Diabetes

Natural Remedies Vitamins that may be helpful
A variety of vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and other supplements may help with symptoms and deficiencies associated with diabetes. Multiple Vitamin Mineral Supplement In a double-blind study, supplementation of middle-aged and elderly diabetics with a multiple vitamin and mineral preparation for one year reduced the risk of infection by more than 80%, compared with a placebo.78 Chromium Medical reports dating back to 1853, as well as modern research, indicate that chromium-rich brewer s yeast (9 grams per day) can be useful in treating type 2 diabetes.79 80 In recent years, chromium has been shown to improve glucose levels and related variables in people with glucose intolerance and type 2, gestational, and steroid-induced diabetes.81 82 Improved glucose tolerance with lower or similar levels of insulin have been reported in more than ten trials of chromium supplementation in people with varying degrees of glucose intolerance.83 Chromium supplements improve glucose tolerance in people with type 2 diabetes,84 apparently by increasing sensitivity to insulin.85 Chromium improves the processing of glucose in people with prediabetic glucose intolerance and in women with diabetes associated with pregnancy.86 87Chromium even helps healthy people,88 although one such report found chromium useful only when accompanied by 100 mg of niacin per day.89 Chromium may also lower levels of total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and triglycerides (risk factors in heart disease).90 91 A few trials have reported no beneficial effects from chromium supplementation.92 93 94 All of these trials used 200 mcg or less of supplemental chromium, which is often not adequate for people with diabetes, especially if it is in a form that is poorly absorbed. The typical amount of chromium used in research trials is 200 mcg per day, although as much as 1,000 mcg per day has been used.95 Many doctors recommend up to 1,000 mcg per day for people with diabetes.96 Supplementation with chromium or brewer s yeast could potentially enhance the effects of drugs used for diabetes (e.g., insulin or other blood sugar-lowering agents) and possibly lead to hypoglycemia. Therefore, people with diabetes taking these medications should supplement with chromium or brewer s yeast only under the supervision of a doctor. Magnesium People with type 2 diabetes tend to have low magnesium levels.97 Double-blind research indicates that supplementing with magnesium overcomes this problem.98 Magnesium supplementation has improved insulin production in elderly people with type 2 diabetes.99 However, one double-blind trial found no effect from 500 mg magnesium per day in people with type 2 diabetes, although twice that amount led to some improvement.100 Elders without diabetes can also produce more insulin as a result of magnesium supplements, according to some,101 but not all, trials.102 However, in people with type 2 diabetes who nonetheless require insulin, Dutch researchers have reported no improvement in blood sugar levels from magnesium supplementation.103 The American Diabetes Association acknowledges strong associations between magnesium deficiency and insulin resistance but has not said magnesium deficiency is a risk factor104 Many doctors, however, recommend that people with diabetes and normal kidney function supplement with 200 to 600 mg of magnesium per day. Diabetes-induced damage to the eyes is more likely to occur in magnesium-deficient people with type 1 diabetes.105 In magnesium-deficient pregnant women with type 1 diabetes, the lack of magnesium may even account for the high rate of spontaneous abortion and birth defects associated with type 1 diabetes.106The American Diabetes Association admits strong associations...between magnesium deficiency and insulin resistance but will not say magnesium deficiency is a risk factor.107 Many doctors, however, recommend that people with diabetes and normal kidney function supplement with 200 600 mg of magnesium per day. Alpha lipoic acid Alpha lipoic acid is a powerful natural antioxidant. Preliminary and double-blind trials have found that supplementing 600 to 1,200 mg of lipoic acid per day improves insulin sensitivity and the symptoms of diabetic neuropathy.108 109 110 111 112 113 114 115 In a preliminary study, supplementing with 600 mg ofalpha lipoic acid per day for 18 months slowed the progression of kidney damage in patients with type 2 diabetes.116

