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Pre-Diabetes is a condition in which blood glucose levels are higher than normal but not high enough for-Nut a diagnosis of diabetes. This condition is sometimes called impaired fasting glucose(IFG) or impaired glucose tolerance(IGT), depending on the test used to diagnose it.


The U.S Department of Health and Human Services estimates that about one in four U.S adults aged twenty years or older-or 57 million people –had pre-diabetes in 2007.


However, many people with IFG go on to develop type 2 diabetes. For some people with pre-diabetes, intervening early can actually return elevated blood glucose levels to the normal range.

-Prescription for Nutritional Healing


According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), an estimated 30.3 millionpeople in the United States, or 9.4 percent of the population, are living with diabetes.

In modern-day China, people often use acupuncture to treat diabetes. Scientists who are currently researching the benefits of acupuncture for diabetes note that it may:

  • improve blood glucose control

  • help with weight loss

  • protect pancreas islet function, which is responsible for insulin production

  • improve insulin resistance

  • adjust the balance of hormones that affect diabetes, for example, melatonin, insulin, glucocorticold, and epinephrine

In recent years, scientists have been looking at ways in which acupuncture might impact the biological mechanism of diabetes and prediabetes to become an effective treatment.


Glucose and insulin levels


Acupuncture may help improve insulin sensitivity

In 2018, researchers in China published findings that showed how specific acupuncture points help improve symptoms of diabetes in rats with diabetes.

They found that within 3 weeks, the rats that received electroacupuncture had:

  • lower glucose levels

  • increased insulin levels

  • improved glucose tolerance


Insulin sensitivity and resistance

A 2016 literature review of human and animal studies in the journal, Acupuncture in Medicine looked into whether acupuncture:

  • was a valid treatment for insulin resistance

  • could be suitable as a future treatment for insulin sensitivity

The results suggested that low-intensity and low-frequency electro-acupuncture could help in reducing insulin resistance and increasing insulin sensitivity.

The researchers suggested that people could either use electro-acupuncture alone or with other treatments. Possible alternative therapies include dietary measures and Chinese herbs.

Acupuncture and metformin

In 2015, an article published in Acupuncture in Medicine reviewed studies using rats in which scientists combined electro-acupuncture with the anti-diabetic medication, metformin.

They were looking for better glucose lowering responses and greater insulin sensitivity.

The team found that, compared with metformin alone, this combination offered:

  • better glucose lowering effects

  • greater insulin sensitivity

By Lana Barhum

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