Jagrat Bordoloi – The writer is a student of Assam Medical College Dibrugarh. He is pursuing his Bachelors in Physiotherapy.
Physio yoga is a type of rehabilitation therapy that includes both evidence based physiotherapy practice and yoga therapy. Yoga is useful in management of various lifestyle diseases including diabetes mellitus. It helps to attain glycemic control and reduces the risk of complications associated with diabetes.
Undoubtedly, it is now an open secret that we, the human race are in the quagmire of diabetes. Diabetes is becoming a major threat to the public health and the economies of all nations. Diabetes is particularly an acute reality of the developing countries.
Earlier diabetes was a disease that had its onset in the adult or relatively mature years of a person's life. However, today diabetes is rearing its ugly head among children too. Infact today it is a fairly common disease that is being addressed in the pediatric departments.
The early signs of diabetes are actually hard to miss. One of the primary symptoms is frequent urination. When your blood sugar levels are high, your kidneys expel the excess blood sugar, causing you to urinate more frequently. Increased thirst, fatigue, blurred vision, increased hunger, unexplained weight loss, slow healing of cuts and wounds and a tingling or numbness in the hands or feet are some other cardinal signs.
Excess body weight is one major cause of diabetes. This is because the more fatty tissue you have, the more resistant your cells become to insulin. A sedentary lifestyle, devoid of physical exercise is another major cause. Junk and processed foods, particularly the ones fortified with sugar also attribute to the disease. A family history of diabetes often predisposes you to the condition.
Diabetes Mellitus is a clinical syndrome in which the body is unable to make proper use of glucose resulting in hyperglycemia and glycosuria. There are three main types of diabetes – i) Type 1 Diabetes, ii) Type 2 Diabetes and iii) Gestational Diabetes. Type 1 is an autoimmune disorder. The most common diabetes is Type 2 Diabetes which is insulin resistant. Type 2 signifies a condition in which our body does not use insulin efficiently. Gestational Diabetes develops during pregnancy. It usually disappears after the delivery.
Incidentally yoga plays a vital role in preventing diabetes. Yoga is based on an extremely subtle science that focuses on bringing the mind and body together. This practice essentially originated in India some 5000 years ago. Although yoga has been practiced since ancient times, yoga as a therapy is still a relatively new and emerging trend in the healthcare domain.
Physio yoga is a type of rehabilitation therapy that includes both evidence based physiotherapy practice and yoga therapy. Yoga is useful in management of various lifestyle diseases including diabetes mellitus.
It helps to attain glycemic control and reduces the risk of complications associated with diabetes.
In our physiotherapy practice, we should prefer yoga therapy as an adjunctive therapy with the purpose of facilitating patient recovery.
There are some physiological effects of yoga. One is the direct influence on pancreatic secretion by rejuvenation of the pancreatic cells through abdominal contraction and relaxation during asanas and breathing exercises. The second is reduction in blood sugar levels due to muscular exercise.
There are therapeutic effects of yoga too. These include 1) Effect on Lipid and Insulin: Consequently, there is significant decrease in the free fatty acids; LDL and VLDL cholesterol. There is an increase in the HDL cholesterol. These changes lead to improvement in the insulin sensitivity. The reduction in free fatty acid levels also reduces the lipotoxicity, which have a significant effect on beta cell function. 2) Effect on CMI in Type 2 Diabetes: Yoga practices have a favourable effect on the lymphocyte migration test, suggesting an improvement in the cell mediated immunity. 3) Effect on Prevention: Yoga helps in gaining lean muscle mass and decreases the body fat percentage. This leads to an improvement in insulin sensitivity and reduces insulin resistance.
Some advice for diabetes patient: 1) During the yoga programme, monitor glucose levels and consult with your doctor. 2) Avoid heavy muscular activity. Perform the movement slowly and smoothly. 3) Always keep a candy or glucose tablets with you while exercising. Just in case your blood sugar levels drop drastically, you can eat these immediately to restore the balance.
Therapeutic yoga enhances the patient recovery by improving hormonal balance, mental health and overall mood and sleep patterns. It also improves the muscular strength, postural alignment and digestion. Apart from all these health benefits, when one undergoes therapeutic yoga generally (as observed) there is a marked improvement in terms of eating patterns. People start practicing mindful eating, which also results in overall good health. Needless to say diabetes will find it difficult to thrive and grow in a balanced and healthy body.
Yoga also helps in preventing the risk of diabetic neuropathy. Neuropathy is the damage to one or more nerves. It is one of the most common complications of diabetes. It starts with the tingling in the hands and feet and may result in the altered functioning of internal organs. Practicing yoga for around 20 to 30 minutes every day helps in improving nerve conduction. It boosts metabolism, hormone levels and glucose levels that improve overall nerve health.
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