A recent study out of Louisiana State University suggests that some natural supplements can lower blood sugar levels and prevent someone who is pre-diabetic from developing full-blown diabetes.
But not all doctors see supplements as a solution. Still, the debate continues as to whether natural substances like fenugreek, cinnamon extract supplements or apple cider vinegar can really lower your blood sugar.
Tonya Rooks has diabetes and says besides taking prescription medication for her condition she drinks apple cider vinegar in water every day. "It actually tastes pretty good," Rooks said. "Once you dilute it, it's pretty cool."
According to Mercy endocrinologist Dr. Supneet Saluja, those dealing with pre-diabetes and diabetes should be wary of studies that say blood sugar can be lowered with natural remedies alone.
"Studies have shown that they may or may not be effective," Dr. Saluja said. "We don't have a lot of clinical data to prescribe it, that's why they're over the counter. But it always works in conjunction with your dietary and lifestyle changes."
Those lifestyle changes include two basic things: eat a healthy, low complex-carbohydrate diet and exercise.
"Fiber-rich food. Physical activity on a regular basis. These two have been shown to be most effective in preventing progression from pre-diabetes to diabetes," Dr. Saluja said.
Dr. Saluja, who sees patients in Mercy's Endocrinology Center, advised that patients should never substitute supplements for prescription medications without talking with your doctor.
Rooks said she would love to be off insulin someday, but for now is grateful to be alive and feeling well.
"One thing is for sure, it's taught me that if I want to make it passed 35 I'm going to have to take more care of myself," Rooks said.
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