Herbs for Diabetes, Neuropathy and Fibromyalgia
Answered by: Robert Newman, L.Ac.
Question from: Ms. I.
Posted on: January 16, 2005

My name is Ms. I. and I am in my 30s and I have the above subject (Diabetes, Neuropathy and Fibromyalgia) mentioned. Please help me by sending me information on which herbs to get, for I am taking 26 different medicines for this on a daily basis including blood pressure problems.

From the list of conditions you are dealing with, it sounds like it must be a very difficult and frustrating situation for you to have to go through. And for these health problems to occur while you’re only in your 30s could easily make it even more upsetting. Therefore, I feel particularly sorry that I can’t directly help you in this instance. I would need to see you in person to feel that I acted responsibly here. You have mentioned that you have several chronic conditions -- conditions that generally involve rather complex, multiple imbalances and that also have causative factors that are fairly deep, sometimes having been present in a person for many years. An issue such as diabetes, for example, involves some deep-set imbalances that are involving the endocrine system -- this is anything but a simple or minor issue. So you don’t just have multiple chronic conditions, you also have multiple serious health conditions going on at the same time. In order for me to properly and responsibly list what herbs would be good for your particular system and situation, I would need to be able to do a detailed and involved interview with you and examine your tongue, pulse, finger nails, facial complexion, etc. Actually, in any case, acute or chronic, minor or serious and deep, I would generally prefer to do an in-depth interview and exam to determine the appropriate treatment for you. With such a complex case, I don’t even feel that I could begin to estimate what herbs might be appropriate for you without very detailed information and without seeing you in person to do an examination. Your body, your system, your constitution, your particular situation is not exactly like anyone else’s, and the more complex the case, the more individualized my diagnosis and treatment approach must be to properly, safely and effectively address your condition. This interview and exam would be even more critical for me to do considering that you are on 26 different medicines -- I’m assuming here that you’re talking about western medications. However, even if only some of those 26 "medicines" are western drugs, that still makes the case much more complex, and a herbal practitioner has to be much more careful when prescribing herbs in that instance. In fact, when someone is taking so many medicines, I have a tendency to either avoid using any herbs (and possibly use homeopathically prepared medicines instead) or at least be quite restrictive about which herbs I will even consider prescribing. Furthermore, I don’t even know which drugs you are taking or what the doses are. But even if I did, that would still not help me with getting the detailed information I would also need from you that could only be obtained from doing an interview and examination in person with you. Essentially, as a practitioner of a wholistic form of medicine, I would need to do this process with you in order to make an appropriate diagnosis and treatment plan (such as an herbal prescription) according to the basic principles of acupuncture and Oriental medicine (AOM) or traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). Also, a very critical problem in this situation is that you have told me that you have certain illnesses, according to conventional western medicine’s diagnoses. However, in TCM, there can be numerous different imbalances that can be the cause for each of those illnesses -- without interviewing and examining you, I wouldn’t know which of those causes were involved in your case. Again, with diabetes as an example, according to TCM, you could have several different causes of that western-named illness including Lung Yin deficiency and dryness, Stomach Yin deficiency and Fire, Kidney Yin deficiency and Fire, Kidney Yin and Yang deficiency, etc. Please read the following replies that I have also written on Richter’s Q & A web page to get a further explanation and understanding of what it means to look at a person from a wholistic standpoint, diagnostically and treatment-wise, and why that is important: "Who to Turn to for Expert Information on Herbs?"; "Which Herbs Are Good for Cholesterol, Blood Sugar and Healthy Arteries?"; "Drug and Alcohol Detoxification"; "Korean Ginseng and Some Advice About Weight Loss Herbs."

Also, it is best to use a formula that has been put together based on knowing detailed information about you, as I have described above. This is going to work much better and have much less chance of undesirable effects ("side effects") than if you just use a group of herbs that I have listed with no basis for knowing which of them would be best for you, no basis for combining them together, and no basis for knowing how much of each herb should be used in combination with each other for your individual system and conditions. Also, a formula is preferred most times over just taking a single herb. This is because a single herb is much more likely to have some harsher effects or create some imbalances in your system and is also less likely to be able to more fully and deeply treat all of the main factors that are involved with your conditions -- especially with such a complex case. Please read the following reply on Richter’s Q & A web page to get a further explanation and understanding of why I say that it is critical that you receive a formula created for your specific system and issues: "Herbs to Heighten Ability to Have a Climax."

I don’t know where you are located and I realize that you may be living in an area where there may not be any capable and/or qualified practitioners of herbal medicine nearby. If so, that too could add to your frustration with these health issues. But if you can find such a practitioner in the nearest larger city, I would strongly suggest you do so. At least you could go there for an initial interview and examination and an initial custom prescription of herbs, and then maybe you could go back in person once a month or even once every 2-3 months and do some brief phone consultations in between those in-person visits to give feedback to the practitioner and describe any changes and reactions to the herbs. The practitioner could then alter your formula as needed even in between your in-person visits and could probably mail you a revised herb formula or order it from some company which could send it to your home. To possibly help you find a practitioner in your area, please see my reply on Richter’s Q & A web page: "Who to Turn to for Expert Information on Herbs?" I do wish you the best with your efforts to get well!

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