Sunday, 31 August 2014

HOW EFFECTIVE IS AYURVEDA IN DIABETES?


As the health care professions look seriously at alternative modalities of medicine, a growing interest in traditional Indian medicine is emerging worldwide simultaneously. As with any popular development, aspects of the Indian medical system and its cures have sometimes been appropriated by individuals not wholly familiar with the basics of Ayurveda.



Ayurveda: The traditional medical science or the science of longevity

Traditional Ayurveda is a sophisticated system of medicine that has been practiced in India for over 2,500 years. Like other forms of alternative and complementary medicine, it focuses on the whole organism and its relation to the external world, in order to regenerate and maintain the harmonious balance that exists within the body and between the body and its external environment. One of the oldest known ayurvedic texts called Charaka Samhita (which means Compendium of Charaka), has compiled Ayurvedic medical knowledge.

DIABETES symptoms were described in the chapter Prameh. Such patients were grouped into two forms, which correspond exactly to the modern WHO classification of type-1 and type-2 diabetes. As per Charaka Samhita, the first group (now categorized as Type 1 form) included even slim and younger patients whereas the second group consisted of middle-aged and obese persons (now categorized as Type 2) who acquired the diabetes as disease due to their lifestyle and eating habits like; eating large amounts of good food and not being physically very active.

Generally, the treatment methods for diabetes mellitus categorize it as a dietary disease, but Ayurveda does not involves treatment of diabetes mellitus only as a dietary disease but looks it at a much wider perspective. Ayurveda believes that diabetes cannot be treated simply by medicine or controlling a dietary routine. The involvement of a healthy lifestyle and living an active life must be included along with diet and medicines. Ayurveda has also stressed on leading a life with less of mental agony or stress.

As per Ayurveda, the origin of most of Vataja Prameha diseases like diabetes is from brain hence it is very important for a human being to keep his/her brain in a balanced and harmonious manner.

There are many a differences in treatment of diabetes among other forms and Ayurveda. In our earlier blog we had told about how diabetes mellitus can cause complications on kidney, paralysis or skin related diseases. The conventional medical science tries to reduce the blood sugar level to treat diabetes but does not put emphasis on treatment of complications arising out of diabetes which later becomes a cause of treatment for other problems too.

A Glimpse on Ayurvedic Treatment of Diabetes

Ayurveda is an all-inclusive approach towards treatment of diabetes. It’s like linking and bringing harmony between the human being, their health and the universe.

This age old wisdom involves a larger context of our lifestyle with regards to naturally available substances. Ayurveda which is also known as a sister to Yoga basically stresses on a person’s wellbeing through physical exercises and in case of any ailment finding solutions through naturally available herbs. In the modern age too, the crux of type 2 diabetes treatment lies in the same element: controlling what we eat and how often we exercise to maintain a healthy body. Type 2 diabetes is preventable through self-discipline.

Ayurveda provides the knowledge of herbs, certain healthy natural food substances and fruits etc. which if we can include in our daily eating habits may help us control the sugar levels.

Visit any ayurvedic practitioner and he shall emphasis on your complete and active involvement towards treatment of your disease by having proper medication, balanced diet, inculcating a healthy lifestyle and healthier habits. Ayurvedic treatment accepts every human body as a different subject as they understand that Vataja dosh behave differently in each body, asking questions on diet, exercise routine, eating habits, eating frequency, recent illness and there symptoms, and also by observing bodily descriptions such as weight gives an ayurvedic practitioner the advantage of preparing a customized plan to bring accord in between a body and its universe.

The important aspect of Ayurvedic treatments for Type 2 Diabetes are included under following major heads which we shall discuss in detail in our coming blogs:
  • Remedial Herbs for controlling the sugar levels
  • Including easily available kitchen herbs/ spices which in routine diets or are suggested in certain forms at specific times
  • Dietary suggestions for longer duration benefits
  • Certain forms of Yoga/ exercises
  • Suggestions for adopting healthier habits 

Our body is also a machine, for example if we wish to keep our car or bike running for a longer duration don’t we prefer to get its periodic maintenance done? Don’t we keep a regular check of our automobiles’ brakes, engine oil levels and other vital parameters always checked? Your body is much-much more important than that, therefore we always strongly suggest our friends and readers to take preventive steps rather than getting corrective treatments for Type 2 diabetes. 


Grass-Diabetes.com believes in PREVENTION rather than CURE. This easy to navigate web-portal helps you to achieve a healthier lifestyle in the as easiest manner as possible.


Al you have to do is fill your basic health details along with your family history of diabetes, your eating or any smoking/ drinking habit and your current health conditions. Upon submission a personalized report will be generated which gives you the Susceptibility Score, Percentage Risk of Developing Diabetes and at the age which when you shall get affected by type 2 diabetes.


Like this:

 Get Your Diabetes Risk Report at Grass-Diabetes.com


Take good care of yourself!

