According to Ayurveda, a holistic alternative medical science, the main cause of Diabetes are fat, urine, and Kapha buildups due to foods, liquids, lifestyle, stress and others
It generally believes that any disease caused is due to doshic imbalance. The Doshas are the three humors that govern the human body; they are Vata, Pitta and Kapha. It includes diabetes in the Prameha category, which are a list of urinary disorders especially characterized by profuse urination with several abnormal qualities.
Classical Ayurvedic therapy for Madhumeha (Diabetes) begins with an assessment of the dosha imbalance. In all types of Pramehas (Urinary disorders), Kapha is vitiated, but in Madhumeha, Vata is often aggravated as well. Therefore, therapies will be directed at both Vata and Kapha simultaneously to restore the balance of the doshas.
By determining the causal imbalances at the basis of a disorder, an Ayurveda evaluation strikes the root causes of diabetes which are Overeating and consequent obesity, Excessive intake of sugar and refined carbohydrates, Overloading of proteins and fats which get converted into sugar if taken in excess, excessive tension, worry, anxiety & grief, hereditary factors.
Common Ayurveda remedies include:
- Diet restrictions -Avoid foods that increase kapha dosha like potatoes, rice, sugar, fatty foods and avoiding alcohol.
- Exercise – Regular physical exercise is a must for diabetics. Practising Yogic Asanas like ‘Halasan’, ‘Paschimottanasan” are found effective.
- Panchakarma Therapy – The greatest benefit of Panchakarma is that it reduces the insulin resistance in the tissues in Diabetics which is the primary goal in treating the Diabetes.
Ayurveda also addresses the diet modification by eliminating sugar and simple carbohydrates, and emphasizing complex carbohydrates. Protein is limited, as excessive intake can damage the kidneys. Fat is also limited because there is often a deficiency of pancreatic enzymes, making fat digestion difficult. Since many diabetics have Autoantibodies, Panchakarma is typically used for this cleansing the same. This begins with herbal massages and an herbal steam sauna, followed by fasting to cleanse the body. This is followed by an herbal purge for the liver, pancreas, and spleen. Colon therapy is next, first to cleanse the digestive tract and then to reconstitute the system.
Ayurveda is the ‘Way of Life’ which addresses all the problems under the category of Lifestyle Diseases with time-tested methodologies.
Whatever sugar we take is generally broken down into simple sugar called ‘Glucose’ in our body. This glucose circulates within the blood and enters into the cells with the help of insulin. Insulin is a hormone, made within the Beta-cells of Pancreas. Due to sedentary life style and genetic predisposition, the beta cells are not able to make enough insulin, which is a key for glucose to enter into the cells. The key is not there and the glucose keeps on circulating within the blood. This is called Diabetes. .
Ayurveda treats the “whole person” and enable better successful management of Diabetes by taking care about their psycho-social aspects faced by persons with diabetes too. Controlling Diabetes means reverting to a healthier lifestyle as below:
- Diet – Avoid sugar in any form-rice, potato, banana, cereals & fruits containing high percentage of sugar content. Do away with fatty stuff. Go for the following low-calorie, low-fat alkaline diet of high quality natural foods. Emphasis should be on raw vegetables & herbs as they play a part in stimulating the pancreas and enhancing insulin production.
- Exercise – Shun a sedentary lifestyle. Exercise helps in burning fat, reducing stress and reducing weight. These are key ingredients of diabetes control. Cycling, swimming, jogging etc are helpful to fight diabetics.
- Yoga - Daily yoga routine of breathing exercises, meditation and poses enhance digestion and help the pancreas and liver function more normally, regulating blood sugar levels. Cobra (Bhujang Asana), Locust (Shalabh Asana), Bow (Dhanur Asana) are few Asanas that help diabetics.
- Quit Smoking – if you smoke your body also is unable to respond to insulin. Smoking while having diabetes also increases your risk of getting complications such as eye, kidney and nerve problems.
