Diabetes: A growing health concern

On World Diabetes Day, experts opine on ways to tackle the disease which is spreading alarmingly
Dr Partap Chauhan, Director, Jiva Ayurveda, gives an insight on how diabetes can be managed with Ayurveda

Dr Partap Chauhan, Director, Jiva Ayurveda

Dr Partap Chauhan, Director, Jiva Ayurveda

Diabetes, or Madhumeha, is one of the most prevalent diseases in the world today. Despite growing awareness of the disease, people are still prone to the risks of diabetes. Diet, lifestyle and stress management are the three important aspects that are very crucial in managing and preventing diabetes.

From an Ayurveda perspective, diabetes is a Maha Rog, a major disease. There are 20 different types of Madhumeha. Personalised treatment along with management of diet and lifestyle goes a long way in helping diabetics keep their blood sugar levels in control.

Nature has given us many herbs to stay healthy. Here are a few that are known to maintain blood sugar levels.

Ayurvedic herbs that helps to regulate blood sugar in natural ways:

Triphala: Triphala has countless health benefits, including lowering your blood glucose level. It helps stimulate the pancreas, thus promoting insulin secretion. In a recent study, it was demonstrated that triphala greatly reduces blood glucose level and is known to have compounds that cause insulin-stimulated glucose uptake without converting the glucose in fat and storing in cells.

Amla: Amla, is known for boosting immunity, and is great for your hair and skin. Ayurveda doctors recommend Amla for managing Diabetes, the reason being that it’s rich in vitamin C, which is a powerful antioxidant and can neutralise free radicals in the body.

Neem: Neem leaves can help lower blood sugar levels. One of the best ways of consuming these neem leaves is by making a decoction or Kashayam as they refer to it in Sanskrit. Crush the neem leaves, add it to water and bring it to a boil. Filter out the extracts and have this decoction. It is one of the best ways to provide relief from glucose-induced hyperglycaemia.

Bitter gourd juice: This bitter vegetable has glucose-lowering properties. In fact, this vegetable can influence the metabolism of glucose in the entire body. This herb can help stimulate the secretion of insulin thus proving beneficial to both Type 1 and Type 2 patients. Drink the juice of this bitter vegetable first thing in the morning for about two months to experience a difference.

 

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Rahul Kedia, Ad-Interim General Manager, Roche Diabetes Care India, talks on how early diagnosis and treatment are imperative to prevent further complications and achieve healthy outcomes

About one in two of the world’s 425 million diabetes afflicted individuals still live with the ailment undiagnosed. With approximately 73 million diabetes afflicted individuals in 2017, India disturbingly holds the second position globally.
The alarming issue is that the number of diabetes afflicted individuals globally is expected to increase and reach 522 million by 2030. Diabetes doesn’t merely affect an individual’s productivity but expensive treatment puts further strain on the family’s financial resources. We therefore feel that early diagnosis and treatment are imperative to prevent further complications and achieve healthy outcomes.
The rise of smart devices and smart apps have made self-management of diabetes affordable. It will enable patients to be able to monitor their blood glucose levels regularly and enhance efforts towards keeping diabetes under control. This is especially important in a nation such as India which has limited doctor bandwidth, low observance to care protocols and poor access to blood glucose monitoring.

 

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Dr Manish Banker, Medical Director, Nova IVI Fertility, elaborates on how diabetes can result in organ and tissue damage, with a significant impact on the fertility potential of men and women

Diabetes has long been a growing health concern, and with India representing 49 per cent of diabetic cases worldwide. It is today considered the fastest growing lifestyle disease in the country. With the number of cases expected to double by 2025, the disease is today a serious health challenge and comes as a by-product of multiple factors including a sedentary lifestyle, improper diet and stressful work schedules.

According to studies, 2.6 per cent of women and 3.7 per cent of men aged 20-25 years had high or very high levels of blood glucose. Diabetes can result in organ and tissue damage, with a significant impact on the fertility potential of men and women. Diabetic men may be less fertile because of low semen volume and sperm count, along with high chances of sperm DNA damage. Men may also suffer from reduced libido and erectile dysfunction because of diabetes. For women, diabetes can be associated with the hormonal imbalance disorder called polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) which also leads to an increase in body weight and triggers other complications related to natural conception. However, by keeping diabetes under a check, couples diagnosed with diabetes still stand a chance of conceiving naturally. In extreme cases, infertility treatments like IUI and IVF can help couples conceive.”