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After eating a meal to your heart’s content, it is very normal to burp or belch. However, it is normal only when it happens occasionally, or after a meal, for someone used to a contented meal every single time. On the other hand, excessive burping or belching can happen due to two reasons.
- Excessive air intake: There are multiple ways that excessive air can reach the food pipe. Sucking on straws, chewing gum constantly and ill-fitting dentures are some common reasons for burping.
- Digestive problems: Ulcers in the stomach, prolonged gastric, gallstones and rarely, esophageal or stomach cancers can also cause burping.
When to see a doctor
Check with a doctor if you have persistent burping, followed by a meal or otherwise, and accompanied by the following symptoms.
- Go slow when eating and/or drinking: Most of us are pressed for time and eating and/or drinking has now become a task that needs to be finished quickly. Eating fast causes air to be swallowed, and therefore one of the best ways to stop burping is to eat slowly. Sitting in a calm, relaxing environment when eating also allows one to enjoy the food and avoid or stop burping.
- Avoid taliking while eating: There is always so much to catch up, whether at home or outside. So, talking while eating is a common practice. This is not just bad manners, but there is also a lot of air that is swallowed, which leads to burping. A solution is to chew the food properly, which not just helps stop burping, but also aids in better food digestion by mixing it adequately with saliva.
- Substitute coke with water: Carbonated drinks are another reason for belching. Replacing them with water, tea, or anything noncarbonated is advisable, not just from burping perspective, but also from the excessive sugar consumption. Carbonated drinks are just sugar solutions, and are absolutely of no nutritive value.
- Avoid straw: When possible, drink from a glass and avoid straws. This reduces the amount of gas taken in and helps stop burping
- Quit smoking: Quitting it has multiple health benefits, and getting rid of smoking is just one of them.
- Dentures: Ill-fitting dentures can be a reason for belching, and so they should be checked and corrected, if required, in a person who has persistent burping.
- Chewing gum: Constantly chewing gum contributes to burping, and so avoiding chewing gum or sucking on hard candy is another way to control burping.
- Avoid certain foods: Foodstuffs like broccoli, cauliflower, lettuce, sprouts, and lentils can produce excessive gas and should be avoided in people who have persistent burping.
Follow the above steps in your daily routine; still if your burping problem persists, it is time to consult your physician.
Dandruff is one of the most common chronic hair conditions. It is characterized by a white, flaky substance on the scalp. Dandruff is not a serious condition and neither is it contagious. However, people still want it gone so that their hair looks better. Here are the symptoms as well as the causes of dandruff.
- Skin drying up: Dry skin is the most common cause of dandruff. The flakes from dry skin are usually less oily and smaller than with other forms of dandruff.
- Seborrhoeic dermatitis: Dandruff can also be caused by oily irritated skin. In this type of dandruff, red, greasy skin has flaky white or yellow scales covering it.
- Infrequent shampooing: This is also a very common cause of dandruff. This is because oil and skin cells accumulate, thus resulting in dandruff.
- Malassezia: Malassezia is a yeast like fungus. It is usually harmless and stays on the scalp of most adults. However, it is worth noting that sometimes the yeast may irritate the scalp and cause extra skin cells to grow. The skin cells then fall off and become flaky.
- Contact dermatitis: Contact dermatitis is a sensitivity to health care products and when you use too much shampoo, hair styling products or other chemicals, such as paraphenylenediamine, the red, itchy, scaly scalp associated with dandruff is caused.
- Other skin conditions: There are many other skin conditions, which cause dandruff as well. These include eczema and psoriasis. Eczema is a chronic skin disease, which causes the skin to become inflamed. Psoriasis is another skin condition. It is characterized by thick scales forming resulting from rough, dry, dead skin cells which build up rapidly.
These are just the causes of dandruff. Now you will see how to identify when you have dandruff by learning about the symptoms of dandruff.
