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Diabetes mellitus is a group of metabolic diseases which are characterized by a chronically elevated blood sugar level. Most common are Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes.
Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease, which usually begins in childhood or adolescence, where the immune system attacks the body. As a result, the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas die and lead to an absolute deficiency of the body’s hormone insulin. Without insulin, blood sugar levels rise, and patients become insulin-dependent and have to inject it.
About 90% of diabetics have type 2 diabetes, they are non-insulin-dependent, but in later stages can become insulin-dependent. Overweight, unhealthy nutrition and too little exercise increases the risk of disease and can lead to diabetes in genetically predisposed individuals. Type 2 diabetics have an elevated sugar level in the blood due to insulin resistance, meaning the body’s cells react less well to insulin. Insulin is responsible for transferring sugar molecules from the blood into the cells. If the insulin resistance is too high – the sugar accumulates in the blood vessels. Elevated blood sugar levels are mainly indicated by fatigue, lack of drive, increased thirst and urination, a tendency to catch infections and poorly healing wounds, as well as dry or itching skin. Acute complications are infections, severe high sugar level up to sugar coma. Complications arising in the large and small blood vessels and nervous system can lead to heart, eye and kidney disease, as well as diabetic foot syndrome.
Chinese medicine believes that diabetes, known as Xiao-Ke Syndrome (emaciation and thirst), is caused by improper diet as well as emotional depression which are leading to Lung, Kidney and Yin Deficiency and Spleen and Stomach Heat. Symptoms of Lung Yin Deficiency are excessive thirst or hunger, Kidney Yin Deficiency and Endogenous Deficiency fire can cause excessive or an abnormally large production or passage of urine. So, the root cause of diabetes is Yin Deficiency and Heat is the appearance.
Xiao-Ke is commonly classified into three types according to the Chinese medicine theories: Upper, Middle and Lower Jiao. The Upper type is characterized by excessive thirst, the Middle by excessive hunger, and the Lower by excessive urination.
Due to the prolonged course of diabetes, Yin Deficiency and Dry Heat will consume Yang, so the problem often develops into Kidney Yin Deficiency or Kidney Yin and Kidney Yang Deficiency Syndrome. If it is further extended for a long time, Stasis Syndrome will appear with symptoms like fundus disease or diabetic foot.
Prolonged diabetes consumes Yin and causes Kidney Yin and Yang Deficiency : frequent and excessive urination, cloudy/ milky urination, darkened face, dryness, low back and knee pain, aversion of cold, low libido, pale tongue and white coating, weak pulse
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