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Dr. Sudhir Hegde

Radiologist, Bangalore

Dr. Sudhir Hegde Radiologist, Bangalore
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Our team includes experienced and caring professionals who share the belief that our care should be comprehensive and courteous - responding fully to your individual needs and preferences....more
Our team includes experienced and caring professionals who share the belief that our care should be comprehensive and courteous - responding fully to your individual needs and preferences.
More about Dr. Sudhir Hegde
Dr. Sudhir Hegde is one of the best Radiologists in Mico Layout, Bangalore. He is currently practising at Advanced Ultrasound Center in Mico Layout, Bangalore. Save your time and book an appointment online with Dr. Sudhir Hegde on Lybrate.com.

Lybrate.com has a number of highly qualified Radiologists in India. You will find Radiologists with more than 27 years of experience on Lybrate.com. You can find Radiologists online in Bangalore and from across India. View the profile of medical specialists and their reviews from other patients to make an informed decision.

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Know More About Breast Augmentation Surgery

MCh - Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, DNB (Plastic Surgery)
Cosmetic/Plastic Surgeon, Aurangabad
Know More About Breast Augmentation Surgery

Breast Augmentation is the most popular plastic surgery procedure performed worldwide.

Breast augmentation can enhance your appearance and your self-confidence, enlarging your breasts and making them more proportional with the rest of your body. Breast augmentation can also be used to correct differences in the size of your breasts or sagging breasts, which can occur after pregnancy and breastfeeding.

Preoperative Planning

There are many choices and options in breast augmentation, which require careful planning to individualize what are the best options for you. All of these choices have advantages and disadvantages, which you should understand before you make a decision with your surgeon.

Breast augmentation does not correct severely drooping breasts. If you want your breasts to look fuller and to be lifted due to sagging, a breast lift may be required in conjunction with breast augmentation. Breast lifting can often be done at the same time as your augmentation or may require a separate operation. Your plastic surgeon will assist you in making this decision.

Most patients choose silicone implants rather than saline implants because they have a more natural look and feel. Modern silicone implants are substantially different from the old type of silicone implants used in the 1970s and 80s. Another advantage of the cohesive gel silicone implants is that they are made in a variety of round and tear-drop shapes, which means it is easier to choose an implant to achieve the breast shape that you desire.

Safety Profile
Misinformation emerged about silicone in the late 80's and early 90's. The effects of silicone implants have since been studied extensively these claims were made, looking at 100,000s of women with breast implants. In June 1999, The Institute of Medicine at the National Academy of Sciences in the U.S.A. released a report, which confirmed that there is no increased risk of the development of cancer, immunologic or neurological problems associated with the use of silicone breast implants, which had been claimed in the late 80's. Patients with implants can breastfeed normally as there is no effect on breast milk.

Surgery
Breast augmentation surgery requires a general anaesthetic, with the operation taking 1-2 hours, and is usually performed as a day-stay or overnight-stay procedure.

Implants are placed either behind the breast tissue or under the pectoralis muscle on the chest wall. Breast implants placed underneath the muscle have a more natural shape, a lower chance of capsular contracture (hardening) of the implant, and it is easier for mammography. There is also a choice of incision - in the crease under the breast, under the areola or in the armpit, all of which have advantages and disadvantages, which you should discuss with your surgeon.

Recovery
Following the surgery, it is important to have restricted light activities, with no lifting or heavy duties for 7-10 days. Most patients may drive again and return to work within 7 days after the surgery. Heavy activities and sport should not be undertaken for 3-4 weeks following the surgery. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a doctor and ask a free question.

1 person found this helpful

My dad has a disc problem and in morning time he suffers from stiffness in lower back area. What should he do?

MS - Orthopaedics
Orthopedist, Chennai
My dad has a disc problem and in morning time he suffers from stiffness in lower back area. What should he do?
He should not bend down, avoiding bike riding and sitting for long time and lifting heavy weights. He should gentle back toning exercises. If not alright he might need surgery.
3 people found this helpful
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Treating Breast Cancer With Ayurveda

Skin Diseases Cancer Heart Diseases Musculoskeletal Disorders Male Sexual Disorders AIDS, Hypertension Diabetes Mellitus Blood Disorders Respiratory Disorders, Gastrointestinal Disorders Endocrine Disorders ENT Disorders, Gynecological Disorders Opthalmic Disorders Psychiatric Disorders Urological Disorders
Ayurveda, Indore
Treating Breast Cancer With Ayurveda

Breast cancer, is a type of cancer, which is common to women, where cancer cells grow on the breasts or the female mammary gland. It starts out with the formation of a small lump in your breast and can spread out to your other organs very rapidly. It generally affects women above forty years of age. Breast cancer can be classified into two types. They can either start forming on the inner linings of your milk ducts ( known as Ductal carcinoma) or in the lobules which supply milk (known as Lobular carcinoma).

