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Yoga Asanas To Help Combating Diabetes!

Yoga Asanas To Help Combating Diabetes!

Diabetes is a common disease that causes insulin to be produced in the inadequate amount resulting in the fluctuation of blood sugar level. For a diabetic patient, regular exercise is a must. However, this does not mean that you need to sign up for a gym membership immediately. If you prefer exercising at home, you could also try yoga. Yoga can be described as a collection of asanas or positions that help strengthen the mind and body.
Yoga not only nourishes the body but also has to ability to calm your mind and reduce the ill effects of stress.

Since stress is a key factor that influences the elevation of the blood sugar level, yoga helps in balancing the sugar level. Yoga also makes a person more mindful of whatever he or she might be doing. This, in turn, is helpful in making healthy lifestyle decisions, such as eating a balanced diet and restricting the intake of sweet foods. Along with lowering blood sugar level, yoga also helps balance cholesterol and blood pressure level and aids in healthy weight loss. A few yoga exercises every diabetic should try to include in his or her exercise routine are: 

  1. Pranayama: This breathing exercise helps oxygenate blood and improves circulation. It also helps fight stress and calms the mind.
  2. Setubandhasana: This asana helps regulate blood pressure levels and keeps the mind calm. It also aids in smooth digestion and stretches the spine and neck. Setubandhasana also helps in relieving symptoms of menopause in women.
  3. Balasana: This asana is also popularly known as the child’s pose. It helps stretch and strengthens muscles in the hips, thighs and ankles and is a good remedy for backaches that result from prolonged periods of sitting in the same position. It also helps fight stress and reduces tiredness and fatigue.
  4. Vajrasana: According to Ayurveda, 12 inches above the anus is a spot known as the Kanda. The Kanda is a point which sees over 72000 nerve converging. This yoga asana massages the Kanda and relaxes the mind. It also helps improve the digestion process and thus ensures that food moves smoothly through the system.
  5. Sarvangasana: This yoga asana is renowned for its ability to regulate the functioning of the thyroid glands. These glands are responsible for the proper functioning of the digestive, nervous and reproductive system and for regulating metabolism. When metabolism is regulated, energy does not stay stored excessively in the form of fat and hence blood sugar levels also get stabilised.
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Diabetes - Have Ayurveda At Your Rescue!

Diabetes - Have Ayurveda At Your Rescue!

When the sugar concentration in the blood increases suddenly and unreasonably, the resulting condition is known as diabetes. Sugar or glucose is generally used in order to provide much-needed energy to our bodies. But when the pancreas dysfunctions, it leads to a problem in insulin production. As a result, glucose or sugar gets directly absorbed into the blood, instead of getting absorbed by insulin. And this leads to the condition of diabetes.

Diabetes Treatment in Ayurveda
For Ayurvedic treatment of diabetes, the first step is usually dietary planning and lifestyle change. Adopting a more active lifestyle, and a healthy, balanced diet low on sugars and starches, is a must. You must begin by avoiding sugars in all forms. This means you will have to get rid of rice, potatoes, white bread, sugar-coated cereals, bananas, colocasia and much more. Add a lot of green leafy vegetables to your diet to improve your nutritional status and metabolism. In addition to these, also add some herbs to your diet. Ayurvedic herbs that act as a natural medicine for diabetes include turmeric, bitter gourd, gurmar leaves, bael, fenugreek and many more.

Apart from diabetes Ayurvedic treatment, you could also practice yoga, which can help you improve your health. Several yogic asanas help massage your internal organs so that they are healthier and can function much better. Some of the asanas are especially beneficial for the pancreas, which produces insulin. You may have to make some changes to your lifestyle as well. For starters, you will have to maintain a more active lifestyle. You will also have to avoid sleeping in the daytime. Avoid smoking and consuming alcohol and take extra care of your feet.

As an ancient science based on lifestyle-related treatment methods that include herbs, massages and life-changing tweaks, Ayurveda also provides various methods of managing this ailment. Here's how!

