The first line of defence to prevent diabetes according to principles of ayurveda is to reduce body weight, consuming healthy diet and plenty of physical exercise.
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Pre diabetic symptoms as explained in ayurveda
Pre diabetes is a condition which people develop before type2 diabetes. If people are cautious enough, they can prevent occurrence of type2 diabetes and lead a healthy life. Acharya Charaka, explains about the pre diabetic symptoms in his Charaka Samhita .
Following symptoms are explained in ayurveda as pre diabetic symptoms.
- Bad body odour
- Liking towards sedentary lifestyle.
- Increased sleeping hours.
- Increased hair and nail growth.
- Dryness of palate, tongue and throat.
- Increased thirst.
- Burning sensation in feet and palms.
- Ant creeping sensation in extremities.
- Heaviness of chest area.
During this phase blood glucose levels are slightly high. Few people may develop a skin condition called acanthosis nigricans .This condition manifests as dark patches on skin.
What Ayurveda Says About Prevention of Diabetes ?
Texts of Ayurveda clearly state that vitiation of kapha and medha dhatu (body fat) are main reasons for diabetes. Kapha and medha get vitiated when a person indulges “aasyasukha” or activities which are easy and pleasurable like sleeping, avoiding physical activities, eating foods which are rich in sugar, starch, jaggery and fats. Consumption of milk and milk products in large quantities also vitiate kapha and medha. Unlimited consumption of meat and alcohol is another cause of vitiation. Thus imbalanced kapha vitiates medha, mamsa (muscles) and kleda (water element) to cause obesity which eventually leads to diabetes.
Reducing Body Weight can Prevent Diabetes
Body Weight and Blood Sugar
Various statistics have shown that increased body weight increases the incidences of diabetes. Most of the researches show that there is a connection between body fat and hormones which control appetite and insulin levels. But one thing is for sure, when you lose weight you have a better control over diabetes. In our clinical experience we have seen pre-diabetic patients who are obese have been benefited by weight loss. They have achieved good control over blood glucose level without using any diabetic medications. Hence weight loss is the best option to gain a control over high blood sugar levels.
Obesity is the main cause for type 2 diabetes. When your weight is in normal limits, body produces enough insulin to metabolize sugar. Over eating and increased body weight exert stress on body cells. In this condition body cells have to metabolize more nutrients than normal. At this juncture cells shut down their sensitivity to insulin produced by body. This leads to increased blood glucose level. Persistently high concentration of the glucose in the blood is one of the sure signs of diabetes. Hence reduce your body weight if you are obese. Walking is the best exercise to control your weight. A brisk walk for 30 minutes a day is very helpful. Be physically active throughout day. Drop in your weight improves response of body cells to insulin and blood glucose level improves drastically.
Does Ayurveda Recommend Weight loss to prevent diabetes ?
Yes, texts of Ayurveda quote that weight gain due to sedentary work, increased consumption of starch and sweets, sleeping for long hours, lack of exercises etc as major causes for diabetes. These lifestyles imbalance vata dosha and kapha dosha which lead to diabetes or madhu meha
For such person a careful weight loss program has to be designed to avoid imbalance of doshas. Any imbalance of doshas may aggravate the condition and treatment of diabetes may become impossible without medications.
How much weight to lose to reduce the risk of diabetes?
Weather it is a condition of pre-diabetes or diabetes, losing 5-10 percent of body weight is always helpful. This much of weight loss improves blood sugar control and reduces the risk of diabetes by 60 percent.
How to lose weight in a healthy ayurvedic way to prevent diabetes?
Ayurveda acharyas have very well explained the pathology of diabetes or increased blood sugar level. When a person is obese and has a family history of diabetes has higher chances of getting diabetes. The ayurvedic pathology goes as follows in such persons. The tridoshas (vata dosha, pitta dosha and kapha dosha) which are vital body balancing forces get imbalanced due to unhealthy diet and lifestyles. These imbalanced doshas vitiate important body tissues (which are referred as dooshyas in texts of Ayurveda) like Medha dhatu(body fat), Rakta dhatu (blood), Shukra dhatu (semen), Majja dhatu (bone marrow), Rasa dhatu (lymph), Mamsa dhatu (muscles) and Ojas (the body energy). They also affect Ambu (Water contents of body).
The main treatment plan has to be framed in a view to balance doshas, reduce vitiation of dooshyas and use herbs, diet and lifestyles carefully to promote weight loss, avoid energy loss and prevent deterioration of tissues. (Click here for Ayurvedic Remedies for Weight Loss )
What are the benefits of Weight Loss in obese type 2 diabetic patients?
- The blood sugar levels come well under control
- The number of diabetes medications can be reduced.
- The erectile dysfunction due to diabetes gets improved.
- The low sperm count naturally improves.(read How To Increase Sperm Count Naturally)
- The main female infertility cause PCOD improves with weight loss (read Ayurvedic PCOS Treatment )
- Body cells become more sensitive to insulin.
- Body energy levels increase.
Ayurvedic Diet to Prevent Diabetes
Healthy Diet: The following facts about diet should be considered when you have more risk of becoming diabetic. Unhealthy diet leads to obesity
- Avoid starchy foods like potatoes, polished rice, refined flour etc. Stay away from foods which are prepared using these refined products. (bread, cookies, pasta, noodles etc)
- Eat plenty of vegetables and fruits, which have low glycemic index, instead of desserts and sweets.
- Use whole grains and cereals like brown rice, whole wheat flour, oats, unpolished lentils (dals) and foods prepared out of these.
- Eliminate concentrated sweets like ice creams, sweet dishes, soft drinks and refined sugar.
- Include protein foods like soya bean, peas, fish, lean meat etc.
- Snack on dry fruits which contain healthy fats like raisins, almonds, pistachios and walnuts.
- Completely eliminate fast foods. These contain hydrogenated fats or trans fats.
- Do not skip breakfast. Consume three healthy meals. Eat slowly and stop when your stomach is full.
Ayurvedic Lifestyles to Prevent Diabetes.
Sedentary lifestyles have reduced daily physical activities to nil. Increasing physical activities in your daily life helps to boost metabolism and burn more fat. It is small steps, big rewards. Increase the number of steps per day. Get from your chair every half an hour and walk around for 5 minutes. Move around the hallway or balcony during TV serial breaks. Do not take a vehicle for short distance. Walk this distance. Use bicycle to cover little long distance. Take a stroll around office corridors during lunch break or tea break. Take stairs instead of elevators. Check weight loss tips for busy schedule
Ayurvedic Herbs to Prevent Diabetes
Herbs are store houses of potent fat burners. Doctors at AYURHELP advice their patients, to take the help of natural ayurvedic herbal preparations to balance kapha and reduce medhas or body fat. These preparations include herbs which do the following functions.
- They balance kapha and medhas.
- Help to burn fat and boost metabolism.
- Accelerate the process of fat metabolism.
- Prevent accumulation of fat.
- Boost body energy level when you are on weight loss program.
- Obesity accelerates ageing process. These herbs supply plenty of antioxidants which slow down ageing process.
- Prevent frequent hunger pangs.
- Reduces the level of free fatty acids and unwanted cholesterol.
- Reduce blood sugar level.
- Relieve constipation.
- Set right digestion
- Detoxify body.
Author : Dr. Savitha Suri Consultant Ayurvedic Physician
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