(Last Updated on : 13/04/2009)
Diabetes Mellitus or Madhumeha is considered one of the most serious disorders of the metabolism in human beings. It is often referred to as only Diabetes and in this condition; there is a fault in the carbohydrate metabolism of the patient. The bodies of the diabetic people fail to produce or properly use the insulin, which is a necessary hormone that helps a lot to turn sugar and other food items into energy. Insulin is usually produced in the pancreas, an organ located near the stomach. The body's failure to produce or properly use insulin increases the amount of sugar in the patient's blood. The abnormally high blood sugar levels are known as hyperglycemia. Diabetes may lead to rapid emaciation and cause death, if not treated in time.
In ancient India the great Indian surgeon and teacher, Sushruta, identified diabetes and classified it as Madhumeha in the 6th century BCE. He further researched about the disease and identified it to be associated with obesity and sedentary lifestyle. He also advised people to do exercise to cure diabetes. In ancient India, the diagnosis of diabetes was done in a unique manner. The patients were tested for diabetes by observing whether ants were attracted to a person's urine. The disease was called Madhumeha (meaning "sweet urine disease"). However, it was during the 20th century that a significant improvement in the identification of diabetes and discovering its treatment procedures was achieved.
There are several factors considered the probable causes of Diabetes Mellitus or Madhumeha. Diabetes is mainly of two types namely Type 1 Diabetes and Type 2 Diabetes and the causes may vary in case of these two types. However, there are a few common factors that contribute to the formation of both Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes. A clear distinction between these two types of Diabetes was first made and published by Sir Harold Percival (Harry) Himsworth in January 1936. The most common causes of Diabetes Mellitus or Madhumeha include hereditary or inherited traits, age, poor diet, obesity and fat distribution, sedentary lifestyle, stress, drug intake, infection, sex, hypertension, serum lipids, lipoproteins, etc.
Diabetes Mellitus or Madhumeha can be identified through various signs and symptoms. Like the causes, the symptoms of Diabetes also vary according to the types. The common signs and symptoms of Type 1 Diabetes include nausea, vomiting, fast weight loss, dehydration, etc. On the other hand, the common symptoms of Type 2 Diabetes include increased fatigue, polydipsia, polyuria, polyphegia, weight fluctuation, blurry vision, irritability, infections, poor wound healing, etc. The diagnosis of diabetes is done by performing a few tests. The fasting plasma glucose (FPG) test is done for measuring blood glucose in a person. This test is most frequently used to detect diabetes and pre-diabetes. Another test performed for diagnosing diabetes is the oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT). This test measures blood glucose in a person and is also done to diagnose diabetes and pre-diabetes. Sometimes, the physicians perform a random plasma glucose test, also called casual plasma glucose test to diagnose Diabetes Mellitus or Madhumeha. This test measures blood glucose regardless to when the person being tested last ate. This test is used to diagnose diabetes but not pre-diabetes. However, the initial test results for diabetes are required to be confirmed with a second test performed on a sepaarte day.
Different alternative medicinal methods are followed quite frequently for effective treatment of Diabetes Mellitus or Madhumeha. The traditional medicines like Ayurveda, Homoeopathy, Naturopathy, etc. are utilised for treating diabetes. Apart from these, several home remedies and dietary regulations are also followed for getting relief from diabetes. In Ayurveda, the herbs like Shilajit, Gudmar Turmeric, Neem, Amalaki, Guggul, Aloe Vera, Bitter Melon, Triphala, Musta, Sandalwood, Lodhra, Ajwan, Gokshura, Vidanga, Guduchi, Haritaki, Chitrak, Karela, Fenugreek (Methi), Jambu, Bitter Gourd, Bilva, Dakhni Mirch (white pepper), Rose Apple, Arjuna, etc. are used most frequently for curing diabetes. The Homoeopathic remedies utilised commonly for treatment of Diabetes Mellitus or Madhumeha include Uranium nitrate, Phosphoric acid, Phosphorus, Lactic acid, Bryonia, Insulin, etc.
Diabetes Mellitus or Madhumeha is considered one of the principal causes of death all over the world. Though there are many treatment methods available for curing diabetes, the disease still remained uncontrolled in most of the countries. However, it is always a better way to take preventive actions to stay away from diabetes. The preventive actions of diabetes include various dietary restrictions and a few lifestyle changes.