  1. Bitter Gourd: Known as an ingredient that is rich in antioxidants, this can be consumed to take care of diabetes. You will need to first remove the peel of at least four to five bitter gourds before crushing them to create a paste. This paste has to be put through a sieve so that the juice of the gourds can be extracted. You will then have to drink this juice every morning, on an empty stomach.
  2. Cinnamon: From treating coughs and colds to diabetes and other serious ailments, this is a wonder spice that can be found in most Indian kitchens. You can start by boiling a litre of water and letting it simmer on the gas for about twenty minutes. Thereafter, you can add three teaspoons of cinnamon powder to this simmering water. Strain this mixture and drink the entire batch every day to clear out the toxins.
  3. Fenugreek Seeds: For this, you will need to take about four to five tablespoons of fenugreek seeds. These will have to be soaked in a glass of water or about 250ml of water, overnight. In the morning, the softened seeds will need to be crushed before the mixture is strained. The water that escapes should be collected and ingested every day for a period of two months.
  4. Turmeric: Turmeric is a powerful and well-known ingredient that is used for curing and managing many ailments. You will need to mix about half a teaspoon of turmeric powder with one teaspoon of amla powder as well as half a tablespoon of methi seeds or fenugreek seeds powder. This concoction will have to mix in half a glass of water and taken daily on an empty stomach. This can be used by patients suffering from heart ailments as well.
  5. Diet: Cereals like ragi, corn, kulit, green millet, and barley are known to beneficial for patients suffering from diabetes. Leafy greens are also a must for such patients along with protein-rich foods like soya beans.
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Diabetics - Foot Care & Eye Care For Them!

Diabetics - Foot Care & Eye Care For Them!

When you are suffering from Diabetes, you need to take extra care of your feet and eyes. Both these parts of the body are heavily affected during this disease. In fact, your diet should also be taken in such a way that it maintains good eye sight and proper foot care. Apart from drinking lots of water and controlling your diet, you need to take special care of your eyes and feet.

Here are a few tips that might help you to take good care of these two parts of your body:

Foot Care:

  1. You must make sure that your medical practitioner does a complete foot care check up for you, at least once every year. If you have been suffering from any foot problems prior to the development of diabetes, then it is all the more necessary to take care of your feet and get it checked by the doctor.
  2. Make sure that your nails are properly trimmed and corns removed. Your feet should always be neat, tidy and clean. Even a little cut or injury needs to be treated immediately lest they spread infection into the blood stream.
  3. Always be careful of the socks and shoes that you wear. They must be regularly washed and cleaned. Do not wear soiled socks or smelly socks. It might only aggravate the problem.
  4. Go for regular foot massage and even a pedicure if need be to keep your feet clean and ensure proper, unrestricted flow of blood.

Eye Care:

  1. Visit you ophthalmologist once a year regularly so that any problem with your eyes can be detected at the earliest.
  2. Keep your sodium intake in check as well as your blood pressure levels. High blood pressure can damage the blood cells of the eyes. Thus, keeping your pressure levels in check is mandatory.
  3. If you are a smoker, it is best to quit smoking if you have fallen prey to diabetes. Smoking can damage blood vessels apart from the various other health adversities it normally causes.

Thus, these are some of the alternative lifestyles that you can look into while taking care of your eyes and feet during diabetes as these parts of the body are vital. Diabetes is a disease which starts affecting different body parts and weakens them one by one. Thus, special care is needed at all times when you suffer from this disease.

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Know All About Diabetes!

Know All About Diabetes!

The food we eat contains energy which is stored as glucose in the body. This glucose is then converted into back into energy with the help of a hormone called insulin. A lack of insulin in the body or an inability to use the insulin is known as diabetes. There are two types of diabetes mellitus; type 1 and type 2. These diseases cannot be cured but with medication, correct nutrition and weight management, they can be controlled so as to not affect your quality of life.

