High blood sugar, medically known as hyperglycemia, is a serious medical issue, especially for people affected by diabetes (diagnosed or un-diagnosed) that is not properly controlled, gestational diabetes, or pre-diabetes, a condition that significantly increases the risk of developing type 2 diabetes within 10 years. According to the International Diabetes Federation (IDF), diabetes affects 387 million people worldwide (as of 2014) and is expected to increase to 589 million by 2035.
One in 12 people suffer from diabetes, 1 person dies from diabetes every 7 seconds, and, even more alarming, 1 in 2 individuals with diabetes are unaware they even have it. In percentages, 46.3% of the world population is un-diagnosed with diabetes. As an example, in North America, there are 39 million people living with diabetes, and 27.1% of North Americans are still un-diagnosed.
Financially speaking, the figures are just as scary: in 2014 alone, diabetes expenditures reached a whopping $612 billion.
What Can You Do At Home For High Blood Sugar?
Controlling high blood glucose at home is not convenient nor affordable for most people. Yet, it is strongly encouraged and highly recommended by medical doctors worldwide.
Although the transient effects of short-term high plasma sugar (for several hours or a couple of days) may pose no risk of diabetes, people experiencing hyperglycemia for an extended period of time (weeks or months) need to have their plasma glucose levels properly controlled.
Preventative care is vitally important for minimizing the risk of developing pre-diabetes and type 2 diabetes in people with high blood glucose. Both of these conditions are highly preventable through lifestyle changes (most notably regular exercise and a healthy, well-balanced diet), weight management, relaxation techniques, and dietary supplements clinically proven to lower blood sugar.
According to WebMD, treating the symptoms of hyperglycemia in a timely manner is paramount for people with type 2 diabetes to prevent further complications associated with the disease. The good news is, there are things you can do at home for high blood sugar, and we examine many of these down below.
One thing to note before we begin: if you suffer from diabetes, it’s also important to properly control your blood pressure, because diabetes increases the incidence of cardiovascular disorders.
Natural Supplements For Regulating Abnormally High Plasma Glucose Levels
1. Gymnema sylvestre (also known as Gurmar Extract)
Thanks to its potent anti-sweet, hypoglycemic, and insulin-like properties, this miraculous fruit native to India has been used for blood glucose regulation all over the world for two millennia. Research shows the bio-active ingredients of the Gymnema fruit are contained in its leaves. These are classified as a group of gymnemic acids.
According to a 2012 study, Gymnema leaves extract successfully treated complications associated with diabetes (including hyperglycemia) in rats by significantly reducing plasma glucose and stimulating the production of insulin. A dosage of 400 mg per day is often recommended for individuals with abnormally high blood glucose levels, and diabetics should take the extract for a minimum of 1 year.
2. Blueberries (Raw, Frozen, or Capsules), Cranberry, and Bilberry Leaves Extract
Clinical trials suggest blueberries are highly effective in plasma glucose control. As shown in a 2009 study published in Phytomedicine, this is due to their anthocyanin compounds, which are known for their strong hypoglycemic activity. In addition to their high nutritional value and relatively low glycemic index (GI), blueberries are a well-known and potent antioxidant.
Furthermore, consumed either raw, frozen, or as capsules, blueberries can also return blood sugar levels to normal, improve insulin resistance, and minimize the risk of complications associated with type 2 diabetes through an antioxidant protective effect on the pancreatic beta cells. A recent in vitro study assessing the level of HgA1C hemoglobin in blueberries suggests 3 servings (1 gram each) consumed each day for a minimum of 3 months helps control hyperglycemia.
Other fruits of the genus “Vaccinus” with hypoglycemic and anti-diabetic effects include bilberry and cranberry. These are also rich in anthocyanidins, compounds that stimulate the release of special proteins responsible for carrying glucose to the cells. This process helps reduce hyperglycemia in diabetics. Both cranberry and bilberry leaves extracts are available for consumption as capsules.
3. Bitter Melon (Bitter Gourd or Karela ) Juice or Capsules
According to a 2013 study conducted by scientists at the Interdisciplinary Research Center, the seeds of karela or Momordica charantia are high in vegetable insulin (polypeptide-P) which has powerful blood sugar regulating effects. This miracle vegetable-fruit is also rich in essential vitamins, charantin, and momordicin. The latter two are proven to naturally improve hyperglycemia.
For optimum results, bitter gourd juice should be ingested on an empty stomach, but can be hard to swallow. Leave it in water with salt and turmeric for about 15 minutes to eliminate its bitter taste.
