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Metabolic syndrome (life-style disorder): An ayurvedic perspective

Dr. Imlikumba, Health Naturally Clinic, Mercy Building: Kevijau colony, Dimapur: Nagaland, +91948332
Published on 19 Nov. 2017 6:03 PM IST
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Ayurveda is the most ancient science of life; health and cure, practiced in India for thousands of years based on its own unique fundamental principles such as promotion of health, prevention of disease, promotion of longevity etc. Ayurvedic classics give special emphasis on three important values which have been considered as the important conducive factors for maintenance of life and health. This important factors consists of Ahara (food), Nidra (Sleep) and Brahmacarya (Good conduct). These three have been considered as Upastambha or the basis of life and health. Among traya-upastambha, Ahara (diet) has been considered as the first one which shows its importance. Intake of wholesome and unwholesome diet is responsible for prevention and production of various diseases respectively including life style disorders. Lifestyle disorders are a big problem for our society today. Such diseases mainly result from life style related factors such as unhealthy diet, bad food habits, lack of physical activity etc. 
Life style disorders are due to Poor life-style which includes, poor diet, lack of exercise, smoking, excess alcohol, poor sleep, stress due to heavy workload. Several factors are resulting in the increasing burden of lifestyle disease which includes longer average life span, rising income, increasing tobacco consumption, decreasing physical activity and increased consumption of unhealthy food. In India, rapid urbanization and globalization mainly contribute towards increased number of people suffering from life-style disorders. The urban people are having less physically active life-style, more exposure to products and technologies that could be unhealthy for them. Lifestyle disorder also known as diseases of civilization, as the name suggests, result from the way we live our lives. Modern science through improved sanitation, vaccination and antibiotics, and medical attention has eliminated the threat of death from most infectious diseases. So, now a day the death from lifestyle diseases like heart disease and cancer are the primary causes of death. Everybody naturally has to die of something, but lifestyle diseases take people before their time. Too many people are dying relatively young from heart diseases, cancer and other lifestyle diseases in modern times. 
Metabolic syndrome/Lifestyle Diseases: These are a group of risk factors that raises risk of heart disease, diabetes, stroke, and other health problems. It is diagnosed when any three of the following five risk factors are present: 
• High blood glucose (sugar) 
• Low levels of HDL (“good”) cholesterol in the blood.
• High levels of triglycerides in the blood.
• Large waist circumference or “apple-shaped” body.
• High blood pressure 
Metabolic syndrome is a serious health condition.
Major Lifestyle Oriented Disease:
• Heart Disease : Any of several abnormalities that affect the heart muscle or the blood vessels of the heart. Heart disease to be single greatest killer in India by 2015 (WHO). One third of the heart attacks worldwide may be attributable to diets high in fats, salts, eggs and meats according to groundbreaking new study published in the journal Circulation.
• Obesity/Type II Diabetes: Unhealthy eating habits (excess intake of sugar and its products, saturated and trans fats etc.), super sizing meals and reduced physical exercise all translate to obesity. Obesity becomes the cause of other health problems such as Type II Diabetes which is the non insulin dependent form and generally develops in adults.
• Stress/Hypertension Hypertension: It results from a variety of reasons like stress, obesity, genetic factors, overuse of the salts in the diet and ageing.
• Arteriosclerosis: A generic term for several diseases in which the arterial wall becomes thicken and loses elasticity. Plaques (atheromas) deposited in the wall of arteries are major cause of heart disease, chest pain, heart attacks and other disorder of circulation. It is linked to overweight, high blood pressure and diabetes.
Digonosis of Metabolic Syndrome: The criteria to identify this syndrome are by the presence of three or more of these risk factors:
• Central obesity. This is measured by waist circumference:More than 40 inches for men. • More than 35 inches for women.
• Fasting blood triglycerides are 150 mg/dL or more or taking medicine for high triglycerides.
• Low HDL cholesterol levels or taking medicine for low HDL cholesterol: • Men — Less than 40 mg/dL • Women — Less than 50 mg/Dl.
• Elevated blood pressure of 130/85 mm Hg or higher or taking medicine for high blood pressure.
• Fasting glucose (blood sugar) of 100 mg/dL or more or taking medicine for high blood glucose.
