Diabetes type 2: Dr Zoe Williams discusses high blood sugar risks
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High blood sugar – the prerequisite for type 2 diabetes – can be harder to control if a viral infection is caught, whether it’s a cold or Covid. In order to help balance blood sugar levels, Dr Brewer recommends a “Mediterranean-style diet”. This is full of vegetables, berries, fish, olive oil, and fruits.
In particular, “look for red and black grapes”, said Dr Brewer.
“These contain protective, antioxidants that appear to boost pancreatic insulin production in type 2 diabetes,” she explained.
Furthermore, red and black grapes can help to “protect against kidney damage”.
“High blood sugar reduces the activity of immune cells”, warned Dr Brewer.
In addition, high sugar content may “feed bacteria to promote secondary infections”.
“In addition, researchers have found that people with diabetes have higher levels of a cell surface protein, called ACE-2, which coronaviruses use to enter and infect our cells,” Dr Brewer pointed out.
Diabetics are said to be at “greater risk of becoming seriously ill” with a viral infection.
“They are also more likely to develop complications such as pneumonia,” Dr Brewer added.
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This is why it’s crucial for diabetics to get a flu vaccine every year, alongside the Covid jab.
Dr Brewer explained: “Normally, the immune system triggers changes in cell metabolism as a result of any viral infection to help overcome the disease.
“In people with type 2 diabetes, this compensatory system appears to fail and causes glucose control to worsen.
“Another way in which viral infections can raise glucose levels is by causing inflammation that leads to insulin resistance in muscle cells.”
This is all on top of the stress hormone, cortisol, further increasing blood glucose levels.
“Cortisol causes the liver to make more glucose even if blood levels are already too high,” Dr Brewer made clear.
To help bring down levels of high blood sugar, Dr Brewer advises to eat a little bit of dark chocolate.
Dark chocolate, as well as cocoa powder and cinnamon, have shown to help improve blood glucose (i.e. sugar) control.
As well as these dietary implementations, Dr Brewer emphasised the importance of taking prescribed medication.
Some people may benefit from an Ayurvedic herbal supplement, like CuraLin, she added.
The supplement is said to support insulin release and to suppress food cravings.
However, anybody on medication is strongly advised to check with their doctor before taking any form of supplements.
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