Dieting can give birth to TB! | india | Hindustan Times
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Dieting can give birth to TB!

WARNING FOR diet freaks: Dieting can give you tuberculosis . In Lucknow alone, 150 confirmed cases where dieters ended up with TB have been reported in the last five years. All these cases involve women belonging to urban Lucknow. They are between the age group of 13 to 35 years, according to a study by Dr Surya Kant, professor, Department of Pulmonary Medicine, King George?s Medical University. ?People don?t know but it?s a fact that 50 per cent of the country?s population carry bacterium (mycobacterium tuberculosis) that causes TB.

india Updated: Jun 07, 2006 01:33 IST

WARNING FOR diet freaks: Dieting can give you tuberculosis (TB). In Lucknow alone, 150 confirmed cases where dieters ended up with TB have been reported in the last five years.

All these cases involve women belonging to urban Lucknow. They are between the age group of 13 to 35 years, according to a study by Dr Surya Kant, professor, Department of Pulmonary Medicine, King George’s Medical University (KGMU). “People don’t know but it’s a fact that 50 per cent of the country’s population carry bacterium (mycobacterium tuberculosis) that causes TB. It does not become active TB disease, thanks to good immunity levels in people.

TB as a disease is prevalent only in two per cent of the population. The disease takes shape when lowered immunity levels lets the bacterium to become active,” said Dr Surya Kant.

There were many factors that caused immunity to go down in a person and consequently allowed the bacterium to get active. One newly discovered factor was dieting, said the doctor.

How does dieting trigger TB?

“When a person is on prolonged dieting, his hemoglobin levels go down. Same with serum protein, serum calcium, immunoglobulins, vitamins and minerals levels in the body. When these things go down, immunity gets heavily suppressed. That is the time the bacteria that had been lying dormant (inactive) hits you resulting in TB,” said Dr Kant.

Strangely, of these 150 women, quite a few were members of some fitness centre or the other. Dr Kant expressed concern at the mushrooming of fitness-slimming centres (most of these do not have a properly trained dietician) in the city.   In fact, said Dr Kant, dieting should be completely shunned. The key word should be ‘dietary modification’ instead of ‘dieting’. They should cut a high calorie or high fat diet, but proteins, green vegetables and fruits should be there in ample amount.

Also, people should gain some knowledge about food and diet and its role in health, he said. Why all the 150 cases involved only women? “Men generally do not go for prolonged dieting,” said Dr Kant.