Acupuncture may help fight against type 2 diabetes

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A new study from Edith Cowan University has unveiled the potential of acupuncture therapy in combating type 2 diabetes, particularly for those with prediabetes.

The research, which delved into numerous studies involving over 3600 individuals with prediabetes, discovered that acupuncture significantly improved key indicators such as fasting plasma glucose, two-hour plasma glucose, and glycated hemoglobin.

Moreover, it was observed that the incidence of prediabetes declined more notably among those who underwent acupuncture therapy.

Min Zhang, the lead researcher and a PhD candidate, highlighted the promise of acupuncture as an additional measure to prevent diabetes, a condition projected to impact 11% of the global adult population.

With the International Diabetes Federation estimating nearly 1.3 billion people having diabetes or prediabetes by 2045, the study’s findings are particularly significant.

Zhang emphasized that while 93% of individuals with prediabetes are likely to develop type 2 diabetes within 20 years, prediabetes can be reversed with lifestyle changes.

However, maintaining these changes long-term can be challenging, making the case for alternative, non-pharmacological treatments like acupuncture.

The study also underscores acupuncture’s holistic approach, addressing not only blood sugar levels but also associated factors like sleep issues, high blood pressure, and stress.

This broad spectrum of benefits positions acupuncture as a comprehensive treatment option that can help balance life aspects contributing to diabetes risk.

Importantly, the term “acupuncture therapy” encompasses a variety of acupoint stimulation techniques, including light and electric pulses, and extends to other traditional Chinese medicine therapies like moxibustion. This is a crucial consideration, especially for diabetic individuals who may have skin issues that make needle use less ideal.

The research, published in Holistic Nursing Practice, calls for more studies into acupuncture’s role in diabetes management.

With many individuals with prediabetes being asymptomatic and at risk of developing diabetes within a short period, the need for effective preventive measures is pressing.

This study serves as an important reminder that interventions for prediabetes should be viewed as investments in health, rather than expenditures.

As Zhang aptly puts it, “the best time to prevent type 2 diabetes is now,” highlighting the urgency and potential of integrating therapies like acupuncture into diabetes prevention strategies.

If you care about diabetes, please read studies that not all whole grain foods could benefit people with type 2 diabetes, and green tea could help reduce death risk in type 2 diabetes.

For more information about diabetes, please see recent studies about unhealthy plant-based diets linked to metabolic syndrome, and results showing Mediterranean diet could help reduce the diabetes risk by one third.

The research findings can be found in Holistic Nursing Practice.

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