Sarvodaya in Gopi Colony, Faridabad - Book Appointment, View Contact Number, Feedbacks, Address | Dt. Rajni Verma


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Sarvodaya sec 19
Faridabad, Haryana - 125001
Details for Dt. Rajni Verma
Shree Guru Gobind Singh Tricentenary Medical College, Gurgaon
M.Sc - Dietitics / Nutrition
Vivekanand Institute Of Medical Sciences & Research, Valia
  • M.Sc - Dietitics / Nutrition, M.phil
    Consultation Charges: Rs 200
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  • B.Sc. Food & Nutrition, M.Sc. Food & Nutrition
    We must have always heard that maida (white flour) and products made from it are very harmful for our health. However, use of maida its products usage is increasing rapidly in our day-to-day life. Sometimes, we are consuming it in form of bread at our home and sometimes, in the market/food joints in form of fast foods.

    Known as white poison, white flour is becoming necessity for all of us but it impacts our health drastically. It is very important to understand why it is bad and how much it can harm us so that we can improve our eating habits.

    What is missing in maida (white flour: during processing of maida from wheat, endosperm of the wheat is removed from the germ (wheat germ) and the bran (wheat bran), which is very crucial for digestion. As all necessary nutrients are lost during processing of maida, foods made from it utilize nutrients from the body for absorption. As a result, our body gets depleted of vitamins and minerals. Few manufacturers attract customers by labeling their products as enriched flour, which is nothing, but adding 3-4 vitamins at the cost of 10 lost vitamins during processing.

    White flour is tasty but not healthy: though foods made from maida like pizza, burger, donuts, bread, samosas, noodles, momos, panipuri, pastas etc are very tempting and tasty however, at the same time, consequences can not be ignored.

    White flour regulates glucose/sugar in your body: whenever you consume foods that are made from maida, it releases sugar into your bloodstream quickly. Because of high glycemic index (gi) of maida, it spikes up your sugar levels. To match up with the sugar spike, pancreas has to over work to release insulin in sufficient quantity. If maida consumption is once in a while then pancreas can manage it however, in case of frequent consumption, insulin production will reduce gradually, finally making you diabetic.

    As glucose loiters into your blood, it gets attached to proteins, which is called glycation which cause inflammation in the body and leads to many diseases like arthritis, cataract, heart diseases and the list goes on.

    Eating maida also raises bad cholesterol (ldl) resulting many health issues like weight gain, high blood pressure, mood swings. Too much consumption of white flour its products leads to weight gain and you will soon progress toward obesity. Also, it keeps you feel hungry and makes you crave for sweets.

    White flour is acidic: acidity is another problem. During refining process, all nutrients are removed and it becomes acidic in nature. As per research, diet high in acidic foods (e.g. Pizza, pasta, burger other white flour products) forces the body to pull calcium from bones to keep the things even, which affects bone density. Over-acidity is one of the major causes of chronic inflammation, and a major cause of arthritis and other chronic illnesses.

    White flour creates digestive issues: white flour has been called the & glue of the gut. In today's world, so much food is made from white flour: breakfast food, snacks, pasta, bread, cereal and the list just continues. And it all turns to glue in the intestines. It is without fiber, it congests the system, slows down digestion creating a sluggish metabolism, and can often be the cause of weight gain, stress, headaches and migraines.

    Follow these alternatives: for better health in longer run, you should completely avoid consuming white flour foods made from it. Instead, you can use some alternatives like for samosa, use wheat flour. For naan, mix one portion of millets (like jowar bajra) flour with wheat flour. Opt bread, noodles, pasta and macaroni made of wheat flour, which are easily available in food stores.

    In case of any query or to book an appointment with dt. Silky mahajan please send us a mail at info@foodsandnutrition. In or call on 08067417780 (dial extension: 778)
    Most commonly known as a military neck a straight or forward curve of the neck is abnormal and may cause an unkind progression of symptoms leading ultimately to cervical disk degeneration.

    Reversal of cervical lordosis explained

    The anatomy of the neck features a lordotic curvature in its typical and healthy state. This means that the cervical region has a gentle curvature with the open end of that curve facing the rear of the body. The base and top of the curve will be further posterior than the mid point, which will be further anterior.

    When the lordosis is straightened, the neck becomes more upright and linear. This is more common than the next progression of atypical curvature, which is the subject of this article.

    Actual reversal of curvature means that part or all of the cervical spine develops a kyphotic profile, with the open end of the curve facing anteriorly. Usually, this reversal is extremely mild, but is still very abnormal. What we now see is the middle of the curve being positioned posterior to the top and bottom.

    In essence, picture the letter c and now turn it backwards: This is the shape of a reversed cervical lordosis.

    Reversal of cervical lordosis causes

    The spinal curvature in the neck is constantly in flux to some degree.

    Congenital conditions and developmental conditions can have lasting effects on the natural degree of curvature typically demonstrated from patient to patient. These circumstances may be explainable due to injury or degeneration, or may be idiopathic:

    Scoliosis can affect the normal lordotic curvature in the neck.

    Cervical spondylolisthesis is a major source of reversed lordotic curvature.

    Severe disc pathologies can facilitate a gradual loss or reversal of cervical lordosis.

    Vertebral irregularities, such as wedging, can definitely contribute to lordotic alteration.

    Traumatic injury, including vertebral fracture, can create the ideal circumstances for a reversal of lordosis to take place.

    Severe neck muscle spasms can actually reshape the spinal curves, although these are usually temporary expressions and not actual structural conditions.

    Effects of reversal of cervical lordosis
    The neck is designed to curve in order to balance the spine, absorb stress, distribute force and provide proper movement of the head. When this curvature is diminished or reversed, symptoms may result, although this is not an inherent part of any altered lordotic condition.

    Patients may experience stiffness and tension in the neck. Pain may be present and may even be severe in rare cases. Neurological dysfunction is possible in extreme cases, since the neuroforamen might not align properly, thereby causing a cervical pinched nerve.

    In the worst circumstances, central spinal stenosis in the neck might affect the viability of the spinal cord, possible enacting the most dire of symptoms throughout the body.

    Patients will also be more prone to injury, since the normal shock absorption qualities of the typical curvature have been lost.

    While all these effects are certainly possible, they are not usual. In fact, a great majority of patients have minor symptoms or even no symptoms at all from mild reversed lordotic curvatures.

