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great experience . Doctor garima is very helpful and supportive . She lights up your mood with the right advice always
Dr. Garima Sharma provides answers that are very helpful. Thanks meadum, your advice was very helped on behalf of my family i convey thanks to you once again meadum.
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I had very severe allergy in Nasal passage. Dr. Sharma's tips without a lot of medication helped me.
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Anyone who is suffering from hypertension knows that sodium is not good. But what remains missing is the other nutrient which is potassium. Potassium is known to lower blood pressure. Increase in potassium intake could possibly lower blood pressure in patients who are suffering from hypertension.
How potassium impacts your blood pressure?
It helps in balancing the effect of high sodium intake in your daily diet
A low potassium diet could increase reabsorption of sodium in the kidney, which leads to increase in hypertension
Benefits cardiovascular functions
Relaxes the tension in the walls of blood vessel, which improves the blood flow leading to lower blood pressure
Studies have shown that additional potassium intake of 1.6 gm could result in the reduction of blood pressure.
Sources of potassium in the diet
Just like sodium, potassium is also required in small quantity. The daily recommendation for potassium is around 4.7 gm. Fruits and vegetables are amongst the richest sources of potassium. Here is a list of a few foods that can be included in daily diet:
Sweet Potato and potatoes
Grapefruit and oranges
Prunes, raisins and dates
Who cannot have a high potassium diet?
You can increase your daily potassium intake if you have blood pressure above 120/80 and are not suffering from any other medical condition. This diet is not recommended if you have:
Advanced kidney disease
Medications like angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors or spironolactone
What happens if you are taking a high potassium diet?
High potassium content in your diet can lead to hyperkalemia. Some of the symptoms of this condition are:
A low, weak or irregular pulse
Even if you are taking a potassium-rich diet, it is important to limit daily intake of sodium, to maintain the right balance of electrolyte in blood and to prevent any further fluctuations in blood pressure levels.
If you have any kind of kidney problem or disorder, then their functioning is likely to get affected. This means that your body will not be able to maintain the right fluid balance which can lead to buildup of fluids and wastes in the blood. What you consume in this condition, plays an important role in improving your kidneys health and can reduce or prevent further damage.
It is important to choose your food wisely. Other than cutting down on extra sugar and salt, there are certain things that should be completely avoided such as:
1. Sodas and cold drinks:
They provide empty calories i.e. they are high on sugar and don’t have any nutritional benefits. This might result in unwanted weight gain, osteoporosis, diabetes and dental caries and kidney problems. Diet sodas also contain artificial sweeteners like aspartame which affects the kidneys. You can sip some plain water instead of cold drinks. In case there is the fluid restriction, it is best to consult your doctor.
2. Canned and frozen foods:
Canned and frozen foods such as soups, vegetables and pre-made meals have high amounts of sodium, sugar and fats. This can impact the kidneys and is also restricted in case if you are having any kind of kidney problems. Other than this they can also lead to developing type 2 diabetes. Also, check for "low sodium" or "no sodium added" labels, when buying frozen or canned foods.
3. Processed meats:
Processed meats are meats made using the techniques salted, dried, cured or canned and lots of preservatives. They contain high amounts of salt, mostly to improve taste and preserve flavor. They are associated with chronic conditions and can increase the risk of kidney disorders. Also, they are high in protein, it is advised to check with your doctor on total protein intake.
Drinking alcohol can lead to dehydration and can also damage kidneys. It also affects the other body parts like liver, heart, and brain and causes serious health problems. It is advised not to drink alcohol if you are having any kind of kidney problem.
You need to consult your doctor as different kidney problems have different nutritional requirements, so what you need to restrict and can eat will depend upon the condition.
Vitamins and minerals are essential for proper functioning of the body. They play an active and important role in metabolization, hormone production and functioning of enzymes. In case of any disease or disorder, the requirements of these vitamins and minerals may vary. If you have any type of kidney disorders, there are certain vitamins and minerals that are known to improve the kidney function and prevent the damage and some are difficult to digest and have to be taken in restricted amounts. Here is the list of vitamins and minerals that are good for your kidneys health:
B Complex: Vitamin B complex is amongst the most important vitamins that are needed for the healthy functioning of kidneys as it is important for metabolism and also helps in reducing the risk of anemia.
