DIABETES MELLITUS

Diabetes is a life style related condition due to an imbalance in handling a glucose load and is not a disease. It is one of the several life style related chronic conditions with an end result of complications that are related to early aging changes resulting in blockage of small and large arteries. There are an estimated 100 million diabetics in the world of which around 70 million belongs to heavily populated developing countries. Today, the health professionals are bewildered by the rapidity with which diabetes with its associations such as obesity, high blood pressure and high cholesterol, triglycerides are assuming epidemic proportions. This phenomenon is more prominent amongst Indians both in India and abroad (migront), which is attributable to the rapidly changing trends of globalization and demands on coping skills leading to enormous stress. This year (2002- 03) is dedicated by WHO as the “Year of non-communicable diseases” to combat diabetes and heart diseases through life style change with special emphasis on physical activity. The four major aspects of such a life style change include regular physical activity, non-smoking, vegetarian diet and stress management. Diabetes Mellitus is the full name of this disease. This is a condition in which glucose levels in the blood are much higher than normal and hence this condition is also commonly referred to as sugar disease. The defect in this condition is either your pancreas does not produce enough insulin or it produces sufficient insulin but the cells of your body are unable to use the insulin properly.

1. JOGGING Sthiti: Táãásana Practice
l Make loose fists of your hands and place them on the chest.
l Collapse and relax your shoulders.

Stage I : Slow Jogging
l Start Jogging on your toes slowly.
l Jog about 20 times.
As days go by, gradually increase upto 100 times.

Stage II : Backward Jogging
l Lean a little forward and increase the speed of jogging gradually.
l Start hitting the buttocks with the heels.
l Repeat this 20 times at your maximum speed.
l Then gradually slow down the speed.
l Do not stop.
l Continue and move on to slow jogging for at least 10 times.

How is stress related to life style?
The wrong life style that aggravates the diabetic state includes excessive indulgence in
1. Eating heavy spicy, oily foods and sweets;
2. Cigarette smoking, Alcohol, non-vegetarian foods, fizzy cool drinks;
3. Sedentary lifestyle with no physical activity;
4. Excessive sleeping or loss of sleep;
5. Emotional upsurges such as aggressive behavior, anger, fear, tension, worry etc. Stress is both the cause and the result of an erratic life style. Stress is a psychological state of emotional reactivity in which the person has no control over the mind in general. We can see that all these situations of life style mentioned above are due to lack of mastery over one’s cravings or desires or emotional reactions. Thus stress is the cause and the result of all the life style related erratic behaviors.

Are there research data to show the effect of stress in the causation of DM?
Yoga and Diabetes control
We carried out a research study along with Dr Dandona, the chief of the diabetology department of the Royal free hospital, London. where 21 NIDDMS who were taking oral antidiabetic tablets and or dieting were divided into Yoga and Control groups. The yoga group practiced Integrated Approach of Yoga Therapy, 5 days/week (90min classes) for 12 weeks. This study concluded that "offering yoga classes to NIDDM patients at a diabetic clinic attracted significant number of patients and led to improved glucose homeostasis as seen by decreased fasting blood glucose adn glycated hemogloblin in yoga group as compared to control group. ( J. of complementary med. Research 1992, 6 (2): 66-68). Similar observations have been published by Dr. Sahay of Hyderbad (1986 J.A.P.I 34(9): 645-8). An interesting observation of Dr Jobson (1991) was that once a week sessions of progressive relaxation training and biofeedback did not contribute to better control of diabetes. Dr Rice's (1992) observation of improved blood flow to the legs is a valuable research and provides a source of hope for person's who have had long duration of diabetes.

Yoga & Glaucoma

Yoga is a complete science, focusing on breathing, movement, posture and meditation. Specific exercises are taught consisting mainly of simple stretching, breathing and relaxation. There is a wealth of scientific research available confirming that advanced yogis have remarkable control over the functioning of their nervous system, heart and lungs.

Dr Segal author of the best-selling 'Love, Medicine and Miracles' cites the research of Dr Herbert Benson showing that meditation tends to normalise blood pressure, pulse rate, and the level of stress hormones in the blood. It produces changes in brain wave patterns, showing less excitability and improves the white blood cell (immune) response as well as hormone response.

Researchers have also reported that stress may play a significant part in the precipitation of acute closed-angle glaucoma because intraocular pressure (IOP) can be affected by the emotional state of a patient. One study (1) considered the evidence and found stress to be a significant factor in the etiology of acute closed-angle glaucoma and they also noted that there is a growing suspicion concerning the role of stress in open-angle glaucoma as well. The report stated that there is evidence that glaucoma is associated with psycho physiological stress and that stress reduction might prevent angle closure and reduce the IOP. The suggested methods for achieving these results included biofeedback, meditation, and relaxation exercises.

Tratakas form the mainstay in the yogic management of glaucoma. The Asanas to be avoided include all inverted postures such as Sirsasana, Sarvangasana, Halasana and Mastyasana. Others that may increase the intraocular pressure are Dhanuransana and Cakrasana and hence they need to be avoided.
Kapalabhati,vamanadhouti are also to be avoided.

The basic set of simple Asanas which relaxes the body mind complex are to be practiced for half hour followed by sectional breathing, Nadishudhi, and Seetkari pranayama. Then comes the Tratakas with deep breathing followed by Nadanusandhana for about 20 minutes.. Stress management through the practice of cyclic meditation and happiness analysis to modify the life style to carry on working with joy and contentment under all circumstances are essential components of IAYT.

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  • Thankyou Dr. Satyam for the interesting information shared on how yoga can help in the treatment of various disease.

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