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Cardiac Risk Factors and Preventive measures in Ayurveda

Non modifiable risk factors

  • Advancing age.
  • Genetic predisposition.

Modifiable risk factors

  • Sedentary life style.
  • Hypertension.
  • Type-II Diabetes mellitus.
  • Dyslipidemia / Lipid disorders.
  • Overweight/Obesity.
  • Metabolic syndrome.
  • Smoking/alcohol consumption.

Emerging risk factors

  • Infections due to helicobacter pylori and Chlamydia pneumonia.
  • Calcium supplementation.
  • Vitamin D deficiency.
  • Anti-phospholipids Syndrome.
  • Premature Births/Low Birth weight.

Ayurvedic guidelines for modifiable risk factors

The Ayurvedic guidelines for modifiable risk factors i.e. Madhumeha (Diabetes), Sthaulya (Obesity), Uchcharaktachap (Hypertension) and Medoroga (Dyslipidaemia) are given below.

Madhumeha (Diabetes)

A condition characterised by excess (prabhut) elimination of turbid (avil) mutra( urine) is termed as prameha. Prameha is mentioned as Santarpanjanyavyadhi i.e. disease caused by over eating and sedentary lifestyle. Madhumeha (Diabetes mellitus) is mentioned as a special variety of Vataja Prameha. Acharya Sushrutha and Vagbhatta mentioned that if all pramehas when left untreated/not treated properly may eventually get converted to Madhumeha. Madhumeha is also termed as Ojomeha & Kshaudrameha.

Causes

  • Excessive sleeping (Swapnasukham), lack of physical activity or exercise (Aasyasukham).
  • Excessive intake of sweet, sugar (Gudavaikrit), milk (payah), dairy products (Dadhi).
  • Excessive intake of carbohydrate rich diet especially newly harvested e.g. rice, maida etc (Nava annapana).
  • Excessive or regular intake of fried or oily food items.
  • Psychological factors like fear, grief, anger etc.
  • Children of parents suffering from Madhumeha are more likely to have this disease.

Symptoms

  • Excessive and frequent urination (Prabhuta mutrata)
  • Passing of turbid urine (Avila mutrata)
  • Excessive thirst (Pipasa - Trishna) and hunger
  • Buming/Tingling/Pricking sensation in the hands or feet (Hasta padasuptata)
  • Feeling of tiredness (Alasya)

Preventive Measures as per Ayurveda

Pathya (Do’s)

  • Timely intake of diet.
  • Intake of old harvested cereals, barley (Yava), Sorghum (Jowar), whole wheat atta, bitter gourd (Karela), green leafy vegetables; garlic (Lasuna), turmeric (Haridra), aloe (Kumari) among vegetables and fruits like Guava, Oranges, Indian Blackberry (Jamun) etc. may be useful.
  • Reduce intake of rice, food rich in carbohydrate and fried or processed food.
  • Regular exercise especially walking
  • Regular practice of Yoga, Meditation etc. under the supervision of Yoga specialist is suggested.

Apathya (Don’ts)

  • Sugarcane juice, jaggery, sugar and milk products.
  • Sedentary lifestyle.
  • Sleeping in the day time and excessive sleeping
  • Alcohol consumption
  • Prolonged fasting
  • Cold drinks, Ice cream, burger- pizza and other fast foods etc.

The role of ahara (dietary regimen) & vihara (lifestyle) are equally important in diabetes to control blood sugar level as well as to prevent complications of this disease.

Uchcharaktachapa (Hypertension)

As per Ayurveda, the disease is supposed to be Vataja probably due to Vaishamya (imbalance) of Vyanavayu. Cardiac functions (Hridayadharan) are regulated mainly by Vata particularly Vyana (responsible for Praspandana, Asriksravana) and Prana (responsible for Raktaanudhavand). Associated conditions like Palpitation (Hridrava), Headache (Shirahashula), Vertigo (Bhrama), Insomnia (Nidranasha), Tinnitus (Kama nada) are described as VatajaVikara in Ayurveda.

Some similar situations are described in Ayurvedic texts under Raktagatavata, Raktavritavata, Pittavritavata.

