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Question:

From Rhode Island, USA:

I was just reading all of the questions on alternative treatments for diabetes and am kind of disappointed in the fact that the answers seem to discount the possibilities of natural remedies. I fully agree that type 1's need insulin. For example, I am sticking to my daily insulin regimen but am also investigating herbal remedies/vitamins/chiropractics. I understand that you are just encouraging people to be cautious, but at the same time you are discouraging people from looking further into things that might help them! I have been to traditional endocrinologists that panic if my sugar goes below 100! This does not say much about traditional medicine for me.

In addition, I have read several articles about the antioxidant pycnogenol that has been widely prescribed in Europe and has been shown to reverse retinopathy! Regardless of whether or not you feel that this claim is true, is there any harm in taking this? I want to be a designer and will try anything to keep my eyes healthy!

Answer:

I absolutely agree with you that you should pursue remedies that will help delay or prevent the very real complications of diabetes. There was a very large study published in 1993 called the Diabetes Control and Complications Trial (DCCT) that proved you can dramatically lower your risk for retinopathy, by having excellent blood sugar control. I would make it a top priority to have excellent blood sugar control as this is the only proven method at this time of decreasing your risk for retinopathy.

The benefits of alternative remedies such as pycnogenol are unproven.

MSB

[Editor's comment: See also High-Dose Vitamin E Supplementation Normalizes Retinal Blood Flow and Creatinine Clearance in Patients with Type 1 Diabetes. JSH]

DTQ-19990702225348
Original posting 30 Aug 1999
Posted to Alternative Therapies and Explanations

  
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Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:09:06
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