Type 1 diabetes is a lifelong condition and usually, begins in childhood. This is an autoimmune condition and makes the pancreas stop producing insulin. Some probable causes of type 1 diabetes are:

  1. Family history of diabetes

  2. Pancreatic diseases

  3. Other infections and diseases that can affect the pancreas.

Between the two, type 2 diabetes is more common. Type 2 diabetes is also known as insulin resistance and can affect a person at any stage in life. However, it is more common amongst men and women above the age of 45. Ethnicity also plays an important role here with African Americans, Latino Americans, Asian Americans and Hispanic people being more vulnerable to this disease. In this case, the body does produce insulin but either this amount is insufficient or the body is resistant to the insulin. Some factors that can trigger this condition are:

  1. Obesity

  2. High blood pressure

  3. Sedentary lifestyle

  4. Polycystic ovary syndrome

  5. Family history of diabetes

  6. Low levels of good cholesterol and high levels of triglycerides

  7. Presence of cells that are resistant to insulin

  8. Prediabetes or glucose intolerance

The most common symptoms of type 1 and type 2 diabetes are:

  1. Increased urination

  2. Excessive thirst and increased appetite

  3. Weight loss

  4. Fatigue

  5. Wounds that are slow to heal

  6. Yeast infections

  7. Numbness and tingling sensations in the toes

  8. Dry skin

  9. Blurred vision

  10. Nausea and vomiting

Another common type of diabetes is known as gestational diabetes Gestational diabetes affects pregnant women. It is caused by the over or under production of insulin by the placenta. Gestational diabetes can affect the health and growth of the baby is not treated in time. This condition usually resolves itself after the baby is delivered but it can put the mother at an increased risk of suffering from type 2 diabetes. Some factors that can trigger this condition are:

  1. Obesity

  2. Glucose intolerance

  3. Family history of diabetes

  4. Pregnancy after the age of 30

Diabetes - Know More About It!

Diabetes - Know More About It!

Diabetes, the new-age disease, has assumed the name of a modern epidemic. With changes in foods and physical activity being the main drivers of its increased incidence. The age of onset is lowering, the severity of the disease is increasing, complications are becoming severe. It is assuming dangerous proportions. People with diabetes are constantly on the watch before eating anything.

How does diabetes happen? There are two sides to it.
The body needs energy for every single activity that it does from moving a finger to smiling. The food that we eat contains sugar and is the main source of this energy. As the amount of food provided increases, there is more amount of energy (sugar) than required. The body converts this to fat and stores it as visceral fat

Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas, which sends signals to the body to absorb the blood sugar from the bloodstream. Two things can happen there could be less insulin produced, so there is more sugar in the blood. Secondly, there could be what is known as insulin resistance, where the tissues do not recognise the insulin and do not absorb the sugar for storage. In both cases, the blood sugar levels go up, leading to increased incidence of diabetes. On the other hand, the extra sugar that is absorbed is converted into fat by the body and stored. The visceral fat, which is fat in the subcutaneous layers of the skin, is all the extra sugar that is consumed.

Vicious cycle:

  1. More sugar consumed, leads to more blood sugars
  2. More sugar consumed, leads to more visceral fat, as the body only requires so much energy for regular activities
  3. When engaged in physical exercise, this visceral fat accumulation is reduced, as more energy is required for the exercise
  4. With reduced exercise, the result is increased visceral fat and higher sugar levels
  5. Insulin resistance adds to this effect of higher sugar levels
  6. With processed/packed/refined foods being consumed widely, the amount of visceral fat is on the rise. They also lead to insulin resistance.
  7. So, while on one hand, the direct sugar levels are high, on the other, the body’s natural response to control sugar is also impaired
  8. To manage both, a three-pronged approach is essential – reduce refined foods, improve fiber intake, and improve exercise
  9. A diet rich in whole fiber does not lead to as much sugar level increase or fat formation
  10. A diet rich in whole grains, vegetables, dairy, and fat is preferable to beat this cycle along with an active exercise regime
  11. Monitoring sugar levels and insulin resistance is a must until they are brought under control

Foot Problems In Diabetic Patients - An Overview!

Foot Problems In Diabetic Patients - An Overview!

There are many problems that come along with Diabetes. Such problems are associated with the foot. These foot problems may be infectious which makes it difficult for a person to walk.

Let’s know some of the common foot problems associated with Diabetes. 

Diabetic Neuropathy -

When the diabetes is not being managed successfully by medication it can affect the nerves. Damaged nerves in the feet or legs result in diabetic neuropathy. When there is no sensation of pain, heat, cold, or pressure in the legs or feet, it is called sensory diabetic neuropathy.

