What is Diabetes?
Diabetes is one of the most common chronic disease in America, according to the 2011 National Diabetes Fact Sheet (released Jan. 26, 2011). There are 25.8 million children and adults in the United States—8.3% of the population—that have diabetes. That means almost 1 out of 10 people in America are either under high risk, or already have high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, blindness, nervous system disease or amputation.
Diabetes is the result of the body’s inability to produce and/or use insulin, which reduces blood glucose level.
Normally, our body will monitor the level of blood glucose, and when it senses an over amount of glucose in the blood, our brain will be informed. It will then tell the pancreas to release more insulin, so our body will start to cut down the glucose production. if any part of this chain is loosen, we call it diabetes.
Diabetes is classified into 3 types by its cause:
Type 1: the body does not produce insulin. People with type 1 diabetes are usually born with it, diagnosed in their early age, their body doesn’t have the function to produce insulin, so they must live with insulin supply.
Type 2 : Either the body does not produce enough insulin or the cells ignore the insulin
majority of diabetes patients are classified as type 2. Their bodies does have the function to produce insulin, but can’t properly control blood glucose level. It could happen for different reasons, like life style and eating habit.
Type 3: Gestational diabetes: diabetes during pregnancy
During pregnancy, hormone changes dramatically, lot of people become diabetic and/or high blood pressure during pregnancy stage, it is usually temporary, but it could become permanent in some case.
The syndrome of diabetes itself is increase of urination, thirsty, increase of appetite, and decrease of weight; blood glucose control by medication might make patient fatigue, easy to faint, cause digestion system disorder, and other syndromes. but keep controlling blood glucose by medication is the only way to deal with diabetes in modern medicine so far.
Diabetes does not cause death directly, but it can slowly cause damage to heart, kidney, nerve, eyes and blood vessel, it also lower immune ability and effects circulation on lower body parts, usually foot. It brings high risk of getting high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, blindness, nervous system disease, Infection and amputation.
Acupuncture and herb can help on most type 2 and gestational diabetes, and may be able to reduce the side effect from medication treatment of all type. It will usually need at least a couple months to control, and might need a treatment per month to maintain, depends on how patient’s body react to needles and herb, and different body condition of each patient.
In traditional Chinese medicine(TCM), we need to figure out which meridian, and/or internal organ(in TCM terms) is causing problem by the symptoms that each patient is having.
The classic symptoms of diabetes: increase of urination and appetite, thirsty, and decrease of weight, will be stomach meridian’s problem. Because over function of stomach meridian act similar to hyper metabolism, it raise body temperature, increases appetite, decrease weight, increase perspiration, cause thirst and emotional hyper. On the other hand, lower blood glucose cause fatigue, weakness, easy to faint, lack of concentration, these syndromes is similar to under function of stomach meridian. But it could be internal organs that cause stomach meridian to over function, or other meridian’s under function that makes stomach meridian to be comparatively over function, so in clinical practice, we still need to understand the over all condition of each patient in order to set the proper treatment plan.
Other then more personalized herb and acupuncture prescription, acupuncture points sp6 , sp9 and yishu are found to be helpful in most cases in clinical practice.
Spleen meridian(sp) is a pair with stomach meridian, they balances each other, which means that to stimulate spleen meridian could make stomach meridian’s function to be comparatively lower.
Yishu means “pancreas hollow” in Chinese, stimulate this point cause pancreas to react and adjust itself. These points are widely used in clinical practice to treat diabetes, and there are no risk to use them even without TCM diagnosis, so patients can even massage these points by themselves
– – ORANGE ACUPUNCTURE, WINSTON WANG