Few Health Quarries & Answers

Wrinkle  on face

Q. I feel that my face is sagging and developing wrinkles. I think face-lifts are expensive and the side effects of Botox are frightening. Is there anything else I can do?

A . A recent scientific study has shown that facial exercises can delay sagging of the cheeks, reduce wrinkles and make you look up to three years younger. The exercises are available on the Internet and also taught as part of yoga. The face has muscles too, so like exercise gives your body overall fitness, your face can also get “fitter”.

Fight flu :

Q. My neighbor died of pneumonia after flu and I am scared.

A. The flu season started in September and is expected to continue till March. This year the strain is quite virulent. The flu vaccine, which needs to be taken every year, offers some degree of protection and also reduces the virulence of attacks. Antibiotics do not help in flu unless there is secondary infection. The antiviral oseltamivir phosphate (Tamiflu) reduces the severity of symptoms and the duration of illness by 2-3 days. It has to be started within 48 hours of infection. It has side effects like nausea and vomiting. Recovery can be hastened with rest, with the head end of the bed elevated, steam inhalations, gargling and hydration with plenty of liquids.

Red eye:

Q. My eyes are suddenly red, itchy, puffed and watery. I find light disturbing.

A. Red eye can be caused by viruses, bacteria or irritants such as shampoos, dirt and smoke. The diagnosis is made clinically. Soothing eye drops are usually all that is needed unless the infection is bacterial when antibiotic drops and ointment may be needed. The condition is very infectious, so wash your hands frequently.

Resources: The Telegraph ( India, Kolkata)

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Yoga for anxiety and depression

Since the 1970s, meditation and other stress-reduction techniques have been studied as possible treatments for depression and anxiety. One such practice, yoga, has received less attention in the medical literature, though it has become increasingly popular in recent decades. One national survey estimated, for example, that about 7.5% of U.S. adults had tried yoga at least once, and that nearly 4% practiced yoga in the previous year.

Yoga classes can vary from gentle and accommodating to strenuous and challenging; the choice of style tends to be based on physical ability and personal preference. Hatha yoga, the most common type of yoga practiced in the United States, combines three elements: physical poses, called asanas; controlled breathing practiced in conjunction with asanas; and a short period of deep relaxation or meditation.

Available reviews of a wide range of yoga practices suggest they can reduce the impact of exaggerated stress responses and may be helpful for both anxiety and depression. In this respect, yoga functions like other self-soothing techniques, such as meditation, relaxation, exercise, or even socializing with friends.

By reducing perceived stress and anxiety, yoga appears to modulate stress response systems. This, in turn, decreases physiological arousal — for example, reducing the heart rate, lowering blood pressure, and easing respiration. There is also evidence that yoga practices help increase heart rate variability, an indicator of the body’s ability to respond to stress more flexibly.

A small but intriguing study done at the University of Utah provided some insight into the effect of yoga on the stress response by looking at the participants’ responses to pain. The researchers noted that people who have a poorly regulated response to stress are also more sensitive to pain. Their subjects were 12 experienced yoga practitioners, 14 people with fibromyalgia (a condition many researchers consider a stress-related illness that is characterized by hypersensitivity to pain), and 16 healthy volunteers.

When the three groups were subjected to more or less painful thumbnail pressure, the participants with fibromyalgia — as expected — perceived pain at lower pressure levels compared with the other subjects. Functional MRIs showed they also had the greatest activity in areas of the brain associated with the pain response. In contrast, the yoga practitioners had the highest pain tolerance and lowest pain-related brain activity during the MRI. The study underscores the value of techniques, such as yoga, that can help a person regulate their stress and, therefore, pain responses.

Although many forms of yoga practice are safe, some are strenuous and may not be appropriate for everyone. In particular, elderly patients or those with mobility problems may want to check first with a clinician before choosing yoga as a treatment option.

But for many patients dealing with depression, anxiety, or stress, yoga may be a very appealing way to better manage symptoms. Indeed, the scientific study of yoga demonstrates that mental and physical health are not just closely allied, but are essentially equivalent. The evidence is growing that yoga practice is a relatively low-risk, high-yield approach to improving overall health.

Resources: Harvard  Medical School Health Publications

 

Diabetic Diet Myths

6 Diabetic Diet Myths as per Telegraph, Kolkata,India.

Diagnosed with high blood sugar and heartbroken because of all that food you have to give up? Don’t lose hope, says Sujata Mukherjee.

The first regret, as soon as a person knows he or she has diabetes, is all that yummy food you will be banned from having. Bye-bye deliciousness, hello bland diabetic diet. But that is just it — there is no such thing as a diabetic diet. Experts suggest diabetics stick to a normal, balanced diet — with carbohydrates, proteins, fats, minerals and vitamins in adequate proportions. That is not the only myth linked to blood sugar. Here are a few more that should really be debunked.

