Acupuncture and Natural Therapies for Diabetes

Diabetes is a chronic, degenerative condition that continues to increase in frequency among children and adults in the United States. Statistics released in early 2011 by the American Diabetes Association show that 25.8 million children and adults in the United States, or 8.3% of the population have diabetes. It is estimated that 1.3 million people in the US will be diagnosed this year alone.

There are two types of diabetes: Type 1 diabetes (diabetes mellitus) is usually diagnosed in children and young adults. In type 1 diabetes, the body does not produce insulin. Type 1 diabetics are insulin dependent.

Type 2 diabetes (adult on-set) is the most common form of diabetes affecting more than 15 million Americans. In type 2 diabetes, the body does not use insulin properly causing it to build up in the bloodstream. The build up of insulin can lead to complications such as heart disease, hypertension, eye problems, kidney disease, nervous system disease, periodontal disease, amputation, fatigue, depression, Alzheimer’s disease and osteoporosis.

While diabetes is generally a long-term condition, diabetics can manage their condition and live long, healthy lives with appropriate medical treatment and healthy life-style changes. Acupuncture and Chinese herbs can play a significant role in a comprehensive treatment plan to manage diabetes and its symptoms, and potentially Glucofort reduce the need for medication.

Acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine have been used to treat diabetes for over 2000 years. In Chinese medicine, diabetes is referred to as “wasting and thirsting disease,”an imbalance of Qi and Yin that produces heat and depletes the body’s fluids causing heat-like symptoms: excessive thirst, irritability, swollen gums, itchy skin and dry mouth.

During an acupuncture treatment, fine needles are inserted into specific points on the body to restore the flow of Qi and nourish Yin (fluids). The treatment for diabetes focuses on regulating the circulation of blood and Qi, improving pancreatic function, addressing internal heat and depletion of fluids.

Chinese herbal medicine is an important component in the treatment of diabetes. The following are a few examples Chinese herbal formulas that are typically used in conjunction with acupuncture to treat diabetes and its symptoms. Because not all formulas are appropriate for every individual, it is important that you consult with a knowledgeable healthcare provider before including them in your treatment plan.

• Da Chai Hu Tang (Major Bupleurum Decoction). This herbal formula reduces the rate at which glucose enters the bloodstream and increases the efficiency of insulin. It is especially useful if diabetes occurs with long-term gastrointestinal disorders.

• Xiao Chai Hu Tang (Minor Bupleurum Decoction). This herbal formula reduces the rate at which glucose enters the bloodstream after meals. It is especially useful if diabetes occurs with HIV or as a complication of hepatitis infection.

• Bai Hu Jian Ren Sheng Tang (White Tiger Plus Ginseng Decoction). Helps to lower sugar levels by increasing the amount of sugar stored in the liver. It relieves symptoms such as fever, general discomfort, general weakness, great thirst, profuse sweating, and restlessness.

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