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Unplanned dieting may lead to TB

As many as 150 confirmed cases, where dieters ended up with TB, have been reported in the last five years in Lucknow alone.

india Updated: Jun 14, 2006 15:51 IST

A recent study reveals that women who go on an unplanned dieting might risk suffering from Tuberculosis.

As many as 150 confirmed cases, where dieters ended up with TB, have been reported in the last five years in Lucknow alone.

What is more shocking is that TB cases have been reported mainly among the urban women in the age group of 13 to 35 years, according to an observational study by Professor Dr Surya Kant, Department of Pulmonary Medicine, King George's Medical University.

In the country, where the eradication of TB has been foremost on the agenda of medical fraternity, such cases have come as a shocker.

Tuberculosis, which is found mainly among the low income group people and mainly due to malnutrition, has exposed this facet of the urban life where the advantage of affluence is being lost in the mad race of fitness and beauty.

The idea was certainly not bad but the approach to such kind of fitness regime was something which should be properly guided, Dr Kant said.

About a half of the country's population carry Bacterium-mycobacterium tuberculosis that causes TB. But thankfully, it does not become active due to good immunity levels in people.

The disease takes shape when lowered immunity levels activate the bacterium. While dieting, the body immunity goes down due to various deficiencies in the nutrition, Professor Kant said.

He said that when a person was on a prolonged dieting, his haemoglobin, serum protein, serum calcium, imunogloblins, vitamins and mineral levels dropped, which in turn reduced the body's immunity. This was when the TB bacterium lying dormant became active resulting into a blown up case of TB.

Out of these 150 women, some of them had joined slimming centres and fitness boutiques, Kant pointed out. "Ironically, many such centres do not have trained dieticians. Due to this, women do not follow proper fitness regimes."

A random survey in these centres across the state capital revealed that majority of these centres did not have services of trained dieticians.

"The insistence of women following any instructions to lose weight have sometimes led to imprudent diet control devices which could be harmful to health", confessed one of the slimming centres executive.

"We try to impress upon the females to go for balance diet. But in the hurry to become slim, they ignore our advice," she said.

First Published: Jun 14, 2006 15:51 IST