- The symptoms of dandruff are pretty easy to spot. All that happens is that you will see white, flaky, dead skin cells in your hair.
- It is sometimes accompanied by an itchy, scaly scalp.
- There is also a type of dandruff called cradle cap, which occurs in newborns. Just like dandruff, it is not dangerous and goes away when the baby is 3 years old.
Many of us will get up with a hangover after partying away on the eve of the New Year. But worry not, these are a few proven ways to get rid of a hangover and start the New Year fresh and bushy tailed:
- Drink lots of water: Alcohol is extremely dehydrating. Water is thus, the world’s best hangover cure. Alcohol messes up with the way the kidneys function and the body ends up losing around four times more water than usual. This leads to dehydration and causes symptoms like that thumping headache and dry mouth.
- Drink some frizzy water with a dash of lemon: The water will rehydrate you and the lemon and lime juice content which is alkaline will help balance the acid in your gut, quelling feelings of nausea. Fizzy drinks also speed up the break down of alcohol in the gut shortening the duration of a hangover.
- Take a mild painkiller: Painkillers that are paracetamol based are ideal for curing hangovers. They help with the headaches and muscle cramps. Just make sure that you don’t pop aspirins as these can further irritate the stomach and can increase the feeling of nausea.
- Eat something mellow: A starchy and wholesome breakfast with toast is highly recommended. So are mellow foods like bananas, apples and rice. These soothing foods will fill up your stomach without irritating it.
- Quick headache cure: You can whip up a headache remedy by using off-the-shelf kitchen ingredients. All you have to do is mix one spoon of baking soda in water and drink it quickly to get rid of a headache. What also works is drinking the juice of a tomato mixed with lime. Even a serving of fresh tomato soup with basil can provide relief.
- Take a bath by all means, except hot water: January is a cold month and hot water is inviting, but it’s not the best for getting rid of a hangover. And that’s because hot water will only make your condition worse because your body is already feeling the heat due to last night’s alcohol consumption which increases ‘pitta’ or fire element in the body according to Ayurveda. A cold water bath will help, but if you can’t brave the cold, you could also go for a lukewarm shower.
- Get moving: Get out in the open and indulge in a light workout or a brisk walk. This will break down the alcohol toxins into the sweat. A few yoga stretches and breathing exercises are good too.
- Sleep it off: This is probably the best option for treating a hangover as most hangovers don't last longer than 24 hours. Catching up on sleep is so much better than moping at home with a headache. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult an ayurveda and ask a free question.
Dengue fever is a painful infection transmitted by the bite of one of the 4 closely related viruses that are carried by a type of mosquitoes known as Aedes mosquitoes. The infection is not directly from one person to another.
Symptoms: After the mosquito bite, symptoms set in about 4 to 6 days and can last up to 10 days (as noted below). Most are general symptoms which can be seen with any viral infection and therefore most dengue cases can go undetected.
- Sudden high temperature
- Pain behind the eyes
- Severe headache
- Swollen lymph nodes
- Severe bone and muscle pains (this can lead to suspicion of dengue)
- Nausea and vomiting
- Skin rash that appears 3 to 5 days after the onset of fever
- There could be in some cases gum bleeding, easy bruising, or nose bleeding
The dengue triad of symptoms is fever, headache and the skin rash. This could lead to suspicion and blood tests that can lead to diagnosis.
The acute phase lasts for about 2 weeks in most cases and there is no antibiotic (it is a viral infection) cure for it. The treatment is therefore symptomatic, aimed at reducing fever and pains.
If left untreated, especially in children, a severe case called as Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever (DHF) can occur, which affects children under 10 years of age and can cause failure of the circulatory system. This can also occur when a person is developing dengue for the second time. This is a serious form and can even lead to death; therefore the symptoms should be taken seriously and attended to immediately.
Diagnosis: Confirmation of dengue is through a blood test, where the virus is tested for.
