Diabetes is a disorder in which the amount of sugar in the blood is elevated. Its full name, diabetes mellitus, is often used rather than diabetes alone, to distinguish this disorder from diabetes insipidus. There are two types of diabetes, type 1 and 2.
According to the World Health Organization, 422 million people worldwide have diabetes, the majority living in low-and middle-income countries, and 1.5 million deaths are directly attributed to diabetes each year. Both the number of cases and the prevalence of diabetes have been steadily increasing over the past few decades. More than 34 million Americans have diabetes (about 1 in 10), and approximately 90-95% of them have type 2 diabetes.
What are the symptoms and complications of diabetes?
Diabetes produces symptoms of high blood sugar like increased thirst and frequent urination; extreme hunger and unexplained weight loss, fatigue, irritability, blurred vision, delayed wound healing, and frequent infections. In extreme cases, complications like a diabetic coma can occur.
It also produces chronic complications in some organs like: the eyes (leading to eye damage, retinopathy); the nervous system (neuropathy); the heart (cardiovascular disease), kidney (Kidney failure, nephropathy); and brain (stroke).
Several studies have reported a slight reduction in the life span of diabetic people largely due to the occurrence of complications. The quality life and occurrence of complications in diabetic people is often closely tied to the control of the blood sugar.
How is Diabetes controlled?
Blood sugar control involves both the individual, and the healthcare team. To effectively control the blood sugar, apart from medications, there are a whole lot of life style changes that have to be done to achieve and maintain the desired blood sugar level of A1c of less than 6.5%. These involve mostly diet and exercise. The US department of Health and Human services recommend the following tips for blood glucose reduction in addition to regularly taking blood glucose medication as prescribed by the doctor:
- Making a diabetes meal plan with help from the health care team that involves:
Choosing foods that are lower in calories, saturated fat, trans fat, sugar, and salt. Eating foods with more fiber, such as whole grain cereals, breads, crackers, rice, or pasta.
Choosing foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, bread and cereals, and low-fat or skim milk and cheese.
Drinking water instead of juice and regular soda.
Regulating carbohydrate intake by filling half of a meal plate with fruits and vegetables, one quarter with a lean protein, such as beans, or chicken or turkey without the skin, and one quarter with a whole grain, such as brown rice or whole wheat pasta while having a meal.
2. Increase activity by setting a goal to be more active most days of the week. It is advisable to start slow by taking 10 minute walks, 3 times a day. Working twice a week to increase muscle strength. Use of stretch bands, doing yoga, heavy gardening (digging and planting with tools), or push-ups. All these will help to also stay at or get to a healthy weight
3. Adhering to self-care tips like: Checking the feet every day for cuts, blisters, red spots, and swelling. Calling the health care team right away about any sores that do not go away.
Brushing the teeth and floss every day to keep the mouth, teeth, and gums healthy.
Keeping track of blood sugar. This may entail checking it one or more times a day.
Regular blood pressure checks.
What is the pinch method for diabetes control?
Self-management of Diabetes requires a lot of discipline and self-motivation. In fact, a recent study among diabetics reported that though a lot of them took their medications, about 64.6% of the study participants were not doing exercise because of their busy work schedule and being too tired. They also often forgot to do other aspects of self-care in diabetes.
For these reasons, a lot of people have turned to spurious claims by Complementary and alternative medicine practitioners of being able to completely cure diabetes without need for any other treatment.
One of such claims is by the pinch method for blood glucose lowering. This supplement, the ‘Altai Balance’ claims that it uses natural ingredients to address the root cause for unbalanced blood sugar which they claim is particulate matter (PM). Altai Balance claims that it supports the body’s ability to balance blood sugar by using an anti-aging proprietary blend of detoxifying herbs and an anti-aging blends. It claims that the supplement (Pinch Method for Diabetes) can help in weight loss, and is useful for heart and also joint health.
How effective is Pinch method for Diabetes control?
While a study has reported an associated increase in insulin insensitivity among people who are exposed for prolonged periods of time to particulate matter caused by air pollution leading to type 2 diabetes, there is no content of the product to counter the effect of particulate matter, and no mention was made of this either in the website of the product. No one disputes the dangers of particulate matter for numerous health implications, including diabetes, but there are other well-established factors that contribute to type 2 diabetes, including family history, obesity, and an inactive lifestyle.
Also, there are indeed studies that link better blood sugar control with chromium and biotin which are contents of this product, but there is no dosage given of these components in the supplement. Alpha lipoic acid, which has been reported to be a useful adjunct for diabetes management, especially for those with altered sensations or neuropathies was described as being in ‘small quantity’ in the product with no dose given.
What is the Summary of the effectiveness of Pinch method in Blood sugar reduction?
In summary, the claims about this supplement are not backed by proper scientific evidence. The supplement is at best an adjuvant which should not replace the other proven therapies for blood glucose control. It is advisable to consult with the doctor and diabetic health care team if one wants to start this medication.