Background: Yogic practices may aid in the prevention and management of diabetes mellitus (DM) and reduce cardiovascular complications in the population. The present study has been undertaken to evaluate the effect of yoga therapy on reaction time, biochemical parameters and wellness score of peri and post-menopausal diabetic patients.
Materials and methods: 15 peri and post-menopausal patients receiving standard medical treatment for type 2 DM were recruited and reaction time and biochemical investigations were done before and after a comprehensive yoga therapy program comprising of three times a week sessions for six weeks. A post-intervention, retrospective wellness questionnaire compiled by ACYTER was used to evaluate the comparative feelings of the patients after the therapy program.
Results: Yoga training reduced auditory reaction time (ART) from right as well as left hand, the decrease being statistically significant (P<0.05) for ART from the right hand. There was a significant (P<0.01) decrease in fasting and postprandial blood glucose levels as well as low density lipoprotein. The decrease in total cholesterol, triglycerides, and very low density lipoprotein and increase in high density lipoprotein was also statistically significant (P<0.05). All the lipid ratios showed desirable improvement with a decrease (P<0.01) of TC/HDL and LDL/HDL ratios and increase (P<0.05) in the HDL/LDL ratio. DISCUSSION OR CONCLUSION: Shortening of RT implies an improvement in the information processing and reflexes and is the first such report in diabetic patients. This has clinical significance and is worth further exploration with wider, well controlled, randomized studies in the diabetic population. Changes in blood glucose levels may be due to improved insulin sensitivity, decline in insulin resistance and increased sensitivity of the pancreatic b cells to glucose signals. Yoga improved the 'heart friendly' status of lipid profile in our subjects and as our participants were peri and post-menopausal, the decrease in cardiovascular risk profile is of greater significance. A comprehensive yoga therapy program has the potential to enhance the beneficial effects of standard medical management of diabetes mellitus and can be used as an effective complementary or integrative therapy program.
Keywords: Diabetes mellitus; lipid profile; peri-menopausal; post-menopausal; reaction time; yoga therapy.