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Celebrate Menstruation as Basic Requirement, Says Hindu Scholar

Thousands of years of foreign dominance had distorted our thinking on this issue of vital importance

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Menstruation, diabetes
Earlier onset of menses (14 y) was associated with diabetes in later life, likely driven by adult BMI (body mass index). Pixabay

Hindu scholar and author Nithin Sridhar says menstruation should not be considered shameful but should be celebrated as a basic requirement of womanhood, as an integral dimension of feminineness.

Talking to IANS, Sridhar, author of “Menstruation Across Cultures-A Historical Perspective,” said thousands of years of foreign dominance had distorted our thinking on this issue of vital importance. Most Hindu communities celebrate menarche as the beginning of womanhood and not an event filled with shame.

Sridhar was in the Taj city to interact with women’s groups and offer his perspective on this crucial subject.

Sridhar offered an interesting journey across civilizations and religions delving into a difficult topic. “My book book has come at a correct time too when the Sabarimala issue is dominating our news with misinformed and confused debates all around.”

Menstruation, Hindu Scholar
Menstruation should not be considered shameful but should be celebrated. Flickr

He compared the different attitudes to menarche, menstruation, pregnancy and womanhood in different religions and countries.

“Of course the focus is mainly on the Hindu or Sanatana Dharma attitudes but the subject should surely be of great interest to all of us concerned with social, cultural and political issues,” he added.

“In my book, there are detailed reviews of menstruation notions prevalent in India and in cultures across the world. The world cultures covered in the book include Indic traditions like Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism; ancient civilisations like Greece, Rome, Mesopotamia and Egypt; and Abrahamic religions of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam,” Sridhar said.

Two themes of special focus in the book are: Impurity and Sacrality. While they are often understood as being opposed to each other, the book examines how they are treated as two sides of the same coin when it comes to menstruation. This is especially true in Indic traditions and pre-Christian polytheistic traditions like Greco-Roman, Mesopotamian and Egyptian. Impurity and Sacrality complement each other to form a comprehensive worldview in these cultures.”

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“I have also examined how the understanding of impurity in Abrahamic religions differs from those of polytheistic cultures. As part of the examination of the sacrality attached to menstruation, a special focus has also been given to the deities of menstruation in polytheistic cultures and to what Ayurveda and Yoga say about this essential function in a woman’s physiology.”

Sridhar is a civil engineer by education who gave up his profession for the cause of Hinduism. He is the editor of IndiaFacts, a popular online magazine for sustaining Sanatana Dharma. He has previously authored a book, “Musings on Hinduisma”, a primer for students of all ages wanting to know more about Hinduism. (IANS)

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Early Onset of Menstruation Associated with Higher Risk of Diabetes

This new study, analysing more than 15,000 postmenopausal women in China, has found that women who begin menstruating at an earlier age have a higher risk of developing Type-2 diabetes

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Diabetes
According to the researchers, these novel findings may provide the basis for new therapies for patients who have heart disease complicated by diabetes. Pixabay

Early onset of menstruation is associated with a higher risk of Type-2 diabetes, but body mass index (BMI) may mediate this link, says a study.

Each year of delay in menarche age correlated with a six per cent lower risk of Type-2 diabetes, said the study published in the journal Menopause.

“Earlier onset of menses (14 y) was associated with diabetes in later life, likely driven by adult BMI (body mass index),” said Stephanie Faubion, Medical Director, North American Menopause Society (NAMS).

“Other factors such as nutrition and BMI in childhood may also play a role in this association,” Faubion added.

diabetes
Diabetes is the ninth leading cause of death in women and claims 2.1 million female lives every year, more so than men. Pixabay

Type-2 diabetes mellitus has become one of the most common diseases worldwide. In 2015, it affected nearly 8.8 per cent of people aged 20 to 79 globally, and by 2040, it is expected to affect 10.4 per cent.

With so many people affected, it is not surprising how much research has been devoted to identifying determinants of the disease in order to prevent its development. Various lifestyle and environmental factors have already been confirmed, but there is also growing evidence pointing to some physiologic factors.

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This new study, analysing more than 15,000 postmenopausal women in China, has found that women who begin menstruating at an earlier age have a higher risk of developing Type-2 diabetes. (IANS)