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December 20, 2003

Alternative Therapies and Explanations

Question from Haverford, Pennsylvania, USA:

Is there any benefit to chiropractic care in helping to treat diabetes for my child? He has been seeing a diabetes specialist and endocrinologist and his numbers remain very high in spite of the suggested treatments of both his current medical advisors.

Answer:

To allow complete disclosure, please be aware that I am a medical doctor. The theories behind much of chiropractory have not been validated with scientific scrutiny.

That is not to say that chiropractors do not positive insight regarding nutrition, etc. I do not want to be misinterpreted that all chiropractors are frauds.

But insulin remains key to diabetes management. And then balancing out proper attention to meal planning and activities! If your child has difficulty in maintaining his glucose readings within a target range, then one must give serious look at the doses on insulin relative to meals and activities. You did not indicate the insulin regimen that your child is on; you did not provided his HbA1c value. Perhaps his care is pretty good.

If he is looking for more flexible meal planning, and is willing to take more shots of insulin, and carb-count well, then basal-bolus insulin using either multiple daily injections or even an insulin pump may be in order.

People do advocate the use of various supplements or minerals (such as chromium) to be helpful for pancreatic function. I am not aware of any strong data, reported in peer-reviewed journals, that truly validate such claims.

DS
Additional comments from Jeff Hitchcock, CWD Founder and Editor:

Stephen Barrett, MD, creator of Quackwatch, also publishes Chirobase, which offers “A Skeptical Guide to Chiropractic History, Theories, and Current Practices.” Assisting with Chirobase are William T. Jarvis, PhD. and Samuel Homola, DC.

JSH