At the cost of repetition, it has to be stressed that city dwellers are becoming prone to disease due to stress, pollution and faulty diet pattern. Lack of exercise adds to the woes of the digestive system making it sluggish. This is another reason for diseases. The supposedly incurable diseases are normally controlled by drugs and the elimination of certain food items, especially, if it is connected with our digestive system. But complete cure for reasonable recovery cannot be obtained unless diet is regulated. Diet is a more common factor than heredity in seven out of ten cases. It can also be said that faulty eating habits are inherited.
Diabetes is one of the major digestive derangements. It is more of a disorder than a disease. It normally strikes the rich and affluent people who lead a luxurious and comfortable life bereft of proper physical exercise. Untimely eating habits and a sedentary life and to the problem. Those who do more mental work than physical, also fall prey to this disease.
Diabetes strikes mostly after the age of 40, though the young may also get affected. Such cases are known as juvenile diabetics. In very young children it is mostly hereditary. People affected by Cushing’s Syndrome (moon face) caused by the administration of steroids, are easily affected by diabetes. Inflammation in the pancreas or stoppage of insulin production due to virus invasion also cause diabetes.
Consumption of artificial food or sweets immediately after meals raises the sugar level in the blood. This normally subsides after a while. But in cases where there is a tendency of faulty digestion, diabetes may occur.
Pancreas, an accessory organ of the digestive system, governs the metabolism of sugar in the body. It measures 15 cms in length and weights 85 grams. It is a grayish pink gland located across the abdominal wall in front of the spine and at the back of stomach. In other words, between the spine and the stomach.
Pancreas has two functions. It produces nearly 900 gms of digestive juices, of which one is alkaline. The other function is to produce the hormones – insulin and glycogen. It also produces many digestive enzymes or juices, here we will restrict ourselves just to know about the alkaline juice.
Let us simplify the complicated function of the pincers in the process of digestion.
But for the alkaline juice produced by the pancreas, the delicate lining of the small intestines will be eaten away by the acid contents of the food. This juice neutralizes the acid in the food rendering it acceptable for entering the bloodstream.
Diabetes is an endocrine disorder as well. So the endocrine function has a major role to play. Pancreas produces two hormones, one of which is insulin. The failure in the production of this hormone used to result in death before the advent of insulin substitute from animals sometime around the year 1921.
Insulin helps burn the sugar into energy and unless it is in constant supply, sugar would find its way into the urine, rendering a sweet smell to the urine.
Excess glucose circulating in the blood is stored in the liver in a starchy form, known as glycogen, and is reconverted into glucose when required. In diabetic conditions, there is a deficit in the storage and release of glucose by the liver, causing an interference with the process by which the body cells are able to use glucose as their source of energy.
The physician diagnoses diabetic condition when there is sugar in the urine, abnormal concentration of glucose in the blood and evidence that the individual is not using up his blood sugar quickly following a meal, as should be.
The normal fasting blood sugar content is 80 to 100 mg per 100 ml of blood which can go up to 100 to 180 mg per 100 ml of blood two hours after meals. Anything above these levels should be construed as a diabetic condition.
Sometimes it rises up to or above 400-500 mg which is dangerous. The sugar level in urine during the initial stages may be 0.4 per cent, but as the disease advances, it goes up to 2 to 10 per cent. This level increases after meals, which is why this test is done on an empty stomach.
The increase in the sugar level in the blood and urine is mostly due to overeating of not only sweets and refined carbohydrates, but also fats which are converted into sugar.
The symptoms noticed in diabetes include excess production of, urine, excessive thirst, bedwetting if in children (normal bedwetting in children need not be indicative of diabetes), excess appetite with loss of body weight and itching of the skin. The urine is pale, with a sweetish smell and acidic reaction. The volume may be more than three to ten times the normal flow.
The main symptoms of a diabetic are physical and mental tiredness, despite frequent intake of food. Besides these, constipation, palpitation, itching around the genital organs, eruptions with severe itching of the whole body, drowsiness and lack of sex urge, are the other symptoms.
Treatment for diabetes
Diet, the most important remedy
Unlike the other modes of treatment, like medication or undertaking the fasting mode., which require proper medical supervision, diet control can be managed by the patient himself if he understands and follows the basic rules carefully.
Some cases take a longer time to come under control. Unlike in young people where, it is mostly hereditary, it may be both caused and controlled by diet in adults.
Diabetes developed in adulthood can be handled satisfactorily without insulin or other medicines, if the patient follows a consistent dietary programme.
A suitable diet for a diabetic patient is relatively normal, in that it excludes the more rapidly absorbed carbohydrates, except in small amounts. All portions of food must be measured to ensure that it is neither too much nor too little. The success of any treatment will be achieved only if it is aimed to remove the actual cause of the disease and promote health. Diet therapy is the basis of such treatment.
Diet for specific period : See Chapter 28.
A sensible diet along with a daily walk of a few miles, prescribed exercises, and other natural treatment, will keep a diabetic as fit as a normal person. Regular and periodical tests will prove the efficacy of natural living. After a few months of regulated diet, the disease will almost disappear, in most cases. But a sensible person will never want to revert back to old habits of eating and living after experiencing better health with the help of diet.
Heating compress on the navel every morning. Hot hip bath alternating with cold spray at bedtime.
Padmasana, Pavanamuktasana, Parvatasana, Paschimottanasana, Dhanurasana, and Matsyasana.
Nos. 1, 2, 5 and 6. (See page 189.)