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The obesity epidemic

There is no magic remedy to lose weight: the best way is to go for a balanced diet along with some physical exercises

Photo: K. R. Deepak

Health consciousness Walking is the best way to burn the extra calories

With the changes of industrialisation, economic surge, civilisation has become more sedentary. This has lead to increase average body weight of individuals. This indeed lead to many chronic diseases, decrease wellbeing and disturb self-esteem and relationships with peers.

The cause for overweight is usually the fact that more calories are eaten than what can be burnt off. The extra calories are stored by the body in terms of fat.

The younger population below the age of 19 are now tending to obesity and thereby getting into health situations erstwhile only suffered by the elderly population.

As such the commonest cause of obesity is usually the genes: the tendency to retain and store fat is more developed in certain individuals.

It is also impacted by the lifestyle, for example habits of unhealthy eating like fast-foods, high calorie and low nutrient snacks and beverages, bigger portions of foods, less active lifestyles, etc. Conditions like depression also push people into eating more.

Obesity causes a variety of problems.

- There is physical deformity of the legs due to the overweight.

- Wear and tear of the weight bearing joints of the body can cause an early onset of degenerative diseases like osteoarthritis with knees and ankles. If the younger children are obese the unfused long bones are prone to lesser circulation and delayed bone formation.

- Asthma and breathing problems are common problems for overweight people. It could even get worse since obese people may find their sleep interrupted with sudden stoppage of breathing and palpitation called sleep apnoea.

- The heart needs to pump much harder as it has its task cut out with the peripheries of the body demanding circulation and leaving them prone to conditions of high blood pressure.

- Increased cholesterol levels are always a risk that run parallel with obesity and are likely to cause heart ailments.

- Insulin is not as effective in obese people as it should be and thereby there are elevated levels of blood sugar making them more prone to diabetes.

- Fat finds its haven in the liver and increased deposition causes inflammation of the liver cells.

- A fine balance of hormones in a woman’s blood stream maintains many a balance. But in obese women, the testosterone levels can be elevated and lead to ovarian disease, Moreover, the ovulation is likely to get delayed and later in life problems of infertility can appear.

- Last but not the least, obese people are more depressed due to low self-esteem.

The key to managing weight and bringing it down is a practical way of addressing the problem rather than going on a crash diet.

Balance of wholesome eating is the key, more than starving or pleasure-free dieting. Just like an investment in the stock markets requires a diversified portfolio, the same is true for nutrition as a diet rich in whole-grains, fruits and vegetables, fish, nuts, vegetable oils, low-fat dairy, meat is necessary for good health, guarding against heart diseases and cancers and protect body cells from damage through antioxidants.

Apart from a balanced diet and the necessary physical activity, there is no other magic remedy to lose weight.

If it is due to a hormonal imbalance and certain difficulties in achieving the necessary lifestyle, homeopathic medicine can be of help. Insulinum, Apis mel, Colocynth, Phytolacca, Calcarea carb are the few remedies recognised to help.


During winter I develop breathlessness with disturbance of sleep at night. It compels me to sit through the night disturbing my work the next day. Can homeopathy help?


The lifeline of the lung tissue i.e. the alveoli exchange oxygen into the body but due to an allergic immune response there is constriction and breathing becomes difficult later accumulation of mucus as a protective reaction. Homeopathic medicine has good remedies to relieve the symptomatology of cough and breathlessness meanwhile correcting the response so that episodes of asthma come down in intensity and frequency.


On the margins of the scalp I develop itching and peeling off the skin with hairfall too. There are few patches in other areas of the scalp too. I suffer from a dry skin and once the cold months are I have a lot of problem with these. Can homeopathy help?


Psoriasis is a condition in which there is dryness, thickness and peeling off of the skin from few areas of the body including the scalp. It is due to excessive formation of skin cells which get replaced earlier than necessary and giving the dry appearance. Homeopathic medicine has good remedies like Petroleum, Graphites, Sulphur, Ac.nit, Sepia which can help relieve such a compl aint.


I am 39-year-old and the levels of cholesterol and triglyercides are more than 220mg/dl according to the annual health report. Would homeopathy help?


The elevated levels of these lipids can cause occlusion of the blood vessels (usually of the heart) and can cause cardiac problems and it is imperative to keep the levels down with decrease in intake of fatty foods and adding exercise to the routine. Homeopathic medicine has good remedies like Calc carb, Crataegus, Arjuna which can help maintain normal levels of lipids. Consult a homeopath.


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