Monday, 30 May 2016

World ‘No Tobacco Day’ May 31st 2016

Tobacco consumption and its deadly effects on human health is one of the largest areas of concern, for public health, in countries across the world.
  • According to the World Health Organization (WHO), Tobacco kills 6 million people every year, globally, out of which 600,000 are non-smokers dying from inhaling second-hand smoke.
  • One cigarette can subtract 14 minutes from an average person’s lifespan
  • Smoking 20 cigarettes a day regularly can subtract 10 years from one’s lifespan

Tobacco may be consumed in different forms such as smoking, chewing or sniffing, but all of them are equally harmful. Tobacco consumption on a regular basis leads to ailments like lung cancer, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), heart attacks, chronic heart diseases, strokes, emphysema and a variety of cancers, etc.

Tobacco is also known to cause nicotine addiction wherein nicotine consumed through tobacco binds itself to dopamine pathways in the brain. As a result, the smoker is tricked into believing he or she needs tobacco to survive, as much as food or water. 

In order to create awareness about the ill-effects of Tobacco consumption, the World Health Organization has been celebrating ‘World No Tobacco Day’ on 31st May, every year. Government organizations, NGOs and innumerable tobacco de-addiction self-help groups participate in a day-long program that is marked by public marches, public debates, banners, television and print advertising.

The Healthcare fraternity in India, which has been active in treating tobacco-induced ailments and tobacco addiction in thousands of patients, is a key participant in the programme.

The message to millions of smokers across India, or the world, is very clear: it’s never too late to kick the butt. You are not alone, and there is enough medical help available, to stop consuming tobacco, and improve the quality of your life. 

Wednesday, 25 May 2016

Summer heat is on! The best defense is protection and awareness. Here are a few tips which you must follow.

  1. Never leave people in a parked car in the sun. 
  2. Avoid drinking liquids with high sugar content. Cool buttermilk or just plain water will help your body cool. 
  3. Remember to check the colour of your urine. If it’s too yellow you need to drink more water. 
  4. Step up on intake of fruits and vegetables in summer. Most of them contain water and potassium which is needed in summer. 
  5. If you have heavy sweating accompanied by weakness, faintness and vomiting you may be suffering from heat exhaustion. You need medical help immediately. 
  6. Avoid meals high in protein as they increase metabolic heat. Have small meals and increase frequency compared to three large meals. 
  7. Avoid children to play out in the sun. Keep pets inside the house and make sure pets get enough water to drink. It’s a good idea to keep bowls of water in the balcony for the birds as well. 
  8. Visit elders living alone often and make sure they are fine. Older people above the age of 60 might suffer from heat stress. Their bodies might not respond as it should to extreme heat. 

Tuesday, 24 May 2016

What Is Multiple Sclerosis (MS)?

Multiple Scelerosis is a chronic disease that damages the nerves in the spinal cord and brain, as well as the optic nerves. Sclerosis means scarring, and people with MS develop multiple areas of scar tissue in response to the nerve damage. Depending on where the damage occurs, symptoms may include problems with muscle control, balance, vision, or speech.

MS Symptoms: Weakness or Numbness

Nerve damage can cause:
  • Weakness in an arm or leg
  • Numbness
  • Loss of balance
  • Muscle spasms
These symptoms may lead to frequent tripping or difficulty in walking.

More than half of people with MS experience a vision problem called Optic Neuritis. This inflammation of the optic nerve may cause blurred vision, loss of color vision, eye pain, or blindness, usually in one eye. The problem is usually temporary and tends to improve within a few weeks. In many cases, vision problems are the first sign of MS.

Wednesday, 18 May 2016

What is Hepatitis?

An inflammation of the liver. 
Most common types:

Hepatitis B
A serious liver infection caused by the hepatitis B virus that's easily preventable by a vaccine.

Hepatitis C
An infection caused by a virus that attacks the liver and leads to inflammation.

