Current Diabetes Reports

, Volume 6, Issue 3, pp 251–258 | Cite as

The role of complementary and alternative medicine in diabetes

  • Shefali Dham
  • Viral Shah
  • Sondra Hirsch
  • Mary Ann Banerji

Abstract

Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) describes a diverse group of medical and health care systems, practices, and products not currently considered to be part of conventional medicine. Inadequacies in current treatments for diabetes have led 2 to 3.6 million Americans to use CAM for diabetes treatment, despite limited studies of safety and efficacy of CAM methods. CAM is used mostly by West Indians, Africans, Indians, Latin Americans, or Asians. Prayer, acupuncture, massage, hot tub therapy, biofeedback, and yoga have been used as well as various plant remedies for treating diabetes. Several CAM practices and herbal remedies are promising for diabetes treatment, but further rigorous study is needed in order to establish safety, efficacy, and mechanism of action. In the meantime, it is important to be aware that many patients with diabetes may be using CAM and to consider potential interactions with conventional medicines being used.

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Copyright information

© Current Science Inc. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Shefali Dham
  • Viral Shah
  • Sondra Hirsch
  • Mary Ann Banerji
    • 1
  1. 1.SUNY Downstate Medical Center and Kings County HospitalBrooklynUSA

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