- Reduce Alcohol Consumption – Many alcoholic drinks contain sugar. Excessive alcohol can decrease your blood sugar to dangerous levels.
- Occupation – Certain occupations like being a pilot, armed forces, deep sea diving and working on a ship are not advisable for persons with diabetes.
- Don’t indulge in day-time sleep.
Yoga is a way of living that has a beneficial effect on diabetes, which is a lifestyle related condition due to an imbalance in handling a glucose load. It is a state in which pancreas not functions normally, no sufficient insulin is produced and so, the body is not capable to manage its food intake properly, body’s metabolism gets disturbed.
The Yogic treatment like Asanas (poses), Pranayama (breathing techniques) and Dhyana (meditation) restores the normal functioning of the pancreas and other glands of the endocrinal system. When these glands begin to function properly, the body chemistry becomes normal, the individual is fully cured of the diabetic disorders and his health is restored to normal level.
a) Asanas :
- Yogic exercises enhance digestion and help the pancreas and liver function more normally, regulating blood sugar levels
- Asanas like Sasangasana (Rabbit Pose) and Janushirasana with Pashimotthanasana (Head-to-Knee with Stretching Pose) provide stimulation and rejuvenation to the cells of the pancreas and other endocrine glands by way of compression. Compression of these glands, followed by relaxation, causes an increased volume of highly oxygenated blood to reach the cells, bringing nourishment that rejuvenates atrophied cells.
- The calmative effect by the practice of Savasana (Dead Body Pose) at correct intervals also contributes to the reversal of this so-called chronic, incurable disease.
b) Pranayama :
- It reduces the drug requirement, develops a sense of well-being and normalization of the Insulin / Glucose ratios.
- Alternate nostril breathing has calming effect on nervous system, which reduces stress levels, helping in diabetes treatment.
c) Dhyana :
- Stress hormones increase sugar levels in the blood. By regular meditation one can manage stress by bringing balance between Sympathetic and Parasympathetic nervous systems.
- Concentration on pancreas during the meditation practice has shown positive effects on sugar levels.
- It results in a stabilization of moods and increases a feeling of being more in control which may help in diet control.
In Ayurveda Science of life, Obesity is known as Medo Roga and is defined as the condition in which excessive amount of fat is accumulated in the body. It holds that when the Agni, the digestive fire is vitiated, then the Ama (toxic substances) is built up in the body, leading to obesity.
- In Ayurvedic theory, the body is said to contain three primal forces (Tridosha) that work in tandem: Vata, Pitta and Kapha. Excess Kapha is said to cause obesity which increases the chances of getting Diabetes.
- Generally Type 1 Diabetes are completely unable to produce insulin whereas Type 2 Diabetes can produce insulin, but their cells have become resistant to it.
Besides sugar utilization, Insulin is required for fat deposition in the body. In obese people, an ‘Insulin steal’ occurs: the fat ‘steals’ the Insulin from other cells, setting the stage for Diabetes. Thus the link between Type 2 Diabetes and obesity is firmly established. Without the intervention of a healthy diet and appropriate exercise, change in the sedentary life style in order to lower the elevated blood glucose level, Obesity may develop into diabetes over a relatively short period of time.
The excessive fat interferes with body’s ability to use insulin properly. According to Ayurveda this is called “Stroto-Avarodh” i.e. blocked channels. This blockage in the channels of passage of insulin is reason for greater insulin resistance.
Ayurvedic tips to fight Obesity thereby prevents Diabetes:
- Exercises like brisk walking, jogging, out door games etc help to reduce weight.
- Avoid taking curd the food and beverages which increase Kapha and Medha.
- Having sex frequently is also a good physical exertion
- Consume wheat products than rice products.
- Physical and mental exertion.
- Sleeping for less hours.
