Updated: Sep 29, 2019
Diabetes is a chronic condition of the pancreas that results in high levels of glucose (sugar) in the blood. Insulin, which is produced by the pancreas, is a hormone that transports glucose to cells to be used as energy.
Type 1 diabetes occurs when the pancreas doesn't produce any insulin at all; Type 2 diabetes occurs when your body produces or uses insulin ineffectively. The glucose builds up in the blood and can lead to stroke, heart disease, eye damage, kidney and/or liver damage, and even limb amputation.
Some of the common shared symptoms of diabetes include:
excessive thirst and hunger
tingling in hands and feet (caused by atherosclerosis)
diarrhea or constipation
Acupuncture can be implemented to manage these symptoms and reduce the more frustrating effects of diabetes on daily life. Unlike Western medication, it has no side effects and has been proven to be more effective than drugs in handling symptoms such as diabetic gastroparesis.
Acupuncture for Diabetes
Diabetic gastroparesis, or delayed stomach emptying, is brought on by high levels of glucose in the blood that damages the vagus nerve and slows movement of the stomach muscles. Insufficient gut motility affects nutrient absorption, which can cause glucose levels to spike and perpetuates the cycle of gastroparesis.
Acupuncture works to stimulate the pancreas and regulate insulin production to decrease glucose levels in the blood. It also increases circulation, restoring regular blood flow to the gut and encouraging nerve regeneration.
As the vagus nerve heals, digestive functionality returns and symptoms such as abdominal fullness and pain, belching, nausea, diarrhea, and constipation are reduced or cured.
In a clinical study, acupuncture had a 94.14% effective rate at treating diabetic gastroparesis. Western pharmaceutical medications domperidone and cimetidine only had a 74.14% effective rate.
As acupuncture regulates the body's production of insulin, blood sugar starts to balance and diabetic responsiveness to insulin injections improves.
The improved blood flow stimulated by acupuncture also helps to reduce atherosclerosis (the narrowing of arteries due to plaque buildup) and increase elasticity of veins.
Acupuncture and other Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) methods like ear seeds can be used to reduce appetite cravings and excessive thirst that often accompany diabetes.
If you are struggling to manage your diabetes with Western pharmaceuticals, start working with your body today! Call us at (321) 972-2940 to schedule your initial health consultation.
HealthCMI. "Acupuncture Alleviates Diabetes, Outperforms Drugs." (August 5, 2016). Retrieved from http://www.healthcmi.com/Acupuncture-Continuing-Education-News/1666-acupuncture-alleviates-diabetes-outperforms-drugs
Lo, Y. "Diabetes and Acupuncture." (n.d.) Retrieved from http://www.acupuncturetoday.com/mpacms/at/article.php?id=28326