Seminar on ‘Obesity and its Prevention, Allergic Diseases’ organised at Aligarh Muslim University

Aligarh: Experts of Ayurvedic, Unani and modern medicines deliberated upon how to combat obesity- through prevention and medications and therapies commonly used to treat allergies in a multi-disciplinary online seminar on ‘Obesity and its Prevention, Allergic Diseases’ organised by the Faculty of Medicine, Aligarh Muslim University (AMU).

We need to find ways to combine both the traditional and modern medicine systems for a major role in the fight against lifestyle diseases, said AMU Vice Chancellor, Prof Tariq Mansoor.

He was speaking as the patron of the programme.

Prof Mansoor emphasised: “Since we are witnessing the adverse drug reaction in modern medicines, the search for safe and risk-free treatments has became more imperative than ever. The complementary and alternative treatment, provided especially by the traditional medicine system, has gained more attention and has also become popular.”

“Of course, we cannot adopt these procedures for all diseases, but for chronic diseases there is a lot of scope,” he added pointing out that since the spread of Covid pandemic, the government is also encouraging multi-disciplinary research in various systems of medicine.

“I am sure that benefits of combining traditional and modern medicine will come out soon,” pointed the Vice Chancellor.

Stressing the need for joint traditional and modern medical research, Prof Mansoor said that AMU is a multi-disciplinary university and we can take advantage of the facilities for collaborative research.

Speaking on the treatment and prevention of obesity in Ayurvedic medicine, Prof Jonah S (All India Institute of Ayurvedic, New Delhi) recommended lifestyle changes and appropriate modification in daily diet to improve health along with oral medications to help optimizing the metabolism.

He elaborated how Ayurvedic plants and herbs help in controlling obesity.

“Because Ayurveda focuses on healthy nutrition, stress reduction, and cultivation of a balanced lifestyle, many people look to its dietary principles and natural remedies when they want to lose weight. People in many Western countries are using the Ayurvedic regimens and remedies as part of their overall healthcare,” said Prof Jonah.

Dr Paras Wani (Incharge, GTB and IHBAS Unani Unit, Director of Ayush, GNCT, New Delhi) explained how Siman-e-Mufrit (obesity) is considered as a Phlegmatic (Balghami) disease in Unani medicine.

She added that obesity can be prevented by maintaining Asbab-e-Sittah Zarooriyah (essentials of life) namely the proper and balanced diet, physical activity, balanced retention and evacuation.

Dr Paras explained the various modes of treatments with Ilaj bil Ghiza (Dietotherapy) and Ilaj bit Tadbeer (regimental therapies).

Dr Uwais Ashraf (Faculty of Medicine, JNMC) described how obesity is the root cause of all lifestyle diseases in modern medicine.

“Obesity leads to coronary artery disease, hypertension, fatty liver and PCOD among other health problems. Obesity has a strong genetic and biochemical basis and these areas are being looked into for newer therapeutic modalities,” he said.

Dr Uwais added that diet, lifestyle and behavioural therapies are necessary in the management of obesity.

He also gave a slide presentation on preventing and treating obesity.

Speaking on preventive measures to avoid allergies, Prof Rubi Anjum (Chairperson, Dept of Tahaffuzi wa Samaji Tib, AMU) discussed various Unani therapies of Ilaj-bil- Tadbeer.

She spoke about treatments through special regimens and methods to maintain general health through modulation in ‘Asbaab-e- Sitta Zarooriya’.

Prof Rubi also shared a list of foods to try to avoid allergies such as ginger, citrus fruits, turmeric, oily fish and onions.

Dr Divya Kajaria (All India Institute of Ayurvedic, New Delhi) discussed how Ayurvedic allergy treatment focuses on pacifying the imbalanced dosha, restoring digestion with herbal preparations, and advising supporting diet and lifestyle.

“Allergic reactions manifest themselves in the form of commonly seen skin and respiratory disorders such as eczema, hives, hay fever, asthma and food allergies. In Ayurveda, allergy treatment is done by first diagnosing the individual root-cause of every patient,” she added.

Dr Nafees A Khan (Dept of TB and RD, JNMC) stressed the importance of increasing awareness on the relevance of allergic diseases as a major public health problem.

“Programs to increase awareness of allergic diseases should focus on the causes, prevention, control, and economic impact,” he said.

Dr Nafees further spoke on Type I hypersensitivity (or immediate hypersensitivity) as an allergic reaction provoked by re-exposure to a specific type of antigen referred to as an allergen.

“Type I is distinct from type II, type III and type IV hypersensitivities. Exposure may be by ingestion, inhalation, injection, or direct contact,” he added.

In the welcome address, Prof Rakesh Bhargava (Dean, Faculty of Medicine) said that this programme will help to build a better understanding of lifestyle as a pattern of individual practices and behavior related to elevating or reducing health risks.

Extending the vote of thanks, Dr Shadab A Khan (Convenor of the programme and Chairman, Department of Medicine) said that the menace of obesity, which is the root cause of metabolic disorders like diabetes, heart attack, strokes has to be dealt with.

Dr Uwais Ashraf and Dr Kashif Kirmani conducted the programme.


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