Diabetes : Syndrome Differentiation of Diabetes Part 1


Diabetes: Syndrome Differentiation of Diabetes

Part 1

Diabetes has been described repeatedly in the ancient Chinese medical literature. Diabetes has been mentioned and treated with Chinese herbs for at least 2,000 years, with the Huang Di Nei Jing describing the condition known as xiao ke. The translation is now known as diabetes or diabetic exhaustion, whilst the literal translation is emaciation thirst. According to this ancient text, the syndrome arises from consumption of excessive fatty, sweet, or rich foods. It is suggested that it typically occurs among wealthy people: The description is suitable that of type 2, or insulin-independent diabetes mellitus, the most common form of diabetes that exists today.

Recent trends have indicated that the number of people living with diabetes is expected to rise from 366 million in 2011 to 552 million by 2030, if no action is taken, this means that approximately 3 new cases every 10 seconds. The greatest number of people with diabetes is between 40 to 59 years of age. Diabetes mellitus is a disease that is classified as a metabolic disease which is caused by high blood sugar, either due to compromised production of insulin or because body is not responding to insulin produced. Diabetes is classed into two separate types and plus a temporary state which can regress: type 1, type 2 diabetes and Gestational diabetes.

Type 1 diabetes:

Can occur at any point in an individual’s life but diagnoses is normally seen at an early age. It is suspected to be caused by the immune system mistakenly turning on itself, destroying beta cells within the pancreas and removing the body’s ability to produce insulin , people with type 1 have severe insulin deficiency and need insulin replacement in order to live; it is caused by the body failing to produce enough insulin, and so requires the persons affected by the disease to constantly inject insulin into their system, or else the body literally starves as it cannot process food . Some may have to take over 14-15 thousand insulin injections in a 10-year period.

Symptoms of diabetes include:

  • extreme thirst
  • constant hunger
  • sudden weight loss
  • frequent urination
  • blurry eyes
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • extreme tiredness
  • infections

Other complications:

Diabetic neuropathy can lead to a loss of feeling in hands and feet. High blood glucose levels inhibit the systemic circulation of blood therefore impairs the healing process which may take weeks to heal a minor injury.

Diabetic nephropathy (diabetic kidney disease) is when the kidneys gradually deteriorate and lose full function, this can lead to kidney failure in severe cases.

Cardiovascular disease is a range of blood vessel system diseases that includes both stroke and heart attack. The two most common types of cardiovascular disease are coronary heart disease, caused by fatty deposits in the arteries that feed the heart, and hypertension, or high blood pressure.

Diabetic retinopathy takes place due to the high blood pressure and high blood sugar levels weakening the walls of the retina; this causes micro-aneurysms which leaks fluid or blood into the surrounding tissue.

Type 2 diabetes:

When the body fails to recognize the insulin produced and therefore is unable to reduce the blood sugar levels of the individual. Type 2 diabetes makes up approximately 90% of all diabetes cases. In some cases people can live for months even years without any knowledge of the disease, this is because type2 comes gradually that symptoms are unrecognised. In comparison to type1 the beta cells over time gradually losses their functions of producing insulin.

Heightened risk of developing type2 diabetes if you:

  • have a family history of diabetes
  • are older (over 55 years of age ) – the risk increases as we age
  • are over 45 years of age and are overweight
  • are over 45 years of age and have high blood pressure
  • are a woman who has given birth to a child over 4.5 kg (9 lbs), or had gestational diabetes when pregnant, or had a condition known as Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome.

Symptoms of type2 diabetes:

  • being very thirsty
  • frequent urination
  • blurry vision
  • mood swings
  • tingling or numbness in the hands or feet
  • frequent skin, bladder or gum infections
  • wounds that don’t heal
  • extreme unexplained fatigue and also lethargic
  • gradual weight gain
  • leg cramps


Almost 60% of all type 2 cases are viewed as preventable, some suggested measures of prevention are:

  • Maintaining a healthy weight
  • Regular physical activity
  • Making healthy food choices
  • Managing cholesterol levels
  • Not smoking

Syndrome Differentiation of Diabetes

QI Stagnation due to Liver Depression

Patients with diabetes often exhibit aggravated emotional tension, which is consistent with the theory of TCM that negative emotions could lead to diseases. Liver depression could lead to Qi stagnation and result in some emotional symptoms. This was the first stage of diabetes, and the characteristic was stagnancy.

