All of us know the importance of a healthy lifestyle. We all have a busy schedule and find it difficult to maintain a healthy and sound life with exercises and diet. But we cannot afford to ignore our health. It’s the most important thing to carry out our daily activities. They don’t say ‘health is wealth’ for no reason! Here are some healthy tips to follow…
Visit UR Doctor
Healthy recipes with local ingredients
Get personalized and curated wellness content on URLife.co.in
Join the wellness movement!
Get personalized and curated wellness content on URLife.co.in
Quit Unhealthy Habits
You may also like
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.
COVID-19 Everything You Need To Know
The coronavirus pandemic has hit the world hard, but this is not the first time that it has happened. In the past there have been two other mutated coronaviruses that have caused epidemics. One was the SARS which was in 2002 and the other was the MARS, which was in 2012. To give you a comparison, the SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) caused by a novel coronavirus in 2002 had a mortality rate of 10%. The MERS, which is the Middle Eastern respiratory syndrome that came out in 2012, had a mortality rate of 35%. The current SARS 2 Coronavirus which causes COVID-19 has mortality in the region of about 2 to 3% probably more likely 1.5 to 2.5%. To give an idea, when we say infectiousness, we use the terminology called RO whereby we refer to what are the chances of an infected person transmitting to others and the chances of one infected person with COVID-19 can be transmitted to about 1.5 to 2.5 people. Here the incubation period can be as long as 14 days. Also, in flu the person has fever, body pain and cough which is also quite often seen with COVID-19, but in flu a lot of people have up respiratory symptoms in the form of cold, blocked nose, running nose which is less often seen with COVID-19. COVID-19 and flu are very similar in terms of how they are acquired which is through respiratory droplets and touching in animate surfaces which are contaminated by a person’s coughing and sneezing and then taking our hand near the mouth or face. The symptoms are similar. The mortality is probably a little higher. Home quarantine is advised in two situations One if you have come from a country where there is local transmission of this infection like in China, Iran, Italy, Germany, France or probably some other countries in near future which may report any cases. If you have come from any of these countries, and even if you don’t have symptoms of cough or fever, it is advised you stay in home quarantine for the next 14 days. By home quarantine I mean that you need to stay in a separate room, which is well ventilated with the doors closed. The person should not entertain any visitors and even the family should be at least 1 to 2 meters away from this person at all times. The person should not leave the house, should not go anywhere for any social gatherings, to school or even to social functions. Which means he should be entirely at home isolated. At present there are lot of people who either have come back from the country where it is prevalent but don’t have symptoms or there are some people who have symptoms, but no exposure to and proven individual with COVID or exposure to any countries where COVID has occurred. Now as I told you, the tests are done only in government centres and Public Health machinery decides who needs to be tested and the test is currently reserved only if you have come from abroad and asymptomatic or you are symptomatic with exposure to approve and COVID-19 case in India. There is a lot of wishful thinking that heat will kill the virus and it will cease to spread once summer sets in. Now, I am not very confident about this. The virus survives very well at the body temperature of 37 degrees. So in hot temperature if it falls on in-animate object, it will dry very fast. It means that transferring from one person to another through a medium will be less likely. But having said that we need to realise that most of the transmission happens indoors where inevitably the temperatures are much lower and there is air conditioning. Moving on, flu vaccine is only protective against circulating strain of flu. Because the flu vaccine virus is also very mutable virus or keeps changing every year depending on the circulating strain of the flu virus you need to take your vaccine is a booster every year to prevent yourself from getting flu. This has no connection whatsoever the SARS virus and this will not help protect you against COVID-19. SARS 2A COVID-19 is a self-limited condition. Incubation period is the time from the onset of exposure to the occurrence of the disease. It is in the median of 45 days, but can vary anywhere from 2 to 14 days. A person shows symptoms of cough, body pain and fever. Almost 80% of infections are mild and do not even want hospitalization. Another 15% may require hospitalization for oxygen and other supportive measures. 5% of people, which is one in 20 may end up in the ICU requiring ventilator support, out of which about 2 people may die. Those who die are typically elderly people over the age of 60 people with other co morbidities like diabetes, heart disease lung disease or kidney disease. It has been shown that the mortality can be as high as 15% in people over the age of 80. So, at present if you develop symptoms, we advise you home quarantine. If there is local transmission proven for example in India we start getting people who have never travelled, who have never been exposed to a proven case of COVID-19 being tested and proven that they could have this COVID-19 yes, it means we have to be careful. The general advice we give for everybody is avoid all non-essential travel, avoid all crowds, please do not wear a mask outside if you are public without any symptoms if you have symptoms wear a mask and stay indoors self-quarantine which means if you have some symptoms of cough or fever even if you are not sure it is COVID-19. All of us need to be safe. We need to ensure that we take personal responsibility for this which means that if you the symptoms of cough or fever irrespective of what it could be please avoid going to work please, avoid sending your children who may be having fever or cough to school to protect others. So civic sense and personal responsibilities are paramount at this point. If it means social isolation yes all of us need to stay indoors so that we don’t spread the virus and transmit it indiscriminately to others. Especially, old people who may not fare well during the current conditions.
