HERBS

DIABETES MELLITUS

ABOUT THE DISEASE

Diabetes mellitus is a chronic disease in which there are high blood sugar levels in the blood. Diabetes Mellitus is one of the fastest growing diseases in our country.

Diabetes occurs either due to insufficient/no production of Insulin hormone or due to defective response in the body cells for Insulin hormone leading to poor absorption of glucose in cells and thus causing high levels of sugar in the blood.

Functions of Insulin

Insulin is a hormone secreted from Beta cells of Pancreas which is mainly responsible for metabolism of glucose in the blood. It functions for transport of glucose, storage of glucose in the form of glycogen, helps in formation of proteins, formation of fatty acids and triglycerides from glucose (Lipogenesis).

Diabetes mellitus can be characterized into two main types:-

Diabetes mellitus Type 1 – This generally occurs due to auto immune destruction of pancreatic cells secreting the insulin. Genetic susceptibility plays an important role. In this type, there is very less or no production of Insulin from the pancreas. Onset occurs generally in early age. In this case, patients have to take insulin injections for maintaining their blood sugar levels. It is also called as “Insulin dependent diabetes mellitus”

Diabetes mellitus Type 2 – In this type, Insulin levels are normal in blood but there is decreased insulin response & resistance at the level of target body cells which hinders the process of assimilation of glucose molecules in the cells leading to their higher levels in blood. The main cause is excessive body weight and sedentary lifestyle. This type of diabetes has hereditary association. High glucose in blood is filtered through kidney which leads to high glucose levels in urine also.
It is also called as ‘Non-insulin dependent diabetes mellitus”

Gestational Diabetes – This type of diabetes occurs in pregnant women without a previous history of diabetes.

SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS

The main clinical features include – weight loss, increase frequency of urine (Polyuria), increased appetite (Polyphagia), increased thirst (Polydipsia).

Other clinical features in which Diabetes should be ruled out include – blurring of vision, tiredness, slow healing of wounds.

COMPLICATIONS

Acute Complications includes:-

1. Diabetic Ketoacidosis – It occurs due to very high blood sugar levels (> 400 mg/dl), it is mainly seen in Type 1 diabetes.

2. Hyper osmolar non ketotic coma – generally seen in type 2 diabetes cases, occurs mainly due to dehydration.

2. Hyper osmolar non ketotic coma – generally seen in type 2 diabetes cases, occurs mainly due to dehydration.

Chronic complications include – Diabetic Neuropathy, Diabetic Nephropathy, Diabetic Retinopathy, Atherosclerosis (fat deposition in the blood vessels), Small blood vessels diseases (diabetic microangiopathy), frequent infections.

AYURVEDIC VIEW

In Ayurveda, the diabetes can be included under “Prameha” disease. “Pra” means excess and “meha” is related to term “Ksharane” – passing of urine. Hence the term in Sanskrit means excessive passing of urine which is one of the classic symptom of Diabetes. “Prameha” in Ayurveda has been described extensively with various types of disorders (20 types) having different types of urine abnormalities.

One type of Prameha has been described as “Madhumeha” in which passage of sweet urine occurs resembling the colour of honey. It also leads to loss of weight and immunity. According to Acharyas it is incurable. This can be correlated to Type 1 Diabetes mellitus in which destruction of Pancreatic Beta cells leads to permanent use of external source of insulin for survival.

Type 2 Diabetes mellitus can be correlated to “Ikshumeha”. This is also one of the 20 types of Prameha. The main presenting feature of Ikshumeha is passage of sweet urine like sugarcane juice. It is Kapha Dosha predominant disease. Type 2 Diabetes mellitus can also be related as Kapha Dosha predominant disease as it occurs in obese persons or persons having a sedentary lifestyle and having lot of sweet, oily, high calorie diet intake. These all factors lead to aggravation of Kapha Dosha.

According to Acharyas, all types of Prameha if not treated properly converts into Madhumeha at their later stage. Type 2 diabetes also if not managed properly through diet, lifestyles or medicines lead to intake of insulin injections in their later stages.

PATHOGENESIS

Although Prameha involves all three doshas but initially kapha dosha gets vitiated. Kapha dosha aggravating diet and lifestyle lead to Mandagni (low digestive fire) and aggravation of Kapha Dosha The aggravated Kapha dosha share similar properties with Meda dhatu therefore Meda Dhatu is also aggravated. Later on it aggravates Mansa Dhatu and Kleda in body. These dhatus are excreted from body in urine leading to formation of Prameha.

Aggravated kapha dosha leads to obesity and insulin resistance. Meda Dhatu can be correlated to disturbed lipid profile, Mansa Dhatu refers to breakdown of protein in body and kleda refers excretion of protein in urine (Microalbuminaria) which is responsible for turbid urine. These three factors are very important in Pathogenesis of Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus.

PRINCIPLE OF TREATMENT

The main line of treatment for type 2 diabetes include Aam Pachana, kapha vata shamak treatment along with balya and ojovardhak treatment.

MEDICINES

1. Single herbs – Haridra (Curcuma longum), Daruharidra (Berberis aristata), Neem (Azadirachta nimba), Amla(Emblica officinalis), Haritki (Terminalia chebula), Jamun (Syzygium cumini), Giloy(Tinospora cordifolia), Khadira (Acacia catechu), Udumber (Ficus glomerata), Methi (Trigonella foenum graecum), Bala (Sida cordifolia), Lashun (Allium sativum)

2. Powders – Panchnimbadi churna, triphala churna, Nyagrodhadi churna, Vijaysaar churna,

3. Tablets – Triphala guggulu, Trikatu gutika

4. Rasa (Herbomineral preparations) – Shiva gutika, chandraprabha vati, vasantkusumakar Rasa, Swarn Makshik Bhasma, Swarn vanga Bhasma, Trivanga Bhasma,

5. Kwath (Decoctions) - Darvyadi kwath, phaltrikadi kwath, vidangadi kwath

HOME REMEDIES

1. Regular walk and exercise are very important part of Management of Diabetes as it helps in increasing cellular glucose uptake and also improves metabolism of body.

2. Increase the intake of fiber rich food in your diet. Cut out sugar items, preserved food, oily and junk foods from your diet.

3. Take Amla powder, curcumin powder and Fenugreek seeds powder in the ratio of 1:1:1/4 .Mix it well. Take 1 tsf of this powder twice daily. It helps in reducing blood sugar levels.

4. Daily intake of 1 cup of bittergourd juice mixed with 5 to 10 ml of Amla juice helps in controlling sugar levels.

5. Increase the intake of curry leaves in your diet. You can also have 5 to 6 curry leaves empty stomach daily.

6. Take 5 fresh leaves of custard apple tree and 5 leaves of bougainvillea. Daily intake of these leaves empty stomach has shown good results in both fasting and PP sugar levels.

7. In morning time empty stomach take 1 glass of luke warm water mixed with 5 gms of cinnamon powder. It helps to control blood sugar levels and it also helps in high cholesterol levels. It also helps in reducing body weight.

8. Practise following Asanas regularly after seeking advise from your doctor – Mandukasana, Paschimottanasana, Bhujangasana, Surya Namaskar, Dhanurasna, Anulom vilom pranayama, Kapalbhati pranayama

Disclaimer

The purpose of Ayurvidya is to promote broad consumer understanding and knowledge of various health topics. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider regarding your medical condition or treatment and before undertaking any new health care regimen.