Alternative treatments for controlling blood sugar

Jeanette Terry
By Jeanette TerryPA Latest Reply 2015-03-22 00:50:06 -0500
Started 2014-04-03 15:29:10 -0500

I know that some people have tried some alternative treatment options to taking some medications for their diabetes. I don't think that medications are necessarily bad when you really need them. I am just curious as to what kinds of alternatives people have tried to keep their blood sugars under control? And do alternative treatments work as well?

50 replies

lanykins 2014-04-21 11:16:19 -0500 Report

I don't try alternative treatments but in addition to my 5 shots of insulin a day I take vitamins B, D, C, cinnamon and fish oil. I've looked into treatments for my neuropathy but nothing works now that it is so extensive. I'm just sticking to my insulin, vitamins and diet to live the best life I can. Since I am disabled I'm not able to exercise other than walking with my walker short distances at a time. That bothers me a lot. But I keep active around my home and caring for my cats. I do get out on a van to go to doctors and buy groceries. My life is busy and I don't need any new treatments.

Trudie Ann
Trudie Ann 2014-04-07 13:31:52 -0500 Report

I don't take alternative treatments instead of medicine. I take supplements along with my medicines, and my blood glucose is now a lot better. In fact my doctor where I moved from, the one who first discovered I was diabetic ( and I truly miss) called me his miracle patient. I went from blood glucose off the chart to good levels with my supplements and metformin. I take Cinnamon capsules, Nopal cactus capsules, B6, B12, & Melatonin tabs, and Chamomile tea. I try to eat what is good for diabetics including lots of grains ( quinoa, rice, oat, barley etc.) and exercise.
I am looking into Krill oil and ( Yerba Mate - Ginko - Pau d'Arco - Siberian ginseng - and milk thistle, Herbal Tea's ). I have heard good things about these tea's but I need to do some more research on them. If you have info on them I would appreciate it.

lindainJapan 2014-04-06 20:15:27 -0500 Report

I didn't notice any effect from cinnamon but I still take it sometimes. I do notice results from the combination of alpha lipoic acid and evening primrose oil but hate the name of the latter. I sometimes get a result for a meal with konnyaku (common over here) and always a strong reaction to eating bitter gourd (but not too the tea or tablets). The Ayurvedic treatment of juiced gourd before breakfast works extremely well if you can bear the taste. Just remembering it gives me a gag reflex! But the three days I took it before I got my insulin, it did work like a bg elevator going down. I love vinegar and eat pickles and a sour brown algae they sell over here almost every day but I would have to be stateside to get a gooseberry! By the way when using super low carb don't think of liver as meat. It is relatively high carb and my trusty post meal testing proves that to me!!

RedShine 2014-04-05 22:55:56 -0500 Report

I have a question, are there such treatments for type 1 diabetics, or is this type of treatment only for type 2 diabetics?

jayabee52 2014-04-06 00:21:01 -0500 Report

Howdy Red.
While some of these treatments might be helpful for lowering one's Blood Glucose (BG) levels and perhaps lower one's need for so much insulin, Insulin is currently the only way to lower one's BG level to a safe level.
Sorry, no replacement for the insulin needle (of one kind or another).

God's best to you

James Baker

cdbamerson 2014-04-04 16:56:48 -0500 Report

I read recently where there are 2 types of chromium. Picolinate is very dangerous to your body. Has anyone else heard this?

jayabee52 2014-04-05 20:19:35 -0500 Report

Howdy CD
i queried Google "is chromium picolinate dangerous" and one of the responses was from Dr Andrew Weil, who has his own formula for lowering one's glucose "GTF" in his answer to the question he writes: "The possibility of DNA damage was suggested by studies of chromium picolinate in cell cultures. There is no evidence of such an effect in any living organism. To follow-up on the cell culture results, researchers at New York University studied the effects of 400 micrograms of chromium picolinate over an eight week period in 10 overweight women and found no sign of DNA damage.

The only adverse effects of chromium picolinate I've read about occurred in isolated cases. In one, a woman who took 1,200 to 2,400 mcg daily over four to five months developed kidney failure and impaired liver function. In another, kidney failure occurred five months after taking 600 mcg of chromium picolinate daily for six weeks. And, a healthy 24 year old man reportedly developed reversible, acute renal failure after two weeks on a supplement that contained chromium picolinate as the main ingredient.

In general, daily doses of up to 1,000 mcg of chromium are considered safe, but my bottom line is to skip the picolinate form in favor of GTF." see ~
so according to Dr Weil, there can be damage if it is over used, but in lower doses it does not damage one's body. That does not ask or answer the question, is it effective, or is it just something we literally "piss away"?

I had taken Chromiun Picolonate for a month in a 2000 mg Cinnamon capsule, and I noted no change in my BG levels.

However others have noted that it had worked for them. This is one of the variables in response to the same intake of foods, drinks and meds.

