Ailments & Remedies
Women & Obesity
Some girls, who used to be slim prior to
their marriage, gain weight gradually after marriage. This
is due to the changed eating habits or eating rich food to
which they might not be used to previously. Perhaps a more
care free & comfortable life is also to be blamed for this.
This is acceptable to them as well as to their spouses now
to consider their weight gain as a sign of good health until
they become pregnant.
Obesity right from the first month of
pregnancy has its own disadvantages. The fatty tissues in
the abdomen make it difficult for the expanding uterus, as
the months advance exert great pressure on the bladder &
bowels, disturbing the function of these waste eliminating
organs. Wrong conceptions about the needs of a pregnant
woman that she should eat double the amount of food to feed
her and her child to be born and she should rest and relax
more to preserve her energy for the time of labour. Nothing
is near the truth, because the correct way of sensible
eating & mild exercises & activities till the time of
delivery facilitated a normal & comfortable delivery of a
While in some cases there is reduction in
weight after childbirth, in other, the young mothers keep
gaining weight & remain obese for the rest of their lives.
Generally two reasons can be attributed for obesity after
childbirth. If normal delivery of the child is not there then
this deprive the young mother of normal activities & exercises
after delivery, resulting in the uterus not shrinking as it
should, and gradually distention of abdomen takes place. The
additional nourishment consumed undergoes poor digestion and
the weight keeps increasing.
Some young mothers despite normal delivery
gain weight steadily because they are fed on fatty & starchy
food in place of proper nutritious food under the erroneous
notion that the weakness caused by labour can only be
compensated by a rich diet. Sometimes young mothers, after
delivery is also make rest more than it is necessary. Just as
exercises is a must till almost the last stages of delivery
for easy delivery, mild exercise after delivery is necessary
for the contraction of the uterus to its original size. But
exercise becomes more difficult if there is a weight increase.
There fore, obesity worsens the condition.
Women, who use contraceptive devices, oral contraceptives on a
regular basis also tend to become obese. This is due to the
effect on the hormones contained in those drugs.
Some women tend to gain weight during their menopause. Due to
hormonal imbalance, obesity sets in, even though they had
maintained normal weight previously. Menopause is a natural
phase in a woman's life. Some women seek medical solutions in
the form of hormone supplement for their irregular monthly
cycles, disturbing symptoms & mild discomforts. Obesity caused
by hormone pills is a bit difficult to get rid unlike other
forms of obesity. Yet unani medicines successfully treated
these hormone pills related obesity.
Mind over body:
Some women suffer from obesity for identifiable psychological
reasons that manifest themselves as expressions of their
underlying unhappiness and for no other reason. Such persons
feel unwanted at home & outside. They develop severe
complexes, become discontented with every one around & become
indifferent towards anything & everything. They lose interest
in every activity, which provide a pleasant diversion. In such
cases, unless the under lying cause is attended to, they
remain obese. Whenever they feel tense, overcome with unknown
fears they seek a diversion in frequent eating. This type of
eating gives them only a false sense of their tension being
eased. At such times due to the absence of actual hunger, they
resort to eating snacks, which please their palate. This
naturally ads bulk the body.
Endocrine glands are organs, which pour internal secretion
into our blood. But for these glands, the growth of our body &
mind becomes defective & results in various disorders &
diseases, obesity being one of them. The glands produce some
chemical substances, which are called hormones. Hormone is a
circulating chemical substance that is capable of acting on
distant organs from its original site. The glands that
function in a unique way need a mention in this chapter
because a few glands & other functions are responsible for
causing obesity. These are the pituitary, thyroid, adrenals,
pacers & gonads.
Hormones are the agents that stirrup activity and bring about
psychological changes in our behavior & bodily functions.
Abnormal conditions of our health, is the direct result of an
excess or deficient secretion of these hormones.
Overeating or Binge Eating:
Among the glands, the pituitary is the
master gland that governs all other glands. It somewhat hangs
from the hypothalamus which is at the base of the brain. It
monitors the activities of the other glands to produce exactly
the correct amount of their respective hormones.
Hypothalamus is a group of neurons that act
as the centre for appetite, the stimulation of which results
in the sensation of hunger. If there is an abnormal function
of this appetite centre in the hypothalamus, obesity is caused
due to overeating.