1. TOTAL BAN OF SUGAR
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You don’t have to give up your morning cup of sweetened tea. Half-a-spoon of sugar in your tea will help you feel satiated and fight a day-long sugar craving. Sugar triggers the satiety centre in the brain while sugar substitutes do not. You can also have sweets, cookies and ice-cream once in a while. Adjust calories consumed by decreasing the amount of carbohydrate-rich food accordingly.

2.AVOID CARBOHYDRATES
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Diabetics do not actually have to give up carbohydrates altogether. Just ensure that not more than 50 per cent of your calories come from carbs, preferably from fibre-rich, complex ones. Choose wholegrain atta over flour (maida), brown or wild rice, multigrain bread and whole fruits instead of juice. Have 100gm of fruits and vegetables daily, unpeeled when possible. You can also have small portions of mangoes or bananas.

 

3.FINISHED WITH FATS
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Don’t cut down on friendly fats. Eat almonds, walnuts, linseed, seeds of sunflower or ash gourd, dry roasted peanuts, avocado or olive oil in small amounts. Eat sea fish at least twice a week. Full fat milk is also healthy as are cheese and yoghurt. Mustard, sunflower, ricebran and olive oil are all healthy; use any two of them in everyday cooking but stick to three teaspoonfuls a day.

4.NO MORE POTATOES
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Where 100gm of rice or wheat has 340 calories, 100gm potatoes has only 100. It also has a chemical called chlorogenic acid, which reduces insulin resistance. “Potato has a high glycaemic index (GI). As a result it raises blood sugar rapidly,” says endocrinologist Satinath Mukhopadhyay. “But if unpeeled potato is cooked with a lot of vegetables, the fibre in the greens bring down the GI of the dish.” If you love boiled potatoes, mix in boiled bitter gourd, brinjal or parwal. “If you love hash browns, have it with sautéed vegetables and 4-5 almonds,” he says.

5.SUPER FOODS ARE  BETTER THAN PILLS
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Doctors don’t think the so-called super foods can actually replace a balanced diet or medication. More research is needed to find out how amla, garlic, spinach, fenugreek, tomato, almond, bitter gourd and turmeric help in diabetes, what the active ingredients and how much you should have daily and in what way. Take fenugreek. Should you have it raw or drink fenugreek-soaked water? Should one have boiled bitter gourd or raw juice?

Bitter gourd is believed to help bile juice flow and aid digestion. It’s loaded with soluble fibre and full of charantin, a chemical that helps bring down blood sugar and metabolise glucose. If you have it juiced, you are likely to ingest pesticide residue. So have it boiled or in a mixed vegetable (shukto). If you use powdered or whole fenugreek as spice, it slows down fat, carb and cholesterol absorption, which is good for type 2 diabetes. Fenugreek-soaked water is unlikely to be beneficial.

6.SAY NO TO ALCOHOL
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As in everything else, moderation is the key here. A drink or two once in a month should be fine. Remember to pair them with healthy snacks. “Never drink on an empty stomach; eat enough fruits and vegetables for fibre. Otherwise, blood sugar will rise all of a sudden,” warns Dr Mukhopadhyay.

Now it is time for a new diet chart for  Diabetic Patient

Resources:  The Telegraph (Kolkata, India)

Alcohol and Age : The most risky combination

Most people drink less as they grow older. However, some maintain heavy drinking patterns throughout life, and some develop problems with alcohol for the first time during their later years. The many challenges that can arise at this stage of life — reduced income, failing health, loneliness, and the loss of friends and loved ones — may cause some people to drink to escape their feelings.
Addiction of alchol can test the strongest family. It can cost friendships. It can strain patience. It can drain finances. It can bring irretrievable loss. Maney people lose their lives at early age due to prancreas,liver and other internal organ problems due to drinking alchol.

Several factors combine to make drinking — even at normal levels — an increasingly risky behavior as you age. Your ability to metabolize alcohol declines. After drinking the same amount of alcohol, older people have higher blood alcohol concentrations than younger people because of such changes as a lower volume of total body water and slower rates of elimination of alcohol from the body. That means the beer or two you could drink without consequence in your 30s or 40s has more impact in your 60s or 70s.

Your body might also experience other age-related changes that increase the risks associated with drinking. Your eyesight and hearing may deteriorate; your reflexes might slow. These kinds of changes can make you feel dizzy, high, or intoxicated even after drinking only a small amount. As a result, older people are more likely to have alcohol-related falls, automobile collisions, or other kinds of accidents. Drinking can also worsen many medical conditions common among older people, such as high blood pressure and ulcers.

In addition, older people tend to take more medicines than younger individuals, and mixing alcohol with over-the-counter and prescription drugs can be dangerous or even fatal.

CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

Overcoming Addiction: Finding an effective path toward recovery, to discover new ways to cope with life’s difficulties:

The good news is that there are a number of effective treatments for addiction, including self-help strategies, psychotherapy, medications, and rehabilitation programs.Recent scientific advances have shaped our understanding of this common and complex problem.

