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|November is National Diabetes Month, and supporting normal blood sugar levels has become an increasing concern for many Americans in recent years. The holidays often bring happy moments and sweet temptations. While diet and exercise are the most important part of supporting normal blood sugar levels, there are also ways that traditional Chinese medicine and natural approaches can help.
According to traditional Chinese medicine, diabetes and high blood sugar levels are caused by deficiencies in the kidney, adrenal, pancreas, and lung organ systems. Diabetes is seen as a “thirsting and wasting” disorder and the symptoms include weight loss or gain, fatigue, thirst, and frequent urination. Acupuncture has been found effective for supporting normal blood sugar levels. Foods which clear heat and nourish the body’s fluid are spinach, turnips, pears, water chestnuts, mung beans, and bitter melon. It is advised that spicy food and alcohol be avoided.
Jade Spring nourishes body fluids, tonifies the Qi and yin, and clears heat; this TCM formula supports normal blood sugar metabolism, and is a good choice for those with frequent urination and extreme thirst. Berberine is a plant alkaloid used in TCM and ayurvedic medicine for supporting normal glucose levels. Berberine contains AMP-activated protein kinase, which has been shown to slow the release of free fatty acids and to reduce glucose production in the liver.
Natural ways include dietary changes, such as reducing sugar. The carbohydrates from your food are converted into a form of sugar called glucose. While glucose is extremely important for your body’s cell and brain, it can also cause your pancreas to reproduce too little or no insulin and create an imbalance in blood glucose levels. Adding plenty of fruits, vegetables, legumes, and fiber to your everyday diet and maintaining a healthy weight is important for managing these levels.
Herbs that have shown to support normal glucose metabolism include fenugreek, gymnema, bitter melon, cinnamon, aloe vera, and bilberry extract. Metagenics Fenugreek Plus contains a formula of three of these herbs: fenugreek, gymnema, and bitter melon.