Acupuncture for Prediabetes Control

Diabetes

Diabetes is a common health condition. People I grew up with, who are now 40+ years old, are diabetics. It’s a disease that is popular amongst old and young adults alike. There are several treatment options to reduce high glucose levels, one of them being acupuncture to help with prediabetes.

According to National Diabetes Statistics Report, 37.3 million people have diabetes. In addition, 96 million adults are prediabetic. That’s a lot of people!

What is Diabetes?

Diabetes is a progressive disease that presents itself with an excess amount of glucose in the bloodstream. Insulin secreted from the pancreas carries glucose into each cell to provide the body with energy.

Prediabetes is blood glucose levels that are higher than normal, but not high enough to be considered a type 2 diabetic. Prediabetes often times have little to no symptoms, and is a great time for people to chose their outcome. Taking action now will prevent type 2 diabetes from developing.

Acupuncture For Prediabetes Study

There was a recent study published in the July/August issue of Holistic Nursing Practice titled Should Acupuncture-Related Therapies Be Considered in Prediabetes Control? The research team evaluated dozens of studies that involved more than 3,000 patients who had been diagnosed with prediabetes, impaired fasting glucose, impaired glucose tolerance, or both.

In the studies, acupuncture therapy for prediabetes included manual acupuncture, ear acupuncture, acupressure, moxibustion or a combination of acupuncture therapies.

Acupuncture Points for Prediabetes

There were control groups who received the usual care for prediabetes – diet, exercise, and lifestyle changes, but no acupuncture. The other group of participants received acupuncture with the following acupuncture points: ST 25, ST 36, SP 6, UB 18, UB 20, UB 23.

Comparing the 2 groups, patients who received acupuncture therapy saw a significant improvement in fasting glucose, 2 hour fasting glucose, and HbA1c levels. The conclusion of the report determined “acupuncture is a viable source of treatment” for people looking keep their prediabetic diagnosis from becoming full type 2 diabetes.

How Does Acupuncture Help with Prediabetes?

Having prediabetes or diabetes is much more than controlling sugar levels, it’s a systemic problem. Sleep problems, high blood pressure, and a lot of stress can contribute to the formation of diabetes. Stressed people eat comforting foods that contain high carbs, sugar, salt, and fat. Stress often leads to poor sleep habits and weight gain. It’s a domino effect.

Acupuncture facilitates healing by balancing the mind as well as the body and targets every system including the endocrine system, cardio system, and central nervous system. Points on the diagram above (Stomach 25, stomach 36, spleen 6) boosts immunity, improves digestion, lowers anxiety, and helps with sleep.

Western medicine accepts acupuncture as a viable treatment option for pain management. However, additional health conditions, such as diabetes, are treated effectively with acupuncture.

Treatment Plan for Prediabetes Control

There are three stages for treatment. The initial treatment plan for most patients begins with 12 visits; either two times per week for 6 weeks or three times per week for 4 weeks. The second stage of treatment consists of acupuncture once per week for 8 weeks. The third stage is acupuncture treatment one time per month.

Treatment plan for prediabetes includes acupuncture and nutritional evaluation. Recommendations to improve diet are from eastern and western perspectives equally.

Starting treatment early is important for the reversal of prediabetes. You do not have to progress to type 2 diabetes. Remember, it is a choice.

Conclusion

  1. Diabetes is a worldwide health crisis. 37 million people have diabetes and 97 million people have prediabetes.
  2. Prediabetes disease can be reversed.
  3. Acupuncture treatment in the form of manual acupuncture, auricular therapy, moxibustion, and acupressure is a promising form of treatment for reversing prediabetes.
  4. Acupuncture helps to not only lower blood glucose levels, fasting glucose levels, and A1c levels, but also helps lower stress, improve sleep and balance the entire body.
  5. Acupuncture is a viable treatment for patients looking for prediabetic treatment.

Source:

Zhang M, et al. Should Acupuncture Related Therapies Be Considered in Prediabetes Control? Results from a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Holistic Nursing Practice. July/August 2022; 36(4): 198-208.

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