Category: Diabetes & Complications

Yogasanas To Control and Prevent Diabetes

Overview

Yoga practice is also useful in the management of various lifestyle disorders including Type 2 Diabetes as the incorporation of yoga practice in daily life helps to attain glycemic control.

Nowadays, Type 2 diabetes has become a common lifestyle disorder which is caused by insulin resistance resulting in chronic hyperglycemia and various other complications. A sedentary lifestyle and unhealthy dietary patterns are the major risk factors for the development of various lifestyle disorders, including diabetes. Psychological stress also increases the severity of diabetes.

Management of Type 2 Diabetes

Yoga, which originated in India more than 5,000 years ago, aims at balancing the body, mind, and soul. Traditionally, yoga is a mind-body practice with the ultimate goal of spiritual enlightenment. It provides opportunities for self-awareness.

The word ‘Yoga’ is a Sanskrit name which means ‘to join’ or ‘to unite’, symbolizing the union of body and consciousness. Yoga is often compared with the tree and comprises 8 aspects or limbs such as:

  • Yama (Universal ethics)
  • Niyama (Individual ethics)
  • Asana (Physical postures)
  • Pranayama (Breath-control)
  • Pratyahara (Control of the senses)
  • Dharana (Concentration)
  • Dhyana (Meditation)
  • Samadhi (Bliss).

Recognizing its universal appeal, the United Nations on 11th December 2014 proclaimed 21 June as the International Day of Yoga.

Many yoga asanas have been found to be beneficial in the Management of Type 2 Diabetes but their judicious use is recommended after a careful assessment of patient’s health.

  • They emphasize on the relationship of mind, body, and awareness and focus on the synchronization of movement and breathing.
  • The key to performing a yoga posture is that it should be performed with stability and comfort and involves stretching, twisting, movements, and relaxation.

Some Yoga Practices Beneficial for the Management of Type 2 Diabetes

  1. Surya Namaskar (Sun salutation)
  2. Vakrasan (Spinal twist)
  3. Trikonasana (Triangle pose)
  4. Bhujangasan (Cobra pose)
  5. Pavanmuktasana (Wind relieving pose)
  6. Om Chanting

1.Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutation):

This yogic exercise involves a series of various yogic postures which are performed in a series of a specific sequence.

It is a complete yoga asana in itself and involves 11 steps such as

  1. Pranamasana(prayer pose)
  2. Utthana hasthasana(raised arms pose)
  3. padahastanasana(standing forward bend)
  4. ashva sanchalanasana (equestrian pose)
  5. phalakasana(stick pose)
  6. ashtang namaskar(salute with eight points)
  7. bhujangasana(cobra pose)
  8. adho mukha svanasana(downward facing pose)
  9. ashva sanchalanasana(equestrian pose)
  10. padahastanasana(standing forward bend)
  11. pranamasana(mountain pose)

It increases cellular requirements for oxygen and glucose and to meet these requirements, through brain signaling, insulin production is stimulated.

The diabetic patient should practice 3-7 rounds at a slow speed and according to an individual’s capacity.

2. Vakrasan (Spinal Twist)

It is a very basic asana (pose) and it is recommended for overall body health as well.

  • It is a seated yoga posture which improves the function of pancreas.
  • Vakrasan is a pose having seated spinal twist that squeezes the intestines and massage them to prevent the stagnation of colonic contents.
  • It is recommended that diabetic patients should hold the final pose for 15 seconds or as per their capacity and then gradually increase the duration  upto 1 minute.

3.Trikonasana (Triangle pose):

Trikonasana is a standing pose that works on all areas of the abdomen and further helps in keeping the kidneys in good working condition.

  • It improves blood supply and enhances insulin receptor expression in the muscles.
  • It is recommended to hold the final pose for 15 seconds and gradually increases the duration up to 1 minute.

4.Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose):

Bhujangasana is a prone pose that stimulates and massages the pancreas and helps in the proper functioning of the gland.

  • This pose allows more blood to circulate in the pancreas and the whole body region.
  • Due to an increase in the amount of blood flow, the efficiency of beta-cells increases.
  • Diabetic patients should hold the final pose for 15 seconds and then gradually increase the duration up to 1 minute.

5.Pavanmuktasana (Wind Relieving Pose):

Pavanmuktasana is supine pose often known as ‘gas releasing pose’ and it braces up the entire system of the body including pancreas, liver, spleen, abdomen and abdominal muscles.

  • This asana causes a contraction in the abdominal muscles which improve the functionality of the abdominal organs.
  • Diabetic patients should hold the final pose for 15 seconds and gradually increase the duration up to 1 minute.

Om Chanting

6.Om Chanting

Several types of researches have shown that chanting Om is based on the physics of sound, resonance, vibrations, etc. that has a positive effect on health.

