Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Happy New Year - 2009

Let us pray for the Peace, Happiness and Prosperity throughout the World. Let God decorate every ray of the sun reaching you with the fragrance of success and prosperity for you.
Keep smiling and rocking in 2K9.
Wish you a “Very Happy New Year”
Dr. Rayat

Monday, December 29, 2008

Physical Properties Of Some Radioisotopes Used In Medical Field

There are about two dozen radioisotopes finding their use in medical diagnosis and treatment. Here is a list of physical properties of these radioactive isotopes. The list could be beneficial for the students of radiation science.

Physical Properties of some Radioisotopes

The radioisotopes available as mixed with stable isotope from the same element and are called carrier radioisotopes and those available as free from any stable isotope are called carrier free radioisotopes. The carrier free radioactive chemical may contain many milliCuries (mCi) of radiation energy in a few milligrams (mg) of chemical. The radioactive iodine (131I) used in the treatment of hyperthyriodism (hyperactivity of thyroid gland) and evaluation of thyroid function should be carrier free or nearly so.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Penetration Power Of Radiation Energies

The penetration power of the radiation energy is related to the type of radiation. The radioactive chemicals emit radiation in the form of particles or rays and the penetration power of these particles or rays in the tissues of our body varies due to variation in the energy of these particles or rays. The alpha (α) particles can not penetrate more than a few micrometers in our body tissue, and are of little practical importance in medicine. The beta negative (β-) and beta positive (β+) particles have penetrating power varying from 100 to 500 micrometers (mm) as in case of radiations of Carbon-14 (14C) and Sulphur-35 (35S) to over a centimeter (cm) as in case of Yttrium-90 (90Y) radioisotope. The beta negative (β-) particles from Gold-198 (198Au), Gold-199 (199Au) and Iodine (Iodine-125, 130, 131, 132 etc) have a penetration power in tissues ranging from 1 to 3 millimeters (mm). The gamma rays (g-rays) are like x-rays and are usually very penetrating. The energy range of gamma rays (g-rays) is almost equal to that from 40 kilovolt (KV) to 3 megavolt (MV) x-ray machines. Negative beta (b-) particles may or may not have accompanying gamma rays (g-rays). The gamma rays (g-rays) emitted by a particular radioisotope would always have the same penetrating power or energy. The positrons or positive beta (b+) particles in addition to possible gamma rays (g-rays) are always accompanied by 50 KV x-rays.

Quantity of radioactive material is always expressed in terms of radioactive disintegrations per second. The major unit of expression of radioactivity represents 37 billion (37 x109) disintegrations per second and is called Curie (Ci). One thousandth (1/1000) part of a Curie is called milliCurie (mCi) and one thousandth (1/1000) part of a milliCurie is called microCurie (mCi). Brief description of these units is as below:

  1. Curie (Ci): 37x109 disintegrations per second

  2. milliCurie (mCi): 37x106 disintegrations per second

  3. microCurie (mCi): 37x103 disintegrations per second

There are quite many radioisotopes used in medical practice as a therapy and also in medical diagnostic procedures. The quantities of radioactive materials used in therapy are in milliCuries (mCi) and those used in diagnostic procedures is in microCuries (mCi).

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

What Is Radioactive Decay Or Half Life Of A Radioisotope

Radioactive isotopes or radioisotopes of an element are always in the process of nuclear disintegration in order to acquire the stable form. The major unit of radioactivity is Curie (Ci) which means 37x109 disintegrations per second. One thousandth (1/1000) part of a Curie is called milliCurie (mCi) and one thousandth (1/1000) part of a milliCurie is called microCurie (mCi). Other units of the radioactivity will be discussed in some other article. The radioactive chemical is being expressed in terms of radioactivity it possessed at the time (0 hour) of evaluation and labeling. Every radioisotope undergoes decay or nuclear disintegration at a uniform rate and the time after which it loses the half of its activity is called its Half Life.

Radioactivity is linked to per unit mass or volume of radioactive chemical. The radioactive Half Life could be a few hours, days or many years. For example 24Na has a Half Life of 15 hours, 125I has a Half Live of 60 days, 60Co has a Half Live of 5.2 years and 14C has a Half Live of 5730 years. If 1gram of a radioactive chemical has 2Ci radioactivity at 0-hour, it would be reduced to 50% (1Ci) after the completion of 1st Half Life, 25% after completion of 2nd Half Life, 12.5% after the completion of 3rd Half Life and 6.25% after the completion of 4th Half Life and goes on reducing to 50% on the completion of successive Half Lives as depicted below, through the Radioactivity Decay Graph.

However the mass or volume of the radioisotope would not under go any change with the reduction in radioactivity due to passage of time and completion of successive Half Lives one after the other. Preparation of Radioactivity Decay Graph is must for the radioisotope users to workout the radioactivity at a particular time or date with respect to the Half Life of a radioisotope.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

What Is Meant By Radioactive Disintegration

Radioactive disintegration is a process of nuclear disintegration of a radioisotope in its effort to achieve a stable nucleus. We know that in the naturally available radioactive elements there are only two kinds of particles which could be ejected from its atoms:

  1. The alpha (a) particle, which is really the nucleus of a Helium atom (4He) and carries away 4 mass particle and 2 atomic particles.

    ZXA - 2a4 = Z-2XA

    Here X represents chemical symbol, Z is atomic number and A is mass number.

  2. The other particle which could be ejected is beta (b) particle, which is an electron. It does not however, comes from an orbit, but from a neutron, which under certain circumstances, dissociates into a proton and an electron. The electron is not tolerated in the nucleus and is ejected immediately, but an extra positive charge (neutron replaced by a proton) is left in the nucleus. The new atom now has the same mass but the atomic number one higher than the old or previously possessed by it.

    ZXA - -1b0 = Z+1XA

Uranium, Thorium and Radium are the best known naturally occuring radioactive elements. In 1934 it was documented that it was possible to create isotopes and radioisotopes by bombarding the stable elements with high energy subatomic particles. Except Hydrogen and Helium more than two isotopes have been created from every element by artificial manipulations. There are 21 isotopes of Iodine ranging from 119I to 139I and out of these 20 are radioactive isotopes or radioisotopes except 127I.

