We’ve always heard ‘Laughter is the best medicine’, but have you ever wondered why? You laugh when someone tickles you, or you hear something funny or see something that amuses you. Laughter is the physiological response to humour. We can respond to either spontaneous or stimulated humour. Laughter therapy is all about stimulated humour that is scientifically proven in medical treatments also. Let us understand laughter and explore the impact it has on our overall health.
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Ways To Indulge In Laughter
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Are Birth Control Pills Safe?
Birth control pills or oral contraceptive pills are hormonal medications that prevent pregnancy. These may contain combinations of the hormones estrogen and progestin or progestin alone. They are one of the methods of birth control and spacing between children. How It Works While the pill obstructs the ovaries from releasing eggs every month (ovulation), it also thickens the mucus inside the neck of the womb. It prevents the sperm from penetrating the womb and reach an egg. It also lessens the lining of the womb so that there is less probability of a fertilised egg infusing into the womb and grow. Safe Or Unsafe? A 39-year-old study following 46,000 women showed that the pill does not raise death risk and might even help women live longer. Therefore, the birth control pill is an accepted and highly effective method of birth control, if taken correctly. Moreover, the tablet has less than one per cent failure rate. For women who miss taking their medicines, the lack of success rate elevates roughly to eight per cent. Otherwise, eight out of a hundred women become pregnant unintentionally. Beginning on the first day of your period: If you start the combined pill on the first day of your period (day one of your menstrual cycle), you will be straight away safeguarded from pregnancy and will not need additional contraception. Beginning on the fifth day of your cycle or before: In case you start the pill on the fifth day of your period or earlier, you will need additional contraception, such as barrier methods until the next cycle. Care Instructions On The Combined Pill In case there are no medical reasons involved, you can take the pill until menopause. However, you should avoid the pill if you are pregnant, are a smoker and aged 35 or more, have stopped smoking less than a year ago, are overweight and take certain medications. Additionally, you should also avoid the pill if you have (or have had): • Thrombosis (a blood clot) in your vein, maybe in your leg or lungs • Anyone in your close family below the age group of 45 with a blood clot • Stroke or any other disease that reduces the functioning of the arteries • Severe migraine, especially with aura (warning symptoms) • Breast cancer • Any disease of the gallbladder or liver • A heart irregularity or heart disease, including high blood pressure • Diabetes with complications or diabetic for the past 20 years Advantages & Disadvantages Of Using Birth Control Pills • You will have lighter periods and also less frequent periods • The birth control pill can reduce heavy bleeding, pain and severity of endometriosis and fibroid tumours • The intake of birth control pills may reduce the risk of pelvic inflammatory disease, uterine cancer and ovarian cancer Side Effects • A woman’s general danger of blood clots is approximately one in 10,000. Still, due to the higher risk for blood clots, strokes, and heart attacks, estrogen-containing birth control is not advisable if you have the above risk factors • The hormones in the pill can alter the level of your sexual desire • You may also notice spotting or bleeding between periods (this is more common with progestin-only pills) sore breasts, nausea, or headaches • Acne or premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) may also get exacerbated due to birth control pills
Skin Remedies For Kapha
Everyone desires to have beautiful & radiant skin throughout the year, I mean, who doesn’t? But the sad part is that not everyone is born with flawless skin we all yearn for. Self-care takes time, patience and a lot of tests and trials until we find what works for our skin and soul. I’m sure we all can agree that we’ve all exhausted our savings and product trials to the max. But, have you tried something different from what you were doing all along? How about taking an organic and holistic approach to nip UR skin concerns in the bud The Ayurvedic Approach Well, according to Ayurveda, all the three Doshas (Vata, Pitta and Kapha) are involved either solely or work in combination when there are different skin or health conditions at play. What’s the connection between skin and dosha you ask? We find many people saying that their skin is extremely sensitive or oily and they just can’t use any product right off the shelf because it just didn’t work in the past or will in the future. The Ayurvedic Doshas also help define what works for sensitive, dry & oily skin types by using natural remedies. This can work wonders when you know which dosha UR skin belongs to. If you don't know which dosha then you can try taking our dosha quiz and know more about UR Prakriti, it's skin characteristics and much more! Though every person has a unique blueprint, each dosha requires different treatment and attention. So, scroll down to know the ancient royal remedies for UR skin according to UR dosha! What Happens When UR Dosha's Are Imbalanced? When your mind and body are in balance, it is much easier to make both of them feel better, and not just one or the other. There are three primary doshic states: Balanced: All three doshas are present in their natural proportion Aggravated: A particular dosha is in excess Decreased: A particular dosha is depleted Have you ever found that you can instinctively crave something green after a day of consuming too many sweets? That is UR body trying to balance itself naturally. If you find that you now feel sick after eating the same junky foods you used to consume without any issues all the time, then that's a sign that you're body is in balance; and it is trying to subconsciously ignore the foods that will throw you off balance. There are many foods and lifestyle choices, which can easily compromise UR dosha balance. This can affect any individual in many ways starting from skin concerns to serious health concerns, which is why it is even more important to know UR dosha. Kapha Anyone who falls under the Kapha Prakriti usually has very clear, radiant and oily skin. When the Kapha is imbalanced in the body, UR skin may start to develop large pores and blackheads. DIY Facepack For Kapha Ingredients Gram flour: 1 tbsp Curd: 1 tsp Lime: 3-4 drops Honey: 1 tsp Turmeric: ½ Method 1. Mix all ingredients in a small bowl. 2. Apply the mixture on UR face. 3. Let it rest for twenty minutes. 4. Wash UR face warm water once dry and don’t forget to moisturize UR face. Try out our quiz if you still haven’t and let us know what UR skin’s been missing all this while!
