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Stronger than diabetes: Ways to prevent and manage diabetes naturally


By Dr. Stan Headley, natural health consultant for Cypress Pharmacy

November marks National Diabetes Awareness Month. A time that focuses on the risks, prevention and cure of diabetes – a nationwide epidemic that affects more than 30 million Americans and counting.

According to the American Diabetes Association, approximately 88 million adults have prediabetes, although more than 84% don’t know they have it. Prediabetes is a serious health condition where blood sugar levels are higher than normal, but not high enough yet to be diagnosed as type 2 diabetes. It’s considered a warning sign for making smarter lifestyle choices now before it’s too late.

A physical, emotional and financial burden. Diabetes is not one but several chronic medical conditions that alter the balance of insulin and glucose, which affects how your body turns food into energy. Having diabetes dramatically increases the risk of heart disease, heart attack and stroke. Without proper management, it can also lead to kidney failure, vision loss and the risk for limb amputation.

Can Diabetes be Prevented?

Well, yes and no – depending on whether it’s type 1 or type 2 diabetes. Both are important to understand and have consequences that can be devastating on the body.

In type 1 diabetes, the immune system attacks and destroys the ability of the pancreas to make insulin. It can’t be prevented but it can be managed to reduce the risk of complications. Most people with type 1 diabetes are diagnosed in childhood with a strong family history of the disease.

Type 2 diabetes accounts for 90-95% of all cases, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and can often be prevented or delayed with proven lifestyle changes. With type 2 diabetes, the body either doesn’t produce enough insulin or the cells resist the insulin.

So, what can you do to reduce your risk of developing diabetes?

Path to Prevention

Small changes can lead to big results. Research shows that proven, structured lifestyle changes can cut the risk of type 2 diabetes in half. Here are a few simple ways to get started today:

  • Limit processed and prepackaged foods
  • Watch out for refined sugars and carbs
  • Control and measure portion sizes
  • Commit to staying physically active
  • Maintain a healthy weight

Another area where efforts can pay off is nutritional supplements. If taken at the right time and in the right amounts, they can have a profound impact on blood glucose levels, helping protect you against the debilitating effects of diabetes.

Consider some of these science-based nutritional supplements highly recommended for people with diabetes – turmeric, vanadium sulfate, chromium, lipoic acid, gymnema sylvestre, omega-3 fatty acids, magnesium and vitamins A, C and E. Studies have also found that cinnamon and garlic may help for reducing blood sugar levels. Consult with a medical professional to determine the best supplements to support your diet and other factors that can affect your glucose levels.

Bottom line: a healthy lifestyle and diet are key to preventing or managing diabetes. Eliminate undesirable habits and replace them with new healthy ones by making small daily and weekly goals. Keep it simple with manageable steps to help you stick to your goals.

And remember – if you slip up, just start again.

Managing a Life With Diabetes

diabetes management

November marks National Diabetes Awareness Month, an annual focus on the risks, preventative measures and ways to improve the lives of those with the disease. According to the American Diabetes Association, more than 30 million children and adults are living with diabetes in America, and nearly 1.5 million adults are newly diagnosed each year. Coping with diabetes can be challenging. Although there is no cure, diabetes can be managed with the right resources, support, proper nutrition and a healthy lifestyle.

The first step to managing a life with diabetes is to understand what it means. Every day, your body breaks down sugar and starches into simple sugars known as glucose, which the body uses as energy. Insulin, a hormone produced by the pancreas, is used to move the glucose from the bloodstream into the cells of the body. Living with diabetes means that the body is unable to regulate its blood glucose levels, causing the levels to fluctuate severely. A diagnosis of Type 1 diabetes means that your body is unable to produce insulin and will require daily injections of insulin. Usually diagnosed in children or young adults, Type 1, or previously known as juvenile diabetes, affects only 5 percent of those with the disease. Type 2, the most common form of diabetes, means your body doesn’t properly use insulin and is unable to make enough insulin to keep your blood glucose levels normal.

Being diagnosed with diabetes can be daunting or even hard to believe. However, this diagnosis doesn’t mean that your life is over and that you can’t still enjoy the things that make you happy, it simply means that you will need to slightly alter your daily routines. Regardless of the type of diabetes, adopting a healthier lifestyle that includes proper diet and physical activity can aid in controlling the disease, helping to lower or delay the chances of any complications.

