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Boosting immunity with natural care-based healing

Utilising new era healing system, a Delhi-based company, founded by Kamayani Naresh, eliminates the root cause of disorders in the body by using food and herbal supplements. Naresh reveals protocols for prevention of Covid-19.

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Zyropathy is a new indigenously developed health system that believes that the human body is made of food and hence only food has the ability to repair it. It also believes that everybody has a doctor within which is immunity and its role is a day to day maintenance and repair. The Delhibased company uses a combination of supplements and Zyro naturals made from extracts of herbs and plants to repair the human body and its organs without any side effects by enhancing immunity and providing the essentials deficient in the body.

 Zyropathy believes that the main function of immunity is to protect the body from external aggression and internal disorders. To perform its functions optimally immunity ought to be strong and must possess the required essentials to produce desired antibodies. This system of medicine uses a combination of supplements and zyro naturals to boost immunity and provide protection against Coronavirus.

Coronavirus is now part of our habitat. It will, therefore, enter everybody and if immunity is strong it will kill the virus else the person will be infected with Corona. Thus, everyone will require sustained immunity forever here-in-after, believes Kamayani Naresh, founder of Zyropathy.

Naresh says, “Zyropathy has three protocols for prevention and one protocol for the cure of Coronavirus. Prevention Protocol-1 is for people staying at home and going out or interacting with few outsiders. Prevention Protocol-2 is for those working in administrative service interacting with a large number of people but in a less dense Corona environment. Prevention Protocol-3 is for hospital staff working in a high Corona dense environment. Corona Reversion Protocol is a 10-day program for Corona positive patients to revert to Corona Negative. We have treated and successfully cured Corona-positive patients with mild symptoms.”

The former Navy officer mentions that the effectiveness of Corona vaccine is under suspicion because of the relapse of Covid-19 in patients. The antibodies generated last for a shorter duration and hence raise doubts about its long term effectiveness. Although many countries are claiming to have succeeded in producing the vaccine for Coronavirus its usefulness is in doubt.

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Health & Wellness

THE TRIPLE THREAT OF SMOKING: LUNG CANCER, COPD & PNEUMONIA

Dr Pavan Yadav

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Time and again, the message of caution that smoking is injurious to health has been propagated over various mediums of communication. Smoking alone puts an individual at the risk of developing over 50% of serious illnesses. Some of these illnesses can be fatal, and others can cause long-term irreversible damage to your health. Second-hand smoking is also as good as direct smoking and exposes individuals to the same health risks as smokers. The death rate for any smoker is two to three times higher than that for non-smokers. Half of the smokers eventually die as a result of their smoking. Despite these dramatic and proven health risks, many people find it hard to kick the habit and put themselves at a high risk of developing smoking-related diseases.

LET US EXPLORE THE TOP 3 ILL-EFFECTS OF SMOKING

1. Lung Cancer: Smoking is the number one risk factor for lung cancer. It doesn’t matter if a person smokes only one cigarette or multiple times a day, or only smokes occasionally, the chances of developing lung cancer increase for sure. Smoking produces more than 4,000 chemicals including carbon dioxide, tars and nicotine, and these are capable of transforming normal cells into cancer cells over time. The cancer risk is directly proportional to the number of cigarettes one smokes every day. People who quit smoking have a lower risk of developing lung cancer, and this risk gradually decreases over time. Do not continue the habit by thinking that you are already too far in. Stopping can slowly reduce and reverse the damage already caused to your body.

There is a misunderstanding among people that smoking can only lead to mouth cancer. However, smoking can contribute to cancer anywhere in the body, and lung cancer is one of the most common and dangerous ones caused directly by smoking. Symptoms of Lung cancer will show up only when the disease is in an advanced stage. Some of the symptoms are bone pain, shortness of breath, weight loss and coughing up blood.

2. Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD): When we smoke, the airways, air sacs and the lining of the lungs get damaged. Though long term exposure to lung irritants can lead to COPD, a common risk factor of it is smoking. The airways lose their ability to stretch and shrink back and the walls between the air sacs are destroyed. In the initial stages, there will be hardly any symptoms or mild symptoms which worsen over time. The symptoms are difficulty in breathing, wheezing, tightness in the breath, prolonged cough and breathing difficulty.

3. Pneumonia: Our body has a natural defence system against bacteria and viruses. But when you smoke, the body’s defence system gets compromised. With compromised immunity, you are susceptible to any infection. The action of the cilia or hair-like projections in the trachea to sweep fluids and any foreign particles out of the airways gets impaired leading to pneumonia.

Symptoms of Pneumonia are fever, coughing up mucus and chest pain.

EARLY DETECTION IS THE KEY

Catching the above three diseases in its early stage often allows for a higher likelihood of successful treatment. This is also when the treatment is easy and the body’s response to it will be more favourable. Pneumonia, COPD and lung cancer are closely related and have similar symptoms. The common culprit of smoking can worsen the symptoms and the impact of these diseases on the body. The lungs, which is the primary organ in the respiratory system bears the brunt of the attack of such diseases.

It is also a known fact that COPD is a significant risk factor for lung cancer. That’s the reason why to prevent both the diseases, COPD screening in smokers should be started at the earliest and quitting smoking should be the first thing to do.

WHY PREVENTION IS IMPORTANT

All the above diseases if not prevented in its early stages can be fatal, and a key factor to this is to quit smoking immediately. All those patients who get hospitalised when the symptoms worsen lament over holding on to the unhealthy practice of smoking. It will all be fine until the day your body says it can no longer take smoking and then teach you the smoke-free lesson at the hospital bed in the hardest way possible. Not to forget the cost of treatment and the valuable time you end up losing due to the unhealthy practice. It’s not only the above three diseases, but smoking is also linked to diseases of nearly all the organs of the body.

Remember that you are not only compromising your health by smoking but are also threatening the lives of people near you, especially children, pregnant women and elderly as passive smoking is as harmful as taking the real puff.

The writer is a Consultant, Interventional Pulmonology at Aster RV Hospital.

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Health & Wellness

BENEFITS OF DIGITAL HEALTH TECHNOLOGIES

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Mobile health applications and services are becoming an essential tool in extending healthcare resources. There is a lot of scope for the growth for digital health in our country and thus, innovative, efficient, technology-supported interventions are the current need. To discuss this and more, PHDCCI recently organised a webinar on Digital Health: The Future, Series III on Mobile Digital Health Devices: The Covid-19 Pandemic Impact and Mobile Digital Health Roadmap. It also highlighted the benefits and role of digital health/telehealth technology. Pradeep Multani, sr. vice president, PHDCCI, talked about the global healthcare emergency led by Covid-19 which has exposed the gaps in handling pandemics even in the most advanced economies of the world. Multani further added that numerous apps are now available to assist healthcare professionals with many crucial tasks such as information and time management; health record maintenance and access; communications and consulting; reference and information gathering; patient management and monitoring; clinical decision-making; and medical education and training. However, the lack of standards and regulations, limited guidance from physicians in selecting healthcare apps, and resistance from traditional healthcare providers are some of the key factors restraining the growth of the market. He said, “the wearable medical device market is expected to reach over USD 27 million by 2023, a spectacular jump from almost USD 8 million in 2017 and shared some common wearable devices.”Mobile digital health is not a product, its a process, said Dr Jitendar Sharma, managing director, Andhra Pradesh Med Tech Zone (AMTZ). He added, “mobile digital health is a spectrum through which multiple products can be fitted which leads to the desired outcome.” Dr Sharma talked about three baskets of digital health innovation starting from traditional and evolving telemedicine program to smart wearables to the penetration of mobile health in medical equipment. He mentioned that the output should be safe, effective delivery of services with a seamless flow of data in a well-controlled architecture. Dr Sharma shared the details of EMRAI (Electronic Medical Records Alliance of India), which consists of two parts, the provider and service user part for accessing the patients’ records. He added, “there is a need for creating a platform so that it becomes easier for any hospital for getting the records of the patients for which every smaller hospital needs to come into the electronic medium in rural areas as well.” Dr N. Subramanian, chair-health committee, PHDCCI and director, medical services, Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals told that the first telehealth centre was established in Aragonda in 2000 and after that, there has not been much improvement since long but as the pandemic affected the world, they have created controlled centres in the remotest part of India. He said, “telehealth has significantly addressed the major healthcare challenges like accessibility, availability and affordability.”Levi Shapiro, founder, mHealth Israel touched upon the major healthcare challenges in 2020 and particularly Covid-19 which has obscured many long-term structural needs in the health sector. Shapiro spoke about how the health tech investment transformed during these times from telemedicine to software applications to personalised medicines using AI and big data. Digital health and AI play a crucial role and combining these with digital health could be beneficial in various ways especially in rural areas, believes Dr Deep Goel, sr. director, Dr. B. L. Kapur Memorial Hospitals. He also talked about critical care and home care, where digital health could be very beneficial for better output. Dr Goel said, “some new applications and products like smart bedsheet can seamlessly record patient data like BP, heart rate etc and transfer it to the monitor, which lessens the doctor/nurse visit to the patient.”He also talked about the personalised treatment of a disease for a particular person which can be possible with mobile AI devices including robotic surgery. Dr Goel exclaimed, “the future of digital health is exciting and there’s a need for creating opportunities to make the life of a common man better by improving primary and secondary health care needs.”