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.
Shakespeare, COVID And The Plague
Social isolation gives us time to examine our lives in a new light, suddenly faced with economic collapse, empty streets, current panic and future uncertainty, and death appearing out of nowhere—in other words, the conditions that confronted every person on a daily basis during the lifetime of Shakespeare. What feels horribly abnormal to us was routinely normal for him and every member of the human race in the 16th century. In statistical terms, Shakespeare is just another survivor. Unlike his son, Hamnet, who died at 11, Shakespeare didn’t die as a child, nor did his mother die giving birth to him. He also escaped the plague. Ever since the Black Death swept across the globe in the 14th century, bubonic plague remained a threat, killing on average one to three people in every house where it struck. In Shakespeare’s lifetime, there were four plague years, 1582, 1592, 1603, and 1607, when London, including its theaters, shut down because of the disease. Syphilis had arrived in Europe from the New World in 1495, first appearing in a French garrison outside Naples, and it quickly infected every level of society. But Shakespeare didn’t die of it, either, or of smallpox. He wasn’t murdered in the street even though there was no London police force. He couldn’t have been executed as a witch, not being a woman, although the practice was not only current but growing. Finally, unlike his father, John Shakespeare, Will’s life and reputation weren’t ruined overnight due to charges brought against him by Queen Elizabeth’s huge network of internal spies. As a survivor, Shakespeare stands out because of his genius, but the horrible conditions surrounding him persisted more or less unchanged until the middle of the 19th century. The causes of plague syphilis, and deaths in childbirth started to emerge, and more mundane but equally life-saving advances occurred in public health, like the first sewer system in America, which was built in Chicago in the late 1850s. If humans were simply higher primates with very big brains, survival would be the beginning and end of our story. The Darwinian model for survival requires only getting enough food and finding a willing mate so that you didn’t starve before you were able to pass on your genes to the next generation. Nothing much mattered after that momentous event. Evolutionists persist in seeing Homo sapiens through the lens of basic survival, but we do all kinds of things to deliberately imperil our survival, from taking care of our weak and sick instead of abandoning them, to stockpiling nuclear warheads, just to make sure that total war can erupt if we feel like it. War, crime, and violence do nothing to improve human genes and in fact work against simple survival. But if you put Shakespeare and the plague together, something mysterious emerges. Despite every threat of disease and death, crime, poverty, political oppression, and religious fanaticism (the Puritans in Shakespeare’s day railed against the London theaters as ungodly, but luckily they didn’t shut them down until 1642, 26 years after his death), not to mention widespread illiteracy, no public sanitation, and no police force, these horrendous circumstances didn’t wipe out creativity, discovery, love, compassion, and a vision of a higher ideals. Homo sapiens are the only species that liberated itself from natural evolution, and this unprecedented achievement involved one thing only: going beyond. Not our higher brain but human nature envisioned life independent of physical circumstances. Miraculously, if you peer at the oldest cave paintings in Europe, such as those in Chauvet-Pont d’Arc, France, you don’t see primitive scratching from 30,000 years ago. You see art. The animals depicted are done with confident, artistic lines that are also scientifically accurate, depicting a wide range of Paleolithic creatures precisely enough that they can be identified by species. No one knows why sophisticated cave paintings suddenly appeared. The Chauvet depictions lie deep in the darkest heart of the caves. No sunlight penetrated, so the painters worked by the quavering light of torches. In addition, since the animals were not right before them, they worked from memory of how each one looked. This act of going beyond exemplifies a trait that belongs to the human condition, the trait of creativity for its own sake. In fact, even though the modern world owes everything to discoveries that improved life, the rise of technology and all the practical benefits it has brought, going beyond has always happened “in here” before anything could happen “out there.” Before the first primitive flint blades could be hacked out, the concept of “tool” and “weapon” had to come first. And before