Type 2 diabetes reveals a key detail about a person’s body – that their pancreas doesn’t produce enough insulin to function properly, or the body’s cells don’t react to insulin. The hormone insulin is prized for ability to moderate blood sugar levels, a type of sugar that enters your bloodstream when you eat. If you have diabetes, this function is disabled, giving rise to uncontrolled blood sugar levels.
It has long been touted for its ability to treat various ailments but research has found some substance to these claims.
As a supplement, it has been used in combination with other diabetes medications to lower blood sugar.
Research shows that Gymnema sylvestre blocks receptors in your intestines and thus sugar absorption, lowering your post-meal blood sugar levels.
Studies suggest that consuming 200–400 mg of gymnemic acid reduces the intestinal absorption of the sugar glucose.
According to the NHS, you should aim for 2.5 hours of activity a week.
Type 2 diabetes – how to spot it
Symptoms do not usually appear in the initial stages but if you do experience symptoms, the most common include:
- Urinating 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
According to the NHS, 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 it.
Am I at risk?
You’re more at risk of developing type 2 diabetes if you:
- Are over 40 (or 25 for south Asian people)
- Have a close relative with diabetes (such as a parent, brother or sister)
- Are overweight or obese
- Are of south Asian, Chinese, African Caribbean or black African origin (even if you were born in the UK).