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GEN- X HACKS WEIGHT & FALLS TOTB.

Docs say youth play havoc with diet in a hurry to get thinner & slip on immunity

IF YOU are on a strict weight loss regime, make sure to follow a diet full of nutrients, vitamins and minerals lest you fall prey to tuberculosis ( TB).

Doctors have of late witnessed a disturbing trend in which young girls who diet a lot are becoming more susceptible to TB because of the lack of proper nutrients in their bodies.

Shikha Singh's ( name changed) is one such case.

The 21- year- old, who works with a BPO, was not feeling well lately. For three months now, she was on a strict diet schedule to lose weight. But, apart from weight loss, she experienced sleep disorder and chronic fatigue. Little did she know that her strict weight loss routine will make her a TB patient.

" Due to my armchair job, my weight was increasing every day. So I completely changed my diet schedule.

I started skipping one meal and focusing more on fruits and vegetables," Singh told MAIL TODAY . The continuing body weakness and lack of proper sleep forced her to visit a doctor. After a few tests, she was diagnosed with TB. " There are many factors to this case. She was staying in a crowded, ill- ventilated place. Lack of proper nutrients in her diet was also a reason," said Dr Rajesh Chawla, senior consultant at Indraprastha Apollo Hospital.

" At least three- four TB cases in a year are of girls suddenly starting a rigorous weight loss routine but ignoring a good diet," he added.

In India, most citizens are exposed to TB because of the high population, since they are prone to catching infection from an infected person. Tuberculosis is a widespread and, in many cases, infectious disease caused by various strains of myco bacteria, usually Mycobacterium tuberculosis.

This bacteria typically attacks the lungs, but can affect other body parts as well. It is spread through air when infected people cough, sneeze or transmit respiratory fluids.

Worryingly, most infections do not show any symptoms, and the condition is called ' latent tuberculosis'. About one in 10 latent infections eventually progresses to active disease which, if left untreated, kills more than 50 per cent of those infected.

Similar is the case of Rohan Arora ( name changed), who was on steroids for body building. He was skipping meals and depending more on ' unnatural' food items.

The deficiency of proper nutrients in his body soon led to fatigue, weakness, fever and cough.

" Initially, doctors told me I might be suffering from TB but I could not believe them.

But then an X- ray test came out positive for TB. Doctors told me that excess unhealthy food had weakened my immunity system," Arora told M AIL T ODAY . Experts add that young adults, especially women, who go on a crash diet actually weaken their immunity.

Sometimes, those on a weight- loss programme mistakenly think the appetite and weight loss is the result of their diet plan and the disease goes undetected.

" There is a correlation between girls trying to lose weight and contracting TB. It is extremely important to have a high- protein diet. Young, about- to- marry girls opt for crash diets that reactivate TB in the body," said Dr Nevin Kishore, head of bronchology and senior consultant, department of respiratory medicine, at Max Super- Speciality Hospital.

" Even students under stress can be at a greater risk of reactivating the TB strain. The disease can easily be prevented with a proper diet that shores up immunity," Dr Kishore added.

Doctors say it's no longer only a poor man's disease. Many hospitals are now witnessing people with higher income groups also getting diagnosed with TB. " An increasing number of people from upper income groups are getting diagnosed with TB. The key is to have proper meals, full of vitamins and minerals. It is a myth that rich people are not affected by TB," said Dr Vikas Maurya, senior consultant, respiratory, allergy and sleep disorder, BLK Super- Speciality Hospital.

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Publication:Mail Today (New Delhi, India)
Date:Mar 22, 2015
Words:685
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