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Most people dread the prospect of having to deal with diabetes. After all, having any disease is not a nice prospect, let alone a lifestyle disease such as diabetes. For many people who have it, a lifetime of pill taking at different parts of the day is a reality. But what if, other successful forms of treatment were found to be effective? Yes, there is good news for all diabetic patients. Ayurveda is one such line of medicine, which has been successfully treating diabetic patients for centuries.
A lot of the effort to treat a person who has diabetes by using Ayurvedic principles has to do with the kind of food regularly consumed. This should not really come as that much of a surprise as our overall health has a lot more to do with the food that is eaten by a person than is normally thought. While cinnamon is considered to be great to add flavour to food, Chinese cinnamon, also known as cassia, which is sourced from the bark of the cinnamon tree, is a good resource to treat diabetes with.
When it comes to food items that should be avoided by a person who has diabetes, rice tops the list. It is something that should not be consumed in large quantities at all. This is true in spite of it being a staple food in many countries and for many people. Apart from this, eating potato does not do any favours either; so consume them in limited quantities.
It is very important to quit smoking and stop consuming alcohol to a large extent, if a complete withdrawal is not possible. In addition to this, sufficient sleep on a nightly basis is also key to maintaining a healthy lifestyle. A person with diabetes would do well to make it a habit to practice meditation in a consistent way. Practising yoga and going for regular walks are also highly recommended. As a matter of fact, the activity level of a person should be high throughout the day and not just peak at the time of exercise.
One of the main beliefs of Ayurveda is that an overall healthy state of body needs to be maintained. If the body is not in balance, this will cause various problems in different parts of the body. As long as there is discipline, with Ayurveda, diabetes can be easily beaten!
Diabetes is a disorder of metabolism, the way the body uses digested food for energy. The digestive tract breaks down carbohydrates, sugars and starches found in many foods, into glucose, a form of sugar that enters the bloodstream. Diabetes develops when the body doesn't make enough insulin or is not able to use insulin effectively, or both.
The two main types of diabetes are:
Type 1 Diabetes: Type 1 diabetes typically occurs in children and young adults, though it can appear at any age. In the past, type 1 diabetes was called juvenile diabetes or insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus.
Heredity plays an important part in determining who is likely to develop type 1 diabetes. Genes are passed down from biological parent to child.
Type 2 Diabetes: Type 2 diabetes develops most often in middle-aged and older people who are also overweight or obese. The disease, once rare in youth, is becoming more common in overweight and obese children and adolescents. Type 2 diabetes is caused by a combination of factors, including insulin resistance, a condition in which the body's muscle, fat, and liver cells do not use insulin effectively.
Physical Inactivity, Obesity, and Diabetes-
Physical inactivity and obesity are strongly associated with the development of type 2 diabetes. People who are genetically susceptible to type 2 diabetes are more vulnerable when these risk factors are present. About 80 percent of people with type 2 diabetes are overweight or obese.
An imbalance between caloric intake and physical activity can lead to obesity, which causes insulin resistance and is common in people with type 2 diabetes. Central obesity, in which a person has excess abdominal fat, is a major risk factor not only for insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes but also for heart and blood vessel disease, also called cardiovascular disease (CVD). This excess belly fat produces hormones and other substances that can cause harmful, chronic effects in the body such as damage to blood vessels.
So, measuring your waist is a quick way of assessing your diabetes risk. This is a measure of abdominal obesity, which is a particularly high-risk form of obesity. Women have a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes if their waist measures 80cm (31.5 inches) or more. Asian men with a waist size of 89cm (35 inches) or more have a higher risk, as do white or black men with a waist size of 94cm (37 inches) or more.
Simple Steps to Lower Your Risk-
Making a few lifestyle changes can dramatically lower the chances of developing type 2 diabetes. The same changes can also lower the chances of developing heart disease and other life taking cancers.
1. Control Your Weight: Being overweight increases the chances of developing type 2 diabetes seven-fold. Being obese makes you 20 to 40 times more likely to develop diabetes than someone with a healthy weight. Losing weight can help if your weight is above the healthy-weight range. Check your BMI. Losing 7 to 10 percent of your current weight can cut your chances of developing type 2 diabetes in half.
2. Get Moving and Turn Off the Television: Inactivity promotes type 2 diabetes. Working your muscles more often and making them work harder improves their ability to use insulin and absorb glucose. This puts less stress on your insulin-making cells.
3. Tune Up Your Diet: Four dietary changes can have a big impact on the risk of type 2 diabetes-
- a. Choose whole grains and whole grain products over highly processed carbohydrates.
- b. Skip the sugary drinks, and choose water, coffee, or tea instead.
- c. Choose good fats instead of bad fats.
- d. Limit red meat and avoid processed meat; choose nuts, whole grains, poultry, or fish instead.
If you are already suffering from diabetes, then do take a walk everyday and adopt healthy eating habits. Along with that relieve your stress and take proper doses of insulin or medications as prescribed by your doctor.
Diabetes is a state where the body suffers from lack of energy due to poor metabolic state. This is construed as depression in many patients as they already feel lethargic and subdued. The fatigued state of body in diabetes can be alleviated by exercise which raises endorphins - substances which are released in the body especially by exercise - providing us the necessary elation so much necessary for our recovery
Managing diabetes may make a person feel alone and set apart from their friends and family due to the number of dietary restrictions they need to follow. Additionally, if the person has trouble controlling their blood sugar level, it may make him frustrated and anxious. Over time, these negative emotions can build up into depression.
Depression can make a person lose his sense of purpose and can make regular tasks feel like too much to handle. Thus, a depressed person may stop taking care of himself. The lack of energy can lead to a loss of appetite or unhealthy snacking. This can trigger fluctuations in blood sugar levels that worsen diabetes.
Thus, depression and diabetes have a cyclic relationship. The good news is that these two diseases can be treated together and managing one of these diseases can have a positive effect on the other as well.
Here are a few ways to treat diabetes and depression:
Regular exercise is very beneficial towards treating, both depression and diabetes. Exercise helps regulate blood sugar levels and hence can help control diabetes. It also helps in reducing excess weight, which can enhance your self image and make you feel happier. Simultaneously, it also releases endorphins or the 'feel good' brain chemical. This can help alleviate depression symptoms.
A Balanced Diet
A balanced diet is essential for good health and can help manage, both these disorders. Along with a balanced diet, there is also a need to abstain from snacking between meals. Reducing the amount of sugar in your meals helps stabilize blood sugar level and control fluctuations. Stable blood sugar level keep a person from becoming increasingly anxious and can thus prevent depression.
A good night's sleep can treat, both diabetes and depression. If you have proper sleep, you will awake feeling refreshed and energetic. This positive energy balances the negativity of depression, lowers the urge to snack and helps in stabilizing blood sugar level.
Psychotherapy or in particular cognitive behavioral therapy has been proven beneficial towards treating depression. This in turn gives a person the motivation needed to manage his diabetes as well.