Liver and Stomach Heat Stagnation

Liver and stomach heat stagnation belong to the stagnancy and heat stages of diabetes. The patients of this type showed some emotional and digestive symptoms such as irritability, distention and fullness in the chest and rib-side, drinking too much fluids and the production of increased urine, eating too much food, hunger, experiencing a bitter taste, dry mouth, and constipation. And patients usually have a red tongue, and a rapid and stringy pulse.

Phlegm and Heat Stasis

This syndrome often appears in the “heat” stage of diabetes, and the patients are relatively obese because in the theory of Chinese medicine, “obese people tend to have copious phlegm.” Patients with this type may have some symptoms such as abdominal obesity, a sense of chest suppression, abdominal distention, and dry mouth. They might also prefer cold drinks, drink much more fluids, and be irritable and have a bitter taste in their mouth as well as constipation. Patients also have a red and fat tongue with yellowish greasy moss, yellow urine, and a stringy and smooth pulse.

Excess Heat in the Stomach and Intestine

This syndrome generally occurs in the diabetic middle stage or in the “heat” stage. In the middle stage of diabetes, patients eat large amounts of food, which stagnate and form heat in the stomach and intestine. As such, its principal symptoms are abdominal fullness and distention, constipation, a bitter taste and dry mouth, halitosis, thirst with a desire for cool water, drinking and eating too much, and hunger. Patients usually have a red tongue with yellow moss and a rapid strong pulse.

Intestinal Damp and Heat Syndromes

This syndrome has unique features, intestinal damp and heat syndromes always appear in the diabetic middle stage or during the heat stage. Its principal symptoms are thirst with no desire to drink, hunger with no desire to eat, a bitter taste, a sticky and greasy sensation in the mouth, and abdominal distention. Patients also show a red tongue with yellow and greasy moss and a slippery pulse. When damp and heat affect the large intestine, smelly greasy stools might also form.

Deficiency of Body Liquid due to Excessive Heat Syndrome

The deficiency of body liquids due to excessive heat syndrome is more commonly found in the diabetic middle-late stage or the heat and deficiency stages. Impacted by the fire and heat pathogens from the early and middle stages of diabetes, qi is consumed and liquids are injured gradually. As such, its principle symptoms are dry throat and mouth, thirst with a desire for cool water, overeating and hunger, frequent micturition volume, irritability, bitter taste, red urine, and constipation. Patients also commonly have a red tongue with yellow fur and a rapid pulse

Dual Deficiency of Qi and Yin

The dual deficiency of qi and yin syndrome occurs in the late diabetic or the deficiency stage. The fire and heat pathogens further dissipate the primordial qi of zang-fu organs, and then the generalized qi is consumed. In addition, fire and heat pathogens scorch liquids and damage yin. Therefore, the main symptoms are dry throat and mouth, thirst with a large intake of fluid, fatigued spirit and lack of strength, shortness of breath and reluctance to speak, emaciation of the body, aching lumber and knees, spontaneous and night sweats, feeling palm and arch fever, upset, palpitations, insomnia, a red tongue with scant liquids and thin white dry tongue fur, and a fine rapid pulse.

Traditional Chinese Medicine does not offer a cure for diabetes, but instead aims to optimise the body’s ability to function normally. There is still a great need for more and better research on the efficacy and safety to integrate the two forms of care must all recognize the importance of careful monitoring of blood glucose levels, as well as monitoring for potential side effects such as drug-herb interactions.


  • Syndrome Differentiation of Diabetes by the Traditional Chinese Medicine according to Evidence-Based Medicine and Expert Consensus Opinion: Jing Guo, Hongdong Chen, Jun Song, Jia Wang, Linhua Zhao, and Xiaolin Tong; Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine Volume 2014 (2014),


For More information or online tools please feel free to contact Diabetes Australia https://www.diabetesaustralia.com.au/

Amenorrhea and Traditional Chinese Medicine

Amenorrhea and Traditional Chinese Medicine

By Audrey Cortez


What is Amenorrhea?

Amenorrhea is the absence of menstruation — one or more missed menstrual periods. Women who have missed at least three menstrual periods in a row have amenorrhea, as do girls who haven’t begun menstruation by age 15.  There are many causes or reasons why women do not have their period, such as late entering of puberty , due to stress or higher level hormonal changes. Depending on the cause, the amenorrhea condition can fall under categories:


  • Primary Amenorrhea is when there is no period by the time a teenage girl is 16 years and does not display other sexual characteristics such as breast development whereas;
  • Secondary amenorrhea is where there have been periods and then it would stop for more than a few cycles. Most women fall under Secondary amenorrhoea.

