Evidence based physiotherapy treatment for PIVD: an alternative to painful surgery!

Introduction

“Why to go for painful spinal surgery with number of side effects when there is a safer and proved alternative available?”, asks Dr Aneeta Verma, a physiotherapist and nutritionist with 11 years of experience in helping people with medical conditions to regain their normal life via adopting healthy life style and physical therapy. “One of PIVD patient came to me with problem of back pain which reappeared again even after spinal surgery. A proper and customized physiotherapy treatment was structured for the same person who regain the confidence and better life with almost no back pain.” Let’s explore what is PIVD and dig the details of the mentioned alternative approach for the same.

What is PIVD

PIVD refers to “prolapsed intervertebral disc”. It is the protrusion of inner soft gel like portion of spinal disc and is also called as “slipped disc”. Spinal disc are the circular structures present between successive vertebrae of the spine. These discs have semi fluid mass of cartilage and collagen fibers in the center which is surrounded by rings of the fibers collectively called as annulus fibrosus. The spinal nerves come out through the spinal disc to obtain the messages from different body parts. The discs also makes back to bend and flex while serving as shock absorber. PIVD occurs when the disc is stretched enough to return to its normal shape or there is prominent bulging of inner soft fibers or there is complete spillage of the inner soft jelly or there is sequestration. There is inflammation around the bulged disc and pressing of the any of the spinal nerves.

Causes of PIVD

PIVD can occur due to incorrect posture, obesity, manual labor, weakened trunk, long sitting hours and/or ageing.

Symptom and diagnosis of PIVD    

Symptoms of PIVD include severe lower back pain, pain in legs, feet and buttocks due to pressed spinal nerve, muscular spasm, and loss of control over bowel movement. Pressing of last few spinal nerves causes Cauda equina syndrome which includes numbness in area around the anus, weak leg muscles, lower back pain and loss of control over the bowel and bladder.

Diagnosis is based on the symptoms and include SLR, bowstring tests and femoral stretch test.

Need of surgery?

In most of the cases, the painful treatment of spinal surgery is recommended which becomes mandatory for Cauda equina syndrome. Some of the risk factors associated with spinal surgery include damage of nerve root, infection, bleeding, nerve damage, formation of blood clots and even reappearance of pain in time, as it occurs in many cases.

Physiotherapy: An alternative approach

Having said about risk factors of spinal surgery, it becomes necessary to talk about the alternative approach. Though, surgery seems to give a quick relief from back pain as compared to the physiotherapy, it is not beneficial in long term owing to its too many side effects and no assurance of permanent pain relief. The physiotherapy aims at pain relief, muscle strengthening and relaxation, relief from inflammation and prevention of any further complications. The structured exercise regime includes nerve mobility exercises, press ups in prone condition, simple spinal movements in different poses (prone, supine, half lying, standing etc) and isometric exercises. A regular routine of exercise under supervision of experienced physiotherapist gives visible results. The person is then motivated to do some aerobic exercises, walk etc. to increase the strength of the muscles further. A routine of exercises keep the person away from any pain and nullify the need of any spinal surgery at all.

Eva physiotherapy and wellness clinic aims to achieve sum of the physical and mental health of the person who are demoralized due to recommended need of risky spinal surgery.

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Know about stroke Prevention and Post Stroke Physiotherapy Role

 

Preventive healthcare services walk extra mile to ensure the overall health of individuals. The whole program is based on two basic components: preventive measures and restorative treatments.

Stroke is the condition where the plaque formation interrupts the blood supply to brain cells. Blood serves to carry nutrients and oxygen required for functioning of the brain. Stroke causes paralysis or loss of function of one leg and arm. Modern stagnant lifestyle, unhealthy eating habits, heredity, use of drugs increase the chances of stroke even in young individuals (less than 50years old).

