5 Best Multivitamins For Diabetics For Your Minerals and Supplements Intake
Whether you have recently been diagnosed with diabetes or have been dealing with diabetes for most of your life, you are always looking for the best ways to manage your symptoms and live a healthier life.
Certain vitamin and mineral deficiencies are common in people with diabetes, while other nutrients have added benefits for people with diabetes. This article will detail all the best supplements for people with diabetes, as well as any potential downsides you should look out for.
While this article is meant to provide accurate and helpful information regarding supplements, you should not start taking any new supplements without consulting with your primary care provider first. Take this as a starting point to boost your health knowledge and best manage your diabetes.
All You Need To Know About Diabetes
Diabetes is a very common disease that affects many millions of Americans. In fact, about one in ten Americans has diabetes, and an even larger percentage has prediabetes. Diabetes is defined by having blood sugar levels that are too high (over 200 mg/dL on a blood test, or over 6.5% on an A1C test) due to ineffective insulin use.
This happens as a result of either a lack of insulin in the body (due to the body’s inability to produce it) or insulin resistance. Insulin’s job is to transport glucose from the blood into the cells, where it will then be used as fuel. When there is too much glucose in the blood for too long periods of time, this can lead to adverse symptoms and serious complications.
There are multiple kinds of diabetes. First there is type 1 diabetes, otherwise known as juvenile diabetes. Type 1 diabetes will usually develop during childhood/adolescence, and occurs because the pancreas is not able to produce insulin. Type 2 diabetes is more common, and occurs when the body either can no longer produce enough insulin or does not use insulin effectively. People that are at risk of developing diabetes but do not yet have it are considered to have prediabetes. Some women experience gestational diabetes during pregnancy, which is not permanent, but increases the risk for developing type 2 diabetes later on in life.
Diabetes Risk Factors
If any of the following categories pertain to you, you may be at a higher risk of developing diabetes:
- BMI higher than 25/obesity, at any age
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
- Sedentary lifestyle
- Older than 45
- Family history of diabetes
- Family history of heart disease
- Polycystic ovary syndrome
- Gestational diabetes
Additionally, people of Hispanic origin and non-Hispanic black people experience diabetes at higher rates than white and non-Hispanic Asian people.
In order to mitigate risk, get screened for diabetes as often as your doctor recommends, based on your risk factors. For a relatively healthy person over 45, getting screened every 3 years should be enough. Obese people and people with prediabetes should get screened more often — about once a year at your yearly check-up.
If diabetes goes unmanaged for too long, it can lead to serious complications, including:
- Cardiovascular disease
- Nerve damage
- Kidney damage
- Eye damage
- Foot damage
- Skin conditions
- Hearing impairment
The best way to avoid any of these conditions is by properly managing your diabetes based on your specific treatment plan that you and your care team develop.
The first step to managing diabetes is by making healthy changes to your lifestyle. Since the food you eat is your body’s primary source of glucose, choosing nutrient-rich foods that will not raise your blood sugar dramatically can play a significant role in limiting symptoms of diabetes.
In general, people with diabetes should avoid as much as possible high-carb, sugary, refined, processed, and/or high-sodium foods. Instead, eat more whole grains, non-starchy vegetables, unsaturated fats, low-fat dairy sources, and lean protein.
Exercise should also be an important part of everyone’s life, diabetes or not. Exercising regularly can help you maintain a healthy weight (which also makes diabetes easier to manage), improve your sleep, and reduce stress. It can also benefit heart health by boosting circulation, as well as potentially being able to increase insulin sensitivity, which lowers the chance of blood sugar spikes. All in all, you should be exercising for at least 30 minutes, 3-5 days a week.
A healthy lifestyle can go a long way in managing diabetes, but some people will also need medication to help keep their blood glucose levels under control. People with type 1 diabetes, for example, require insulin therapy, since their bodies cannot produce insulin at all. Your doctor may prescribe insulin or some type of oral medication, such as metformin, but whatever you take, make sure to follow your doctor’s directions closely. You can easily fill your prescription with Banting, to save up to 80% on your medication (whether you have insurance or not!) and have it delivered safely and conveniently right to your house.
