A Chinese Medical Treatment for Type 2 Diabetes

Huang Yu and Li Le-min published an article titled, “The Treatment of 60 Cases of Type 2 Diabetes with Si Huang Xiao Ke Yin (Four Yellows Wasting & Thirsting Drink),” in issue #5, 2002 of Si Chuan Zhong Yi (Sichuan Chinese Medicine). This article appeared on pages 28-29, and a precis of this article is given below.

Cohort description:

There were 160 patients altogether in this study, 80 each a treatment and a comparison group. In the treatment group, there were46 males and 34 females aged 48-64 years with an average age of 53.6 years. These patients had had type 2 diabetes for 1-7 years, with an average disease duration of 5.4 years. In the comparison group, there were 44 males and 36 females aged 49-65, with an average age of 54 years. These patients had been diagnosed with diabetes for 2-8 years, with an average disease duration of 5.8 years. Both groups had stopped their original medication three days before the commencement of this study. There was no marked statistical difference in terms of age, sex, or disease duration between these two groups. All these patients met 1997 American diagnostic criteria for type 2 diabetes. All had a fasting blood glucose (FBG) over 7.0mmol/L and urine sugar was positive. Exclusion criteria included anyone who had had diabetic acidosis within the preciding month or any opportunistic infections. Other exclusion criteria included heart, liver, or kidney disease.

Treatment method:

The treatment group received: uncooked Radix Astragali Membranacei (Huang Qi), Radix Dioscoreae Oppositae (Shan Yao), Radix Pseudostellariae Heterophyllae (Tai Zi Shen), and cooked Radix Rehmanniae (Shu Di), 20g each, Tuber Ophiopogonis Japonici (Mai Men Dong), uncooked Radix Rehmanniae (Sheng Di), and Rhizoma Anemarrhenae Aspheloidis (Zhi Mu), 15g each, Radix Et Rhizoma Rhei (Da Huang) and Fructus Schisandrae Chinensis (Wu Wei Zi), 10g each, Rhizoma Coptidis Chinensis (Huang Lian), 6g, and Radix Trichosanthis Kirlowii (Tian Hua Fen), Radix Puerariae (Ge Gen), and Rhizoma Polygonati (Huang Jing), 30g each. One packet of these medicinals was decocted in water and divided into two daily doses. The comparison group received 8-10 pills TID of Xiao Ke Wan (Wasting & Thirsting Pills) as their only treatment. Both groups were treated for 100 days.

Treatment outcomes:

Marked effect was defined as normalization of clinical symptoms after treatment, an FBG less than 7.28mmol/L, two hour postprandial blood glucose (PPBG) of less than 8.4mmol/L, or a 30% or more lowering of these two scores. Some effect was defined as marked improvement in clinical symptoms, an FBG of less than 8.4mmol/L, an FBG of less than 10.08mmol/L, or a lessening of these two scores by 10-29%. No effect meant that none of these criteria were met. Based on these criteria, 36 cases or 45% of the treatment group were judged to have gotten a marked effect, 30 cases (37.5%) got some effect, and 14 cases (17.5%) got no effect, for a total amelioration rate of 82.5%. In the comparison group, there were 26 cases (32.5%) who got a marked effect, 26 cases (32.5%) who got some effect, and 28 cases (35%) who got no effect, for a total amelioration rate of 65%. In addition, while reductions in mean FBG were not markedly significant between the treatment and comparison groups, reductions in total cholesterol, triglycerides, blood urea nitrogen (BUN) and creatinine were markedly significant. Therefore, not only did Si Huang Xiao Ke Yin produce better overall amelioration rates, it also helped a number of other important health parameters.

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