Blood sugar, also commonly known as diabetes or diabetes mellitus, is a chronic medical condition that impairs or distorts the ability of the human body to process or metabolize glucose. As a result, the levels of sugar in the blood increase drastically. Increasing incidences of diabetes is a matter of grave concern globally. It is also characterized by glycosuria or loss/discharge of glucose in urine.
Diabetes mellitus is broadly of 2 types, though a third type is also known -
Type 1: This kind of blood sugar results due to a defect in the pancreatic cells. The B cells of the islets of langerhans of the pancreas do not secrete enough insulin to metabolize the glucose that is taken in as food. It is also known as insulin-dependent diabetes or juvenile diabetes because it is found to occur in more in young people than those belonging to the older age group. Reason for the failure of the islets of langerhans is unknown. People suffering from type 1 blood sugar require regular insulin injections.
Type 2: This kind of diabetes results when the body or pancreas secrets insulin but the cells develop a resistance towards this hormone. It is non-insulin dependent diabetes and is also called adult diabetes as it is generally observed among older people. Due to the inability of the body to uptake insulin, the body may also suffer from the lack of insulin and may further lead to type 1 diabetes.
Gestational: It occurs when pregnant women develop high blood sugar levels. This condition can be very dangerous to the developing fetus.
There is no defined cause or reason for a person to suffer from diabetes. However, certain people are at high risk of developing this disease, which include being obese or overweight, having high blood pressure, women suffering from polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCODs), thyroid problems, having a family history of diabetes, genetic predisposition, endocrine failure, high cholesterol levels and people aged more 45 years (though age is no bar when it comes to any disease)
Nowadays, a lot of young people are observed to be suffering from high blood sugar levels. This is because of the lifestyle and thus, the food habits of people are rapidly changing. Diabetes can also be stress induced, especially if people are not putting in 6-7 hours of sleep every day. An unhealthy emotional state of mind is also considered to be another cause by the USA.
Associated health hazards:
Diabetes is one disorder which, if not treated early and properly, is coupled with or can give rise to many other diseases, some of which are: Ketoacidosis, Hyperglycemia, Hypoglycemia, Kidney failures, Night blindness or other eye problems, Foot ulcers, Stroke and Cardiovascular diseases.
If severe complications arise, then diabetes may become fatal and may be associated with death. The WHO has recorded that in 2017 diabetes has resulted in approximately 3-5 million deaths worldwide.
Increased or frequent urination, a condition known as polyuria, is one of the most common signs of diabetes, though this should not be considered as a major determinant; people generally tend to have more urination in winters and rainy days. Polyuria is often coupled with polydyspia or increased thirst because when the body loses more water, it simultaneously demands more to maintain its equilibrium. Severe weight loss for no reason can be another symptom of blood sugar. Other signs of diabetes generally develop slowly over time as the disease progresses. Loss of vision, foot pain, slow healing of cuts and wounds, headache, fatigue and rashy skin may be considered some of the early symptoms of diabetes, though they are not significantly specific to this disease.
If detected early, diabetes can be cured totally. But diagnosis generally does not occur that early and one goes for treatment at a much later stage. Thus the childhood proverb "Prevention is better than cure" should be followed sincerely, especially in case of diabetes. Certain tips can be followed if one intends to prevent diabetes-
Balanced diet; maintain a diet of high fiber and good fats Regular exercise (at least 30 minutes of brisk walking daily) Intake of high amounts of water
Avoiding or reducing sugar intake (especially after 40 years of age)
6-7 hours of sleep daily
Stop smoking, drinking and tobacco
Go for regular check-ups of blood sugar (especially after 45 years of age)
Panchakarma is a five-fold purification or detoxification process of the body that derives its basis from the age-old healing practices of Ayurveda. The concept of diabetes has been discussed in Ayurveda has madhumeha or parameha. Panchakarma has a very promising role in the prevention and control of diabetes. It is far beyond the concept of mere glucose control and insulin therapy. The international medical journal has highlighted the importance of panchakarma for diabetes prevention in 2018. According to this research, diabetes can be prevented or avoided by not indulging in nidanas and by undergoing rutushodhana. Procedures like basti (colon treatment) and virechana (purgation) are the major methods of diabetes treatment in panchakarma. Rookoshana should be administered to people who have high medha (body fat) - this will cause the body to dry up first followed by oleation and purification therapy. Basti chiktsa helps in eliminating the toxins through the rectum by introducing medicated oils and decoctions through the anal route. Virechana using ghrita or ghee helps to eliminate all toxins from the body, in the form of faeces, without having any side effects. Abhyanga with medicated oil increase blood circulation to the muscles and nerves. Swedan or medicated steam bath opens the pores on the surface of the skin and helps to eliminate the toxins in the form of sweat. In addition, intake of herbs like haridra, shuddha ghuggul, shilajit, kutaj, bilva, guduchi, aamlakhi, tulsi, etc. helps to reduce and maintain the blood sugar levels.