The artificially created radioactive isotopes or radioisotopes have the same radiations as those of natural ones. Some of them also emit protons or beta+ (b+) particles.

ZXA - +1b0 = Z-1XA

Radioactive disintegration of radioisotopes results in the emission of only one type of above mentioned particles and radiation like x-rays called gamma (g) rays. The atoms of any particular radioactive element are destined to emit the same kind of radiation till its total disintegration; there is no way to switch on to any other type of radiation.

How The Structure Of Matter Is Associated With Radioactivity

We know that the matter is made up of elements. The smallest part of any element is its atom. Atoms are composed of a positively charged nucleus containing protons (positively charged subatomic particles) and neutrons (inert particles), and around the nucleus, there are orbital electrons (negatively charged subatomic particles). In 1896 Bacquerel discovered the phenomenon of radioactivity in the atoms of some elements. The mass of an atom is represented by its nucleus that is the sum of protons (positively charged subatomic particles) and neutrons (inert particles) in the nucleus. Each element has been allotted a chemical symbol and its atomic number is fixed. The number of electrons is always equal to the number of protons in the nucleus of an atom and this number stands for the atomic number of an atom. Mass of an electron is 1/1800 of the mass of a proton on atomic scale. The atoms in some of the elements have natural variation in mass number and that made them unstable or radioactive.

Isotopes: Atoms of a particular element not have to be exactly alike in terms of mass number. In such atoms the things that must be alike are the number of protons (positively charged subatomic particles) in the nucleus or the nuclear charge and the number of orbital electrons (negatively charged subatomic particles). But the number of neutrons (inert particles) may vary and hence atomic mass may vary in a narrow range. Atoms of the same element with same atomic number but with different number of neutrons (inert particles) are called isotopes. A single chemical symbol of an element is not sufficient to represent an isotope. The chemical symbol along with a superscript at the upper left or right, depicting the mass number and lower left depicting the atomic number, represents an isotope; however, it is not necessary to mention atomic number to depict an isotope, as 51Cr represents an isotope of Chromium. Each element has a unique atomic number but the mass number may vary depending on the number of the isotopes of that element. An element generally has only one stable isotope.

Radioactivity: Majority of the elements found naturally have stable atoms. The atoms of the elements never change unless they are attacked with subatomic particles from outside; however, some of the atoms in some heavy elements are inherently unstable. The unstable atoms are called radioactive isotopes or radioisotopes. The nucleus of the radioactive atom or radioisotope undergoes disintegration with the ejection of tiny particle accompanied by electromagnetic radiation. After disintegration the rest of the material of the nucleus rearranges itself and becomes the nucleus of a different element.

Are We Born Vegetarian Or Non-vegetarian

The natural features of an animal are considered to define its vegetarian of non-vegetarian instinct. The cattle eat grass, plant leaves and soft branches rich in cellulose. Cellulose is digested by these animals as their digestive system secrete cellulase enzyme required for the breakdown of cellulose. So, cattle are vegetarian in nature as they are capable of digesting cellulose rich food due to the presence of cellulase in their stomach where as cellulose is not produced in our stomach, so, we are not vegetarian. On the contrary the teeth of non-vegetarian animals are pointed and sharp but human beings do not have such teeth, so, we are not non-vegetarian also. If you go through the theory of evolution you would find that man had been evolved out of monkey, so our dietary habits and instinct should be like those of monkeys. Monkeys eat fruits and are fruitarian, so we are also fruitarian like our ancestors.

If we eat only fresh fruits like monkeys, we would be more healthy, active and energetic. Fruits are rich in good quality sugar, the fructose which is quickly metabolized. Fruits are the natural and the richest source of minerals and vitamins. Citrus fruits like orange and lemon are rich source of vitamin-C. Red and yellow fruits and vegetables like papaya, tomatoes and carrots are rich in vitamin-A. Vitamin-B, C, folic acid and minerals are almost in all fruits. Bananas are rich in calcium. Grapes are a natural source of calcium, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, iron, sugar and antioxidants. If you go through the history of mankind, you would find that ancient saints used to live in forests and eat lot of fresh fruits and raw vegetables (salad) instead of cooked food and lived longer than us. Antioxidants present in fruits are known to slow down the ageing process, so it is always beneficial to eat fruits for health and longevity.

Eating fruits is better than drinking fruit juice since the chewing action would add saliva to the fruit pulp in our mouth and initiate digestive process. Eating fruits is good for the health of our gums and teeth since fruits are non sticky. Dry fruits are rich source of good fat and minerals also. Diabetics can eat dry fruits and less sweet fruits like melons and oranges in addition to salad (tomatoes, cucumber, onions, radish and cabbage). Apples and guavas are available through out the year and are rich source of vitamin-C, iron and other minerals. People suffering from chronic constipation should eat fruits and salad before any cooked meal for the beneficial effect of fruits in alleviating the constipation.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

What Is The Cause Of Dengue Fever And How Can We Prevent It

Malaria, Dengue and Chikungunya are post rainy season maladies and are spread by mosquitoes. Dengue fever is caused by a virus called Dengue virus and is transmitted from an infected person to a normal person by Aedes aegypti mosquitoes. Aedes aegypti mosquitoes are more active during the morning hours. The Dengue infection could be a serious problem and need hospitalization if platelet count of the blood patient falls below 30000/ml
leading to bleeding in side the body. There may also be a fall in blood pressure of the patient during dengue fever. Chikungunya is also transmitted by Aedes aegypti mosquitoes. Chikungunya is characterized by rash, fever and severe joint pains like dengue fever. However, chikungunya is not as severe as dengue fever. Incubation period between the infected mosquito bites and dengue fever or chikungunya is 10 to 12 days and the course of fever runs for a week generally.

