A Modern and Ayurvedic View on Genes and Diabetes


typei and type-2 diabetes-

Diabetes does, in fact, seem to run in families. You might be wondering if this suggests the condition has a hereditary basis.

The answer is complicated and varies depending on the kind of diabetes as well as other factors including nutrition, lifestyle, and environment.

“Most patients with diabetes are affected by a mix of hereditary and environmental variables”. Further, the role of genetics depends on the type of diabetes.

      Type 1 Diabetes:

According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, type 1 diabetes is caused when the body’s immune system attacks and destroys the cells in the pancreas that create insulin, a hormone that helps transfer glucose (sugar) into cells to be utilized for energy. Arrow pointing up, when the level of glucose in the blood is excessively high, the outcome is hyperglycemia. As this kind of diabetes commonly manifests in childhood or early adulthood, it was usually referred to as juvenile diabetes.

According to a review published in 2016 in BioMed Research International, people with type 1 diabetes are more likely to have additional autoimmune conditions such Graves’ disease, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, celiac disease, and pernicious anaemia.

According to MedlinePlus, while persons with a family history of type 1 diabetes, may be prone to getting it, the inheritance pattern in most cases is unknown.

      Type 2 Diabetes:

Insulin resistance, a disease that causes type 2 diabetes, occurs when the body does not utilize insulin adequately. To compensate, the pancreas produces more insulin at first, but this is insufficient to maintain normal blood glucose levels over time. The main risk factor for type 2 diabetes is being overweight or obese.

The cardiovascular health conditions such as high blood pressure, a low level of HDL (“good”) cholesterol, a high level of triglycerides in your blood, or a history of heart disease or stroke are also linked to type 2 diabetes. Further, depression and polycystic ovarian syndrome are both causes of infertility.

 Gestational Diabetes:

Women acquire a certain level of insulin resistance during pregnancy, which guarantees that adequate glucose is accessible to provide energy for the growing foetus. The majority of pregnant women do not acquire gestational diabetes, but a small percentage do. A mix of genes, environment, and lifestyle variables are likely to play a role, just as they are in type 2 diabetes. Many women who get the disease have at least one close family member who has had gestational diabetes or type 2 diabetes, such as a parent or sibling.

Preeclampsia (high blood pressure during pregnancy) and preterm delivery are linked to gestational diabetes. Babies delivered to moms who have the disease have a larger birth weight than normal, which might cause problems during delivery. Infants born to mothers who have gestational diabetes are more likely to have dangerously low blood sugar levels immediately after delivery. Obesity, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes are all risks that these youngsters face later in life.

Ayurveda, an art-science of living a good lifestyle and a medical system, has been practiced in India for millennia. Despite Ayurveda’s outstanding explanation of diabetes (Madhumeha) and its preconditioning (Prameha), modern biomedical sciences are mostly unaware of its complex principles.

The Prameha Roga has been known to humans from the dawn of time, and physicians in ancient India articulated the disease’s idea. According to Ayurveda, the morbid production of urine in general is known as “Prameha.” Twenty forms of excessive urination have been described in ancient Hindu writings under the theme of Prameha, when three bodily humours (Tridoshas) are out of balance.

Ten variations are caused by Kapha Dosha imbalances, six by Pitta Dosha imbalances, and four by Vata Dosha imbalances.

The ancient Hindus considered “Madhumeha” (Honey urine) or Kshaudrameha (Honey urine or sugar-cane) as one of the four kinds induced by Vata derangement, which we now know as “Diabetes Mellitus.” According to experts, Prameha is a singular illness. According to Ayurveda, the only variation being the manifestation, which is dependent on the concentration of Dhatus and Doshas.

The proclivity factors for Prameha are: 

1.   Garbhakala Asatmyata (intrauterine influence), 

2.   Shaithilya (poor muscle and adipose firmness), 

3.   Meda asarata (dysfunctional adipocytes), 

4.   Madhur Agraha (sweet tooth), 

5.   Kapha chaya (accumulation of sero-mucoids), 

6.   Kapha prakopa (aggravation of biofilms), 

7.   Mansavahasrotadushti (hepatomuscular infiltration), 

8.   Meda Vriddhi (adiposity), 

9.   Avyayama (distaste for exertion), 

10.   Divasvapna (daytime sleep), 

11.   Medovahasrotadushti (adipose tissue inflammation), 

12.   Kleda Dushti (excess of extracellular fluid) etc.

Further, the relative importance of each of these aspects is determined by the Prakruti of the individual. These variables’ genetic determinants must be studied.

The dominant prakruti types most prone to diabetes are Kapha along with pitta or vata. Moreover, phenotypes are associated in building up diabetes and genotype is protective.

The centuries-old method is founded on the belief that the human body’s functioning characteristics are controlled by three bodily humours or’ doshas’ (vata, pitta, and kapha). When the doshas are in balance, one is well; when they are out of balance, one becomes ill. Although all three doshas exist in every human being, one is prominent, and it is this dominant dosha that determines an individual’s ‘prakriti.’ Prakriti, according to Ayurveda, is established at birth and does not change much during life.

Prakritis, according to Ayurveda, underpins a person’s tendency to disease as well as their reaction to therapy. As a result, it is critical in Ayurvedic therapy to determine a patient’s prakriti prior to treatment, because treatment for the same ailment might differ significantly depending on the prakriti.

As diabetes is correlated with Prakruti and so is the genetic makeup of the individual, we can conclude that, Diabetes and genetics are also linked. 

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