Metabolic disorder is the most common health problem in the Kingdom, said Nafa Al-Tambukty, an apothecary expert.
Al-Tambukty, a Saudi who practices alternative medicine in the KIngdom, told Saudi Gazette in an exclusive interview that the high rate of metabolic disorder reported in the Kingdom is largely due to bad eating habits and lethargic lifestyle.
“A metabolic disorder occurs because a person might have a bad eating habit that confuses the digestive system and the sufferer might have too much of some substances or too little of other ones required to stay healthy,” Al-Tambukty explained.
He said bad eating habit means consuming food that has imbalance in the nutrients resulting in abnormal chemical reactions in the body that disrupts the normal process of metabolism, he said.
Such a condition, he said, leads to weight gain and obesity which is the root cause of all health problems. He said majority of people visiting his clinic asks for advice that could reduce their overweight. “A person’s health largely depends on what he/she eats,” he said.
He said people should understand that certain food that they consume every day is either rich proteins, carbohydrates and or fats.
The chemicals or digestive enzymes in body break the food parts down into sugars and acids that the body can use as energy. The energy can also be stored in the body tissues, liver, muscles or in the form of body fat, he said.
Metabolism is the process your body uses to get or make energy from the food you eat, he said.
“Irregular or bad eating habits can lead a person to develop a metabolic disorder and affect his/her organs, such as liver or pancreas to malfunction,” he said referring to the onset of diabetes.
He said people have misconception that using alternating medicine, mostly herbal-based would reduce excess body fat and help in losing weight.
“Most people think green tea is good for weight loss, when in fact this herbal product is a good source of anti-oxidants that helps in detoxification of body,” he said.
Another most common health problem reported in Saudi Arabia is irritable bowel syndrome, he said. He said there is no specific laboratory or imaging test that can be performed to diagnose irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), which itself does not lead to more serious conditions in most patients. However, it can be a source of chronic pain, fatigue, and other symptoms and contributes to work absenteeism.
Al-Tumbakty said the Saudi government has been engaged in the promotion of organic food farming. “This alone will not be enough, an awareness campaign about eating habit is necessary,” he said.
Al-Tumbakty, a naturopath, got his education in India. He said that although the awareness about alternative medicines is growing in the Kingdom, there is a lot more to be done through education in the schools and colleges.
“You will find a number of shops in different parts of the Kingdom under the Arabic billboards called atara, meaning apothecary. But people that run those shops are not trained to dispense the alternative medicine,” he said.
SHAHID ALI KHAN