Sunday, 30 October 2016

Blood thinners and their use today

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Blood thinners as their name suggests, are used as anticoagulants and increase the time duration taken for the formation of a blood clot, thereby reducing the risk of a stroke or a heart attack due to clots. Blood thinners are recommended by doctors for patients who have different kinds of heart or blood vessel diseases or if the blood flow to the brain is poor.


Basically, there are two types of blood thinners, the first type acts on chemical reactions and prevents the formation of blood clots and the other type acts on blood cells, called platelets and prevent them from clumping together, thus effectively preventing the formation of blood clots. Doctors often prescribe the anticoagulant drugs to delay the time of blood clot formation. Your doctor will carefully monitor the dosage of blood thinners and make sure that the amount of blood thinners administered are in accordance with the international normalized ratio (INR). This ratio is the rate at which your blood clots and the INR varies from person to person according to their medical history.


Certain foods, drugs, and medicinal plants can interfere with blood thinners. They can alter the concentration of the blood thinners and vary their effect on your body. So it is very important for you to seek advice from your doctor regarding your diet if you are on blood thinners. For example, Vitamin K can reduce the effectiveness of some anticoagulants  thus decreasing the time taken for the blood clot formation. So you need to stay away from foods like broccoli, cabbage, spinach etc.  that have a large amount of Vitamin K in them.


Certain antibiotics, anti-fungal drugs and painkillers can act as blood thinners. Foods like garlic, ginger, celery etc. are good blood thinners. Foods rich in Vitamin E are natural blood thinners. Almonds, tomatoes, mangoes etc. are rich in Vitamin E. Natural Blood thinners are beneficial to your heart health but they need to be consumed with caution.


Some people tend to experience side effects with the administration of blood thinners. These side effects may include bloody or discolored feces and urine along with nosebleeds and bleeding gums. Some people also experience hair loss or the feeling of dizziness.

The presence of blood thinners in your system can increase the chance of internal bleeding after trauma and you are required to seek medical attention immediately if you experience these side effects. Your doctor may advise you to stay away from contact sports for a while to decrease the chance of bleeding, but you can still exercise normally and go running or swimming.

Thursday, 27 October 2016

What is Kidney Failure? Is it treatable?

Kidney failure seems to be prevalent in all ages. There are various types of Kidney Failure, some are temporary and some permanent. All types of renal failure have treatment and can be cured completely. We had done kidney transplantation for a 5 year child some years ago. Recently the patient came to us as a mother of a baby. This was so heartening for us. It proves that kidney failure has a complete cure and a transplant patient can lead a normal life.


Wednesday, 26 October 2016

Colon Cancer - The threat is real

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Colon cancer is one deadly disease that is found on the rise in the recent years due to our unhealthy lifestyle and eating habits. This cancer attacks the digestive system including the small and large intestines. Colon Cancer affects more men than women and the risk increases with age. It is a growth in the colon usually arising from a polyp. The polyp generally looks like small florets of the cauliflower and sometimes looks flat. When it spreads it results in life- threatening issues.

What causes Colon Cancer?

There are no specific causes that could be pointed out as causes; however certain factors such as genetics, diet and health have been associated with high risks of colon cancer. 

Two genetic syndromes, Lynch syndrome and familial adenomatous polyposis have been associated with this disease.

Frequent consumption of red meat is found to increase the risk. Colon cancer is rare in Eastern countries where red meat is not consumed as the western counterparts.

Heavy consumption of alcohol and smoking is also found to trigger the cancer cells. Health factors such as diabetes, obesity, sedentary lifestyle without sufficient exercise, inflammatory diseases such as ulcerative colitis are found to increase the likelihood of developing colon cancer.

What are the symptoms to look for?

The presence of cancer cells in the colon or rectum can be indicated by the following symptoms:

• Blood in bowel movement.

• Loss of weight
• Stomach pain ranging from mild to intense.
• Constipation or Diarrhea. Disturbed bowel movements.

The worst thing about colon cancer is that the symptoms are not seen until the disease has gotten pretty advanced. Hence regular screening is advised for individuals aged 50-75. The African Americans who have an increased risk can begin screening as early as 45 years of age.

