Diabetes is a long term condition and it is ordinarily referred to as diabetes mellitus.
Diabetes mellitus refers to a group of diseases that affect the utilization of blood sugar by our body. Glucose is an important source of energy for the cells and for brain.
When food consumed is digested, glucose makes its way into bloodstream. Glucose is required by our cells and brain for growth and normal functioning.
Pancreas produce a hormone called insulin which helps in the transfer of glucose into the cells. As glucose enter cells, blood glucose levels decrease. If required quantity of insulin is not produced by pancreas, then glucose cannot be taken up by our cells.
A person with diabetes has higher glucose content in blood [hyperglycemia]. This occurs due to two reasons one is if the cells do not respond properly to the insulin produced, the second reason is that if pancreas does not produce insulin. This results in high levels of glucose .
There are 3 types of diabetes:
- Type 1 diabetes
- Type 2 diabetes
- Gestational diabetes
Type 1 diabetes: Pancreas fail to produce insulin in the case of type 1 diabetes. Type 1 diabetes is also referred as insulin-dependent diabetes, juvenile diabetes, early-onset diabetes.
This type is often developed in early adulthood or teenage years. People suffering from type-1 diabetes are prescribed to take insulin injections for the rest of their life.
According to CDC [Centers for Disease Control and prevention], the extensiveness of type-1 diabetes among teenagers in the USA rose 23% from 2001 to 2009. Nearly 10% of all diabetes cases are type-1 diabetes .
Insulin production is nil because of autoimmuno pancreatic β-cell destruction triggered by an environmental exposure in genetically vulnerable people. β-cell mass reduces to a point that the insulin concentrations are not sufficient to control plasma glucose levels.
Several viruses such as coxsackievirus, rubella virus, cytomegalovirus, Epstein-Barr virus and retroviruses may be linked to the onset of type-1 diabetes. Virus may directly infect and destroy β-cells or may cause β-cell destruction indirectly .
Type-2 diabetes: The quantity of insulin produced by pancreas is insufficient for body in the case of type-2 diabetes.
Nearly 90% of all diabetes cases are type-2 diabetes. In the initial stages of the disease insulin levels are very high.
Later, in the course of the disease, insulin production is reduced and worsens hyperglycemia. Type-2 diabetes is generally seen in adults and it commonly develops with increasing age.
People with obesity have a higher risk of developing type-2 diabetes. Due to obesity body releases chemicals that can destabilize body’s cardiovascular and metabolic systems. Men with less testosterone levels also have a higher risk of developing type-2 diabetes.
In older adults, plasma glucose levels reach higher levels after meals containing high carbohydrate content. Glucose levels take a longer time to return to normal due to increased accumulation of visceral and abdominal fat and reduced muscle mass.
Gestational diabetes: Usually around 24th week of pregnancy many women develop gestational diabetes. Some women have high levels of glucose in their blood but their pancreas is unable to produce adequate amount of insulin for the transportation of glucose into cells.
In majority of women gestational diabetes can be controlled by exercise and proper diet. Undiagnosed or uncontrolled gestational diabetes can cause complications during delivery.
In 2013 it was estimated that throughout the world over 382 million people are suffering from diabetes. In 2012, 29.1 million Americans had diabetes.
Approximately 1.25 million American children and adults suffer from type-1 diabetes. About 1.4 million Americans are diagnosed with diabetes every year .
Common symptoms of diabetes include:
• Frequent urination
• Increase in hunger and thirst
• Unusual weight gain
• Abnormal loss in weight which is commonly seen in people suffering from type-1 diabetes
• Increased weariness
• Sexual dysfunction in men
• Diabetes causes skin itching
• Vision is blurred
• Diabetic people are prone to various infection
• Cuts and wounds take a long time to heal
• Numbness, pain or tingling in feet and hands which is commonly seen in people suffering from type-2 diabetes.
How Turmeric Benefits In Diabetes
Turmeric has following benefits in diabetes:
- Turmeric has anti-inflammatory property that helps in suppressing inflammation caused due to diabetes.
- Turmeric serves as an antioxidant and helps to reduce oxidative stress observed in diabetes.
- Turmeric lowers blood sugar levels.
- Turmeric can repair pancreas cells and benefit in type 1 diabetes.
- It can reverse prediabetes.
- Turmeric lowers cholesterol levels.
- It reduces heart risks.
- It helps in weight loss.
- Turmeric speeds up wound healing.
- It protects kidney health.
- It attenuates neuropathic pain.
- It benefits in diabetes complications.
Best Way To Take Turmeric For Diabetes
Disclaimer – There is no particular prescribed dose of turmeric defined for Diabetes. Based on the studies and reader’s reports we have summarized various ways of taking turmeric which could benefit in this disorder.
