Looking at men or women with a great fitness level can spark feelings of envy if you aren’t fit. But despite wanting to look physically healthy, almost 80% of people fail to stick to their fitness regimes. Did you know that diabetes is the leading cause of death globally? As per the WHO (World Health Organization), in 2019, approximately 1.5 million people died due to diabetes. Further, currently, there are around 463 million people suffering from diabetes worldwide. Also, as per statista.com, by 2045, the number of diabetic patients is expected to rise by 700 million worldwide. Apart from this, China is ranked first with the highest rate of diabetic people.
What Exactly is Diabetes & its Types?
Have you ever wondered how energy is produced in our bodies? And what has energy production to do with diabetes? Well, the food you eat is converted to glucose (sugar) and is discharged into the bloodstream. The insulin is released from the pancreas when the blood sugar levels rise. Due to insulin, the blood sugar is absorbed into the cells and converted to energy.
If you have diabetes, then your body fails to produce enough insulin or is unable to utilize insulin the right way. Bloodstream accumulates sugar if the cells fail to respond to insulin or if there isn’t any. If an excessive amount of sugar assembles in the blood, it can cause health issues such as kidney damage, vision impairment, and heart disorders.
Cure for diabetes doesn’t exist at present, but nutritious food, managing weight, and activeness can be effective prevention methods for diabetes
Types of Diabetes
There are three main types of diabetes, which are as follows –
1. Type 1 Diabetes
- This is an autoimmune disease.
- Symptoms of type 1 diabetes are weight loss, a rise in hunger and thirst, regular urination, fatigue, and vision impairment.
- The cause is unclear, but the immune system destroys the insulin-generating beta cells in the pancreas.
2. Type 2 Diabetes
- This condition occurs when the body develops resistance to insulin.
- Symptoms include sores, tiredness, blurry vision, and augmented hunger levels.
- The cause of this diabetic condition is a combination of genetics and lifestyle aspects. Obesity, especially belly fat, makes cells more resistant to insulin.
3. Gestational Diabetes
- It is a condition with high blood sugar during pregnancy. Placenta produces insulin-blocking hormones, thus causing this type of diabetes.
- Pregnant women don’t face any symptoms, but this disorder can be detected with oral or blood sugar tests.
- Gestational diabetes is caused due to hormonal changes in pregnant women.
What is the best way to prevent diabetes and live a lifestyle of wellness and well-being? Research studies point out that meditation practice is one of the best methods to avoid diabetes in the long run. Let’s find out how.
How Can Meditation Control Blood Sugar Levels?
Hormonal irregularity, especially insulin, hampers the blood sugar levels drastically. One of the main reasons for hormonal imbalance is stress. The body naturally releases stress hormones such as epinephrine, cortisol, and norepinephrine. Here, excessive cortisol hormone not only resists insulin, but also results in depression, quick aging, and a compromised immune system.
Psychological or physical stress triggers the HPA (Hypothalamic Pituitary Adrenaline) axis and the SNS (Sympathetic Nervous System), due to the release of stress hormones, thus harming health. Also, these hormones enable the ‘fight or flight’ response and long-term condition of hypervigilance, which causes diseases like diabetes, depression, or obesity. Here, meditation plays a crucial role in soothing the sympathetic nervous system leading to an anti-anxiety and calming effect.
Furthermore, meditation aids to revive insulin homeostasis, reduce metabolic syndrome, and balance blood sugar. Metabolic syndrome results due to the occurrence of dyslipidemia, hypertension, insulin resistance, and obesity.
Research states that meditation enhances the blood plasma content of the melatonin hormone. Meditation is estimated to surge melatonin levels by deaccelerating liver metabolism or upsurging melatonin synthesis in the pineal gland.
Apart from this, high glucose levels are linked with the excessive production of free radicals and a decrease in antioxidants, which develops resistance to insulin. As per studies, meditation is predicted to lower oxidative stress and is more prevalent in those who are long-term practitioners.
The Role of Sahaja Yoga Meditation in Managing Diabetes
A study conducted in 2013 at the Department of Medicine at MGM Medical College, Mumbai, concluded that Sahaja Yoga meditation substantially impacted oxidative stress, endothelial operations, serum cortisol, HRV (Heart Rate Variability), and stress levels. The study displayed that consistent Sahaja Yoga practitioners had better cortisol, HRV, and endothelial operations, as compared to the non-practitioners. Moreover, the research revealed that 20 minutes of Sahaja Yoga mediation have a drastic effect on the HRV rate and stress of diabetic patients.
Inference acquired from the study is as follows –
- Decrease in cortisol/stress hormone
- Reduction in the systolic BP
- Better blood flow
- A decline in LDL (Low-Density Lipoprotein) and triglycerides
- Improved HDL (High-Density Lipoprotein)
Other Scientific Evidence on Meditation & Diabetes
A study conducted by Rosenzweig et al. concluded that type 2 diabetes people showed better glycemic control with meditation practice. 20-30 minutes of meditation lowered psychological distress, anxiety, and depression by 35%, 37%, and 43%, respectively.
Furthermore, exercise has an insulin-like effect on blood glucose. However, yoga or meditation is much effective than regular exercise. It improves the health of diabetic and chronic disorder patients, and this encompasses oxidative stress and blood glucose levels as well.
In a combined review of 19 studies, type 2 diabetics who practiced yogic meditation showcased a considerable decline in fasting glucose, oxidative stress, insulin sensitivity, and glucose tolerance. Meditation is a powerful tool for people suffering from traumatic diabetes events.
Diabetes is an incurable disease presently. We can either prevent it or control the severity of the disease. If you have diabetes, then don’t wait for the right day or opportunity. Start the journey of wellness today via deep meditation practice. Meditation is a unique technique, especially the Sahaja Yoga meditation, proven to enhance overall well-being quickly compared to other types of meditation. For healthy people, meditation is the key to improving and sustaining good health.
The views, thoughts, and opinions expressed in the article belong solely to the author and are not of the publisher.
About Writer – Chaitali Avadhani holds a Master’s degree in Mass Communication & Journalism. She writes for sectors like health & wellness, technology, corporate field, banking and food. She is also a deep practitioner of meditation.