Effect of Chinese Medicine on Diabetes


Traditional Chinese Medicine(TCM) is an old healing system originated thousands of years ago. It views the human body and its functioning in a holistic way; no single body part or symptom can be understood separately from the whole.

It chooses different modalities and therapeutic methods such as acupuncture, moxibustion diet therapy mind and body exercising (Qigong and tai chi) Chinese massage Tui Na and herbal medicine. In traditional Chinese medicine, illness represents a pattern of disharmony which includes all presenting signs and symptoms as well as patients emotional and psychological responses when evaluating patients with chronic disease such as diabetes we need to take details and observe the shape colour of the tongue,the colour expression of the face, odour of breath and body, strength rhythm and quality of the pulse.

The Chinese language includes two terms for diabetes:
Xiao-Ke: wasting and thirsting the more modern term
Tang Niao-bing means sugar urine illness.

Diabetes is divided int 3 types:
Upper-middle-lower Xiao-Ke:

Upper part type characterised by excessive thirst.
The middle by excessive hunger.
Lower by excessive urination.

These types are associated with the lungs, stomach and kidneys and they are all associated with Yin deficiency. During the course of illness, most people with diabetes manifest symptoms of all three types. In Chinese medicine, Xiao-ke is attributed to three main factors.

Improper diet, consuming large quantities of sweets, fatty, greasy foods alcohol, hot drinks such as coffee or tea. Emotional disturbances, stress, anxiety, depression all leads to Yin deficiency symptoms ( fatigue, weakness lethargy) in Chinese medicine.

Treatment is individualised every case is different.

Acupuncture and moxibustion have been used in treating diabetes to reduce blood glucose levels and normalise endocrine function. It has a great effect on lowering serum glucose. The patient needs at least 6-14 sessions to feel the difference we can use Auricular acupuncture which is inserting needles into specific points into the ear alone or in conjunction with body points.

Traditional Chinese medicine TCM is usually used to improve diabetic syndrome in the combination of antidiabetic drugs.

Treatments goal is to reduce heat and balance Yin & Yang diabetes is a yin deficiency means Yin is reduced or consumed which means more heat rising in the body causing weakness of the body through intense sweating, dryness, depletion of the body fluids agitation, redness of cheeks, dry mouth and night sweats.

TCM believes that all body fluids for example blood or sweat are valuable nourishing substances that need to be preserved. Kidney Yin deficiency, causes depression, lethargy, mental sluggishness, forgetfulness and premature ageing which can be explained in diabetes cases with the severe exhaustion the burnout syndrome mental restlessness sleep disorders dreams constitutional weakness heart palpitation chronic lumbar spine problems with spermatorrhea (frequent involuntary emission of semen) or infertility disorders. That is why the goal with acupuncture will be to replenish the Yin with needing 2-3 times a week according to the severity of the case. With a lifestyle change that has less stress and balanced diet, that is more cooling and moistening foods. People with Type 2 diabetes should have more alkaline food since increasing the levels of acidity increases diabetes. Foods that increases acidity are meat, beans, wheat , processed foods, sugar, lots of coffee , tea and needs to be stopped. Alkaline diet will cool the body it includes raw and whole foods such as fresh non-starchy vegetables leafy greens fruits amaranth millet, goats milk, omega 3 oils, soya milk, lemon juice, herbal tea and so on.

It is important to try to avoid anything that may exacerbate insulin resistance such as pasta, white bread, sugar, chocolate and artificial canned juices. Acupuncture has a great result on peripheral neuropathy, one of the complications of type 2 diabetes.

The effect of acupuncture especially in pain is mediated by releasing substances such as serotonin, endorphin plus increasing the local blood flow and improve cortisol level, which helps reduce the pain or clearing it completely.

In a nutshell, Type 2 Diabetes is a chronic lifestyle disorder that lasts a lifetime. So far, there is no permanent cure for diabetes. However, TCM is a powerful tool to manage Type 2 Diabetes effectively and help you lead a more healthy and cheerful life. TCM can enable to correct your lifestyle to the most optimum levels.

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