Type 2 diabetes can be a 'devastating diagnosis' says expert

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Type 2 diabetes is a chronic condition that’s characterised by unstable blood sugar levels. Blood sugar is normally tamed by insulin. However, if you have type 2 diabetes, insulin production is hampered. This gives rise to unruly blood sugar levels.

Fortunately, you can mimic the effects of insulin by making healthy dietary decisions.

Specific items have been shown to induce blood sugar-lowering effects, one of which even rivals the most common medication used to treat type 2 diabetes.

In a study published in the Journal of Medicinal Plant Research, garlic was shown to significantly lower blood sugar levels.

The aim of the study was to evaluate the effects of garlic on fasting blood sugar (average blood sugar after an eight hours fast) and HbA1c (HbA1c your average blood glucose (sugar) levels for the last two to three months) in patients with type 2 diabetes.

For the study, which spanned over the course of 24 weeks, the researchers recruited patients with fasting blood sugar above 126 mg/dl and divided them into seven groups, each comprising 30 patients.

Fasting blood sugar above 126 mg/dl is considered high and constitutes a diagnosis of diabetes.

Five groups were given garlic tablets at doses of 300, 600, 900, 1200, and 1500 mg per day respectively.

Another group received metformin – the most common treatment for type 2 diabetes – while another group received placebo.

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Average blood sugar levels were measured at the start of the study, week 12 and 24.

Garlic intake showed a significant decrease in blood sugar levels, which was dependent on both dose and duration.

In each garlic treated group, significant reduction in fasting blood sugar and average blood sugar were observed when compared with placebo.

What’s more, “highly significant” reduction in fasting blood sugar and improvement in average blood sugar were observed at higher doses of garlic and with increase in the duration of study.

“Garlic is more effective than placebo and comparable to metformin in reducing fasting blood glucose and may be a valuable addition in the management of diabetic patients,” the researchers concluded.

Type 2 diabetes – how to spot it

Many people have type 2 diabetes without realising. This is because symptoms do not necessarily make you feel unwell.

Symptoms of type 2 diabetes include:

  • Peeing 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.

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, advises the NHS.

A GP can diagnose 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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