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Safety and effectiveness of alternative and complementary medicine for the treatment of Diabetes

Safety and effectiveness of alternative and complementary medicine for the treatment of Diabetes

QUESTION
Discuss the safety and effectiveness of alternative and complementary medicine for the treatment of specific illnesses such as cancer, diabetes, and hypertension. Would you have any conflicts/concerns supporting a patient who choose holistic/allopathic medicine?
Safety and effectiveness of alternative and complementary medicine for the treatment of Diabetes
ANSWER

Safety and effectiveness of alternative and complementary medicine for the treatment of Diabetes
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Introduction
Diabetes mellitus is one of the major causes of mortality and morbidity globally. According to the World Health Organization (2013), close to 347 million people had diabetes worldwide. There is an emerging trend whereby patients suffering from diabetes to use complementary and alternative medications (CAM) in improving the outcomes of diabetes. CAMs have also gained industrial, academic and economic interest.
Varieties of CAMs have been used in treating and managing diabetes Mellitus with varying levels of success. According to Medagama and Bandara (2014), estimates show that over 80 percent of people in developing countries depend on complementary and alternative medicines. Studies on cinnamon, garlic, lilac, metformin, fenugreek, Momordica Charantia, Costus speciosus, Coccinia grandis have been widely researched on both animals and humans, however, the safety of these elements has been very contentious.
According to studies by Leach and Kumar (2012), use of cinnamon cassia on humans did not reveal any adverse events used in dosages of 1-6 grams per day. Side effects ranged from a rash, hives and nausea four subjects. However, cinnamon contains between 0.31- 0.97 grams/kg concentration of coumarins which occur in plant compounds with carcinogenic, anti-coagulant and hepatotoxic properties.
Studies on Fenugreek caused mild gastrointestinal disturbances and due to the insulin-like activity, it caused hypoglycemia.
Costus pictus has been used in India as a CAM. Studies show its used in India as favourable outcome for blood glucose lowering activities.
According to a study by Boston et al (2019), on comparison of CAMs and conventional medicines in management of Diabetes Type 2, studies showed that CAMs have better glycemic control and exhibit better lipid profile, liver and renal function and; better Hb and WBC values.
Conclusion
CAMs are mostly used as dietary supplements rather than for medication preparation. The studies undertaken have shown positive use for people with diabetes as an alternative to conventional medication. More so, CAMs are recommendable as patients taking conventional medication are also advised on dietary programs that involves intake of major elements of CAMs.

References
Boston, C & Wong, Natasha & Ganga, Teshawattie & Chandradatt, Khaimwattie & Rosales,
Judith & Singh, Jaipaul & Kurup, R. (2019). Comparison and Effectiveness of
Complementary and Alternative Medicine as against Conventional Medicine in the
Treatment and Management of Type 2 Diabetes. Journal of Complementary and
Alternative Medical Research. 1-8. 10.9734/jocamr/2019/v7i230097.
Leach M, J, Kumar S. (2012). Cinnamon for diabetes mellitus. Cochrane Database Syst Rev,
9:CD007170.
Medagama, A, B. Bandara, R. (2014). The use of Complementary and Alternative Medicines
(CAMs) in the treatment of diabetes mellitus: is continued use safe and effective?
Nutrition Journal 2014, 13:102 http://www.nutritionj.com/content/13/1/102
World Health Organization: WHO Diabetes Fact Sheet No 312. available at
www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets. 2013 0ctober
Safety and effectiveness of alternative and complementary medicine for the treatment of Diabetes

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