  • Chanting Om results in the removal of negative thoughts, an increase of energy, relaxation of brain and body.
  • Thus, chanting Om in supine posture produces an integrated relaxation response, which may have a clinical significance in the management of diabetes and hypertension.

Thus, Yoga postures help in the stretching of abdominal muscles which help in the regeneration of pancreatic cells and there is an improvement in the sensitivity of beta-cells to glucose, thereby there is an improvement in the secretion of insulin, increase in the blood supply to the muscles and muscle relaxation, thereby improving glucose uptake.

In addition to Yoga Asanas (Yoga Poses), Yogic breathing (Pranayam), Dhyaan (Meditation) have positive effects on the sugar levels and it is recommended in the management of diabetes.

Meditation

Meditation has been shown to cause physiological changes in the brain and meditators are less prone to stress.

  • The mental stability that is attained through Meditation helps diabetic patients.
  • Mindfulness Meditation is advocated for better sleep, greater relaxation, positivity in life etc.

Pranayama

Pranayama is control of breath. “Prana” is a breath or vital energy in the body.  The slow breathing technique involved in Pranayama causes comprehensive changes in the physiology of the body as it controls the autonomic nervous system.

  • Pranayama such as Bhastrika Pranayam (bellow-breathing) is energetic and powerful pranayama known as “the breath of fire”.
  • This pranayama helps in the regulation of pituitary, pineal, and adrenal glands which play an important role in the regulation of metabolism.

Yoga also prevents the development of diabetes in individuals who have a high risk of developing diabetes and also a results in a reduction of fasting blood sugar, postprandial blood sugar (blood sugar after meals), anti-diabetic drug requirements thus suggesting improved glycemic control.

Its regular practice helps in enhancing awareness of the mind and body which is needed in the self-management of diet in diabetes. Moreover, regular yoga practice also reduces the risk of diabetes-related complications.

Effective Home Remedies To Control Blood Sugar Level

What Dietary Changes Can Help You Manage Type 2 Diabetes

Introduction

Diabetes mellitus (DM), commonly known as diabetes, is a group of metabolic diseases which is characterized by an increase in blood sugar levels over a long period of time.

Diabetes mellitus

Types of Diabetes mellitus (DM)

There are two main types of diabetes mellitus:

  • Type 1 Diabetes mellitus
  • Type 2 Diabetes mellitus

Type 1 Diabetes mellitus

  • Type 1 diabetes is a chronic condition which occurs because the insulin-producing cells (beta cells) of the pancreas are damaged and produces little or no insulin. It is the most common type of diabetes in people who are under age 30, but it may occur at any age. 10% of people having diabetes are diagnosed with type 1 diabetes.

Type 2 Diabetes mellitus

  • Type 2 Diabetes mellitus is a chronic condition that affects the process of the body which metabolizes the sugar (glucose). It starts with insulin resistance, in which beta cells do not respond to insulin properly.

Sign and symptoms of Type 2 Diabetes mellitus

  • Frequent urination
  • Increased
  • Increased hunger
  • Feeling very tired
  • Blurry vision
  • Slow healing of cuts and wounds
  • Tingling, numbness, or pain in the hands or feet
  • Patches of dark skin
  • Itching and frequent infections (yeast infections)
  • Increased thirst
  • Unintended weight loss

Causes of Type 2 Diabetes mellitus

  • Type 2 diabetes mellitus occurs when the body becomes insulin resistant or when the pancreas does not produce enough insulin. The exact reason for type 2 diabetes mellitus is not known. It may be triggered by genetics and environmental factors, like overweight and inactivity, family history, etc.
Ayurvedic Treatment of Diabetes

(Reference: CharakSamhitachikitsasthan Chapter-6 and shloka-6)

In this shloka, the prognosis of prameha (diabetes) is explained. The vitiated Vata, Pitta and Kaphadosha gets stored in the urinary bladder and affects the urine which can produce various types of symptoms associated with diabetes.

Ayurvedic Treatment of Diabetes

Dietary Changes Can help you to manage type 2 Diabetes

  • A healthy diet helps you to protect your body from various diseases. So you need to make some dietary changes in your daily diet which helps to manage the type-2- diabetes.

Carbohydrates

  • Carbohydrates in food provide energy to the body. But carbohydrates also raise your blood sugar level. Carbohydrates can be classified into complex carbohydrates and simple sugars.
  • A complex carbohydrate is low glycemic loaded foods that can be a part of a type 2 diabetes diet plan. The complex carbohydrate contain additional nutrients such as fiber, vitamins smaller amounts of proteins and fats which helps to lower the blood sugar level.
  • Foods rich in complex carbohydrate are brown rice, whole wheat, quinoa, steel-cut oatmeal, vegetables, fruits, beans, lentils.

