When your Needs overcome your Cravings

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“You are what you eat !” may be the most heard, said ,used but less thought and followed phrase by human.

In previous three blogs we had seen the various aspects related to menopause . For reference kindly go through the link for those blogs.

https://drrupalipanse.wordpress.com/2016/11/26/she-left-herwhen-she-was-more-of-a-girl-than-granny/

https://drrupalipanse.wordpress.com/2016/12/04/she-the-woman-of-substance-she-the-unique/

https://drrupalipanse.wordpress.com/2016/12/23/head-up-gorgeous-figure-it-out/

Ayurveda has strong belief in Aahar Chikitsa (using food as medicine).In practice some changes in food habits according to the body type (prakriti) brings very satisfactory results to the patients suffering from menopausal symptoms. Once the patient is categorized in the group whether Vaata Dosha , Pitta Dosha or Kafa Dosha the parameters like patients lifestyle, physical abilities, her geographical , cultural food habits also need to be considered. e.g.A south Indian patient eating fermented Idali Dosa for almost all of her life, cannot immediately leave her food habits. Gradually we have to make her change and adapt some easy and simple changes in her diet in such a way that it will help to reduces the altered Dosha and favors her metabolism.Trust me patient supports the decision. I still cannot forget my followup session with a south Indian patient where i was explaining the recipe of a traditional Marathi delicacy  Thalipith(mix cereal flour Indian bread)to her.She wrote it down so religiously and had followed every minor change i made in her diet as she was in Maharashtra for 6 years and need to be followed the diet suitable to the dry weather in Maharashtra.I felt cruel of myself to see her innocent pleading expression when i told her “No tamarind anymore use Kokum”. But afterwards our efforts paid her and she was free from her chronic skin disorder.

In this blog brief examples of food that i generally suggest to my patients according to their prakriti are mentioned .

The list of food which is good to combat any Dosha in menopausal complaints :

  • Cow ghee: Regular use of plain or medicated cow ghee in  diet is advisable. It reduces the increased dryness in systems and pacifies all three Doshas too.
  • Using sesame oil, coconut oil, flax seeds oil frequently while cooking give the benefits of various fatty acids.
  • Black currents (black munakka / raisins): Reduces the increased pitta Dosha , takes care of hemoglobin, general weakness etc.
  •  Dried fruits (walnuts, figs, dates, almonds,coconut, zardalu apricot etc): Bone and joint health is maintained due to rich fatty acids, proteins and various essential vitamins present in these.
  • Fresh fruits : Fresh fruits mostly the citrus fruits like Amla, Sweet lemon, Pear (Peru), pomegranate and other seasonal as well as fruits belonging to the local geography should be preferred .
  • Using fresh turmeric , dry ginger , basil seeds ( Tulasi bij) , coriander seeds, cumin ,fenugreek seeds are helpful to relieve some of the symptoms in menopause. 
  • Old red rice ( unpolished rice): When rice is to be used it should be old red rice Usually the rice is restricted in menopausal patients as in many patients it increases the unhealthy sticky nature in various micro channels or systems and causes generalized swelling.
  • Green mung(lentil) , yellow mung , lentils are other food that are suitable in menopausal symptoms.
  • Red pumpkin,white pumpkin(Kohla/kheera),Okra,Red spinach, and other green vegetables in moderate portion .
  • Ragi(finger millet), Red rice flakes are best used to control the weight.
  • Shatvari, Shunti Pak (Dry ginger sweet made using various herbs),do wonders when used according to Dosha.
  • Cow milk added with pinch of dry ginger /haldi.

Food to avoid:

  • Too sour, too sweet, too cold , leftovers
  • Ready to eat food, Aerated drinks,high salt preservative added food
  • All the food that are mentioned in the incompatible food mixtures in one of the previous blogs. check the link for the references.https://drrupalipanse.wordpress.com/2016/05/01/be-aware-disaster-chef-busy-in-lab/
  • Too heavy, too greasy ,too spicy ,cheesy food consumed regularly causes bloating, swelling and unnecessary weight gain.
  • All bakery products. Fried chips, fried fish or chicken (steam cooked is OK)
  • Outside Sweets, Deserts, Dougnuts are strictly No No. (occasional and moderate home made Kheer, Halwa, Laddu is accepted)

According to individual need i usually give a customized diet plan to my patients and other people willing to follow diet on Ayurvedic principles. The present condition of one or more Dosha s involved need to design and redesign the food.These are the general guidelines. Every individual needs differ so do the diet change.

