Diabetes rising at an alarming rate in Pakistan, with 26 percent of the population afflicted by it according to National Survey 2016-2017. Pakistan is internationally ranked at 7th position for the highest ratio of diabetic population which can be attributed to excessive processed foods consumption. With over 90,000 diabetes related deaths annually and 1/4th of the population suffering from it, Pakistan has officially entered a health crisis. Fortunately, we are blessed with tibenabvi, The Holy Prophet’s (SAW) medicine which can be used to treat diabetes.
What is Diabetes?
Diabetes is a medical condition in which the human body is unable to properly store, control and utilize blood sugar levels. Islets of Langerhans, which produce insulin, are targeted in an auto immune response which reduces or stops the body’s insulin production. The cells can also become resistant to insulin, which forces the body to produce more insulin and with the passage of time it becomes insufficient and the islets are damaged from overwork. The islets can also from the start produce insufficient insulin for the body to maintain good health.
Diabetes can both develop with the progression of age, pregnancy or be hereditary in nature. Diabetes includes Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes and reversible diabetes where blood sugar levels are well above normal but can be reversed, including gestational diabetes. Following are the types of diabetes which can impact human health:
Type 1 Diabetes
Type 1 diabetes is marked by the body failing to produce insulin as the immune system has wiped out the Islets if Langerhans in the pancreas. It can be diagnosed at infancy and adolescence, with the patient requiring constant doses of insulin to compensate for the lack of insulin in body. Without the insulin supplement, the body cannot utilize and manage the blood sugar levels.
Type 2 Diabetes
Type 2 diabetes (diabetes mellitus) refers to medical complications where the body produces insufficient insulin or has developed a resistance to it. The body is unable to effectively utilize insulin and the islets become damaged from continuous strain of producing excessive insulin. It also requires the administration of insulin, though in some cases very little.
Gestational diabetes can occur during pregnancy for women, as the body undergoes numerous changes to accommodate the fetus. These changes combined with the stress of the developing fetus can cause the diabetes to manifest. It does however signal that the patient is at risk of developing Type 2 diabetes later in life.
Causes of Diabetes
All types of diabetes have high blood sugar levels in common, which causes numerous health complications. Although required by the body, excessive amounts end up causing damage.
Glucose in The Body
Following is a basic of overview of glucose in the body:
- Chemical formula: C6H12O
- Derived from food sources and liver.
- Enters bloodstream and then cells via insulin.
- Liver converts glucose to glycogen, which is later broken down to normalize low blood sugar levels.
Insulin in The Body
Following is a basic overview of insulin in the body:
- Chemical formula (human): C257H383N65O77S
- Secreted by Islets of Langerhans in pancreas.
- Allows cells to utilize blood sugar.
- Consumption lowers their concentration in blood.
- Insulin production is proportional to blood sugar in healthy humans.
How Does Insulin Resistance Happens?
Insulin resistance causes the cells to become less responsive to the hormone, necessitating that it be produced in larger quantities. Following is how it happens:
- Subject has either excessive sugar content in diet as part of their life or their hereditary genes render the insulin insufficient for the body.
- Pancreas starts increasing its insulin production.
- The Islets of Langerhans experience continuous strain and start getting damaged, dropping insulin production.
- High blood sugar concentration starts causing health problems.
- Insulin resistance starts setting in and combined with high blood sugar, it causes diabetes.
Following are the symptoms of diabetes:
- High blood sugar level and presence of glucose in urine.
- Frequent dehydration and considerably increased water intake.
- Frequent urge to urinate.
- Weight loss of muscle mass.
- Increased hunger as a result of dehydration.
- Lethargy and fatigue as the body is unable to properly utilize energy stores.
- Infections from the smallest issues as the increased blood sugar reduces immunity.
- Drop in sharpness of eyesight.
Managing Diabetes with Tibenabvi
Diabetes presents dire health issues if left untreated, so patients must take care of their body in a way which allows them to lead an active, healthy lifestyle. Following are some tips covering diet and general lifestyle which can be verified with tibenabvi:
1. Consume More Plant Protein
The human body requires all 22 types of amino acids for normal metabolic activities and optimum health. Amongst them, there are 9 essential amino acids which the body cannot produce and needs to obtain from nutrition. While most plant proteins lack at least one of the essential amino acids, they can be mixed together with other kinds for supplementing them.