    The pathology leading to a neck curve reversal (cervical kyphosis shown below right) may be inspired by a multitude of conditions as follows:
    Post whiplash
    Post head injury
    Stomach sleeping
    Poor sitting/working postures
    Congenital spinal curvatures
    Degenerative cervical discs (a form of osteoarthritis that can either be the cause of or the result of a cervical kyphosis)
    Compression fracture of vertebral body
    Infection of the cervical spine

    Anatomy: straight vs. Curved

    I've always heard that it was good to stand up straight.

    stand upright, stick your chest out and hold your shoulders back! otherwise you're going get widows hump.

    Are these expressions as familiar to you as they are to me? one might think that having a curved neck goes against what we heard from parents and teachers as we were growing up, but the reality is that there is a little bit a truth in both. Maintaining good posture throughout our lives is crucial to both the health of our spine and vital organs. On the contrary, a special type of curve called a lordosis is a good thing, both in the neck and lower back.

    When we look at a person from the back their spine should be truly straight, so that the left and right sides of one's body is symmetrical. However, when we view a person from the side, the front and back of their body is different and this is reflected in a coinciding curvature of the spine. Both the lower back and neck are hollowed out (concave) and the mid or thoracic spine is protrudes (convex). Thus there is an alternation of curves functioning to provide stability, shock absorption and aid in propulsion. A straight spine would be very stiff and not flexible. Imagine the plight of a pole vaulter with an inflexible pole.

    Nature's design of our spine and rib cage facilitates breathing and offers protective and supportive framework for vital organs. Spinal disks are shock absorbers and because they are in the front of the spine, lordotic curvatures keep them from having to bear weight. Kyphosis or loss of such curvatures bears weight upon the disks, leading to their ultimate degeneration. This process of deterioration is a form of osteoarthritis and in the spine is known as degenerative spondylosis.

    Although most physiotherapists or conservative orthopedists can recognize a cervical curve reversal upon viewing the patient's posture, a definitive diagnosis may be obtained via a standing lateral (side view) x-ray of the neck. Cause can often be determined by corroborating a comprehensive history, a thorough examination, x-rays and questions about sleep, work and lifestyle.

    In my professional career I found that the majority of young adults presenting with cervical kyphosis either had a whiplash or were stomach sleepers from an early age. For desk jockeys 40-60 years of age, many hours of sitting with their head flexed forward almost dictates the fate of developing kyphosis. In prior years I considered cervical kyphosis a job hazard for the careers of accountants, attorneys and often teachers because of years spent with their head in a book or paperwork. However, the digital age offers some relief in that respect. A well-planned, ergonomically-friendly office can do wonders for protecting the spine in the sedentary worker.

    Treatment for cervical curve reversal (kyphosis)
    During my chiropractic practice I had the opportunity to note a good percentage of correction toward a more normal lordosis (noted on x-ray) for 70% of patients under my care. This was almost always consistent with those patients that followed all recommendations and were model participants in their own care. Here is the recommended treat plan:

    Spinal manipulation of stiff and fixated spinal segments by a qualified physio
    Flexibility exercises for flexion and extension of cervical spine
    Resistance exercises for flexors and extensors of the neck
    Learn the Alexander technique for maintaining good posture (hint: the basic philosophy is to sit and stand like you were hanging by a string from the vertex of your skull. Liken it to a puppet on a string).
    Elimination of stomach sleeping
    Avoid standing on your head, although some yoga postures may be beneficial
    Use of orthopedic neck pillow while sleeping.
  • SLE, Fellowship In Diabetology, Diploma In Psychology Mental Health And Illness, PLAB (MANCHESTOR, UK), FAGE, MBBS
    General Physician
    Dissociation identity disorder (did), previously known as multiple personality disorder (mpd) is a mental disorder characterized by at least two distinct and relatively enduring identities or dissociated personality states that alternately show in a person's behavior, accompanied by memory impairment for important information not explained by ordinary forgetfulness.

    Let me explain this in a simple way.

    Example 1- lets say there is Mr. X and Mr. Y. Mr. X is very impressed by the personality of Mr. Y. So he starts liking him. He also tries to sepnd more time with him. He may with time start copying him or seek his help. This problem become so severe that after some time, in a flash Mr. X wakes up and become a copy of Mr. Y. However Mr. X cannot forget that he is actually Mr. X and not Mr. Y. Thus, Mr. X has developed a split personality where he and Mr. Y co exist. This may with time lead to further mental health deterioration such as depression, loss of memory, personality changes, mania, psychosis, antisocial behavior and above all a loss of control and insight in ones life.

    Example 2- Mr. X may not be impressed with Mr. Y. But here it's the reverse. Mr. Y is impressed by Mr. X and wants to be a part of Mr. X s personality. He forces himself on Mr. X until he becomes a part of Mr. X. Therefore Mr. Y has been successful in forcing himself on Mr. X although Mr. X wanted to distance himself form Mr. Y but could not due to various reasons.

    Example 3- this problem does not need to be confined to just 2 people. Any number of people can force themselves on Mr. X depending on his plotters and schemers. Therefore Mr. X loses his mental health and his personality becomes broken into several pieces which have been thrust on him.

    Some people tend to do this voluntarily because of the fact that they like Mr. Y possessions but in most cases people are victimized into this as they are struggling to make ends meet in their lives. The result is agony, despair, loss of self control. An annihilating world and an end full of shame and contempt because of loss of control depending on how erroneous Mr. Y and his associated are.

    Many marriages have been broken because of their spouses developing mpd. Spouses who were happy with each other, suddenly turn hostile and throw them out of their lives because they are now possessed with Mr. Y s who are interested in other spouses than their own. Many children also loose their parents love and care because their parents are no longer interested in them and they desert them or send them to boarding schools.

    This disease is a social evil and a menace to a justful society. But the stress on taking precaution lies with us.

    Developmental trauma

    People diagnosed with did often report that they have experienced severe physical and sexual abuse, especially during early to mid-childhood, and others report an early loss, serious medical illness or other traumatic event. They also report more historical psychological trauma than those diagnosed with any other mental illness. Severe sexual, physical, or psychological trauma in childhood has been proposed as an explanation for its development; awareness, memories and emotions of harmful actions or events caused by the trauma are removed from consciousness, and alternate personalities or sub-personalities form with differing memories, emotions and behavior.

