If you have Diabetes and are anything like me (and hopefully you are, if you’re Diabetic) you work hard towards maintaining your blood sugar levels. While diet, exercise and frequent blood sugar testing are the top methods of ensuring proper blood glucose levels, there are some supplements that are believed to help you along.
I wrote a post last year about the differences in vitamins and supplements, their varied uses and benefits. I re-posted this article in February, called Let’s Boost That System, Shall We? (https://thebloggingbuddhist.com/2020/02/22/lets-boost-that-system-shall-we/)
One of the things that irk me the most about these supplements is that they’re generally described as being the most beneficial for people with Type-2 Diabetes. This is because people with Type-2 generally still produce insulin of their own, if only in small amounts. So their systems use and manage insulin and supplements in different ways than a Type-1’s system would. With that in mind, here are some of the more commonly known supplements that can be helpful…
- Chromium. This is the one I have something of a familiarity with, since it’s one that my Sensei has been recommending to me since my teens (Sensei happens to be an herbologist and practitioner of Chinese medicine). Chromium doesn’t so much affect blood sugar as it helps to improve the effects of insulin, thereby helping control blood sugar levels. This supplement can apply to both Type-1 and Type-2;
- Magnesium. This is a supplement that your body uses during normal insulin production. For people with Type-2, magnesium deficiency is often a thing. For this reason, taking magnesium supplements can help improve fasting blood sugars. Magnesium should usually be taken with a meal for better effect, and taking too much can play hell on your digestion and cause unwanted bathroom issues, if you take my meaning…;
- Vitamin D. This is another one that usually applies to Type-2. This is because Vitamin D is believed to improve the function of the pancreas, which produces insulin. This wouldn’t apply to Type-1. Some studies have shown that most Type-2’s have some level of deficiency in Vitamin D, which is why supplementing can be helpful;
- Cinnamon. This is the most popular and well-known of supplements associated with Diabetes, although it also applies primarily to Type-2. It helps the body absorb and respond to insulin, improving blood sugar and A1C levels overall. The caution with this one is that excessive amounts of cinnamon can be damaging to the liver, depending on the variety of cinnamon you’re using.
I’ll be totally honest, I kept repeating the fact that most of these apply to Type-2 because I don’t want someone with Type-1 potentially wolfing down supplements, thinking that it’ll fix their blood sugar levels for them. My familiarity with the specifics of Type-2 is significantly less than it would be for Type-1, which is why this is the time where I recommend speaking to your doctor or health practitioner before starting on ANY supplements that could affect your overall Diabetes control.
It would be fantastic if there were a magic pill we could take to maintain our blood sugar levels. Hell, sometimes I find myself jealous of Type-2’s who can control blood glucose levels through the use of oral medication. But for those with Type-2, it’s important to know that there are things you can take to help yourself along. ☯