Lifestyle change or following suitable lifestyle , excercises according to body type is also very important . In next blog we will see it in detail.

(This write up belongs to Dr.Rupali Panse. Image courtesy Internet.)

 

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Head up gorgeous: Figure it out !

Remember the farmer,tiger, grass and goat puzzle? Some puzzles are timeless.They are not forgotten, they are just passed on and cherished endless by many generation. The boat that can carry only two things at a time, the confused farmer and more confused us in our childhood how n whom to carry first so that grass and goat are saved ,was enjoyable. Many times this situation we face in real life too.

Figuring out is important !Figuring out is the key !

Coming to the point when Ayurveda consultants treat the menopausal patients they are in the role of a farmer.Tiger,goat and grass are Tridosha (Vata, Pitta , Kafa resp). If the farmer carries the grass first and sail to the other side of river bank, tiger eats the goat.If tiger is taken, the goat eats the grass. The same thing happen when more than one dosha are involved in the peri menopausal patients that affect her menstruation as well as the other parts of body.

Female reproductive system is under the Vata dosha dominance and her peri menopausal age is Pitta dominant. So if we try to treat the Vata dosha, the Pitta dosha may increase and cause menace as the both dosha need opposite property medicine and therapies from each other. The same thing happen with the other dosha combination too. Its always a skillful and alert doctor that manages this situation well.

The less dominant dosha many times needs food as medicine and is well managed by some dos and donts about food and lifestyle, exercise etc. The most dominant dosha is treated on the basis of medicine, panchkarma and diet.

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What therapies are used to manage the peri menopausal patients?

  1. Basti: Basti is always the treatment of choice almost in every patient as it takes care of female reproductive system and brings the hormonal symptoms in control .Basti had been dedicated a separate blog in past. Kindly go through the link to know more about the Basti.https://drrupalipanse.wordpress.com/2016/10/01/everything-you-must-know-about-basti/
  2. Abhayng and Swedan : In Vata dominant patient as a part of Panchkarma as well as the separate treatment. Abhyang means applying the dosha specific medicated oil as per the patients prakriti and symptoms . It is not mere a body massage . Swedan is medicated steaming of the particular body parts or the whole body. Generalized swelling, joint pain,digestion affected by hormones,sever dryness,sleeplessness, depression,weakness,body ache without reason, are some of the indications for the above mentioned therapy.
  3. Nasya: Nasya takes care of the hormonal axis and pacify the dominant dosha as dosha specific oil or ghee is used. Nasya had been dedicated a separate blog.click the given link to know more about Nasya.https://drrupalipanse.wordpress.com/2016/05/18/nasya-the-way-to-brain-through-skull-base/                                                                                          Psychological symptoms are relived by the regular use of Nasya in menopausal patients. 
  4. Shirodhara: Shirodhara is again a must therapy in almost all the menopausal patients. Almost all the psychological symptoms are relived with the regular interval of Shirodhara therapy. To know more about this wonderful therapy click the link of my blog aboutShirodhara                        https://drrupalipanse.wordpress.com/2016/07/23/shirodhara-a-complete-meditation-of-brain/
  5. In some conditions other therapies like Vaman (induced  emesis i.e.vommitting to remove imbalanced Kafa dosha  ),Virechan (induced purgation to remove imbalanced pitta dosha)are used.
  6. Medicines that are made from various herbs and minerals are used as per the patient and dosha .

Your Ayurveda physician will decide which of the above therapies is required and what medicine is needed.

Where on one side the highly advanced hormone therapy, steroid and other molecules in modern medicine are showing very restricted positive sresults that too with some unavoidable sever adverse effects ,the other side is hopeful and that is alternative medicine.

Apart from the medicine and therapies the food have major role in controlling the menopausal complaints .The dosha and patient specific food advised is the backbone of Ayurveda.In the next part of the blog the various food , diet will be discussed considering the different body types and symptoms in ladies.