    As of 2011, approximately 250 cases of did in children have been identified,

    Problems with diagnosis

    People with did are diagnosed with five to seven comorbid disorders on average much higher than other mental illnesses. Due to overlapping symptoms, differential diagnosis includes schizophrenia, normal and rapid-cycling bipolar disorder, epilepsy, borderline personality disorder, and asperger syndrome. Delusions or auditory hallucinations can be mistaken for speech by other personalities. Persistence and consistency of identities and behavior, amnesia, measures of dissociation or hypnotizability and reports from family members or other associates indicating a history of such changes can help distinguish did from other conditions. A diagnosis of did takes precedence over any other dissociation disorders.


    Common treatment methods include an eclectic mix of psychotherapy techniques, including cognitive behavioral therapy hypnotherapy and medications can be used for comorbid disorders and/or targeted symptom relief. Some behavior therapists initially use behavioral treatments such as only responding to a single identity, and then use more traditional therapy once a consistent response is established. Brief treatment due to managed care may be difficult, as individuals diagnosed with did may have unusual difficulties in trusting a therapist and take a prolonged period to form a comfortable therapeutic alliance. Regular contact (weekly or biweekly) is more common, and treatment generally lasts years not weeks or months. Sleep hygiene has been suggested as a treatment option,

    Legal issues

    Individuals diagnosed with did may accuse others of abuse but lack objective evidence and base their accusations solely on regular or recovered memories. There are questions regarding the civil and political rights of alters, particularly which alter can legally represent the person, sign a contract or vote. Finally, individuals diagnosed with did who are accused of crimes may deny culpability due to the crime being committed by a different identity state.
    Ayurveda (ayush=life; vid=wisdom-sanskrit) is said to be the most ancient of medical systems. The ancient vedic tradition, cognized by the great indian seers, offers a wealth of knowledge for healthy and meaningful life. 1 since ayurveda (part of atharvaveda, the last of the four vedas) is timeless and unbounded it has relevance even to the present day. It was mark twain who once said: so far as I am able to judge, nothing has been left undone, either by man or nature, to make india the most extraordinary country that the sun visits on his rounds. Nothing seems to have been forgotten, nothing overlooked.

    The philosophy of ayurveda believes that everything in this universe is composed of five elements, the panchbhootas. They, in turn, constitute the three doshas or bio-energetic forces that govern our health and determine our constitution. The trigunas or psychic forces determine our mental and spiritual health. Ayurveda teaches us to balance all these to live a healthy, happy and contented life.

    Unlike modern medicine, ayurveda recognizes that the mind and body are but the two manifestations of the same consciousness-mind as the field of ideas and the body as the field of molecules and organs. Each tries to help keep the other working and healthy extracting nourishment from the environment. Elimination of impurities of the emotional wounds are as important as the elimination of the waste matter from the body to have true physical, emotional and spiritual health.

    Modern risk factor hypothesis pales into insignificance in view of the most elaborate knowledge in ayurveda. Some of the recent additions to the modern medical list like hostility form the basis of the ayurvedic risk factors. Viz.

    Khrodha, shoka, bhaya, aayaasa, virudhaanna bhojana,

    Thaponnalaan, lavanakshara, rakta pitta prakopayeth

    (anger, depression and sorrow, extreme fear, exhaustion, wrong foods, sedentary living, too much salt and spices lead to most major killer diseases)

    The solution is also simple:

    nithya hitha, mitha aahaara sevi, sameekshkaari, dhata samaha sathyapara

    Kshamavaan aapthopasevi aarogyam.

    (have food in moderation and that which pleases the mind. Do not cheat or tell lies. Work very hard. Forgive others even if they hurt you. Treat all as your own kith and kin. Health would be yours always.) 2

    Vedic wisdom follows non-linear mathematics (vedic mathematics) and the laws akin to modern quantum physics. It is, therefore, the right approach for holistic assessment of health and disease. Its aims are not only to heal the sick, but also to preserve life by preventing illness-most complete system of health care known. 2

    Ayurvedic treatment is based on restoring the disturbed balance of the three doshas-vata, pitta, and kapha - very much like the humors theory of hippocrates. It takes into consideration the whole human being, and not just the phenotype. The tridosha concept takes into consideration the phenotype, genotype as also the mind, in classifying patients. Consequently, treatment differs even for the same disease from individual to individual, based on the constitutional types.

    Whereas billions of tons of water get displaced during the tidal changes in the oceans due to the gravitational pull of the moon, the human body, which is mostly water, could not be exempt from the effects of the planets. Ayurvedic astrology plays a large part in the total picture of disease and its cure. Many of us scientists who feel nauseated at the very mention of the word astrology would do well to know that isaac newton and gelileo were both practising astrologers. The science of astrology is good but not the astrologers predictions! most predictions, including the ones we make in scientific medicine, are just predicting the unpredictable.

    Empirical knowledge, derived from long term prospective studies, form the basis of therapy in ayurveda, unlike the short term case-control studies or, even, cohort studies based on matching the controls, based on phentotypical features alone, as is done in modern medicine. Treatment is tailored to individual needs and could be broadly grouped into the following:

    * detoxification-panchakarmas
    * diet
    * yoga
    * herbal medications
    * meditation and prayer (no particular god or book prescribed)
  • Fellowship in Aesthetic Medicine, MD, MBBS
    Aesthetic Medicine Specialist
    We all want to look our best. Being well dressed and presentable boosts our confidence and equips us to deal better with any professional or personal obligations that we may have. Someone who s sharply dressed, well done hair, properly done eyebrows, no trace of facial or body hair, will make a better first impression than someone who s unkempt. And it is a commonly agreed upon fact that the first impression on someone will speak volumes about our future interactions with them.
    One of the most observable feature of our entire getup is facial and body hair. Imagine being completely updated with the latest trends while choosing an attire, but then your body hair shows through! It will be a little disconcerting and plays down all our efforts. Understandably, going to salons for waxing/threading or even tweezing on a regular basis can be time consuming and many times, we might also feel too lazy to step out for the sole purpose of hair removal. Rather than going to the parlour for hair removal every month (and in some case, once in every two weeks even), it makes more sense to find a more permanent solution to this. Opting for laser hair removal can rid us of this headache.
    Laser hair removal is a modern technology developed for the increasingly chic and conscious population that likes to be always ready to go out without worrying about a disturbing view of stubble spoiling their look. Laser hair removal is a non-invasive procedure that removes unwanted hair from our body without major side effects, by using a long pulsed laser. Lasers can cause localized damage by selectively heating dark matter or melanin. Hence, it targets the hair follicle, while not heating the rest of the skin. General side effects include mild itchiness, temporary redness and swelling, pain, tingling or a temporary feeling of numbness.
    But, be careful as to do careful research before finalising your specialist. It s imperative to hold thorough discussions with the team that carries out the hair removal and be assured of their competence.
  • Bachelor of Ayurveda, Medicine and Surgery (BAMS), L.C.P.S, PhD,D.P.S.M
    Meditation is one of the holistic approaches that can offer you great success in both your personal and professional life, but has even greater advantages in your love life. Some poses in meditation can boost your sexual life and you got to practice them on a regular basis in order to get maximized effects. There are many people who think that meditation can increase libido flow and sexual desire, but this is totally a wrong conception.