There are many causes responsible for breast cancer they are mentioned below

  • Obesity or post-menopausal obesity (Learn more about Heart Diseases Post Menopause)
  • Exposure to frequent radiation (X-ray)
  • Consumption of alcohol
  • Being taller than average
  • Start of periods at an early age
  • Late menopause
  • Hormone replacement therapy
  • Consumption of birth control pills

The most common symptoms of breast cancer are as follows

  1. Formation of a lump in your breast
  2. Swelling or shrinking of your breast
  3. Change of size, shape and color of your nipple
  4. Blood or milk discharge from the nipple
  5. Breast pain
  6. Itching sensation
  7. Appearance of rashes (Learn more about to maintain the skin health)

Breast cancer if not diagnosed and treated at an early stage may turn out to be fatal. Ayurveda offers promising cures for breast cancer.

A few of the Ayurvedic remedies are mentioned below

  1. Include foods, which are well supplied with vitamin D in your diet. Researches show that women with less amount of vitamin D in their bodies are more likely to develop breast cancer. Consider including foods like eggs, orange juice, dairy products and fish like salmon in your diet.
  2. Drink more of green tea as it has anti cancer properties.
  3. Exercises like walking, yoga, meditation and certain breast exercises can help you to relax the pain sensation, reduce stress and also get cured.
  4. Incorporate bitter gourd in your diet. Researches show that bitter gourd can kill those cancer cells, which cause breast cancer.
  5. Ayurvedic herbs like Ashwagandha, tulsi, curcumin have certain properties that can destroy cancer cells.

Since, breast cancer has less survival rates, it is absolutely essential for you to visit an Ayurvedic practitioner if you wish to get cured through Ayurvedic treatment.

5880 people found this helpful

I have a back disc doctor has advised to take complete bed rest for 3 months but I am preparing for competitive exam which is not possible. is there any way so that I will be ok?

DNB (Orthopaedics), Diploma In Orthopaedics (D. Ortho), MBBS
Orthopedist, Gurgaon
The current philosophy of treating disc problems is to enforce strict bed rest for a week to 10 days,
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Fibroid Tumours - 8 Signs You are Suffering From it

MBBS, MD, Registrar, DNB, MNAMS
Gynaecologist, Delhi
Fibroid Tumours - 8 Signs You are Suffering From it

Fibroid tumour is the abnormal cell growth in the uterus and they are mostly benign. Fibroids usually affect women in the age bracket of 30 - 40. Fibroid tumours are of three types, depending on their location:

  1. Submucosal fibroids: The tumour develops under the lining of the uterus
  2. Intramural fibroids: The growth is found amongst the muscles in the wall of the uterus
  3. Subserosal fibroids: The growth develops on the wall of the uterus right in the pelvic cavity

Causes behind it
The exact cause of fibroids in not known clearly. But certain factors have been discovered that might influence their formation. These factors include:

  1. Hormones: Progesterone and estrogen are the hormones responsible for recreating the uterine lining during every menstrual cycle. These hormones might trigger the formation of tumour.
  2. Family history: If any member in your family; your mother, grandmother or sister has/had fibroids in their uterus, you may also develop it.
  3. Pregnancy: Your body produces excessive progesterone and estrogen when you are pregnant, which may cause an increase in the size of a pre-existing small fibroid. Myomectomy can be done by giving incision on the abdomen or by laparoscopy depending on the size and location of the fibroids.

