Diabetes mellitus is an endocrine disorder defined by the incapacity of the pancreas to produce insulin or by the incapacity of the body to assimilate the insulin produced by the pancreas. The World Health Organization’s statistics for the year 2000 mentioned that diabetes mellitus affects over 230 million people worldwide. Each year about 7 million people are diagnosed with diabetes mellitus and about 3 million deaths are caused by complications of this disease.
The body of the people suffering from this disease cannot adjust the glucose level in their blood anymore. The normal blood sugar level ranges between 100 mg/dl before meal and less than 140mg/dl one hour after meal. Any values higher than this ones show hyperglycemia and the incapacity of the pancreas to produce insulin or the incapacity of the body to assimilate insulin.
Diabetes mellitus appears when the direct connection between the brain and pancreas is broken. The brain no longer coordinates properly the activity of the insulin secreting cells, causing imbalances in the glucose metabolism.
The causes of this phenomenon are complex and, most times, they include the action of several factors:
- Inappropriate diet and eating habits
- Certain medication affecting the beta cells of the pancreas
- Insufficient rest
- Overstraining for a long period of time
- Chronic fatigue
- Psychic trauma
- For children: shocks, psychical and physical traumas undergone by mother during pregnancy or by the child at very early ages.
According to the displayed symptoms, the World Health Organization defined three types of diabetes mellitus:
- type I (the pancreas does not produce enough insulin for the metabolic functions, or it does not produce any insulin at all. It is necessary to inject the daily insulin dose)
- type II (the body does not assimilate properly the insulin produced by the pancreas. The treatment consists of daily medication administered orally)
- gestational diabetes mellitus (it occurs in some pregnant women and it disappears after birth)
The symptoms of type II diabetes mellitus make their appearance suddenly or they may have a slow evolution:
- Frequent urination
- Increased appetite
- Continuous thirst
- Loss of weight without an obvious reason
- Drowsiness or chronic fatigue
- Poor vision
- Difficult breathing
In type I diabetes, the symptoms may show only partially or with reduced intensity. In some cases, they don’t even manifest, which makes the disease to be detected only in its second stage, when the daily insulin injection is necessary for survival.
The persons who have been diagnosed with diabetes mellitus will have to respect certain restrictions in order not to aggravate their health condition. First of all the patient must know the effects of the disease upon the body as well as the risks to which is exposed to:
- Diabetic ketoacidosis: an acute, life-threatening condition, characterized by accumulation of acetone and decrease in the alkaline reserve of the blood (loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, increased micturition frequency). Failure to administer treatment in time leads to fainting, and risk of diabetic coma.
- Hyperosmolar coma: caused by the excessive dehydration of the body.
- Cardiovascular diseases: cerebrovascular strokes, myocardial infarction, poor blood circulation, arteriosclerosis, etc.
- Kidney diseases: diabetic nephropathy – acute or chronic inflammation of kidneys – which leads to renal insufficiency, necessity for dialysis or kidney transplant.
- Ophthalmologic diseases: retinopathy – retina diseases, decrease of vision quality, risk of blindness in case of ophthalmologic complications.
- Gastrointestinal diseases: atony of the gastric muscles, even paralysis.
- Neuropathy: disease of the nerve system manifested by the partial or total functional disorder of the nerve system. It is manifested by numbness, paresthesia, pains, and difficulties in coordinating the muscles of the digestive system etc.
- Very slow healing or no healing at all of the wounds in the limbs, which leads to the risk of gangrene and to the necessity of amputating the infected limb.
People suffering from diabetes must be on a continuous diet and respect their meal hours very strictly. At the same time it is very important that they should wear very comfortable footwear in order to avoid making wounds, blisters or corns and in order to prevent infections and gangrene from occurring.
Smoking, alcohol and drug consumption increase the risks of complications. One must monitor the values of blood sugar, lipids and glycosylated hemoglobin as well as the arterial tension and the body weight.
In hypoglycemia seizures the patient must take sugar, candies or refreshing drinks with sugar content. The crises are characterized by trembling, nervousness, perspiration, hunger. Where they occur during sleep, the patient may have nightmares, nocturnal sweating and morning headaches. Failing to administer the necessary glucose dose, the patient may have an abnormal behavior; also he can be confused, may faint and convulsions may occur.
The seriousness of this disease is due to the fact that the red cells no longer carry properly the oxygen amounts necessary for the metabolic processes. Because of hyperglycemia, the red cells will carry glucose instead of oxygen, which leads to the dramatic decrease of the oxygen supply to the body.
The herbs contained in the treatment plan as well as acupuncture act upon the entire body in order to decrease the blood sugar level; at the same time they also stimulate the formation of new beta pancreatic cells (insulin secreting cells). The herbs are mixed in such way so they will metabolize the blood glucose and improve the cell oxygenation process.
As the glucose metabolism is affected, disorders also occur at the level of lipid and protein metabolism. Therefore the treatment must also adjust the lipid and protein metabolism.
During the treatment it is vital that the brain, the heart and the lungs function normally.
Therefore they have to be supported and maintained until the body is capable of self-oxygenation.
The patient is healed when the connection between brain and pancreas is completely restored. Throughout the duration of the treatment, the specific diabetic diet will be kept.
The presence of other diseases in the body will influence the healing duration. It is also very important that at least 30% of the beta pancreatic cells to be functional – even in minimal parameters – for the treatment to be a success.
In case of gestational diabetes, acupuncture and herb products have no negative effects upon mother or child. At the same time they will help the mother-to-be to carry her pregnancy to term without occurrence of complications specific to the disease.