Not sensing the pain or a prick does not mean it does not affect the body. An open wound can cause infections if it goes unnoticed. Muscular function degeneration can cause postural abnormality and difficulty in walking. Abnormal pressure on the foot due to alignment issues can cause foot ulcers.

Treatment: Neurological treatment includes medication and physiotherapy. Surgery is not recommended because it can cause more complications. Keeping the feet clean and moisturized to prevent cracks helps avoid infection. Keeping it dry (from humidity, not from clinical moisturizers) ensures no fungal growth.

Peripheral Vascular Disease -

This too can cause foot ulcers. The blood flow is obstructed. This makes wounds heal slower, leaving it exposed to infection. Slow blood flow and slower healing cause ulcers and gangrene (cell death) as well.

Treatment: Ensuring clean, moisturized, but dry feet help prevent ulcers and infection. Anti-fungal medication.

Infected Nails -

Fungal infection can also originate in the nails. This makes the nails brittle, thick, difficult to clip, yellow, and crumbly. The infection can spread to the rest of the foot and even to the hands when it comes in contact.

Treatment: Ensuring clean regime of the foot, and clipping the nails once a week to avoid ingrown nails. Anti-fungal medication.

Calluses -

Hard skin build-up under the foot happens due to uneven pressure on the feet. This uneven pressure can happen due to wearing ill-fitting shoes, abnormal gait due to misalignment of the feet, or due to excessive weight.

Treatment: Diabetic shoes, keeping weight in check, physiotherapy, taking care of the skin under the foot. Avoid cutting or tearing at the calluses.

Corns -

Hard skin between toes or under toes are caused by excessive and uneven pressure and friction. This is painful and makes walking uneasy.

Treatment: Exfoliation, gently removing dead tissues and dirt. Avoid cutting or tearing at the tissues. Keeping the feet clean and moisturized.

Bunions and Hammertoes -

This is often genetic. But diabetics are more likely to suffer from bone misalignment and muscle weakness in the feet. Misaligned toes and the resultant toes make it difficult to walk and causes sores and blisters.

Treatment: Surgery, corrective footwear.

Almost all diabetes-related foot problems can be prevented or managed with medicated shoes, maintaining hygiene, limited exposure of the feet to water or dust, and of course, by managing diabetes and blood sugar itself.

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Insulin - How To Administer It?

Insulin - How To Administer It?

Close to 400 million people across the world are affected by diabetes, and this chronic condition drastically reduces the quality of life if not managed properly. Though several treatment options are available to manage the condition, lack of awareness hinders many from seeking treatment.

Insulin therapy is provided for type II diabetes patients to achieve and maintain a steady blood sugar level. A few may think that injecting insulin is a complicated therapy, but there is no reason to be afraid of insulin treatment.

Insulin treatment is often regarded as the last resort when it comes to managing type II diabetes, but experts suggest that this should not be the case. Insulin is a type of hormone that the pancreas produces naturally and in case there is any deficiency of it, a person may have to take insulin. However, you cannot purchase insulin in pill form, and thus, insulin injections are the only way that can stabilize the insulin requirement in your body.

When is insulin given to a person?

Insulin treatment is required when a person who has type II diabetes is not able to produce adequate levels of the hormone, and other techniques and medications fail to treat the condition. Initially, basal insulin, commonly referred to as background insulin is given to a person owing to its low and consistent level in the blood for a long stretch of time. Also, there are different types of medications available for controlling diabetes, and therefore, some people may need one basal injection along with pills while others may require mixed insulin treatment.

The different types of insulin available for treating diabetes-

Every individual has a different set of variables that make his or her health condition unique. There are also various approaches to controlling blood sugar, and this includes the insulin type prescribed as well.