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Health & Wellness

HOW TO STAY SAFE AMID POLLUTION IN COVID-19 TIMES

With air pollution rising alarmingly in the city, doctors fear that it would lead to a major spike in Covid-19 cases. It’s a lethal cocktail that threatens to take infections to new, dangerous levels.

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Air pollution does not always cause serious lung problems right away but can create complications in the long run. Dry throat, sore throat, cough, feeling of blocked nostrils (when you do not have a cold), hoarseness of voice, breathlessness while climbing stairs or after mild workouts among other symptoms might be caused by air pollution. “We do not pay much attention to these symptoms on a routine basis, but with time, such issues build up and compromise the airway mechanisms, damage cells in the lungs, and affect the blood vessels as well,” says Dr Pradeep Mahajan, Regenerative Medicine Researcher at StemRx Bioscience Solutions Pvt Ltd, Navi Mumbai. The national capital, among other states, was already bearing the brunt of stubble burning and Diwali celebrations added to it leading to increased pollution levels. Even young individuals are suffering from such conditions because of the current scenario. Air pollution should not be neglected as it can lead to serious health hazards. However, by taking simple and effective steps, people can stay safe and healthy.

Air pollution badly affects the lungs; similarly, Covid-19 causes inflammation in the lining of the windpipe and lungs. Both reduce the immunity and ultimately increase the vulnerability to the infection. When you have injured and inflamed lungs and a certain dose of the virus enters into the lungs, such people will be more prone to infection than a person with healthy lungs, asserts Dr (Col) Vijay Dutta, internal & respiratory medicine at Indian Spinal Injuries Centre.

“Post-Diwali we have got several patients who have recovered and are complaining about chest and breathing problems again. This is because their immune system is still running low. Having lung problems because of air pollution is aggravating the issues of Covid positive patients. Inflamed lungs will be more prone to infection than healthy lungs. We are recommending air purifiers and asking patients to keep indoor plants for better recovery and avoid going out these days, eat healthy and avoid morning walks as well,” adds Dr Dutta.

Air pollution is directly responsible for an increased number of people suffering from asthma. In the long term, air pollution can increase the non-communicable disease burden of India by making more people develop diseases of heart, lungs, and blood vessels, to mention a few. Elderly people, babies and young children are more at risk. Those living in urban slum clusters and crowded, poorly-ventilated houses are also vulnerable to air pollution, says Kamal Narayan – CEO of Integrated Health & Wellbeing (IHW) Council.

