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Diabetes Mellitus is a type of disease in which the amount of sugar present in the blood is in excess than normal limit. The amount of sugar in the blood is determined by “insulin” secreted by pancreatic cells and is responsible for uptake of glucose (sugar) in muscles, liver etc. Therefore either complete absence of insulin or resistance to action of insulin leads to increased amount of sugar in the blood there-by causing TYPE 1 DIABETES (INSULIN DEPENDENT DIABETES-IDD) and TYPE 2 DIABETES (NIDD) respectively.

Sugar being sweet in taste, any food product which is sweet to taste or contains sugar is therefore to be avoided in DM. Instead, food products that are bitter to taste should be consumed by diabetic patients as they will help in lowering blood sugar level.

DIET:

A) To be taken:

1) Solid food:

a) Grains and cereals: wheat, rice, jowar, barley, horse gram, green gram, pigeon pea, kidney beans etc.

Note:

1) In case of diabetes, grains and cereals should be used only when they are old, for example Rice or wheat to be used which is at least one year old.

2) Also preferably, cereals should be dry fried before cooking. For example, rice after washing before cooking should be fried (dry, without any oil or anything, just in the container put on the flame) and then cooked normally.
3) Use of barley is very useful for diabetes patients. Barley can also be mixed with wheat or jowar and given to diabetes patients.

b) Vegetables: Vegetables like bitter gourd, serpent gourd, drum-stick, cucumber, radish etc are useful for diabetes patients.

c) Spices : Spices like cinnamon, cardamom, garlic, ginger, coriander seeds, green coriander, cumin seeds, ajowan, black pepper, asafetida, turmeric can be used.

d) Fruits : Dates, Date-palm, Hog-plum, Black-plum, Myrobalan, Nut of bellecic, Coconut, Pomegranate, Grapes etc can be used.

e) Non-vegetarian Diet : Antelope, Rabbit, Pigeon (Dove), Sparrow, Partridge, Peacock, and Parrot etc are useful.

2) Liquid:

a) Hot or lukewarm water especially during and after the meals.
b) Butter-milk
c) Vegetable soup or soup made up of the grains like green grams, horse grams, barley etc.
d) Tea or Coffey without sugar 2 to 3 times a day.
e) Old liquor or wine
f) Honey

Note:

1) The food should be light to digest and not heavy.

2) Instead of having heavy meals twice a day, light meals taken 3-4 times will be more beneficial.

3) A mixture of Hog-Plum and Turmeric is beneficial for diabetic patients for regular consumption.

B) Not to be taken :

1) Solid Food :

a) Grains: Spiked dolichos, black grams etc should be avoided. More use of flour is to be avoided.

b) Vegetables: Pumpkin, Potato, Sweet Potato should be avoided.

c) Fruits: Mango, Banana, neesburry, jackfruit, custard apple, pumpion gourd, melon, papaya should strictly be avoided. Water-melon, green coconut should be avoided or be taken in very small amount. The fruits which are sour in taste like Pear, strawberry etc are should be avoided.

d) Milk and milk products like curd, clarified butter (ghee), Cheese, Paneer etc should be avoided.

e) Use of sugarcane and sugarcane products like jaggery is to be avoided.

f) Use of flesh heavy to digest should be avoided, instead only soups should be taken.

2) Liquid Food :

a) Cold water, Cold drinks etc.

b) Sugarcane juice, fruit juices like mango etc should be avoided, any juice with syrup base should be avoided.

Note:

1) Use of food products which are sweet and sour in taste should be avoided.

2) Use of opposite quality food products i. e. cold and hot simultaneously should be avoided, for example drinking glass of cold water just before drinking hot tea or coffee.

3) Cereals like rice, wheat etc should be at least one year old in growth.

4) Use of more oily food and salts should be avoided.

5) Though useful, extreme use of very bitter food for long duration should be avoided by diabetic patients because even though it will lower the blood sugar, it may cause degenerative changes in bones, joints etc.

Non-dietary measures:

1. Exercise: Regular exercise is the most important part of non dietary measures for diabetic patients. Exercises should not be too heavy and instead light exercise, Yogasanas etc are advisable. Brisk walking is beneficial for diabetic patients. Regular walking at least for 40-45 mins is useful. Preferably morning walks and walks after having meals is advisable.

2. Generally oil massage and fomentation are not advisable for the diabetic patients. Instead massage with dry herbal powder is more beneficial in regulating excess sweat. Herbal powders of sandalwood, cardamom etc can be used. Regular sun-bath is also advisable in such cases.

3. Diabetic patient should avoid sleeping in the afternoon and sitting continuously for long hours. He should also avoid sitting on very soft bed. Sleeping immediately after meals should be strictly avoided.

4. Diabetic patient should not suppress his natural urges of urine, passing of stool etc.

5. Diabetic patient should always take care of his or her foot to prevent ulcers, wounds etc. diabetic neuropathy is the most frequent complication involving foot, in long standing diabetes. Injury to neuropathy affected foot is quite painless and can go un-noticed hence special care have to be taken for the same. Now a days special foot-ware is available to prevent such injuries and use of the same is recommended.

6. Arthritis, frozen shoulder etc are observed in patients of chronic diabetes. Though full body massage and fomentation is not advisable for such patients, local oil massage and fomentation over joints involved can prove beneficial.

7. regular oil massage to head and face along with nasal drops of medicated oils, rinsing of eyes with medicinal herbal decoction, pouring medicated clarified butter (ghee) in the eyes can also help in diabetic patients eye related problems such as eye-sight problems, losing the strength of eyes etc.