Acupuncture has been used for thousands of years to treat various ailments, and now it could help combat one of the biggest health problems of the 21st century. A new study from Edith Cowan University in the United States has found that acupuncture can be a useful tool in preventing type 2 diabetes.
In their work, published in the scientific journal ‘Holistic Nursing Practice’, the research team analyzed dozens of studies on the effects of acupuncture in more than 3,600 people with prediabetes, a condition in which the rates blood sugar levels are higher than normal but not high enough to be diagnosed as diabetic.
The results showed that acupuncture therapy significantly improved key markers such as fasting blood sugar, two-hour blood sugar and glycosylated hemoglobin, in addition to a further decrease in the incidence of prediabetes. No adverse effects were recorded in patients.
Acupuncture therapy has shown great promise as an additional option to prevent diabetes, which is estimated to affect 11% of the world’s adult population. The International Diabetes Federation estimates that nearly 1.3 billion people will have diabetes or prediabetes by 2045.
“Without intervention, 93% of people with prediabetes will develop type 2 diabetes within 20 years. But unlike diabetes, prediabetes is reversible with lifestyle interventions, such as improving diet and increased exercise Many people find it difficult to adhere to long-term lifestyle changes, so non-pharmacological treatments such as acupuncture could be helpful,” said Min Zhang, Ph. .D. principal investigator of the study.
Although diabetes is often associated with lifestyle factors, other aspects of life can also play a role, and that’s where acupuncture comes in.
“It’s not just about blood sugar levels. If you have sleep problems, high blood pressure, or a lot of stress, they can contribute to that as well. So acupuncture can help with those factors and act holistically to help people balance your life,” says Zhang.
The researcher emphasizes that acupuncture is more than just the use of needles: it refers to a large family of techniques for stimulating acupuncture points, such as light and electric pulses, and includes other therapies of the traditional Chinese medicine such as moxibustion.
“It’s important because people with diabetes can have skin problems, so it’s not always ideal to use needles. We need to do more research on acupuncture and diabetes, because we need to find more ways to prevent prediabetes from becoming type 2 diabetes Many people with prediabetes have no symptoms and feel fine, but some people progress to diabetes no more than 6 months after they are diagnosed with prediabetes. prediabetes intervention is more of an investment than an expense, so the best time to prevent type 2 diabetes is now,” says Zhang.