Yes! Breathing exercises can help cure Diabetes.
Western Medicine is waking up to what the Eastern Science always knew. Read on …
Diabetes in India. Almost 70 million people in India are suffering from diabetes and the number is expected to increase to 90 million by 2030. Diabetes has multi-factorial etiology, which ranges from genetic predisposition to certain environmental factors including sedentary lifestyle, stress, excessive calorie intake and obesity.
As there is a rise in the incidences and complications of this dreaded disease; there is an increase in the need of sustainable lifestyle intervention in the management of this condition.
Breathing Exercises can help cure Diabetes. Breathing exercises are simple, effective and economical therapy that is used alongside medical treatment for several lifestyle disorders including diabetes.
List of a few Benefits of Breathing Exercises in Diabetes
1 :: Reduction of Insulin Resistance and Blood Glucose levels
Human Nervous system has three divisions – central, peripheral and autonomic. Autonomic nervous system (ANS) is further divided into sympathetic nervous system (SNS) and parasympathetic nervous system (PNS).
Slow Sine wave Breathing (around 6 Breaths a minute) triggers PNS response; improves oxygenation by expanding bronchioles pathways in the lungs. Stimulation of PNS inhibits SNS thereby reversing insulin resistance. Reduced insulin resistance decreases Blood glucose levels.
– A 2014 study published in Indian Journal of Endocrinology and Metabolism showed effect of 6 months practice of comprehensive breathing program on reducing blood glucose, improving quality of life and preventing progression of cardiac neuropathy.
2 :: Effect on Body Weight & Composition therefore improved Diabetes status
Breathing exercises have been effective in the reduction of body weight, Body Mass Index and waist-hip-ratio.
Diaphragmatic Sine Wave Breathing fills the lungs with fresh oxygen, improving oxygenation of body cells, which in turn enhances oxidation and helps in burning fats thereby controlling Diabetes.
– According to a study published in International Journal of Biomedical Research, 60 days practice of Breathing exercises and yoga asana can effectively reduce weight and body mass index.
3 :: Controls Oxidative Stress; a trigger for elevated blood sugar
Oxidative stress is described as an imbalance between the free radicals and antioxidants. Oxidative stress can trigger diabetes induced inflammation, insulin resistance and elevated blood sugar thus, leading to acceleration of diabetes.
Studies have depicted that regular yoga asana practice and breathing exercises can increase level of antioxidants glutathione, vitamin C and superoxide dismutase leading to various benefits including reduced diabetes status and…
- Produces an intense calming effect on mind and is responsible for relieving stress. Reducing stress in turn reduces oxidative stress.
- Inhibits release of catecholamine – the neurotransmitter, which is responsible for increase in oxidative stress, blood pressure and insulin resistance.
- Increases Vagal tone, which can reduce oxidative stress caused by physical and emotional stressors.
- Useful in controlling oxidative stress in pre diabetics.
4 :: Regulates Mood, Stress, Depression and Sleep
Sleep disruption and depression, both can disturb the regulation of hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis (HPA), leading to sympathetic over-activity, which decreases vagal tone, increases risk of disease development in pre diabetics and can aggravate the complications of Diabetes.
Breathing exercises, besides regulating blood sugar levels, have several beneficial effects on mood and sleep disruption; some of them are as mentioned below…
- Decreases levels of catecholamines, inflammatory cytokines, rennin and pro-inflammatory factors.
- Decreases physiological manifestations of stress by reducing blood pressure and heart rate.
- Reduces levels of stress inducing hormones such as adrenaline, nor-adrenaline and cortisol.
- Generates relaxation response by reducing lactic acid build-up in muscular tissue.
- Increases physical energy by balancing oxygen and carbon dioxide levels.
- Increases production of serotonin and other positive endorphins thus, enhancing mood.
- Stimulates production of melatonin – a sleep-inducing hormone.
– A 2012 study published in Indian Journal of Endocrinology and Metabolism, depicted that a combined effect of various Breathing exercises practiced for 3 months can significantly relieve stress, improve antioxidants, immune response, enhance quality of life of diabetic patients.
5 :: Effect on Nervous System Function
Autonomic Neuropathy is a well-established complication of Diabetes Mellitus. ANS dysfunction is co-related with obesity, poor heart and respiratory system fitness, insulin resistance and hypertension.
Breathing exercises have shown significant improvement in cardiac autonomic function with reduction in heart rate and blood pressure. Combination of Breathing exercises and yoga asana can reverse central and peripheral nervous system damage caused by diabetes. It can improve nerve conduction velocity of nerves affected by diabetes.
A 45-day practice of breathing exercises and yoga program can significantly improve latency and amplitude of event related potentials – a marker of higher brain functioning which includes cognitive and memory functions (Indian Journal of Medical Research, 2010).
– According to a study published in ArquivosBrasileiros De Cardiologia, 2009, Diaphragmatic breathing taught in lying position has found to have significant improvement in heart rate variability, which is attributed to direct effect of breathing on Autonomic nervous system controlling the heart.
6 :: Enhances Pulmonary “Lungs” function
Lung dysfunction is a common complaint of diabetes. Lung dysfunction can cause insulin resistance and can increase blood glucose levels.
– According to Journal of Stress Physiology and Biochemistry 2012, continuous practice of Breathing exercises, for 15 minutes, for 3 months can increase lung volumes including forced vital capacity, peak expiratory flow rate, maximum voluntary ventilation and forced expiratory volume.
Yes! Breathing exercises help cure Diabetes. The above-mentioned aspects indicate that Breathing Exercises may promote significant improvement in several important factors associated in the management, reduction and elimination of Diabetes. These breathing exercises can be incorporated safely along with the conventional medical therapy and lifestyle modifications.