Welcome to the GLOB RX Ayurvedic Coach Column. Ayurvedic Health Coach Chaya~Sharon Heller provides the reader with information helping to recognize personal tendencies and how a few simple changes in diet and lifestyle can go a long way to improving your health and vitality.
hen asked, most adults would agree they are aware of what changes in their lifestyles would improve their health. So that begs the question, "Why, as a country, are we so unhealthy?" Most adults want to make changes but find changes are hard to make. As humans, we like familiarity. You may have heard the definition of insanity as doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. My primary job as a Certified Health Coach, is to support my clients, with education, tools and techniques that assist them in re-engineering habits to move them in the direction of optimal wellness.
Diabetes: The Ayuervedic approach
EDITOR's NOTE: In this Part 2 installment Ayuervidic Health Coach Chaya-Sharon Heller provides the Ayurvedic protocol, management options and action steps for people with diabetes to consider.
DIABETES has become a global problem with 450 million people diagnosed worldwide. In 2015, 23.4 million people in the United States were diagnosed with diabetes, compared to only 1.6 million in 1958. In Adolescents, cases of type 2 diabetes in 1980 were ZERO and cases of type 2 diabetes in 2010 were 57,638. For decades, type II diabetes was considered an adults-only condition. In fact, type II diabetes was once called adult-onset diabetes. But what was once a disease mainly faced by adults is becoming more common in children. Among people under the age of 20, type I diabetes rose 23 percent between 2001 and 2009, and among all ages its Quadrupled Worldwide Since 1980.
Herbs or insulin, if necessary, can regulate blood sugar, and there also needs to be a holistic treatment program to treat this syndrome. That usually includes proper diet, daily exercise, yoga, hygienic measures, an appropriate lifestyle and panchakarma cleansing, all according to the individual's constitution and the particular type of prameha.
For those who are strong (Sthula pramehi) â€“ Bio Purifactory Panchakarma therapy (Shodhana) is a strong cleansing or elimination of excess kledaka kapha and includes therapeutic emesis and/or therapeutic purgation, as well as avoiding the causes already listed, followed by palliative care after the panchakarma and the kleda kapha has been removed.
For those who are lean and weak (Krisha Pramehi) â€“ Palliative management (Shamana) â€“ Mild cleansing followed by stronger rejuvenation and strengthening therapies with Ayurvedic formulas and diet considering the individual's constitution and condition and the specific complications.
Peripheral Neuropathy is a common and costly complication of both type I and type II diabetes. Prevalence of neuropathy is estimated at about 8% of newly diagnosed patients and greater than 50% in those with longstanding disease. In classical Ayurvedic texts, the clinical features of peripheral neuropathy are described in the context of prameha and its various stages called burning palms and soles (khara pada daha).
Complications in pitta types of prameha include urinary tract infections, testicular hypo functioning, recurrent hypoglycemia, causing dizziness and early neurological symptoms like paresthesia, especially burning, GI symptoms including GERD, and diabetic diarrhea.
Complications of vata type of prameha are emaciation, urine retention, and neurological symptoms as various types of pain, palpitation, and vata types of respiratory features characterized with dry cough and breathing difficulties. Other classical texts mention sparsha vatra and tvak shunyata, characterized by severe pain, burning sensation and absolute loss of sensation. Tvak shunyata presents as lack of ability to differentiate hot and cold or soft and rough. (Ayurveda Journal Of Health, vol 15 issue 4).
Localized vata/pitta clinical presentations may be effectively managed with internal administration of kshira bala taila 101 and external applications of shata dhouta ghrita (100X medicated ghee) and a treatment of Takra Dhara: pouring medicated buttermilk over the entire body.
- For other vata/pitta cases where vata is predominant or for lean or emaciated diabetic individuals, medicated rice bolus poultice (shashtika pinda sveda) is commonly practiced which improves muscle bulk and strength.
- In autonomic or peripheral neuropathy associated with insomnia or loss of balance and coordination, shirodhara (medicated oil poured on the forehead) is beneficial.
- For Vata predominant cases, pour medicated oil, 4-5 liters over the entire body, followed by an abhynaga massage with the same medicated oil at home.
- Ayurvedic preventive diabetic foot care includes foot massage (pada abhynaga) with medicated oil.
- In kapha/vata presentations, where kapha is predominant, as in diabetic amyotrophy, a medicated powder massage (udvarttana) is performed and a hot medicinal powder poultice (curna panda sveda) are beneficial.
