Friday, March 27, 2009

Tips to Prevent Lifestyle Diseases

Working couples in the metropolises and cities have very tough life. Employed women have been found to be under great pressure for running the family and business or official responsibilities. Lifestyle diseases like obesity, malnutrition, depression, hypertension, chronic backache and diabetes are affecting males and females equally. There is a need to focus our attention on preventive health care. Lack of exercise, poor nutrition, exposure to sunlight and pollutants are the main causes of obesity, malnutrition, hypertension and skin diseases. Excessive intake of alcohol, drug abuse, drug addiction, and internet addiction are also associated with the lifestyle diseases. Over indulgence or interest in internet may lead to internet addiction disorder(IAD), the most modern lifestyle disease. Ignorance about health care may have multiple implications on our health, behavior and attitude. Casual medication and poor compliance of medical advice add to the gravity of lifestyle diseases. Working couples in general and employed women in particular need to be health conscious to be healthy and more productive. They must have a time table with sufficient time for exercise, entertainment and grooming their health and beauty.

Brisk walking for 15 minutes daily may show promising results in obese, diabetics and hypertensive people as it improves blood circulation, removes lactic acid and uric acid, frees-up tight joints, balances the yang and yin energies, relaxes the muscles, tones-up the body and removes blockages from the blood vessels. Brisk walking is also beneficial for maintaining good health and preventing lifestyle diseases. Following tips should be beneficial for you to overcome a majority of lifestyle diseases:

  1. Make a time table for daily activities with sufficient time for exercise and entertainment.

  2. Do brisk walking daily for 15 minutes or 10,000 steps or 2-3 kilometers.

  3. Respect and support your spouse or partner.

  4. Avoid fried food stuffs.

  5. Avoid foods with preservatives and coloring agents.

  6. Never skip a meal for efficiency and productivity.

  7. Avoid junk food.

  8. Follow medical advice if you have some health problem in addition to life style disorder.

  9. Periodic medical checkup.

  10. Use proper seat and sit in a right posture at home and at workplace to avoid postural disorders like cervical sprain and backache.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Psoriasis: A Non-contagious Skin Disease

Psoriasis is an inflammatory but non-contagious skin disease. It represents erythematous reddish in color) scaly plaques. The extent of the spread of the plaques may be limited (about 5% of body surface) or widespread (40 to 50% of the body surface). The course of psoriasis has been found to be chronic and associated with remission and relapses. Psoriasis is characterized by hyperproliferation of epidermal keratinocytes. There could be abnormal differentiation of keratinocytes. The worldwide prevalence is around 3%. The racial, geographical and environmental factors do influence the prevalence of psoriasis. Male and female adults of lower, middle or higher age groups are equally affected by psoriasis. Genetic and environmental factors equally contribute to the etiopathogenesis of this disease. However, exact etiology is not known. Classical lesions start as erythematous papules, which gradually enlarge and merge together to form scaly plaques. Factors like trauma, bacterial infections, intake of drugs like antimalarials, lithium and beta blockers could aggravate the lesions. Other aggravating factors include the sunlight, hypocalcaemia (low level of calcium in the blood), alcohol and smoking. Complications apart from the disease and treatment include: itching, skin infection, eczematization, arthritis and nephritis in very chronic and poorly treated cases. The treatment of psoriasis depends on the age, sex and general health of the patient. The management of patients affected by psoriasis has to be individualized depending on the lifestyle and affordability of the treatment. The disease is effectively curable with topical application of various lotions along with anti-inflammatory drugs and to some extent with peritoneal dialysis or hemo-dialysis. Patients are advised to consult a dermatologist for further advice and treatment.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Asthma during Pregnancy

Pregnancy does not have a uniform effect on the symptoms of asthma. There could be pregnancy associated asthma or an asthmatic lady may represent aggravation of asthma symptoms during pregnancy. Asthma is probably the most common chronic illness that severely affects around 8% of pregnant women. Pregnancy alters the respiratory and cardiovascular physiology and these alterations may lead to severity of asthma. Proper control of asthma in pregnant women could significantly reduce the complications of perinatal period. The underlying mechanisms responsible for the altered state of asthma due to pregnancy are unknown. Poorly controlled asthma during pregnancy may lead to perinatal mortality and complicate labour. Prevalence of low birth weight of babies and preterm births in asthmatic women as compared to non-asthmatic women have also been documented.

Worsening of asthma during pregnancy may be due to large number of contributing factor. There could be exposure to allergens, infections of the upper respiratory tract, gastroesophageal reflux, non compliance or poor compliance of medication or unwanted use of drugs. Patients with severe asthma prior to conception and patients whose asthma has worsened during previous pregnancies could be labeled as high risk patients. Acute asthma episodes during pregnancy may significantly decrease fetal oxygenation and need medical intervention. However, the management and treatment of asthma are the same in pregnant women as in non-pregnant women and men. Following guideline need special considerations during pregnancy to prevent asthma exacerbations during pregnancy:

  1. Avoid intentional exposure to known allergens like pollens, dust, animal furs, feathers and certain food stuffs.

  2. Strict medical consultations are needed throughout the pregnancy for optimal control of

  3. Delay in the diagnosis and treatment of should be avoided.

  4. Smoking cessation is a must.

  5. Other health problems like rhinitis, gastric reflux and any infection of upper respiratory tract should be treated effectively.

  6. Pulmonary function (assessment or expiratory air flow with Spirometer) should be assessed at least once in a month.

  7. Periodic antenatal fetal surveillance should be got done by a specialist.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Sixth and Seventh Sense

Generally everyone have five senses. Sixth sense means common sense; however, the seventh sense is nonsense. The common sense is more important and is an excellent capability. It is the snap ability of a person to understand the cause and effect relationship through his/her super-cautious analytical mind. Every manager should have a good sixth sense or common sense in addition to his/her ability and skills of planning, organizing, directing, coordinating, communicating and motivating.