Plant protein sources are also loaded with fiber that slows down digestion with sated feeling and complex carbohydrates that slowly release sugar into the bloodstream. They have little to zero cholesterol and are hence clean sources of protein. The diet of The Holy Prophet (SAW) was rich in plants and grains just like the people of that time and area. While the Holy Prophet (SAW) liked eating animal meat, he did so in moderation.
Hazrat A’isha narrates that The Holy Prophet (SAW) favored the shoulder of animal because it could be cooked quickly. He used to eat meat occasionally, although he did not refuse when it was sent to him. This shows that The Holy Prophet (SAW) liked to eat meat but consumed it in moderation.
2. Reduce Portion Sizes
One of the main reasons for insulin deficiency in the body is overeating until the glucose level becomes too much for the body to handle. People often confused the stimuli of thirst with hunger and proceed to overly stuff their stomachs without sating thirst. This introduces excessive sugars into diet and the body is unable to cope with them. The reason behind this is that water is actively used during digestion and drinking equal parts to the food eaten ensures it is digested properly. The empty space allows the stomach muscles to move and churn the food to properly convert it into chyme, a pulpy mixture of enzymes, acids and food eaten.
The Holy Prophet (SAW) used to keep 1/3rd of his stomach empty at all times. Hazrat Miqdam ibn Ma’d (RA) quoted that The Holy Prophet (SAW) said “The son of Adam cannot fill a vessel worse than his stomach, as it is enough for him to take a few bites to straighten his back. If he cannot do it, then he may fill it with a third of his food, a third of his drink, and a third of his breath” (Sunan al-Tirmidhī 2380).
Ibn Umar narrates The Holy Prophet (SAW) saying “The believer eats in one stomach whilst the kaafir eats in seven” (al-Bukhaari (5081) and Muslim (2060)).
The Holy Quran supports eating in moderation as well, with the ayat “and eat and drink but waste not by extravagance, certainly He (Allaah) likes not Al‑Musrifoon (those who waste by extravagance)” (al-A’raaf 7:31).
3. Consume Honey
Honey is an excellent alternative to processed sugars which are readily absorbed in the bloodstream and spike blood sugar levels. They are full of hard to find micronutrients, vitamins and minerals and is easily digested and assimilated by the body while requiring minimum insulin. Its lower glycemic index facilitates keeping a stable blood sugar level without excessive insulin supplement.
Honey has a special place in tibenabvi, as The Holy Prophet S.A.W said, “Honey is the remedy for every illness and the Quran is a remedy for all illnesses of the mind, therefore I recommend to you remedies, the Quran and Honey” (Bukhari).
Ibn ‘Abbas narrates, “Healing is in three things: cupping, a gulp of honey or cauterization, (branding with fire) but I forbid my followers to use cauterization (branding with fire)” (Sahih Bukhari, Volume 7, Book 71, Number 584)
4. Eating Barley Bread
Barely is highly recommended for patients suffering from diabetes as it contains complex carbohydrates and fiber. The fiber slows down digestion and instills feeling of being sated while the complex carbs take time to digest and are slowly released into the body, keeping blood sugar levels normal. Bread made from barely can be consumed by patients without fear of spiking sugar levels as it is perfectly suited for their medical complication.
Hazrat Aisha (RA) prescribed talbina for the sick grieving person. She used to say, “I heard Allah’s Messenger (SAW) saying ‘Talbina gives rest to the heart of the patient and makes it active and relieves some of his sorrow and grief'” (Sahih al-Bukhari 5689).
5. Rely on Herbs
Herbal substitutes contain numerous benefits which cannot be provided by a single medicine. For diabetic patients who suffer from low insulin production, they can concoct a mixture of Chiraitah/Calamus roots, Myrr, Fenugreek seeds, Olive leaf, Henna and Frankincense. These herbs have been favored by The Holy Prophet (SAW) in tibenabvi and have remarkable health properties. Modern science has proven their effectiveness in promoting insulin production for keeping the blood sugar levels under control.