Diabetes is a chronic disease marked by high sugar levels in the blood. Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas to control blood sugar. Diabetes can be caused by too little insulin, insulin resistance, or both. The pancreas does not make enough insulin. The muscle, fat, and liver cells do not respond to insulin usually.
Types Of Diabetes
There are three main types of Diabetes-
• Type 1 diabetes
• Type 2 diabetes
• Gestational Diabetes
Diabetes Control in Ayurveda
In Ayurveda, Diabetes Mellitus can be correlated with Madhumeha.
Madhumeha is a disease in which the patient’s urine is sweet like honey and quantitatively increased and astringent, pale, and rough in quality. The whole body of madhumehi becomes sweet. (As ch. Ni 4/44, Su Ni 6/14, Ma Ni 33/26.)
In Madhumeha, imbalanced Doshas (especially Kapha and Pitta in association with Vata) block the channels related to Meda (adipose tissue / fat tissue) and Mamsa (muscle).
Due to obstruction of Vata, it transforms sweet Ojas ( The essence of all dhatus) into an astringent mixed sweet taste like honey. It discharges in the urine, and the condition Madhumeha has resulted. Madhumeha (Diabetes mellitus) is one type among 20 Prameha (urinary disorders), particularly one of the kinds of vatic disease. Any prameha (urinary infection), if neglected, ultimately ends up in madhumeha due to the nature of the illness.
Diabetes causes :
Type 1 IDDM Causes-
1. Type 1 diabetes is usually a progressive autoimmune disease in which the body’s immune system slowly destroys the beta cells that produce insulin.
At least 18 genetic locations, labeled IDDM1 – IDDM18, are related
• Viral infections
Enteric viruses- Coxsackie viruses; mumps and congenital rubella
It appears between infancy and the late 30s, most typically in childhood or adolescence.
Found among Caucasian youth
• Early infancy illness
• Diabetic father
• Mother age>30 years
• Mother having pre-eclampsia during pregnancy
• Autoimmune disorders
Grave’sve’s diseaHashimoto’sto’s, thyroiditAddison’son’s disease, Multiple sclerosis, or Pernicious anemia
Type 2 NIDDM Causes
Type 2 diabetes is caused by insulin resistance, in which the body does not properly use insulin.
Genetic mutations likely affect parts of the insulin gene and various other physiologic components involved in regulating blood sugar.
• Poor diet–
Diets high in refined foods and sweets
low in fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein
• Sedentary lifestyle
• Overweight or obese
• Old age–
Diabetes is more common in people aged 50 or older
• High alcohol intake
African- American, Hispanic/Latin American, American-Indian, Alaska Native, Asian-American.
• High blood pressure
• Gestational Diabetes
• Baby birth weight> 9 pounds
• Acanthosis nigricans (dark, thickened skin around neck or armpits)
• Blood vessels diseases
Severe clinical depression may modestly increase the risk for type 2 diabetes.
Diabetes Signs and Symptoms
1. Being very thirsty
2. Deep, rapid breathing
3. Dry skin and mouth
4. Feeling hungry
5. Feeling tingling in feet
6. Feeling tired
7. Flushed face
8. Fruity breath odor
9. Having blurry eyesight
10. Increased urination
11. Losing weight without trying
12. Nausea or vomiting
13. Stomach pain
1. Acanthosis, characterized by velvety, dark-colored patches of skin
2. Blurred vision
3. Erectile dysfunction in men
4. Excessive thirst
6. Increased urination
8. Severe gum problems
9. Unusual sensations(tingling or burning in the extremities)
10. Vaginal yeast/ fungal infections under the breasts/in the groin in women
11. Weight gain in children
12. Weight loss in adults
Before discussing ayurvedic treatment for diabetes control, a conclusive diagnosis of Diabetes is required.
3. Glycosylated hemoglobin or hemoglobin A1c
4. Oral glucose tolerance test
5. Urine c/e —especially for ketone bodies.
Diabetes Control with Ayurveda :
Diabetes control mainly impacts “Prevention is better than “cure.”
In Ayurveda Nidan Parivarjanam ((eliminating the cause of disease) is the first line of treatment.
Diabetes control with Ayurveda has the following steps:
1. Diabetes Control using Ayurvedic Medicines
The Ayurveda medicines for Diabetes control are as follows:
A. Vati —
- Chandrabrabha vati
- Arogyavardhini vati
- Shilajit Vati
- Sidh Makadhawaj
- Gokashuradi Guggul
- Niruryadi gutika
- Mehasamhari gutika
- Chandrakala vati
- Mamejava Ghanvati
- Trivanga bhasma
- Nag bhasam
- Vang Bhasam
- Abrak Bhasam
- Yashad Bhasam
- Parval pishthi
- Basant Kusumakar ras
- Meghanatha rasa
- Mehantaka rasa
- Mehari rasa
- Vangeshwara rasa
- Tarkeshwar ras
- Amalaki rasayanam
D. Asava – Kashayam —
- Nishakathakadi Kashayam
- Kathakakhadiradi Kashayam
- Varanadi Kashayam
- Aragwadhadi Kashayam
- Jeevanthyadi Kashayam
- Nimbamritadi panchatiktakam Kashayam
- Dhanwantaram ghritam
- Trikantakadi ghritam
- Panchanimba churna
- Nishamalaki churna
- Madhumehari Granules
Along with the above medicines and remedies, Ayurveda also recommends
- Regular yoga, meditation, and Pranayama to prevent or treat stress.