We've all heard 'Laughter is the best medicine', but have you ever wondered why? You laugh when someone tickles you, or you hear something funny or see something that amuses you. Laughter is the physiological response to humour. We can respond to either spontaneous or stimulated humour. Laughter therapy is all about stimulated humour that is scientifically proven in medical treatments also. Let us understand laughter and explore the impact it has on our overall health. What is laughter therapy? Research states that the more we laugh, the better off we are. When we laugh, our blood pressure rises, and we breathe faster, which sends more oxygen to our body. The effects of exercise and laughter are very similar, and if you combine the two, it can boost your heart rate too! Laughter yoga is an excellent example of how we can accomplish this. It's a technique that uses a combination of fun, stress and tension relieving laughter exercises. With your regular yoga, a gentle breathing and stretching exercise, rhythmic clapping and saying 'hohoho' or 'hаhаhа' in unison imitate laughter, is a part of laughter yoga. As we laugh, we release the feel-good hormones known as Endorphins. For all the sceptical people out there, conduct this small experiment. Whenever you are stressed, anxious or afraid start saying 'ha ha ho ho' for twenty seconds, doing so will definitely put you at ease and clears your head of all those worrisome thoughts. Adapting this technique into your daily routine will put a spring in your step. Ways To Indulge In Laughter Laughter is contagious, and alongside is one of the sweetest antidotes to stress. Also, it is the fastest way to bring the body and mind into balance. Adding humour to life helps in being more grounded, focused and alert. Some ways to indulge in laughter are pranks, practical jokes, sketch comedy, stand-up comedy, theatre plays, entertaining movies, sarcasm, short stories, anecdotes and many more. Regardless of whether it improves our health, or boosts our energy levels – laughter can improve our quality of life. Health Benefits Of Laughter Therapy Mental Health Benefits: 1. Add joy and zest to life: Laughing helps to rev up your mood and make you feel relaxed. Due to the endorphins, we quickly lighten up. 2. Eases anxiety, tension and stress: Laughing is an excellent stress buster as they make you feel calmer and therefore, less stressed. 3. Strengthens resilience: Tackle the harsh situation in life with humour often open doors to new perspectives. You feel more secure and can handle tough situations more confidently. 4. Improves mood: The feel-good hormones help to fight depression and reduces panic. If an anxious person even forces a laugh, their level of fear will be decreased almost instantly. Physical health benefits: 1. Boosts immunity: Laughing boosts immunity in the body by increase immune cells and grooming positivity. It fights serious mental health conditions like depression and anxiety. 2. Lowers stress hormones: Endorphins, the feel-good hormones help you to reduce the levels of cortisol in the body, hence promoting overall wellbeing. 3. Decreases pain: When you are in pain, your body automatically produces endorphins to counter it. Laughter further stimulates the production of endorphins, thus reducing any pain your body might be feeling or going through. 4. Relaxes your muscles: Our body language gives away the clue of being under pressure or moody. A hearty laugh relaxes increases circulation and aids in relaxing our muscles. 5. Prevents heart disease: With the overall improvement in blood circulation and heart rate, coupled with lower blood pressure, the health of your heart improves significantly. Social benefits 1. Strengthens relationships: Our sweet memories are often the ones we share a moment filled with laughter with our loved ones. Laughing together creates a certain kind of bond and makes it easier to converse and resolve conflict. 2. Spreads positivity: Laughter is contagious; every time we see people laughing and smiling, we remember our own memories. It gives us hope and positivity. 3. Enhances teamwork: Smiling and laughing makes it easier to blend in and not be offensive or rude. Giving a smile always build up teamwork as communication gets simpler and comfortable. Welcoming new members with a smile will put them at ease and bring out their true potential. 4. Helps defuse conflict: A small laugh opens many doors of effective communication. It acts as a tool to break the awkwardness, builds trust and patiently listens to perspectives. Did you know? • According to the research, a couple that tackles stress with laughter set relationship goals. • Just 10 to 15 minutes of laughing a day can burn up to 40 calories and help in weight loss. • Sense of humour can be a genetic trait. • Science proves that laughter is contagious. • An uncontrollable fit of laughter can cause cardiac arrest or asphyxiation also. Whatever the source may be, right from the funniest to the scariest, if something makes you laugh, and forget your woes, then it's definitely a good sign. So, keep laughing!
Dil Ka Doctor
We often forget that our hearts are not just made for falling in love. They help us stay alive and healthy too. All of us know the secrets to a healthy and strong heart lie in the positive changes we make in our lifestyle – a balanced diet and regular exercise can go a long way. But then, how many times have we really applied this to our lives? Keeping that in mind, we may know that binging on junk food isn’t the best choice for our health, but we still go ahead and dig into that bucket of fried chicken! To set things straight, we have Dr Sai Satish, Apollo Hospitals’ Dil-ka-doctor who shares his personal experiences, fitness mantras and tips on how we can come out stronger and healthier during, and after this pandemic. So, let the heart games begin! Rapid Fire with Dr Sai Satish What is UR diet like? The simple thing is to eat as many meals as you can in a day. Eat just enough to feel good at the moment, but make you feel hungry after two hours. This is my trick to keep the metabolism fully-fired. Dr Sai Satish’s Diet As soon as I wake up (7 am): 5 almonds soaked in water overnight Breakfast (8 am): 3 - 4 idlis with ghee, sambar or nallakaram Mid-morning snack (2 hrs later – 10 am): Tender coconut water with the meat of the coconut Lunch (1 pm): 2 fistfuls of rice and 1 fistful of meat or veggies Evening snack (5 pm): Murukku with green tea Dinner (7 pm): Curd rice with omelette and sabji on the side Five Fab Indian Foods We Must Eat For A Healthy-Heart Most of our wisdom has already been passed down to us from our ancestors. We have fabulous indigenous foods high in antioxidants. You’d be surprised to know that ghee is now emerging as a super-food! Five Heart-Healthy Indian Foods Ghee Garlic Turmeric Ginger Onion Bonus: Once a week, try and eat every color you see in nature The basic rule is to eat what you are used to eating. Eat what your grandparents and parents have been telling you to eat. The “Indian Thali” is a fabulous meal! It has 50% of grains, 35% of meats & veggies and 15% of papads & pickles. To me, this is the perfect recipe for good digestion. Many people have a misconception that if they ate like this, they would become fat. It’s a myth! Your lean body mass is your greatest asset, so your goal should be to increase it (muscle and bone density). Your muscle is your most efficient fat burning machine. Eat what you’re comfortable eating as your primary food. For example, if you are used to eating rotis, then eat rotis. If you are used to eating rice, then eat rice. There is no point in demonizing rice or roti. You don’t need to switch to or add fancy foods like kale. However, if your grandparents ate burgers, you should be more conscious and mindful by choosing the healthy foods your grandparents should have eaten, minus the burgers! Food Myths That Affect UR Heart Myth: Eating too much rice is bad for you! Fact: No. Rice is a fabulous source of carbohydrates. If you are used to eating rice, it’s not bad for you. Let’s take ghee as an example. People have demonized ghee as an unhealthy fat for years. Today, ghee has emerged as a super-food, as I said earlier. It has so many amino acids, and it’s