Iron: If you are suffering from end-stage renal disorder or undergoing dialysis, you are likely to suffer from iron deficiency. Therefore, it is important to include iron-rich foods in your diet or take medicines. If there is a severe iron deficiency, please consult your doctor for taking any iron pill.
Vitamin C: It is an antioxidant, it is important for maintaining healthy tissues. It helps in faster healing of wounds and bruises and also increases immunity.
Vitamin D: Vitamin D deficiency is very common and is associated with increased risk of kidney problems. If you have any kidney disorder, then the kidney loses its ability to convert vitamin D in its active form. Therefore, check with your doctor if there is a requirement of active Vitamin D supplementation.
Vitamins that need to be avoided
Calcium: Excessive calcium supplementation can lead to deposition of calcium in kidneys and can also cause kidney stones. Please check with your doctor if you are taking right amount of calcium in your diet.
Before taking any vitamin and mineral supplement, it is important to consult your doctor and go for regular health check-ups to detect any early vitamin or mineral deficiency.
Ectopic kidney is a rare kind of birth defect. In this condition, the kidneys are not located in their original position. They may be located below, above, or on the opposite side of its usual position.
Causes of ectopic kidney
Ectopic kidney is a birth defect. When the fetus is developing, it might happen that baby’s first bud of kidney may not appear at the correct position. The kidneys might start to form at the correct place around the pelvis, but sometimes when they start to grow one of the kidney remains in the pelvis or moves higher than the original position. This might also happen that the kidney stops moving towards the correct position. There are certain factors that can lead to this condition:
Poor development of a kidney bud
Any kind of defect in the kidney tissue
Exposure of mother to any kind of drug or chemical
Symptoms of ectopic kidney:
Ectopic kidney is a silent disorder as it rarely has any symptoms. However, if you experience these symptoms, it might be because of abnormal positioning of the kidneys, which can lead to blockage and hamper their functioning.
How to diagnose an ectopic kidney?
If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms, you should visit your doctor immediately. He might suggest a few tests other than the regular blood test for kidney functioning. This will help in the correct diagnoses. Some of the tests you might have to undergo are:
Ultrasound: An ultrasound gives the idea about the positioning of kidneys and if they are of the right size or not
Intravenous pyelogram (IVP): It is a kind of X-ray, that uses a special dye. It helps in diagnosing any kind of blockage in the urinary tract.
Voiding cystourethrogram (VCUG): This is also a kind of x-ray, that is used to check the functioning of bladder and urethra.
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI): This is another test that uses radio waves and magnets and gives a detail of the functioning of internal organs.
You may need treatment for an ectopic kidney if there is any kind of obstruction, reflux, or extensive damage that has happened to the kidney or bladder. But if there is no obstruction you might not require any kind of treatment and you just have to be careful about your diet and exercising routine.
Consumption of alcohol is known to affect all the organs of your body including your kidneys. As per dietary guidelines, consuming alcohol in a limited amount i.e. one or two drinks occasionally has no serious side effects, but excessive or heavy drinking can lead to kidney problems and can worsen the existing kidney diseases.
How alcohol consumption affects your kidneys?
There are many ways in which alcohol consumption can lead to kidney problems. Some of these ways are explained below:
1. Interferes with the functioning of kidneys: Kidneys have an important role in maintaining the health of your body, which is by filtering the toxins out of blood and maintaining fluid and electrolyte balance. If blood has excess alcohol content then it can interfere with the normal functioning of kidneys, by putting an extra pressure. It can also cause kidney pain.
2. High blood pressure: Too much of alcohol consumption is one of the main reasons that can lead to high blood pressure. Alcohol consumption also interferes with the current medications of hypertension. More than two drinks a day can increase your chances of developing high blood pressure.
3. Dehydration: Consumption of alcohol can lead to dehydration. It affects the kidneys' ability to maintain fluid and electrolyte balance which leads to dehydration. It also leads to hormonal disturbance. There are a few cases in which kidney stones can be formed due to alcohol-induced dehydration.
4. Liver disease: Excessive alcohol consumption is associated with an increased risk of liver disease. If someone is suffering from liver disease, it impairs the flow and filtering of blood. This can have harmful effects on your overall health and increases the pressure on kidneys.
