This blog post on Diabetes is intended to provide a definition of diabetes and its causes.
Diabetes mellitus (DM), more often just called Diabetes, is a group of metabolic lifestyle disorders and diseases in which a person has high blood sugar levels over an extended period of time. This is either because the islets of Langerhans, which are found in the pancreas, do not produce the required glucose-regulating hormone insulin or, In some cases, because the cells of the body cannot or do not respond to the glucose-regulating insulin.
The uptake of glucose to most of the body’s cells, especially, importantly the liver, but also including the adipose tissue and muscle ( exclusive of smooth muscle, within which insulin behaves and acts by use of the IGF-1), happens via the bloodstream. Insulin is the primary and principal hormone that regulates glucose uptake in the bloodstream. That being the case any type of insulin deficiency or form of insensitivity to its receptors would play a pivotal role in any and all forms of the condition of diabetes
Diabetes is also alternatively known as high blood glucose, a condition in which the body doesn’t properly process or make use of food as fuel or as a source of energy. There are a variety of physical symptoms that are associated with overly high blood sugar levels in the body.
Some of these symptoms include increased levels of thirst, a frequent need to urinate and increased levels of hunger.
The way the name diabetes mellitus occurred is an interesting fact. Both Indian and Chinese physicians identified the disease (type 2 diabetes) in about 1500 BCE. The Indian physicians classified it by name as “Madhumeha” or “honey urine”, after observing that the urination attracted ants, which was due to the high levels of unused glucose leaving the body.
The appending term “mellitus” or its rough translation meaning “from honey” was added by John Rolle of England around the late 1700’s as a means of differentiation.
The different types of diabetes occur in three main variations, There are three known main types of diabetes mellitus, namely; Type 1 diabetes, Type 2 diabetes, Gestational diabetes.
Type 1 Diabetes mellitus comes about as a direct result of the pancreas not manufacturing the glucose-regulating insulin. This particular form of diabetes was previously called “juvenile diabetes”. To date, the cause of type 1 diabetes has yet to be discovered and remains unknown.
Type 2 Diabetes mellitus starts with a resistance to the pancreatic produced insulin, and the body’s cells, in turn, start failing to respond to the insulin. If the disease progresses it can easily cause a lack of the hormone insulin to occur. This type of diabetes (type 2) was previously known as and termed “adult-onset diabetes”.
Out of all three types of diabetes, the most common is Gestational diabetes. This particular form of diabetes is brought on by overly excessive body weight and a total lack of or severely insufficient physical exercise. It is also known to occur in pregnant women, who have no previous history of diabetes but have developed excessively high blood sugar levels whilst going through their pregnancy
Diabetes can cause a vast number of chronic health complications if left untreated. Some of these complications can be very severe. They can include diabetic ketoacidosis – when this happens the body manufactures high levels of blood acids called ketones, breaking down fat and muscle for energy.
The more ketones in the blood, the iller a person becomes, left untreated it can lead to swelling of the brain, excessive dehydration and coma.
Hyperosmolar hyperglycemic state or HHS; Here high blood sugar levels create high osmolarity but without serious ketoacidosis, its symptoms include bodily weakness, dehydration, leg cramps and visual impairment.
Death is also a possibility of untreated diabetes. Along with the chronic complications, there are also various severe complications such as chronic kidney disease, foot ulcers, eye damage or blindness and the risk of a stroke.
Unproductive and inconsequential as it may seem, actively learning about and taking part in any parts of your treatment is actually highly important, this is due to the fact that complications have been noted to be far less common and less severe in diabetes sufferers who maintain their sugar levels well.
Particular attention should also be spent on the various other health issues that exacerbate diabetes negative effects. These include but are not limited to; cholesterol at elevated levels when a reading is done, smoking, as a stand-alone and also due to its effect on increased high blood pressure, Simple yet often overlooked while searching for something more dramatic, obesity or rapid levels of weight gain.
The use of specialised footwear and shoes have increased drastically as of late. The footwear is used widely across the globe by diabetes sufferers who wish to reduce the risk of ulceration affecting then, or even re-ulceration in this case, for sufferers with what’s qualified as the “ at-risk diabetic feet” condition.
Increasingly Individuals that suffer from Diabetes are looking into natural, homoeopathic and traditional treatments as opposed to the standardized western practices. Hence Ayurvedic treatments and techniques are becoming increasingly popular for treating Diabetes.
So exactly is it that the Ancient Ayurvedic texts say in relation to diabetes? Within the ayurvedic sphere of science, more than 3000 years ago, Diabetes was mentioned by Charaka, naming it ‘Prameha’ in one of the primary and well-respected works that he authored relating to Ayurvedic healing and the maintenance of health ( called the Charaka Samhita).
Diabetes is named and referred to as Prameha or Madhumeha which means unusually frequent urination and presence of sugar in urine. Charaka also made some rather advanced observations, which he also documented. Chakara classified Madhumeha as Sadhya (curable), Yapya as (pliable) and lastly and Asadhya as (incurable).
According to Sushruta, (Sushruta was an ancient Indian physician), Diabetes can be primarily and broadly based and classified by physical appearance. For example, Lean Diabetes (Saheja Prameha) and Obese Diabetes (Apathyani mittaja). Lean diabetes coincides with some genetic disorders.
Curing and treating Diabetes through Ayurvedic treatments and principles.
As always within Ayurveda, the line of treatment is based upon the individual’s constitution and taking into considering the Prakriti of the patient, and their Doshic predominance. Other factors such as hereditary conditions, and importantly, the eating habits of the patient, all of these will be factored in to prepare a specific line of treatment. Within Ayurvedic treatments, diet and the consumption of food are also considered as medicinal, as in Ayurveda, each dish of food is prepared to affect the doshas in a certain way.