good for UR heart as well. Like the Indian maxim goes, anything in excess, even if it’s amrutam (elixir of life) is poison. Is drinking a glass of wine good for your heart? Any form of alcohol is bad for you. But I like my alcohol. There! I’ve said it! Bear in mind that with moderation, one can drink alcohol and still be out of harm’s way. The younger UR, the more relaxed you can afford to be. I call it “The Rule Of Tens.” There are things that you can do in UR ’20-’30s, which you shouldn’t do when UR 30-40, and 40-50. By 50, you should give-up drinking so you can reach a glorious 100. There’s a beautiful study on habits that made people centenarians, and giving up alcohol is one of them. If UR used to drinking one glass of wine or 30 ml of whisky every day, I don’t think it will harm you. It may help you relax, but not many of us are people with enough discipline to control our urges and temptations. We go partying and end up having a few drinks (myself included!). My logic used to be that if I have to drink only 30ml of alcohol, I would rather not drink at all. My favorite thing was telling people, as a cardiologist, I have the right to prescribe alcohol. I’ll prescribe you UR drinks. Why has that changed now? When you start working out, you realize that alcohol slows down muscle building and protein synthesis. The key for you to stay slim and look healthy is to have lean muscle. For UR body to build muscle, you workout. We are all aware of that beautiful pain after our workout sessions. This signifies the damage you have done to muscle fibers (by working out) that your body will now have to repair using protein, and alcohol slows this process of rebuilding drastically. So, what I do is, the day I drink, I don’t exercise, and I don’t exercise the day after that either. Ever since I’ve started following this, I’ve had zero injuries. The quarantine period is not a holiday period, so for anyone who is drinking every day, I strongly advise them to cut down or stop. What are the COVID protocols that you, as a doctor, are maintaining at home? I haven’t caught a cold in ten years! It’s because I follow two simple rules: I never touch my face with my hands I never touch or eat any food without my hands being washed or sanitized No matter what I’m doing, my hands will never touch my face, and I never catch a cold. So, it is just a little extension of that with COVID. The first thing I did at home is, Informed all my staff to stay in-house and assured them that I would look after them the best I can. No going home and coming back. Whoever could work in-house stayed. Those who couldn’t be returned to their respective homes. Only necessary people can come inside the house. A virus is most deadly when it is new. We are all going to become COVID positive at some point, but the later we become COVID positive, the healthier we can be. So, the trick is to stay away from the virus as long as you can. Restrict and limit yourself in the beginning so that you can ease off towards the end. The government is doing a fabulous job, and we just have to run with it. 5 Symptoms Of A Heart attack/ Stroke Globally the number of heart attacks has come down. Multiple things have made this possible. People are less stressed, they are staying at home, smoking less, eating healthy food, and they have become more mindful because they are home. So, the global heart attack rate has dropped drastically across the country. Coming back to UR question, the symptoms of a heart attack and stroke can be varied and diverse. Tightness in UR chest, like someone, has forcefully put their knee on UR chest and you can’t get it off. Choking sensation in UR throat Sweating and lightheadedness Pain radiating in UR left arm Jaw pain Nothing is typical today. It is better to treat any uneasiness/symptoms like it’s a heart attack than ignore it. To avoid going to the hospital because COVID might kill you, for a heart attack that will definitely kill you, is stupidity. We, at hospitals, are more mindful of COVID than you are as a patient. We all want one less COVID patient to treat, so we are all the more careful that you don’t fall sick. If you are in doubt, don’t take a group of people to the hospital. Go with one person and get yourself checked. Treat any uneasiness in the chest like a heart attack, rather than treating it as a gastric issue. Better to be safe than sorry. What should the patient or a family member do in case of an emergency? If there is an emergency at home, don’t wait or waste time. If you have someone who can drive, and if you feel you will reach the hospital faster than an ambulance, then get into the car and make UR way to the hospital. The key is to make it to the hospital you trust. Don’t do or give the patient anything, because they can choke on water or if you give them Sorbitrate, it might drop her/his blood pressure. Just get UR family member to the hospital ASAP. That is the only mantra I want you to remember – single-minded focus to get to the ER in the hospital. If unfortunately, the person stops breathing then give the patient 50 - 60 compressions on their chest every 30 seconds until you reach the hospital. If you have an AED machine in the house and know how to use it, try and revive the person. This machine doesn’t cost much, and it is good to have in the house if there are senior citizens living there. But the key, as I’ve said before, is to get the patient to the hospital. Why is it important for doctors to be on social media? My passion is to make sure as many people as possible DO NOT need me! To put it simply, all the technology and infrastructure which has been built and all the skills I’ve mastered over the years should be made redundant by looking after UR health. I want you to become more conscious about making yourself healthy, rather than seeking a better expert to look after you when you are sick. This can only be achieved by reaching out to the greatest number of people possible in a day, and that’s what social media does for me. No matter how hard I work, I can only see a limited number of people at the hospital. 5 simple rules of life The less you eat, the longer you live The more you walk, the longer you live The more you laugh, the longer you live Sleep at least 7-8 hours a day And go for a health check every year Carve out 10 minutes in a day for something that you love and enjoy doing the most. Take that time to read a Tinkle or an Astrix comic. Meet friends at least once a week. So many studies say that the people who meet friends regularly live longer than the people who don’t. Make good friends and once a year, don’t forget to get a health check. Check UR sugar, blood pressure and stay healthy. Did you know that 70 percent of all diseases which can kill you are in UR hands to prevent? Don’t worry about the things you can’t change, like if UR Indian you will die sooner or if UR a diabetic UR going to die sooner. Boohoo, so what? Change what you can. Stop smoking. Laugh, eat right, workout and have fun! Are doctors insecure about nutritionists and can doctors prescribe diets? I have no business prescribing a diet. But, what I can tell you to do is that you have to eat right. If you have someone who is dedicated to teaching you how to eat right, then they’re making my job easier! I should be grateful to them and not feel threatened. There is no place on this planet anymore for insecure doctors. You, as a patient or as a concerned loved one, have the right for a second opinion. If UR doctor is insecure about it, then you may need to change UR doctor. It is UR, birthright. Every doctor should realize - the biggest honor anyone can do is bring someone they love and hand them over to you for care. UR not doing a patient any favors and there is no room for insecurity. If a nutritionist is making your job easy, you should tip your hat to her/him and thank them, instead of disagreeing with them. As a doctor, my job is to heal people from diseases, and a nutritionist’s job is to help people stay healthy. The key is to hold a nutritionist hand-in-hand and walk the grey areas. Not compete for that place. You (nutritionists) fix everybody, so they don’t come to me (cardiologist), and if they slip by you, then I will take care of them. That’s how I look at it!
