Lifestyle change long overdue in Kerala says Dr Nanditha Shah

KOCHI: Awoman of 70-year-old had been suffering from heart disease for three years. Even getting out of the bed in the morning was difficult for her. She was admitted to the ICU and prescribed several medicines.She didn’t want to take them all so, after three weeks in the hospital. She went to another doctor. To the women’s delight, this doctor prescribed her with food rather than medicines.

Two-and-a-half months later, she was off all medication.  That was 13 years ago. Today, at age 83, the woman is still remarkably well, goes for a jog every evening, and looks good too.All thanks to her doctor.
The woman is just one of the many patients whose lives were changed by Dr Nanditha Shah, the winner of Centre’s Nari Shakthi Puraskar. Dr Nanditha became a doctor to reduce the suffering of other people.

“When I became aware of the tremendous suffering other living creatures are put through so that we can eat their meat or use various products, I immediately switched to a vegetarian lifestyle. I could not do away with dairy products. However, it took me just a simple research to realise they were not essential and that advertisements of various companies were only brainwashing us “, Dr Nandita, who is here for a  four-day programme which concludes on Saturday.

She was also immensely impacted by Dean Ornish’s book ‘Reversing Heart Disease’ – which detailed how multiple heart diseases cases were reversed through a plan-based-diet and a seminar by Dr Bimal Chajjer.
She said lifestyle changes were long overdue in Kerala. “Though India has the highest number of diabetes patients in the world, the rate in Kerala is higher than any other Indian state. We are eating ourselves to death. Keralites may feel lifestyle changes are extreme. But I feel bypass surgery, bariatric surgery and chemotherapy are actually extreme “, she said.

When asked about a possible balance between junk food consumption and health practices, she said moderation never cured. “When we have diseases we are facing today, we need to change radically”, she said firmly.

Dr Nandita hopes out to at least a few people through her seminar on ‘Reversing Diabetes and Hypertension’, which will be organised on Saturday at Casino Hotel Kochi. She has an online diabetes reversal program and her recently published book, Reversing Diabetes in 21 days’ is available for buying. SHARAN, an organisation she formed to further her vision of an ecologically compassionate lifestyle and to treat diseases with long-term lifestyle changes, also has a team of doctors which conducts consultations via phone and Skype.