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Mind-Body Natural Approaches to Diabetes

Diabetes mellitusMind-body natural approaches to diabetes are mostly ignored in traditional medicine. The truth of the matter is that the mind-body approach to control blood sugar is actually more effective, less costly and probably better for your overall health than traditional treatments.

The focus of these natural methods is on the relationship of behavior with diabetes. Diabetes, especially type 2 diabetes is often caused by lifestyle choices. An improper diet, leading a stressful life, and inactivity, are all causes of diabetes. With that said, there are certain hard decisions that you have to make to combat the disease.

Maintain a balanced diet

The most important of the mind-body natural approaches to diabetes is arguably diet. Diet, in itself, has the power of controlling and curtailing your diabetes. All it takes is for you to be mindful of what you eat. Understand that even the smallest indiscretions from you could cost you.

Your diet should have low refined sugar content. Refined sugar is glucose in its purest form, and you want to minimize its intake. Most of your deserts, soft drinks, baked goods, etc. contain loads of refined sugar. High glycemic food is a definite no.

You should supplement your diet with a highly viscous fiber. Fiber gives your body ample time to digest glucose, reducing insulin resistance in the long term.

Natural Supplements 

While the clinical data on natural supplements for diabetes is sketchy at best, there has been enough evidence to suggest that there might be advantages to using them.

Some natural herbs and supplements that are known to work include:

  • Chromium: This mineral has been found to improve the utilization of insulin in the body. It is found abundantly in green beans, nuts, egg yolk, etc.  
  • Alpha-lipoic acid: This antioxidant reduces nerve damage associated with diabetes. Found in foods like spinach, potatoes, broccoli, it also improves the effectiveness of insulin.
  • Garlic: It is known to lower blood sugar organically. It is also great for reducing the chances of heart disease.
  • Cinnamon: Cinnamon has been known to improve insulin sensitivity in some cases.
  • Gymemna: This herb is believed to lower blood sugar. Chewing on its leaves will do the trick.

Psychological Factors

Psychological factors play a defining role in the development and progression of diabetes. Mind-body natural approaches to diabetes would not be complete without talking about these psychological factors.

Stress is a huge player in diabetes. When you stress out, glucose levels in your body increase because of the hormonal changes that occur due to the stress. If you’re suffering from diabetes, you are more prone to stress than others. Due to the lack of insulin, your blood sugar spikes easily. Stress leads to carelessness, worsening your eating habits and if not countered, may even lead to full blown depression.

Here are a few stress related mind-body natural approaches to diabetes:

  • Exercise: Regular exercise is great for relieving stress. It keeps your muscles moving and allows your mind to relax. Exercise has also been known to combat insulin resistance. 20-30 minutes of moderate exercise per day is highly recommended.    
  • Breathing Exercises: Breathing exercises are great for relieving stress. Sit down, relax and take a deep breath. Hold for 10 seconds before exhaling. Repeat.
  • Meditation, yoga, and tai chi: These relaxation techniques have long been known to relieve stress and can help in treating diabetes.

If you are someone who believes in controlling your diabetes through self-care, these natural approaches are your ticket to a good life. It is also important to remember that if you are undergoing any traditional diabetes treatment already, it is best to consult your doctor before engaging in any of these mind-body natural approaches to diabetes.

About Joseph Giove

Joseph R Giove is a MindBody Wellness Coach, biomedical engineer and clinical hypnotist. For over 30 years he has helped people in all areas of health and fitness including weight loss, exercise physiology, addiction, stress and anxiety, insomnia, depression, diabetes, nutrition, chronic pain, and more. He offers a unique understanding of the mind and body to help you renew, recover from illness, and live optimally with vitality and vigor.

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