Ask Dr. Taz MD: Is There Alternative Medicine For Prediabetes?

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Q: I’m prediabetic. Are there alternatives to drugs to avoid type 2?
Sharon Costello, Elkins Park, PA

A: Yes, research has shown that you can keep diabetes at bay permanently just by changing your diet, which is part of the three-pronged integrative approach I take to treating prediabetes. Here’s what I recommend.

Go high fiber, low sugar. Fiber, best in the form of fruits and vegetables, takes longer to digest, preventing insulin spikes and blood sugar peaks and valleys. Aim for 40 g of fiber a day. (The average American gets only about a quarter of that!) Then follow the “no white food” rule: Avoid sugar and refined carbohydrates. This will also help manage insulin resistance and can help you avoid or minimize use of medications. (Consider these 13 Delicious Low-Sugar Dinners.)

Add superfoods. Fenugreek, garlic, vinegar, and aloe vera are considered to be diabetes superfoods. Watch your diabetes markers improve once you start adding fenugreek seeds and garlic to your favorite recipes, dressing salads with oil and vinegar, and drinking a few daily ounces of aloe vera juice, available in drugstores.

Meditate. In studies, mindfulness meditation reduced blood sugar spikes and improved hemoglobin A1C scores—a diabetes marker—within 3 months in people with diabetes. Stress can cause blood sugar to rise, so managing daily tension is critical for diabetes prevention. Devote 2 to 3 hours a week to practicing a stress-management technique.

Try Gymnema sylvestre. You probably haven’t heard of this Ayurvedic herb, which can be found in health food stores, but studies show that, taken in a starting dose of 250 mg, it may lower blood sugar levels; improve the function of the pancreas, where insulin is made; and help the body use glucose more effectively. Add this to a diabetes-beating supplement regimen that includes 2 to 3 g of omega-3 fatty acids, 200 mg of alpha-lipoic acid, and 500 mcg of chromium picolinate daily. (Check out other herbs that heal.)

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diabetes, Diabetic, Dr. Taz, type 2

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These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any diseases.
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