Wanted: Alternative Treatments for Diabetes
Many people look for complementary and alternative medicine.
The General Nutrition Center (GNC) at St. Louis Mills sees a regular flow of customers looking for a more natural way to control their blood sugar. Brian, a GNC associate who asked Hazelwood Patch not to reveal his last name, said they're seeking complementary and alternative medicine (CAM).
"Many diabetic customers come in looking for alternatives to use alone or with prescribed medications," he said.
The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine describes CAM as "...a group of diverse medical and health care systems, practices, and products that are not generally considered part of conventional medicine... also called Western or allopathic medicine."
"Popular examples of non-traditional treatments customers seek (for diabetes) are cinnamon, magnesium, garlic, chromium picolinate and alpha lipoid," Brian said.
On its web site NCCAM cites a 2007 National Health Interview Survey showing that about 38 percent of American adults use CAM, which can include physical remedies like yoga and acupuncture.
Barbara Lindemann, a licensed acupuncturist who practices at the Fisher Wellness Center in Florissant, said her Eastern philosophies allow patients to heal their own bodies. Acupuncturists apply very fine needles at what they call meridians or pathways to the nervous system.
"I hope to empower people to better health," she said. "I inspire people to get involved in their own health. Living healthfully can bring so much joy to life."
Medical experts caution that patients should discuss any new treatment or medication with their doctors. Certain herbal remedies may have adverse reactions when combined with other drugs. Also ensure that any practictioner you use is certified by its governing body. The National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine certifies acupuncturists.