A chat with Dr. Devi Shetty, Narayana Hrudayalaya (Famous Heart Specialist) Bangalore, was arranged by WIPRO for its employees
*Qn1.* What are the thumb rules for a layman to take care of his heart?
1. Diet – Less of carbohydrate, more of protein, less oil
2. Exercise – Half an hour’s walk, at least five days a week;
3. Quit smoking
4. Control weight
5. Control BP – Blood pressure and Sugar
*Qn2.* Can we convert fat into muscles?
*Ans:* It is a dangerous myth. Fat and muscles are made of two different tissues, fat is fat … Ugly and harmful… Muscle is muscle. Fat can never be converted into a muscle.
*Qn3.* It’s still a grave shock to hear that some apparently healthy person
gets a cardiac arrest. How do we understand it in perspective?
*Ans:* This is called silent attack; that is why we recommend everyone past the age of 30 to undergo routine health checkups.
*Qn4.* Are heart diseases hereditary?
*Qn5.* What are the ways in which the heart is stressed? What practices do you suggest to de-stress?
*Ans:* Change your attitude towards life. Do not look for perfection in everything in life.
*Qn6.* Is walking better than jogging or is more intensive exercise required to keep a healthy heart?
*Ans:* Walking is better than jogging, since jogging leads to early fatigue and injury to joints.
*Qn7.* You have done so much for the poor and needy. What has inspired you to do so?
*Ans:* Mother Theresa, who was my patient.
*Qn8.* Can people with low blood pressure suffer heart diseases?
*Ans:* Extremely rare.
*Qn9.* Does cholesterol accumulate right from an early age (I’m currently only 22) or do you have to worry about it only after you are above 30 years of age?
*Ans:* Cholesterol accumulates from childhood.
*Qn10.* How do irregular eating habits affect the heart ?
*Ans:* You tend to eat junk food when the habits are irregular and your body’s enzyme release for digestion gets confused.
*Qn11.* How can I control cholesterol content without using medicines?
*Ans:* Control diet, walk and eat walnut.
*Qn12.* Which is the best and worst food for the heart?
*Ans:* Fruits and vegetables are the best and oil is the worst.
*Qn13.* Which oil is better – groundnut, sunflower, olive?
*Ans:* Oils do no good for humans.
*Qn14.* What is the routine checkup one should go through? Is there any specific test?
Ans: Routine blood test to ensure sugar, cholesterol is ok. Check BP, Treadmill test after an echo.
*Qn15.* What are the first aid steps to be taken on a heart attack?
*Ans:* Help the person into a sleeping position, place an aspirin tablet under the tongue with a sorbitrate tablet if available, and rush him to a coronary care unit, since the maximum casualty takes place within the first hour.
*Qn17.* What is the main cause of a steep increase in heart problems amongst youngsters? I see people of about 30-40 yrs of age having heart attacks and serious heart problems.
*Ans*: Increased awareness has increased incidents. Also, sedentary lifestyles, smoking, junk food, lack of exercise in a country where people are genetically three times more vulnerable for heart attacks than Europeans and Americans.