A chat with Dr. Devi Shetty, Narayana Hrudayalaya (Famous Heart Specialist) Bangalore, was arranged by WIPRO for its employees
.

The transcript of the chat is given below. Useful for everyone.*

Qn1:  What are the thumb rules for a layman to take care of his heart?
Ans:
1. Diet – Less of carbohydrate, more of protein, less oil
2. Exercise – Half an hour’s walk, at least five days a week;
3. Quit smoking
4. Control weight
5. Control BP – Blood pressure and Sugar

Qn2. Can we convert fat into muscles?

Ans: It is a dangerous myth. Fat and muscles are made of two different tissues, fat is fat … Ugly and harmful… Muscle is muscle. Fat can never be converted into a muscle.

Qn3. It’s still a grave shock to hear that some apparently healthy person
gets a cardiac arrest. How do we understand it in perspective?

Ans:  This is called silent attack; that is why we recommend everyone past the age of 30 to undergo routine health checkups.

Qn4. Are heart diseases hereditary?

Ans: Yes.

Qn5. What are the ways in which the heart is stressed? What practices do you suggest to de-stress?

Ans: Change your attitude towards life. Do not look for perfection in everything in life.

Qn6. Is walking better than jogging or is more intensive exercise required to keep a healthy heart?

Ans:  Walking is better than jogging, since jogging leads to early fatigue and injury to joints.

Qn7.  You have done so much for the poor and needy. What has inspired you to do so?

Ans:  Mother Teressa, who was my patient.

Qn8.  Can people with low blood pressure suffer heart diseases?

Ans:  Extremely rare.

Qn9. Does cholesterol accumulate right from an early age (I’m currently only 22) or do you have to worry about it only after you are above 30 years of age?

Ans: Cholesterol accumulates from childhood.

Qn10.  How do irregular eating habits affect the heart ?

Ans:  You tend to eat junk food when the habits are irregular and your body’s enzyme release for digestion gets confused.

Qn11.  How can I control cholesterol content without using medicines?

Ans: Control diet, walk and eat walnut.

Qn12. Which is the best and worst food for the heart?

Ans: Fruits and vegetables are the best and oil is the worst.

Qn13.  Which oil is better – groundnut, sunflower, olive?

Ans: Oils do no good for humans.

Qn14. What is the routine checkup one should go through? Is there any specific test?

Ans: Routine blood test to ensure sugar, cholesterol is ok. Check BP, Treadmill test after an echo.

Qn15. What are the first aid steps to be taken on a heart attack?

Ans:  Help the person into a sleeping position, place an aspirin tablet under the tongue with a sorbitrate tablet if available, and rush him to a coronary care unit, since the maximum casualty takes place within the first hour.

Qn17.  What is the main cause of a steep increase in heart problems amongst youngsters? I see people of about 30-40 yrs of age having heart attacks and serious heart problems.

Ans: Increased awareness has increased incidents. Also, sedentary lifestyles, smoking, junk food, lack of exercise in a country where people are genetically three times more vulnerable for heart attacks than Europeans and Americans.

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