“Lower winter temperatures and the rise in pollution levels caused by the burning of crop stubble in North India could lead to the rise in Covid-19 cases. Typically Asthma and COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) infections are known to go up at this time of the year. People who have recovered from Covid-19 remain particularly susceptible as their lungs are still weak. Therefore, wearing masks and following social distancing norms is a must during this period and will not only help to avoid Covid but respiratory infections as well,” says Dr Gurpreet Sandhu, president of Council for Healthcare and Pharma.

“Environmental exposure plays a vital role in pregnancy. Approximately 6-8% risk has been associated with exposure to air pollution for pregnant women by increasing toxic chemicals in the blood and causing immune system stress, which can weaken the placenta covering the fetus and lead to preterm birth. Preterm babies born with low birth weight are susceptible to infections like pneumonia, asthma as lungs of such babies are weak and not fully developed. High pollution environment can also damage the brain and other organs of newborns,” says Dr Archana Dhawan Bajaj, gynaecologist and obstetrician and IVF expert at Nurture IVF Centre.

Parents must watch all symptoms which may indicate any respiratory problem in newborns, recurring cough, chest tightness, difficulty in breathing, clear watery discharge from the nose and sneezing should be informed to a doctor, suggests Dr Bajaj.

“A pregnant woman needs to be alert and take effective measures to protect herself from harmful air pollution by avoiding toxic air exposure, use of air purifier, avoid exposure to dust and use organic repellents, avoid travelling in congested areas as it increases the risk of stroke, heart attack, diabetes, lung cancer and other chronic lungs diseases,” adds Dr Bajaj.

According to reports, approximately 40% of all respiratory tract infections, and almost 20% of coronary diseases and diabetes cases are caused by air pollution. Residing in areas with poor air condition exacerbates such medical conditions and makes respiratory illnesses deadlier. This has become a major concern for Covid-19 as well. Several diabetes-related factors such as poor glycemic control can affect the body’s immune system. “When a person suffers from viral infections such as Covid-19, diabetes patients are likely to find it more challenging to manage the condition. It can also lead to secondary bacterial infections in the lungs, etc,” emphasises Dr Manoj Chawla, director and consultant diabetologist at Lina Diabetes Care & Mumbai Diabetes Research Centre. Short-term exposure to air pollution can increase your immediate risk of having a stroke if you have existing risk factors, such as high blood pressure, atrial fibrillation (AF) or diabetes. Studies have suggested that people who have a heart ailment and are living in areas where air pollution is worst are significantly more likely to have a stroke.

Dr Chawla advises, “Avoid outdoor exercises and walks in open spaces where there is a lot of smog and air pollution. Wearing face masks is necessary as it provides protection from air pollution as well as the virus. Frequent hand-washing with soap and water especially before consuming food or touching the face is recommended. Managing diabetes levels is an absolute must. Diabetics should regularly monitor their blood glucose levels and adhere to prescribed medications.”

The government needs to invest more in energy-efficient housing and power generation and manage industry and municipal waste effectively, opines Dr Sandhu. He adds, “The government must take steps to control the burning of agricultural waste and crop residue and prevent forest fires. It must encourage safe and affordable public transport systems and pedestrian- and cycle-friendly tracks. Strict rules and regulations must be enforced for pollution emitting sources and stricter action must be taken against those who break the law.”

Adding to it, Dr Mahajan says, “Government is making efforts to curb the spread of pollution; however, it is also our duty to protect our body and cell-based therapy, functional medicine, and a disciplined lifestyle are a step towards ensuring healthy lungs and overall health.” Every person should make an effort to modify their lifestyle by understanding what their body needs and adopt healthy habits as well as focus on enhancing the overall well-being.

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Health & Wellness

Bone of no contention

With the drop in temperature, some people experience ache
or discomfort in their joints and bones. Doctors suggest ways
to relieve it and prevent its occurrence to some extent.

