Managing Diabetes With Complementary Health Approaches

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This Thanksgiving you may be planning a meal, or perhaps just planning on eating lots of yummy foods! Some people are on a restricted diet, such as those trying to manage diabetes. November is American Diabetes Month, and we have some helpful tips for those interested in complementary health approaches:

  1. A healthy diet, physical activity, and blood glucose testing are the basic tools for managing type 2 diabetes.
  2. Some dietary supplements may have side effects, including interacting with your diabetes treatment or increasing your risk of kidney problems.
  3. Chromium (an essential trace mineral found in many foods) has been studied for preventing diabetes and controlling glucose levels, but research has found it has few or no benefits.
  4. There is no evidence that magnesium helps to manage diabetes; however research suggests that people with lower magnesium intake may have a greater risk of developing diabetes.
  5. There is no strong evidence that herbs and other dietary supplements, including cinnamon and omega-3s, can help to control diabetes or its complications. In some people, cinnamon might worsen liver disease and interact with blood thinners.
  6. Talk with your health care provider before considering any dietary supplement for yourself, particularly if you are pregnant or nursing, or for a child.

 NCCIH continues to fund research to explore approaches that may prove helpful.


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