Keep reading , Keep sharing !

(Above write up belongs to Dr. Rupali Panse. Sharing the blog with due credit to the author is a welcome!Images taken from internet)

‘She’ left ‘her’,when she was more of a girl than granny!

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An email from a 29 yrs old lady to me , “Dear doctor , i  didn’t get my periods from last 13 months . Is it a menopause?”

Some of female patients between the age 30 to 35 yrs frequently complain irregular periods,irregular patterns of bleeding ,loss of libido(loss of sexual drive) and complaints like vaginal dryness , joint pain etc.

When my 43 year old patient told me she had her menopause at the age of 36 i was really disturbed at the thought . 1 in every 5 women in India is prone to have her menopause before the age of 40 yr.The average age of menopause in Indian women is 45 yrs, 51 yrs in US and in UK it is 50 yrs.One survey reported that four percent of women in India begin to experience menopause between the ages of 29 and 34, while eight percent of Indian women are experiencing menopause between the ages of 35 and 39.

Blame it on genes, lifestyle and synthetic genetically modified food , exposure to radiation, increased stress and many more but one cannot ignore the fact that Indian women are prone to face early menopause. But most of us ladies are exactly doing the opposite.Till we suffer significant changes and discomforts in our body we are not bothered and are not aware of the changes or what exactly the status of our body is.

Again in India, topics such as sex, birth control and childbirth are still considered to be taboo, so that younger and younger women who are going through menopause before their time would not recognize any of its indicators.

Don’t get surprised if i say many of us even don’t know what exactly the menses are, how the cycle functions ,how the hormones control our periods and why are they important? Why we bleed every month?.Yes this is the fact !

Previously it was 35 when we doctors used to advise get yourself regularly checked lady. Now its 30 when we advise , be aware and keep watch on your periods lady.

O.K. how can we know that there is something which is not right about my periods or how can we say that i am started running towards the menopause?

what are the symptoms of  peri menopause i.e. phase some years before you hit the menopause?

  • Hot flashes.(The sudden feeling of raised temperature in body and sever sweating mostly in sleep )
  • Breast tenderness.(Mostly a week before the periods)
  • Sudden acne/ pimples
  • Worse premenstrual syndrome(severe pain in abdomen, back,thighs, etc)
  • Lower sex drive.
  • Fatigue /general weakness.
  • Irregular periods.(delayed or early )
  • Vaginal dryness; discomfort during sex.
  • Urine leakage when coughing or sneezing.
  • Mood swings
  • Trouble in sleeping.

If any of the symptoms is troubling you often do visit your family doctor first.

He /She will direct you for the further things.

Being aware of above thing is most important than running for the solutions.

Ayurveda has a very unique approach towards the menopause and menstruation. In this blog i want my readers to first be aware of the above topic. I am avoiding the further elaboration of the causes and solutions , medicine and other therapies purposefully.

The next part of the blog will be about the Ayurveda management of peri menopause and menopausal symptoms.

Ladies and  the concerned gents for their loved ones , do talk, share and spread the cause.

(Above write up belongs to Dr.Rupali Panse. We welcome the act of sharing the blog with the due credit to the author. Image source internet)

Adyam Ayurved,

aadyam.ayurved@gmail.com

rupali.panse@gmail.com

5 most common myths that lead people to trouble (3 minutes read)

Doctor, the inevitable is inevitable, why to worry  today.” one of my patients was spiritually vaccinating me in my OPD. I was concerned for his frequent visits for joint pain on and off , as i am treating his mother and am aware of his family  history of Arthritis. “I am young , take regular Calcium and we all are overweight in our family . It is normal for us family members to be chubby.”he further added .

Well dear patient this blog is dedicated to you.

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These are 5 general misleading myths about Arthritis which keep coming as hurdles in treating a patient or making people aware of the disease.

