Antacids, commonly used to alleviate heartburn, indigestion, and upset stomach, may have an unexpected benefit for people with diabetes, according to researchers from the University of Maryland.
Type 2 diabetes is a significant global health concern, affecting nearly 10 percent of the world’s population.
While lifestyle changes, diabetes medications, and insulin are commonly prescribed to manage blood sugar, antacids are emerging as a potential additional tool for helping individuals with diabetes regulate their glucose levels.
In a recent study, researchers conducted a meta-analysis of seven studies involving 342 participants to investigate the impact of proton pump inhibitors (PPIs), a type of antacid medication, on blood sugar levels in people with diabetes.
The results were promising, showing that antacids could reduce hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) levels by 0.36% and lower fasting blood sugar by 10 mg/dl in individuals with diabetes. However, the study did not find any significant effect of antacids on the risk of developing diabetes in people without the condition.
These findings suggest that antacids may be a valuable addition to standard care for individuals with diabetes. Healthcare providers may consider the potential glucose-lowering effects of these medications when prescribing them to their patients.
Controlling blood sugar is crucial for individuals with diabetes to prevent complications such as nerve damage, kidney disease, and vision problems. Here are some strategies to manage blood sugar levels in diabetes:
- Diet: Adopting a healthy, well-balanced diet that limits sugary and processed foods while emphasizing fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein, and healthy fats can help control blood sugar levels.
- Exercise: Engaging in regular physical activity, such as brisk walking for at least 30 minutes most days of the week, can enhance insulin effectiveness and lower blood sugar levels.
- Medications: Various medications, including insulin injections and oral medications, are available to help manage blood sugar levels in diabetes.
- Blood Sugar Monitoring: Regularly monitoring blood sugar levels allows individuals with diabetes to make necessary adjustments to their diet, exercise, or medication.
- Lifestyle Choices: Avoiding smoking and excessive alcohol consumption is essential, as smoking can raise blood sugar levels and harm blood vessels, while excessive alcohol intake can lead to weight gain and high blood sugar levels.
- Stress Management: Stress can elevate blood sugar levels in people with diabetes. Adopting healthy stress management techniques like meditation, yoga, or deep breathing can help control blood sugar levels.
Individuals with diabetes should collaborate with their healthcare team to create a personalized plan for managing their blood sugar levels. Each person’s needs are unique, and working closely with healthcare providers can lead to effective blood sugar control and a healthier life.
This research, conducted by Carol Chiung-Hui Peng et al., was published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.
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