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Five Natural Health Tips to Prevent Diabetes

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November is American Diabetes Month. Physicians from National University of Health Sciences are offering natural health tips that may help you reduce your risk for contracting Type II Diabetes.

"Making a few relatively simple dietary and lifestyle changes, and adding additional screening to your annual physical, can go a long way in diabetes prevention," says Dr. Brian Anderson, chiropractic physician at NUHS Whole Health Center in Lombard. "Prevention steps are especially important if you have a family history of diabetes."

Here is what anyone concerned about diabetes can do:

1.)  Consume adequate protein for breakfast to help stabilize your blood sugar for the rest of the day. Dr. Anderson often recommends a meal replacement shake for breakfast with the following recipe: 2 scoops of your favorite protein powder, 6 - 8 ounces of yogurt or Kefir, 4 ounces of water, 1/2 cup of frozen berries.

2.)  Start replacing sodas, commercial sports drinks and other sugary drinks with water. "This is one of the biggest diabetes prevention tips for children and young people," says Dr. Anderson. "Diabetes is striking increasingly younger age groups, and parents would do well to make water the first option when their kids are thirsty."

3.)  Educate yourself about the glycemic index and glycemic load and change dietary habits to choose foods lower on the glycemic index.  "Different foods can have a different impact on blood sugar elevation," says Dr. Anderson. "Choosing foods that are lower on the glycemic index - for example, choosing whole grains over processed white flour products - can help stabilize your blood sugar levels."

4.)  Start using a pedometer and work your way up to 10,000 steps per day. "Physical activity maintains insulin sensitivity, which is what you want," says Dr. Anderson. "Not everyone is ready for an intensive fitness routine, but most individuals can increase the amount of time they spend walking each day."

5.)  Have a bio-impedance test to give you your baseline body composition. "A bio-impedance test, which can be done by chiropractic physicians, will give you the most accurate measure of your body composition," Dr. Anderson says. "Reducing your percentage of body fat and increasing lean muscle mass will prevent obesity, a leading risk factor in diabetes."

Dr. Anderson says that in addition to prevention, the following tips are also good for those who may already have a diabetes diagnosis. "Taking these simple steps may help manage symptoms and possibly reduce the need for medication," says Dr. Anderson.  He and his university colleagues in chiropractic medicine, naturopathic medicine, acupuncture and oriental medicine will always choose natural and conservative means of care whenever possible. However, they are trained to identify when patients should see the clinics' MD to evaluate the need for medication in cases of diabetes. They also work with a patient's allopathic physician to co-manage the reduction of insulin in patients whose condition is improving due to diet and lifestyle changes.

National University of Health Sciences offers comprehensive evaluations to determine whether you have diabetes, or whether you are at risk of developing diabetes. It can also  identify whether you have Metabolic Syndrome X, a collection of risk factors which can include diabetes.

For more information on diabetes detection, treatment and prevention, or to schedule a diabetes risk assessment, call National University of Health Sciences Whole Health Center at 630-629-9664, or better yet, attend the upcoming Community Health Fair and Food Drive on November 15th, 2012 for free glucose and metabolic syndrome screening and other health services.  

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