  1. All frequent joint pain every time is Arthritis:                                                                                     No there are various reasons apart from Arthritis for joint pain. Even there are types of arthritis like ,Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid Arthritis.Osteoporosis, Gout, Ligament injuries , Bursitis(inflammation of the soft tissues in joints) are some of the examples of joint pain.Treatment for every reason is different.                                   Let your doctor do the diagnosis.
  2.  Arthritis is an old age disease:                                                                                                                       The occurrence of Arthritis is common in old age.But, Arthritis every time isn’t an old age disease.Various metabolic insufficiency can cause Arthritis early in young even in childhood. Rheumatoid Arthritis can affect children too.                                          myth4
  3. My diet and lifestyle has nothing to do with Arthritis:                                                                           If you belong to this community, wake up .Your diet and lifestyle both play vital role in maintaining the bone health or causing joint diseases.Your food is the building blocks of your bone and other tissues in body. Healthier the blocks stronger will the structure. As simple as it is.                                                                                                  Sedentary lifestyle, lack of exercise , improper joint movements, stress on joints e.g.in improper sitting standing or walking postures, acute or chronic frictions or injury of joints due to lifestyle or other reasons are the major reasons that starts joint impairment process.                                                                                                                                                  Fried and processed food,barbecued dishes(heated on high temperature) ,carbonated drinks (cold drinks) ,high salt content food, ready to eat food, sugar and refined carb food are some of the examples of food that can affect the joints which further will turn in to Arthritis or other joint disorders.Ayurveda has broad spectrum view on diet some of my posts describe it . One important concept of Incompatible food is already described in previous blog. The incompatible food is one the reason in autoimmune disorders like Rheumatoid Arthritis. Do refer the link for the reference .               mythss                                           https://drrupalipanse.wordpress.com/2016/05/01/be-aware-disaster-chef-busy-in-lab/                                                              https://drrupalipanse.wordpress.com/2016/07/05/10faqs-on-incompatible-food-made-me-write/
  4. I take regular calcium supplements I don’t have to worry about Arthritis:                                       This is the most common myth about Arthritis.I am so sorry to say, all those Calcium lovers, that this is not true. Calcium is one of the important factors to maintain the health of joint and bones.Even if u supply the synthetic calcium in the form of tablets or other source the utilization of that Calcium for bone is important .Most of the times the calcium level in blood are maintained by these Calcium supplement but what about the bones?                                                                                                               Calcium metabolism or absorption should be proper. Vitamin D,Vitamin C , vitamin E, vitamin K, magnesium, and boron assist in absorbing calcium and also increasing bone mass. Exercise also helps the body absorb calcium. all these things matter when we consider Calcium and bone health.Apart from Calcium deficiency Age, sex, hereditary factors, metabolic disease,obesity etc are also responsible for Arthritis.Please do not rely on only Calcium.                                                                           
  5. Painkillers , steroids and Ca supplements are the only treatment available for Arthritis :   In the era of continuous updation in medicine field thankfully this is not the only treatment available.                                                                                                              Treating a patient of arthritis is a team effort , i always say this. Proper and only needful investigations, early diagnosis is the most vital part of the treatment process.When we treat the Arthritis patients the diagnosis on the basis of individual prakriti or body type help us decide the medicines and therapies to be used.Change of lifestyle and diet and counselling of the patient regarding the disease make the path very easy for patient and doctor too. Simple diet changes according to the Ayurveda principles show speedy progress which further increases patients faith and consistency in following the suitable changes.             Panchkarma is the mostly widely used and accepted treatment for Arthritis globally. Basti is the choice of treatment in Arthritis along with some other therapies if needed. Some Ayurveda therapies on the joints locally done, reduces swelling and pain which help patient to avoid the need of pain killers as well as steroid. Rasayan Chitiksa in Ayurveda (maintenance therapy ) improves the bone health and prevents the progression of disease.                                                                                        Physiotherapy and yoga are the crucial therapies to attain the mobility of the joints and to avoid the stiffness as well as deformities in joints.

    myth7Guys stay away from any such myths , take help of the proper person and keep healthy.

    Please feel free to ask ,suggest and take time out to express your views in comment section.

    Keep reading Keep sharing

    Dr.Rupali Panse,’Aadyam Ayurveda’

    Ph no.9623448798

    (The above write up belongs to the author Dr.Rupali Panse.The act of sharing the knowledge with due credit to the blog author will be appreciated. Image source internet)

Shirodhara : A complete meditation of brain

“I cant believe my son can sleep so calm ……. its magic or what.” Screaming with happiness my patients mother almost hugged me.

