Diabetes and high blood pressure (hypertension) are the most common lifestyle-induced health conditions observed globally. Once diagnosed, diabetes and hypertension are lifelong health conditions that need constant medication.
Lifelong medications will have side effects. However, Ayurvedic medicines, prominently derived from plant sources, are the best alternative medications with no side effects.
Ayurvedic medicine is a holistic healing modality developed in ancient India 5000 years ago. Ayurveda considers the mind, body, and soul as a complete entity and believes in maintaining equilibrium and good health among the three.
Diabetes in Ayurveda
Diabetes Mellitus in Ayurveda is known as Madhu (means honey) Meha (means urine). Madhumeha develops due to improper digestion and aggravation of Vata dosha. This condition impairs the human body by deteriorating dhatus (body tissues) and affecting all vital organs.
Diabetes is a chronic metabolic condition that increases sugar levels in the blood. The body becomes insulin resistant as the pancreas produces less or no insulin than the required insulin to process the glucose digested from the food. Around 73 million diabetes cases are recorded in India to date.
The prime energy source of the body is a blood glucose (sugar). Blood glucose is formed in the body from the food consumed. The insulin hormone insulin secreted by the pancreas helps blood glucose to get into the cells to be used as energy.
When the pancreas becomes inefficient to produce the required (less or no) amount of insulin, the glucose in the blood does not reach the cells. It causes the accumulation of high levels of glucose in the blood. The body becomes insulin resistant and diabetic. This excessive glucose in the body leads to severe health issues if not treated properly.
Causes of Diabetes
Some of the triggers for Diabetes are:
- genetically induced – People who have a family history of diabetes are more prone to getting diabetes.
- A sedentary lifestyle, excessive sleep, and lack of physical exercises causes diabetes
- Overweight or Obesity
- Excessive eating and unhealthy dietary habits
- Severe mental stress, anxiety, and strain cause diabetes.
- Excessive intake of sugar, processed food in the form of refined carbohydrates.
Symptoms of Diabetes
Diabetes may get unnoticed in the initial stages if not tested. However, get tested for diabetes for the following symptoms.
- Frequent urination and infections
- Excessive sweating, thirst, and dry mouth
- Blurred vision
- Sudden weight loss or weight gain
- Fatigue and lack of energy
- Itching skin, slow healing of cuts, wounds, and sore
Types of Diabetes
- Prediabetes – It is a condition where blood sugar is higher than the healthy normal range. Patients can change their lifestyle and food to bring back blood sugar to normal range.
- Type 1 diabetes – It is an autoimmune condition where the pancreas does not produce insulin at all. The body immunity attacks pancreatic cells damaging them. This type of diabetes affects kids and young adults. Consuming insulin is mandatory for patients to survive.
- Type 2 diabetes – This is the most common diabetes affected in middle age and older age.
- Gestational diabetes – This condition is observed generally in some pregnant ladies and gets resolved after childbirth.
Health Implications of Diabetes
Diabetes with high sugar levels untreated leads to
- Cardiovascular diseases (heart attacks and strokes)
- Retinopathy (blindness)
- Neuropathy (nerve damages)
- Nephropathy (kidney disease)
- Diabetic foot (gangrenes)
Ayurvedic treatment for Diabetes
As per Ayurveda primary cause of diabetes is incomplete digestion. Due to lack of proper digestion, ama, a sticky toxin is produced in pancreatic cells. Ama damages pancreatic cells and the capacity of insulin production.
At Naitri, Ayurvedic treatment for diabetics prescribed by highly qualified BAMS doctors includes panchakarma purification or detoxification process followed by herbal medicines, a proper diet plan without sugar intake, and proper foot care.
Exclusive yoga training sessions at Naitri help manage stress levels and obesity that are the primary diabetic inducers. Yoga also helps change the lifestyle to manage diabetes.
