Can Tea Help With Diabetes? Is It Beneficial?

Can Tea Help With Diabetes? Is It Beneficial?

Can Tea Help With Diabetes? Is It Beneficial?

When living with diabetes, every food and drink choice becomes a conversation. Deciding what you put in your body can be a daunting task when the consequences of choosing poorly are more extreme than what a person living without diabetes might face. It’s also true that food and drink choices can be some of the simplest, and most empowering, ways for people living with diabetes to manage their condition and its symptoms.
There has been some evidence in recent years that drinking certain teas, in certain quantities, can have a beneficial effect on your health whether you have diabetes or not. For those living with diabetes, tea actually has the potential to do a lot of good. Depending on what type you drink, tea can chemically assist your body with processing and managing sugar and insulin levels, and can also help people manage some of the symptoms of diabetes, including circulation problems, energy levels, blood pressure and more.
A Little Background on Tea
Tea is a hot or cold beverage consumed by billions of people across the globe daily, with 3 billion tons of tea produced every year for human consumption. There are many varieties of tea; green, white, black, oolong, rooibos, herbal… the list can be long and a bit intimidating, especially when you take into account that many “teas” don’t actually contain the leaves of the tea plant, or camellia sinensis, which is an evergreen shrub native to Asia. Rooibos is made from a bush native to Southern Africa. Herbal teas can contain flowers, leaves, or other parts of a number of different plant varieties, and all of th Continue reading

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How I Reversed My Diabetes and Stopped All Medications With a Plant-Based Diet

How I Reversed My Diabetes and Stopped All Medications With a Plant-Based Diet

I grew up at the tip of southern Texas with four brothers and three sisters. When I was eight years old, my father abandoned our family, and my mother was left to raise eight children on her own. In search of better employment, she moved us to the Chicago area in 1982. In high school, I thrived as an athlete and earned a football scholarship to the University of Michigan. In those days, I could eat whatever I wanted and did not have weight issues, because I was so physically active. At twenty-one years old I was 6’2″ and weighed 305 pounds.
A Family Medical History Filled With Diabetes, Heart Disease, and Cancer
As a young adult, I witnessed my beloved mother, the rock of our family, battle type 2 diabetes and the complications that come with it. She suffered from kidney failure, vision problems, and heart disease. After 33 years of fighting diabetes, she passed away in April of 2002. I miss her dearly. Just two months later, my oldest brother David passed away from pancreatic cancer.
Out of eight siblings, my sister Jill is the only one who has not been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. But she, too, has felt its impact personally, since she donated one of her kidneys to our mother. My sisters Carol and Sandra, and my brothers Martin and Joe (my twin), have all struggled with the disease for years. Just two months ago, Joe also suffered a heart attack. Martin suffers terribly: he has had a pancreas and kidney transplant, is legally blind, had his right leg amputated, goes to dialysis three times a week, and takes 25 medications every day.
My Own Struggle With Diabetes
I Continue reading

In Diabetes Fight, Lifestyle Changes Prove Hard To Come By In Mexico

In Diabetes Fight, Lifestyle Changes Prove Hard To Come By In Mexico

Let's say you'd like to go for a run in Mexico City.
Dr. Tonatiuh Barrientos, an epidemiologist with Mexico's National Institute of Public Health, thinks that's a good idea — in theory. An expert on diabetes, he'd like to see more people in the Mexican capital get out and exercise to combat the disease.
But as a runner himself, he knows that Mexico City isn't an easy place to jog. In a metropolis of 22 million, there are only a handful of parks where people can run.
"Look, this is a fairly crowded street. It's a pretty noisy street. It's polluted," Barrientos says walking through the Tlalpan neighborhood that lies between his office and his home. "Now just imagine trying to convince yourself to get out there and run."
It's a tough sell. "I mean the only place for you to really run is on the sidewalk. You can't run on the street because you'll probably get run over," he says.
The sidewalk is an uneven mix of broken cement slabs and cobblestones. Street vendors have set up little tables and carts to sell everything from electrical supplies to fried pork cracklings.
There are so many people that it's hard to even walk at a fast clip.
And if you do manage to find a stretch of sidewalk, the elevation in Mexico City combined with the smog and the chances of getting mugged make running a hard thing to get excited about.
"There are a lot of obstacles," Barrientos says as he dodges his way past low-hanging awnings. "And you need to deal with that if you wanted to try to run here."
Professionally, Barrientos has tracked the slow, steady rise in Type 2 diabetes in Mexico. Roughly 14 Continue reading

There’s Now More Evidence That Type 2 Diabetes Can Actually Be Reversed

There’s Now More Evidence That Type 2 Diabetes Can Actually Be Reversed

A new study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism is sweetening the pot when it comes to the potential of reversing type 2 diabetes and adds to the growing body of evidence that intensive lifestyle changes can go a long way in managing the disease.
Researchers found that when diabetes patients received a combination of oral medication, insulin, and a personalized exercise and diet plan for two to four months (and then stopped all diabetes medication), up to 40 percent were able to keep their blood glucose numbers at remission levels for three months without meds. (Find out the silent signs you might have diabetes.)
“The idea of reversing the disease is very appealing to individuals with diabetes. It motivates them to make significant lifestyle changes and to achieve normal glucose levels,” said study author Natalia McInnes, MD, MSc, FRCPC, of McMaster University in Canada in a news release. (Typical treatment for the roughly 29 million Americans with type 2 diabetes is regular blood glucose testing, insulin, and medication.)
For the study, 83 individuals with type 2 diabetes were split into three groups. Two received oral medication, insulin, and a personalized exercise and diet plan that cut their daily caloric intake by 500 to 750 a day (one group followed the intervention for eight weeks, the other was treated for 16 weeks); both groups stopped taking diabetes medications at the end of the intervention and were encouraged to continue the lifestyle changes on their own. A control group received standard blood sugar management advice.
Three mo Continue reading

Reversing Diabetes Through Weight Loss: How Much Should You Lose?

Reversing Diabetes Through Weight Loss: How Much Should You Lose?

Your doctor probably preaches healthy eating habits and exercise to manage type 2 diabetes, and while both of those things work to help keep your blood sugar in check, they can also help you lose weight. And weight loss may be the key to reversing type 2 diabetes, according to an analysis published in September 2017 in the journal BMJ.
The authors noted that losing 33 pounds (lbs) often helps put diabetes into remission. Yes, that sounds pretty specific, but it makes more sense if you consider that the data is based off of losing 15 kilograms, which equals 33 lbs. It's a bold statement, considering many people think type 2 diabetes is a chronic, lifelong condition.
The specific figure is taken from previous research: A study published in May 2016 in the journal Diabetes Care found that 40 percent of people who lost about 33 lbs and kept it off for six months through a low-calorie diet were able to send the diabetes into remission.
In that study, the authors concluded that type 2 diabetes “is a potentially reversible condition.” That said, it doesn’t mean that you should aim to lose 33 lbs specifically. “Further work on this is ongoing, regarding the actual weight loss needed,” says study coauthor Louise McCombie, RD, research associate at the University of Glasgow in Scotland.
Indeed, this is part of a larger body of research that will be presented at the International Diabetes Federation in December 2017. And while 40 percent of people sending diabetes into remission is an impressive figure, it also suggests that this is possible for some people but not everyone. Continue reading

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