Suspect dengue in case of sudden onset of high grade fever and chills associated with headache and pain in muscles, joints and back. In some cases there could be purplish-red rash on lower limbs and chest. There may also be abdominal pain and diarrhea. The key to accurate and effective treatment is accurate, quick and early diagnosis. If anybody has fever with above cited symptoms, quickly get investigated for dengue. In malaria we look for the direct evidence of malarial parasites in the peripheral blood films but in case of dengue fever, indirect diagnosis is made based on the exploration of anti-dengue antibodies in the patient's blood or serum by ELISA (Enzyme Linked Immuno-sorbent Assay) or viral DNA by PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction). The aforesaid methods need at least one day to make a diagnosis of dengue infection. A technique called Loop Mediated Isothermal Amplification Procedure (LAMP) is probably under developmental stage and could be helpful in achieving the diagnosis of dengue within one hour. Use mosquito net at night as well as mosquito repellent vaporizers to save your self from mosquito bites in endemic areas. Wear protective clothing and keep your feet covered while on a morning or evening walk. All mosquito borne diseases could be prevented through coordinated efforts of the public and the vector control organizations through out the world.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Malaria: Prevention Is Better Than Cure

Malaria could be a serious and life threatening disease if not diagnosed and treated properly. Treatment of malaria had been known to general physicians even before the discovery of causative organism, the Plasmodium, a parasite. The parasite of malaria was discovered by Laveran in 1880 and in 1898, Sir Ronald Ross worked out the mosquito cycle with parasite of birds. There are four known species of malarial parasite causing malaria in human beings. These species are Plasmodium vivax, Plasmodium ovale, Plasmodium falciparum and Plasmodium malariae. Infection is caused by bites of infected female Anopheles mosquitoes. The incubation period for P. vivax and P. ovale is around two weeks, for P. falciparum 8-12 days and for P. malariae incubation period is three to four weeks. The surest way of diagnosing malaria is through microscopic examination of peripheral blood film. Anyone having high grade fever (around 104 to 105o F) and chills should get tested for malaria. Febrile paroxysm (bout of fever) starts generally in the early afternoon however it may start at any time if mixed infection (infection of two or more malarial parasite species). Malarial parasites of animals (P. berghei of rats and mice, P. knowlesi of monkeys etc) do not infect human beings. Each paroxysm shows a succession of three stages:

  1. The cold stage: Lasting 20 minutes to one hour.

  2. The hot stage: Lasting one hour to 4 hours.

  3. The sweating stage: Lasting 2 to 3 hours.

The total duration of the febrile cycle could be from 6 to 10 hours. The febrile cycle may vary with the species of malarial parasite. Malarial parasites are found in all countries extending from 40o south to 60o north. The tropical zone is the endemic home of all malarial parasites infecting man. Prevention: Malaria eradication could only be possible through coordinated efforts of the people and the government agencies involved in the control of mosquitoes since malaria is a serious public health problem in all the tropical and subtropical regions of the world. If you go through the pages of the history of science and malaria, you would find that malaria had taken more human lives than any other disease. To control mosquito breeding always keep storage water tanks covered with mosquito tight lids. Larvae eating fish (gambusia or guppy) should be introduced in stagnant water ponds. Insecticides should be sprayed regularly at home, the work place and drains. Use mosquito nets at night and protective clothing during the day time. Consult your physician and take prophylactic medicine if malaria is endemic. Prevention is always better than cure since it saves our money, time and health.

Astronomy: A Heritage Of The Mankind

The Astronomy and astrology had remained fascinating and distinct achievements of the mankind form the time immemorial. Ever since the days of Aryabhata, Indian astronomers been remained in the fore front in the world, who could predict the lunar eclipse as well as the solar eclipse with an accuracy of a few hours. The solar eclipse fair at Kurukshetra (Haryana State, India) has been held from the days of Mahabharta with an accurate prediction of the day of the solar eclipse year after year. The United Nations has declared the year 2009 as the International year of Astronomy (IYA 2009) to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the astronomical use of telescope by Galileo Galilei, the inventor of the telescope. However the history of science for the chance invention of the telescope goes in favor of a Dutch spectacle maker, Hans Lippershey who in 1608, by chance combined a convex and a concave lens and noticed the magnification of the image of an object. Hans Lippershey failed to get his product patented well in time. International Astronomical Union shall be celebrating IAY 2009 throughout the world with its strong team of over 1000 astronomers. There is a great enthusiasm among the astronomers the world over. The event would provide an opportunity to the young astronomers to learn the scientific revelations of the parallel universes. Over 100 nations are probably going to participate in the mega events of the 400th anniversary of the astronomical use of telescope, the IYA 2009.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Nerve Injuries And Repair Of Nerves

Nerve injuries are very common in accidental cases and may cause significant morbidity in patients. There are two types of nerves in our body: a) sensory nerves and b) motor nerves. Sensory nerves are associated with the feeling of touch, pressure, hot, cold, taste, vision and smell whereas the motor nerves control the contraction of muscles and mobility of our body parts under the control of our will. Peripheral nerve injuries may lead to lack of muscular control and mobility of our arms, legs, hand or feet. Nerve fibre regeneration and reconstruction is there in clinical practice since the late 19th Century. Nerve fibre regeneration after focal nerve injury varies with age, site and type of lesion. If the nerve ends could be approximated without any difficulty, end to end repair is possible. End to end repair is routinely practiced procedure for the repair of injured nerves. The situation becomes difficult in case of gap between the ends of the injured nerve. In such cases the options available are nerve graft or end to side repair using an adjoining nerve or nerve conduits.

In case of peripheral nerve injuries restoration of motor functions is considered useful for the patient. There may be needed to sacrifice a sensory nerve for restoring motor function by nerve grafting. Harvesting of sensory nerve for nerve graft to restore a motor function will create a non sensory zone in the patient. In cases of facial nerve reconstruction, the procedure of choice is end to side neurorrhaphy. Neurorrhaphy is a procedure wherein injured nerve is sutured to an intact nerve in its vicinity after transecting the distal segment provided the nerve is close to the neuromuscular junction. There is a great role of cellular and biochemical factors as myelin required for ensheathment of nerves undergoing repair and regeneration is produced by Schwann cells. End to side anastomosis with an adjoining healthy nerve is a new technique coupled with plastic surgery features and inputs. Only an experienced plastic surgeon with expertise in nerve repair surgical procedure or neurorrhaphy could be helpful.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Eat Less And Live Longer Than Expected

The quality of life is most important aspect of our life. It is a proven fact that if we eat less, we would definitely live longer than expected. The average life expectancy is around 70 years but health fitness and mobility is important to cherish the comforts of life. Human body is like an industrial town capable of processing and synthesizing a number of products for the propagation of life and heath. Each organ in our body has been assigned a particular function required to be performed for maintaining homeostasis. Proper vaccination is the very first important responsibility in life to save ourselves from infectious diseases. If you are adequately immunized only then you could think of the measures for improving your life expectancy.

