Can natural remedies help to control diabetes in pregnancy?
Q: I am 31 years old and 25 weeks pregnant. I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes 3 weeks back, and was put on insulin. For the past 3 days I have been trying a natural remedy in addition to my insulin dose. I have been drinking juice of 1-2 small bitter gourds (karela) mixed with 2 gooseberries (amla) and have achieved a significant control on my sugar levels. Is this mixture harmful, if consumed in small quantity once a day, in the last trimester?
A:Therapeutic diet plays an important role in the treatment of diabetes. Nothing helps more than a diet, custom-made by a dietician. The general principle is to control body fat that reduces sensitivity to Insulin, which keeps the blood sugar level in check. A diabetic diet must include a balance of high proteins, low fat and complex carbohydrates, (Whole grain cereals, whole wheat flour, vegetables) which are digested more slowly and therefore don’t cause a rapid rise in blood sugar. The most important consideration in diet is the total amount of calories ingested for an average diabetic, about 60% of calories are derived from carbohydrates, 15 to 20% from fats, and 15 to 20% from proteins. Along with keeping in mind this general principle, there are also several known home remedies to help keep the blood sugar levels in control. Bitter gourd contains plant insulin and should be taken 2 ounce 2 times daily on an empty stomach. It is found to be very effective for diabetes. Or it can be cooked as any vegetable and eaten. The bitter gourd powder can also be made after drying and crushing the bitter gourd. Take bitter gourd powder I teaspoon daily, empty stomach. In the last trimester please monitor your blood glucose regularly from your physician and check with him to ensure that this does not contradict any medication that he might give you. Blood sugar levels falling below normal levels are also not a good idea.