There can be some interactions or potential interactions between conventional medicines and herbal treatments and food supplements. Any supplements or herbal medicines that are being used to lower blood sugar will clearly interact with conventional medications and there is the potential for a hypoglycemic effect. Other substances can also interact with the uptake of other medication. It is important to discuss any supplements, herbals or medications that you intend to take with a qualified medical herbalist or your coordinating therapist.
Ginsengs have been shown to have hypoglycemic properties and they can affect glucocorticoid levels. Diabetic patients who take conventional medicines to lower glucose levels can be at risk of hypoglycemic effects if they use ginseng concomitantly with their conventional medicines. Medications which have shown a possible interaction: Acetohexamide, Chlorpropamide, Clipizide, Insulin, Metformin, Tolazamide, Tolbutamide, Troglitazone.
Some hypoglycemic drugs such as biguanide, metaformin and phenoformin reduce absorption of vitamin B12. Research has shown that stop the use of the drug reverses this process in only half of cases and that Vit B12 deficiency can result in peripheral neuropathy that is indistinguishable from that caused by type II diabetes. There is some evidence that increased calcium intake can prevent Vitamin B12 malabsorption.
Resveratrol is chemically related to an estrogen compound and can compete with estrogen receptors. It should not be taken in patients with a history of estrogen dependent breast cancer. Resveratrol should not be taken with estrogens.