Rising air pollution made people seek naturopathy treatment for boosting lung health

• About 60% of the people suffering from respiratory issues are from the Northern part of India.
• Around 53% of the people suffering from lung/respiratory issues are already suffering from lifestyle diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, obesity, etc.
• As per the online study conducted by Jindal Naturecure Institute, 53% of the people are facing lifestyle issues such as diabetes, hypertension, obesity, etc. during this time, who need to be careful of getting infected.

Various hospitals are seeing a surge in the number of patients complaining of respiratory issues such as difficulty in breathing, persistent cough, asthma, etc. Especially, those who already have Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) and asthma are complaining of an increase in the intensity of their problems as they breathe bad quality air. There has been a sharp incline in particulate pollution over time, with average annual particulate pollution increasing by 42% since 1998. The increasing air pollution level is a significant concern as it leads to health problems such as chronic lung disease, high blood pressure, stroke, diabetes, and heart attack. Some of these diseases have been identified as pre-existing medical conditions that can increase the chances of morbidity and mortality from Coronavirus infection (COVID19).

“According to an online study done by Jindal Naturecure Institute among their patients showed that 93% of patients believe that there has been a rise in air pollution post-COVID restrictions, which is causing various respiratory issues, and 39% of them are suffering from such issues. Also, 53% of the people are facing lifestyle issues such as diabetes, hypertension, obesity, etc. during this time, who need to be careful of getting infected. In cities like Delhi, Bengaluru, Ghaziabad, and others where air pollution is a severe problem, particular attention is required for people who are more vulnerable to serious diseases when exposed to polluted air. People with chronic medical issues may need more medical support than what they got before the COVID-19 pandemic.  In our virtual sessions, we have seen more people complaining of respiratory issues and lung infections, and most of these people were from Northern cities like Delhi, Lucknow, Chandigarh, etc. We have also seen an increase in respiratory issues among diabetic, obese, hypertension patients. Now that we have opened patient admission to our Institute for treatment, we are seeing most of the patients suffering from lung and respiratory issues”, said Dr Babina NM, Chief Medical Officer, Jindal Naturecure Institute.

The State of Global Air 2020 report by the U.S-based Health Effects Institute stated that long-term exposure to outdoor and indoor pollutants led to over 1.67 million annual deaths from a heart attack, stroke, diabetes, chronic lung diseases, lung cancer, and neonatal diseases in India in 2019. To counter the adverse effects of air pollution and reduce COVID infection risk, people are leaning towards naturopathy treatment for overall holistic wellness. Naturopathic modality of treatment takes into consideration the cause of the disease and offers a personalised healing approach based on individual needs.

“Air pollution and health are intrinsically connected — increase in pollution level is connected to poor health and health outcomes. Over the past 5-7 years, we have seen 5-7% increase in the number of patients who have developed diseases such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and 3-5% increase in other breathing issues due to their exposure to pollution. This can aggravate respiratory disease such as emphysema, bronchitis and asthma and cause more serious and potentially-fatal problems such as lung damage, even though symptoms disappear. Studies have found people with higher annual NO2 and PM2.5 exposure levels had experienced serious sleep disorders like sleep apnea more than others. In the long run, air pollution can cause seemingly unassociated disorders like that of heart as well. The use of masks induced by COVID should be utilized to reduce the impact of pollution on health — use an N95 mask when outdoors and avoid using incense sticks indoors. Besides, the government should take measures to regulate vehicular emission and road dust while construction sites should take measures to control dust.” said Dr. Deepak Verma, Internal Medicine, Columbia Asia Hospital, Ghaziabad.

Dr Babina NM, Chief Medical Officer, Jindal Naturecure Institute said, “People with COPD, asthma, and chronic bronchitis are at higher risk of morbidity and mortality because of the soaring pollution levels. With our traditional knowledge of natural therapies and non-invasive procedures, naturopathy is certainly making a difference in treating various diseases and uprooting the disease from its core. While the general population are contributing very little to control the outside air pollution, some definite measures can be taken to fortify the body’s immune response from the inside to protect oneself from serious respiratory illnesses, especially one’s like COVID19. We recommended naturopathy practices like yoga, pranayama, diet modifications, and other tips to all vulnerable people and found that it significantly improved their conditions over time. Natural ways of healing like deep breathing practices, yoga or exercise, herbal remedies, steam/sauna, Jalaneti, and Sutraneti are a few of the naturopathic approaches which can be incorporated in daily life to reduce suffering from respiratory disorders”.

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