Qigong has been used as an adjuvant treatment of diabetes

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Complementary and alternative medicines have been increasingly used as a co adjuvant treatment of chronic diseases, including diabetes mellitus. However, very little is known, especially in western countries, about its effects in the treatment of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). The purpose of this review was to summarize and critically evaluate clinical evidences regarding the effect of Chinese therapeutic exercises (Qigong) in the treatment of T2DM.

A systematic literature review, from January 1992 up to July 2011, searched articles indexed in the MEDLINE, LILACS and QIGONG databases, published in English and Portuguese. Terms combined in a Boolean search were "Qigong", "Chikung" "qi-gong" "diabetes" and "glycemic control". Risk of bias was assessed using the Cochrane criteria. Click to learn how Chinese medicine treats Diabetes.

Out of 30 English written articles, 5 studies met the inclusion criteria. Their results suggested favorable effects of Qigong in reducing C-peptide and fasting blood glucose levels in addition of improving insulin resistance and glycosilated hemoglobin.

The few studies, written in English, available on this subject had a somewhat limited methodological quality preventing definitive conclusions about the efficacy of Qigong Chinese exercises in the treatment of type 2 diabetes mellitus. There is a need of large randomized clinical trials to prove the effectiveness of this modality of therapy, as well as the need for more research papers written in English in order to disseminate and expand the potential benefit of this therapy in the management of T2DM.
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