The USA is experiencing an epidemic of obesity and, along with it, a surge in Type 2 diabetes, especially among youth. People living with Type 2 diabetes may experience a range of symptoms, including fatigue, blurred vision, frequent infections, numbness in the hands or feet, and other unpleasant sensations. Although there is no cure for Type 2 diabetes, acupuncture therapy may help manage symptoms of Type 2 diabetes, including encouraging weight loss, and relieving neuropathy pain.
When muscle, fat, and liver cells become resistant to insulin, and the pancreas fails to produce enough insulin to manage blood sugar levels, Type 2 diabetes can develop. Risk factors include physical inactivity, age, family history, and weight. Lifestyle changes, especially eating a healthful diet and exercising regularly, are crucial for stabilizing blood sugar metabolism. Acupuncture can support the process of lifestyle change and metabolic recovery.
Mechanisms and Complications of Type 2 Diabetes
According to the 2020 National Diabetes Statistics Report, just over 1 in 10 (34.2 million) Americans have diabetes. While Type 2 diabetes used to be called “adult-onset diabetes,” cases have steadily risen among youth in recent years. Newly diagnosed individuals tend to be overweight (89 percent of new cases) and physically inactive (38 percent of new cases). In people with Type 2 diabetes, sugar in the bloodstream builds up and causes cells in the pancreas to release more insulin, which damages them over time. Eventually, Type 2 diabetes can cause significant damage to major organs, such as the heart, blood vessels, kidneys, eyes, and nerves. If left untreated, Type 2 diabetes can lead to neuropathy in the limbs, heart disease, kidney disease, blindness, hearing problems, and dementia. Diabetes sufferers are also at increased risk of severe illness and death if they contract COVID-19.
Strategies for Managing Diabetes Symptoms
While no cure for Type 2 diabetes exists, there are several ways to manage symptoms and improve blood sugar levels. Eating healthful, nutrient-dense foods encourages your body to regain a sense of balance. Consider switching to a diet rich in high-fiber foods, non-starchy “colorful” vegetables, and a limited amount of whole grains. Establishing a regular exercise program can assist with weight loss; in general, people living with Type 2 diabetes should aim for two to three sessions of resistance exercise (weight lifting, yoga) and at least 150 minutes of aerobic exercise (walking, swimming, biking) per week. Sometimes, Western healthcare professionals may prescribe diabetes medication, such as Metformin, Sulfonylureas, Glinides, Thiazolidinediones, or another medication. Unfortunately, many of these medications carry unpleasant side effects, including weight gain, nausea, vomiting, and more.
Acupuncture Therapy Encourages Your Body to Heal
Eating a healthful diet and exercising regularly can help you manage your weight and blood sugar levels. Additionally, seeking regular acupuncture treatments can augment these practices. Studies show that acupuncture sessions can lower glucose levels, increase insulin levels, and improve glucose tolerance in animals and humans. According to the findings of one 2019 study, “acupuncture not only increases weight loss in obese diabetes patients, but also stabilizes blood glucose and insulin levels,” indicating that combining acupuncture therapy, a healthful diet, and regular exercise can promote healing and balance throughout the body.
Inner Works Acupuncture provides customized acupuncture therapy sessions that can promote weight loss and encourage healing throughout the body. Call our Portland office today at (503) 227-2127 to schedule an appointment.