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Natural foods, dietary changes and life style modifications which helps in treatment of hypothyroidism:
In my last posting, I explained the role ashwagandha in the management of hypothyroidism.
Here I will explain natural foods which are necessary for better thyroid hormone production, function and overall thyroid health.
We have to choose foods that gives nutritional support for thyroid.
1) the production of thyroid hormones requires amino acid
Tyrosine, iodine and omega 3 fats
A) tyrosine; the best dietary sources of tyrosine includes;
Spirulina: itâs a sea wead, eggs, fish and lean meat.
B) iodine: best source is iodised salts.
Potatoes; richest vegetables source
Cheese, yogurt, eggs and sea vegetables.
C) omega -3 fats ; foods such as fish flax seeds, walnuts are good sources.
2) Conversion of t4 to the active t3 requires selenium.
Brazil nuts are the best source of selenium. Other good sources are garlic, mushrooms, broccoli sunflower seeds and sea foods like tuna fish.
3) Binding of t3 to cell receptor and for its function require
A) vitamins a b) vitamin d, c) zinc.
Pumpkin seeds, dark chocolates and garlic are good sources of zinc.
Natural supplements will help in better thyroid function. Try to eat them in natural form.
My suggestion is these foods should be used along with thyroxine replacement pills.
In case of borderline or sub clinical hypothyroidism, only natural foods and supplements can be tried.
Note: in pregnancy, hypothyroidism must be treated immediately with thyroxine replacement pills and should not try only natural remedies.
Foods to avoid in hypothyroidism
Processed foods, sugar, food additives and gluten.
These foods increases inflammation, insulin resistance and worsen autoimmune conditions like autoimmune thyroiditis which is becoming more common now a days.
Goiterogens: vegetables, such as cabbage, brussels sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower, spinach etc.
As these vegetables have many benefits.
We can not take them out completely from diet.
Steam, or cook these vegetables to reduce the goitrogenic compounds and eat them in moderation.
Life style changes to improve thyroid health.
1) Exercise â stimulates thyroid secretion.
Weight training and aerobic exercises also helps in faster weight reduction which is a common symptom of hypothyroidism.
2) Manage stress: studies have shown that stress can ignite autoimmune reactions (autoimmune thyroiditis can be worsened) and worsen inflammation.
Meditation and yoga helps in managing stress. Yoga also helps in increasing blood flow to thyroid.
3) Acupuncture ; helps in faster response to treatment.
4) No smoking â toxic chemicals in cigarettes such as mercury and cadmium significantly affect thyroid function. So quit smoking.
6 principles to effective stress management.
- Are your experiencing very apparent hair loss especially when it doesn't run in your family as a hereditary?
- Are you experiencing a lower back pain in spite of having an active lifestyle?
- Are you accumulating abdominal fat or not able to get rid of it even after performing focused workout for abs?
- Are you extremely susceptible to anger, i. E do you erupt or explode in anger often on matters which can be addressed contextually?
- Are you falling sick very often? or do you get heart burn or chest pain frequently?
- Are your sleeps not deep and or are they disturbed or intermittent?
- Is your sexual life losing charm inspite of young energetic age?
If you are experiencing any of these or a combination of these, it is time you step back, look into the way you are managing life and the stress related to various aspects in life before stress could inflict worst health disorders in you.
Stress is linked to the six leading causes of death: heart disease, high blood pressure, cancer, lung ailments, accidents, liver cirrhosis, and suicide.
Here is a wellness method you can adopt to remain stress free or manage stress effectively.
Observe if you have any of the above or combination of the above effects of stress, many people don't even realize this, they just visit a doctor or take medicines blindly without paying any heed to their body and mind to understand what is going wrong. These effects can be used as indicators for being in the state of stress
Organize and plan your day, being organized will help you stay prioritized through out the day and give you the ability to handle additions and randoms more effectively. Mind will have less stress to handle as being organized allows you to be naturally more accommodating to work additions and randoms. Upon handling the day better, there is release of feelgood hormones in the body leaving you with sense of satisfaction and happiness instead of leaving you stressed.
Do not talk or take decisions when you are angry. Be always aware of your anger, the moment you feel you are about to get angry, break your conversation politely and resume after half hour, you will see that this will allow you to communicate what you wanted to more effectively and with better clarity. Every time you get angry, you are affecting the heart rhythm and rate blood flow.
Meditate daily for 20 to 30 minutes. Meditation helps you isolate everything away from mind, it releases endorphins and dopamine, which will balances the stress hormone cortisol. Meditation will help you stay detached from disturbances surrounding an issues and at the same time enhance your ability to address it without getting stressed.
