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Over time, we have caused tremendous harm to our immune system. Day in and day out, we have potentially risked our lives by being so casual with our health choices. But still, is it possible to leverage some of this burden and thus make our immune system stronger? What if we incorporate some healthy habits into our daily regime? What if we improvise on our diet? Take certain additional vitamin supplements perhaps? Make other lifestyle changes in the hope of achieving a near-perfect immune system?
What exactly is the Immune System?
The immune system in layman language can be considered as a protective cover of the human health system. We are surrounded by millions of pathogens (disease causing germs) that have the ability to enter into the body and cause damage to it. Here comes in the importance of the immune system, the body’s natural shield against these pathogens.
How can you boost your Immunity?
You definitely cannot evade all the pathogens and get a top-notch, impeccable immune system, but you can at least try and listen to what your body has to say, and take steps accordingly.
The first and foremost protective measure can be to follow certain general good-health guidelines.
Do not smoke. There can be no compromise on this issue. Smoking or consuming tobacco in any form brings about a host of health complications; the most pronounced of them all is probably cancer. Smoking, in more ways than one, can spell real trouble for your immune system. So better cut down on your puffs or gear up to face the various medical banes of smoking.
Eat a diet which is rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains and low in saturated fat. Some examples may include citrus fruits, green leafy vegetables such as spinach or lettuce, yoghurt, almonds, lean meat. Sipping on green tea thrice a day is a wise choice in this regard. These measures not only strengthen the immune system but also enhance the Immune System.
Drink plenty of water. Water keeps the body hydrated, the ultimate prerequisite for a strong immune system. It helps to flush out all the toxins and ensures that the cells get the optimum levels of oxygen. Drinking a glass of lukewarm water mixed with honey and lemon on an empty stomach after getting up in the morning can prove to be one of the best health choices that you can make for your body.
If you drink alcohol, drink only in moderation. Excessive alcohol consumption causes dehydration and it can deprive your body of the valuable immunity boosting nutrients. It also impairs the body’s ability to fight off germs and infections.
Get adequate sleep. One reason behind stressing on the need to get adequate sleep is because it’s so closely linked to the immune system. While you sleep, the body secretes certain hormones and substances which help better fight infections and diseases. This makes these hormones so vital and indispensable at the same time. So now you know what wonders can those 8 hours of sleep do to you.
Exercise Regularly. If you're looking for a safe and smart way to boost your immunity, regular exercise is the answer to it. But we are not talking about being an ardent, hard-core gym-junkie; rather exercising in moderate amounts would suffice. Cardiovascular exercises such as walking or swimming, performed 30-45 minutes a day, can prove to be very beneficial.
Including good hygiene habits in your daily routine, such as washing your hands properly, bathing and brushing your teeth daily, etc. can be useful as well. Good sanitary habits can be the most basic way to ward off infections at the germination stage. Keep a hand sanitizer with you all the time.
Diabetes is something which has become so common over the past few decades and this is said to be a cause of worry as most people don't understand how to prevent and manage it. This has led to some myths, gaining more than their fair share of popularity.
A migraine is one of the worst forms of headache. It is reported that over 90 percent of people who suffers from migraine are unable to work. The intense pain totally makes them vulnerable. A mammoth 113 million workdays are wasted globally due to this problem. This being said, if the pain is slowly starting to set in, it is possible to manage it at the workspace.
Here is a convenient guide to do just that:
1. Pain Medication: If you are a migraine patient, it is likely that you have your migraine medication with you. The first step is to try the medication. If on the other hand, the medication is not available basic painkillers can be given a shot to manage the pain. Basic pain medications, such as ibuprofen are easily available over the counter and are capable of providing temporary relief.
2. Educate co-workers: Despite awareness about migraine pain, many organizations continue to turn a deaf ear about the problem. Instead of fighting with the whole organizations, it makes sense to educate your immediate colleague about a migraine. All you require is 1-2 people who have your back.
3. Control the environment: With the onset of the pain, it becomes more and more difficult to resume work. Few environmental changes such as adjusting the monitor to the eye level, using a sachet of odor neutralizer and switching off the nearest light will help you to manage the pain for few hours.
4. Staying hydrated: Migraine tends to increase multifold if the body is not hydrated. It is, therefore, essential to drink as much water as you can. Apart from water few other drinks such as lime juice and green tea can be of great assistance to hold the pain back for quite some time.
5. Small snacks: Although eating during a migraine can be tough because of the buzzing pain it is a good idea to have small snacks throughout the working hours. An empty stomach creates acidity and further aggravates the pain. Small time snacks such cookies and chocolate bar can come really handy at this time.
6. Get enough air: A centralized workplace can be claustrophobic and intensify the pain for many. Get out of the workspace to get some fresh air. A sudden gush of oxygen can be a welcome relief from the monotonous and crowded office floor.
7. Apply water on the skull: While this might sound like a crazy idea, applying a small amount of water in the middle of the skull can give temporary relief from the throbbing effect of a migraine. If ice is available in the office pantry, make no hesitation in applying it on the migraine side of the forehead. Ice is capable of spreading a cooling effect throughout the forehead and the skull.
