Prevalence, Awareness, Attitudes and Usefulness of Allopolyherbal Medications Among Type 2 Diabetics: A Community Based Cross-sectional Survey
Objectives: The prevalence of herbal medicines is drastically increasing among patients with chronic diseases like diabetes mellitus due to its difficulty in adhering to therapeutic regimens and lifestyle changes, without considering its consequences of concomitant uses. The aim of this study was to explore the prevalence, attitude, awareness and consequences of simultaneous use of herbal medicines with allopathic anti-diabetic drugs. Methods: A community based cross-sectional study was conducted among Type 2 diabetes using pre-structured questionnaire consisting socio-demographic details and herbal use characteristics. Patients with type 1 diabetes, gestational diabetes and those rely only on anti-diabetic herbal products were excluded. Descriptive statistics and multivariatelogistic regression were employed to analyze data. Results: A total of 470 patients responded, 340 tried herbal plants along with allopathic drugs. The herbal users were mostly females (54.89%) and from rural background (62.55 %) (P= 0.011). The herbal use was higher among 40 to 55 age group, having a duration of diabetes less than one year (P=0.001). About 34 herbal plants identified, Guava (17.6%) and Bitter-gourd (12.9%) were most commonly used and families, friends, neighbors (32.60%) were their herbal information providers. About 67% of patients reported satisfactory with herbal use but only 35% patients informed their doctors about the concomitant use. Among herbal users, 25% of patients reported hypoglycemia and a negligible patient reported about such occurrence. Conclusion: This study identified high prevalence of herbal use with modern treatment. Hence, patients as well as health providers must be educated about potential risks and benefits of herbal treatment.