THE ONGOING coronavirus pandemic has disrupted the normal way of living which has had a direct impact on the diet and lifestyles of people. There is a new normal in place and people who were indoors for a prolonged period of time have been allowed to come out of their homes and involve in almost all activities with the required safety restrictions.
Students and working professionals have largely adapted to the work from home lifestyle and this has come with certain consequences.
Lack of physical activity, unhealthy habits during corona lockdown:
In all these months due to indoor confinement, physical activities were completely restricted. Even today, people are a little scared to go to gyms, parks, and playgrounds for exercise due to coronavirus.
Further, many would have killed time indoors during lockdown by trying their hands-on cooking different dishes (high on sugar, fats, and carbohydrates), especially during the festive season, or watching back-to-back movies and TV shows while indulging in binge eating and snacking without any control. Binge eating while working or attending online classes has become a common phenomenon!
As a result, the lockdown has messed up the body clock. Lack of physical activities and unhealthy habits like binge-eating food without any restrictions are some of the main causes of gastrointestinal disorders.
Due to the pandemic, many would have lost jobs or would have been asked to take pay cuts. This could have caused stress and anxiety and also contributed to stress-related gastrointestinal problems.
What are gastrointestinal disorders?
Any disease that occurs within the gastrointestinal tract (also popularly known as the GI tract) is called a gastrointestinal disorder. This includes the mouth, oesophagus, stomach, small and large intestines, and anus. The GI tract along with the liver, pancreas, and gallbladder forms our digestive system.
Some of the common gastrointestinal disorders being witnessed during the pandemic due to the above reasons are acid reflux, bloating, burping, regurgitation (where food comes back into the mouth back from the stomach), and constipation.
Here are some given by Dr Veerendra Sandur, Lead Consultant, Medical Gastroenterology, Aster RV Hospital to ease symptoms and prevent gastrointestinal problems:
1. Pull up your socks and start exercising: As explained in the beginning, lack of physical activity is one of the primary causes of digestive disorders. No matter if you are staying indoors or have chances to go out for exercising, make a schedule, and devote time for physical activity daily. There are many indoor exercising options like a stepper, thread-mill, static cycle, etc to work out without going out. Weight training can also be done.
2. If your local administration allows you to enter parks or playgrounds, having a brisk walk (by taking the needed precautions to keep Corona away) is advised. Regular exercise can ease the symptoms of constipation, acid reflux, bloating, and keep your weight under control.
3. Yoga: Practicing yoga will help you help to maintain the well-being of both body and mind. It will help reduce the stress levels, bring the hormones under control, aid digestion, and induce relaxation,
4. Healthy snacks: While watching movies or while working from home prefer healthy snacks over oily and junk foods. Go for healthy options like fruits, salad, sprouts, nuts, etc
5. Increase fibre consumption: It is good to have fibre rich foods. Increase the intake of broccoli, cauliflower, carrot, beans, peas, and spinach.
6. Water: To keep the digestive engine running without any issue, supply your body with an ample amount of water. Have tender coconut, lemon water, fresh juices with minimal sugar (or best without sugar), and say goodbye to aerated drinks.
Things to be avoided:
- Avoid or try to limit the consumption of alcohol.
- Quit smoking as it aggravates acidity.
- Do not go to bed immediately after food as it increases acid reflux. Give a minimum of 2-3 hours gap before you hit the bed.
- Try not to use phones or laptops overnight as it affects your sleep. Ensure you get 6 hours of uninterrupted sleep.
(SOURCE: India Today)