Older adults with diabetes are at high risk for developing additional health conditions and are turning to complementary and alternative resources to manage their health, according to a report in the American Diabetes Association Journals. Complementary medicine is a practice used in addition to conventional medicine, and alternative medicine is used in place of traditional medicine; both are commonly referred to as CAM. CAM therapies ranging from acupuncture to chiropractic, to yoga, to movement therapy, to diet-related treatments, to energy healing, and many more.
Yale researchers studied the patterns of CAM use in 1,475 adults aged 65+ and diagnosed with diabetes. The study relied on data gathered by the NHIS (National Health Interview Survey) in 2012.
According to the survey results, 25% of these older adults use complementary or alternative care to manage diabetes. More than two million older adults used CAM in 2012. The average user’s age was 72.4 years, and more than half were female. The most common individually practiced CAM methods were herbal therapies, chiropractic, massage, acupuncture, and yoga.
Nutritional Therapies: 62.8%
Some herbs and compounds have been scientifically-proven to regulate insulin resistance; such as licorice, blueberry, lychee, cinnamon, and Chinese medicinal herbs like Dioscorea. Ginseng is known for lowering blood sugar levels. Other herbs can regulate B-Cell function, glucose absorption in the gut, and GLP-1 Homeostasis. Lysulin is another option. The essential ingredients in Lysulin — Lysine, Vitamin C, and Zinc — have been shown to regulate blood sugar levels and better manage A1C Levels in over 20 years of scientific articles.
Nerves from the upper neck or middle back influence enzymes and pancreatic function, affect insulin production and the digestion of fats, proteins, and carbohydrates. The balance between digestion and blood sugar is an ultimate goal of type 2 diabetes– and chiropractic care can help. Chiropractic care can improve neural connections throughout the body.
People with type 2 diabetes often experience chronic pain. Massages improve blood circulation which relieves pain and reduces stress; high levels of stress increase blood sugar. Massages given at injection sites increase flow and insulin absorption in the body. Massage fights hardening arteries from diabetes; high blood sugar levels in diabetes causes thick connective tissues– in which muscles, ligaments, and tendons become stiff and limit mobility.
People with type 2 diabetes often experience chronic pain; acupuncture, or inserting thin needles into the skin, releases the body’s natural painkillers. It’s used to offer relief.
Yoga can be used as a key to manage diabetes (10). Yoga improves emotional well-being through breathing and mindfulness and reduces stress levels. Whether yoga improves quality of life with diabetes, or more directly fights diabetes by lowering fasting glucose levels, heart rate, and diastolic blood pressure.
Why not both?
The most potent treatment methods involve conventional and CAM therapies. Their confluence can work powerfully together in the creation of a sustainable lifestyle with diabetes.