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Diabetes is a chronic metabolic disorder that results in higher level of blood sugar in the body. It is assuming epidemic proportions and India has become the new diabetic capital with more than 50 million diabetic people. The main problem with diabetes is that it does not completely go away and there is a whole myriad of issues that it brings along with it. Heart attack, stroke, eyesight problems, delayed wound healing, nerve damage and impotence. Therefore, diabetes and by that we mainly mean blood sugar level has to be managed so that there is a delay in onset of the associated conditions and/or reduced in severity.
Ayurveda refers to diabetes as Prameha (excessive urination) and Madhumeha (sugary urine) and has identified close to 20 forms of the disease. According to Ayurvedic belief, each disease is caused due to imbalance in kapha, pitta, and vata doshas and diabetes is caused by all these, predominantly by kapha. With any stream of medicine, management of diabetes involves two tracks – one is lifestyle changes and the second is medications.
Lifestyle changes include the following:
Diet: Reduce the amount of rice, sugar, potato, sweet fruits, maida, deep fried foods, and red meat. Protein-rich foods like lentils, soya, green leafy vegetables and fish should be increased. Diet plan should change to small, frequent meals instead of binge eating.
Exercise: Include 30 minutes of regular exercise into your daily routine if you have a diabetic predisposition.
Others: Avoid smoking and alcohol, ensure sufficient sleep, avoid sleeping during day time, improved foot and eye care, periodically check sugar levels and manage stress levels.
Ayurveda has a whole lot of home remedies which have proven to be very effective against diabetes:
- Jambhul: Eugenia Jambolana whether eaten raw or juice extract has been shown to have beneficial effects in managing sugar levels and cholesterol.
Gymnema sylvestre: Used to manage diabetes for over 2000 years, it reduces sugar cravings and is being touted as the future for diabetes treatment.
Bitter gourd (Momordica charantia): It has 3 components that give it strong antidiabetic properties. The charantin reduces blood sugar levels; the polypeptide has insulin-like effects; and lectin that again has hypoglycemic effects.
Bel (Aegle marmelos): Also known as wood apple, leaves of the plant are shown to have antidiabetic properties. 5 to 10 leaves can be chewed on a daily basis to help control blood sugar levels.
Fenugreek (Trigonella foenum graecum): Consuming 10 g of fenugreek seeds soaked in water increases the amount of insulin produced, thereby increasing sugar breakdown.
Neem: Chewing about 4 to 5 leaves in the morning on an empty stomach helps to control blood sugar levels. Alternately, neem leaves powder is available which can be dissolved in water and consumed.
In the day and age where technology turns your child into a couch potato, introducing fitness into his/her life can be a real challenge. These trends have slowly given rise to obesity, diabetes and high blood pressure in children- diseases that they were never touched by. So it is very important to introduce fitness into your child’s life, now more than ever.
1. Get involved: It is known that children learn more by example than by instruction. Do fun activities yourself like swimming, playing basketball, going on long walks and take your child along with you. Start small, by doing this at least once a week, and then increase gradually. Not only will this encourage your child to be more fit, it will also create a deeper bond between the two of you.
2. Introduce fun activities: Structured activities such as a sport are great ways of introducing your child to fitness. Enrol your child for some routine sport classes, particularly team sport. This way your child learns essential values such as team spirit, fair play, competition and practice. Plus, it’s a great way to stay in shape.
3. Make exercising fashionable: Children these days are fond of doing things that are ‘in’. Some may want to swing the bat like Dhoni, while others may be more interested in learning Hrithik Roshan’s dance moves. Let your child decide what he wants do according to his style. Celebrity examples can act as motivation.
4. Use fitness as a reward: If you just force your child to go out and play, then chances are you’d be giving rise to resentment and resistance. Don’t use exercise as punishment, make it a reward instead. For instance, treat your child to a break from homework by encouraging him to play ball for half an hour. This strategy might make him/her enjoy the physical activity to the fullest.
5. Let your child take charge: Allow your child to decide what he wants to do in the hours after school rather than you deciding it for him/her. He may decide to cycle, go on a hike, and go for a long run. Letting him/her decide, give away the control over the situation to make him/her more inclined to follow a routine. For younger children it is best for you rationalize their choices.
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