Insulin dependent diabetes (IDDM) used to be a fatal disease in children. With the discovery and isolation of insulin diabetes has been changed into a chronic illness.

I would think that even the barest of understanding of IDDM would suggest that stopping insulin would be a very bad idea.

Evidently some acupuncturists do not have even the barest of understanding, with tragic results:

A 17-year-old diabetic boy from Tiruppur died after he stopped taking insulin injections on the advice of his acupuncturist.

How deep is the acupuncturists delusion?

Balamurugan told The News Minute that his methods were foolproof and that this was a freak incident. "I do not endorse the gradual withdrawal of insulin injections. I think they must be stopped altogether. Acu touch is proven to work. So many patients who are in the same age bracket are doing absolutely fine after withdrawal."

Deep indeed. I suppose Balamurugan is unaware of the old adage, dead men tell no tales.

The belief that acupuncture could cure diabetes as offered by the acupuncturist must be a freak incident as well, right?


Traditional Chinese pseudo-medicine has a growing literature on the trying to kill, er I mean treat, diabetics, albeit usually Type 2 diabetes.

Electroacupuncture at the Zusanli (ST–36) Acupoint Induces a Hypoglycemic Effect by Stimulating the Cholinergic Nerve in a Rat Model of Streptozotocine-Induced Insulin-Dependent Diabetes Mellitus.

Treatment of insulin resistance by acupuncture: a review of human and animal studies.

Moxibustion for managing type 2 diabetes mellitus: a systematic review.

Comparative evaluation of the therapeutic effect of metformin monotherapy with metformin and acupuncture combined therapy on weight loss and insulin sensitivity in diabetic patients.

Electroacupuncture plus metformin lowers glucose levels and facilitates insulin sensitivity by activating MAPK in steroid-induced insulin-resistant rats.

BO's abdominal acupuncture for obese type–2 diabetes mellitus.

Efficacy analysis on type 2 diabetes mellitus treated with acupuncture in females.

Electroacupuncture for control of blood glucose in diabetes: literature review.

Clinical study on acupuncture, moxibustion, acupuncture plus moxibustion at Weiwanxiashu (EX-B3) for treatment of diabetes.

And there are more publications in the same vein, or in the case of treating diabetes, vain.

When all you have is a needle, every disease has an acupuncture point.

But it is no surprise that an acupuncturist thinks their therapy can treat whatever ails you. Those ideas are given very positive feedback by the scientific literature.  Acupuncture is scientifically shown to work.

So I sadly anticipate more of the same.