Diabetes, as well as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and obesity are major risk factors for heart attacks and CVA. In the modern world, sugar consumption is far too high for our body to cope with, it is unable to produce enough insulin to break down sugar or our body simply develops insulin resistance. It is estimated that close to 500 million people worldwide suffer from diabetes (1) and in Israel there are 435,000 people with diabetes and additional 200,000 who are undiagnosed, as well as a large number of people in the pre-diabetic state, a step before things become too complicated (1, 2).
Diabetes is a chronic disease that occurs when the pancreas does not produce enough insulin or when the body can not use the insulin it produces. Insulin is a hormone that regulates blood sugar and its lack results in high blood sugar (hyperglycemia) which, over time, leads to severe heart damage (increased risk of heart attacks and stroke), blood vessels (neuropathy in the feet leading to ulcers and amputations), eyes (blindness due to Diabetic retinopathy), Renal failure (kidney failure), and more.
There are three types of diabetes:
Type I (Insulin-dependent, juvenile diabetes) - characterized by impaired production of insulin by beta cells in the pancreas and requires frequent injection of insulin
Type II (insulin dependent) accounts for about 90% of global diabetes cases and results from the body's ineffective use of insulin. Largely a result of excess body weight and lack of physical activity.
Gestational diabetes - hyperglycemia with blood glucose values above normal but below those of diabetes, occurring during pregnancy.
What causes diabetes?
Poor nutrition including lots of sugar, obesity, stressful lifestyle on one hand along with a sitting or "couch potato" lifestyle, genetics and even certain medications. A recent study showed that prolonged use of statin drugs, used to lower cholesterol, doubles the chances of developing diabetes or worsens the existing condition (3).
How is it being treated?
Lifelong medication, as well as lifestyle changes including proper nutrition and exercise. The main problem is that drugs mask the real problem and many continue to sin while taking care of themselves, using the "will be fine" method. Drugs, used over time, also have side effects such as obesity, weakened bones (4), and increased risk of heart disease.
How can Chinese Medicine help with diabetes or prevent its development?
Chinese medicine has been around for thousands of years, and diabetes has been described in ancient scriptures as a disease of "thirst and waste" due to the main symptoms of thirst, hunger and frequent urination (fluid loss). The treatment of Chinese medicine includes acupuncture, Chinese herbs (some of which reduce sugar levels directly), personalized dietary recommendations and lifestyle changes. All of these can, together with western medicine, help lower blood sugar and HbA1c levels, reduce the dosage of drugs and insulin, and allow a return to normal life, as much as possible.
Special emphasis is placed on maintaining balanced glucose levels and weight loss, as studies have shown that every loss of 1 Kg, reduces the risk of developing the disease by 16%(5). Since diabetes is a chronic disease, treatment requires support and guidance over time and studies have shown that support of patients increases their ability to persevere, and an absolute majority of patients wished to be part of a support program (6).
So do you have an hour to find out how you can treat diabetes?
Recommended treatment includes:
Personal diagnosis according to Chinese Medicine, supporting the treatment that you receive in the Western Medicine Clinic which you are treated
Acupuncture treatments and herbal formula(s) that support the body's ability to aid and digestion and balance sugar values, reducing stress and improving sleep and subsequent complications caused by the progression of the disease.
Personalized nutritional counseling, based on the patient's lifestyle, including building proper eating scheme and eating foods with a low sugar index
Working with you, throughout the period of treatment in order to achieve the best results and maintain them over time
A person with diabetes faces many challenges, but with Chinese medicine, it is possible to help lower blood sugar levels and HbA1c, reduce the dosage of drugs and insulin, and allow for normalized life to continue as much as possible.
Want to know more or make an appointment? Gil Barzilay 054-6567959
1. Global report on diabetes.World Health Organization, Geneva, 2016.
3. Mansi et al. Gen Intern Med. 2015 Nov; 30 (11): 1599-610 ..
4. Endocr Rev. Apr Apr; 36 (2): 194-213..Gilbert MP et al
5. Hamman RF et al. Diabetes Care 2006 Sep; 29 (9): 2102-2107
6. Franklin VL et al. Diabet Med. 2006 Dec; 23 (12): 1332-8.