Diabetes and Panchakarma

DIABETES MELLITUS

Diabetes mellitus is a chronic metabolic disorder in which the body is unable to make proper use of glucose due to reduced secretion of insulin by the pancreas resulting in hyperglycemia (high blood sugar) and glycosuria (sugar in urine). Sugar we take is generally broken down into simple sugar called glucose in our body. Glucose circulate in the blood and enters the cells with the help of insulin. Insulin is a hormone from the beta cells of pancreas. Due to sedentary life style and genetic predisposition, the beta cells are not able to make insulin, which is the key for glucose to enter into the cells.

Approximately 1% of population is suffering from DM. In developed countries it is rising at the rate about 10% per year. Major causes are obesity and sedentary work.

Diabetes is a condition not new to Ayurveda. It has been discussed in Ayurveda since ancient time by the name of Prameha or Madhumeha.

Definition in ayurveda— The disease in which person will pass large quantity of turbid urine frequently is diagnosed as prameha. According to ayurveda the disease is produced by involvement of tridoshas (vata,pitta,kapha) said in ayurveda. But the kapha is the predominant dosha involved in the pathology of diabetes.

The main causes of the disease are fat (medha), urine (mutra) and kapha build ups due to food habits, life style and others. This will lead to diminished Agni and hence the glucose cannot be digested which will lead to high blood sugar. In this disease agnyashaya (pancreas) is affected.

Its complications are end –stage renal disease, IHD, Gangrene of the lower extremities and blindness in the adults.

Major risk factors for DM type 2 which is most commonly seen are as follows:

  • Family history of type 2 DM
  • Obesity
  • Habitual physical activity.
  • History of gestational DM
  • High BP
  • PCOS

In ayurveda in charak sanhita causative factors for diabetes are as follows

Sedentary work and Excessive sleeping, Excessive intake of curd, nonveg, jaggery and its preparations.

Genetical view regarding diabetes is clearly mentioned by Acharya charaka and Sushruta. They have given the word BEEJDOSHA.

 

Types of DM

  1. Type 1 DM: It occurs at an younger.
  2. Type 2 DM: It is maturity onset DM and usually affects the older  people.
  3. Gestational  DM: About 4% pregnant women develop DM due to metabolic  changes during pregnancy.

 

SYMPTOMS OF DIABETES

BhavPrakash, Prameha Pidakadhikar 38/6

  • Increased frequency of urine
  • constant feeling of thirst
  • burning micturition
  • Increased appetite
  • Delayed wound healing
  • sudden loss of weight
  • fatigue,weakness of the body
  • Inactiveness- the person feels more interested in sitting and sleeping/lethargy
  • Burning sensation in the palm and soles

BLOOD SUGAR LEVELS

  • BSL – Random = 100 to 140 mg/dl
  • BSL – Fasting= 70 to 110 mg/dl
  • BSL – After Meal = Less than 200 mg/dl
  • HBA1C – normal non diabetic HbA1c –4% -5.6%

HbA1c- 5.7% – 6.4% increased risk for developing diabetes.

HbA1c- 6.5% or above indicates diabetes.

 

COMPLICATIONS OF DIABETES

  • Diabetic Nephropathy (Renal disease– mainly affecting renal system)
  • Diabetic Retinopathy (retinal disease- mainly affecting visual system)
  • Diabetic Neuropathy (mainly affecting the nervous system)
  • Diabetic Foot /ulcer
  • Coronary artery disease, ( cardiac diseases)

 

TREATMENT

Treatment of diabetes is mainly based on the involvement of doshas and the person’s prakruti.

Treatment mainly involves

  1. herbal medicines
  2. Panchakarma (body purification procedure)
  3. Dietary modifications
  4. lifestyle changes for healthy life style
  5. Exercise yoga & pranayam

 

In Ayurveda following Herbs are helpful to maintain sugar levels

Haridra, jambhulbeej, madhunashini, karvellak, bilva, guduchi, aamlaki, tulshi, latakaranj beej, saptachakra, shuddha guggul, saptaparna, kutaj, shilajit, etc.

 

PANCHKARMA FOR DM

Panchakarma is Ayurveda’s primary purification and detoxification treatment.

In ayurveda panchakarma procedures like  basti and virechana are mentioned in treatment of DM.

It is useful to maintain blood sugar levels

These panchakarma are also useful in complications of DM.

Benefits of these panchakarma in DM are as follows:-

Abhyang and Swedan Therapy For Diabetics

In Type 1 and Type 2 diabetic patients can get all benefit from the relaxing effects of abhyang therapy.

Everyone knows that living with diabetes involves a certain amount of stress. And this  stress tends to raise blood sugar levels.

Abhyang is useful in relieving stress, even for pre-diabetics. It is useful in relaxing muscles and, all of which results in a sense of well-being. This helps to improve circulation which further causes increased glucose absorption and the amount of insulin required for impaired glucose levels also decreased.

Swedan to balance the doshas, sweda or medicated herbal steam bath opens the pores and flushes and cleanses the system through skin and the toxins are excreted through sweat.

Basti for diabetics

One of the main procedures of Panchakarma Chikitsa, Basti karma concentrates on the elimination of toxins of the body through the rectum. The treatment involves the introduction of

Medicinal substances, such as medicated oil and decoctions in a liquid medium

into the anal region of the patient by using rubber catheter under the supervision of expert doctor.

 

Virechana for diabetic patient
Virechana is medicated purgation therapy which removes toxins from the body that are accumulated in the liver and gallbladder. In this method of detoxification and purification, the doshas are removed in the form of faeces through the rectum. After ghrutpan purgative medicines given to the patient orally which  help to bring down the doshas. It completely cleanses the gastro-intestinal tract. It is a safe procedure without side effects. Benefits of Virechana help to treat Diabetes, Digestive disorders, Constipation, Hyperacidity.

 

Treatment of complications of diabetes.

Sr. No

DM Complication
Treatment
Benefits
1
Diabetic Nephropathy
Panchakarma treatments like Basti , abhyanga , swedan.
Basti and abhyanga helps to improve function of nephrons of kidney, swedan  is the process of Detoxification , this reduces levels of s. creatinine and s. urea.  . also useful to prevent diabetic nephropathy .
2
Diabetic Retinopathy
Panchakarma treatments like Netratarpan (‘Nourishment of Eye’) , Abhyanga.

Abhyanga and Netra Tarpana  helps to reduce inflammation which helps to improve the vision and also helps to reduce the dryness of eyes. Helps in healing for the injury of eyes. Strengthens the musculature of the eyes. Increases the circulation of the facial muscles and Facial nerves

3
Diabetic Neuropathy
Padabhynga , abhynga by medicated oil and Takradhara . swedan by medicated decoctions .

Increases the blood circulation of the muscles and nerves. Reduces numbness of feet& decreases tingling sensation in the feet. Takradhara – ,help to regulate the internal mellieu of the body, decreases mental stress. This is an effective tt for diabetes.


In this way by panchkarma and ayurvedic herbs will help to improve quality of life. Hence as per Ayurveda treating the root cause and thus achieving complete wellness is the overall summary for good health.

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