Health expert says herbal supplements not cure for diseases

07/26/2010 - Herbal supplements do not cure diseases as they are not medications as the public is urged to adhere to the complete drug regimen as recommended by the doctor.

Dr. Renan S. Dungog of the Diabetes Philippines - Cebu Chapter (DPCC) bared he is not against herbal supplements but that such products should not mislead patients who are optimistic that taking herbal supplements is the answer to the cure of their illness.

Dungog cited herbal products commercially sold in the market that advertises a cure for certain diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, arthritis and others.

"If you look at the label, there is a written text that states ‘No Therapeutic Claim’," the medical practitioner stressed.

"Perhaps some herbal supplements are good because of some testimonies by patients. But it should not take to mean that the herbal supplements should take the place of drugs prescribed by the doctor," according to Dungog.

Dungog also talked about some diabetes herbal supplements that have the ingredient cromium which has a role in diabetes prevention but not as a diabetes remedy.

Taking the herbal supplements should be more on disease prevention because when one has the disease, such supplements are not the medical treatment as only the doctor specializing in such a field can prescribe the appropriate drugs, Dungog said.

Also, taking herbal supplements to combat the disease may have interactions with the other prescribed drugs causing serious complications, this is emphasized.

But a bigger problem poses when a patient would no longer take his or her medications thinking that herbal supplements are better and natural, Dungog disclosed.

The diabetes expert said that diabetes patients take five to 10 medications for the disease depending on the severity.

Dungog also brushed notions that diabetes patients should lessen the intake of carbohydrates.

"Carbohydrates, fats and proteins are the main basic fuel of the body so we really need the three major diets in our body because diabetes is actually a disease of malnutriton. But of course, everything should be eaten in moderation," Dungog emphasized.

In Cebu, there are four hospital-based diabetes centers where these offer free sugar screening namely the government-run Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center, Sacred Heart Hospital, Cebu City Medical Center and Perpetual Soccour Hospital as Dungog urged the public to avail of the free blood sugar screening.

"It is better to detect diabetes early so that immediate interventions can be made because serious complications will be more difficult to treat," Dungog ended. (PIA Daily News)

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