Diabetes is one of the most common chronic diseases in the United States. Diabetic neuropathy, characterized by pain and paresthesias, is among the most frequent complications of longstanding, poorly controlled diabetes and is often associated with a reduction in physical activity and with sleep disturbances.
According to TCM, Xiao-ke (diabetes in Chinese) is attributed to three main factors: improper diet (consuming large quantities of sweets, fatty or greasy foods, alcohol, and hot drinks such as hot coffee or tea), emotional disturbances (stress, anxiety, depression,) and a constitutional Yin deficiency (fatigue, weakness, lethargy, pale complexion). Xiao Ke Wan can be effective Chinese medicine for diabetes treatment. It's indications include diabetes mellitus due to deficiency of qi and yin manifested as thirst, polydipsia, polyorexia, emaciation, tiredness, fatigue Functions Nourishes kidney-yin, benefits qi, promotes generation of body fluid.Read more about Chinese medicine for diabetes
This review focuses on the efficacy and safety of Chinese medicine in the treatment of type-2 diabetes. Included were 84 controlled clinical studies of type-2 diabetes treated with Chinese medicine for at least 1 month. Reported outcomes were: symptom relief; improvement in glycemia, insulin resistance and secondary failure, and adverse events. Symptom relief was achieved in most (>80%) of the patients receiving Chinese medicine. Compared with orthodox drugs, Chinese medicine had a 1.2-fold (95% CI 1.2-1.3) increase in symptom relief. The relative risk of achieving a fasting blood glucose of <7.3 mmol/l or a postprandial blood glucose of <8.2 mmol/l was: 3.0 (95% CI 1.4-6.5) for Chinese medicine plus diet versus diet; 2.0 (95% CI 1.4-3.0) for Chinese medicine versus placebo; 1.8 (95% CI 1.4-2.3) for combined Chinese medicine and orthodox drugs versus Yuquan Wan (a classic Chinese herbal formula for diabetes), 1.5 (95% CI 1.4-1.7) for combined Chinese medicine and orthodox drugs vs. orthodox drugs, and 1.3 (95% CI 1.2-1.5) for Chinese medicine versus orthodox drugs. A fasting blood glucose of <8.2 mmol/l plus symptom relief was observed in 71-100% of the patients with secondary failure to oral anti-diabetic drugs. Serious adverse events including hypoglycemic coma and death were caused by adulteration with orthodox drugs, erroneous substitution, self-meditation, overdoses, and improper preparation. Chinese herbal medicine should be used cautiously with doctors' prescription and follow-up. Long-term clinical studies may disclose the effectiveness of Chinese medicine in reducing the mortality and morbidity of diabetic complications.
Diabetes is usually associated with inflammation. Inflammation contributes to the development of diabetes. Traditional Chinese medicines (TCM) play an important role in lowering blood glucose and controlling inflammation. Many studies show that TCM with hypoglycaemic effects, for example Radix Astragali, Radix Rehmanniae, Radix Trichosanthis, Panax Ginseng, Fructus Schisandrae, Radix Ophiopogonis, Rhizoma Anemarrhenae, Radix Puerariae, Fructus Lycii, Poria, Rhizoma Coptidis, Rhizoma Dioscoreae, Rhizoma Polygonati, Radix Salviae Miltiorrhizae, Radix Glycyrrhizae, Semen Trigonellae, Momordica charantia, Allium sativum, Opuntia stricta, Aloe vera, Cortex Cinnamomi, Rhizoma Curcumae Longae, and so on, have nearly independent anti-inflammatory action. Antihyperglycaemic compounds, for example berberine, puerarin, quercetin, ferulic acid, astragaloside IV, curcumin, epigallocatechin gallate, resveratrol, tetrandrine, glycyrrhizin, emodin and baicalin, used in TCM also have anti-inflammatory effects. These studies suggest that TCM might exert hypoglycaemic effects that are partly mediated by the anti-inflammatory mechanisms. However, small amounts of TCM with potent anti-inflammatory action does not have any hypoglycaemic effect. This indirectly indicates that diabetes may be a low-grade inflammatory disease and potent regulation of inflammatory mediators may not be required. Studies of TCM add new evidences, which indicate that diabetes may be an inflammatory disease and slight or moderate inhibition of inflammation might be useful to prevent the development of diabetes. Through this review, we aim to develop more perspectives to indicate that diabetes may be an inflammatory disease and diverse TCM may share a common antidiabetic property: anti-inflammatory action. Further studies should focus on and validate inflammation-regulating targets of TCM that may be involved in inhibiting the development of diabetes.