Type 2 diabetes is your body’s way of telling you that your pancreas isn’t functioning properly because your blood sugar levels are consistently too high. Blood sugar, the main sugar found in blood, is absorbed in the blood through the food we eat. The pancreas releases a hormone in response to this blood sugar, which regulates the absorption, storage and production of blood sugar.
Why is this process so important? High blood glucose levels can damage the body’s organs, causing complications such as heart disease.
The pancreas safeguards against this process by keeping a check on blood sugar levels.
Therefore, when the pancreas is out of action, you must find alternative ways of controlling your blood sugar.
Diet plays the most important role in regulating blood sugar, and, while it is important to focus on your overall dietary approach, specific items have been shown to cause a marked reduction in blood sugar.
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In a three-month study with 46 people, taking 500 mg of stinging nettle extract three times daily significantly lowered blood sugar levels compared to a placebo.
Why does it lower blood sugar?
Nettle is high in plant chemicals called polyphenols.
A review of the research on polyphenols suggests that these powerful compounds may play a role in the prevention and management of chronic diseases related to inflammation, such as diabetes, obesity, cancer, and heart disease.
General dietary tips
For optimal blood sugar management and to make sure you do not cancel out the benefits of taking nettle extract, it is important to follow general dietary rules.
Carbohydrates with a low GI value (55 or less) are more slowly digested, absorbed and metabolised and cause a lower and slower rise in blood glucose, and, usually, insulin levels.
A food’s ranking on the GI index is usually displayed on the front of packets to help you choose diabetes-friendly items while shopping.
How do I know if I have type 2 diabetes?
As the NHS explains, many people have type 2 diabetes without realising. This is because symptoms do not necessarily make you feel unwell.
Symptoms of type 2 diabetes can 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