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Health Tips

Health Tips

  • Cow Milk or Buffalo Milk: Which is Better?

    Buffalo milk or cow milk, do you often wonder as to which one is better considering its nutritive value and taste? While both types have their own nutritive value and differ in a few ways, its up to the individual to make the right choice depending on one's need.

    Let's look at the differences between Cow milk and Buffalo milk:

    Similarities:

    • Taste: Both cow milk and buffalo milk taste sweet
    • Nutrition Both types are high in nutrition and enhance strength
    • Cooling: Both types of milk are cooling to the system and relieve burning sensation
    • Aphrodisiac: Both of them serve as natural aphrodisiac

    Milk properties:

    • Color: Buffalo milk is white while cow milk is pale yellow
    • Consistency: Buffalo milk is thicker than cow milk
    • Digestive Power: Cow milk digests easier than buffalo milk
    • Natural Sleep: Buffalo milk induces natural sleep compared to cow milk
    • Preservation: Buffalo milk can be preserved for longer time naturally as compare to cow milk

    Nutritive Value:

    • Protein: Buffalo milk is high in protein compared to cow milk, which helps in building muscle and bone; If you have weak bones and muscles it is better to consume buffalo milk
    • Fat: Saturated fat content is higher in buffalo milk comparatively. Saturated fats are not good for health, as they can raise heart disease risk.
    • Cholesterol –Cow milk has high cholesterol as compared to buffalo milk; A diet high in cholesterol, saturated fats and trans fats can raise blood cholesterol levels and put you at risk for heart disease.
    • Vitamins and Minerals: Buffalo milk has more vitamins (A & D) and minerals (calcium, iron and phosphorus). Vitamin A is good for good eye sight; vitamin D is important for building strong bones; Calcium is essential for optimal functioning of the entire body, including bones, muscles, and absorption of vitamin D. Iron is essential to make red blood cells, which carry oxygen around the body. Sulphur content in cow's milk being more, it increases the brain activity and therefore is preferred for growing children.
    • Calories: The calorie content in the buffalo milk is naturally more as it contains more of fat and protein. People who are on calorie restricted diet are advised to have cow's milk which has fewer calories to cut down the calorie intake.

    Based on your body requirement choose what's best for you or seek doctor's advice.

    Category: General Medicine
    07/05/2016 by Dr.
  • Avoid Binge Drinking: Health Caveat

    With Christmas vacation round the corner, food, fun and frolic naturally become part of the holiday package. But, put health on top of the list, through all the fun and exotic parties.

    For most people, a party without a glass of wine/alcohol is unthinkable. While alcoholic drinks are damaging to the health, anything taken in moderation is acceptable or better still, if replaced with healthy fruit juices.

    Avoid Binge Drinking: Binge drinking is a pattern of drinking five or more drinks in a row that can lead to health risks and awkward social problems too. Binge drinking is often seen in teenagers and young adults. Risk factors are:

    • Drinking large amounts of alcohol can quickly become an addiction.
    • Consumption of alcohol at an early age has a higher risk of developing alcoholism.
    • Mental health issues such as anxiety, depression or bipolar disorder increase the risk of becoming an alcoholic.
    • Some social and cultural factors are also responsible for alcoholism in people.
    • Binge drinking company of friends
    • Can lead to road accidents on driving while drunk

    Alcoholism – is an addiction to alcohol – which can lead to complications like:

    • Liver disease
    • Digestive problems
    • Heart problems
    • Diabetes complications
    • Erectile dysfunction in men and irregular menstruation in women
    • Eye problems
    • Birth defects
    • Osteoporosis
    • Neurological complications
    • Weakened immune system
    • Increased risk of cancer

    Let not alcohol spoil your holidays with hang-overs and health problems. Enjoy the vacation eating, drinking and thinking healthy.

     

    Category: General Medicine
    19/12/2015 by Dr.
  • A Precious Accessory for Good Health?

    You guessed it! It's the precious SMILE! It's an accessory you should never forget to take with you wherever, whenever and whatever the situation may be. It's that million dollar smile that sets many things right. It's completely free of cost and available any time with you.

