Can Diabetes be Cured by Ayurveda?

Can Diabetes be Cured by Ayurveda

Introduction

Diabetes mellitus, commonly called Diabetes, in Ayurveda, (the science of life) explains Diabetes as Madhumeha”. The prediabetic stage is termed Prameha. In simple words, Ayurveda insists on lifestyle modifications along with herbal medicines & exercises for a diabetic person.

The topic is a common dilemma. Let us see, Diabetes is a condition that manifests in multiple systems of the body. Hence the prognosis is not very easy. We can regulate the blood glucose levels in the body by various supportive measures as per Ayurveda.

Well, Ayurveda is always a safe option for Diabetes. It is a way of living rather than a treatment system. It is a natural way of bringing back our body to normal by various natural therapies. Diabetes requires long term intervention.

It goes well with other treatments without any counter-reaction, if safely administered. Taking herbal medicines & following herbal-based routine for extended periods does not damage the body.

Total cure? What do you think?

Diabetes cannot be cured completely. It is not a single disease; it’s a group of systemic disorders which manifests slowly. This complexity makes the cure a time-consuming task.  But in Ayurveda, it can be controlled or managed greatly. The degree of cure always depends upon many factors like chronicity, age of the patient etc.

Specifically, in Ayurveda, there are different types of diabetes depending upon the symptoms & history of onset of diseases. Treatment is given subsequently in various stages. There are a lot of dietary & lifestyle modifications described. For example, dietary preparations like porridge made with anti-diabetic drugs are of great demand & welcoming among the public.

For Diabetes, depending upon the type of patient, treatment is undertaken, if the person is obese, then measures to reduce fat that includes low – carb diet, physical activity are followed. If the patient is lean, milder & nourishing treatments are adopted, considering the strength of the patient. Here in both cases, anti-diabetic medicines are selected accordingly.

Key benefits of following ayurveda

Diabetes has profound effects on multiple systems in our body. The high blood glucose levels hamper the vital systemic activities like delayed wound healing lowered sexual response, mood swings (The person loses tempers easily).

The Ayurvedic approach generally emphasizes on treating the root cause of disease. It can control the disease to a great extend by arresting the further progression of the disease. The lifestyle modifications like regular exercise, managing weight, consuming a diet containing anti-diabetic properties.

Treatment of diabetes- Ayurvedic perspectives

Ayurveda treatments are primarily based on tridosha theory.  Vata, pitta, Kapha are the 3 doshas & considered as the balancing forces. Vata controls all movements in the body, pitta controls all metabolic functions, Kapha regulates the structure & nourishment in the body. That means doshas are considered as the balancing entities of health.

What happens in diabetes

Any derangement in the balance of doshas results in diseases. So in Diabetes, an imbalance of Vata & Kapha dosas occurs.  By excessive consumption of sweet, fatty food especially dairy, carbohydrate-rich foods, genetic factors, other underlying primary diseases the doshas attains imbalance.

Likewise, diabetes caused by an imbalance of Kapha dosha, the treatment protocol is alleviating Kapha dosha by diet or medicines possessing opposite qualities of Kapha- pungent, bitter as well as astringent. Kapha dosa gets aggravated by the use of oily, fatty foods. So the intake of less fatty foods is advisable as part of treatment. At different stages of the disease, different doshas are predominant. So prophylactic measures to alleviate the predominant doshas are undertaken. Mainly in general, Vata- Kapha alleviation is followed. (

Some of the treatment procedures seem outdated in the Modern era, but we can use our rationale to modify the treatment methods to fit our current needs. Here application of physicians’ logic assumes great significance. A thorough evaluation of the patient is done before starting any treatment procedures.

Specifically, apart from food causes, a sedentary lifestyle is one of the major causes of diabetes.

Our lifestyle – a contributing hazard

Nowadays, this assumes great relevance, because people are inclined towards fast food & reduced physical activity. This when continued for a long time, manifests as obesity & thereby diabetes. In today’s life, none is different; every person lives an unhealthy life.

