TCM herbs found to be safe and very effective for treating “diabetic foot” (neuropathy): Meta-analysis and review

Many diabetics suffer from foot complications, which typically happen because of nerve damage. “Diabetic foot” is signified by pain, stinging, burning, weakness or tingling in the foot. It can cause a person to lose feeling in their foot, which means they can injure it without even realizing it. It also means they won’t feel cold or heat in their foot. In fact, some diabetics with diabetic foot don’t notice a foot injury until it has become infected. The nerve damage associated with diabetes can also cause changes in the shape of a person’s toes and feet.

In some cases, diabetics end up needing to have their feet amputated, and it is also a major cause of death. With diabetes on the rise in an increasingly obese nation, the need for a good solution to diabetic foot has never been stronger. Indeed, a lower limb is lost every 30 seconds around the world because of diabetes. A recent study in the Journal of Traditional Chinese Medicine offers a very useful way to alleviate this problem: Traditional Chinese Medicinal herbs.

The meta analysis looked at 16 studies. They found that TCM herbs had a significantly higher total efficacy rate and cure rate and also healed ulcers faster than diabetic foot that was not treated with the herbs. Moreover, patients taking TCM herbs needed fewer amputations. Some of the compounds studied include Tangzu Yuyang ointment, Astragali Radix and Radix Rahmanniae.

The researchers are calling on further investigation to support their findings. They say that although the herbs are widely used to treat diabetic foot in China and many research articles have been published in Chinese, a serious lack of research in English medical journals is preventing the approach from being used and accepted worldwide.

Some of the conventional therapies for diabetic foot include glucose control, debridement, providing nutrients to nerve cells, foot care, and improving blood supply. These methods leave a lot to be desired, with as many as 40 percent of diabetic foot ulcers ultimately requiring amputation; following major amputation, half of patients will require yet another major amputation within the subsequent two years. Relative mortality following amputation is around 50 percent.

Diabetes is preventable

Diabetes kills more Americans every year than breast cancer and AIDS combined, and nearly 10 percent of the U.S. population has the disease.

If you’re hoping to avoid becoming one of the 1.5 million new cases of diabetes diagnosed in the U.S. each year or you’re one of the 84.1 million Americans with prediabetes, the good news it that so much of it is within your control. Maintaining a healthy weight and eating a healthy diet are extremely effective in reducing your risk of getting this devastating disease.

Most people already know that limiting their sugar intake can help prevent diabetes, but there are a lot of other dietary changes you can make that will help as well. You’ll want to ensure you eat a lot of probiotics and get enough magnesium; avoiding foods with white flour can be just as useful as avoiding sugar. Eat more broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables, and some studies have shown that eating a teaspoon of cinnamon a day can help. You might also consider increasing your intake of quercetin, which can be found in foods like red wine, green tea, dark cherries and berries, onions, grapes, apples, sage, parsley, and citrus fruits.

It’s worth noting that these changes can also help those who are already full-fledged diabetics minimize the impact of the disease and even turn it around in some cases. It’s never too late to start exercising more and eating right, and if you’ve got diabetes or pre-diabetes, it could even save your life.

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