Article by Dr Raghuram Y.S. MD (Ay)
Ayurveda explains obesity as the effect of increase of fat tissue (Medo Dhatu). Ayurveda explains obesity with below symptoms.
Sthoulya (Ati sthula), Obesity or overweight –
मेदो मांसा अति वृद्धत्वात् चल स्पिक् उदर स्तनः।
अयथा उपचय उत्साहो नरो अति स्थूल उच्यते॥(यो.र.मेदोरोग चिकित्सा.७)
Medo maamsaa ati vruddhatvaat chala spik udara stanaha
Ayathaa upachaya utsaaho naro ati sthoola uchyate (Ref – Yoga Ratnakara Medoroga Chikitsa 7)
A person who due to excessive accumulation of muscles and fat in the body presents with sagging butts, abdomen and breasts, the muscles and fat tissue are nourished and formed normally (they are abnormally deposited) and the energy levels also are not normal (below normal) is called ati sthula or obese.
Sthoulya means obese or looking obese (bulky / busty). This is an anatomical description of the disease. This also is another term which reflects Medo Vriddhi. Symptoms to differentiate Medo Vriddhi and Sthoulya have not been given. But these different terms have been used in different contexts. By description, it looks like Medo vriddhi is the physiological part of disturbance (imbalance) which takes place on the backdrop of sthoulya. Sthoulya is the anatomical presentation of Medo Vriddhi. They are 2 sides of the same coin.
Sthoulya may or may not have progressed to the level of causing severe damages in the body, enough to be called as a disease but may be a warning sign that the body tissues and organs are under danger. The body dimensions in this condition will be blown out of proportions. This seems to be a predisposing stage earlier to Medo Roga
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Ati sthula (over obese) –
Ayurveda has mentioned ‘ati sthula’ – a person who is too obese (fat / over weight) under the category of Ashtau Nindita’s – 8 categories of people who are socially unfit.
Many symptoms explained when the term ‘ati sthula’ is used points towards diseases caused due to pathology of fat metabolism. In this context, Ati sthula or ati sthoulya doesn’t look anything different from MedoRoga. These terms are used interchangeably.
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