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Can the Transcendental Meditation technique decrease the risk of diabetes? 

Ask the Doctors    Translate This Article
21 August 2011

Endocrinologist Sandeep Chaudhary, M.D.; cardiologist César Molina, M.D., F.A.C.C.; and neurologist Gary Kaplan, M.D., Ph.D.* answer more questions about effects of the Transcendental Meditation technique on Type 2 diabetes, particularly with respect to weight problems and dietary choices:

Q: Can the Transcendental Meditation technique decrease my risk of diabetes? 
Dr. César Molina:
The practice of the Transcendental Meditation technique for even a short period of time has been shown to be associated with decreased insulin resistance and a lowering of the blood sugar, thereby decreasing the risk factors of diabetes.

Q: Can the TM technique help control both blood sugar and cholesterol? What about weight? 
Dr. Gary Kaplan:
There is evidence now from a well-controlled scientific study published in Archives of Internal Medicine** in 2006 that the TM technique can reduce the components of ''metabolic syndrome,'' a major cause of poor health and premature death. Patients with metabolic syndrome are characteristically overweight, with high blood pressure, elevated blood sugar and triglycerides, and low HDL (good) cholesterol.

Q: How does making better food choices help lower insulin resistance? 
Dr. Sandeep Chaudhary:
If someone starts eating healthier foods—such as complex carbohydrates, healthier proteins and cooked vegetables with high fiber content—his pancreas will tend to secrete less insulin because he is not stressing his pancreas as much.

If, on the other hand, he eats junk food, his blood sugars will go sky high; and because of that the pancreas will have to work extra hard to secrete more insulin, to bring the sugar down.

Q: Many people who have weight problems have Type 2 diabetes as well, right? 
Dr. Chaudhary:
Yes. It runs in families—most people with Type 2 diabetes have a family member who also has it. As a nation we're getting more and more obese, and because of that each subsequent generation has more insulin resistance than the previous generation. This is one reason why Type 2 diabetes is becoming more prevalent in children.

Add to that our national habits of eating fast food, exercising too little and living a stressful lifestyle, and you have a nation that is becoming more and more obese and has a higher and higher incidence of Type 2 diabetes.

This is where the Transcendental Meditation program can really help, because if people can decrease stress, take time twice a day to get in tune with their own nature, they might find themselves thinking, ''Hey, I'm not eating so much all the time, now that I'm not as anxious or stressed,'' or ''Let's go for a walk in nature'' instead of sitting in front of the TV. Then you start fixing many of these problems.

Related articles:
Helping African American women with diabetes: New study on Transcendental Meditation
Transcendental Meditation seen to play role in normalizing diabetes
Transcendental Meditation creates balance, reducing risk factors for diabetes and heart disease
Specialists discuss role of the Transcendental Meditation Technique in treatment of diabetes
Physicians recommend Transcendental Meditation for prevention, treatment of cardiovascular disease
Physicians explain role of Transcendental Meditation and diet in decreasing risk factors for cardiovascular disease

Click here for more about Transcendental Meditation and diabetes, including related research showing the effects of the technique in promoting reduced metabolic syndrome/pre-diabetes; reduced stress and faster recovery from stress; reduced atherosclerosis/stroke and other improved risk factors in patients with coronary heart disease.**

* Sandeep Chaudhary, M.D., earned a double board certification in both Internal Medicine and Pediatrics at Loma Linda University Medical School and later earned his board certification in Endocrinology at the University of California, San Diego. He is currently the Medical Director of Wellspring Endocrinology at Scripps Memorial Hospital in La Jolla, California.

César Molina, M.D., F.A.C.C., is Medical Director of the South Asian Heart Center at El Camino Hospital in Mountain View, CA. He is a graduate of Yale University School of Medicine and a fellow of the American College of Cardiology. Dr. Molina has recently appeared in the international edition of CNN discussing the benefits of diet and exercise in the treatment and prevention of coronary heart disease.

Gary Kaplan, M.D., Ph.D., is a neurologist and Associate Professor of Clinical Neurology at Hofstra University School of Medicine. Dr. Kaplan received the Albert H. Douglas Award from the Medical Society of the State of New York for outstanding achievements as a clinical teacher interested in promoting and improving the medical education of physicians. He is also a nationally recognized expert on the effects of the Transcendental Meditation program on stress-related illnesses.

**Arch Inter Med. 2006;166:1218-1224

© Copyright 2011 American Association of Physicians Practicing the Transcendental Meditation Technique

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