If the person is obese, then diabetes becomes more of a problem. In such people, an elaborate Ayurvedic system of treatment is used. The preliminary methods are:
a) Apatarpana (De-nourishment)
b) Shamshodhana (Cleansing)
In these methods, the fats built up in the body are reduced by de-nourishment of the body. This is followed by a cleansing of the toxins that have accumulated in the body. The Panchakarma method of cleansing the body may be used. Once this is done, then the body has to be rebuilt.
DIABETES MELLITUS TYPE II is a condition when the body produces insulin larger than the normal quantities. It creates lack of sensitivity to insulin by the cells of the body. With an increase in insulin resistance, the release of insulin by the pancreas may also be defective, and occur late in response to increased glucose levels. Thus, the liver in these patients continues to produce glucose despite elevated glucose levels. In other words, insulin acts like a key to send glucose to the cells and in type 2 diabetes the cells won’t accept it and the excess glucose will be in the blood stream, which causes problems if untreated.
- Excessive thirst
- Excessive urine
- Blurred vision
- A Feeling of pins and needles
Alternative medicines have been very effective in controlling diabetes. Hyponidd is one of them. It is a herbo-mineral formulation and has 12 blended ingredients including Vijaysar (Pterocarpus Marsupium), Gurmar (Gymneme Sylvestre), Jambu Beej (Syzigium Cumin), Amla (Emblica Officianale), Haldi (Gurcuma Longa), Neem (Melia Azadirachta), Trivang Bhasma and Shilajit. All these agents are well known for having some anti-diabetic action.
Hyponidd is an Indian supplement taken to stabilize blood sugar. Normally people with diabetes or insulin resistance may find this effective. The ingredients are proven to have a definite beneficial effect not only in lowering blood sugar levels but also in lipid lowering effect. Hyponidd minimizes the chances of diabetic complications, if started sufficiently early.
It is an herbal anti-diabetic developed in India. The benefits of taking Hyponidd are supposedly a lowing of lipid levels and it gives protection against cardiovascular diseases. It may also promote feelings of well-being and aid in boosting energy levels.
In Diabetes 2 tablets twice daily, half-an-hour before meals or as directed by the Physician.
Precautions for Diabetics:
Hyponidd, like any other Antidiabetic medication, requires routine monitoring of blood/urine sugar levels, especially when Hyponidd is prescribed as an add-on medication with existing OHAs.
Ayurveda, a holistic way of living, and a system of medicine which hailed from Indian sub continent is based on the theory that our individual body constitution is made up of three Energies or Doshas called as Vata, Pitta and Kapha.
Imbalance in Vata and Kapha is the basic reason of a person being afflicted with diabetes. Its causes are fat, urine, and Kapha buildups due to improper diet and an irregular lifestyle. In Ayurveda, diabetes is categorized under Prameha that are the urinary disorders, where the patient suffers a profuse urination with several abnormal qualities.
Diabetic Neuropathy is one of chronic, disabling and life threatening complications of Diabetes Mellitus. It is a nerve damage which occurs due to high sugar levels in blood for a prolonged period. Because of this the nerves cannot carry the messages to the brain and other parts of the body. Its symptoms are loss of sensation, loss of balance and coordination, poor digestion, loss of appetite, nausea etc.
Usually it affects the legs and feet and sometimes it may affect several parts of the body at the same time. Basically there are four different types of Diabetic Neuropathy, which are grouped based on their different symptoms and complications.
- Neuropathic Foot – Loss of sensation in lower extremity.
- Symmetric Distal Polyneuropathy – In glove and stocking distribution of legs and arms unbearable pain is felt.
- Assymetric Neuropathy – Blurred vision.
- Diabetic Autonomic Neuropathy – Head aches, dizziness, excessive sweating, etc.
Ayurveda works in eradicating the root causes of Diabetic neuropathy by controlling the overeating habits, excessive eating of sweets, more tension and worry Ayurvedic herbal formulations along with a modified life style, suitable diet, yogic practice, Panchakarma therapy in order to balance both the Vata and Kapha Doshas which then controls the sugar level.