Evening primrose oil Supplementing with 4 grams of evening primrose oil per day for six months has been found in double-blind research to improve nerve function and to relieve pain symptoms of diabetic neuropathy.117 Glucomannan Glucomannan is a water-soluble dietary fiber derived from konjac root (Amorphophallus konjac)that delays stomach emptying, leading to a more gradual absorption of dietary sugar. This effect can reduce the elevation of blood sugar levels that is typical after a meal. 118 After-meal blood sugar levels are lower in people with diabetes given glucomannan in their food, 119 and overall diabetic control is improved with glucomannan-enriched diets, according to preliminary and controlled clinical trials. 120 121 122 One preliminary report suggested that glucomannan may also be helpful in pregnancy-related diabetes. 123 For controlling blood sugar, 500 to 700 mg of glucomannan per 100 calories in the diet has been used successfully in controlled research. Vitamin E People with low blood levels of vitamin E are more likely to develop type 1 and type 2 diabetes.124 125Vitamin E supplementation has improved glucose tolerance in people with type 2 diabetes in most,126 127128 but not all,129 double-blind trials. Vitamin E has also improved glucose tolerance in elderly people without diabetes.130 131 Three months or more of at least 900 IU of vitamin E per day may be required for benefits to become apparent. In one of the few trials to find vitamin E supplementation ineffective for glucose intolerance in people with type 2 diabetes, damage to nerves caused by the diabetes was nonetheless partially reversed by supplementing with vitamin E for six months.132 Animal and preliminary human data indicate that vitamin E supplementation may protect against diabetic retinopathy and nephropathy,133 134 serious complications of diabetes involving the eyes and kidneys, respectively, though no long-term trials in humans have confirmed this preliminary evidence. Glycosylation is an important measurement of diabetes; it refers to how much sugar attaches abnormally to proteins. Excessive glycosylation appears to be one of the causes of the organ damage that occurs in diabetes. Vitamin E supplementation has reduced the amount of glycosylation in many,135 136 137 138 139although not all,140 141 142 studies. In one report, vitamin E was found to impair glucose tolerance in obese patients with diabetes.143 The reason for the discrepancy between reports is not known. Vitamin E appears to lower the risk of cerebral infarction, a type of stroke, in people with diabetes who smoke. A review of a large Finnish study of smokers concluded that smokers with diabetes (or hypertension) can benefit from small amounts of vitamin E (50 IU per day).144 Vitamin C As with vitamin E, vitamin C may reduce glycosylation.145 Vitamin C also lowers sorbitol levels in people with diabetes.146 Sorbitol is a sugar that can accumulate inside the cells and damage the eyes, nerves, and kidneys of people with diabetes. Vitamin C may improve glucose tolerance in type 2 diabetes,147 148although not every study confirms this benefit.149 Vitamin C supplementation (500 mg twice a day for one year) has significantly reduced urinary protein loss in people with diabetes. Urinary protein loss (also called proteinuria) is associated with poor prognosis in diabetes.150 Many doctors suggest that people with diabetes supplement with 1 to 3 grams per day of vitamin C. Higher amounts could be problematic, however. In one person, 4.5 grams per day was reported to increase blood sugar levels.151 One study examined antioxidant supplement intake, including both vitamins E and C, and the incidence of diabetic retinopathy (damage to the eyes caused by diabetes).152 Surprisingly, people with extensive retinopathy had a greater likelihood of having taken vitamin C and vitamin E supplements. The outcome of this trial, however, does not fit with most other published data and might simply reflect the fact that sicker people are more likely to take supplements in hopes of getting better. For the present, most doctors remain relatively unconcerned about the outcome of this isolated report. B Vitamins Many people with diabetes have low blood levels of vitamin B6.153 154 Levels are even lower in people with diabetes who also have nerve damage (neuropathy).155 Vitamin B6 supplementation has improved glucose tolerance in women with diabetes caused by pregnancy.156 157 Vitamin B6 supplementation is also effective for glucose intolerance induced by birth control pills.158 In a trial that included people with type 2 diabetes, 1,800 mg per day of a special form of vitamin B6 pyridoxine alpha-ketoglutarate improved glucose tolerance dramatically.159 Standard vitamin B6 has helped in some,160 but not all, trials.161 A controlled trial in Africa found that supplementing with both vitamin B1 (25 mg per day) and vitamin B6 (50 mg per day) led to significant improvement of symptoms of diabetic neuropathy after four weeks.162However, since this was a trial conducted among people in a vitamin B1 deficient developing country, these improvements might not occur in other people with diabetes. Another trial found that combining vitamin B1 (in a special fat-soluble form) and vitamin B6 plus vitamin B12 in high but variable amounts led to improvement in some aspects of diabetic neuropathy in 12 weeks.163 As a result, some

