Acupuncture may help relieve diabetes discomfort

acupuncture-diabetes-140668441Did you know that acupuncture—the ancient Chinese practice in which thin needles are inserted under the skin—can be useful for some diabetes patients?

Here are two ways it might help relieve symptoms:

1. Studies show acupuncture may ease diabetes-related nerve pain.

In a study published in the journal Diabetes Research and Clinical Practice, researchers found that 77% of patients treated with acupuncture over the course of 10 weeks experienced a significant improvement in symptoms. Sixty-seven percent were able to stop or reduce their medications.

It appears acupuncture triggers the release of the body’s natural painkillers.

2. Acupuncture may help diabetes patients who are experiencing digestive difficulties.

In some patients, damage to the vagus nerve—which controls the movement of food through the digestive tract—can slow digestion. This can lead to heartburn, nausea, vomiting, weight loss and bloating. It can also make diabetes more difficult to control, because delayed digestion causes blood sugar levels to rise.

Researchers from Texas Tech University in El Paso found that people experiencing digestive difficulties benefited from “needleless” acupuncture, also known as electrical stimulation. In the study, researchers placed electrical stimulators in areas of the body thought to be involved in nausea and heartburn. The stimulators were turned on for at least two hours after meals. At the end of four weeks, bloating was reduced by 21% and nausea by 31%.

Researchers believe acupuncture stimulates the vagus nerve, speeding the movement of food through the digestive tract.

If you want to learn more about how acupuncture can help ease diabetes discomfort, contact us here.

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