By Jamuna Rangachari December 2007 With millions joining its ranks by the day, diabetes is fast turning into a modern-day epidemic. a judicious use of alternative and conventional therapies can help one manage it well and lead a perfectly normal, active life Diabetics Alert… Explore alternatives to keep your sugar level under control. However, even when it has stabilised, do check your sugar levels regularly Take special care of your skin and feet Make a daily walk and physical exercise a part of your routine Practice oil pulling : In the morning before breakfast on an empty stomach, take one tablespoon of oil (preferably sesame) in the mouth. Move oil slowly in the mouth, rinsing or swishing for 15 to 20 minutes, and then spit it out and rinse mouth thoroughly. Drink a glass of water in the morning Be very conscious of your diet. Consume a lot of vitamins, minerals and fibrous food, and 1,500 to 1,800 calories with the following break-up: 225 to 275 gm carbohydrates that will yield 900 to 1200 calories 35 to 45 gm of fats that will yield 325 to 400 calories 10 to 80 gm of protein that will yield 275 to 325 calories Avoid caffeinated drinks Be well stocked with recommended foods to take care of hunger pangs in the appropriate manner Practice meditation. Go YogaPawanamuktasanaLie down on your back and stretch both your legs. Now leaving the left leg stretched on the ground, bend your right leg at the knee, and bring the bent knee near the chest. Now inhale and press your bent leg on your chest with both hands, which should be interlocked. Keep the breath full in your belly and go on pressing the leg on it. Stay in this position for some time. Now start exhaling, lift your head and try to touch your bent knee with your nose. Inhale and bring your head back in the normal position; also take the leg down and exhale. Repeat this process with your right leg, and then with both the legs. Ardha Matsyendra AsanaSit in any comfortable cross-legged position. Straighten the legs out in front. Bend the right knee and bring the heel of the right foot close to the left hip. Inhale and bend the left knee upward and place the left foot flat on the floor to the right of the right leg with the ankle touching the right thigh. While turning the spine to the left, straighten the right arm bringing it around to the outside of the left knee, and grasp the left foot with the right hand. Turn your head as far as possible to the left, and bend the left arm behind your back. Keep your spine, neck and head aligned and continue to exert effort at turning to the left. Repeat the posture for the other side by reversing directions. PaschimottanasanaSit on a mat with your legs stretched straight out in front of you.Breathe out. Slowly bend forward, trying to touch your feet. Don’t bend your knees. If you feel a constriction while bending, straighten up slightly and then try and bend further forward.Don’t push yourself too hard. You may not be able to get very far if you are a beginner. Don’t get impatient and push yourself too hard. You will only injure your muscles. Just bend forward as far as you can go. It is important that you hold this pose. There is no point in just bouncing back and forth. Exhale, while returning to normal position. Viparita karani mudraLie flat on your back and keep your legs together, and your arms on their respective sides. Inhale, press your palms down, and raise your legs slowly together, without bending the knees or raising the hands till they are perpendicular to the floor. Exhale completely. Inhale deeply and exhale slowly. While exhaling, press the palms down again, and without bending the knees or raising the head, move the legs towards the head. While doing this, raise the hips and the small of the back also from the floor, and curve up the lower part of the spine. Bring the legs parallel to the root. Take a deep breath and breathe normally a few times. Bend the arms at the elbows and support the slanted trunk with the palms which should press the upper portion of the posterior on each side. Inhaling, bring back the legs again perpendicular to the floor, using the elbows as a fulcrum. Exhale and breathe normally. Keep the knees straight and the feet together. Fix your gaze on the tips of the big toes. Maintain this position for about three minutes. Return to the starting position in the reverse order. DhanurasanaLie on your face, legs together, hands straight by the side of the thighs, chin resting on the ground. Fold the legs at the knees and bring them on the thighs. Knees must remain together. Bring your hands backward and hold the toes of respective legs with the thumb and forefinger of the respective hands. Raise your legs a little up and simultaneously raise your head and chest. Holding the toes, pull the legs towards ears and bring the toes near the ear. Gaze in front. While returning to this original position, loosen your hands, take legs backward, let