    Though you will have instant effects by medication, but the effects will not last for long and on the other hand, you might even experience a lot of unwanted side-effects. This is the reason medications have now been successfully replaced by means of sexual meditation which is completely natural and safe. You can have consultation with any professional meditation expert for getting immense knowledge on sexual meditation.

    Benefits of Meditation in Sexual Life

    Brings Energetic Sex: If you meditate in a peaceful mind for long hours, then your mind and body will have greater rest as a result of which you can get highest energy and stamina in lovemaking with your partner. You will receive a good amount of sleep during the night time and thus can show huge energy during sexual playtime.

    Inviting Better Orgasm: If your mental stress gets decreased, then only your concentration level will increase. This concentration level is needed for boosting sexual thoughts, which automatically leads to satisfactory orgasm. Different kinds of mental blockages causing interruption in sexual arousal can be eliminated from the root by practising meditation. If you have a satisfactory orgasm, then your nerves will also get relaxed and you can get improved mental and physical rest.

    Avoids Distraction: You will never get distracted rather you will always remain focused on your partner. In this way, you will automatically get seduced without any kind of external provocation and thus, healthy sexual interaction can be resulted. You can now get the fullest energy of continuing your lovemaking sessions for long hours without any kind of interruptions or distractions.

    Improve Sexual Relationship: Differences in between you and your partner can be easily resolved and thus, your sex life can be improved. If you have personal or relationship issues, then you cannot even think of physical intimacy. This is the reason proper meditation is required. Meditation can help you to get rid of married-life complications that usually stand as the main barriers of sex life.
  • MBBS, DNB (General Medicine)
    Cholesterol is a vital component, which helps the body to make healthy cells. This wax like component is found in the lipid of the blood. An increased cholesterol count elevates the risk of heart diseases in a person. It thickens the vessels of the arteries resulting in less oxygen flow in the heart. This, in turn, increases the chances of a stroke. High cholesterol can happen from lifestyle habits and inheritance. It is completely treatable and preventable.

    What causes high cholesterol?
    The blood carries the cholesterol which is attached to the proteins. The combination of cholesterol and protein is known as the lipoprotein. Primarily there are two different kinds of cholesterol that the lipoprotein carries:

    Low-density lipoprotein: LDL is the bad guy that carries all kinds of cholesterol present in the body. It eventually rests on the walls of the arteries, making it narrow and hard.
    High-density lipoprotein: This is the good guy which scans the excess cholesterol and take them back to the liver.

    Ideally, the body should have low LDL and high HDL. But often the reverse happens, resulting in high cholesterol and cardiac diseases. Factors such as unhealthy diet, inactivity for most of the day and obesity is responsible for the same. Even the genetic set up can play a hand in a high count of LDL in the body. There is nothing that can be done in this case except to seek medical help.

    6 factors that put you at risk:

    Poor diet: Cholesterol levels are dramatically increased when baked products and saturated fats are consumed in an excess amount. Other high cholesterol food products include dairy products, processed fats and red meat. Refraining from this food items will drastically reduce the chances of getting high cholesterol in the body.
    Obesity: Obesity results from too much of fat storage in the body. It not only fatigues a person faster, but puts a person at high risk of getting cholesterol. The body mass index should be always lesser than 30 to abstain the risk of cholesterol.
    Waist circumference: A waist circumference of more than 40 inches in men and 35 inches in women can increase the risk of cholesterol.
    Diabetes: This is one of the major causes of high cholesterol. It not only damages the artery lining, but results in higher LDL and lower HDL.
    Less workout: Leading a life which is devoid of exercise and jogging can increase the chances of getting high cholesterol. Exercise boost HDL count in the body and mitigates the risk of low HDL.
    Smoking: The blood vessel walls get damaged with smoking. The blood vessels start accumulating fatty acids thereby increasing the chances of getting high cholesterol.
  • BPTh/BPT
    Exercising outdoors is fun and refreshing in its own way. An early morning jog or doing pull ups on the goal post are fun ways of working out. Summers are usually the best time to take your workouts outside, as it decreases stress levels and revitalizes your body. It is also a good method to increase vitamin D levels in the body as the body is exposed to the sun.

    In spite of this, there are some disadvantages of taking your workout outside. Let's focus on them:

    1.Chances of accidents go up
    It is very common to see people jogging on the road with their headphones plugged in. Incidents of joggers being hit by cars are fairly common, due to the fact that they are unable to hear the honking of a car or may change course along the road without realizing a vehicle is nearby.

    2.Too much exposure to the sun
    Long distance runners are mostly affected as they log plenty of miles. This can lead to ultraviolet ray exposure which increases the risk of skin cancer. It can also lead to sunburns and tanning of the skin. It is also known to suppress immune system and increase the risk of various infectious diseases.

    3.Injury problems
    Working outdoors increases your chances of injuries. Running on hard surfaces tends to cause damage your calf, hamstrings and thighs. It can put more stress on your knee, calf and cause various problems such as runner's knee and shin splints.

    4.Difficult to find Help
    If you suffer from a serious injury while exercising outside, then it may be difficult to find help. If you injure a joint and are unable to walk, then it may be a problem in getting you proper treatment. This delay in treatment may cause the injury to aggravate.
  • BHMS
    One should think logical and practically before jumping into unknown terrains. It's always better to know your body and it's nature as each individual is born with a unique identity (due to the role played by genetics).

    The metabolic rate differs from person to person and so there cannot be a one plan that fits all regarding weight loss or weight gain.

