Diabetes Self Management-The Buddhist Way
Diabetes is an endemic nowadays.
There isn’t any country, religion or race left which has not been plagued by diabetes yet.
And the problem is that we have failed to curb its growing menace. New cases are rising day by day and the solution seems to be still far fetched.
As the problem is global, one can find the different approach of diabetes self-management. Every country has a different culture, different lifestyle, different practices and different way of thinking.
As a diabetic, I believe to have a basic understanding of different culture and have a know how of how they are managing their disease.
Sometimes you may come across practices that can be easily incorporate into your lifestyle and gives you new avenues to manage your untamed diabetes.
you can read about the different form of diabetes by clicking this link
In this article, we will try to understand Thai culture and figure out how their culture helps in diabetes self management.
MANAGING DIABETES, THAI WAY
1.Giving new definition to diabetes self management
Thai people have given a unique name to diabetes. They called it ” bao waan” meaning sweet sugar.
With this name, each and every person (even the low-income groups) have an understanding that the disease is related to sugar.
So if any person get affected by the disease they make a point to keep away from sugar related items to manage the blood sugar effectively
Read about the normal blood sugar diabetics should aim by clicking this link
2. The Law of Karma:
Around 95% of people living in Thailand practice Buddhism.
The religion has a huge role to play in the way people think and lead their lifestyle.
One of the principles of Buddhism is The Law Of Karma.
It believes that every action of a human being has an impact, which they face later. The sins done in your previous life will come back to you in the present
Thai people believe that diabetes they have is a result of the sins they have done in their past life. This attitude makes them acceptable towards their disease and helps them to modify their lifestyle easily.
They accept that they have no control over the things happening to them in this life, but they can control their future by acting wisely now.
I remember the difficulty I face while accepting the disease. If one can develop such attitude, a lot of misery and sleepless nights can be avoided & diabetes self management gets easier.
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Buddha believed that one has to renounce any form of extremism and adopt a life of moderation.
There is no point of starving yourself for days and neither a point to eat beyond your hunger just to satisfy your taste buds. Be moderate in eating; “Eat to live, not live to eat”
This way of thinking has helped the diabetic community to manage their diabetes self management program. They get in tight control of the diet even though being a tropical country there is no dearth of tempting foods available.
4. Practice Mindfulness
On following Buddhism, the people have also been introduced and understood the significance of meditation and mindful practice. A large number of population practice meditation on daily basis and this helped them to get successful in diabetes self management.
Meditation makes you calmer and makes you more aware of your current condition. With regular practice, you will master the ability to react to any condition and this will reduce your stress levels.
While taking stress, your body releases a hormone called Cortisol which spikes your blood sugar. So if you are diabetic and living a stressful life, you may be spiking your blood sugar without your knowledge.
Generally, we tend to check our sugar level after 1 or 2 hours of eating something. We try to account the blood spike our diet has caused.
Checking your blood sugar is a good thing to do and every diabetic must develop this habit. But aren’t we missing on something?
Who is going to take note of sugar spike when we take a lot of stress. Stress is a silent devil that always goes unnoticed.
Because of stress you may be having numerous sugar spikes throughout the day;
The spikes of which you have no idea;
And it easily goes unaccountable;
Many Thai people practice mindful meditation, which makes them feel calm and reduce their stress level. Apart from that, meditation also helps them to get in more control of their thought and resist temptations.
They get in a powerful situation to avoid foods that are harmful to them.
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5. Letting it go
But, not everybody practice meditation in Thailand.
The skill requires lots of patience and dedication that very few of us have. It’s a difficult skill and not everybody is into it.
Apart from meditation techniques, the Thai people have incorporated Buddhist teachings which asked them to let go of things which are not in their control. The teaching has helped people to accept their condition and take charge of the changes they now have to incorporate into their lifestyle.
Sure, there must be some anger, some blues, and some non-acceptance;
Buddhist are also humans; they have all the disappointment while having this condition, but these guys are more likely to cope up and adopt the changes for effective diabetes self management.
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Diabetes is not an easy condition to deal with. One may come across a variety of emotions and you may feel like giving up.
It’s been more than 5 months now since I got diagnosed. I remember how difficult it was to accept the condition which would be with you lifelong. I couldn’t sleep for days, I felt that I would never be able to live a normal life.
Now after 5 months, I am doing alright but I still have my depressing moments where I wonder about managing this condition.
Read my diagnosis story by clicking this link
One thing I have learned during these days that you have to be open minded.
You don’t have all the knowledge of the world, there is always something to learn from other.
you cant say that your way of doing things is superior to others; there is no single path to achieve your goal, you just have to find the path that suits you.
Though I am not a Buddhist but I am highly influenced by the Buddhist teachings and try to follow it. I think his teaching helps me to develop as a better individual and prepares m to handle difficult situations.
Please share your viewpoints about the article and tell us how you manage your difficult conditions. You can also share your diagnosis story and your experience about living with diabetes in the link below, it will help our diabetic community to learn and gain knowledge for effective diabetes self-management
SHARE YOUR STORY BY CLICKING THIS LINK