How Emotions Affect UR Immunity
Our mind and body are eternally interlinked. Ailments of the body can manifest as psychological problems. Likewise, matters of mind like stress and anxiety can affect the functioning of the body and its responses, including immunity. Emotion is derived from the Latin term 'emovere', which means to stir up, to agitate and to excite. Emotions can be broadly grouped into two categories - positive and negative. Extroverts tend to be more socially active and are better at expressing their feelings. On the other hand, introverts tend to be withdrawn; hence, they conceal their emotions. People with good emotional health are aware of their feelings, thoughts, and behaviours. They have learned to cope with the stress and problems in a healthy way. It is well established that denial or suppression of emotions is not an effective strategy to deal with emotions. Infact it makes it worse. It is therefore essential that we acknowledge our feelings, reflect on its nature, and if unhelpful then put them aside as much as possible. The Covid-19 pandemic has unleashed an epidemic of emotional reactions such as fear, anxiety, sadness and stress. While many will experience transient anxiety, some will be pushed over the cusp, wherein their unremitting concern will turn into an ailment, or medical condition called anxiety disorder. Impact of emotional problems on health During emotional crisis one may ignore self-care, eat unhealthy diet, avoid activities or exercise. They may resort to maladaptive coping with alcohol, tobacco or tranquilising medicine (sleeping/calming pills). This has a negative bearing on general health. And when stress or stressors persist over a prolonged period, our 'fight or flight response' remains activated and that's not good for our health as it releases excessive stress hormones, and can wear us down physically and psychologically. Well established consequences of prolonged or recurring stress include high blood pressure, heart disease, stomach ulcer, as well as psychological problems like anxiety, depression and addiction. Unremitting stress can also over-activate the immune system - worsen arthritis and psoriasis, acne and even trigger asthma attacks. Besides, it can make you vulnerable to infections and allergies. There is evidence that an effectively managed stress and emotions can have a positive impact on the nervous and immune system. For instance, relaxation activities such as massage, humour, listening to music, reading can have a benefit on overall health and reduces stress hormones in the body. Express UR feelings in an appropriate way If feelings of sadness, stress, or anxiety are causing problems, keeping these feelings inside can make you feel worse. They say "a problem shared is a problem halved", which means when in difficulty it is useful to talk to someone about it. In doing so, you share the burden, move onto solutions and in the process, learn about yourself. It's is essential to deal with negative feelings, but also focus on the positive things in UR life. It will help if you also find ways to let go of things in UR life that are unhelpful while making time for things you enjoy. So, it's okay to let UR loved ones know when something is bothering you. Moreover, keep in mind that UR family and friends may not always be able to help you deal with your feelings appropriately. At these times, try asking someone outside the situation for help. A professional can provide independent, timely and objective advise/support that might help you bounce back as well as improve your emotional health. Other strategies for a balanced life • Even in difficulties, make an effort to resume and maintain a healthy and active routine with balanced diet and exercise (30 - 45 mins of moderate-intensity for 4-5 days per week) • To manage our reactions, we need to acknowledge, understand and accept our emotions. In doing so, we shall cope better and come out of this crisis being more resourceful, rejuvenated and rested. Meditation is an effective and time tested strategy to bring about emotional awareness and mind-body harmony. • Take care of UR body by having enough sleep - ideally 7-8 hours per night. Sleep is essential for rest and recovery from day to day assaults on our body and mind. • Avoid abuse of alcohol or drugs as they can worsen UR health, UR anxiety and relationship problems. • Remember, to be grateful for what you have, think positive, curb negative thoughts where possible, smile more often, and do things to keep yourself positive and happy. • A consistently balanced life is a healthier life. Developing resilience Resilience is the ability to face stress and challenges and to bounce back and recover. To develop resilience, one ought to take up and face challenges and reflect on the difficulties while finding solutions. In doing so, one learns to improvise and move from problems to a solution orientation. Other methods include mobilising social support, keeping a positive view of yourself, accepting change, and keeping things in perspective. An emotionally stable person is thus at a much better position to develop resilience. Emotional awareness is not just crucial for a peaceful, calm and healthy life and healthy relationships, but it also has a positive impact on UR immunity. As a lack of it can contribute to building up of stress, which compromises immunity and makes one susceptible to infection and other ailments. Dr Roshan Jain, 16 May 2020
Could UR Child Have A Birth Defect Because Of UR Alcohol Consumption?
