Since 2015, it has been estimated that 1.6 million deaths happen due to diabetes, and almost 2.2 million deaths take place due to high blood sugar levels. Diabetes is a chronic illness that happens when the body is unable to provide enough insulin for cells to function. The lack of insulin triggers excess sugar production in the blood. And this is known as glycosuria and hyperglycemia. This means that your body has way too much glucose, and it can obstruct the regular functions of your nervous system, heart, eyes, blood vessels, and kidneys.
Listed below are some common signs of diabetes:
Diabetes is one of the most common diseases in the world. While some cases of diabetes are hereditary, most are caused by the stresses and habits of modern life.
Ayurveda defines each person as a unique combination of Doshas. The three Doshas are Vata, Pitta, and Kapha. Vata is a dry and airy dosha, Pitta is fiery and Kapha is cold, slimy and heavy. The imbalance of each Dosha causes health issues that are linked to the imbalance. Diabetes is a Kapha Dosha imbalance problem. However, just being a Kapha dominant person does not signify diabetes. When the Kapha dominance is not counterbalanced with a balancing diet and lifestyle, it can manifest as diabetes. When the Kapha Dosha is imbalanced and it is compounded with a weak Agni, it slows the metabolism. This causes problems with excessive sugar levels in the body. A person who is Kapha dominant should ensure that there are enough air and fire elements in their food and habits.
Ayurveda refers to diabetes as Madumeha which literally means ‘sweet urine’. It refers to the increased blood sugar level in the blood that causes excess sugar in the urine as well. Ayurvedic texts about Ayurvedic treatment for diabetes also describe ‘Dhatupaka Janya Vikruti’. This is the ill effect that high sugar levels have on other bodily tissues. The texts also describe a tendency to inherit the disease. Ayurveda defines Ojas as the very essence of life, When this is lost, the strength of all the bodily functions are lost. In diabetes, Ojas is lost through the urine and hence diabetes is sometimes called Ojomeha or the loss of Ojas through the urine.
Ayurveda classifies diabetes into two types; Avarana and Dhatuksyaya. The first type is caused when the channels of the body are blocked by the aggravated Kapha Dosha or other tissues of the body. This is the usual cause of adult-onset diabetes. Ayurveda defines the bodily tissues as Dhatus. When these tissues are affected or depleted it causes the second type of diabetes. This is usually the cause of juvenile diabetes.
The digestive fire Agni should be kept at a strong level so that digestion is optimum. The largest or heaviest meals of the day should be around noon. A light breakfast and dinner are ideal. To avoid aggravating the cold Kapha Dosha, food should be eaten warm and cold food should be avoided. The Kapha dosha is aggravated by sweet and sour tastes. So, avoid food that has these tastes dominant. A Kapha dominant person should add warmth by sipping on warm or hot water throughout the day. Water that has been stored in copper is a traditional aid to diabetes treatment. Since the metabolism and digestion are slow, snacks in between will strain the digestion further. The intake of certain Ayurvedic herbs and formulations that aid the digestion and enhance the digestive fire is advised for insulin resistance treatment.
Hypoglycemia treatment according to Ayurveda goes beyond medication and diet. Stress is a big factor in aggravating diabetes. Making an effort to avoid stress or manage it properly goes a long way in helping the body balance its Doshas. Adequate sleep is also one of the lifestyle changes recommended for Ayurvedic treatment for diabetes.
Each stage of life has a dominant Dosha. The first stage of life, childhood is Kapha influenced. The second stage of life which starts at puberty is Pitta influenced. The third stage spans from the age of 50 to death. Childhood is the Kapha dominant period of life. When children have a Kapha aggravating diet or lifestyle at this stage it can manifest as Type 1 diabetes. Type 1 diabetes treatment in Ayurveda looks at rebalancing the Doshas through a combination of internal and external Ayurvedic treatment as well as lifestyle changes. It identifies the stress factors in the body and tries to relieve them. Type 2 diabetes is called Apathyanimittaja in the Ayurvedic texts. It is caused by an aggravated Vata Dosha that then makes an aggravated Kapha Dosha. It is compounded by a sedentary lifestyle and habits. Type 2 diabetes treatment includes Ayurvedic medicine to balance the Doshas and lifestyle changes to better manage it.