a concept can be born, there has to be a mind capable of concepts. My point is that you and I, like our ancestors, are the product not of genetic evolution but the evolution of consciousness. We were liberated from the Darwinian scheme by self-awareness. In other words, we said to ourselves, “I just thought of what I’d like to do,” and with the combination of awareness, vision, and desire, we evolved into the human condition. The Greek word for beyond is meta, and we should apply it to ourselves more often. To be human is an expression of the metahuman. Shakespeare was a meta-genius, but everyday people are just as meta in their own way. Parents sacrifice for their children, even die for them, because they go beyond their own selfish needs. Any creative hobby is meta, because it has nothing to do with surviving. The higher your vision, the more meta you are. Buddha was extraordinarily meta, but his followers, seeing the worth of his vision, had to be meta or Buddha would have preached in the wilderness. Likewise, without metahumans among Jesus’s disciples, Christianity would have perished on the cross. The COVID virus has put everyday life in peril for countless people, but it has actually risen the level of self-sacrifice, service, sharing, cooperating for the common good, laying down political antagonisms, seeking a global solution, and reflecting upon what really matters. Those are all meta qualities; they are perfect examples of going beyond. The fact that we can see a future past the devastation of the pandemic is a meta trait of huge importance. We aren’t human without being metahuman. For me, this is the lasting lesson and the deeper meaning to be taken away form a terrible time. DEEPAK CHOPRA™ MD, FACP, founder of The Chopra Foundation, a non-profit entity for research on well-being and humanitarianism, and Chopra Global, a modern-day health company at the intersection of science and spirituality, is a world-renowned pioneer in integrative medicine and personal transformation. Chopra is a Clinical Professor of Family Medicine and Public Health at the University of California, San Diego and serves as a senior scientist with Gallup Organization. He is the author of over 89 books translated into over forty-three languages, including numerous New York Times bestsellers. His 90th book and national bestseller, Metahuman: Unleashing Your Infinite Potential (Harmony Books), unlocks the secrets to moving beyond our present limitations to access a field of infinite possibilities. TIME magazine has described Dr. Chopra as “one of the top 100 heroes and icons of the century.”
Things you should know about UR family doctor
Things you should know about UR family doctor Has he/she renewed their medical license This is very important for every doctor to follow. Sometimes a personal relationship can come in between questioning an important aspect. For the sake of UR loved ones and you, please make sure UR family doctor has a valid license. Addressing this reassures UR trust in your doctor as well. Are they well-versed with new medical practices? It doesn't matter since when you know UR family doctor. It's crucial that UR family doctor is updated with the latest treatments and medical practices. If you find it sensitive to shift, try doing an online consult and get another opinion. It’s so important for people in the medical profession to stay up to date with the latest advancements in medicine & technology. Are they aware of UR family's health history? During times of Emergency knowing yours and UR family’s history can be extremely beneficial. Being aware of UR allergies, medical history, family history, habits, lifestyle and environment play a huge role in times of emergency. Updating UR doctor with UR yearly family health check reports can be a huge leap towards taking responsibility for UR health. Are they available and accessible when you need them? It’s important that UR family doctor makes you a priority and is available when you need them. If they are too busy, it’s worth a change. Comfort is built through availability and accessibility. Remember they need you as much as you need them. Do they have tie-ups with teaching institutes, multi-speciality hospitals and other experts? This can be a deal-breaker because every individual should get the right medical treatment they deserve. UR family doctor should work with a set of experts to gain knowledge as well as a second opinion. Associations with multi-speciality hospitals or educational institutions help gain knowledge as well as access to a trusted network of experts at the time of need. I’m not saying this just because of Apollo, but I know how group practice works and how important it is for the doctor and patients to get a second opinion. UR safety is way more important than the doctor’s ego.