doctors recommend that people with diabetic neuropathy supplement with vitamin B1, though the optimal level of intake remains unknown. Biotin is a B vitamin needed to process glucose. When people with type 2 diabetes were given 9 mg of biotin per day for two months, their fasting glucose levels dropped dramatically.164 Biotin may also reduce pain from diabetic nerve damage.165 Some doctors try 9 to 16 mg of biotin per day for a few weeks to see if blood sugar levels will fall. Vitamin B12 is needed for normal functioning of nerve cells. Vitamin B12 taken orally has reduced symptoms of nerve damage caused by diabetes in 39% of people studied; when given both intravenously and orally, two-thirds of people improved.166 In a preliminary trial, people with nerve damage due to kidney disease or to diabetes plus kidney disease received intravenous injections of 500 mcg of methylcobalamin (the main form of vitamin B12 found in the blood) three times a day for six months in addition to kidney dialysis. Nerve pain was significantly reduced and nerve function significantly improved in those who received the injections.167 Oral vitamin B12 up to 500 mcg three times per day is recommended by some practitioners. The intake of large amounts of niacin (a form of vitamin B3), such as 2 to 3 grams per day, may impair glucose tolerance and should be used by people with diabetes only with medical supervision.168 169 Smaller amounts (500 to 750 mg per day for one month followed by 250 mg per day) may help some people with type 2 diabetes,170 though this research remains preliminary. Coenzyme Q10 Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) is needed for normal blood sugar metabolism. Animals with diabetes have been reported to be CoQ10 deficient. People with type 2 diabetes have been found to have significantly lower blood levels of CoQ10 compared with healthy people.171 In one trial, blood sugar levels fell substantially in 31% of people with diabetes after they supplemented with 120 mg per day of CoQ7, a substance similar to CoQ10.172 The importance of CoQ10 supplementation for people with diabetes remains an unresolved issue, though some doctors recommend approximately 50 mg per day as a way to protect against possible effects associated with diabetes-induced depletion. L-carnitine L-carnitine is an amino acid needed to properly utilize fat for energy. When people with diabetes were given DL-carnitine (0.5 mg per 2.2 pounds of body weight), high blood levels of fats both cholesterol and triglycerides dropped 25 to 39% in just ten days in one trial.173 Acetyl-L-carnitine In a double-blind study of people with diabetic neuropathy, supplementing with acetyl-L-carnitine was significantly more effective than a placebo in improving subjective symptoms of neuropathy and objective measures of nerve function.174 People who received 1,000 mg of acetyl-L-carnitine three times per day tended to fare better than those who received 500 mg three times per day. Zinc People with type 2 diabetes tend to be zinc deficient,175 but some evidence indicates that zinc supplementation does not improve their ability to process sugar.176 Nonetheless, many doctors recommend that people with type 2 diabetes supplement with moderate amounts of zinc (15 to 25 mg per day) as a way to correct the deficit. Antioxidants Because oxidation damage is believed to play a role in the development of diabetic retinopathy, antioxidant nutrients might be protective. One doctor has administered a daily regimen of 500 mcg selenium, 800 IU vitamin E, 10,000 IU vitamin A, and 1,000 mg vitamin C for several years to 20 people with diabetic retinopathy. During that time, 19 of the 20 people showed either improvement or no progression of their retinopathy.177 People who wish to supplement with more than 250 mcg of selenium per day should consult a healthcare practitioner. Vitamin D Vitamin D is needed to maintain adequate blood levels of insulin.178 Vitamin D receptors have been found in the pancreas where insulin is made, and preliminary evidence suggests that supplementation can improve some measures of blood sugar control in people with type 2 diabetes.179 180 Not enough is known about optimal amounts of vitamin D for people with diabetes, and high amounts of vitamin D can be toxic; therefore, people with diabetes considering vitamin D supplementation should talk with a doctor and have their vitamin D status assessed. Inositol Inositol is needed for normal nerve function. Diabetes can cause a type of nerve damage known as diabetic neuropathy. This condition has been reported in some, but not all, trials to improve with inositol supplementation (500 mg taken twice per day).181 Taurine Animal studies have shown that supplementing with taurine, an amino acid found in protein-rich food, may affect insulin