Hypertension in Ayurveda
In today’s stressful life, hypertension is no more a chronic ailment. It has affected young adults, middle-aged and elderly alike across men and women.
In Ayurveda, hypertension is termed as “Rakta Vikshepa”, “Rakta Gata Vata”. Hypertension is related to blood and its circulation. As per Ayurveda, aggravated Vata dosha, and imbalance of three doshas triggers hypertension.
An increase in the blood pressure to unhealthy levels is high blood pressure or hypertension. It is measured through the pressure of blood passing through blood vessels and resistance posed to blood in arteries when the heart is pumping the blood. Increased resistance in arteries increases blood pressure causing high-risk health issues. Hypertension is developed over a course of time.
Causes of Hypertension
Hypertension can be either primary or secondary.
This is essential hypertension developed over a period of time without any identifiable cause. This is hypertension most people are diagnosed with.
Though the exact reason is not known, a combination of the following factors causes hypertension.
- Genetically induced – Hypertension is genetically induced. People may get hypertension inherited by parents.
- Sedentary lifestyle – Hypertension may occur due to an unhealthy lifestyle, excessive salt consumption, lack of exercise, obesity.
- Physical changes – physical changes may cause increased blood pressure in the body.
Secondary hypertension can be severe than primary. It is developed quickly due to underlying health issues like:
- hyper and hypothyroidism
- kidney disease
- Excessive stress and anxiety
- adrenal gland health issues
- medication side effects
- heart defects
- sleep apnea
- Consumption of illegal drugs and excessive alcohol consumption
Symptoms of Hypertension
Most of the time, hypertension is a silent condition that goes unnoticed. Most people do not experience symptoms unless blood pressure elevates. Some of the symptoms include:
- Severe headaches (Shiroroga)
- Flushing, fatigue (Klama), and dizziness (bhrama)
- Shortness of breath
- Chest pain
- blood in urine in some people
Immediate medical attention is required for these symptoms. Intreated hypertension may be fatal.
Health Implications of Hypertension
Uncontrolled hypertension leads to various health complications including:
- Heart attack or stroke – Excessive pressure on arteries causes heart attack and stroke.
- Heart failure – The heart has to work harder to pump blood against high pressure caused in the blood vessels leads to heart failure.
- Weakened blood vessels in kidneys and eyes – Since hypertension is associated with blood, it may weaken the functioning of kidneys and may cause vision loss.
- Trouble with memory – Untreated and uncontrolled hypertension may affect memory and capacity of understanding.
- Dementia – Blocked and narrowed arteries limit the flow of the brain, causing brain strokes and dementia.
Two numbers read blood pressure in the body.
- Systolic Pressure – This is the top number, indicating pressure in arteries when the heart pumps blood.
- Diastolic Pressure – This is the second number, indicating pressure in arteries between the heart beats.
There are five defining categories of blood pressure readings:
- Healthy – Blood pressure less than 120/80mm Hg (millimeters of mercury)
- Elevated – Systolic number between 120 – 129mm Hg and Diastolic less than 80 mm Hg
- Stage 1 Hypertension – Systolic number between 130 to 139 mm Hg or a diastolic number between 80 – 89 mm Hg
- Stage 2 Hypertension – Systolic number 140 mm Hg and above, or diastolic number 90 mm Hg and above
- Hypertension Crisis – Systolic number above 180mm Hg and diastolic number above 120 mm Hg
Ayurvedic treatment for Hypertension
Ayurvedic treatment for high blood pressure starts with the purification of the body and the bloodstream. Along with panchakarma purification procedures, herbal medicines, and diet plans are prescribed to control the blood pressure level.
Yoga training sessions are conducted at Naitri. Yoga improves mind and body balance and reduce stress levels.
Ayurvedic medicines work on the mind and body to promote easy blood circulation through the heart and uplifts cardiac wellness.
A regular health check-up helps to understand the underlying health condition. Contact us on any queries related to diabetes and high blood pressure. We will get in touch with you.