Obesity: Symptoms & Causes And The Ayurvedic View
The accumulation of excess amount of fat in our body is what we call obesity – ‘Medoroga’ in Ayurveda.
According to Ayurveda, both underweight and overweight highlights the imbalance of Doshas – Vata, Pitta, and Kapha. Overweight or obesity in most people results predominantly due to kapha-type dosha. However, other two doshas can also cause obesity in some people.
An imbalance between food intake and proper digestion/metabolism rather than the food intake alone is the main culprit for obesity or overweight problem. Ayurvedic treatment for obesity targets the root cause and focuses on improving metabolism and cutting down on unhealthy foods.
Symptoms of Obesity
Obesity can be associated with the following symptoms:
- Reduction of longevity
- Premature ageing
- Bad odor and excessive sweating
- Breathlessness on exertion, difficulty in breathing
- Uncontrollable hunger, thirst, tiredness
- Loss of vitality
- Irritability and mental confusion
Complications of Obesity
Overweight or obese persons are more prone to health risks than normal people. Obesity can become a cause of different chronic diseases such as heart disorders, high blood pressure, stroke, type-2 diabetes, along with few types of cancers.
Causes of Obesity
When the amount of calories consumed exceeds the amount of calories burnt, the excess calories get accumulated in the body in the form of fat causing obesity.
The prime causes of Obesity include:
Aggravation of Kapha – According of Ayurveda, Obesity or Medarog is a result of aggravation of Kapha. Kapha is responsible for lubrication in the mind and body; controlling weight; and synthesis of seven tissues –muscles, bones, marrow, nutritive fluids, blood, fat and reproductive tissues.
Aggravation of Kapha leads to secretion of toxins in the body, which accumulate in Medovahi Srotas (fat channels), thus increasing production of fat tissue (Meda Dhatu). Production of these excess fat tissues results in increase in weight.
Genetic factors – Obesity is a genetic disorder that tends to run in families. The offspring of obese parents can develop Obesity. Sometimes, the dietary and lifestyle habits practiced in family also lead to obesity.
Psychological disturbances – Some people start overeating in response to negative emotions such as anger or boredom leading to obesity.
Environment – Uncontrolled eating habits, inactive lifestyle and less physical activities contribute towards excess accumulation of fat in the body.
Ayurveda follows a holistic approach for treatment of Obesity, which includes a complete assessment of patient’s mind, body, and soul. Natural remedies prescribed are based on the Dosha of the person. We will be discussing the ayurvedic therapies for Obesity in our next blog.