Role of Food Therapy In The Prevention and Treatment of Diseases

If you have your blood sugar levels checked for the first time, and your report says that your blood sugar is high, your doctor will not first prescribe you the medicines. Instead, your doctor will give you a three-month time so that you can control your sugar with diet and lifestyle modifications. If the blood sugar is still not controlled, then only you will be prescribed medicines to control high sugar levels.

Do you know why? Because medicines treat disease, but they can cause strong side effects. The stronger the drug, the stronger will be its side effects. It doesn’t mean you should stop taking medicines without informing your doctor. Never stop your medication without consulting your doctor because some medicines have withdrawal effects, which can even worsen your disease condition if you stop taking them suddenly.

So, what is the solution? The solution lies in good management. You can prevent or manage the disease only when you have comprehensive knowledge about that disease. Everything is in your hand, and you are the commander of your life and your disease condition. With the correct nutrition and healthy lifestyle, you require fewer medicines, shorter therapy duration, and minimum side effects.

When it comes to disease management, there are lots of misconceptions associated with it. Let’s first clear these misconceptions:

#1 Misconception

“I am young, and I don’t have any disease, I have plenty of time to live without worrying. I will worry about diseases when I hit my 50. Till then, my motto is You Only Live Once.”

Actually, you only die once but live every day, so make your everyday disease-free. The age of 20 to 40 is your key to make your 50+ years healthy and happy.

The way you treat your body between these years, its effect is seen in your old age. These are your sowing years, eat as many healthy foods as you can during these years, and reap the benefits in your 50+ years. 

Strictly avoid smoking, alcohol, and other drugs that deteriorate your health internally. The harm is never visible during your 20s and 30s, but it has life-threatening consequences soon after you hit your 50s or nowadays even in your 40s. Eat junk foods but only to satisfy your taste bud, definitely not to fill your tummy.

#2 Misconception

“I am a very health-conscious person, and I believe nature has all the solutions. Although I have been diagnosed with a disease, I believe I don’t need medication. I can heal myself naturally with healthy food and a good lifestyle.”

If you have been diagnosed with a disease means the harm has unknowingly already been done. Keep in mind medicines are not the enemy, just they are not natural food. Sole dependence on medicines is not good; at the same time, completely abandoning medicines when your body needs them is also not right.

No doubt, healthy foods, and healthy lifestyle choices can heal you much faster, but you definitely need medication to treat a disease. With healthy foods, you can heal yourself faster, and your body recovers more quickly, so you need a shorter course of therapy that simply means lesser side effects.

#3 Misconception

“Last time when I had these symptoms, my doctor prescribed these medicines. Now again, I feel the same problem, I should take the same medicines as the doctor had prescribed me last time.”

Avoid self-medication. In a condition of reoccurrence of any disease, medicines may be the same, but with different doses. Don’t be a doctor yourself. Self-medication may result in an overdose, which can lead to toxicity and other life-threatening consequences. Seek advice from your doctor every time you are not feeling well and ask him/her directly if it is safe to take the same medication again when the symptoms occur. 

Always ask your doctor about what should be the diet in managing your disease? Ask your pharmacist if there is any food that you should avoid while taking the prescribed medicine.

#4 Misconception

“I was on medication, and my condition has improved. Although my doctor had prescribed me a 3-month course of medicines, I was feeling fine, so after two months, I stopped taking the medicines.”

This is never advised. Maybe with your healthy diet and lifestyle, you have recovered faster than others, but you should never leave your medication course in between without consulting your doctor. Even if your symptoms are relieved with initial medications, you need the full course to treat the disease completely.

Otherwise, it will reoccur, and as it has not been treated in the initial stage, it will reoccur with more severeness. Abruptly discontinuing some medicines produce withdrawal effects in the body and worsen the disease condition. Instead of quitting your medicines, you should inform your doctor about your improvement. 

Your doctor will gradually reduce the dose of the same medication and complete the course sooner than before, or he will advise you to complete the full course depending upon your disease type and your condition.

#5 Misconception

“I am taking medicine for my illness, and medicine is doing its job. It will cure me, I don’t have to worry too much about nutrition and all.” 

Food and lifestyle play a huge role in managing any disease. If your diet is not healthy and your lifestyle is also not good, then your condition may worsen despite regular medication. Foods that boost immunity prepare your body to fight the disease and heal your body. A healthy lifestyle removes the burden from your body; hence your body can completely focus on treating the disease.

#6 Misconception

“Some diseases like diabetes, high blood pressure, arthritis, etc. come naturally with age. You cannot escape from these diseases. Every other person I know has one of these diseases, so this is pretty normal at my age.”

It may be common but indeed not normal. This is the biggest myth that some diseases naturally come with age. With age, our body becomes a little weaker, but most of these diseases are the result of our poor diet and poor lifestyle. 

