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Ek Chammach Kam Teen Kadam Jyada

      Diabetes Mellitus(DM)  is an overgrowing disease that is affecting 415 million of people worldwide and projected to involve 642 million people by 2040. The number of patients keeps increasing and so the burden on the healthcare system to take care of growing numbers of diabetic population . 20% of Indian adults are hypertensive which is projected to increase to 25% by 2025. Time and again we are faced with the question of why the increasing burden of lifestyle diseases.

    And then when I sit back in my out patient clinic attending patients time and again I usually see a grand mother grand father or a parent saying doctor I stay away from all sweets at home and eat light during outings and a casual statement follows “why should I deprive my family members from all the pleasures because of my illness”. A simple question I ask at such a point in conversion is about vaccination “did you give vaccination to your child?” and unequivocally the answer I get is a proud yes. The very reason for vaccination is to prevent a communicable or so called disease caused by an infection. And then I ask what have you done to prevent the chronic ailment like diabetes or hypertension in your younger generation. And there comes the realization.

          With the decline in infectious or communicable diseases the current problem that we are facing is an epidemic of non communicable diseases. Like we decided to fight the epidemic of communicable diseases by vaccination against pathogens, the only way that appears to reduce the incidence of non communicable lifestyle diseases like diabetes and hypertension is to make a conscious attempt as a society towards healthy lifestyle. Instead what is getting communicated is increasing use of televisions, telephones and computers. The screen time has long back overtaken the play or activity time. Also is the change in dietary habits where colas, sweets, salt and carbohydrate rich ingredients with preservatives have occupied natural wholesome food protein rich food.  

    So there is need of a mass movement where a conscious attempt be made involving all(not only diseased) to reduce salt and sugar rich food and encourage physical activity. Lord Shri Krishna in Shrimad Bhagvad Gita says

“dhyayato vi?hayan pu?sa? sa?gas te?hupajayate

sa?gat sañjayate kama? kamat krodho ’bhijayate”2:62

The man dwelling on sense-objects develops attachment for them; from attachment springs up desire, and from desire (unfulfilled) ensures anger.

His lordship gives a mantra to stay away from anger, stress and detach from sinful senses(here sweet and salt). He also describes bad food

“ka?v-amla-lava?aty-u?h?a- tik?h?a-ruk?ha-vidahina?

ahara rajasasye?h?a du?kha-shokamaya-prada?”17:9

Food which are bitter, sour, salty, over-hot pungent, dry and burning, and which cause suffering, grief and sickness. Hence learning from scriptures , evidence and current situation it is the need of the hour to reduce the extra spoon of salt from the diet(ek chammach kam).

      His lordship also describes

“Niyatam kuru karmatwam, karmajayo hrukarmanaha”3:8

Meaning desisiting from action you cannot even maintain your body. Hence the felt need to start exercising an extrabit , simply nexpressed as walking a few more steps(teen kadam jyada).

     It is a universal truth that we lookj at lessons from past and our roots for solutions of our problems and ikts evident that the non communicable disease epidemic can only be halted by this approach of reducing sinful foods(ek chammach kam) and increasing exercise(teen kadam jyada).

  Lancelot Kidney & GI centre,D1/D2,Bharat baugh,Lancelot compound, SV Road Borivali West Mumbai 400092
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