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Rujuta Diwekar's The PCOD Thyroid Book throws light on a baffling and complex disorder that affects women's lives in very fundamental ways - physical and social.
Rujuta Diwekar’s The PCOD Thyroid Book throws light on a baffling and complex disorder that affects women’s lives in very fundamental ways – physical and social.
I have a confession to make – this book makes me feel good. A book on PCOD, you say, are you nuts? All kinds of nuts in the world, including the ones recommended by this book.
Polycistic Ovarian Disease/Syndrome is my friend. Between 10 – 18% of women in India count this syndrome/disease as their everyday companion. PCOD/PCOS is a mother disease impacting fertility rates, predisposing us to diabetes, causing obesity, hirsuitism (excess body hair) but thinning hairlines, insulin resistance, irritability and high blood pressure. The cause is not known but we do know that weight loss is the answer to a disease that causes obesity. It is a frustrating cycle driven by hormones.
Yet, all doctors don’t accept that this is a ‘legitimate’ disease and we’re talking gynecologists. For a syndrome identified in 1935, treatment either stays in the olden times or has doctors guilting women on their weight. Believe me, I know. From being an athlete without one ounce of extra fat on my body in my teens and 20s to a 40-something mother of two with an extra 25 kgs, I have run the gamut of diets, exercise and doctors.
I had none of the common symptoms of the PCOS despite having it in my immediate family. After 15 years of trying/failing to lose the weight and personal guilt, I went to a doctor who diagnosed PCOD. She told me at the same time that I wasn’t doing enough to lose the weight, that calories in has to equal energy burnt, asking if I wanted to meet the bariatric surgeon. Since my regular swimming, some 10k runs every year and general energy tell me that I am doing more than most without seeing results, I decided to find another doctor.
The book review opportunity of this book came to me at this juncture, after much research on Dr. Google. I really like the book and give it 5 out of 5 stars.
This is an easy read. Rujuta’s style is conversational and humorous, making important points without judgment. A strong streak of empowerment runs through the book, asking women to value themselves, to take the time to care for themselves, to put themselves on their own to-do lists to start with.
How many of us juggle home, work, kids, relationships, social life, even down time on a regular basis? Yeah, that would be all of us. How many of our households make our health and exercise as much of a priority as they should be? How many of us do? If a spouse or in-law is diagnosed with x-y-z, the women of the house step in with good intentions, making this juice and soaking that nut to make sure the person in need is taken care of. Our health is normally not prioritized at the same level, whatever be our qualifications and levels of women’s liberation.
The PCOD Thyroid Book. Image source: amazon.in
The book brings this up in a gentle but insistent way before going on to work on the mental parts that are critical to any kinds of health. The ‘doing’ in order to get to a personal ideal weight is impeded by the mental bits – the self guilt, negative self talk, low self image, relationship with food, etc. Any book that doesn’t discuss the mental part ends up an academic exercise, giving solutions that people are not able to implement.
The first chapter called The Tamasha talks about all that women do to themselves like being self critical, compromising on sleep, obsessing over clothes and running after results. The book is surprisingly technical, with enough to suit a para-medical professional, without boring you too much.
Rujuta’s humour brings in Bollywood and current affairs, taking you effortlessly through facts that you need to know. The book is organized around the four pillars of health and fitness: nutrition, exercise, sleep and relationships. She has specific suggestions, including real life examples, case studies and her remedies. There is also a question and answer section from real people at the end of the book. She questions commonly held beliefs like women and weight training, advocating it for the benefits it provides much after a person is done training.
Finding answers to a chronic problem feels good, finding it in Indian woman specific ways, keeping our habits and ideas at heart is quite invaluable. Rujuta brings in concepts that are integral to our way of life – farmer’s markets, eating seasonal, eating local produce, diets that change with the weather, etc., tying them into the plan she has to manage hypothyroid and PCOS.
A criticism of the book – the initial part by Kareena Kapoor is hard to read and seems to add value only because it is written by the actress. I had to skip that part in the absence of magnifying glasses in the house.
The book is enough for you to organize your diet, fitness and sleep routines and work on your self-image. From what I see, the author seems open to letters and questions, if a reader requires. I plan to start on this regime and continue on with all else that I have going on in life. From all that I read, that is completely possible, which alone calls for a shout out.
If you’d like to pick up The PCOD Thyroid Book by Rujuta Diwekar, published by Westland, use our affiliate link: at Flipkart, at Amazon India, and at Amazon US.
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Image source: woman talking to a doctor by Shutterstock.
Sangitha Krishnamurthi is a special educator, blogger and mother of three. Her interests include living a mindful and organic life as much as possible in addition to reading and writing about the reading. read more...
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I huffed, puffed and panted up the hill, taking many rest breaks along the way. My calf muscles pained, my heart protested, and my breathing became heavy at one stage.
“Let’s turn back,” my husband remarked. We stood at the foot of Shravanbelagola – one of the most revered Jain pilgrimage centres. “We will not climb the hill,” he continued.
My husband and I were vacationing in Karnataka. It was the month of May, and even at the early hour of 8 am in the morning, the sun scorched our backs. After visiting Bangalore and Mysore, we had made a planned stop at this holy site in the Southern part of the state en route to Hosur. Even while planning our vacation, my husband was very excited at the prospect of visiting this place and the 18 m high statue of Lord Gometeshwara, considered one of the world’s tallest free-standing monolithic statues.
What we hadn’t bargained for was there would be 1001 granite steps that needed to be climbed to have a close-up view of this colossal magic three thousand feet above sea level on a hilltop. It would be an understatement to term it as an arduous climb.
Every daughter, no matter how old, yearns to come home to her parents' place - ‘Home’ to us is where we were brought up with great care till marriage served us an eviction notice.
Every year Dugga comes home with her children and stays with her parents for ten days. These ten days are filled with fun and festivity. On the tenth day, everyone gathers to feed her sweets and bids her a teary-eyed adieu. ‘Dugga’ is no one but our Goddess Durga whose annual trip to Earth is scheduled in Autumn. She might be a Goddess to all. But to us, she is the next-door girl who returns home to stay with her parents.
When I was a child, I would cry on the day of Dashami (immersion) and ask Ma, “Why can’t she come again?” My mother would always smile back.
I mouthed the same dialogue as a 23-year-old, who was home for Durga Puja. This time, my mother graced me with a reply. “Durga is fortunate to come home at least once. But many have never been home after marriage.”
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