Top 5 Things You Need To Do To Maintain UR Health
Top 5 things you need to do to maintain UR health All of us know the importance of a healthy lifestyle.We all have a busy schedule and find it difficult to maintain a healthy and sound life with exercises and diet. But we cannot afford to ignore our health. It’s the most important thing to carry out our daily activities. They don’t say ‘health is wealth’ for no reason! Here are some healthy tips to follow… Visit UR doctor Men are known to avoid doctors in difficult situations by ignoring unusual symptoms. Don’t let complacency take a toll on UR health. Schedule yearly checkups with UR doctor. UR doctor can help monitor your weight, blood pressure, and the level of cholesterol in your blood. Excess weight, high blood pressure, and high blood cholesterol are risk factors for various diseases. Adapt to new lifestyle changes that UR doctor is recommending to keep everything in control. Eat natural foods Packaged and processed foods are packed with sugar, salt, unhealthy fats, artificial additives and calories. Limit the fake stuff and eat variety of fresh fruits and vegetables, whole-grain products, such as brown rice and whole-grain bread, fibre-rich foods, such as beans and leafy greens. When you go out for grocery shopping, avoid the aisles and go in the perimeter of the store. This is where you’ll typically find the freshest foods. Exercise, exercise and exercise Regular exercise is one of the best ways to prevent heart disease and keep your heart healthy. Exercising also helps to improve UR overall physical and mental well-being. Try to get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise, or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic exercise, every week. Get UR vitamins A well balanced diet can give you all the important vitamins and minerals needed by UR body. Eating a wide variety of vitamin- and mineral-rich foods, such as fresh fruits, veggies and whole grains also provide heart-healthy fibre and natural antioxidant compounds that can help lower your risk of certain diseases. Quit unhealthy habits Smoking is one of the worst habits you can pick up due to different reasons. But no reason is good enough to smoke! Secondhand smoke is hazardous too. Smoking and secondhand smoke exposure can also cause other health conditions, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), emphysema, and heart disease. They also raise your risk of developing many types of cancer. Other unhealthy habits include excessive alcohol consumption and drug use. They’re both linked to many severe health conditions.
All time favorites
Sustainable Shifts UR Workplace Can Make Post COVID-19
At a time when the world is slowly awakening to the idea of healthy living, all thanks to COVID-19. There is a frightening reality that needs to be addressed by us collectively. According to a recent study, 63 per cent of Indian corporate-sector employees are overweight. Promotion of a healthy and balanced diet is vital for the prevention of overweight, obesity and several chronic diseases. The focus has shifted from considering healthy food patterns as a mainly private issue to recognising the responsibility of us as a society, including worksites, in creating healthy environments and conditions that support and promote healthy eating habits at workplaces who are progressively working towards improving their workforce's quality of life and output by promoting and assessing a change in their canteen meal's nutritional profile and sustainability. Besides improving our dietary intake at work, worksite health promotion initiatives may also lead to improvements in the lifestyles of UR employees and their families should also be carried outside of the workplace. While some offices and factories have resumed their services, this gives us the perfect opportunity to assess our canteens to make a sustainable shift. A study conducted in 2019 by HealthifyMe-a health and fitness app, covered the working-class corporates from major Indian cities like Hyderabad, Chennai, Bengaluru, Kolkata, Delhi, Kolkata and even the remote areas such as Vapi in Gujrat. The eating habits and activity of about 60,000 Indian workers from various sectors in finance, banking, marketing etc. were analysed. Surprisingly, this year-long study stated that a whopping 63 per cent of corporate employees across India are overweight, and their body mass index (BMI) is above 23! This study was an eye-opener to make changes in the food provided at MNCs and SME canteens. Did you know that according to the World Health Organization, the Body Mass Index (BMI) of a healthy person should range between 18.5 and 24.9; a person with a BMI above 25 is defined as overweight, and those with a BMI of 30 or higher are considered to be obese. How Can Workplaces Be Mindful Of Their Canteens, the Environment & Their Employees' Health? The overall aim of inculcating healthy eating practices has a deeper meaning. Along with health, we must also think about how canteen meals are more sustainable in terms of sourcing our ingredients, teaching healthy food choices, portions, while keeping sustainable living as our priority. Here are a few ways SMEs & MNC's can assess their canteen meals and protocols to become more sustainable collectively. Source locally-sourced foods. This is key to supporting our farmers, our planet, improving our food intakes, adds a range of vegetables, fruits, legumes and whole grains in our diet. Review food safety management system plans such as lab testing reports, training reports, cleaning and sanitation records. Food handlers medical report, raw material log report and kitchen equipment( refrigerator, cutlery, oven, blender, etc.) calibration records to determine whether all the equipment being used is sanitised and maintained properly. Sanitisation and food safety handling training sessions can help in training food handlers in MNC's & SME's by our nutritionists. Understand, study and analyse the nutritional profile of the canteen meals. This can be done with the help of our nutritional experts who can help in determining the ideal ratios and types of ingredients which can be modified according to the health requirements. This can also help employees