Testing of amenorrhea usually involves blood testing for hormone levels. The hormone levels which are investigated are  Prolactin, thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH), follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), +/– serum Human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG), Luteinizing hormone (LH), Oestrogen and Progesterone. Other tests conducted to rule out other conditions include MRI imagining and ultrasound in the case of a structural problem.


So how this is relevant to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM)?


It is relevant because the very nature of TCM is to bring the body back to balance. In the case of amenorrhea, the body is internally imbalanced. This imbalance is either  excessive  or deficient of the fundamental substances Yin / Yang , Blood or Qi. There are  suggestions  that the cause could be from overwork, stress, constitutional, emotions or could be a symptom of conditions for example Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) . When this imbalance occurs there are channels which are affected are the Spleen, Heart, Liver and of course the Kidneys as well as two extraordinary channels, the Ren Mai (or Conception vessel) and the Chong Mai (or Thoroughfare vessel). Some of the syndromes which amenorrhea falls under are:


  • Qi and Blood Deficiency
  • Stagnation of Qi and Blood
  • Kidney Qi Deficiency
  • Phlegm and dampness obstruction


Can Acupuncture and Herbs help?Amenorrhea

Acupuncture may assist with the treatment of the amenorrhea signs and symptoms such as weight gain or weight loss, unusual breast secretion, acne, excessive facial and body hair and dry skin. Acupuncture can address the imbalances of the body by directing the energy to where it needs to. Additionally, using moxibustion may be used during treatment and at home to aid the nourishment of the body and to also warm the Yang of the body .


Chinese herbal pharmacopoeia can definitely assist with amenorrhea,  by introducing herbs with therapeutic actions to specifically target the imbalances. This is done via clear up any stagnation of Qi or Blood and by nourishing the deficiency of Qi Blood of specific Zang Fu Organs. There are hundreds of benifical herbs which could be used which may assist with amenorrhea including : Man Jing Zi (Vitex), Dang Gui, Shu Di Huang, Shan Yao and Chai Hu to name a few. In addition we utilize herbal formulas like Ba Zhen Tang (as a qi tonic), Xiao Yao San (to help with stagnation within the Liver channel and nourish the Spleen channel) and Zuo Gui Wan (to nourish Kidney channel).


What about Diet and Lifestyle?

Diet and lifestyle modification can be important for dealing with the condition. One can follow the following : Eating plentiful amounts of iron rich foods, either derived from animal or plant, increase your vitamin C and B substances, fibre from green vegetables and good essential fatty acids (e.g. almonds, salmon even flaxseed oil). Other factors to consider is to include moderate exercise and improve stress levels with meditation, yoga or tai chi. Overall we can use acupuncture and herbs to enable the body to mend itself.


Written By Audrey Cortez



The information and reference materials contained here are intended solely for the general information of the reader. It is not to be used for treatment purposes, but rather for discussion with the patient’s own physician. The information presented here is not intended to diagnose health problems or to take the place of professional medical care.

Thanks and graduate for reading this blog if you would like to discuss your individual needs, please feel free to email info@roddsanchez.com.au or 02 8213 2888. www.roddsanchez.com.au

Rodd Sanchez Sydney Acupuncture and Chinese medicine

Being visited by a friend during illness

Being visited by a friend during illness

by Po Chu’i (772 – 846 CE)

I have been ill so long that I do not count the days;
At the southern window, evening – and again evening.

Sadly chirping in the grasses under my eaves
The winter sparrows morning and evening sing.

By an effort I rise and lean heavily on my bed;
Tottering I step towards the door of the courtyard.

By chance I meet a friend who is coming to see me;
Just as if I had gone specially to meet him.

They took my couch and placed it in the setting sun;
They spread my rug and I leaned on the balcony-pillar.

Tranquil talk was better than any medicine;
Gradually the feelings came back to my numbed heart.

Translation by Arthur Waley  170 Chinese Poems

Baby Turning Acupuncture Point with Moxa

Baby Turning Acupuncture Point with Moxibustion

Moxa and the action of moxibustion comes from the plant Artemisia vulgaris or Ai Ye.  It is a form of heat therapy with yang nourishing properties. Moxa can come in many different forms from loose punk (many grades in between), moxa cone and moxa stick, which come both traditional and smokeless types.