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Sometimes allopathic remedies can be too much for a person to handle, and they may require a gentle and effective experience to notice the result they want. Often, patients tend to seek Ayurvedic herbs for diabetes because Ayurveda is known to be a holistic healing practice and prevent diseases from entering the body. Many Ayurvedic herbal ingredients are commonly used in Indian cooking. Being aware of their health benefits, helps one use more of them in our daily diet. Knowing the benefits of each herb also gives a better understanding of how certain Ayurvedic formulations help in Ayurvedic treatment for diabetes. Some of the major ingredients that are used in Ayurveda, for diabetes, are as follows:
Amla or the Indian gooseberry is known to be the most potent Ayurveda herb, and it's rich in vitamin C and antioxidants; this makes it perfect for treating and keeping diabetes under control. Amla also has chromium, which is a mineral that enables proper carbohydrate metabolism. Chromium also allows your body to respond to insulin, which keeps the blood sugar under control as well. Other minerals that are present in this wonder fruit are calcium, phosphorus, and iron; they help with the body absorb insulin and regulate the blood sugar levels.
Amla is well known as one of the three fruits that compose Triphala. It is used in Ayurveda to eliminate toxins and nourish the tissues. It has the property of reducing excessive Pitta in the gastrointestinal tract. At the same time, it supports the Agni or digestive fire without aggravating the Pitta. This makes the digestive process and metabolism stronger without throwing the Doshas out of balance. It is defined as fruit that stimulates microcirculation as per Ayurveda. This increased microcirculation is ideal for building Ojas and counteracting the loss of Ojas through urine that Ayurveda defines as a symptom of Diabetes. When there is an increased Ojas it also nourishes all the tissues of the body creating greater vitality and overall good health. Amla is also credited as an Ayurvedic herb that supports the proper movement of the bowel content and cleanses the colon.
If you plan on taking amla supplements to regulate your diabetes, then ensure that you consult with an Ayurveda expert before you do, so that they can provide you with a proper dose that doesn't interfere with your current medical plan.
This ayurvedic mixture is a natural immunity booster, and it's great for digestion too. This powdered formula consists of Haritaki, Amla, and Bibhitaki. The trio of ingredients is known to prevent the early onset of nasty diseases and disorders. It also contains powerful antioxidants that maintain a healthy heart and stable respiratory functions as well. The use of this mixture has been mentioned in the Sushrut Samhita, which dates back to 1500 BC. It is used as an Ayurvedic booster for digestion that improves digestion, cleanses the bowels, improves metabolism, and boosts the energy of the person. It is an Ayurvedic medicine for sugar. As it is rich in antioxidants it helps to reduce the oxidative stress of the body. It is also used in Ayurveda as a part of regimes to treat or maintain skin and hair.
The benefits of Amla have been described above. Haritaki means that which removes diseases and makes the body shine. It has been given the title of King of Herbs in Ayurvedic and Siddha medicine. Haritaki is used in Ayurveda as a natural hypolipidemic, anti-viral, anti-fungal, antimicrobial, hepatoprotective, cardioprotective, anti-bacterial, antioxidant, immunomodulator, anti-diabetes, hypolipidemic, and wound healing ingredient. With so many benefits it is no wonder that this fruit is so highly revered and widely used. It supports good digestion and balances all the three Doshas and primarily the Vata Dosha. It is an important herb in Ayurveda for diabetes. It is used in the Ayurvedic treatment of piles and haemorrhoids. Its use should be avoided during pregnancy.
Another natural ingredient that falls under the Ayurvedic medicine for diabetes control is cinnamon. Yes, it may be a wonderful topping for a delicious dessert dish, but cinnamon on its own is known to help decrease blood pressure and fight diabetes, as well.
Cinnamon is also known to be an effective stomach cleaner; it reduces and sharp spikes in blood sugar after meals, and increases your insulin sensitivity as well. Cinnamon has been attributed to the ability to be used as an ayurvedic herb that is a cardio tonic that helps hypertensive patients and in diabetes treatment in Ayurveda. It is used in Ayurveda to reduce the vitiated Kapha and Vata Doshas while increasing the Pitta Dosha. It is also used in traditional medicine as a carminative, haemostatic, antiseptic, astringent, antispasmodic, and expectorant. It is found to be very useful in disorders caused by Ama or the metabolic waste defined by Ayurveda.
Reports suggest that almost thirty million people, in India, have type 2 diabetes; the Crude Prevalence Rate in urban areas of India has gone up to 9%. It's important to take note of the sudden rise in this chronic disease because the complications that come with diabetes are continuously rising, and they contribute to the mortality rate of the country, too.
