Diabetes - Facts and Figures

  •  According to a study published by IDF (International Diabetes Foundation), India currently represents 49 percent of the world’s diabetes burden,  with an estimated 72 million cases in 2017, a figure expected to almost double to 134 million by 2025.
  •  India is known as the “Diabetes capital of World” and Bangalore is called the “Diabetes Capital of India”. Dr. Vishwanath is one of the best diabetes doctors in Bangalore who follows a holistic approach to treat diabetes.
  • One of the earliest references to Diabetes is mentioned in the Vedic text Atharva Veda, dated (5000C to 1500 B.C).  Prameha (Diabetes) in fact finds a special reference in the “Kaushika Sutra” of the Atharva Veda.
diabetes
  • Ayurveda recognizes the multifunctional nature of diabetes making reference to tendencies inherited at the time of birth as well as accumulated imbalances of potentially all three doshas –vata, pitta and kapha during the lifetime.
  • Type 1 Diabetes only makes up 10% of the total cases. Types 1 Diabetes is caused by the immune system destroying the beta cells in the pancreas that produce insulin. This causes diabetes by making the body deficient in Insulin causing Insulin deficiency.
  • Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus:  If you are having type 2 diabetes; your body does not use insulin properly. This is called insulin resistance. At first, your pancreas makes extra insulin to make up for it. But, over time it isn’t able to keep up and can’t make enough insulin to keep your blood glucose at normal levels. This leads to the presence of high levels of Sugar in blood. It accounts for 90% of cases of Diabetes reported.  It is therefore appropriately known as “sugar disease” in some parts of the world.

To learn more on Diabetes Mellitus.  Read my blog on “Usual and Unusual Signs and Symptoms of Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus Unique To Men and Women“.

Diabetes Myths

Some of the common myths surrounding diabetes are:

1. Type 2 Diabetes Affects Only Obese People

Answer: – Not True

Why is it not true?

Although being overweight is a major causal factor in developing Type 2 diabetes.  But, obesity is not the only factor and not all obese people get diabetes. According to an estimate, around 20% of diabetics around the world are normal weight or underweight.

To learn about more Diabetes related Myths.  Read my blog here “Diabetes And Wellness – Some Myths Surrounding Diabetes”

diabetics

2. It Is Dangerous To Let Diabetics Drive

Answer: – Not True

Why is it not true?

It is indeed dangerous for a diabetic to drive only when hypoglycemia occurs, i.e., when your blood sugar levels go very low. But if you are eating as per your diet, having your medications on time and regularly monitoring your sugar levels, you can keep preventing hypoglycemia from occurring and it won’t be a problem if you are driving.

3. Diabetes Is Contagious

Answer: – Not True

Why is it not true?

Despite all the awareness, I have personally seen many people who believe they can “catch” diabetes through sneezing or by using the items a diabetic has used. Let me tell you, Diabetes is totally a non-communicable disease. The only way of passing on diabetes is from parent to child, and this is also only a risk factor.

4. Only Eating Sugar Causes Diabetes

Answer: – Not True

Why is it not true?

Excessive use of Sugar and products which get converted to sugars in our body is one of the important contributors to causing Type 2 Diabetes. But it is not the only reason people may get Diabetes. Here are some reasons which can make you diabetic:

  • Genes and Environmental Factors
  • Unhealthy lifestyle
  • Stress
  • Insulin Resistance

To learn more about what should be the blood sugar levels for diabetics read my blog “Know Your Blood Sugar Levels If You Are Diabetic Or If You Are Living With Diabetes

5. Sugar-Free Products Are Healthy For Diabetics

Answer: – Not True

Why is it not true?

Any processed food should be taken with care. The product might be labeled “sugar-free” but might still contain a lot of refined carbohydrates, fat or calories which would get converted into sugar in the body. In an effort to make it “sugar-free”, these products sometimes include many chemicals that could even alter the insulin function of your body. It will be wise to check the product composition to get an idea for the total nutrient content before buying.

6. You Can Eat Whatever You Want While On Medication

Answer: – Not True

Why is it not true?

A healthy diet should be strictly followed by everyone, especially diabetics. Regular consumption of unhealthy foods with an assumption that medication will handle it will only worsen the situation for you. Always remember that it is a combination of diet and medication that works wonders for the body.

Fruits are healthy food and a great snacking option for Diabetics. Read my blog on the best fruits for diabetics here “15 Best Fruits For Diabetes

How to Reverse Diabetes ?