understand where they can make sustainable shifts in their daily food choices, eating patterns and food portions not just at work, but in their homes as well. Assess which food item is being wasted on a daily, weekly or monthly basis. Discontinue the same to avoid food waste. Avoid using one-time-use plastics like plates, glasses, cutlery and plastic bags that increase garbage/waste and end up in our landfills. Use any leftover fruit and vegetable peels to make compost. This can be used to grow UR own produce, eliminating any chances of consuming any contaminated (pesticides-injected) food. Guide UR workforce by setting up nutritionist seminars/virtual conferences, which helps employees become more aware of making healthier food choices. It is more important than ever to build our immune system now to withstand these uncertain times. This type of dietary change program has the potential for considerable access into communities and thereby contribute significantly to larger public health goals in reducing incidences of dietary-related diseases. Did you know that The Pasona Urban Farm in Tokyo is a nine-storey office building which allows employees to grow and harvest their food at work? All of which, is supported and made possible with the help of a team of agriculture experts. In Bangalore, The Manyata Business Park which houses over 90,000 workers across companies such as NVIDIA, Nokia, Cognizant and IBM, have been allotted small patches of land on which they can grow their crops. Now there are also hydroponic kitchen garden setups/startup kits, which give you the free will of growing UR own produce at home, at UR workplace or in your community. This is novel evidence to support further action in worksites in enabling and promoting healthy eating patterns among employees across the contexts of workplaces. Let's all work together to reinforce sustainable practices starting from the grass-root level. If you want to assess your canteen at UR workplace, then you can consult our certified nutritionists to make a sustainable shift at UR workplace and enhance URLife.
How Does UR Brain Affect UR Weight
How Does UR Brain Affect UR Weight Managing optimal weight is a component of maintaining a healthy lifestyle. This is because being obese and overweight are risk factors for several serious illnesses such as cancer, diabetes, high cholesterol, heart attacks, high blood pressure, brain strokes among others. Overweight and obese people, therefore, need to lose weight to minimise the risk of acquiring these lifestyle diseases. Weight loss involves a healthy diet regimen coupled with regular exercises. And the brain plays an essential role in helping people to stick to these activities. This is because there are components by which the brain regulates diet control and eating. Role Of The Hypothalamus The hypothalamus is an endocrine gland positioned in the brain. It is deeply involved in regulating eating behaviour. It has 'satiety' and 'hunger' centres, which make us eat food when hungry and stop, when full. These deal with a variety of chemicals/hormones. Leptin It is also known as the 'hormone of energy expenditure’. It is abundantly made by adipose (fat) cells. It monitors energy balance by prohibiting hunger. Less hunger leads to less food consumption, which eventually means weight loss. Leptin expands its effects by acting on the hypothalamus (arcuate nucleus). Obese people have 'leptin resistance,' which means that hunger is not inhibited, despite the presence of higher levels of leptin, resulting in overeating. This is equal to 'insulin resistance' in diabetic patients. Ghrelin This one is also known as the 'hunger hormone.' Ghrelin acts on the hypothalamus to trigger hunger. Hence, the effect of ghrelin is quite the opposite of that of leptin. After eating, ghrelin levels decline to the lower levels. It rises again before the time of the next meal, to stimulate hunger. So it is always the balance between the levels of leptin and ghrelin that monitor eating behaviour. Cholecystokinin and glucagon-like peptide-1 are released when the food enters the small bowel. So these hormones make us feel full, and we eventually stop eating. Pleasure Centres In The Brain And Eating Behaviour Food is vital for survival; it is a pleasure linked with food that makes eating worthwhile. When we are happy, we eat more! The reverse is also true. When an individual has eaten to his/her heart's desire, there is happiness and satisfaction. Almost in every celebration or party, it involves a good spread of various food items. Happiness combined with eating food; as a result, food accelerated the same reward system of the brain that gets accelerated by other pleasurable activities such as games or watching a movie. The area tangled in a 'reward feeling' is the mesolimbic cortex of the brain and the effects are resolved by a neurotransmitter, dopamine. All types of food stimulate reward centres of the brain. However, the effects are more initiated with sweet items or high-calorie foods such as cakes, chocolates, sweets, aerated soft drinks, etc. This explains why some people crave for more sweets/cakes. The pleasurable sensation associated with eating desserts can force an individual to have them, despite being full. Over a period of time, eating can become an 'addiction' too, similar to smoking or alcohol addiction. A 'food-addicted' person eats purely to experience the pleasurable sensations associated with eating, rather than to satisfy hunger. This behaviour can result in obesity and overweight. Psychiatry and counselling consultation may help in these situations. Role Of Special Senses In Eating Behaviour When it comes to the exclusive and liking of food, plethora of factors play a role. These include the smell, look and taste of food. An aroma of food can be experienced from a distance, which increases the appetite and desire to eat. The taste of good food is vital, as it increases appetite. A dish nicely arranged and well served is very appealing Thus the sensations - sight, smell and taste of food are recognised and appreciated in specific brain centres. Hence, damages or disorders of neurons in these particular brain areas can affect eating behaviour of an individual.
