Health quaries & solutions

Q: I have a drippy nose, tearing eyes and constant sneezing. I am unable to concentrate on my work.

A: You seem to have allergies. Try to figure out if any specific allergen causes the symptoms. If you are indoors most of the day, you need to invest in a vacuum cleaner to rid the house of dust. Avoid cotton mattresses and enclose foam mattresses in plastic covers. Room fresheners and vapourizing mosquito repellents are also notorious for causing sneezing and coughing. Consult your physician and see if you will do well with regular usage of non absorbable steroid nasal sprays and non-sedating antihistamines. Take steam inhalations twice a day. Do aerobic exercise like walking or jogging for 40 minutes twice a week. Join a yoga class. The breathing exercises are really beneficial.

FROZEN FINGERS

Q: My fingers are stiff, swollen and painful when I get up in the morning. I am unable to open and close my hands.

A:See a doctor to check whether you are retaining fluid in your body. This may be due to anaemia, kidney and liver problems or endocrine diseases such as hypothyroidism. Even early rheumatoid arthritis can cause “morning stiffness.” Until the diagnosis is established, soak your hands in salted hot water for 10 minutes morning and evening. Hold a firm rubber ball under water and squeeze it rhythmically 20-30 times. See if you require painkillers or diuretics.

LIVER PROBLEM:

Q: I don’t drink at all. Now the doctor says I have mild liver damage. How is that possible?

A: Many things (not just alcohol) can damage the liver. Obesity can cause “fatty liver,” as can overmedicating with pain killers (even paracetemol), taking herbal supplements or overdosing with vitamin A. Snacks with transfats, and the fructose and other sweetening agents in cola drinks can all damage the liver, especially if you are in the habit of overindulging.

I FORGET

Q: As I get older I find that I have memory lapses. I am worried that I may develop Alzheimer’s.

A: Memory does get affected with age.

To slow down the deterioration,

• Get 40 minutes of exercise in fresh air daily

• Do cross word puzzles and play memory games regularly

• Learn poetry or pieces from your religious books by heart

• Keep diabetes, hypertension and lipids under control

BOWEL BLOCK (CONSTIPATION)

Q: I am constipated all the time. It makes life very difficult.

A: Constipation means that you pass three or less stools per week and they are of a hard consistency. You need to consult a physician to see if you have any medical issues or medications causing the problem. You also need to consult a doctor if if there is abdominal pain or blood in the motion. Otherwise, the symptoms will improve if you increase the quantity of fluid you drink to three litres a day. Add four to six helpings of fruits and vegetables to your diet. Fix a time to go to the toilet every day. Laxatives and other medications are not really the answer. They make the intestines non responsive to natural stimuli. It also makes intestines habituated, so higher doses are needed over time for the same response.


Sources: The Telegraph (Kolkata,India)

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Why Coconut Oil Is So Good

Reasons:

*If you’ve stayed away from coconut oil because you’ve been misled to believe it is fattening, you’ll be pleasantly surprised to learn that incorporating this fat into a healthy diet can actually help you lose weight

*Coconut oil is loaded with medium-chain fats that are easily metabolized

*Coconut oil is one of the most versatile oils and has many benefits as both a health food and personal-care product
Despite more than 1,700 medical studies being performed on coconut oil, it continues to be vilified mainly because 90 percent of its fat content is saturated fat. However, saturated fats, and most particularly coconut oil, are a vital part of the human diet. For decades, we’ve labored under the false belief that saturated fat is a leading cause of heart disease. Research suggests there is no significant evidence demonstrating that saturated fat clogs your arteries or puts you at risk for a heart attack or stroke.

In fact, particular types of saturated fat, including coconut oil, are necessary for optimal health. If you have bought into the media hype that saturated fats are unhealthy and will raise your risk of heart disease, please reconsider your position. If you’ve been avoiding coconut oil, you’ll find that it has many beneficial properties that make it a worthwhile addition to your diet.