the thighs touch the ground, leave the toes and ultimately bring the legs and hand to the first position. The other asanas that are useful are sirshasana, sarvasangasana, tadasana, mandukasana, supta pawanmuktasana, trikonasana, katichakrasana, matsyasana, yogamudrasana, mayurasana, navkasana and paschimottanasana. Among the pranayamas, Kapaal bhati and anuloma viloma pranayama is recommended. * It is advisable to learn the yoga asanas under the guidance of a practitioner. Food for HealthRecommended allopathic diet (1,500 – 1,600 calories)Early morning: 1 cup of non-sweetened milk, 1 cup of herbal tea, 1 slice of bread or 1 idli. Mid-morning: 1 cup of buttermilk or some fruit.Lunch: 2 small chapattis (with 1 teaspoon ghee), 1 cup of cooked vegetable, 1 cup of dal, salad of raw vegetables that can be consumed without restriction (see below), 1 cup of buttermilk or curd.Afternoon: 2 slices of wholewheat bread, or 2-3 non-sweet biscuits.Dinner: 1 cup of boiled rice or khichri (with 1 teaspoon ghee), 1 cup of dal or curry, 1 cup of cooked vegetable, salad of raw vegetables that can be consumed without restriction (see below), 1 cup of buttermilk or curd.Before retiring: three-fourths to 1 cup of non-sweetened milk. Binge away!The following vegetables – cabbage, cauliflower, cucumber, brinjals, karelas, ladies’ fingers, tomatoes, radish, chillies, are not at all restricted for diabetics as the carbohydrate content of these vegetables is very low. Such vegetables can be taken as much as desired in the raw form; however they should not be consumed more than a cupful if cooked. Wonder foodsKarela (bitter gourd)This is sometimes called a plant insulin as it contains insulin-like qualities, and lowers the blood and urine sugar levels. Needless to say, it should be consumed liberally by diabetics. Methi (fenugreek seeds)Methi seeds soaked and sprouted can be consumed with the water in which it is soaked for best results. Powdered methi with unsweetened milk would also be helpful. Curry leavesTen fully grown curry leaves consumed every day is therapeutic. Amla (gooseberry)With a lot of vitamin C content, amla adds a lot of resistance in diabetics. What’s more, powdered methi with amla juice on an empty stomach can stave off diabetes if taken regularly. Neem, tulsi and belpatra are great for keeping sugar levels under control. Boil ten leaves of each in water and have it every day on an empty stomach. Will I live forever almost like a vegetable?” thought Shanti Taneja, who, due to diabetes, had eczema and severe pus formation in her legs, causing a grotesque swelling for the last 10 years. Continually on medicines, her blood sugar remained high at 250 mg/l, and the additional medication she had to take for her other problems made her extremely weak. She could not move about comfortably, felt extremely tired, and so depressed that she almost lost the will to live. As a last resort, she decided she must try alternative therapies, and honed on to Naturopathy. The results were miraculous. Just after a month of Naturopathy therapy with Delhi-based Dr Salila Tiwari, she lost 10 kilograms and was back on her feet. Her sugar level became absolutely normal at 120 mg/l in six months. Regular yoga, pranayama and a disciplined diet drastically low on sugar has ensured that, at the age of 66, she is much more energetic than even non-diabetics. “I am certain that with my new lifestyle diabetes is history for me,” she says with a confidence that comes from having been off medicines ever since. If Shanti Taneja can free herself of diabetes, so can you. And that is a wonderful hope to clutch to as India progresses ever more rapidly to justify its dubious distinction of being the world’s diabetes capital, according to the World Health Organisation. India is expected to have 57 million diabetes patients by 2025, thanks to erratic work schedules and improper food habits. The ‘lifestyle disease’ – known to be restricted to urban population in the country till a few years ago – has now invaded rural India as well, with as much as 3 per cent of the total rural population being diagnosed with diabetes. What and how?Diabetes is of two types, one which is characterised by excretion of large amounts of very dilute urine, called diabetes insipidus, but the one which is most common and often referred to when we say diabetes, is diabetes mellitus. Diabetes mellitus is of three types, type 1 (which occurs at a young age), type 2 (which occurs in people above 40), and gestational diabetes (which occurs rarely during pregnancy). All the types have similar signs, symptoms, and consequences, but different causes and population distributions. The cause of the disease is mainly unproven, though there are many hypotheses and risk factors such as increasing age, obesity, physical inactivity, and a family history. Whatever the type may be, the root cause o
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