You’ve probably seen it online or even been told by a well-meaning friend or family member, that cinnamon cures diabetes. If you haven’t heard this yet, give it time, you are bound to hear it at some point or another. There are many ‘alternative’ cures going around said to help rid you of diabetes forever. Unfortunately, these are not cures, at best many can help in a different way, but in no way will they cure your diabetes, type 2, type 1, no type.
We’re going to look at a few of these crazy alternative ‘cures’ and learn how and why these can be dangerous to you.
The Cinnamon Cure
Sprinkling cinnamon on your cereal every morning will not cure your diabetes. However, cinnamon has shown to be effective in helping to reduce blood sugar levels.
It is also a good method to reducing your risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Many studies have shown that cinnamon has helped to reduce fasting blood sugar numbers, and bad cholesterol. It’s important to talk with your doctor first before trying cinnamon in larger doses as it can also be potentially dangerous.
I also recommend reading the following:
Why It’s a Dangerous “Cure”
Going off of your medications and insulin to instead take cinnamon could land you in the hospital, or worse, dead.
The Cucumber Cure
The cucumber cure has been going around the internet for quite some time. It’s been a popular one on many social media outlets, which is what makes it even more dangerous.
When you are not knowledgeable in all things diabetes, you could potentially believe into this cure and harm yourself or worse. Multiple animal studies have shown that cucumber extract can lower blood sugar readings. However, there is much more research that is needed to help determine if it actually works for those with diabetes to reduce their blood sugar levels.
Why It’s a Dangerous “Cure”
Just like cinnamon, you don’t want to start eating nothing but cucumbers all day long and go off of your diabetes treatment methods. Your doctor has prescribed you the medication or insulin because you need them, not because they wanted to make money. Cucumbers are not a natural cure to diabetes of any type.
Okra Water Cure
First off this one sounds absolutely disgusting. There was an image going around social media recently that claimed that cutting the ends off of okra and placing them in water over night could lead to the ultimate diabetes cure.
If you drank that water the next day your diabetes would go away and so would your shots! Amazing right? Not so much. Okra does not play the role of insulin in the body, and will not cure your diabetes.
The vegetable okra does have some potential benefits to lowering your blood sugar but not curing your diabetes. Diabetes will not go away with a secret vegetable cure. There are many things you can do to help control your blood sugar levels, and even if you have a few days of great numbers that doesn’t mean that your diabetes has been cured.
It’s difficult not to get excited and pulled into the fantasy of your life before diabetes, believe me. But diabetes is a chronic health condition that can be treated and managed but will always require diligence and consistency in prompt treatment on you and your doctor’s part.
What It’s a Dangerous Cure
When those with diabetes of any type do not understand how their insulin production or lack thereof works in their body, these “natural cures” like okra water can be very dangerous. They may want to stock up on the vegetable and stop taking their medications or insulin injections all together, because it was listed that okra water will make your diabetes go away.
Not taking your medications properly as recommended by your doctor could be very harmful for those with Type 2 diabetes. This could cause their blood sugar levels to elevate and potentially lead to complications in the future.
Those with Type 1 diabetes, do not produce any insulin on their own, so when they go off of their insulin injections, it doesn’t take long for their body to head into a downward spiral of high blood sugars, development of ketones, and eventually going into DKA (Diabetic Ketoacidosis).
What is DKA?
DKA is a life threatening condition in which the body’s cells are unable to get enough glucose(sugar) that they require for energy. This happens because there is not enough insulin to help make this process happen. When the glucose cannot access the cells, it will stay in the blood. Your kidney’s will then filter out some of it and remove it though urine.
But when your cells are unable to get glucose for energy, your body will begin to break down your fat and eventually your muscle to get the energy it needs. When this occurs, ketones are produced in the and enter your bloodstream. This causes you to go into DKA, a metabolic acidosis). As long as you receive prompt medical treatment for DKA, the condition can be corrected.
However, it’s important to notate that DKA can develop quickly, when the body doesn’t produce insulin and isn’t receiving any insulin synthetically through injections, the process of DKA takes over and may develop in as little as an hour or two. That is why ensuring all insulin injections are taken properly at all times.
Acupuncture Cure for Diabetes
Now, this was one of the most interesting ‘cure’ for diabetes that I heard about. Acupuncture is very common in traditional Chinese medicine. Acupuncture therapy is one of the most recommended treatment methods for treating diabetes in the Chinese population.
It is said to have originated in China around 100 B.C., making it one of the oldest alternative treatment methods. A vast majority of people believe that acupuncture is only appropriate for treating people with pain conditions. However, it has recently been suggested that this treatment method could be beneficial for those with diabetes and result in a complete cure.
Benefits of Acupuncture for Diabetes
Insulin resistance is one of the main causes of Type 2 diabetes. Studies have proved that there are benefits to insulin resistance from acupuncture therapy. Insulin sensitivity was increased, while a reduction in LDL cholesterol and fatty acids was also noted.
Why it’s a Dangerous Cure
If people begin to think that they can control and potentially cure their diabetes with acupuncture, they may stop taking their medications or insulin injections. As with other potential cures, this is dangerous in many ways including the development of complications, and even death.
I wish just as much as everyone that something so simple as getting acupuncture therapy treatments, sprinkling some cinnamon on cereal, drinking some okra water, which by the way sounds disgusting, or eating nothing but cucumbers could cure diabetes. Because I have two children with Type 1 diabetes, both of which were diagnosed very young, my son at 6 and my daughter at 4, I hope from the deepest part of my soul, that someday a cure will be found.
However, this may still be some time away, and for right now the best possible treatment for diabetes is the one recommended by your doctors or medical team. Research upon research has been done to provide people with diabetes the best possible treatment methods.
I am very thankful that my children if they had to develop diabetes, got it in a day and age where insulin pumps, continuous glucose monitors, multiple daily injections and more accurate and quick reading glucose meters are available.
Because before insulin was discovered by Dr. Banting, the diagnosis of Type 1 diabetes in children was a painful, almost torturing death sentence. Thanks for reading this article and hopefully it helped you understand the risks of alternative care.
TheDiabetesCouncil Article | Reviewed by Dr. Christine Traxler MD on June 3. 2020