Treatment: Being a viral infection, antibiotics are not effective against dengue. Pain killers with acetaminophen are preferred. Aspirin is avoided, as it can worsen bleeding. Complete bed rest, hydration and good nutrition are essential parts of the treatment. Being under medical supervision also helps watch out for complications. There is a vaccine under development that could become available in the next couple of years.
- Always use mosquito repellents, even indoors
- While being outdoors, use clothes that cover the arms and legs fully
- Use a mosquito net if your area is highly infested with mosquitoes
- Ensure the windows and doors are closed during the evening
- If you are suspicious of having dengue, reach out to the doctor
- Reduce chances for mosquitoes breeding by keeping the house clean
- If there are family members with dengue, protect yourself and them from mosquitoes
Preventing dengue is the best way to manage it; however, if once infected, the person develops immunity to it. Reduced immunity can put the person at risk of developing the condition again.
Sleep is an activity where you do nothing, but rest. You relax your body and mind, you rest your bones and muscles and you rest your eyes after a long day of physical exertion. It is extremely necessary for you to get ample amount of sleep to stay healthy.
Otherwise there are various problems which you might have to face if you are lacking sleep:
- Elevates the risk of stroke: According to study, people who get less sleep are more prone to having strokes than those who get enough sleep. If you sleep for less than 6 hours every day, you multiply the risk of have a stroke four times than ordinary.
- Obesity: Lack of sleep can cause obesity. It usually forces you to take erratic food decisions, leading you to eat a lot of junk food. Less sleep administers certain hormonal changes which make you feel hungrier and believe that you haven’t eaten enough food. The production of the hormone ghrelin, which controls your hunger, increases due to less sleep. Hence, it may lead to obesity if you keep eating without keeping a check on what you eat.
- Increases the risk of diabetes: Sleep and the production of insulin are inversely related to each other. Among teenagers, the less you sleep; the more insulin resistant your body becomes. This means the body is not able to use the insulin effectively.
- Results in poor memory: Less sleep causes tiredness. When you are extremely tired, you are not able to focus on anything going on around you, you cannot concentrate on your work, and you get forgetful. In fact, consistent lack of sleep can even cause permanent loss of memory. This is because you are not being able to fully utilize the memory boosting ability of sleep. This eventually causes brain deterioration which results in permanent memory loss.
- Affects your heart: Lack of sleep can have an extremely negative impact on your heart. Less sleep also causes stress and strain to your body and mind. It results in an increased production of certain chemicals and hormones in the body which is harmful for your heart. According to a study in 2011, people who sleep less than 6 hours every day increase the risk of having heart problems by almost 48%.
It is not very healthy to sleep less as it can complicate your daily life activities. Sleep enough and stay healthy. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult the doctor and ask a free question.
Diwali is the celebration of lights. However, it has also become associated with noise, smoke and pollution. This can be credited to a large number of firecrackers, which are burst as part of Diwali celebrations. Pollution affects not only your skin but also your internal health and can lead to a number of health problems such as:
Smoke is a common byproduct of every firecracker. These suspended particles in the air, when inhaled, can lead to a number of respiratory problems. In some cases, this floating particulate matter may also contain heavy metal oxides and salts that can get deposited in the lungs and cause irreversible damage. Asthmatic patients often see a sudden spike in respiratory attacks around Diwali.
To deal with respiratory issues during Diwali, wear face masks to limit the inhalation of noxious fumes. Those who are suffering already from respiratory concerns should get themselves examined after Diwali to be on the safe side.
While bursting crackers, a small residue of particulate matter is often left behind on your fingers. Since bursting crackers and enjoying sweetmeats go hand in hand on Diwali, there is a high chance of ingesting these chemicals. Even washing your hands may not get rid of all the chemical traces. This can lead to indigestion and a number of other digestive problems.
Take care to wash your hands thoroughly with soap before you touch any food item. You can use a sanitizer as well for extra protection. If you experience any gastric discomfort, visit a physician without delay.
