In today’s world we have a very mechanical life which is mostly dictated by technology which is the primary reason for people to become sedentary, inactive and a host to a lot many diseases like obesity, diabetes, pcos etc. Second reason being the choice of foods.
Glucose (sugar) is the basic source of energy for every cell of our body especially our brain as it requires maximum energy to work. Diabetes Mellitus refers to a chronic health condition that affects how our body uses glucose.
In Ayurveda, Diabetes is referred to as ‘Prameha’ that means ‘Obstinate Urinary Disease’ in English language. Ayurveda refers to Diabetes as a group of disorders which includes disorders of a person’s urinary system like excessive urination etc.
Types of Diabetes
Generally there are 3 types of Diabetes which are commonly seen:-
- Type 1 (IDDM- Insulin Dependent Diabetes Mellitus )
- Type 2 ( NIDDM – Non Insulin Dependent Diabetes Mellitus )
- Gestational Diabetes
What causes Diabetes ?
Exact cause of type 1 diabetes is not known properly but it is said that it is carried through genes of parents where cells produce very little or no insulin.
In type 2 diabetes the cells become resistant to the action of insulin which causes sugar build up in the blood.
Gestational Diabetes happens when placenta produces hormones to sustain pregnancy which make the cells resistant to insulin.
The general causes of Diabetes are:-
- Lack of physical activity
- Family history
- Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)
- Increased weight
- Sleep deprivation
Symptoms of Diabetes :
The symptoms of a Diabetic person varies which generally depends on the level of increase in blood sugar levels of a person and the type of Diabetes he has. The symptoms of a type 1 person may come quickly and be more severe than a person with type 2 diabetes. But the general symptoms are as follows:-
- Unexplained weight loss
- Excessive Urination (Polyuria)
- Excessive Thirst (Polydipsia)
- Excessive Hunger (Polyphagia)
- Blurred Vision
- Ketones present in urine
- Slow healing sores
- Excessive Sleep
- Muscle Wasting
- Frequent skin/ urine/ gum infections.
If Diabetes is not taken care of then it may lead to a number of other illnesses like Cardiovascular disease, Nerve cell damage (Neuropathy), Kidney damage (Nephropathy), Eye damage (Retinopathy), Depression, Foot damage, skin and urinary infections etc.
Prevention of Diabetes and its Complications
Ayurveda suggests bitter and astringent foods for keeping diabetes in check and preventing its complications. Focus is a Kapha dosha pacifying diet like bitter gourd, moong dal, cooked green vegetables, and seeds.
The following diet & lifestyle habits help a person not only to prevent Diabetes but also to prevent its complications :-
- Always prefer fresh & seasonal fruits and vegetables to eat. Also consume at least 2-3 fruits and 4-5 servings of vegetables per day preferring low glycemic index ones.
- Choose whole grains and millets like barley, quinoa, whole wheat, oats etc.
- Prefer cold pressed vegetable oils for cooking like cold pressed sesame oil or rice bran oil etc.
- Always maintain an ideal body weight and body mass index (BMI)
- Always be physically active and choose the workout that you enjoy most like swimming, brisk walking, dance etc.
- Last but not least, always stay hydrated.
Sometimes oral medications are the only option left when people don’t take proper measures at the right time. One should always try to incorporate a healthy lifestyle and healthy diet as they are the ones which always sustain.
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