Knowingly or unknowingly, they follow the same routine, this, in turn, makes them susceptible to many lifestyle disorders including diabetes in the future.  The Ayurveda classics advises walking exercise along with other physical activities.

Herbs for life

There are potent herbs that are single remedies in diabetes treatment.  Turmeric, Cinnamon, Ginger, Fenugreek, Bitter gourd are well known anti-diabetic herbs. But invariably the application differs from patient to patient& also depending upon the chronicity of the disease. For example, Ayurveda classics mention the use of turmeric & gooseberry as a perfect remedy for the disease.

Also, there is kashaya – medicated decoctions prepared from herbs, that are very effective. Then as mentioned earlier there are tablets, medicated powders for internal as well as external applications. Most of these have the property to rejuvenate the body & reduce the damage caused to organs.

Prevention in ayurveda

Ayurveda more stresses on prevention than cure. It is said that if we follow the balanced routine for food & lifestyle according to seasons or the changing climate, you would be freed from all kinds of diseases. It also emphasizes on having a stress free or peaceful mind. Diseases like diabetes have a great impact on our mental health too.

Another fact about Diabetes is that they are classified under diseases with a bad prognosis. But there is nothing to worry about. There are measures to be implemented at each stage & arrest even a minute progression of the disease. It is advisable to follow a strict pattern of conjoining medications & lifestyle changes.

The root cause for diabetes has to be avoided under all circumstances, like eating sweet foods, following a sedentary lifestyle etc.

Ayurvedic detoxification

Many people approach the Ayurveda system with the same question. But once they are told & explained about the treatment, most of them prefer to be treated soon. When the treatment starts, they feel the real change in the body which is beyond any explanation.

Each day is a better day for them. Simultaneously it depends upon the cooperation from the patient’s side also. How well they adapt to treatment procedures.

Internal as well as external treatments like drinking kashaya, doing panchakarma therapies like oil massage or powder massage, fomentation therapy,  nourishing therapies to regain the health of eyes.

Vasti therapies (mostly applying for medicines through anal route) are also advocated based on the chronicity of the disease, the degree of body damage, age of the patient, the body constitution, the inherent strength possessed by the patient. These purificatory therapies eliminate the toxicity in the body & regenerate the body.

With all the ongoing therapies, prescribed diet & regimen are followed.  By all these interventions body gains health so as the mind. After the above said procedures, monitoring of all vitals, necessary laboratory tests are performed in order to understand the systemic response to treatment procedures timely.

Yoga & meditation for diabetes

Along with medical treatments, Yoga & meditation are also incorporated. Suryanamaskara is very effective. This involves various bodily exercises including yogic postures.  Pranayama or the breathing exercises oxygenate body cells & promote the normal wellbeing of the body.

Tackling sexual problems & improper sleep

Various meditation techniques are employed to regain the mental strength & consciousness. This soothes the mind & gives clarity to senses, thus improves sleep. The diabetic patient usually encounters sleep disturbances leading to insomnia.

Emotional imbalance also leads to sexual disturbances owing to relationship problems. Mental stress, emotional disturbances can also be tackled by following the same. Yogasanas like Dhanurasana & Sarvangasana are proven to be clinically effective & recommended widely.

The patient feels a sense of satisfaction & relief. They strictly follow the required routine rules for the rest of their life. Owing to the arrest in disease progression, medicines are reduced with dietary improvements. Antidiabetic diet preparations like drinks, salads, natural juices form part of the diet.

Prioritize our body & observe any changes occurring. This is the only way to understand a forthcoming onset of a disease.  Especially diabetes does not manifest all of a sudden. It takes time to completely take the form of a disease. If we are conscious about the bodily changes, take quick action without any delay. If this methodology is followed, a lot of diseases can be prevented to a great deal.

The real life scenarios

In this modern world, relying on chemical formulations has greatly increased. Because no one is ready to take preventive measures against the disease. And when the disease onsets, they suddenly start the symptomatic treatment measures which are a temporary solution. It is double damage to the body.

Symptomatic treatment is not bad, but no one ever thinks about the leading factors behind the diseases before choosing treatments. People are less aware or least bothered about the cause of the disease.

