Diabetes Care: Inspiration from Sikhism

Indian J Endocrinol Metab. May-Jun 2017;21(3):453-459. doi: 10.4103/ijem.IJEM_52_17.


Religion has been proposed as a means of enhancing patient and community acceptance of diabetes and cultural specific motivational strategies to improve diabetes care. Sikhism is a young and vibrant religion, spread across the world and the Holy Scripture Sri Guru Granth Sahib (SGGS) is regarded as the living Guru by all Sikhs. The three key pillars of Sikhism are Kirat Karni (honest living), Vand Chakna (sharing with others) and Naam Japna (focus on God). They can help encourage the diabetes care provider, patient and community to engage in lifestyle modification, shared responsibility, positive thinking and stress management. The verses (Sabads) from the SGGS, with their timeless relevance, span the entire spectrum of diabetes care, from primordial and primary, to secondary and tertiary prevention. They can provide us with guidance towards a holistic approach towards health and lifestyle related diseases as diabetes. The SGGS suggests that good actions are based on one's body and highlights the relevance of mind-body interactions and entraining the mind to cultivate healthy living habits. The ethics of sharing, community and inclusiveness all lay emphasis on the need for global and unified efforts to manage and reduce the burden of the diabetes pandemic.

Keywords: Diabetes; Sikhism; Sri Guru Granth Sahib; meditation; self-care.

Publication types

  • Review