Ensure you get your quota of sleep. It is of paramount importance you get good sleep. Please don't think of sleep as a passive activity. Sleep is an extremely active activity wherein the mind relaxes, the body processes many recovery/repair/restore activities and equilibrium mechanisms.
Do not worry about the future.
Do not think about the past.
You must only bother about how you are going to make the current second or the present moment effective and meaningful because your future is decided by what you choose to do now in this very moment.
In my next posting on stress and wellness, I will talk about rajas, thamas, sattva, the science behind it why they are important for progressive healthy life.
All you need to know about
HEMOGLOBIN A1c (HBA1c) ?
HBA1c is a routine test for people with diabetes.Knowledge about this is necessary for people with diabetes and who are living with diabetics.
The hemoglobin A1c test tells you your average level of blood sugar over the past 2 to 3 months.
It's also called HbA1c, or glycated hemoglobin .
People who have diabetes need this test regularly to see if their levels are staying within range.
The A1c test is also used to diagnose diabetes.
The red blood cells that circulate in the body live for about three months before they die off. When sugar sticks to these hemoglobin proteins in these cells, it is known as glycosylated hemoglobin or hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c).
The recommended cut-off points are
Normal range: 4.5 â 5.6%
Prediabetes range: 5.7 â 6.4%
Diabetic range: â¥ 6.5%
For type 1 and type 2 diabetes,
the goal is to keep the HbA1c levels under 7%, since keeping levels below 7% has been shown to delay the complications of diabetes.
HbA1c testing CAN BE DONE AT ANYTIME of the day without any prior diet restrictions, as opposed to regular tests like fasting blood sugar (FBS) and oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT), which require pre-test dietary restrictions.
A more stringent target of <6.5% may be suggested if
* diabetes onset is relatively recent
* If diabetes being treated with lifestyle changes
* If age less than 60 years
A less stringent target of not more than 7.5%
* If history of severe hypoglycaemia
* diabetes-related complications
* other co-occurring conditions
* long-standing diabetes with difficulty in attaining normal sugar levels
* Age more than 65 years
How often to do HBa1c test ?
People with diabetes should have an A1c test every 3 months to make sure their blood sugar is in their target range.
HbA1c may be increased falsely in certain medical conditions. These conditions include
1)kidney failure (uremia)
2)chronic excessive alcohol intake,
Medical conditions that may falsely decrease HbA1c includ
1)acute or chronic blood
2)sickle cell disease,
Insulin is critical for the overall functioning of the body, specifically when you are insulin resistant, and the body is compelled to store the food consumed as fat. Insulin resistance also leads to inflammation in the body leading to a host of health issues that anyone would not be prepared to deal with. Therefore, always look for means to improve insulin.
Here are some of these practical ways to accomplish it.
- Strength training and other non-aerobic activities: Exercise is the best way to improve insulin sensitivity since your cells and muscles are desperate for fuels during as well as after completion of the workout. Researchers are of the opinion that all sorts of physical activity are helpful but non-aerobic exercises can have the best impact on insulin health.
- Cook to increase resistant starch: Whenever you eat anything with high carbohydrate, it will readily increase your blood sugar levels. Carbohydrates rich in resistant starch fail to respond to the normal enzymes in the stomach which can help with improving insulin sensitivity.
- Avoid liquid fructose: Liquid fructose leads to fat gain around the abdomen and is connected to belly fat gain when taken in large quantities. Along with eradicating all the fructose containing beverages, you should also eliminate highly processed foods.
- Make sure you get enough magnesium: Magnesium is a mineral required for improving insulin sensitivity since it functions as natural insulin sensitizer which can exert positive effects on the insulin receptors in every cell of the body.
- Balance the healthy fatty acids: You should avoid trans-fatty acids since they can lead to plaque formation. Moreover, you must reduce the intake of processed oils and get more Omega fatty acids.
- Make healthy choices: Foods which can help in improving the body’s ability to store the carbs as muscle glycogen should be taken more often. These include green tea, vinegar, nuts and all sorts of herbs and spices.
- Include foods that can reduce the glycemic levels: This means that you should choose whole foods rather than refined foods since they can help in slow surging of the blood sugar intake. This gives the body a chance to regulate the insulin efficiently instead raising the blood sugar levels.
- Indulge in endurance exercises: If you prefer endurance training, it can have a good effect on your insulin sensitivity. Endurance training can improve insulin sensitivity which decreases the requirement of insulin for clearing a considerable amount of glucose from the bloodstream.
Insulin is a vital hormone which can control your blood sugar levels. It secreted by the pancreas and help in removing the sugar in the blood. With these 8 simple lifestyle and dietary changes, you can improve the insulin utilization in your body.