Reversing diabetes is possible and can be achieved if you follow the below mentioned steps religiously. This should become an integral part of your daily routine. You will witness a gradual but stable change in the way your body is responding. It will give you a new look into the life making you a healthier version of yourself. Here are the most effective principles to follow which you should follow if you want to reverse diabetes.

1. LCHF Diet (Low Carbohydrate, High Protein, Natural High Fat Diet)

2. Exercise regularly i.e. walking, brisk running, stretching, skipping. Incorporating Yoga in your workouts will work wonders for your sugar levels. Try practicing these asanas which are highly beneficial for your pancreatic health.

    1. Suryanamaskar
    2. Trikonasana
    3. Ardha Matsyasana
    4. Bhujangasana
    5. Paschimottanasana
Diabetics
diabetics

3. Fasting under supervision

4. Meditation is highly beneficial, especially “Nadishodan Pranayama” which can help to calm the mind and release the stress. Stress is also a leading cause of diabetes.

5. Dietary supplements play a vital role in providing our body with vitamins and minerals. For e.g Vitamin C, B-complex and Vitamin E are essential supplements for a diabetic.

6. Herbs play a significant role in Ayurveda and are found to be some of the best sources of antioxidants and phytosterols which are beneficial for human body in multiple ways. Reducing sugar levels is one such benefit they provide. Some of the best herbs for a diabetic are:

Fasting, Diet and Diabetes

5  Key Factors which will help in effective Blood Sugar management are:

  1. Following Diabetic Diet Plan
  2. Exercise
  3. Manage Stress
  4. Sleep Well
  5. Maintain good nutrient level (Vitamins, Minerals)

To learn more about Stress and what causes it, read my blog “Distress and Chronic Stress – How it impacts our body and health?“.

weight loss

While diet is definitely one of the keys to reversing type ll Diabetes, it is not only what we eat, but also how we eat and when we eat that is of prime significance.

Intermittent Fasting has been effective along with a ketogenic diet in the effective management of weight, as obesity and Type -II diabetes is interlinked. These are the benefits of intermittent fasting:

  1.  Improved insulin sensitivity
  2.  Lowered triglycerides
  3.  Weight loss
  4.  Reduced sugar cravings
  5. Normalizing ‘hunger hormone’ ghrelin

It is always advisable to get a consultation with your doctor before starting intermittent fasting.

To learn more about how Intermittent Fasting is helpful for diabetics. Read my blog “Manage and Reverse Your Diabetes With Intermittent Fasting

Exercise and Diabetes

Almost all of us know exercise is good but hardly few people do it consistently. Exercise is good for general well being and more so if you are a diabetic.

WHY IS EXERCISE MUST FOR A DIABETIC?

“Muscles can use glucose without insulin when exercising”. This is the biggest benefit of diabetes patients.

 

BENEFITS OF EXERCISE FOR DIABETICS

Exercise can provide you multiple health benefits. I have listed some of the most important points here:

1. Lowers blood sugar level

2.  Increases insulin sensitivity so that insulin acts better to control sugars

3.  It lowers blood pressure

4.  Lowers basal and postprandial insulin concentration

5.  Lowers Glycosylated hemoglobin (Hba1c)

6. Improves cholesterol levels

7. Improves the functioning of the heart (cardiovascular system)

8. Increases strength and flexibility of joints

9.  Burns fat

10. Reduces psychological stress by the action of endorphins which are body’s natural pain killer.

11. Increases self-esteem.

excercise-diabetics

Best exercises for diabetes are

  • Walking: Walking improves blood circulation and burns the calories. Everyday at least 15-20 minutes walking should be done.
  • Swimming: Swimming is beneficial for weight loss, it burns the fats and helps in overall weight management.
  • Stationary cycling: This can be a good alternative for middle aged or elderly people.
  • Yoga: Yoga purifies the body and has multiple health benefits like improved digestion, vision and weight loss.
  • Tai-chi: Tai chi can help you gain a better balance, alignment and proper blood circulation.
  • Weight training: Weight training is useful to gain a better posture, and lose the extra fats.

WHEN IS THE RIGHT TIME FOR YOU TO DO EXERCISE?

Traditionally morning time is better. But I recommend to do exercise whenever you get time. It doesn’t mean going to the gym or heavy workouts. You can do basic exercises such as walking.  For people with high blood sugars after food (postprandial), it’s highly advisable to do 15 min walking after dinner.

PRECAUTIONS YOU NEED TO TAKE BEFORE EXERCISE

  1. Ideally it is better to check your blood sugars before exercise.
  1. If the fasting blood sugar is less than 100 mg /dl, I recommend eating 100 gm whole fruit before exercise.