Balancing Diabetes with Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture

Balancing Diabetes with Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture

Diabetes Mellitus is defined as hyperglycemia (high blood sugar) resulting from a relative or absolute lack of insulin production by the body.  Diabetes has been described as a pandemic affecting developing countries worldwide. Obesity is affecting children through poor food choices and inactivity. The BC and Ontario governments are eliminating pop and chips from vending machines in elementary schools. Healthier food choices and exercise are needed to prevent any of the potential complications from diabetes.

The clinical manifestations of diabetes are:

• frequent, copious urination
• excessive thirst
• rapid weight loss
• excessive hunger
• fatigue
• visual disturbances
• skin infections
• slow healing
• tingling of the hands and feet

Potential complications include:

• heart disease
• blindness
• kidney disease
• nerve damage

Chinese medicine and acupuncture can be very effective in relieving the above signs and symptoms through activating the natural self-healing abilities of the body. According to Chinese medicine, diabetes is described as a disease of thirsting and wasting. A deficiency of yin is the main diagnosis which causes dryness and heat in the three divisions of the body.

The 3 divisions are:

1. Upper division

• excessive heat in the lungs.
• manifests as excessive thirst and excessive drinking

2. Middle division

• excessive dryness in the stomach
• manifests as excessive appetite and easily hungry

3. Lower division

• deficient heat in the kidneys
• manifests as frequent urination and sore back


Some healthy choices you can make are regular exercise, nutrient rich foods and smaller food portions. Avoid excessive amounts of spicy, greasy, sugary refined foods, and caffeine is advised. Eating 5-6 small meals throughout the day is recommended instead of larger meals. The various therapies used to enhance your well-being include acupuncture, herbs, dietary therapy, exercise, and meditation.

Written by Christopher Turpin, R. Ac.  for an Arbutus Clinic Newsletter, Chris is a registered Acupuncturist,  He is a type 1 diabetic for 25 years and has used Chinese medicine to benefit his condition.


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