Screening for colon cancer:

The screening test includes a home stool test called FOBT- Fecal Occult Blood Testing; Flex Sig- a flexible sigmoidoscopy and a colonoscopy. These tests check stool samples for blood cells and must be done annually.

The Flex Sig and colonoscopy involves insertion of a thin tube into the colon through the rectum to check for polyps. The entire colon is examined. Enema is given to clear out the excreta before the procedure. Colonoscopy is generally done under anesthesia and the patient may feel groggy after the procedure and may need to stay off from work and will need a ride home.

More than 60% of colon cancer deaths have been prevented due to effective and timely screening exams.


An early stage of cancer is small and localized and requires less intervention. Surgery can be done to effectively remove small tumors and the residual cells can be killed through chemotherapy. Advance stages call for the removal of the infected colon and reattaching with the rectum. Alternative treatments and improved food habits can improve the condition of the patient. 

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Monday, 17 October 2016

Tips for older people to prevent falls and fractures

Yes, falls can be prevented. These are some simple ideas for you to guard yourself against falling.

  • Talk to Your Doctor freely expressing all your worries.
  • Ask your doctor to evaluate your risk for falling, and get to learn from them specific steps you can easily follow.
  • Ask your doctor to review your medicines to check if any of them might make you dizzy or sleepy. This should include prescription medicines and over-the counter medicines.
  • Ask your doctor’s advice on taking vitamin D supplements with calcium.
  • Do strength and balance exercises that can make your legs stronger and your balance better. Tai Chi is a good example of this kind of exercise.
  • Have your eyes checked by an eye doctor at least once a year. Take care to change your eyeglasses for vision correction, if needed. You may want to get a pair of distance vision glasses just for your outdoor activities, such as walking, if you use at home bifocal or progressive lenses. Sometimes these types of lenses can make things seem closer or farther away than they really are.
Make your home safer:
  • Get rid of things you could trip over.
  • Add grab bars inside and outside your tub or shower and next to the toilet.
  • Put railings on both sides of stairs.
  • Add more powerful or greater number of electrical lights to make sure your home is brighter.
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Tips to recover after a Spinal Surgery

A person undergoing a spinal surgery requires a considerable amount of time to heal. The initial stages of healing require extra precautions and the patient may be required to shift positions frequently and not stand or sit for too long. Taking small walks initially and increasing the distance slowly is a good idea. Here are a few other important factors that every patient needs to follow to recover quickly.

After the surgery, the patient will most likely have a lot of pain. Appropriate pain management will go a long way in aiding the recovery time of the patient. Narcotic painkillers and anti-inflammatory drugs are commonly used. For patients who undergo a fusion surgery, NSAIDs (Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) should be avoided because they inhibit the formation of bones which is necessary for the fusion of two bones. Frequent application of ice packs in the initial stages can also effectively manage the pain. Early application of heat packs can increase the blood flow to the area and cause swelling and an increase in pain, so the application of heat packs should be saved for later. Pain and stiffness will reduce if the patient tends to take short walks frequently.

The patients are advised to avoid lifting heavy objects. Most doctors advise the patients to barely lift 4 kilograms for the first two weeks after the surgery. Lifting and bending while cooking and cleaning could be painful and the patients are advised to take rest. After two weeks, the patients can slowly start increasing their movements and return back to normal.

Getting continuous uninterrupted sleep soon after the surgery will aid the recovery process and reduce the healing time. The most important factor is the position at which the patient sleeps. The correct posture to sleep is to lie face up on the bed with pillows to elevate the upper back, shoulder and head region and pillows kept under the knees so that the hip and the knees are slightly bent. This posture reduces the strain and pressure on the back and will help in the quicker recovery of the patient.

The patients need to exercise and stretch the back slowly and carefully. Care should be taken so that the exercise does not aggravate the pain and cause further damage to the back. Seeking help from a physiotherapist is highly recommended and a careful regime should be followed. Apart from this, the continuous movement would aid the blood flow to the back. The restricting movement would cause stiffness in the back which would cause further complications. Yoga is also advised for the patients after two or three weeks to improve their back strength.

The patient can also use the support of a walking stick or cane to improve the balance and keep the back from handling too much pressure. Apart from this, using extra cushions on the bed or the sofa will make the patient feel more comfortable. Keep these in mind and follow while your body heads for a fast recovery.

