Diabetes: Findings From Alternative Medicine
Diabetes is a chronic condition that often requires several lifestyle changes to manage it. In addition to medication, diet, and exercise, new therapies may be emerging from the field of complementary and alternative medicine. Thirteen million Americans, or about 6% of the population, have diabetes, a disorder of the endocrine system, which is involved in metabolizing food and regulating the amount of glucose in the bloodstream—referred to as "blood sugar." There are two forms of diabetes—type 1 or insulin-dependent diabetes, and type 2 or non-insulin-dependent diabetes. People with type 1 diabetes are usually diagnosed as children or young adults and must take injections of the hormone insulin because their pancreas does not produce insulin. People with type 2 diabetes do have insulin but their bodies don't utilize it effectively. Type 2 diabetes is much more common and affects mostly adults. There are oral medications available to help people with type 2 diabetes control their blood sugars and some people with type 2 diabetes may require insulin injections. In addition to insulin and oral medications, individualized diet and exercise programs are a key component of managing both type 1 and type 2 diabetes.Now additional options for managing diabetes may be emerging from the world of complementary and alternative medicine. Here's a rundown of some of the interesting research findings.