God's best to you and yours

QuakerArtist57 2014-04-05 19:46:50 -0500 Report

My best friend at Quaker Meeting, Pamela is a diabetic who 'counts carbs' and also has done a great deal of research into 'alternative' methods to manage one's health. She even had a workshop to teach people some of the methods used by the American Indians to treat different kinds of diseases. I should get her involved in this discussion.

Michael_1960 2014-04-04 20:11:25 -0500 Report

Tell you the truth we don't know what we taking anymore, everything is dangerous, I think it depends on the person metabolism.

jayabee52 2014-04-06 00:23:43 -0500 Report

Correct, Michael!, Not that EVERYTHING is dangerous but that much of what we can handle depends on the person's metabolism!

valentine lady
valentine lady 2014-04-04 16:21:28 -0500 Report

As an alternative to my medication I take cinnamon, 1,000 mg.caps each and I take 2 in the morning, 2 in the evening. I also take a multi-vitamin, 1,000 mg caps fish oil 3 times a day, Chromium Picolonate, B Complex Vit. E and A. The cinnamon is for my diabetes, the fish oil is for a healthy heart. The rest because our bodies don't maintain vitamins so it's a good plan to add them to your diet plan. Brought my A1C down to 5.6.

QuakerArtist57 2014-04-05 20:02:27 -0500 Report

I've also started taking Cinnamon tablets, in my 'plethora' of prescription medications and vitamins. I had doctors who insisted that I needed to take 4 fish oils a day. And they wanted me to take the ones with Omega 3, 6, 9.
Last week, I bought Krill Oil and started using that instead. I get soooo tired of taking all these pills! In fact, I've begun to put the optional pills into the 3rd section of my pill box, which has 28 (7x4) sections. So the cinnamon goes in there. Some days I don't get up until noon, so at the end of the week, I have 3 or 4 of the optional pills still left.

valentine lady
valentine lady 2014-04-06 09:57:01 -0500 Report

Hi Quaker- I know how you feel about taking so many pills, however, their necessary for m health and the supplements, although a pain too, add to my health as well. So faithfully I take them all and on time. Especially the cinnamon caps. Well the fish oil as well. I use a pill case as well. It's the only way I can give myself the correct dosage, and on time. By the way, I wish I could sleep until noon. That would be paradise! I just can't sleep past 7 a.m. LOL

Emma2412 2014-04-05 14:31:22 -0500 Report

Hey, Valentine — I've been reading that one should not be taking plain fish oil, but krill oil only. Don't know if it's right or not, but I'm going to try the krill oil. My friend who knows an incredible amount of stuff about good health says that sometimes plain fish oil can be dangerous indeed. I don't know myself but that's what my friend said and some things online say. Incidentally, I also take cinnamon besides the pills and the insulin to help.

valentine lady
valentine lady 2014-04-06 09:29:22 -0500 Report

Hi Emma; Several people warned me about fish oil, so when these are gone I'll switch to krill oil. Like they say "If it quakes like a duck, walks like a duck, looks like a duck, then it's a duck." Not all can be wrong. Thanks for the tip. I take 2 types of insulin along with the supplements. Can't hurt!!!

shoulders 2014-04-04 12:26:41 -0500 Report

Hello Jeanette Terry, I was told to try 2Tbs. of vinegar to 8oz. water, drink about 30 minutes before meals. Suppose to help with Diabetes.

Cammie210 2015-03-21 22:31:54 -0500 Report

I also read that Vinegar before meal is good. I have judge joined and have been reading all the discussion and wanted to say that some things may work for one person but does harm to another. I am on metformin and insulin. Mths metformin kills me. I am now researching alternatives.

Cammie210 2015-03-21 22:31:43 -0500 Report

I also read that Vinegar before meal is good. I have judge joined and have been reading all the discussion and wanted to say that some things may work for one person but does harm to another. I am on metformin and insulin. Mths metformin kills me. I am now researching alternatives.

jayabee52 2015-03-22 00:50:06 -0500 Report

Howdy Cammie
You are correct that what works for one may not play nice with others' metabolisms.
But please rinse your mouth thoroughly after injesting acid bearing products like vinegar or certain fruit juices.. It will damage your tooth enamel if you let it remain on your teeth. Praying success on your search

Emma2412 2014-04-05 14:33:11 -0500 Report

Hey, shoulders — I have never heard of vinegar to help diabetes. I don't much care for most vinegars, though, so probably will not try it. I agree with jayabee52 below about cleaning your mouth after ingesting any kind of vinegar.

QuakerArtist57 2014-04-05 19:42:41 -0500 Report

I've heard there are many herbal vinegars you can make yourself. What's the big deal? You can grow your own herbs, put them into vinegars. Hey, some people even take beautiful jars, fill them with herbs and vinegars or with oils. I imagine that oils might be tricky, though to be sure its done safely.

jayabee52 2014-04-05 21:14:19 -0500 Report

Howdy QA,
The "big deal" as I see it is not the herbal thing but it is the acid in the vinegar which softens the enamel in the teeth.

That is why I suggest that the mouth be thorougly rinsed out after injesting any acid bearing liquid (vinegar, lemon and lime juices for example).

