Can Achalasia Cardia Be Reversed? A Client's Testimony.
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Only 8 out of every 1,00,000 people are affected by Achalasia Cardia. This is a very rare swallowing disorder, that impacts a small percentage of the population. It is essentially the narrowing of the esophagus right before opening up into the stomach. This leads to food being pushed upwards to the throat and GERD like symptoms:
- vomiting and, even,
- gastric distress.
So much so, that when Ram, one of our clients approached us, he explained having trouble even sleeping through the night without having a bout of an acid attack.
Ram was told by his doctors that Achalasia Cardia cannot be reversed. He approached us predominantly to work on his weight and metabolic markers as Ram had even given up on managing his gastric disorder.
His case is one of remarkable transformation and determination. I truly hope this blog motivates you as much as working with him inspired us!
Read on and we hope that his story will inspire you towards your own health transformation!
When he joined us, roughly 3 months ago, he was struggling with a rare Gastrointestinal disease known as Esophageal Achalasia or Achalasia Cardia.
This condition affects the esophagus, the tube through which food and liquids journey from the mouth to the stomach. He was having difficulty in even swallowing food and water!
Apart from this, he has had a track record of bad eating habits going back several decades. Having been a slave to eating highly processed foods, a majority of the time, with little to no intake of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and nuts, its little wonder that he was carrying longstanding health issues. Here is an example of what Ram's average day of food looked like before we started working with him:
However, in just 3 months of working with us, he has experienced:
- A complete reversal in his symptoms,
- Almost 15 kgs weight loss and 9% reduction in body fat
- Abandoned his love for midnight Maggi noodles and chips
- Adopted a Plant-based Lifestyle & Learning how to cook for himself
- Set a New Fitness Goals like, training for 5K run
In this article, we delve into Ram's experience of working with Roshni Sanghvi and her team, his challenges, and triumphs, with him even offering valuable insights for you to make positive changes in your lives!
Working With The Team: A Fantastic Experience!
Ram's primary nutrition coach on the program was Amisha Pasad. A dynamite, ever curious and extremely talented nutritionist who literally hand- held Ram through his recovery journey. In Ram’s own words, “Working with the team at Roshni Sanghvi has been nothing short of life-changing!”.
He felt strongly that, what set his experience with us apart, was the compassion and patient understanding shown towards him of introducing small, incremental lifestyle, eating habits and exercise-related changes over time. This was easy as expectations set on him were small and easy to achieve VS major changes. We literally started with changes as small as introducing a fruit before the meals.
Ram appreciate our approach on what to add to the diet to make it healthier VS focusing on what all to avoid. Eventually, as his cravings and gut changed, he automatically started avoiding foods that are unhealthy. The mid- night maggi was not replaced with an apple or sweet potato chaat instead.
Amisha also focused on giving Ram nutrition based targets VS a "diet plan". For example, Ram was asked to eat 50 grams of leafy greens per day VS only having a green smoothie for breakfast. This gave Ram the freedom to choose where to add the greens and not strictly adhere to one diet type.
Here are a few tips for GERD management that can also help with Achalasia Cardia:
Transitioning to a Healthier Lifestyle: Challenges and Triumphs.
No sugar-coating Ram's transition to a healthier lifestyle. It was a challenging effort. But one that was well worth it!
Owing largely to his decades of poor eating habits, coupled with his sedentary lifestyle choices. What stood Ram in good stead during this transition period, was his willingness to listen to us and being open-minded towards making new and often, uncomfortable changes. Also, his core motivation to address his health concerns head on, fuelled his determination.
One of the biggest challenges Ram faced was one that we all can relate to. Hyper- palatable food addiction.
Given our easy access to chemically engineered food, designed to keep us addicted, it is hard to not give in to your temptations.
- Food coloring,
- stabilizers and,
so many chemicals make our food hyper- palatable. Thus, keeping us addicted to them. A scoop of ice cream is enough for us to not find an apple sweet anymore.
Where the availability of hyper-palatable foods like instant noodles, fried chips, ice creams and many more is literally a finger movement away.
Additionally, Ram had to also deal with another widely prevalent behaviour pattern that many Indian men face – Not knowing how to cook for themselves!
The silver lining here is that having seen tremendous health improvements with us in such a short period of time, Ram is now actively motivated to educate himself on how to cook for himself and is making good strides in that regard.
Miraculous Results! A 90% Reduction in Ram’s Achalasia Cardia Symptoms.
Ram's progress during his journey was nothing short of impressive, here’s the timeline:
Within the very 1st month:
Significant changes in Ram’s health was evident. Almost overnight, he moved away from being entirely dependent on consuming highly processed foods, marking a promising start of his transformation.
This was possible due to Amisha's efforts on selecting easy to cook, fun recipe for Ram. She specifically chose recipes that can be prepped for a few days together and does not require master level cooking skills.
Ram started by following a six- food elimination diet, where dairy, wheat, soy, fish, eggs, nuts and shellfish was removed from his nutrition plan. Amisha instead chose recipes like a millet porridge for breakfast, traditional sambhar and brown rice for dinner and veggie and pulses loaded dinner.
Ram was also educated on developing a healthy sleep routine to avoid late night munching. If he did feel hungry, Amisha helped him with healthy snack options that were lighter to digest and would not trigger reflux.
Did you know your sleep habits can drive your cravings? Read this:
By the end of 3 months:
Ram achieved not only a significant improvement in his health but also an impressive transformation in his physique.
In just 3 months, he lost a total of 13.3 kgs, with a remarkable 9% reduction in body fat. His food diary was starting to look like this now:
Furthermore, all of his Achalasia Cardia symptoms completely stopped!
In addition to his dietary changes, Ram has also embraced a new fitness goals. He is actively training towards his very 1st 5k run!
Ram has fundamentally changed for good! Mentally and physically. More than anything, he has started to develop a positive relationship with the food he is eating and moving towards making this his permanent lifestyle.
Ram’s Top 3 Takeaways of working with Roshni and her Team!
At no point in the program was Ram ever asked to count calories, drop carbs or control portion size. His weight loss was despite how much he ate and strongly due to making sustainable lifestyle changes. Watch this video to understand more:
Here are top three of Ram's lifestyle changes:
Fruits before meals.
Ram was enjoying his smoothies with fruits in the morning, but also made it a point to have fruits before meals.
Fruits not only act as natural appetite suppressors, but are high in anti- oxidants and polyphenols. Both of these helped recover his gut lining and improve symptoms of achalasia cardia.
Fruits are alkalizing in nature, preventing acidity attacks and also rich in vitamins and minerals, thus keeping cravings at bay.
Ram is having more fruits than ever before and loves it! He looks forward to seasonal fruits and enjoys the process of shopping for them.
Importance of Green Leafy Veggies.
We dont nearly have as much leafy greens as we should per day. Ram was shocked when we walked him through his daily eating pattern before he joined the program to show how much leafy greens he was having.
- From a fat- loss perspective, leafy greens are rich in thylakoids, a substance that acts as a natural fat- blocker in the body. This literally makes your body a fat- burning machine.
- From a gut- health perspective, leafy greens boost the production of Short- Chain Fatty- Acids in the stomach. These are friendly bacteria that heal your body and play various roles in preventing diseases.
Ram now found this a game to find ways to add greens to his daily diet. He introduced raw greens through smoothies and salads and cooked greens throgh soups, sambhar's and curries.
Maintaining a Visual Food Log
This lifestyle change might not be for everyone, particularly those who struggle from eating disorders, but it sure did help Ram.
We all, to some extent, organize our work, our tasks and our lives through creating lists, maintaining a diary etc. So, why don’t we do the same for the food intake?
Ram used our fitness tracking app to track what he ate. This also made it easier for Amisha to suggest changes and for us to understand his eating patters.
We noticed things like binge eating on dates when he was stressed and suggested healthier snacks. A point that would be missed otherwise if he was not tracking his food diary. We also noticed excessive use of rice and helped him bring diversity to his meals.
We also noticed the food groups that caused his achalasia cardia symptoms to flare up and customized his plan constantly as the weeks passed.
This habit can be a game-changer when it comes to having a clear picture of your eating habits, patterns and identifying ‘good’ and ‘bad’ meals through the week.
Want to learn how to do this?
Look no further!
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