Preventive measures aim to maintain the health by adopting healthy life style and eating habits using behavior changing strategies. It includes educating people about risk factors of stroke at young age as posed by smoking, junk food, alcohol consumption and stagnant life style. Various wellness programs for school children and corporate world are organized to inculcate the healthy habits in early life and to educate professionals about the risk factors respectively.
Smoking increases the chances of stroke by narrowing of vessels. Behavioral therapy to make the smokers quit it includes personal or even the telephonic counselling. Adopting healthy diet habits reduces to blood sodium level, maintain normal range of blood pressure and thereby reduces the risk of getting stroke. Diet rich in fruits and vegetables is recommended for the same. Obesity is one of the foremost risk factor for stroke. Regular physical activities, active life style, yoga, exercise, walk and of course, healthy diet keep the person away from obesity. Wellness programs to educate the people about increased risk of stroke by alcohol consumption as well as the counselling help to quit or at least, reduce the alcohol consumption.

Blessed people get the preventive care in time and stay away from life threatening stroke. But this is not the case with all!

Rehabilitation is the holistic approach that aims to regain the physical activities (sitting, standing, and walking) through exercise with focus on required proper diet and restoration of cardiorespiratory fitness.

Physiotherapy helps the stroke survivors to keep these nonfunctional muscles toned. Once the muscles regain their function, physiotherapy makes the patients to relearn everyday skills and retrain their healthy brain cells to control the affected body parts. The objective is to regain the lost functions of the muscles through mild but regular exercises followed by achieving the normal body movement using that function. In worst cases, even if the function cannot be restored due to severity of damage caused by stroke, physiotherapy helps the patient to regain the best of it using several equipments; sometimes with help of stick or other devices. Patients are recommended to start the physiotherapy at earliest even when they are in bed. The passive movements of limbs and the suggested correct posture to lie in prevent the possible stiffening of muscles and joints. This ensures quick regain of movement once functions of the muscles are restored.

Stroke survivors have reduces ability to manage the day to day life activities. Integral wellness and  self-management programs and counselling help them to adopt with the impact of stroke and to become actively engaged in daily life despite the long term effects of stroke on body.

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GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS AND NUTRITION THERAPY

Gastrointestinal Problems And Nutrition Therapy

Gastrointestinal problems / digestive disorders include a number of disorders such as constipation, irritable bowel syndrome, haemorrhoids, anal fissures, perianal abscesses, anal fistulas, perianal infections, diverticular diseases, colitis, colon polyps and cancer. Out of these disorders, constipation and irritable bowel syndrome are known as functional disorders and are generally attributed to an unhealthy lifestyle, among other things, leading to eating disorders and nutritional deficiencies. Thus, they can be reversed by way of nutrition therapy.

Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders – Causes

Functional gastrointestinal disorders such as constipation and irritable bowel syndrome are caused due to issues that affect the motility of the gastrointestinal tract causing it to lose motility. It is a result of low fiber diets, insufficient exercise, travelling, routine changes, excessive dairy products in diet, stress, resisting bowel movements (either from haemorrhoid pain, or otherwise), overuse of laxatives, taking antacid medications that contain calcium / aluminium, taking medications such as antidepressants and iron pills and pain killers, and pregnancy.

  1. Constipation: Constipation is a condition characterized by symptoms including difficulty to pass stools, bowel movement becomes irregular and infrequent / incomplete. It causes strain during bowel movements and often leads to fissures and haemorrhoids.

Nutrition Therapy: Since constipation is directly attributed to lack of fiber (roughage) in a diet, it is pertinent to have a diet that is rich in fiber. Foods include a number of fruits and vegetables, lentils, beans, whole grains and dark chocolates.

  1. Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS): Irritable bowel syndrome, also known as spastic colon, irritable colon, or nervous stomach, is where the colon muscles contract frequently. There are foods and medications that often trigger IBS. It is characterized by symptoms such as abdominal cramps, pains, gas problems, bloating, irregular bowel movements and an alternate phase of constipation and diarrhoea.

Nutrition Therapy: IBS is often triggered by certain foods and it can be reversed using nutrition therapy. To reverse IBS, a diet plan needs to be rich in fiber, which can be added through a number of fruits and vegetables, lentils, beans, whole grains, etc. Additionally, diet must not include caffeine, and monitored foods that trigger the IBS.

