Bombay Times Column – FAQ’s Session 3

How long after eating possibly contaminated food would one suffer the symptoms of food poisoning?

Anywhere from a few hours to a few days after consuming contaminated food is the typical timeframe for experiencing symptoms of food poisoning. Although these symptoms may vary and may be mistaken with symptoms of other illnesses, the cramping, watery diarrhea, and vomiting may be part of the ordeal of food poisoning. While food poisoning symptoms usually go away in one to two days, symptoms may last for up to ten days. Immediately contact a health care provider if you experience high fever, bloody stools, dehydration, and diarrhea lasting more than three days.

I have very dry skin in winter and even though I moisturize it every day in the morning, by the evening it’s dry and itchy. Please advice the best way to keep skin moisturized all day and night.

Cold air cannot hold water and dry air dehydrates skin, causing smooth layers of cells to fall apart like a dilapidated wall. Hydration is the key to keeping your skin moist inside out. Drinking plenty of fluids like water, juice and soup to help maintain healthy skin. All natural Oils like coconut, olive, Almond and Omega-3 oils are healthy for your skin and can be applied instead of creams. Apply oil to your skin after bathing and if you don’t like the smell add a drop or two of any natural essential oil with fragrance. Last but not the least; eat plenty of nuts high in omega-3 during winter.

I have been experiencing pain in my lower back mostly during the night. It usually only happens when I am lying on my side, however lately it has been when I am lying on my back as well. Please advice.

This is the most common type of back pain known as non specific lower back pain. Non-specific low back pain is mechanical in the sense that it varies with posture or activity. Most people that lead unhealthy and sedative lifestyles encounter this pain at some point in their lives. In Hatha yoga, practicing postures (asana) that involve back bends help improve and strengthen your lower back. It is important that you eat healthily and practice these asana’s till your back improves, and once it does you need to try and incorporate yoga into your daily routine to stay healthy.

For the past few months or so, I’ve been having this tingling feeling in my feet just as I am falling asleep making me shifty and unable to fall asleep easily because of the tingles, I don’t seem to have any other symptoms and it happens once every few days. What could this be due to?

Since you have no other symptoms trying emptying your bladder before you go to bed, often tingling occurs when you try to sleep with a full bladder.  This should work. However if it still persists despite emptying the bladder then I suggest you check for diabetes and or deficiencies in vitamins. Poor circulation also contributes to tingling, so make sure you are keeping your body healthy by doing yoga to improve your blood circulation and maintain overall health.

As appeared in the Bombay Times Column(Ask the expert)

By Sejal Vora (Naturotherapy Practitioner)

Written by Sejal Vora

To read similar articles click here. For more information on how Naturotherapy can help you click here.


The Truth: About Sleeping at Night

Before electricity, people would generally go to sleep when the sun set and rise when it rose, assuring that they got enough sleep to maintain a healthy mind and body.

Animals too change their behaviors such as reproduction, hibernation, and migration based on the season. It is believed that animals perceive the change of seasons by the patterns of light and dark. The mechanism used to implement this behavior is by the secretion of  Melatonin. When daylight hours grow shorter during the autumn months, melatonin production in animals automatically increases, helping to make the almost constant sleep of hibernation possible. When daylight hours increase during the spring, the pineal gland secretes less melatonin, triggering a new pattern of physical activity.

But  in a highly industrialized nation the light bulb has expanded man’s day from 12 to 24 hours.

It is becoming apparent that more and more people are sleep deprived. And with that deprivation, comes not only a mental deficiency, but also a physical one.

The attempt to erase the night or to confine it to a small artificially defined window comes with a price.

Melatonin is a natural hormone made by your body’s pineal gland. During the day the pineal is inactive. When the sun goes down and darkness occurs, the pineal is “turned on” and begins to actively produce melatonin, which is released into the blood.  That is why melatonin is sometimes called the “Dracula of hormones” – it only comes out in the dark.

In the morning, when we perceive that it is light, melatonin secretion ceases, which stimulates the production of other hormones and hence other body activities to begin. This orderly daily rhythm is of prime importance to our physical condition, intellectual capabilities, and emotional health.

The pineal gland and Melatonin are the body’s primary timekeepers imparting information about the time of day, season of the year, and phase of life to the brain and throughout the body. Resetting this Rhythm also means that the body is working overtime, making it more out of balance and less efficient. Thus, not only are the necessary chemicals imbalanced, but the body will age faster as it is forced to work for longer and longer hours without being able to restore itself.

Melatonin is believed to influence the internal processes so that all of the body’s systems work together, in coordination. Should this internal structure become disorganized in any way, the body becomes more susceptible to disease as sleep is not just a mental re-charger, but also important for the body as well. When a person sleeps, the body and mind are working just as hard as when the person is awake, correcting chemical imbalances, building immunity, assuring proper blood sugar levels for the next day, and maintaining memory.

For all you late night sleeper’s – If you are exposed to light till wee hours in the morning, your melatonin won’t rise to high enough levels to do its job. Light coming in from the window or from another room, or even a night-light can disrupt the production of melatonin.

Sleeping for 6 to 8 hours in complete darkness is important for good health and looking young.

Written by Sejal Vora

To read similar articles click here. For more information on how Naturotherapy can help you click here.