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In a recently conducted study, most states of India are highly affected by air pollution and have poor Air Quality Index (A unit that measures the rate of air pollution on a scale of 0-500, with higher numbers indicating very poor quality of air). The scores revealed that the entire population is living under a warning zone, where the adverse impacts of such high levels of air pollution can lead to serious health problems such as asthma, coronary artery disease and other chronic issues. In fact, out of the world's top 20 most polluted cities, 13 are from India!
In lieu of these grave statistics, it is important to be aware about the ways to safeguard ourselves from the hazards of air pollution. You can protect yourself from the risks of respiratory and cardiac problems, cancer, low-immunity related issues and lung problems, if you follow these 5 simple steps:
- You can use an N95 mask: The N95 mask is a protective respiratory mask, designed specifically to filter airborne particles. It may prevent you from inhaling minute particles that the air carries by acting as a protective barrier. Its name, N95, stands for the 95 per cent of very small test particles that the respirator has been designed to block. It can significantly reduce your risk of contracting respiratory illness. Simply wear this mask over your nose and mouth while travelling.You can easily purchase this device at your local pharmacy or at certain popular online stores.
- Avoid travelling during the hours of heavy pollution: Traffic blocks, which tend to spike air pollution levels, are common during office hours in metropolitans and megacities. To guard yourself from the harmful impact of fuel and smoke emissions, you can choose to travel either just before the office rush hour starts or after it is over.
- Breathe in the fresh morning air: If you open the windows of your home every morning, it encourages the flow of fresh air. This allows all the settled dust particles and indoor pollutants to ventilate, thereby decreasing the level of pollutants in your home. This way you can breathe in fresh and pure air as it is less contaminated during the early hours of the morning. Also, you can try placing an air purifier at home as it may trap contaminants through its replaceable filter, ensuring the quality of air you breathe in at home is healthy and free of pollutants.
- Exercise at the right time: If you work out at the time of day when pollution levels are high, polluted air is drawn into your lungs at a higher rate since cardio-vascular exercises entail heavy and deep breathing. So it is a good idea to pick your workout time wisely. Just after sunrise is an ideal time since the pollution levels are the lowest.
- Consume foods and beverages rich in antioxidants: Researchers have found that vitamin C deficiency may cause breathing and immunity-related problems. Regular consumption of berries, tomatoes, carrots, broccoli, apples, plums, green tea, oranges, pomegranates, and lemon among other foods may help you in naturally overcoming health impacts of air and smoke pollution. These foods and beverages can help your body build a strong immune system. They may also prove to be powerful antioxidants that help prevent the onset of respiratory diseases.
Although these methods do not entirely curb the ill-effects of air pollution and smoke, they do go a long way in significantly preventing the impacts of air pollutants on your health. So adopt them to the maximum extent you can for a healthier lifestyle. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a General Physician.
Pimples are very annoying, especially when they are on your cheeks because then they do twice the damage - hurt your skin and at the same time they also steal away the charm of your looks. Although there are many lotions and creams in the markets that guarantee the removal of this skin inflammation, they are chemicals that eventually start showing its side-effects on your skin. For this reason, a few home remedies with some simple pimple-combating tools work the best and here are some of them:
- Use ice cubes and crushed ice to reduce the redness and the heat in the inflammation. Applying ice over the pimples eventually makes them reduce in size and disappear altogether.
- Soak a little piece of cotton or rag in fresh lemon juice and apply it over a pimple. Lemon helps a pimple dry up faster.
- Soak a rag of cotton in tea tree oil and put it over a pimple. It has anti-bacterial properties which help fight against acne pimples. For even better results, you can also try mixing tea tree oil in aloe vera gel. You can put this mixture on your acne pimples and rinse it after 20 minutes for effective healing.
- White toothpaste can work wonderfully with a pimple and reduce it to nothing in a very little time.
- Steaming is another foolproof way to get rid of the pimples in the most natural manner. If you expose the pimples to steam, the steam works its way through the pimples and cleans out all the bacteria. It thus helps your skin to breathe and get in contact with oxygen. This ultimately makes a pimple ripen quickly and thus leads to its deterioration.
- Use garlic to get rid of pimples. How? Garlic is an antiviral, antifungal, antiseptic and antioxidant agent which is why it is a very good remedy for pimples. Cut a small piece of garlic and rub it over your pimples. After several minutes wash your face with lukewarm water.
- Honey is another natural antibiotic that can accelerate the removal of pimples by effective healing. The catch here is to apply honey directly over the affected area. Keep it for several minutes and then wash it off with lukewarm water. Mixing honey and cinnamon and applying its paste on the affected area is also a very dead-sure manner of getting rid of pimples.
