Diabetes, a word which is majorly associated with the phrase-“You ought to avoid eating dessert if you want to stay alright!” it is obviously more than that. Worldwide, it affects more than 380 million people and World Health Organization estimates that by 2030, the number of people living with diabetes will be more than double. The simple way to explain diabetes is- Our body need energy to perform everyday tasks, the food we eat is broken down into glucose which then goes into our bloodstream and to each and every cell of our body. Glucose cannot enter our cells without the help of Insulin (a hormone which is produced by the pancreas), so basically as soon as glucose is produced, our pancreas produces insulin. It controls the sugar level in our body. When a person has diabetes, either the pancreas stop producing insulin or produces it very less. Sometimes our cells become insulin resistant. So Diabetes Mellitus is a long-term condition that causes high-blood sugar levels. If you don’t pay attention and left it untreated, man complications can follow as diabetes is also the leading cause of blindness, kidney failure, amputations, heart failure and stroke.
There are 3 types of diabetes:
Type 1 Diabetes
Type 1 diabetes affects less people worldwide. This is also known as juvenile diabetes as it mostly occurs in teenage years or in very young people. In this type, the pancreas stops producing insulin. When there is no insulin, glucose cannot enter the cells and there is no source of energy for the body. To control the blood sugar level, the person has to take insulin injections on regular basis.
Type 2 Diabetes
Type 2 diabetes affects more people worldwide as compared to type 1 diabetes. In this type, the body does not produce enough insulin or the person becomes insulin resistant. The person has to maintain a proper diet in order to control the high blood sugar levels. In extreme condition, the person may have to take insulin injection.
This occurs in the women during their pregnancy. It usually strops after it but in many cases, they were diagnosed with diabetes few years later.
Pre- diabetes, a condition in which blood sugar levels are high but not high enough to be called it diabetes. In many cases people develops diabetes after pre-diabetes as its symptoms slowly progresses so one should keep in check their blood sugar level, if there is a slight abnormality, one should consult a doctor.
- Frequent urination
- Intense thirst and hunger
- Unusual weight gain
- Unusual weight lose
- Cuts and bruises that do not heal
- Numbness and tingling in hands and feet
- Dry and itchy skin
- Recurring or frequent skin, gum, bladder or vaginal yeast infection
- Male sexual dysfunction
There is no cure for diabetes yet but many people have controlled it well and kept their blood sugar level normal through a healthy diet, good lifestyle and by exercising daily. Many people don’t know about diabetes in general and that is why there are many myths about this condition, some of which you’ve probably heard too.
Myths About diabetes:
- Fat people always develop type 2 diabetes eventually- Obesity can be a risk factor for diabetes but it is not true that fat people may eventually develop diabetes, weight doesn’t matter much, people with normal or skinny weight also develops it.
- Diabetes is not a very serious condition– Having high blood sugar level is not bliss for our body as sometimes people can develop further problems if they don’t maintain it.
- Don’t eat too much sugar, you will become diabetic– A person with diabetes type 1 developed the disease because their immune system destroyed the insulin producing beta cells. A diet high in calories is a big risk factor especially if there is a history of this disease in the family.
- Diabetes diet is different from other people’s diet– Well this is obviously not true, the people with diabetes switch to a healthy diet which if everyone follows; they would live a healthy life too.
- High blood sugar levels are fine for some; while for others they are a sign of diabetes- Pre- diabetes is a legit thing so if you have high blood sugar level, go straight to a doctor for tests, anyone can develop diabetes and having high blood sugar is not normal for anyone.
- People with diabetes cannot eat bread, potatoes or pasta– Well, diabetic people can surely eat starchy food but they should make sure that the size portion is okay. Whole grain starchy foods are better in case of diabetes.
- If you have diabetes you cannot eat sweets and chocolates– This is probably the most common myth of all time. Diabetic people can eat sweets and chocolates if they keep their sugar levels under control.
Ayurveda to the Rescue
Diabetes is called ‘Madhumeha’ in ayurveda where ‘Madhu’ means honey and ‘Meha’ means urine. Medhumeha is categorized as Vataj Meha (a problem caused by aggravation of Vata or Air). Vata is an Ayurvedic humor symbolizing wind and dryness. Deterioration of the body is a characteristic that indicates impairment of Vata. Maximum deterioration of dhatus (body tissues) occurs in this type of disease and this is why all vital organs are affected by Diabetes.
- Dry the leaves of mango tree and grind to a powder. Mix 1 teaspoon of it in a glass of water and drink daily to maintain normal blood sugar levels.
- Take 2 teaspoons of bitter gourd (Karela) juice once a day. Apart from taking it in the form of juice, one can also start eating more karela in cooked form to remain healthy.
- Take 1 teaspoon of amla or Indian gooseberry juice mixed with 1 teaspoon of bitter gourd juice twice a day.
- Mix ½ teaspoon of Turmuric Powder with ½ teaspoon of Amla Powder and ½ tablespoon of Maethi Seeds Powder in half glass of water and take daily in the morning on empty stomach.
- Boil a couple of cinnamon sticks in a cup of water and allow it to boil for 20-25 minutes. Drink this solution daily. Second, you could drink a cup of cinnamon water daily. Add half a teaspoon of cinnamon in warm water and you’re good to go. Make sure to ingest cinnamon in small quantities as it can be harmful when consumed in larger quantities.
- There are some of the yoga postures which can help in maintaining normal blood sugar levels-Pranayam, Surya Namaskar, Balasana, Vajrasana, Sarvangasana, Halasana and Dhanurasana.
Diabetes has many risk factors but it is mainly caused due to unhealthy food eating habits, stress, lack of exercise and bad lifestyle. Exercise daily, eat plenty of fruits, meditate, in short start living life in the right direction before it’s too late.
The medical and/or nutritional information in this article is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking it because of something you have read in this article.