Blood Donation: Should U Do It?
Blood Donation Blood donation is a noble cause and also one of the best ways to know UR body well. Some medical professionals state that donating blood regularly can have a positive impact on health. Donating blood doesn’t necessarily need a reason. It’s more about the vast difference you make in people’s lives. So, knowing what to expect before and after blood donation, can help you prepare for the process. Importance Of Blood Donation Blood donation aims as a voluntary practice that helps those in need of blood transfusion due to an illness or accident. Massive loss of blood can cause an unfortunate death if the requirement isn’t fulfilled immediately. While saving a life is the most highlighted part of donating blood, what makes it essential is the advantages it has on donor’s health. On average, a person can donate up to 4 – 5 litres of blood, after every third month for men and every four months for women. Advantages Of Blood Donation Prevents hemochromatosis Maintains healthy heart & liver Weight loss Anti-cancer Reveals potential health problems Reduces harmful iron stores Stimulates blood cell production Who Can Give Blood? Everyone can give blood if their health condition is excellent. Before you decide to donate blood, these are a few essential things you must keep in mind: Age Weight Health Pregnancy Breastfeeding Your age should be between 18- 65 with at least 50 kgs of weight and not less than that. Health is an essential factor because it is risky to donate blood. Especially if you have an infection or have a chronic ailment such as diabetes if you have recently got a tattoo you can’t donate blood for at least a year. In case of dental procedures, your eligibility for donating blood will depend on how long the process was and how long has it been since you underwent it. If you visited the dentist for a minor procedure, you should wait 24 hours before donating. It is not good idea to donate blood while breastfeeding. Have regular blood pressure and temperature before blood donation. Mandatory Tests & Medical Evaluation Before donating blood, you must undergo a physical examination, to check for any other signs of illnesses or conditions. All donated blood will be screened for blood-borne diseases such as hepatitis, syphilis and HIV. Vital signs–The temperature, blood pressure and pulse of a donor are checked before donating blood. Individuals with high BP, fever, high or low heart rate and who have an irregular heartbeat are temporarily not permitted to donate blood. Blood test – A small blood sample is taken from a finger stick and tested, to check for the number of red cells or the haemoglobin level in the blood. This is done to ensure that the donor is not anaemic, or most likely to become anaemic after they donate. Individuals with low haemoglobin are temporarily not permitted to donate. Many of us think that donating blood is harmful for health, but it has many advantages. Apart from just being noble for the society, blood donation justifies the saying “charity begins at home.” You’re only doing good to yourself by donating blood. So, don’t hesitate to donate blood.
