What are The 10 Early Signs of Diabetes?
Diabetes is a metabolic condition which occurs when the pancreas does not produce enough insulin or when the body is unable to effectively use the insulin it produces. This leads to an increased concentration of glucose in the blood known as hyperglycemia.
One of the most chronic diseases and public health challenges, India had the second largest number of diabetics with more than 11% of the population in India (more than 77 million people) or 1 in every 12 adults suffering from diabetes in 2021. This number is expected to rise to 124.8 million by 2045, putting a very high financial burden to the healthcare system.
If diabetes is diagnosed early, timely diabetes treatment can lower the risks of serious health complications (heart, kidneys, BP, eyes, etc.) in the future. Many people are unaware that they have diabetes and don’t look out for signs of diabetes that the body sends.
Ayurveda for diabetes
Ayurveda refers to diabetes as Madhumeha and the types of diabetes as Prameha or diseases arising out of high blood sugar.
There are 20 forms of Prameha diseases which are based on dosha influence and are divided into 3 groups
- Kapha Prameha – 10 types
- Pitta Prameha – 6 types
- Vata Prameha – 4 types
Diabetes is mainly a Kapha disease (although the vata dosha also has an influence) where the digestive fire or agni is diminished which causes low metabolism in the body resulting in high blood sugar levels.
Diabetes mellitus or Type 1/ diabetes (a condition where the pancreas can’t produce enough insulin to keep the blood glucose levels within the normal range) is known as vata prameha as it is caused due to an imbalance in the vata dosha.
Diabetes insipidus or Type II diabetes (a condition where there is ineffective use of insulin that is produced by the body) is known as Kapha prameha as it is caused due to the Kapha dosha imbalance.
There is a third type of diabetes known as gestational diabetes which occurs during pregnancy and affects how the cells use glucose, causing high blood sugar which can affect the pregnancy and can lead to serious health risks for both the woman and the baby.
Causes of Diabetes
According to Ayurveda, causes of diabetes are
- Over nourishment or deprivation of nourishment
- Highly sedentary lifestyle or over activity
- Lack of physical exercise or excessive physical exercise
Therefore according to Ayurveda, Diabetes can occur in fat as well as thin individuals. Diabetes has a very high genetic predisposition. That means if your parents have diabetes, the chances that you will inherit the disease is high as you already carry the genes that cause diabetes. But you can prevent or postpone diabetes by taking proper and timely care.
Symptoms of diabetes
As per Ayurveda the early rupas or symptoms of diabetes include Polyuria, sweetness in the body and sweetness in urine.
Other symptoms of diabetes include
- Increased thirst – overworked kidneys, loss of fluids form tissues
- Increased hunger – body expels glucose from food leaving the person with hungry feeling
- Frequent urination – kidneys expel blood sugar causing repeated urination
- Blurry vision – high blood sugar damages small blood vessels in the eye resulting in swollen lens and hazy vision
- Weight loss – as the body can’t use glucose to produce energy, it burns fat and muscle causing weight loss
- Weakness/fatigue – extra work by body to remove excess sugar and dehydration due to frequent urination both result in fatigue
- Slow healing of cuts and wounds – damaged blood vessels make blood circulation difficult causing slow healing
- Discoloration of skin – dark patches in underarms, groin or neck areas caused due to resistance to insulin
- Numbness/tingling in hands or feet – high blood sugar damages nerves resulting in numbness or tingling
- Yeast infections – high blood sugar can result in yeast infections in genital areas, mouth or armpits