For more information on natural treatments for diabetes in general, see the full Diabetes article. This entry discusses natural treatments for the complications of diabetes.
Diabetes is an illness that damages many organs in the body, including the heart and blood vessels, nerves, kidneys, and eyes. Most of this damage is believed to be caused by the toxic effects of abnormally high blood sugar, although other factors may play a role as well.
So-called "tight" control of blood sugar greatly reduces all complications of diabetes. Some of the natural treatments described here may help as well.
Principal Proposed Natural Treatments
Several supplements may help prevent or treat some of the common complications of diabetes. However, because diabetes is a dangerous disease, alternative treatment should not be attempted as a substitute for conventional medical care.
High levels of blood sugar can damage the nerves leading to the extremities, causing pain and numbness. This condition is called diabetic peripheral neuropathy. Nerve damage may also develop in the heart, a condition named cardiac autonomic neuropathy. Below, we discuss three natural supplements— acetyl-L-carnitine , lipoic acid , and gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) —that have shown promise for the treatment of diabetic nerve damage.
For more information, including full dosage and safety issues, see the Carnitine article.
For more information, including dosage and safety issues, see the full Lipoic Acid article.
Gamma-linolenic Acid (From Evening Primrose Oil)
Gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) is an essential fatty acid in the omega-6 category. The most common sources of GLA are evening primrose oil , borage oil, and black currant oil.
For more information, including dosage and safety issues, see the full GLA article.
Other Proposed Natural Treatments
- Reviewer: EBSCO CAM Review Board
- Review Date: 08/2013 -
- Update Date: 00/22/2014 -