DIABETES MELLITUS (DM) in general is a chronic metabolic disorder in which the body is unable to make proper use of glucose which results in hyperglycemia (increase in blood sugar level) and glycosuria (increase in sugar levels in urine). In particular, Type I DM is characterized by loss of insulin-producing beta cells in the pancreas leading to deficiency of insulin in the body. Type II DM is characterized by insulin resistance or reduced insulin sensitivity. Both lead to hyperglycemia, which largely causes acute signs of diabetes; excess urine production, compensatory thirst and increased fluid intake, blurred vision, unexplained weight loss, lethargy, change in energy metabolism etc.
The symptoms of diabetes can be correlated to the symptoms of Prameha Prameha is a metabolic disorder explained extensively in Ayurveda literature. Prameha, holds the twin meanings of “prabhutha mutratha” or excessive urination and “Avilmutratha” or turbid urine.
Etiological factors of prameha:
- Consumption of food with excessive sweet taste.
- Intake of newly harvested (within one year) crops like new rice, grains.
- Frequent intake of aquatic plants and meat
- Excessive usage of milk and milk products.
- Lack of exercise.
- Excessive sleeping, day dreaming, night awakening
- Mental strain and stress.
Common features of diabetes mellitus and prameha:
- Prabhutavilamootrata (polyuria): Increased urinary output with turbidity.
- Madhuratva in mutra: Glycosuria.
- Dantadeenam mala sanchaya: Deposits/ tartar accumulation on teeth are seen.
- Panipada daha: (burning sensation of feet and palm). Presence of glucose is seen in the blood- It causes disturbance in the equilibrium of dhatus and doshas in the body exposing body to further complications like padapani daha (burning
sensation of feet and palm).
- Chikkanata : Stickiness of the body.
- Trishna (Thirst and polydipsia): In the process of lypolysis, more water is utilized which results in the activation of the thirst centre in the brain.
- Swadu asyata : Sweetness is experienced in the mouth due to increase in sugar level.
Making a few changes in lifestyle will help an individual to combat diabetes/ prameha.
Here are a few tips which you can follow to avoid diabetes:
- A well balanced diet intake is a must. Avoid excessive sweet, fatty, spicy food.
- Avoid regular consumption of nonvegetarian food.
- Avoid alcohol.
- Consumption of food at regular intervals is a must.
- Regular exercise is a must to maintain an ideal weight. It also helps in proper blood circulation and metabolism.
- practicing yoga will also help to a great extent.
- Avoid day sleeping and night awakening.
- A stress free mind will keep you at optimal health. It would benefit you to a great extent.
Some herbs useful in prameha:
Triphala – Terminalia chebula, Terminalia belerica, emblica officinalis.
Guduchi – Tinospora cordifolia
Jambu – eugenia jambolana
Shilajit – Asphaltum (mineral pitch)
Turmeric – Curcuma longa.
Use barley, green gram, horse gram, chickpeas, old rice, bitter gourd and bottle gourd in your food intake. Roasted rice and wheat are useful. Include ‘Tikta ras’ (bitter), Kashaya (astringent) items in your diet.