    It's precious because it adds immense value to your health and face. Find some ways it benefits you:

    • Makes you attractive: A smile instantly draws attention of people to you. It radiates peace and charm. It eases things around you             unlike a frown or a grimaced look.
    • Reduces Stress: While it is hard to smile while in stress, it's the easiest thing to do to reduce your stress. It calms you down. Research findings show that there are both physiological and psychological benefits from maintaining positive facial expressions.  It was found that study participants who were smiling, regardless of whether they were aware of smiling, had lower heart rates during stress recovery than the neutral group.
    • Improves immune system: Smiling helps boost immunity by releasing positive hormones.  It’s the simplest way to enhance your immunity. So smile more often and keep away colds and coughs.
    • Lowers blood pressure: Smiling also helps lower blood pressure. Monitoring your blood pressure helps you see for yourself the reduction in blood pressure levels.
    • Helps relieve pain: Smile releases serotonin and endorphins the happy hormones released when you run. Study results show that pain thresholds are significantly higher after laughter than in the control condition. It’s the natural way for pain management.
    • Gives a youthful look: Smiling makes you look and feel good inside and outside. The muscles used for smiling lift the face which makes a person look younger and feel lighter too.
    • Adds the Leadership & trustworthy qualities: A smiling person is believed to be in control of things and is a leadership technique. Such a person is more trusted and approachable than a person with a serious face.

    So smile more everyday and reap the numerous health benefits it brings with it.

     

     

     

    Category: General Medicine
    17/12/2015 by Dr.
  • Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

    Do you find yourself feeling extremely tired, exhausted, weak, having concentration problems and prolonged muscle and joint pain for at least six months or more? These are characterized symptoms of Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), a complicated disorder.

    Causes:

    Antidepressants, antihistamines, diuretics and beta blockers; high stress, unsound sleep; smoking/alcohol and heavy diet can also zap your energy. Inform your doctor about the period of fatigue, if it has been for more than a few weeks. He may look for lifestyle issues and medical causes including iron deficiency, which can be detected with blood tests. Experts believe chronic fatigue syndrome could be triggered by a combination of various factors.

    Symptoms: ·        

    • Persistent Fatigue or exhaustion
    • Unable to concentrate and forgetfulness
    • Soreness in the throat
    • Unexplained muscle pain
    • Enlarged lymph nodes in your neck or armpits
    • Shifting pain from one joint to another without swelling or redness
    • Frequent headache which is abnormal severity or pattern
    • Waking up from sleep does not feel refreshed

    Diagnosis: A single test does not confirm CFS. A variety of medical tests may be needed to rule out other health problems with similar symptoms before the diagnosis is confirmed for CFS. Those aged between 40 - 50 years also often complain of extreme exhaustion. Scientists are still not aware what exactly causes CFS, however, it is thought that viral infections, hormonal imbalance or imbalance of immune system, though there is no conclusive link yet.

    Study Findings:The findings of a new study have revealed certain immune system changes in individuals affected by chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). According to a new study published in The Lancet Psychiatry Journal, therapies like cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and graded exercise therapy (GET) achieved better outcomes for people suffering from chronic fatigue syndrom.

    When to see a doctor?

    When you face unexplained persistent fatigue, consult a doctor. CFS is believed to be caused by more than one factor. Also when you experience excessive, unmanageable stress, psychological problems, you must explain these to the doctor. Often women come up with symtoms of CFS than men. 

    Category: General Medicine
    16/12/2015 by Dr.
  • Risk of Antidepressants

    With depression, stress and anxiety on the rise in the current day scenario, people are taking antidepressants without much concern about its side effects. Antidepressants also called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are known to have several side effects like most other medications, however, Prozac, Zoloft, Paxil, Luvox, Celexa, and Lexapro — are some of most commonly prescribed medications which are safe and effective. Though these medications were initially used for depression, their use has expanded from depression to many other psychiatric conditions such as anxiety, eating disorder and obsessive compulsive disorder.

    Side Effects of Antidepressants:

    Of late these SSRIs have received attention for their serious side effects such as suicidal tendencies and sexual dysfunction. Patients must be aware of potential problems, questions, and concerns related to these drugs for safe and better outcomes of the treatment.

    Some of the side effects of SSRIs observed are:

    Visible symptoms: Some develop mild or temporary symptoms like skin rashes, headaches, joints or muscular pain, insomnia, stomach upset, diarrhea or nausea. A more serious symptoms like reduced capacity of blood clotting, risk for stomach or uterine bleeding requiring a blood transfusion during or after surgery. Patients taking SSRIs and NSAIDs simultaneously are at double the risk of bleeding, so precautions must be taken appropriately.

