Sunday, 24 April 2016

Snacking at work

Munching on snacks while working is common these days, but watch what you are eating. It might lead to obesity if the snacks are bags of chips and samosas. Here are some great healthy options to carry to your office so that you can work without hunger pangs bothering you. 

1. Bhel Puri: You can put one together easily with the ingredients available at home. You can skip the sev and potato but add some crispy onion and peanuts. 

2. Sprouted salad: A dash of lime juice adds that zing to this oh so healthy salad. 

3. Pop Corn: This is not just for movies. A handful of butter free pop corn is a healthy choice to soothe that mid morning craving. 

4. Boiled corn: A little of masala powder added to boiled corn and a dash of lime juice is just enough to give you extra strength to reply to that email from a tough client. But avoid the butter. 

5. Oats biscuits: Top up on these biscuits and the multi grain varieties. Oreos and cream biscuits are tempting but indulge only occasionally especially if you  follow a sedentary lifestyle.  Oats has enough fibre and keeps hunger pangs at bay during long meetings. 

6. Nuts: Have a bag of mixed nuts at your desk. Popping a handful of them gives you minerals, vitamins, proteins and unsaturated fat.  Do not overdo this and do not fry them! 

7. Fruits: A mixed bowl of fruits or just an apple or orange is a healthy option to keep your belly filled, till lunch time. 

8. Dark chocolate: Reward yourself with one nugget of dark chocolate after a marathon 2 hours of continuous work. 

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Sunday, 17 April 2016

A knock on the head and there goes your memory

This is a dramatic twist in many movies. This kind of memory loss is pretty rare. When you forget simple everyday things its annoying. Why does this memory loss occur? 
  1. Anti depressants and antihistamines and some other prescribed drugs can cause memory loss.
  2. Depression and Stress. When your mind is burdened with many problems and issues you tend to forget the mundane.
  3. Sleep Deprivation: This not only causes memory loss but a host of other health issues.
  4. Make sure your food contains Vitamins B1 and B12. Like Green peas, Nuts, Cereals, Fish, Poultry, Eggs, dairy products. Lack of these two vital vitamins cause memory loss.
  5. Head injury, Stroke, Dementia, Thyroid imbalance and Tuberculosis of the brain can cause memory loss. 

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Thursday, 14 April 2016

Beat the Heat

1. Take Cold Showers twice a day.
2. Wear loose cotton clothes. 

3. Step up on water intake. Just plain water taken many times a day is better than sugary juice. 

4. Avoid going out in direct sunlight. Wear a cap, or take an umbrella with you. Wear sunscreen lotion with SPF 30+

5. Do not drink very cold beverages or very hot beverages in summer

6. Similar to how a radiator is able to pull off heat to cool an entire engine, simply wearing a cool wrist band against your palpable wrist pulse can cool you down. The key is that you should be able to feel your pulse close enough to the skin to be able to exchange heat.

7. If you have been out in the sun too long refresh with a salty sweet drink, like lassi, tender coconut water or fresh lime juice. 

8. Avoid storing food in the fridge. Eat fresh 

9. Step up on your salads and fruit intake. 

10. Wet a bed sheet and hang it against the window when the sun gets unbearable. It’s better than just turning on the air conditioner considering your energy bills and of course the environment. 

11. Pour a few buckets of water in the open terrace. Brings the temperature down a few degrees. 

12. Keep a spray bottle filled with water in the fridge and spray yourself when you feel too hot. This will bring down the body temperature. 

Monday, 11 April 2016

Stomach Flu or Gastroenteritis

Irritated and inflamed stomach and intestines are the main reasons for gastroenteritis or “stomach flu”. The “flu” is only a consequence of this disorder and hence a misnomer. The irritation and inflammation in the stomach and intestines are generally caused by either bacterial or a viral infection. 


The symptoms that herald the onset of this disorder are typically watery diarrhea and vomiting. Additionally the patient may experience a slight headache, cramps or pain in the stomach / intestine areas, nausea and fever. Excessive diarrhea and vomiting can lead to dehydration. Symptoms that indicate that a person is dehydrated are:

  1. Dry skin
  2. Dry mouth
  3. Being really thirsty
  4. Light headedness

A person with all or any of these symptoms must seek medical attention, immediately or else dehydration can lead to fatal consequences.


A gastroenteritis disorder can spread through the following means:

  • Through food or water that is contaminated
  • Having contact with somebody who already has the virus infection
  • From unwashed hands after use of the washroom or after changing a diaper
Gastroenteritis can be caused by many different types of viruses of which, rotavirus and norovirus are the main strains.

Rotavirus is commonly the reason for diarrhea in children of all ages, whereas norovirus causes serious gastroenteritis issues and is a foodborne disease. The bacterial form of gastroenteritis is caused by E.coli and salmonella. Both salmonella and campylobacter bacteria are spread through undercooked poultry or eggs. Salmonella can be spread through pets and live poultry.