- Regular exercise – to keep up reasonable metabolism rates.
- Regular oil massage – to treat muscle and joint aches and pains.
- Regular eye exercises, eye checkups, and Ayurvedic eye therapies such as Tarpana prevent and treat retinopathy.
- Foot massage with neem-based oils such as Nimbadi Tailam prevents and treats non-healing wounds and ulcers.
2. Home Remedies for Diabetes Control:
Home remedies for Diabetes control are as follows-
1. Gurmar(gymnema sylvestre):
- Gymnema sylvestre is considered to have anti-diabetic properties. It’s also called gurmar (destroyer of sugar).
- It improves blood sugar control in people with type 2 diabetes by lowering blood sugar levels.
- It reduces the intestinal absorption of glucose.
- It stimulates insulin production in the pancreas and regenerates insulin-producing islet cells. This can help lower your blood sugar levels.
2. Bel (Aegle marmelos):
Bael leaves are scientifically proven to have anti-diabetic and anti-cholesterol properties. It stimulates insulin production from the pancreas, which helps control blood sugar levels.
- Curcumin reduced blood sugar and cholesterol levels.
- Curcumin prevented liver fat accumulation.
- Curcumin improves insulin function.
- Curcumin protects beta cells, which produce insulin.
Neem leaves are loaded with flavonoids, triterpenoids, anti-viral compounds, and glycosides, which may help manage blood sugar levels and ensure no surge in glucose.
5. Shilajit :
- Shilajit is an herbal supplement that boosts the overall health of the body.
- It is most significantly used for diabetes control.
- Shilajit is rich in fulvic acid.
- It helps in eliminating free radicals, which damage the pancreatic beta cells.
- These cells are responsible for the production of insulin.
- Shilajit works by repairing the damaged pancreas, which enables it to release insulin and flush out toxins from the body.
5. Bitter Gourd Juice:
Juice of Bitter melon/Karela (10 ml) may be taken on an empty stomach daily in the early morning. Crush the bitter melon into a grinder after separating its seeds. A little bit of water may also be added. Sieve this to have juice.
6. Ground bay leaf, Aloe Vera, and Turmeric:
The mixture of ground bay leaf (1/4 tbsp), Turmeric (1/4 tbsp), and Aloe vera gel (1/2 tbsp), if taken twice a day before lunch and dinner, is helpful to control sugar in the blood.
7. Methi Seeds:
Fenugreek seeds or their combination with ayurvedic herbs are a helpful remedy to lessen the signs and symptoms of Diabetes. Soaked one tsp fenugreek seeds in warm water overnight, followed by chewing it in the morning. Drink it daily for three months.
Chapattis are also prepared by adding methi powder.
8. Jamun Seeds:
The seed powder of Eugenia jambolana (1 tsp) twice a day, along with lukewarm water, is very effective in diabetes control. The chewing of Jamun leaves the conversion of starch into sugar.
The juice of Amla (Embelica officinalis) (10 ml) twice a day is good for diabetic patients. The powder of Amla fruit may also be taken twice a day.
10. Banyan tree bark:
The decoction of the bark of ficus bengalensis is consumed (20 ml) twice a day.
20 gm of ficus bark is heated in 4 glasses of water. When the mixture remains approximately 1 glass, it may be taken after making it cold.
21. Cinnamon powder:
This is one of the essential natural home remedies for Diabetes and its complications. First, take one liter of drinkable water. Add 1-2 tbsp of cinnamon powder and heat it for 20 minutes. Strain the mixture and make it extraordinary. Drink it every day.
22. Vijaysar Churna:
Pterocarpus marsupium is helpful in diabetes control. Pterocarpus marsupium bark may be taken in the form of powder twice a day.
The cube of vijaysar may be kept in water overnight. Drink it in the morning empty stomach.
Triphala, along with other ingredients, helps lower the sugar levels in the blood.
The decoction of equal parts of Triphala, Root of Barberry, and Colocynth (10ml) may be taken with turmeric powder (1gm) twice a day.
3. Yogasana For Diabetes Control
The specific yoga asana for Diabetes Control are as follows-
5. Ardha Matsyendrasana (Half Twist Pose)
4. Food for Diabetes:
There is some specific diet for diabetes control. Foods that should always be included in the Diabetes diet are as follows:
- High Fiber Food
Aim for 50 grams of fiber a day, but start slowly. Load up on beans, vegetables, and fruits.