Signs You are suffering from it

  1. Heavy bleeding along with blood clots during or between your periods
  2. Lower back or pelvic pain
  3. Elevated menstrual cramping
  4. Frequent urination
  5. Pain during sex
  6. Longer than normal periods
  7. Bloating or pressure in lower abdomen
  8. Enlargement or swelling of the abdomen

How it can be treated?
Your doctor will formulate the right treatment depending on your age, the mass of the fibroids and your overall health. Your doctor may choose a combination of treatment to cure your fibroids, and they include:

  1. Medication: Gonadotropin releasing hormones (GnRH) agonists, birth control pills and ibuprofen (anti-inflammatory medicine) are prescribed. GnRH agonists reduce the level of progesterone and estrogen in your uterus.
  2. Surgery: Myomectomy and hysterectomy are two common surgical procedures to treat fibroids. Myomectomy is performed by removing the fibroids only by making an incision on the abdomen. But hysterectomy completely removes the uterus. The latter is reserved for serious cases.
  3. Non-invasive surgery: Forced ultrasound surgery, myolysis (shrinking fibroids with laser or electric current), cryomyolysis (fibroids are frozen) and endometrial ablation (an instrument uses heat, hot water, microwaves or electric current to destroy fibroids) are some non-invasive surgical procedures. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a doctor and ask a free question.
2513 people found this helpful

Health Tip

Doctor Of Physical Therapy (DPT), Bachelor of Physical Therapy
Physiotherapist, Bangalore
Health Tip

Herniated disks or bone spurs in the vertebrae of the neck may become the reason behind severe neck pain. They sometimes take too much space and compress the nerves branching out from the spinal cord.

5 people found this helpful

Dear sir. My mother is suffering from pain in waist and legs unable to stand for sometime and unable to walk due to L5 L6 displaced and make pressure on nerve. I don't want to operate for this . Is any other solution.

Dip. SICOT (Belgium), MNAMS, DNB (Orthopedics), MBBS
Orthopedist, Delhi
Hi , This is Dr Akshay from Fortis Hospital. Kindly upload her x ray and MRI images so that i can see and opine accordingly. Thanks & Regards Dr Akshay Kumar Saxena
1 person found this helpful
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I have been suffering from disk problem since 7 months. I have consulted a doctor. I took x-Ray as per his advice. He said disk has been narrowed. He prescribed some painkillers and vitamin tablets. Could anyone please prescribe some medicine for me. I am really unable to sit without any support.

Diploma in Orthopaedics
Orthopedist, Morena
Dear, do the following things. 1. Hot fomentation for 1/2 hrs with lukewarm water. 2. Back extension excercises. 3. Pavan muktasan yoga 4. Bujangasan 5. Muscle relaxant tablets for 5-7 days. 6. Local application of analgesic ointment. 7 vitamin d in form of capsules/sachets under guidance of doctor. Check your vit. B12 level.
1 person found this helpful
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I have noticed that the space between c5 and c6 of my spine have increased and as a result my neck and shoulder are very painful. I have also little tmj. What will I do now? Please Please help me.

PG Diploma in Emergency Medicine Services (PGDEMS), Bachelor of Ayurveda, Medicine and Surgery (BAMS), MD - Alternate Medicine
Ayurveda, Ghaziabad
Hello Lybrate user according to Ayurveda Vata vikriti is the main factor for pain. Treatment- 1-apply prasarini oil or pranacharya restopain oil on your affected part and give hot water fomentation. 2-take yograj guggul and agni tundi vati after lunch and dinner with warm water. 3-Take maha rasnadi kwath 2-2 tsf twice a day. 4-Take pranacharya vatari capsule and syrup twice a day. Diet- Avoid fermented food. Junk food. Potato rice. Sleep well.
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Breast Cancer - Can Ayurveda Help You Treat it?

Bachelor of Ayurveda, Medicine and Surgery (BAMS), MD - Ayurveda
Ayurveda, Navi Mumbai
Breast Cancer - Can Ayurveda Help You Treat it?

If you are suffering from breast cancer, it is recommended that you undertake Ayurvedic measures for an effective and natural treatment. Breast cancer is a form of cancer that occurs in the cells of your breasts. The breast cells undergo abnormal growth and go out of control. This form of cancer is likely to occur in both women and men, although it is most common in women. A lot of breast cancer cases start from the ducts or lobes, while others start from the cellular lining of your milk ducts.

Ayurvedic view
According to the principles of Ayurveda, your body is based on the tridoshas, which include vata, pitta, and kapha.

  1. An imbalance in these doshas can lead to diseases and disruption in your health. Cancer occurs when an imbalance of all the three doshas is experienced.
  2. An improper diet and lifestyle account for being the primary reason for this imbalance in doshas, leading to breast cancer.
  3. Your digestive fire is also affected, which leads to the accumulation of toxins, thereby blocking all the channels of your body.
  4. All these factors are collectively responsible for the development of breast cancer.

