Intermittent fasting done right can even improve symptoms of health conditions

Health Care, Heart Care Foundation of India, Medicine 1 Comment

It is imperative to observe a ‘medical vrat’ every once in a week

New Delhi, 19 January 2019: Fasting can boost the body’s metabolism and help protect against age-related diseases, a study has found.  The circadian clock operates within the body and its organs as intrinsic time-keeping machinery to preserve homeostasis in response to the changing environment. Optimal fasting in a timed manner would be strategic to positively affect cellular functions and ultimately benefiting health and protecting against ageing-associated diseases.

Intermittent fasting can help in improving a person’s blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and insulin sensitivity. It has also been found that longer periods of fasting (2 to 4 days) aids in rebooting the immune system, clearing out old immune cells, and regenerating new ones.

Speaking about this, Padma Shri Awardee, Dr KK Aggarwal, President, HCFI, said, “Fasting is not just abstaining from intake of food and water. Fasting also means avoiding negative thoughts. A ‘fast’ or ‘vrata’ purifies the mind, body and soul. It facilitates restraining of the senses and advocates a satvik lifestyle, that is, living a life full of satwa with devotion and discipline and avoiding rajsik and tamsik lifestyle. Our ancestors made it a compulsory practice to observe fasts, which primarily meant abstaining from eating carbohydrates once a week, and during season’s change thereby preventing lifestyle diseases. Fasting helps deplete the stores of sugar in your liver. Fasting once a day in a week gives the body a much-needed rest and time to catch up on the process of repair and/or cleaning. There is nothing better than fasting once a week to keep your heart healthy.

Ever since people have stopped observing weekly fasts, the incidence on high blood pressure, diabetes and heart attack has increased. Scientifically, it is now known that eating carbohydrates everyday increases the chances of heart attack.

Adding further, Dr Aggarwal, who is also the Group Editor-in-Chief of IJCP, said, “My rough formula of 3 for fasting is that one cannot live for three minutes without air, three days without water and three weeks without food. However, this formula is for healthy muscular and fatty people. When you fast, you can stay healthy for long if you have good muscles and have good fat content.”

Some tips for fasting from HCFI

  • Plan your diet especially if you have medical conditions such as diabetes and hypertension. Do not skip your medication schedule. Keep a healthy snack handy for those cravings.
  • Keep yourself hydrated by drinking water, coconut water, green tea, buttermilk, and lime juice. Avoid aerated drinks.
  • Avoid gorging on salty snacks. Eat something that is boiled or roasted instead.
  • Use rock salt in your food instead of usual salt as it helps in better mineral absorption. It is also beneficial for those who have high or low blood pressure.
  • Eat lighter meals as these can aid digestion.
  • For dessert, you can try eating dates or fruit yogurt. Also, add honey instead of sugar.
  • Eat lots of fresh fruits and vegetables.

More than 150 cases of scrub typhus in Mizoram: Revisiting scrub typhus

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At least 150 people have been diagnosed with the scrub typhus disease at Thenzawl town in Serchhip district, Mizoram health department officials said on Wednesday. The officials said that the scrub typhus outbreak began in November 2018, as reported by NDTV.

Scrub typhus, also known as tsutsugamushi disease or Bush typhus, presents as an acute febrile illness.

Here are few salient points about scrub typhus.

Scrub typhus is a mite-borne infectious disease caused by Orientia tsutsugamushi (previously called Rickettsia tsutsugamushi).
It is a gram-negative coccobacillus.
Scrub typhus may begin insidiously with headache, anorexia, and malaise, or start abruptly with chills and fever. As the illness evolves, most patients develop high fever, worsening of headache severity, and myalgias. An eschar or rash may develop in a subset of patients.
The severity of infection can range from mild symptoms and signs to multiorgan failure.
Elderly patients and those with delays in therapy are more likely to develop complications.
Scrub typhus may cause spontaneous abortions in pregnant women.
Diagnostic methods for confirmation of O. tsutsugamushi infection include serology, biopsy, culture and polymerase chain reaction (PCR).
The differential diagnosis of scrub typhus includes malaria, dengue, leptospirosis and other rickettsial diseases.
Doxycycline shortens the clinical illness and the incidence of relapse of infection.
Azithromycin is an alternative drug to treat scrub typhus, which has an acceptable safety profile in pregnant women.
Chemoprophylaxis with doxycycline is effective when used by nonimmune individuals living or working in areas in which scrub typhus is endemic.
Insect repellants and miticides are highly effective when applied to both clothing and skin.
Permethrin and benzyl benzoate are also useful agents when applied to clothing and bedding.
Scrub typhus is a re-emerging zoonotic disease in India. It is endemic in the country and is especially prevalent in the sub-Himalayan belt, from Jammu to Nagaland.

Suspect scrub typhus in all cases of fever around that area.

Doxycycline is the empirical antibiotic of choice in cases of fever with scrub typhus as differential diagnosis.