Traditional Chinese Medicine Differential Diagnosis of Diabetes Mellitus (from the Yellow Emperor to Modern Day Research)

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This paper explores the traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) treatment of diabetes, from its beginnings in the classical ancient texts through to modern day clinical research. It was originally written as part of a clinical trial that tested the effect of acupuncture on patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus, a summary of which is included here. During the development of the research methodology, it became obvious that throughout the long history of TCM there was not a single common thread of aetiology or pathology associated with the Western medical condition called diabetes mellitus. As such, it is erroneous to categorise diabetes simply as a problem of Kidney yin deficiency - as is typical in modern TCM practice - or to try to encapsulate the disease using a single theoretical construct, such as the ‘three wastings’, qi-blood-yinyang-body fluid-essence theory, or zangfu theory. This paper aims to open practitioners’ minds to the possibility that diabetes is a much more complex condition than this, and that only by returning to fundamental TCM theory to provide individually-tailored treatment can successful clinical results be achieved.
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Author Eduardo Teijeiro
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