Diabetes is a metabolic disorder in which a person has high blood sugar level because either the pancreas does not produce enough insulin or cells do not respond to it.
Normally after intake of food, it breaks down into glucose – the main fuel for energy in human body. Insulin in pancreas is produced and released to transport the glucose into the cells. Usually pancreas automatically produce insulin according to the glucose level. But in people with diabetes, the pancreas produce little or no insulin or the cells become resistant to insulin produced.
|Fasting||80-100 mg/dl||110-125 mg/dl||Above 126 mg/dl|
|2 hours after meal (PPBS)||below 140 mg/dl||140-160 mg/dl||Above 180 mg/dl;|
According to modern concepts, diaabetes is of 3 types :
Type 1 Insulin dependendent Diabetes Mellitus : Known as Juvinile diabetes Mellitus. 5-10% cases are diagnosed as as Type 1. It is an autoimmune disorder when the immune system goes against its own self causing destruction of the pancreatic cells that produce insulin. Seen usually in children. Increased urination, increased thirst, weight loss are usually seen. No family history generally present. Insulin shots are given usually in modern medicine.
Type 2 Non Insulin Dependent Diabetes Mellitus : Most common type. Slow onset with symptoms like increased thirst, increased urination and weight loss. Usually these people are obese with sedentary life style and a strong family history. Due to ineffective glucose metabolism, the body uses alternatives like fat metabolism to produce energy leaving the person tired and fatigue seen.
Other symptoms :
- Polydipsia (Increased thirst) : The concentration of glucose in blood makes the brain send signals for dilution of blood hence one feel the urge to drink more water
- Polyphagia (Increased appetite) : Insulin also responsible for hunger, increase insulin level stimulates hunger and desire to eat more
- Polyurea (Increased Urine out put) : Body tries to get rid of increased blood sugar and thus increased urine is seen to eliminate the extra glucose from the body making the sufferer dehydrated and tired.
- Weight fluctuation : Earlier seen as weight loss due to utilization of fat from body for energy, later weight gain occurs due to increased appetite.
- Blurred vision
- Infections : UTI and Skin infections seen usually
- Poor wound Healing : Increased blood glucose inhibits WBC responsible for immunity of the body, delays the healing power
Type 3 Gestational Diabetes : Seen during pregnancy. About 3-5% ladies have chances to develop Gestational diabetes. This happens when the body does not make enough insulin or resist direct action of insulin due to hormones. These patients have 40% chances of developing Type 2 Diabetes if they are obese or have irregular food habits. Diet management alone manages this condition well. Insulin is some times given.
Untreated Diabetes may lead to irreversible damage to the Eyes (Retinopathy), Kidneys (Nephropathy), Nerves (Neuropathy), Heart (Heart Attack) and Feet (Diabetic Foot).
Siddha Concept of Diabetes :
In Siddha Diadetes is known as MadhuMegham, Pramagham, Neerizhivu noi etc. It is characterized by increased blood sugar, increased urine output and deterioration of 7 udal thathus (Saaram or nourishing juice, Cheneer or blood, Oon or Muscles, Enbu or bone, Moolai or marrow, Kozhuppu or Fat, Sukilam/ Sronitham or Semen/ Ova) leading to emaciation and damage to body systems.
According to Siddha, this disease is subdivided into 3 : Vatha, Pitha and Kapha. Vatha again subdivided into 4, Pitham as 6 types and Kapham as 10 Types.
Managing Diabetes :
Both Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes can be managed through diet, Exercise, Routine check up and Medicines.
- Diet : A balanced diet with veggies, fruits, whole grain, beans, fish, lean mean meat, non fat dairy, fiber rich food like salad is suggested. Frequent and portion meals is the best. Plan your plate. Divide the plate into two halves, fill one half with non starchy veggies like Spinach, broccolli. Divide the empty half into two halves again. Fill one half with carbohydrate rich veggies or whole grains and other half with proteins like lean meat or pulses or fish etc. It is myth that diabetics have to cut off sugar completely. One can take sugar and carbs in permissible limits.
- Exercise : Exercise increases the blood senstivity to insulin stimulates muscle to use glucose. 15 minutes before exercise, diabetics should have some snacks or fruits else the sugar may dip making him/her hypoglycemic. Never exercise during fasting especially empty stomach. If low sugar happens to occur get 15-20 gms of sugar by having glucose tablets or fruits. Avoid foods like chocolates laving both sugar and fats.
- Routine Check up : Make a record of your sugar level and plan your diet accordingly. It will be useful for your regular doctor to select the apt medicines.
- Siddha Medicines :
Herbs used to manage Diabetes are :
- Tinospora cordifolis or Seenthi or Amrit
- Euginea jambolena or Nyaval
- Gymnema sylvestre or Sarkarrai kolli
- Phyllanthus emblica or Nellikkai or Amla
- Aegle marmelos or Vilvam or Bael
- Trigonella foenum or Methi or Venthayam
- Turmeric or Manjal or haldi
- Andrograhis paniculata or Nilavembu
- Allium sativum or Garlic
Medicines like Seenthil Kudineer, Seenthi Choornam, Vilva kudineer, Avarai kudineer, Madhumegha choornam, Nyavalkottai Choornam, Silasathu parpam, Abraka chendooram, Triphala Choornam etc are used in treatment of Diabetes.
- Soak Overnight 20-25 seeds of fenugreek in 200 ml water. Next day, mash the seeds, filter and drink daily before breakfast.
- Dry powder of Indian gooseberry(Amla/nellikai) and turmeric powder(haldi/manjal) in equal amounts is mixed and preserved. 2gms to 3gms of this powder is is taken three times day. It is a very effective medicine. Known as Nisa Amalaki choornam.
- Seed powder of Jamun or Euginea jambolena can be taken in dose of 3-5 gram twice daily with hot water.
- 1-4 cloves of garlic daily after waking up.
- Quit smoking : Smoking increases chances to develop complications like diabetic foot, nerve damage, kidney damage, heart and vascular problems.
- Avoid Stress : Stress increase blood suger level so de- stress your life.
- Avoid Alcohol
- Drink 1 – 2 glass of warm water just after waking up. It detoxifies the body and helps in flushing out the toxins
It is really shocking to know that Diabetes has affected 246 million people world wide. Every 10 seconds one person dies of Diabetes related cause and every 10 seconds 2 person develop Diabetes. It is peak time to change our diet and lifestyle and prevent Diabetes otherwise called Silent killer. Remember, there is no complete or permanent cure for Diabetes. It can be managed and controlled through Right food, Medicines and Lifestyle modification. Eat Right, Exercise more & Prevent Diabetes. Keep Fit & Stay Healthy.