Can I take glucosamine if I have diabetes?

Dr. Grant Cooper, MD
Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation Specialist

Although there has been some concern that glucosamine might be contraindicated in people with diabetes, because it is partly a sugar, this appears not to be the case. Glucosamine does not appear to significantly raise blood glucose levels. Nevertheless, always discuss the risks and benefits of any new supplement with your physician and, in the case of glucosamine, monitor your blood sugar with your physician if you have diabetes.

The Arthritis Handbook: Improve Your Health and Manage the Pain of Osteoarthritis (A DiaMedica Guide to Optimum Wellness)

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The Arthritis Handbook: Improve Your Health and Manage the Pain of Osteoarthritis (A DiaMedica Guide to Optimum Wellness)

According to conventional wisdom, arthritis pain is an inevitable part of aging. Not so, says Dr. Grant Cooper in this practical, accessible guide. For those who do develop osteoarthritic conditions,...
Stacy Wiegman, PharmD
Pharmacy Specialist

If you have diabetes, you can take glucosamine supplements, but you should speak with your doctor before you do. There's been research suggesting that glucosamine, which is often taken for joint pain from arthritis, might raise blood sugar levels. Although more research is needed to find out if this is really the case, experts recommend that people with diabetes who take glucosamine monitor their blood sugar closely. The supplement can also interact with other medications such as warfarin (Coumadin) and diabetes drugs.

There is some debate about glucosamine’s affect on insulin resistance (which may contribute to increases in blood sugar in people with type 2 diabetes), and the possibility of medication interactions. If you have diabetes, or pre-diabetes, talk with your health care provider.

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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.