Diabetes is a condition that develops when your pancreas doesn’t make enough insulin, leading to excess sugar in the bloodstream. Excess sugar in the bloodstream can cause all sorts of problems in your body, including organ failure. Diabetes is one of the leading causes of death. It affects almost 10% of the US population. In fact, 37.3 million people in the US have diabetes. But this is also one of the diseases that have no cure yet.
However, it is highly controllable, and researchers believe that yoga can help your condition in the long run. Today, we will discuss all the benefits of yoga for diabetes, but before we do that, let’s try to understand what this exactly is and what causes it.
What is Diabetes?
Diabetes is a condition that causes excess sugar in your bloodstream. Why is excess sugar in your blood a bad thing? Well, it disrupts our organs and many bodily functions, often leading to severe organ damage, including your heart, eyes, kidneys, ankles, and nerves. Yes, it also affects your eyes and can lead to permanent blindness in extreme cases. But what causes it? Is there any cure? Let’s find out.
What Causes Diabetes and Can We Fix It?
There is no proper cause for diabetes. For some, it happens when they attain the age of 40 and above. For others, it is due to some genetic condition. You must understand that diabetes is not your traditional disease in which a virus or bacteria attacks your body. Diabetes is a condition that develops when your pancreas is either unable to produce any insulin, or it’s not producing enough.
The lack of insulin in your body leads to excess sugar in your blood. So, you can’t fix it by taking pills or surgery. That’s why there’s no cure for diabetes. Diabetes is often a lifelong condition that, if not maintained, can devastate your body. So, what can you do to maintain this condition? Well, that depends on what type of diabetes you have.
In Type 1 diabetes, your antibodies will attack the cells in your pancreas responsible for producing insulin, leading to a condition where your pancreas cannot produce any more insulin. In this condition, you will have to rely on taking syringes filled with synthetic insulin that will more or less do the job of your body’s natural insulin. However, in Type 2 diabetes, your body resists the insulin produced by your body, which makes it difficult for your body to use the insulin produced by your body effectively. The solution would be to help your body use your natural insulin levels.
The third type of diabetes has become quite popular recently, mostly among young adults. That’s Pre-diabetes. This is the stage where a test will detect slightly higher blood sugar levels, but not high enough to be called diabetes. Hence it’s called Pre-diabetes.
How Can Yoga Help?
Yoga brings three major changes to our bodies. One, it regulates your hormones and stress level. Two, it leads to a reduction in weight. And three, it improves your cardiac and overall health. Regulation of hormones and weight loss can lead to a reduction in sugar levels naturally. Lower sugar levels in your bloodstream mean a lower requirement for insulin.
So, even if your body produces less insulin, it might just be enough to remove excess glucose from your body. Recent studies have found diabetes yoga to be very effective in the case of Type 2 diabetes. Let’s take a look at some of the yoga asanas that can help you with your diabetes.
Yoga Asanas For Diabetes?
Here are a few beginner yoga asanas to get you started.
- Surya Namaskar
This Yoga Asana specifically targets your fat cells and helps you lose weight. It also decreases the sugar levels in your bloodstream by improving your body’s natural insulin absorption efficiency.
- Viparita Karani
Viparita Karani helps improve blood circulation and improves lymph flow, which in turn helps decrease your blood sugar levels. It also relieves any back pain after a long day at work.
Halasana targets multiple muscle groups in our body, including your thigh, hamstrings, spine, and shoulders. It improves your muscle tone and also helps improve your insulin levels.
Even if you start with a few beginner yoga practices that can be sustained for 30 minutes, it will do wonders for your body. But yoga alone can’t fix it, especially if you are overweight. You will have to lower your weight by adopting a healthier and balanced diet. When you combine that with some of the yoga asanas we discussed, you can live a healthy and happy life.