In Diabetes, patients are advised to take insulin at a required dosage, at the same time most of them never skip their favorite sweet foods. They claim that they are on insulin or tablets, so there is no point in stopping sweet consumption. This slowly takes the patient to a bad prognostic stage, where the treatment is complex. Such cases are more shifting to Ayurveda treatment because their body can no longer withstand the chemical therapies.

Ayurveda mostly receives cases that are mostly in complicated stages, normally people present with an unhealed ulcer, or urinary problems or even cardiac (mistaken as abdominal gas problems). In such cases rather than giving symptomatic relief, doctors look for underlying diseases, the common suspect is always diabetes. Then treatment for diabetes gets started, gradually the symptoms are seen to get subsided.

Are plant remedies safe

Plant remedies are regarded as safe among the public. But they have active chemicals responsible for their pharmacological effect. Without proper supervision, improper consumption may lead to the severity of the condition. Like in Diabetes, there are locally known plants for a cure. But improper administration can even cause severe hypoglycemia which is fatal.

There are patients following an integrated approach in diabetes, by the following Ayurveda along with other chemical remedies.  This further requires expert monitoring. The results are positive if followed properly. Ayurveda can also make the rest of the life of a diabetic patient happier &better.

Integrated treatment approach- a positive thinking

Unanimously, modern researches & Ayurveda agree on diabetogenic or diabetic causing foods. Scientifically it is proved that consumption of less fat foods, legumes, light fruits like cranberry, pear, and apricots is necessary.

Avoiding dairy products can bring drastic changes in the body, dairy products are fat-containing, and hence it should be avoided. The beans & pulses contain high fiber & regulate the glucose in the body by lowering its release. These findings are already mentioned in Ayurveda classics.

Ayurveda is the extract of ancient medical knowledge from Atharva Veda. Current studies also complement the ancient medical literature. There exists a lot of medical literature that explains diabetes. Different aspects are highlighted in each of the classics. The treatment protocol is adopted by summarizing all these classical information.

short massage

  • It is not a life threatening disease. If managed properly. Stop worrying, start action!
  • Choose your treatment wisely.
  • Practice yoga & meditation, it’s a valuable health tonic
  • Reduce stress & inactivity
  • Plan a diet chart fitting your daily intake requirements by including anti diabetic salads or drinks
  • Get your body tests done timely. This is very necessary to assess the progress.

Conclusion

Ayurvedic perspective in explaining Diabetes causes, symptoms & treatments are discussed in detail. Possible treatment methods are explained to make better choices for the people. Yoga therapies coupled with meditation energizes the body & the mind. Above all, if you are healthy, adopt preventive measures. If you are diabetic, choose your treatment wisely. This is necessary to live a happy life.

References

  1. A Mind-Body Approach to Diabetes
  2. AYUSH – Ayurveda and Diabetes
  3. Diabetes Mellitus (madhumeha) And Ayurvedic Management: An Evidence-Based Approach

20 Indian Foods to be Avoided in Diabetes

20 Indian Foods to be Avoided in DIABETES

Diabetes mellitus or simply diabetes results as a consequence of high blood sugar levels over prolonged periods of time.

Modern generation may have made us all tech-savvy and may have reduced our workload immensely with all these new instruments and computers doing all our work for us. Shopping whether for food or for clothing- everything is just one click away! But everything has a cost and in this case, have you noted how less you have to actually move to get something done? Yeah, I didn’t think so. And that has led to the advent of two huge giants of diseases- Obesity and subsequently Diabetes.

Do you have to run to the washroom so often these days? Or say drink more water than you usually did and still is so so thirsty all the time? Or do you have these huge cravings that make you want to eat the whole world?

So if you have these symptoms then this article is for you or even you don’t keep on reading because prevention is always better than cure as they say.

LET’S START!!

Why avoid certain Indian foods in Diabetes?

Yeah, I know what you might be thinking. Why is there a need to avoid certain foods like carbohydrates in diabetes? So let me tell you why.

 

Carbohydrates, proteins, and fats are the source of energy for our day to day jobs.