Most common gastrointestinal problems are a direct result of an unhealthy lifestyle and proper nutrition therapy can successfully reverse these conditions. We at Eva Physiocare have developed an integrated wellness programme designed specifically for patients with gastrointestinal disorders. The programme includes nutrition and diet therapy where the therapists make a diet chart well-suited to the patient and his or her lifestyle. In addition, we stress on physical therapy. Our physical therapist sets down an exercise regimen for the patient so as to let out the toxicity accumulated in the body and manage weight, both of which contribute to gastrointestinal disorders.

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Diabetes Is A Reversible Disorder

Diabetes Is A Reversible Disorder

Introduction

Diabetes, also known as Diabetes mellitus, is a medical condition where blood sugar (glucose) levels are abnormally high. Glucose is added to the body by virtue of the food we eat. The hormone ‘insulin’ is responsible for breaking down the glucose so that it can enter the body cells and energise the body. It results in symptoms such as fatigue; increased hunger, thirst and need for urination; infections; blurred visions; unnatural weight gain / loss; and dark patches on the body, to name a few; whilst leading to other associated risks.

There are two types of diabetes – type 1 and type 2. Type 1 diabetes is when the body fails to produce insulin. Type 2 diabetes is when the body doesn’t produce enough insulin and the little that it does produce, it fails to use. Type 2 diabetes is more common and is commonly thought to be irreversible. However, recent studies have proven that diabetes, even Type 2 is reversible.

Reversing Diabetes

Professor Roy Taylor of Newcastle University, UK has presented his findings (the Twin Cycle Hypothesis) that type 2 diabetes is found to be a common occurrence in people who consume excess calories leading to fatty liver, as a result of which it fails to respond to insulin hormone whilst producing excessive glucose. Additionally, the excessive fat in the liver passes on to the pancreas forcing the failure of the insulin production cells. According to the research that was presented, if one manages to lose less than 1 gram of fat from the pancreas, by means of diet, then it will start functioning properly once again, thereby, in essence making type 2 diabetes reversible. It was further added that diabetes remains reversible for almost 10 years after its onset.

Thus, diabetes reversal essentially requires a change in lifestyle. Fat accumulation in the liver and fat is a direct result of the unhealthy lifestyle that has become the norm of the fast paced society. Reversing diabetes requires two things – a diet plan and an exercise / work out regime.

  1. Diet Plan – The diet plans to reverse diabetes should be carefully planned out, thus, it is advisable to consult a diet and nutrition therapist. A typical diet plan to help reverse diabetes includes food that have low calories with an overall low calorie intake, equal amount of carbohydrate intake at each meal, healthy fats (i.e., saturated fats and trans fats are to be avoided, a variety of fresh or frozen fruits and vegetables (including leafy greens), whole grains and food made with whole grains, and lean protein (fish, poultry, low-fat dairy, soy, and beans). Additionally, one must let go of alcohol while sweets must be limited.
  2. Exercise Regime – The exercise regime will vary from person to person and will be set out by the physical therapist. It is important to be active every day and this typically includes walking, jogging / running, and exercising. Certain precautions are to be taken such as carrying snacks to avoid sudden falls in blood sugar.

We at Eva Physiocare have developed an integrated wellness programme to help our patients reverse diabetes through diet and nutrition therapy alongside physical therapy. With our programme patients can successfully reverse diabetes and let go of additional health risks that come with it, as well as curing themselves of disorders the underlying cause of which is diabetes.

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Osteoporosis prevention and care

Osteoporosis Prevention And Care

Introduction

Osteoporosis is a medical condition where the density of the bones is reduced thereby resulting in decreased bone strength and increased bone fragility. It is estimated in a study published in the Indian Journal of Medical Research that more than 25 million Indians are affected by osteoporosis, most of which are women. Data in India suggests such prevalence due to Vitamin D deficiency in Indians after 50 years of age and that it can be battled with proper nutrition. Osteoporosis requires proper prevention and care but before visiting that, let’s briefly touch upon its causes, symptoms and diagnosis.