What you will need:

Moxa sticks (traditional or Smokeless)

Ashtray / cup

Cup of dry sand or salt to snuff / submerge the burning stick to extinguish Moxa when completed. DO NOT wet stick as it will change the properties and take forever to relight.


Moxibustion Session:

  1. Locate the “baby Turning point” (Zhiyin BL67). This can be found on the little toe> On the lateral / outside corner of toenail, as pictured


  1. Light Moxa stick with a gas flame – it may take a few minutes to light completely. You are only looking for the tip to be alight.


  1. Hold the glowing end of the Moxa stick as close as you can to Zhiyin point. There needs to be comfortable hot more than just warm.

baby turning point

  1. DO NOT burn the skin, NO direct contact with the skin. Should be hot but not burning


  1. Maintain the stick at this distance from the skin for advised time._______________min


  1. The stick will need to be tapped from time to time to ensure ash drops off.


  1. Always keep attentive to your actions as you may burn yourself


 Treatment Duration:

Each point should be heated this way for approx. 20 minutes for Breech or 15 mins for

Posterior/Transverse twice daily.

For ease of application people prefer to Moxa both sides simultaneously, please refer to photo below. There are many ways that you can be during sessions. From lying on your side supported with pillows or in a seated position with an assistant applying or preparing the moxa. Relaxation is an essential aspect of the treatment so nice tunes are in order. Repeat this procedure for up to 10 days (2x p/day) or until bubs position has corrected

Suggestions to Turning Your Baby:

Delegate. As much as you can. Tummy muscles to soften and relax. Rest with your hands on lower belly.

Use gravity –

Posterior: spend 5-10 minutes, 2-3 x per day on your hands & knees, doing movements that rock and roll the pelvis.

Breech: spend 20 minutes 2x per day on hands & knees, lower elbows & head to the floors that your pelvis is higher than your shoulders & relax with deep breathing in this position

The Outcome of Facial Cosmetic Acupuncture on Facial Elasticity

The Outcome of Facial Cosmetic Acupuncture on Facial Elasticity


Research Article Effect of Facial Cosmetic Acupuncture on Facial Elasticity: An Open-Label, Single-Arm Pilot Study

Younghee Yun, Sehyun Kim, Minhee Kim, KyuSeok Kim, Jeong-Su Park and Inhwa Choi

Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine


There are currently lots of different treatments available for facial wrinkles or to improve the muscle tone of your face. The use of facial cosmetic acupuncture is a great natural alternative to invasive medical procedures. Facial Cosmetic Acupuncture is practiced by inserting ultra-fine needles on the head, face, and neck for improving the overall flow of blood and increasing the muscle tone. It also assists in setting the balance between the soul and body’s internal organs.

There are many different types of therapies and medical treatments available for skin rejuvenation and anti-aging, including solutions for fighting other skin problems. FCA (Facial Cosmetic Acupuncture) has emerged as a new natural solution and a great alternative to medical treatments for skincare.

FCA is practiced by inserting ultra-thin needles on the head, face, and neck for improving the overall flow of blood and increasing the muscle tone. It also helps set balance between soul and body’s internal organs. In order to determine the efficacy and safety level, an Open Label, Single-arm Pilot Study was conducted using a popular Korean FCA practice in 2011.


Participants and Methods:

The study conducted by Younghee Yun, Sehyun Kim,  Minhee Kim,  KyuSeok Kim, Jeong-Su Park, and Inhwa Choi examined 50 female participants between the ages of 40 and 59 years to explore the effects of facial cosmetic acupuncture on facial elasticity.

During the current study, the women selected to participate in this research were excluded from seeking any other type of facial elasticity treatment. In addition, participants who had received botulinium toxin, filler injection or topical steroid treatments within the preceding 6 months  were also excluded from the study. [These women were excluded to help support the positive effects of facial acupuncture].

Over the course of three weeks, the women received five sessions of facial cosmetic acupuncture and had a break of three to four days between treatment sessions. Only experienced registered  acupuncture practitioners were involved in this study.

Results and Discussion:

Total 50 women were screened to carry out this study. The results of this study turned out to be very positive as 28 participants easily completed the eligibility criteria set for participation. This study investigated the efficacy and safety of facial cosmetic acupuncture improved patient self assessment. Rest of the 27 women successfully completed all the five sessions of FCA treatment.