Alcoholic hepatitis
Liver inflammation caused by drinking too much alcohol.

Autoimmune hepatitis
Inflammation in the liver that occurs when the immune system attacks the 

Hepatitis D
A serious liver disease caused by infection with the hepatitis D virus.

Hepatitis A
A highly contagious liver infection caused by the hepatitis A virus.

Hepatitis E
A liver disease caused by the hepatitis E virus.

Consult a doctor for medical advice.
Get a Liver Function Test done today!

Tuesday, 17 May 2016

What’s all this buzz about Quinoa?

Quinoa or Seemai Thinai in Tamil boasts of giving 14 gms of complete protein, per half cup, apart from 9 essential amino acids. Isn’t that reason enough? Quinoa has lysine, which helps the body absorb all that fat-burning calcium and also helps produce carnitine, a nutrient responsible for converting fatty acids into energy and helping to lower cholesterol. Quinoa is fibre rich hence keeps you fuller longer and helps to balance blood sugar.  Quinoa is also a storehouse of minerals like manganese, potassium, phosphorus, copper, zinc, vitamin E and B6, riboflavin, niacin and thiamine. It has calcium which helps build bones and is a great anti oxidant.  It has more calcium than cow’s milk, is an excellent antioxidant, and also rich in dietary fibre and iron. Quinoa is a very good source of magnesium and, therefore, said to be beneficial for people suffering from migraine headaches.

Pic Courtesy: Creativeandhealthyfunfood

Quinoa was originally grown 5000 years ago by the natives of South America. It used to be a supplement to Potatoes and Corn.

You can get Quinoa from any department store and can cook it just like rice in a rice cooker or pressure cooker.  

Monday, 16 May 2016

Doctor, my wife has been diagnosed with Osteoporosis. What does this mean and what treatment should she receive?

Osteoporosis is a condition in which the bones become brittle and weak and thus more prone to fractures. In some cases even a mild fall can cause bones to break. In the most severe cases, even a hard spasm of coughing can result in a fracture. Bone is tissue that is constantly being broken down and replaced. When the replacement cannot keep pace with the bone loss, it is called Osteoporosis. Fractures of the hip, spine and wrists are among the more common, but any bone can be affected. The condition affects both men and women. However, older women, especially those who are past menopause, are most at risk.

When you are young, your body will produce new bone faster than it is lost. This results in high bone mass and strong bones. The early 20s is when the bone mass is usually the highest. Those who have been healthy in their youth, had a good diet and proper exercise will have stored up a lot of bone mass which will reduce their chances of contracting Osteoporosis.

The Treatment

The treatment will depend on the results of a bone density test which will reveal the amount of bone mass loss. Bone density testing is done using DEXA scan and based on this, the risk of fractures will be evaluated. If the risk is low, the treatment could be limited to changes in your wife's diet and lifestyle to stop or reduce any activities that could put the bones at risk. If the risk is higher, medication in the form of bisphosphonates may be prescribed. The medication can be taken both orally and intravenously. Also long term injections will remove the need to remember and monitor weekly or monthly oral medication schedules. Your doctor will decide on what is best for your wife.
In the case of women, if the problem has set in soon after menopause, hormone therapy can be effective. Estrogen can help to maintain bone mass. However, because of the possible side effects, this is usually prescribed only if the menopausal symptoms also require treatment.

Call +91 87544 56711 to get yourself checked for Osteoporosis. Click here for more details.

Doctor, what is an angiogram and why have I been asked to have one done?

