Type 2 diabetes can be a 'devastating diagnosis' says expert
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Millions of Britons live with type 2 diabetes – a condition characterised by poor insulin production. The primary role of insulin is to regulate blood sugar – the main type of sugar found in blood. Stripped of this mechanism, blood sugar levels can rise to dangerous levels. This leaves you vulnerable to serious complications.
Luckily, you can lower high blood sugar levels via an alternative means: diet:
Saffron is one such item touted for its blood sugar-lowering prowess.
Saffron spice is harvested by hand from the Crocus sativus flower, commonly known as the “saffron crocus”.
A study published in the Journal of Research in Medical Sciences investigated the effect of saffron extract on metabolic markers, such as blood sugar, in people with type 2 diabetes.
For the study, 54 patients were randomly divided into two similar groups to receive either placebo or saffron extract capsules twice a day (in the morning and evening) for eight weeks.
Fasting blood sugar, which measures your blood sugar after an overnight fast, and other key parameters were assessed over the course of the study.
Most markers were the same for both groups but fasting blood sugar levels “significantly” decreased within eight weeks in the saffron group.
The researchers concluded: “Saffron hydroalcoholic extract may improve blood glucose control by reducing FBS [fasting blood sugar] in T2D [type 2 diabetes] patients.
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“However, saffron extract has no significant effect on other aspects of diabetic control in diabetic patients.”
Other dietary tips
Even a simple glass of water can have a moderating effect on blood sugar levels.
Diabetes.co.uk explains: “When your blood sugar levels are running high, your body will try to flush excess sugar out of your blood through the urine.
“As a result, your body will need more fluids to rehydrate itself. Drinking water can help the body with flushing out some of the glucose in the blood.”
The health body adds a note of caution: be sensible with drinking water.
“Water intoxication (which can result in death) is possible if a number of litres of water are drunk in a short space of time. This is rare and quite difficult to manage but it pays to be aware of this.”
You should also:
- Eat a wide range of foods – including fruit, vegetables and some starchy foods like pasta
- Keep sugar, fat and salt to a minimum
- Eat breakfast, lunch and dinner every day – do not skip meals.
If you need to change your diet, it might be easier to make small changes every week.
Type 2 diabetes – main symptoms to spot
- Blurred vision
- Unintentional weight loss
- Recurrent infections, such as thrush, bladder infections (cystitis) and skin infections
- Tummy pain
- Feeling or being sick
- Breath that smells fruity.
According to the NHS, you should see a GP if you have any of the symptoms of type 2 diabetes or you’re worried you may have a higher risk of getting type 2 diabetes.
“You’ll need a blood test, which you may have to go to your local health centre for if it cannot be done at your GP surgery,” explains the NHS.
The earlier diabetes is diagnosed and treatment started, the better.
As the NHS points out, early treatment reduces your risk of other health problems.
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