How has Ayurveda understood Diabetes?



Recent advancements in technology, science and resources in every field, has shifted human life in other directions. This direction has led to materialistic comforts and passed a series of threatening disorders. Globally a large population is prone to lifestyle disorders like diabetes, renal problems, immunological problems, cancer, etc.

Diabetes is one such condition that affects people all over the world. According to the WHO (World Health Organization), Type 2 diabetes constitutes 90% of diabetics. Diet and lifestyle changes are the most prevalent causes, and thus, managing them has been tough. Individual diet and lifestyle behaviors have shown to be a health risk, leading in end organ damage and serious consequences.

Globally, the entire community is looking towards Ayurveda as a system that can tackle modern havoc on humankind. As a life science, Ayurveda is attracting global attention for its excellent management, as we increasingly meet individuals with uncontrolled diabetes despite regular use of pills and/or insulin. Insulin resistance is another big worry for Ayurvedic patients.

What is Diabetes according to modern science?

Diabetes occurs when the pancreas does not create enough insulin or when the body’s cells do not respond correctly to the insulin produced. It may be broken down into three categories:

·         Insulin production is inefficient — it is either entirely or partially less than what the body requires.

·         Insulin manufacturing defect — rare / uncommon

·         Increased blood sugar levels result from cells’ inability to utilize insulin efficiently.

As a result, the metabolism of muscle and fat tissue will be disrupted, leading in insulin resistance.

What is diabetes according to Ayurveda?

In Ayurveda, the metabolic disorder Diabetes Mellitus is linked to Prameha. Ayurveda, India’s traditional medicinal system, has provided a thorough understanding of the condition Diabetes.

The term Prameha is made up of two words: Pra + Meih

Pra = Intensity has increased.

Mih = To pass an excessive amount of urine; the word comes from the root “Mih secane” (profuse)

This indicates increased intensity and frequency of urine out from the body. The ayurvedic term for this is “Kleda pradhana vyadhi”, i.e, where there is a disturbance with the body fluid / water part of the body (Kleda).

Kleda is a material within the body that is made of Ap (jala) Mahabhoota (water element), and with respect to Tridoshas, Kaptha dn Pitta contribute to Kleda. If Kapha’s Ap bhava is upset, it may cause an increase in Kleda in the body; if Ushna (heat) and/or Drava (jala) bhava are affected, Pitta is disturbed, and Kleda is disturbed as a result.

Now the causative factors of imbalance in Kapha and Pitta, which are the causative factors for Prameha or diabetes are:

1.      The factors that aggravate Kapha are:

·         Excessive eating of difficult-to-digest meals is known as Guru ahara.

·         Madhura refers to an overabundance of sweet-tasting meals.

·         Excessive eating of unctuous or fatty meals is known as ati snigdha (fried foods). Unctuousness (oiliness) is a Kapha Dosha characteristic. As a result, anything greasy or fatty aggravates Kapha Dosha.

·         Excessive milk consumption is known as dugdha. Cow milk raises Kapha Dosha because it has a pleasant flavour and is difficult to digest.

·         Excessive intake of sugarcane and its byproducts, such as sugar and jaggery (molasses), is known as ikshu.

·         Bhakshya – calorie-dense food

·         Coconut milk enhances Kapha Dosha since it is sweet and heavy to digest.

·         Drava is an overabundance of liquid meals. This is due to an increase in the amount of water components in the environment.

2.      The factors that aggravate Pitta are:

·         Katu – Consumption of pungent foods like spices with pungent and hot taste, increases Pitta.

·         Amla – Over consumption of sour foods

·         Lavana – Over consumption of salty foods.

·         Ushna – Over consumption of hot foods

·         Vidahi – Over consumption of corrosive foods

·         Krodha – excessive anger

·         Upavasa – Over fasting, which leads to increase in digestive strength and leads to increase in Pitta dosha.

Ayurveda offers another distinct perspective on the body’s SROTAS (internal channels). It also goes into the reasons for channel imbalance, the indications and symptoms of these imbalances, and how to deal with these problems, among other things. The above-mentioned causative variables that irritate Kapha and Pitta are also particular causes of fatty tissue Medovaha srotas / internal channels. As a result, doshas have a natural predisposition to gravitate toward medo dhatu.

Thus, we can say that;

Ø  Due to indulging in the causative variables, Kapha and Pitta get disturbed at first, resulting in Kleda imbalance.

Ø  These unbalanced doshas then travel towards Medo dhatu (fatty tissue), affecting fat metabolism and causing additional Kleda imbalance.

Here, body has its own mechanism to manage Kleda; i.e. via Mootra (Urine) and Sweda (Sweat)

Urine is used to eliminate surplus fluid and moisture, whereas perspiration is used to retain it. However, people with diabetes people will not sweat because of their sedentary lifestyle and poor dietary habits. As a result, all kleda (fluid) travels into the urinary system, causing an increase in urine output and excess urination, eventually leading to Prameha.

They display a few indications and symptoms known as Poorva-roopa (premonitory symptoms) at this stage, such as deposit of pollutants on the teeth (even after washing), scorching hands and soles, and so on.

If the problem is not addressed appropriately at this point, the consequence will be bahu, abaddha medas (fat tissue that has grown in size and lost its stiffness).

Excess and incorrect Kleda gradually penetrates to deeper tissues, affecting all bodily tissues (mamsa, majja, ojus, and lasika) except asthi dhatu, and leading to Dhatu shaithilya (body tissue degradation), much as excessive watering does not nourish but kills rice plants.

Diving deeper, Kledamay effect in either of the two ways:

1.      When Pitta affects Kleda, its teekshatva (sharpness) increases, and it has a more penetrating effect. As a result, the intracellular kleda (fluid level) will be higher.

2.      If Kleda is influenced by Kapha, the amount of picchilata (sliminess) will increase, and the covering action will increase. As a result, the intercellular kleda (fluid level) will be higher.

When there are more Kapha aggravating elements, it leads to Kaphaja Prameha, which is the most prevalent. Similarly, aggravating variables for Pitta and Vata contribute to their respective types of Prameha.

In general, the Ayurvedic diagnosis of Prameha is based on the patient’s urine examination. According to the nature of urine, there are ten forms of Kaphaja Prameha, six types of Pittaja Prameha, and four types of Vataja Prameha.

Thus, the Ayurvedic view on Diabetes is elaborated on the basis of basic elements of the body and cures it at micro level. The Ayurvedic treatment for diabetes is helpful for diabetes reversal treatment and negates excessive effects on the body.

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