How Air Pollution affects our health
I am Dr. Rajiva Gupta, senior consultant in Internal Medicine and Diabetology. I have my own clinic at Upjaar Wellness, at Ashok Vihar Phase II, New Delhi. Today, we will discuss pollution. We all know, we keep on reading it on the news, in the media that pollution is creating a havoc in many parts of the country, Delhi is the worst affected by this.
Now, what is pollution? Pollution is the introduction of contaminants in our environment, be it air, water or soil. As far as human beings are concerned, they are most affected by the contamination in the air because this is the problem which all of us are encountering so frequently and it is at its peak. So, air pollution consists of solid particles in gases and many pollutants are carcinogens. Apart from these dire consequences, air pollution is also having a great effect on the lungs, the bronchial and heart which affects the quality of life, the productivity of life in the individual as well as its health consequences. People who are most affected by pollution are the elderly as I said in the beginning, elderly and the children.
Elderly people those who are already having diseases like cardiac diseases and lung disease, their pre-existing conditions get aggravated. Patients develop shortness of breath; many times they land up into hospitals. Patients who are having bronchitis or asthma, their conditions get aggravated, their usage of medicine gets increased and the quality of life suffers. In certain cases, they become critically ill and get admitted in Intensive Care Units. Till now, it was understood that the pollution only affects the lungs but recently we have come to know that it also affects the heart and the mechanism is not clearly known but then patients who suffer pollution or are exposed to pollution they have problems related to their heart such as heart failure, heart attack, etc., and they land up in hospital. So, we see that pollution has got a far reaching influence both on the quality of life; the seriousness of illnesses, and sometimes it may even cause mortality, not directly but indirectly.
How can pollution be prevented? Pollution prevention is a pretty tough task because it involves changes in the policy level, at the administrative level. On an individual basis, one can use masks so the best masks are called the N95 masks which are expensive but they claim to reduce the inhalation of pollutants. The use of air purifiers, again they have got a, they have a lot of controversy about how they are effective or not but certainly the weight of evidence suggests that to some extent they do help in getting down the prevalence and incidence of pollution related respiratory problems. So, therefore, people are advised not to go out for walks in the early mornings because that puts them at a greater risk of exposure to pollution and try to exercise at home. Usages of masks, installation of purifiers at home and at work places are the steps which could minimize the level of pollution.
If you have any other further queries, you can consult me at lybrate.com.
Here are Reasons, Effects, Precautions of Hypertension.
Hypertension is a growing problem in the entire world and especially in the developing countries like India. Last surveys have found that hypertension is prevalent in almost 30% of adult population of India. Why is hypertension or high blood pressure increasing? The reasons are multi-factorial essentially because of bad lifestyle which includes obesity, diets like processed foods or restaurant food which is very high in salt, increase in mental stress and lack of physical activity. In addition to that, as the population ages, so does the prevalence of hypertension increases.
Why is hypertension so important to control? The reason is that researches found that hypertension is one of the most important modifiable factors for heart disease and strokes. Therefore, if a patient has got hypertension and if the blood pressure is controlled adequately, then the chances of developing a stroke or heart attack or heart failure or kidney failure or blindness get reduced markedly. However once the patient does not control the blood pressure and these complications occur, then it becomes a lifelong medical problem and adds to the quality of life- survival as well as the financial burden on the patient and his family. So blood pressure needs to be controlled meticulously.
Now, how to go about it? We, as physicians, always measure blood pressure of every patient who comes to our clinic irrespective of his symptoms and we are able to identify which are the patients who are likely to develop hypertension. If a patient comes to the clinic and his blood pressure is somewhere around 130 to 135, then we ask the patient to get a recheck done to see if the pressure is persistently elevated. At this point, I would like to mention that overall the agreed definition of hypertension is persistent blood pressure more than 140 upper blood pressure which is called the systolic blood pressure and more than 90 which is the diastolic blood pressure.
Secondly, if we find that the patient is having blood pressure more than this level then we give him counseling about lifestyle modification like control of diet, exercise, to get his other parameters checked like cholesterol levels, blood sugar levels and we discuss with the patient about the importance of blood pressure and treatment for blood pressure medication. Once we control blood pressure, we find that the patient’s quality of life improves and the prevalence of complications is also reduced markedly. Blood pressure control has been found to be one of the most cost effective modalities of treatment. Cost effectiveness means the cost of treatment of blood pressure is than when the complications occur.
As I had mentioned earlier, that once the complications because of hypertension occur then it leads markedly to financial burden on the patient’s family. Therefore, blood pressure is important to recognize. Ideally what is to be done is to prevent the occurrence of blood pressure by adopting a healthy lifestyle. If blood pressure has already occurred, then we should consult the doctor to treat it adequately in addition to modification of lifestyle which has already been addressed to. In this way, it will go a long way in reducing the burden of hypertension on the entire society.