It’s time to stop letting these diseases become part of your life and build your body with healthy foods and a healthy lifestyle in such a way that these diseases never even touch you, and if you already have these diseases, then they can be controlled.

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Disease Management

What is a disease?

A disease is a condition of disturbances in the normal structure or function of your body. When something goes wrong with the normal function of your body, your body gives signals in the form of signs and symptoms that something is going wrong inside the body. 

This is where your responsibility begins. With proper medication, healthy foods, and a healthy lifestyle, you can prevent and treat disease.

The disease is mainly managed with medications and foods and lifestyle modifications. Let’s understand the role of each.

Role of Medications

Prescribed medications play a vital role in the treatment. Generally, medicines work in three ways:

  1. To reduce symptoms like pain, nausea, and fever.
  2. To treat the disease.
  3. To reduce or treat the side effects arising due to the use of medicines in curing the disease. Antacids are usually prescribed with high dose medications as these medications can cause acidity in the body.

It is important to take the medicines at the same time every day. Medicines take their time (onset time) to show their effect on the body. Taking medicines at the same time every day ensures that their active ingredient will be available in the body uniformly throughout the treatment.

Role of Lifestyle Choices

Poor lifestyle choices give a burden to your body. In simple terms, these are the inducers of many diseases. Unhealthy lifestyle choices weaken your body, lower your immunity, and make you susceptible to many diseases.

Example of unhealthy lifestyle choices:

  • Stress
  • Smoking
  • Alcohol
  • Unhygienic habits
  • Inadequate sleep

When it comes to poor lifestyle choices, you may have found plenty of discussions about smoking, alcohol, and inadequate sleep, but we often take other poor lifestyle choices such as stress and unhygienic habits lightly.

Stress is a key contributor to many diseases. When you are under stress, your body releases the stress hormone cortisol, which causes your heart to pump faster and raises your blood pressure. 

After the stressful time has passed, your body releases lower amounts of cortisol. Your heart and blood pressure return to normal. But if you are under constant stress, the consistently high levels of cortisol in your body can cause many health problems. 

Take out at least 2 hours for yourself every day, do nothing during this time, just relax. Just two stress-free hours in a day gives your body enough time to normalize all its functions and systems.

Unhygienic habits such as not washing your hands before eating and after using the washroom, and touching an open wound allow germs to enter the body. As a result, your immune system keeps busy fighting these germs and with time the immune system weakens. 

When your immune system becomes weak, it can’t protect you from major and serious diseases. So, don’t stress out your immune system. Already there is so much pollution in the environment with which your immune system fights daily, so do not give it more burden. 

Maintain good hygiene and keep your immune system healthy. Whenever you come from outside, first wash your hands with soap water. This habit will protect you from many diseases. 

Also, the 5-Second rule is a big myth. Even a brief exposure to the floor can contaminate your food with E. coli, salmonella, and other bacteria in under five seconds.

What should be your focus points to prevent disease?

If you keep your immune system and digestive system healthy, you greatly lower your risk of diseases.

Avoid Immune weakening lifestyle choices

  • Stress
  • Smoking
  • Drinking Alcohol
  • Consuming narcotics such as Cannabis

Adapt the immune-boosting lifestyle choices

  • 7-8 hours of sleep
  • Washing your hands frequently
  • Expose yourself to early morning sunlight
  • Yoga
  • Taking a walk after lunch and dinner

Avoid immune weakening foods

  • Trans fats
  • Processed foods
  • Canned foods
  • Refined carbohydrates
  • Foods high in sugar

Add immune-boosting foods to your diet

  • Foods rich in vitamin C
  • Foods high in zinc
  • Foods that have anti-inflammatory effects

Role of Foods

Foods play a massive role in every stage of disease management. These roles include:

  1. To prevent the disease.
  2. To shorten the therapy period.
  3. To control the disease.
  4. To prevent the recurrence of the disease.

The body is nature’s product, and your body loves natural things like food. Plant-based healthy foods can prevent various diseases and autoimmune disorders and help build your body strong enough to fight off any disease. Plant-based healthy foods heal your body, reduce your dependency on medicines, and add disease-free years to your life.

Why is food therapy the best therapy?

Medicines work on the disturbance that has arisen in your body due to disease, whereas foods work on the root cause and strengthen your body to fight the disease naturally. Moreover, foods have no side effects. 

A simple rule is to include vegetables and fruits of every colour in your diet; it will protect you from countless diseases.

We are so concerned about avoiding unhealthy foods that it has become quite stressful now. The more you try to run away from them, the more you crave. If you do not eat unhealthy foods, but your diet lacks essential nutrients, then there is no health benefit of avoiding unhealthy foods. 

To stay healthy, incorporating healthy foods into your diet is more important than just avoiding unhealthy foods. It is time to focus on what you should eat, not what you should not eat. Do not modify your diet for weight loss; instead, balance your diet for a healthy and disease-free life.

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