Traditional Chinese medicine has been treating diabetics for thousands of years through the use of acupuncture, herbal medicine, dietary therapy, and lifestyle modification.
Currently, there are now over 200 standard herbal prescriptions in the Chinese formulary for the treatment of diabetes, most made up of roughly 24 main anti-diabetic ingredients along with additions adjusted to specific patient complaints.
Although much lower than the United States, the rate of diabetes is also rising in China. This is in large part due to dietary changes influenced by developed Western countries as well as hereditary factors. Traditionally, the Chinese consume more vegetables and whole grains and less meat and fish than people in the U.S.
Now, lets delve into some of the clinical pearls of wisdom Chinese medicine has to offer those struggling with or trying to prevent diabetes.
1. Regulating your daily life
Maintaining regularity in one’s daily life is one of the best ways to prevent and treat diabetes. Eating three times a day at regular intervals and keeping to a regular sleep schedule are all important for healthy bodily functions.
Gentle and light daily exercise also strengthens the digestive system and improves respiration. This aids in balancing the blood sugar levels, regulating blood pressure, and keeping the body from becoming over weight.
2. Use Acupuncture & Herbal Therapies
Acupuncture is a great therapeutic tool to prevent diabetes and maintain one’s blood sugar at normal levels. Your acupuncturist may recommend frequent treatment during the first month of your therapy to get you feeling better as soon as possible, spreading out the treatments more and more as lifestyle changes are implemented.
Type 1 patients can expect improvement in there symptoms, many even being able to reduce the amount of insulin needed. Type 2 patients, often can be brought back to a more healthy level of functioning where insulin
may no longer needed, or having to go on medication can be prevented. Acupuncture is also frequently used for diabetic neuropathy, glaucoma, and many other complications of advanced diabetic disease.
Herbal medicine may also be recommend for you to get the best results. These herbs are safe and can be taken for long periods of time with no side effects. Many are often eaten as foods. Our Five Colors Chinese Herbal Cereal is a great breakfast that can maintain health blood sugar levels and is a good example of making ‘food be thy medicine.’
3. Modifying your Diet
A well balanced diet of 40% fresh vegetables, 40% whole grains, less than 10% meat or fish, 10% fresh fruit (local/in season), and <10% nuts & seeds is ideal for maintaining good blood pressure and sugar levels. It is also a diet of health and longevity.
Incorporating various beans, kidney, black, pinto, navy etc. will provide rich nutrients and fiber. They also reduce one’s appetite, making one feel full longer. Dark green leafy veggies such as spinach, collards, watercress, mustard greens, kale etc. are nutrient dense and low in carbohydrates. They help cleanse and alkalize the body, making it easier to loose or maintain one’s optimum weight. Eating sweet potato as a snack or in your meal strengthens the digestive functions and improve one’s energy. They also do not raise the blood sugar level like a regular potato does.
Whole unsweetened blueberries and strawberries can be eaten when in season to provide the body with antioxidants, vitamins, and fiber. Oranges, grapefruit, and other citrus fruits are high in vitamin C and are helpful to the cardiovascular system and should only be eaten when in season.
Avoid the juice of these fruits though. They are too concentrated and lack the beneficial ingredients in the other parts of the fruit which you consume when eating the fruit as nature intended. The parts other than just the juice slows down sugar absorption and prevents the blood sugar from soaring. They also contain lots of needed nutrients and minerals that you just can’t get from the juice.
Consuming whole grains such as pearled barley, brown rice, quinoa, millet etc. contain much needed magnesium, chromium, folate, and omega 3 fatty acids. Remember these are important daily staples and should make up 40% of your diet.
Nuts and seeds in small amounts are also good for omega 3s and other essential nutrients. They are high in fat though, so no more than a handful per day.
For more information, stop in and visit us at the clinic.
all good medicine,