What should I know before taking a dietary supplement for my diabetes?

Before taking a dietary supplement for your diabetes you should know if the supplement will have any adverse interactions with your prescribed medications. As a rule of thumb, you should always notify your doctor of any supplements you are taking to ensure they do not interact with your prescribed medications. This is especially true for diseases affecting the kidneys and liver, such as diabetes and cirrhosis.
If you have diabetes and you are considering adding a dietary supplement to your current medication regimen, it’s important to ask yourself if dietary supplements will affect your treatment and whether they worth using?

You need to be smart about dietary supplements and be an informed consumer. Be knowledgeable about what you are buying at the vitamin store and consider the source of information. Do not accept anecdotal information from your friends or the person working at the store. If you plan on taking supplements, investigate them thoroughly and discuss them with your caregiver. Most importantly, never substitute them for your prescribed medications unless clearly indicated by your doctor.

This content originally appeared in the Taking Control of Your Diabetes newsletter on tcoyd.org.

Continue Learning about Diabetes


Diabetes mellitus (MEL-ih-tus), often referred to as diabetes, is characterized by high blood glucose (sugar) levels that result from the body’s inability to produce enough insulin and/or effectively utilize the insulin. Diabetes ...

is a serious, life-long condition and the sixth leading cause of death in the United States. Diabetes is a disorder of metabolism (the body's way of digesting food and converting it into energy). There are three forms of diabetes. Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease that accounts for five- to 10-percent of all diagnosed cases of diabetes. Type 2 diabetes may account for 90- to 95-percent of all diagnosed cases. The third type of diabetes occurs in pregnancy and is referred to as gestational diabetes. Left untreated, gestational diabetes can cause health issues for pregnant women and their babies. People with diabetes can take preventive steps to control this disease and decrease the risk of further complications.

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.