Blood Sugar Specialist Iowa City IA

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.

Sanford M Markham
(319) 356-2638
200 Hawkins Dr
Iowa City, IA
Specialty
Obstetrics & Gynecology, Reproductive Endocrinology

Data Provided by:
Helmut G Schrott, MD
(319) 384-5030
2188 Westlawn S
Iowa City, IA
Specialties
Internal Medicine, Endocrinology, Diabetes & Metabolism
Gender
Male
Education
Medical School: Suny At Buffalo Sch Of Med & Biomedical Sci, Buffalo Ny 14214
Graduation Year: 1966

Data Provided by:
Victoria P Korovkina, MD
(319) 335-7861
5660 Bowen Science Building
Iowa City, IA
Specialties
Endocrinology, Diabetes, & Metabolism
Gender
Male
Education
Graduation Year: 2007

Data Provided by:
William I Sivitz
(319) 353-7710
200 Hawkins Dr
Iowa City, IA
Specialty
Internal Medicine, Endocrinology, Diabetes & Metabolism

Data Provided by:
Jaspreet Kaur Chahal
(319) 338-0581
200 Hawkins Dr
Iowa City, IA
Specialty
Internal Medicine, Endocrinology, Diabetes & Metabolism

Data Provided by:
William A Davis
(319) 353-7166
200 Hawkins Dr
Iowa City, IA
Specialty
Obstetrics & Gynecology, Reproductive Endocrinology

Data Provided by:
Thomas Michael O'Dorisio, MD
(319) 353-7812
200 Hawkins Dr
Iowa City, IA
Specialties
Endocrinology, Diabetes, & Metabolism
Gender
Male
Education
Medical School: Creighton Univ Sch Of Med, Omaha Ne 68178
Graduation Year: 1971

Data Provided by:
Sanford Max Markham, MD
(319) 356-2638
200 Hawkins Dr
Iowa City, IA
Specialties
Obstetrics & Gynecology, Reproductive Endocrinology
Gender
Male
Education
Medical School: Univ Of Ks Sch Of Med, Kansas City Ks 66103
Graduation Year: 1960

Data Provided by:
Jaspreet K Chahal, MD
(319) 384-7116
200 Hawkins Dr # E401-5GH
Iowa City, IA
Specialties
Endocrinology, Diabetes, & Metabolism
Gender
Male
Education
Graduation Year: 2007

Data Provided by:
Amal A Shibli-Rahhal, MD
(319) 353-7812
E 418 GH
Iowa City, IA
Specialties
Endocrinology, Diabetes, & Metabolism
Gender
Male
Education
Graduation Year: 2007

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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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