Top 5 Interventions For Managing Asthma
Asthma is known to be a chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). In which, there is an obstruction to the constant airflow into the lungs. This obstruction causes symptoms like coughing, dyspnea and wheezing is observed prominently. These symptoms worsen if patients with asthma are exposed to a substance they are sensitive to or put in situations that challenge their regular breathing pattern. Here are five ways you could manage the trouble. Self-Assessment For patients suffering from asthma, both oral and written advice is helpful. It guides them to recognize the symptoms and signs of asthma and helps in managing it if it is worsening. Through education, anyone can help the patient to gain their confidence and contain asthma. Stepwise Progressive Management In a study conducted by GOAL, it is observed that there is a possibility of attaining total control of asthma. The key to it is utilizing various therapy combinations. The study shows progress by extending the combination therapy for at least three months. It suppresses uncontrolled asthma symptoms. The advantage of combination therapy extends in the ability to control asthma with low corticosteroid doses while minimizing the number of inhalers. SMART (Single Maintenance And Reliever Therapy) The potential benefit of SMART strategy in the fact that the patient will parallelly receive added doses of inhaled corticosteroids along with a bronchodilator. These doses, when used with a combined inhaler for relief from a symptom. The medication will target anti-inflammatory cells to treat periods of defectively controlled asthma. Airway Inflammation Assessment To control airway inflammation, the method of non-invasive biomarkers has administered an alternative way to patient-driven symptom management for the evaluation of asthma. With this non-invasive airway sampling technique, patients with refractory asthma and chronic cough can be managed. Airway inflammation can be assessed too. Other Novel Therapeutic Options The options include thermal bronchoplasty, tumour necrosis factor-alpha, antifungal agents or IL-5 and monoclonal antibodies targeting IgE. Yet, due to their invasive nature, there are adverse side effects and is not cost-effective. The treatments play a limited role in the management of patients with asthma and usually followed in patients with difficulty related to asthma.
All About Sickle Cell Disease
The word sickle cell means the red blood cells take the shape of a sickle or crescent moons making it difficult for these cells to move around easily through the blood vessels. This slows down or could even block the adequate flow of oxygen and blood to the different parts of the body causing health problems. In adults the haemoglobin is of three variants: • HbA: This involves a significant portion of 95 to 98 per cent • HbA2: This involves 1.5 per cent to 3.5 per cent • HbF: This involves less than 2 per cent and is age dependent Haemoglobin is a tetrameric protein composed of two pairs of globin chains each with a heme group. In sickle cell disease or sickle cell anaemia, there is a point mutation of the beta-globin chain, thus impacting in replacement of glutamic acid to valine residue in the beta-globin which causes sickling of the RBC. Sickle haemoglobin is HbS which is responsible for sickle cell disease. It leads to micro- vasculature obstruction and tissue damage. Sickle cell disease is a group of blood disorders typically inherited from a person's parents. Causes Sickle cell disease is an inherited disorder causing red blood cell distortion, destruction. The inheritance is homozygous for sickle cell disease if transferred from both the patients. If inheritance from one parent impacts in the milder form, it is called sickle cell trait (Hb AS). The HbSS molecules (RBC) build up into polymers when deoxygenated, yet giving rise to chronic haemodialysis, microvascular occlusions at the same time tissue damage. During deoxygenation, the cytoplasm in red blood cell/RBC turns from free-flowing liquid into viscous gel and assemble themselves into long needle-like fibres within RBC and produce a sickle shape. ________________________________________ Symptoms Young patients will show signs of the following: • Weakness • Jaundice (due to RBC destruction) • Painful bones (due to hypoxia caused by microvascular occlusion due to haemolysis) • Fever, cough and chest pain if the lungs are involved • Erectile dysfunction in males after puberty • Stroke • Retinopathy, loss of vision and blindness • Shock due to rapid splenic enlargement • Worsening of anaemia and aplasia if there is an infection by a virus, especially parvovirus B19 • The patient loses the ability to concentrate urine and thus becomes dehydrated and the vicious cycle continues Diagnosis, Treatment And Complications Diagnosis • Prenatal diagnosis by analysis of fetal DNA by amniocentesis or chorionic biopsy • Haemoglobin electrophoresis • High-performance liquid chromatography Treatment • Mainly by giving hydroxyurea (which is a DNA synthesis inhibitor), it increases levels of HbF and thus decreases HbS levels; it also has an anti-inflammatory effect • Blood transfusions if anemia is severe • As it is a genetic disorder, hematopoietic stem cell transplantation is the cure Complications • Increased infections • Congestive heart failure • Stroke
Everything You Need To Know About Brain Tumours