4. Other Dietary Supplements Clinically Proven To Regulate High Blood Sugar Levels
Various scientific studies indicate many other herbs, spices, and supplements are effective at controlling hyperglycemia. These include:
* cinnamon (consume 1 g or 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon daily for a minimum of 1 month)
* black seed or Nigella sativa oil (6 teaspoons for 7 days, then 4 teaspoons for 3 days)
* grape seed extract in capsule form (take 3 times per day)
* fenugreek seeds powder (up to 90 mg a day for 7 days)
* American ginseng (scientifically proven to decrease high plasma glucose levels in diabetics when taken before or with a glucose meal)
* chromium picolinate (50-200 mg per day)
* magnesium-rich foods or supplements (especially in cases of magnesium deficiency, which is known to worsen blood sugar control)
* vanadium supplements (in several human studies, vanadyl sulfate increases insulin sensitivity)
* vitamin C (600-1,000 mg of vitamin C per day is effective at normalizing plasma glucose in as little as one month)
* dietary-rich foods or supplements, such as beta-glucan and psyllium (Psyllium plantago) seeds, both of which are rich in soluble fiber and have beneficial effects on blood sugar control.
Lifestyle Changes – Exercise and Diet
According to the American Diabetes Association, people with high blood glucose levels should consume a healthy, low-fat diet that is high in organic vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds, extra virgin olive oil (preferably 1/4 cup before bedtime), flaxseed oil (found to decrease high plasma glucose levels by 28% when consumed daily), and fruits (the Mediterranean diet is an excellent example). Keep in mind, certain fruits with high fructose levels should only be eaten in moderate amounts.
A healthy diabetic diet typically includes somewhere between 10% and 20% of daily calories from high-quality protein, preferably from vegetable sources such as quinoa, chia seeds, and soybeans. Less than 30% should come from fat.
Not sure how to create a good diabetic meal plan? Want to know exactly what to eat and what not to eat to keep blood sugar in check and control (or even reverse) diabetes from home? David Andrews provides the answer in his Diabetes Destroyer program.
Diabetes Destroyer provides an 8-week diet plan popular amongst diabetics who choose to treat the disease on their own. Read a full review of the program here: http://newspapercat.org/diabetes-destroyer-review-does-david-andrews-3-step-pancreas-jumpstart-trick-really-reverse-diabetes/
In his book “The Devil in the Milk”, Dr. Kevin Woodford draws attention to the fact that animal milk not only has negative effects on plasma glucose control, but it also increases the incidence of diabetes and various types of cancer. Several healthy, all-natural and delicious substitutes are available, including oat milk, almond milk, and soy milk.
The glycemic index of foods and beverages is highly important to diabetics looking to reduce their glucose levels to normal. Foods with a GI less than 50, such as grapefruit juice and oatmeal, are considered low-GI foods and can be consumed safely. Individuals with hyperglycemia should watch the GI of the foods or beverages they consume on a daily basis, as it provides an estimate of how 1 g of carbohydrate raises their glucose levels.
Carbohydrates tend to have a huge impact on blood glucose, which is why it is imperative to watch how many carb servings you consume each day. Carbohydrate counting ensures the appropriate amount of carbs is consumed at each meal or snack.
According to Dr. Richard Bernstein, the author of 6 books on blood glucose control and diabetes, carbohydrate intake should be limited to only 30 mg/day in order to facilitate proper glucose control. Non-starchy vegetables are extremely low in carbohydrates and can be consumed safely, even in higher amounts.
Dr. Andrew Weil also recommends the consumption of generous amounts of non-starchy vegetables such as dark leafy greens, kale, spinach, bell peppers, zucchini, cabbage, broccoli, squash, eggplant, Brussels sprouts, cucumbers, and radishes. If you have diabetes, it is best to consume frequent, small meals in order to keep blood glucose levels at a healthy, normal range.
Regular exercise plays a key role in both regulating hyperglycemia and preventing the onset of type 2 diabetes. According to Dr. Weil, aerobic activity reduces hyperglycemia and improves insulin sensitivity.
Exercise should be performed regularly, with a minimum of three to four 30-minute sessions per week; 20-30 minutes of walking at least 3 times a week also has beneficial effects on blood sugar levels. As an added bonus, diabetics who exercise on a regular basis gain better control over their weight and blood pressure, thereby minimizing the incidence of various cardiovascular disorders commonly associated with diabetes.
- http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1018364712000481 (Gymnema study)
- http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2718544/ (Blueberries study)
- http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4027280/ (Bitter melon study)