Diabetes and Bitter Melon
Can I take your product with bitter mellon when I am taking a prescription medicine Amaryl 1mg per day or do I need to just take your product and get off the script? I know my Dr. will tell me to just stay on my prescribed med. I want to get off of the Amaryl.
Bitter melon extracts are thought to work in a very similar
way as Amaryl (glimepiride). Both are thought to have mechanisms of
action that stimulate the beta-cells of the pancreas as well as increase
cellular sensitivity to insulin.
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When introducing a natural product to address a health condition you are
already taking a prescription medication for certain precautions need to be
taken. In this situation I would not advise discontinuing your
prescription medication because you do not know how the bitter melon extract
will work for you.
Instead what I suggest is introducing the bitter melon extract at a very low
dose while continuing on the glimepiride. Start a very low dose (1/2-1
capsule/tablet) per day for 7-10 days while increasing the number of times you
monitor your blood sugar levels. If after 7-10 days you do not notice any
significant declines in blood sugar levels, slightly increase the dose of the
bitter melon and stay at that higher dose for another 7-10 days. Continue
this process every 7-10 days, all the while closely monitoring your blood sugar
levels. Also, make sure to always have a readily available source of
sugar with you in case your blood sugar levels drop quickly or unexpectedly due
to starting on the supplements.
If you do it in this way you give your body a chance a to adapt and get used to
the new intervention slowly. It also allows you to track the trends in
blood sugar over a longer period of time which reduces the chances that you
will end up in a dangerous situation with blood sugar falling too low.
If over time as you build your dose of bitter melon you find that your blood
sugar levels are hitting new low points, discuss this with your doctor.
He/she should be able to adjust the dose of glimepiride so that your sugar
levels do not fall so low. In this way you slowly reduce your dependence
on the medication as you replace it with the bitter melon. You may find
that you always need to take some of the prescription to manage your blood
sugar or you may be able to come off of it entirely.
HOWEVER IT IS VERY IMPORTNAT TO DO THE PROCESS SLOWLY AND TO NOT ABRUPTLY
DISONTINUE YOUR MEDICATION TO AVOID ANY DRAMATIC RISES OR FALLS IN BLOOD SUGAR.
Going about it in the way described above may take longer but offers
you the best chance of long term success while minimizing the chances of causing
Lead Medical Director
As a certified and fully trained Naturopathic Doctor, Passero has trained and preceptored with some of the nation's leading doctors in the field of natural medicine, working under the guidance of MD’s, Chiropractors, Naturopaths and Acupuncturists. Furthermore, he is currently the Vice President of the Maryland Association of Naturopathic Physicians.
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