Categories: Coronavirus

Digestive care during Lockdown

These days the government has taken a daring step of whole country lockdown to prevent the rapid spread of the Coronavirus pandemic knocking the doorstep of India after striking public health of many other countries.

We are in a state of war and our own health is at stake in this, battlefield. God has armoured us with the mightiest weapons to fight this war:

Self-isolation, Patience, and Knowledge.

During this period, you might face some difficulties in handling the digestive health of yourself and your family. Hereby, I share some tips to keep your Gastro and Liver health at ease, during this lockdown phase.

Q 1: Due to sedentary life, I have problems with gas, abdominal bloating, and heartburn. What should be done to prevent these symptoms?

Answer: The first and foremost thing for preventing these symptoms is keeping yourself active. Here you can’t leave the home, you can perform yoga, pranayam or suryanamaskars. If you have a trade-mill or a gym cycle at home feel free to use it. A gradual escalation in duration and intensity will keep the muscle soreness away. Try to spare at least 30-40 minutes. If these all are not feasible keep a step count in the smartphone, try to walk 7000 steps in house only.

Q 2: What are the changes in diet to keep the tummy light, free from bloating?

Answer: Avoid too spicy or oily food in the diet. At home, we feel like enjoying deep-fried items like pakoras, wafers. These can cause “acidity” and bloating. Keeping whole grains and fruits in the diet will make your diet lighter. Besan (gram flour) and maida (white flour) are better avoided in large quantities.

Of course, drink plenty of water.

Q 3: What about drinking habits?

Answer: Free time may attract you to have a few pegs and get yourself relaxed but alcohol is injurious to the health. It may increase the heartburn and burning in the chest. The liver and pancreas may get damaged with alcohol binges. Hence, stay away from alcohol.

Limit your tea consumption to two to three cups a day. Use minimal sugar in tea and coffee.

Q 4: How can I help myself from constipation?

Answer: Immobility is the chief culprit behind constipation. Keeping yourself active will help you avoid constipation. Having food with high fibre content like fruits, leafy vegetables, and salads may help. In case of frequent constipation, you can use Isabgol 1-2 spoons with a glass of water for relief.

Q 5: Are there any medicines we can use over the counter without a prescription?

Answer: Although I discourage the use of self-prescribed medications, during this period stepping out of the house for trivial problems is also risky.

Omeprazole 20 mg is approved for over the counter use for acidity, heartburn, and abdominal discomfort.

Polyethylene glycol 2-3 TSF at bedtime can be used for constipation.

Antacids like Digene, Mucaine gel can help for heartburn and bloating.

Avoid using painkillers frequently.

For very frequent and severe pain, it’s always better to consult a doctor.

I hope this blog helps you to find the solution to Gastro and Liver problems frequently bothering you during these lockdown days.

“Stay home, stay safe.”

Dr. Vatsal Mehta, Visiting Consultant Gastroenterology – Medical, Narayana Multispeciality Hospital, Ahmedabad

Narayana Health

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