Diabetes is on the rise. Healthy lifestyle changes can help control diabetes and even reverse diabetes in some cases.
Diabetes is described in Ayurveda under ‘prameha’. Further, it is divided into 20 sub types depending on doshas. Madhu meha is one amongst prameha which is closely related to type-2 diabetes.
Diabetes mellitus is a metabolic and life style disorder in which there is increased sugar level in the blood. It is caused due to lack of insulin or cells fail to respond and utilise insulin.
According to Ayurveda, the main causes of prameha are:
- Unhealthy food habits– Eating excessive sweets, deep fried foods, irregular meal timing, late and heavy dinner.
- Lack of exercise – Leading a sedentary life style.
- Unhealthy sleeping pattern – Sleeping in the daytime, irregular sleeping pattern, prolonged sleeping, sleeping immediately after taking food.
- Mental stress – Worry, agony, anxiety.
What are the Ayurvedic formulations used to treat Diabetes?
Punarnavadi kashayam, Nisa katakadi kashayam or kataka kadhiradi kashayam. These are the kashayas, which help to bring down sugar levels. Dose and type of kashaya vary according to individual.
Triphala, musta kashayam. Boil 1 tsp of churna in 1 glass of water and reduce to half glass. Drink twice a day before meals.
Nisha amalaki churna paniya. Soak 1 tsp of nisha amalaki churna in 1 glass of water overnight and drink it the next morning on an empty stomach. Consuming this regularly helps in prevention of diabetes complications.
Vasanta kusumakara rasa, chandraprabha vati tablets, shilajit capsules. Checks increased urinary frequency. Dose vary from 1 to 3 tablets daily.
Yashad bhasma, trivanga bhasma. These medicines should be taken in very precise dose under strict medical supervision for specific period only. It helps in bringing down the sugar levels to normal in a short span of time.
Mix guduchi, shardunika or madhunashini, katuki, punarnava in 1:1:1:2 ratio. Take ½ tsp of this mixture thrice a day before food with warm water.
For diabetic neuropathy- Bala dhatryadi taila abhyanga (massage) is beneficial.
What are the Home Remedies for Controlling Diabetes?
- Boil 2 tsp of methi seeds in 1 glass of water till it reduces to half glass. Consume this twice daily.
- Make a practise to drink water stored in copper vessel everyday.
- Mix ½ tsp of turmeric and ½ tsp of bay leaf powder in 1 tablespoon of aloevera gel. Take the mixture twice a day before food.
- Soak ½ tsp of turmeric powder in glass of warm water and drink twice daily before food.
- Mix powder of asana, khadira and ekanayaka in 1:1:1 ratio. Boil 1 tsp of this powder in 1 liter of water and drink the whole day instead of normal water.
Physical Activities that Help Control Diabetes
- Exercise regularly like walking at least 30-45 minutes per day, 5 days a week.
- Take stairs instead of lift or escalator.
- Cultivate hobbies like gardening, petting dogs and cats, playing and going for a walk with your dog, etc.
- Avoid sleeping during the day and sleeping immediately after food.
- Practise yoga and meditation to relieve mental stress.
Top 9 Yogaasanas for Effective Treatment of Diabetes Mellitus
- Parivrtta trikonasna – Gives rotational movements to the spine. Improves the functioning of kidneys and strengthens the thigh muscles.
- Pada hastasana – Improves digestion. Enhances blood flow to the head region. Reduces tummy fat.
- Ardha cakrasana – Expands chest and shoulders. Improves breathing. Thus prevents repeated respiratory infections which are common among diabetics.
- Salabhasana – Reduces fat on thighs and buttocks.
- Dhanurasana – Removes gastrointestinal disorders, gives good stimulation and flexibility to the back and helps in slimming the whole body.
- Sarvangasana and matsyasana – stimulates thyroid and other endocrine glands.
- Ardha matsyendrasana – Lateral twist gives flexibility to the spine, tones up spinal nerves and improves blood circulation towards abdomen.
- Ustrasana – Makes the spine flexible and increases circulation to the head region.
- Hamsasana or Mayurasana -Tones up abdomen, reduce fat on tummy. Vitalizes the endocrines in the abdomen, stimulates pancreas.
What is a Diabetes Diet?
A diabetes diet is a healthy eating plan that is rich in nutrients, low in fat and moderate in calories.
- Regular eating habits are very important for diabetics. Your body is better able to regulate blood sugar levels and your weight when you maintain a regular meal schedule.
- Cut down refined carbohydrates and sugary drinks. Focus on whole grains, brown rice, oats, millet and legumes.
- When you eat sweets, cut back other carbohydrates in meals like rice and flour products.
- Eat fiber rich vegetables like green beans, bitter gourd, snake gourd, radish, okra, eggplant, green leaves, broccoli, onions and ridge gourd. Avoid potatoes, sweet potatoes, yams, reduce tomatoes, beans, channa, corn, beet root, squash.
- Reduce drinking soda and juices and drink lukewarm water.
- Don’t skip breakfast. Eating breakfast will help you have energy as well as stable blood sugar levels whole day.
- Eat 3 meals and one snack per day. Have early and light dinner, preferably chapattis.
- Stop eating when you feel 80% full. Never overeat.
- Divide your plate into 3 portions ½, ¼, ¼. Fill ½ of your plate with vegetables, ¼th with rice or chapattis and rest ¼th with proteins like pulses.
- Make your kitchen diabetic friendly. Clear out all unhealthy foods like chips, cream biscuits, sweets, soft drinks, cookies, pastries, candies, dairy products from the diet. When they are not readily available you eat them less.
- Reduce unhealthy fats and use healthy fats like omega-3 fatty acids. Avocado, flax seeds, pumpkin seeds, and sun flower seeds are rich in omega-3 fatty acids.
- Avoid red meat, instead use fish, remove skin and visible fat from meat before cooking. Instead of deep frying foods, try to grill, bake or stir fry. Avoid curd and use well churned butter milk which is low in fat.
If you are concerned about diabetes, you can make a big difference by eating a healthy diet, keeping your weight in check and exercising your body.
There are a lot of myths about diabetes and its management. Hence, education and counselling play a very important role in the healthy management of diabetes. Therefore, get yourself educated about diabetes, its management and prevention by participating in awareness programmes, counselling and joining groups.
Take care and let us know if you have any other queries on managing your diabetes.
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