10 Tips To Improve The Digestive System

Modern lifestyles, improper dietary habits and eating junk food all place a huge strain on the digestive system. Problems with digestion can affect every other part of your body and bring down your quality of life. As the English author Samuel Johnson said, “He who does not mind his belly, will hardly mind anything else.” Caring for your digestion is not difficult. Here are a few simple ways to do it.

Eat A High Fiber Diet

Eating lots of vegetables, fruits and grains that are rich in fiber will enable food to move smoothly through the digestive system and reduce the strain on it. This also helps to prevent Irritable Bowel Syndrome and Hemorrhoids.

Eat The Right Balance Of Fiber

Insoluble fiber or roughage cannot be digested by the system and so it adds bulk to the stools, making a bowel movement easier. Soluble fiber absorbs excess water and keeps the stools from becoming too liquid. A balance of both types of fiber is important.

Control Fat Intake

The more fat in your diet, the slower the digestive process which results in constipation and other problems. However, some amount of fat intake is required for good health and energy. Balancing fatty foods with high fiber foods helps to control the fat intake.

Ensure Probiotic Intake

Not all bacteria are bad. Probiotics are a type of healthy bacteria that helps to support the digestive process, strengthen the immune system and accelerates the natural breakdown of food by the body.

Eat Lean Meat

Proteins are an essential part of a healthy diet and can be found in lentils, grains and vegetables. If you are a non-vegetarian, meat is a good source of protein. Avoid fatty cuts of meat that place an increased strain on the digestion and consume only lean cuts.

Drink Lots Of Water

Staying hydrated by drinking enough water has all kinds of health benefits, including on the digestive system. Water acts as a lubricant, enabling the smooth digestion of food and elimination of waste from the body.

Keep Regular Mealtimes

Eating your breakfast, lunch and dinner at as near as possible at the same time every day means that your body is provided nourishment at the right interval thereby preventing the digestion from being overloaded by sudden large food intakes and also by not allowing the stomach to remain empty for long periods, which results in acidity and other problems.

Get Enough Exercise

Exercise is usually looked on as a way to lose weight and not being overweight is good for overall health. More than this, exercise supports the digestive system and the movement of the body keeps pushing food through the digestive system, which enables good bowel movements and prevents constipation.

Reduce Stress

Mental stress and anxiety place a great strain on the digestive system and prevent it from functioning properly. It can cause all kinds of digestion-related medical conditions including the development of ulcers in the stomach. Make stress-reducing activities like Yoga a part of your daily schedule.

Avoid Bad Habits

Smoking, excessive consumption of alcohol and tea or coffee all interfere with the smooth functioning of the digestion. If the habits cannot be totally removed from your life, then very moderate consumption is the next best step.

Caring for your digestion has a positive impact on all aspects of your wellbeing. If you are suffering from a digestion-related medical condition or simply suffer from one or more of the common symptoms of digestive problems, contact Kauvery Hospital where the Gastroenterology Center of Excellence gives you access to the Best Gastroenterologist in Chennai, medical technology and treatment protocols to provide world-class treatment and care.


5 tips on Diabetes Management

Diabetes is the new Malaria as far as India is concerned. With more than 80 million known Diabetics in India now and the number I believe is much higher is just that a lot of them are not aware of the condition. But as we continue to think through the strategies to manage the condition, there are many hospitals and healthcare institutions in India who have taken steps to manage the condition and working with patients to support them in handling the condition.

With this in mind I spoke to Dr Menaka Ram Prasad, Endocrinologist & Diabetologist at Apollo Sugar Clinic at Hyderabad, below are the 5 key questions that I put to her and recorded her responses on the same.

Q1. Are you seeing any improvements in diabetes management in the tier 1 cities?

Yes there are improvements as long as the patients work with the care provider on areas like diet, exercise among others.

For example at Apollo Sugar Clinic at Hyderabad we see

• In terms of Diet – 95% of our disease management program patients have an in-clinic dietitian counseling which led them to an idea on foods to be avoided

• In terms of exercise- 62% of the patients were seen to be exercising for at least 30 minutes per day post education sessions on health life style management. Apollo Sugar Diabetes counselors and educators try to bring in change and motivate patients

• Medication Adherence- 96% of patients were taking their medication regularly

• 65% of the patients were seen to be monitoring their glucose levels on a regular basis. So in effect we see that almost 60 % of the patients at our clinic adhere to the treatment regimen

So working with care providers is very important to the success of the Diabetes Management program


Q2 How are patients incorporating digital in Diabetes Management?

Digital is playing a major role in disease management overall. For example, all our patients who are enrolled in our Disease Management Program embrace with our technology to get diet counseling experience by a mobile application, health coach driven telephonic conversations at home and they don’t have to visit the clinic for a lot of these activities any more, thanks to technology.

Q3 Any common myths on Diabetes that you want to debunk?

There are plenty of myths in Diabetes management. The one I see most commonly is that people with diabetes should eat special diabetic foods. But the trust is that Diabetes patients can eat normally as long as they keep it under control, and follow medication and exercise.

The other myth is on insulin which says that taking insulin means that Diabetes Management is failing and that injecting insulin is painful, also that diabetics cannot lead a healthy lifestyle. Whereas the truth is that Insulin is also a form of medication and is not painful if injected in the right place, and can lead as active life as non-diabetic people.

On the flip side, some believe that that diabetes is not that serious disease, while the truth is that Diabetes and its complications are causing more deaths than any other disease. Diabetes education is the most important step to be taken to a patient.

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Q4 what are the common mistakes that people make in their Diabetes management strategy?

Most common mistakes made by people include:

· Irregular monitoring of Blood Sugar and ignoring hypoglycemic episodes

· Skipping meals and not following a strict diet routine

· Not exercising regularly

· Not maintaining personal hygiene

· Irregular medication pattern

· Improper storage of insulin (It has to be refrigerated and cannot left in the open)

Q5 Any best practices followed at Apollo that you would want patients to adopt?

I think the ley to Diabetes management is diet. Our Diet Counselling ensures educating the patient on:

• The Importance of physical activity for fitness as well as maintenance of sugar level

• The Importance of personal hygiene and safety to avoid other complications

• Educating people to make informed choices about food and life style changes

• Giving reliable and practical options for alternate food and information about healthy cooking methods

At APOLLO, we keep it SIMPLE

• S – Simple to follow & cook

• I – In line with current timings & recall (no drastic changes)

• M- more options given

• P – Plan your diet -be your own dietician (patient education)

• L – love what you eat

• E – Expensive stuff avoided (go for easily available options)


Dr. Menaka Ram Prasad is a Consultant Endocrinologist and Diabetologist, Apollo Sugar Clinic, Hyderabad