Certainly, if you’ve stayed away from coconut oil because you’ve been misled to believe it is fattening, you deserve to know the truth that it can actually help you lose weight, not gain it. Having said that, if you are allergic to coconut oil or you simply don’t like the taste, then it’s best not to use it.
Where Coconut Oil Has Been Used, People Thrive:

It’s no secret that coconut products, particularly coconut oil, have been used by certain populations around the world for millennia. In places where coconut oil is consumed as part of the standard diet, people seem to thrive. So, what do they know about coconut oil that you may not?

Take, for example, Polynesian populations such as the Pukapuka and Tokelau, where people eat a lot of coconut. As such, their diet tends to be high in saturated fat and low in cholesterol and sugar. Researchers found that “vascular disease is uncommon in both populations and there is no evidence of the high saturated-fat intake having a harmful effect.”

Another study focused on the Kitevan people in Papua New Guinea, whose subsistence lifestyle and diet has remained untarnished by the poor dietary habits of the Western world. Besides eating a lot of fish, fruit and tubers, the people also consume coconut as a prominent staple.

None of the people involved in the study reported stroke, sudden death, chest pain or discomfort due to coronary heart disease (CHD). In fact, the researchers concluded that stroke and CHD appeared to be absent in this population. Based on those two studies, we can infer that the plentiful inclusion of coconut oil in traditional diets around the world contributes positively to the health and well-being of those eating it.

According to Dr. Bruce Fife, author of “The Coconut Oil Miracle” and director of the Coconut Research Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado:

“Asian and Polynesian people who rely on coconut and coconut oil as a part of their daily diet have the lowest heart-disease rates in the world. Some of these people get as much as 50 percent of their total daily calories as saturated fat, primarily from coconut oil.

If coconut oil caused heart disease, as some people used to believe, these islanders would have all died off centuries ago. Those populations who consume large quantities of coconut oil have remarkably good cardiovascular health. Absent are the heart attacks and strokes characteristic in Western countries where coconut oil is rarely used.”
Conventional Medicine Says All Saturated Fats Are the Same:

In Western conventional medicine, coconut oil faces some tough critics who are less convinced of its health benefits. Andrew Freeman, director of the American College of Cardiology‘s nutrition and lifestyle working group, suggested to CBS News that coconut oil is nothing more than a fad, and one he wishes would go away.

“People seem to be eating it and drinking it with everything — adding it to coffee, cooking their vegetables with it — and it’s giving them large quantities of fat. …

It’s not a recommended oil by any of the guidelines that is know of. In general, it can contribute to cardiovascular-disease risk because of its very high saturated-fat content. The standard American diet … is already high-fat and full of a lot of processed meats and cheese, and now everyone’s adding coconut oil, and we’re going in the wrong direction.”

Libby Mills, a registered dietitian nutritionist and spokesperson for the U.S. Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, says coconut oil is a mixed bag, though she understands why it’s being talked about so much.

“As a society, we’re always looking for the panacea — the one thing that’s really going to fix it all. While some of the research is promising, and the MCT (medium-chain triglyceride) oils in coconut oil are very attractive, unfortunately they come with a lot of saturated fat packaging.”
Coconut Oil is Different From Other Saturated Fats:-

What Freeman and others may not realize is that coconut oil is different from other types of saturated fat. The saturated fat in coconut oil is unlike the types of saturated fat found in vegetable oils, meat and cheese, for example. Whereas those fats are known as long-chain fats, about two-thirds of the fat in coconut oil are medium-chain fats, also referred to as a medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs).

Long-chain fats are digested slowly and absorbed through your intestinal wall where they are combined into bundles of fat and protein called lipoproteins. These lipoproteins are distributed throughout your body through your bloodstream. Your body metabolizes MCTs, such as coconut oil, differently from other fats. Normally, fats taken into your body must first be mixed with bile released from your gallbladder, and second be acted on by pancreatic enzymes. Only then can fats be broken down in your digestive system.

