Use Cinnamon to Treat Diabetes

Edited by Mian Sheilette Ong, Eng, Lynn, Anonymous and 1 other

As the world market continues to be overwhelmed by convenient processed foods and high technology, more and more negative health conditions are being acquired. The most common among these ailments nowadays is diabetes. Diabetes is known as a condition that slowly degrades your entire body. Because of this, many things are sacrificed so that life can be prolonged and symptoms can be controlled. There is Type I diabetes and there is Type II diabetes. These days, many consumers fall victim to Type II diabetes. There are medical interventions available for those who are diagnosed with this type of diabetes mellitus (DM). However, many patients still prefer having natural or holistic treatments for their high blood sugar levels. One of the most potent alternative solutions is cinnamon. Yes, cinnamon, that well-known spice that works perfectly with chocolate and coffee, and it is definitely a delicious form of Type II diabetes treatment.

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Facts about Type II DM

Type II DM is also known as non-insulin dependent diabetes. Out of 26 million Americans, 90-95 percent are affected by this form of diabetes. In Type II DM, the pancreas makes insulin but the body isn't able to use the insulin well (insulin resistance). The pancreas may not be producing enough insulin, either. When this happens, the glucose in your blood cannot possibly enter your cells, so you end up with a very elevated blood glucose level. If the cells cannot get enough energy from your glucose, then the entire body cannot function well. The following problems arise when this takes place:

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    Bodily damage. If your elevated glucose levels are not treated, the blood vessels and nerves become damaged.
    Because of the poor circulation and nerve function, the heart, kidneys, and eyes cannot function optimally. Atherosclerosis is one of the blood vessel conditions that may be developed. This could very well lead to a stroke or a heart attack.
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    Hyperosmolar nonketotic diabetic coma. This happens when the patient with Type II DM becomes very dehydrated.
    The patient is not able to drink fluids that could be sufficient to replace what was lost. The electrolyte imbalance here could develop into complications that are life threatening.
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    Dehydration. When the patient's body has high levels of glucose, urination becomes more frequent.
    This is because sugar is a natural diuretic.
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You are at risk of developing Type II diabetes if you are overweight/obese, are over the age of 45, have a history of gestational DM, are prediabetic, have relatives with Type II DM, have elevated blood pressure, are part of certain ethnic or racial groups, or have high triglycerides and low good cholesterol. Type II DM is usually caused by an improper diet of too much carbohydrates and a sedentary lifestyle. It is not uncommon for many people to feel no symptoms from Type II diabetes. However, the following symptoms may vary from one patient to the next: Increased hunger (polyphagia), increased thirst (polydipsia), dry mouth, vomiting, nausea, sugar in urine (glycosuria), numbness of feet and hands, slow healing sores, and frequent vaginal, urinary tract, and skin infections.

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How insulin performs in Type II diabetes

Normally, when you eat, the beta cells of your pancreas release just the right amounts of insulin so that the blood sugar could enter the cells and be converted into energy. As you know, the cells of your body need to assimilate simple sugars. Insulin makes sure that the food and drinks you take in are simplified and can be used as energy. When insulin is produced and used well, the blood glucose levels are lowered and you gain more energy for your activities. Insulin, with the help of other hormones, regulates glucose in your blood. The beta cells in your pancreas release only small amounts of insulin when there is a small amount of sugar in the blood. If you have high levels of sugar in your bloodstream, the pancreas reacts by producing more insulin, so that all the glucose could be pushed into your cells. Your blood glucose levels then go down. When your blood glucose becomes too low, your pancreas releases only a small amount of insulin. By this time, your body prompts you to eat to raise your blood sugar levels.

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For a Type II DM patient, insulin is may not be produced enough to handle the amount of glucose in the blood. The body's cells may not be reactive to the insulin produced either (insulin resistant). That is why Type II DM patients need insulin shots based on the amount of food that they eat. Other Type II diabetics regulate their blood sugar levels by taking oral diabetic medications. If one's lifestyle and diet don't change, then he or she will eventually have to resort to insulin shots or an insulin pump. A glucometer or a blood glucose monitor helps Type II diabetic patient in finding out how much insulin they have to inject.

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Type II diabetes diagnosis and complications

To diagnose Type II DM, your doctor needs to check any abnormalities in the patient's blood sugar levels during a two-hour glucose tolerance test or a random fasting. You could also be given a hemoglobin a1c test to see what your blood sugar was for the past two or three months. A urine test will also be tested for excess sugar spilling into urine. Once you've been diagnosed with Type II DM, you should completely change your eating habits and overall lifestyle. If your Type II DM isn't controlled, you will definitely suffer from the following complications:

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    Nephropathy (Damage to the kidneys). Kidney disease in Type II diabetes patients worsens over time.
    If your diabetes is not controlled early on, your kidney damage can result to kidney failure. By then, you would have to go through dialysis treatments.
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    Neuropathy (Damage to the nerves and blood vessels). This condition is brought about by very poor circulation throughout your body.
    Your blood vessels eventually become so damaged that you have a much higher risk of having a peripheral artery disease, a stroke, or a heart attack. When you have uncontrolled Type II DM, the circulation in your feet becomes very poor and your arteries harden as well. Infections and ulcers eventually take place and these put you at a higher risk of undergoing an amputation. Nerve damage could also result to diarrhea, vomiting, and nausea.
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    Retinopathy. Patients with Type II DM experience eye problems related to their condition.
    You have to work hard at controlling your blood sugar levels, cholesterol levels, and blood pressure so that you could prevent your eye disease from worsening.
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Cinnamon as an alternative solution to Type II diabetes

Your spice rack may often be refilled with cinnamon, mostly because of the flavor it imparts on most of your desserts or exotic dishes. Recent studies show that cinnamon does more than improve your hot chocolate or banana cream pie. Cinnamon is now known to be an effective supplement for people with Type II DM.