Overcoming Addiction reveals 30 proven strategies for conquering addiction and sustaining recovery!

But freedom from addiction is possible. New approaches are providing motivation, easing withdrawal, and renewing purpose. Overcoming Addiction shares those strategies that can end a dependency and restore well-being.

Overcoming Addiction brings focus to those addictions that too often intrude upon our lives. You will learn how to deal constructively and successfully with issues of opioids, alcohol, stimulants, sedative-hypnotics, cannabis, nicotine, and gambling and other behavioral addictions.

The best strategies for lasting change. Recovery involves resolve. This Special Health Report offers tips to strengthen your will power and smooth your pathway. You’ll learn the importance of a safe—and satisfying—substitute. You’ll be briefed on effective psychotherapies…and why a relapse isn’t always bad.

Targeted treatments for the most wide-reaching addictions. The report shares the latest findings on specific techniques and medications that can lessen withdrawal symptoms and help you achieve independence from today’s most common substance use and behavior disorders.

What to do when a friend or family member needs help. Finding a middle ground of giving support without enabling is a delicate balance. You’ll find nine steps that may spur action…why interventions rarely work and how to care for yourself in such a stress-filled time.

More than 3 milion people died from consuming alcohol in 2012,acording to World Health Organisation(WHO),who are calling on Government around the world to do more to reduce harmful drinking. Drinking kills more men than woman and rises the risk of developing more than 200 diseases.

From :ABC NEWS , 2014 May 13

LASTLY IT IS ONLY YOU WHO CAN CHOOSE THE WAY TO CARE FOR YOUR BETTER HEALTH,PEACEFUL & SUCCESSFUL LIFE ALL ALONG THE TIME YOU ARE IN THIS WORLD.

Resources: Harvard Health Publishing, Harvard Medical School

Few Health Quarries & Answers

Be on your feet, to keep fit:
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Question: I have been reading a great many articles that are advising standing up frequently if you have a sedentary lifestyle.

Ans: A sedentary lifestyle shortens your lifespan, increases the risk of diabetes, dementia, deep vein thrombosis, anxiety, cancer, osteoporosis and worsens health and backache. It also offsets the effect of your 40-minutes-a- day aerobic workout. To counteract this, you should stand up every hour, stretch, touch your toes and take a short walk.

Mouth bleeding:
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Question: My gums suddenly started bleeding.

Ans: Gums may bleed because your toothbrush is hard and causes injury, or you have bad dental hygiene causing gingivitis (inflammation of the gums) and plaque build up. Any blood leaking out may not clot because of medications like aspirin, clopidogrel or heparin, or due to deficiency of vitamins C and K. Diseases like dengue, cirrhosis of the liver and blood cancers (leukemia) also reduce the platelet count in the blood so that blood oozes.

The first step is to consult a dentist. If the problem is not a localised one, he will refer you to a physician for tests.

Armpit boils:
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Question: I have painful boils in my armpit. They appear in crops and leave scars when they heal.

Ans: These boils do not occur because of bad hygiene. Naturally occurring skin oils and sebum block the pores of the skin. The secretions build up under the skin causing pain. There can be secondary infection, usually from bacteria which normally reside harmlessly on the skin.

You need to bathe twice a day with antibacterial soap. Instead of directly applying the soap, use a scrubber. After that apply antibiotic ointment (mupirocin) without steroid. It may take around two weeks to clear up.

You can try massaging with pure edible coconut oil.

Cracked tongue:
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Question: My tongue has developed multiple fissures in which food sometimes gets stuck.

Ans: Deep fissures can develop with hypothyroidism, or be part of Down’s syndrome. Often there is no cause. The condition is harmless.

You could gently brush out your tongue after eating, with a soft toothbrush.

Flu break:
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Qustion:  I have fever, cold and cough. How long should I stay away from work?

Ans: Colds and the flu are very contagious. If you work in an air-conditioned office, the droplets you expel will soon spread through the system and infect everyone else. It is best to stay at home at least 24 hours after the fever and cough have subsided. The same goes for school-going children. Remember flu can be prevented with annual flu vaccines.

Diabetes fit:
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Question: I am a diabetic. My doctor keeps telling me to exercise. I don’t see the point as I am already on insulin.

Ans: Aerobic exercise like walking, swimming and cycling consumes around 300-400 calories per hour. Weight training increases muscle mass so that calories are burnt more efficiently all day. If you walk 30-40 minutes a day and do weight training with light dumbbells for 20 minutes three times a week, you will keep your metabolism humming efficiently all day. This will increase calorie expenditure and can reduce insulin requirement.

Weight Gain:
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Qustion:  I have gained weight after menopause and so have all my friends. Is this normal?

Ans: People do gain weight after menopause because their BMR (basal metabolic rate) slows down. Activity may also be less as children have left home. You just need to consciously exercise more and eat less.

Resource: The Telegraph, (Kolkata, India)