Ayurveda, an age old holistic way of scientific living, manages Diabetic Neuropathy, a chronic complication of diabetes which damages the nerves, by advising a modified life style, diet and yogic practice along with its oral medicines.
Ayurvedic oral medicinal formulations are being prepared from the extracts of medicinal herbs, leaves and spices. They try to work on restoring the balances of the vitiated doshas of Vata and Kapha, which are the main reason for diabetes neuropathy.
Generally Kashayam and Arishtam which are the herbal decoctions and fermentations or Lehyams which are semi solid formulations are recommended, Herbal formulations are used to control the sugar levels and needless to say that no chemicals are being added to it and they have no side effects.
- Gurmaar (Gymnema Sylvestrae) – They will blend with the glucose molecules that are in intestines and prevent their entry into the blood.
- Karela (Momordica Charantia) – It has such a good anti-diabetic property that prevents the diabetic complications.
- Ashwagandha (Withania Somnifera) – Very useful to fight weakness, fatigue and weightloss that occur due to diabetes.
- Tulsi (Ocimum Sanctum) – The leaves when used regularly controls the blood sugar level.
- Gourdin is a all-natural herbal supplement that has been prepared from the seeds of Bitter Gourd, that regulates the blood sugar level and prevents the complications like diabetic neuropathy.
- Turmeric with Aloe Vera gel can be used to treat the initial stages of diabetes that helps in regulating the pancreas and liver functions.
- Decoctions of Triphala, Fenugreek, Musta, Arjuna, Sandalwood, Lodhra, Ajwan, Gokshura, Vidanga, Guduchi, Haritaki, and Chitrak when taken with little ghee is highly beneficial for diabetic neuropathy.
- Saptrangi (Salacia Oblonga) – effective in controlling the diabetes.
- Ayurvedic medicines like INSOL-N, Diabetes support capsule, stress support capsules keep the blood sugar normal.
Ayurveda, the basic science of life, treats diabetic neuropathy, a chronic complication of diabetes which leads to nerve damage by means of Panchakarma Theraphy which an offshoot of Ayurvedic treatment. It flushes out the toxins, rejuvenates the body and treats the damaged nerves.
Pre-purification method :
a) Snehapanam - Medicated ghee is administered in empty stomach for a specified period which helps if flushing out the toxins out of the body. Ghee is mixed with spices/herbs like Malabar nut, sweet flag, neem, ginger etc.,
b) Shirodhara – Medicated warm oil/herbal decoctions/medicated milk/butter milk is being continuously poured on the forehead, in an oscillating manner, which leads to revitalization of the central nervous system.
c) Dhanyamladhara – Fermented liquid made of lemon, horse gram etc are continually poured on the body for about 50 minutes which provides nourishment to the nerves.
d) Thalapothichil – Fruits and herbal paste of gooseberry, lotus seed, sandal etc are mixed with butter milk and the ground in to paste and applied over the scalp of the patient which relaxes the mind.
e) Thakradhara – Specially prepared buttermilk is being poured on the forehead of the person which calms down mind and reduces the stress.
Main purification method mentioned below are undergone to eliminate the toxins that are loosened by the above mentioned pre purification methods.
a) Virechanam – Purgative medicines that are made of herbs like cardamom, turpith are taken orally that leads to elimination of the toxins through the anal route.
b) Vamanam (Therapeutic vomiting) – Toxins are eliminated through upper gastro intestinal track and herbs that are used are nut grass tuber, liquorices etc.
c) Vasthi (Enema therapy) – Here the ace colon is cleaned by introducing the special medicines through anal route. Rock salt, herbal pastes, honey are used.
After Panchakarma treatment, the patient undergoes Rasayana treatment which has oral medicines, diet regulations and yogic practice as its part that helps in rejuvenating body, mind and soul.