In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!
Did you know that some carbohydrates can make your blood sugar shoot up faster than others? So, when you eat a lot of these good slower acting carbs, you can potentially control your blood sugar levels. The glycemic index is a handy tool that indicates the slow acting good carbs from the fast bad carbs.
What is glycemic index?
It is a simple number that lets you know how fast your body converts carbohydrates in your food into glucose. Two foods with the same number of carbohydrates can end up having different glycemic index numbers. The bigger the number, the higher impact it has on your blood sugar levels.
- 55 or less is low and good for controlling sugar
- 56-69 is mediocre
- 70 or higher indicates a high number and is not so good
Where to Look for the glycemic index or GI?
Look for the indication on the labels of packaged food. You can also find the glycemic index for common foods on the Internet or ask your dietician for the same. Also, keep in mind that natural foods like fruits and veggies have a lower glycemic index than refined or processed foods.
Benefits of low glycemic diet
If you have diabetes, a diet with low glycemic foods can help you manage your condition better.
- Enhance your cholesterol levels
- Help in weight management
- Reduce risk of heart disease
- Help you stay full for a long time
- Increase your energy levels
- Controls blood sugar spikes
Carbohydrates act as an essential fuel for the body. Instead of limiting all carbs, focus on eating the healthy variants. A glycemic index is a great tool that can quickly help you to identify the good carbs from the bad ones.
Find the right balance
If a food has a high GI, does it mean you should avoid consuming it? Well, not necessarily the glycemic index should not be the prime consideration when making choices about what to eat, you should also consider other nutrients. For example, potato chips have a low GI than oatmeal. Also, the portion size of the food matters. It is good to offset a food high in GI with a food low in GI. If you take a food that has a high glycemic index during the day, be sure to balance it with a food that has a lower glycemic index in the night.
Keep in mind that when you eat a well-balanced meal full of protein, fats and carbohydrates, the digestion of the food that has a high GI slows down and shoots up the blood sugar level. So, it is important to find the right balance.
Stress, emotions and meditation:
Many of us got free advice from others to meditate regularly for destress and good mental health. Very few people say how exactly meditation helps.
Here is scientific answer, why we have to meditate? how it helps in reducing stress and increase in emotional intelligence.
Meditation is a science:
Scientifically meditation helps in reducing stress in 3 important ways
1) Interpretation and perception of stress due to any situation is basically projected from his past memory.
Past memory differs from person to person. This is the reason there is different response from different individuals for same stressful event.
Meditation goes directly to the root of the stress response by releasing the remembered stresses that trigger new stress.
2) With each stressful event, there is release of adrenaline and corticosteroid.
In long term meditators levels of cortisol and adrenaline are found to be lower and their coping mechanisms are stronger.
3) The amygdala, the fight or flight part of the brain which is important for anxiety, fear and stress.
That area got smaller in the group that went through the mindfulness-based meditation.
The change in the amygdala was also correlated to a reduction in stress.
It seems that scientific reasearch from west from 1970 onwards confirmed, what yogis in india and east have been teaching for ages.
How meditation helps in controlling emotions?
Researchers found an increase grey matter in the prefrontal cortex of brain, as well as the posterior cingulate, left hippocampus, temporo parietal junction and part of the brain stem called the pons.
These areas all regulate learning, cognition, memory, empathy and emotional regulation as well as self relevance.
Studies have found that a daily meditation practice can lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels, decrease anxiety and depression, and reverse the biological markers of aging.
Conclusion: All stress originates from the perceptions we attach to either events from the past or thoughts of the future.
The immediate moment, this very second by its very nature has no power to generate stress.
The act of meditation is simply just a process whereby one focuses the mind in the here and now the immediate present. It is for this reason that meditation is one of the most powerful things we can do to reduce stress and its negative effects in life.
Natural foods to boost immune system
Some vitamins and minerals are to consumed regularly to boost our immune system.
Vitamin c: citrus fruits, amla, leafy green vegetables such as spinach, Capsicum (yellow, broccoli, and green chillies. Strawberries, papaya and guava are also excellent sources.
Vitamin e: almonds, peanuts, hazel nuts, avacado and sunflower seeds are all high in vitamin e. So are spinach and broccoli.
Vitamin b6: foods high in vitamin b6 include bananas, lean chicken, meat fish (tuna, spinach, broccoli, red capsicum, baked potatoes and chickpeas. Pista is also a good source
Vitamin a: carotenoids a carrots, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, green leafy vegetables, red capsicum and peas are all good options. Whole milk also a good source. Papaya and mango fruits are also a good source.
