Chinese Medical Treatment for Diabetes?
Traditional Chinese Medicine or TCM has been touted as one of the natural cures for diabetes. On many of the research I have undertaken, the truth is that TCM does not really offer treatment for diabetes.
What it does is it helps produce the best outcome to allow the body to function in as normal state as possible. I find, however, that more research is needed to substantiate the good effects the TCM does for the body.
The basis of TCM is that people are born from the interdependence of two major beliefs, the yin and the yang. The belief is that diabetes mellitus is the result of the imbalance of the yin due to some factors.
Emotional stress, improper diet, mental and physical exhaustion and other diseases have made the yin deficient. This spurred the search for natural cures for diabetes.
It is an acceptable accord that nurturing the yin is crucial. How to accomplish this goal is the question. The Chinese practitioners prescribe natural cures for diabetes in the form of the following: Radix Trichosanthis, Radix Glehniae, Raw Radix Rehmanniae, Radix Scrophulariae, and Rhizoma Polygonati Odorati, and RawGypsum Fibrosum.
Of course, we are used to the practice of Western Medicine. For one thing the physiology and anatomy are more accurate but the believers in TCM think there are advantages over the Western Medicine. They say that for one thing there is a variety of treatment available.
And they are happy to announce that the prescribed medication by the Chinese practitioners have no known lethal effects. These are all possible because TCM goes after the natural cures for diabetes.
The TCM practitioners believe that a person should be regarded as a whole being with his mind, body and spirit all rolled into one system. That is why they emphasize the treatment of the whole person.
What the TCM practitioners do is they look for the source of the illness. They are so trained to do this that the approach to healing may be what other diabetics who do not respond positively to Western treatment need.
Allow me to give you an example. When a patient goes on a hyperglycemic state, the physician usually prescribes hypoglycemic pills and an injection of insulin so that the blood glucose level will go lower The advocates for TCM argue that this does not face the problem of the islets of Langerhans, which is the one in charge of insulin secretion. When the drugs are stopped the blood sugar will go up again because the issue of the islets of Langerhans has not been addressed and is still dysfunctional.
What do the Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioners do? They use Chinese medicinal drugs to determine why is the condition such and try to correct the source of the problem. They attempt to make the insulin factor do its work.
TCM can also help the diabetics manage the lipids. We know that bile has a role in the mixture of insulin so when this is not functioning in a regular manner, the manufacture of insulin is also affected.
Now there is hope that putting together the best of the two worlds, that is, Western and Traditional Chinese treatments can benefit the patient. Both the doctor and the TCM practitioner who choose to combine the two types of treatment both know it is vital to monitor the blood sugar level closely. And both check the possible side effects of the treatment.
Anyway we should not lose sight of the fact that the goal is to determine the best way to care for diabetes. Having an open mind to check out all avenues of treatment will be helpful in the long run. After all, we want the best help for our patients and in the process the best of ourselves no matter what treatment is employed.
Alternative Medicine and How it Can Help - A Diabetes Discussion
It is important to ask some questions when considering alternative treatment. First and foremost is this question: What is the motivation behind the thought of replacing the current traditional treatment? Is it because it is not working? Or is it because of the severe side effects of the current medical care? And of course, to be free of diabetes symptoms is one great motivator.
If this is so, then it is reasonable to think of other ways to feel better. However, weighing the pros and cons further is a prerequisite. Do the advantages outweigh the disadvantage of the side effects of the conventional treatment? If so then maybe it is worth to make an effort to check out what else is out there.
But for some people complementary therapy is the answer. What is complementary therapy? Well, it is something in addition to the regular medical care. This complementary therapy works with and boosts the standard care.
However, the point of this diabetes discussion is the good alternative treatment for the diabetics. Do they help get rid of the symptom (symptoms) or sign (signs) of diabetes? Research has shown that substitute therapies can do a lot for those who suffer from symptoms of diabetes.
For one thing, they have been known to improve circulation and digestion. In addition, they have helped improve insulin efficiency. And of course, along with this is the stabilization of the blood glucose. This has been proven time and time again by the wide variety of research work.
Bear in mind that these therapies are not generally taught in medical schools. Nor are they usually practiced in hospitals. However, they are effective in so many ways, they truly deserve a consideration. This is so especially when standard medical care has not worked and their side effects have proven to be severe.
