Q. My sweetheart developed type 2 diabetes a few years ago after decades of being overweight. Metformin caused severe diarrhea and other drugs the doctor tried were very expensive and caused nausea.

In desperation, she started exercising every day and eating very carefully. She lost nearly 50 pounds and doesn’t need insulin any more.

I am impressed that she has nearly reversed her type 2 diabetes and wonder whether there are any natural approaches she could incorporate into her regimen to help her keep her blood sugar under control. I’ve heard that cinnamon might help. Is that true?

A. Surprisingly, cinnamon and several other foods can help keep blood sugar from spiking after a meal. Nopal leaves from prickly pear cactus, bitter melon used in Asian cuisines and vinegar are all capable of blunting blood sugar spikes. There is more information about these and other natural approaches to controlling blood sugar in the Guide to Diabetes that we are sending you.

It may also make sense for her to ask her doctor to test her vitamin D level and take supplements if needed to bring it up to an acceptable range. She is definitely to be congratulated on the wonderful effort she has made and encouraged to keep up the exercise and careful diet. We invite readers to share their successes in controlling blood sugar by posting comments below.

Join Over 53,000 Subscribers at The People's Pharmacy

Each week we send two free email newsletters with breaking health news, prescription drug information, home remedies and a preview of our award-winning radio show. Join our mailing list and get the information you need to make confident choices about your health.

  1. Julie M.
    Reply

    Great advice!

  2. sd
    Reply

    An endocrinologist at the Cleveland Clinic gave me the best advice ever. Try to follow The 17 Day Diet. Buy the book and follow the recommendations. She and her husband use it along with their 10 year old special needs child and it works. The deal is, the whole household has to do it. Teens who must have their ‘junk’ simply have to enjoy it outside the house. My household did this and saw immediate effects. It is actually 4 sets of 17 day plans that reset your glucose levels, cravings etc. Of course it is based on eating vegetables, salads and lean meats BUT you get immediate results. My husband lost over 50 lbs, I lost 30. The endo said this would happen because testosterone boosts weight loss.

  3. Abigail
    Reply

    Doctors do not agree on the normal range for A1C levels. When i lowered my A1C to 6.6 with diet exercise and metformin 1/2 metformin 500 mg. tablet twice a day, I was taken off metformin. 14 months later I was put on metformin by another doc when my A1C tested at 7.1. My present doctor believes my latest A1C is “too good” for someone 81 years old. I am off metformin again because she prefers my A1C to be between 7.1 and 7.2.
    Aside: why so many doctors? My doctor of 25 years retired and it has taken this long to find another doctor with expertise, an inquiring mind and an interest in explaining the science behind her recommendations.

  4. Sherry
    Reply

    Can a person ever get off Metformin? My husbands doctor said no but his numbers are very good.

  5. Judy
    Reply

    Check out coconut oil. It is supposed to stabilize blood sugar.

  6. Amychs
    Reply

    Two of my friends have reversed type 2 diabetes this year by following the glycemic index diet. Both lost the weight needed (50-70) pounds needed within 6 months and are off Metformin and meds for high blood pressure.

What Do You Think?

Share your thoughts with others, but be mindful of protecting your own and others' privacy. Not all comments will be posted. Advice from web visitors is not a substitute for medical attention. Do not stop any medicine without checking with the prescriber. In posting a comment, you agree to our commenting policy and website terms and conditions.