Causes, Symptoms and Diagnosis

Osteoporosis occurs when the pores in the bones are enlarged thereby causing it to lose density. This is caused due to a number of factors including age, race (mostly Asian / Caucasian), smaller body frame, low body weight, early menopause (in women, low oestrogen levels), low testosterone in men, genetics, smoking and drinking excessively, lack of exercise, poor nutrition, calcium and Vitamin D deficiency, medical conditions such as hyperthyroidism, chronic inflammation diseases, and use of certain medications such as prednisone or cortisone.

Symptoms include receding gum lines, weakened grip and strength, weak and brittle nails. But in most cases, symptoms do not show unless there is a bone fracture. If a person has osteoporosis, he becomes quite prone to fractures. In severe osteoporosis, the bones are extremely brittle and slightest pressure on a bone could cause fractures. Symptoms in this case include back and neck pain. There may also be height loss.

Osteoporosis is diagnosed through a physical test and medical history examination. There may be tests on blood and urine. Bone density tests or dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DEXA) are also done.

Prevention and Care

Osteoporosis while has medications, requires management by way of therapeutic healing. Physiotherapy of osteoporosis patients becomes essential to rebuild strength, flexibility and mobility, and manage pain. It includes exercise therapy where the patient is guided by the physiotherapist to do resistance training exercises, such as, leg presses, squats, push-ups, and weight training with resistance bands, dumbbells and resistance exercise machines, along with postural exercises and balance exercises. In addition, the patient is required to be engaged in physical activity such as walking, taking the stairs and so on. What is important aside from physiotherapy is a nutrition and diet therapy considering the nutrition deficiency in an osteoporosis patient. A diet chart is made by the diet and nutrition therapist keeping in mind that the diet should be comprehensive of the following nutrients: calcium, vitamin D and additionally, protein, magnesium, vitamin K, and zinc. In addition to physiotherapy, exercise therapy and diet therapy, a general healthy lifestyle has to be maintained where smoking and alcohol should be avoided. Women could be benefited from a hormone therapy.

We at Eva Physiocare have developed an integrated wellness programme for osteoporosis patients where we focus on physiotherapy, exercise therapy, diet and nutrition therapy, thereby enabling the patient to get back to his normal life in no time through holistic healing.

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Food and Nutrition Play a Major Role in Rheumatoid arthritis

Food And Nutrition Play A Major Role In Managing Rheumatoid Arthritis

Introduction

Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic medical condition where the joints of a person are affected, particularly in the hands and the feet, and other body parts including skin, eyes, heart, lungs, blood vessels, etc. It is of huge concern in India as there are over a million instances of rheumatoid arthritis in the present scenario.

Causes

As mentioned earlier, rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disorder. It occurs when the immune system of the body starts to attack its own self, particularly in the synovium lining of the membranes that surround the joints. The inflammation of the synovium stretch, weaken and destroy the tendons, ligaments, cartilages and the bone that it encompasses.

The factors that generally are seen to contribute to rheumatoid arthritis are the gender (men are more prone to it), ageing persons (mostly after 40 years of age), obesity in ageing persons, family history of the disorder, lifestyle problems such as smoking, and exposures to harmful elements in the environment. In short, the rheumatoid arthritis circles back to the effects of built up nutritional deficiencies due to a generally unhealthy lifestyle.

Symptoms & Diagnosis

Symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis include – tender, inflamed and warm joints; stiffness in joints particularly in morning and after any kind of prolonged periods of inactivity; loss of function in joints; unnatural weight loss; fatigue and inability to work or concentrate; and fever. Initial symptoms affect the smaller joints in the hands and feet. As the condition progresses, the symptoms spread to other parts of the body.

In case rheumatoid arthritis remains unattended, it can cause deformity in joints. It also increases risk of developing osteoporosis, rheumatoid modules, dry eyes and mouth, infections, abnormal body compositions, carpal tunnel syndrome, heart disease, lung disease and lymphoma.