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Friday, 14 October 2016

Symptoms of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder - ADHD

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is a developmental and behavioral disorder seen among children between 5- 8 years of age. What are the symptoms that one needs to look for? The symptoms vary and may be difficult to recognize at times. Almost all children show one or more symptoms of ADHD and can be treated as normal during the growing years. But it is important to evaluate the child under various criteria to make a proper diagnosis for ADHD. There are seven common signs that are discussed below that could help you to analyze your child’s behavior before seeking the intervention of a medical practitioner.

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Lack of Attention:

As the name indicates the child will be found deficit in attention. He/she cannot take multiple instructions and need to be given directions one at a time. The child will be found easily distracted and the span of attention in a given task will be very low. This can be addressed by giving them simple instant gratification through motivational techniques for sustained attention.


The child is mostly engrossed in his world and is not sensitive to the needs or desires of others. The child may interrupt when others are talking and may have trouble waiting for their turn in playing games or doing class room activities with other children.

Temper Tantrums:

The child may throw tantrums easily and may express outbursts of anger at inappropriate times. They may have trouble in keeping their emotions at check. They may be stubborn and may not listen to reasoning if found in an agitated state of mind. This emotional turmoil needs gradual taming with a lot of patience from the caregiver.


These children cannot stay in a place for a long duration and tend to get very fidgety. Often parents and teachers may describe them as “Driven by Motor”. They are on the move always and are seen loitering around in a classroom or playground where restriction of movement is enforced.

Incomplete task:

The child will express desires to do many activities but may have trouble in completing the task. They may start a project and may lose interest during the process and leave it half done and would’ve already shifted to some other task that might have caught their attention.

Increase in number of errors

As mentioned earlier they cannot follow multiple orders and may have difficulty in following instructions that may call for planning or executing a plan. This could result in careless mistakes. However, it does not indicate laziness or lack of intelligence.

Day dreaming

A child with ADHD could be very quiet and withdrawn and less interactive with other kids, which again might be a symptom in some kids. The child may stare into space, and be ignorant of what is happening around them.

If the child is found to show the above symptoms, then it is advisable to review all the treatment options with the right doctor. ADHD is treatable. So an earlier diagnosis and treatment will be more effective.

Tuesday, 11 October 2016

Simple steps for healthy body and mind

The world we live in these days is extremely tiring. People do not have a minute to stop everything and think about their health and the state of their mind. This has led to the development of extreme pressure and tension in your mind which inadvertently affects your body. Here are a few things you can follow that will help you maintain a calm and composed mind and body.


Staying hydrated is extremely important to maintain a good body metabolism. Take a water break once every hour and cool off for a few minutes and then continue your work. Straining your mind continuously won’t help you think effectively and you’ll end up making a mess out of your work. So remember to take these small water breaks.


Eating and sleeping are two basic necessities that we cannot compromise on. They both are equally important and a lack of either one would cause catastrophic damages to your body. Learn to love your body and pamper yourself. Everyone deserves the right to eat delicious healthy food and get a good night’s sleep. Get a minimum of 7 hours sleep and eat at least 3 whole meals every day. 

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Exercising regularly is something that everyone compromises on these days. Unless you can live a long healthy life to enjoy your success, there is no point in working strenuously every day. Workout every day for 30-45 minutes and sweat a lot and remove all toxins from your body. At least take a brisk walk in the park or the beach and take in gulps of fresh air. Once you sweat and burn those calories your body will feel good and your mind will automatically become active and your work will be more productive.


Once you come home, unwind fully and relax. Forget all your work worries and enjoy the time you have at home. Lie down on your couch and catch a movie on  TV or listen to your favorite songs.  Never bring in the work pressure into your house.  Spend time with your family and enjoy the little pleasures of life.


Sundays are the days of resting and relaxation. Make it mandatory that you take Sundays off from work. Sleep for a few extra hours or go to the mall with your family or take a long drive…Do anything that will keep the pressure off your mind. Working 24x7 would be disastrous to the body and cause many negative effects. Rest and Rejuvenate for a day and then go back to work on Monday (You will be better prepared to handle the week ahead) Once you follow these steps you will notice big changes in the condition of your body and mind. You will feel less anxious and more energetic. You will feel good about yourself and you will enjoy life. So keep calm and stay happy.

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