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How Acupuncture is an Effective Treatment for Insulin Resistance, Diabetes, and Weight Loss

Acupuncture can be found to help with almost every ailment under the sun. This alternative modality has been used for centuries for treatment of anxiety to leaky gut. But can acupuncture take on one of the most prevalent diseases in America?

Diabetes makes up about 10.5% of the United States population with about 0.3% not even realizing they have diabetes (Centers for Disease Control Diabetes Statistics Report, 2020). Diabetes mellitus is a physical condition in which a person’s pancreas cannot produce or effectively use enough insulin to function. This causes the sugar in the blood to skyrocket and food to not be processed correctly. Like most cars need gas to function, our body needs to absorb simple sugars via the bloodstream in order to function properly. The hormone Insulin is used to help regulate your absorbed simple sugars throughout your body. Without insulin, your body’s cells will dehydrate and destroy bodily tissues (Centers for Disease Control Diabetes Statistics Report, 2020). Notable side effects are a need to urinate often and almost always being thirsty. If left untreated, diabetes will damage your blood vessels, harming nerves in your arms and legs, leading to vision loss, heart attacks, foot ulcers, stroke, weight gain, and chronic kidney disease.

 

Different Types of Diabetes

There are many different types of diabetes – prediabetes, Type I, Type II, and gestational diabetes.

  • Prediabetes
    • This is recognized when a person has higher than normal blood sugar levels. There is a risk to having Type I or Type II diabetes in the future as well as heart diseases.
  • Type I Diabetes
    • This is when a person’s immune system attacks and destroys most of the insulin in the pancreas. The cause for Type I Diabetes could be anything from environmental factors to genetic predispositions.
  • Type II Diabetes
    • In Type II Diabetes, the body produces insulin normally however the body develops a resistance to its effects to the point where it doesn’t even recognize that there is enough insulin in the body, causing the body to believe that it does not have the required insulin needed to function. Obesity is the principal risk factor for developing Type II Diabetes which is why being mindful of what we eat can help decrease the likelihood of having Type II Diabetes.
  • Gestational Diabetes
    • Although the direct cause is still unknown, Gestational Diabetes can occur either when the sufficient amount of insulin in a pregnant woman’s body isn’t recognized or when there isn’t enough insulin produced which can affect both the pregnant woman and her fetus. Typically, by controlling your blood sugar, this type of diabetes goes away after pregnancy.

 

How Can Acupuncture Help?

Numerous studies have supported acupuncture’s use to help treat and relieve the effects of diabetes. Acupuncture can enhance the insulin in the pancreas and help lower your blood sugar. It can also help you lose weight by lowering your appetite, suppress insulin resistance, regulate the vagal nerves and the sympathetic nervous system, and balance hormone levels like insulin and epinephrine (Jang, Shin, Koo, Lee, Kim, & Kim, 2003). One study even found that using electroacupuncture at certain acupoints for 30 minutes lowered high sugar levels in rats with Type II Diabetes (Chang, Lin, Chi, Liu, & Cheng, 1999). Combining acupuncture with Western Medicine – such as using drugs that help lower your blood sugar – creates a synergy that lowers blood sugar levels which vastly improves diabetes. Acupuncture is also an effective method for treating fertility complications, including gestational diabetes.

 

Why Use Naturna to Help Treat Your Diabetes?

At Naturna, we treat the whole you by incorporating lifestyle, nutrition, and acupuncture into your personalized treatment plan. Therefore, if you are struggling with any type of diabetes, our practitioners will not only use acupuncture to help increase your insulin use and lower blood sugar levels, but will also create a realistic plan that will help you control your diabetes outside of Naturna. We believe in using only the best of Eastern and Western Medicine to customize a treatment plan that works with you.

Yes, having diabetes is a lifestyle change. But it doesn’t have to change you from having a healthy and happy style of life. Book your initial consultation with Naturna and get in touch with a practitioner today!

 


References

Centers for Disease Control National Diabetes Statistics Report 2020; National Institutes of Health https://www.diabetesresearch.org/file/national-diabetes-statistics-report-2020.pdf

Chang, S., Lin, J., Chi, T., Liu, I., & Cheng, J. (1999). An insulin-dependent hypoglycaemia induced by electroacupuncture at the Zhongwan (CV12) acupoint in diabetic rats. Diabetologia 42, 250–255. https://doi.org/10.1007/s001250051146

https://www.diabetes.org/

https://www.merckmanuals.com/home/hormonal-and-metabolic-disorders/diabetes-mellitus-dm-and-disorders-of-blood-sugar-metabolism/diabetes-mellitus-dm#:~:text=Diabetes%20mellitus%20is%20a%20disorder,they%20are%20not%20trying%20to.

Jang, M., Shin, M., Koo, G., Lee, C., Kim, E., & Kim, C. (2003). Acupuncture decreases nitric oxide synthase expression in periaqueductal gray area of rats with streptozotocin-induced diabetes. Neuroscience Letters, 337(3), 155-158. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0304-3940(02)01318-6.

Pandey, A., Tripathi, P., Pandey, R., Srivatava, R., & Goswami, S. (2011). Alternative therapies useful in the management of diabetes: A systematic review. Journal of pharmacy & bioallied sciences, 3(4), 504–512. https://doi.org/10.4103/0975-7406.90103

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