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Staying warm is important as temperature is dripping with every passing day, so is taking care of your health to ward off common diseases during this season: Flu, common cold, fever, tonsil, eczema, joint pain and cold sores among others. Various studies show that viruses tend to multiply faster in wintertime which can make people fall ill. Thus, it’s wise to stay extra vigilant about your well-being.

 Most often, the elderly experience acute pain in bones and joints during winters though young people complain of lower back pain at times. Dr Nitiraj Oberoi, director Orthopedics / Bone and Joint Surgery at Fortis Escorts Bone and Joint Institute, Delhi agrees, “Some of us are likely to suffer from common aches and pains, especially pain in lower back and joints as winter sets in. The elderly are more prone to have stiffness in the large joints of the lower limb and sometimes the fingers. Young active people can experience early morning lower back pain.” Adding to it, Dr Chandrashekhar Dixit, consultant- Orthopedic and Joint Replacement at Jupiter Hospital, Pune says, “Knee and hip pain are the most common complaints, joint pain can affect any part of your body be it from your ankles to your shoulders or hands. It can range from mildly irritating to excruciating pain and can last for a few weeks.”

 If you experience any unusual or new symptoms including persistent swelling and redness consult your orthopedic specialist, advises Dr Dixit. “The onset of winters sees flaring up of the bone pain and joint discomfort in people with preexisting arthritis and osteoporosis. Staying indoors decreases the activity levels and inadequate amount of sunlight exposure adds to it, culminating in joint stiffness and decreased amounts of Vitamin D production,” says Dr Ramneek Mahajan, senior director, Orthopedics & Joint Replacement at Max Super Speciality Hospital, Saket, Delhi. But what causes pain in bones and joints or makes the existing condition sever. “Though it may not be the temperature directly, several factors make winters more difficult for people with joint pain. 

The threshold of pain resistance lowers in winters as with the drop in air pressure, nerve endings in our body become more sensitive and tissues swell. Even a minor injury or minor stiffening of muscles can cause intense pain even in people who did not have any joint issues previously. Colder temperature also affects the blood circulation patterns that can aggravate joint pain and stiffness,” emphasises Dr Ashutosh Jha, consultant, Orthopaedics at Columbia Asia Hospital, Ghaziabad. Ample physical activities, exercise and a proper diet can lead to strong bones and joints.

 Dr Mahajan says, “Exercise, even if indoors, to keep those joints supple and muscles well perfused. Increase the intake of milk products, green leafy vegetables, eggs and cod liver oil. Always consult a doctor before starting supplementation.” 

Dr Jha adds, “Limit outdoor exposure and wear warm clothes, ensure sound sleep and right posture—sleeping on your stomach may stress the low back and spine, so sleep on either of your sides, take a hot shower to promote blood circulation and release muscle spasms, drink at least two to three litres of water daily to stay hydrated and flush the toxins from your system.” 

To maintain bone and joint health, Dr Kiran Reddy Mekala, senior consultant – Orthopaedic at Apollo TeleHealth suggests: a) Physical exercise for at least 20 minutes regularly. It can be walking, cycling, treadmill or jogging. b) Hot water bath and hot fomentation is advised. c) Yoga practice helps maintain the flexibility of joints. d) Exposure to sunlight between 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. She adds that the middle-aged and old aged people should avoid cross-legged sitting, brisk walking, running, stair climbing and walking down or top the hill.

 Ways to keep bones and joints stronger naturally Healthy

 bones are the pillars of overall good health. Therefore it is essential to take good care of your bones from the right age since you achieve maximum bone mass in your 30s. If your bone mass is low by the time you reach your 30s, chances are you’ll face bone loss later in life, says Dr G. Prakash, Deputy Chief Medical Officer at Jindal Naturecure Institute, Bengaluru. Bones can be strengthened naturally in different ways.

 Dr Prakash asserts that one of the most critical factors that determine good bone health is how much vegetables you include in your diet. Rich in Vitamin C, vegetables promote the production of bone-forming cells. Also, the antioxidant properties of Vitamin C restrict any damage to the bone cells. The absorption and processing of Vitamin C in the body occur with the help of Vitamin D which is why you need to get plenty of sunlight and consume foods rich in Vitamin D. Other than that, he suggests improving the protein intake since protein improves the strength of your bones. 