An angiogram is a type of x-ray test that is done to see the blood flow in an artery or vein. It is normally used to examine the blood vessels in the chest, head, back, arms, legs and abdomen.
  • A coronary angiogram looks at the arteries near the heart.
  • A pulmonary angiogram at those near the lungs.
  • A cerebral angiogram is used for the blood vessels near the brain.
  • Carotid angiogram examines the blood vessels in the head and neck.
  • An aortogram examines the aorta.
  • A peripheral angiogram looks at the vessels in the arms and legs.
Pic Courtesy: healthandlifemags

How it is done

A thin tube known as a catheter is inserted into a blood vessel in the groin or just above the elbow and guided to the area to be examined. An iodine dye is injected into the blood vessel to provide contrast and make the x-ray image more clear. The images are studied by a cardiologist to determine what, if any, problems exist and to decide on the course of treatment.

Two variations of the normal angiogram are the computed tomography angiogram (CTA) and the magnetic resonance angiogram (MRA). These tests are less invasive than the normal angiogram. Some of these tests, depending on the specific nature, require the use of a contrast dye. A CTA also involves radiation exposure. Your cardiologist will decide on which option is best for you.

Why it is done

The common reasons are to:
  • Find problems that affect the flow in the blood vessels. These include tears in the vessels, weaknesses in the vessel walls and narrowing that restricts the flow.
  • Find changes in the blood vessels in organs that may be damaged or injured and which contribute to the problem.
  • Reveal the pattern of blood flow to a tumor. This will help in determining the way the tumor is spreading and will assist in deciding on the course of treatment.
  • Understand the condition of diseased blood vessels in the leg which can result in severe pain when walking.
  • Examine the nature of atherosclerosis in the coronary arteries.Locate the source of internal bleeding as occurs when an ulcer is present.
  • Show the location, condition and number of renal arteries before a kidney transplant is performed.

Friday, 13 May 2016

The Benefits of Exercise

Exercise improves your fitness and well being in many ways. For example it:-

1. Reduces stress and tension and aids  relaxation

2. Increases strength and stamina

3. Improves sleep

4. Aids weight loss and control. Studies of obesity show that for most overweight people exercise is an essential addition to any change in dietary habits. 

5. Improves respiratory and cardiovascular systems and reduces the risk of heart and arterial disease. 

6. Helps to relieve depression

7. Tones your muscles which improves appearance

8. Improves your concentration so you perform better.

9. Improves your sex life. 

10. Helps to relieve pain such as backache and menstrual pain. 

11. Increased body flexibility and helps delay signs of aging. 

12. Improves general health. People who exercise regularly rarely fall sick. 

13. Helps you to give up smoking or helps prevents starting again. 

Image Courtesy -

All About Joint Replacement: Interview with Dr. Aravindan Selvaraj

A veteran in the field of joint replacement surgery, Dr. Aravindan Selvaraj - Chief Orthopaedic Surgeon and Executive Director, Kauvery Hospital is a Dr. D.A Patel gold medal awardee for his academic excellence. Having special interest in the management of shoulder and knee problems and skilled in treating these problems by keyhole surgery, he has practiced in world renowned hospitals like Guys Hospital, St.Thomas Hospital, and Kings College Hospital, both in London and Ireland for more than a decade before returning to India. In this interview, Dr. Aravindan talks on the various facets of joint replacement.


The main indication of joint replacement is when osteoarthritis reaches the advanced stage. Osteoarthritis is an age related wear and tear of the joints that happen after the age of 35-40. After the age of 40, stage I arthritis happens when the cartilage between the joints starts to degenerate. The initial stages can be managed by tablets, physiotherapy and regular exercises. When it reaches stage II, the joint lubrication becomes lesser over time, just like in the engine of a car. Patients can be benefited from an injection in the joint called viscous supplement. When it reaches stage III, patients have continuous pain throughout the day and their quality of life is severely impacted. In such conditions, we do a key- hole surgery and address cartilage damage.


In India, the most common joint replacements are done for the knee joint, followed by hip and shoulder. Knee replacement largely depends on the age and degree of arthritis. When patients come in at a very early stage, only one half of the knee is affected. Actually the knee has three compartments, an inside compartment, outside compartment and knee cap compartment. When one component alone is affected, that can be replaced and is called as unicompartmental knee replacement. The other joint replacements include elbow, wrist, joint and ankle but they are very rare. It is usually following an injury or weight related. When overweight people come in for surgery, I advice them to first optimize their weight before going ahead with the replacement.