What is a brain tumour? A tumour, in general, is a collection of abnormal cells in your any part of the body. Brain tumours are located inside the skull. The skull encloses the brain, which is very rigid! Any abnormal growth inside this restricted space can cause problems. Brain tumours can be cancerous (malignant) or noncancerous (benign). When benign or malignant tumours grow, they increase the pressure inside your skull. This additional pressure can cause brain damage and can be life-threatening. Brain tumours are categorized as primary or secondary. A primary brain tumour originates in your brain. Many primary brain tumours are benign. Metastatic brain tumour, also known as a secondary brain tumour occurs when the cancer cells spread to the brain from a different organ of the body. Types of brain tumours Primary brain tumours originate in your brain. They can develop from your: • brain cells • membranes surrounding your brain, which is called meninges • nerve cells • glands Primary tumours can either be benign or cancerous. Gliomas and meningiomas are common types of brain tumours in adults. Gliomas Gliomas are tumours that develop from glial cells. These cells normally: • provide nutrition to your central nervous system • supports the structure of the central nervous system • break down dead neurons • clean cellular waste Gliomas tumours can develop from different types of glial cells. Other primary brain tumours Other primary brain tumours include: • Pituitary tumours, which are usually benign • Pineal gland tumours, which can be benign or malignant • Ependymomas are generally benign • Craniopharyngiomas occur mostly in children and could be benign, but these can change clinical symptoms like in vision or premature puberty • Primary central nervous system (CNS) lymphomas that are malignant • Primary germ cell tumours of the brain can be benign or malignant • Meningiomas originate in the meninges • Schwannomas arise in cells that produce the protective cover of your nerves (myelin sheath) called Schwann cells Risk factors for brain tumours Family history About 5 to 10 per cent of all cancers are genetically inherited, or hereditary. It’s rare for a brain tumour to be inherited genetically. Seek a specialist doctor if several people in your family have been diagnosed with a brain tumour. Your doctor might recommend a genetic counsellor in that case. Age With age, the risk toward most types of brain tumours increases as well. Race Brain tumours, in general, are the most common in Caucasians. However, African-Americans are also more likely to find meningiomas. Chemical exposure Being exposed to certain chemicals, even those that you find at your work environment can increase the risk for brain cancer. Exposure to radiation People exposed to ionizing radiation have an increased risk of brain tumours. Ionizing radiation can occur through high-radiation cancer therapies. Radiation from nuclear fallout has similar effects. In the past, the nuclear power plant incidents in Fukushima and Chernobyl gives testament to how people can be exposed to ionizing radiation. What are the symptoms of a brain tumour? Symptoms of brain tumours depend on the location and size of the tumour. Some tumours cause direct damage by invading brain tissue, and some tumours cause pressure on the surrounding brain. You’ll have noticeable symptoms when a growing tumour creates pressure on the brain tissue. Headache is the tell-tale sign of a brain tumour. You may experience headaches that: • occur while you’re sleeping • are worse in the morning after waking up • are worse while coughing, sneezing, or exercising You may also experience: • Blurred vision or double vision • vomiting • Confusion • Weakness in a part of the face or limb • Seizures (especially in adults) • A change in mental functioning Symptoms of pituitary tumours The following symptoms can occur with pituitary tumours: • Nipple discharge, or galactorrhea • Development of breast tissue in men • Lack of menstruation in women • Enlargement of the hands and feet • increased amounts of body hair, or hirsutism • Sensitivity to heat or cold • Low blood pressure • Blurry vision or tunnel vision • Obesity How are brain tumours diagnosed? The diagnosis starts with a physical exam and a look at your medical history. They conclude the following, • muscle strength • memory • coordination • logical ability The doctor may order more tests after they finish the physical exam. These could include: CT scan of the head MRI of the head Angiography Skull X-rays Biopsy Treatment of brain tumours The treatment of a brain tumour depends on: • the type of tumour • the size of the tumour • the location of the tumour • your general health The most common treatment for malignant brain tumours is surgery. The primary goal is to remove as many cancer cells as possible without causing damage or complications to the healthy parts of the brain. Sometimes, the location of some tumours allows for easy and safe removal. Other tumours may be located in an area that limits how much of the tumour can be removed. It is seen that even the partial removal of brain cancer cells can be beneficial. The risks associated with brain surgery include infection and bleeding. Clinically dangerous benign tumours are also surgically removed. Metastatic brain tumours are treated according to the cancer present in the body. If surgery is suggested, it is most likely to be combined with other treatments, like chemotherapy and radiation therapy. After neurosurgery, physical therapy, speech therapy and occupational therapy help you to recover.