Rheumatoid arthritis is diagnosed through a physical exam where the joints, reflexes and the muscle strength are studied. In addition to this, blood tests (for ESR, CRP, anti-CCP, etc.) and imaging tests (X-ray, MRI, and ultrasounds) may also be required.

Treatment

Rheumatoid arthritis is not completely reversible. It can only be managed through medications, alternative treatments and in worst case scenarios, surgeries.

Physical therapy is the best way to manage pain and restore flexibility and mobility in joints for rheumatoid arthritis patients in a therapeutic and holistic manner. The physiotherapist works on the joint flexibility, mobility, strengthening of muscles, etc., in order to ensure that the patient can lead a normal lifestyle.

What is important in addition to physical therapy is food and nutrition therapy since the immune system of the body needs restoration. The dietitian and nutritionist typically recommend an anti-inflammatory diet for a rheumatoid arthritis patient:

  • Foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids such as fatty fishes (salmon, tuna, herring, and mackerel), chia seeds, flax seeds, and walnuts find a place in the diet.
  • In addition to this, antioxidants are necessary, i.e., food rich in vitamins A, C, E and selenium. Such antioxidant rich foods include berries (blueberries, cranberries, strawberries and goji berries), dark chocolate, spinach, kidney beans, pecans, artichokes, and so on.
  • Fiber forms another essential part of the diet as they help reduce C – reactive protein levels. Foods rich in fiber include whole grains and food made from whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables.
  • Another important part is the addition of flavonoids to the diet through soy products (tofu, miso, etc.), berries, green tea, broccoli and grapes.
  • Foods to be completely avoided include processed carbohydrates, saturated fats and trans fats.

We at Eva Physiocare have developed a comprehensive wellness programme for rheumatoid arthritis patients that include physical therapy, exercise therapy and diet-nutrition therapy in order to manage it.

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Detox Diet & Fatty Liver

Detox Diet & Fatty Liver

 

Introduction

Fatty liver, also known as hepatic steatosis, is a reversible medical condition where too much triglyceride fat is built up in the liver. The liver has vital bodily functions where it processes and filters anything a human body intakes and the excessive fat interferes with these processes. The fat in the liver is medically considered as ‘too much’ when the fat comprises of 5 to 10 percent of the liver’s weight. Fatty liver is at a rising rate in India due to changing lifestyles. About 30-40% of Indians are reported to have early stages of fatty liver, and this is an alarming statistic.

Causes

The primary causes of fatty liver are mainly attributed to changing lifestyles that lead to obesity, rapid weight loss, insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes, nutrition deficiency, metabolic syndrome, hypertension, dyslipidaemia, high cholesterol levels, high levels of triglyceride fat in the blood, polycystic ovary syndrome, sleep apnoea, underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism), and underactive pituitary gland (hypopituitarism). Some factors that aid these causes are age (above 50), genetic inheritance, pregnancy, and side effect of certain medications, including aspirin, steroids, tamoxifen (Nolvadex), and tetracycline (Panmycin), and lifestyle factors such as smoking and consumption of alcohol.

Stages, Symptoms & Diagnosis

There are four stages of fatty liver –

  1. Simple fatty liver (steatosis) / alcoholic fatty liver – This is potentially harmless and generally show no symptoms, however, one may have fatigue or vague abdominal discomfort.
  2. Non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) / Alcoholic steatohepatitis – A very minimal portion of the population with simple fatty liver move to this stage. It is an aggravated stage where the inflammation of the liver is a notable symptom along with dull or aching pain in the top right of the abdomen. Other symptoms include a poor appetite, weight loss, physical weakness, fatigue and confusion.
  3. Fibrosis (scarring of the liver) – In this stage there is a persistent inflammation in the liver and fibrous scar tissues show around the blood and liver cells by replacing some of the healthy tissues.
  4. Cirrhosis (chronic liver disease) – This is the final stage that leads to liver failure and requires a transplantation. It usually affects those above 50-60 years of age and is characterized by the liver shrinking and becoming lumpy. Symptoms include an enlarging, fluid-filled abdomen, jaundice of the skin and yellowing of the eyes, confusion, and a tendency to bleed more easily.

