A type 2 diabetes diagnosis sends two clear signals: that your pancreas is not functioning properly and your blood sugar levels are rising uncontrollably. This is because the pancreas produces a hormone called insulin which regulates blood sugar – a type of sugar you absorb through eating food. The former therefore has a knock-on effect on the latter.
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Chronic high blood sugar levels may not sound serious but it can result in permanent damage to parts of the body such as the eyes, nerves, kidneys and blood vessels.
If you have type 2 diabetes, you must therefore seek methods for lowering your blood sugar levels.
Diet forms an essential pillar of blood sugar control and studies have drawn attention to certain items that have a moderating effect on blood sugar.
Probiotic supplements, which contain beneficial bacteria or other microbes, have been shown to regulate blood sugar levels.
In a review of seven studies in people with type 2 diabetes, those who took probiotics for at least two months had a 16-mg/dl decrease in fasting blood sugar and a 0.53 percent decrease in A1C compared to those on a placebo.
Fasting blood sugar gauges a diabetic person’s blood sugar levels after refraining from eating or drinking any liquids other than water for eight hours.
A1C measures your average blood sugar level over the past three months.
People who took probiotics containing more than one species of bacteria had an even greater decrease in fasting blood sugar of 35 mg/d.
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Research investigating the effects of probiotics on blood sugar levels attribute the benefits to improving the body’s handling of carbohydrates.
Carbohydrate is the primary culprit of high blood pressure because it is absorbed into the bloodstream relatively quickly and therefore has a more pronounced effect on blood sugar levels than either fat or protein.
Animal studies also suggest that probiotics may decrease blood sugar by reducing inflammation and preventing the destruction of pancreatic cells that make insulin.
Other key dietary tips to lower blood sugar
One simple way to ward off high blood sugar levels is to stay hydrated.
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Studies have shown that drinking water could help control blood sugar levels.
One study suggested that you increase your water intake, this could prevent or delay the onset of hyperglycemia (the medical term for high blood sugar) and subsequent diabetes.
Participants that consumed more than one litre of water per day had a 28 percent lower risk of developing new onset hyperglycemia, compared to those drinking less than 500ml of water per day.
The researchers also highlighted the hormone vasopressin – which rises when dehydration occurs – as a possible risk factor for hyperglycemia and diabetes.
How does water help to lower blood sugar?
Diabetes.co.uk explains: “Water will not raise blood glucose levels, which is why it is so beneficial to drink when people with diabetes have high blood sugar, as it enables more glucose to be flushed out of the blood.”
Type 2 diabetes – how to spot it
According to the NHS, many people have type 2 diabetes without realising.
“This is because symptoms do not necessarily make you feel unwell,” explains the health body.
If symptoms do appear, they may include:
- Urinating more than usual, particularly at night
- Feeling thirsty all the time
- Feeling very tired
- Losing weight without trying to
- Itching around your penis or vagina, or repeatedly Getting thrush
- Cuts or wounds taking longer to heal
- Blurred vision
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