"The groundwork of all happiness is health." - Leigh Hunt

A Mindful Way to Help Manage Type 2 Diabetes?

Lifestyle changes akin to regular exercise, a healthy weight loss program, and adequate sleep are the cornerstones of self-care for individuals with type 2 diabetes.

But what about mind-body practices? Can they even help people treat or cure type 2 diabetes? one Analysis of multiple studiesPublished in Journal of Integrative and Complementary Medicinesuggests that they could be.

What mindfulness practices did the study take a look at?

Researchers analyzed 28 studies that explored the consequences of mind-body practices on individuals with type 2 diabetes. Study participants didn't need insulin to manage their diabetes, or had certain health conditions akin to heart or kidney disease. The mind-body activities utilized in the study were:

  • Yoga

  • Qigong, a slow-moving martial art much like Tai Chi
  • Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction, a training program designed to assist people manage stress and anxiety.
  • Meditation

  • Guided imagery, visualizing positive images to chill out the mind.

How often and for a way long people engage in activities varies, from each day to several times per week and from 4 weeks to 6 months.

What did the study find about individuals with diabetes who practiced mindfulness?

People who participated in any mind-body activity for any length of time had lower hemoglobin A1C levels, a key marker of diabetes. On average, A1C levels decreased by 0.84 percent. According to the researchers, this is analogous to the effect of taking metformin (Glucophage), a first-line drug for the treatment of type 2 diabetes.

The A1C level is decided by a blood test that shows an individual. Average blood sugar levels over the past two to three months. A level below 5.7% is taken into account normal, a level between 5.7% and 6.5% is taken into account diabetic, and a level of 6.5% and above is within the diabetic range.

How can mind-body exercises help control blood sugar?

The rest response might help individuals with diabetes in other ways, akin to by improving blood flow and lowering blood pressure, which protects against heart attack and stroke.

What else should you realize about this study?

The results of such studies suggest, but don't provide conclusive evidence for, a link between different mind-body approaches and lower A1C levels. Participation levels varied widely. But because the entire mindfulness practices studied had modest positive effects, the researchers suggested that a lot of these activities may very well be a part of diabetes treatment alongside standard lifestyle treatments.

Can mind-body exercises protect people from developing type 2 diabetes, especially for those at high risk? Although the study was not designed to take a look at this, Dr. Ramchandani again points to the long-term advantages of the comfort response.

“Reducing and managing stress improves mood, and leads to greater self-awareness and self-control,” she says. “This can result in more mindful eating, akin to fighting unhealthy food cravings, following a great weight loss program, and exercising repeatedly, all of which might help reduce the danger of type 2 diabetes. “

Trying mind-body methods

There are some ways to adopt mind-body practices that may create a soothing response. Here are a few of Dr. Ramchandani's suggestions:

  • Meditate for 10 minutes or more each day using an app like Insight Timer, Calm, or Headspace.
  • Attend a delicate yoga, qigong, or tai chi class at a neighborhood yoga studio or community center.
  • Try it. Videos and exercises To help reduce stress and initiate the comfort response.
  • Practice slow controlled respiration. Lie in your back with one or each hands in your stomach. Breathe in slowly and deeply, drawing the air into the underside of your lungs to boost your hand. Your belly should expand and expand as you inhale, then contract and lower as you exhale. Repeat for several minutes.