At this point, it is good to remember that the success of these types of therapies is not easy to assess. The nature of these therapies make it difficult to do so. That said, here is the list of alternative treatments that have been examined to have helped in the management of diabetes:
Vitamin and Mineral supplementation
Some have not been studied as extensively but studies have found them helpful like yoga, tai-chi, relaxation, Chelation Therapy, herbs, medical spas and of course the ever popular food. There is so much about food to deal with that it will be considered a separate entity from this report.
The rest including the list of alternative treatments that have been widely studied to manage diabetes will be discussed in detail in the later reports. People who are in a hurry to get the information may click the address in the resource box below this article.
But first, how should one go about trying the alternative treatments? Discuss this with the doctor or other health care provider. The reason for this is because the blood sugar guideline is so complex that a person seeking other type of cure will have to go through a physical examination.
The physical examination will reveal one's current health condition and will be the key in determining the type of alternative treatment. Besides, before embarking on any form of treatment, one has to consult the doctor to see if there are conditions that will be compromised by the new therapy. Also, anyone in the health care team will help when it comes with dosage and other matters.
Roger Guzman, M.D. was Director of Forensic Psychiatry at Centracare for ten years and published numerous articles in the Journal of the American College of Forensic Psychiatry and other medical magazines. For more info on this article, please visit: alternativetreatment
Brittle Diabetes Info for the Elderly
Brittle diabetes, as we now know it, can be difficult not only for the patients but to the family and health care team. While this condition most frequently occurs in the age group of 15-30 years old, there have been reports of this condition afflicting the elderly.
The new statistics prompted Drs. Susan Benbow of University Clinical Department of Medicine in Liverpool and Geoffrey Gill along with Angela Walsh of Diabetes Center in Liverpool to study the cause and characteristics of brittle diabetes in the elderly. How did they do this?
They sent out questionnaires to all United Kingdom hospital clinics for diabetic adults. They were able to secure reports for 55 patients who met the criteria for brittle diabetes in the elderly. What are these standards? In order to be included as subjects for this study, first, they have to be 60 years old or over.
Then they have to be on insulin treatment. And last but not least, they have had their lives disrupted by glycemic instability. In addition they must have been admitted to the hospital. This hospitalization should have been long and frequent.
The mean age after calculation resulted in 74 years old. The number of cases for females is a high 71%. The investigators classified the brittle diabetes in the elderly into three types:
. mixed instability in 44%
. recurrent ketoacidosis in 29%
. recurrent hypoglycemia in 15%
Are you surprised the above percentages didn't add up to 100%? It's because adequate information was not available in some cases. Among two-thirds (66%) of the subjects, there was not a single cause for brittle diabetes. Rather the investigators found numerous causes for this diabetes in the elderly,
What did they find as the single cause of this condition? Well, they discovered that the single cause of the condition for 14% is medical disease. The researchers did not pinpoint the medical disease although another research work reported that their cases involved other chronic diseases. Another cause is that only 6% of the subjects were unaware of hypoglycemic episode.
They also found that problems regarding behavior and memory were not common. There were only four cases showing patients deliberately manipulated therapy. Another point is that 84% of the elderly who were suffering from brittle diabetes were living alone.
Among the four cases of therapy manipulation, the two with recurrent ketoacidosis were judged as seeking attention by leaving out insulin. One had marital troubles and possibly depression. The suspicion was that she would gain personally from her glycemic instability.
The fourth case was considered depressed and calculating. All her hypoglycemic episodes happened in public. But it should be pointed out here that in all these cases there were other factors that may have contributed to the instability, most particularly chronic non-diabetic medical condition.
The main sign of this condition in younger patients is recurrent ketoacidosis but this study seems to indicate that brittle diabetes in the elderly have different patterns and causes. Now with the older group using more and more insulin therapy, we are bound to see more of the same cases.
The diabetes care team found numerous causes of the condition as indicated above. But more importantly, the survey results show that brittle diabetes in the elderly exists and is a problem that cannot be ignored. It is not only troublesome for the family but for the health care team as well.
For the hospital admission for diabetics, the elderly gives different reasons. The most common is mixed brittleness. Compare this with studies for the younger group with ketoacidosis as the most common reason. As for the female/male ratio, there are more females among the elderly group which is not a surprise. So this ratio is not statistically important.
There is not much published on unstable diabetes in the older population. In Birmingham, UK 25% of those with recurrent episodes were over 59 years old. Griffith and Yudkin found most have mixed brittleness. No clear cause for the instability was noted.
Then in 1981, Gale et al from Nottingham reported that 33% of diabetic patients admitted over a period of 7 years were over 50 years old. It is clear that brittle diabetes in the elderly is here to stay and prevention and management will need a multidisciplinary approach.
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