6 yrs old Kartik ,a patient of epilepsy and a bright hyperactive child was showing progress after i introduced Shirodhara along with the medicines. It was a tough job not less than a circus for us to manage him lie on the table for the Shirodhara sessions . But the circus was worth and paid very well in terms of smile on his mothers face. For her and many patients Shirodhara is some magic thing. Its not magic its a very different and unique therapy that is developed along the course in Ayurveda.

It is one of the many sub therapies which evolved after the basic Panchkarma (Five fundamental TriDosha specific therapies in Ayurveda).

Many of you when hear the word Ayurveda , an image of a pot n oil stream on forehead , must have flashed in mind at first . The reason behind this is , Shirodhara is one of the most globalized, recognized , practiced and praised for therapies in Ayurveda in almost all parts of the world.

Lets reveal the secret behind Shirodhara being the face of Ayurveda.

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What is Shirodhara?

Shirodhara is a characteristic external therapy performed by trained therapists or Ayurveda doctors . The dhara (stream) for the certain time on the Shir  ( head / forehead) is the expanded meaning of the word Shirodhara.

How it is performed?

  • Thorough examination of person for the unique body type(prakriti), Dosha, pathology , disease.
  • Selection of medicinal oil /ghrit/decotion   .
  • To decide the time and frequency for the treatment.
  • Usually body massage and steam with dosha specific medicine is done as the pre procedure part
  • Patient lies on table on back and is covered in comfortable warm cloth. Hair are tied and kept back from forehead . Eyes are covered with cotton swabs.
  • The Shirodhara pot with warm oil or other choice of medicine is fixed on stand above the persons head in such a way that the oil will be poured on forehead from a approximate distance of 4 fingers
  • The oil stream is let flow on the forehead and the speed of flow is adjusted with the speed control knob .
  • The warm oil collected is replaced and filled time to time without break .
  • Once the certain time is achieved the pot is removed.
  • Gentle head and forehead massage is given to relax. Excess oil or medicine is wiped and cleaned.
  • Application of Jatamansi /  Rasna powder on forehead to protect the head from sudden exposure to wind and headache also it brings the some what numbed and relaxed senses back to conscious due to their aromatic action.
  • Swabs on eyes are removed .
  • Person is advised to keep warm and protect head nose and ears from cold wind .
  • Head wash and hot water bath  after one hour or so to is advised .

How it works?

  • Shirodhara mostly used in the imbalanced Vaat dosha and Pitta dosha . These two dosha have influence in creating imbalanced mental state (fear, anger, anxiety,stress, irregular emotional exhibitions , behavior problems etc)and psychosomatic disorders. The site of action of oil or medicine used in proximity  of major sinuses which are Vaat dominance sites according to Ayurveda.The micro vibrations are felt in between eyes on forehead which may be carried and further amplified in the frontal sinus and the little raised temperature activating the thalamus and basal brain .
  • The textbook of modern physiology explains the effect of pressure on impulse conduction through tactile and thermo receptors.If prolonged pressure is applied on the nerve, the impulse conduction is slowed down or interrupted and the related organ or part of organ goes to rest
  • In Shirodhara the stream of oil with certain pressure at a point on forehead for a specific period have calming effect on the impulse in the highly rich nerve plexus which is also called as Aadnya(Ajna)) chakra or also third eye in Yoga .  The sastradhar and Adnya chakra are interdependent and Shirodhara is supposed to have positive effect on both. 
  • The level of serotonin and catecholamine are seen lowered which in return relives the stress and induce sound sleep and tranquility of mind.

What are the benefits of Shirodhara?

Shirodhara is used in various health ailments as a part of treatment and works magic.

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Though one has not any health issue , practicing Shirodhara regularly  in certain period  by advise of Ayurveda consultant generates number of positive changes in ones health. The stress free state of mind , replenished sense organs and hair health is improved. The improved sleep further adds to health and it reflects in glow on one’s face.