5. Increases the risk of cardiovascular diseases: Alcohol consumption can result in deposition of plaque or cholesterol in the arteries, which can lead to blockage. This might also increase the risk of heart problems like coronary artery disease, which may cause kidney problems.
6. Increases the risk of type 2 diabetes: Alcohol consumption is associated with an increased risk of type 2 diabetes and it might lead to an increase in kidney disorders.
Therefore, it is important to keep a check on alcohol consumption and the best idea is to avoid its intake.
Is your wound taking very long to heal? It could be because of diabetes. If you are a diabetic, a simple cut or a minor wound can take longer to heal compared to other people. This happens because high glucose levels in the blood interfere with the body’s natural process of healing.
How does diabetes affect wound healing?
Diabetes makes it difficult for the body to manage normal blood glucose levels, which can lead to:
Impaired immunity: It hinders the functioning of white blood cells, and this increases the risk of infections.
Leads to poor blood circulation: High sugar levels cause slow blood circulation, thus preventing nutrients and oxygen to reach the cells.
Nerve damage: Uncontrolled blood glucose can damage the nerve endings. This means that you won’t be able to feel any sensation in that area, which slows the healing process.
Uncontrolled blood sugars also lead to impaired sweating, dry and cracked skin, toenail and skin infections and foot deformities. All these are associated with increased risk of a bacterial infection.
Tips for better wound healing:
For your wounds to heal, it is important to manage diabetes, as uncontrolled sugar levels can worsen the situation. Some of the other tips that can be of help are:
- Regular self-checks: It is important to keep checking yourself regularly for any kind of wound, cut, blister or ulcer. If you are able to check your wound early, you can get it treated in a better manner.
- Remove dead tissue: Removing dead cells and excess tissue, around diabetic wounds helps in eliminating bacteria and toxins, thus reducing the risk of wound infection.
- Change the dressing regularly: Regularly changing the dressing helps in reducing the growth of bacteria. It also maintains appropriate moisture levels in the wound.
- Don’t exert pressure on the affected area: Any kind of extra pressure can cause wear and tear of the skin around the wound. It can also deeper the wound or ulcer.
Any kind of cut or wound in the skin and especially around the feet, can cause lots of problems later in life. Therefore, when you see anything unusual, it is best to visit your doctor.
Are you getting enough sleep? As per science, it is important to get 6-8 hours of sound sleep. But the lifestyle these days which includes late and long working hours interferes with your sleeping patterns.
What does irregular sleep lead to?
Do you know lack of sleep can make you a diabetic? You are aware of the common reasons that can lead to diabetes. Some of these factors are family history, BMI, lack of exercise, sedentary lifestyle and smoking. But what may surprise you is that lack of proper sleep or irregular sleeping patterns can also lead to increase in the risk of type 2 diabetes.
How does irregular sleep lead to diabetes?
Poor or irregular sleep can impact your blood sugar levels in the following ways:
Hormonal changes: Lack of sleep leads to increase in levels of cortisol, stress hormone.
Insulin Resistance: It increases body’s resistance to insulin. Insulin resistance is a precursor to diabetes.
Increases circadian rhythms: If circadian rhythms are out of sync, it declines the body’s metabolism and can interfere with hormone production affecting appetite, insulin, and blood glucose levels.
How to get a proper sleep?
Regular sleep or sleeping for 6-8 hours has many health benefits. Here are few tips to get a proper sleep:
Limit the use of electronics in the bedroom: Switch off your phones, TVs, ipads and screens 2 hours before you go to sleep. It is best not to place television in your bedroom, as you tend to watch more in this case.
Relax: Try reading a book or listen to some kind of soothing music, this helps in relaxing you, after a hard day at work. You can even go for some breathing exercises or meditate for few minutes.
Regular bedtime schedule: Sleeping at a particular time daily helps in training the mind and it will help you in getting a good quality sleep.
Proper sleep is as important as diet for people with diabetes. It improves metabolism, promotes the secretion of hormones that regulate appetite and eating patterns. Lack of sleep not only increases the risk for diabetes but also affects its effective management.