2. Eat Whole Grains
Whole grains could effectively regulate the glycemic response, increase insulin sensitivity, improve pancreatic β-cell functions and increase insulin secretion.
Whole and multi-grain bread, whole-wheat pasta, brown rice, low-fat and multigrain crackers, low sugar, whole grain cereals, oatmeal, bran, buckwheat: low-fat, whole-grain baked goods with added bran or oat bran, pasta, high fiber cereal, corn, oatmeal, millet, barley, and rye.
According to Ayurveda, barley (yava) is the best grain for managing Diabetes. Ayurveda prescribes old rice (Purana shalli) as one of the cereals beneficial to diabetic patients.
3. Choose Fruits And Vegetables
Regular consumption of various fruits and vegetables in diabetic patients can lead to improved glycemic control, reduced HbA1c and triglyceride levels, enhanced antioxidant defense system, attenuated oxidative stress and inflammatory markers, and decreased risk of diabetic complications(retinopathy and the burden of carotid atherosclerosis).
Diabetes control contains fruits with a low glycemic index that is very beneficial to controlling Diabetes. These fruits include-
• dried apricots
• berries, cranberry, blackberries, black raspberries, blueberries, red raspberries, strawberries, cherries, barberries
• litchi fruit
• Indian gooseberry or amla
• wood apple
Avoid fruit juices. Instead, opt for whole fruits, as they contain more fiber and are more filling.
Ayurveda always suggests eating green leafy vegetables for Diabetes control. The eat-in abundance of fresh vegetables like
• green beans
• sweet potatoes
Avoid white potatoes.
All types of bitter vegetables are best for people with diabetes.
Bitter vegetables include bitter gourd, fenugreek, pointed gourd, garlic, cluster fig tree, or Indian fig.
You can also have bitter greens like arugula, kale, dandelions, and beet greens.
4. Add Spices
The anti-diabetic effects of spices include short-term hypoglycemia and long-term improved glucose tolerance activities. Several condiments and herbs have been reported to possess potential anti-diabetic agents.
• fenugreek seeds
• cumin seeds
• curry leaves
5. Milk + Dairy
Milk and yogurt with less than 1% fat and cheese should be 10-20% milk fat. They are rich in protein and calcium, and studies show they help people lose weight. Diets that include plenty of dairy products may fight insulin resistance, a core problem behind Diadiabetesn addition to calcium, many fortified dairy products are a good source of vitamin D.
Fish is rich in omega-3’s-3’s (polyunsaturated fat), which helps protect against heart disease in people with Diabetes.
7. Pulses + Legumes
Legumes have a low glycemic index and are high in fiber and phytochemicals. This makes them a functional food for diabetic patients.
The hypoglycemic effect of beans (via inhibition of α-amylase and β-glucosidase activity) has been similar to those of anti-diabetic drugs. Including beans like pinto, dark red kidney, and black beans in the diet effectively helps weight management, attenuates postprandial glycemic response, and improves dyslipidemia.
Have beans (black, pinto, kidney, garbanzo, white beans, and soybeans), peas, split peas, lentils, and non-fat soy products for diabetic management.
Ayurveda also recommends split green gram beans, Bengal gram, horse gram, and pigeon peas for diabetes control.
Almonds, pistachios, walnuts, and hazelnuts are commonly used nuts. Most current evidence reveals that consumption of nuts in type 2 diabetic patients, other than improving the overall diet quality, also has beneficial effects on postprandial glycemic response following high-carbohydrate meals. They also improve insulin resistance. Habitual intake of nuts could help effectively manage weight, especially in diabetic patients.
9. Unsalted Seeds
Flaxseeds, pumpkin seeds, and sunflower seeds are filled with good fats like omega-three fatty acids, protein, and fiber that work together to keep blood sugar low and stave off heart disease.
According to Ayurveda, lotus or water lily seeds can also be taken. Lotus seeds may be eaten cooked or raw. They are used extensively in Ayurvedic medicine.
10. Oils + Fats
According to Ayurveda, mustard oil is the best.
• sunflower oils (3 tsp or less per day),
• non-hydrogenated soft margarine
• low-calorie dressings and mayonnaise
• light peanut butter
• nuts (watch salt and calories)
• fat removed gravy can be taken.
11. Snack Foods
Popcorn without salt, butter, or hydrogenated oils is a good choice. Choose low-fat, low-sugar snack foods.
5. Diabetes Complications:
Carpal tunnel syndrome
Coronary artery disease
A diabetic hyperglycemic hyperosmolar coma
Foot ulcers and Amputation
Infections of the skin, female urinary tract, and urinary tract
Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease
Peripheral vascular disease
6. Diabetes Prevention:
Intensive blood glucose control and keeping glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA1c) levels below 7%.
Managing risk factors for heart disease
Blood pressure, S. Cholesterol, S. triglyceride
Maintaining an ideal body weight
An active lifestyle
Routine tests for Kidneys
Thorough dental cleaning and exam.
Ayurveda recommendations for diet and lifestyle are beneficial for effective Diabetes control.