Help for a Diabetic Alcoholic?
Answered by: Susan Eagles
Question from: Tanya
Posted on: October 09, 2006

What herbs do you suggest to help a diabetic (insulin dependant) alcoholic? I have read some about wild thyme, oats, valerian, skullcap, St. John’s wort, milk thistle, dandelion. Are these okay for a diabetic?

What herbs are used depends on the strategy you want to follow. Therapy always starts with the diet and lifestyle factors. Does this person want to give up alcohol? Is the person depressed or stressed? Are there any symptoms of later diabetes like circulation problems, high blood pressure, sight problems, foot problems, frequent infections? Has the diet been examined? Is the person getting daily exercise?

Please see other items in the "Q&A" section of our website www.richters.com. For help with diabetes, enter "diabet" for the Q&A search. For help with alcoholism, enter "alcohol" for the Q&A search.

When diabetics start taking a herb, they must monitor the blood closely to see whether the herb is changing the blood sugar. For example, in the list of herbs you mention, dandelion root and milk thistle may lower blood sugar. I would also watch for changes in blood sugar levels if you take St. John’s wort. I don’t see any problems with the other herbs in your list.

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