BUT carbohydrates affect our blood sugar greatly as they are broken down into sugar or glucose, and absorbed into our blood circulation. Carbohydrates include starches, sugar, and fiber. But fiber isn’t bad because it is indigestible and so it does not go to the blood circulation plus it helps in the bowel movement! So go on include more fibers in your diet.

Consider a person with diabetes now having too many carbohydrates. It shoots up the body’s sugar level to sky-high levels and paves the way for serious health problems like kidney or heart diseases and honestly, none of us wants to die of a heart attack so we better watch it while we still can.

That being said let tell you something interesting now. Everything is manageable and so is diabetes. You just need to know the proper way and what foods to avoid and you will be totally fine!

So let’s see what foods to avoid to help make a better you!!

List of foods to be avoided in Diabetes

1. Say NO to sweets

Yeah I know it’s difficult but seriously we have to overcome that sweet tooth and cravings for sweets being an Indian. But when it comes to managing diabetes it is really an essential step that we avoid all kinds of sweets as much as we can help it. Sweets do nothing but just up the carb intake by many folds. Therefore they just need to be the first thing to be avoided in diabetes

2. Skip those cold drinks

On a really serious note stop sipping that cold drinks alongside your meals every time. Yes, we all give in to the chill and fizz but we want to defeat diabetes and that won’t help us. Cold drinks are just sugar factories with preservatives, the added colors and water! Let’s stay strong and say NO to cold drinks.

And if you really can’t help it sometimes then try having the sugar free versions of those. Or go for healthier options like homemade fresh fruit juices.

3. Watch that ice cream

What’s better than ice cream on a hot summer afternoon? Yeah, I totally understand!  But most ice creams are loaded with added sugars and food colors. When watching that carb intake we need to reduce the number of ice creams we have and substitute them with specially available low sugar content ice creams and you are good to go!

4. Avoid Sugary Coffee and tea

Sounds pretty impossible? Well yeah honestly the first few days will be a real torture to someone who is used to loads of sugar in his drinks but then it will all okay with time and well we really want to be off the diabetes target list don’t we?  Well, you can try sugar-free too in place of cane sugar if you really must.

5. Say No to Honey

 If you were thinking about substituting sugar with honey when I said you can’t have sugar in your tea or coffee then no you got the wrong hope. Honey just like sugar has high carb content and is advised to be avoided in diabetics.

6. Less Dried fruits and more fresh ones

Dried foods are just fruits devoid of the water content. Hence they can make you eat more. So substitute dry fruits with fresh ones immediately.

7. No Syrups and Jellies

 Seriously stop pouring that maple syrup on your waffles. They do nothing but just make your blood sugar level to shoot up even more.

Regarding jellies and jams well those two just like sweets are loaded with added sugars and additives & preservatives. We all love bread and jam as a quick breakfast option but if you are struggling with a high blood glucose level then it is time to cut these out too.

8. Avoid fruits with high glycemic index

 If you want to go that extra mile in managing diabetes then you should avoid certain fruits like dates, bananas, watermelons and pineapple which have a relatively high glycemic index, i.e., they raise your blood sugar more than others with a low glycemic index.

Eating fruits is always good because it provides you with fibers that ease your daily bowel movement but it’s also important to watch the fruits you eat in diabetes. Eat more fruits with a low glycemic index like grapes and blackberries.

9. No jaggery

 A fan of jaggery and the items made with jaggery like traditional sweets? Well, then bad news for you. Jaggery has a very high sugar content and is an absolute NO for diabetics.

10. Cut on Fried foods

 Who doesn’t love fries? Fries do make our mouth water but they have stuff like potatoes, flour and loads of oil and it’s high time we start counting the carbs and cutting them out. Try buying an air fryer if you want to continue to indulge in those crispy fries. They are just perfect to cut out on the oil.

11. Replace those white carbs with whole grains

 By white carbs I mean white rice, white flour, white bread, and pasta. They just act so similar to sugar on being digested. So from today try and substitute those with brown rice, brown or whole-grain bread and other healthier options that are more temperate with your blood sugar. 