In following health conditions Shirodhara is useful

  • Insomnia (loss of sleep), disturbed sleep.
  • Stress
  • Dementia , old age disorders of CNS
  • Hypertension
  • Anxiety , Migraine, headache due to stress
  • Some CNS disorders like Epilepsy, Autism etc
  • It nourishes the scalp and improves hair texture.
  • It overall induce a feeling of peace and calmness , relaxed state of mind.
  • Rejuvenates the organs above neck
  • Improves the sensory functions.

Can we do it at home?

No we cannot do it at home. The treatment needs a organised set up of table and many other accessories. The synchronized actions of therapist are the key part in treatment which one cannot achieve in home. The favorable and soothing surrounding in therapy room is necessary in Shirodhara to achieve the results  which in home is highly impossible.

This treatment is worth taking time out and get done scientifically under guidance only.

How many times it should be done? How much time it takes for one session?

  • Depending upon the indication or symptoms the Shirodhara sessions can be done for 8 / 10 / 21 days at a strech
  • Psychosomatic disorders need repeat sessions to maintain the dosha balance and to prevent recurrence
  • The healthy being can go for it once or twice a week regularly .
  • A session of 5to8 Shirodhara in every three month interval is also advised in some Vaat dosha dominant or for the persons working under high stress, travels a lot or recovering from chronic nervous illness etc
  • For hair problems once in a week for 4 weeks are advisable.

The time for one session is usually 15 mins and it is gradually increased by 5 mins  every day up to 45mins.

When it is done twice a week or so, the time for shirodhara is generally  30 to 40 mins.

Who are not appropriate to take Shirodhara?

  • Head injury, wound on head
  • Allergic rash or any acute skin disorder of scalp
  • Acute conditions like fever, cough, cold etc
  • Acute condition of vertigo
  • Third trimester of pregnancy
  • Other conditions decided by the doctor on examination.

Many times lac of information or incomplete information , and we miss some wonderful things .In this blog i have tried to collect and put everything about Shirodhara in easy term and language . More queries, inputs are welcome .

( The above write up belongs to the blog author Dr. Rupali Panse . Sharing the blog with the due credit to the author will be considered  a kind warm act.)

Keep Reading Keep sharing !!! Stay Healthy!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wrinkles, Wit and Wisdom …………..

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It was time to leave OPD.Mind full of kid’s stationary list to shop for and here I saw that guiltily smiling innocent face with 3 prominent Ws ‘Wrinkles, Wit and Wisdom’.

Aahhh!!! Mrs.ABC again without an appointment and odd time of OPD. I could see the neatly folded chit of her recent complaints in her hand. I was guessing how many folds this chit must have today, when I heard the words, “Sorry doctor, I will just take 2 minutes of yours.” I took out the cell and texted “I will be home in 30mins more”

There’s a senior citizen resident society near my clinic and I have got many more such patients. The apartment accommodates the residents who are above 60 of their age. I call this specific apartment a brain hub. A cream layer of highly intelligent, successful champs in their respective fields or professions, most of them financially independent with huge valuable experience of life with them. Living on their own in their specially designed flats. All needs are doorstep away and are taken care of.

 Apart from their different physical complaints almost all of them have the same thing in common, need to talk and need to communicate.  Sometimes they talk endless regardless of their physical complaints. They want to speak out about many personal problems, general things and joys. I think this is the success of any doctor when his or her patient can relate, trust and open up to empty the mind bin out. It’s always adorable to be in conversation with these people. I make sure I, be the quality listener for them.

Guys, for any physician this part of consultation are important as the elders at this age are susceptible for geriatric depression or old age depression in simple words. These sessions can be very helpful to identify the psychological state of patient. As many physical ailments are either associated or is the output of the emotional pathologies.

Aging and body changes, dependability, restricted mobility, thought gap between younger generations in family more or less add emotional insecurity in almost all elderly people. Identifying, accepting and early working upon the mind storm is essential to reduce the further damage.

