Gutka is an herbal mixture used widely in Pakistan and India. It is a mixture of mixture of betel nut, choona and tobacco. Most of the people in Pakistan are addicted to gutka and is used by people of all ages but it is more popular among people of young age. In the old days, gutka was used as a medicine and was recommended by Hakeem (herbal physicians) as a cure for depression and tiredness. But now day’s gutka is no more considered as an herbal medicine and is excessively used by people in their daily life. The addiction of gutka is caused by the tobacco present in gutka. The main reason behind the popularity of gutka is its sweet taste, easy availability at a very low price. It is the one of the most popular products sold in Karachi and Mumbai.
Gutka has many harmful effects but unfortunately people don’t understand it and there is an increase in the users of gutka everyday especially in India. The effects of gutka on health are not immediate; they show their effect after some time. Here we will list down the side effects of gutka.
Side Effects of Gutka
- The parts that are extremely affected by the use of gutka are stomach, Esophagus and mouth because it stays in these parts for hours. The harmful chemical present in the gutka reduces the hunger for food and causes stomach acidity.
- The excessive use of gutka can also lead to the stomach and mouth cancer.
- Gutka also affects the teeth badly as it stays for hours in the mouth. It can lead to the breakage of teeth.
- Breathing problem is another common problem associated with the use of gutka.
- Gutka contains betel nut and its excessive intake can lead to many problems like skin colour changes and difficulty in moving certain parts of the body and skin colour change.
- There are some short term effects of using gutka as well for some people like diarrhoea, stomach cramps and vomiting.
- People who use gutka regularly are likely to suffer from chest pain and high or low blood pressure.
- As mentioned above that excessive use of gutka can cause stomach acidity but person eating gutka is also likely to catch other stomach diseases as well like stomach cancer and cramps.
- People who use gutka frequently can also experience intoxication. The symptoms of gutka intoxication are confusion, restlessness, dilated pupils and impaired judgements of stuff.
- Gutka is also capable of affecting cardiovascular system as the presence of the betel net in gutka can make changes in the blood pressure of the body.
There are some benefits of chewing gutka as well but they are far less than its disadvantages so it is better to just avoid it.