Vitamin d: you can increase your intake through foods such as fatty fish, mushrooms, cheese, soya products, Sunflower seeds and egg yolk are good sources.Sunlight is best natural source.
Folate: to get more folate, add more beans and peas to your plate on a regular basis. Leafy green vegetables, broccoli and bhindi are also a good option. Avacado and citrus fruits are also good options
Iron: Green leafy vegetables, legumes, lentils Pumpkin, and mushrooms. Sesame seeds, cashew and pista also contain good amount of iron. Dark chocolate also a good source.
Selenium: beans, peas, and spinach. Sea food, lean meat, chicken and eggs. Brazil nuts contain good amount of selenium.
Zinc: Pumpkin seeds, chickpeas, spinach and cashews. Meat and poultry are good sources. Stress free life, positive thoughts, yoga, exercises and meditation also boost immune system.
Ancient wisdom for healthy modern life:
The longest, healthy living individuals throughout history who lived to 80, 90 and even 100-plus years of age lived without suffering from obesity, diabetes, heart disease, dementia, osteoporosis or cancer.
They never knew the concept of good fats, bad fats, low carb diets, glycaemic index, or any other modern health.
What they were eating?
- The best available data suggest ancestors obtained about 35% of their dietary energy from natural fats, 35% from carbohydrates and 30% from protein. Saturated fats contributed approximately 7.5% of total energy.
- Now indian diet is made up of upto 60 to 70% of carbohydrates and most of it is refined carbohydrates where as our ancestors carbohydrates were complex non starchy like fruits and vegetables.
- Now there is phobia against fats since 1960.
- All fats are not bad.
- Natural fats are healthy and it's required for good physical and brain health.
- Only processed oils are not good.
What was the timing of our ancestor's eating?
- They were mostly eating between dawn to dusk.
- In ancient rome, dinner was called" cena" and was the main meal of the day. It was taken late in the afternoon or when the sun started going down.
- With no electricity, cooking dinner in the evening was not an option.
- Till 19th century, lunch was dinner and dinner was lunch.
- The whole day was structured differently than it is today.
- People got up much earlier and went to bed much earlier.
- Today people have dinner at 9 pm to 10 pm and snack in the evening.
- If we have 500 to 600 calories in dinner and goes to sleep after 1 to 2 hrs, where the energy goes? it gets stored as fat.
- Data says almost 70% of all ice cream is consumed after 6pm.
- If we keep on snacking without giving 12 to 15 hrs rest to our gastrointestinal system, how it can be a healthy habit?
- It's against our evolution.
- Our environment has changed dramatically, from hunter-gatherer to agriculture to industrial revolution to technological era.
- In past 50-100 yrs we saw huge changes in food and eating habits.
- Our genes require 100s of 1000s of years to evolve haven't been able to keep up to sudden changes.
- Only 10% of our genes have adapted in past 10000 years 90% have not.
- Our genes haven't fully adjusted to these.
- Discrepancy between genes and modern environment= chronic diseases like diabetes, hypertention, obesity and cancers.
In this campaign, I will further address ancient food secrets, habits, exercises which kept them healthy and how we can use them to modern life.
#ancient wisdom # modern life #health# wellness #
Diabetes and exercise
Morning exercise is a bliss for whole day. Most people know exercise is good but hardly few people do it consistently.
Unlike smoking and alcohol, people are not addicted exercise because gratification is delayed in the latter and faster in former.
The doctor of the future will give no medicine, but will involve the patient in the proper use of food, fresh air and exercise.
Why is exercise must for diabetics?
Muscles can use glucose without insulin when exercising
This is the biggest benefit in diabetes
Benefits of exercise for diabetics
1) lowers blood sugar level
2) increases insulin sensitivity so that insulin acts better to control sugars
3) it lowers blood pressure
3) lowers basal and postprandial insulin concentration
4) lowers glycosylated hemoglobin (hba1c)
5) improves cholesterol levels
6) improves functioning of heart (cardiovascular system)
7) increases strength and flexibility of joints
8) burns fat
9) reduces psychological stress by the action of endorphins
10) increases self-esteem.
When to exercise?
Exercise whenever you gets time. Traditionally morning time is better.
For people with high blood sugars after food (post prandial, it's advisable to do 15 min walking after dinner.
Precautions before exercise
1) ideally it is better to check your blood sugars before exercise but it's not possible always.
2) if the fasting blood sugar is less than 100mg /dl, I recommend to eat 100 g fruit before exercise.
Best exercises for diabetics
1) brisk walking
2) weight training
5) stationary cycling
In my next posting, I will explain in details about above exercises and specific guidelines for maximum benefits.