Diabetes is a disease that is observed to be generally higher among the older and the obese. Originating from an absolute or relative lack of insulin, it gives way to abnormalities in the metabolism of carbohydrates, proteins and fat in the body. Characterized by abnormally high levels of blood glucose and its subsequent excretion through urine.
Types of Diabetes
Diabetes is a catchall phrase for elevated blood sugar levels. The many types are classified according to their cause.
Type 1 Diabetes
Type 1 diabetes is usually caused by an autoimmune process, in which the body loses the ability to make insulin or can only make a very small amount of insulin.
Type 2 Diabetes
Type 2 diabetes (diabetes mellitus) is the most common form of diabetes around the world. It is caused by a double defect of resistance to insulin along with an inability to make enough insulin to overcome the resistance.
Gestational Diabetes Mellitus (GDM)
A form of diabetes that occurs during pregnancy as hormones from the placenta cause malfunctioning of insulin receptors.
Latent Autoimmune Diabetes in Adults (LADA)
LADA (Latent Autoimmune Diabetes in Adults) is rare and also called “late-onset” diabetes as it usually occurs in adults aged 30 and above.
Monogenic diabetes is a rare type of diabetes that’s caused by the mutation of one gene.
Brittle diabetes is a rare form of insulin-dependent diabetes and is marked by frequent and severe episodes of hypoglycemia and/or hyperglycemia.
Cystic Fibrosis-Related Diabetes
People who have cystic fibrosis (CF) may have scarred pancreas which stop producing normal amounts of insulin, causing the person to become “insulin deficient.”
Chronic Pancreatitis-Associated Diabetes
Pancreatic diabetes is caused by chronic pancreatitis, a prolonged inflammation of the pancreas which causes extensive damage to the islet cells of the organ which can no longer produce insulin.
Ayurveda and Diabetes
Based on the Ayurvedic doshas, there are 20 types of prameha (urinary anomalies). 4 types caused due to vitiation of Vata dosha (considered incurable), 6 varieties of Pitta dosha vitiation (considered difficult to cure) and 10 varieties due to Kapha dosha vitiation (considered easy to cure). Diabetes is one of the types of prameha.
Diabetes Mellitus is called Madhumeha in Ayurveda (Madhu = honey and Meha = urine). Some authors also call the disease Kshoudrameha (Kshoudra = honey).
Diabetes mellitus is primarily associated with the Vata dosha. It results due to an aggravation of Vata, the biohumor associated with wind and dryness. When Vata is impaired/obstructed, ojas that is sweet in nature is transformed into astringent that makes it honey-like in nature. Obstructed Vata causes all the tissues of the body to deteriorate and thus, affects all the vital organs.
In some cases, type 2 diabetes can be set off by a Kapha dosha imbalance. When people with an imbalanced Vata overeat to comfort themselves, Kapha can become imbalanced, and with time it can lead to the development of type 2 diabetes.
Another major cause of diabetes mellitus is impaired digestion. When digestive toxins start to accumulate in the system due to poor digestion, they might start to damage pancreatic cells and hamper the production of insulin. Therefore, the body is not able to use glucose correctly resulting in high blood sugar (hyperglycemia) and sugar in urine (glycosuria).
An important fact to know about madhumeha or diabetes is that it is classified as a Maha Rog (major disease) in Ayurveda. This is because it is a chronic metabolic disorder that can affect the entire body if not treated in time. It is also one of the diseases that develops over a period of time. This means that the pathophysiology of diabetes mellitus would take at least 3-5 years to manifest completely. It is extremely uncommon for it to see marked symptoms between 1-6 months; the only time you can see immediate evidence is in exceptional cases like pregnancy, injury, surgery, psychological conditions, infections, etc.
Ayurvedic treatment of diabetes is based on the fact that it is a metabolic disorder and hence, merely controlling sugar levels is just correcting a symptom. This is where Ayurveda differs from conventional medicine in its treatment as it does not concentrate on solely balancing sugar level, but also ensuring that no further complications arise.
Therefore, the Ayurvedic approach to treating diabetes asks for a change in the lifestyle of the person. With medication and diet, the patient is also advised an active and healthy lifestyle. Here are the various factors that are considered in treating diabetes by Ayurveda:
- Prakriti of the patient
- Dosha dominance in disease
- Dosha vitiation
- Obstruction in srotha
- Manasika Prakriti
- Ahara and Vihara
- Hereditary factors
Symptoms of Diabetes Mellitus
- Constant feeling of hunger and thirst
- Weight loss
- Quick exhaustion and drowsiness
- Low sexual urge
- Possible anemia
- Itching around genital organs
- Slow healing of wounds
- Blurry vision
- Frequent urination, in large amounts and recurring UTIs
- Sweet taste in the mouth
- Bad body odor
Root Causes of Diabetes Mellitus
- 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 and grief
- Hereditary factors
- Sedentary lifestyle
Ayurvedic Treatment of Diabetes
|Ayurvedic Supplements (to be taken under physician’s guidance – Consult Now)||
Neem Karela Juice
Apart from Yoga, taking some daily some exercise like walking, cycling, swimming, jogging, etc.