Obesity

OBESITY (STHOULYA ROGA)

INTRODUCTION

Balanced diet and regular exercises are the key components to live a healthy life. Overeating and sedentary behavior invites various diseases. Today, world is facing a big problem of lifestyle disorders. Diabetes, hypertension, raised cholesterol are common among them. Similarly, obesity is also a lifestyle disorder which emerges as a major health issue before world.  Even the developed country like United States of America is having largest number of obese person. Studies say that India is the third country in the world having largest numbers of obese persons. Such facts supports that obesity needs a serious concern. Obesity is commonly seen in women but childhood obesity is also increasing at alarming rate.

 

AYURVEDIC PERSPECTIVE

There are eight types of individuals that are criticized in ayurveda. These are Atisthula (overweight or obese), Atikrisha (Excessive lean or under weight), Atidirgha (Excessive tall), Atiharsva (Excessive small), Atigaura (Excessive fair), Atikrishana (Excessive black), Atiloma (Excessive hairs on body) and Aloma (Absence of hair on body). Among these eight types, atisthula is considered as the most morbid or unhealthy state of body. AtisthulataSthoulya roga or Medoroga are the synonyms of each other that correspond to obesity. Due to causative factors, there is an abnormal increase in medo-dhatu (body fat) which increases body weight and also vitiates vata dosha.

 

MODERN PERSPECTIVE

Carbohydrates, proteins and fats are the major sources of energy required by our body to perform various functions. Energy also gets stored in our body which is utilized when needed. Adipose tissue is specialized group of cells which stores excess energy in the form of fat or triglycerides. But intake of extra nutrition and decreased consumption of energy due to sedentary lifestyle creates serious health issues. It results in over - accumulation of fat in adipose tissues, which is known as ‘Obesity’. Obesity is also a genetic problem and it runs in families. Obesity can easily noticed by increasing body weight. Generally, two type of pattern of obesity is seen, Pear shape and Apple shape. Pear shape obesity is seen in women whereas apple shape obesity is common in men.

Calculation of body mass index (BMI) is a commonly used method to assess the grade of obesity. BMI is defined as the weight of a person in Kilograms divided by the square of their height in meters -  

        Body Mass Index        =         Weight in kilograms

                                                           (Height in meters)2

 

In Indians, healthy range of BMI is in between 18.5 to 25. BMI in between 25 to 30 is considered as overweight and BMI above 30 signifies obesity. Obesity gives a negative impact on our body and increases chances of getting heart problems, diabetes, joint problems, certain cancer etc.

 

CAUSES

·         अतिसंपूरणात् –  Eating extra food or Overeating.

·         अतिगुरुमधुरशीतस्निग्ध उपयोगात् – Excessive intake of heavy to digest, cold and oily or unctuous food items.

·         अव्यायाम – Doing no exercises or sports activity.

·         दिवास्वप्न – Sleeping in daytime.

·         मेद्यानं चातिभक्षणात् – Excessive intake of food items containing fats.

·         वारूण्यात् चातिसेवनात् – Excessive alcohol intake.

·          बीजस्वभावात्  Due to  familial heredity or genetic predisposition.

 

SIGN & SYMPTOMS

·         अतिक्षुत्तृट् -  Excessive hunger and thirst.

·         प्रस्वेद – Excessive sweating.

·         श्वास – Difficulty in breathing on exertion.

·         अति निद्रा – Excessive sleep.

·         आयस अक्षमता – Inability to do physical work.

·         जाड्यता – Laziness or latitude.

·         अल्पायु – Short life span.

·         अल्पबल – Reduces body strength.

·         दौर्गन्ध्य – Bad body odor.

·         गद्गदत्व – Unclear voice or speech.

·         जवापरोध – Lack of enthusiasm.

·         कृच्छ्रव्यवयता – Unable to perform coitus or lack of sexual desire.

 

DIAGNOSTIC METHODS

Diagnosis of obesity can be made simply by calculating body mass index (BMI) whereas measurement of waist circumference is an alternative method. There are some conditions like Cushing’s syndrome, polycystic ovary syndrome, hypothyroidism, use of steroids etc. in which obesity is an associated symptom. In such cases, laboratory investigations are advised according to the condition.

 

LINE OF TREATMENT

Principle of treatment for Sthoulya roga in ayurveda is Guru-Atarpana. As mentioned earlier, patient of Sthoulya roga is hungry. Therefore, use of food items which are heavy to digest but do not increases body weight (especially meda dhatu or fat) is advised. Ayurvedic medicines or formulations having medo-nashaka (reduces body fat) along with lifestyle modifications are used for the treatment of ayurveda. Swedana (fomentation), Vamana (therapeutic emesis), Virechana (therapeutic purgation) and Basti (medicated enema) therapy is recommended as panchakarma procedures for obese person.

 

LIFESTYLE

ü  Take healthy, balanced and fiber-rich diet.

ü  Take your meal on time.

ü   Take proper sleep.

ü  Raise quantity of green leafy vegetables and salad in your meal.

ü  Drink a cup of hot water 3-4 times a day.

ü  A light walk after taking meal.

ü  Do regular aerobic exercises, yogasana and brisk walking.

ü  Maintain optimum body weight.

û  Avoid daytime sleeping.

û  Avoid overeating and junk food.

û  Don’t sleep just after taking meals.

û  Avoid tea, coffee and other beverages.

û  Avoid sweets and other items containing sweeteners.

û  Avoid smoking and alcohol intake.

û  Avoid mental stress and anxiety.

 

YOGA/ ASANA/ PRANAYAMA

·         Pavanmuktasana

·         Sarvangasana

·         Chakrasana

·         Naukasana

·         Ekpadajanushirasana

·         Katichakrasana

·         Gorakshasana

·         Suryanamaskara

·         Halasana

·         Kapalabhati pranayama

·         Bhastrika pranayama

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