Obesity also results if the hormones that the pituitary gland
secretes are deficient. One notable feature of this deficiency
is along with causing obesity the height of the person gets
retarded particularly in the case of growing children. Girls
stay short and stout and the onset of menses is delayed or
absent for a very long period. In cases where this gland is
overactive and secrete hormones in excess of what it should,
the person grows to an abnormal size. This is known as
The second gland that contributes obesity is the thyroid. This
is situated in the neck. A deficiency in the hormones secreted
by these gland results in the speedy division of cells. Such
an increase in the number of cells cause obesity.
The third gland is the adrenals. These are two in number & are
situated above the kidneys. The hormones that these glands,
secrete, control our emotions anger, fear, etc. Excess
secretion of these hormones, or when these hormones are
administered in massive doses cause a severe disorder known,
as Cushing's syndrome. This is also known by the name moon
face. Any tumor or inflammation in this gland also causes
Cushing's syndrome. The person so afflicted bloats to abnormal
proportions & becomes the victim of various other disorders
too, like hypertension & diabetes.
The pancreas is a very important digestive organ that secretes
the digestive pancreatic juice and an essential endocrine
hormone the insulin. Insulin is very essential in sugar
metabolism. The stored fat from the refined carbohydrates &
sugar due to the abnormal sugar metabolism result in obesity.
In some cases, if the sex hormones secreted by the ovaries in
females are deficient during menopause, obesity results.
Administering hormones further adds to the bulk. So is the
case after hysterectomy in some women.
Addictions are of many types. All of us are addicted to
something without even knowing why & how we are addicted.
Generally tobacco, alcohol, drugs like opium & heroin are
thought to be the things which a person gets addicted to. But
most of us are unaware of an equally serious addiction that is
addiction to food. Different people are addicted to some food
items. Some are addicted to carbohydrates in the form of rice
or even wheat, some to spicy food, some to sweets, some to
fast food & other commercial food. There are persons who get
addicted even to bread & milk. Individually those foods as an
addiction, to any one of these, may be harmless without
visible discomfort. If abstained from, or lesser quantity of
particular type of food is taken, one may feel some sort of
all gone sensation in the stomach or suffer other withdrawal
symptoms. But once they are introduced again, the withdrawals
may disappear. As in any other addiction, the more one eats,
the more the food is relished. The craving for eating keeps
increasing day by day.
Addiction to overeating is a serious problem, because it
causes obesity. Overeating unwittingly begins at a very young
age when it can be easily controlled or got rid of. But on
being ignored or even encouraged, it reaches a stage when
withdrawing or controlling it becomes extremely difficult. We
often see persons overeating the type of food they are fond of
addiction to isolated food items can be considered quite
harmless compared to addiction to overeating. Bur if that
isolated food happens to contain more calories than the
isolated food happens to contain more calories than the food
requires, addiction to that particular type of food will
definitely be difficult to control. In case that particular
food is not available, something else will be sought which
gives the satisfaction of eating the missing one. On some
cases there are no such cravings for high calorie food like
sweets and other processed food. A person simply eats anything
that is available till his stomach is uncomfortably full. Less
quantity of food makes the individual restless until her eats
again after a few minutes interval.
The underlying cause for such overeating lies basically with
the abnormal functions of the endocrine glands and the amount
of hormones they produce. Availability of food in abundance is
another reasons why addiction overeating is difficult to
In general to men & women:
Sometimes, competition creates greater
enthusiasm to eat more, at times it happens that just for the
sake of it, people over eat when they are in company. But all
this leads to progressive addiction to food. When a person is
engaged in some work the need to eat is not felt much as it is
when he sits idle watching games, sports or even while
chatting or traveling. Having nothing else to do, they indulge
in eating every now and then.
Addiction to drugs, cigarettes & alcohol also cause obesity
but not in every one. Sometimes, to quit the habit of
or drinking, some people seek substitutes happen to be food,
which are high in calories. They seem to be mostly chocolates,
other sweets or tasty fast food. Some psychological reasons
can be attributed for such behavior. Most of the persons who
decide to give up smoking or drinking have a feeling that by
abstaining from these, they are depriving themselves of the
pleasure they derive by indulging in them. They also feel that
they should eat more of such food lest they should suffer from
physical weakness. If they are advised or forced by others to
quit smoking or alcohol, they almost invariably feel that they
are obliging others by giving it a try. Therefore, they wish
to compensate by eating what they like most, but not what
could be a productive substitute.
Drugs that contain mercury & arsenic are prescribes for a
variety of diseases. These if taken on a regular basis, result
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