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Diabetes is a condition marked by high blood sugar that is brought on by poor eating habits, inactivity, pollution, and the stresses of the modern-day, fast-paced lifestyle. In India, 77 million people were estimated to have diabetes in 2019, and by 2045, that number is projected to reach over 134 million. Nearly 57 per cent of these people still remain undiagnosed. These are alarming statistics and should be taken seriously because diabetes is a crippling condition that can harm the heart, lungs, kidneys, gastrointestinal tract, bones, brain system, thyroid gland, eyes and skin. Depression may also result from it.
"It goes without saying that diabetes must be managed with food, exercise, and insulin medicines, but this is rarely discussed. Adopting yoga, combined with a good diet and other lifestyle modifications, can aid in managing and preventing diabetes," says Dr. Vinodha Kumari, Deputy Chief Medical Officer, Jindal Naturecure Institute.
She adds, "Yoga is an age-old discipline that can aid in managing and curing moderate diabetes. There is mounting evidence that yoga practice can help manage diabetic complications and combat the disease when it is still in its early stages. Yoga is well renowned for its capacity to reduce stress, improve mobility, lower blood pressure, and promote general health, all of which may eventually help reverse moderate diabetes. Many studies have shown that yoga and other mind-body practises can lower stress-related hyperglycaemia and enhance blood glucose control, making them an appealing alternative for the treatment and prevention of diabetes."
According to Dr. Vinodha, this is how practicing yoga helps prevent or manage diabetes.
Pancreatic cell rejuvenation: Yoga poses stimulate the pancreas which can promote the growth of beta cells that produce insulin.
Increases glucose uptake: Similar to other forms of exercise, yoga promotes the uptake of glucose by muscle cells, lowering blood sugar levels, enhancing circulation, and lowering the risk of cardiovascular disease.
Promotes weight loss: Yoga promotes weight loss and improves weight control which are crucial for managing diabetes as well as preventing diseases like type 2 diabetes, cancer and heart disease.
Improves mental attitude: Regular yoga practice helps the mind to focus better and cultivates the right mental attitude for managing diabetes. Moreover, yoga encourages improved blood circulation and reduces stress, which is a major risk factor for developing diabetes.
Reduces Cholesterol: The metabolism of numerous important nutrients, including lipids, is frequently disrupted in people with diabetes. Hence, an increase in cholesterol levels is associated with diabetes. Frequent yoga practice boosts lipid metabolism and lowers blood cholesterol levels. It can considerably reduce the levels of LDL and total cholesterol while raising HDL levels.
Dr. Vinodha Kumari also mentions a few yoga asanas that can be beneficial for people with diabetes as well as how to do the poses correctly.
In conclusion, Dr. Vinodha Kumari says, "Yoga may be used as an additional therapy for people with diabetes. Almost every aspect of health may be improved. It improves the quality of sleep, lowers blood pressure and advances both physical and mental wellness. Yoga can not only improve diabetes management, but if performed regularly, it may also lower the risk of various complications."
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