MCTs, however, don’t require bile or pancreatic enzymes to be digested. Once they reach your intestine, they diffuse through your intestinal membrane into your bloodstream. From there, they are transported directly to your liver, which naturally converts MCTs into ketones. Your liver then releases the ketones back into your bloodstream, where they are transported throughout your body.

Notably, MCTs are readily available and used for energy, not stored as fat. MCTs can even pass the blood-brain barrier to supply your brain with energy. This is one of the reasons coconut oil is thought to have positive effects on those suffering from Alzheimer’s disease.

Coconut Oil Contains Four Types of MCTs:

As a general rule, the shorter the carbon chain, the more efficiently the MCT is converted into ketones, which are an excellent, clean source of energy for your body — far preferable to glucose, as ketones produce far less reactive oxygen species that produce excessive dangerous free radicals. MCTs can be divided into four groups based on their carbon length:

*6 carbons (C6), caproic acid
*8 carbons (C8), caprylic acid
*10 carbons (C10), capric acid
*12 carbons (C12), lauric acid

Coconut oil provides a mix of all the medium-chain fats, including C6, C8, C10 and C12 fats, the latter of which (lauric acid) makes up over 40 percent of the fat in coconut oil. (The exception is MCT oil, which is fractionated coconut oil or palm oil, which contains primarily C8 and C10.8) There are benefits to all of these fatty acids. However, caprylic and capric fatty acids increase ketone levels far more effectively.

Lauric acid is most well-known for its antibacterial, antimicrobial and antiviral properties. The shorter-chained MCTs, on the other hand, are more readily converted into ketones, which are an excellent mitochondrial fuel. Ketones also help suppress ghrelin (aka the hunger hormone) and enhance another hormone that signals your brain when you’re full.

Most commercial brands of MCT oil contain close to a 50/50 combination of C8 and C10 fats. My personal preference, even though it is more expensive, is straight C8 (caprylic acid), as it converts to ketones far more rapidly than do C10 fats, and may be easier on your digestion. That said, coconut oil is a less expensive option overall, and can readily be used in all sorts of cooking and other household uses.

Is Coconut Oil Fattening?
A study conducted on 40 women with abdominal obesity revealed positive effects related to coconut-oil supplementation.9 After 12 weeks, the women consuming coconut oil daily showed a reduction in waist circumference, as compared to the group who consumed soybean oil.

In addition, coconut oil increased the participants’ HDL (high-density lipoprotein), or “good” cholesterol, and lowered their ration of LDL (low-density lipoprotein), or “bad” cholesterol to HDL. Soybean oil led to decreases in HDL. Although it seems counterintuitive to add fat to your diet to lose weight, Dr. Bruce Fife, featured in the video above, says:10

“Adding fat into your diet can be the key to your weight loss success. Low-fat dieting actually causes weight gain, and is one of the reasons for our current obesity epidemic. You can lose weight on these diets temporarily, but in the long run you end up gaining all your weight back, and then some. In fact, studies show that 95 percent of those people who go on low-fat diets eventually regain all their weight.

That’s a 95 percent failure rate! It should be obvious that what we’ve been doing isn’t working. …Fat also satisfies hunger so that you don’t feel like you are starving. You feel satisfied. In fact, with an adequate amount of fat, you don’t get hungry even when you cut down on total calorie intake. Your metabolism and energy levels remain elevated. You feel a lot better and get better results.”

Dr.Mercola’ new book, “Fat for Fuel,” explains many of the health benefits associated with a diet high in healthy fats, including coconut oil. Indeed, the ketogenic diet, featuring low net carb and high fat intake, has been shown to be beneficial for many chronic health conditions, including cancer, and can significantly improve your chances of weight loss.

At the New York Obesity Research Center at Columbia University, in a study of 49 overweight men and women, researchers noted that participants consuming MCT oil lost more weight than those consuming olive oil. Researchers reported:11 “Consumption of MCT oil as part of a weight loss plan improves weight loss compared with olive oil and can thus be successfully included in a weight loss diet. Small changes in the quality of fat intake can therefore be useful to enhance weight loss.”