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A review of several relevant studies in 2012 reveals that cinnamon is beneficial in controlling blood sugar levels. The hemoglobin a1c levels in patients who were given 500 mg of cinnamon two times every day for about three months dramatically improved. This is indeed proof that even Type II DM patients with inefficiently controlled blood sugar levels could be helped by cinnamon. Cinnamon is known to mimic the effects of insulin in your blood, which is why blood sugar levels go down when you take it. The effects of cinnamon are enhanced with regular exercise, proper diet, insulin therapy, and blood glucose monitoring.

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It is recommended that just 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon daily could reduce your triglyceride levels, LDL levels, and blood glucose levels if you have Type II diabetes. Don't let the idea of using cinnamon as an alternative treatment confuse you. The spice should not be taken as a miracle solution that will magically eliminate Type II diabetes. Cinnamon is just a useful supplement that you should benefit from, especially when you resort to the healthy changes in your lifestyle and diet. Below are some of the benefits cinnamon can provide Type II DM patients:

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    It can increase the metabolism of glucose to 20 times the normal rate. This significantly improves the regulation of blood glucose.
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    It can mimic insulin. Cinnamon has the ability to take on the role of insulin in your body.
    It can be said that cinnamon is a good candidate for a substitute to insulin.
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    It slows down the stomach's emptying of food into the small intestines. This prevents the abrupt rise in blood sugar levels.
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    It enhances the effects of antioxidants. This is because of the polyphenols in cinnamon.
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    It has proanthocyanidin. This is a bioflavonoid that alters the ability of your fat cells to signal insulin.
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    It improves mobility. Cinnamon relieves stiffness and inflammation of joints and muscles.
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    It helps in the digestive process. The spice relieves you of your digestive problems, allowing you to be more comfortable after eating.
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    It improves circulation. Cinnamon has compounds for blood thinning that help your body become well oxygenized.
    This prevents pain such as menstrual discomfort and arthritis. This also helps in preventing infections.
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How to incorporate cinnamon into your Type II DM treatments and everyday diet

Cinnamon is safe for diabetics. You just have to communicate with your doctor regularly to make sure that you are always on the right track. The following are some ways that you could include cinnamon in your treatment plan and daily diet:

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    Talk to your doctor about taking a low dose cinnamon pill.
    This is very unlikely to cause you harm. There might be some interactions with some of your medications, so it may be best not to take the supplement on a regular basis.
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    Take only one to three grams of cinnamon every day. These are cinnamon levels that are as effective as higher doses.
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    Use cinnamon as a sugar replacement.
    Instead of using sugar to enhance the flavor of your meals and beverages, use cinnamon.
    You could also replace brown sugar in making meat sauces, compotes, marinara sauces, and marinades. Replace sugar when you make candied vegetables or make sweet and spicy stir-fried dishes as well.
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    Use cinnamon in baking. Adding cinnamon into your batter or simply dusting your baked goods with it could make a huge difference in flavor.
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    Use cinnamon in canning. If you're fond of canning or preserving, cinnamon could easily replace your sugar.
    A heavy amount of cinnamon should be used on apple sauce, pumpkin butter, apple butter, or canned apples. About 1/4 tsp of cinnamon should be added to a large jar of strawberries or peaches that you want to preserve. You can also use cinnamon in pickling or canning bell peppers, onions, cucumbers, beets, and green beans.
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    Add cinnamon into your breakfast. Top your cereals, oatmeal, buttered or honeyed toast with cinnamon.
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    Use cinnamon to enhance your lunch and dinner. You can sprinkle cinnamon onto your dressings, meat dishes, soups, or sandwiches.
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    Create dips with cinnamon for snacks. Cinnamon could also be added to your dips and health bars.
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    Sprinkle cinnamon on drinks. You could spice up your shakes, blended drinks, teas, smoothies, and coffee with cinnamon.
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Tips

  • Cinnamon is generally safe for Type II diabetics. However, you should be cautious in ingesting cinnamon if you have liver damage because high amounts of cinnamon can bring about more liver problems.
  • Cinnamon (even cinnamon pills) is categorized as food.
  • Select cinnamon supplements that have a high quality seal such as those from Consumerlab, US Pharmacopeia, and NSF International. Doing so will tell you that the supplement doesn't contain harmful components.
  • Ask your doctor if you would like to combine cinnamon with bitter melon, alpha lipoic acid, Devil's claw, chromium, fenugreek, panax, garlic, Siberian ginseng, horse chestnut, and psyllium.
  • Also, ask your doctor if it is safe for you to combine cinnamon with your regular diabetes medications. If you agree that it is okay, monitor your blood sugar levels and inform your doctor if your blood glucose levels fall a bit too low.
  • Ask your doctor if it is okay to take cinnamon with other medications that affect your liver.

Questions and Answers

Where can I Buy pure cinnamon capsules?

I want it to lower blood sugar to loose weight.

You can usually find it in supplement shops and other organic shops. They would have it in GNC or Healthy Options. However, the problem with the ones that you would find in those types of shops is that it's not really pure cinnamon. There will always be other components added.

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If you really want to have pure cinnamon, it may be better to just buy the bark and then make a powder out of it. Eat a bit of powder directly. Not only will this be cheaper, you are also guaranteed that it's pure and no other components are added.

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Article Info

Categories : Cinnamon Usage & Benefits

Recent edits by: Anonymous, Lynn, Eng

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