Diagnosis is done through blood tests and imaging tests such as CT scan, MRI, transient elastography, magnetic resonance elastography, and liver tissue examination, and also through physical exam.

Treatment: Detox Diet

As mentioned earlier, fatty liver, at its early stages (except the third and fourth stages) is reversible by way of simple changes in lifestyle. If the fatty liver is due to alcohol, the main change in lifestyle involves avoiding alcohol completely for 6 weeks. Apart from this, fatty liver can easily be reversed through detoxification that includes a detox diet and exercise regimen. The detox diet typically includes foods that are cholesterol free and enable the lowering of triglyceride levels in the blood. For instance, mono- and poly-unsaturated fats should be substituted for saturated and trans fats by using olive oil instead of butter and eating fish such as salmon instead of red meat. The detox diet should also be designed in a manner that fights or controls or prevents obesity, type 2 diabetes, insulin resistance and metabolic syndrome. In addition, certain drugs, smoking, etc., are to be avoided. Alcohol is also to be avoided even if the fatty liver is not attributed to it. There should be a carefully planned exercise regimen for 30 mins each day so as to control weight and rejuvenate the body.

We at Eva Physiocare have developed an integrated wellness programme containing diet therapy, nutrition therapy and exercise therapy for fatty liver patients, enabling them to completely reverse the condition and get back to the normal life within weeks.

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Vedic diet bliss for insulin resistance

Vedic Diet Bliss For Insulin Resistance

Introduction

Insulin resistance is a condition where the cells of the body develop the inability to respond to the insulin hormone (made by the pancreas), resulting in issues such as type 2 diabetes, gestational diabetes and prediabetes, if lifestyle changes are not made in time. According to a study published in the Journal of the Association of Physicians in India, today, diabetes resulting from insulin resistance is a global problem, growing as a pandemic, where the count is estimated to be over 300 million by the year 2025, almost one-third of which will be attributed to Indians alone.

Causes

The key factor contributing to insulin resistance is the changing (sedentary) lifestyle with a vastly improper diet including a high-calorie diet, high-carbohydrate or high-sugar diet. As a result, those developing insulin resistance are often seen to be obese, although, it may develop in the non-obese population as well. Other causes include medications or high dosage steroids, existence of chronic diseases, existence of diabetes in the family, been previously diagnosed with gestational diabetes during childbirth, and having Cushing’s disease or polycystic ovaries. Usually if a person has high levels of insulin in the blood, excess fat in the liver and pancreas, and inflammation, then he / she is more prone to developing insulin resistance.

Symptoms & Diagnosis

The common symptoms include lethargy, extreme thirst, unnatural hunger leading to bingeing on food, difficulty concentrating, weight gain in the belly, increased urination, tingling in hands / feet, frequent infections, high blood pressure and cholesterol levels. These symptoms may not show at all at initial stages and may show up only in blood tests. In case the patient develops type 2 diabetes, gestational diabetes and prediabetes, additional symptoms include increased blood glucose levels and those symptoms that are particular to the diabetes. Insulin resistance is diagnosed through tests such as A1C test, fasting blood glucose test, glucose tolerance testing and random blood sugar tests.

Treatment

The best way to control insulin resistance is by improving lifestyle.

Firstly, one must consult a diet and nutrition therapist for a complete change in the diet regimen. The key is to follow a low-carb and ketogenic diet containing very low calories in order to lose weight that is attributed to insulin resistance. It is generally advised to completely avoid saturated fats, highly processed foods as they put a lot of stress on the pancreas.