    Women at Risk: SSRIs could lead to weak bones and fracture risk. Women in the age-group of 40 to 65 who have taken anti-depressants were 76 percent more likely to bone fracture than others who did not take SSRIs according to a study.  Within months of taking these drugs the risk began to rise. The women in the study did not have any psychiatric issues though, but may have used SSRIs for menopausal problems (hot flashes and night sweats).

    Involuntary movements: The elderly often suffer from symptoms such as muscle spasms, repetitive muscle movements, trembling limbs, loss of control or Parkinsonism, and compulsive restlessness, though rare. Also patients taking fluoxetine and citalopram drugs experience such symptoms as these SSRIs remain longer in the body. Anti-anxiety drug Valium, Inderal, and antiparkinsonian drugs such as Cogentin are anti-depressants that are better avoided.

    Sexual dysfunction: Many patients complain about diminished sexual interest, performance or satisfaction. SSRIs can inhibit ejaculation in men, and delay or prevent orgasm in women. It affects the vagina lubrication, erection of the penis though they physically function normally. Reducing the dosage may help but the drugs real benefit may be lost.

    Drugs like Viagra or Cialis, may help maintain an erection in men by increasing blood flow to the penis but it comes with side effects such as stomach upset, flushing or heartburn. When a person taking nitrates for angina, uses these drugs it could cause steep fall in blood pressure.

    Symptoms associated with discontinuation: When SSRI are discontinued it may cause dizziness, loss of coordination, fatigue, tingling, burning, blurred vision, insomnia, and vivid dreams. The syndrome is usually mild and brief.

    Losing effectiveness: Any antidepressant like antibiotics may lose its effect after continuous use for months or years, as the brain becomes less responsive to the drug. Either changing the drug or increasing the dose may help.

     

    Category: General Medicine
    15/12/2015 by Dr.
  • Simple Remedies to Fight Cold

    The most common immunity related illness that comes with winter is the cold. Prevention from this contagious illness is the first thing to do, to avoid cold. Avoid public places and maintain self-hygiene. The phrase “Feed a cold and starve a fever”, explains the importance of healthy balanced food to prevent illnesses

    Getting plenty of exercises and eating nutritious food helps prevent infections to a great extent. Check out the following foods to fight cold:

    Chicken soup – Also known as nature’s penicillin, chicken soup is the top most on the list of foods that have curative power. A cup of hot chicken soup helps clear clogged airways. And vegetarians can opt for lentil soup with garlic and pepper.

    Garlic – Garlic has several medicinal properties including allin which not adds flavor but acts as a decongestant too. It is also an antioxidant and destroys free-radicals, the active oxygen molecules that damage cells.

    Spicy food – Chilly or spicy sauce help to ease congestion.  Hot and spicy food with pepper and chilly helps clear congestion and also adds that zing and flavor to the insipid taste in the mouth when suffering from cold.

    Fluids – Take plenty of fluids in the form of soups, hot beverages or warm water to keep you hydrated and clean the system of toxins.

    Fruits – Though citrus fruits can hurt your throat especially when you have cold/sore throat, they help in increasing the immunity with vitamin C in these fruits. Snack on fruits or salads with citrus fruits like orange, lemon juice, pineapple and guava

    Ginger – Known for its medicinal qualities, and as a home remedy for several health conditions, the fresh ginger root is very effective in treating cough and fever that accompany colds and flu. Green tea with ginger and cloves soothes sore throat and cough.

     

    Category: General Medicine
    09/12/2015 by Dr.
  • 10 Winter Tips to Avoid Illnesses

    Winter is known for colds, flu, stomach bugs and the like. Often we see employees taking sick days and rescheduling meetings. Here are a list of things to do, to avoid illness affect your health this winter.

