Herbs and Diabetes

Many herbs and vitamins have shown some promise for diabetes, but the scientific evidence for their safety and efficacy is too uncertain for experts to make recommendations about most of them. That doesn't mean that doctors are closed-minded about the possibilities. "It's not as if we know everything we need to know," says Nathaniel Clark, MD, spokesman for the American Diabetes Association. "There's always a need for new therapies and new approaches."

Testimonials to their medicinal powers of are as abundant as the flora themselves. But modern medicine demands proof, and as these medicine gains popularity, scientists are busy testing their possible benefits for treating many diseases. Diabetes is no exception.

Safety doesn't seem like a big issue with some of them that might be helpful in diabetes. Nevertheless, it may be possible for complementary treatments to have bad interactions with prescription diabetes drugs. For example, if they actually work, your blood sugar levels could drop too far, causing hypoglycemia. For that reason, people trying out supplements should test their blood sugar more often than they would otherwise. And try only one at a time. That way, you'll be better able to judge whether it seems to be working for you.

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