Following a perfectly balanced Vedic diet turns out to be a completely blissful experience for insulin resistance patients. Vedic diets generally include whole, unprocessed foods, vegetables (fresh, low-sodium canned, and frozen) and fruits (fresh / frozen). They can be listed as below –

  1. Vegetables include tomatoes, spinach, peppers, leafy greens like spinach, collard, kale, and cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts. They are low-calorie and high-fiber in nature.
  2. Fruits include apples, berries, bananas, grapes, plums, and peaches for fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Fruit juices, however, are to be avoided.
  3. Dairy is essential and the diet must include fat-free, low-fat, or non-fat unsweetened milk and yogurt, or alternative milks such as those from almond / soy, in case one is lactose intolerant.
  4. Other foods include –
  • whole grains
  • beans and legumes
  • fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids (salmon, mackerel, herring, sardines, rainbow trout, tilapia, cod, flounder, halibut, haddock, lobster, scallops, shrimp, oysters, clams, or crabs)
  • poultry (chicken breasts, Cornish hen, or turkey)
  • other lean protein (pork, veal, lamb, and beef / soy, tempeh, beans, and legumes)
  • spices (Fenugreek seeds, garlic, onion, turmeric, cumin seeds, ginger, garlic, onions, mustard, curry leaves, cinnamon, mustard and coriander)
  • healthy unsaturated fat sources such as nuts
  • oils from mustard, olive, canola, soybean, sesame and sunflower.
  1. Additionally, one must limit alcohol or give it up completely.

Secondly, one must also consult the physiotherapist for an exercise regimen that helps in controlling weight.

We at Eva Physiocare have developed an integrated wellness programme containing diet therapy, nutrition therapy and exercise therapy for insulin resistant patients.

 

 

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Wheat Allergy (Gluten Allergy)-Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

Wheat Allergy (Gluten Allergy): Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

Introduction

An allergy is a condition where one’s immune system is over sensitized and reacts to the immediate environment, including foods eaten. Wheat allergy or gluten allergy (also known as celiac disease) is a condition where a person has allergic reactions to wheat and food containing wheat or gluten protein found in wheat, barley and rye. Wheat allergy has been reported to be an ‘impending epidemic’ in India by the Indian Journal of Medical Research and thus, requires immediate attention.

Causes

In case of oversensitivity of wheat and wheat proteins in the immune system, one may develop allergy by consuming products containing wheat or simply using them or inhaling them. There are four kinds of wheat proteins that may be the cause for the allergic reaction – albumin, globulin, gliadin and gluten. Allergic reactions from gluten is the most abnormal and common one. Wheat protein may, apart from wheat based food products, also contain in cosmetics, bath items and play dough. Other factors in wheat allergy include family history (if parents have food allergy) and age (usually children below 16 are affected after which they tend to outgrow it; adults may develop it if they are allergic to grass-pollen).

Symptoms

The symptoms of wheat allergy may show in a child or an adult. The most common symptoms include swelling, itching or irritation in the mouth or throat; hives, itchy rash or skin swelling; nasal congestion; headache; difficulty in breathing; cramps, nausea or vomiting; and diarrhoea. In addition to these above mentioned symptoms of wheat allergy, someone may develop anaphylaxis (which may sometimes be induced only after the person exercises within a few hours of eating wheat) and its symptoms include swelling or tightness of the throat; chest pain; chest tightness; severe difficulty in breathing; trouble swallowing; pale, blue skin color; dizziness; and fainting. It is to be noted that anaphylaxis, an extremely serious symptom, is potentially life-threatening, and needs immediate medical assistance.

Diagnosis

To diagnose a wheat allergy, a comprehensive physical test is done, alongside collection of a detailed medical history. Tests include a skin test, blood test, elimination test where certain foods are eliminated to find the root cause for the symptoms, ort food-challenge test where certain foods are added, and finally, by asking the patient to maintain a food diary.

Treatment

Treatment for wheat allergy is mostly done by the usage of drugs such as antihistamines for minor symptoms and epinephrine for anaphylaxis. However, today with the growth of advanced studies, immunotherapy, has proven to be an effective tool for managing and curing wheat allergy. Immunotherapy is essentially oral or through shots where it is aimed to desensitize the immune system against certain allergens, in this case being wheat and gluten. Oral immunotherapy for wheat allergy, has in a recent double-blind placebo-controlled study, shown that it allows patients to be successfully desensitized to wheat and even tolerate gluten after 8-10 weeks. This treatment is at the primary stages aimed at preventing anaphylaxis. Apart from this, it is pertinent to have a gluten-free diet and lifestyle. This is why it also becomes important to consider nutrition therapy and diet therapy so as to assure that the patient receives all essential nutrients through diet irrespective of the fact that gluten cannot be a part of it. We at Eva Physiocare ensure a well-integrated wellness programme for wheat allergy patients and it includes a comprehensive nutrition and diet therapy as well as oral immunotherapy.