    • Maintain hygiene: Public places teem with contagious viruses and bacteria and our hands are first source of contact with them, a leading cause of infections. We tend to use the contaminated hands to rub our nose, eyes or put food in the mouth. Always wash hands with soap when you return from public places.
    • Avoid the sick: Try and stay from people who are sick, be it cold, cough, fever or any other. If in contact try to cover your nose and mouth and remember to wash your hands afterwards.
    • Get sufficient sleep: Sleep helps the body to recharge, improve immunity and feel energetic, so don’t deprive yourself of sleep with late nights. Lack of good sleep makes you vulnerable to catch infections.
    • Salt water:  Use salt water to gargle or squirt up your nose with a Neti pot to clean the mucus out in your nose from the bacteria. It helps to fight respiratory infections as salt is antibacterial agent.
    • Drink plenty of water: The body needs water to perform all its functions at its optimum. The body is made up of 70% water and therefore needs water to run its vital processes.
    • Take vitamins supplements: vitamin supplements especially vitamin D, good for strong bones, is crucial during winter months. Sun is the best source of vitamin D but since winters leave us with less of sunlight, vitamin supplements help.
    • Fruits and veggies.  These are best sources of natural vitamins which equips the body to stay healthy. Eating plenty of fresh fruits and veggies helps.
    • Try probiotics. Yogurt is a natural source of probiotics. Probiotic supplements which contain live bacteria help the digestive tract to balance the microflora (bacteria). This balance, leaves us less susceptible to infection
    • Listen to your body: The body has a mechanism to warn you of an upcoming infection or illness through symptoms like headache, fatigue, body aches or irritable mood. Listen to your body to take necessary precautions.
    • Cut down alcohol: Alcohol reduces your body’s resources to fight infections.
    Category: General Medicine
    03/12/2015 by Dr.
  • Tips to Get Away from Indoor Air Pollution

    Scientific evidence shows that the air indoor is more heavy than outside, irrespective of the place you live in, be it suburbs, city or in the outskirts. Symptoms that reflect polluted air are, more than one household member feels fatigue, headache, uncomfortable, irritation in the eyes, coughing, skin rashes and dizziness. On leaving the indoor space be it home of office, you may feel good.

    Some tips to avoid indoor pollution are:

    • Avoid smoking at home or being exposed to second-hand smoking, indoors.
    • Proper ventilation: Make sure your home is properly ventilated by having cross ventilation and use fans to blow out the air. However, keep windows closed if you have seasonal allergies such as pollen allergy.
    • Run exhaust fan on high in the kitchen, vent appliances.
    • Prevent mold growth indoors by keeping humidity below 50 percent. Air conditioners help in warm, humid weather, humidifiers help in winter, but they must be cleaned and disinfected to prevent mold allergy
    • Disperse bathroom odors by running vent fans. Keep the bathroom dry and clean.
    • Avoid perfumed products: Air fresheners pollute indoor air with potential carcinogens such as paradichlorobenzene and limonene; scented candles produce polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs)
    • Beauty products such as hair sprays, nail polish, polish removers and spray perfumes must be used in well-ventilated areas and sparingly
    • Combat moths: To combat moths, clean clothes before storing. Store clothes in airtight closets without mothballs. Also avoid using insect sprays. 
    • Wash new fabrics to get rid of sizing and other chemicals - especially the linens and towels before using them.
    • Clean foot wear to get rid of pesticides, dirt and other kinds of pollutants before putting them in the shoe rack. Wipe your shoe on the doormat to remove the debris and then put it inside.
    • Vacuum clean home to get rid of mites, dander, dust. Use vacuum with micro-filter bag.
    • Avoid exposure to radon: Radon is an invisible, odorless radioactive gas found naturally in soil and water.  It can seep into a house through cracks in the foundation as well as construction joints. Radon can cause lung cancer.

     

    Category: General Medicine
    02/12/2015 by Dr.
  • Tackling Muscular Pains

    Complains about body aches, especially the back, shoulders and legs are common. Across every age group, we find most of us vulnerable to such common aches and pains.

    Pain Triggers are of two kinds:

    Wrong Body Posture:are most often caused by long hours at the work desk or due to strained postures (slouching) in the course of work viz. computer operators, typists, housewives etc.
    Prolonged Exertion:Long spells of mental stress which are often due to poor interpersonal relationships, tough deadlines, frustration due to unfulfilled desires etc. 

    The Tackle Strategy

    • Discipline in keeping to certain ways of healthy life     
    • Stretching exercises
    • Round-the-clock posture awareness and control.
    • Exercises to stretch out the neck and shoulder girdle muscles.
    • Timely and correct intake of prescribed medication. Mild heat application for a period of 10 minutes twice or thrice a day. However, care should be taken to avoid the application of excessive heat.
    • Stretch the body once every 2-3 hours in order to reverse or even avoid, the effects of stress.
    • Relax mentally with relaxation exercises and soothing activities. Avoid regular massage as a form of treatment.

