Friday, April 26, 2013

Do you drink milk like Dhoni?

I am writing this post to point out a serious health problem faced by many Indians. The trouble is, most doctors don't know the basics of health, and this simple solution eludes them. I have to tell you my own story before coming to the actual post.

Before leaving home, aged 20, I was about 72 Kg and very healthy. While doing my masters I remained reasonably healthy, playing badminton, running in the morning, etc. However, my weight came down to about 68 Kg.

It was during my doctoral work that I started losing weight. I had a fairly healthy lifestyle, played badminton, ate properly, trekked, did not drink much alcohol, (and not much of work ;-) ), etc. However, after a couple of years my food intake started falling. My breakfast became irregular, I could not digest food many times, and at some point stopped eating breakfast.

This is was about my 6th year of PhD, when my health took a beating. I was writing my thesis, was tense to search a job, and relocate. My weight fell to 57 Kg! I had no idea what to do, I could not digest most meals, stopped exercising, and left for my postdoc.

It was in my postdoc tenure that I discovered the source of the trouble. At work we went to have coffee post our lunch.  After a couple of months this made my stomach upset, so I thought it was the strong coffee which did not suit me. I switched to drinking tea, after a few days the same feeling returned.

Then I had the "AHA!" moment, it was milk that was causing the trouble!!

It turns out that many of us can not digest milk once we turn adults, this is called lactose intolerance.

I stopped drinking milk, turned to soya milk and managed. My health recovered, food intake improved, and weight was back to 69 Kg.

The funny part is, I can drink buffelo milk (An aside: in my hometown-- Kolhapur-- one can find fresh milk from buffalos tied at designated corners, how many places in the South one finds that?), but not cow milk.

This post was generated by my colleague in Pune, PR, who had an upset stomach for no particular reason. He didn't feel hungry and generally lost weight. His doctor, after a few medicines, suggested endoscopy... 

Two days ago I asked him to stop drinking milk and check. BINGO! It worked, today he is just fine, back to his normal food diet sans milk.

So, do you drink milk regularly, and do you have problems with your apetite?

This post is sponsored by Amul... ;-)