Blood sugar control is the core of the diabetes treatment plan as by losing control over your blood sugar, you risk serious complications related to health. Frequent or ongoing irregular blood sugar levels can damage your blood vessels, nerves and organs. Irregular Blood Sugar Level is a major concern and can affect diabetic as well as general people.
The most common causes of uncontrolled blood sugar level are:
- Skipping Insulin or oral glucose medicines.
- Eating too many carbohydrates in general.
- Have an infection
- Exercising less or not at all.
Symptoms of increased sugar level in body
- Increased Thirst: If you feel unusually thirsty and feel the urge to drink more than usual, you should check your sugar levels.
- Frequent Urination: Excessive urination occurs when glucose builds up in your blood, and your kidney begins to work harder to get rid of the extra glucose. The excess sugar is thrown away from the body through urine.
- Fatigue: Extreme tiredness or fatigue is common symptoms of uncontrolled blood sugar. If you do not have sufficient amount of insulin in your body, or if the insulin is not processed properly, then it stays in our blood. Hence, it does not get used up for energy.
- Blurry Vision: High blood sugar levels can lead to swollen lenses in your eyes due to fluid leaking in, according to Joslin Diabetes Center. This changes the shape of the lens and makes it unable to focus properly, resulting in blurry vision.
How you can control the level of sugar in your body
- Diet: Eat right. Consult a diabetes educator or dietician to help you figure out a healthy diet that works for you. Do share all your sugar levels, your preference with them. This would enable them to make a proper and more suitable diet plan for you, which will help you in keeping your blood sugar under control.
- Exercise: To keep your blood sugar control, do exercise regularly. Exercise will increase your insulin activity, after which you don’t need to as much insulin to help your body in processing carbohydrates.
- Medication: Insulin is a hormone that is normally produced in the body. But for people with abnormal blood sugar level, it is either not working as it should or the body has stopped producing it. People with abnormal Blood sugar level may need to take insulin in order to keep their blood glucose levels in a healthy range. Insulin helps your body to use glucose properly.
- Blood Glucose Monitoring: Monitor your blood glucose levels regularly in order to know how much insulin you require, especially before you take a meal. Keeping a check on your blood glucose levels will help you in adjusting your insulin medication as well as your meals, so that your blood sugar remains stable.
Being fit is a matter of striking the right balance between one’s diet as well as exercise. There are many kinds of problems that we all face when we do not strike a balance between the two. A flat stomach is a sought after feature in one’s figure. One usually ends up losing a flat stomach when you have weight gain due to pregnancy and the onset of age.
When one wants to get back a flat stomach, there are many measures that one can take because this is a very difficult thing to get back once you have put on weight because you will usually lose weight from the abdomen at the very end. Yet, one does not need to spend many hours in the gym for a flat stomach. You can also do exercises at home in order to get a flat stomach. Read on to know the secret!
- Squats: One can do squats every morning as a part of a warm up before getting into the exercises. Ensure that you hold it for a while before you release and straighten up. You can also do squats while you are standing at the kitchen counter so that you get plenty of exercise with just a few moments of hard work through various times during the day.
- Sit Ups: Sit ups are also a good form of exercise that one can do at home. Along with lunges and squats, you can also do sit ups so that you get a more toned torso with good exercise for your muscles in that area.
- Pike and Stretch: This is another very well known exercise that can easily be done at home. The pike and stretch requires you to lie on a mat, facing upwards. Then, you will have to crunch up and try and touch your toes. The next step is to bring your arms behind your head and keep them straight while you crush up one leg at a time. This should be done at least ten times so that your abs and hips are well worked out.
- The Standing Side Crunch: This crunch can be done with a chair. You need to stand on your left leg and then extend the left arm so that the right foot gets lifted off of the ground level by a few inches. Then, place the right hand behind your head with the elbow bent. After this, you will need to lift the left knee towards the right shoulder. Repeat this at least 15 times for it to show any results on your abs and abdomen area.
- The Plank: This is a very well known move that many people take to. You will have to lie down on a mat and elevate yourself on your elbows. This position will have to be held for as long as possible for maximum effect on the abs, torso, hips and the thighs and legs as well. This exercise is recommended for a flat stomach, more than any other.
For a long time cholesterol in totality was seen as a bad thing for your body although the truth was a little more complicated than that. Cholesterol primarily is divided into two types, one of which can be categorized as bad cholesterol and the other as good cholesterol. Let's have an in-depth look at both the categories.
LDL or Low Density Lipoprotein aka bad cholesterol - Cholesterol is a wax like chemical which is found all over the body and it has important functions to perform. Cholesterol is carried all over the body by Lipoproteins. The low density lipoproteins are denoted as bad cholesterol as they can accumulate on the walls of the blood vessels and cause blockages resulting in many ailments. LDL levels of 190 and above are considered dangerous.
Some of the risks associated with it are:
HDL or High Density Lipoprotein aka good cholesterol - This is a form of cholesterol which is usually desired in higher quantities as it removes LDL from the system by dislodging it from the arteries and then carrying it through the blood stream into the liver. The liver then breaks it down and removes it from the body. Thus, higher number of HDL cholesterol is always desirable.