- Grind a cucumber to make a face mask and allow it to dry. Then wash your face after several minutes. This cleans up the dirt and bacteria in the pimples.
Next time you get those unwanted pimples, you know what to do!
Diabetes is a serious disorder which happens when your body has an unreasonably high level of blood sugar, which further leads to harmful effects. Diabetes has a wide variety of complications associated with it, and they start to build up slowly and gradually. Some of the common complications are:
- Retinopathy - In simple words, diabetes leads to eye damage by making the eye exposed and prone to severe eye disorders like cataracts and glaucoma. If you have retinopathy, then you may also have face the consequence loss of vision or permanent blindness.
- Skin conditions - During diabetes, your skin health is bound to degrade to a large extent. Your skin will become thin in texture and more prone to cuts and breakages due to internal skin cell damage. Thus, the skin gets more exposed to the bacterial and viral infections and its healing process also slows down as the cell division takes longer than usual.
- Nephropathy - Nephropathy refers to kidney damage which is caused due to diabetes. The kidneys act as a filter system to the body and they filter out waste materials from the blood. Diabetes causes damage to the blood vessels of the kidneys which may further result in serious kidney disorders and may increase the risks of a sudden kidney failure.
- Cardiovascular diseases - This means that if you are having excessive diabetes, then you are at a risk of having a major heart attack or a heart stroke. Additionally, increased blood sugar levels also lead to other heart-related diseases like chest pain, narrowing of arteries etc.
- Neuropathy - It is a complication related to the nervous system of your body. The complication generally occurs in the legs as there is a numbness, burning or tingling sensation in the legs. This happens due to the extra sugar in the body, which damages the walls of the blood vessels. In the worst case scenario, you can lose sensation in the legs.
However, it is always desirable that you go and consult a doctor if the conditions persist for a longer time. Additionally, you can also depend upon some domestic care measures to bring your blood sugar levels under control.
Paneer, also known as cottage cheese, is a dairy product which is made by curdling the milk with the help of lemon or vinegar and then draining the liquid. Not only is it delicious and an integral part of some of the most popular dishes of Indian cuisine, it is also a very good source of calcium, protein and healthy fats that help in improving the functioning of the body.
Here are some of the surprising health benefits of this Indian dietary staple:
- Diabetes-friendly: The carbohydrate content is low in paneer, which makes it a very good option for diabetics. Consumption of paneer does not cause a surge in the blood sugar level as it is digested slowly by the body.
- Improves bone and teeth health: Protein is a good source of calcium and phosphorus that helps in improving the health of the teeth and bones in the body.
- Helps in weight loss: Cottage cheese is a great source of conjugated linoleic acid that helps in boosting the metabolism of the body, thus aiding weight loss. Plus, it lowers the risk of cancer by reducing the amount of bad cholesterol in the body.
- Contains high amounts of protein: Enriched with vegetable protein, which is the basic building component of muscles and bones, paneer is known to keep your muscles and bones in good health. Besides, the protein in paneer is essential for brain development and the development of the fetus, making it another reason why it should be a part of your diet.
- Improves metabolism: Paneer contains high amounts fiber, which helps in improving the digestive process of the body. It also adds bulk to the stool and helps in feeling full.
- Controls blood pressure: It regulates blood pressure as it contains potassium, which helps in lowering blood pressure by controlling the effect that sodium has on your body.
- Boosts the immune system: Paneer contains compounds that help in strengthening the immune system, thereby preventing disorders like common cold, cough and bronchial asthma. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a General Physician.
The key to a moderately healthy life is often vested in the kind of lifestyle you lead. Certain alterations in your daily routine can bring marked changes in your overall health. The amount of sleep a person gets on a daily basis decides his or her temperament, productivity, and most importantly, the person’s health. If you thought sleep was only a means to relax, you were very wrong.
Getting in sync with your body’s natural sleep-wake cycle, or circadian rhythm, is one of the most important strategies for sleeping better. If you keep a regular sleep-wake schedule you’ll feel much more refreshed and energized than if you sleep the same number of hours at different times, even if you only alter your sleep schedule by an hour or two. A few effective ways can be followed to help the case of sleep deprivation.
- Exercising regularly can have far reaching effects on your sleep patterns- Lack of physical exertion could be the reason behind light or irregular sleep patterns. To remedy the situation, you need to exercise regularly. Heavy cardiovascular exercises are not always necessary; you could do a set of free- hand exercises each day for a stretch of twenty minutes to keep healthy. This helps you to get good sleep at night.
