Types of Diabetes:

Diabetes, (technically called diabetes mellitus), is a disease which causes high blood sugar.  This is a metabolic disease, where the sugar in your blood is not transferred to your cells properly by the hormone insulin.  This is either because your body is not making enough insulin, or the body isn’t able to use the insulin effectively.

The types of diabetes include type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes, prediabetes and gestational diabetes.  Type 1 diabetes is where the immune system destroys the cells in the pancreas, limiting the production of insulin.  Contrastingly, type 2 diabetes is when the body becomes resistant to insulin.  Prediabetes is like type 2 diabetes, but the blood sugar levels aren’t high enough to be called type 2 diabetes. Gestational diabetes occurs during pregnancy, due to insulin-blocking hormones produced by the placenta.  These types of diabetes all have different causes, symptoms and treatments.

Diabetes Symptoms:

The symptoms of diabetes are all caused by high blood sugar levels.  Increased hunger and thirst, frequent urination, blurry vision, extreme fatigue and sores that refuse to heal are some of the general symptoms of diabetes.  While men with diabetes may also experience poor muscle strength and erectile dysfunction, women may experience itchy and dry skin, and urinary tract infections.

Type 1 diabetes patients may experience unintentional weight loss and mood changes as well as the general symptoms, while patients who have type 2 diabetes may experience recurring infections.  Women who have high blood sugar due to pregnancy (gestational diabetes) rarely experience symptoms.

What Causes Diabetes?

It is currently unknown what the exact cause of type 1 diabetes is.  The beta cells in the pancreas which are responsible for producing insulin, are destroyed by the immune system.  Genetics, or perhaps viruses may be possible factors which cause the immune system to do this.

Type 2 diabetes is caused by being overweight or obese.  Genetics also play a role, so if someone in your family has diabetes you may be more likely to suffer from it, and to become overweight as well.  Being overweight or obese makes your cells more resistant to the effects of insulin, which means it’s harder for the insulin to remove sugar from the blood and transfer it to the cells.  Luckily, you can always manage your weight by healthy eating and regular exercise.

Gestational diabetes is caused by hormones produced by the placenta, which make your cells less sensitive to insulin. Being overweight during conception and pregnancy may also increase the risk of gestational diabetes.  

How Can Chinese Medicine Help?

In Traditional Chinese Medicine, the human body is seen as a whole, where all the organs are related to each other.  Hence, a weakness or imbalance in one organ will likely lead to other organs being affected and will result in various symptoms.  To help with diabetes, first a Chinese doctor will assess your symptoms and take your pulse, to find out what the main cause of the problem is.  Then, with acupuncture and Chinese herbs, the main imbalance can be treated so that the organs come back to their proper function.  This may help to treat diabetes.

Female infertility due to weak digestion

However, diet and lifestyle are very important factors in treating diabetes.  At Centre of Balance Hamilton, we recommend a plant-based diet to help treat and reverse diabetes.

For more information about how Chinese Medicine can help, please see our website at https://balancetcm.co.nz/traditional-chinese-medicine-hamilton/.

For videos about diabetes and Chinese Medicine, see our website page at https://balancetcm.co.nz/category/diabetes/.

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Centre of Balance Hamilton: Acupuncture & Chinese Medicine (n.d.). Archive for category: Diabetes. https://balancetcm.co.nz/category/diabetes/

Phua, S. (n.d.). What Is Traditional Chinese Medicine? Centre of Balance Hamilton: Acupuncture & Chinese Medicine. https://balancetcm.co.nz/traditional-chinese-medicine-hamilton/

Watson, S. (2020, February 26). Everything You Need to Know About Diabetes. Healthline. https://www.healthline.com/health/diabetes