Regular exercise and diet control minimize load on our organs and this way retard the aging process. The less we eat the less will be the requirement of digestive juices or enzymes for digestion; so our organs would not be exhausting in their respective actions. In this way we conserve the potency of our internal organs which leads to longevity. Brisk walking and cycling could be the best choice for exercise as it does not involve major expenditure and good for all age groups. The strategy of eating less is also known as calorie restriction protocol. Intake of low calorie diet in rats has shown marvelous results it terms of longevity and reduction in susceptibility to diseases like diabetes and cancer and controlling obesity. Optimal nutrition is must for all but calorie restriction protocol advocates the need to eat less, in the range of 25 to 40 percent less than what your body needs daily as per your body mass. As a rough estimate an adult needs 1800 to 2000 calories daily and 25 percent of the same would be 1350 to 1500 calories.

Fresh fruits and vegetables are a rich source of low calorie diet with high fibre content. Fruits and vegetables contain hundreds of known and unknown substances capable of protecting us from cancer and premature aging. Almost all fruits contain vitamin C, an antioxidant and immunopotentiator. Pomegranates are rich in antioxidant and immunopotentiator substances. Antioxidants reduce inflammation and the risk of heart disease. Tomatoes must be included in your daily diet. Tomatoes contain a substance called lycopene which has anti cancer properties. Tomatoes are also a rich source of vitamins A, C and E and potassium. Eat less, sleep well, exercise regularly and care your body to live longer than expected. Health awareness is a key to fitness and longevity.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Look Young And Pretty In Minutes

There is nothing bad if you want to look younger than your age. In fact all men and women have this feeling of looking younger. Medical science has the answer to fulfill your desire and you will look young and pretty in minutes. Cosmetics are just for artificial beauty and face lift, but sustainable beauty and healthy skin could be achieved with Botox and dermal filler treatment. Facial lines and wrinkles are the most visible signs of aging and it is possible to correct these with Botox and dermal filler treatment. Frown lines above your nose, crow's feet lines at the corners of your eyes and fore head lines now can be treated successfully with Botox. Botox is derived from a microorganism called Clostridium botulinum and comes in an inject-able form. Botox is injected into tiny facial muscles. It is not so painful procedure. Botox relax the facial muscles and gives you the young look. However, the procedure should be done by a trained medical professional. Dermal filler contains hyaluronic acid, a natural substance. Hyaluronic acid is also present in our body and is not a harmful substance. There are other dermal fillers also. The effect of dermal fillers lasts for 9 months to one year. Consult an expert dermatologist for best results and look young for ever.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Treatment Of Acne Scars And Chickenpox Scars

Acne scars and chickenpox scars sometimes are very pronounced. Chickenpox scars could be more pronounced and ugly as compared to acne scars. Everyone especially the women are striving to look beautiful and younger but the scars sometimes may lead to depressed feelings. There is nothing to worry about since the modern medicine has multiple options to treat chickenpox scars as well as the acne scars. Procedures like microdermabrasion, laser assisted scar revision, chemical peeling and punch elevation are available. A suitable procedure could be carried out after clinical assessment and evaluation of skin type. These procedures are also capable of treating hyperpigmentation of skin characterized by black to brownish black pigmentation. Oily skin and dry skin need a different type of treatment. However, a patch test is must before a chemical peeling treatment to rule out allergy to chemicals. Pre and post treatment care is must for the best results. Consult an expert dermatologist for the best results and get rid of acne scars and chickenpox scars.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Cataract Is An Aging Complication

Frankly speaking, the cataract (opacity of the lens of an eye) is not a disease but an aging complication of eyes. Cataract may occur in majority of people in older age group. You may call it an invisible sign of aging which impair our vision. However, incidence is more in patients affected by diabetes and hypertension. Industrial works having exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation are probably at risk of developing cataract early in life. Excessive use of eye drops containing steroids could also increase the chances of developing cataract faster. Each of our eyes contains a transparent lens. As the age advances or we cross the age of 50 years, the lens of one or both the eyes may start becoming opaque, impairing our vision as the light may not pass onto the retina of our eye. Blurring of images, difficulty in night driving and double vision are the signs of cataract and anybody with these signs of cataract should consult an eye specialist. Nothing to worry. Cataract is 100 per cent treatable through eye surgery.

Cataract surgery is done under local anesthesia of eye and takes less than 30 minutes. In cataract surgery opaque lens of the eye is removed and an artificial new lens is implanted in the eye. Phacoemulsification is a new and advanced technique of cataract surgery employed in majority of the eye care centers through out the world. Phacoemulsification technique is a stitch less and painless procedure of cataract surgery. Majority of the cases could be operated with anesthetic eye drops and only very old people may need inject-able local anesthesia. In phacoemulsification the opaque lens of the affected eye is emulsified and sucked out through a small hole and the new lens is implanted through the same small hole. Results of phacoemulsification technique of cataract surgery are documented to be excellent even in immature or partially developed cataract. The phacoemulsification surgery is not a costly procedure. Patient may move to his home within 2 hours of surgery. Eye drops medication for one to two weeks with a follow up evaluation and refraction for glasses and your vision is perfect. Take special of your eyes and avoid self medication and injudicious use of eye drops containing steroids.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Food For Health And Fitness

Health is not mere absence of disease or infirmity but a state of complete physical, mental and social well being. An optimal amount of balanced diet is essential for individuals of all age groups. Environmental factors do influence our dietary requirements. Food is essential to build up the body to make it fit for wear and tear and cope with environmental conditions and infectious agents. Food acts as fuel for the production of heat and energy in our body. Our nutritional requirements include adequate proportions of protein, carbohydrates, fat, water, minerals and vitamins.