Could UR Child Have A Birth Defect Because Of UR Alcohol Consumption? Fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) is a condition that results when a pregnant woman consumes alcohol. This condition causes brain damage and developmental problems and is a spectrum which may have physical, neurological, mental and learning defects. Though FAS can be prevented, it is incapacitating. But while the weaknesses vary from individual to individual, these defects can be permanent. Types Of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders • Fetal alcohol syndrome • Partial fetal alcohol syndrome • Alcohol-related congenital disabilities • Alcohol-related neurodevelopmental disorders • Neuro-behavioural disorder associated with prenatal alcohol exposure Causes When the mother consumes alcohol during her pregnancy, the distribution of alcohol to the baby through the umbilical cord causes FAS. There is no measure of 'safe limit' alcohol intake during pregnancy. Prenatal consumption of alcohol by the mother should be discouraged before conception and right through the pregnancy as alcohol can cause neurodevelopmental disorders and alcohol-related birth defects. So abstinence from alcohol should begin from the very first visit to the doctor or should be promptly treated if the mother-to-be is not able to stop drinking alcohol. When a pregnant woman drinks alcohol during pregnancy, it crosses the placenta and reaches the developing baby. The foetus metabolises alcohol slower than an adult. The alcohol content in the blood interferes with oxygen supply and nutrition supply to the developing baby. Alcohol consumption by a pregnant mother can cause permanent brain damage in the baby. Symptoms The symptoms are a combination of physical, cognitive and mental disabilities and neurodevelopmental disorders. However, the severity and extent of symptoms for FAS can widely differ among individuals. Some individuals may also have difficulty in coping with their daily life routine. Physical Defects • FAS facies • An individual with this disorder may have distinctive facies, small eyes, thin upper lip, short nose, upturned nose and smooth skin between the nose and upper lip • Joint and limb deformities • Slow growth both before and after birth • Small head circumference and head size • Vision and hearing defects • Cardiac, renal and bony defects Neurological & Brain Defects • Poor memory and coordination • Learning disabilities • Delayed milestones and delayed development • Bad memory • Attention-deficit • Rapidly changing moods • Difficulty making decisions • Hyperactivity and jitteriness • Trouble processing information and analysing it Diagnosis FAS is a disorder that comes under the umbrella term known as a fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD) which further comprises of five disorders: • Fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) • Partial fetal alcohol syndrome (pFAS) • Alcohol-related neurodevelopmental disorder (ARND), • Neurobehavioral disorder associated with prenatal alcohol exposure (ND-PAE) • Alcohol-related birth defects (ARBD) For diagnosis, all these disorders come into play to indicate the physical and neurological effects of prenatal alcohol consumption by the mother on the fetus. Additionally, each of the five disorders that include the FASD has particular criteria for diagnosis. But due to the extensive exhibition and immense similarity with other hereditary and environment causes, making a definitive diagnosis is not possible for FASD. Once FASD is suspected, the patient will be referred to some specialists to exclude other likely conditions for a conclusive diagnosis. The specialist could vary depending on the patient’s age. Usually, the team of specialists for diagnosis includes a physician or paediatrician or someone with knowledge and expertise in FASD, psychologist, occupational therapist and a speech-language pathologist. Treatment No one treatment is a comprehensive treatment as this a spectrum of disorders and every child presents differently. The child needs medical, physical, behavioural and social modalities of treatment. Initially, treatment begins with behavioural education and physiotherapy. Meanwhile, parent training with all respective medications and other medical therapy should go on simultaneously. Social skill development, training and educational interventions should also be provided -primary care in a specialist centre with medical help and community support services. Prevention FAS can be prevented by simply avoiding alcohol intake during pregnancy. If you are planning a pregnancy, stop drinking alcohol and continue to avoid drinking alcohol throughout UR pregnancy. If you are not able to stop drinking alcohol, get help before planning a pregnancy. Since pregnancy is not confirmed until the 4th-6th week of fetal development, couples are advised to avoid alcohol altogether, as you may expose your developing baby to alcohol without meaning to.
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Lockdown Tips To Take Care of UR Skin Health
We’ve all done a brilliant job so far in trying to beat the coronavirus by following all the rules, eating immunity foods and getting used to this laid-back lifestyle. That being said, a lot of us have gotten a little lazy or bored of following a daily routine. But, that doesn’t mean we completely forget to adhere to the healthy habits of self-care and love. Self-care can mean many things from treating yourself to a relaxing bath, applying a facepack or oiling UR hair. It’s always a good thing to treat yourself and who would beg to differ during this lockdown. Granted, we don’t have the boon of heading to the spa or the salon anymore, but we can still streamline a couple of habits in our daily routine to make it less daunting. Here are a few simple ways you can treat the skin UR in. 1. Follow UR daily skin routine With almost everything closed for four months and not an open salon in sight, our skin care and daily routine has really taken a hit. Our sleeping patterns, eating habits and more are just not the same are just not the same. All of these affect not only our mind, but also our body and our skin too. We can use a few simple tips in our daily routine to avoid the impact on our skin. Gently wash UR face with products which are suitable for UR skin type. Moisturizers must be applied every time you wash UR face, even if UR skin is oily. Ask your dermatologist or skin specialist to suggest the most suitable skin care. Exfoliators are optional and should be used only once or twice or once a week. 2. Circadian rhythm Being isolated during lockdown has brought challenges to almost every household, and many people say that their regular daily routine has been completely disrupted. Not having a daily routine can lead to anxiety and mental health conditions. Eating healthily, sleeping well and staying active are all recommended during the lockdown. Make a list of what you need to achieve the following day. Maintaining a consistent sleep and meal pattern is key to improving your health, which in turn will eventually show positivity on UR skin. 3. Balanced nutrition Healthy Diet tips to improve your skin during lockdown include reducing alcohol intake and eating the rainbow diet. Avoid sugary drinks and caffeine and drink plenty of plain water to hydrate your skin. Vitamin C rich foods provide antioxidants needed for glowing and radiant skin. Eating the right nutritious foods can also boost your immunity, boost immunity and help you lose weight. It can also improve UR digestion and gut health, which directly reflects on UR skin health. 4. End up meeting your doctor at the right time Sometimes, people suffering from skin issues wait for a long time before approaching proper medical care and attention or vice-versa. Using many products to treat the symptoms without knowing the underlying cause also harms a lot. Nipping a problem before you experience the full-blown symptoms does help. It is better for your doctor as well as you to get them and get a professional opinion. 5. Stay Happy Some wrinkles or implacable blemishes can put you in a bitter mood. But it turns out that a bad mood could be the cause of wrinkles and scars, too. This is because negative feelings like stress release cortisol to your body and throw away your intestines. All this ends up playing with your hormones – and showing up on your face. On the other hand, just as negative emotions can wreak havoc on your skin, positive emotions can help improve your skin. It's simple: when you feel relaxed and happy, your skin follows suit and develops a kind of "happy glow." The top reason for the effect is that positive emotion increases your skin's ability to repair and renew itself naturally. Staying happy will definitely keep UR hormones in check, which means that pesky imbalances that may be the major cause of skin problems will no more be a problem. And to top it off, some research also suggests that people who smile or laugh more often tend to look younger, as a result, meaning that a bit of positivity might be able to counteract the typical effects of skin ageing.
