How weighty an issue is obesity? It’s rapidly growing into one of the most serious health problems of the 21st century. Gone are those days when being fat was considered a sign of wealth. Today Obesity is defined as one of the severe, chronic disease which leads to a huge number of health conditions and serious complications. It is defined as the abnormal or excessive fat accumulation that impairs health. According to many recent research, the number of obese people all over the world has reached its highest peak in the last twenty five years .Today, 2.1 billion people – nearly 30% of the world’s population – are either obese or overweight. Obesity is more than just being overweight. People are considered to be obese if they have a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or greater. (Those who are overweight have a BMI of 25 to 29.9)
Not only does obesity negatively affect people’s health, but it also directly places rising demands on health care services. It increases the risk of diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, some types of cancer. Despite the health risks, it can be very difficult to shed extra pounds, and keep them off.
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Symptoms, Precautions & Treatments
It is important to recognize early symptoms of obesity in order to prevent it or it may be fatal. Common symptom includes rapid weight gain, which is usually 4 to 5 kilos per month. In males, chest region becomes larger since fat tends to accumulate in that region whilst in women it accumulates in breasts, waist, thighs and upper arms. Big abdomen that may be marked with white blemishes is also a symptom of the disease. Shortness of breath is caused by obesity because body fat accumulates in the chest area and below the diaphragm. Snoring and sleep apnea are present too. Obese person usually experiences excessive sweating, fatigue and depression. Rash and infection in folds of the skin also results from obesity. The disease may cause indigestion and urinary incontinence particularly in women.
Symptoms in Ayurveda
स्फिक् स्तन उदर लम्भनम्-excessive adipose tissue deposited in gleuteal region , breast , and abdomen क्षुद्रश्वास – Difficulty in breathing तृष्णा- excessive thirst मोह- Illusions स्वप्न क्रातन- Snoring साद- Exhaution क्षुत्- Increased appetite स्वेद- Excessive perspiration दुर्गन्ध- Foul body odour अल्प प्राण- Short breaths अल्प मैथुन – Less sexual strength
Health Problems Associated with Obesity
- High Blood Pressure and Diabetes
Obesity-related health effects are wide-ranging, causing severe damage to both adults and children. For example, high blood pressure stems from the fact that needless extra weight dramatically increases pressure on the heart’s workload, pushing it to pump blood faster into our blood vessels. This means the hurry circulation will put high pressure onto the artery walls, leading to rising blood pressure.
In addition, obesity also results in type 2 diabetes. Unlike in the past when diabetes is a problem of the adulthood, type 2 diabetes has now spread to children also. This type of diabetes is able to make the body resist to insulin, which is in charge of regulating sugar in our blood. As a result, elevated blood sugar occurs, leading to type 2 diabetes and many associated problems.
- Cardiac and Joint Complications
Another health complication that obesity is blamed for is heart disease. A condition called atherosclerosis occurs within the obese people ten times more usual than a normal healthy body. Most importantly, chest pain or sudden heart attacks are the serious consequences of decreased blood flow and narrowed arteries.
Besides, such tight arteries can also lead to blood clots and higher chances of stroke. In addition, obesity contributes to an increased risk of joint problems such as osteoarthritis, which results from the stress being placed on joints because of additional fat. In this case, although joint surgery can be operated to replace the damaged joint with an artificial one, it can lead to further complications if the joint loosens.
- Ineffective Metabolism and Sleep Apnea
Metabolic syndrome has also been identified as one of the most complex health risk factors for obesity-related disease. According to a survey carried out in the United States, nearly one-third of obese people are diagnosed with metabolic syndrome. Moreover, overweight people might suffer from a condition which makes people stop breathing periodically in their sleep, which is scientifically called sleep apnea. Furthermore, sleep apnea is also claimed to lead to higher blood pressure and respiratory problems.
- Cancers and Psychological Problems
In fact, obesity is likely to significantly increase the risk of a wide range of cancers such as gallbladder, uterus, colon and breast cancer, whereas men are usually found to encounter prostaste cancer and colon cancer.
Apart from those physical effects, overweight people may also suffer from psychological problems since their appearances do not meet the usual beauty standard.
Consequently, the act of body-shaming by some people can lead to discrimination, low self-esteem, anxiety and depression or even bias. Many seriously obese children also admit to have sleep disorders.
What leads to Obesity
Although there are genetic, behavioral and hormonal influences on body weight, obesity occurs when you take in more calories than you burn through exercise and normal daily activities. Your body stores these excess calories as fat.
In general, the principal causes of obesity are:
- If you’re not very active, you don’t burn as many calories. With a sedentary lifestyle, you can easily take in more calories every day than you use through exercise and normal daily activities.
- Unhealthy diet and eating habits.Weight gain is inevitable if you regularly eat more calories than you burn. And most Americans’ diets are too high in calories and are full of fast food and high-calorie beverages.