Daily requirement of an adult is in the range of 60 to 80 grams of protein, 300 to 400 grams of carbohydrates (starches and sugars), 70 to 100 grams of fat, 3-5 grams of salt and minerals and some milligrams/units of vitamins. Vitamins are an integral part of some food stuffs. Proteins are of two types. Animal proteins are rich in essential amino-acids, but plant proteins lack certain essential amino-acids. There are 8 essential amino-acids and a complete protein food should contain at least 5 of them. We require a mixed diet that is a diet consisting of foodstuffs derived from animals and plants as no single article of food contains all the essential proportions of diet materials cited above. Milk and cheese are rich source of casein, a protein. Eggs and meat are rich source of essential amino-acids containing proteins. Other sources of proteins are Soya beans, pulses and agar-agar. Water constitutes 80 to 85 per cent of our daily diet intake. Fruits and vegetables are rich source of carbohydrates, minerals and vitamins. Vegetable oils are source of fat with unsaturated fatty acids. Different foodstuffs have different heat generating value that is Caloric value. One gram of protein has a heat value of 4 Calories, 1 gram of carbohydrate also has 4 Calories and 1 gram of fat has a heat value of 9 Calories. The Caloric value of a balanced diet for an adult male per day should be 2500 to 3000 Calories. A woman needs about 2200 Calories daily for good health and fitness.

Is Noninvasive Coronary Angiography Possible

Yes, noninvasive coronary angiography is possible. Those who are not interested for trans radial coronary angiography or coronary angiography through femoral artery may opt for noninvasive coronary angiography which is performed by Computed Tomography Scan (CT Scan) procedure. The dazzling resolution and speed of 64-slice CT Scan is capable of imaging the cardiovascular system. Through computer aided software it is possible to freeze the cardiac motion to achieve the diagnosis of coronary artery disease. Through CT Scan 64 thin slices, each with 360-degree rotation of the x-ray tube are achieved. The entire heart could be imaged with in 6 to 8 minutes as one slice image takes hardly 0.35 seconds. After the scan, the data is processed with image handling software on the CT workstation using volume rendering technique. Noninvasive coronary angiography is cost effective and less time consuming. One may have second opinion on the diagnosis before going for treatment.

Cause of Coronary Artery Disease: Coronary artery disease (CAD) occurs when the arteries that supply blood to the heart muscle become hardened and narrowed down due to deposition of fat or plaques. The arteries that supply blood to the heart muscle are called coronary arteries. The buildup of plaque on the inner side of coronary arteries is known as atherosclerosis. Enormous increase in the size of plaque may lead to partial or complete blockage of a coronary artery, thereby reducing the flow of oxygenated blood to the cardiac muscle. Lack of oxygen supply and nutrients to the cardiac muscle may result in angina. Long duration of CAD may weaken the heart muscle and cause heart failure or arrhythmias. Heart failure means the heart is unable to pump the required amount of blood to various parts of body and does not advocate the complete cessation of function of heart. Arrhythmias means changes in the normal beating rhythm of the heart or apex beat. In some cases, the first sign of the CAD may be a heart attack. A heart attack may happen when a blood clot formed due to broken plaque completely blocks a coronary artery.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Parkinson’s Disease And Ayurvedic Treatment

Parkinson's disease is a neuromuscular disorder that could affect individuals of both the sexes in advanced age. It is a sort of motor neuron disorder. By the time primary symptoms of Parkinson's disease (PD) like tremors or trembling of hands, arms and legs appear; more than 60 per cent of dopamine producing cells of brain would have been lost. Postural instability stuttering of voice and stiffness of limbs and trunk are other signs of Parkinson's disease. Dopamine has been established as an important messenger of brain for coordinating motor neuron function. There are two types of neurons in our body. The neurons which carry impulses out from the brain to the tissues are called efferent neurons and the neurons
which carry impulses to the brain from the tissues are called afferent neurons. Efferent neurons which supply impulses to the muscles and produce movement are called motor neurons and which supply impulses to the glands and produce secretion are called secretory neurons. Afferent neurons are also known as sensory neurons since these help us to assess a feeling of touch, pain and heat or cold. Incidence of PD is more in men as compared to women. Sometimes early signs of the disease could be confused with other neurological problems and may go unnoticed. Patients may find tremors or shaky movements in any one side of their body or in limbs even at rest. People suffering from PD need support and encouragement to tide over emotional stress. Massaging and exercise could be of great help to rehabilitate a patient suffering from Parkinson's disease. Physiotherapy and confidence building counseling are always fruitful for these patients. The nature has blessed the mankind with herbs for treatment of all ailments. Ayurvedic masters have explored the medicinal values of different parts of medicinal plants to great extent. Use of Ashwagandha or Ginseng (Withania samnifera) have been described as an effective herbal treatment for PD. Beans of Kapikachhu (Mucuna pruiens) have also been found to be treatment of choice for PD since
these are rich in L-dopa and have been validated through experimental studies. Gaduchi (Tinosporia cordifolia) and Jyotishmati (Celestrus paniculatum) are other herbs which could provide effective treatment in PD. An experienced Ayurvedic physician could be of great help to fight off the complications of Parkinson's disease.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Dental Implant Is Better Than Partial Denture For Missing Tooth

We are destined to have only two sets of teeth in our life. The temporary set of teeth is completed between the age of 2 to 2.5 years. The temporary teeth are twenty in number, ten in each jaw. Permanent teeth are thirty-two in number, sixteen in each jaw and start coming through at the age of 6 years. The permanent set should be completed at the age of 14 years. The teeth should always be taken care and cleaned twice daily. The accidents or some oral
diseases can not be avoided where a tooth or some teeth are lost or need to be extracted. Now you could have two options for replacement of missing tooth a) removable tooth or b) permanent dental implant. Dental implant is the greatest advancement of modern dental medicine. Dental implants are customized and specially designed and manufactured from titanium and surgically implanted to replace the missing tooth. The success rate of dental implant fixation and tolerance is 100 per cent. These give more natural appearance and easy to clean. Dental implants are becoming preferred option among patients with missing teeth.

