Monday, March 30, 2009

Chromium supplements that may be helpful for hypoglycemia

Research has shown that supplementing with chromium (200 mcg per day)13 or magnesium (340 mg per day)14 can prevent blood sugar levels from falling excessively in people with hypoglycemia. Niacinamide (vitamin B3) has also been found to be helpful for hypoglycemic people.15 Other nutrients, including vitamin C, vitamin E, zinc, copper, manganese, and vitamin B6, may help control blood sugar levels in diabetics.16 Since there are similarities in the way the body regulates high and low blood sugar levels, these nutrients might be helpful for hypoglycemia as well, although the amounts needed for that purpose are not known.

Glucomannan is a water-soluble dietary fiber that is derived from konjac root (Amorphophallus konjac). In a preliminary trial,17 addition of either 2.6 or 5.2 grams of glucomannan to a meal prevented hypoglycemia in adults with previous stomach surgery. A trial of glucomannan in children with hypoglycemia due to a condition known as “dumping syndrome” produced inconsistent results.

What are the symptoms of hypoglycemia?

Common symptoms of hypoglycemia are fatigue, anxiety, headaches, difficulty concentrating, sweaty palms, shakiness, excessive hunger, drowsiness, abdominal pain, and depression.

Medical treatments for hypoglycemia

A diet of frequent, small, high-protein, low-carbohydrate meals is often recommended. If illness prevents eating, hospitalization for intravenous glucose injections is typically required. In cases of pituitary or adrenal insufficiency, hormone replacement may be prescribed. For hypoglycemia due to an insulin-producing tumor, surgical removal of the tumor is usually recommended.

Dietary changes that may be helpful for hypoglycemia

Doctors find that people with hypoglycemia usually improve when they eliminate refined sugars and alcohol from their diet, eat foods high in fiber (such as whole grains, fruits, vegetables, legumes, and nuts), and eat small, frequent meals. Few studies have investigated the effects of these changes, but the research that is available generally supports the observations of doctors.5 6 7 8 Some symptoms of low blood sugar may be related to, or made worse by, food allergies.9

Even modest amounts of caffeine may increase symptoms of hypoglycemia.10 For this reason, caffeinated beverages (such as coffee, tea, and some soda pop) should be avoided.

Some people report an improvement in hypoglycemia episodes when eating a high-protein, low-carbohydrate diet. That observation appears to conflict with research showing that increasing protein intake can impair the body’s ability to process sugar,11 possibly because protein increases insulin levels12 (insulin reduces blood sugar levels). However, some doctors have seen good results with high-protein, low-carbohydrate diets, particularly among people who do not improve with a high-fiber, high-complex-carbohydrate diet.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Diabetes Risk Can Be Detected With Help Of Metabolic Syndrome

A study in CMAJ establishes that metabolic syndrome can assist in detecting Aboriginal Canadians at risk of developing type 2 diabetes. This information can be particularly helpful in remote communities where two-hour oral glucose tolerance tests are not easily administered.

Metabolic syndrome is the grouping of risk factors linked to diabetes and heart disease, such as obesity, high glucose, high cholesterol and hypertension. There is a three to five times higher probability for Aboriginal Canadians to develop type 2 diabetes compared to non-native Canadians.

In the Sandy Lake First Nation community in Ontario, 492 residents were involved in a ten year study. Findings showed that over this ten year period, the rate of incidence of diabetes was 17.5 percent. This rate increased in proportion with age, from 10.5 percent in the 10 to 19 age group to 43.3 percent in the 40 to 49 age group.

Dr. Anthony Hanley, University of Toronto and his team write: "The metabolic syndrome is not a diagnostic tool; however, the syndrome and its components may be used to communicate increased risk of developing diabetes within remote Aboriginal communities where the 2-hour oral glucose tolerance test to determine impaired glucose tolerance is not easily accessible." The researchers also pointed out that the use of intervention strategies could assist in the prevention or delay of diabetes in people who have the syndrome.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Diabetic Dinner Recipes

Entrées are the centerpiece of your dinner, so it's important to have diabetic dinner recipes that are friendly to your diet and taste good too. American Diabetes Services, the leading provider for diabetic testing supplies, offers these easy diabetic recipes to help you with your dinner decision.

Try one of these family-enticing diabetic dinner recipes to help manage your diabetes and your family's health.

Entree "Black-Eyed Peas"
According to the Diabetes Food Pyramid, diabetics should have 3 to 5 servings of vegetables per day. Vegetables don't just have to be a side dish, this black-eyed peas recipe makes an excellent vegetarian entrée. In order to make this diabetic dinner, you'll need the following ingredients:


* 1 cup dried black-eyed peas
* 2 tablespoons olive or canola oil
* 2 each large onions and carrots, coarsely chopped
* 4 stalks celery, coarsely chopped
* 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
* 3 cups vegetable stock
* 8 ounces each potatoes and turnips, peeled and cubed
* 1/2 teaspoon each dried thyme and rosemary
* 1/8 teaspoon each salt and pepper

Cooking technique: There are two ways to prepare black-eyed peas. You can slow cook them with vegetables or you can boil the peas until tender and add to pasta or rice dishes.

Per serving
Calories 340, Saturated Fat 1g,
Total Fat 7g, Sodium 154mg,
Cholesterol 0mg, Protein 15g,
Carbohydrate 57g, Fiber 18g.

Step 1:
Soak peas overnight. Drain. In a Dutch oven, heat oil and sautÈ onions, carrots, celery, and garlic for 5 to 8 minutes.

Step 2:
Add 1 quart water and the stock to the Dutch oven with the peas, potatoes, turnips, and herbs. Bring the mixture to a boil and boil 10 minutes.

Step 3:
Partially cover casserole and simmer 45 minutes or until peas are tender. Uncover, season with salt and pepper, and simmer about 10 minutes longer.