Before I get into the lists and descriptions of all the individual supplements, I want to say a few words about what can be a very controversial subject - normal medicine versus alternative medicine.
In our present world we tend to separate everything into it's individual components and so we now have what is called normal, or allopathic, medicine, the kind you will get from your local health service, and alternative medicine, which covers a variety of health care practises that do not follow generally accepted rules.
I intensely dislike the term alternative medicine. The word alternative is defined in my dictionary as 'of two things, mutually exclusive' and that is what I consider one of the major problems with our medical system today.
Rather we should talk of 'complementary medicine'. Going back to my trusty dictionary I find that complementary means 'where two different systems enhance each other' and this expresses, even better than I can, my feelings on the subject.
Both systems have their good and bad points.
I do not want anyone to read the lists of supplements, think "Wow, these sound great", turf all their prescribed medicine in the trash can and rush off to the local health food store to stock up!
Nor so I feel one should be so hung up on using only the prescribed medication that you are not prepared to try anything else.
And that brings me to my next point -
Do not be afraid to try different things. The proof of the pudding is, as they say, in the eating.
If you think that any of the following supplements may enhance your present regime then go out and get that one and try it for a period of months ( remember that some of these may take 6 weeks or more before they start showing results).
If you see no positive changes after a sensible period of time then it is not for you - stop taking it. There is no point in throwing good money after bad.
It makes sense to add one new thing at a time to your normal regime. If you start taking two or more, all at the same time, how will you know which one is working and which is not?
I know this is difficult to do, especially if you are not achieving the results you desire with your present meds and are desperately searching for a way to improve things (hopefully before the next HbA1c!!!!) but while bombarding your system with a range of new medications may do the trick, it may also do exactly the opposite, and that will leave you with a choice of going back to the beginning and trying one at a time or throwing the whole concept out completely and perhaps missing out on something that could have been of immense benefit.
Oh dear, my 'few words' became a torrent! However it needed to be said. And so does the following.
Not all medical practitioners are happy with the thought of their patients using any form of complementary medicine. They differ widely in how they react - some embrace the concept with gusto while others may refuse to treat you if you even mention it.
Again you have to make your own choices.
That applies not only to the medications you chose to take but to which medical practitioner you chose to have treat you. The forums are full of comments by people who are having problems with their doctor and the general advice is "Find one that is willing to listen to you and does not just dismiss your ideas out of hand".
Good advice that.
If you are reading this site you are attempting to become an informed, if not expert, patient. You live with this disease 24/7 and therefore frequently know more about what works for you than the doctor who sees you once every 3 months or so. Said doctor could at least have the courtesy to listen and give credit to your ideas.
Most of us are aware that before we start experimenting with different medications we need to discuss it with our doctor but that can be very hard to do if they will not listen.
Is it any wonder that so many of us land up 'going it alone' and suffering the possible consequences?
Oh well, tirade over, lets get on with learning about the different supplements. I will try and present a basic overview, along with the pro's and cons, as always.
Alpha Lipoic Acid (ALA)
Coenzyme Q 10.