Obesity (Sthoulya) - Gateway to many diseases

Obesity is a medical condition in which excess body fat is accumulated to the extent that it may have a negative effect on health, leading to reduced life expectancy and/or increased health problems. People are considered obese when their body mass index (BMI), a measurement obtained by dividing a person's weight by the square of the person's height, exceeds 30 kg/m2, with the range 25-30 kg/m2 defined as overweight. Obesity increases the likelihood of various diseases, particularly heart disease, type 2 diabetes, obstructive sleep apnea, certain types of cancer and osteoarthritis.

Obesity is mostly caused by a combination of excessive food energy intake, lack of physical activity and genetic susceptibility, although few cases are caused primarily by genes, endocrine disorders, wrong medication, or psychiatric illness. Evidence to support the view that some obese people eat little yet gain weight due to a slow metabolism is limited. On average, obese people have greater energy expenditure than their thin counterparts due to the energy required to maintain an increased body mass.

Dieting and exercising are the main treatments for obesity. Diet quality can be improved by reducing the consumption of energy-dense foods such as those high in fat and sugars, and by increasing the intake of dietary fiber. With a suitable diet, anti-obesity drugs may be taken to reduce appetite or decrease fat absorption. If diet, exercise, and medication are not effective, a gastric balloon may assist with weight loss, or surgery may be performed to reduce stomach volume and/or bowel length, leading to feeling full earlier and a reduced ability to absorb nutrients from food. Obesity is a leading preventable cause of death and at increasing rates in adults and children worldwide.

Sthaulya Roga (Obesity) contributes too much morbidity in the patients because it has been named as the mother of Diabetes, Hypertension, Cerebro-vascular disease, Joint-disorders, Hyperlipidaemias & other problems. Sthaulya Roga strikingly resembles with disease entity termed as obesity in Modern system of medicine. The basic principles of treatment of Sthaulya Roga (Obesity) as described in Ayurvedic classics & modern text of medicine are Nidana parivarjana & Apatarpana cikitsa in the form of consumption of low caloric diet & increase in exercise. Diet & modified life styles are also advised to the patients of Sthaulya Roga for correction of their body weight & Lipid profile.

Today in the era of modernization there is a need to check our life style that is very much influenced from the western world. Our changing food habits like junk food, fast food, are a major cause to produce Obesity. To prevent obesity there is a need to return to our old and valuable cultural roots which are very much healthier. Ayurveda has a unique concept about preventing these hazards with the theories of Nidana Parivaejana & Pathyapathya.

Definition: Maharshi Charaka was the first person to give the appropriate and precise definition of Sthaulya.

मध्यम |
उनका इलाज यूटिस्तुउ यूसीएट के साथ किया जाता है ||
  • Excessive adipose tissue deposition in the body is known as Obesity.
  • If the body weight is more than 20% of ideal body weight, we concerned the patient as obese.
  • A better index of Obesity is the Body Mass Index (BMI). Few year back National Institute of Health Consensus conference defined Obesity as BMI greater than 27kg. /m2. But now a day’s Obesity is defined as BMI = 25kg/m2.
  • Park defined Obesity as an abnormal growth of adipose tissue, which is in three ways:
    1. Hypertrophic Obesity – Enlargement of fat cell in size.
    2. Hyperplastic Obesity – Increase the no. of fat cells.
    3. Combination of both
  • This is a condition of excessive accumulation of fat in fat depots.

Article by Dr. Dhanwantari Jha

Dr. Dhanwantari Jha is Both a Modern Medicine Doctor (M.B.B.S.) and an Ayurveda Expert B.A.M.S. and M.D.(Ayurveda).

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