A major cause worldwide can be handled with proper guidance and treatment
Have you ever wondered whether heavy-set Japanese Sumo wrestlers face the risk of getting diabetes, hypertension or other weight-related disorders? "No, they don't," says Dr. P. S. Mahadevan, a medical practitioner in his mid-sixties.
Exercise, the key
"The wrestlers perform exercises to ensure that the fat is deposited between the skin and the abdomen," he explains, adding that an obese person has fat deposited inside his abdomen.Dr. Mahadevan has a reason to know these facts. Involved in obesity research for the past two years, he has done extensive reading on the subject and has opened a centre 'Obesity Research' in Puthur. He has set up a laboratory with automated equipments and a workout gym. Dr.Mahadevan and his team offer diagnosis and treatment exclusively for obesity, which includes tests and exercises. He states that obesity is a universal problem, initially regarded as improbable in South Asian countries by the World Health Organisation. Obesity carries risks of Type 2 diabetes, gallstones, hypertension, strokes, sleep disorders and polycystic ovary syndrome among others.
During the thirty-odd years of medical practice, Dr. P. S Mahadevan has noticed a sea change in the health condition of his patients. In those years, several patients were suffering from malnutrition. But today, several of his patients were obese. "People who sleep late and get up late tend to be obese," he says and lists several reasons for obesity, like change in food habit, lack of walking/exercise, losing sleep rhythm, less expenditure of calories, smoking cigarettes and consuming alcohol.He often used to mention this to his wife who remarked, "Why don't you do something about this?" That set him going as he set up a laboratory. "I never compromise on quality," assures Dr. Mahadevan, who claims to have invested a hefty sum in acquiring the infrastructure. But he tries to offer the tests to his clients at a nominal rate.He believes that losing weight is never easy and simple as it sounds, unless the patient is highly motivated. "Exercise and food control alone are not effective. You should know how safe it is to exercise," he advises.
In his opinion, psychological needs of a person have to be assessed because some people eat due to depression. Dr.Mahadevan also attaches importance to sleep disorders, which are given very little medical attention. He has sleep study equipment in his lab, which measures the airflow that is inhaled, amount of oxygen in the blood, heart rate and the chest movement. He offers treatment to those who suffer from sleeping disorders like loud snoring. Genetic makeup also contributes to obesity, he says.Dr.Mahadevan is at present into studying various hormones and genes and their roles. His ambition is to set up a genetic laboratory within a year and is on the look out for biochemists with good laboratory skills to assist him. He says jocularly, "Good biochemists have little lab skills and those with good lab skills are not that good biochemists."