Diabetes and Yoga

Prevalence Of Diabetes And Pre-Diabetes In The United States, 2007
Prevalence Of Diabetes And Pre-Diabetes In The United States, 2007

Did you know that more than 8% of the total population of the US suffers now from diabetes? And this number is consistently growing: just in 2010 1,9 million people were newly diagnosed with this condition according to the American Diabetes Association’s  2011 National Diabetes Fact Sheet (released Jan. 26, 2011 Source: http://www.diabetes.org/diabetes-basics/diabetes-statistics/). There are estimated 79 million people who are in the pre-stages of diabetes.

13679080_sHow many of your employees are suffering from this new epidemic or are in the pre-diabetes phase? And what is the impact on your organization as a result?

The costs of diabetes are horrendous for our society.  Not just the economic burden we suffer as a result if this disease. We should not forget about the consequences of loss in quality of life for all the sufferers and their families.

Some of the most serious complications as a result of diabetes are:

  • heart disease and stroke
  • high blood pressure
  • blindness
  • kidney disease
  • nervous system disease (Neuropathy)
  • and amputations.

Here are the shocking facts about the real cost of diabetes for the US economy:

“New research provides revised comprehensive estimates that suggest that the U.S. national economic burden of pre-diabetes and diabetes reached $218 billion in 2007. This estimate includes $153 billion in higher medical costs and $65 billion in reduced productivity. The average annual cost per case is $2,864 for undiagnosed diabetes, $9,975 for diagnosed diabetes ($9,677 for type 2 and $14,856 for type 1), and $443 for pre-diabetes (medical costs only). For each American, regardless of diabetes status, this burden represents a cost of approximately $700 annually.”

Source: http://content.healthaffairs.org/content/29/2/297.short

The above research results urge all of us to search for understanding of how to prevent and treat this new epidemic and reduce its economic toll.

Can yoga help in managing diabetes and decrease the debilitating health conditions as a result of diabetes?

We see growing evidence that yoga may positively influence the health of our yoga students with or without a diabetes condition. Some of our clients report lower blood sugar levels and a higher awareness for healthy lifestyle choices.

We found a research study critically reviewing published research around diabetes and yoga done by Kim E. Innes and Heather K. Vincent at the Center for the Study of Complementary and Alternative Therapies and Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, University of Virginia Health Systems, Charlottesville, VA, USA.

Here is the summary of this research:

“In summary, a growing number of studies suggest that yoga may improve indices of risk in adults with type 2 diabetes, including glucose tolerance and insulin sensitivity, lipid profiles, anthropometric characteristics and blood pressure. Limited data also indicate that yoga may reduce oxidative damage, improve coagulation profiles and pulmonary function, and decrease sympathetic activation in adults with diabetes and related chronic disorders. Yoga may also be useful in reducing medication requirements in patients with diabetes and could help prevent and manage cardiovascular complications in this population.”

Source: The influence of yoga-based programs on risk profiles in adults with type 2 diabetes mellitus: a systematic review. http://europepmc.org/articles/PMC2176136

Besides reporting very promising facts about the use of yoga in diabetes therapy, it also calls for more “rigorous studies … to clarify the effects of specific yoga therapies on measures of DM 2 risk and related clinical outcomes, especially in American and other Western populations that remain underrepresented in existing research.”

Our St. Louis Corporate Yoga program introduces a gentle Vinyasa yoga practice that emphasizes the importance of the body-mind connection. Offering on-site yoga classes once or twice a week for your employees will increase their health consciousness and can result in better diabetes management for those who suffer from this condition.

If this article piqued your interest, please call us at 314-630-1677 to get more information how we can help your employees stay healthier longer!


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