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J Clin Res Pediatr Endocrinol. 2011;3(3):139-43. doi: 10.4274/jcrpe.v3i3.27.

Complementary and alternative medicine in children with type 1 diabetes mellitus.

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Marmara University Faculty of Medicine, Department of Pediatric, Division of Pediatric Endocrinology, Istanbul, Turkey.



Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) is increasingly utilized in adults and children for treatment of various conditions. Studies on CAM in diabetes have mainly focused on the adult population and its application in children has not been well established. The aim of this study was to examine the prevalence and characteristics of CAM use in Turkish children with type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM).


The information was acquired by a questionnaire completed by a face-to-face interview with the parents of children with T1DM.


A total of 195 subjects (mean age: 14.02±4.7 years; F/M: 103/92) were included in this survey. Use of CAM was reported in 85 subjects (43.6%). Herbal medicines were used in 64 subjects (75.3%). Sixty-nine subjects (81.2%) did not inform the diabetes specialist about CAM use. Thirty-eight subjects (44.7%) evaluated CAM as efficacious. Only 3 subjects (3.5%) interrupted the insulin injections to use CAM. No relationships were found between CAM use and parental education or insulin dose. There were significant correlations between CAM use and higher family income (p=0.027), urban residence (p=0.05), presence of complications (p=0.03), dissatisfaction with medical therapy (p=0.034) and prior CAM use among parents (p=0.001).


CAM use is a frequent practice among diabetic children, which is usually not shared with their physicians and sometimes leads to cessation of medical treatment.

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