What Are the Alternative Treatments to Diabetes?
For diabetes patients, maintaining and controlling blood sugar is one aspect of the managing the disease. Along with using medication such as insulin injections, many patients decide to use different alternative therapies in order to better control their diabetes. These therapies are targeted to treat both body and mind of the patient.
There are many alternative treatments that are used by patients for treating diabetes worldwide. These complementary and alternative treatments referred to a wide range of therapies that cannot be categorized as conventional medicine.
Before adopting any of these alternative treatments, it is important to know that there is very limited evidence on how well these treatments actually work. Even the all-natural supplements can be harmful if they interfere with other diabetes medicines you are using. It is important that you make an informed decision about alternative treatments.
Following are some of the most popular supplements and herbs that are used as alternative treatments of diabetes.
Cinnamon is a popular alternative supplement for diabetes and has been used for centuries. Although the evidence of the results from this herb are quite inconsistent, it’s still used worldwide by diabetes patients. Some studies suggest that cinnamon can enhance the insulin sensitivity in the human body, whereas other studies that were carried out found no plausible effects.
Garlic has been known to help lower blood-glucose levels in people, and it also has been proven to control cholesterol levels in people who use it on a daily basis.
- Aloe Vera:
Many patients take Aloe Vera orally, and they believe it has significant benefits for controlling blood sugar levels. Two independent clinical studies have found that Aloe Vera when taken orally, helps lower the fasted blood sugar.
Ginger has been used in teas and different recipes and has been identified as a good alternative treatment for diabetes as it helps lower blood pressure. Ginger should be taken cautiously with medication though because it can tend to increase the effects of blood thinners.
Chromium is a micronutrient. Diabetes patient have been shown to lose a greater amount of chromium in their urine. Scientists think that this affects the insulin resistance. A few studies support that the use of chromium as a supplement helps in managing blood sugar levels.
- Alpha-Lipoic Acid
Alpha-lipoic acid is a type of antioxidant that is naturally occurring in many fruits and vegetables such as potatoes, spinach and broccoli. Alpha-lipoic acid is a popular supplement which is used by diabetes patients. It’s known to reduce the nerve damage that is related to the disease, and ultimately increases the body’s ability to use insulin. There are various studies that provide evidence of the benefits of this supplement for diabetic patients.
Many studies show that if used in high doses, vanadium supplements have the ability to increase a patient’s sensitivity to insulin. Although there is not much evidence about the effectiveness of vanadium and high doses of the supplement can be toxic.
- Omega-3 Fatty Acid
Omega-3 fatty acid is a naturally-occurring nutrient that is found in various types of foods such as walnuts, soybeans and salmon. Omega-3 fatty acid is considered good fat and significantly helps in reducing heart-disease. Many patients use these supplements for diabetes management as well.
Polyphenols are the antioxidants that are found in various kinds of food. There is some evidence that high polyphenol diet is effective in increasing the insulin sensitivity.
Magnesium is a mineral that is present in many whole grains, nuts and leafy vegetables. Research suggests that people with low magnesium levels have the higher risk of developing diabetes. However, supplementation in high doses is not recommended as there is not enough evidence of the effectiveness of the mineral for treating diabetes.
Diabetes can have negative effects on one’s everyday life. People with diabetes and other chronic diseases have a higher risk of depression and anxiety. The stress and anxiety also affects the ability of patients to properly manage their diabetes medication. Alternative treatments for diabetes use a mind and body approach for patients to effectively deal with these concerns.
Along with the use of alternative treatments and therapies, people with diabetes are advised to engage in at least 150 minutes of exercise each week. Lifestyle changes and a healthy diet is a great way to manage and control diabetes. To lead a better and healthier life, diabetes patients should consider taking additional measures along with the use of conventional medicine.