- Those who are obese or live a sedentary lifestyle are more at risk for developing Type 2 diabetes, which is more likely to occur in adults over 50 but may also develop in adolescents and children, according to the National Diabetes Education Program. Individuals who have Type 2 diabetes are still able to produce insulin; however, it is not enough to maintain proper functions of turning glucose into energy.
While holistic treatments are not a cure, herbs and nutritional supplements may help with diabetes management. As with the use of any herb or supplement, get approval from your physician to be sure you are getting a safe dose and there are no interactions with medications.
Alpha-lipoic acid (ALA) is an antioxidant that helps to protect cells against damage. Food sources include potatoes, spinach and broccoli. According to the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, some individuals use ALA supplements in capsule or tablet form to lower blood glucose levels naturally. Those who take ALA should monitor their blood sugar very carefully, because it may cause sugar levels to dip too low.
Polyphenols, such as those antioxidants found in dark chocolate and tea, are being used during clinical trials and showing a positive result in regulating glucose production and insulin activities.
- According to the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, which is a part of the National Institutes of Health, there are some alternative practices that may help with the treatment of diabetes. Check with your physician before undergoing alternative therapy to ensure it will not interact with medications or other treatments.
Acupuncture may help to reduce pain symptoms associated with Type 2 diabetes, including chronic pain, tingling in the arms or legs and muscle weakness. An ancient healing practice, acupuncture is the Chinese theory that inserting thin needles to pressure points in the skin may improve energy flow through the body to relieve pain in the neck, joints, head and recurring discomfort.