( By The Yoga Institute )

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Diabetes - Causes and Effects

Diabetes is a so-called metabolic disease. Metabolism means all the complicated processes of exchange and transport of nourishing substances and waste products which each and every cell in out body needs and which are carried in the blood.

In diabetes, there is a lack of a certain substance - insulin which must be present to enable the cells to take up glucose from the blood which is one of their most important nutrients. This has two consequences - the cells "starve" in spite of the abundance of glucose in the blood which cannot be used. This starvation in the long run has negative effects on the whole functioning of the organism - the level of blood sugar is increased and damages, "thickens" the walls of the blood vessels. The effect is a diminished blood supply to all organs with all sorts of resulting difficulties - disturbance of eyes, nerves, heart, kidneys etc.

Symptoms: For a long period of time no symptoms may be apparent. Many diabetics are discovered by a routine urine or blood sugar check up. In many cases there may be a feeling of extreme thirst (the surplus of sugar must be excreted via the kidneys, which results in the production of a great quantity of urine and therefore loss of water). Because there is a damage to the blood vessels there is a reduced healing capacity of even small injuries (eg. Diabetic ulcer of the feet) and an increased tendency of skin and other infections There may be numbness of extremities, itching sensation and difficulty of vision.

Complications: If the process continues for a long time it can lead to severe damage of the eyes, loss of extremities, heart trouble etc. Most diabetics donít suffer these severe complications, if treatment is continued.

Treatment: The lack of insulin is a result of a disturbed function of the pancreas, which produces this hormone. To be precise there are two kinds of diabetes: Type A also called juvenile diabetes which is present in young persons where almost no insulin is produced. Here substitution in the form of subcutaneous injection of insulin is a must together with strict diet. In Type B there is only reduced production, normally attributed to some degenerative process.

The easiest way of treatment is to stimulate the pancreas by use of drugs - but at the cost of possible side effects. If some effort is made, in some patients we can lower the level of blood sugar (which has the same effect as increasing the level of insulin) by an appropriate life style.

To this life style belong:
Right diet and food habits As high sugar and fat consume too much insulin.
Reduction of overweight Unnecessary fat cells need insulin for their own metabolism
Reduction of stress Stress raises level of blood sugar.
Physical exercise Reduces blood sugar.

It must be stressed that diabetes is a serious condition which must but be neglected only because the patient does not feel any symptoms. It is a sort of time bomb for the whole organism.

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