Are You Familiar With the Benefits of Coconut Oil?

If you haven’t had a chance to explore all the extraordinary uses for coconut oil, you may be in for a pleasant surprise. Unlike other saturated fats, coconut oil contains no trans-fatty acids. Coconut oil won’t oxidize when heated, so it’s great for cooking and baking. It is also shelf-stable and won’t go rancid. Beyond these intrinsic qualities, coconut oil has many benefits, some of which may surprise you.

Lauric acid makes up about half of the fatty acids in coconut oil. When lauric acid is digested, it morphs into a monoglyceride called monolaurin. Both lauric acid and monolaurin help rid your gut of harmful pathogens such as bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites.

These substances have been shown to kill the Staphylococcus aureus bacteria and Candida albicans, a common source of yeast infections.

Coconut oil also works on fungal infections such as athlete’s foot and ringworm. The European Journal of Pediatrics reported research suggesting a blend of coconut oil and anise was almost twice as effective as the commonly prescribed (and toxic) permethrin lotion for treating head lice.
The Effects of Coconut Oil on Brain Function:

As mentioned above, the MCTs in coconut oil are digested through your liver, which creates ketones that supply energy directly to your brain. Research focused on determining the effect of a ketogenic agent on individuals with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease suggests there are some benefits to MCT supplementation with respect to cognitive impairment:

“In small-scale human trials,MCT supplementation boosted cognition in individuals with cognitive impairment and mild forms of Alzheimer’s disease after just a single dose. While not everyone improved from the MCT treatment, those with certain genetics experienced notable improvement.”

Ketones are the preferred source of energy for your brain in people affected by Alzheimer’s diabetes, Parkinson’s and maybe even ALS, because in these diseases, certain neurons have become insulin resistant or have lost the ability to efficiently utilize glucose. As a result, neurons slowly die off.

The introduction of ketones may rescue these neurons, enabling them to potentially survive and thrive. One study promoted the positive effects of ketone ester in treating Alzheimer’s disease, noting improvements in patient behavior, cognition and performance of daily activities.

Coconut Oil Prevents Heart Disease and High Blood Pressure:

Heart disease, which includes heart attacks, stroke and other cardiovascular diseases, is the No. 1 cause of death in the U.S. Someone in the U.S. has a heart attack every 34 seconds, and someone dies from a heart disease-related event every 60 seconds.16 Despite what you may have been led to believe, saturated fats like coconut oil are not to blame for the spike in coronary heart disease. On the contrary, coconut oil:

Increases your HDL cholesterol:

*Helps convert your LDL cholesterol into good cholesterol
*Fosters heart health and lowers your risk of heart disease due to the increase in HDL17
*Use Coconut Oil to Prevent Gum Disease and Tooth Decay

* Coconut oil as a superb way to cleanse and flush harmful bacteria from your mouth. This technique is especially beneficial if you’ve been diagnosed with periodontal disease. Because of its high concentration of antibacterial MCTs, coconut oil is ideal for oil pulling. One of the positive side effects of oil pulling is that coconut oil also naturally whitens your teeth. This is an oral hygiene habit that can be done every day.

Coconut Oil for Personal Care and Insect Repellent:

Coconut oil is not only a useful food, but can also be a great personal-care product. Here are some additional ways you can use coconut oil:

*Apply it to dry or cracked skin for instant relief
*Use it as a facial cleanser, lip balm or makeup remover
*Try it as a shaving lotion; its antiseptic properties will soothe any cuts or nicks
*Slather it on dry, lifeless hair for 15 minutes to help restore lost moisture and shine

In addition, while coconut oil doesn’t impart the minty aftertaste that accompanies most toothpaste, brushing your teeth with it before bed helps kill bacteria that cause plaque and other problems. If you miss the minty taste, just add a drop of peppermint essential oil. If you want more grit, mix it with a little baking soda. If you’re looking for a natural deodorant that will give lasting protection without the potential health risks from added aluminum, mix the following ingredients and apply to clean underarms:

*3 Tbsp. organic coconut oil
*3 Tbsp. non-GMO cornstarch or arrowroot powder
*3 Tbsp. baking soda
*2 drops of essential oil of your choice, or a pinch of clove powder

As for an insect repellent, a good recipe combines coconut oil with a high-quality essential oil such as peppermint, lemon balm, rosemary, tea tree or vanilla. This is a good alternative to toxic sprays such as DEET and smells a lot better too!

