Diabetes is a disease in which the body’s ability to produce or respond to insulin is impaired, resulting in abnormal metabolism of carbohydrates and elevated levels of glucose in the blood and urine. There are two types of diabetes: Diabetes Mellitus type 1 (once called juvenile diabetes), and Diabetes Mellitus type 2.
Insulin and how it works.
Most people know that insulin therapy, diabetes medications and monitoring blood sugar levels are Western medicine’s attempt to manage diabetes. But did you know that the pancreas produces insulin? The pancreas secretes insulin into the bloodstream. The insulin circulates, enabling sugar to enter cells. Insulin lowers the amount of sugar in your bloodstream. As your blood sugar level drops, so does the secretion of insulin from your pancreas. When this relay system does not work effectively, sugar builds up in the bloodstream, causing a number of health challenges.
What are the risk factors?
While risk factors like family history, race and age can’t be controlled, others such as weight and inactivity can be. Risk factors include but aren’t limited to the following:
- Weight: Being overweight is a main risk factor for type 2 diabetes. However, you don't have to be overweight to develop type 2 diabetes.
- Fat distribution: If you store fat mainly in the abdomen, you have a greater risk of getting type 2 diabetes than if you store fat elsewhere, such as in your hips and thighs. Your risk of type 2 diabetes rises if you're a man with a waist circumference above 40 inches (101.6 centimeters) or a woman with a waist that's greater than 35 inches (88.9 centimeters).
- Inactivity: The less active you are, the greater your risk of getting type 2 diabetes. Physical activity helps you control your weight, uses up glucose as energy and makes your cells more sensitive to insulin.
- Family history: Your risk of type 2 diabetes increases if your parent or sibling has type 2 diabetes.
- Race and ethnicity: Although it's unclear why, certain people — including Black, Hispanic, Native Americans and Asian American people — are at higher risk.
- Age: The risk of getting type 2 diabetes increases as you get older, especially after age 45. That's probably because people tend to exercise less, lose muscle mass and gain weight as they age. But type 2 diabetes is also increasing dramatically among children, adolescents and younger adults.
- Prediabetes: Prediabetes is a condition in which your blood sugar level is higher than normal, but not high enough to be classified as diabetes. Left untreated, prediabetes often progresses to type 2 diabetes.
- Gestational diabetes: If a woman developed gestational diabetes when she was pregnant, her risk of developing type 2 diabetes increases. If she gave birth to a baby weighing more than 9 pounds (4 kilograms), she’s also at risk of type 2 diabetes
- Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS):For women, having PCOS — a common condition characterized by irregular menstrual periods, excess hair growth and obesity — increases the risk of diabetes.
What does research say about the effectiveness of acupuncture in treating diabetes?
According to an article published on Pubmed.gov, titled “Acupuncture for type 2 diabetes mellitus: A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials,” acupuncture could be recommended as a supplementary treatment in the management of type 2 diabetes, especially for those with obesity or metabolic disorders.
So how can The Point of Health Wellness Center help?
We are so happy you asked! In your initial appointment with us, we do four different diagnostic exams to uncover the root cause of what's going on in your body. The body always lets us know what's going on internally. Because we treat based on the root cause and the symptoms you are experiencing, we’re able to offer a holistic approach to wellness.
During your second visit, we discuss nutrition and how you can use food as medicine, and on the third visit we discuss herbs.
The whole experience is geared towards treating your body's specific needs from several different vantage points. Regular acupuncture treatments increase blood and oxygen in the body. When there is good blood and oxygen flow, the body has all it needs to heal itself.
We know the road to managing diabetes might seem scary, but be encouraged--you’re not on this journey alone.
The Point of Health and Wellness Center is here for you!