We did a surgery on a 88 year old man from Jodhpur, so age is not a barrier. The whole idea is that even if the patient is going to live only for a few years after the surgery, he should be as self-reliant and independent as possible.


The latest implants that are in the market today give a good bending capability in the knee and are called high flexions knee replacements. There is advancement in design by making a cut in the back of the knee. This cut helps achieve 130-145 degree flexibility. However, patients should have realistic expectations. They can't expect to be as flexible as they were in their 20s.


These are artificial implants that comprise of two parts, metal and plastic. The joint space becomes narrow so we make cuts in the bone and replace it with a metal and put in a very high quality polyethene.

Most of the current replacements are expected to last a lifetime. The implants normally outlive the patient unless in rare circumstances where people start doing aggressive sports and wear out the replacements.

Both pre and post surgery physiotherapy are very important as it helps to strengthen quadriceps and takes off the load from the knee. The physiotherapy usually lasts for a month. Some patients with very positive mindsets even start walking in 14 days! They can go back to office in 3 weeks and driving within 2 months time.


People with cardiac surgery, diabetes etc. can undergo joint replacement surgeries as long as the risk factors are addressed and managed. It was not possible 15 - 20 years ago but is possible now.


In the case of rejecting the prosthesis, nickel allergy is a rare case but is a documented phenomenon where in the body rejects prosthesis. There are special implants for those kinds of patients. It is not like the case of kidney transplants and joint replacement is not an immunity - related issue because it is just a metal that is replacing the damaged part of the body.

Thursday, 12 May 2016

4 Silent Signals for Clogged Arteries

Your body is constantly sending signals for clogged arteries, which indicates presence of Coronary Heart Disease. 

1. Baldness especially at the crown of the head

2. Ear crease resulting from poor circulation to the arteries

3. Calf pain

4. Erectile Dysfunction which can be due to a clogged artery in the pelvis

Thursday, 5 May 2016

10 Reasons that cause Liver Disease

The largest internal organ in our body is the Liver. The liver carries out more than 500 functions in our body of which some of the important functions are:

  1. Metabolism
  2. Digestion
  3. Storage of Nutrients
  4. Elimination of toxins
Given the enormity of functions that the liver is responsible for, the possibility of health issues arising is numerous, thereby giving reasons for liver damage. When we speak of liver damage, the most common damage known even to the layman is damage caused by alcohol. Additionally, there are 9 other reasons why liver damage occurs. They include:
  • Alternative Medicine: Inappropriate and overuse of alternative medications (such as herbal remedies), to avoid the side-effects of allopathic medications, can harm the liver.
  • Chemotherapy: The side effects of the drugs associated with Chemotherapy can cause liver damage.
  • Cigarette Smoking: Though smoking cigarettes do not directly impact the liver, the harmful chemicals present in the cigarette smoke, create oxidative stress in the system, after it reaches the liver, causing irreversible damage to the liver cells.
  • Diabetes: The risk of liver disease occurring in diabetic patients is 50%. Due to insulin resistance, high levels of insulin build up in the blood of diabetic patients, triggering abdominal weight gain. In turn, this causes the liver to store fat, which leads to fatty liver disease.
  • Excessive intake of Salt: It is well known that high consumptions of salt can cause high blood pressure. High intake of salt causes a buildup of fluids in the liver, causing it to swell and consequently cause fatty liver disease.
  • Heavy Metals and Pesticides: Adulterated foods, fruits, and vegetables containing pesticides and heavy metals cause damage to the liver, as the toxins in the chemicals get stored in the liver over a lifetime.
  • Alcohol: Excessive consumption of alcohol is the commonest cause of liver damage. The liver diverts its attention from its other functions to convert the alcohol into a less toxic form. When the liver absorbs the alcohol, it causes fatty liver disease, cirrhosis of the liver and inflammation.
  • Intestinal Infections: Overproduction of the yeast Candida interferes with the detoxification functions of the liver, consequently causing damage.
  • Nutritional Supplements: Dietary or nutritional supplements, such as an overdose of Vitamin A, can cause an increase in the production of liver enzymes, which ultimately cause damage to the liver.
  • Obesity: Excess amounts of body fat are present in obese people. This fat tends to accumulate around the liver, causing fatty liver disease. Cirrhosis of the liver and liver failure is also associated with obesity.
  • Over the Counter Medications: Overuse of over the counter medications such as painkillers, corticosteroids, mood stabilizers and antidepressants are known to cause damage to the liver cells.
  • Tuberculosis: When the bacteria causing tuberculosis enter the liver and colonize there, the liver responds by fighting the colonizing bacteria, which leads to the formation of a tumor, called hepatic tuberculosis.
  • Viral Hepatitis and Autoimmune Hepatitis: Autoimmune Hepatitis and Viral Hepatitis A, B, C directly attack the liver cells, causing inflammation. Untreated, this can cause cirrhosis of the liver and gradually end in liver failure.   

 Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is the answer to maintaining a healthy liver. 

Image Courtesy -

Wednesday, 4 May 2016

Eat Safe! Have a great Holiday!

It’s holiday time and many of you must be planning trips abroad or within India. Here are a few tips to eat safe and not fall ill during or after your travel.  

1. Drink only from sealed water  bottles  of reputed brands
2. The salad in the buffet will definitely look delectable. But if you have a weak stomach, skip the salad. Lots of bacteria might be lurking in them. 

3. Skip uncooked food like chutney and serve yourself with sauce and jam from sealed containers. 

4. You can have piping hot food as whatever germs present would have died while cooking. Piping hot sambar, rasam and vegetables are safe. 

5. Eggs should be cooked well as half cooked eggs might carry salmonella from chicken to egg! 

6. Its best to enjoy fried fish and other sea food in coastal areas, as you are sure that the fish you consume is fairly fresh. 

7. Peel your fruits. Avoid pre peeled and cut fruits. 

8. If you see flies in abundance avoid buying food in that area. Flies are dangerous carriers of all sorts of diseases. 

9. If you have food intolerance or allergies ask what is there in the dish you are about to order. 

Eat Safe! Have a great Holiday!

Tuesday, 3 May 2016

When should you worry about your child’s fever and consult a doctor

1. If the child has fever for more than five days. Need to find out the underlying cause.

2. If the child has a temperature  of 103 degrees or over and does not come down with medication.

3. If the infant is less than 3 months old and has a fever.

4. If the child is not acting normal, is difficult to arouse, and not taking enough liquids and not urinating on a regular basis.

5. If your child’s fever does not come down after 48 hours after immunization. 

Monday, 2 May 2016

What is generalized anxiety disorder?

There is no shortage of things to worry about – from personal concerns about job security or health, to fears related to larger issues such as political conflicts or natural disasters. Temporary anxiety can be a healthy response to uncertainty and danger, but constant worry and nervousness may be a sign of generalized anxiety disorder.

Generalized anxiety disorder is characterized by debilitating worry and agitation about nothing in particular, or anything at all.

People with generalized anxiety disorder tend to worry about everyday matters. They can't shake the feeling that something bad will happen, and they will not be prepared. They may worry to excess about missing an appointment, losing a job, or having an accident. Some people even worry about worrying too much.

Symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder

The following are well-observed symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder.

  1. Persistent, excessive worry about several different things for at least six months
  2. Fatigue, difficult sleeping, or restlessness
  3. Trouble concentrating
  4. Irritability
  5. Muscle tension
  6. Feeling tense or "on edge"

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