Dr. Alka Singhal


Monday, 18 August 2014

DIABETES - ALTERNATIVE TREATMENT - Part II


In our last blog we have discussed about the growing popularity and positive effects of various alternative medicines which worldwide are being accepted in prevention or controlling the sugar level in body. We also mentioned about various supplementary and unverified sources of alternative options which are available in market in the name of food supplements and many so called commercially available ‘herbal’ medicines. It will be unjustified for the vast subject of “Alternative medicines for Diabetes” if we leave the discussion only in one blog, hence we have planned to take this further and release further information for our valued readers in a series related to the subject.


The claims from some of commercially available herbal medicines for diabetes

There are many commercially available over-the-counter herbal medicines available in market which claim (not necessarily scientifically proven) that they can help in preventing the sugar levels which occurs immediately after an uncontrolled meal. These packaged herb formula’s also assert that:
  • There herbal medicines regenerate insulin secreting cells in the pancreas and by having those herbal medicines it will gradually make a diabetic patients’ pancreas secrete more insulin.
  • Some state that there medicines enhances natural insulin sensitivity and reduce insulin resistance
  • Those commercially available herbal medicines also proclaim that they have tendency to control the cravings in a person for sugar and carbohydrates in natural manner and there medicines can thus assist in weight loss
  • Such herbal solutions being sold commercially also state that due to composition of some herbs they behave like antioxidants and thus help in preventing any damage to the insulin generating cells of pancreas


What is the truth?

Well, as a medical practitioner I never advocate such over-the-counter herbal or in-fact any kind of treatment. The original and genuinely available products these days are lost due to high commercialization and only profit making mindset. Medicine as a profession has huge responsibility, of course the economical-viability of any practice has to be considered but only-profit making should never be the criteria.

Anyways, staying aligned with the subject; I must admit that patients instead of only looking for fast alternate medicine systems to deal with diabetes should first learn about diabetes and what exactly is happening in there body systems.

If you are following my blog by now you would have learnt that in diabetes the excess glucose in the blood damages various organs and parts of our body. Most of the damages are irreversible and severely limit the quality of life. It is observed that, there is an instant surge in the blood sugar level immediately after meals. The level may come down after 2-3 hours but during these hours some damage may have occurred by the excess sugar. Glucose in the blood reacts with proteins in the body to produce compounds called Advanced Glycosylation End products, or AGE’s, it is these AGEs that damage the various organs of our body. 

So, to begin with never ignore high glucose levels even for a moment. It will show no or almost negligible symptoms but will cause severe and irreversible damage over the course of time.

Secondly, understand that any alternate medicine system or any system which claims for immediate solution to diabetes, be assure that the system will be definitely not effective.


Now, the obvious question in your mind is which treatment to follow?


Look at the available alternative options you have: acupuncture, herbal food options, supplementary herbal medicines formed by adulterating herbal remedies with synthetic drugs or dietary supplements.


In general, Ayurvedic medicine is now a widely accepted form of treatment of diabetes even in USA and European countries. There are many misguided and misunderstood practices preached by unauthorized ayurvedic practitioners. Ayurveda is a vast subject and has various forms of treatment in different medical ailments including surgical treatments. However, not all road-side sellers of Jadi-buti in their tents should be considered ayurvedic.

One of the oldest known ayurvedic texts is Charaka Samhita (Compendium of Charaka) from 600 B. C., which compiles Ayurvedic medical knowledge. Diabetes symptoms are described in the chapter Prameh, which deals with urinary conditions. Such patients were grouped into two forms, which correspond exactly to the modern WHO classification of type-1 and type-2 diabetes. As per Charaka Samhita, the first group is categorized as Type 1 form which includes slim and younger patients too whereas the second group consisted of middle-aged and obese ones who ate large amounts of good food and were physically not very active. The recommended treatment as per the Ayurveda was “walking for many hours” - a very modern advice indeed.

We shall cover the vast possibilities of Ayurveda in our next in-series article.

The other best alternative treatment I suggest to my patients is: Yoga or basically any form of physical exercise suitable to the age and existing health levels. This too we will like to cover in the upcoming series of Alternative Treatment for Diabetes. Keep in tune till next week. 

We at Grass-Diabetes.com believe in PREVENTION rather than CURE and that’s why combining the available medical databases and our medical research we have developed this portal which we certainly believe to be a disruptive technology. A technology which can calculate the risk of type 2 diabetes by analyzing your eating habits, your lifestyle and your genetic history of diabetes. Depending upon your risk, the same risk report from Grass-Diabetes.com will also generate preventive solutions in form of herbal and kitchen recipes. The dietary suggestions given by GRASS-DIABETES.com are derived from proper research which is presented in an easy to use format of web-portal.

 Sign-up at Grass-Diabetes.com


Look forward to hearing from you.

Best regards,
Dr. MS Singhal - Grass-Diabetes.com  

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Wednesday, 13 August 2014

DIABETES & ALTERNATIVE TREATMENT


Just search “Diabetes & Herbal or Ayurvedic Treatments” on Google and you will get thousands and thousands of links on diabetes and the importance of herbal medicines in curing and controlling it (not necessarily all are correct unless approved and verified by medical practitioners).