Treatment of Malaria

The malaria is an intracellular protozoan infection, endemic in tropical and subtropical countries. Large number of drugs are being used worldwide for the treatment of malaria. Four species of the protozoal parasite Plasmodium cause all infections in human beings and these are: Plasmodium vivax, Plasmodium malariae, Plasmodium ovale and Plasmodium falciparum. The effectiveness of the antimalarial drugs may differ with the species and stage of parasite and the parasite load in the liver and blood circulation. The parasites are inoculated into the human host by blood sucking female anopheline mosquitoes. The sporozoites from the infected mosquito reach the liver and develop into tissue schizonts. These tissue schizonts then rupture, form free merozoites and invade erythrocytes or red blood cells (RBCs) and develop as erythrocytic schizonts and lead to rupture of RBCs. There are different groups of antimalarial drugs for the stages of malarial parasites in the liver and erythrocytes.

Chloroquine (4-aminoquinoline) has been used extensively for the treatment and prevention of malaria. It has considerable efficacy for the treatment of Plasmodium vivax, Plasmodium malariae and Plasmodium ovale infections, however, widespread resistance has been seen against Plasmodium falciparum infection. Effective suppressive prophylaxis has been documented with chloroquine, mefloquine, proguanil and doxycycline as these are schizonticidal drugs. Proguanil and primaquine are best known for causal prophylaxis as these drugs effectively kill the hepatic stages of the parasite. Quinine, chloroquine, primaquine and artemisnins are established gametocidal drugs also. Sulfonamides (sulfadoxine and dapsone) and aminoalcohols (halofantrine and lumefantrine) are also used in the treatment of malaria but are more toxic drugs. The drug toxicity may lead to acute hemolytic anemia in patients with glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD)deficiency. Consult your physician for the diagnosis and treatment of malaria.

Monday, March 9, 2009

What causes Malaria ?

The malaria is a protozoan infection endemic in tropical and subtropical countries. Four species of the protozoal parasite Plasmodium cause all infections in human beings and these are: Plasmodium vivax, Plasmodium malariae, Plasmodium ovale and Plasmodium falciparum. The malaria remains the most devastating infection worldwide with around 500 million clinical cases every year.

The symptoms of malaria may be non specific like: high grade fever, lack of sense of well being, headache, muscle aches, fatigue and sometimes chest pain also. The clinical presentation of malaria depends on the species of the parasite, parasite load in the blood circulation, patient's immune status and presence of other diseases. The classical malarial symptoms are fever spikes with chills and rigors at regular intervals. Enlargement of spleen is very common among otherwise healthy individuals in the endemic areas. In untreated cases of malaria, mild jaundice and slight enlargement of liver are also common. The enlargement of spleen and liver may be more pronounced in infants and children. Plasmodium falciparum causes the most severe disease and may lead to cerebral malaria, hypoglycemia (low level glucose in blood), lactic acidosis, pulmonary edema swelling of lungs) and impairment of kidney function.

Medicinal use of Gooseberry: Indian Scenario

The health promoting and curative properties of Indian gooseberry or fruit of Emblica officinalis were known to the Indians since the Vedic era. Its trees are found in all the forests of the Indian subcontinent and south-east Asia. The height of trees of Indian gooseberry or amla is about 30 to 40 feet and these are evergreen trees. There are about 15 varieties of gooseberry in India. The spherical fruit of gooseberry have a diameter of 3 - 4 cm and the color could be yellowish green or light reddish green. The trees of some varieties start bearing fruit at the age of 6 to 8 years. The yield of fruit per tree could be around 150 kg. Around 2 million hectare land is under the cultivation of Emblica officinalis in India. There are a number of nutrients and medicinal chemicals present the juice or pulp of gooseberries. It is very rich source of ascorbic acid or vitamin-C, folic acid, iron and minerals, even in the dry form. Its pulp is the main component of chaywanprash. Around 10,000 tons of Indian gooseberry or amla are processed by various pharmaceutical companies in India alone to manufacture drugs and health foods containing gooseberry pulp or dry powder. Chaywanprash has been known to improve immunity and digestion and being marketed as natural revitalizer or health food for all age groups. Half a spoon of dry powder of amla or gooseberries if taken with warm water after major meals could permanently cure constipation and piles. It has great anti-inflammatory properties and regular intake of 3 to 6 gram of dry amla powder could treat joint pains and improve eyesight.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Medicinal Properties of Indian Gooseberry

Indian gooseberry or amla has a variety of medicinal properties. Its botanical name is Emblica officinalis. In the Ayurvedic literature Indian gooseberry had been documented as panacea. It is very rich source of vitamin-C even in the dry form. In addition to vitamin-C, Indian gooseberry also contains vitamin-B, calcium, phosphorus, carotene and iron. Intake of fresh gooseberry or powder of the dry gooseberry is equally beneficial in liver disorders, hypercholesterolemia (elevated level of cholesterol in blood) and diabetes. It improves digestion, immunity and also checks premature greying of hair. Millions of tons of Indian gooseberry fruit are processed every year for medicinal uses. Its pulp is the main content of chaywanprash and amritprash. Its jam and juice are in the top line of health promoting foods and natural revitalizers. Dry powder of amla should be taken with water only. Regular intake of half a spoon of dry powder of Indian gooseberry could supply us daily dose of vitamin-C, iron and phosphorus. People with peptic ulcer should avoid using dry powder of Indian gooseberry. The Indian System of Medicine had always admired medicinal properties of Indian gooseberry and propagated its use as natural revitalizer.