Breakfast: Cholle Bathure
Lunch: Kadai paneer with rumali roti and lassi
Brunch: Samosas and pakoras
Snacks: Momos and smoothie
Dinner: Chapati, chawal, and rajma
Next day: Mom my stomach aches, I don’t know why!
The above is a perfect example of how, we Indians, pounce on food. Yet we are convinced that it is not our eating habits but other factors that make us fall ill. This is one of the many misconceptions we procure in our brains about our digestive health.
This list of myths is a lengthy one. But we got a hold of a few and brought you the answers from one of the finest specialist.
We spoke with Dr. Kunal Das, Head of the Department of Gastrointestinal Sciences at Manipal Hospitals Dwarka. Read on our interaction where he busts some common myths relating to digestive health.
Common Misconceptions about Gastroenterological Problems
Myth 1 – Spicy foods cause ulcers.
Fact – No, spicy food doesn’t cause ulcers. But if you have already developed ulcers then it is advised that you avoid spicy foods. If you have ulcers you should take adequate food and avoid spices. Rest assured if you don’t have ulcers you can enjoy your chili paneer tikka.
Myth 2 – Digestive problems like constipation are common as one grows older.
Fact – This misconception is famous perhaps because old people do not have enough mobility. It may also be the fact that they do not consume enough food or have geriatric problems. They may not be taking adequate amount of fibers either. So, the main problem is mobility, food, water, and fibers.
If you take a good amount of fiber in your diet, for instance, if you eat a bowl of salad or lots of fruits and green vegetables, and drink juices, then constipation can be prevented. Practicing healthy eating habits and doing some physical activity is the key. If you do so, then don’t worry you will not have constipation.
Myth 3 – Milk or tea cannot be digested easily and thus makes a person suffer from gas.
Fact – Not everybody suffers from gas by taking milk. The patients who are intolerant to milk, in other words, lactose intolerant, tend to have this condition. Milk has a sugar carbohydrate called lactose. Sometimes it cannot be digested. Some people lack an enzyme called renin, which helps to digest lactose. Only those groups of patients are lactose intolerant.
When you take milk in this condition, it doesn’t get digested and gets converted into curd and acid in your body. As a result, one gets a lot of gas. If you are lactose intolerant, do not consume milk.
Myth 4 – Medicines for acid reflux should be taken for life.
Fact – This is a very common problem and an even more common question. My answer is that medicines are helpful but they are not the only solution to treat acid reflux. We must have a 360-degree thought process about the treatment of acid reflux.
We also recommend a good diet. You must avoid milk, tea, coffee, citric fruits and juices like lemon, orange, mausami, pickles, tamarind, amla, and too much fat. These products need a lot of acid to digest.
If you take a good diet and release the stress out of your body by doing yoga and meditation, this ailment can be treated completely. Mainly, if you have good food and a healthy lifestyle, you can treat acid without medicines also. Kick the acid out of your life and have a healthy life without medicines.
Myth 5 – People believe that chest pain can only be a symptom of cardiac problems.
Fact – Chest pain can be of many causes. Cardiac is a very important cause. And the typical cardiac pain is exertional. It is felt when you walk or climb stairs or run. The pain felt after an exertional activity is mostly of cardiac origin. But this is not the only cause of chest pain.
There are many other causes like pneumonitis, esophageal motility disorders, muscular chest pain or even acidity and gas, which can cause retrosternal chest pain. Non-cardiac chest pains are very important components.
Cardiac chest pain constitutes a minority of chest pain. It is close to 30%. The important way to diagnose it is by associating it with any exertional activity. If the pain is a result of such activity as walking down the street or running, then it is cardiac. All other chest pains are non-cardiac in origin.
Myth 6 – Common belief among smokers is that smoking cigarettes boosts digestion.
Fact – This is completely incorrect. Smoking doesn’t cause improvement in one’s digestion. Some people tend to feel relaxed at a stressful time after smoking a cigarette. The only association is with how they feel. Smoking doesn’t improve digestion. On the contrary, smoking increases acidity, gas and hampers one’s digestion. It is an incorrect statement with no medical basis.
Indian delicacies are as diverse and delicious as they can get. Many treats can be equalized with more number of myths. In this post, we have shattered some of the most common misconceptions that surface in our society.
We urge you to entrust the expertise of Dr. Kunal Das and follow a doctor’s advice on medical queries, instead of heeding to misbeliefs.
For a priority appointment or more information, contact us at +91 8010994994 or book an appointment with Dr. Kunal Das here –
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This write-up was contributed to Credihealth by Dr. Kunal Das.
About The Doctor
Dr. Kunal Das is the HOD & Consultant Gastroenterology at Manipal Hospitals, Dwarka. He has an experience of 16 years in this field. He completed his MBBS and post-graduation in medicine from Maulana Azad Medical College, New Delhi and D.M.(Gastroenterology) from G.B.Pant Hospital. Dr das also underwent endoscopic ultrasound training from Kinki University, Japan.