Causes

  1.  Obesity.
  2. Sedentary lifestyle and lack of physical exercise.
  3. Excessive intake of oily, salty, sour and spicy food items.
  4. Excessive alcohol consumption and smoking.
  5. Psychological factors such as stress, anxiety, anger etc.

Symptoms

Any of the following symptom/s may be present -

  • Headache, Vertigo
  • Breathlessness
  • Discomfort/Pain in chest
  • Irritability
  • Nausea, vomiting
  • Loss of appetite
  • Bleeding from nose
  • Haziness of vision
  • Swelling in legs and under eyes
  • Feeling of burning sensation and/or numbness in hands and feet.
  • Feeling of tiredness, restlessness

Preventive Measures as per Ayurveda

Pathya (Do’s)

  • Barley (Kzva), sorghum ( Jowar), wheat, green gram (Mudga/Moongdat), horse gram, moringa (Shigru), Bitter gourd (karela), bottle gourd (Ghia/ Lauki), turnip (Shalgam), carrot (Gajar), radish (Muli), Indian gooseberry (Amla), cucumber (Khira), black grapes (Draksha), pomegranate (Anar), apple, pineapple, cold milk etc.
  • Reduce intake of oily, salty, sour and spicy food items.
  • Timely intake of balanced diet and increase the quantity of fruit and vegetable intake .
  • Weight reduction
  • Timely sleeping and awakening.
  • Regular blood pressure check-up.
  • Regular physical exercise.
  • Daily brisk walking for half an hour.
  • Regular practice of Yoga, Meditation etc. under the supervision of Yoga expert. 

Apathya (Don’ts)

  • Excessive intake of salt (sprinkling over salad, curd etc.)
  • Excessive use of butter, ghee, chilies (red-green), pickles, bengal gram, sour fruits, curd, tea, coffee etc.
  • Intake of animal fat, processed/oily food items.
  • Alcohol consumption and smoking.
  • Practice of day sleeping and awakening at night.

Sthaulya (Obesity)

Atisthaulya (Obesity) is considered and described as one of the Ashta ninditiya purusha (eight despicable conditions) by Charaka. A person with excessive accumulation of Meda (fat/adipose tissue) and Mamsa (flesh/muscle tissue) leading to flabbiness of hips, abdomen, and breast has been categorized as Atisthula. It is considered as one of the Santarpanottha Vikaras (disease due to over calories) in Ayurveda. Medodushti (disorders of fat metabolism) may be one of the risk factors for Ischemic Heart Disease (IHD).

Causes

  • Sedentary lifestyle
  • Excessive and frequent intake of food.
  • Excessive intake of oily, sweet, cold, heavy food items.
  • Lack of physical activity / exercise.
  • Day sleeping.
  • Children of obese parents are likely to be obese.
  • Mental worries and exhaustive mental activities.

Symptoms

  1. Breathlessness even on little exertion / physical activity.
  2. Lack of interest in doing work.
  3. Profuse sweating with foul body odor.
  4. Excessive hunger.
  5. Feeling of tiredness.
  6. Excessive sleep.

Preventive Measures as per Ayurveda

Pathya (Do’s)

  1. Intake of regular and balanced diet.
  2. Use of lukewarm water (Ushnodaka) for drinking.
  3. Use of Barley (Yava), Sorghum (Jowara), Indian gooseberry (Amla),Old Honey (Madhu) and defatted Butter milk (Takra)
  4. Use of Green gram (Moong), Horse gram (Kulathi), Bengal gram (Ghana) and Spilt Red Gram (Arhar)
  5. Plenty of green leafy vegetables and fruits
  6. Fibrous food items
  7. Brisk walking and jogging in fresh air every day in early morning
  8. Regular exercise, physical activity
  9. Worrying
  10. Practice of Yoga & Naturopathy in consultation with a specialist 

Apathya (Don’ts)

  1. Frequent and excessive intake of oily / heavy food items(Guru-snigdhaatisevana)
  2. Sleeping in day time (Diva-swapna)
  3. Sleeping immediately after taking meals
  4. Canned food products
  5. Sedentary lifestyle (Asyasukham).
  6. Junk food like burger, pizza, cold drinks and fried food items

Source : Central Council for Research in Ayurvedic Sciences



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