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DIABETES

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Causes and Symptoms: One of the most insidious disorders of the metabolism, diabetes is a serious condition if it is not properly diagnosed and treated in the earlier stages. It is one of the hereditary disorders which run in the families and people with a defective diet and sedentary habits are more susceptible to it than others.

Diabetes is of two types: (i) diabetes insipidus; and (ii) diabetes mellitus. The first is characterised by excessive thirst and large volume of urine which has a low specific gravity, but which contains no abnormal constituents. Its cause is the lack or dimunition of the anti-diuretic hormone manufactured by the pituitary gland.

But the more common disorder is diabetes mellitus. A constitutional disorder, it is caused by the malfunctioning of the pancreas which produces insulin. Insulin, which is now being manufactured chemically, is the agent which helps assimilate sugar into the system when the pancreas stops its function or slows down, no insulin is injected into the system with the result that the sugar does not get assimilated and remains in the blood or is ejected through the urine of the sufferer.



The first symptoms of diabetes are failure of strength and loss of weight. The amount of urine increases to thrice its normal quantity. A troublesome symptom is the intense thirst to quench which the patient drinks more water and passes more and more urine, leading to the loss of sugar which should have been assimilated into the system. There is also a voracious appetite, but in spite of hearty meals the sufferer goes on losing strength and weight. The lack of absorption of sugar leaves the tissues weak and skin eruptions appear. There is an intense itch in the groins and also eczema. Sometimes, there is a tendency towards gangrene in the feet and any injury sustained by the patient is difficult to heal.

Diabetes, generally, advances slowly and unless the sufferer is very perceptive, it may remain undiagnosed for some time. In young people, unfortunately, the course of the disease is very swift. The younger the patient, the more swift is the onset of the malady. The advance of the disease brings along other disorders like dimness of vision, cataract, weakness and pain in the limbs, inflammatory chest infections, of which pulmonary tuberculosis is the most serious, and extreme exhaustion.

Diabetes is a disease in the cure of which diet plays more important a part than drugs. It is vital, therefore, that after the disease has been diagnosed and its severity estimated from an examination of blood and urine, the diet of the patient should be controlled. All sugary substances and those containing any percentage of carbohydrates should be banned. Sugar in any form, rice, potatoes, sweet fruits (except Rose Apple or Jamun) should be given up. Fat intake should be reduced. Vegetables like Karela (Bitter Gourd), Drumstick and Bimbi are particularly recommended. Recent researches by a team of British doctors have confirmed the anti-diabetic properties of Bitter Gourd which has been recommended by practitioners of Ayurveda in India for past many thousands of years. An age-old nostrum of taking two tender leaves of neem and Bilva each on an empty stomach in the morning has been found helpful in reducing the amount of sugar in the blood.

The second step before medication starts for a diabetic is to control the amount of food that he takes. If he is obese, a strict regimen of diet should be initiated to bring down his body weight. Juiced of the leaves of the Bitter Gourd creeper and its fruit should be administered in dose of one ounce twice daily. The seeds of Karela can be added to food in a powdered form.

Remedies: The other home remedies useful in cases of diabetes are: Seven leaves of Kanduri should be ground with seven grains of Pepper, strained and drunk. Or, one tola of Sankhaholi should be ground with seven grains of Pepper strained and drunk to reduce the amount of blood sugar. Another useful remedy is two tolas of the kernel of the stone of jamun and two tolas of the rind of poppy Capsule ground together and taken in three masha doses with whey or water in the morning and evening. Alternatively, four mashas of the dried powder of Kanghi Booti (Mellow) taken twice with Whey also helps control the amount of sugar in the blood. Six mashas of powder of dried Gilo and dried leaves of Jamun taken in equal quantities also helps.

Regimen: A yogic exercise Matsyendraasana is particularly recommended for diabetics. Diabetics should be careful to avoid injuries because the wounds have a tendency to take a long time to heal.




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