Type 2 diabetes is a lifelong condition that causes a person’s blood sugar level to become too high. Blood sugar levels rise due to a dysfunction in the way insulin, a hormone that regulates high blood sugar, is released. If the pancreas does not produce enough insulin or the body’s cells do not react to insulin, blood sugar levels have free rein.
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The consequences of this action become evident later on in the condition.
Over time, blood sugar levels damage blood vessels that supply vital organs, hiking the risk of developing a wide-range of serious complications.
The gravest complication is heart disease, a major killer both in the UK and worldwide.
To stave off the risk of rising blood sugar levels, diabetics have to find alternative means of curtailing this harmful process.
Diet offers one of the most effective solution because certain items have been shown to improve the body’s ability to respond to insulin.
One promising ingredient is inositol.
Inositol is a carbohydrate found in your body, as well as in food and dietary supplements.
Food sources include fruits, beans, grains and nuts.
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Research shows that inositol can be used to produce molecules that are involved in insulin’s action in your cells.
This lead researchers to investigate whether inositol could improve the body’s sensitivity to insulin — thus, reducing insulin resistance.
Several studies have borne out this hypothesis.
One six-month study in 80 postmenopausal women with metabolic syndrome (a cluster of conditions that can lead to heart disease) found that four grams per day of inositol improved insulin sensitivity, blood pressure and cholesterol levels more than a placebo.
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Blood pressure and cholesterol, a waxy substance found in your blood are independent markers for heart disease.
Other research in women with gestational diabetes has also shown benefits of inositol for insulin sensitivity and blood sugar control.
Gestational diabetes is high blood sugar (glucose) that develops during pregnancy and usually disappears after giving birth.
It is worth nothing that not all carbs are conducive to blood sugar control.
In fact, certain carbohydrates, including those found in starchy items such as white bread, can send blood sugar levels soaring.
Certain carbohydrates are broken down into blood sugar relatively quickly and therefore has a more pronounced effect on blood sugar levels than either fat or protein.
To separate friendly carbs from their harmful counterparts, follow the glycemic Index (GI) – a relative ranking of carbohydrate in foods according to how they affect blood glucose levels.
Type 2 diabetes – do I have it?
Many people have type 2 diabetes without realising – this is because symptoms do not necessarily make you feel unwell.
However, if symptoms do appear, you may experience:
- Urinating more than usual, particularly at night
- Feeling thirsty all the time
- Feeling very tired
- Losing weight without trying to
- Itching around your penis or vagina, or repeatedly getting thrush
- Cuts or wounds taking longer to heal
- Blurred vision
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