Acupuncture & Diabetes

Chances are that you or someone you know has been affected by diabetes. Diabetes is becoming an increasingly common condition. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an estimated 30.3 million people in the United States, or 9.4% of the population, are living with diabetes. While it is generally a long-term condition, diabetes can be managed through self-care, nutrition, and medication. Another safe, effective approach to managing diabetes and it’s symptoms is acupuncture. In modern day China, people often use acupuncture to treat diabetes. Scientists who are currently researching the benefits of acupuncture for diabetes note that it may improve blood glucose management, help with weight loss, protect pancreas islet function, improve insulin resistance, or adjust the balance of hormone side effect diabetes. Acupuncture and traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) help promote health and well-being. Both can be used safely along with your current medical treatment to provide the best results for you.

Understanding a complex condition:

The body gets its energy from food Through the process of digestion. Food is broken down into glue close or sugar which passes into the bloodstream. Then the glucose is moved into muscle, fat and liver cells by the hormone insulin, which is produced by the pancreas. However, if you have diabetes, your body either does not produce enough insulin, or doesn’t respond to it properly, and this leads to higher levels of sugar in the blood. Uncontrolled blood sugar levels can cause serious complications if left untreated Including blindness, heart attack, stroke, kidney failure, amputations, and nerve damage.

The two main types of diabetes:

Type I: Usually diagnosed during childhood, type one is an auto immune disease in which the body’s immune system attacks insulin producing cells. Symptoms usually come on suddenly and treatment includes daily injections of insulin.

Type II: This type of counts for 90 to 95% of all diabetes cases, and is usually diagnosed during adulthood. Major risk factors include family history, having high blood pressure or high cholesterol, and being overweight and sedentary.

Symptoms may be mild, people don’t know they have diabetes, which is why it’s important to get tested regularly, especially after the age of 45. Testing and also detect pre-diabetes, we’re blood sugar is high, but not yet a diabetic levels. With early detection and treatment it is far easier to stop the disease from progressing, control your symptoms, and prevent complications. Treatments often include regular blood sugar monitoring and medication to control blood sugar, as well as diet and exercise.

The natural approach that works:

The good news is that certain types of diabetes respond very well to acupuncture along with other holistic healthcare choices and lifestyle changes – Sometimes even making medication’s unnecessary. Acupuncture and TCM can help put you on the path to a healthier lifestyle. Since diabetes has an impact on every part of your body, it makes sense to try to therapy that takes a holistic or whole body approach to health.

According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, QI (pronounced Chee) is the vital energy that animates the body and protects it from illnesses. QI flows through the pathways called meridians and provides nourishment to all of the bodies organs and glands. Where there is an imbalance or blockage in the flow of QI, symptoms associated with diabetes may appear. According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, diabetes is known as “Xiao Ke” or “Wasting and thirsting disease,” Caused by an imbalance of Qi and Yin. This produces heat which drains and consumes the bodies fluids. That is why symptoms related to heat appear as excessive thirst, irritability, itchy skin dry mouth, and red, swollen gums. During treatment, fine, sterile needle’s will be inserted in specific acupuncture points along the Meridian pathways in order to restore the flow of QI and nourish Yin. This can ultimately relieve symptoms, improve pancreatic function and control blood sugar levels. Your acupuncturist will also work to resolve other imbalances or concerns that may be complicating your condition, and can help with common symptoms such as pain. In addition to acupuncture care your practitioner may offer recommendations for dietary changes, exercise plans, and herbal remedies.

Acupuncture and TCM addresses each patient’s individual needs and eliminating symptoms and potentially reduce the need for medication. Acupuncture can be a safe and effective treatment, as long as a licensed and experienced practitioner performs it. It has become more widely excepted in my Western medicine over the past 20 years. People can combine it with other types of diabetes treatment, including medication, and helpful diet, and regular exercise. The best approach to controlling your diabetes is to work with a team of healthcare professionals who can address the many aspects of diabetes. Including an acupuncturist to your team and working together to manage your diabetes can have lasting benefits and help you live a healthy active life.


Diabetes. U.S. National Library of Medicine Medical Encyclopedia.