Acupuncture and Diabetic Neuropathy – Koten Acupuncture Gold Coast

Acupuncture and Diabetic Neuropathy

Posted: 12 Apr, 2013

Koten Acupuncture Gold Coast – Acupuncture

Neuropathy means nerve damage. Diabetic neuropathy is nerve damage caused by high blood glucose levels. It most commonly affects the nerves to the feet, but any nerves can be involved including those that control internal organs. Estimates suggest that up to 60 per cent of people with diabetes have some degree of neuropathy, for which there is no cure. Treatment aims to ease symptoms and reduce the risk of further complications. New research concludes that acupuncture dramatically improves the effects of a diabetes medication for the treatment of diabetic neuropathy. This condition can include the following signs and symptoms;

  • Reduced ability to feel pain in the feet
  • Unpleasant sensations in the feet such as numbness, tingling, shooting or burning pains
  • Injuries to the feet that go unnoticed and therefore untreated
  • Altered walking style
  • Digestion problems
  • Heart problems
  • Erection problems in men
  • Loss of muscular strength (rarely, only in severe cases).

Patients receiving medications to help their neuropathy symptoms jumped approximately 8% on the success rate score. When Acupuncture was added to the treatment regime, the improvement in the neuropathy disability score soared to over a 90%. A neurological examination combined with nerve conduction studies was quantified using the Michigan Diabetic Neuropathy Score (MDNS). The medication only group received no improvements in diabetic neuropathy according to these measurements thereby yielding a 0% success rate. The group receiving both acupuncture and medication, however, had over a 95% effective rate.

The importance of acupuncture for the treatment of diabetic neuropathy, increases as the obesity epidemic worsens in the USA and the world over. The study examined patients with type-2 diabetes. The medication used in the study was amitriptyline hydrochloride at a rate of 10mg/day combined with vitamin B12. The primary acupuncture points used in the study were: Quchi (LI 11), Weiwanxianshu (EX-B3),
Shenshu (BL 23), Guanyuan (CV 4), Zusanli (ST 36), Hegu (LI 4) and Sanyinjiao (SP 6). The results demonstrated the effectiveness of a complimentary approach to medicine wherein pharmaceutical medication combined with acupuncture yields a synergistic, beneficial patient outcome.


Tanakornnuwat, Suwat, et al. “The Effectiveness of Acupuncture in Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy.” Journal of Thai Traditional & Alternative Medicine 10.3 (2013): 177-186.

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