    Some important points to be noted.

    Always check with your physician and see that you are fit to reduce or gain weight.

    Infact it very important to confirm that you are overweight or underweight before you start anything!

    See that you do not suffer from thyroid problems, diabetes or hypertension or any other illnesses.

    Ensure that any change in lifestyle (including dieting and exercising) is comfortable for you and does not cause pain or discomfort.

    There are no short cuts for success. It can be dangerous to use supplements or steroids, or even thinking of starvation or avoiding a particular nutrient in order to achieve fast results.

    Use common-sense in taking important decisions. If some body promises miraculous changes without a scientific basis and that too in a short period if time, be aware! it can cause more damage than the promised benefits in the future.

    Always stick to a balanced diet as the body requires all the nutrients.

    Always include exercise whether it's weight loss or weight gain.

    Always prefer natural ingredients over artificial ones.

    Keep good hydration (your thirst should be the best indicator). When you are thirsty please drink plain and clean water and nothing else. An average of 8-10 glasses of water would be sufficient. If you are active and do workouts (exercise) then you can increase a few more glasses of water.

    Avoid all junk food, fried food, very salty food, ready-made juices, sodas (cold drinks) tobacco and alcohol.
    Eat freshly prepared food only. Have green salads, sprouts, whole grains (all types of grains), pulses, seeds, nuts, fruits and vegetables so that there is a good portion of all the nutrients in your diet.

    Keep a track of your progress. Keep checking the vital parameters once in a week so that you are safe and healthy. And enjoy the process of transformation which should be slow and study. You should remember that it's not a competition with anybody but a conscious decision to stay fit and healthy which should make you happy and motivated.
  • PGDPC, Diploma In Dermatology And Venerology And Leprosy (DDVL), DIiploma in Yoga and Ayurveda, MBBS
    Letting go and speaking up or crying out is the best aphrodisiac and marriage problems solver says Dr. Vaibhav lunkad

    Of all the cases of erectile dysfunction we get to see at aaiina clinic 162 shukrawarpeth pune we found that 40% almost were due to psychosomatic problems such as misunderstanding, misconceptions, misperceptions, misbehaviour and habits of missing, messing and masking emotions or actions.

    Just one session of detailed counseling and psychotherapy for one hour and the mutual satisfaction of the couples and us was immeasurable. Their relations all renewed, relieved and resumed. To understand one another, it's necessary to go beyond logic and accept the intricacies of human body, mind, and relationships without bias and prejudice. To allow a person to be as he, she or a bisexual or gay is, is real love. To" forgive and forget" without reminding again helps resume all broken relationships too. To have humour, hunger and humility (letting go, keeps the flame of" romance, sex and love" ignited always. To be" at ease or dis-ease" is a choice we can make every moment. After menopause or andropause or any other problems what is required is" listening attentively without judging, taunting, expecting anything at all. Giving and for-giving childlike returns back immeasurably even from a strained relation,

    So kill your ego and misunderstanding, misconceptions, misperceptions, misbehaviour and just keep shut a dirty mouth and leave habits of" missing, messing and masking emotions or actions.

    Life literally changes by 180 and you can" reignite romance, love and sex" back in your and other's life just atm (anytime)

    Letting go and speaking up or crying out is the best aphrodisiac and marriage problems solver says Dr. Vaibhav Lunkad
  • MBBS, DGO, MD - Obstetrics & Gynaecology, MRCOG
    Peer pressure is always difficult to deal with, especially when it comes to sex. Many girls feel the pressure from friends to have sex before they're ready, which is why it's so important to have the confidence to say no to something you don't feel ready to do.

    Just because your friends are having sex or say they're having sex doesn't mean that you have to as well! you might feel like everyone is doing it but you will soon realize that this is not the case. Your friends may talk about sex in a casual manner. If you have a good group of friends, they should not be pressuring you into doing something that you're not ready to do.

    Pressure from magazines, celebrities and peers can all contribute to the pressure that you may feel. On tv, sex is displayed in such a casual way, however you should remember that sex is actually a really big deal! you need to make sure that you're completely confident and comfortable with your decision if you do decide to have sex. Think carefully how you feel yourself about having sex, as this is the first step in handling the peer pressure. It's okay to have fun when you're a teenager, but equally you need to respect yourself enough to say no I'm not ready and your peers should respect that too. When making the decision to have sex, consider whether peer pressure is influencing your decision or if it's something that you have decided that you are ready to do. Once you've had sex for the first time you can't go back, so make sure it's a decision that you won't regret.

    Remember that there is no certain age that you are expected to have sex a lot of people wait until they're married! everybody is different and will mature and feel ready at different ages, so just because your friend is doing it and feels ready now, this does not mean that you should feel that way too. Don't ever have sex just to fit in with your friends, as they will respect you more if you stick to your morals and don't do things just because you're pressured to.

    If you're worried about peer pressure, know that you're not alone. Hang out with friends who understand you and also believe that it's okay to wait to have sex. If you're going on a first date, go along with friends so it's not just you and your date. This way, if you feel worried that you might be pressured into doing something you don't want to, you won't be alone. Think of what you would say in advance if anyone tries to pressure you in the future, so that you're not caught off guard or feel like you have to do something you don't want to. You are never obliged to have sex with someone, so even if they try to make you feel guilty never do something that you don't want to do, as it's always your decision. Sex is not something that you should rush into, so take your time until you feel 100% ready to take the next step. Respect yourself, your morals and your body and when the time is right to take the next step, you will know.
  • PGDM In Cosmetology, Trichology & Weight Managmen, MD, BHMS
    1. The nuts are rich source of energy and contain health benefiting nutrients, minerals, antioxidants and vitamins that are essential for optimum health.

    2. They are rich in monounsaturated fatty acids like oleic acid and an excellent source of all important omega-3 essential fatty acids. Intake of walnuts in the diet helps to lower total as well as ldl or bad cholesterol and increases hdl or good cholesterol levels in the blood.

    3. N-3 fatty acids by their virtue of anti-inflammatory action help to lower the risk of blood pressure, coronary artery disease, strokes and breast, colon and prostate cancers.

    4. These nuts are packed with many important b-complex groups of vitamins such as riboflavin, niacin, thiamin, vitamin b-6, and folates.

