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30 August, 2021 09:49:14 PM

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Prevention of dengue by diet therapy

Several conditions in dengue are treated in part with therapeutic diets. Treatments involve including foods that improve specific health conditions while avoiding foods that may make the condition worse.
Fahmida Hashem
Prevention of dengue by diet therapy

It's the rainy season again and the cases of mosquito-borne diseases are on the rise. Year after year the cases of dengue are increasing.

The word “dengue” is derived from the Swahili phrase Ka-dinga pepo, meaning “cramp-like seizure”. Dengue is an acute viral infection with potentially fatal complications like electrolyte disturbances, hypokalemia, plasma leaking, fluid accumulation, respiratory distress, severe bleeding, or organ impairment. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), approximately half a million people with DHF are hospitalized each year, of which many are children. About 2.5% of these patients die. If there is access to medical care with health care professionals trained in treating DHF, the death rate may be less than 1%.

Several conditions in dengue are treated in part with therapeutic diets. Treatments involve including foods that improve specific health conditions while avoiding foods that may make the condition worse. Best foods to recover from dengue fever are-   

Coconut Water – Dengue generally results in dehydration. Thus, it is immensely beneficial to consume coconut water, which is loaded with electrolytes and vital nutrients. 

Pomegranate - Consumption of pomegranate reduces the feeling of exhaustion and fatigue. Being a rich source of iron, pomegranate stands out to be quite beneficial for the blood. It also helps in maintaining a normal blood platelet count which is essential to recover from dengue. 

Turmeric - Being an antiseptic and metabolism booster the consumption of turmeric with milk. This helps in faster recovery from dengue.    

Orange is rich in antioxidants and Vitamin A &C, its juice also helps in treating and eliminating the dengue virus.

Nuts - Proteins are essential for normal platelet count. Nuts and almonds are good sources of proteins. Peanuts and pistachios are also very beneficial, but somewhat difficult for digestion.

Lemon juice is effective in controlling the dengue virus. It is good for the patient’s taste palate too, as he/she is prohibited to consume oily and spicy foods.

Broccoli is an excellent source of Vitamin K which helps to regenerate blood platelets. If there's a sharp decline in the platelet count, then broccoli must be included in the daily diet of a dengue patient. 

Spinach is a rich source of iron and omega-3 fatty acids-rich food which improves the immune system to a great extent. It is an effective way to increase the platelet level count.

Kiwi Fruits contain good amounts of vitamin A, vitamin E, along with potassium to balance the body's electrolytes. The copper in kiwifruit is especially for the formation of healthy red blood cells and building immunity against disease.

Papaya leaf is rich in enzymes like papain and chymopapain, which aid digestion, prevent bloating and other digestive disorders. 30ml of fresh papaya leaf juice helps in increasing the platelet count and, therefore, in the treatment of dengue. 

Fenugreek (Methi) is known to induce sleep and acts as a mild tranquilizer that aids in easing pain. It is also known for stabilizing high fever that is a common dengue symptom.

Aloe Vera is rich in various vitamins & minerals therefore, aloe vera juice has multiple medicinal applications. It can be an excellent ally in taking care of cardiovascular health and promoting platelet production.

Yogurt - Probiotics, also known as active bacteria, are found largely in yogurt. These are very useful for keeping the intestines free of harmful germs and bacteria. Its regular consumption will help you keep the defenses high. So, yogurt makes whole digestion easy in dengue patient.  

Chicken soup - - There is scientific evidence that chicken soup is of great help to stop the symptoms of colds and flu, stimulating the defenses so that healing is carried out quickly. It will also help you stay hydrated and raise the temperature of the airways, which is very effective in loosening the mucus. 
Green tea- Highly biologically active green-tea component epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) inhibited dengue virus infection regardless of infecting serotype. And high content of polyphenols of green tea is a very valuable anti-oxidant compound with immunostimulatory effects.

High fiber foods such as whole-grain cereals, green leafy vegetables, thick skin fruits, etc are recommended to avoid dengue. Oily food can put a damper on your road to recovery as it weakens the immune system. Spicy Food is a big no for dengue patients. It can cause acid to collect in the stomach and lead to ulcers and damage to the wall. This damage hinders the recovery process as your body seems to be fighting double the illnesses.  Your body needs lots of fluid but caffeinated beverages are not the way to go. These drinks cause rapid heart rate, fatigue, caffeine crashes, and muscle breakdown.  

The dengue fever can rise rapidly after the onset of the initial symptoms. Thus, one must seek medical help as soon as these symptoms are observed. The above-mentioned diet therapy should be adopted as an only supplemental form of treatment.

The writer is Sr. Nutritionist, Labaid Cardiac Hospital, Email: [email protected]

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Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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