The dosage depends on the formulation of the turmeric supplement and severity of the health condition. Here is the recommended dose:
Fresh Turmeric roots
Turmeric roots are a great addition to diet and if consumed on a regular basis can benefit in lowering cholesterol levels, improving blood sugar and improving metabolic health.
Recommended intake: 1-3g or ½ inch long piece of root sliced or chopped. You can also juice it and take it with a pinch of black pepper. This can be a part of your fresh juices or taken individually. You can also make Golden Paste from fresh roots.
Further Read – Is fresh turmeric better then powder?
If you are including turmeric powder in cooking then 1 tsp daily is sufficient. Always opt for good quality organic turmeric powder (Read How to identify organic turmeric, Recommended Turmeric Brands)
However if you take turmeric powder straight with black pepper then it would be 1-2 g of turmeric powder with a pinch of black pepper.
In terms of teaspoon that would be 1 teaspoon of turmeric powder with ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper powder twice a day
Maximum dose: 1 tsp of turmeric powder with ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper thrice a day
Golden Paste combines heat, black pepper and healthy fats to increase the absorption of turmeric. It is highly recommended to take this paste after meals and to avoid taking it close to other medications.(Read Does Turmeric cause acid reflux? Black pepper in GP: Does it cause drug interaction?) Here is the recipe.
You can also prepare Golden Paste from fresh roots.
Start with small doses such as 1/4-1/2 tsp and if you see no side effects then increase the dose by ¼ teaspoon every week. Continue till reach a dose of 1-2 tsp 2-3 times a day (precisely 1 tsp 3 times a day).
This is the ideal dose of Golden Paste where you should experience relief. However the ideal dose differs with every individual; some may need less some may need more.
Thinking of other ways to take Golden Paste read 10 ways to take Golden Paste
Maximum dosage: 1 table spoon 2-3 times a day only advised if you are comfortable taking it and not experiencing gastric side effects.
Turmeric tinctures are great for pain and inflammation, but not much is known about its efficacy in diabetes. You may consult an herbalist about this.
Take 10-30 drops 2-3 times a day depending on the condition. It can be added to teas, juices or smoothies.
Maximum dosage: 20-30 drops 3 times a day
This is a good option for tea lovers and who want to skip the taste of turmeric paste. Here is the recipe for Turmeric Tea.
Recommended intake: 1-2 cups a day
Recommended intake: 1-2 cups a day
The recommended dosage for supplements is 300-400mg 2-3 times a day for standardized 95% curcumin extract.
However the dose would differ based on the formulation, hence it is best to consult a doctor before taking turmeric supplements.
Avoid taking supplements on an empty stomach and close to the time of taking medicines. Consult a doctor before taking turmeric supplements.
Is it safe to take turmeric in diabetes?
Generally as a precaution it is advised not to take turmeric with anti-diabetes medication. This is because both curcumin as well as anti-diabetes medication reduce blood sugar levels so it is thought that taking the two together could cause abnormally low blood sugar levels and there are chances of drug interaction.
Dietary turmeric is safe for consumption; if you eat a meal containing turmeric that are no chances for drug interactions because turmeric in the meal would be really less for the serving.
Curcumin found in turmeric as well as piperine in black pepper interferes in drug metabolism process. If taken with any drug it may inhibit drug metabolism process and increase the concentration of the drug in the blood. This on long term may cause side effects.
Research has proven the safety of taking curcumin when on anti-diabetes medication. For more details please read 12 Benefits of Turmeric In Diabetes.
Turmeric in diet is absolutely safe. Turmeric supplements should be taken with care. (Read Side effects of Turmeric)
If you are taking blood thinners, turmeric supplements should be avoided. Turmeric can be included in diet in small doses. If suffering from a bleeding disorder consult a doctor and herbalist or naturopath before taking turmeric. (Read Is turmeric a blood thinner?)
Turmeric supplements should be avoided in case of pregnancy and lactation. Discontinue use of turmeric supplements 2 weeks prior to surgery.
Turmeric supplements should be avoided in case of gall bladder obstructions. (Read Is turmeric safe during gallstones?)
Turmeric may interact with certain medications like stomach acid reducing drugs, diabetes medications, blood thinners. Avoid taking turmeric supplements at the same time as medicines.
Consult a health practitioner before taking turmeric supplements.
Turmeric is said to serve as an anti-inflammatory agent, antioxidant and it is a proven anti-diabetic agent.
Based on numerous studies it is concluded that turmeric can play a role in prevention of diabetes and also help people who are diabetic.