Your diet should include rich sources of protein like lentils, legumes, dairy products, eggs, nuts, and seeds. “Maintain the required amount of magnesium and zinc in the body as magnesium activates Vitamin D to absorb calcium. Zinc plays a crucial role in mineralisation and bone metabolism. Besides focusing on your diet, you should focus on maintaining a good lifestyle and indulge in a proper exercise routine,” concludes Dr Prakash.

Tips to maintain healthy bones and joint

1. Exercise works best to maintain good bone health as it maintains bone density and is preventive against osteoporosis. The advantage of exercise during peak winters is that the soreness or stiffness of the joints is kept in check due to adequate blood supply which counters the effects of vasoconstriction. Exercise works even better for the elderly as their joints get better coordinated and this prevents falls.

 2. Eating citrus fruits like oranges, amla, etc, in any form helps the body to build adequate stores for good bone, joint and skin health. A balanced diet is a key to overall healthy living.

 3. People who are overweight have higher chances of getting arthritis. Maintain your weight to keep the knees healthy. As knees handle the weight of full-body they need to be strong and flexible. 

4. Warm water shower relieves the stiffness in joints and also gives relief from arthritis pain. Warm water bath also makes you feel better by reducing stress.

 5. Bone mineral density may reduce if you take excessive amount of tobacco and alcohol, therefore consumption of tobacco and alcohol should be minimised.

 P.S: People who are above 50 years should get a regular test done for bone mineral density. This will help in determining the number of minerals one has in their bones.

Common mistakes one must avoid

1. High heels put extra stress on your knees so avoid anything that’s bigger than one and a half inches. 

2. You should use your strongest, largest joints and muscles; when you lift or carry items, use your palms or arms instead of fingers. Also, hold the weight close to your body to cut down stress. 

3. Improper stretching techniques, always do dynamic stretches.

 4. During winters, people stop exercising, hence, cutting down on this activity only leads to decreased range of motion and more joint pain. 

5. Wearing ill-fitting shoes and clothes while exercising may hamper the joints. Therefore, wear proper shoes to ensure it provides shock absorption and stability. Also, good hydration helps reduce injury.

 Dr Nitiraj Oberoi, director Orthopedics/Bone and Joint Surgery at Fortis Escorts Bone and Joint Institute, Delhi

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Health & Wellness

EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE: WAYS TO IMPROVE SELF-AWARENESS

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Emotional intelligence is the ability to understand and manage emotions in positive ways. It tends to fuel your performance on the personal and professional front. Self-awareness is one of the essential steps of emotional intelligence. It teaches ways to identify your emotions, to be mindful of what triggers them and their impacts. These tips guide you in discovering the basics of your emotional intelligence, thus improving your self-assurance levels.

Learning to identify your triggers: When you identify what bothers you, you can take action to protect your mental health. By identifying, it can lead you to improved emotional intelligence. This lets you develop the skill to manage the outcome. It helps to take charge of your actions and bestow you the ability to calm down.

Never judge your feelings: Being judgmental about your feelings tends to lose the ability to regard them and be mindful of them. By looking at the emotion just the way it is will lend an opportunity to seize it and find out what your mind has been trying to tell you.

You must question your opinions: It is easy to fall into an ‘opinion bubble’. You must take ample time to read the other side of the story and have your views tested. This will help you to express more and also be more open to new ideas.

Pay attention to your behaviour patterns: You must consider observing your behaviour while you are practising your emotional awareness. The patterns in your life always try to tell you something. Note the way you tend to act when you are undergoing certain feelings and the way that affects your daily life. Once you become more aware, handling the emotions becomes effortless.

Always celebrate the positive: An important aspect of improving self-awareness is to celebrate and reflect on the optimistic life moments. By pointing out the positive, you’re starting to train your brain to focus on other positives. Reflecting on negative emotions is also equally vital to deal with undesirable issues in the future.

