PRACTICE POINTS/PATIENT COUNSELLING
• Fenugreek's seeds and leaves are used not only as food but also as an ingredient in traditional medicine systems.
• Clinical studies have identified significant hypoglycaemic and lipid-lowering activity;
however, dosage forms and treatment regimens varied. Fenugreek 412
• In animal studies fenugreek has been shown to exert Immunostlmulant, anti-Inflammatory and antinociceptive activity, stimulate digestive enzyme production and provide significant antiulcerogenic effects.
• Externally it is made into a poultice with hot water and used as an antiinflammatory application.
ANSWERS TO PATIENTS' FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What will this herb do for me?
Fenugreek can lower blood sugar levels in patients with diabetes, reduce cholesterol levels and stimulate digestion. It may also protect the gastrointestinal tract from ulcers, stimulate immune function and provide anti-inflammatory and antipyretic effects. Traditionally, it has also been used to promote lactation. When will it start to work?
Studies suggest that blood sugar effects can be seen within 10 days in type 1 diabetes, whereas lipid-lowering effects can take up to 3 months to establish. Traditionally, digestive effects are thought to occur soon after ingestion of the seeds. Are there any safety issues?
Used as a food, fenugreek appears extremely safe but may interact with blood-thinning medicines. When used in high doses as a medicine, it may cause flatulence, diarrhoea and mild stomach discomfort. Allergies to fenugreek are possible. When used with diabetic medicine, it may increase sugar-lowering activity and safety should be monitored.
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Diabetes is a disease that affects the way your body uses food. Normally, your body converts sugars, starches and other foods into a form of sugar called glucose. Your body uses glucose for fuel. The cells receive the glucose through the bloodstream. They then use insulin a hormone made by the pancreas to absorb the glucose, convert it into energy, and either use it or store it for later use. Learn more...