The DL
As all of us bloggers do in the DOC, we give a disclaimer. I AM NOT A DOCTOR. This is just my thoughts. Moving on...

Alternative medicine.

I have NEVER been a believer. Ok, I will try that again. I always thought alternative medicine was more the power of the brain. (The placebo effect if you please). Strange enough, the older I get, the more I realize that life is MUCH more complicated than we think. Perhaps this also has to do with book I'm reading...(I KNOW I KNOW I READ A LOT) "Many Lives Many Masters'.

This book is AMAZING. It's pretty crazy, mind blowing stuff and I am still trying to decide if I believe it's true or not. This book is a true story of a Psychiatrist and his patient and how they uncover her past lives and the important lessons from the "masters" about life. In the book, one of the lessons for life is that the issues we face now are issues from our past life that didn't get solved.

Obviously, I couldn't help but to wonder if diabetes was mine. Was I the start of this "issue" or was this a past life issue? What would even happen to give diabetes as your "issue" Is this all just mumbo jumbo? Or is my "issue" how impatient I am? I think my brain just exploded.

Now the point of this entree was to talk about alternative medicine. At this point with my diabetes I can tell that my body is done with "helping me" as far as how bad I feel when a low or high hits. For years I heard that after 7 years of having diabetes you are all on your own. It just seems everything is taking a little more work than it did before. So, I thought to myself, perhaps it's time to seek help from other areas and techniques. Personally, I have never tried these, so I am very interested if anyone has any experiences with this!

List of Well Known Diabetic Alternative Medicine: (Or Other Ways to Help Treat Diabetes In Addition to Insulin)

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.

1. Cinnamon

My mother for YEARS has left me bottles of cinnamon tablets in my room and encouraged me to take it. I HATE taking pills. They make me sick to my stomach, and sometimes I even vomit if I take too many at one time. Therefore, if I'm taking pills it better be for a good reason. There has been much debate over the idea of cinnamon helping control blood sugar. Does anyone here have anything to say about it? Does the type of cinnamon make a difference?

2. Chromium

An essential mineral. Chromium may potentate insulin, and is usually lost in processed foods. Interesting, I wonder if we eat less processed foods if this would be the same.

The benefit of chromium supplements for diabetes has been studied and debated for a number of years. While some clinical studies have reported no beneficial effects of chromium use for people with diabetes, other clinical studies have reported that chromium supplements may reduce blood sugar levels as well as the amount of insulin needed by people with diabetes. Pregnancy-induced and steroid-induced diabetes may benefit from chromium as well. Chromium was found to decrease the insulin resistance problems seen in individuals who smoke cigarettes. Chromium is an antioxidant, which helps protect the body against free radical damage (oxidation).

Because of the popularity of taking chromium supplements for blood sugar regulation, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) reviewed the clinical evidence and concluded that the relationship between chromium picolinate intake and insulin resistance is highly uncertain. More research is needed.

Anyone tried this?

3. Magnesium

Another mineral that is supposed to help lower blood sugar. People who in the nutrition world believe that if something is lower than normal in the body, then it must be the cause of a disease.
"Low magnesium levels may have absolutely nothing to do with diabetes and the levels may be low because of the excess urinary excretion. But it is not a bad idea to get adequate magnesium daily through a supplement."

4. Alcohol

OK call me crazy on this one. I have thought this before. If alcohol lowers my blood sugar, why WOULDN'T I have a drink with a meal?? A moderate amount of alcohol has been shown to increase insulin sensitivity and improve blood sugars. It does feel weird to encourage alcohol consumption, that could perhaps lead to liver damage...(PLEASE NOTE I AM OVER 21 AND ONLY PEOPLE OVER 21 SHOULD DRINK) hmmm I am really torn on this one.

5.Low Carb Diet

As MANY people recommend, eating foods that are lower in carbs. There is no denying this one. If you eat less carbs, you will need less insulin. TA-DA! I can 100% say that eating less carbs makes managing diabetes easier. My problem is, it can lead to me feeling "different" or "not able to enjoy" some of the food I love. This one is legit in my eyes.

6. Exercise

Another DUH. We all know it helps. BUT sometimes I feel like, oh man my blood sugar is too high to work out, oh man my blood sugar is too low. Sometimes, I just can't win. We know that exercise helps in a million ways. So this one is legit.

7. Vanadium

"Basically vanadium may act as a co-factor for various enzymes which are part of blood sugar, lipid and cholesterol metabolism. The facts about what can do vanadium for diabetes are based on clinical trials in animals. And in both type 1 and 2 diabetes, basically it works by mimicking insulin and thus lowering blood sugar."

Sounds great, but apparently there are side effects if you take too much of it. The safe recommended about is 10 mcg. If the amount intake is higher than 100 mcg then the problems come. It has been shown from some research studies that in high doses, vanadium can destroy beta cells.

I would never tell anyone to try any of these things again before talking to your doctor first!! I AM NOT A DOCTOR!!!

Has anyone tried any of these? Have any stories? I would LOVE to hear about it!!!
3 Responses
  1. Mike Lawson Says:

    BOTTOMS UP!!! Hahaha...I like #4. I'll drink to that!

  2. The DL Says:

    That was my favorite too! lol

  3. Alyssa Says:

    I was told rather forcefully when I was about twelve that if I took magnesium, I wouldn't need my inhalers anymore for asthma (I'd been diagnosed two years before). I just wanted the guy to shut up-he made it sound like he thought he knew everything and was basically trying to FORCE me into taking something I didn't want to take and didn't think would help at all! I never did try it, but I don't really believe that a mineral could "cure" my asthma or anything else I have.

    The reason why the alcohol works is because alcohol prevents your liver from producing sugar. It's legitimate, but I wouldn't recommend it without very careful monitoring because it basically screws with how much basal insulin you need while you're "under the influence", so to speak. I maintain that my father's blood sugar levels are under pre-diabetic only because he drinks three shots of vodka per day!

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