Diabetes Mellitus is a result of malfunction of the pancreas an organ in the stomach which produces insulin.

Insulin controls the sugar level and its utilisation in the body. To understand why this happens and why diet is so important, knowledge of the body's internal workings are necessary.

Our body is regulated by a network of communications between chemical receptors and nerves, which constantly sense changes in our body's chemistry. Messages are then relayed by the brain through nerves and blood cells back to our organs to maintain balance for good health and performance.

It is like a live computer with the most complex programming. Now that man claims to have cracked the human genetic code, we may be able to control disease by very expensive methods. But can we control it ourselves free of charge?

Diabetes is a serious condition and requires proper medical treatment and management, especially in younger people, and when it is hereditary.

In Ahmedabad, India, near where I lived, a team of Ayurvedic and modern doctors working together conducted a natural therapy camp for diabetes. They were studying the effect of yoga, yogic breathing and meditation on the control of diabetes in 120 sufferers.

Diabetes is not cured by yoga, but researchers found that 60 per cent of the patients had a 50 per cent reduction in their blood sugar levels. Emphasis was laid on diet control, weight control plus medical treatment.

Patient education on diabetes was given by modern medical doctors in the form of talks. During the therapy session, patients received training to perform selected yoga exercises for 30 minutes, followed by yogic breathing technique for 15 minutes, and 30 minutes of meditation.

It is not difficult to understand why yoga helps. It helps to coordinate and regulate the activity of brain and nerves, thereby sending healthy messages to the different organs of the body. It also helps to calm the mind from stress and anxiety, and strengthen the will-power to control our diet and weight.

Yoga may also prevent or slow down the damage to eyes, kidneys and heart which can result from diabetes. There is a saying in Ayurveda, "We dig our grave with our teeth". Our taste buds and our cravings, our stress and our lack of control all contribute to this process.