Type 2 diabetes is becoming more and more common every year in Western societies. There are many factors for this ranging from diet, lack of exercise and genetics. With the help of your doctor and nutritionists, it can be a manageable disease.
In type 2 diabetes, either the pancreas does not make enough insulin, or the cells become resistant to insulin. Insulin takes sugar in the form of glucose, which is the main source of cellular energy, into the cells. If diabetes is untreated blood sugar levels get too high. This both starves the cells of energy, as well as damage eyes, kidneys, nerves and cardiovascular system.
While some who have type 2 diabetes experience no noticeable symptoms, others suffer from some of the most common symptoms of type 2 diabetes which are increased thirst, increased urination, fatigue, increased appetite, blurry vision, slow healing wounds and erectile dysfunction in men.
If you have diabetes, your first goal should be to control these symptoms and to help stabilize your blood sugar levels.
It is very important that you regularly test your blood sugars to monitor your daily levels. Watching your diet for fast releasing carbs and losing weight are two things you have immediate control over to help regulate your blood sugar levels. Exercise is also very important for bringing down elevated blood glucose levels. Both cardiovascular and weight training have been shown to help bring down high blood sugar. Before starting an exercise program, be sure to see your doctor first to find the right program.
If this does not help, medication may be necessary. Some drugs help the pancreas produce more insulin, some help the liver to produce less sugar, some decrease the stomachs absorption of carbohydrates, and some work on the cellular level to help the cells take in the glucose.
There are also dietary supplements that can be taken to help manage type 2 diabetes. One of the most common and most researches is the essential trace element chromium picolinate. Chromium plays a critical role in the metabolism of carbohydrates and fats.
We do get some chromium in our food. It can be found in meats, animal fats, fish, coffee, tea, whole wheat and rye breads and brewer’s yeast. However, it can be difficult to consume enough chromium on a regular basis to be of benefit.
Chromium picolinate has been shown to both improve glucose tolerance and decrease glucose levels after fasting. It has also been shown to help with lowering total cholesterol and triglyceride levels while at the same time, raising the good or HDL cholesterol levels.
One key piece of research done on chromium supplements demonstrated improved glucose tolerance in people with both type 1 and 2 diabetes. This is done by helping to increase the body’s sensitivity to insulin. This is also beneficial for those diagnosed with prediabetes.
Most of the studies done on chromium picolinate have been done on doses of 200 mcg a day. However, many doctors and naturopaths recommend up to 1 mg or 1,000 mcg daily for those with diabetes.
When considering the safety and low cost of supplementing chromium picolinate, there seems to be no obvious reason for anyone with diabetes or blood sugar issues to supplement this essential trace mineral.
Supplementing chromium or any other nutrients to help treat diabetes should be done under the watchful eye of your health care provider.