Obesity usually results from a combination of causes and contributing factors, including:
- Your genes may affect the amount of body fat you store, and where that fat is distributed. Genetics may also play a role in how efficiently your body converts food into energy and how your body burns calories during exercise.
- Family lifestyle.Obesity tends to run in families. If one or both of your parents are obese, your risk of being obese is increased. That’s not just because of genetics. Family members tend to share similar eating and activity habits.
- If you’re not very active, you don’t burn as many calories. With a sedentary lifestyle, you can easily take in more calories every day than you burn through exercise and routine daily activities. Having medical problems, such as arthritis, can lead to decreased activity, which contributes to weight gain.
- Unhealthy diet.A diet that’s high in calories, lacking in fruits and vegetables, full of fast food, and laden with high-calorie beverages and oversized portions contributes to weight gain.
- Medical problems.In some people, obesity can be traced to a medical cause, such as Prader-Willi syndrome, Cushing’s syndrome and other conditions. Medical problems, such as arthritis, also can lead to decreased activity, which may result in weight gain.
- Certain medications.Some medications can lead to weight gain if you don’t compensate through diet or activity. These medications include some antidepressants, anti-seizure medications, diabetes medications, antipsychotic medications, steroids and beta blockers.
- Social and economic issues.Research has linked social and economic factors to obesity. Avoiding obesity is difficult if you don’t have safe areas to exercise. Similarly, you may not have been taught healthy ways of cooking, or you may not have money to buy healthier foods. In addition, the people you spend time with may influence your weight — you’re more likely to become obese if you have obese friends or relatives.
- Obesity can occur at any age, even in young children. But as you age, hormonal changes and a less active lifestyle increase your risk of obesity. In addition, the amount of muscle in your body tends to decrease with age. This lower muscle mass leads to a decrease in metabolism. These changes also reduce calorie needs, and can make it harder to keep off excess weight. If you don’t consciously control what you eat and become more physically active as you age, you’ll likely gain weight.
- During pregnancy, a woman’s weight necessarily increases. Some women find this weight difficult to lose after the baby is born. This weight gain may contribute to the development of obesity in women.
- Quitting smoking.Quitting smoking is often associated with weight gain. And for some, it can lead to enough weight gain that the person becomes obese. In the long run, however, quitting smoking is still a greater benefit to your health than continuing to smoke.
- Lack of sleep.Not getting enough sleep or getting too much sleep can cause changes in hormones that increase your appetite. You may also crave foods high in calories and carbohydrates, which can contribute to weight gain.
- Prakriti analysis of the patient
व्यायाम नित्यो जीर्णाशी यवगोधूम भोजनः।
सन्तर्पण कृतैति दोषैः स्थौल्यम् मुक्त विमुच्यते
- BAHYA CHIKITSA (EXTERNAL TREATMENT )
Udvarthanam – Rubbing of body using vara churnam /kolakulathadi churnam)
Abhyangam – Massaging of whole body using oils which will help to decrease the deposited fat .
Nidanasya Parivarjarna – Removal of the cause is the main line of treatment.
Langhana Chikitsa / Upavasa – Intake of light food or abstinence from food
Vyayama – Exercise
ABHYANTARA CHIKITSA (INTERNAL TREATMENT ):
- Ruksha & Chedaniya drugs- Internal medications given which are dry and to dissolve the fat.
Virechana : is given after the snehana & svedana .
- Conservative line of management is followed , if patient is not fit for panchakarma , using ,Vidangyadi choorna , Guggulupanchaphala choorna, Agnikumara rasa, Eranda kshara prayoga etc can be prescribed .
- Prashatika(Setaria italica) ,Priyangu (Aglaia roxburghiana), Shyamaka (Echinochloa frumentosa), Yavaka (Hordeum vulgere), Joornahva (Sorghum vulgere), Kodrava (Phaceolus mungo), Kulatha (Dolichos biflorus), Adhaki beeja (Cajanus cajan), Patola (Trichosanthes cucumerina), Amalaka (Emblica officinalis)
- Purana shaali(Old harvested rice), Takra (Butter milk), sura ( A form of fermented alcohol), Pragbhojanasyapi vari pana (Intake of Water before food)
- Shrama(Excessive work), Vyayama(Excercise)
- Jagarana (Awakening at night)
- Better to stick to vegetarian food.
- 10 to12 glasses of water should be had daily
- Shali(Rice), Godhooma (Whole Wheat), Sheeta Ahara(Food which are cold in potency), Ksheera Vikruti (Milk and Milk products ), Ikshu Vikruti(Products which are derived from sugarcane), Matsya- Fish
- Mamsa – Consumption of non vegetarian food
- Madhura Ahara – Sweets and all sugar products
- Bhojananantara Vari pana(water after consumption of food )
- Fruit juices, cheese or butter.
- Red meat and shellfish such as lobsters, prawns, and oysters are to be avoided.
- Alcohol is better avoided
- Fermented and oily (fatty) foods.
- Potatoes, corn, beetroot and peas.
- Avoid curds and choose buttermilk instead.
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