Know What UR Gut Says About UR Skin Health
During this pandemic we know that the virus not just affects the lungs, but it can also compromise other organs by it’s blood clotting mechanism. This can compromise blood supply to UR organs and cause a series of health concerns. Therefore, compromising the blood supply to UR organs which can also affect UR skin’s health. It’s no surprise that our skin health indicates our overall health and that’s quite evident. Afterall you are what you eat, and UR skin shows it all. Just like when you feel sick and you start to notice your skin looks a bit pale and dull. Did you know a good amount of healthy bacteria on the amount of healthy bacteria that are present in the gut, our skin might be healthy or riddled with various issues. In the hope of nipping the COVID symptoms at the bud, even if we are sneezing twice back to back, we are loading up on antibiotics, anti-fungal or anti-mite medication to suppress the symptoms without even thinking. This unnecessary dosage of antibiotics end up killing or weakening healthy gut bacteria. This is exactly how our gut can also influence our overall skin health. What You Can Do Eat wholesome meals: By eating nutritious meals, you feed the skin of the essential nutrients it requires to stay healthy and glowing. Stick to prebiotics, dahi and a detox diet could be UR mantra to great skin and hair. Maintain a regular sleep cycle: Keeping UR sleep cycle in check will help UR body repair any skin cell damage and reduce puffiness, paleness and give UR skin the glow you always wanted. Being insync with UR circadian rhythm helps UR body release essential hormones on time. It is also said that sleeping early can also help with nutrient absorption which is key to overall health. Keeping stress levels in check: COVID-19 has been challenging and stressful to all of us globally. Watching the news, reading messages and following the current event unfolding can really take a toll on UR mental and physical health. Stress can cause a series of concerns starting from skin concerns to anxiety. It is best to always take things in stride to stay strong mentally, physically and emotionally, when we have our mind, body and nutrition in check nothing can affect our health. Hydrate yourself: Hydrating yourself clears your skin by flushing out toxins from the body. Drinking water improves oxygen in the blood, improves blood flow and helps UR skin glow. Don't self medicate: Consult a certified medical professional for a check-up first before buying any medicines. Try to talk to UR dermatologist before you change anything in UR skin regime. The good bacteria The microbes present on our skin aid in good health and can also cause harm when we fail to look after our skin. Hence, skin hygiene is often recommended by dermatologists. Now how is it related to UR gut you may ask? Studies have shown that bioactive chemicals like SCFAs (Short-chain fatty acids), hormones or neurotransmitters released by the gut reach the skin receptors and alter the skin. Every nutrient released by the intestine has a high chance of affecting UR skin health. This is one of the reasons that eating probiotics like curd or kimchi gives you glowing skin as they are perfect for your gut health. In medical research terms, this relationship is known as the skin-gut axis. Skin-Gut Axis is the relationship between living intestinal bacteria (the gut microbiota) and their possible role in skin disease pathogenesis. Small studies have indicated structural improvements in the gut microbiota in patients with other dermatological conditions. Interestingly, studies have also suggested that probiotics could play a role in Atopic Dermatitis treatment. However, the idea of the "skin-gut axis" is a newly emerging and significant avenue, which still lacks much evidence. Benefits of skin microbiome/ skin flora Reduces inflammation: Skin inflammations can cause a lot of skin concerns like; rashes, red skin, pimples, blisters, acne and more. Our skin flora helps regulate our skin’s Ph levels and fight off any skin inflammation. Controls acne breakout: Acne breakout is a problem as old as time. If we maintain skin hygiene, the skin microbiome helps control acne breakout easily by reducing inflammation and fighting off environmental factors causing acne. Protects us from external allergens: Skin microbiomes act as a barrier to some allergens and environmental toxins that are present almost everywhere. If you want to keep UR skin healthy it is essential to be mindful of UR gut health as well! Making progressive changes can help enhance not just UR skin but UR health as well.
Understanding Alzheimer’s Disease
Understanding Alzheimer's Disease Alzheimer's disease affects memory, thinking and behaviour of a person. It is a type of dementia. Though the symptoms develop at a gradual pace worsening over time, it can slowly develop into a severe problem that interferes with doing your daily tasks. According to the India Ageing Report 2017, more than four million cases of Alzheimer's are reported per year in India. So saying, Alzheimer's isn't a normal part of ageing, as one may confuse it with being. Also, owing to the nature of the disease and its effect on mankind at large, a definitive solution to combat this disease is the need of the hour. The human mind is a fascinating amalgamation of ideas, emotions and functions that empower our body and lives, creating a variety of experiences. It holds the collective sum of whatever we do, building our choices to improve our past, present and future. Hence, it is essential to keep our mind in top shape. However, due to the hustle and bustle of daily life, combined with undue stress, our mind tends to get neglected. Early Symptoms The symptoms can be varied, yet studies have provided a ray of hope in its proper detection and diagnosis the initial signs of Alzheimer's may be depression and irritability. Also, the symptoms occur in three stages with inter-related characteristics that meld into each other. Irritability, depression and night time behaviour changes are said to develop first. Anxiety, appetite changes, agitation and apathy, follow at a successive pace. The third stage has a variety of mixed symptoms elation, mobility disorders, hallucinations, delusions and impulsive, inappropriate behaviour. Causes Along with a host of health-related complications, mental deterioration is something that often takes place. Yet, as mentioned before, Alzheimer's has more to do with the mind than ageing. The cause lies in the gradual degeneration and death of brain cells. The brain connections are lost on the process. Due to this, the critical mental functions and memory is destroyed. For a person suffering from Alzheimer's, the tissue has negligible nerve cell connections, making it impossible to function and retain things. Diagnosis While prevention is better than cure, we need to talk about the appropriate diagnosis and treatment for the same. Certified tests should be involved to diagnose the stage the deterioration has reached. So here's what can help doctors reach a conclusion: • Consulting immediate family to note change of behaviour. • Conducting tests of memory, problem-solving, attention, counting and language. • Brain scans like computed tomography (CT), positron emission tomography (PeT), or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) helps in eliminating other causes that trigger the symptoms this needs to be repeated time after time. Coping With Alzheimer's Alzheimer's is a disease that affects the life of the patient, as well as his/her family and caregivers. Keep the following tips in mind as they help in healing and caregiving. • Try to keep things simple, focusing on a single question or activity. • Establish a daily routine to instil faith and semblance. • Create a safe space for the patient to thrive and build a connection. • Shift the focus from words to feeling or intention. • Keep agitation to a minimum level, to keep the energy flow in controlled levels. • Maintain a peaceful and calm demeanour, putting negativity aside. • Enlist the power of humour whenever you can. • Try using music, singing or dancing to empower the person.
