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Complementary and Alternative Medical Therapies for Diabetes

The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), defines complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) as a "group of diverse medical and health care systems, practices, and products that are not generally considered to be part of conventional medicine." Complementary medicine is used with conventional medicine, whereas alternative medicine is used instead of conventional medicine.

Some people with diabetes use CAM therapies to treat diabetes. Although some of these therapies may be effective, others can be ineffective or even harmful. Patients who use CAM therapies should keep their health care providers informed.

Links to information about some CAM therapies are provided below. For more information, talk with your health care provider. For tips on talking with your health care provider about CAM, see NCCIH's Time to Talk campaign.

NCCIH Clearinghouse

The NCCIH Clearinghouse provides information about CAM and NCCIH, including publications and searches of federal databases of scientific and medical literature. The Clearinghouse does not provide medical advice, treatment recommendations, or referrals to practitioners.

Phone: 1-888-644-6226
TTY: 1-866-464-3615
Email: info@nccih.nih.gov
Internet: www.nccih.nih.gov

June 2016
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This content is provided as a service of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), part of the National Institutes of Health. The NIDDK translates and disseminates research findings through its clearinghouses and education programs to increase knowledge and understanding about health and disease among patients, health professionals, and the public. Content produced by the NIDDK is carefully reviewed by NIDDK scientists and other experts.

The NIDDK would like to thank:
David A. Piccoli, M.D., The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. Binita M. Kamath, MBBChir., the Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, Ontario

This information is not copyrighted. The NIDDK encourages people to share this content freely.