There are two types of diabetes: Type 1 diabetes (diabetes mellitus) and Type 2 diabetes (adult onset). In type 1 diabetes, the body is unable to manufacture insulin. People suffering from this condition are insulin dependent. This type of diabetes is found in children and young adults.
Over 15 million Americans are believed to suffer from type-2 diabetes, which is the most common form of diabetes. In this condition, the body uses insulin inefficiently causing it to accumulate in the blood. This insulin buildup can cause complications such as osteoporosis, heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease, hypertension, depression, eye problems, fatigue, kidney disease, amputation, periodontal disease, and nervous system disease.
Diabetes is oftentimes a chronic condition, and sufferers are usually able to properly control their condition and with healthy lifestyle changes and the proper medical treatment, they can live healthy, long lives. Chinese herbs and acupuncture can play a major role in an integrated plan of treatment to lessen the need for diabetes drugs as well as to control diabetes and its symptoms.
For more than 2,500 years, Chinese herbal medicine and acupuncture have been used to treat diabetes. Diabetes is referred to, in Chinese medicine, as a “thirsting and wasting disease.” Its underlying cause is Yin and Qi imbalance causing excess heat in the body that dries up the fluids of the body resulting in heat-like symptoms such as dry mouth, excessive thirst, itchy skin, swollen gums, and irritability.
Tiny needles are inserted into specific points on the body during an acupuncture treatment, to help nourish fluids (Yin) and normalize the flow of vital energy (Qi). Edina’s acupuncture diabetes treatment concentrates on the normalization of Qi and blood circulation as well as the dispelling of internal heat, preservation of fluids, and improvement of pancreatic function.
An essential part in the treatment of diabetes, Chinese herbal medicine uses various types of herbal formulas that are oftentimes combined with acupuncture for the treatment of diabetes and its symptoms. Since there may be formulas that may not appropriate for use for every person, it is imperative that a patient confer with a medical physician and a licensed and experienced acupuncturist or Chinese herbalist prior to getting herbal treatment.
1. Six Ingredient Pill with Rehmannia (Liu Wei Di Huang Tang) – This formula relieves symptoms that come with diabetes. They include light headedness, vertigo, weak low back, tinnitus, heat in the five palms (chest, hands, and/or feet), night sweats, and poor hearing.
2. Decoction of White Tiger Plus Ginseng (Bai Hu Jian Ren Sheng Tang) – Assists in the lowering of blood sugar levels by increasing the sugar quantity stored in the liver. This formula alleviates symptoms such as restlessness, fever, profuse sweating, great thirst, general weakness, and general discomfort.
3. Decoction of Minor Bupleurum (Hsiao Chai Hu Tang) -This decoction lowers the rate at which glucose enters the blood after meals. If a diabetic also manifests complication of hepatitis infection or has HIV, this formula can be especially useful.
4. Decoction of Major Bupleurum (Da Chai Hu Tang) – This decoction boosts the efficiency of insulin and lowers the rate of glucose levels in the bloodstream. For diabetics with chronic gastrointestinal conditions, this decoction can be especially useful.
Other natural diabetic treatments that include nutritional supplementation, exercise, and dietary changes can be extremely helpful in the management of type 1 & type 2 diabetes; they may even reverse pre-diabetes.
A lot of diabetics may experience better control of their glucose by eating a small portion of protein at every meal.
Juice therapy can be recommended for diabetes –Drink a glass of water added with a juice of one lime in it every day.
Exercise regularly to reduce fat cells, lower glucose and insulin levels, and to better manage your glucose levels. Gentle exercise such as yoga or walking for 30 minutes each day can help.
Follow a whole food, organic low-fat, diet that includes whole grains, fruit, vegetables, chicken, and fish that are rich in fiber, antioxidants, and essential fatty acids. Fiber can help minimize blood sugar surges.
Eat three meals a day at the appropriate hours. Eat in moderate portions.
Stay away from alcohol, caffeine, simple sugars (except when you need to balance an insulin reaction), and saturated fats
Avoid soda pop, fruit juice, candy, white flour, and refined carbohydrates. Xylitol, stevia and other natural sweeteners that are not known to negatively affect blood glucose levels can be used. They can be bought at health food stores.