How To Care For UR Skin During Lockdown
Are you wondering why UR skin is breaking out even during the lockdown? With the world going helter skelter over the COVID-19 pandemic we sometimes forget to tend to ourselves, which can start to reflect on our skin. We expected the lockdown to finally give our skin the break it needed but you feel UR skin’s doing the complete opposite! We might be still getting used to the new norm of tending to our house hold chores without help and working for long hours at home, which is just not giving us the much needed me time. Instead of stressing about what comes ahead, let’s focus on our overall well-being. With that being said let’s first understand what’s really happening to our skin while we are at home during lockdown. UR Skin During Lockdown? You’re not wrong to think that your skin is finally getting the break it deserves from dust, pollution, makeup and extreme sun exposure during the lockdown. What you may forget is that watching the news, reading forwarded messages and anything related to COVID is stressing you not just mentally, but physically as well. Stress can cause unnecessary anxiety, breakouts, sleepless nights and other skin concerns that reflect on your skin’s health. Did you know that 50% of skin diseases are related to the nervous system? Here’s exactly what you need to do to improve UR skin & Hair health! Chase the sun in UR home Your body is meant to be in the sun, and exposure to sunlight during the day is crucial to your overall well-being. Try to look for sunny areas in UR home to get at least 20 minutes of sunlight early in the morning in the comfort of UR home. Moisturize UR Skin Care for your skin, follow a minimal but effective skincare routine, which involves cleansing, moisturizing and exfoliating UR skin. Try not to overdo or complicate your skincare routine. An effective skincare routine just needs three four things; a cleanser, moisturizer, sunscreen and UR commitment. Call & Consult UR Dermatologist Stay in touch with your dermatologist virtually or visit them while following all the safety precautions. Even though it is tough during the lockdown to get back into the routine of visiting our doctor, we should still make an effort to care for our skin however we can at the moment. Eat Healthy UR gut health is the key to skin health. Eat food which helps boosts your skin health. Avoid excessively oily and fried food. Eat fresh fruit and vegetables, try putting fruit peel or a fruit on UR face to refresh UR skin. A Little Bit Of Exercise Goes A Long Way Exercising for as little as ten minutes can help you stay active, improve blood circulation and skin health. Moreover, exercise has always proven to improve UR mood, blood regulation and skin health. Exercise a little everyday! Dispose One-Time Use Masks Avoid reusing one-time use masks this can cause skin rashes, breakouts or rashes, all of which can be avoided. Dispose UR one-time use masks after every use. If UR using reusable cotton masks, make sure you wash them after every use to avoid contamination. Follow protocols at all times to stay safe. Wash UR Hands Before Touching UR Face Since most of us have to do our own chores we may sometimes just use our hand to scratch our face. This is a big no-no, especially this time around. Always make sure your hands are clean and sanitized before you touch UR face. Try and use wet wipes to clean your face if oily or moist from wearing the mask. Get UR Beauty Sleep! During sleep, UR skin’s blood flow increases, while UR skin rebuilds its collagen and repairs damage from UV exposure. A beauty sleep of 7-8 hours can help in reducing premature skin ageing, dark circles, puffy skin and age spots. Pamper Yourself It is essential for us to pamper our skin and ourselves during this lockdown to keep our skin healthy. Applying masks, exfoliating your skin when required can help refresh your skin. Don’t overload on many products before going outdoors as extra product clogs pores, cause oiliness and also cause acne breakouts. Make sure to follow these tips to keep your skin healthy during lockdown! Lastly, spending most of your time at home might make you abandon your daily skincare routines as well. Staying in touch with your dermatologist will help you keep your skin healthy and fabulous even during this dreadful lockdown. Once you have a simple daily skin routine chalked out, nothing can stop you. Stay at home, stay safe, stay healthy!
Are you an addict? Take the test and find out now!
The Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT) is a ten-item questionnaire developed by the World Health Organization (WHO) to assess alcohol consumption, drinking behaviours, and alcohol-related problems. It’s a reliable, simple and effective method of screening for unhealthy alcohol use, defined as risky or hazardous consumption or any alcohol use disorder. The AUDIT can also help identify alcohol dependence and specific consequences of harmful drinking. 1. How often do you have a drink containing alcohol? 2. How many drinks containing alcohol do you have on a typical day when you are drinking? 3. How often do you have six or more drinks on one occasion? 4. How often during the last year have you found that you were not able to stop drinking once you had started? 5. How often during the last year have you failed to do what was normally expected from you because of drinking? 6. How often during the last year have you needed a first drink in the morning to get yourself going after a heavy drinking session? 7. How often during the last year have you had a feeling of guilt or remorse after drinking? 8. How often during the last year have you been unable to remember what happened the night before because you had been drinking? 9. Have you or someone else been injured as a result of your drinking? 10. Has a relative or friend or a doctor or another health worker been concerned about your drinking or suggested you cut down?