Pollution is not measured only by the levels of particulate matter in the air. Excessive noise that goes over the permissible decibel level leads to noise pollution. This can be in the form of noise emitted by firecrackers, loudspeakers etc. Noise pollution can lead to temporary deafness and damage the ear as well. It can also lead to sleeping problems, high blood pressure and permanent hearing loss.
To avoid noise-related problems, use ear plugs and keep your doors and windows closed. Heart patients should, especially get themselves checked by a doctor after Diwali or if a problem suddenly arises during festivities.
Many children and adults suffer from skin irritations and eczema during Diwali. This is largely due to pollutants in the air and chemical residue left on the skin. To keep skin problems at bay, drinks lots of water, use moisturiser, avoid fried food, cover your face with a cloth while burning crackers and wash your face afterwards thoroughly. For those already suffering from skin worries, consult your doctor for guidance.
The best way to limit your exposure to harmful chemicals and pollutants during Diwali is by celebrating an eco-friendly Diwali and saying ‘no to crackers’. Additionally, try to stay indoors in the evening when crackers are being burnt and close all the windows and doors. Wearing a mask can also help prevent the inhalation of poisonous gases. This is especially necessary for people suffering from asthma and other such respiratory illnesses. Air pollutants do not clear away immediately and are present in the air for many days after Diwali as well. Hence, try staying indoors and keep the windows of your car rolled up for the next few days after Diwali as well.
At present 3 out of the 5 people are suffering from diabetes and it is the 7th leading cause of death worldwide. Moreover, it is no more restricted just to adults and affects children as well. Diabetes is a metabolic disease resulting in increase in the level of glucose in the body. Glucose is a source of energy for the cells making up the muscles and other tissues in the body. But if the level of glucose goes up, it shows the sign of danger. Diabetes is of 2 types:
- Type 1: body fails to produce insulin.
- Type 2: Body fails to produce enough insulin which is required by the body.
There are no definite signs of diabetes. It simply varies from person to person. In many of the cases it goes unnoticed. Such signs are as follows:
- Sudden weight loss: You might experience a sudden weight loss of 5 to10 kgs within a month. This happens when sugar metabolism ceases very quickly. Insufficient insulin prevents the body from taking in glucose in the body cells from the blood to use as energy. In such a scenario the body starts burning fat and muscle for energy. This results in weight loss.
- Intense hunger: The cells in your body might not get enough energy either due to absence or improper functioning of insulin in your blood. This makes you hungry quite often.
- Excessive urination and thirst: Due to diabetes, the glucose level in the body goes up. The kidneys are overloaded with the burden of working overtime for filtering and absorbing the excess glucose in your body. The excess sugar, which the kidney cannot store is excreted out of your body. This makes you urinate frequently. Due to frequent urination the body gets dehydrated which makes you feel thirsty more often.
- Blurred vision: Due to the high level of glucose in your body tissues gets pulled away from the lens of the eyes. This results in vision issues. If not treated on time, it may even lead to blindness.
- Increased fatigue: The cells in your body might not get enough energy either due to absence or improper functioning of insulin in your blood. This makes you restless more often and you may even feel too weak to do your regular activities.
If you notice any of these signs, get the level of sugar in your checked and take the required remedies. It is good to get it treated as early as possible rather than facing immense trouble in future.
Gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD, as it is commonly known is a digestive disorder that is caused primarily due to intestinal distress. GERD is caused in the muscle that lies between the oesophagus and the stomach, when the acid produced in the stomach starts to flow backwards. For patients suffering from GERD, the acids flow back into the oesophagus instead of the stomach, causing symptoms like severe heartburn, chest pain and nausea, among others.
So what does one do to deal with GERD? Here's a brief list:
- Control weight: Being overweight and obese are two of the most important factors that contribute to discomfort in GERD patients. Working towards a healthier weight is a sure shot way of dealing with this ailment.
