Thank you for writing in about this. Type 2 diabetes is a chronic ailment that can often be treated by Ayurveda.
Ayurveda has to get to the root cause of an illness. Even when the symptoms look similar one person to another, the root causes will differ.
With that in mind, there are many different routes that lead to a type 2 diabetes diagnosis, and the line of treatment will depend on its root and route!
Caraka (one of the original Ayurvedic sages) tells of about 20 different types of diabetes (called prameha in Ayurveda). He outlines how each dosha will be affected, but that there will always be a dominant one at play. Kapha is the biggest culprit, as the pathology is sweet and heavy, just like this dosha. When it is kapha that is causing the most trouble, it is treatable.
An Ayurvedic Overview of Kapha Dominant Type 2 Diabetes
Kapha dominant prameha or diabetes is usually caused by the steady build-up and over-indulgence in kapha-increasing activities and foods. Too much of a good thing, one could say. For example: too much sugary food, pastries, cheese, overly-greasy cooked food, too much sleep or napping in the day or after meals, and other various sedentary habits. This is not to point a finger at anyone with this diagnosis, as it can be a lifetime of gentle build up, no cleansing of paths and channels on the way, and little holistic lifestyle and health advice throughout their life.
Without breaking down the entire patho-genesis of the disease, the system needs to first be cleaned and cleared of build-up, blockages and obstructions that will be forming as a result of this imbalance.
People suffering from diabetes are classified into two categories: those that are emaciated and weak with it; or those that are obese and strong. People that fall into the first category need nourishment, and those in the latter camp should be given elimination therapy
So yes, the first line of treatment will be either stripping back or building up, this is then followed by a refreshing therapy, called santarpana in Sanskrit.
This work is done to eliminate the doshas that are causing havoc throughout the body. Due to the nature of the pathology, the liquid portion of the tissues have been made noxious by this imbalance, are now circulating and building up in the openings of the kidneys and bladder, so this also needs to be dealt with. Clearing out, refreshing and creating new grounds for future health is the key.
Diet & Lifestyle Tips for Type 2 Diabetes
It’s then about altering the food and lifestyle habits. A few tips:
- Don’t mix incompatible foods, these are the absolute no-no’s of Ayurveda. Do not combine:
- Fish and dairy produce
- Fish and fruit
- Dairy and fruit
- Melon with anything
- Eggs and dairy, kichiri, pulses, fruit
- Pulses and dairy, meat, fish or fruit*
- *if you cook the pulses with fruit such as in a Moroccan tagine the incompatibility is reduced as they become used to each other in the pot. There are other exceptions too.
- If there is one food type that will help the body rebalance after type 2 diabetes, its barley! There are various recipes that can be taken, but it is about having barley porridge, roasted barley, barley pancakes etc.
- Reassess your sleeping and exercise habits.
- There are various medicinal combinations to be taken, but these need to be formulated and prescribed by a practitioner.
As I mentioned at the beginning, type 2 diabetes can usually be treated and the person suffering brought back into balance by Ayurveda, but I would suggest your mother sees an Ayurvedic practitioner in order that they understand what lead to this diagnosis and can tailor a treatment plan accordingly.
By Selina Van Orden