Testing For Covid-19 During Turbulent Times
"Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Corona Virus 2 (SARS-CoV-2)" is the causative organism of "COVID-19," the disease which has metamorphosed into a veritable pandemic. The name itself is a code - 'CO' stands for 'corona,' 'VI' for 'virus' and 'D' for disease, i.e. coronavirus disease 2019. COVID-19 is now a household name, and so are PCR and rapid antibody tests, the two major criteria for COVID-19. Yet questions regarding the reliability of these tests haunt our minds. Can we be certain of having contracted the infection if we test positive? Can we heave a sigh of relief if we test negative? Let us search for these answers today. The validity of a test How to know that a test is accurate? The answer lies in its validity. Efficacy is the ability of a test to separate those having disease from those who are disease-free correctly. It has two components: sensitivity and specificity. Sensitivity is the ability of a test to accurately identify everyone having the disease. In contrast, uniqueness is the ability of a test to correctly determine everyone who is disease-free (among those tested). We hardly find tests with one hundred per cent sensitivity as well as specificity. What becomes inevitable, then? False negatives who test negative despite having the disease and false positives who test positive despite being disease-free. A highly sensitive test will have less false negatives. On the contrary, there will be less number of false positives in a highly specific test. Dangers of false negatives and positives False-negative tests give a false sense of security. Such patients get delayed or no treatment, whereas they continue to spread infection. As governments across the world plan to relax restrictions and loosen lockdowns in a bid to reopen economies, there is a serious risk that people who are wrongly believed to be disease-free because of their false-negative test results will cause a re-infection in society. Hence, we must select tests with high sensitivity so that false-negative results are minimized. On the contrary, every false-positive result causes a healthy person to unnecessarily undergo isolation as well as retesting. People getting false-positive results in antibody tests may be misguided to believe that they are immune to COVID-19 as they have the protective antibody and they may negligently get exposed and infected. Therefore, false-positive results also need to be avoided. RT-PCR test: false positives & false negatives All validated RT-PCR tests have high specificity because they detect specific gene sequences of the RNA of SARS-CoV-2. Hence, false-positive results are rare here. But beware! RT-PCR test can sometimes produce false-negative results. An infected patient may even test negative several times before testing positive. Therefore, correlation with the history of travel and contacts, clinical observations, chest X-rays and chest CT scans is recommended in suspected COVID-19 patients who test negative. Retesting is also advised in such cases, 2 to 4 days after the first test. RT-PCR test: causes of false-negative results RNA samples for RT-PCR test are usually collected from swabs of nasopharynx or oro-pharynx, e.g. throat. However, RNA samples are relatively unstable because enzymes that can split RNA are found in many places, including the surface of the human body. Therefore, if the samples are transported to the laboratory within 72 hours after collection, the swabs are placed in tubes containing viral transport medium (VTM) and stored at 2 to 8°C (cold chain). If testing is delayed further, specimens must be stored at -70°C or below or transported on dry ice. Meticulous maintenance of these conditions for storage and transportation of samples will prevent RNA-splitting enzymes from degrading viral RNA in those samples. Failure to ensure the prescribed environmental conditions may cause false-negative results. Besides, swab must be taken from a spot sufficiently back inside the throat to get a viable sample for this test. Otherwise, sample quality may be poor, leading to a false-negative result. False-negative results also occur due to improper reagents, poor technique in conducting the test in the laboratory because of lack of trained laboratory personnel and in very early or late stages of the disease when low levels of the virus are present. Besides, the failure to amplify the target sequences of viral RNA during the processing of the sample in the laboratory may cause false-negative results. False-negative results may also happen during the later stage of infection as the virus may no longer be present in the upper respiratory tract, i.e. nasopharynx or oropharynx at that time. Best way to avoid false adverse reports, specimens can then be collected from the lower respiratory tract, i.e. trachea/windpipe and below where the virus will still be present. Rapid antibody test: dilemma faced by governments/regulators Amidst the frenzy of launching antibody tests on a massive scale at the earliest, we must not forget the crucial issue of reliability of those testing kits. Given the current public health emergency, the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) in the USA have issued emergency use authorization (EUA) to private companies for using their medical devices and kits despite the lack of adequate data to prove their accuracy. Many other countries have relaxed criteria for validating antibody testing kits or imported them in a hurry, only to find later that the results they yield are highly inaccurate. It is the need of the hour for the government and national regulators to do a proper balancing act so that the need for accuracy of any new diagnostic test is not sacrificed at the altar of public health urgency. Rapid antibody tests: false positives & false negatives These tests usually detect antibodies that are produced in the human body against the spike protein of SARS-CoV-2. Why is this protein selected? Because this is the main antigen that attaches to the host cell, facilitates entry of the virus into the host cell and elicits neutralizing antibodies. Unfortunately, some antibody test kits also detect antibodies produced in the human body against the spike protein of other coronaviruses because the antigenic structures of the spike proteins of SARS-CoV-2 and common cold-causing coronaviruses have probably about 50 to 60% identity. Such kits will yield some inaccurate results as someone infected with some other coronavirus may falsely test positive. To eliminate the potential for such cross-reactivity, new antibody tests must select sections of the spike protein of SARS-CoV-2 that are completely dissimilar from all other coronaviruses. Another problem arises when some antibody test kits are validated with samples from patients who are severely diseased and will develop a strong antibody response. Such antibody test kits may be reasonably accurate in severely ill patients. Still, they may give false-negative results in patients with mild or no symptoms who usually have less viral load and produce fewer antibodies in their blood. We must know that the antibody response can be low in the following individual who may be elderly, have poor nutritional habits, less severity of disease (low viral load) and in the presence of immunodeficiency disorders (e.g. AIDS) or with regular intake of immunosuppressive drugs (e.g. steroids in high dose). An antibody test may be harmful even if you have had an infection recently or in the past. Way forward No country in the world has yet tested all its inhabitants for COVID-19 because every nation aims to ensure optimal utilization of its available resources. It is widely acknowledged now that a massive increase of COVID-19 testing is crucial to control this public health crisis, irrespective of the date we decide to relax lockdown measures. Meanwhile, there is a pressing need to ensure that all the tests are conducted accurately. Detailed analysis reports help doctors as well as policymakers, from being misguided while taking decisions. To cater to the burgeoning need for testing in the future, every nation must massively invest in the medical diagnostics industry, which will help boost our country's medical technology and infrastructure. Doing so can improve the quality of indigenously manufactured kits, research development and innovation of unique testing methods that yield more accurate results in less time. This will ensure the availability of a sufficient number of trained workforce for proper sample collection and testing. As aptly said in Purusha Sukta of Rig Veda, "Nanya pantha vidyate ayanaya" i.e. there is no other way on earth.