Even though diabetes in India is on the rise, medical experts determine that with timely checkups and early detections, along with proper management, you can curb the disease and prevent it from manifesting and taking control of your life; in turn, with the help of Ayurvedic medicine for diabetes type 2, you will be able to live a normal life.
The sugar-related disease is now posing as an enormous threat to the health and wellbeing of our country, especially to people between the ages of 20 and 30. In the past, it was seen that only people above the age of 50 would have diabetes or chronic heart conditions. However, now with the fast-paced lifestyle and easy access to unhealthy food, a person aged 20 is easily prone to diabetes as well.
When you detect diabetes in its earliest stages, then treating it can be fairly easy. This can be done by checking your blood glucose levels and the hormones produced by the pancreas.
Many people detect diabetes when it's too late, and this is because they don't understand the signs and symptoms. The initial signs of diabetes include high blood sugars; this requires regular blood checkups.
Lately, diabetes has been termed as more of a lifestyle disease than something that occurs due to old age. As mentioned before, diabetes occurs due to an affluent lifestyle where the person incurs a sedentary work life, minimal physical exercise, and excessive consumption of processed foods.
For urban folk, it seems that junk food like instant noodles are actually easier to prepare and consume rather than preparing dal and rice. Diabetes is a harrowing disease that can affect the patient and their family as well; this is because it requires strict medication and dietary restrictions.
Hunger and Lethargy
Your cells need insulin to convert glucose into energy, and if your body doesn't produce enough insulin, or if your body starts fighting the amount of insulin created, then you will feel fatigued because of the lack of energy. This will result in an increase in appetite too.
Urinating often and being thirstier than normal
An average person usually urinates at least two to seven times a day, but a person with diabetes will urinate more than that. This is because your body absorbs glucose when it passes
through the kidneys, but diabetes increases your blood sugar levels, and your kidneys may not be able to process them and bring it back in. This transmits a signal to your body to create more urine, even if the fluid intake is low. As a result, you will have to urinate more often than the average person. Since you're expelling so much fluid from your body, it's normal to feel really thirsty as well.
Itchy skin and dry mouth
Since most of the fluids in your body are being used to make urine, it's obvious that your skin and other organs will begin to feel dehydrated and lose moisture as well. Hence, your mouth will feel dry, and the dry skin will feel itchy.
The fluctuating fluid levels in your body can affect your eyesight and cause the lenses in your eyes to swell up, change shape, and lose focus as well.
It's essential that you understand the symptoms in the initial stages so that the treatment will be easier and more effective. Also, if you're older than 45, then it's important that you get tested as soon as possible. The earlier you spot the condition, the better because you can avoid any heart trouble, nerve damage, and other health complications.
Most people are usually skeptical about an Ayurvedic cure for diabetes, and they typically pose the question, "Can diabetes be cured completely by Ayurveda?"
This query arises due to the rapid advancements in science and technology and its contribution to instant gratification and comforts for humans. What people fail to understand is that Ayurveda is a holistic healing approach, that may not provide immediate results, but it does give out effective management and long term results for patients with uncontrolled diabetes (even with regular consumption of insulin and tablets). Another primary reason patients tend to turn to Ayurveda is because of insulin resistance.
According to the World Health Organization, diabetes is one of the most common diseases in the world; managing this disease can be difficult, but it's not impossible. A few lifestyle changes, along with Ayurvedic herbs for diabetes, can help you maintain and regulate your sugar levels.
Additionally, Ayurveda suggests some accessible home remedies that anyone can prepare; for starters, Ayurveda states that to keep your diabetes in check, you will have to limit your intake of sugar and simple carbohydrates.
Here are a few solutions that Ayurveda provides to maintain your blood sugar. Firstly, diabetes is a Kapha disorder that is metabolic in which digestive functions are reduced, and it leads to a spike in blood sugar as well.
To bring blood sugar levels under control, Ayurveda uses the following mix of Kutki, Punarnava, Guduchi and Shardunika together. It is recommended that you take half a teaspoon two-three times, daily, with lukewarm water.
It's crucial to note that if you have diabetes (type 1 or type 2), you should consult a medical professional before you try out any of the home remedies listed above. This will help your doctor provide you with an appropriate dosage that will not interfere with your current medicine list.
Glymin tablets from Kerala Ayurveda are prepared using herbal ingredients with strong anti-diabetic properties.
Unstable blood sugar is quite a problem lately, and many people are looking for ways to control it in a natural and holistic manner. Diabetes is not just a disease, but it becomes a lifestyle that includes daily medication and health troubles. However, with foods that lower blood sugar instantly and an Ayurvedic cure for diabetes, you reverse the adverse effects of this lifestyle disease.
