Diabetes Mellitus II, Neuropathy
On this page you can find a brief discussion about diabetes mellitus II and neuropathy according to Chinese medicine principles, the possible causes of this condition in terms of Chinese medicine diagnosis, and the treatment protocol at our clinic.
Please keep in mind that Chinese medicine is very different in principles, concepts, language, and treatment methods from western medicine. The information here is intended for the lay people who have no knowledge about Chinese medicine, therefore this discussion must be limited in scope and depth. The purpose is to impart the relevant information and to help you gain a general understanding, from your standpoint as a potential patient of Chinese medicine, how Chinese medicine views and diagnoses this condition of interest and what you can expect from a treatment if you decide to become a patient of our clinic.
Below are brief explanations of some common terms and concepts in Chinese medicine diagnosis that you would come across in a reading. This also helps you to understand better the discussion on this page.
- Qi - means energy. Qi is the universal energy that pervades within and without us everywhere in this realm of existence. Strictly speaking in our body, qi is the vital force that causes all movements, activities, functions, growth, development, control, check and balance, nourishment, protection, and transformation.
- Yin - pertains to the material basis of our body.
- Yang - pertains to the energetic, functional aspect of our body.
- Damp - refers to moisture in the body. The mentioning of damp in a diagnosis usually refers to an excessive accumulation that consequently produces problems.
- Heat, cold - temperature in our body. The mentioning of temperature in a diagnosis usually indicates an extreme level of imbalance.
- Wind - exists naturally in our body. The mentioning of wind in a diagnosis indicates an imbalance has occurred which causes the activity of wind to become excessive or in severe cases out of control.
- Meridian – another term for energy channel.
According to Chinese medicine, diabetes mellitus II is a deficient type condition caused by deficiency of lungs, spleen/stomach, and kidneys. Once diabetes developed, the functions of these organs become more deficient with time regardless that a person is on medications. In order to address diabetes, the functions and vitality of lungs, spleen/stomach, and kidneys must be supported - diabetic medications are not doing this and thus leaving the root causes untreated. This is the reason why long-time diabetic patients are not able to control their sugar, even with multiple medications and increased dosages, the sugar continues to spike due to their weakened organs rejecting the medications. Not until they get on Chinese herbal therapy that their organs and qi begin to revive, the body accepts medications again and the sugar is brought under control.
Diabetes is the result of the following imbalances:
- Lung Yin deficiency (excessive thirst)
- Spleen and stomach yin deficiency (excessive hunger, dry mouth)
- Kidney yin and yang deficiency (excessive urination, extreme fatigue)
Neuropathy is included on this page due to its common occurrence in diabetic patients. Diabetes is not the only cause of neuropathy. According to Chinese medicine, neuropathy can happen whenever blood and qi cannot flow to the limbs causing numbness. In diabetic neuropathy, the unique burning pain in the feet is due to kidney yin deficiency with heat, appears in advanced stage diabetes, with qi and blood stagnation obstructing proper circulation to the feet causing tingling, numbness, and gangrene.
The treatment for diabetes and neuropathy requires acupuncture and herbs to achieve these healing effects:
- Nourish yin.
- Nourish spleen and kidney yang.
- Strengthen qi.
- Unblock stagnation, move qi and blood.
- Clear heat.
- Improve functions and increase energy.
The initial course of treatment comprises of 6-12 weekly sessions depending on the severity, after which time an on-going maintenance program must be kept. Chinese medicine cannot cure diabetes but can help to restore metabolic balance and vitality to many organs and aspects of the body. When staying on this treatment faithfully and care is given to the diet and exercise, patients are able to keep sugar under control, enjoy more functionality and vitality in daily life, and eventually can go down in the dosage of medications or be able to eliminate some of the medications.
An in-depth assessment and individually tailored treatment recommendation are conducted in person as there may be pre/existing factors of one's health that influence the condition of interest.