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Self Healthcare for Type 2 diabetes

Diabetes mellitus or type 2 diabetes is on the rise, especially in developed countries. Ayurveda terms diabetes mellitus a 'rich man's diseae', since it is more a case of excess of food that the body finds difficult to digest.

Ayurveda suggests Pashchimutan yoga asana for regulating the pancreas' functioning. Ancient Indian wisdom suggests chewing 5 neem leaves and 5 bel (bilva or wood apple) leaves to control diabetes. These are insulin free remedies for diabetes, handed down through generations of Vaidyas.

Q. What is the biggest challenge facing people with Type 2 diabetes?

A. Fear. This can be a scary and complex disease. People often feel overwhelmed. Suddenly they have to worry about blood sugar levels and probably other risk factors, like high blood pressure and elevated cholesterol. They’re usually told to lose weight and exercise more. They may be prescribed new medications. It’s a lot to handle. And it’s hard to make lifestyle changes if you’re afraid and overwhelmed. I try to reassure people that they can make a real difference in the outcome, and then I emphasize short-term, achievable goals.

Weight loss is recommended, as is a diet scarce in carbohydrates. Losing weight and a slightly reduced food intake is a big help. The saying in India is that starving never killed anyone but excess of food poisons the body. By the way, yogis do live on very little or no food!

How you choose to reduce food intake (and of the right kind) is entirely up to you. But it helps to know that diabetes mellitus can be controlled easily with a little bit of discipline in life :-)

Q. What about weight loss goals?

A. If you’re overweight or obese, losing even modest amounts of weight helps reduce risk, so it’s important for people not to get discouraged. Too many people focus on what they think their ideal weight should be. I counsel people to set an interim goal of losing 5 percent to 10 percent of their total body weight. For someone who weighs 180, that’s 9 to 18 pounds. When they reach that goal, they can set another goal for another 5 percent.
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