Web MD -- Treatments for diabetes can include many elements. Conventional treatments in addition to complementary and alternative treatments are available.
A health treatment that is not classified as standard Western medical practice is referred to as complementary and alternative medicine. Complementary and alternative therapy encompasses a variety of disciplines that include everything from diet and exercise to mental conditioning and lifestyle changes. Examples include acupuncture, guided imagery, chiropractic treatments, yoga, hypnosis, biofeedback, aromatherapy, relaxation, herbal remedies, massage, and many others.
The following plant foods have been found to help people with type 2 diabetes.
Most plant foods are rich in fiber, which is beneficial for helping control blood sugar levels.
There are no clinical trials with promising results for many of the other herbs being proposed for diabetes, such as garlic, ginger, ginseng, hawthorn, or nettle. If you have diabetes and are considering taking any of these herbal substances, talk to your doctor before you take them.
Since weight and diabetes are linked, many people with diabetes turn to alternative therapies that claim to help with weight loss, including:
In addition, transdermal (skin patch) systems as well as oral sprays have been developed to purportedly reduce appetite and facilitate weight loss. One patch system uses homeopathic amounts of 29 different compounds to reduce appetite, but no published literature on its efficacy is available.
In 2003, Ephedrine -- also known as ma huang -- became the first herbal stimulant ever banned by the FDA. A popular component of anti-obesity over-the-counter drugs, ephedrine was found to have some benefits. However, the evidence of its ability to cause harm was far more compelling. In high doses, it has been known to cause insomnia (difficulty falling and staying asleep), high blood pressure, glaucoma, and urinary retention. This herbal supplement has also been associated with numerous cases of stroke.
Chitosan has received a great deal of recent publicity. It is derived from seashells and has the ability to bind to fat and prevent its absorption. Although it is believed to facilitate weight loss, available studies thus far have not been encouraging.
Germander, momordica charanta, sauropus androgynus, and aristolochic acid have been associated with liver disease, pulmonary disease, and kidney disease.
The other so-called "obesity remedies" listed have not been rigorously studied and those that have yielded disappointing results.
Also, a recent survey of herbal preparations for obesity found that many preparations contained lead or arsenic and other toxic metals. Some also contain other undeclared ingredients. Occasionally there was mistaken plant identity as well.
When considering treating diabetes with an herbal product, you should: