Your hair-stylist, tattoo artist, tailor can help monitor metabolic health, says Dr Sarin

You may not think of hair-stylists, tattoo artists, and tailors as health guides. But liver specialist Shiv Sarin believes they can indeed alert people to health issues.

“If we can educate all our hairdressers to look for the black lines and skin tags, we may be able to identify and help thousands of people who would otherwise be totally ignorant about their metabolic health,” Sarin says in his recent book, “Own your body”.

Would he recommend this? “Absolutely,” says Sarin. “There is science behind this, but it’s been limited to doctors”, Sarin tells businessline., adding that tailors could be advised to alert customers to speak to their doctors if their waist-to-hip ratio was more than the healthy limit (0.9 in men and 0.8 in women), suggesting central obesity.

“Do not outsource your health to doctors,” he says counter-intutively, advocating self-care. His advice comes ahead of World Health Day (April 7), when the World Health Organization’s theme, “My health, my right,” champions the right to health for everyone, everywhere.

Sarin urges people to map their family tree to understand their “ health inheritance” from their parents and what they will hand over to the next generation. “Millions of children are born into families that have problems related to obesity, fatty liver, diabetes, BP, high cholesterol and diseases of the heart, liver or kidney or cancer. Children born into families with metabolic ailments or cancers will appear healthy, but they are likely to be harbouring silent biological challenges. This is not to make you worry. It is just to make you aware of these facts and to know where you stand,” he says in the book.

He points out that being slim does not mean one is fit. People need to watch “what you eat, when you eat and how much you eat,” exercise, and get seven hours of “comfortable and restorative” sleep. “Do not take medicine, unless it is absolutely essential,” he adds.

In fact, “parents should not produce children if they are unhealthy.” he says, adding, “The foetus has the right to know the environment it was in for nine months…because the child has the right to be born healthy.”

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