According to the reports of the American Diabetes Association, there are several forms of insulin with their unique benefits and properties such as speed and span of efficacy, and peak points. Here are some of the most commonly prescribed types of insulin:

  1. Regular insulin: Also referred to as short-acting insulin, this kind of insulin is consumed during mealtime, and it reaches the bloodstream within half an hour after injecting. It peaks in about 2 to 3 hours and remains effective for up to 6 hours.
  2. Long-acting insulin: It is given once a day, and it can stabilize blood sugar levels for the whole day.
  3. Rapid-acting insulin: As the name suggests, this insulin works fast and lasts for about 2 to 4 hours.
  4. Intermediate-acting insulin: It works slower than its rapid-acting counterpart, but faster than long-acting insulin. It reaches the bloodstream in about 2 hours after injection and remains effective for about 18 hours.

It is crucial to discuss one’s preferences and medical history with a professional endocrinologist for an effective insulin treatment plan.

Ayurveda - The Perfect Diabetes Management Aid!

Ayurveda - The Perfect Diabetes Management Aid!

In Ayurveda, Diabetes is known as Madhumeha (Madhu means 'honey' and Meha means 'urine'). Medhumeha is categorized as Vataj Meha (a problem caused by the aggravation of Vata). 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 the reason why all vital organs are affected by Diabetes.

The other prime cause of Diabetes is impaired digestion. Impaired digestion leads to accumulation of specific digestive impurities (known as ama) which accumulate in the pancreatic cells and impair the production of insulin.

The treatment of Diabetes recommended in Ayurveda - as against modern medicine - is aimed at rejuvenating the body to not only balance sugar levels but also foster a positive change in the patient's life. Ayurvedic medicines work on the root cause of the disease, strengthening the patient's immunity, enhancing digestion and helping him lead an overall healthy life. Along with medication, dietary and lifestyle changes are also recommended to rejuvenate the body's cells and tissues, allowing them to produce insulin properly.

Daily Routine for a Diabetic

1. Wake up Time -

Wake up by 6 am in the morning, as you also need ample time to exercise. Have a glass of lukewarm water mixed with two teaspoonfuls of fresh lemon juice every day.

2. Exercise -

Exercise forms an important part of treatment for diabetic patients. A morning walk is the best form of exercise. Yoga and meditation can also be beneficial, especially to relieve stress and bring clarity to the mind. If your health permits, opt for exercises such as jogging, swimming, cycling, etc.

3. Breakfast -

In the morning, take two slices of wholemeal bread with butter and fresh milk (boiled and taken warm). Seasonal fresh fruits can be taken occasionally, with or without milk.

4. At Work -

If you are an office-goer, make sure you carry filling snacks with you all the time, as Diabetics are advised not to keep their stomachs empty. Instead of snacking on cheese, chips or crackers, enjoy a handful of nuts or seeds. Go for variety with sunflower, pumpkin seeds, almonds, cashews and walnuts.

5. Lunch -

For lunch, opt for steamed or lightly cooked green vegetables such as cauliflower, cabbage, tomatoes, spinach, turnip, asparagus and mushrooms. Vegetable soup or boiled vegetables can also be taken. In addition, two or three whole wheat bread (chapatis), sprouts, salad, boiled rice, lentils (daal) etc. can be taken according to appetite. A glass of buttermilk (salty lassi) is a nice drink to end the lunch. Roasted cumin seeds, black salt, grated ginger and green coriander leaves can be added to the buttermilk.

6. Daytime Sleep -

If you are a non-working Diabetic, always remember not to sleep during the daytime, as it increases Kledaka Kapha. A sub-dosha of Kapha, Kledaka Kapha governs the protective mucous lining of the digestive system, thereby facilitating proper digestion. In an increased state, it can lead to impairment of digestion, which can cause additional problems in Diabetes patients.

7. Evening Snacks -

Have a glass of fresh fruit or vegetable juice. You can also take Ayurvedic tea with roasted chickpeas.

8. Dinner -

Always remember that your dinner should be light and not have too many items. Boiled vegetables, sprouts, cottage cheese (paneer) or a bowl of salad made from fresh raw vegetables of the season. Also, make it a point to eat at least two hours before you go to bed.

9. Bedtime -

Go to sleep before 10 pm. Have a glass of fresh boiled warm milk before going off to bed.

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Control Blood Sugar - Know The Ways!

Control Blood Sugar - Know The Ways!