     

    Category: General Medicine
    01/12/2015 by Dr.
  • Avoid Antibiotics without Prescription

    Do not take antibiotics on your own if you have a health problem. Taking antibiotics is not the solution for all health problems, as they don’t work in viral infections such as cold, sore throat and viral flu. However, you may consider them as prescribed by your doctor.

    Antibiotics normally work on bacterial infections such as streptococcal throat infections and other such infections caused by bacteria. On taking antibiotics frequently it can cause health problems in the future, including developing resistance.

    As important as antibiotics are in treating infections, they are as dangerous when not used as prescribed by a doctor.

    Antibiotics play an important role in preventing infectious diseases from spreading and in developing complications of diseases. But when they are overused or misused they can cause complications or become ineffective in treating certain bacteria due to misuse. Antibiotics are normally prescribed for bacterial infections. What used to be a standard drug (Penicillin) for treating infections has now become totally ineffective or less effective.

    While it is incumbent on the part of doctors to ensure antibiotics are not misused or overused, individuals (common man) taking antibiotics without prescription are equally responsible in ensuring this does not happen at their end as it can lead to resistance of antibiotics.

    Causes for Antibiotic resistance

    Drug resistance happens when a bacterium changes in a way that it neutralizes the drug or it protects itself from the action of the antibiotic. Once the bacterium becomes resistant and survives the antibiotic treatment it passes on its resistant trait to other bacteria and multiplies and spreads it to other bacterial strain too.

    The dosage and frequency of the antibiotic depends on the infection and the individual’s case and if overused or underused or used when it is not necessary for the treatment can build resistance in the bacteria.  The way the drugs are used affects how quickly they become resistant.

    Overuse of Antibiotics:

    Taking antibiotics when not required in the treatment can also cause resistance. For eg. taking antibiotics for strep throat caused by Streptococcus Pyogene bacterium can be well treated by antibiotics, but a sore throat caused by some virus strains cannot be treated by an antibiotic. When antibiotics are still used in a treatment that does not require its use, it attacks the good bacteria (harmless) and they pass on the resistance properties to other bacterial strains causing them to become resistant.

    The following are some of the infections that are caused by virus where antibiotics are not helpful in treatment:

    • Cough
    • Most sore throats
    • Cold
    • Some sinus infections
    • Some ear infections
    • Bronchitis
    • Flu (influenza)
    • Stomach flu (viral gastroenteritis)

    When you have any of these affecting you most often people tend to take antibiotics on their without consulting a doctor or press the doctor to prescribe them so that they can be relieved from the discomfort soon. Every drug has its own course and measure for every infection. Antibiotic treatment or dosage is not standard for all types of infections.

    Consequences of Antibiotic Resistance

    In recent years, the drug resistance has increased phenomenally contributing to rapid increase in health care problems and infections resulting in:

    • Prolonged treatment or frequent hospitalization
    • Serious illness or disability
    • Higher deaths from previously treatable illnesses
    • Prolonged recovery period
    • Higher-invasive and expensive treatments

    Antibiotic stewardship

    Antibiotic stewardship, another name for appropriate usage of antibiotics goes a long way in preserving the effectiveness and life span of current antibiotics, and provide protection from antibiotic-resistant infections. While medical associations, hospitals and doctors are prescribing antibiotics very judiciously and strictly following the treatment guidelines in the use of antibiotics, the general public also have a role to play in preventing or reducing antibiotic resistance in the following ways:.

    • Using antibiotics strictly as prescribed by your doctor.
    • Taking the dosage as advised by the doctor and completing the entire course of treatment without stopping. Many people tend to stop the course when they feel better, this only aggravates the condition or reverses it leading to resistance of the antibiotic.
    • Check with your doctor when you miss a dose and follow as advised.
    • Discard left over antibiotics from the past treatment.
    • Avoid antibiotics prescribed for another person, it differs for every individual and treatment.
    • Get yourself and your children recommended vaccinations at the right time.
    • To prevent infections practice good hygiene by washing hands frequently with soap and water especially before eating, cooking and after handling raw meat vegetables and fruits. Washing fruits and vegetables thoroughly before refrigerating would help.
    Category: General Medicine
    27/11/2015 by Dr.

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