Follow these simple steps from the American Diabetes Association to manage your life with diabetes:

  1. Take care of your body: Type 1 diabetics will need multiple daily injections of insulin using either an insulin pen or syringe or an insulin pump. It is important to work closely with your physician to determine the appropriate dosage of insulin, the method and how to effectively monitor your blood glucose levels. It is vital for people living with Type 1 or 2 diabetes to monitor their blood glucose levels using a lancing device. Logging and regularly reviewing your results to see how your diet and physical activity levels affect your blood glucose will help you to maintain a healthy balance. Consult with your physician to determine the best lancing device and logging system for your body and needs.
  2. Stay active: Physical activity is a key component to properly caring for your body. It is necessary to balance your blood glucose levels with your nutrition and activity level – whether a high-intensity workout or a daily task like cleaning. To prevent low glucose levels, check your level prior to starting an activity and be sure to monitor the intensity of the activity, length of time and if any changes to your insulin doses are needed. It is important to note that blood glucose can run high during high-intensity workouts. Work with your physician to determine the best exercise plan that will have a perfect balance with your food intake and insulin.
  3. Eat properly: Over the years, meal plans for people with diabetes have become less restrictive. Those with diabetes can now plan a diet that includes a few of their favorite foods or variations of them. It is important to consult with your physician to understand how different foods affect your blood glucose levels and to develop a customized meal plan. The key to adopting a healthy lifestyle is to plan your meals with a variety of foods, including vegetables, fruits, lean meats, healthy fats and non-fat dairy. For optimal health, consider adding dietary supplements to support your glucose levels such as alpha-lipoic (ALA), chromium, coenzyme Q10, garlic, magnesium and omega-3 fatty acids. Consult with your physician to determine the best supplements to support your diet, activity levels and other factors that affect your glucose levels.

Cypress Pharmacy supports the American Diabetes Association’s efforts to focus the nation’s attention on diabetes and its mission to prevent and cure diabetes and improve the lives of those living with the disease. To learn how Cypress Pharmacy can assist you on your journey with diabetes or for more information on dietary supplements that aid those with diabetes, call 239-481-7322 or visit www.cypresspharmacy.com.

Did You Know Diabetes is Linked to Cardiovascular Disease?


Adults with diabetes are nearly twice as likely to die from heart disease or stroke as people without diabetes. This is because over time increased blood sugar from diabetes can damage endothelial blood vessels and the nerves that help control heart function.

High blood sugar and cardiovascular disease are interconnected. Nearly, 30 million people have diabetes in the USA, and a vast majority of our population unknowingly has what’s known as prediabetes, which quickly escalates into the disease within a short amount of time due to various risk factors.

Heart disease and the issue of high blood glucose are very closely associated because of many risk factors contributing to what’s known as metabolic syndrome. Metabolic syndrome is a condition in which the high insulin levels are resistant, causing a situation called insulin resistance plus additional imbalances leading to high blood pressure, high cholesterol, elevated triglycerides, and increased visceral fat which increase the risk for heart disease and can stress the kidneys.

Insulin is a hormone produced from the beta cells in the pancreas, which helps to move sugar into the blood for energy. In the case of insulin- resistance, the person has too much sugar, and the body cannot adequately utilize the source. This generally leads to a more sedentary lifestyle, weight gain, and obesity many times manifesting into other symptoms or conditions.

In recent years, metabolic syndrome has become a very common diagnosis in the offices of primary care physicians and cardiologist alike. When the vessels are circulating high glucose levels in the blood, atherosclerosis can occur leading to hardening of the arteries.

Unfortunately, sugar has become a significant staple in the standard American diet ( SAD Diet). In fact, the average American eats approximately 150 pounds of sugar on an annual basis. Normal fasting blood sugar should be around 70-99mg/dl. The normal A1C, which measures the blood glucose level, should be below 5.7%.

Diabetes type ll complications include: heart disease, kidney disease, vascular disease, neuropathy, skin conditions, stroke, vision loss, blindness, amputations, non-healing ulcers, alzheimer’s and dementias have occurred as well.

There is also growing number of individuals both young and old that are developing “prediabetes”. If this condition is left untreated their risk of heart disease, cognitive decline, strokes, and other adverse conditions are extremely high due to impending diabetes.

Being proactive about your health is critical. The earlier the diagnosis is made, the better the outcome and prospect for reversal of this common disorder.

By making the essential lifestyle and behavioral changes now, like being more active ( moderate exercise doing something you enjoy to get your heart rate up), making healthier food choices and eliminating sugar, and reducing stress can go a long ways towards keeping you healthy and minimizing your risk of both prediabetes and diabetes.

Since November is National Diabetes Month, implement some of these simple preventive strategies today. Your body and mind will thank you later.!

For questions or comments, call 239-481-7322 or visit http://www.cypresspharmacy.com. We can help you on your journey to better health.

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