Ayurvedic treatment

  1. Ayurvedic treatment for breast cancer is very effective because of its natural approach.
  2. Without the use of any chemicals and radiation, you get efficient management by using Ayurvedic remedies for breast cancer.
  3. Your body functioning is enhanced without the concern of any negative effect on your health.
  4. Several Ayurvedic herbs are used for breast cancer treatment. These herbs help in controlling the abnormal growth of breast cells, and in the later stages of breast cancer, these also help in reducing pain.

The herbs play an important role in preventing the condition from spreading to other organs.

Ashwagandha

  • This powerful Ayurvedic herb contains natural rejuvenating properties for your body.
  • It also helps in eliminating stress, weakness and fatigue, which are associated with breast cancer.

Curcuma

  • This effective Ayurvedic herb contains several medicinal properties.
  • It is an antioxidant and helps in reducing free radicals from your body. This is beneficial for an improved health and immunity.
  • The herb is capable of dealing with toxins and infections, and is super effective in treating malignant cancers.

Kanhnaar Guggul

  • This is an Ayurvedic product, which is obtained by mixing several herbs such as amalaki, haritaki, ginger, kachnar bark and a lot more.
  • This is effective in maintaining healthy tissues and cells. It also stops the abnormal growth of cancerous cells.

It is important for you to visit a licensed and experienced Ayurvedic practitioner for getting the best Ayurvedic remedies for breast cancer treatment. This will ensure that you get the most effective remedies, based on your condition.

5771 people found this helpful

Health Benefits Of Barley

Diploma in Diet n Nutrition, BHMS
Homeopath,
Health Benefits Of Barley

Did you know barley water is good for kidney stones?
Barley (jau), a member of grass family, is a cereal that has been cultivated for over 13, 000 years. Packed with carbohydrates (78%), fat (1%), protein (10%) and water (10%), barley is a rich source of essential nutrients, dietary fiber, vitamins such as niacin, manganese, phosphorus and vitamin B6.

With several health benefits to its name, barley water is termed as the elixir to good health. It has been found to be beneficial in reducing chances of heart disease, soothing bowels, reducing blood cholesterol levels, improving blood sugar regulation in the body and acts as nutritive broth for fever, cold and cough. Additionally, studies support that barley water has also been found to play an integral role in maintaining renal health.

What is a renal stone?
A renal stone is a solid stony piece consisting of crystal forming substances in the urinary tract. They are usually formed when the urine is abundant in substances such as calcium, oxalate and uric acid and lack substances that inhibit their accumulation. While small kidney stones can pass through the urinary system without any symptoms, a stone larger than 5 mm can result in blockages in the urinary tract causing severe pain in the back and lower abdomen.

What causes renal stones?
- A family history for stones, lack of adequate water in the body, high BMI, excessive intake of diets rich in protein, sodium and sugar have been found to be some of the common causes for stone formation.

Try protein foods & supplements
- Medical conditions such as hyperthyroidism, inflammatory bowel syndrome and renal tubular acidosis have also been found to alter the digestion of calcium.

How does barley water aid the dissolution of renal stones?
Studies show that regular use of barley water can dissolve and eliminate existing kidney stones and prevent the occurrence of stones and other kidney problems. Use of diuretics either natural or synthetic can help speed up the expulsion of the stone.

Diuretic in nature, barley water helps to flush toxins from the kidneys by creating bladder pressure and increasing the frequency of urination.

- It helps maintain the PH levels in the body, making it alkaline, preventing various urinary tract issues, including kidney stones.

- The vitamin B6 and magnesium in barley helps break down the masses of toxic calcium oxalate (primary cause for stones) in the kidney.

Dietary fiber in barley reduces the amount of calcium that is excreted by the body through urine, restoring renal health and cleansing the kidneys.

Ways to prepare barley water:
- Boil 1 litre of water with a tablespoon of barley pearls and boil on a low flame for about 30 minutes or until the water has reduced to half.
- Strain and cool this mix and drink it through the day.
- Add lemon juice or honey to make the mix tasty

Regular use of barley water ensures that the renal system is hydrated, healthy and free of depositions such as renal stones. So, go ahead and add this elixir to your diet to ensure a healthy renal system and a healthier you. Eat healthy, stay healthy!

