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Chinese Medicinal Approach to Diabetes


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Diabetes is becoming more and more of a problem in Western society. The Chinese have long dealt with the issue, but from a very different perspective.

Diabetes is a metabolic disorder that is generally characterized by high blood sugar levels. It is usually divided into two major classes. Type I diabetes means that the patient is almost entirely insulin dependent. There body does not produce insulin at all or in sufficient quantities. Type II patients are not insulin dependent, and their bodies still produce significant amounts of insulin. The body does not process this insulin properly, however, and the symptoms and indications of both types of the disease are similar.

Traditional Chinese Medicine calls diabetes “depletion-thirst disease. ” It actually divides the disease into three different types. They are upper, middle, and lower depletion-thirst diseases. As is usually the case in Chinese Medicine, the causes of the disease are seen as being more often lifestyle related although there is some congenital causation. Such factors as overeating of greasy food, over consumption of alcohol, and even an intemperate sex life are seen as leading to damage to the kidneys and other organs. Such things as anxiety, anger, and mental depression also lead to organ damage and result in the body’s failure to produce or process insulin.

There are many different herbal remedies available in Traditional Chinese Medicine. Many of them have been used for centuries, but recently some scientific research has been done on them with surprising and encouraging results. Berberine which is an extract found in the roots and bark of several plants had been used for the treatment of wound healing and diarrhea. A joint study done by Chinese, Korean, and Australian doctors has found that berberine has been shown to reduce glucose levels and is promising in the treatment of type II diabetes.

Yu Xiao San 8805 is another herbal product. Experimental tests done in the United States and China have shown very good results in restoring pancreatic function and increasing the production of insulin beta cells. No adverse or allergic reactions were seen and no damage to liver, kidney, or other organs was observed. This is an example of the very encouraging therapeutic uses of Traditional Chinese Medicine’s herbal cures for diabetes.

The Chinese methods of treatment of “depletion-thirst disease” differs from Western Medicine in that, as usual, it considers the overall situation of the patient rather than focusing on just the acute symptoms of the illness. Much of the treatment systems are designed to relieve the causes that led to the condition. The fact that some of the classical herbal remedies are being studied in the West is an encouraging sign to millions of diabetes patients worldwide.

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