Alternative therapies are treatments that are neither widely taught in medical schools nor widely practiced in hospitals. Alternative treatments that have been studied to manage diabetes include acupuncture, biofeedback, guided imagery, and vitamin and mineral supplementation.
The success of some alternative treatments can be hard to measure. Many alternative treatments remain either untested or unproven through traditional scientific studies. These alternatives are in addition to conventional medications such as insulin, oral hypoglycemic agents, and diet changes.
Alternative Therapies for Diabetes
Type 2 diabetes is a worldwide health threat and treatment of this disease is limited by the availability of effective medications. All of the existing oral hypoglycemic agents have subsequent failure after long term administration. Thus, new oral medications are needed for long-term control of blood glucose in patients with type 2 diabetes.
Acupuncture is a procedure in that a practitioner inserts needles into designated points on the skin. Some Western scientists believe that acupuncture triggers the release of the body’s natural painkillers. Acupuncture has been shown to offer relief from chronic pain. Acupuncture is sometimes used by people with neuropathy, the painful nerve damage of diabetes.
Biofeedback is a technique that helps a person become more aware of and learn to deal with the body’s response to pain. This alternative therapy emphasizes relaxation and stress-reduction techniques.
According to The Diabetes Council, biofeedback works on the ” Mind-Body Connection”. Studies from the Cleveland Clinic show that biofeedback regulates blood pressure, blood pressure, and circulation.
Guided imagery is a relaxation technique that some professionals who use biofeedback do. With guided imagery, a person thinks of peaceful mental images, such as ocean waves. A person may also include the images of controlling or curing a chronic disease, such as diabetes. People using this technique believe their condition can be eased with these positive images.
The benefit of added chromium for diabetes has been studied and debated for several years. Several studies report that chromium supplementation may improve diabetes control. Chromium is needed to make a glucose tolerance factor, which helps insulin improve its action. Because of insufficient information on the use of chromium to treat diabetes, no recommendations for supplementation yet exist.
Although the relationship between magnesium and diabetes has been studied for decades, it is not yet fully understood. Studies suggest that a deficiency in magnesium may worsen the blood sugar control in type 2 diabetes. Scientists believe that a deficiency of magnesium interrupts insulin secretion in the pancreas and increases insulin resistance in the body’s tissues. Evidence suggests that a deficiency of magnesium may contribute to certain diabetes complications.
Vanadium is a compound found in tiny amounts in plants and animals. Early studies showed that vanadium normalized blood glucose levels in animals with type 1 and type 2 diabetes.
A recent study found that when people with diabetes were given vanadium, they developed a modest increase in insulin sensitivity and were able to decrease their insulin requirements.
Currently, researchers want to understand how vanadium works in the body, discover potential side effects and establish safe dosages.
According to WebMD, Berberine is most commonly taken by mouth for diabetes, high levels of cholesterol or other fats (lipids) in the blood (hyperlipidemia), and high blood pressure. It is also applied to the skin to treat burns and canker sores, but there is no good scientific evidence to support these uses.
Diabetes is a serious disease. A diabetic must do these alternative therapies in consult with your doctor.
The most important thing you can do if you have diabetes is to decrease your simple carbohydrates. You should also be monitoring your blood glucose at least 3 times a week. These alternative therapies for diabetes can be beneficial. Here are some very reasonable glucose monitors.
My name is Phyllis Robinson MSN, RN. I have been a Registered Nurse for 27 years in the Cardiac Intensive Care Unit. I am passionate about cardiac care and heart disease. I also want this blog to be an educational tool that people can refer to for traditional and alternative treatment. I will blog on heart disorders such as high blood pressure, congestive heart failure, cardiomyopathy, and high cholesterol.
I received my Nursing degree from Baltimore Community College.
I went on to receive my Masters in Nursing from Walden University
I have worked for almost 30 years in Critical Care with a focus on heart health. I am an advocate of preventive healthcare.