Some of the ideal numbers for HDL cholesterol within the body are:
Women - Ideal: 60 mg/dl, dangerous: 50 mg/dl or lower
Men - Ideal: 60 mg/dl, dangerous: 50 mg/dl lower
The Role of Triglycerides
Good and bad cholesterol levels also depend on the levels of triglycerides within the body and not just LDL or HDL cholesterol. Triglycerides are another type of fat which are used to store energy within the body but can also affect your health. It is most associated with atherosclerosis when the levels of triglycerides are high within the body.
Some habits that contribute to high levels of it are
- Lack of physical activity
- Obesity or being overweight
- Excesses in alcohol consumption
- Bad diet and others
Thus the good cholesterol versus bad cholesterol war also includes other factors, most of which can be easily changed by making subtle changes in lifestyle and incorporating healthier habits. This will increase the good cholesterol and the other relevant elements and reduce the bad. In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!
Do you know that cholesterol is found in baby formula and has got some surprising facts about them? Cholesterol is a waxy, fat like substance which is present in all your cells, and your body’s cholesterol level says a lot about the health of your heart in the future. Having high cholesterol increases your risk of acquiring heart diseases and hence, you should try to maintain a normal cholesterol level.
Here are some surprising facts about cholesterol, which you should know about:
- You cannot live without cholesterol: We are born with cholesterol in our bodies and infants get more cholesterol from mother’s milk. This is why cholesterol is added to baby formula. All the hormones and cells of your body need cholesterol for proper functioning. It also builds the cells and helps the liver to prepare fat processing acids.
- One out of three adults have high cholesterol: It is important for all people above the age of 20 to get a cholesterol checkup every five years. According to studies, around 32% of adults in the USA have got high cholesterol levels. Your cholesterol levels may also be affected by factors such as your diet and stress.
- High cholesterol can be genetic: Genetics is a major influencing factor in high cholesterol levels. Research has proven that almost 75% of high cholesterol cases are genetic in nature while 25% occur because of diet.
- Children can have high cholesterol as well: There is a common misconception that high cholesterol is an issue involving adults only. However, children may also have high cholesterol and it is recommended for you to get your child tested at an early age. For children who are obese and have a family history of heart attacks and high cholesterol, a selective screening is important.
- Sweating raises the levels of good cholesterol: Sweating is good for increasing the levels of good cholesterol in your body. You should follow a healthy diet including food items like avocado and salmon. Working out is also important for raising your HDL levels, which prevent heart disease.
- Supplements may help in lowering cholesterol levels: The first option for controlling your cholesterol levels is to work out regularly. If you are at a risk of heart attack or have hypercholesterolemia, you have to bank on supplements such as plant stanols and sterols. You can also take cholesterol reducing medications such as statins.
Earlier, the medical community was reserved about prescribing cholesterol lowering medicines and they were given only to critical heart patients. In modern day, statin treatment is recommended to people who have even little chances of heart attacks or stroke. In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!
Hypertension or increased blood pressure is one of the modern lifestyle diseases. The changing lifestyles including altered dietary habits and lack of physical activity are the main reasons for the high incidence of hypertension. With this, it brings a host of complications including other chronic diseases like diabetes, kidney failure, risks of stroke and heart attacks. Alternative medicine proposes quite a number of remedies in addition to just increased physical activity.
Read on to know more about how you can eat healthier and control your blood pressure.
Eat walnuts: As most books and media depict, heart disease is directly related to physical reaction towards stress. Regular eating of walnuts helps control this response, thereby controlling blood pressure. It is also a great source of antioxidants and fibre, which adds to its heart-healthy features.
Load up on minerals: Eating a diet rich in calcium, magnesium, and potassium is extremely beneficial for the heart. Sweet potatoes, bananas, dry fruits, dairy products, etc., have shown to reduce blood pressure extremely well in various experiments.
Avoid salt: While the natural sea salt is almost out of use, most of us have switched to the processed variety, which is devoid of all minerals. This is one of the major contributors for increased blood pressure. Studies have shown that reducing salt intake helps in a big way in controlling blood pressure. Most of us are also used to adding extra salt so the food tastes better. This should be avoided. With increased consumption of processed food items, everything from bread to cookies to cheese has salt, which also should be reduced, and if possible, avoided.
Have a colourful meal: Load up your plate with peppers, berries, dry fruits, and organic fruits and vegetables. Pomegranate juice is believed to control angiotensin, converting enzyme, which is responsible for controlling hypertension. They are also rich in antioxidants and help control blood pressure by reducing inflammation.
Know your cholesterol: While cholesterol is generally used with a negative connotation, it is not always true. There is good and bad cholesterol and the bad one should be avoided. Watch out for labels, and ensure you are eating less of the bad cholesterol. Good cholesterol is required for the production of hormones and proper functioning of the body.
Watch your medicines: While it is easy to just pop an ibuprofen when there is a headache or a back ache, it is advisable to watch out. These are best avoided in the long run, as they can induce hypertension and induce heart disease.