14 May Yoga Curative for Thalassemia Management
Census of India indicates that every year nearly one lac children suffer from Thalassemia. Major world over and approximately ten thousand are born in India. The average β-thalassemia carriers are 3–4%, i.e. 35 to 45 million carriers in our multi-ethnic and linguistically diverse population of nearly 1.21 billion.
Thalassemia is a genetic disorder. Broadly thalassemia can be divided into two – thalassemia minor and thalassemia major (Cooley’s anaemia.) Individuals with thalassemia minor have mild anaemia (i.e. slight lower levels of haemoglobin in the blood). An individual with a severe form of beta thalassemia is life-threatening anaemia which requires regular blood transfusions and chelation therapy to remove iron overload and accumulation.
Some common symptoms of thalassemia include:
- Fatigue and weakness
- Shortness of breath
- The pale appearance or a yellow colour to the skin (jaundice)
- Swollen abdomen
- Dark urine
- Bone deformities
Can thalassemia be fully cured?
For now, the only available cure for thalassemia is a bone marrow transplant. However, this is possible only for a few considering the cost.
The most common treatment in severe cases is life-long blood transfusion and chelation therapy to counter side-effects due to excessive iron absorption and accumulation.
Yoga is a holistic approach to tackling thalassemia symptoms and managing the condition. Diet and exercise play a central role. Yoga is fast becoming the choice of adjunct therapy to manage thalassemia condition and ally symptoms.
Yogic diet tips:
- A Sattvik plant-based diet is highly recommended.
- Increase uptake of carrots, beets, spinach, and sweet potatoes. These colourful vegetables naturally contain high levels of antioxidants, beta-carotene, and anthocyanins. Consuming natural antioxidants help to reduce the damage that can be caused due to excess and free iron in your body.
- Include more fresh fruits and vegetables that are local and organic. Reduce the portion size. Chew well.
- Avoid all packaged, processed and refined foods.
- Eat on time and consume home-cooked meals.
Yoga Asanas are a gentle form of exercise that improves flexibility, stamina and benefit the circulatory system. All Asanas help but should be performed under supervised and experienced Yoga teachers. Yastikasana, Ardha matsyendrasana, Parvatasana, Pariyankasana, Paschimottanasana, Gomukhasana, Trikonasana, Marjariasana, and Konasana, etc. all help when performed with proper breath flow.
Pranayamas help and benefit the circulatory system and relieves stress. Pranayama I, II, III, IV and anulom-vilom are recommended.
Meditation and relaxation techniques such as Nishpandabhava, Shavasana, and guided meditation can be regularly practised.