- Avoid alcohol and smoking: The LES or the muscle ring that can be found between the stomach and the oesophagus relaxes with the intake of alcohol or with smoking, which prevents it from closing, in order to stop the stomach's juices from reaching the oesophagus. So, giving up both substances would be a good idea if you are a GERD patient.
- Go gluten free: Adopting a gluten free diet can help you cut ingredients, including grains and dairy products that contain more protein than what your digestive tract can handle.
- Other dietary measures: In order to handle GERD effectively, you will need to remove or reduce chocolate, fatty food, spicy food, and even oily and fried food from your diet. You may need the help of food with extra fibre, like fruit, so that food can pass through the digestive tract faster.
- Smaller and well timed meals: Eating meals regularly and dividing them into smaller meals that can be digested quickly and more efficiently is one of the best ways of dealing with GERD to prevent the onset of backward flowing stomach acids.
- Exercise: Ensuring that you do not take a nap or lie down right after a meal and doing exercise everyday will also help in doing away with the uncomfortable and painful symptoms of this disease.
Making lifestyle changes is one of the best ways to deal with GERD. Yet, it would be best to see a doctor regarding severe cases where the symptoms do not abate and medication may be required.
Can I take digeplex everyday? Or will it effect my body in a negative manner? I seem to have a problem in digesting food if I don't take it. I started taking digeplex 2 months back after my surgery and now I can't seem to stop. If I don't take it then that day I don't have motions. Doctor please advice on what can be done here.
Hi doctor, My stomach doesn't digest food. I am taking digeplex but nothing is happening. What to do? What can be the side effect to this problem? Please help me out in this problem.
Please advice if Ketorol will help me out. I am having a lot of pain on my hip after it got operated on and I am not sure if it is supposed to happen or not. Doctor has suggested to take Ketorol but I don't know if I should. I require your advice.
High blood pressure or hypertension is a condition where the long term force induced by blood on the artery walls may lead to health complications. In some cases high blood pressure can be a chronic condition without any visible symptoms. The normal value of blood pressure is 120/80 mm Hg. Even if high blood pressure doesn't have any obvious symptoms, it can cause significant damage to cardiovascular health and blood vessels. Uncontrolled hypertension exposes you to the risks of stroke and cardiac arrest. Following are the causes and complications of hypertension:
Causes of hypertension
The causes of hypertension vary depending on the two types of the condition namely - primary hypertension and secondary hypertension. In case of primary hypertension there are hardly any identifiable causes. Secondary hypertension can occur due to the following causes:
- Certain medications like contraceptives, painkillers and some other drugs
- Sleep disorders
- Problems related to the kidney
- Tumors in the adrenal gland
- Thyroid issues
- Congenital heart defects from birth
- Drug abuse
- Excessive consumption of alcohol
Complications of hypertension
- Persistent high blood pressure can result in atherosclerosis - hardening of the arteries. This can severely wreck cardiovascular health and cause stroke, heart attack or other complications.
- Hypertension can also result in a disorder called aneurysm in which the blood vessels tend to swell and weaken. Rupture of an aneurysm can be fatal.
- Heart failure is one of the most serious complications associated with hypertension. It becomes increasingly difficult for the heart to pump blood along with the high pressure. Consequently the heart muscle thickens and leads to cardiac arrest.
- Hypertension can also lead to kidney problems. Narrowing and weakening of certain blood vessels present in the kidney can cause organ failure.
- It can also lead to eye problems and sometimes even loss of vision due to narrowing or thickening of blood vessels in the eye.
- Metabolic syndrome, which refers to a cluster of deficiencies in the metabolism of your body including high triglycerides, low levels of good cholesterol (High density lipoprotein) and high levels of insulin. These metabolic disorders increase the risk of developing diabetes and other complications.
- Uncontrolled high blood pressure and interference with your ability to remember and think. It can trigger memory loss and affect your understanding and deriving skills.