Resources:  Dr. Mercola’ article

Why we need to worry about our kidneys

Kidney problem is now recognized as a major medical problem worldwide. And yet, most of us don’t know what a ‘creatinine reading’ means. We sure know about our sugars and blood pressure, but when it comes to the deadly, irreversible kidney problem, we hardly know what its indicators are and what regular tests we need to keep kidney functioning in check.

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Much like diabetes and hypertension, kidney disease too is a silent killer. Its symptoms do not show till the kidney has been damaged up to 70 per cent. To understand why there is an alarming rise in the number of kidney disease cases, what is the prevention, and if there is a reversal possible for kidney damage.
Why is kidney disease on the rise?

As per exparts there are two aspects to understanding this rise in the number of kidney patients – a) the increase in awareness among people about kidney disease and b) lifestyle diseases like hypertension and diabetes. The incidence as such has risen, of course, but the statistics are more alarming also because of the increased awareness that we possess now. It is pinned that the causes of increase in incidence of chronic kidney disease to a high incidence of diabetes, high blood pressure, popping excessive pain killers, and consuming excessive OTC medications.

It is also added to the list factors like excessive salt intake and obesity. Kidney disease mostly happens as a by-product of a lifestyle disease and that’s why it is referred to as a secondary disease. As a primary disease, the kidney damage can manifest through diseases such as glomerulonephritis or poly-cystic kidney disease, but the incidence of primary kidney disorders remains low and they are also easily treatable.
What are the symptoms of kidney disease?

in case of kidney damage, symptoms only show when the kidney damage has exceeded 70 per cent. The symptoms, which only show in advanced stages of kidney damage, include leg swelling, appetite loss, itching, hypertension, frequent hiccups, easy fatigability, disturbance in periods and disturbance in sleep.

Can kidney damage be prevented?

For any disease, prevention is of three types – Primary prevention (preventing the occurrence of the disease), secondary prevention (preventing the worsening of the disease when it is in its initial stages) and tertiary prevention (preventing virulence of the disease when it is in advanced stages). For kidney disease the following preventions are advised :

Primary : Regular checkups for blood pressure and diabetes; regular Kidney Function Test, which is quite economical; avoiding OTC or unprescribed medication; saying no to tobacco; drinking adequate water

Secondary : Regular follow-up with kidney specialist; decreasing salt and protein intake; avoiding protein supplements; keeping your blood pressure and diabetes in control; consuming less water

Tertiary : There are only three options for people in advanced stages of kidney damage. They may be performed for people whose kidney function has dipped below 15 per cent.

Haemodialysis : This is the most commonly used way of disposing body waste through a dialysis machine. It should be typically done three times a week, a four hour session each time as per expart. Twelve hours a week of dialysis is almost equivalent to 45 per cent kidney function.

Continuous Ambulatory Peritoneal Dialysis (CAPD): In this one, a permanent catheter is inserted inside the abdomen of the patient. The body uses peritoneum in the patient’s abdomen to purify the blood and remove excess toxins and fluid.
Transplantation : Kidney transplantation is the only solution that can revive a hundred per cent working of the kidney. But it is very expensive.

What is an ideal creatinine reading?
Creatinine is a fairly precise measure of knowing your kidney health. The normal range for creatinine in blood may be 0.84 to 1.21 milligrams per decilitre. A creatinine level of 5.0 or more indicates severe kidney impairment in adults.

