scientists have found that intermittent fasting could help you manage type 2 diabetes as well (Current Diabetes Reports, March 12, 2020). 

You may also be able to benefit from cinnamon and herbs like bitter melon, fenugreek and nopal (prickly pear) cactus. No matter what your strategies, frequent blood glucose monitoring is essential for measuring success. You must also work closely with your physician as you institute new ways to manage your blood sugar.

Learn More:

You can learn more from our eGuide to Preventing and Treating Diabetes. If you wish, you could listen to our interview with Dr. Kasia Lipska. It is Show 1173: How Is Diabetes Diagnosed and Treated?  An earlier interview may also interest you. It is Show 1036: How to Prevent Diabetes by Changing Your Life.

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About the Author
Terry Graedon, PhD, is a medical anthropologist and co-host of The People’s Pharmacy radio show, co-author of The People’s Pharmacy syndicated newspaper columns and numerous books, and co-founder of The People’s Pharmacy website. Terry taught in the Duke University School of Nursing and was an adjunct assistant professor in the Department of Anthropology. She is a Fellow of the Society of Applied Anthropology. Terry is one of the country's leading authorities on the science behind folk remedies. .
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Citations
  • Balducci S, "Prevention of type 2 diabetes by physical activity: what has history taught us?" Diabetes/Metabolism Research and Reviews, online March 13, 2020. DOI: 10.1002/dmrr.3308
  • Bolla AM et al, "Low-carb and ketogenic diets in Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes." Nutrients, April 26, 2019. DOI: 10.3390/nu11050962
  • Munoz-Hernandez L et al, "Intermittent fasting as part of the management for T2DM: From animal models to human clinical studies." Current Diabetes Reports, March 12, 2020. DOI: 10.1007/s11892-020-1295-2
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