As for outcomes, 12 participants did not show any change whereas 15 exhibited positive changes after completing all of the five FCA sessions. They did not exhibit even a single sign of scarring, nerve damage, or lengthy recover periods etc. for any reason.

The outcomes of this study were assessed by participants also. They assessed the degrees of their facial elasticity using a Vertical Line Visual Analog Scale of 10 cm. At the top, this scale was labeled as the “most severe condition whereas the bottom of the scale was labeled as “fine condition”

If you would like more information regarding cosmetic acupuncture and facial rejuvenation which is practiced at Sydney Acupuncture clinic please follow this link “Cosmetic Acupuncture


The information and reference materials contained here are intended solely for the general information of the reader. It is not to be used for treatment purposes, but rather for discussion with the patient’s own physician. The information presented here is not intended to diagnose health problems or to take the place of professional medical care.

Thanks and graduate for reading this blog if you would like to discuss your individual needs, please feel free to email info@roddsanchez.com.au or 02 8213 2888. 

Rodd Sanchez Sydney acupuncture and Chinese medicine 

Five Element : Wu Xing

Five Element : Wu Xing

Within Chinese theory, there is a understanding that there are five seasons – Sumner, autumn, winter, spring, (the four main) and late summer.  Associated to each of these seasons there is an elemental energy. These are known as the Wu Xing (five elements or five phases)- Fire, Earth, Metal, Water and Wood elements . By witnessing nature, we can see these five energies are around us and see how these same energies are reflected within our own bodies and personalities.


Patterns of the Phases / Elements of Chinese Medicine



When the Wood element is balanced it will allows one to have a clear vision, decisive goals. The person will have a tendency to be focused and dynamic. Whilst an excessive or stagnant wood individual can rigid, dogmatic, arrogant, and even air on the side of angry (shouting or easy to lose temper). Wood persons may suffer from digestive problems like bloating, irregular periods and possible temple headaches.

Inadequacy Wood can cause people to be without direction, indecisive, and unable to express their emotions, especially anger. Migraine headaches, eye problems, sinusitis, and male or female hormonal problems are often due to imbalances of Wood, as are allergies in the spring and many muscle problems or pain that doesn’t clear up with other therapies.



This element gives people charisma and the ability to take charge. It provides joy, passion, and compassion. Laughter is the sound associated with Fire. When Fire is excessive or stagnant, people may have hypertension, palpitations, and inflammation of the joints and muscles, tend to chronic infections, and not tolerate hot weather.

People with weak Fire tend toward feeling “blue,” or depressed, and anxious. Weak Fire results in feeling cold, constant fatigue, and a lack of sexual desire or feeling. They will tend to feel uncomfortable and may stutter or talk too much or inappropriately. Insomnia is often related to deficient Fire.



Earth is associated with the qualities of nurturing, acceptance, compassion, and magnanimity. Too much Earth can result in obesity, diabetes, and heart disease. It can cause people to be smothering in their relationships and have foggy-headed

Weak Earth can lead to constant worry, obsessive thinking, eating disorders, low blood sugar, sugar craving, underweight or other sign of poor absorption, and emotional coldness. Feeling like there is never enough can be due to deficient Earth. Weak Earth also can result in fatigue, diarrhoea, gas and bloating, food allergies, and heartburn.



Organization, self-discipline, persistence, and conscientiousness are qualities related to balance Metal. Acceptance and acknowledgement are also qualities of Metal.

Excessive or stagnant Metal can result in excessive and prolonged grief and/or sadness along with the inability to let go. An overly critical nature can be from excessive Metal. Deficient Metal energy is weak, there can be illnesses of the lungs – asthma, allergies, and frequent colds.

Imbalances of Metal can lead to skin problems (rashes, psoriasis, and eczema) and digestive problems such as constipation, diarrhoea, or inflammatory bowel diseases. Metal moves chi energy through the meridians, so when Metal is out of balance fatigue can result.





Water produces the qualities of strength, endurance, will, perseverance, and longevity. Excessive fear, caution, worry, and dread are caused by imbalanced Water.

Deficient Water results in coldness, fatigue, lack of energy and libido, sexual dysfunction, infertility, and weakness of joints. Dark circles or “bags” under the eyes denote deficient water. Groaning, or sighing, is the sound of deficient Water associated with exhaustion.

Winter is the season for Water and represents the need to have enough rest and relaxation in our lives to replenish our reserves of Water and regenerate our body and spirit.