Escherichia Coli or E.coli are bacteria that live in the human and animal digestive system. E. coli bacteria are of many types and are mostly harmless. However, there are some strains that cause bloody diarrhea and in some virulent strains like O157:H7, can cause severe diarrhea or kidney failure, which can ultimately lead to death. Yet other strains of E.coli bacteria cause urinary tract infections or other types of infections. Shigella, is one more type of bacteria commonly found in child care centers and the source of infection is generally food and drinking water.

Giardia and cryptosporidium, parasitically conveyed infections occur through contaminated drinking water.

Gastroenteritis can also be caused by:
  • The presence of metals like, cadmium, arsenic, mercury, or lead in drinking water
  • Toxins that may be there in certain seafood
  • Eating acidic foods like citrus fruits and tomatoes in large volumes
  • Antacids, laxatives, antibiotics and chemotherapy medications

Treatment Options

There is no particular treatment for gastroenteritis caused by a viral infection, as antibiotics are not effective on viruses. Care must be taken not to overuse antibiotics as this can cause resistance to strains of bacteria. Treatment basically comprises of self-care measures such as:

  1. Intake of plenty of fluids to keep hydrated
  2. Once nausea subsides, normal diet can gradually be resumed. Begin with clear soups or broth, and build up to more solid foods
  3. Temporarily avoid milk and milk products, wheat and wheat products, as the digestive system may still be tender and needs time to recover
  4. Rest in bed
In case, you do need medication, consult the doctor for help.

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Wednesday, 6 April 2016

What do you mean by Hypoglycemia

Hypoglycemia is when the sugar levels in your blood are low and there is not enough sugar for your body to burn as energy.

Some of the symptoms you may experience could be any of these or a combination of them.
  • Anxiety
  • Disoriented or confused
  • Dizzy
  • Hungry
  • Irritable
  • Palpitations and / or racing pulse
  • Headaches
  • Sweating
  • Feel Hot
  • Trembling or feeling shaky
  • Weak
  • Skin develops a pallor

If left untreated you could experience any one of the following conditions or a combination of them.
  • A numbness in your mouth and tongue
  • Unable to concentrate
  • Poor coordination
  • Faint
  • Have bad dreams or nightmares
  • Become comatose / unconscious

It can happen for several reasons, such as, your diet, the amount of exercise or activity you have had or because of the medications you take. Generally, when the blood sugar level drops to around 70 mg / dl, you will feel the symptoms of hypoglycemia. When the symptoms occur, it is important to note the time at which it occurs, what you ate, what activities you did that day and the amount of medication you took. It is also important to consult your doctor, so that your doctor can adjust your medication or tweak the amount of activity or direct you to a nutritionist, who can help you with the right diet.

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How Diabetes affects the kidneys

When a diabetic patient has raised blood glucose (sugar) levels, it causes certain chemicals in the kidneys to also rise. Consequently, this causes the glomeruli (filtering mechanism) in your kidney(s), to leak. Albumin, a necessary requirement for your body to stay healthy, leaks into the urine. The high blood sugar levels can also cause the protein present in the glomeruli to bond together. The linking of the proteins triggers a process known as ‘scarring’, which is also called glomerulosclerosis.
With time, as the scarring tissue increases, it progressively replaces the healthy kidney tissue causing the kidneys to become dysfunctional. The kidneys become less able to filter the toxic wastes and extra fluids from the blood and gradually fail, resulting in an end-stage-kidney failure.
The first indication that you have developed diabetic kidney disease is when the albumin that has leaked into your urine is between 30 to 300mg / day. If left untreated, the microalbuminuria could develop into proteinuria. Proteinuria is the stage, where the albumin leak into the urine is beyond 300mg and is irreversible. It is also an indication the kidney has reached the end-stage and that it is failing.
Swelling in parts of the body like your hands, feet, ankles or face and the large amount of protein leak in your urine are the first symptoms to look for. 

Listen to video talk by Dr. R Balasubramaniyam MBBS, DNB (Gen.Med), DNB (Neph) about the same topic here:

Friday, 1 April 2016

What is Autism?

Autism is a mental condition, present from early childhood, characterized by great difficulty in communicating and forming relationships with other people and in using language and abstract concepts. Autism Spectral Disorder can be associated with intellectual disability, difficulties in motor coordination and attention and physical health issues such as sleep and gastrointestinal disturbances. Each autistic individual is unique. About 40% have average to above average IQ. Many autistic people have exceptional abilities in music, academics and writing skills.

Ashwin is a sweet little bundle of joy of 18 months. His parents are worried that he is not doing most of the activities his older sibling did at that age. He rarely points his fingers at something, smiles or mimics others’ actions. He hardly makes any eye contact. He does not babble like other babies and does not respond to his name when called although his hearing has been checked and is perfect. Ashwin needs to see a doctor immediately. It might be Autism. Autism can be managed easily if detected very early. Treatment will reduce the disorder’s effects and help the child to grow.

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