Identifying the risk group of old age depression

  • Single male or female, unmarried, divorced or widowed
  • Being female
  • Lack of a supportive social network
  • Stressful life events
  • Physical conditions like stroke, diabetes, cancer, dementia, and chronic pain.
  • Certain medicines or combination of medicines
  • Damage to image of body(e.g. amputation, cancer surgery)
  • Family history of depression
  • Fear of death, suicide thoughts
  • Living alone, social isolation
  • Other illnesses
  • Past suicide attempt(s)
  • Recent loss of a loved one
  • Financial dependability on other members in family
  • Severe family disputes

              General symptoms of old age depression

  • Insomnia (difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep)
  • Oversleeping or daytime sleepiness
  • Behavioural changes like sudden anger, crying , overreacting or cutting off from family and society
  • Excessive talking or total silence
  • Irregular diet or skipping diet
  • Suspecting nature
  • Despite of medicine non responding physical state
  • Fatigue
  • Social withdrawal and isolation
  • Weight loss or loss of appetite
  • Abandoning or losing interest in hobbies or other pleasurable pastimes
  • Increased use of alcohol or other drugs
  • Over faith and worshiping god or showing total unfaith These are some of the signs that family, friends and family doctor should not overlook

Solutions other than medicines

Since treating the depression in old age with medicine is very difficult because of contraindications and restriction of many medicines due to severe adverse effects on health.

  • Taking help of psychologist or psychiatrist is important.
  • Counselling is the important most part of the treating course.
  • Sharing small routine time together, seeking their advice and making them feel that they are needed in family will help them gain self respect.
  • Engaging with self help groups, small kids and pets are very helpful to make the elders delighted and overcome the depression
  • Family, social support plays key role. All at this age these people want is security in their relationships in family, recognition for their achievements and deeds for family.

 

        Ayurveda view on old age depression

Old age is supposed under the dominance of Vaat dosha. Vaat dosha with its      properties increases the catabolism in old age. It reduces the intracellular nourishment in every system. Brain and neurons are also affected due to its ruksha(dry) property. This Vaat dosha also reduces the satwa (tolerance with emotions) resulting in behavioural problems and inability to take conscious decisions in old age. Dementia and insomnia are some of the symptoms due to the increased Vaat dosha.

While treating these manas (psychological) conditions Ayurveda concentrates on Vaat dosha and its shaman (pacification).

To pacify this Vaat dosha the opposite property having medicines, food and therapies are used.

    • The Abhyang ( Body massage) with Vaat pacifying oils prepared using herbs and aroma oils is very much helpful to combat the insomnia , fatigue and general debility in depression
    • It also improves the sensory and motor functions and relieves the stress .
  • Shirodhara is the choice of therapy in all psychological ailments . It pacifies the Vaat dosha and works on the nervous system . Shirodhara increases the cognitive acts.
  • Nasya (nasal drops of herbal preparation)
  • Regular Head massage and foot massage pacifies the vaat dosha and relives some of the symptoms.
  • Basti therapy,Basti have very encouraging results on overall health in geriatric patients as it works on Vaat dosha and initiates the smooth functions of major systems.

Ayurveda diet for depression

            Importance of food need not to be explained. Let the food be thy medicine and the medicine be thy food . What we eat affects our mind. Food can make us feel good, agitated, dull or energetic. Choosing of what one eats is important.

The Satvik (mild simple fresh), the food that doesn’t increase the vaat or pitta dosha is advisable in old age and depression patients

Leftover, dry, ready to make, added with preservatives and other artificial flavours are generally not recommended.

Regular intake of Cow ghee, cow milk with dry ginger powder, yellow and green mug daal , seasonal fresh fruits and vegetables are recommended . The food that may cause indigestion and heavy to digest should be avoided or consumed in small quantity.

Ayurveda physician decides the prakriti (individual body type) and prescribes the food and dos don’ts about the food.

Lifestyle

  • Being social and involving in social activities can engage the mind and channel the positivity in self
  • Self help groups and related activities
  • Yoga, physical exercise and meditation is very important .
  • Nurturing the hobbies deliberately should be looked for
  • Various therapies like music , art can be considered as well.

Individual prakriti, panchkarma, food according to dosha and herbal medicines are powerful tools of Ayurveda while dealing with depression and other health conditions.Little awareness and to shed the hesitation about the various psychological insufficiencies and impaired state is the need of the time. These simple things adapted can be helpful in dealing the emotional roller coaster ride by the old grown child.Proper help from proper source in time can make the journey of life better.

Discussions, queries and experiences on this topic are welcome!!