“Diabetes is a chronic illness characterized by the presence of excess sugar in the blood called hyperglycemia”, explains the health insurance. The disease is distinguished by two categories:
- Type 1 diabetes : it is due to an absence of insulin secretion by the pancreas.
- Type 2 diabetes : this type is due to a improper use of insulin by the body’s cells. It is more and more frequent. According to Inserm, it accounts for 90% of diabetes cases.
A recent study by Edith-Cowan University (Australia), published in the online journal National Center for Biotechnology Informationbecame interested in the impact that acupuncture could have on diabetes. According to the researchers, this practice could help prevent type 2 diabetes.
Acupuncture could stop the advance of prediabetes
To arrive at these results, the researchers carried out a meta-analysis (scientific method combining the results of a series of independent studies on a given problem). So they based on dozens of studies on the effects of acupuncture on, in total, more than 3,600 people reached of prediabetes. Prediabetes refers to blood sugar (blood sugar level) higher than normal, but not enough to make a diagnosis of diabetes.
“Many people with prediabetes have no no symptoms and feel finebut some people progress through the period of diabetes no more than 6 months after their diagnosis of prediabetes”, explains Min Zhang, author of the study and professor at Edith-Cowan University.
The results showed that acupuncture therapy significantly improved key markers including fasting blood glucose, two-hour blood glucose, and glycated hemoglobin (allows you to assess the balance of blood sugar over the last 3 months). This therefore leads to a significant drop in the incidence of prediabetes.
Diabetes: a promising solution to prevent type 2 diabetes
The results are encouraging according to the researchers who believe that acupuncture would be a good solution to stop prediabetes : “many people find it difficult to adhere to long-term lifestyle changes, so non-pharmacological treatments such as acupuncture might be useful”, explains Professor Min Zhang.
In effect, diabetes is not reversible, but prediabetes is. Stopping it as soon as possible could thus prevent the development of diabetes, which has adverse health consequences.
The study scientists also believe that acupuncture could be used in the management of diabetes. However, it should be done in addition to and not as a replacement for therapies already offered to patients.
“We need to do more research on acupuncture and diabetes because we need to find more ways to prevent prediabetes from turning into type 2 diabetes”, concludes Professor Min Zhang.