HOW CAN CHINESE MEDICINE HELP?
The Chinese wrote about Type I Diabetes as early as the 3rd Century. Type I Diabetes was described as “wasting and thirsting” disorder, meaning loss of weight, increased urination and increased desire for drinking fluids. In Western medicine it is known as Diabetes Incipidus.
The most common Type I & Type II Diabetes are called Diabetes Mellitus. In Type II diabetes, partly due to over consumption of sugars and physical inactivity, the cells of your body become resistant to the effects of insulin. Normally, the hormone insulin promotes the absorption of glucose from the blood by muscle cells and fat cells.With insulin resistance, glucose fails to be properly absorbed by these cells and blood levels of glucose rise. Over time, some of this excess glucose is converted into fat, increasing the person’s weight, causing high blood pressure, and placing undue stress on the heart. Symptoms of Type II can be similar to Type I such as excessive urination, excessive thirst & weight loss. In addition symptoms of Type II diabetes can include fatigue, dry mouth, blurry vision, cloudy thinking, irritability, non healing wounds.
A blood glucose test called an A1C will measure the percentage of blood sugar attached to hemoglobin, the oxygen-carrying protein in red blood cells over 3 months. An A1C level of 6.5 percent or higher on two separate tests indicates you have diabetes. A fasting blood sugar level from 100 to 125 mg/dL (5.6 to 6.9 mmol/L) is considered pre-diabetes. If it’s 126 mg/dL (7 mmol/L) or higher on two separate tests, you have diabetes.
WHAT ARE THE RISK FACTORS FOR DIABETES?
1) A major component of this epidemic is an over abundance of refined sugar and carbohydrate sources in our diet derived from white sugars, corn syrup (including high fructose corn syrup) and white flour based products.
2) Physical inactivity and obesity are strongly associated with the development of Type II diabetes. People who are genetically susceptible to Type II diabetes are more vulnerable when these risk factors are present.
Please stay tuned for PART 2 next month, when the treatment of diabetes with Chinese Medicine will be discussed.
Sharon McDermott, L.Ac.
Quote of the Month: “He who asks is a fool for five minutes, but he who does not ask remains a fool forever.” Chinese Proverb