secretion and action, and may have potential in protecting the eyes and nerves from diabetic complications.182 However, a double-blind trial found no effect on insulin secretion or sensitivity when men with high risk for developing diabetes were given 1.5 grams per day of taurine for eight weeks.183 In another double-blind trial, taurine supplementation (2 grams per day for 12 months) failed to improve kidney complications associated with type 2 diabetes.184 Fish oil Glucose tolerance improves in healthy people taking omega-3 fatty acid supplements,185 and some studies have found that fish oil supplementation also improves glucose tolerance,186 high triglycerides,187 and cholesterol levels in people with type 2 diabetes.188 And in one trial, people with diabetic neuropathy and diabetic nephropathy experienced significant improvement when given 600 mg three times per day of purified eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) one of the two major omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oil supplements for 48 weeks.189 However, other studies have found that type 2 diabetes worsens with fish oil supplementation.190 191 192 193 Until this issue is resolved, people with diabetes should feel free to eat fish, but they should consult a doctor before taking fish oil supplements. Quercetin Doctors have suggested that quercetin might help people with diabetes because of its ability to reduce levels of sorbitol a sugar that accumulates in nerve cells, kidney cells, and cells within the eyes of people with diabetes and has been linked to damage to those organs.194 Clinical trials have yet to explore whether quercetin actually protects people with diabetes from neuropathy, nephropathy, or retinopathy. Vanadium Vanadyl sulfate, a form of vanadium, may improve glucose control in people with type 2 diabetes.195 196 197Over a six-week period, a small group of people with type 2 diabetes were given 75 to 300 mg of vanadyl sulfate per day.198 Only in the groups receiving 150 mg or 300 mg was glucose metabolism improved, fasting blood sugar decreased, and another marker for chronic high blood sugar reduced. At the 300 mg level, total cholesterol decreased, although not without an accompanying reduction in the protective HDL cholesterol. None of the amounts improved insulin sensitivity. Although there was no evidence of toxicity after six weeks of vanadyl sulfate supplementation, gastrointestinal side effects were experienced by some of the participants taking 150 mg per day and by all of the participants taking 300 mg per day. The long-term safety of the large amounts of vanadium needed to help people with type 2 diabetes (typically 100 mg per day) remains unknown. Many doctors expect that amounts this high may prove to be unsafe in the long term. Fructo-oligosaccharides In a preliminary trial, supplementation with fructo-oligosaccharides (FOS) (8 grams per day for two weeks) significantly lowered fasting blood-sugar levels and serum total-cholesterol levels in people with type 2 diabetes.199 However, in another trial, supplementing with FOS (15 grams per day) for 20 days had no effect on blood-glucose or lipid levels in people with type 2 diabetes.200 In addition, some double-blind trials showed that supplementing with FOS or galacto-oligosaccharides (GOS) for eight weeks had no effect on blood-sugar levels, insulin secretion, or blood lipids in healthy people.201 202 Because of these conflicting results, more research is needed to determine the effect of FOS on diabetes and lipid levels. Manganese People with diabetes may have low blood levels of manganese.203 Animal research suggests that manganese deficiency can contribute to glucose intolerance and may be reversed by supplementation.204 A young adult with insulin-dependent diabetes who received oral manganese chloride (3 to 5 mg per day as manganese chloride) reportedly experienced a significant fall in blood glucose, sometimes to dangerously low levels. In four other cases, manganese supplementation had no effect on blood glucose levels.205People with diabetes wishing to supplement with manganese should do so only with a doctor s supervision. Medium-chain triglycerides Based on the results of a short-term clinical trial that found that medium-chain triglycerides (MCT) lower blood glucose levels,206 a group of researchers investigated the use of MCT to treat people with type 2 diabetes mellitus. Supplementation with MCT for an average of 17.5% of their total calorie intake for 30 days failed to improve most measures of diabetic control.207 Starch blockers Starch blockers are substances that inhibit amylase, the digestive enzyme required to break down dietary starches for normal absorption. Controlled research has demonstrated that concentrated starch blocker extracts, when given with a starchy meal, can reduce the usual rise in blood sugar levels of both healthy people and diabetics.208 209 210 211 212 While this effect could be helpful in controlling diabetes, no research has investigated the long-term effects of taking starch blockers for this condition. Are there any side effects or interactions? Refer to the individual supplement for information about any side effects or interactions.