5 people found this helpful

Is there any other possible cure for herniated disc except operation when the patient has started losing power in one leg while other leg is having radiative pain.

Fellowship of the Royal College of Surgeons (FRCS), Membership of the Royal College of Surgeons (MRCS)
Orthopedist, Trichy
Is there any other possible cure for herniated disc except operation when the patient has started losing power in one...
if the disc is large then you would require decompression for the symptoms u have described. otherwise the power may not recover completely.
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Dear sir, I am 33 year old. I have back ache since 2010 mri also have been done it shown herniated slip disk and doctor has advised me surgery. But I am not willing to get surgery please advise me what should I do.

MBBS, MS - Orthopaedics
Orthopedist, Delhi
Not all pt. Of backache need surgery. Most of them can be managed with out operation. Kindly show me a photograph of the affected part. Rule out diabetes & vit. D deficiency or any other metabolic disorder. Sleep on a hard bed with soft bedding on it. Spring beds, folding beds or thick matress are harmful Do hot fomantation. Paracetamol 250mg od & sos x 5days. Ubicar 1 tab odx10 caldikind plus 1tab od x10. Do neck, back & general exercises. It may have to be further investigated. You will need other supportive medicines also. Make sure you are not allergic to any of the medicines you are going to take. If it does not give relief in 1 wk, contact me again. Do not ignore. It could be beginning of a serious problem.
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I am 63 year old. I am having sciatica, back pain and numbness in both legs. I do not have BP and my sugar level is with in limit. As per CT scan report the impression are as follows: Lumbar Spondylitis with Disc herniation at L4-5, L3-4 levels and disc bulge at L5-S1 level. Canal stenosis at L4-5 level. Cervical spondylosis - Decreased height of C5 and C6. Vertebral bodies with end plate irregularities at C4-C7 levels. Disc bulge at C3-4 level. Disc herniation with canal stenosis at C4-5, C5-6 and C6-7 levels. Can it be cured with Homeopathy.

MBBS, MS - Orthopaedics
Orthopedist, Delhi
Sleep on a hard bed with soft bedding on it. Spring beds, folding beds or thick matress are harmful use no pillow under the head. Do hot fomantation. Paracetamol 250mg od & sos x 5days. Caldikind plus 1tab od x10. Do neck back knee & general exercises. It may have to be further investigated. Make sure you are not allergic to any of the medicines you are going to take. For emergency treatment contact your nearest hospital or family doctor. If it does not give relief in 4-5days, contact me again. Why not discuss with me in a video conference? (facility provided by lybrate. Com)
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Kidney Failure Cure

MD - Homeopathy, BHMS
Homeopath, Indore
Kidney Failure Cure

Complete, permanent, easy, safe, fast & cost effective kidney failure
Health cure at aarogya super speciality modern homoeopathic clinic (computerised), Dr. Arpit chopra (md homoeopathy, 102, krishna tower, opposite curewell hospital, janjirwala chouraha, newpalasia, indore, you may check cured patients reports & feedbacks on website- www. Homoeopathycure. Com, email - arpitchopra23@gmail. Com, 9713092737, 9713037737, 9907527914 (whats up no, 0731-2532737, 0731-3961737.

1 person found this helpful

Hi, I am having pain right side disk. Kindly suggest.

MS - Orthopaedics, MBBS
Orthopedist,
Kindly show me digital x rays ofls spine. Rule out diabetes & vit. D deficiency or any other metabolic disorder. Sleep on a hard bed with soft bedding on it. Spring beds, folding beds or thick matress are harmful use no pillow under the head. Do hot fomantation. Ibuprofen 200mg od & sos x 5days bio d3 max 1tab od x10 do neck, back & general exercises. It may have to be further investigated. You will need other supportive medicines also. Make sure you are not allergic to any of the medicines you are going to take. Do reply back for detailed treatment plan. Do not ignore. It could be beginning of a serious problem.
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My wife is suffering from slip disc I already have consulted orthopedic surgeon now, will homeopathy be more effective than doctors medicine. Please advise.?

