Ayurvedic practitioners attack diabetes using a multiprong approach. First, they address diet modification, eliminating sugar and simple carbohydrates, and emphasizing complex carbohydrates. Protein is limited, since excessive intake can damage the kidneys. Fat is also limited because there is often a deficiency of pancreatic enzymes, making fat digestion difficult. Since many diabetics have autoantibodies, a cleansing program is instituted. Panchakarma is typically used for this purpose. This begins with herbal massages and an herbal steam sauna, followed by fasting to cleanse the body. This is followed by an herbal purge for the liver, pancreas, and spleen. Colon therapy is next, first to cleanse the digestive tract and then to reconstitute the system.
Ayurvedic practitioners also use several herbal preparations for diabetics. Exercise is another cornerstone of ayurvedic treatment of diabetes. Yoga and breathing exercises are traditionally used.