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Editorial – September

A condition with recurring signs and symptoms of indigestion is functional dyspepsia. It is common problem across the globe reported to be 11%-29.2% (Mahadeva and Goh,2006). Changing lifestyle and induction of food items with lots of acid and salts aggravates the condition. Carbonated, alcoholic and caffeinated drinks further vitiate the problems of indigestion. Charak Vimanasthana (C.Vi.) 2/3 apparently mentions about the ratio of solid and liquid food in proper quantity to avoid harmful effects raised from food. C.Vi 2/9 hints about the types of food and drinks to be taken. Even anger, stress, anxiety, confusion, fear etc. are suggested to avoid during intake of food and drinks.

Anger, stress and anxiety are related with increased cortisol. Gastric acid secretion increases due to increased plasma cortisol. Cortisol also affects the gut microbiota and increases gastrointestinal (GI) permeability. Increased GI permeability is results in decreased mucosal barriers. The barrier allows coexistence with gut microbiota. Researches have presented the relationship of gut microbiota with enteric nervous system. Decreased gut microbiota affects enteric nervous system. Microbiota assistance to neurons responsible for muscle movement in colon (peristalsis) is well established. Contraction is linked to excitatory motor neuron containing acetylcholine and substance P while relaxation is connected to inhibitory motor neurons using nitric oxide. Other than that, local blood flow, mucosal transports and secretions also get altered.

Ayurveda treats digestion through medications and Yoga. Medicinal herbs included in treatment contain volatile oil. Many of volatile oils have been proven to work through muscle relaxation with involvement of enteric nervous system. Some of them also leave impacts in visceral sensitivity or they modulate psychosocial distress. Researches show decrease of cortisol levels through various postures of Yoga too. It also relaxes the muscle tension. So, proper food, avoiding anger, space for Yoga and exercise must be opted even in changing lifestyle.