Dental implant placement time may vary on case basis. In some cases implant can be done in a single sitting, however, it may also take 6 weeks including final crown fixing. A single stage implant could go all the way through gum at the initial placement and in many cases it is safe to place the implant and the crown in a single sitting. If you have missing tooth, dental implant could be simple, predictable and everlasting solution to your problem. Keep smiling keep healthy.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Trans Radial Coronary Angiography Is Better Than Through Femoral Artery

Coronary artery is the life line of our heart since it brings oxygenated blood and minerals to the heart. Our heart is the custodian of our life as it pumps oxygenated blood to our entire body throughout life. Blood supply to the heart may get impaired if the coronary artery gets clogged. Coronary artery disease (CAD) is a serious heart ailment and needs to be evaluated properly to plan appropriate therapy. Heart disease could be suspected from the symptoms like chest pain and breathlessness associated with abnormal electrocardiogram (ECG), echocardiography and tread mill test (TMT). If there is any suspicion of heart disease that needs to be conformed by coronary angiography and further management depends on the type of blockages revealed by angiography.

Coronary angiography procedure is performed under local anesthesia, in a cardiac catheterization laboratory equipped with x-ray machine and ultrasonography machine. Local anesthetic is injected into the skin just above the blood vessel to numb the area at the wrist. A special type of cardiac catheter is inserted through the radial artery of the wrist. The conventional procedure carried out earlier was through the femoral artery of the groin region. The only pain experienced by the patient is that of the injection of local anesthetic. The catheter does not hurt at all. The tip of the catheter is pushed just inside the coronary artery and then radio opaque dye is injected through the catheter into the artery. Several x-ray films are exposed rapidly as the dye is injected and recorded as a moving picture called angiogram. The procedure demonstrates the radio opaque dye passing through the coronary artery and thereby any narrowing or blockage of the artery. The catheter is pulled out gently after the procedure is over and the site of insertion is kept pressed for at least 10 minutes to avoid any bleeding and let the wound sealed with blood clot.

Trans radial coronary angiography is less time consuming and emotional stress free as compared to coronary angiography through the femoral artery route. The patient needs not to be hospitalized. There are minimal chances of infection since our arms are cleaner as compared to groin area. Patient can go home within hours after the procedure. However, trans radial coronary angiography needs more expertise for the cardiologist. There is minimal scope for serious complications.

Lipolysis Is Better Than Liposuction

Lipolysis has been proved to be better option than liposuction for body reshaping. Laserlipolysis is an advanced, laser assisted body reshaping technique by way of removing of excessive fatty tissue. We do exercise to burn fat but lipolysis procedure is applied to remove the localized fat deposits impossible to be got ridden off through regular exercise. Laserlipolysis is a better option for the people who want to improve their figure through mechanized removal of fat from some focal areas of their body. The lipolysis procedure is less traumatic than the traditional liposuction and there is no loss of blood and lesser recovery time. As the procedure involves minimal invasion it could be a 'walk in and walk out' procedure for most of the treated areas. Patients have not to be hospitalized and may join work after 24 hours. Laserlipolysis activates the breaking up of the membranes of fat cells, transforming them into oily substance that is eliminated through natural absorption process. Harmonious body shape could be achieved without any side effects. Laserlipolysis procedure could also be performed in the areas typically unsuitable for traditional liposuction. An experienced 'skin specialist and cosmetic surgeon' could effectively treat areas like the face, neck, ankles, calf and double chin. Procedure could also be applied for reducing breast size. The advantage of laserlipolysis over liposuction is that the skin remains naturally tight, which was not possible with liposuction.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Sleep and Mental Health

Human beings are adapted to biphasic life. In association with the law of nature, we should work during the day time and sleep at night. Daily requirement of an adult male or female is 6 to 8 hours of sleep. However, present day lifestyle, job compulsions and emergency services as well as help desk services have changed the bio-profile of our life. Doctors, hospital staff, industrial workers on shift duty could not sleep well or get very less time to sleep. Other times some people sleep less due to family responsibilities. Massive sleep deprivation is similar to the effect of alcoholic intoxication. Accumulated sleep debt affects our mental physiology. Sleep is must for the growth of infants and children, too. Sleep derivation is dangerous for your health and the life of fellow beings, too, if you are on the steering wheel. A sleep deprived driver is as dangerous as a drunk driver.

Sleep deprived
persons put to simulated driving test perform as though taken 6 to 8 ounces of alcohol. Sleep deprivation affects our efficiency and impair our judgment. A sleep deprived person would always make more mistakes as compared to a person who had enjoyed rest and sleep. No food or drug could replace sleep and its revitalizing effect. Massive sleep deprivation may lead to behavioral disorders. If you do not sleep you can not have dreams of creativity. Sleep is a composite phenomenon essential for life. You must find sufficient time to sleep daily. To me sleep is a ritual.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Personality Development Tips

Our attitude and conviction play a vital role in our personality. Coordination between the mind and body improves our self confidence. Our mental health is key factor for grooming our self confidence and attitude. Here are some tips which may definitely help you improve your personality.

  1. Emotional Control: The very first thing needs to be learnt is the control over emotions. Never blame others for your failures. The worst emotion is the anger and it could be managed efficiently. Feel great and forgive. Fold your hands to calm down your inner self. Discuss your problem with friends.

  2. Self Confidence: Knowing your potential is the first point of self confidence. Only you know best about your strengths and weaknesses. Always remember that you are unique and none can beat you in your field of expertise. Always do your best to fulfill the expectations of others. Celebrate your achievements.

  3. Body Language: Your body language reflects your attitude and temperament towards others. Respect others and others will respect you. Your dress code should suit your social status and age group.

  4. Positive Attitude: Love your existence and the nature. The beauty of the heavenly bodies instill positive attitude. The sun rises every morning as a routine but it is always refreshing. Admire the beauty of flowers and appreciate good qualities of others. Appreciate the work of your juniors.

  5. Social Consideration: Take interest in the work and well being of others. Let others feel comfortable in your presence. Try to help the needy people if you can. Never harm others for your personal gain. Avoid using abusive language.

  6. Consideration for Others: Understand and respect the feelings of others. Always remember that everybody wants recognition and appreciation. Try to help those who could not help themselves.

  7. Creative Thinking: Always aspire to learn new things with apt attention. Creative thinking keeps our brain active and adds to our desire to explore new things. The very soundness of your mind opens up new horizons and elevates your perception and personality.

  8. Humor and Laughter: Humor and laughter lubricate our mind and rejuvenate our physical body. Sound mind would always keep your body sound and outlook charming.

  9. Accept Challenges with Responsibility: The more you feel responsible the more you feel dynamic. The moment you get involved in a task of responsibility, you overcome barriers of time and space. Fulfilling a responsibility refresh your mind and personality.

