Diabetes mellitus is a disorder where there is metabolic dysfunction resulting in an accumulation of sugar in the blood. Normally, all the food we eat, especially carbohydrates, are digested and metabolised in the gastrointestinal tract, and broken down into simple sugar, to be assimilated, used or stored. At all times, there is a particular level that exists in the blood, to deliver glucose for energy needs. A rise/ fall in this level can give rise to life-threatening problems. Diabetes occurs in all age groups, from young infants to the elders, although it occurs rarely below the age of two years.
Heredity plays an important role in the development of diabetes in children, but it alone cannot the cause the diabetes. According to the American Diabetes Association, recent research indicates that certain viruses may combine with an inherited susceptibility and may lead diabetes. Diabetes mellitus is a condition where the available sugar in the blood is far above normal levels. This can be due to several causes :-
- Inadequate insulin, a hormone which is produced by a gland called the pancreas which metabolises sugar and maintains an optimum glucose level in the blood for energy needs.
- It can also be due to the failure of the body to utilize adequately the insulin produced.
- The interplay of the other hormones that indirectly influence the metabolism and utilization of sugar, e.g., the thyroid, adrenals and pituitary glands.
- The over-production of another hormone from the pancreas which has an effect opposite to that of insulin.
- Viral or bacterial infection or some environmental toxins which damage the pancreas.
- A genetic predisposition to diabetes.
- The latest finding is that mental or physical stress also causes diabetes or acts as a catalyst in the case of a pre-existing dormant predilection to diabetes.
The onset of diabetes in children is acute or sub-acute. The history of illness varies from a few hours to a few weeks. The course of the disease may be so rapid that sometimes the child gets medical treatment for the first time only after coma has developed. The main symptoms of diabetes are :-
- Excessive thirst and appetite.
- Increased frequency of urination.
- General weakness.
- Wounds not healing quickly.
- Loosing weight.
- Sexual debility or impotence.
- Skin and tongue may be dry and breath sweet smelling.
- Diminishing eyesight.
The symptoms of diabetes described above are observed in only about 40 percent of diabetes patients. In others words, especially during the earlier stages of the disease, there are no symptoms and the disease is diagnosed accidentally or on the basis of other complications from which the patient is suffering.
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Home Remedies For Diabetes
The remedies stated below in some cases could control latent diabetes, and in others complement orthodox drug treatment so as to lower the total drug intake. Anyone who is on herbal treatment needs to get his blood sugar checked periodically so that the drug regimen and herb regimen is balanced and the blood sugar does not fall and precipitate another crisis called hypoglycemia-low blood sugar.
The jambul tree’s produce heads the anti-diabetic herbal drug list. Numerous scientific studies have been carried out to confirm this. The seeds of the jambul have a distinct anti-diabetic action. Dry its seeds, grind, powder and store them. One-fourth of a teaspoon of this powder, taken every morning with a teaspoon of honey, helps to check the excessive conversion of starches into sugar and also helps the inherent insulin in the body utilize sugar better. The jambul pulp per se does not exhibit any significant anti-diabetic action. However, the seeds can bring the blood sugar down by 20 per cent.
2. Jambul Seeds
Jambul-seed powder can also be taken with milk. A teaspoonful with half a cup of milk, taken morning and evening, is beneficial.
3. Jambul and Turmeric
Take equal amounts of jambul-seed powder and some home-ground turmeric powder. (The ones sold in the market are processed and lose some of its properties. The rhizome should be dried and powdered). Half a teaspoonful of this mixture should be had with buttermilk or honey twice a day.
4. Jambul Tree Bark
The bark of the jambul tree also has anti-diabetic properties but not as much as the seed. The inner bark of the tree can be dried, burnt to an ash and stored. One level teaspoon of this ash, taken every morning on an empty stomach, and a similar amount an hour after the afternoon and evening meals, helps sugar to metabolize and maintains optimum blood sugar levels conducive to health. Meals should not be missed and should be balanced.
5. Indian Gooseberry
Take a tablespoon of fresh Indian gooseberry juice, a teaspoon of fresh lime juice, a teaspoon of honey, and add these to a cupful of water. Have every morning on an empty stomach. Helps to control diabetes.
6. Indian Gooseberry Powder
Indian gooseberry plays a vital role in containing diabetes. Take dried Indian gooseberry powder, turmeric and fenugreek-seed powders in equal quantities. Mix and store it. A teaspoon of this mixture taken thrice a day with water is beneficial for early diabetes-keeps it in check.
7. Fenugreek Seeds
Fenugreek seeds are a condiment used to season various culinary preparations in meals throughout India . A heaped teaspoonful of seeds soaked overnight in half a cup of water softens them and they become less bitter. Next morning drink this water and eat the seeds with a chapatti or whatever is being eaten for breakfast. This brings down blood glucose levels and reduces cholesterol, especially triglycerides. The seeds can also be eaten without being soaked, but they cause acidity in some people. Soaking the seeds does not change their effect. Ayurveda prescribes remedies depending on the body constitution of a person. The same medicine may have a different effect on different people,. hence the correct vehicle is needed. Do not miss meals when taking these medicines, but have them in the correct measure and in time.
8. Bitter Gourd Leaf
Two teaspoons of fresh bitter gourd-leaf juice, taken with a large pinch of ground asafoetida every morning, is a lesser-known remedy for diabetes.
9. Bitter Gourd
Bitter gourd is a very popular vegetable in Indian cuisine. Methods for its preparation are varied, but by and large, all the ingredients used help the body utilize sugar well. However, for those with diabetes, having the juice of two large or 3-4 small bitter gourds i.e., about one-third of a cupful daily in the morning, is beneficial. The juice should be extracted from the whole vegetable, including the skin, seeds, inner pulp, etc. Tender green bitter gourds should be cut into small pieces and completely dried in the shade. When dry, powder them fine and store them. A teaspoonful should be had in the morning and evening for at least 3-4 months. It is advised that a constitution identification be done by an expert ayurvedic physician first, as an excess could cause either vomiting or diarrhea. Besides, some skin aliments already present, not related to the diabetic condition, could get worse. It is a wrongly believed that drinking bitter gourd juice cures all skin aliments. Helps to control diabetes.
Alternatively, a tablespoon of fresh Indian gooseberry juice, mixed with a tablespoon of fresh bitter gourd juice, taken early in the morning, is also effective.
Ayurveda recommends the use of saffron in a number of kidney ailments. Take a pinch of saffron dissolved in a teaspoon of milk, add half a teaspoon of honey, and have it once a day.
11. Herbal Tea
A herbal tea made with a teaspoon of dried Indian gooseberry powder and a teaspoon of sandalwood paste, taken once a day, is beneficial for persons with a pitha constitution, but not sedentary, laid back kapha types.
12. Cumin Seed Powder
Have half a teaspoon of fine cummin seed powder twice a day with water. This helps to control diabetes.