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Hypothyroidism and Nutrition

Hypothyroidism and Nutrition Therapy

Introduction

Hypothyroidism is a medical condition where the thyroid glands do not produce enough thyroid hormones. The thyroid gland, a small butterfly-shaped gland located in the base of the neck is responsible for producing hormones that regulate metabolism and other bodily functions in heart, brain, muscles and skin. Hormonal changes in the body are natural, but those induced by hypothyroidism are detrimental to the human body as bodily functions are slowed down. About 11% of the Indian population is reported to have been affected by hypothyroidism. Owing to the changing lifestyle hypothyroidism is a fast growing issue.

Causes and Types

Hypothyroidism is generally attributed to unhealthy lifestyles of the modern human being that leads to a nutrient deficient diet, particularly iodine. Other causes include – radiation therapy in neck; radioactive iodine treatments; use of drugs such as amiodarone (Cordarone, Pacerone), lithium, interferon alpha, and interleukin-2; thyroid surgery; deficiencies or problems at birth, during pregnancy; pituitary gland damage or disorder; and hypothalamus disorder.

There are certain other factors that puts one at a risk of hypothyroidism, such as race (particularly white or Asian); gender (women are mostly affected); ageing; premature greying of hair; autoimmune disorders such as type 1 diabetes, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, celiac disease, Addison’s disease, pernicious anaemia, or vitiligo; bipolar disorder; down syndrome; and turner syndrome.

Hypothyroidism can be of three types – primary, where the gland is affected directly; secondary, where the gland is affected due to other disorders such as pituitary gland problem or hypothalamus problem; and tertiary, where sometimes hypothalamus problems result in hypothyroidism.

Symptoms

Hypothyroidism can affect different age groups and symptoms in each of these groups vary a little.

  • Women, Teens – Basic symptoms in women and teens include changes in the menstrual cycle; delayed puberty (in teens); muscle cramps; constipation; depression; dry hair and skin; hair loss; fatigue; increased sensitivity to cold; slowed heart rate; swelling of the thyroid gland; unexplained weight gain; high cholesterol, difficulty in concentrating; pain and swelling of joints; sleeping problems; and carpal tunnel syndrome.
  • Infants, Children – The symptoms in infants often include no symptoms at all but sometimes may show cold limbs; constipation; extreme sleepiness; hoarse cry; little or no growth; low muscle tone; persistent jaundice; poor feeding habits; puffy face; stomach bloating; and swollen tongue. Children may be affected by delayed mental development and slow reaction time.

Diagnosis

Hypothyroidism is to be diagnosed through a comprehensive physical test to check for thyroid inflammation, imaging scan such as thyroid scans and thyroid ultrasounds to check for nodules, and blood tests to check for TSH levels like T4, and total or free T3.

Treatment: Nutrition Therapy

While hypothyroidism is generally treated through supplements and medications, nutrition therapy plays a big part in its treatment since hypothyroidism is caused by nutrient deficiencies in most of the cases. Proper nutrition is responsible for the maintenance of the thyroid gland. Nutrients responsible for this include iodine, selenium, zinc, iron, copper, Vitamins A, E, D and B12, and DHEA and Pregnenolo-sulphate. All of these are to be effectively complemented through a proper diet. Additionally, a common problem in hypothyroidism is an unexpected weight gain and difficulty in losing weight. Nutrition therapy along with an exercise therapy helps in losing and controlling weight. Additionally, physiotherapy and physical therapy help ease symptoms of pain in joints and other body parts. We at Eva Physiocare have an integrated wellness programme comprising of nutrition therapy, exercise therapy and physiotherapy to manage hypothyroidism in patients holistically and therapeutically.

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