    5. They are an excellent source of vitamin e. Vitamin e is a powerful lipid soluble antioxidant, required for maintaining the integrity of cell membrane of mucus membranes and skin by protecting it from harmful oxygen-free radicals.
  • MPhil ( Foods and Nutrition), M.Sc.(Food Service Management and Dietetics)
    Amla the wonder berry!

    Amla, otherwise called as indian gooseberry, is light green in colour and tastes sour. The indian gooseberry belongs to the euphorbiaceae family. This fruit ripens in the autumn in wet, forested, hilly areas on the indian subcontinent. In india it is considered a sacred tree. The fruit is very nourishing. Both dried and fresh fruits can be consumed for their health benefits.

    Indian gooseberry has also been found to be low in saturated fats, very good source of dietary fiber, and vitamin c. Amla contains good amount of calcium, phosphorus, iron, carotene and vitamin b complex, making it good for health.

    Health benefits of amla:
    The health benefits of indian gooseberry can be partially attributed to its high vitamin-c content.
    Amla enhances food absorption, thereby aiding in maximum absorption of nutrients in the body.
    Balances stomach acid, hence it is recommended to treat gastritis.
    Fortifies the liver by detoxifying it.
    Nourishes the brain and mental functioning
    Supports the heart. It strengthens the heart muscles, thereby aiding in uniform pumping of blood and the vit c and chromium prevents plague formation in the blood vessels.
    Strengthens the lungs
    Regulates elimination of free radicals
    Enhances fertility
    Helps the urinary system
    Increases skin health
    Promotes healthier hair
    Acts as a body coolant
    Flushes out toxins
    Increases vitality
    Strengthens eyes
    Improves muscle tone
    Acts as an antioxidant. Many health problems are caused by oxidative damage (when body cells use oxygen, they produce by-products called free radicals that can cause damage). Antioxidant agents prevent and repair these damages.
    Good hair tonic
    Improves eyesight, especially improves short sightedness and cataract
    Amla helps in absorption of calcium
    Treats menstrual cramps
    Chromium content of amla makes it a drug for treating diabetes
    It helps in proper digestion and the fiber present facilitates bowel movements.
    It helps to treat diarrhea and dysentery
    It is proved to improve appetite.
    Vitamin-c is a good antioxidant agent, which makes gooseberries a powerful tool against a variety of conditions, including various types of cancer.

    It provides remedies for many diseases, so it is widely used in ayurvedic treatment. So consuming amla is a great way to keep your body looking and feeling great!

    Uma Maheshwari PS

    Dietitian, happy living diet clinic

    +91 99000 46344
  • Masters in Dietetics and Food Service Management -, B.Sc.- Dietitics / Nutrition -, Reebok Instructor Course
    Breakfast is considered the most important meal of the day, no matter which culture you belong to. The age old saying goes that you should have breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a pauper. Let's look at some of the menu items, which are not considered ideal for breakfast menus on a regular basis along with a few others which are.

    Some of the unhealthiest breakfast foods:

    Chole bhatture or oily pooris: These are favorite items within Indian breakfast menus. However, they are full of oil and saturated fats. Apart from contributing to diabetes and blood pressure, bloating, acidity, and heartburn are also common side effects.
    Pakoras, samosas or kachoris: Common items which are included in many breakfast and snack menus, these oily fries are major contributors to bad cholesterol, reduce good cholesterol and is are major contributors to obesity.
    Sugary cereals: While plain corn flakes are good, sugary cereals have processed sugar and are a no-no for breakfast items as they could cause elevated blood glucose levels and thus cause a host of problems.
    Medu vada: While having a medu vada once or twice is alright, having it as a daily breakfast item will add a lot of oil to your diet and so, should be avoided.
    Bakery items: Many bakery items such as doughnut, Tiffin cakes, and sweet breads usually tend to have a lot of processed sugar, refined flour and additives which can be harmful to your health.

    Some healthy breakfast foods:

    Idli: This is a staple breakfast item in southern India and is very healthy as it is prepared by steaming rice mixes. However, reduce spicy chutneys or side dishes while consuming idlis as they can be quite bad for health.
    Upma: Another export of the south, upma is now loved all over India and the world. Made with suji or rawa and very little oil, this is a great and filling breakfast alternative.
    Poha or Chivra pulao: Made from flattened rice flakes, poha, also known as chivda pulao, is a great healthy alternative and should be incorporated in breakfast diets.
    Indian veg sandwiches: As long as the bread is whole wheat, this is a very healthy option as it is usually made with vegetables like tomatoes, cucumbers and potatoes and also has chutney as the dressing.
    Dosa: Another great option from southern India, this is a great breakfast food if the sambar and accompanying dishes are cooked in less oil and have fewer spices.
    Khakra: This dish which comes from Gujarat is also a great breakfast item and can also become a low calorie snack for cravings in between meals.
  • MS - Obstetrics and Gynaecology, MBBS
    Breast examination is a way of detecting early changes that help in detecting lumps or other growth in the breast. This is a manual form of examination that may be carried out by the doctor or even by the patient. This kind of examination helps in detecting the onset of breast cancer and helps in successful treatment of the same. It is an essential screening strategy that all women must go through. Let us cast a glance on the various details regarding this examination, and also how frequently it must be conducted.

    Age: Women who have reached the age of 18 are said to have matured physically and sexually. They should perform this examination once they have reached the said age in order to detect any anomalies in the way the physical changes occur in the breast tissue.
    Procedure: One should begin by looking at one's reflection in the mirror to find any rashes or dimpling in the breasts. The shape, size and colour of the breasts and nipples must also be studied so as to check for any anomalies. Inverted nipples, redness and soreness must also be reported to the doctor. Once you are done checking the visuals, you can raise your arms and look for any changes. Then, you will need to lie down and feel your breasts by using a circular motion. The finger pads must be used in order to check for any lumps. One must start from the centre and move the breasts sideways. Any wet and slippery feeling must be reported to the doctor immediately.
    Pressure: During the breast examination, you must use light pressure for the skin and tissue that lie beneath the breasts, while medium to moderate pressure should be used for the middle portion of the breasts. One must use a firm hand to check the tissue that lies at the back of the breasts, near the rib cage.
    Frequency: One must get into the habit of conducting a breast examination at least once a fortnight or once a month, without fail. You can also go to the gynaecologist for an examination in case you are not confident of conducting it on your own with proper movements and accuracy. You may also journalise your breast examination findings.
    Menstrual Cycles: When you are going through your menstrual cycle or period, it is important to remember that your breasts can become tender just before or after the start of the cycle. So, do not panic if you think you have found a lump or any other growth at this time. It is best to check again after a week and then visit the doctor about checking the same.
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  • M.S. Counselling and Psychotherapy
    What is stress?