Ayurvedic Approach to the Management Of Metabolic Syndrome:- Samshodhana (Eleminative therapy) and Samshamana (Palliative therapy) therapy are the important therapeutic measures described in Ayurveda for the management of various diseases. In which Samshodhana measures hits the root cause of disease. Under Samshodhana therapy, Procedures like Mridu Virecana (light purgation), Shodhana Vasti (medicated enema) and Ruksha udvartana (gentle rubbing of skin with dry substances) may be found clinically effective in cases of Metabolic Syndrome. Vamana (induced vomiting by use of ayurveda drugs) therapy can be planned with caution in case of Metabolic Syndrome. 
Under pacificatory measures the below described guidelines may be helpful in preventing and treating the cases of Metabolic Syndrome:-
• Nidana parivarjana (Root cuse elimination) - Nidana parivarjana is ”To avoid the risk factors”. Nidana parivarjana is considered as the main therapy in the management of various diseases as described in Ayurveda. Excess intake of carbohydrate and fat leads to abnormal visceral adiposity, which initiates cytokines-mediated pro-inflammatory process and causes excess formation of FFAs, which occupies the insulin receptors and in turn leads to Insulin resistance and other defective metabolism. Hence, Snigdha (oily), Guru (heavy), Pichhila (unctous) Ahara, Madyapana (alcohal intake) as well as Atiasan (over eating behaviour), Avayayam (Sedentary life styles) etc. Should be avoided by the patients of metabolic syndrome.
• Yoga and Asana - According to medical scientist‟s yoga therapy is successful because of the balance created in the nervous and endocrine system which directly influences all systems and organs of the body. Yogasans have often been thought of as a form of exercise. They are not exercises, but techniques which place the physical body in position that cultivate awareness, relaxation, concentration and meditation. Important Yogasans are Dhanurasana, Halasana, Matsyasana, Yogamudrasana,, Utkatasana, Vajrasana, Siddha yoniasana, Padasana, Makarasana, shavasana, Pavanamuktasana, Padotthanasana.
• Meditative Exercise - In this regards Yogasana, pranayama, such as Anuloma-Viloma, Bhastrika, Kapalabhati and Trataka are helpful to check the mental stressors. But these should be advice only after evaluating cardiac functions of the patients. 5.4 Agni Promoting (Drugs correcting metabolic process) drugs - such as Chitrakadi Vati, Trikatu Churna, and Pippali Churna etc. 
• Ojas Promoting (Immunity enhancer) drugs - such as Guduci, Amalaki, Haridra, and Silajatu etc.
• Compound formulations– Important compound preparations such as- Puskarabramhi guggulu, Medohara guggulu, Punarnavadi guggulu, Triphaladi guggulu, Nisamlaki Churna, Amritadi guggulu and Sapragandha ghanavati are found to be helpful.
• Single drug – Like Puukaramula (Inula racemosa), Guggulu (Commiphora mukul), Kustha (Saussurea lappa), Meshshringi (Gymnema sylvestre), Vrikshamla (Garcinia indica), Rasona (Allium sativum), Sunthi (Zingiber officinale), Haridra (Curcuma longa), Arjuna (Terminalia arjuna), Guduchi (Tinospora cardiofolia), Amla (Emblica officinalis)
Do’s in Metabolic Syndrome: People who have the metabolic syndrome can reduce their risk for cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes by controlling risk factors. The best way is often for them to lose weight, eat a healthy diet and increase their physical activity. Here are some important steps for patients and their doctors in managing the condition:
• Routinely monitor body weight (especially central obesity).
• Monitor blood glucose, lipoproteins and blood pressure.
• Treat individual risk factors (hyperlipidemia, high blood pressure and high blood glucose) according to established guidelines.
• Carefully choose high blood pressure drugs because different drugs have different effects on insulin sensitivity.
Conclusion: Our lifestyle is indicative of the behavioral patterns we adopt to live our lives. This translates to the way we eat, drink, and exercise and are predisposed to taking care of our health. Unhealthy habits will show up in the form of lifestyle diseases in the long run. Since these habits are acquired over a long period of time, it takes that long to change as well. However, persuasion and persistence of health care professionals can go a long way in making to adopt healthier ways of living. Ideally, we should not wait to fall sick before we make changes in these patterns. We should live a healthy life, where we eat a balanced diet, exercise and stay fit, and avoid habits that are injurious to health, so that we do not have to bear the unnecessary consequences that develop in the form of lifestyle diseases.
NOTE: Ayurvedic medicines and treatments should be taken under Qualified Ayurvedic Doctor/Physician. The drugs described in this article are for general information/educational purpose only. Anyone should not use these without consulting a qualified Ayurveda doctor/physician.

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