Meditation for Type 1 Diabetes

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Type 1 diabetics tend to be at elevated risk of cardiovascular conditions. Meditation helps to manage the condition by relaxing the body and widening arteries to increase blood flow and improve overall heart health.

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  • The problem

    Type 1 insulin-dependent diabetes usually affects younger people and stems from an immune system response that mistakenly identifies insulin-secreting cells in the pancreas as foreign invaders and attacks them.

    This leads to a decreased ability to deliver insulin to cells which are crucial in the uptake of glucose and essential fatty acids. The cells starve, and our organs can no longer function correctly.

    Without a proper home, the circulating glucose and fatty acids instead find themselves gumming up the kidneys, eyes and blood vessels, leading to kidney problems, blindness, atherosclerosis and chronic pain. They also bind to proteins and take them out of action too.

    We are left to manage the situation with daily insulin injections which we must get just right; the cells starve with too little insulin, but the brain becomes deprived of energy if there is too much.

  • How it affects you

    Stress aggravates this condition severely.

    The hormones that are released under the stress response cause a spike in glucose and fatty acid release further gumming up our essential organs and arteries.

    When we are under regular everyday stresses and demands from life, our body starts to change the insulin resistance of our fat cells so that they become even less sensitive to any remaining insulin.

    These fat cells then send messengers to muscle and liver tissues to stop them responding as well. Before we know it, our overactive stress response compromises the whole system.

    When we are feeling relaxed, we can use diet and injections to keep us in a balanced range. 

    But when stress comes along it completely disrupts the system, and then as it dies down again, we have to juggle everything further as different parts of the body cool down at different rates.

    So whether the stress is physical or psychological, it wreaks havoc with our metabolic control unless we have an effective way of managing our stress and preventing the intensity and frequency of stress reactions through meditation. Given that it largely affects younger people, living with type 1 diabetes can be extremely difficult.


  • How can Beeja help?

    Beeja meditation is a really relaxing and enjoyable way to keep our stress-response under control - so that the response is proportional to the situation.

    It can do this by pacifying the fight-or-flight branch of the nervous system and ensuring that the part of the brain called the amygdala, which drives the stress response, starts reacting in a less hyperactive manner.

    Beeja meditation provides such a deep level of rest to the nervous system that it is better protected from the damage so often seen in patients with type 1 diabetes.

    This practice is also very effective in protecting against cardiovascular disease which is much more prevalent amongst those with the condition.

    Beeja also reduces the number of active oxygen radicals that might threaten the beta cells. Not only are these free radicals involved in the cause of diabetes, they are also considered to play a significant role in some of the complications seen in long-term diabetics. 

    Meditation acts not just as an effective treatment for type 1 diabetes, but as a refresher for the whole body. If nothing else, it will be hugely beneficial to sufferers in terms of their confidence and self-esteem. 

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  • Reviews

    Naomi, Journalist, London

    " I feel calmer, less stressed, much more able to deal with difficult situations, I don’t take things so much to heart. I feel more connected to life and excited about what the future holds. I’ve recommended it to friends who have since done the course – and all I can say is if you are wondering if it is for you – you have nothing to lose by trying.”

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“Frequent stress and/or big stress responses might increase the odds of getting juvenile diabetes, accelerate development, and, once it is established, cause major complications in this life shortening disease.”

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Robert M, Professor of Biology and Neuroscience, Stanford University & Author

"..I managed to switch off for long enough to get that floaty feeling people from Brighton swear by."
"I have a lifelong tool that has brought me calm, clarity and increased creativity"
"I've noticed that I’m no longer ruled by emotions – I can see when I’m angry or frustrated without being in that feeling.”

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