People know about their systolic and diastolic blood pressure readings, they know about their blood sugar levels, they know their body-mass indexes but they don’t know their creatinine levels, a factor that is essential for keeping your kidney health in check. And unlike all other readings, there’s hardly much that we can do to better our kidney functioning once it is impaired.
You may click to see : How or Kidney works

Sources: The Times Of India

Some Health Problems & Solutions

ACNE:
________

Q: I have very bad acne and I have tried, unsuccessfully, all kinds of treatment for it. I was told to try zinc supplements.

A: Zinc does improve acne in some people. You are likely to be deficient if you are a vegetarian. The phytates in vegetables interfere with the absorption of zinc. You could start with 10-15 mg supplements and see if you improve in a month or so. Higher doses are likely to cause nausea.

HAIRY GIRL :
_______________

Q: My one-year-old daughter is very hairy. She was born like that.

A: It may be a genetically inherited condition called “congenital hypertrichosis” which basically means being born with too much hair. For the first two years the hair increases and may become darker. It then spontaneously decreases and can disappear during adolescence. It can also be due to hormonal imbalances, steroids, or thyroid malfunction. You can rule these out with blood tests.

SKIN TAGS:
______________

Q: I have a few skin tags in my armpit. Are they cancerous?

A: Skin tags are harmless. They are likely to appear if you are an older person, diabetic or pregnant. They can be left alone. They are not cancerous. They need to be removed if they get snagged on clothing. It is better to get them removed by a doctor rather than trying to remove them yourself.

FIT ATTEND COLLEGE:
_____________________

Q: I have seizures. Now that I am going to college I have to stay away from home. I am a bit anxious.

A: Epilepsy is not a constraint against higher education. To stay safe, inform your room mates and hostel warden about your condition. Make sure you take your medications on time. Carry them in your bag if necessary. Do not miss or delay doses. Do not drive bikes or cars. Do not drink alcohol. If you follow all this you should be safe.

EATING EGGS:
________________

Q: Will eating eggs raise my cholesterol levels?

A: Eggs contain cholesterol but eating an egg a day is unlikely to cause much harm. Your cholesterol is more likely to rise from transfats found in snacks and fast food and lack of exercise.

DIET DEETS:
_______________

Q: I want to start a 800 calorie diet to loose weight. I have been working with a dietician. Are there any side effects?

A:You should first have a medical check up to make sure you do not have any other diseases. Very low calorie diets can help with weight loss initially, but they usually cannot be sustained in the long term. Once you return to a normal diet, the weight may creep up again. Side effects are fatigue, nausea, constipation diarrhoea and sometimes gall stones.
Sources: The Telegraph (Kolkata, India)

Exercise: An effective prescription for every joint pain


The right and proper exercises performed regularly can be a long-lasting way to subdue ankle, knee, hip, or shoulder pain. Although it might seem that exercise would aggravate aching joints, this is simply not the case. Exercise can actually help to relieve joint pain in multiple ways:

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1. It increases the strength and flexibility of the muscles and connective tissue surrounding the joints. When thigh muscles are stronger, for example, they can help support the knee, thus relieving some of the pressure on that joint.

2. Exercise relieves stiffness, which itself can be painful. The body is made to move. When not exercised, the tendons, muscles, and ligaments quickly shorten and tense up. But exercise — and stretching afterward — can help reduce stiffness and preserve or extend your range of motion.

3. It boosts production of synovial fluid, the lubricant inside the joints. Synovial fluid helps to bring oxygen and nutrients into joints. Thus, exercise helps keep your joints “well-oiled.”

4.It increases production of natural compounds in the body that help tamp down pain. In other words, without exercise, you are more sensitive to every twinge. With it, you have a measure of natural pain protection.

5. It helps you keep your weight under control, which can help relieve pressure in weight-bearing joints, such as your hips, knees, and ankles.

If all this isn’t enough, consider the following: exercise also enhances the production of natural chemicals in the brain that help boost your mood. You’ll feel happier — in addition to feeling better.

In general the following may be recomended for all normal cases.

1. Regular morning walk for 30 minutes.

2.Yoga & meditation under the guide of an expart.

Sources: Report from Harvard Medical School