Grains

  • Whole grains are good sources of fiber and nutrients such as brown rice, quinoa, and oatmeal. They reduce the glycemic load. Whole grains are unprocessed but refined grains can be processed /milled to remove the bran and germ. For example white flour, white bread, de-germed cornmeal, and white rice.

Proteins

  • Protein has little effect on blood sugar level. Protein not only maintains blood sugar level but also helps with sugar cravings in patients of diabetes. You can get protein from both animal or plant sources. But, animal sources are considered as the sources of unhealthy saturated fats.
  • Foods that include good protein are beans, legumes, eggs, fish and seafood, organic dairy products, peas, tofu and soya foods, lean meats such as chicken and turkey.

Vegetables

Add fresh or frozen vegetables (without added sauces, fats, or salt) in your diet. Take at least 2½ to 3 cups or 450 to 550 grams vegetables a day.

Non-starchy vegetables:

  • It includes dark green and deep yellow vegetables, such as cucumber, spinach, chard, broccoli, cabbage, and bell peppers.

Starchy vegetables:

  • It includes corn, lima beans, green peas,  carrots, yams, and taro.

Fruits

  • You can eat fresh, frozen (without added sugar or syrup), or unsweetened dried fruits. It includes apples, berries,  bananas, cherries, fruit cocktail, melon, grapes, oranges, peaches, pears, pineapple, papaya, and raisins. You can also drink juices that contain 100% of fruit without any added sweeteners or syrups. Consume at least  240 to 320 grams of fruits per day.

Dairy products

  • Always choose low-fat milk products. Total dairy and low-fat milk products reduce risk of type 2 diabetes. For example milk, yogurt, and cheese, they do not include any added sugar.
  • Some non-fat dairy products contain a lot of added sugar. So always read the label before purchasing non- fat dairy products.

Five superfoods for Type-2- diabetic patients

Chia seeds

  • Chia seeds contain fiber, protein, and omega-3 fatty acids. Chia lowers down the glycemic load of any meal, improves hunger satisfaction (satiety), and balance the blood sugar level.  You can add Chia with almond milk, cocoa, and a low-glycemic index sweetener such as agave or stevia to make a healthy pudding. Which helps with sugar craving in diabetic patients.

Wild salmon

  • Salmon is considered as a great source of anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acid. It is a type 2 diabetes superfood. Wild salmon in our diet reduces inflammation, lower triglycerides, prevents obesity and manage blood glucose levels.

White balsamic vinegar

  • Vinegar helps to reduce gastric emptying, which shows beneficial effects in people with type 2 diabetes. This reduces the release of glucose into the bloodstream. Vinegar also increases hunger satisfaction, if you eat vinaigrette salad with your meal.

Cinnamon

  • Cinnamon lowers blood glucose in patients with type 2 diabetes. One teaspoon of cinnamon per day is beneficial for diabetic patient. Cinnamon lowers both fasting and after meals blood sugar levels.

Lentils

  • Lentils are the superfood for type-2-diabetic patients. They contain important vitamins, great protein, and lots of fiber. Lentils are rich in iron, vitamin B such as folate,  balanced protein and complex carbohydrate (high in fiber), and also very versatile to cook.
  • The green and brown lentils stay firm when cooked and you can eat it as a salad. orange ones become soft when cooked and we can add them in Indian soups, curries, and dal.

Foods should be avoided in type 2 diabetic patient’s diet.

The food is restricted in Type 2 diabetic patient included unhealthy foods such as:

  • Processed carbs (white bread, pasta, chips, saltines)
  • Refined sugars (donuts, pastries, cakes, cookies, scones, sweets, candy)
  • Sodas: Both diet soda and sugar-sweetened regular soda can raise the blood sugar level.
  • High-fat dairy products: It includes whole milk, cream, ice cream, cheese.
  • High-fat animal products: It includes red meat, fatty cuts of pork, sausage, bacon.
  • Artificial sweeteners: These are mainly found in processed foods.
  • High fructose corn syrup: It is mainly found in candy, soda, packaged convenience food.
  • Highly processed foods: It includes novelty sweets, chips,  candies, kettle corn, cookies.
  • Trans fats: It includes butter spreads, some mayonnaise spreads, some salad dressings, bakery goods, and packaged sauces.

Consumption of alcohol in Type-2- diabetic patients

  • Moderate consumption of alcohol is allowed in Type-2- diabetic patients. Some research shows that two drink per day for men and one drink a day for women can reduce cardiovascular risk and doesn’t show any negative impact on diabetes. However, alcohol can reduce the blood sugar level and raise  High-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol which is known as good cholesterol.