MBBS, MS - Orthopaedics
Orthopedist, Delhi
Kindly show me a photograph of the affected part. Rule out diabetes & vit. D deficiency or any other metabolic disorder. Sleep on a hard bed with soft bedding on it. Spring beds, folding beds or thick matress are harmful use no pillow under the head. Do hot fomantation. Paracetamol 250mg od & sos x 5days. Caldikind plus 1tab od x10. Do neck, back & general exercises. It may have to be further investigated. You will need other supportive medicines also. Make sure you are not allergic to any of the medicines you are going to take. If it does not give relief in 4-5days, contact me again. Do not ignore. It could be beginning of a serious problem.
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I have an disk problem so is it possible to me to give a birth to new child?

MS - Orthopaedics, MBBS
Orthopedist,
Yes, why not? you may need supervision of a ortho. Doctor. Still better will be to get rid of backache first. You kindly follow sleep on a hard bed with soft bedding on it. Spring beds, folding beds or thick matress are harmful use no pillow under the head. Do hot fomantation. Paracetamol 250mg od & sos x 5days. Caldikind plus 1tab od x10. Do neck, back knee & general exercises. It may have to be further investigated. Make sure you are not allergic to any of the medicines you are going to take. For emergency treatment contact your nearest hospital or family doctor. If it does not give relief in 4-5 days, contact me again.
1 person found this helpful
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How to Reduce Urea Levels in Blood Naturally

Bachelor of Ayurveda, Medicine and Surgery (BAMS)
Ayurveda, Navi Mumbai
How to Reduce Urea Levels in Blood Naturally

All healthy individuals will always have some amount of urea in the blood. Yet, when the urea level in the blood becomes too high, that means there is a malfunction in some part of the body due to which the body is not being able to remove this excess urea successfully. This urea can be formed in the liver when there is a process in terms of the protein metabolism's chemical balance. This urea is then transported to various parts of the body until the kidney cleans it out as urine. But when this urea does not get cleaned out properly, the urea gets concentrated in the blood and signifies a problem with the kidneys and other internal organs as well as the blood flow to the kidneys. 

The cause may include burns, heart failure, renal artery embolism, vomiting and loose motions as well as more serious ailments like Diabetes. This can lead to long term kidney damage and symptoms like thirst, fluid retention, headaches, fatigue, dizzy spells, accelerated pulse, restlessness in limbs, pain in the abdomen and more. Here are the best ways to reduce the blood urea levels in a natural manner.

Herbal Medicines:

Ayurveda is an ancient science that can be used for the benefit of many patients suffering from chronic and painful ailments like diabetes, kidney failure, cardiovascular ailments and more. One of the mainstays of Ayurveda includes the use of herbs to create medicines and concoctions that will help in giving relief with their 100% natural elements. Medicines like Mutrakrichantak Churna, Punarnava Mandur, Varunadi Vati and many others can be used to avoid dialysis and bring down the urea levels in the blood by aiding better functioning of the kidneys.

  1. Punarnava: The name of this herb has been derived from two words - Puna and Nava. While Puna means again, Nava means new and together they help in renewed functioning of the organ that they treat. This herb helps in flushing out the excess fluid in the kidneys by reducing the swelling without any side effects. This herb is basically a kind of hogweed.
  2. Varun: This is the common caper which can be used to break down the stones present in the renal region and even as a cure for urinary tract infection. This herb helps in removing any element that may be obstructing the urinary tract and finally removes the excess fluid build up and inflammation.
  3. Gokshur: This is a diuretic that can be used as a herbal tonic to give strength to the weak kidney cells for regeneration.

Other aspects of Ayurvedic treatment for this condition include proper protein intake and better hydration along with massages and Yogic postures.

3266 people found this helpful

Breast Cancer - Know More to Say 'No' More!

MBBS, DGO, MD - Obstetrics & Gynaecology, MRCOG
Gynaecologist, Delhi
Breast Cancer - Know More to Say 'No' More!

Cancer is the abnormal, uncontrolled growth of cells in a particular body part. With continued growth, pieces of this tissue travel through the blood to different body parts and continue to grow in the new area. This is known as metastases. Breast cancer is one of the most common forms of cancer and affects about 1 in 8 women in the USA. Read on to know more details of breast cancer – breast anatomy, causes, symptoms, risk factors, detection, prevention, and of course treatment.

Anatomy: The main function of the breast is lactation through its milk-producing tissue that are connected to the nipple by narrow ducts. In addition, there is surrounding connective tissue, fibrous material, fat, nerves, blood vessels and lymphatic channels which complete the structure. This is essential to know as most breast cancers develop as small calcifications (hardened particles) in the ducts or as small lumps in the breast tissue which then continues to grow into cancer. The spread can happen through lymphatic or blood flow to other organs.

