blood sugar testing by pricking finger, metformin (Glucophage), lower blood sugar, diabetes care, avert diabetes, side effects of metformin, cutting carbs

Diabetes is reaching epidemic levels, not only in the US but around the world. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 30 million Americans have diabetes. By far the greatest proportion have type 2 diabetes, which can sometimes be controlled with diet, exercise and oral medications. To keep the disease from wreaking havoc on the body, however, patients need good diabetes care. What does that look like? Most of all, it does NOT mean taking supplements without monitoring blood sugar, as one reader discovered:

Taking Supplements Without Monitoring Blood Sugar Led to Disaster:

Q. For years I had no insurance, so I took herbs to try to control my diabetes. I took cinnamon, bitter melon, alpha-lipoic acid, ginger and other supplements.

About a year and a half ago, I was hospitalized for an unrelated illness. When they checked my HbA1C, it was 11.8. All those spices and supplements had not controlled my blood sugar at all!

I knew metformin was on Walmart’s $4 list, but I couldn’t afford the doctor visits and blood work. Now I have gastroparesis and diabetic retinopathy. Tell your readers not to use herbs for diabetes.

Why Diabetes Care Is Critical:

A. Your story reinforces the importance of regular blood glucose measurements and diabetes care for people with diabetes. The fact that you could not afford to see a doctor during that time has made your life much more difficult now. Relying on herbs, dietary supplements or even prescription drugs without close medical monitoring is a recipe for disaster.

With appropriate care, the complications you must now manage might have been avoided. This is not your fault, of course, but rather results from a health care system that denies diabetes care to the uninsured. Gastroparesis (delayed stomach emptying) can lead to nausea, vomiting, bloating and stomach pain, while diabetic retinopathy can impair vision.

Learn More:

We are sending you our Guide to Managing Diabetes with 10 key steps for keeping blood sugar in check with and without drugs. People who monitor their blood sugar regularly and consult with their doctors may sometimes be able to use exercise and a low-carb diet to maintain blood sugar control. Those following such a regimen might also find certain supplements useful, but only under medical supervision.

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  1. Lady
    North Carolina

    L-Lysine does an awesome job with reducing herpes and shingles outbreaks. I take one nearly every day. For some reason folic acid seems to trigger outbreaks for me but, the l-lysine prevents issues. For many years I have had herpes simplex rashes on my back but the L- Lysine has changed that issue. I’m a witness THAT it DOES WORK.

  2. RichF

    I was diagnosed with Type II diabetes 5 years ago with an A1C of 12.3. I was ready to start the doctor prescribed meds until my daughter researched it and put me on Cinnamon and Alpha Lipoic Acid and I tracked my carb intake religiously keeping it between 120 and 150 a day.

    I checked my blood levels once or twice a day. Today my A1C is at 6.5. Eating good, exercise (minimal), and proper supplements have done their job.

  3. Jerry
    New Jersey

    What a ridiculous conclusion to make from this person’s experience with diabetes.
    I, too, have type 2 diabetes and along with diet, exercise and a few supplements
    my A1c is down to 6.1.

    I also use the following supplements……………..
    Berberine (which was shown to be just as effective as metforman) alpha lipoid acid, and chromium. Why even mention something like this from an uninformed person.

  4. Hank

    I thought supplements were only half the solution? Exercise is the other half. Something as simple as walking a half hour 4 times a week made a difference for my weight and blood sugar.

    I also use cinnamon with my morning coffee.

  5. Lynn
    Cambridgeshire England

    Hi, I’m afraid that I’ve never heard anything about using certain herbs for diabetes before!!! I’ve had type 2 diabetes for about 16yrs, I’m now 58yrs old, and like most people I’ve really struggled to keep my blood sugar levels at a good level, I now take 3 different types of medications daily for it:

    I take 5 Metformin + 2 Gliclazide and 1 Xelevia (Sitaglipin )!!! The next step (so, I’ve been told)!?, will be insulin, and that’s not good news at all!!!? but I’ve just lost a stone of weight in the past 4 weeks, so let’s hope that helps with my latest diabetic review!!!!???

  6. Greg

    An off brand meter and strips can be bought relatively cheaply at a big box store to help a person monitor their blood glucose levels. Drugs like metformin can be relatively cheap and there is some cheaper insulin with higher levels of side affects available for $25 a vial.

    People need to search out all the resources before they give up on a serious disease like diabetes. Failing to monitor blood glucose can lead to kidney and eye problems as well as unnecessary amputations. Many counties have health departments that can treat or refer a person to a low cost clinic.

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