You may eat healthy, exercise regularly, take your medication as directed, monitor your blood sugar levels closely, and get routine blood tests with your doctor, but still feel like you want to do more to help your body against diabetes. This is where vitamins come in! Certain deficiencies are common in people with diabetes, while other supplements minimize diabetes symptoms. Taking supplements can help you add essential nutrients to your daily intake that your regular diet may be lacking.
When deciding to take a supplement, it is important to talk with your doctor first, so as to discuss any side effects and any chance of said supplement interacting with other medications. You should also choose supplement brands that have been third-party tested, so as to ensure that exactly what is on the label is actually inside the bottle.
Without further ado, here are the five best multivitamin ingredients for people with diabetes!
Vitamin D promotes better immune function, and supports your bones, joints, and teeth. It is sometimes referred to as the sunshine vitamin, since the body acquires most of its share of vitamin D from the sun. As such, many people that live in areas with inconsistent sunshine experience vitamin D deficiencies. A deficiency in vitamin D is one of the most common vitamin deficiencies worldwide.
Older adults tend to have vitamin D deficiencies, because their bodies become less efficient at producing it. Vitamin D deficiencies are also common in obese people, since too much body fat can limit vitamin D’s ability to move to the bloodstream. Since older age and obesity often coincide with diabetes, these two points are extremely relevant. Vitamin D also has special benefits for people with diabetes, since it plays a role in building insulin sensitivity.
Vitamin D has very few potential side effects, but talk with your doctor to decide which dose is right for your body.
ALA, or alpha-lipoic acid, is a naturally-occurring antioxidant. Antioxidants minimize oxidative stress, a process which damages the cells and lessens their ability to support the body. In doing so they also reduce unhealthy inflammation, which is associated with many common diseases.
ALA is especially helpful to people with diabetes that are suffering from nerve damage/neuropathy, as it can reduce any pain or irritation associated with such. ALA may also be able to reduce insulin resistance, which makes it easier to maintain healthy blood sugar levels.
GLA, or gamma-lipoic acid, is a similar antioxidant that may have similar benefits to ALA for the body.
Vitamin B1, also known as thiamin(e), is often a common deficiency in people with type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Thiamine assists the body in converting the foods we eat, particularly the carbohydrates, proteins, and fats, into energy for the cells, also known as glucose. Since stable glucose levels are crucial to the health of any person with diabetes, it is important to maintain healthy levels of thiamine. Having too little thiamin is also associated with heart disease and damage to the blood vessels, both potential complications of diabetes.
You can get vitamin B1 naturally by eating whole grains, pork, asparagus, cauliflower, nuts, oranges, eggs, and kale. Talk to your doctor about adding a vitamin B1 supplement to your diet, in addition to eating these nutrient-rich foods.
Magnesium allows the body to break down sugar, plays a role in regulating blood pressure, and even helps manage insulin sensitivity. All of these factors affect how at-risk a person is for diabetes and/or how well a person will be able to manage diabetes, so magnesium is a very important mineral for people with and without diabetes.
Nuts, seeds, spinach, beans (including soybeans), avocado, yogurt, and whole wheat bread are all foods that are high in magnesium and that are diabetic friendly. The best way to take in a mineral is through your diet, but if you cannot eat any of these foods for whatever reason, taking a magnesium supplement may be highly beneficial. As a diet that is high in magnesium may lessen the risk of developing diabetes, people with prediabetes may also benefit from magnesium supplements (or eating magnesium-rich foods).
Metformin is a common oral medication for people with diabetes, and apparently up to 30% of people that take this drug also have a vitamin B12 deficiency. Since vitamin B12 supports nerve function, and helps convert food into energy, it is a very essential vitamin for anyone with diabetes (and all humans in general).
If you have experienced nerve damage as a result of your diabetes, a vitamin B12 supplement may be a natural solution to your discomfort. Otherwise, chicken, fish, shellfish, low-fat dairy products, and eggs all contain high levels of vitamin B12.
Diabetes is a disease that involves having too much glucose in the blood, and occurs as a result of the body’s inability to use and/or produce the hormone insulin. Obese people and people with a family history of heart disease or diabetes are at higher risk of developing diabetes. This condition can be serious if left untreated, but with proper management of diabetes, through medication and lifestyle adjustments, you can still live a happy, healthy life.
If your doctor agrees that adding a supplement to your diet would benefit your diabetes care plan, vitamin D, ALA, vitamin B1, magnesium, and vitamin B12 all have specific advantages for people with diabetes.