If nature has given a problem it has already decided the solutions to it. All we need to do is understand them and use them effectively to tackle our problems. Diabetes is one such problem where alternative medicine system has proven a bit more beneficial in not only treatment of diabetes but more importantly helping a human being to avoid the onslaught of diabetes. To understand what alternative treatment is, let’s have a quick look at what is mainstream medicine and in comparison what are the alternative treatments available for diabetes.

So, what is mainstream medicine system?


Mainstream medicine is a system in which qualified medical practitioners, doctors and other healthcare professionals such as nurses, pharmacists, and therapists work on treating symptoms and/ or diseases using drugs, radiation, or surgery. This system is also called allopathic medicine, biomedicine, conventional medicine, orthodox medicine, or Western medicine. Crudely, in India they are called ‘English medicines’. 


And, what are alternative treatments?

A health treatment that is not classified or categorized as standard Western medical practice is in general referred to as alternative medicine. This category of treatment includes a variety of disciplines that include everything from diet management and exercise to mental conditioning and lifestyle changes. The alternative treatment process include proven concepts like acupuncture, guided imagery, chiropractic treatments, yoga, hypnosis, biofeedback, aromatherapy, relaxation, herbal and ayurvedic remedies, stress relieving massages, and many others.

The regular and prolonged consumption of allopathic medicines have resulted in different side effects. Slowly the popularity of alternative medicines which are found to be beneficial in controlling, preventing and managing diabetes is being looked upon as a good option for managing blood sugar levels.

Now, let’s understand what kind of alternative or supplementary treatments (scientifically proven or otherwise too) are available for diabetes.

PLANT BASED FOOD AS ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE FOR DIABETES

Most plant based foods are rich in fiber and it is a known fact that fiber is very good for controlling blood sugar levels.
  • Whole Grains
  • Brown Rice
  • Ladies Finger (Okra)
  • Broccoli
  • Green Beans
  • All and most kind of cereals
  • Corn
  • Barley
  • Oats
  • Tomatoes
  • Black Pepper
  • Long Pepper
  • Legumes
  • Fenugreek seeds

SUPPLEMENTS AS ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE FOR DIABETES
  • Grounded Cumin Seeds if taken regularly on an empty stomach preferably with milk has benefits for managing type 2 diabetes
  • Cumin seeds can also be mixed with small cardamom in powdered form for long term
  • Not all but many of the above cited plant based foods are basically rich source of chromium and in various studies it was proved that chromium helps in diabetes management.
  • Same as Chromium, in many of studies it was found that lack of magnesium in body is associated with insulin secretion irregularities which have contributed in diabetes complications. 

EXERCISE & WEIGHT LOSS AS HOLISTIC APPROACH FOR MANAGING DIABETES

We have always stressed on the fact that how what you eat, how you treat your body by the lifestyle you adopt including the level of physical exercises you do has greater impact on the risks associated with diabetes. 

Many people have resorted to different crash weight losing techniques in order to fight diabetes, but many of them are either not scientifically proven or have minimal effects. The best way to lose weight is through various level or forms of exercise as suitable to a person. Swimming, walking, brisk walking, jogging, climbing stairs etc. and many other easy forms of exercises which helps in managing body weight and control body fat are best for your diabetes control. 

After reading the benefits of herbs and other alternative medicine you will be tempted to start using them immediately, but it is always advisable to consult your doctor or you can write to our team of experienced doctors who can guide you on use of commercially available herbal products for diabetes. When considering treating diabetes with a commercial herbal product, you should consider: 
  • Discuss with your doctor any herbal product/ medicine claimed to be herbal as available commercially
  • Just because the commercially available product says ‘herbal’ you should not start using it, even if you do, in case of experiencing any side effects such as nausea, vomiting, fast heartbeat, nervousness, sleeplessness, diarrhea, or skin rashes reach your doctor immediately
  • Be careful of commercial claims of what herbal products can do. Always look for scientific sources of information to know about the ‘claimed’ ingredients and their benefits as per your body type
  • Always select the commercially available ‘herbal’ brands carefully. Use your common sense and follow a few guidelines like selecting the brand that contains the list of ingredients - herb's common and scientific name, the name and address of the manufacturer, batch number, date of manufacturing, expiration date or period, dosage guidelines, certifications or registration details, and potential side effects.

The team at Singhal Diabetic Clinic has over its decades of experience and has analyzed thousands of medical records of diabetic patients. The research has helped the team of academicians, medical professionals and computer programmers to come  have with easy and accessible solution for helping the masses to know their risk of diabetes. Welcome to the era of www.Grass-Diabetes.com - a portal which is equipped with disruptive technology in form of an algorithm which can calculate the risk of type 2 diabetes by analyzing your eating habits, your lifestyle and genetic history of diabetes. Depending upon your risk, the same risk report from Grass-Diabetes.com also consists of preventive solutions in form of herbal and kitchen recipes. The dietary suggestions given by GRASS-DIABETES.com are derived from proper research which is presented in an easy to use format of web-portal.

 Click to Get your Diabetes Risk Report

Let me know if I can be of any help.

Best regards,
Dr. MS Singhal