Naturopathic medicine and type 2 diabetes: A retrospective analysis from an academic clinic

Bastyr University, Kenmore, Washington, USA.
Alternative medicine review: a journal of clinical therapeutic (Impact Factor: 3.83). 04/2006; 11(1):30-9.
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Accurate descriptions of naturopathic medicine as a whole system of medical practice are rare in the literature and non-existent for type 2 diabetes.
Using retrospective analysis of medical records at an academic naturopathic outpatient clinic, data was abstracted to investigate patterns of patient status, details of treatment recommendations, and levels of evidence.
Most naturopathic medical care for type 2 diabetes is adjunctive, although naturopathic physicians are qualified to fill the role of primary care providers. Glycemic control and other vital statistics in patients receiving naturopathic care are comparable to published national averages. Naturopathic physicians prescribe comprehensive therapeutic lifestyle change recommendations supported by a high level of evidence - 100 percent received dietary counseling, 69 percent were taught stress reduction techniques, and 94 percent were prescribed exercise. Patients additionally received prescriptions for botanical and nutritional supplementation, often in combination with conventional medication. Analysis of individual supplement effects was not performed due to inadequate records. Components of treatment recommendations are often evidence-based, with varying evidence quality.
Naturopathic medicine as a whole medical system supplies evidence-based lifestyle recommendations as suggested in management guidelines for diabetes, hypertension, and hyperlipidemia set forth by the respective national organizations - the American Diabetes Association (ADA), the Joint National Committee on Hypertension (JNC-7), and the National Cholesterol Education Program results of the third Adult Treatment Panel (NCEP ATP-III). Increased research effort to determine the safety and efficacy of combinations of supplements or medications and supplements is warranted. Education of other health care providers, patients, and health policy makers regarding the value of the naturopathic approach in the treatment and prevention of type 2 diabetes is warranted, yet prospective data on efficacy must be collected.

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    • "New " control " per American Diabetes Association standards was achieved in an additional 26% of patients for glucose, 16-27% of patients for blood pressure , and 14% of patients for triglycerides. One of these reports (Bradley & Oberg, 2006) also includes some specifics on the frequency of common dietary recommendations to patients, e.g., higher protein (88%), lower simple carbohydrates (81%), high fiber (75%), low glycemic index (50%), etc. and the evidence base for commonly recommended clinical nutritional treatments , (e.g., omega-3 fatty acids=Grade B). "
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    04/2012; 1(2). DOI:10.7772/2159-1253.1017
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    • "Consensus statements on chiropractic " best practices " for children and for older adults have recommended that chiropractors provide counseling on health promotion and disease prevention consistent with USPSTF recommendations (Hawk et al., 2009, 2010). A guideline for naturopathic care of diabetics states that practitioners of naturopathic medicine provide evidence-based lifestyle recommendations that comply with those of national organizations (Bradley and Oberg, 2006). Similar guidelines on the role of CAM in prevention of other chronic diseases are lacking. "
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    • "According to the National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey, fewer than 50% of patients with HTN received lifestyle counseling [6]. In contrast, descriptions of naturopathic (ND) practice suggest clinical recommendations by ND physicians include diet counseling, exercise prescription and stress management advice for 69–100% of diabetes patients [7] [8] [9]. "
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    Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine 03/2011; 2011(1):826751. DOI:10.1093/ecam/nep219 · 1.88 Impact Factor
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