Diabetes & Acupuncture

Diabetes & Acupuncture

Per the American Diabetes Association, approximately 10% of the U.S. population has diabetes with 1.5 million new cases of diabetes diagnosed every year.  Diabetes is responsible for over 6,600 deaths every month making it the 7th leading cause of death in the U.S.  Odds are good that anyone reading this knows a handful of people diagnosed with diabetes and we encourage you to share this information with them.

Click on the headings below to learn more about Acupuncture And Diabetes.

+ An Overview of Diabetes - Blood Glucose & Insulin

Diagnosing and monitoring of diabetes is done via the measurement of blood sugar, or blood glucose.

Many of us simply rely on our body's innate ability to regulates blood glucose levels via the release of insulin. Insulin is a hormone secreted by the pancreas to regulate our blood glucose levels by regulating how our bodies use and store glucose and fat. This is important because most our body’s cells rely on the presence of insulin to take glucose from the blood for energy.

For others, the body struggles to adequately manage and balance our blood glucose levels and their cells are unable to get their energy from glucose. Not only does this result in our cells not getting the fuel they need to perform their fucntions, high blood glucose levels can cause serious damage to our nerves, blood vessels and organs. In the long run, it wreaks incredible havoc on the body.

Yes, the liver can produce an alternative source of energy called ketones, but an excess of ketones in the blood can quickly lead to a dangerous condition called ketoacidosis.

In Type 1 Diabetes, the level of insulin production is inadequate for regulating blood glucose while Type 2 Diabetes involves a resistance to, or lack of adequate response to, insulin. This is often referred to as insulin resistance, and is the most prevalent form of diabetes.

Symptoms of Type 2 Diabetes may include:

  • Feeling tired during the day, particularly after meals (fatigue)
  • Often feeling hungry, particularly if you feel hungry shortly after eating (polyphagia)
  • Neuropathy, Retinopathy or Nephropathy
  • Reduced gastric emptying time (gastroparesis)
  • Urinating more often than normal, particular needing to do so during the night (polyuria)
    • Feeling abnormally thirsty (polydipsia)
    • Blurred vision
    • Itching of the skin, particularly itchiness around the genitals (genital itchiness)
    • Slow healing of cuts or wounds
    • Having regular yeast infections (thrush)
    • Having a skin disorder such as psoriasis or acanthosis nigricans
    • Sudden weight loss or loss of muscle mass

+ The Struggle With Diabetic Medications

While some diabetics are able to manage their diabetes by means of pharmaceutical medications (and/or insulin injections in the case of Type 1 Diabetes), managing blood glucose levels is a struggle for many.

And even those who do respond well to medications, many of them experience some serious side effects and complications as well.

Fortunately, for both groups of diabetics, acupuncture can help!

Acupuncture - A Natural Way To Address Diabetes

Acupuncture can help diabetics by facilitating the innate, God-given regulation of our bodily functions.  Western medicine and physiology refers to this as 'homeostasis'.  In the case of diabetes, acupuncture enhances the body's natural ability to regulate blood glucose levels in a natural way.

Scientific studies and clinical research indicate that acupuncture can help diabetic patients (Type 1 & Type 2) in many natural ways.

8 Ways Diabetics Can Benefit From Acupuncture

  1. Acupuncture has a blood-glucose regulating effect.  We've had many patients confirm this via blood glucose readings before and after acupuncture.  We invite you to do the same.
  2. Acupuncture lowers the release of pancreatic glucagons.  These peptide hormones signal the liver to release even more glycogen in the blood stream which can make things worse for diabetics.  Reducing their release helps to lower blood glucose levels.
  3. Acupuncture is side-effect-free.  Acupuncture doesn’t have the kind of negative, sometimes catastrophic, side-effects that pharmaceutical medications have.
  4. Acupuncture can be used in conjunction with diabetic medications.  Getting acupuncture doesn't mean you have to stop taking your medications. 
  5. Acupuncture can help manage, reduce or eliminate the side effects of medications.  For many, this is a huge benefit of acupuncture!
  6. Acupuncture can help alleviate many diabetes symptoms including neuropathy, gastroparesis, musculoskeletal conditions often resulting from poor circulation, reduce pain threshold, polyphagia (urge to eat too much), polydipsia (excessive thirst), polyuria (excessive urination), anxiety and depression.
  7. Acupuncture boosts your immune function.  Getting sick can cause major fluctuations in blood glucose levels.  Boosting your immunity helps you fight off colds and viruses more effectively and efficiently.
  8. Acupuncture doesn't have to be expensive.  Being able to help manage your blood glucose levels is great, but it doesn't really matter much if you can't afford acupuncture.  Acupuncture is normally too expensive, but it doesn't have to be. Fortunately, low-cost acupuncture clinics like ours are bucking the status quo & making acupuncture more accessible and affordable for you!  Click the following links for more info.

+ Can Chinese Herbs Help Me Manage My Blood Pressure?


Diabetics can benefit from the properties of chinese herbal formulas that include such herbs as Huang Qi (Astragalus root), Ren Shen (Ginseng root), Mai Men Dong (Orphiopogon tuber), Huang Lian (Coptis rhizome) and Ge Gen (Kudzu root).

And combining acupuncture with chinese herbs can be even more effective!

While many diabetics can effectively manage and/or reduce their blood glucose levels with acupuncture and/or chinese herbs, it's important to discuss & assess your specific situation instead of blindly recommending an herbal formula for you. For this reason, we suggest you Schedule An Appointment so we can discuss the particulars of your condition to determine the feasibility of using acupuncture and chinese herbs.