In case, any of our viewers or listeners are interested in seeking any query on hypertension or seeking treatment of blood pressure, you can log on to the lybrate.com homepage and look for Dr. Rajiva Gupta.read more
Hello. I’m Dr Rajiva Gupta. I’m a senior consultant in internal medicine at Ashok Vihar and Fortis Hospital, Shalimar Park. My special areas of interest are diabetes and care of the elderly.
Now talking about care for the elderly, the branch of medicine that deals with the care of the elders is called Geriatrics anthology. The elderly patients present peculiar problems. They present not just discreet conditions, but with discreet syndromes. A syndrome is a constellation of symptoms and signs. In common, they are called the geriatric syndromes. The common geriatric syndromes are false, impaired cognition, deficiencies in a hearing, difficulty in vision, delirium. These syndromes are important because we have to investigate several different causes. For example, if the patient falls, it is not necessary that he may be having weakness in his legs. It is highly possible that the patient will be suffering from an acute infection or from some electrolyte imbalance or from CVA or cardiovascular problem. The patient is having disorientation, he is not oriented, he may have necessarily, he may be having, that he is having infection of the brain, he could as well be having electrolyte imbalance or any infection or a cardio-vascular problem. It means that the syndromes present, similar syndromes present with different types of illness in the elderly. The reason is that the physiological reserves of the elderly are just on the borderline and any acute insult that results in these syndromes. The approach to geriatric patients is slightly different from the way we approach people of other age.
So there are two components, one is the Curative component and another is comfort, or the palliative. That depends much on the functional ability of the patient. So if you have got an elderly person, above 80 years, he does regular exercise, enjoys his life, goes out for walks, the treatment of any condition in such a patient would be on the lines the management is done for a younger or a middle aged patient. Whereas, on the other end, if the patient is 70 years or 75 years, and he suffers from a problem, he is immobile, confined to bed, he is not able to take care of his own daily needs. For such patient, the aim would be to have a comfort care. So, the treatment of the elderly has to be individualized and surprisingly, there are not many guidelines which are available for treatment of elderly in different, for different medical conditions. SO the treatment for each individual has to be individualized, considering his individual circumstances. For example, if we take a very common problem like sugar, and we call that, there is a parameter called the Glycosylated hemoglobin, so we say that glycosylated hemoglobin for a normal should be less than 7% or less than 6.5 %. Bit for the elderly, because they may be having other illnesses, they may be having kidney disease or may be living alone in the house, they may not be able to take care, so in such patients, we will not go in for a very strict control, we’ll go in for a modest control, where the range may be say, around 8 or 8.5.
As physicians, we need to be aware that the number of elderly people is increasing, we need to be aware about their special needs, we have to give time once they come to our clinic and we have to define their problems and treat them accordingly.
I will be most willing and happy to answer to any questions, which can be approached through the lybrate website or they can seek consultation by telephone or physical consultation.read more
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Patient Review Highlights
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I am UG student. Recently from last year I am feeling much pressure of studies and lack of enthusiasm in studies. I couldn't concentrate on studies and feel very much negative and feel low self esteem. I have lost interest in participating in college activities like gathering and sports which I liked so much in higher schools. I need help.
Teeth thrice daily and goggle with mouth Colgate place, but still I have a bad breath, what could be the reason and can you suggest some remedies to get rid of bad breath. I am using dantkanti toothpaste.
I am 28 year old from India. Once I was measuring my BP ,it came 130/80. After 2 weeks when it increased I started having panic and one day suddenly I started feeling dizzy and went to hospital where I had my ECG. The ECG report was normal. The doctor prescribed 10 tablets of Rablet and 10 days of Petril (0.5 mg) which is an Anxiety medicine. Rablet is because I was having gastric pain for past few days before feeling dizzy and high flatulence rate. After 10 days of medicines I again started feeling the same. Even for slight excitements (which I was earlier able to handle) I stated to feel a faster heartbeat and nausea. It resulted in dysphagia. I was unable to eat solid foods for 3 days and for next 2 weeks almost I ate too little with the feeling of food being stuck in the mouth and bitter sour taste in the mouth. Even when I was hungry, I could eat proper food. Also the anxiety level increased with time and sometimes during walking I had breathlessness. Again I consulted a doctor where I had Chest scan, Echo Screen test, Liver function&blood test. All test report came to be normal including Echo screen and Chest. Doctor gave 2 anxiety medicines. First is Alpi plus (alprazolam)-2 times half tablet for 20 days and SECOND one is PixetCR 12.5 MG for 30 days. Plus Rablet was given due to high acidity. Even after starting all the medications I still experienced difficulty in swallowing but after 3-4 days I started eating normally I was having a normal diet and had gastric pains even during the course of medicines. After the stoppage of medicines it was fine. There were no episodes of anxiety or panic but suddenly one day while walking I started feeling breathless and heart palp. Now my doctor said that I was having having Gastritis as well as Anxiety Disorder Now I have brought a Blood pressure monitoring machine at my home. I have stopped the anxiety medications. But I am seeing a rise in blood pressure readings. I will write down by approx BP readings April 1: When I first went to hospital suffering a panic it was 160/80 which after some time was 140/80 (without anxiety medications) April 2: Before taking medications of anxiety ,it was 140/80 April 8: During anxiety medication, it was 110/80 April 18: After stoppage of anxiety medicine, it was 120/80 April 21: Again in hospital it was 130/86 (without medications) May 9: Before the doctor prescribed one month medication it was 120/80 June 9: During the course of anxiety medicine it was 118/80 All these monitoring was done in docs cabin and presence. After bringing a BP monitoring machine at home I started getting fluctuations in BP. Sometimes it goes high above 135-143/93 and sometimes its normal like 121-125/78-83. I am currently not taking any anxiety medicines. One thing I would like to say that even at home while measuring bp I am tensed. Strange thing is before breakfast in the morning I have normal bp and during night before dinner its high always. Thats the time I start feeling uneasy. I do not know whether its due to withdrawal of anxiety medicines or its high pressure symptoms. Need your guidance and help.