    There are situations in life when a person is required to perform beyond his/her normal capacity, or situations when some expectations are not met. This creates anxiety, fear and anger. This is a situation where a person feels inadequate, under-confident and experiences loss of control. This affects a person's physical and mental wellbeing. This feeling of fear, anxiety, restlessness is commonly known as "tension or stress".

    Symptoms of Stress :

    Anger and Aggression: While under stress a person starts doubting his/her own capacity and efficiency because he/she feels inadequate or incapable of performing certain tasks. This creates a lot of anger or frustration and sometime, may result into aggressive behaviour.
    Irritability: Under stress people get irritated for no reason. There is loss of patience, loss of sense of humour.
    Sleep Disorders: A person under stress may not be able to sleep at all or in some cases sleep excessively.
    Eating Disorders: A person under stress may lose appetite or in some cases, tend to overeat resulting in harmful effects on body.
    Anxiety: Stress may cause a lot of anxiety and restlessness. The person under stress may not to able to concentrate and unable to focus on any activity, making things more complicated.
    Depression: In a few cases a person under a lot of stress may go into depression.
    High BP: Body and mind are closely connected. Hence stress in mind creates stress in the body and under stress, blood pressure may rise.
    High Sugar Level: Stress may increase the blood sugar levels.
    Headache or Unexplained Body Pains: Stress may cause headache or body aches in different parts of the body, without any physical reason for it.
    Sometimes, there may not be any symptoms for stress but the trauma manifests in the form to heart attack, Stroke etc.

    What causes stress ?

    Relationship Issues - Conflicts in relationships is a major cause of stress.
    Life style - Working for long hours, sedentary life style, unhealthy food habits, along with insatiable urge for money causes a lot of stress.
    High expectations from oneself and from others - The peer pressure, the pressure of constant deadlines builds up a huge stress. When a person has very high expectations from himself/herself without corresponding efforts, there is a fear of failure which causes lot of tension. At the same time, having unrealistic expectations from others also is a definite reason for disappointments, resulting in stress.
    Physical and Emotional Abuse - When a person is physically or emotionally abused and unable to defend himself/herself for various reasons, it causes frustration. This results in anger and stress.
    Competition - Unhealthy competitions with others create a feeling of inadequency and result in lower self esteem and sadness, thereby causing stress.
    Health Issues - Chronic and serious health issues cause lot of tension.
    Suppressed Emotions - Lack of freedom to express own emotions and feelings, amounts to stress.
    Lack of Assertiveness - Inability to say "No", when wanting to say so, inability to fight for one's own rights, causes tension and anger.
    Boredom - Lack of creative/interesting occupation may cause stress especially in old people or people with physical disabilities.
    Low self esteem, feeling hopeless and helpless - If a person has low self esteem and does not value oneself, it causes lots of negativity and stress.
    Why stress management is important?
    Body and mind affect each other's functioning. When the mind is stressed out, it gets reflected in the body in the form of high blood pressure, high sugar levels, indigestion, acidity, heartburn, ulcers, skin rashes, headache, nausea, cancer, eating disorders, psychosomatic pains etc. It may trigger asthma, migraine etc.

    Because of these harmful effects of stress, the body's capacity to function reduces. At times, it may cause serious threat to one's life. Hence, it is very important to learn to relieve and also to manage stress, in order to have a long and healthy life.

    There are a number of ways to relieve stress:

    Sleep, take rest, relax.
    Take a break from daily routine, do something different, take a short vacation.
    Go for a walk/jog/run/cycling. Practice Yoga, meditation, deep muscle relaxation, etc.
    Spend time with friends and family.
    Play with children.
    Spend time with pets.
    Pursue a hobby like reading, gardening, painting, music, dance, singing, cooking, etc.
    Recreation - Watch a movie, play, picnic, go for a drive or shopping.
    Pamper yourself with beauty treatments, massage, or your favourite food/drinks.
    How to manage Stress?
    Stress is inevitable part of life now. Right from a kid going to Pre-Nursery school to senior citizens staying alone at homes and having severe health problems; all are under lot of stress. No one can avoid stress. But there are certain ways to manage your stress-

    Self-awareness. Learn more about your own self. Understand what induces stress in you, what tasks are difficult for you, what situations are difficult for you and then try to figure out the reasons why it is so. Try to resolve or modify your thoughts and attitude.
    Identify stressors and explore options. Once you identify what is causing your stress, try to find more options to resolve your issues.
    Reasonable Expectations and Feasible Goals. Have reasonable expectations from yourself and from others. Have goals which are possible for you to achieve.
    Learn assertive techniques. Learn to express your feelings, learn to fight for your own rights, understand and respect other's rights.
    Try to minimise stress in life and lead a happy healthy life.
       1137 Thanks
  • MBBS, MD - DVL
    There are many things we do in our daily routine that can have various repercussions. The state of our skin is one of these. Starting from what we eat to how we shower and what kind of a skin care regimen we follow, there are a variety of factors that can affect the way our skin behaves. So are you showering the right way? Find out the best way to shower if you want healthy and glowing skin that retains its elasticity for a longer time.
    1. Turn it to Cold: Did you know that standing under hot water for too long can actually rob your skin of its moisture and make it look shrivelled? That s right, the temperature of the water can actually make your skin good or bad. So turn the knob to cold and enjoy an energetic shower, which will leave your skin looking dewy fresh. The water should not be completely cold, as harsh temperatures can have the same effect as extremely hot water. Instead, make sure that you find the perfect room temperature or luke warm setting with which you can shower every day.
    2. Showerhead: This may come as a surprise to you. Your showerhead actually determines the health of your skin. This showerhead is usually packed with dirt and grime that we know nothing about. Showering with this dirty showerhead can actually lead to a host of health issues in the long run including a slowdown of your immune system, as per the views of many doctors. So unscrew the showerhead and give it a good rinse in a mug of hot water. Use a toothbrush to easily dislodge the loose dirt and the grime that may have settled in layers. Take special care of the tiny jets, which should not get damaged in your cleaning spree!
    3. Shampoo and Conditioner: Remember to lather your locks in the right way by diluting the shampoo a little before spreading it evenly over the rest of your scalp. You should also do the same for your conditioner and let it stand for a few minutes before you wash it off.
    4. Exfoliation: Keep this activity to a minimum to avoid excessive abrasion of the skin. Use soft foam on a daily basis and keep the exfoliation to a minimum with one or two sessions a week.
    5. Cleansing: While the bar soap is the cleanest option, the loofah is not. So, if you are using a loofah on a daily basis, you will have to clean it up properly before you hang it to dry. Also, ensure that your bathroom has plenty of ventilation so that it may dry properly before your next use.
       3446 Thanks
  • Bachelors Of Physiotherapy, Diploma in Nutrition and Health Education
    From an early age we re taught that alcohol is bad for us, but is that really true? Drinking yourself silly every night can have disastrous consequences, but having one drink a day is associated with a number of health benefits. The key here is moderation. Moderate drinking can be defined as one drink a day for women and two drinks a day for men. This is a daily quote system and not to be taken as an average over time.

