How Navjot Singh Sidhu is managing non-alcoholic fatty liver and embolism in jail

Former Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC) chief Navjot Singh Sidhu is currently undergoing a one-year jail sentence for a 1988 road rage case. The politician, who has lost 34 kg weight while being lodged in Patiala Central Jail for the last six months, suffers from non-alcoholic fatty liver and embolism due to which he follows a strict diet and has been practising regular yoga and meditation.

According to Sidhu’s aide and former MLA Navtej Singh Cheema, Sidhu has been recommended a special diet consisting of coconut water, chamomile tea, almond milk and rosemary tea by the doctors. “He is feeling really good. He told me his liver, which was a cause of concern earlier, is much better now,” he shared.

Cheema added that the politician spends at least four hours meditating, two hours practising yoga and doing exercises, two to four hours reading, and sleeps for only four hours. In addition to that, he is also off sugar and wheat, eats only two times a day and eats nothing after 6 pm.

According to Dr Priyanka Udawat, Consultant, Paediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Endoscopy, SRCC Children’s Hospital (Managed by Narayana Health), the accumulation of liver fats in individuals who drink very little alcohol is known as non-alcoholic fatty liver. “The reason for non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is unknown. Risk elements encompass obesity, gastric skip surgery, excessive LDL cholesterol and type 2 diabetes,” she said.

Accumulation of liver fats in individuals who drink very little alcohol is known as non-alcoholic fatty liver (Source: Getty Images/Thinkstock)

Embolism, on the other hand, is the accommodation of an embolus, a blockage-inflicting piece of material, inside a blood vessel. “The embolus can be a blood clot (thrombus), a fats globule (fats embolism), a bubble of air or different fueloline (fueloline embolism), amniotic fluid (amniotic fluid embolism), or overseas material.”

As such, how do coconut water, chamomile tea, almond milk and rosemary tea help in these conditions? They are rich in an antioxidant called anthocyanins, “which reduces the risk of growing diseases like fatty liver and embolism”, Dr Udawat explained.

For the unversed, anthocyanins – belonging to the flavonoid family – are a group of antioxidants found in red, purple and blue fruits and vegetables. As per Healthline, foods containing anthocyanins have been used in natural remedies for generations and studies increasingly support their purported health benefits.

In addition to these food items, dietitians recommend consuming a Mediterranean diet when diagnosed with these conditions. “Greater culmination of veggies, greater complete grains, greater nuts and legumes, lean meats, much less beef and fewer sweets/delivered sugars” are recommended, Dr Udawat said.

Lifestyle changes are very crucial in the management of non-alcoholic fatty liver and embolism, said Dr Aditya Chowti, Senior Consultant- Internal Medicine, Fortis Hospital, Cunningham Road, Bengaluru. “Primarily, weight loss, a good healthy diet, managing co-morbid conditions like diabetes, hypertension and elevated cholesterol levels, and suspension of all offending agents are crucial,” he said.

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