Meditate: Mindfulness changes your brain for the better and meditation can help increase your level of self-awareness. It is one of the finest ways to know more about how your thoughts functions.

Have faith in your intuition: If you are still hesitant about which path to take, you must believe your instinct. You have to trust your gut feeling and this will allow your subconscious mind to guide you through the right path.

Look at yourself objectively: It is difficult to know yourself completely, hence getting to comprehend yourself from those who know you are vital. Ask them about your strong points and weaknesses and compare it yourself as this will help to accept yourself.

Come out of your comfort zone: Try new things as not challenging yourself frequently is one of the greatest barriers in knowing your potential. Instead of pushing the emotion away, you must guide yourself and should expand your horizons. This will help you to live a fuller life and live to a higher potential.

Identifying cognitive distortions: This is the most important step in fixing any problem. A major source of the absence of self-awareness is incorrect emotional habits. By learning to recognise these patterns of inaccurate thinking, you can find a link between your thoughts and feelings.

The writer is a mental & emotional wellbeing coach and founder of Let Us Talk.

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IS YOUR BODY GLUTEN SENSITIVE?

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Gluten is a protein found primarily in wheat, barley and rye. There’s been a surge in gluten-sensitivity in people across many countries over the last two decades due to modern hybridised, genetically modified wheat. Along with the changing food habits where there’s gluten overload in our diet in the form of atta, sooji or processed food with maida / refined wheat flour and minimal inclusion of other variety of grains like ragi, jowar, bajra and other millers, the intake of gluten has increased. This gluten abuse or overload in the gut and the modified varieties of wheat has proven to cause the slow ongoing inflammation in gut lining, which, over a period of time leads to various gastric issues, autoimmune diseases, reduced absorption of nutrients and increasing incidence of allergies.

In western countries, gluten sensitivity is very common. In India it’s pretty much prevalent but due to various factors, one being lack of formal health records, its real extent is difficult to measure.

According to reports, one third of Americans actively try to avoid gluten. In India, approximately over 10% people have gluten intolerance. It’s more common in North and East India than its primarily rice-eating Southern parts.

SIGNS THAT YOU ARE GLUTEN SENSITIVE

1) Growth and development delay in children: If your child feels weak and frail, has difficulty gaining optimum weight or height as per his age or shows delayed puberty, it could be due to gluten sensitivity causing gut inflammation and subsequent malabsorption and poor growth milestones.

2) Persistent bowel: Symptoms like bloating, frequent diarrhea specially after meals, cramping or abdominal pain, gas/flatulence, indigestion and difficulty to digest milk, all these signify mild to severe inflammation in the gut lining often caused by food items, which are not compatible with your digestive system. The most common offending food in such cases is gluten.

3) Chronic physical and mental fatigue: If you feel tired or low on energy most of the time and mentally you feel forgetful or not so sharp and focused in your thoughts and you can’t figure out why, you need to watch out what you eat as any food related sensitivities/intolerances create persistent inflammation that affects your cellular energy and brain functions through gut-brain-axis.

4) Skin concerns: Concerns like atopic dermatitis, eczema, chronic skin allergies, urticaria and psoriasis also strongly co-exist in gluten intolerant individuals.

5) Frequent migraines / headaches: These are also common features of the inflammation provoking aches and pains in the body, most commonly headaches.

Gluten that we eat day in day out today is a genetically modified protein, very different from what our ancestors used to thrive on. Hence, is not perfectly compatible with our gut and immune health. When majority of our diet contains wheat, refined wheat flour, semolina, without adding any other variety of grains in our diet, our gut lining often succumbs to this on-going brunt of non- gut friendly food, leading to persistent inflammation and further cascade of symptoms.

WATCH YOUR DIET

Once you acknowledge your symptoms, the best way to diagnose and treat yourself is through elimination diet. Take a gluten free diet for at least six weeks to start appreciating changes in your body.

The writer is founder and director of Add Veda Life Care.

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