So, here are some of the natural ways you can control diabetes:
Drink water from a copper vessel: As mentioned before, water that is kept and consumed from a copper vessel, is an excellent home remedy to stabilize blood sugar.
Maintaining a healthy diet: This point may seem repetitive, but it can't be stressed enough. You have to include healthy and organic food in your daily routine if you want to revert the effects of diabetes and lead a healthy life that is free from medical complications. To maintain a proper diet, you have to limit your carb intake because carbs are broken down to create glucose, thereby raising the sugar levels. Reducing your carbohydrate consumption is a natural way to control sugar. An Ayurvedic doctor can help you identify which Doshas are out of balance in your body. Eating food that helps your digestion while avoiding foods that aggravate certain Doshas is advisable along with suitable diabetes Ayurvedic medicine.
Maintain a meal schedule: Eating on time is just as important as eating sensibly. Ayurveda states that proper digestion and metabolism happens when the Agni or digestive fire is at its best. Most of the herbs and Ayurvedic medication help support the level of Agni in the body. But the Agni level in a person is also dependent on the Sun. Ayurvedic texts state that Agni is at its highest when the sun is at its peak in the sky at noon. This is why it is advised that the heaviest and biggest meal be taken at midday. Sadly, busy schedules mean a quick lunch and then a relaxed dinner. This is then followed by a midnight snack when working late. Eating too much at night is a huge strain on the digestive system that cannot properly digest and metabolise the food at this time. So, to keep your digestion at its optimal,
Additionally, you have to include fibre-rich foods like vegetables and bitter herbs.
Hydration: Diabetes sends your organs, especially kidneys, into overdrive. Therefore, they start expelling more fluid than necessary. This leads to dry skin, mouth, and excessive thirst. It's ideal that you drink at least two litres of water a day, and when you drink enough water, it helps your kidneys to flush out toxins and prevents dehydration as well. When you drink water regularly, your blood sugar levels begin to stabilize, and the risk of diabetes getting worse also reduces.
Manage your stress levels: Stress is one factor that you can't control, and it can make a situation go from bad to worse; if you have diabetes then high-stress levels can have a negative impact on your blood sugar as well. Hormones like cortisol and glucagon are secreted by our body when we are put under stressful situations, and this leads to a spike in sugar levels and blood pressure as well. The best natural medicine for diabetes includes stress-busting activities like meditation and yoga. By practising meditation, daily, you will begin to see a change in your physical and mental health. If you need help with this an Ayurvedic doctor can help you with Ayurvedic herbs and Ayurvedic medicine for diabetes that help you to destress and sleep better. Some people who find passive activities boring might even find a brisk walk or time at the gym a great stress-reliever. There is no one size fits all solution, so experiment and find what Ayurvedic home remedies for diabetes work for you.
Proper sleep: Having a good night's sleep is vital for health. This means that you have to sleep for eight hours at least. A full night's sleep does an excellent job of promoting good mental and physical health. If you have improper sleeping habits, then it will reflect negatively on your blood sugar, and pressure levels, appetite, insulin sensitivity; all these components together contribute to substantial weight gain. Therefore, it's essential that you have a healthy sleep schedule, one that will allow you to stay healthy, productive, and also manage optimal body weight as well. Ayurveda states that the digestive system and the rest of the body eliminates toxins and waste when a person sleeps. So, inadequate sleep interrupts this important function. It also wreaks havoc with the Dosha balance and makes imbalances worse for those already suffering from health problems.
Get moving: Keeping oneself active is the best gift for good health. If there is one thing that all schools of medicine agree on, it is that exercise is essential to good health. Exercise keeps the circulation going and boosts the metabolism. Try to incorporate as much movement into your day as possible. Walk short distances instead of taking a vehicle, use the stairs instead of the elevator, or even better make time for a walk every day. This has the added benefit of helping keep one’s weight within healthy limits.
Usually, diabetes takes place due to a Kapha and Vata imbalance, which affects the metabolism speed too. This imbalance leads to diabetic conditions that can only be classified as lifestyle disorders, so the first thing you have to change is your diet and educate yourself on the requirements of a healthy lifestyle choice.
While there is no standard cure that eradicates diabetes from the root, you can still follow Ayurvedic medicine for high blood pressure and diabetes, along with a special Ayurvedic diet to take care of the main symptoms. An Ayurvedic lifestyle reduces the effect that diabetes has on your body and allows you to live a holistic and healthy life.
