The economic cost of Diabetes Mellitus, which includes cost of medical care and wage loss, has been estimated to be $825 billion globally, with China ($170 billion), the USA ($105 billion), India ($73 billion), and Japan ($37 billion) bearing the brunt of the burden. When making efforts to combat Diabetes mellitus, it is important to think beyond the mainstream allopathic system to encompass a wide range of traditional medical systems and complementary healthcare practices.
Complementary and alternative medicine use in Diabetes Mellitus is widespread, with Ayurveda being used by patients with estimated rates of 14 per cent, 16.2 per cent and 40 per cent in India and 13.6 percent in Malaysia. 29.6% of users in one survey reported lowering of blood sugar with concomitant use of Ayurveda and Allopathy.
However, it is difficult to evaluate the effect of Ayurveda per se and also raises questions about possible drug interactions. Few patients informed their Allopathic physician (29 percent) or consulted them before starting Complementary and alternative medicine treatment (20 percent). This suggests that allopathic physicians may benefit from knowing more about Complementary and alternative medicine systems such as Ayurveda.
Treatment of Diabetes Mellitus is customized based on prakriti (constitution) and disease stage. Dietary modification is an essential component of clinical management; further it is strongly recommended for prevention of Prameha. For example, ensuring optimal nutrition and mild exercise is the focus for patients of lean build (krisha), while cleansing and weight loss via light yet nutritious diet and vigorous exercise are prescribed for overweight or obese (sthula) patients. Portion size and number of meals are to be tailored to individuals’ Agni (metabolic capacity).
Diabetics should always take care of their diet and the food they eat because most of the food contains not only carbohydrates but also energy value. The fat and protein in the food is converted into glucose and this glucose has an effect on blood sugar levels. Diabetic food should be high in nutrition but low in calories.
Suffering from diabetes does not rob you the opportunity of eating delicious and nutritious food. It’s like finding yourself in middle of a very bad nightmare where you hurriedly seek the food you want but it is desperately running away from you. Truth is you need not suffer this horrendous dream in real life. You could still eat foods that you are used to eating as long as they fall under the list of foods safe for diabetics.