Speaking at ASSOCHAM’s ’Digestive Health In COVID-19 Era’ webinar, the gastroenterologists advised people to maintain a balanced diet and to consume immune-boosting food
The Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM) recently concluded the tenth edition of the ‘Illness to Wellness’ series themed webinar on ‘Digestive Health In COVID-19 Era’. The event saw leading gastroenterologists discuss the possible transmission of Coronavirus through fecal-oral transmission.
Supported by the hygiene brand Savlon, the webinar saw renowned panelists speak at length on how the number of patients experiencing GI symptoms exceed those suffering from respiratory symptoms.
Speaking on the issue, Padma Shri Dr.(Prof) D.K. Bhargava, Senior Consultant, Gastroenterology & Hepatology, Indraprastha Apollo Hospital said, “Gastrointestinal tract can also serve as a route of transmission for COVID-19. Symptoms of these are mostly nausea, anorexia, vomiting, abdominal distension and diarrhea in about 20% of cases.”
Padma Shri Dr. Saumitra Rawat, Chairman and Head Surgical Gastroenterology & Liver Transplant, Sri Ganga Ram Hospital further elaborated on the topic saying, “Patients having GI symptoms are usually having milder symptoms of COVID-19 than those experiencing respiratory tract symptom.”
Commenting on how poor lifestyle choices of Indians contribute to gastrointestinal issues, Anil Rajput, Chairman, ASSOCHAM CSR Council said, “In India, unhealthy eating habits, poor lifestyle, unclean water and improper sanitation has led to a surge in digestive disorders. It is well known that stress and anxiety, high blood sugar, insomnia and other degenerating habits can alter and damage the gut microbiome. Besides having a balanced diet, incorporating pre- and pro-biotic supplements can go a long way in improving and maintaining digestive health. Curd in that regard is extremely beneficial but in today’s hostile environment, many might need stronger supplements.”
Speaking on the importance of developing immunity, the panelists agreed that maintaining a balanced diet with immune-boosting food items such as green leafy vegetables, citrus fruits along with optimal calorie intake, unsaturated fat oils, and low sugar can help in the long battle against COVID. They also suggested taking additional supplements for those needing it to maintain a healthy microbiome in the intestine.