Herbs that may be helpful
Several herbs may help in managing symptoms associated with diabetes, including the control of blood sugar levels. Aloe Animal research and preliminary controlled human trials have found that Aloe vera, either alone or in combination with the oral hypoglycemic drug glibenclamide, effectively lowers blood sugar in people with type 2 diabetes.213 214 215 216 The typical amount used in this research was 1 tablespoon (15 ml) of aloe gel per day. Cayenne Double-blind trials have shown that topical application of creams containing 0.025 to 0.075% capsaicin (from cayenne [Capsicum frutescens]) can relieve symptoms of diabetic neuropathy (numbness and tingling in the extremities caused by diabetes).217 218 Four or more applications per day may be required to relieve severe pain. This should be done only under a doctor s supervision. Fenugreek Fenugreek seeds are high in soluble fiber, which helps lower blood sugar by slowing down carbohydrate digestion and absorption.219 Animal research suggests that fenugreek may also contain a substance that stimulates insulin production and improves blood sugar control.220 221 In a controlled trial, incorporating 15 grams of powdered fenugreek seed into a meal eaten by people with type 2 diabetes reduced the rise in blood glucose following the meal.222 Another controlled trial found that taking 2.5 grams of fenugreek twice a day for three months reduced blood sugar levels in people with mild, but not those with severe, type 2 diabetes.223 In a double-blind study, 1 gram per day of an extract of fenugreek seeds for two months improved some measures of blood sugar control and insulin function in people with type 2 diabetes.224 Psyllium Supplementing with psyllium has been shown to be a safe and well-tolerated way to improve control of blood glucose and cholesterol. In a double-blind trial, men with type 2 diabetes who took 5.1 grams of psyllium per day for eight weeks lowered their blood glucose levels by 11 to 19.2%, their total cholesterol by 8.9%, and their LDL (bad) cholesterol by 13%, compared with a placebo.225 Asian ginseng Asian ginseng is commonly used in Traditional Chinese Medicine to treat diabetes. It has been shown in test tube and animal studies to enhance the release of insulin from the pancreas and to increase the number of insulin receptors.226 227 Animal research has also revealed a direct blood sugar lowering effect of ginseng.228 A double-blind trial found that 200 mg of ginseng extract per day improved blood sugar control, as well as energy levels in people with type 2 diabetes.229 American ginseng In a small preliminary trial, 3 grams of American ginseng was found to lower the rise in blood sugar following the consumption of a high-glucose drink by people with type 2 diabetes.230 The study found no difference in blood sugar lowering effect if the herb was taken either 40 minutes before the drink or at the same time. A follow-up to this study found that increasing the amount of American ginseng to either 6 or 9 grams did not increase the effect on blood sugar following the high-glucose drink in people with type 2 diabetes.231 This study also found that American ginseng was equally effective in controlling the rise in blood sugar whether it was given together with the drink or up to two hours before. Basil Preliminary trials of holy basil (Ocimim sanctum) leaves and hairy basil (Ocimum canum) seeds have shown that these herbs may help people with type 2 diabetes control their blood sugar levels.232 233 234 An uncontrolled study reported that 1,000 mg per day of holy basil lowered blood sugar, LDL ( bad ) cholesterol, and triglycerides,235 while a controlled trial tested 2,500 mg per day and found similar changes in blood sugar, but only minor effects on total blood cholesterol.236 The mechanism of action of holy basil leaf is not understood and it is unknown whether common culinary sweet basil (Ocimum basilicum) would have similar effects. Gymnema Gymnema may stimulate the pancreas to produce insulin in people with type 2 diabetes. Gymnema also improves the ability of insulin to lower blood sugar in people with both type 1 and type 2 diabetes. So far, no double-blind trials have confirmed the efficacy of gymnema for people with any type of diabetes. However, a preliminary study of type 2 diabetics reported that 400 mg per day of gymnema extract taken for periods of 18 months or longer resulted in improvement, according to diabetes blood tests, and allowed reduction of diabetic medications.237 In a controlled trial with type 1 (insulin-dependent) diabetics, a similar amount of gymnema extract reduced requirements for insulin.238 Whether the extract used in these studies was standardized for active constituents is unclear. Recently, a preliminary trial found improved blood sugar levels after three months in a group of type 1 and type 2 diabetics who took 800 mg per day of an extract standardized for 25%

