If you find yourself craving sweet foods and are desperately trying to lose weight, or manage Type 2 Diabetes, then a herbal remedy called “Blood Sugar Support” and supplements of Magnesium and GTF Chromium may be just what you need to get rid of those desires for sugary foods destructive to your health.
When your body has difficulty in controlling your blood sugar you can develop sugar cravings. Whenever you eat your blood sugar levels rise. Since high blood sugar levels damage your body, it releases insulin to bring your blood sugar levels down.
When you eat sugary foods your body has to release larger amounts of insulin, as very high blood sugar levels damage your body. The problem is these large insulin releases can bring your blood sugar levels down too low; at this point you are likely to crave sugar. Although sugary foods do give some temporary relief from sugar cravings and other low blood sugar symptoms, such as feeling faint, headaches, irritability, and fatigue; sugar will once again cause your body to produce a lot of insulin, so the cycle begins again. Over long periods of time this can result in an inability to produce insulin properly, resulting in Type 2 Diabetes.
A lack of magnesium can trigger sugar cravings, especially chocolate cravings. However the sugar does not give your body magnesium; in fact every time you have sugar you use up magnesium as it is used by the body to help metabolise sugar. Supplements of magnesium can reduce sugar craving and help stabilise blood sugar levels . If you have Type 2 diabetes or Pre-diabetes you are more likely to have low magnesium levels [2, 3].
Research is emerging which demonstrates the importance of another nutrient, Glucose Tolerance Factor (GTF) Chromium in stabilising blood sugar levels [4-6]. If supplements are used I recommend the Entire Katoa Food State supplements for the best absorption.
To best help your body you need to avoid sweet foods that cause overproduction of insulin, or in the case of Type 2 Diabetes, sweet foods that your body can no longer cope with. This means you need to avoid sugar , refined grains [8-10], and soft drinks (both the sugary ones and the diet version). Also check ingredients of the labels; avoid any that list sugar , corn syrup , and fructose .
Herbs such as Gymnema, Turmeric and Dandelion can help decrease your sugar cravings and stabilise your blood sugar levels.
Gymnema has a long tradition of use in India for people with diabetes. Recent research shows it can stabilise imbalances in blood sugar levels [11, 12], so decease craving for foods. It has been shown to help people who have Type 2 diabetes, whether they need insulin  or oral medication [14, 15], when taken for 12 to 20 months [13, 13, 14]. It seems to help the body produce correct amount of insulin [13-15]. Gymnema not only helps decrease blood sugar levels but also can lower cholesterol [11, 16]. There is also some evidence that Gymnema reduces the sweet taste of food [17, 18]; so a chocolate bar may become less appealing.
Research last year demonstrated that curcumin a component of Turmeric, another Indian herb, could help prevent Type 2 Diabetes. Two hundred and forty people with pre-diabetes took part in the nine month study; none of those who took curcumin developed diabetes whereas about one person in every six who didn’t take it became diabetic. In addition those who took curcumin had improved pancreas function (which produces insulin) and less sign of inflammation . Other research has shown turmeric to lower fats in the blood and have a protective antioxidant effect.
Dandelion is known to support the liver and is a general tonic  to the body. Traditionally it has been shown to alleviate blood sugar fluctuations [21, 22]. Like Gymnema and Tumeric, Dandelion can be used to help lower blood fats , and the protective antioxidant actions of Dandelion  are especially important for people who have diabetes.
Contact Bay Health Clinic today to find out more or to book a consultation with one of our Naturopaths; if needed they will also prepare tailored herbal medicines and recommend supplements to help you feel your best. Call 07 571 3226 or email us: email@example.com
Original Article February 2013
Copyright Jaine Kirtley MRN RN Reg. Nurse Reg. Naturopath
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