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Type II Diabetes plagues nearly 30 million Americans. The number with prediabetes is even worse, with an estimated 86 million Americans affected. A national wake-up call went out in JAMA two years ago, but nobody headed it.

In 2015, JAMA published the results of a national survey that measured hemoglobin A1c, fasting plasma glucose (FPG), and oral glucose tolerance tests (OGTT). Trends were compared from a 1988-1994 survey to data collected from 2011-2012. Results were clear. The number of Americans with diabetes and prediabetes keeps going up. If there is any good news in this study, it appears that the trend may have leveled off.

What’s frightening is that more than 50% of the population of the U.S. have high glucose and A1c. In other countries, the problem is even worse. In Mexico, diabetes is the leading cause of death according to the World Health Organization.

Lab Tests for Diabetes

Diabetes is not just one disease as previously thought. It’s a group of metabolic disorders that are lifestyle based and involve dietary triggers, a genetic predisposition, hormone imbalances, autoimmune activity, and inflammatory aspects, and are strongly influenced by the gut microbiome. A doctor who practices functional medicine may order blood, urine, and stool testing to obtain a comprehensive understanding of your body systems.

The American Diabetes Association established diagnostic criteria for glucose and A1c. Doctors use the results to classify patients with prediabetes and diabetes. Those with prediabetes have few symptoms. That’s why it’s important to have a blood test to check your fasting glucose level and A1c percentage. An A1c test will measure your blood for the percentage of hemoglobin that has attached to glucose over the last 3 months.

A1C Test

Keeping your glucose below 99 mg/dL is important. For my patients, I like to see their level lower than 90. I find that the optimal morning fasting glucose range is 74 to 84 mg/dL. But, glucose metabolism varies from person to person. Diet and activity play key roles in how your body processes glucose. Genetic predisposition to diabetes is also a significant factor.


Best Ways to Use Aloe

Finding simple, cost-effective ways to treat diabetes is a personal and global priority. Because everyone needs enough glucose to produce energy for brain and body, it’s not surprising that Nature provides remedies. Some in our own back yard.

A 2016 study looked at the aloe vera (Aloe barbadensis) plant as a means to manage prediabetes. Besides lowering glucose and A1c, aloe vera also reduces LDL cholesterol and increases HDL, the protective form of cholesterol.

Aloe is a natural green pharmacy containing over seventy-five active compounds that are biologically useful to treat disease and improve health. In my garden, I have dozens of pots filled with aloe vera. Aloe vera grows quickly and with little care and has almost no plant diseases. It thrives outdoors in all the southern states of the U.S., and is abundant in Mexico and the Caribbean.

Aloe Superfood Cocktail: To make an aloe superfood drink cut an entire fresh succulent leaf at the base. Wash and carefully cut off the outer skin leaving only the transparent inner gel. Cube and blend with pure water or coconut water. Add a splash of lemon or lime, or try a little watermelon or pomegranate juice. Aloe can be bitter, so some like to add a touch of unfiltered honey. Spice it up with red chili or cool it down with fresh cucumber. Drink one glass every morning on an empty stomach.

Powerful Aloe/Nopal Duo: For a potent glucose-lowering cocktail, blend fresh aloe vera gel with nopal cactus. Studies have shown that nopal (Opuntia streptacantha), or prickly pear cactus also lower glucose. Nopal likes dry warm weather and grows abundantly in Southern California. It produces a bright pink edible fruit that adds antioxidants and a mild fruity flavor to your blended drink.

Try Aloe Vera Juice: Aloe vera juice is available commercially. Some products contain medicinal herbs but are not necessary for the aloe effect. Choose organically grown, filtered aloe juice without flavoring. Read the label for zero grams of sugar. The bitter part of aloe found in the outer rind is a strong laxative. It can cause cramping and diarrhea and is not recommended for people with IBS or colitis. That’s why it’s important to carefully cut away the green skin and drink only the inner portion of the leaf. The bitter principle is removed in most aloe vera juice products. But, read labels.

Boost Benefits with Aloe Vera Extract: Powdered aloe extract has many of the same benefits of the fresh juice. Choose a 200:1 extract containing aloe mucopolysaccharides. Take 1 or 2 capsules daily in the morning on an empty stomach.

Checking Your After Aloe Effects

After implementing your favorite daily aloe doses for several months, remember to recheck your glucose and A1c levels to see your progress.

You may be impressed by the results.

Dr. J. E. Williams


Dr. Williams is a pioneer in integrative and functional medicine, the author of six books, and a practicing clinician with over 100,000 patient visits. His areas of interest include longevity and viral immunity. Formerly from San Diego, he now resides in Sarasota, Florida and practices at the Florida Integrative Medical Center. He teaches at NOVA Southeastern University and Emperor’s College of Oriental Medicine.

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