Ask the Diabetes Educator Archive

Q:
Is there any natural treatment for type 2 diabetes? What can happen to a person on avandia for a long time?

A:
The first best treatment for Type 2 diabetes is lifestyle change: food intake and physical activity being the key defenses for achieving good blood sugar balance. In some instances, good control is achieved early on into the diagnosis; in other cases, it may mean a period of time on medication before being able to come off.

There are herbals and supplements that have been researched, showing a lowering of blood sugars. These need to be responsibly directed, particularly if on other medications. Our booklet, Managing Your Diabetes: Basics and Beyond, addresses some of these other therapies. As with any medications, there is always the potential for side effects.

Ongoing studies with Avandia continue to rule out adverse events. Because it acts on the liver, quarterly blood tests should be done to make sure there are no hepatic changes. Early symptoms of bloating, headaches, and/or flatulence that may occur usually disappear within a few weeks.

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