Diabetes

Introduction

Diabetes, word is very common in the environment we interact in. At least there are family members, friends, or neighbors who suffer from this lifestyle disease. Have you ever thought about what has made this condition common these days? Diabetes or clinically Diabetes mellitus is a group of disorders that affects glucose utilization in the body. Glucose is an essential energy component for the cells & tissues that make up the body. In today’s life, people are less physically active either because of their working pattern or comforts. Digitalization has made people less mobile & sedentary. There is also excessive consumption of a high-calorie diet. According to studies people are more inclined towards fast food or ready-made food culture. This has been critical in the prevalence of Diabetes mellitus.

Almost 140 million are affected by Diabetes globally. In 2025, it is estimated to be double. The aging population, unhealthy food habits & sedentary lifestyle has been major contributing risk factors in the manifestation of the disease. Diabetes is associated with a rise in blood sugar levels, the increased glucose affects the body systems in a complex manner. Insulin allows sugar to enter cells in a normal body. The sugar is entered by the insulin into the cells & absorbed in the bloodstream.

Causes

TYPE 1 Diabetes Mellitus, Insulin-Dependent Diabetes Mellitus is a condition in which the pancreas does not produce insulin. The body’s immune system fights against the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas. It is common in later ages of life. Insulin is the hormone that has blood sugar decreasing property in the body. Thus, in this condition sugar accumulates in the body.

Prediabetes & Type 2 Non-insulin-dependent Diabetes Mellitus The body becomes resistant to the insulin produced by the pancreas. This is the cause of 95 % of Diabetes globally. The prediabetes stage can lead to type 2 DM.

Gestational Diabetes– due to the placental hormones, the body cells become insulin resistant.

Causes or risk factors for type 1

Family history, environmental factors, Autoantibodies, geographical regions like Sweden, Finland

Risk factors for type 2

Inactivity, body weight, family history, age, race, hypertension, PCOS, high triglyceride & cholesterol levels

Ayurveda perspective

Ayurveda classifies Diabetes as Madhumeha in the context of disease Prameha. It means honey-colored urine or sweet urine. It is caused by excessive eating sweet foods, inactivity, excess sleep & other Kapha dosha vitiating diet & regimens. Ayurveda mentions 20 types of prameha, which involves doshas, dhathus, which produce urinary & other clinical manifestations. Diabetes manifests due to blockage of body channels by the vitiated doshas & by the depletion of dhathus or tissues in the body. Due to the vitiation of Kapha dosha & medho dhathu in the body, the Agni or the digestive capacity is impaired & affects all other dhathu or tissue metabolism. The symptoms appear depending upon the intensity of the doshas involved.

Symptoms Checklist

  • Increased hunger & thirst
  • Frequent urination
  • Fatigue
  • Fluctuating body weight

Management & Treatment

In Ayurveda, the treatment protocol is designed by considering Prakriti or the constitution of the individual, the dominating dosha-dushya, hereditary factors, mental capacity, the degree of obstruction of body channels & food -regimen. The general line of treatment involves modifying the diet, activities, & medicines.

Diet– regular, high fiber & frequent in small amounts

Vegetables- Bitter is best, greens, legumes, bitter gourd, methi, cluster beans, etc

Rice or wheat in very small quantities

Regular exercise- it lowers the blood glucose levels, improves the mental state & energizes the body

Shodhana-Panchakarma therapy– It depends upon the intensity of dosha involved. Usually purgation therapy & vasti (enema )is recommended for type 2

Shamana herbal medicine therapy-Single herbs like bitter gourd, bimbi(Coccinia), Gymnema, Methi, Onions, tulsi, Neem, Amla, Turmeric are best recommended.

There are herbal formulations nishakatakadi kashayam, nimbadi choornam, katakakhadiradi kashayam are found very effective.

Yoga, a holistic approach

The yoga asanas that pacify Kapha dosha are advised. Surya Namaskar, Dhanurasana(bow pose), Chakrasana(wheel pose) are very effective if done regularly. The asanas improve blood circulation & boost systemic metabolism. Along with yoga, brisk walking, mild exercise for joints is advised.

Pranayama

Breathing exercises can bring prana Vayu in control & maintain the body-mind equilibrium. Breathing exercise improves the oxygen supply to brain cells & clears the channels of the body. It is advised to do regularly in a calm environment.

Meditation

Stress enhances hormone levels which in turn increases blood sugar levels. Meditation for at least 10 minutes in a comfortable environment can calm down the stress & associated anxiety. It can be prayers or relaxing music.

Do’s

  • A wholesome diet with a low glycemic index
  • Daily high fiber diet
  • More green salads on the lunch or dinner menu
  • Drink adequate fluids

Avoid

  • Tea, coffee, alcohol
  • Quit smoking
  • Processed foods like sausages, smoked meats & ready eat foods. The processed foods contain a high amount of added sugar & other synthetic additives
  • Bottled or canned drinks especially the gaseous drinks
  • Pizza, burgers, fries, hotdogs,
  • Deserts, sweets & dairy products

You must consult an expert physician before undergoing any treatment or taking any medicines. All medicines have to be taken under the strict supervision of a physician only. This can save your lives & avoid any complications of the diseases.