Proper diet and lifestyle decisions help in balancing your blood sugar and the result of treatment show quickly. It also prevents or decreases the risk of complications. 

Diet & Lifestyle -

  • Include whole grains in the diet, such as wheat bread/pasta and brown rice.
  • Cheese and yogurt prepared with skimmed (nonfat) milk may be taken.
  • Use garlic, onion, bitter gourd, spinach, raw banana, and black plum.
  • Make a flour mixture of 1 part barley, 1 part black chickpeas, and 4 parts whole-wheat flour and use this to form pancakes and bread.
  • Avoid sweet fruits like pineapple, grapes, mangoes, etc.
  • Avoid sweet, sour, and salty foods, potatoes, sweet potatoes, colocasia (taro), yams, fresh grains and pulses (legumes), whole yogurt (high in fat), and heavy, oily and spicy foods.
  • Start doing some light exercise, such as brisk walking. Build up to a brisk walk of 30-40 minutes in the morning and again in the evening.
  • Avoid sleeping in the daytime as it increases Kledaka Kapha.

Home Remedies -

  • Dry the leaves of the mango tree and grind to a powder. Mix 1 teaspoon dry powder in a glass of water and drink it daily to reduce high blood sugar levels.
  • Take 2 teaspoons of bitter gourd (karela) juice once a day. One can also increase its use as a cooked vegetable.
  • Take 1 teaspoon of Indian gooseberry (amla) juice mixed with 1 teaspoon of bitter gourd juice twice a day.

Diabetes - How Ayurveda Can Control It?

Diabetes - How Ayurveda Can Control It?

Diabetes or madhumeha, is a serious disease that affects many people worldwide today. Diabetes, which is referred to as maha-roga is the excess of glucose in the blood. As a result, you cannot consume sweetened food, get excess urges to drink water or urinate. However, Ayurveda has the most effective solutions to control diabetes naturally. Read on to know what best natural medications are there to cure diabetes.

1. Gymnema Sylvestre or Gurmar
It is one of the most effective remedies for diabetes. It is a hypoglycemic component, which makes it ideal for treating diabetes. It helps in reducing dependency on insulin by regeneration of residual beta cells of the pancreas.

2.  Coccinia indica
It is another herb which regulates diabetes very well. This plant contains components which, after consumption of carbohydrates, prevent the sudden increase in blood glucose level. It can also prevent any adverse effect on other organs of the body due to diabetes. It is found to reduce oxidative stress amongst diabetes patients by surging the Vitamin-C levels in the plasma and also prevents the fluctuations in fatty acid levels amongst diabetes patients.

3. Azadirachta Indica or neem
It is one of the most common household antiseptics and a wonderful cure for diabetes. It enables high glucose tolerance and also prevents diabetic neuropathy, which may cause severe fatalities.

4. Morus Indica or Mulberry
It is a food that is experimentally proven to reduce diabetes. Daily consumption of mulberry leaves for 15 days at a stretch have been beneficial in limiting approximately 38% of diabetes cases among its consumers. It also protects you against oxidative stress by building the antioxidant defence system of the body and is also known to correct any lipid-profile abnormality. It also delays the possibility of the appearance of cataract as a result of diabetes.

5. Momordica Charantia or bitter gourd
It is another common remedy found in most Indian households. Even though it is extremely bitter in taste, its medicinal properties are exemplary and are extensively used in Ayurvedic medicines. It also targets the beta cells of the pancreas to help boost up insulin secretion by increasing their number. Bitter gourd also helps to release more insulin by way of regeneration of the pancreas.

6. Eugenia Jambolana or Indian Jamun
This Ayurvedic cure reduces blood sugar level and increases the release of insulin. The extract of "jamun" seeds help in healing of wounds quicker, usually impaired by diabetes.

7. Trigonella Foenum or methi
It is another household ingredient that serves medicinal purposes in case of diabetes patients. Even 1gm of fenugreek seeds could reduce diabetes sharply in a short span of 2 months. This benefit is because of the presence of diosgenin, a compound with hypoglycemic properties.

However, all these medicinal plants should be advisably consumed under proper guidance from professional practitioners only.

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