Blood Sugar Specialist Boston MA

If you find yourself stuck in this high-low loop—a cycle that can lead to diabetes-related conditions like insulin resistance and insulin insensitivity—take heart, the ayurvedic herb gurmar (Gymnema sylvestre) can break you free.

Ernst John Schaefer, MD
(617) 556-3100
711 Washington St
Boston, MA
Specialties
Endocrinology, Diabetes, & Metabolism
Gender
Male
Education
Medical School: Mt Sinai Sch Of Med Of The City Univ Of Ny, New York Ny 10029
Graduation Year: 1972

Data Provided by:
Elliot Sternthal
(617) 638-7470
732 Harrison Ave
Boston, MA
Specialty
Internal Medicine, Endocrinology, Diabetes & Metabolism

Data Provided by:
Alia Yousif Antoon, MD
(617) 371-4720
51 Blossom St
Boston, MA
Specialties
Pediatrics, Pediatric Endocrinology
Gender
Female
Education
Medical School: Univ Of Baghdad, Coll Of Med, Baghdad, Iraq
Graduation Year: 1963

Data Provided by:
Seema Kumar, MD
(617) 332-1620
Boston, MA
Specialties
Pediatrics, Pediatric Endocrinology
Gender
Female
Education
Medical School: All India Inst Of Med Sci, Ansari Nagar, New Delhi, Delhi, India
Graduation Year: 1993

Data Provided by:
Elaine C Moreland, MD
15 Parkman St
Boston, MA
Specialties
Pediatrics, Pediatric Endocrinology
Gender
Female
Education
Medical School: Med Univ Of Sc Coll Of Med, Charleston Sc 29425
Graduation Year: 1998

Data Provided by:
Richard D Siegel
(617) 636-5000
750 Washington St
Boston, MA
Specialty
Endocrinology, Diabetes & Metabolism

Data Provided by:
Beverly M Biller, MD
(617) 726-3870
55 Fruit St # BUL457B
Boston, MA
Specialties
Endocrinology, Diabetes, & Metabolism
Gender
Female
Education
Medical School: Univ Of Ok Coll Of Med, Oklahoma City Ok 73190
Graduation Year: 1983

Data Provided by:
Enrico Cagliero, MD
(617) 726-8722
50 Staniford St Ste 340
Boston, MA
Specialties
Endocrinology, Diabetes, & Metabolism
Gender
Male
Education
Graduation Year: 2007

Data Provided by:
Lewis Edward Braverman, MD
(617) 638-7211
88 E Newton St
Boston, MA
Specialties
Endocrinology, Diabetes, & Metabolism
Gender
Male
Education
Medical School: Johns Hopkins Univ Sch Of Med, Baltimore Md 21205
Graduation Year: 1955

Data Provided by:
Sherri-Ann M Burnett, MD
(617) 724-5594
55 Fruit St
Boston, MA
Specialties
Endocrinology, Diabetes, & Metabolism
Gender
Female
Education
Medical School: Univ Of Pittsburgh Sch Of Med, Pittsburgh Pa 15261
Graduation Year: 1997

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Normalize your Blood Sugar

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By Vonalda M. Utterback, CN

Hunger suddenly strikes. You need food, and you need it now. You rummage for that long-lost candy bar buried somewhere in your desk—anything to get a sugar fix.

That rapid rise in blood glucose, along with the attendant release of the “feel-good” hormone serotonin, may make you feel better in the short term, but when your glucose levels soon nosedive, you’ll return to your low-serotonin state—a prime candidate for yet more sugar craving.

If you find yourself stuck in this high-low loop—a cycle that can lead to diabetes-related conditions like insulin resistance and insulin insensitivity—take heart, the ayurvedic herb gurmar (Gymnema sylvestre) can break you free.

The leaves of this woody climbing plant have been used in India for more than 2,000 years to treat “honey urine” (diabetes) or high blood sugar levels, says Karta Purkh Singh Khalsa, registered herbalist and author of The Way of Ayurvedic Herbs (2007, Lotus Press). “In my practice, I’ve experienced excellent results using gurmar to lower and maintain normalized blood sugar levels,” he says, “and I’ve seen my clients with type-2 diabetes lower or, in some cases, even eliminate the need for oral hypoglycemic medicines or insulin.”

No one knows exactly how the herb accomplishes this, says Khalsa, but current evidence points to a trio of possible mechanisms. Gurmar may increase insulin secretion from pancreatic beta cells, heighten overall cell sensitivity to insulin, and/or decrease the gut’s glucose or lipid absorption.

A number of positive clinical studies support gurmar’s effectiveness. In one, published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology, University of Madras researchers gave 400 mg a day of a water-soluble extract of gurmar leaves to 22 type-2 diabetic participants for 18 to 20 months. “Gurmar showed the potential to help pancreatic repair, raising the output of insulin to normal levels,” reports Khalsa.

In his practice, Khalsa typically recommends taking the raw, dried leaf in capsule form in a wide range of dosages (15 mg to 500 grams per day), depending on the individual’s needs. He suggests starting with a low dose and increasing it gradually until serum glucose reaches normal range. Keep in mind that it may take several months of taking gurmar to see results. Of course, if diagnosed with diabetes, always consult your healthcare practitioner before making any changes to your medication.

And what about those sugar cravings? When placed directly on the tongue, gurmar alters the taste of sugar from sweet to bitter by depressing the tongue’s “sweet” receptors. The effect only lasts 15 minutes, Khalsa says—but that’s just enough time to find some complex carbs or other low-glycemic food to substitute for that afternoon Snickers.

Author: Vonalda M. Utterback, CN

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