Have Diabetes?

By Li Hua, L. Ac. TCMD.


Since 1921, the insulin was invented to save a little boy with diabetes in Canada; a lot of diabetes patients have saved and extended their life. As time passing, more people are diagnosed with diabetes, especially type II. There are over about 100 millions diabetes patients in the world now. The key is more rich food and less exercise.

Diabetes is a kind of endocrine disorder and a chronic disorder of carbohydrate metabolism that over time increases the risk of kidney disease, heart disease, arteriosclerosis, blindness, gangrene, and neuropathy. Diabetes can lead to high rate of dieing and disability. It has become the third health problem that seriously threatens human beings life.

There are two main kinds of diabetes: diabetes insipidus and diabetes mellitus. Diabetes insipidus is an uncommon metabolic disorder resulted from a deficiency of the pituitary hormone vasopressin or from the inability of the kidneys to respond properly to this hormone. Not producing enough amounts vasopressin can cause the damage to the pituitary gland. Diabetes insipidus is characterized by extreme thirst and frequent enormous amounts of urine without regarding of how much liquid is consumed.

Diabetes mellitus is caused by not adequate insulin produced by the pancreas. Insulin can help body to utilize glucose (blood sugar), which is the principle energy source. If the level of glucose existing in blood is high, the level of glucose absorbed by the body tissues is low. Diabetes mellitus is more common in the clinic. It is usually divided into two types: type I and type II. Type I diabetes has to depend on insulin resulted from the failure of the beta cells of the pancreas, which manufacture insulin, and type II diabetes does not depend on insulin.

Type I diabetes occurs mostly in children and young adults. Sometimes, this disorder implicates with virus cases. So autoimmune factors may also be considered. Symptoms of type I diabetes include easy angry, frequent urination, abnormal thirsty, nausea or vomiting, weakness, fatigue, weight loss with normal or even increased eating, and unusual hungry. It may be another sign for children to wet bed frequently.

Type II diabetes is most likely to happen to people with a family history of diabetes. Since life level rising, people without a family history of diabetes also has the risk. In this type of the disorder, the pancreas does produce insulin, but the insulin is ineffective (not enough) or secreted slower than it should be. Symptoms include blurred vision, itching, unusual thirst, drowsiness, fatigue, skin infections, slow wound healing, and tingling or numbness in the feet.

Western medicine thinks diabetes is the problem of insulin, and linked to a poor diet, drugs taking or pregnancy sometimes. People who are over weight have the greatest risk of developing diabetes. Traditional Chinese medicine names diabetes as XiaoKeBing. In The Yellow Emperors Internal Classic(BC. 475-221), it is said that the person who eats more and often, eats delicious and rich food that has more fat in it. The fat food can make the person produce internal heat. The delicious food can make the person full in the middle area cause its Chi over flow up in the wrong direction to turn into XiaoKeBing. Traditional Chinese medicine believes that getting diabetes is related with the organs, meridians and Chi & blood. At the beginning of diabetes, the patients usually have Yin deficiency and dryness-heat. As diabetes developing, the original Chi, body fluid and blood can be harmed led to unbalance of Yin & Yang (deficiency of Yin & Yang). Traditional Chinese medicine divides diabetes into three types according to the symptoms. First, abnormal thirst is defined  Shang (upper) Xiao. Second, extreme hunger is called Zhong (middle) Xiao. Third, frequent urination is named Xia (lower) Xiao. Because different patients, they have their own individual condition and symptoms, the treatment principles may be different. I suggest using the combinational treatment of Western medicine and traditional Chinese medicine.

The combination treatment can avoid depending on insulin early or decreasing the rate of disability because acupuncture, TuiNa (Chinese medical massage), Chinese herbs, proper diet and enough exercise may strengthen the function of the pancreas. I had a diabetes type II patient. Her doctor already asked her to do amputation (cutting limb surgery) due to her left toe gangrene. She came to me for stopping pain in the left leg and foot. This patient was deficiency of Chi & blood, unbalance between Ying (usually referring to the nutrients and constituent of the blood, blood and blood vessel) & Wei (generally referring to body defense Chi), block of meridians, and poor blood circulation. The treatment plan was to use acupuncture to unblock meridians and stimulate blood circulation, balance Ying & Wei, and heal the damaged nerve and tissue; to select external herbs to apply on the outside in order to remove the rotten part and promote tissue regeneration; add oral taking herbs to nourish her Chi and blood. Finally she escaped being handicapped.

Traditional Chinese medicine is another glad tidings for diabetes patients. It also emphasizes prevention of diabetes. I think diabetes happens to the pancreas, but its root is in the liver, up influences the lung and the heart, and down involves the kidney. It is the whole bodys revolution and the life style has to be changed. In clinic, I would like to teach them how to take care of their eyes, teeth, hands & feet, kidney, heart, lung, blood vessel and nerves, which generally can be ruined, to evade blindness, losing teeth, gangrene, kidney failure, hear disease, constantly coughing, stroke and nerve damage. I would like to recommend checking western medicine doctors on schedule. Checking blood pressure, cholesterol, blood-lipid, blood sugar, weight and symptoms. Checking blood sugar level to regulate the intake food. You may add different things to your diet, for example, bitter melon, lettuce, cucumber, celery, eggplant, spinach, red bell pepper, cucumber, tomato, strawberry and white part (skin) of water melon in summer; and pumpkin, sesame (seeds or oil), walnut, oat and pear in autumn; and black bean, black rice, black wood ear, Napa, and turnips in winter; and bean sprouts, radish, all green vegetables, blueberry, kiwi and green tea in spring. There are a lot kinds of exercises can be practiced. I prefer you do both Yin (calm) and Yang (active) exercises to reach the balance. Tai Chi Qi Gong exercise includes both of them. It can regulate, strengthen, balance and nourish the whole body system. It is easy to learn and receive benefit quickly and practice conveniently. Diabetes is a chronic disorder. It seems that the insects eat trees. You do not need to be afraid of it. But you should not despise it. It is never late to realize how to prevent it as you do not have it, and how to treat it when you get it.