All the risk factors for heart disease, stroke or diabetes like high blood sugar, high blood pressure, low HDL cholesterol, high, and increased belly fat, are collectively called as syndrome x or metabolic syndrome. It is one of that health ailment about which everyone is talking nowadays. However, it has not been a long time that this group of disorders came into the spotlight but now it has spread like a common cold or pimples. Syndrome x or metabolic syndrome tends to run in families. Although many people might be suffering from this disorder not many know much about it.
If you have any one of these risk factors, it does not mean that you have syndrome x but the presence of any of these diseases increases the risk of having a serious disease.
Usually, there are no obvious signs and symptoms but varies according to the condition like if blood sugar is increased then there will be certain symptoms associated with it.
Adults are usually affected by syndrome x and with every passing day, this number is increasing due to bad lifestyle and dietary habits. Sedentary lifestyle and increased level of stress are also responsible for its causation.
Usually, people try to control these factors by modern medicine but it is also of no use. So people are moving towards its alternative treatment and Ayurveda has come up as one of the best options to manage and treat syndrome x. Ayurveda can significantly control and prevent metabolic syndrome by following certain methods like diet and regimen regulation, seasonal regimen, yoga, panchakarma therapy and having some specific herbs. In authentic Ayurvedic literature dietary instructions to prevent metabolic syndrome has been described thousands of years ago. Dietary regulations are most important from all other factors.
Reference: Charak samhita, Nidan sthanam, chapter no. 3, shloka no. 24
Meaning- Cause-Due to the intake of hot, sour, salty, acidic food, intake of food during indigestion, living in too much sunlight and flames of fire, excessive hard work, excessive anger, intake of poisonous food cause vitiation of Pitta dosha. But Pitta prakrit person are more prone to develop such problems.
Pathogenesis – Vitiated Pitta when similar to vitiated Kapha, how it is said earlier, in the same way spreads in the urinary channels and pollutes the tissues and causes six types of diabetes.
Improper dietary habits like overeating, over-consumption of non-vegetarian foods, excessive heavy diet, sugary drinks or foods, milk and milk products are mainly responsible for the development of syndrome x. All these things increase Kapha dosha in the body which increases production of fat, mucous, and accumulation of fluids in the body. Increased level of fat shoots up the level of triglycerides and cholesterol in the blood. Metabolic system of the body slows down, leading to disturbed metabolism which ultimately causes weight gain. This is also due to increased Kapha in the body. Hence, in Ayurveda dietary restrictions are used as medicines to treat this Syndrome x. Proper and suitable diet selection is very important and different in every individual as metabolic rate varies in everyone.
According to Ayurveda the three doshas, i.e. Vata, Pitta, and Kapha govern all the body functions. Vata is wind, Pitta is bile and Kapha is phlegm. These are the three biological humors, i.e. Vata- biological air humor, Pitta- biological fire humor and Kapha- biological water-humor. All these humor control the hormonal, chemical and electrical body functions. So the diet should be according to the dominating humor or dosha in a particular person’s body.
Healthy life and proper supply of nutrients to every part of the body depend upon the proper diet. An appropriate diet for a person is chosen by evaluating its potency, taste, pharmacological effect and post-digestive effects. Proper digestion is mainly affected by the rasa or taste of the food one is taking. According to Ayurvedic dietary classification, food has mainly 6 tastes, i.e. sour, sweet, pungent, salty, astringent, and bitter. In each of these taste, any one dosha is predominant. Hence food is known according to its taste and other properties like effect on digestion. Other things that matter in the diet are time of intake, quantity, habitat, mode of preparation, and last but definitely not the least digestive capacity of a person.
There is also another classification of the diet i.e. satvik, rajasik and tamasik. Firstly coming to the Satvik diet, it is easily digestible and helps in building immunity, maintains quick healing process and also maintains mind’s harmony, for example, fruits (fresh), cereals, vegetables, honey, salad, cow’s milk, jaggery, herbal tea, and freshly cooked food. Secondly, the rajasic diet contains non-vegetarian food, packaged food, ice creams, sugar, and pulses. It is full of oil, spices and has aromatic taste and highly attractive taste. Rajasic diet develops much amount of energy and also increases anger. Last, tamasic foods include overcooked, not fresh, processed and frozen food. Tamasic and rajasic diet is not good for health. Hence one should have satvik diet which is fresh and easy to digest. It not only makes the body physically fit but also mentally.
There are eight factors which should be considered before taking a diet prakriti (quality of diet), samyoga (mixing of diet), karana (processing of diet), upyoga samstha (digestibility of diet), kala (time of taking diet), rashi (diet quantity), desha (habitat of diet) and upyokta (person who takes diet).
If a person takes diet considering all these 8 factors then he can have a balanced diet which provides him proper digestion, assimilation, and nourishment.
The proper method of taking a diet – Take food when you are properly hungry and do not take frequent small meals instead try to have two or three complete meals. Have your food neither too slowly nor too fast, at a normal speed and also the quantity should be according to the digestive capacity of the person. Take water in small quantity with food rather than having it before or after food. You can have something in sweets after food like ghee, milk, rice or other sweet fruits, jaggery, honey, and dates. It is good to take sweet food after meals as it helps in balancing Pitta, which aids digestion. Also, the sweet taste nourishes and relieves hunger and thirst.
Along with healthy dietary habits, one should also improve lifestyle. Try to go for a walk at least once a day, preferably in the morning. Physical inactivity can also lead to the metabolic syndrome so try to be more active physically. You can also go with meditation and yoga as it is very helpful for both mental and physical health.