Ayurvedic Science an ancient healing system of Indian medicine views Diabetes neuropathy as a chronic complication of diabetes which is being classified under Madhumeha. The diet and lifestyle that is being recommended for controlling this disease are cited as below:
a) Take a natural, balanced healthy, low fat diet. Avoid refined sugars and processed food so that our body will cope up with processing glucose.
b) Avoid taking rice, potato, cereals, banana, and fruits that contains high concentration of sugars.
c) Take vegetables such as bitter gourd, string beans, cucumber, onion and garlic.
d) You may include home made cottage cheese, butter milk, eggs and soya beans in your diet.
e) It is advised to take a Meshashringi, a herb that deadens the taste buds in the tongue for few hours, so that your temptation for taking sweets will diminish.
f) Daily exercise regimen burns fat and reduces stress and body weight that contributes indirectly to the above disease. However take care to avoid over exertion that leads to raising blood pressure.
g) If you cannot do exercises a short regular walk is enough as it reduces demands on pancreas.
h) Include diet that has more of Vitamin B6 and B12 as it help to fight the intensity of diabetic neuropathy. Season your food with ¼ tea spoon of cinnamon as it will regulate the blood sugar level.
i) Limit intake of salty, refined, fatty foods. Take a lot of fresh fruits and vegetables daily. Try to include high fiber carbohydrates in your diet.
j) Oversleeping, suppression of natural urges, sedentary life style all indirectly contributes to DN. Hence take care to change this lifestyle.
k) It advises us not to overeat wholesome diet as that is also as bad as taking unwholesome diet.
l) It recognizes the impact of the negative emotional changes and stress as one of the contributing factor of Diabetes. For this practice yoga and meditation.
Hence Ayurvedic approach to life aims at creating a harmony in daily life and applies self knowledge and self care.
Ayurvedic Science a way of life, has its method of treating any type of bodily disorders by advising one to have simple changes in his lifestyle/diet and by taking Ayurvedic herbal formulations along with a regular yogic practice. In the same manner, it manages Diabetic neuropathy too, which is a severe complication of diabetes affecting the nerves, where the symptoms are being manifested in the form of loss of sensation/balance etc.
Ayurveda approaches it in a wholistic manner, in helping the patient to control it at all levels physical, emotional, mental, spiritual and intellectual. A regular yogic practice, which has three components in it viz Asanas (postures), Dhyana (meditation) and Pranayama (breathing techniques) helps a lot in fighting the disease.
While doing yogic postures like Amarantha Kokkuasana (sitting crane), Nindra Kokkuasana (Standing crane) and Vil asana (Bow pose, rocking) and breathing exercises the pancreatic cells are rejuvenated and its secretion is greatly influenced a lot by the abdominal contractions and relaxations.
Especially, if you practice Udiyana Bandam, it leads to abdominal squeeze which is very much useful in fighting the disease.
Also it is found that when we do some Asanas related to muscular movements blood sugar is reduced. It helps in increasing the blood supply to various part of the body thereby improving insulin administration in the body.
Practising yoga Asanas like Ardha-Matsyendrasana (Spinal twist), Halasana (Plough pose, Kalapoy Asana), Yoga Mudrasana (Yogic Symbol pose), Bhujangasana (Serpent pose, Paambuasana), Sarvangasana (Shoulder stand), Supta Vajrasana (Sitting pose of Firmness), Chakrasana (Wheel pose), Shalabhasana (Grasshopper pose, Vittelasana) too help a lot in controlling Diabetic Neuropathy.
It develops a mental relaxation and a balance in life and changes one’s attitude towards the treatment that one has to undergo if afflicted with Diabetes Neuropathy.
Last but not least Ayurveda also recommends one to do a creative visualizing that pancreas are functioning properly and during meditation one has to concentrate on it, so that there is a desired positive effect on sugar levels.