Diabetes is a chronic disease that results from either insufficient insulin production by the body or insufficient insulin use by the body. It is becoming more of a disaster in India, with an estimated 8.7% diabetic population in the age group of 20 and 70 years, according to the WHO.
It directly damages our organs and leads to further complications like heart disease, high blood pressure, nerve damage, sight loss, kidney damage, paralysis, cancer, and many more issues. So diabetes is frightening but what’s more daunting is the estimated prevalence of prediabetes in India.
About 14% of our population is prediabetic and it is a disease without symptoms so these are just the diagnosed cases. But what exactly is this prediabetes? It is a condition in which blood sugar levels are higher than normal parameters but not high enough to be determined as diabetes. Although, prediabetes can transform into type-2 diabetes if not treated in the initial phase.
Reasons and Risk Factors for pre-diabetes
There is no particularly identified reason for prediabetes. However, it seems that a sedentary lifestyle, improper diet, psychological issues, and genetics are significant factors.
The risk factors for type 2 diabetes and prediabetes are the same. These elements consist of:
One of the main risk factors for prediabetes is being overweight. Your cells become more resistant to insulin with the increase in fat tissue, particularly inside and between the muscle and skin surrounding your abdomen.
A large waist size indicates insulin resistance. Men with waists over 40 inches and women with waists above 35 inches are at an increased risk of developing insulin resistance.
Eating red meat and processed meat, and drinking sugar-sweetened beverages, are associated with a higher risk of prediabetes.
The less active you are, the higher your risk of prediabetes.
Diabetes can develop at any age, but the risk of prediabetes increases after age 45.
Having a parent or sibling with type 2 diabetes increases the risk of prediabetes.
If you have diabetes (gestational diabetes) during pregnancy, you and your child are at an increased risk of developing prediabetes. PCO syndrome. Women with this common condition, characterized by irregular menstruation, excessive hair growth, and obesity, are at increased risk of prediabetes.
People with obstructive sleep apnea (a condition that repeatedly disrupts sleep) are at increased risk of insulin resistance. Overweight or obese people are at increased risk of developing obstructive sleep apnea.
Smoking can increase insulin resistance and increase the risk of type 2 diabetes in prediabetics. Smoking also increases the risk of complications from diabetes.
Additional conditions linked to a higher risk of prediabetes include:
- High blood pressure.
- Low levels of High-density lipoprotein (HDL), also known as good cholesterol.
- High blood fat concentrations, also known as triglycerides.
Our diet accounts for the majority of the sugar (glucose) in our body and it is evident that patients with prediabetes do not digest glucose properly. After digestion, sugar gets into your bloodstream and the insulin produced by the pancreas unstable our blood sugar levels while allowing sugar to enter your cells. The pancreas decreases the release of insulin into the blood when your blood sugar starts to fall. This process becomes less effective if you have prediabetes.
As a result, sugar builds up in your bloodstream rather than providing energy for your cells.
The reason could be:
- The inadequate insulin secretion by the pancreas.
- Your cells develop insulin resistance and stop absorbing as much sugar.
If this happens, you will notice symptoms like:
- Blurred Vision
- Excess fatigue
- Too much thirst and urination
- Numbness or tingling sensation in hands or feet
- Unintended weight loss
Treatment/Remedies for insulin resistance
The main goal of ayurvedic treatment is to completely alter the patient’s lifestyle to effectively treat them. It focuses on managing type 2 diabetes or high blood sugar in general and prediabetes is also dealt with the same approach. Prediabetes treatment is based on a person’s physical characteristics, such as body type, other existing diseases, and current lifestyle habits.
People diagnosed with prediabetes must include the following in their diet:
- Barley consumption should be increased as it is regarded as the primary food for treating diabetes.
- Combining cinnamon and turmeric is advantageous when diabetes is in its early stages.
- Mix herbs with honey, such as gokshura (Tribulus terrestris), gudmar (Gymnema sylvestre) , Triphala, musta, cardamom, fenugreek, or coriander.
- You can eat bitter and astringent leafy vegetables combined with pulses like Arahar, horse gram, and green gram.
- Include veggies like bitter gourd, dwarf copperleaf, green banana, and amaranth chaulai.
- Include fruits like papaya, jamun, amla, orange, watermelon, and apples.
- Include oils like soybean oil, groundnut oil, and mustard oil in your food.
To prevent additional complications, the treatment for diabetes starts with bio-cleansing therapies or Panchakarma that are intended to reduce fat. After that, the patient receives treatment using a mix of herbal remedies (aushadhi), dietary adjustments (aahar), and behavioral modifications (vihar).
Yoga, meditation, and exercise
Yoga and meditation are exceptional for everyone because it improves mood and leaves your organs feeling revitalized. Poses like the Surya namaskar serves to thoroughly circulate blood throughout the body while providing a full-body workout. Additionally, it calls for quick inhalations and exhalations, which strengthen the lungs. Whereas, simple mindfulness meditation can uplift your mood and cultivate positive thinking.
You can frequently exercise in addition to yoga and meditation to improve your health. Yoga and exercise cause sweating, which helps the body get rid of toxins as well, but you should only exercise until your armpits begin to perspire. These transformative habits will also help in weight management, which is of utmost importance whether you have diabetes or prediabetes.
With meditation, we can experience less stress and worry, have better sleep, and feel the immense might of our minds. Moreover, it can reduce negative thoughts, lower blood pressure, and remove depression, thereby improving our mental wellness. Furthermore, all of them encourage clarity of mind and taking positive action for oneself and others. Thus, they assist in combating addiction, cultivating kindness and strengthening self-control.
We at Smartveda believe that Ayurveda is a two-way system. It demands the patient’s active involvement and desire to commit over time to living a natural lifestyle. You need to sacrifice your comfort and consumption of certain things. And you have to be dedicated and disciplined to achieve your goals and in this scenario, it is your health. It makes sense to incorporate Ayurveda into your life if your standard course of treatment isn’t working.
Check Smartveda to know more!