- Eat healthy to sleep well- The kind of diet you follow can also affect your sleep. If your intake of caffeine, nicotine or alcohol is too high, you are sure to face problems in sleeping. It is necessary for you to eat a light dinner; being overly full or being on an empty stomach can ruin your sleep too. Avoid greasy foods, especially at night, as acidity spoils your intentions of getting a peaceful sleep.
- Make sure your night’s sleep is associated with one particular ritual- It is best to accustom your body with a ritual that you particularly carry out before going to bed. For instance, you could take a shower in warm water or massage your head with hot oil before retiring for the day. Such a ritual signals your brain cells that they are required to get some sleep now.
- Keep away from electronic gadgets before going to bed- The bright light of television sets, laptop screens or even cell phones can interfere with your sleep routine. Spending a lot of time on electronic gadgets at night excites your brain neurons, preventing them from any kind of relaxation.
- Cut down on sleep during the day- While twenty to thirty minute long power naps during daytime can help restore drained out energy, longer naps are actually harmful. If you sleep for long stretches in the day, you will invariably fail to get sufficient sleep at night. Hence, remind yourself to not fall prey to the temptations of a comfortable bed during daytime. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a general physician.
Rheumatoid arthritis is an auto-immune chronic disorder that might cause abnormal swelling in the joints when the joint tissues are attacked by the human immune system. The more frequently used body joints, such as the knees, fingers, shoulders, wrists, elbows and hips commonly get affected by the disease. Rheumatoid arthritis can also occur in the ligaments or tendons and might affect areas such as the kidney, bone marrow, eyes, lungs, and heart.
If rheumatoid arthritis is not diagnosed on time, it might lead to future complications, such as blood cancer in the lymph regions, osteoporosis (a medical condition resulting in the weakness of the bones), infections, stiffening of the arteries and dry mouth.
What exactly causes the disease is not known, but a significant damage to the immune system might cause the inflammation of the joints, resulting in this condition. Obesity, a family history of this condition and other lifestyle habits such as smoking tobacco put one at higher risks of this disorder.
The symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis might vary among people. The most common symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis are;
- Severe pain in the morning
- Episodes of mild fever with severe pain
- Redness and inflammation of the joints which might cause intense pain
- Stiffness in the joints
- The pain might increase in low-temperature conditions
- Acute lethargy and weight loss
The treatment of rheumatoid arthritis includes a prescribed dosage (depending on the intensity of the condition) of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen, anti-rheumatoid drugs such as methotrexate and steroid drugs such as prednisone to reduce the swelling and the subsequent pain. Performing regular exercises in order to retain the flexibility of the joints with appropriate consultation from an experienced physician might cure rheumatoid arthritis.
For many people, popping a calcium tablet is something which has benefits, but at the same time does no harm. After all, who does not want to have strong bones and healthy teeth? The unfortunate part is that things are not so simple and a lot of research has debunked this.
Take, for example, the findings that when an old woman has calcium, the fracture rates are not all that different as compared to one who has not had calcium supplements. In addition to this, it was also found as part of a study that there is no positive impact on the mineral density of the hip.
As a matter of fact, calcium tablets and supplements can pose a significant risk, as well. While it is true that calcium does help in the effort of getting heart disease, an amount which is greater than the dietary limit does not. Actually, the excess calcium may increase the risk. This is true when it comes to calcium from supplements and not calcium which is absorbed by the way of food. So, what sort of additional risk is there? A study found that people who receive calcium from a tablet or another similar source have about a 140% greater chance of a heart attack!
How much is too much?
A thousand milligrammes of calcium in excess of the requirement on a daily basis is said to increase the risk of death from CVD or cardiovascular disease by about a fifth. Not a trivial amount, by any measure.
But why does this happen?
The key to answering this question comes from how the calcium is absorbed by the body. When calcium from food is eaten, the rate of it being released is a lot slower as compared to calcium from tablets. Also, when there is excess calcium, it is not absorbed and kept in reserve by the body but is excreted in the form of urine. So, this calcium going through the kidneys can cause some trouble there, as well!
Yes or No?
So, what is to be done in order to make sure one is having a sufficient amount of calcium? Well, there are a lot of sources and consuming things such as dairy products and fish, along with dark leafy vegetables are some great ways to get natural calcium. Only if a person has very low calcium levels should calcium tablets be consumed? It is well worth remembering that too much of a good thing is a bad thing! If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a doctor.