The enamel in my teeth is pretty well toast and I don't want others to experience the extreme sensitivity that I have.

jayabee52 2014-04-04 12:46:51 -0500 Report

Please Shoulders, when you do that, rise out your mouth thoroughly since the acids in the vinegar soften the enamel on your teeth. I have lost most of the enamel on my teeth and I have VERY sensitave teeth. NOT telling you not to do it, but take precautions after you do it.


pandalays 2014-04-04 04:43:24 -0500 Report

Gooseberries and turmeric are good.if you can have this for a week every month,that brings down your bg level.

Emma2412 2014-04-05 14:34:34 -0500 Report

Hi, pandalays — never heard of this before now. If one can't find fresh gooseberries in the store, what does one do?

pandalays 2014-04-05 20:01:43 -0500 Report

When I was in Chicago I used to get frozen ones in Indian stores,which were really good.We call it "AMLA " in one of the Indian languages and if I remember correct that was written on the packets.So may be you can check Indian stores in your place.

GabbyPA 2014-04-04 13:27:38 -0500 Report

How much? I consume turmeric every day, but I had not heard of gooseberries.

QuakerArtist57 2014-04-05 20:06:28 -0500 Report

I have a great recipe for 'curried fruit' which includes tumeric. You don't need a recipe, though! The Indians think this American thing of using 'curry' is pathetic. They mix up cumin, tumeric, garam masala and other ingrdients to make REAL CURRY!

pandalays 2014-04-05 06:38:49 -0500 Report

Grind one or two gooseberries with a small piece of turmeric and a pinch of salt and have with lunch everyday for a week and then repeat the same every month .

GabbyPA 2014-04-05 19:38:59 -0500 Report

I have seen them in season here. They are a golden berry that kind of grows like grapes. I would say you would have to buy them and then as pandalays says, dehydrate them or freeze them

Michael_1960 2014-04-03 20:11:59 -0500 Report

Well Jeanette, when I was first diagnosed with T-2 diabetes in 2010 my b/s level was over 500, and I stayed on metformin, lisinopril, simvastatin, for over 2 years, and I was watching my carbs and sugars, got exercise and I winged myself off all meds, up until I caught a mean nasty flu and wasn't thinking clearly started using Nyquil which was a big no-no, and got my b/s level back up so my v.a. doctor put me back on metformin, and now got it back down so when I finished them I'm going to give it another shot and see where that takes me.

Emma2412 2014-04-05 14:37:17 -0500 Report

I sure wish any meds would work for me. I've been taking Metformin for what seems like forever, but I don't notice any difference. I've noticed that only the insulin shots help lower readings. I, too, have had 500 bg readings. It's not good.

Michael_1960 2014-04-05 21:24:15 -0500 Report

Are you eating healthy Emma? Cut out a lot of sugar, and carbs, therefore just eat mostly meat and veggies, and maybe one starchy food like corn, or potatoes, or a piece of bread, no pasta, and maybe at night eat you a small helping of some low sugar or sugar free ice cream, or a cookie.

Michael_1960 2014-04-03 20:15:36 -0500 Report

Oh yes I do take fish oil pills to help my cholesterol, and chromium picolonate to help stablalize my b/s levels.

haoleboy 2014-04-03 17:15:34 -0500 Report

I take a multivitamin, an Iron, Vitamin C/B12 supplement, turmeric, CoQ10 and Krill Oil (mostly for cholesterol concerns) daily. Also include cinnamon and vinegar in my daily meal plan.
Are they helping? Won't know until my next labs (end of May), but pretty sure they aren't hurting anything. My daily BGL tests are good and I feel great.


Stuart1966 2014-04-03 16:48:27 -0500 Report

The question requires a definitive answer regarding what/how "contol" is defined, type 1's will have a different answer than our type 2 cousins. When does tight becomes unsafe? Is there such a thing as excessive contol? Those answers determine ones response…

Testing is not necessary. Yet having them makes smaller adjustments in theory at least more possible. Alternatives sure eat small quantities every few hours. Be aware of what we eat and consistant day to day of ones nutrition intake.

But yes not testing is certainly an option. Others will disagree.

ochibeachgirl 2014-04-03 16:33:36 -0500 Report

Never abandoned medication but have found effective alternatives. I used to drink Cinnamon tea at least once daily and my HbA1c went down to 4.8%. Stopped over a year and it has been my highest ever when checked about a month ago - so I am getting back on it!
Another alternative I have tried is a plan in Jamaica, known as the Sabbatical diet. It's on the net for anyone who is interested: I did the fat reducing version and lost 30 lb in less than 2 years, have ballooned to my highest weight ever. I stopped taking the supplements about 6 months ago, and think this is contributing to my sugar being too high and out of control.
I have had medication side effects - took Glucobay for a while - the diarrhoea was awful, until I understood that it because of carbs I consumed. I also had tummy trouble with Metformin when doc raised my dosage to 1000 mg twice daily. Am down, and now take Janumet instead. Because I have other problems, BP and borderline cholesterol, so I have to be very careful what I take and eat.

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