12. Avoid full-fat milk and cheese

 Type 2 Diabetes occurs when your body does not respond properly to the insulin available and guess what? According to studies full-fat milk and cheese just worsen this condition. So, switch to safer alternatives like toned milk and healthier cheese options today.

13. Say no to red meat or fatty meat

 Insulin resistance might be leveled up by the iron found in red meats according to some studies. Though this is still not confirmed but we want to stay clear of all the risk factors, right? Moreover, you cannot deny the high-fat content in the meat which has a greater chance of leading to a heart attack in diabetic individuals.

So my advice is to switch to safer alternatives like chicken and come on the chicken is good enough for the taste buds too without all the problems that red meat brings. Indulging in tasty fish preparations are another option.

14. Avoid ghee and butter

 Yeah, we Indians all love to add that extra ghee in all the foods we eat. Foods fried or cooked in ghee are instantly tastier. But since we want to manage diabetes here we all have to sacrifice that extra fat intake. Say NO to that extra ghee today.

The same goes for butter too. A butter toast might be a perfect way to start the day but switch to healthier breakfast options like oats.

15. Avoid alcohol

 Alcohol can interfere with your blood sugar levels to consult with your doctor before you indulge in even a simple glass of cocktail. This is because alcohols are rich in carbs and are really bad for blood sugar. But, you can occasionally indulge in a glass of alcohol when your blood sugar level is well within limits and under control. It is always best to avoid though.

16. Avoid packaged foods

 In addition to sugar packaged foods contain preservatives and trans fat which increases bad cholesterol LDL and increases the risk of a heart attack in diabetic persons.

So it’s time to cut on the packet of chips that you might be having even while reading this article and substitute it with healthy nuts.

17. Avoid pickles containing sugar

 Yes, we all that habit of a slight pickle in our meals from our grandmother. But it is better for diabetics to avoid pickles containing sugar to avoid the blood glucose levels from shooting up. Plenty of pickles are also available which do not have sugar in them much. Try and go for those.

18. Avoid cakes, muffins, and pastries

 

 Birthday? CAKES

Anniversary? CAKES

Celebrations? CAKES

Yeah, it is almost impossible to get cakes out of our lives truly. But we can surely deal with the cravings we have for them even without parties right? Or say muffins for a quick snack and pastries whenever we see them because they all look so yummy, but, we do have to cut them off for our well being. Cakes, pastries, and muffins are loaded with sugar and so we really have to try our best to avoid them. It is no use sacrificing so much and still ending up on square one due to these beautiful and yummy little bags of sugar.

19. Avoid chocolates and candy bars

 Chocolates are everyone’s favorites. Most of you are quite irritated to know that chocolates are also on the ban list but wait and cool down. While most of the chocolates do have a very high sugar content but you can totally substitute them for dark chocolates. Dark chocolates are also better for diabetics as they are heart-friendly and studies show that they can also help to check your blood sugar level.  But the mantra lies in having everything in moderation. You can also try out milk chocolates that have less sugar content.

Candy bars, on the other hand, are best to be avoided. One candy bar alone has over 25g of carbs and so you can understand what you need to do. Cut these out from your life today!

20. Avoid too sugary biscuits

 It is really in the best interest of a diabetic to avoid cookies and biscuits which are too sweet. Instead, it is better to try other healthier options like sugar-free biscuits or digestive biscuits.  

Bottomline

And thus these are the 20 Indian foods than should be avoided in case you have diabetes or are pre-diabetic. Yes yes I know it was too long just like the Indian food cuisine. But, if you just take a small initiative towards watching what you eat from today I guarantee you will go a long way in your fight with diabetes. And remember, although the 20 foods mentioned above are best if avoided but it won’t kill you if you occasionally indulge in your favorite food now and then! After all, we all are just humans, right?

Diabetes is a fight than many have won and with a proper diet and a bit of exercise towards losing the extra pounds and you can too!!

Start today and at this very moment!

Hope all these didn’t seem too much for you and wish you all the best in the fight with Diabetes!!

See you soon in our next article. Meanwhile, stay healthy!!