I am 20 year old my weight is 94 kg. I want to tell you that if I play or workout in summers for only half an hour my headache starts and I feel much tired. I think the same with my colleagues will also happen ,but when I ask them the said no. And currently I play badminton and all my colleague play for 1-2 hours buy I feel headache and tired in half an hour only. please tell me what is the problem in me.
Having a fever makes you feel weak such that you don’t feel like doing anything. Medical treatment for flu includes usage of antiviral drugs as prescribed for decreasing the severity and duration of the infection. You may also consult your doctor to know about the antibiotics that can treat bacterial infections which may arise as an effect of flu. However, antibiotics are not always required for treating viral infections like flu. On the contrary, you can also follow a few home remedies to get rid of your suffering.
Home remedies for treating flu
You can treat flu by following a few home remedies like resting in bed and avoiding physical exertion. Hydration is very important and minor pains and aches can be relieved with over-the-counter medications as prescribed by the physician. You should avoid spreading the flu virus and germs and wash your hands often.
- Stay hydrated: You should drink ample amount of water, clear soup and fruit juices. Though flu causes appetite loss, you should not depend on water entirely, as it doesn’t contain enough amount of electrolytes that are required for your body to function optimally. Energy drinks can also help you in this respect. In case these products are not available, you can also prepare a homemade solution by mixing plain or rice water with sugar and a pinch of salt. You can also enhance the taste by adding orange juice and freshly cut bananas, and you can drink it right away irrespective of your age.
- Getting rid of cough: Though expectorants and cough suppressants would help the cough to subside, steam inhalations can also prove to be useful for opening a blocked nose. To create steam, pour water in a pot and heat it. After removing the pot from the stove, cover your head with the towel and inhale the steam. The water should be hot, but not boiling, and you can also add eucalyptus oil and few slices of ginger to the hot water. Another way is to steam up your bathroom by allowing the shower to run with hot water and inhale the moisture from the steamy room. You should refrain from touching hard surfaces where the viruses would remain alive. Sneeze and cough into a soft tissue or a handkerchief and carefully dispose of the tissues once they are used. If possible, stay away from people who have flu.
With these simple homemade tips, you would be able to control the symptoms of flu. But in case it does not subside, you shall have to seek medical assistance.
Hi Sir, Reports are suggestive of well controlled diabetes, eosinophilia, deranged liver enzymes, high cholesterol and calcium deficiency let me know what precautions should I take in above problems. Tell me diet & medicines.
A serious fever is something which can really be quite debilitating, to say the least. However, if a person who is on the mend from such an ailment is willing to make an effort to eat the right things, he or she will find that the time which is taken for him or her to recover is almost mysteriously reduced!
The thing which is to be done first and foremost is to make sure that a square, balanced meal plan is followed. The plan can be simple in nature but it is very important as it is this which provides the energy for the person to recover, sooner rather than later.
- Have a balanced diet: All types of food groups should make their way to the plate from which a person is eating; these are pulses, cereals, as well as fruits and vegetables. In addition to just what is to be eaten, when it is to be eaten also makes a difference as if a person eats about 5 to 7 small but regular meals over the course of the day, he or she will be doing a lot better than if he or she was confined to just about three or four big ones. Turmeric added to warm milk, honey and lemon-grass juice and their ilk are great!
- Include supplementary foods: Supplements, if they are consumed in a sufficient quantity, without a person going overboard, have a good impact on the recovery period as well, as they can do a lot to support a body which is not in its ideal state and help it repair itself in order to get there.
- Support diet with self-care: If a person who is recovering finds there to be body pain, he or she should make the time to apply a hot water bottle to the areas where the pain is present and check with his or her doctor if the pain does not go away after a few days.
- Get enough rest: However, apart from a diet, what is just as important is to get enough rest. It takes time for the repair to take place and if a person does not give his or her body the time which it really needs in order to be up and running, he or she is going to find a dire lack of improvement. Rest has two facets when it comes to recovering from a fever. One of these happens to be the literal meaning, as in the sleep which a person gets. Another is not engaging in activity which is strenuous in nature. Both are important.
As long as a person eats right and acts right, he or she will be fine in no time!