    Here are a few ways your body can benefit from the occasional drink:

    It boosts cardiovascular health: Many types of alcohol are rich in phenols. This helps fight stress, reduces the risk of hypertension and can protect the heart against a number of cardiovascular conditions. Moderate amounts of alcohol can also increase the amount of good cholesterol in the body and influence the clotting of blood. Higher levels of cholesterol help protect against heart diseases while by influencing the blood clotting process, alcohol can indirectly help prevent the formation of blood clots in the arteries.
    It slows aging: Some types of alcohol like wine are rich in antioxidants. This helps flush toxins out of the body and can slow down the aging process. An antioxidant called resveratrol that is found in red wine can even increase the lifespan of cells and activate enzymes that slow down the aging process. It is also said to increase DNA stability thus extending a person s lifespan.
    It can help fight diseases: Alcohol is said to lower the risk of catching a cold. A warm drink like brandy can also be used to treat sore throats and a cough. Tonic water contains quinine that is anti inflammatory and has analgesic properties. Though medication for malaria is now easily available, tonic water can be used to treat the initial phase of the disease if proper medication is not available.
    It enhances your libido: Excessive drinking can dampen your sex drive, but when consumed in moderation, alcohol can lower the risk of erectile dysfunction. Moderate amounts of alcohol also help lower inhibitions and thus encourage people to form sexual relationships.
    It improves cognitive ability: Almost all forms of alcohol contain ethanol that helps neurons resist wear and tear. This can lower a person s risk of suffering from Alzheimer s or dementia later in life. It can also enhance problem solving abilities and encourage creativity.

    All of the above benefits are applicable only if alcohol is consumed in moderation. Thus do not use them to binge drink.
       1032 Thanks
  • MD - Ayurveda, Bachelor of Ayurveda, Medicine and Surgery (BAMS)
    Diabetes is a chronic metabolic disorder that results in higher level of blood sugar in the body. It is assuming epidemic proportions and India has become the new diabetic capital with more than 50 million diabetic people. The main problem with diabetes is that it does not completely go away and there is a whole myriad of issues that it brings along with it. Heart attack, stroke, eyesight problems, delayed wound healing, nerve damage and impotence. Therefore, diabetes and by that we mainly mean blood sugar level has to be managed so that there is a delay in onset of the associated conditions and/or reduced in severity.

    Ayurveda refers to diabetes as Prameha (excessive urination) and Madhumeha (sugary urine) and has identified close to 20 forms of the disease. According to Ayurvedic belief, each disease is caused due to imbalance in kapha, pitta, and vata doshas and diabetes is caused by all these, predominantly by kapha. With any stream of medicine, management of diabetes involves two tracks one is lifestyle changes and the second is medications.

    Lifestyle changes include the following:

    Diet: Reduce the amount of rice, sugar, potato, sweet fruits, maida, deep fried foods, and red meat. Protein-rich foods like lentils, soya, green leafy vegetables and fish should be increased. Diet plan should change to small, frequent meals instead of binge eating.

    Exercise: Include 30 minutes of regular exercise into your daily routine if you have a diabetic predisposition.

    Others: Avoid smoking and alcohol, ensure sufficient sleep, avoid sleeping during day time, improved foot and eye care, periodically check sugar levels and manage stress levels.


    Ayurveda has a whole lot of home remedies which have proven to be very effective against diabetes:

    Jambhul: Eugenia Jambolana whether eaten raw or juice extract has been shown to have beneficial effects in managing sugar levels and cholesterol.

    Gymnema sylvestre: Used to manage diabetes for over 2000 years, it reduces sugar cravings and is being touted as the future for diabetes treatment.

    Bitter gourd (Momordica charantia): It has 3 components that give it strong antidiabetic properties. The charantin reduces blood sugar levels; the polypeptide has insulin-like effects; and lectin that again has hypoglycemic effects.

    Bel (Aegle marmelos): Also known as wood apple, leaves of the plant are shown to have antidiabetic properties. 5 to 10 leaves can be chewed on a daily basis to help control blood sugar levels.

    Fenugreek (Trigonella foenum graecum): Consuming 10 g of fenugreek seeds soaked in water increases the amount of insulin produced, thereby increasing sugar breakdown.

    Neem: Chewing about 4 to 5 leaves in the morning on an empty stomach helps to control blood sugar levels. Alternately, neem leaves powder is available which can be dissolved in water and consumed.
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  • MBBS, DGO, MD - Obstetrics & Gynaecology, MRCOG
    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.

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

    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.
    Family history of other cancers: Even if there is no breast cancer, if there are other cancers that run in the family, watch out.
    Age: Women over 50 are at higher risk of developing breast cancer.
    Race: Caucasian and Jewish women are at higher risk of breast cancer than African-American women.
    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.
    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.
    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.

    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.
    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.
    Stage II: The cancer at this stage grows considerably or spreads to other parts. There are chances that cancer may grow and also spread.
    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.
    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.

    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.
    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.
    Women in high-risk categories should have screening mammograms every year and typically start at an earlier age.
    Ultrasound screening can also be given in addition to mammograms.
    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.

    Exercise and a healthy diet with reduced amount of alcohol are definitely effective in minimising the chances of developing cancer.
    Tamoxifen is used in women who are at high risk for breast cancer.
    Evista (raloxifene) which is used to treat osteoporosis after menopause. It is also widely used in preventing breast cancer.
    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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