Warning signs/symptoms: The following are some symptoms that need to be watched out for if you have a predisposition to breast cancer.

  1. A lump in either of the breasts or armpits
  2. Change in size, shape, or contour of either breast
  3. Redness of your breast or nipple
  4. Discharge of clear or bloody fluid
  5. Thickening of breast tissue or skin that lasts through a period
  6. Altered look or feel of the skin on the breast or the nipple (dimpled, inflamed, scaly, or puckered)
  7. One area on the breast that looks very different from the other areas
  8. Hardened area under the breast skin

Either one or a combination of these should be an indication to get a detailed checkup done. Early diagnosis results in controlling the disease with minimal treatment and reduced complications.

Causes and risk factors: The exact cause for breast cancer is yet to be pinned down. However, risk factors are clearly identified, and women with risk factors need to watch out for warning signs.

  1. Family history: Of all the risk factors, the family history is the most important. Breast cancer runs in families, and if there is a first-degree relative with the breast cancer, the chances of developing it are almost double. Two genes BRCA1 and BRCA2 are the carriers of the disease, and this testing can be done in women to identify if they are at risk.
  2. Family history of other cancers: Even if there is no breast cancer, if there are other cancers that run in the family, watch out.
  3. Age: Women over 50 are at higher risk of developing breast cancer.
  4. Race: Caucasian and Jewish women are at higher risk of breast cancer than African-American women.
  5. Hormones: Greater exposure to the female hormone estrogen increases the chances of developing breast cancer. Women who use birth control pills for contraception and hormone replacement after menopause are at a higher risk of developing breast cancer.
  6. Gynecologic milestones: Women who have abnormal menstrual milestones need to watch out. These include those who attain menarche before 12 years of age, get pregnant after 30, attain menopause after 55, and have menstrual cycles shorter than 26 days or longer than 29 days.
  7. Obesity and alcohol abuse are also likely to increase a woman’s chances of developing breast cancer.

Stages: Starting from stage 0, higher stages indicate advanced disease.

  1. Stage 0: The growth which has begun in the milk-producing tissue or the ducts has remained there (in situ) and not spread to any other area, including the rest of the breast.
  2. Stage I: The tissue slowly becomes invasive and has begun to affect the surrounding healthy tissue. It could have spread to the fatty breast tissue and some breast tissue may be found in the nearby lymph nodes.
  3. Stage II: The cancer at this stage grows considerably or spreads to other parts. There are chances that cancer may grow and also spread.
  4. Stage III: It may have spread to the bones or other organs but small amounts are present in up to 9 to 10 of the lymph nodes in the armpits and collar bones which makes it is difficult to fight.
  5. Stage IV: The cancer is widespread to far-flung areas like the liver, lungs, bones, and even the brain.

Screening: This is one of the most effective ways to identify the disease in its early stages. This will help in controlling cancer from spreading with minimal treatment.

  1. Self-examination: A thorough self-examination to look for changes in terms of shape, size, colour, contour, and firmness should be learned by all women. Watch for any discharge, sores, rashes, or swelling in the breasts, surrounding skin, and nipple. Examine them while standing and when lying down.
  2. In most women, annual screening mammograms are advised after the age of 40. However, in women who have a strong family history or genetic makeup, it is advisable to have screening mammograms starting at age 20 every 3 years and then annually from the age of 40.
  3. Women in high-risk categories should have screening mammograms every year and typically start at an earlier age.
  4. Ultrasound screening can also be given in addition to mammograms.
  5. Breast MRI is another way to screen for breast cancer if the risk is greater.

Breast Cancer Prevention: Now that there is so much awareness about causes and risk factors, there are definitely ways to prevent or delay the onset of the disease.

  1. Exercise and a healthy diet with reduced amount of alcohol are definitely effective in minimising the chances of developing cancer.
  2. Tamoxifen is used in women who are at high risk for breast cancer.
  3. Evista (raloxifene) which is used to treat osteoporosis after menopause. It is also widely used in preventing breast cancer.
  4. In high-risk women, breasts are surgically removed to prevent the development of cancer (preventive mastectomy).

Treatment: As with all cancers, treatment would depend on the stage at which it is identified and include a combination of chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery. As noted earlier, if you are at risk, look out for warning signs as early diagnosis is the key to maximum recovery.

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