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Natural Remedies for Type 2 Diabetes

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Are Herbs Really Safe for Diabetes Treatment? continued...

Chitosan is derived from seashells and has the ability to bind to fat and prevent its absorption. Although it is said to facilitate weight loss, available studies thus far have not been encouraging.

Germander, Momordica charantia, 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 been reviewed 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.

What to Consider Before Using Natural Therapies for Diabetes Treatment

Before you think about using a natural therapy for diabetes treatment, be sure to consider the following:

  • Discuss any drugs you use, including herbal products, with your doctor before taking them.
  • If you experience side effects such as nausea, vomiting, rapid heartbeat, anxiety, insomnia, diarrhea, or skin rashes, stop taking the herbal product and notify your doctor immediately.
  • Avoid preparations made with more than one herb.
  • Beware of commercial claims of what herbal products can do. Look for scientific-based sources of information.

Select brands of natural products carefully. Only purchase brands that list the herb's common and scientific name, the name and address of the manufacturer, a batch and lot number, expiration date, dosage guidelines, and potential side effects.

To Learn More About Alternative Therapies for Diabetes Treatment

To learn more about alternative therapies for diabetes treatment, contact the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine Clearinghouse

Additional Information on Complementary and Alternative Medical Therapies for Diabetes

The National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse collects resource information on diabetes for the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) Reference Collection. The NIDDK Reference Collection is a service of the National Institutes of Health.

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Michael Dansinger, MD on February 08, 2015
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