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Healthy Habits for a Healthy Heart: Dr Prasanna Simha


Bengaluru: Dr Prasanna Simha, veteran cardiologist, Professor and Head of the Department of Cardiothoracic and Vascular Surgery, Sri Jayadeva Institute of Cardiovascular and Research (SJICR) strongly advocates healthy habits for maintaining a healthy heart.

Junk food: In a candid telephone conversation, Dr Prasanna Simha dwelt in detail on the multiple factors solely responsible for heart ailments surging Northwards. He asserted-"The common premature diabetes related to obesity is due to consumption of junk food-related habits plays a major role in the increasing numbers of heart ailments. Not maintaining proper weight, no control over central obesity (bulky tummy), lack of regular exercise, over-eating, and bad habits are paving the way for cardiac-related woes...

...Japanese way of eating: It may be appropriate here to quote the Japanese way of eating. By and large, you don't find obese people in Japan. You also find villages of centurions and that has been made possible largely due to their healthy habits. They have developed a practice of finishing the meals as soon as they feel that 70-80% of their appetite has been fulfilled".

The thrifty gene concept is forgotten: Dr Prasanna Simha also reminded us about the thrifty genes inherited by Indians for ages-"Earlier whenever we faced drought conditions, we survived the adverse situation, thanks to the thrifty gene hypothesis. Certain populations have these genes which determine increased fat storage. This phenomenon, in times of famine, transforms into a survival advantage. However, in a modern environment, the same is leading to obesity and type 2 diabetes...

...No drought, forget starvation:
Thanks to the thrift genes, we can survive despite starvation. Interestingly, these days we don't come across an earlier acute drought situation. Now, it looks like the other way around as we are only finding a large number of over-eating problems! As soon as boys and girls get married they think the stage of remaining fit is over and get into unhealthy habits of eating and thereby ending up with obesity-related issues".

COVID-19 vaccine saved us from extinction: Dr Prasanna Simha takes a dig at all those finding fault with the COVID-19 vaccine-"These days, it has become a fashion to blame the COVID-19 vaccine for everything. Some even go to the extent of targeting it for their gas-related problems. People keep forgetting how many lives were lost during the pandemic...

...One patient half an hour:
Then almost one patient died, came to in a critical condition every half an hour in our own Jayadeva Hospital. When COVID-19 vaccines were introduced, they were first given to Doctors, Nursing staff and Army jawans. Did any Army personnel die of COVID-19? A lot of misinformation has been let loose. There were only two options risk and benefit, in other words, death or vaccine. So, vaccines saved our lives".


Low-calorie diet under medical supervision:
Dr Prasanna Simha is aghast at the alarming rate of young people dying-"Unfortunately, young people are dying a lot. Increased blood Carbon monoxide levels have been found indicating heart attacks may be caused due to pollution. Youths, Traffic Policemen on the field, and Auto drivers are becoming victims. But, these problems can be overcome by regular exercise, proper diet and avoiding junk food. A low-calorie diet is also trending now, but whatever you do needs to be done under professional medical supervision to avoid unnecessary problems later".

But for Doctors, everyone else is a Doctor! He jocularly remarks-"In the name of a low-calorie diet, people tend to consume what not and end up becoming low carbohydrate and high cholesterol patients. An unmonitored low-calorie diet is not found to be beneficial and one should eat a wide variety of balanced meals. But, the real big problem today is that everyone other than the Doctors has become the doctors!".

A preventable disease: Dr Prasanna Simha becomes categorical when it comes to the hopes of preventing heart diseases-"The high-risk groups need to adhere to proper nutrition; should avoid obesity Rheumatic heart disease is preventable with proper care, necessary precautions like avoiding overcrowding, treating streptococcal sore throat infection and periodic check-ups. A lot of work is underway to study the symptoms and causes".

Many surgeries are nearly free: He also revealed findings of a study on the cardiac cases in the state-"Many problems are associated with birth. Paediatric cases can be operated on; blue babies can be operated upon. Many parents neglect the problem of a hole in the infant's heart under the illusion and (ill) advice of known ignorant people that the hole will disappear after some time. Thanks to the BPL-like schemes, many surgeries can be performed almost nearly free"

High in Rural and North Karnataka regions: Dr Prasanna Simha informs-"Cardiac ailments have been found on the rise in Bengaluru Rural and districts of North Karnataka. Sanitation, hygiene and overcrowding issues are adding to the woes. There is a necessity to increase awareness about heart-related health issues and the facilities available to treat and overcome them".

Inbreeding should end: He is firm in the opinion-"Inbreeding should end for at least three generations. Earlier the same zodiac sign marriages were discouraged to avoid inbreeding problems. Heart-related problems are quite common among Hindus marrying their maternal uncles/relatives and Muslims marrying their cousins. This trend is rampant in states like Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana and began as a ploy to retain the property within the family. Just like a Hybrid is being found to be a better breed it is better in the interest of the offspring and their good health to go for marriages other than relatives".


Lifestyle modification:
Dr Prasanna Simha signs off by appealing-"A proper lifestyle modification will go a long way in ensuring better health conditions. Regular exercise, proper diet, avoiding pollution, stress, junk food, and a bad lifestyle at the end will transform you into a better healthy living. Why hotel food is not like homemade food; the reasons are obvious, more than required oil, spice and reheating with the same oil. There was a time when we had to venture out of JJ Hospital where I trained to munch something at around 03 AM when we were very busy and had no access to food. We ate what we jovially termed as Petrol Jalebi in a shop where perhaps the oil was never changed, ever since the shop was opened! “Such meals and food are distinctly unhealthy and take a toll on the body.


-Manohar Yadavatti

Comments

  1. Thrifty Genes concept is very interesting. Obesity, overeating ,lack of exercise and insufficient rest are major causes of cardiovascular problems.

    ReplyDelete

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