Which are better to use ayurvedic medicines or insulin for Diabetes? – Dr. Chetali Samant

In type 2 diabetes there comes a stage when oral medications stops working, your blood sugar levels continue to remain high and your HbA1C stay from the higher side. So many patients are recommended to move on to insulin therapy. Patients are reluctant because it is like a point of no return for them, it is painful to prick yourself every twice in a day and they think about starting ayurveda therapies. The question that which is better will change from patient to patient. It depends on what is your blood sugar level, what stage of the diabetes you are in, what are the complications that you are experiencing. There will be a certain section of patients for whom insulin will be the only choice. After a careful consultation by the ayurvedic physician and your diabetologist you can give ayurvedic medicines a chance. You can try herbs to see whether your insulin sensitivity gets better, whether your blood sugar levels are managed better and also changing your diet and lifestyle for a certain period of time to see whether that works. Ayurvedic herbs which can be used alongside your existing ayurvedic medications are Gymnema Sylvestre, terrocarpus marsupium or vijaysar, a combination of several herbs which include ashwagandha, turmeric, amla, fenugreek etc. It improves the way the insulin functions in your body or the way your body responds to insulin. Certain medicines like Gymnema also help in improving the secretion of insulin and regeneration of beta cells in the pancreas. Coupled with the right kind of exercises and the right kind of changes in your daily routine in terms of exercising better, going for healthier foods, staying active through the day and including super foods which improve your diabetics may help certain patients to stay away from insulin or avoid taking insulin. But I do consider consultation with an ayurvedic diabetic expert and your diabetologist and then making such a decision. In high levels of blood sugar levels above 400 or 500 insulin is your only choice. If your diabetes has not been managed regularly right from day 1 and your diet choices has not been grade you can give a try with ayurvedic medicines. Regular monitoring of your blood sugar levels, regular blood tests and examinations and lab investigations to make sure that your other organs are not suffering due to high levels of diabetes; for e.g. your kidney function tests should be done regularly, tests to make sure that you are not suffering from diabetic retinopathy, to make sure that you are not experiencing complications of diabetes. After all these careful considerations ayurvedic medicines can be tried before you make the switch to insulin.

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