  10. Celebrate Your Achievements: Be the master of your destiny. If you are a boss, respect your juniors and thank God for your position. If you are a subordinate, respect your boss and fellow colleagues. Celebrate your achievements. Always learn from those who perform better than you and try to perform better than them. Appreciate the efforts and good work of others. Live happy and peaceful.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Neck Pain: Precautions and Treatment

Neck pain or cervical sprain is extremely common in individuals who keep their head tilted side ways while typing, writing on black board, watching television or attending a telephone call. The physiological cause is muscle spasm and or cervical sprain. There may be inflammation and swelling at the back of neck. The neck pain may also cause headache. The headache may sometimes aggravate with change in posture or mere pressure of pillow at night. Jerky head bending or continuous upward head tilt may also be cause of cervical sprain or neck pain.


  1. Keep your neck warm by wrapping a scarf around the neck or wearing high neck shirt or thermal clothing in winter.
  2. While resting one can use cervical collar, but sometimes the collar may aggravate pain due to pressure at some trigger point.
  3. Avoid looking upward or towards the side you feel stiffness.
  4. Use a neck sweater if you have to work in a room with airconditioner.
  5. Avoid sitting directly under the airconditioner.
  6. Use modified pillow and avoid sleeping in trouble prone position.


  1. The best home remedy as well as medically advised external remedy or treatment is massage with warm mustard oil, olive oil or liquid paraffin, since it alleviate the muscle spasm. Two sessions of massage daily for 2-3 days are sufficient for complete relief.
  2. Acupressure and/or manipulation along with massaging by a trained physiotherapist may be of great help.
  3. Ultrasonic massage is very effective.
  4. Apply pain reliever gel at the painful area.
  5. Apply heating pad or hot pack at the sore areas.
  6. Take non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) after consulting your physician.

Exercises: Following exercises are always found to be helpful to relieve the stiffness and pain:

  1. Place both your hands behind your head and tilt the head backwards against the resistance of hands, relax and repeat 10 times. Do two-three sessions daily.
  2. Place your right hand on right cheek and try to rotate your face towards right side against the resistance of your hand. Slowly return to mid position. Now place your left hand on left cheek and try to rotate your face towards left side against the resistance of your hand. Relax in between and repeat five times towards each side.
  3. Hold your forehead with your hands and try touching your chin to neck against the resistance of your hands, Repeat five times.

Benefits of Eating Pistachio Nuts

Dry fruits are a rich source of antioxidants and high density lipid (HDL). Pistachio nuts (pale-green nuts) have been found to be having beneficial effect on our lipid profile. Regular daily intake of 45g to 75g of pistachio nuts (pista) could reduce overall cholesterol level with an increase in HDL-C, a good lipid. In fact obesity and its related problems are a big concern for all developing countries. High level of low density lipid (LDL) or bad cholesterol is a major cause of coronary artery disease (CAD). Especially for women HDL is more important than LDL and total cholesterol level. So, women should be encouraged to eat pistachio nuts. About 30 to 45 per cent population in majority of the countries is overweight. There is a simple method to assess your fitness through body mass index (BMI) evaluation as highlighted in my previous article. Non-salted pistachio nuts are a very nutritious food item since it contains antioxidants, phytosterols and fibre. Intake of pistachio nuts stimulates and corrects metabolism.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Urticaria: Prevention Is Better Than Cure

Allergic disorders constitute one of the commonest diseases affecting mankind. Respiratory system and skin are two most commonly effected tissues of our body. Urticaria is an allergic disorder of skin. It may be acute or chronic problem. It is marked by raised patches on the skin with redness and severe feeling of itching. Stiffness and stretching along with intense itching is a very common symptom in urticaria. Acute episodes of urticaria may subside with in a day or two with simple anti allergic treatment. The condition is said be chronic if it lasts more than four weeks. There are many factors which may trigger urticaria. Certain food stuffs, contact with certain plants, drugs and environmental factors could be the possible cause of acute or chronic urticaria. Underlying mechanism involves the immune interactions or hyper-sensitivity reaction. Urticaria rashes can affect any area of the body. There may be wheel and flare type reaction on skin with redness. Auto-immune disorders may also cause chronic urticaria. Self assessment of the cause of urticaria is possible. Assessment of urticaria due to food stuff is possible by diet elimination and provocation test. Do as follows:

  1. For three days stop all food stuffs except water, sugar and salt - urticaria due to food item will clear.
  2. On 4th day take milk in addition to above mentioned items - if no urticaria - no allergy to milk.
  3. On 5th day add potatoes to your diet in addition to above mentioned items - if no urticaria - no allergy to potatoes.
  4. On 6th day add wheat to your diet in addition to above mentioned items - if no urticaria - no allergy to wheat.
  5. On 7th day add pulses to your diet in addition to above mentioned items - if no urticaria - no allergy to pulses.
  6. Continue the same diet for a week - no urticaria
  7. On 15th day add rice (or suspected food item) to you diet in addition to above mentioned items - if urticaria occurs - you are allergic to rice (or suspected food item).

Always avoid the item causing allergy, since, prevention is better than cure.

Important: Food stuffs with preservatives should be avoided for good

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Piles in Children: Precautions and Treatment

Piles are most common condition of ano-rectal origin. The veins of lower anal canal are generally get dilated in piles and represent as a cluster of blisters. Single vein could also be involved in the initial stage. Piles may cause intermittent itching or bleeding due to bulging of piles. Conditions piles, anal fistula and anal fissures are conventionally considered to be the health problems of middle aged and elderly people. However, the situation is tilting scales and these diseases are being seen with increased frequency in children and younger people. Altered life style and changing food habits are the main cause of piles in children and younger people. Foods with less quantity of fibre and excess of starch generally cause constipation if less quantity of water is taken. Lack of exercise may further complicate the situation and net result is onset of piles. Piles could be avoided and in the initial stage be treated with high-fibre and less starchy diet. At least 50% relief in majority of patients with anal fissures and piles has been reported with high-fibre diet alone. Complete treatment is possible with high-fibre diet and local application of anaesthetic ointments like lignocaine or xylocaine ointment and diazepam ointment. In complicated cases a variety of treatments are available but a timely medical examination and advice could be of great help to avoid surgical procedures. The best advice is: avoid junk food, do exercise and drink sufficient water to avoid piles.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Large Hadron Collider and Higgs Boson

Wednesday, September 10, 2008 would be remembered a great day in the history of science for the successful completion of experimentation of proton collision. The event would be remembered as a great step in understanding the Big Bang and creation of the Universe. The experiment was completed at 0836 GMT (10.36 IST) in the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) developed by the scientists of the European Center for Nuclear Research (CERN) under the directions of Robert Aymar, Director General of CERN and Lyn Evans the Project Leader. The huge particle smashing machine, the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) is built underneath the Swiss-French border at the cost of 9 billion dollars. Physicists around the world now have much greater power than ever before to smash the components of atoms together in attempts to see how they are made.