We all know that smoking is harmful for us and more so if you are a diabetic. Smoking increases the risk of type- 2 diabetes. You might be surprised to know that smokers have 30-40 percent more chances than non-smokers to develop diabetes. Some other complications that can arise because of smoking other than diabetes are:
Secondhand smoke can lead to autoimmune diseases
Cancers like oral and lung cancer
May damage the eyes and optic nerve, which can lead to blindness
Oral health problem
Complications that arise from smoking
Smoking causes damage to cells and tissues, which leads to inflammation. It increases oxidative stress, and also leads to poor circulation and interferes with blood flow. These conditions are linked to an increased risk of diabetes and its complications. Smoking also increases abdominal fat which is also an important risk factor for diabetes.
How to reduce the impact of smoking on diabetics?
The only way to reduce the impact of smoking on diabetes is by quitting smoking. If it is not possible to quit smoking, the next best thing to do is, reduce the number of cigarettes that you smoke. Some of the other things that can lower the impact of smoking are:
Exercising daily helps to reduce obesity, increases metabolism and lowers the risk of cancer
Healthy eating like including fiber in daily diet can lower the risk of cardiovascular diseases and helps in better management of diabetes
Take the medicines as prescribed by your doctor
Avoid alcohol consumption and excess caffeine intake
Try taking alternative therapies like acupuncture and acupressure
You can also try using nicotine replacement therapy (NRT), to quit smoking. But it is best to check with your doctor before starting it, as it may interfere with your medications.
Acupuncture is an age old method that is used to treat many conditions like hypertension, chronic pain and diabetes. In this method tiny needles are inserted in specific points, this streamlines the flow of energy which is used as a base to treat diseases and associated symptoms.
What are the benefits of acupuncture in diabetes?
There are many ways in which acupuncture can improve diabetes. It is also known to reduce the symptoms of diabetes as well as associated complications. Some of these benefits are:
Lowers blood sugar levels
Reduces insulin resistance
Regulates the level of cortisol, a stress hormone, that increases insulin sensitivity
Improves blood circulation
Cleans any kind of blockage in arteries, thus reducing atherosclerosis, which is one of the major complication of diabetes
What are the different techniques that are used for treating diabetes?
There are many acupuncture techniques that are used to treat diabetes, most common techniques are:
Wrist-ankle treatment: It is one of the most effective forms of acupuncture in which ankle and wrist nerves are stimulated.
Electroacupuncture: It is amongst the most common types of acupuncture that is used to treat diabetes. In this procedure a pair of needles is inserted at each acupuncture point and an electrical impulse is passed through them.
Herbal acupuncture: In this method a combination of ancient and modern technique is used, where herbs are injected into acupuncture points.
Are there any side effects and risks of acupuncture?
Acupuncture is generally very safe and you won’t experience any side effects. But in some rare cases, you may experience soreness, light bruises, or minor bleeding from the points where the needles are inserted. A few people also experience mild headache or emotional changes after the first sitting.
It is important to remember that acupuncture is a complementary therapy and should not be replaced with your regular treatment. It is important to talk to your doctor if you are planning to take this or any other alternative therapy.
In India, breast cancer is amongst the most common types of cancer that is diagnosed in women. There is an increase in the number of cases being reported in younger females aged between the 30s and 40s. The self-breast examination is an easy way to notice something unusual in your breasts. It could be a lump, change in skin colour or discharge from nipples. It is considered as a convenient method and a zero cost tool for screening of breast cancer.
Steps for self-breast examination:
Gynecologist advice self- breast examination every month. You can follow these few easy steps that are helpful in the examination of breasts:
1. Stand in front of a mirror and observe if there is any kind of change in size, shape, and colour of the breasts. You should also check for any kind of swelling, redness, soreness or rash. To thoroughly examine your breast while standing, please ensure that shoulders are straight and arms should rest on your hips.
2. Look for any kind of a watery or milky discharge, yellow fluid or blood secretion from nipples.
3. Lie down on a flat surface and now with the help of your fingers examine your breasts thoroughly. Keep the fingers flat and together, then in a circular motion examine them. This can be done under the shower as well.
What to do if you observe something abnormal?
In case, you observe a lump in your breasts while self-examination, don’t panic. A lump can be formed because of many reasons. The other possible reasons for lump formations could be:
Benign breast condition
If you notice any kind of lump or any other kind of change in breasts, it is best to call the doctor without any delay. Your gynecologist will clinically examine your breasts and recommend the necessary tests to know the exact reason for lump formations.