Diabetes is a metabolic and hormonal disorder concerned with deranged metabolism of sugar/glucose in our body. It is a chronic disease concerned with decreased secretion or diminished effectiveness of insulin. The characteristic feature of diabetes mellitus is hyperglycemia, i.e., excessive amount of glucose in blood. Continuous hyperglycemic state of our body can lead to many complications in long run hence its treatment is necessary to avoid them.
Diabetes mellitus is one of the most common non-communicable chronic diseases. According to WHO in 2014, 9% of adults 18 years and older had diabetes. In 2012, diabetes was the direct cause of 1.5 million deaths. In India, its prevalence rate is too high and is also termed as the diabetic capital of the world.
A hormone termed insulin is secreted by pancreas which help in maintenance of glucose metabolism in our body. Insulin helps to use glucose from blood. When it is deficient in blood it leads to accumulation of glucose in blood (which is termed as hyperglycemia) and its consequences. Diabetes mellitus is classified into 3 main types which are mentioned below:
- Pre-diabetes: A condition in which blood sugar levels are high but not as high as to be considered as Type-II diabetes mellitus.
- Diabetes mellitus Type I: Also termed as insulin dependent diabetes or juvenile-onset diabetes. It is characterized by destruction of insulin-producing cells by our own immune system. So, the production of insulin is hindered at its production step and there is little or no insulin in the blood. This type is common in younger age group, usually before 30 years.
- Diabetes mellitus Type II: Also known as non-insulin dependent diabetes or adult-onset diabetes. In this type, production of insulin is there but its receptors in our body develop resistance to it and do not respond to it. This type is more common among adults rather in children.
- Gestational diabetes: In some females during pregnancy, may develop hyperglycemia throughout pregnancy which usually subsides sometime after delivery.
There is another type of diabetes which is termed as diabetes insipidus and is a rare disorder. This disease is characterized by polyuria but is concerned with anti-diuretic hormone and should not be confused with diabetes mellitus.
3 Cardinal symptoms of diabetes mellitus are: Polyuria (increased urination), polydipsia (excessive thirst) and polyphagia (excessive hunger). Other symptoms include:
- Loss of weight despite of eating well and without efforts.
- Excessive weakness and lethargy.
- Blurred vision especially in type I.
- Abdominal pain with nausea and vomiting when blood sugar levels are too high.
Sometimes it may be found accidentally especially when the above symptoms are not present. It can be suspected when the wounds on lower extremities do not heal even after weeks and even months. Also, in obstinate ringworm eruptions on the body when it doesn’t heal even after much treatment.
- Positive family history of diabetes mellitus increases the risk to have this disease.
- Obesity: increases the risk for Type-II Diabetes mellitus as it leads to insulin resistance in our body.
- Sedentary life-style is a risk factor to develop Type-II Diabetes mellitus.
- High levels of corticosteroids intake.
- Pregnancy (can lead to gestational diabetes).
- Some rare causes include tumors secreting growth hormone.
- Acute complications mainly include diabetic ketoacidosis which is characterized by acetone breath, difficult and labored breathing termed as kussmaul’s breathing and pain abdomen. This is an emergency condition and should be treated immediately.
- Long-term complications include adverse effects on cardiovascular system, stroke, kidney disease, foot ulcers and damage to the eyes particularly to retina.
The main aim of treatment is to maintain blood sugar levels in between normal range. Diabetes mellitus is said to be a life-style disorder and its treatment includes lifestyle changes which includes exclusion of sweets and refined carbohydrate-rich products from your diet, regular exercise and meals at regular intervals. Besides these changes, medicinal intervention is necessary. Under conventional treatment, insulin injections are recommended for Type-I Diabetes mellitus, while for Type-II Diabetes mellitus, oral medications are given.
In Homeopathy, there are numerous medicines which can be given for the treatment of diabetes mellitus. These are selected on the basis of symptoms similarity and individuality of the patient, according to the law of similia. One should consult a registered homeopathic physician for their prescription as there are many factors to be considered for the selection of your medicines like dose, potency, etc. Following is a list of best homeopathic medicines for diabetes which are used commonly in practice:
ACETICUM ACIDUM: Especially indicated for pale, lean people with flabby and lax muscles. To be given there is marked debility with common symptoms of diabetes, i.e., large quantities of pale urine with great thirst and profuse sweat. This can be accompanied with epigastric tenderness, burning thirst and distress from cold drinks.
ARSENICUM ALBUM: suited to persons having excessive anxiety about his health with fear of death, restlessness and marked debility. For great thirst in which the person drinks much frequently but in small quantities. Craving for acids and coffee.
GYMNEMA SYLVESTRE: It is indicated when all the symptoms are accompanied with burning sensation over whole body. There is extreme weakness after passing large quantities of urine. Increase flow and sugar levels in urine after coitus. For sexual debility in diabetic patients. For diabetic carbuncles and boils when there is marked burning sensation in them. Also, for relaxation of all the muscles.
INSULINUM: In the body it helps to restore the lost ability to metabolize carbohydrates and storage of glycogen in the liver. Especially indicated when there is persistent skin affections like boils or varicose ulcerations along with glycosuria and increased frequency of urination.
LACTICUM ACIDUM: Indicated for diabetes when it is accompanied with rheumatic complaints. Tongue is dry and parched with excessive thirst and voracious appetite. Large quantity of urine is passed frequently with glycosuria.
SYZYGIUM JAMBOLANUM: One of the most frequently used medicine for diabetes mellitus. Can be given to patients having high blood sugar levels which it tends to lower down. Leads to diminution and disappearance of sugar in the urine. To be given for chronic diabetic ulcers with polyuria, polydipsia with profound prostration and emaciation.