According to a theory propagated by an Indian scientist Satyendra Nath Bose and later endorsed by the British scientist Peter Higgs in 1964, it is believed that the collision of Hadrons (protons) was the cause of creation of matter. The experiment is a great leap to testify the theory that there exists a "Higgs Boson" that gives matter its mass. The particle has been named after Higgs and Bose the conceivers and propagators of the theory.

The entire credit goes to creative thinking and logical reasoning. In your daily life you watch the electron collider daily as the picture tube (CRT) of your television. Here accelerated electrons strike the stationary electrons in the phosphor coating on the inner side of the picture tube to form the images. In a Transmission Electron Microscope (TEM) images are formed due to collisions of electrons of the electron beam with electrons or protons of uranium and lead atoms. The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) is a tunnel of 17 mile circumference, wherein protons or hadrons were made to collide at very high acceleration, probably the speed of light. The construction principle of the LHC and an Electron Microscope is identical in every aspect except for the cooling system since in the LHC the accelerating voltage for the protons ranges from 450 giga electron volts (GeV) to 7 tera electron volts (TeV) hence higher generation of heat and efficient cooling system is necessary. The temperature of superconducting magnets in LHC is maintained at -271.1 degree Celsius with liquid helium which makes it largest cryogenic facility in the world till date. The astronomical black holes are much different from the microscopic black holes supposed to be produced in the LHC. There was nothing to panic thinking about microscopic black holes.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

How to Prevent Vision Loss in Glaucoma

Glaucoma is a condition of the eye characterized by increased intraocular pressure. The condition may be primary or secondary. Increased intraocular pressure in an eye without previous disease is called primary glaucoma and increased intraocular pressure due to disease or injury on the eye is called secondary glaucoma. The major hurdle to the prevention of glaucoma blindness is the fact that the patient never has any symptom.

Glaucoma leads to blindness by damaging the optic nerve. Elevated intraocular pressure is a risk factor, but even patients with normal intraocular pressure may lose vision. The worldwide prevalence of glaucoma is increasing and about half of the people who have
, don't even know it. The key to preserving vision in glaucoma is timely diagnosis and treatment through regular eye examinations. Old people with hypertension, diabetes and/or migraine and increased intraocular pressure or having family history of glaucoma are at high risk of having glaucoma.

Glaucoma patients are diagnosed and monitored on the basis of intraocular pressure (IOP), visual field changes and optic nerve changes. The corneal thickness of the patient affects the intraocular pressure. The new advancement in the diagnosis of glaucoma is regarding nerve fibre layer analysis. Glaucoma could be detected at an early stage through nerve fibre layer analysis even before the onset of visual field changes. It is concluded that the key to preserving vision in glaucoma is timely diagnosis and treatment through regular eye examinations.

Probiotics for Good Health

Probiotics are non-pathogenic strains of bacteria which could be harbored in your body for beneficial effect. Inflammation is a major factor in a number of chronic diseases affecting millions of people across the globe and cause unwanted impact on the healthy tissue. Recently it has been explored through concerted research that Bifidobacteriun infantis 35624, a probiotic bacterial strain of human origin, could be used to modulate the inflammatory response in irritable bowel syndrome.

Old Age Management

Old age is unavoidable but we should never get worried with advancing age. Old age is equated with wisdom and experience and accorded more respect universally. Your balanced lifestyle and understanding of self worth may keep you energetic at the core of your inner self. Never discard your satisfying hobbies. Hobbies make us busy in creative thinking and provide sound mental health. A creative thinking takes us away from the barriers of time and space and we feel elated with joy. Psychological factors not only influence our health status but also affect longevity so, positive attitude should be adopted.

Balanced lifestyle is necessary for jubilant old age, and factors like diet, exercise and time management help us to maintain good health. Our positive attitude towards life helps us fight the stress factors. Age related diseases could be avoided through customized diet and exercise. Consult you doctor if you have any health problem and follow his/her advice. Always live in present and never worry about the future. Meditate for atleast for 15 to 30 minutes daily. If you do not know how to meditate then just sit in a chair with your eyes closed and try to listen to the sound of air passing through your nostrils. Keep happy and peaceful. Wish you good health and long life !.

Barking Dogs and Bitches

We often use the phrase, "Barking dogs seldom bite". But, what about barking bitches? Beware of barking canines because it may be a bitch and never try to find its sex. Barking bitches may bite you !

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Healthy Heart Mantras

Avoid Alcohol: Excessive consumption of causes high blood pressure and may cause cardiovascular disease. There is no distinction between good or bad alcohol or self made or foreign made alcohol. However, it is documented that one or two pegs (25 to 50ml) of alcohol day help protecting your heart from coronary heart disease.

Do Exercise: Exercise is must for fitness of heart since it is a muscular organ. Atleast 3o minutes of physical activity once daily is must. The activity should be intense enough to make you breathe heavily than normal and feel warmer. You can choose activity of your choice - like cycling, swimming, brisk walking, gardening or washing and cleaning your own car.

Diet Control: A customized diet may help you keep in perfect healthy condition. One gram of fat has more calories than one gram of sugar. Avoid fat and bad sugars. Eat fruits (fruits have good sugars) and vegetables along with proteins and minimum quantity of fat (ghee and oil).

Give up Smoking: If you smoke, then please give up smoking to protect your heart. Smokers are doubly prone to heart attack as compared to those who never smoke. Smoking damages the lining of arteries, leading to the atheroma and coronary heart disease.