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Type 2 diabetes can be a 'devastating diagnosis' says expert

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Type 2 diabetes is a chronic condition characterised by unruly blood sugar levels, which threaten to overwhelm the body. Blood sugar is the main type of sugar found in blood. In a healthy body, insulin regulates blood sugar. Unfortunately, if you have type 2 diabetes, insulin production is severely curtailed. The result is rising blood sugar levels.

You must therefore find alternative means of regulating blood sugar levels if you have type 2 diabetes.

Specific dietary items have been shown to lower blood sugar levels and one that has attracted increasing attention is okra.

Commonly referred to as ladyfingers, or by its biological names Abelmoschus esculentus and Hibiscus esculentus, okra is known to have a positive effect on blood sugar control, among many other health benefits.

Okra is a tall-growing vegetable that traces its origin from ancient Ethiopia (Abyssinia) through to Eastern Mediterranean, India, the Americas and the Caribbean.

“Evidence of okra having anti-diabetic properties has increased in recent years, adaalat episode 47 with multiple Vitro (laboratory) and Vivo (animal) studies confirming okra as a potent blood glucose-lowering (or anti-diabetic) food,” reports Diabetes.co.uk.

In one study, published in the Journal of Pharmacy & BioAllied Sciences, researchers in India found that diabetic mice fed dried and ground okra peels and seeds experienced a reduction in their blood glucose levels, while others showed a gradual decrease in blood glucose following regular feeding of okra extract for about ten days.

“Outside of scientific research, many people with diabetes have reported decreasing blood sugar levels after soaking cut-up okra pieces in water overnight and then drinking the juice in the morning, while in Turkey roasted okra seeds have been used as a traditional diabetes medicine for generations,” reports Diabetes.co.uk.

According to the health body, the superior insoluble fibre contained in okra is believed to help stabilise blood glucose by slowing the rate at which sugar is absorbed from the intestinal tract.

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General tips to lower blood sugar

As a general rule, you must watch your carbohydrate content if you have type 2 diabetes because

carbs are broken down quickly by your body and cause a rapid increase in blood glucose (sugar).

Following the GI index can help you to identify the worst culprits.

GI is a rating system for foods containing carbohydrates. It shows how quickly each food affects your blood sugar (glucose) level when that food is eaten on its own.

Carbs that are broken down quickly by your body and cause a rapid increase in blood glucose have a high GI rating.

High GI foods include sugar and sugary foods, sugary soft drinks and white bread.

Low or medium GI foods are broken down more slowly and cause a gradual rise in blood sugar levels over time.

They include some fruit and vegetables, pulses and wholegrain foods, such as porridge oats.

“Some low GI foods, such as wholegrain foods, fruit, vegetables, beans and lentils, are foods we should eat as part of a healthy, balanced diet,” notes the NHS.

However, according to the health body, using the glycaemic index to decide whether foods or combinations of foods are healthy can be misleading.

“Foods with a high GI are not necessarily unhealthy and not all foods with a low GI are healthy.”

For example, watermelon and parsnips are high GI foods, while chocolate cake has a lower GI value, it notes.

Type 2 diabetes – do you have it?

Many people have type 2 diabetes without realising. This is because symptoms do not necessarily make you feel unwell.

Symptoms of type 2 diabetes include:

  • Peeing 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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