A holistic Ayurvedic routine includes waking up at six in the morning, scraping your tongue to get rid of any digestive waste (also known as ama), then you can take the Ayurvedic tablets for diabetes. Along with the medicines, you will have to drink bitter gourd juice because it contains active anti-diabetic properties.
Yoga is so much more than fancy stretches and controlled breathing exercises, it not only helps you relax your mind, but it also helps you live with diabetes. There are certain poses that come with regular yoga practice, and these poses are considered as the best Ayurvedic medicine for diabetes type 2 because they help improve blood and lymph circulation and lower blood pressure and sugar.
Here are some poses that are recommended for diabetics, so that they can improve their overall quality of life and also notice significant transformations in their body.
Also known as the restorative inversion, this pose is great because it allows the body to relax by reducing stress levels and lowers blood sugar as well. It's also known to relieve migraines, boost energy, and also increase circulation.
This yoga pose works the following muscles:
This is a restorative pose as well, and it can help calm your nervous system. It's also known to stimulate the abdominal organs, kidneys, and bladder as well. The muscles worked are as follows:
This pose is best known because of the therapeutic forward bend, and it's the best natural remedy for diabetes when it comes to yoga. Additionally, this pose helps relieve anxiety, fatigue, and intense headaches.
The muscles that are worked here are -
This pose is an inversion and is great because it helps improve circulation and stimulates the thyroid gland's function. Also, just like the previous postures mentioned above, this will help you relieve stress and calm your mind. The muscles that get a workout are as follows:
Do these poses actually work at keeping diabetes in check?
A 2016 review found that yoga and meditation practices help manage type 2 diabetes in a significant manner. Researchers have also said that yoga results in stable blood sugar and body composition. Data reviews have also found that yoga and meditation can reduce oxidative stress along with blood pressure as well. Although the results on diabetes and yoga are positive (so far), there are a lot more studies that have to be done to expand on these results.
If you pair yoga with foods that lower blood sugar instantly, you will begin to see results almost immediately. When you're diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, it may seem like you received a life sentence, but you don't have to look at it that way. You may not be able to cure diabetes fully, but with a holistic approach to your daily routine and by adopting key changes in your lifestyle, you can manage/reduce the diabetic symptoms.
The various yoga postures and breathing exercises, for diabetes, help relax and contract abdominal muscles; this is vital because it stimulates the pancreas, increases oxygen and blood supply. Due to the constant oxygen and blood supply, the pancreatic cells are rejuvenated, and this helps improve the organ's ability to produce insulin.
The breathing practices done in yoga also help stimulate healthy pancreatic functions. The reason the poses mentioned above are suggested for diabetics is that the postures aim to stimulate your pancreas and help with insulin production, reduces blood sugar levels, and helps relieve hypoglycemia.
In today's hectic lifestyle, it's easy to get carried away with unhealthy habits. The stressful routine can pile up and lead to medical traumas like high blood pressure, cardiac arrests, emotional binge eating (which leads to obesity), and high cholesterol. All these signs come together and lead to diabetes, but if you take control of your routine and turn to healthy lifestyle choices, you can prevent the early onset of this debilitating disease.
The key is to follow a holistic and natural way to control sugar, and this can be done by taking on Ayurvedic methods and medicines; of course, ensure that you consult with your doctor before taking on any type of medication- natural or otherwise.
About Dr. Karthik Krishnan
Senior Medical Officer
Dr. Karthik Krishnan is a versatile Ayurveda consultant with demonstrated history on in-patient management with authentic Panchakarma procedures. Born into a family with a legacy of healing and Tantra, Dr. Karthik Krishnan started receiving his Ayurveda education in a teenage from his Guru. After the traditional training, he joined Santhigiri Ayurveda Medical College to graduate as a Bachelor of Ayurveda Medicine & Surgery. Dr. Karthik did his clinical internship at the National Research Institute of Panchakarma under the guidance of Dr.C.Radhakrishnan. He joined Kerala Ayurveda Ltd. as a consultant in 2013. He was head of the medical services at The Health Village until 2017. Dr.Karthik is known for his clinical accomplishments & research on Diabetes. His protocol on Ayurveda Diabetes Care was recognized at International Ayush Conclave 2018. Currently, Dr. Karthik is Senior Ayurveda Consultant & Head of Marketing – Ayurveda Products & Services at Kerala Ayurveda Ltd.