In autonomic neuropathy with gastrointestinal symptoms like constipation or GERD, judicious use of mishraka sneha, shows to improve gastrointestinal motility. It is useful in obstinate constipation, colic, pain and inguino-scrotal swellings and various diseases due to vata manifesting in the GI tract. Maha dhanwantaram tablet may be used as a palliative formula for GERD with symptoms like nausea, dysphagia, epigastric discomfort, and gastroparesis.
In chronic diabetic cases at the vata predominant stage, dhanwantaram ghrita is indicated for internal administration.
- For erectile dysfunctions seen in diabetic peripheral neuropathy patients, milk decoctions of ashwagandha and bala yields promising results.
- In diabetic foot ulcers medicated ghee with turmeric is effective for internal administration and external application.
- For diabetes retinopathy a therapy called tarpana with patoladi ghrita applied to the eyes has shown remarkable improvement in visual acuity.
Referenced from DIABETES MELLITUS (MADHUMEHA) AND AYURVEDIC MANAGEMENT: AN
EVIDENCE BASED APPROACH; Article in WORLD JOURNAL OF PHARMACY AND PHARMACEUTICAL SCIENCES Â· August 2015.
Dietary modifications are also very important in management of diabetes.
The prevailing strategy in conventional medicine for managing DPN focuses on stringent glycemic control by intensive maintenance of target blood sugar level to slow the progression. The symptomatic treatment in painful diabetic neuropathy includes tricyclic antidepressants, SSRI group drugs, antiepileptic drugs and opiods. Such medical intervention may not always produce effective results and are associated with known adverse effects.
The line of Ayurvedic treatment of prameha, however, is determined as per therapeutic classification.
Consume one meal per day of medicated gruel, with Mishraka Sneha, effective in maintaining euglycemia and improving quality of life. Dashamula medicated gruel is successfully practiced in various stages of diabetes as a diet therapy. Avoid foods and drinks that are cold, moist, heavy, fried, boiled, fermented or carbonated.
Dashamula medicated gruel is successfully practiced in various stages of diabetes as a diet therapy.
Avoid foods and drinks that are cold, moist, heavy, fried, boiled, fermented or carbonated.
Body Treatmentsâ€“Several are already listed above. There are a variety of body treatments, selected according to the person's constitution, condition and disease classification.
Including Shirodhara or Takra Dhara, which are classically recommended for many types and conditions of prameha.
They are a stream of either warm herbalized oils or takra poured on the forehead. This is deeply relaxing, sooths and calms the nervous system, synchronizes brain waves, calms the mind, and enhances blood circulation to the brain. The affects of the deep relaxation are valuable to the body, mind and energy.
We can use udvartana massage to dry and reduce a heavy and moist person. This also increases lymphatic circulation and drainage, so we want to reduce some of the kleda first with diet and lifestyle rather than circulate it, then introduce this treatment. If the person is not very damp we can provide an abhyanga massage, which is the signature massage of Ayurveda, that is a lymphatic drainage performed with warm herbalized oils, preceded by garshana silk glove and completed with a hot towel compress.
Nasya is often helpful, which is a tri-fold treatment of neti pot, nasya oil and gargle, cleansing and nourishing of the sinuses, head and neck.
Medicine: Ayurvedic Herbs: (Aushadha) to include: Triphala, Shilajatu, Chardunika (Gymnema Sylvestre), bilva leaf, guduchi, and Guggulu preparations. Gymnema Sylvestre showed similar glucose lowering effects as the corticosteroid-inhibiting drug, ketoconazole. Experimental and clinical studies revealed anti-diabetic and adaptogenic properties of the aqueous extract of bitter gourd (momordica charantia or karavellaka). The aqueous extract of the fruit was more effective in diabetes than the powder of the dried fruit.
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The earlier we notice imbalances, especially within the first 3 stages, the easier it is to correct them. The longer the imbalances are ignored, the harder it will be to reverse them. Articles and mid level workshops are tools for people to become aware of the Ayurvedic wisdom of life. It is advised to seek the analysis and guidance of a properly educated and experienced Ayurvedic Practitioner to pinpoint the root causes of imbalance and create a well rounded and appropriate health plan and keep you on track to a life well lived.
EDITOR's NOTE: This article is not meant for any diagnosis or treatment, but rather to provide Ayurvedic protocol, management options, and action steps for people with diabetes tp consider. Please do not attempt to self treat. Always seek the consultation and supervision of an experienced and properly educated Ayurvedic Practitioner along with your doctor.