EP 26: Preventing Diabetes

In the 3rd episode of the series on Diabetes, Dr. Agolli and Dr. Burdette discuss:

  1. What type of treatments prevent Diabetes. 
  2. The drug Metformin and the impact it has on your body. 
  3. Obesity and how it contributes to Diabetes.
  4. Lifestyle changes you can make to decrease the risk of Diabetes.
  5. A list of nutrients, minerals, and herbs that help prevent Diabetes.

There are several natural treatments that can help prevent diabetes. According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), you can lower your chances of developing type 2 diabetes by making some lifestyle changes such as losing weight, being physically active, eating healthy foods most of the time, and drinking water instead of sweetened beverages1.

Some natural products rich in polyphenols may also help decrease the insulin response and offer a natural alternative for treatment in diabetes. These include sea buckthorn berries, red grapes, bilberries, chokeberries, cocoa, coffee, and green tea2.

Conventional treatments for diabetes sometimes includes the drug Metformin.

Metformin is a medication commonly used to treat type 2 diabetes. It works by decreasing the amount of glucose produced by the liver and improving insulin sensitivity in the body’s tissues. According to a study published on PubMed, metformin reduces blood lipopolysaccharides and its initiated low-grade inflammation and increases oxidative phosphorylation in liver and adipose tissues. These metformin effects result in the improvement of insulin sensitivity and glucose utilization in extrahepatic tissues1.

Metformin can also have some bad side effects that affect a lot of patients. Gastrointestinal side effects, including diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting, are very common and typically occur in up to 30% of patients taking metformin2.

Obesity is a major risk factor for developing type 2 diabetes. Excess body fat, particularly around the abdomen, appears to be a major contributor to inflammation that can lead to type 2 diabetes. Having obesity usually results in low level but chronic inflammation, and research highlights that inflammation plays a role in the development of diabetes1.

Obesity promotes inflammation throughout the body, potentially leading to changes in normal metabolic functions. These changes can affect the body’s sensitivity to insulin (a hormone that helps metabolize food) and glucose metabolism (breaking foods down into sugar). In turn, these changes directly affect a person’s risk of developing diabetes2.

There are several lifestyle changes you can make to decrease your risk of developing diabetes. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), some key lifestyle changes that can help prevent type 2 diabetes include eating a healthy diet that is rich in fiber and low in fat and calories, being physically active for at least 150 minutes per week, losing weight if you are overweight or obese, quitting smoking if you smoke, and managing your stress levels1.

Eating a nutritious diet with plenty of fiber can help lower your risk of developing type 2 diabetes. This includes eating more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and low-fat dairy products. Moving more by engaging in regular physical activity can also help lower your risk of developing type 2 diabetes. This can include activities such as walking, swimming, biking, or dancing2.