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Diabetes management and the buddhist philosophy: Toward holistic care

By Sanjay Kalra, Gagan Priya, Emmy Grewal, Than Than Aye, B K Waraich, Tint SweLatt, Touch Khun, Menh Phanvarine, Sun Sutta, Uditha Kaush, Manilka, Sundeep Ruder and Bharti Kalra


Buddhist philosophy is a way of life that transcends the borders of religion and focuses on the alleviation of suffering. The core teaching of Buddha was the Four Noble Truths: there is suffering, suffering is caused by clinging and ignorance, there is a way out of suffering and that way is the Noble Eightfold Path. The medical analogy in diabetes care would include identification of diabetes, understanding its etiopathogenesis, and how prognosis can be improved with appropriate care and management of this chronic disorder. Gaining awareness about the cause of illness and conducting our lives in a manner that nourishes and maintains long-term good health leads to improved outcomes for individuals living with diabetes and improve their overall well-being. The Noble Eightfold Path in Buddhism constitutes of right view, right resolve, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, and right concentration. These elements of the Eightfold Path can be taken as guiding principles in diabetes care. Buddhist meditation techniques, including mindfulness meditation-based strategies, have been used for stress reduction and management of chronic disorders such as chronic pain, depression, anxiety, hypertension, and diabetes. In this article, we focus on how Buddhist philosophy offers several suggestions, precepts, and practices that guide a diabetic individual toward holistic health

Topics: Buddhism, diabetes care, four noble truths, liberating insight, meditation, metabolic karma, mindfulness meditation, mindfulness-based stress reduction dharma, Noble Eightfold Path, suffering, Diseases of the endocrine glands. Clinical endocrinology, RC648-665, Diseases of the digestive system. Gastroenterology, RC799-869
Publisher: Wolters Kluwer Medknow Publications
Year: 2018
DOI identifier: 10.4103/ijem.IJEM_285_17
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