New Delhi, Nov 11 (UiTV/IANS) – Diabetic neuropathy refers to nerve damage that is caused by diabetes. Diabetes is an extremely common chronic disease and diabetic neuropathy is one of the most likely conditions to develop as its side effect. In fact, India now has the largest population of people with type 2 diabetes mellitus internationally, with a 10.4 per cent prevalence.
Diabetic neuropathy doesn’t affect all with diabetes but many do. Nearly 60-70 per cent of people with diabetes can experience some type of diabetic neuropathy. While some people may experience mild symptoms of nerve damage like numbness or tingle in the hands, feet, and legs, others can experience more severe symptoms like digestive issues, pain, issues with the blood vessels and heart, and the inability to lead a normal, healthy life. Fortunately, it is possible to prevent diabetic neuropathy by maintaining blood sugar levels on a daily basis. Complementary therapies like naturopathy and yoga can help achieve normal blood sugar levels. Naturopathy and yoga may contribute to controlling the condition, as well as reduce side effects and the need for medications or drugs, by providing specific dietary practices, physical activity, and stress reduction.
What Leads to Diabetic Neuropathy: Over time, high blood sugar and high levels of fats, like triglycerides resulting from diabetes can damage the nerves. High blood sugar levels can also damage the small blood vessels that nourish the nerves with oxygen and nutrients. Without enough amount of oxygen and nutrients, the nerves are not able to function properly.
How Naturopathy helps in Diabetic Neuropathy: There is no cure available for diabetic neuropathy. The key to managing it and stopping its progression is maintaining healthy blood glucose levels. Here’s how naturopathy can help achieve that:
Maintain a Healthy Diet: Diet plays a crucial role in naturopathy treatments and it recommends an alkaline diet rich in complex carbohydrates, fibre, and low fat for people with diabetes mellitus. People with diabetes should limit their intake of added sugars, refined carbs, and sugary drinks to help stabilize blood sugar levels. Here are some of the foods advisable for people with high blood sugar levels:
Include green leafy vegetables along with whole fruits that are high in fibre, antioxidants, vitamins, and essential electrolytes like potassium and minerals
Consume avocado, butter, olive oil, seeds and nuts, whole-fat dairy products, cheese, and yoghurt
Avoid most grains if possible, especially those made with refined wheat flour
Also, limit the intake of high-sodium foods
Hydrotherapy: In this type of therapy, a combination of baths, packs, and warm water enema is given to the patient as a remedy. Hydrotherapy helps improve metabolism and controls blood sugar levels. It also enhances the capability of the body to use glucose and the enema helps cleanse toxins from the colon and detoxify the system.
Yoga Asanas for Diabetics: The age-old practice of yoga can provide plenty of benefits, especially for those living with diabetes. Here are some yoga asanas that can lead to significant transformations in those suffering from high blood sugar levels:
Dhanurasana: This asana strengthens and regulates the pancreas. As a result, this asana is recommended for diabetics. It also strengthens the abdominal muscles, improves digestion, and helps avoid abdominal cramps.
ViparitaKarani: This restorative inversion asana allows for relaxation. It helps lower stress levels, which assists in lowering blood pressure and blood sugar levels. It can also boost energy, help relieve headaches and increase blood circulation.
Balasana: This asana works on the rotator cuff, hamstrings, and spinal extensors. It promotes relaxation, which assists in the formation of insulin-producing beta cells.
Halasana: This inversion pose helps increase circulation, stimulates the thyroid gland, and reduces stress. Its therapeutic effects may also help relieve backache, headache, and insomnia. It also aids in the reduction of fat from the abdominal area and increases insulin secretion in the body.
Kapalbhati Pranayama: It is a breathing technique that improves pancreatic effectiveness. As a result, it increases the release of insulin in the body which keeps the blood glucose levels stable.
People with diabetes often find it difficult to control their blood sugar levels which can lead to issues like diabetic neuropathy. With the help of these naturopathic tips and yoga asanas, it is possible to maintain good blood sugar levels and live a happy, healthy life.
(Dr. Vinodha Kumary, Deputy Chief Medical Officer, Jindal Naturecure Institute)