Fenugreek and Diabetes? What is the debate?

Myths and new ways to help control diabetes are always on the fly in the diabetes market. However the fenugreek (better known to us as Methi) method has started to gain a bit of momentum in the past few years. What is the myth about? Is it actually helpful? How much is too much? Let us find out through this blog. Come on!

How does Fenugreek/Methi work in the control or management of diabetes? Fenugreek is a plant that grows in parts of Europe and western Asia. The leaves are edible, but the small brown seeds (Methi seeds) are famous for their use in medicine. Fenugreek seeds may be helpful for people with diabetes. The seeds contain high amounts of soluble fiber, which in turn lowers the rate of digestion and absorption of carbohydrates. The seeds may also help improve how the body uses sugar and increases the amount of insulin released by our body. Few studies support fenugreek as an effective treatment for certain conditions. Many of these studies focus on the seed’s ability to lower blood sugar in people with diabetes. They can also help in improving most metabolic symptoms associated with both type 1 and type 2 diabetes by lowering blood glucose levels and increasing overall glucose tolerance. Fenugreek also contains an amino acid called 4-hydroxyisleucine, which is known to have anti-diabetic properties.

Now that we know how it helps in diabetes control, let us know how much is too much Fenugreek for our body? Pregnant women shouldn’t use fenugreek because it may induce uterine contractions. There isn’t enough information about the safety of fenugreek for women who are breastfeeding women with hormone-sensitive cancers shouldn’t use fenugreek. Fenugreek can also cause allergic reactions. We should ask our doctor about any food allergies you might have before adding fenugreek to your diet. The fiber in fenugreek can also make our body less effective at absorbing medications taken by mouth. We should not use fenugreek within a few hours of taking these types of medication. The amounts of fenugreek used in cooking are generally considered safe, however, when taken in large doses, side effects can include gas and bloating. Fenugreek can also react with several medications, especially with those that treat blood clotting disorders and diabetes.

Apart from the above diabetes related benefits fenugreek seeds are a rich source of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, which help protect the body’s cells from damage caused by unstable molecules known as free radicals. In addition, fenugreek seeds may be effective in the treatment of arthritis, high cholesterol, skin problems (wounds, rashes and boils), bronchitis, abscesses, hair loss, constipation, upset stomach, kidney ailments, heartbur, male impotence and other types of sexual dysfunction. Fenugreek is also known to lower bad cholesterol and improves the release of good cholesterol. The studies conducted are very small and needs to be conducted in a large manner in order to gain definitive results. For someone with impaired renal function, should not consume fenugreek in large quantity as it has high potassium content.

From this blog we have learned that even if the Fenugreek myth is relatively a useful one we should never go overboard with any kind of herb or new medication unless it is absolutely approved by the Health department of our country. It is very unfortunate to see that many people become victims to the various unverified myths floating in the market. We are always on a mission to minimize those incidents and make as many people aware of these myths as possible. It is not just us, you, our dear readers play a major role in this drive. Make as many people aware of the benefits and disadvantages of these myths as possible. Awareness is the biggest and most effective medication. Thank you everyone, I will be back shortly with another interesting information. Till then, keep spreading awareness!

What you eat is one of the key areas to successful diabetes management. Do you want to know more about such wonder foods? Join Art of Living with Diabetes today. Watch the video

Published by Dr.Pratim Sengupta

Dr. Pratim Sengupta thinks of himself as conscious, living, soulful being with an inner urge to break the inertia of life. He feels that life is nothing but a material expression of the Supreme Almighty Consciousness. His conscious existence empowered him to see, to hear, to talk, to interact, to feel, to dream, to ask questions, and to seek solutions to every problem. In the flow of life, as he grew up, he understood that knowledge of life is the only way to understand the scientific basis of conscious existence. Hence Dr. Sengupta felt the urge to study the science of life – i.e. Medicine. After he completed his higher secondary education from the Ramakrishna Mission Vidyamandira in Belurmath, he joined the MBBS (Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery) course at RG Kar Medical College, Kolkata. The professional packaging of knowledge in terms of a time-bound, goal-oriented syllabus frustrated him a bit, but nevertheless ignited the urge within him to study further. He thus went on to his post-graduation (MD) in Medicine from IPGMER and SSKM Hospital, Kolkata. During his MD training, he got a glimpse of the vastness of knowledge, and the quest to learn precisely the facts of life narrowed down his area of interest to the functioning of the kidneys and the specialisation of Nephrology – a discipline that is complex, yet relatively new and still evolving in terms of complete understanding of renal physiology and pathology. So, Dr. Sengupta decided to study and train for the DM (Doctorate of Medicine) degree in Nephrology. Right from the start of his career, Dr. Sengupta was passionate about Research. During the MD programme he worked on Cirrhotic Cardiomyopathy, Autonomic Neuropathy of Lupus, and Insulin resistance in Diabetics. All these research studies were published in national journals. During his postdoctoral study in Nephrology, he worked on Hemodialysis efficiency, and suggested an angular placement of the Dialyser in order to increase efficiency. This innovative concept was accepted for presentation at the World Congress of Nephrology, Milan, in 2009, and also published in Hemodialysis International. Dr. Sengupta also worked on Plasmapheresis – a blood filtering technique by which toxic and pathogenic immunoglobulins can be removed from the body. He studied the role of Prethymectomy Plasmapheresis in Myasthenia Gravis patients, and his findings were published in the journal Interactive Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery. The patient-empowered nutritional model for nutritional care of kidney patients is another interesting and innovative area in which Dr. Sengupta has worked for quite a long time. Dr.Pratim Sengupta won the Bharat Jyoti award for his excellency in the field of medicine. He is also the president of our non-governmental organization, The Kidney Care Society. His tireless contribution to provide quality living for his patients is worth mentioning. He introduced Mukti, blending ancient Indian yoga with modern medicine for well being of every patient. He has also introduced an unique online course "Art of Living with diabetes" which is a complete solution to diabetes management. He has authored many books, blogs, for the patients. Searching and researching for solutions to problems in the field of Nephrology remains the passion and dream of Dr. Pratim Sengupta, and he intends to persist on this journey as long as he is conscious. Meanwhile, even as he pursues his dreams, Dr. Sengupta diligently puts into practice all he has learned about Nephrology over the years, at the Belle Vue Clinic in Kolkata and ILS hospital,Dumdum where he is available for his patient

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