ETimes caught up with Dr Rajiv Bhagwat on Friday, March 10 to speak to him at length. Dr Bhagwat graciously accommodated us.
Here is the conversation that is extremely informative for one and all:
Sushmita Sen’s Instagram post sent out a message: “Women, heart attack is not a men-thing…”That’s right. Heart attacks are not a man’s thing anymore. Today’s woman has come forward to contribute to the society; she has taken up far more challenges and responsibilities than the olden days; she is managing work at office and home both. She has changed food habits. That has increased her stress. And what are the other risk factors? Diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol, tobacco. And, the genetic factor of course comes into play. So, overall the scenario for the ladies as far as healthy hearts is still very good but the challenges of the modern world don’t make it as rosy as it was in earlier times.
What can help the person is having an active physical life. She or he can then endure the stress and strain better and come out a winner from such events.
Like Sushmita said…
Yes. Her high physical activity indeed helped in ensuring that the damage was limited. This is the biggest message that has come out from Sushmita’s episode: Be physically active.
Also, what is important to underline here is that exercising should not be more than 3 to 4 days a week; it should not be on a daily basis, give time for the body to recover from the strain of exercise. I am certainly not advocating that one needs to push him/herself so much as if he/she is out there to become a physical trainer. With continuous exercise without rest and adequate sleep, the hormone levels may not cool down and that poses a huge risk.
Another message we need to send out is that one shouldn’t sleep at 2 am and hit the gym or do any vigorous jogging at 6 am. This is what many youngsters are doing. That’s why you see they went to a gym and dropped dead, they went for a jog and dropped dead. A 7 to 8-hour sleep is a must before a gym, but certainly not just 2 or 3 hours. Gymming is not fashion, it should be a healthy activity. Excessive gymming can be a disaster.
If and when a heart attack happens, one should rush to a hospital that has good facilities for angiography and angioplasty.
Did Sushmita ignore any warning signals?
Difficult to say that, but let’s say: Sushmita is blessed that she came in at the right time and right place.
How did she and you manage to keep a low profile?
Good, that’s how it should be. That’s the beauty of this episode. So it all went very peacefully.
There is an epidemic of tummy-obesity in the world. Insulin gets concentrated in the tummy region. This fat is a storehouse of insulin; the remaining parts of the body don’t get insulin. This is the beginning of the risk. But still in India, several people don’t know they are diabetic, they don’t know their cholesterol levels are higher than normal. The diagnoses have improved but we still have a long distance to cover in not only diagnostics but awareness levels as well.
We hear, the youth is taking a lot of protein powders available over the counter and that is causing heart attacks too…
Those who are having these supplements should take a medical opinion before that. Their check-up will decide whether they need or should take such things.
I would like to add here that if even either of your parents has diabetes, you have an increased risk of becoming diabetic.
Lack of sleep and lack of Vitamin D are one of the two main other reasons why cases of diabetes are increasing so rapidly.
Lack of Vitamin D?
Yes, that’s a big trigger of falling prey to diabetes. And you should acquire Vitamin D through sunlight; that’s the most natural way to do it. I don’t recommend too much calcium and Vitamin D supplements unless taken under medical supervision.
Coming back to sunlight, it’s not healthy that we have changed our surroundings so much that we are constantly living in glass houses and travelling in closed cars and taxis because we want the air-conditioner on. And remember, supplementation of Vitamin D cannot reverse diabetes.