Treatment of Diabetes and Polyneuropathy with acupuncture and laser acupuncture

Although school medicine has difficulties in treatment of polyneuropathy -one of the complications of diabetes- the TCM – Traditional Chinese Medicine can successfully treat this disease. A combination of classical acupuncture and modern laser acupuncture is successful complementing school medicine approaches.

Polyneuropathy (PNP) is the popular disease of the nerve system. In a third up to half of the cases there is no reason determinable. In the other cases it is a consequence of diabete or other metabolistic affects and consume of alcohol. It can also result from other cell poisons (as chemo therapy), inflammations or in auto immune diseases.

It is a disturbance of the peripherical nerve axons of feet and hands.

Damage of these axons can disturb the transport of data beginning with thumbness or tingling, somtimes cramps or lightning-like nerve pain.

Conventional Medicine can treat the basic disease as diabetes. But so far there is no specific treatment of the nerve axons. Even infusions with alpha lipon acid or with vitamines have no assured effects.

Chinese Medicine can offer a prescious complementation to conventional treatment. The mechanisms for scientifically approved clinical success are numerous:

Anti-inflammatory healing herbs, e.g. chinese gold thread
Neuroregenerative Medicinal plants („repair nerves“)
Neuroprotective Medicinal Herbs („protecting nerves“) as Ginseng, Gingko, sky hemp (Gastrodia) and more
special forms of  Acupuncture with proven effects on polyneuropathy
Increasing of micro circulation  with special functional exercises
Thus a therapy is being created, which is oriented on the single case, seeks causes for the disease and avoids side effects.

Here is the “abstract” of the scientific publication (50093) as cited on PubMed (click):

Background: Diabetic peripheral neuropathy (DPN) is the most common complication of diabetes mellitus with significant clinical sequelae that can affect a patient’s quality of life. Metabolic and microvascular factors are responsible for nerve damage, causing loss of nerve function, numbness, painful sensory symptoms, and muscle weakness. Therapy is limited to anti-convulsant or anti-depressant drugs for neuropathic pain and paresthesia. However, reduced sensation, balance and gait problems are insufficiently covered by this treatment. Previous data suggests that acupuncture, which has been in use in Traditional Chinese Medicine for many years, may potentially complement the treatment options for peripheral neuropathy. Nevertheless, more objective data on clinical outcome is necessary to generally recommend acupuncture to the public.

Methods: We developed a study design for a prospective, randomized (RCT), placebo-controlled, partially double-blinded trial for investigating the effect of acupuncture on DPN as determined by nerve conduction studies (NCS) with the sural sensory nerve action potential amplitude as the primary outcome. The sural sensory nerve conduction velocity, tibial motor nerve action potential amplitude, tibial motor nerve conduction velocity, the neuropathy deficit score, neuropathy symptom score, and numeric rating scale questionnaires are defined as secondary outcomes. One hundred and eighty patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus will be randomized into three groups (needle acupuncture, verum laser acupuncture, and placebo laser acupuncture). We hypothesize that needle and laser acupuncture have beneficial effects on electrophysiological parameters and clinical and subjective symptoms in relation to DPN in comparison with placebo.

Discussion: The ACUDIN trial aims at investigating whether classical needle acupuncture and/or laser acupuncture are efficacious in the treatment of DPN. For the purpose of an objective parameter, NCS were chosen as outcome measures. Acupuncture treatment may potentially improve patients’ quality of life and reduce the socio-economic burden caused by DPN.

Trial registration: German Clinical Trial Register (DRKS), No. DRKS00008562 , trial search portal of the WHO ( ).

Keywords: Acupuncture; Diabetic peripheral neuropathy; Laser acupuncture; Nerve conduction studies; Neurography; Placebo-control; Randomized controlled trial.

Other publications on this topic by Henry Johannes Greten:

50027 and 50013