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Looking for ways to help manage your blood sugar?

Updated: May 16

Many of my patients have recently asked how to manage their rising blood sugar levels. As luck would have it, I’ve been helping patients manage their blood sugar for over 15 years.

While finishing my fourth and final year of graduate school at the Oregon College of Oriental Medicine (OCOM) in 2009, I interned for 6 months with Oregon Health Science University (OHSU).

This very unique experience in the Family Medicine department within the brand-new Center for Health and Healing (CHH) at South Waterfront continues to influence my practice today. Additionally, I had the opportunity to work with my mother, the Charge Nurse in the clinic (thank you, Mom)!

I also had the privilege of collaborating with several gifted medical doctors (big shout-outs to Dr. Yamashita and Dr. Joslin,). But my standout supervisor was Dr. Zhaoxue Lu, an endocrinologist, acupuncturist and professor at OCOM and OHSU. In fact, Dr. Lu is still teaching at both institutions!

During one of our weekly shifts, Dr. Lu generously showed me a set of points on a patient’s lower legs. The patient was struggling with managing Type II Diabetes, even with medication. He explained that these points balance blood sugar but then he later discovered that they helped patients lose weight. Now, that is what I call “Bonus Points!”

Aside from acupuncture, there are simple ways that you can monitor and manage your blood sugar. Some of my patients have been asking their doctors for a continuous glucose monitor (CGM) such as the Freestyle Libre.

Here are three other ideas to manage your blood sugar:

1. "Walk 100 steps/Live to 100!" A meta-analysis of 7 randomizedclinical studies showed that just 2 minutes of light-intensity walking or marching in place can lower blood sugar after eating. The quote above rhymes when said in Mandarin Chinese but you get what I'm saying. Apparently, the ancient Chinese had already figured this out.

2. Take a shot of apple cider vinegar (ACV) in a cup of water before meals: A 2021 review and meta-analysis of 10 clinical trials suggest ACV consumption has significant beneficial effects on lowering blood sugar as well as decreasing low-density or “bad” cholesterol.

And if you aren’t able to “stomach” ACV in liquid form, there are several capsules available. I would steer clear of most gummies, as some of the popular ones contain sugar, which is counter-productive. The photo below is a link to one that doesn’t have sugar and has zero net carbs.

3. At some point over the last year, I had heard about a “calf raise maneuver” that could lower blood sugar levels. I "googled" it last week and lo and behold, it’s true! The maneuver is done while seated and will not make you sweat, force you outside or fatigue you. In fact, if you feel like you're working hard, you're not doing it right!

-Sit with feet flat on the floor and muscles relaxed.

-Raise one heel while the front or “ball” of the foot stays down.

- When the heel gets to the top of its range of motion, the foot is passively released to come back down.

-Alternate feet.

Here is a video from the University of Houston researcher himself, Dr. Marc Hamilton, demonstrating what he calls the "Soleus Push Up" or SPU.

And now that I'm writing this newsletter, I'm wondering if Dr. Lu's points were accessing this very muscle!

As always, thank you for doing this with me!

Happy Mother's Day! I somehow accidently hosted my version of English high on photo for more!

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