gymnemic acids.239 Gymnema is not a substitute for insulin, but insulin amounts may need to be lowered while taking gymnema to avoid hypoglycemia. Milk thistle In a double-blind trial, supplementation with silymarin (a component of milk thistle) in the amount of 200 mg three times per day for four months significantly improved measures of blood sugar control compared with a placebo.240 Bitter melon Whole, fried slices,241 water extracts,242 and juice of bitter melon may improve blood-sugar control in people with type 2 diabetes,243 according to preliminary trials. However, double-blind trials are needed to confirm this potential benefit. Cinnamon Test tube studies have suggested that cinnamon may improve the glucose utilization. In a study of people with type 2 diabetes, supplementing with cinnamon in the amount of 1, 3, or 6 grams per day for 40 days was significantly more effective than a placebo at reducing blood glucose levels.244 The reduction averaged 18 to 29% in the three treatments groups, and 1 gram per day was as effective as 3 and 6 grams per day. However, in a double-blind study, supplementation with 1.5 g of cinnamon per day for six weeks was no more effective than a placebo for reducing blood sugar levels.245 Crepe myrtle Lagerstroemia speciosa, commonly known as crepe myrtle, grows in various tropical countries and Australia. In folk medicine it has been used to treat diabetes. In a preliminary study of people with type 2 diabetes, supplementing with an extract from the leaves of Lagerstroemia speciosa for two weeks resulted in a fall in blood-glucose levels averaging 20 to 30%.246 The amount used was 32 or 48 mg of a product standardized to contain 1% corosolic acid (a putative active ingredient). The larger amount was somewhat more effect than the smaller amount. Although these results are promising, additional studies are needed to demonstrate the long-term safety and efficacy of this herbal preparation. Onion Preliminary trials and at least one double-blind trial have shown that large amounts of onion can lower blood sugar levels in people with diabetes.247 248 249 The mechanism of onion s blood sugar-lowering action is not precisely known, though there is evidence that constituents in onions block the breakdown of insulin in the liver. This would lead to higher levels of insulin in the body.250 Bilberry Bilberry may lower the risk of some diabetic complications, such as diabetic cataracts and retinopathy. One preliminary trial found that supplementation with a standardized extract of bilberry improved signs of retinal damage in some people with diabetic retinopathy.251 Açaí Açaí is reported to be a traditional remedy for diabetes. Although oxidative stress may contribute to diabetes252 and anthocyanins may improve insulin secretion,253 there is no published evidence that açaí has any effect on diabetes. Ginkgo Ginkgo biloba extract may prove useful for prevention and treatment of early-stage diabetic neuropathy, though research is at best very preliminary in this area.254 Hibiscus Hibiscus is a traditional remedy in India for diabetes; this treatment is supported by preliminary studies from that country and by animal studies.255 256 Hibiscus is usually taken as tea, such as 1 to 2 teaspoons (3 to 6 grams) of dried flower infused in to 1 cup (250 ml) three times per day. Mistletoe Mistletoe extract has been shown to stimulate insulin release from pancreas cells,257 and animal research found that it reduces symptoms of diabetes.258 No research in humans has yet been published; however, given mistletoe s worldwide reputation as a traditional remedy for diabetes, clinical trials are warranted to validate these promising preliminary findings. Traditionally, mistletoe is prepared by soaking 2 to 4 teaspoons (5 to 12 grams) of chopped mistletoe in 2 cups (500 ml) of water overnight. The mixture is drunk first thing in the morning and sweetened with honey if desired. Another batch may be left to steep during the day and drunk at bedtime. Olive leaf Olive leaf extracts have been used experimentally to lower elevated blood-sugar levels in diabetic animals.259 These results have not been reproduced in human clinical trials. Reishi Animal studies and some very preliminary trials in humans suggest reishi may have some beneficial action in people with diabetes.260 261

Are there any side effects or interactions? Refer to the individual herb for information about any side effects or interactions.

Holistic approaches that may be helpful
Acupuncture may be helpful in the treatment of diabetes, or complications associated with diabetes. Preliminary trials have suggested that acupuncture can lower blood sugar and improve insulin production in people with type 2 diabetes,262 263 264 265 but trials on long-term effects have not been concluded. In a preliminary trial, 77% of people suffering from diabetic neuropathy experienced significant reduction in pain following up to six acupuncture treatments over a ten-week period. Many were also able to reduce pain medications, but no long-term change in blood-sugar control was observed.266 Bladder control problems, a complication of long-term diabetes, responded to acupuncture treatment with a significant reduction in symptoms in both controlled and uncontrolled trials.267 268

Published: 12/19/2008

Copyright © 2008 Healthnotes, Inc. All rights reserved. www.healthnotes.com Learn more about Healthnotes, the company. Learn more about the authors of Healthnotes. The information presented in Healthnotes is for informational purposes only. It is based on scientific studies (human, animal, or in vitro), clinical experience, or traditional usage as cited in each article. The results reported may not necessarily occur in all individuals. For many of the conditions discussed, treatment with prescription or over the counter medication is also available. Consult your doctor, practitioner, and/or pharmacist for any health problem and before using any supplements or before making any changes in prescribed medications. Information expires June 2009.

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