Doctors in Alliance Munot Hospital
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With summer, woes of oily/ dry skin and hair, cough and cold, flaky scalp, asthma attacks, dust allergies and joint pain keep cropping up. Here a few tips to help you stay cool and refereshed in summers.
- Increase Vitamin C intake: Vitamin C boosts immunity that helps prevent frequent cough and cold, sore throats and sneezing bouts. Available in the form of delectable oranges, it should definitely be included in the diet.
- Include more vegetables in your diet: Summer is the season for a plethora of seasonal green vegetables, which are available fresh. They work wonders on your hair, skin and general health. Legumes too are important as they help prevent heart diseases and even cancerous growths. They are a rich source of potassium, magnesium, vitamins and fibres.
- Moderation in diet: During summer, the metabolism of the fast, but too many calories can be difficult for the body to digest. It is important to regulate the intake of sugar and carbohydrates. Digestion and gastric problems are common during summers, therefore it is necessary to cut down on processed food and eat healthy.
- Take care of your skin: The skin turns oily and flaky during summers. Dry skin is susceptible to freckles and wrinkles, therefore, constant moisturising and nourishment is of utmost need. A lot of body oils, moisturising lotions and creams are available in the market and must be used according to skin type. Lips become chapped and can even bleed profusely if not tended to at the right time. Therefore the use of lip balms and petroleum jelly is of utmost importance during this time. The use of sunscreen is a must as the ultra violet radiations are extremely harmful for the skin.
- Look after your hair: The hair tends to lose its moisture, turn rough and frizzy. Split ends become an incessant problem; dandruff and itchy scalp become annoying problems. You must start using medicated oils and shampoo to prevent further damage.
Apart from the above mentioned tips, one must try and keep warm and protected as much as possible to prevent catching cold and flu. People suffering from asthma can make use of masks while out on the streets, to prevent an attack caused by the dust and pollution.
Upon reaching adolescence, children's bodies undergo several changes and so do their minds. It is then that their minds are most, as well as least impressionable. And the daunting question regarding the upbringing of an adolescent is how to treat their constantly changing behavior?
Here are some of the tantrums adolescents more commonly throw, and what should ideally be your approach to it:
- Your child seems to hate you: It is very common for a phase of emotional exclusionism to prevail between 16-17 years of age approximately. And the worst thing you could do is heighten that emotion by returning the hatred. Make sure you're firm against any extremely unacceptable behavior, but at the same time, show them that you're there for them no matter what.
- Electronic devices become the center of their attention: Whenever you want to have an earnest conversation with your children, their attention seems to be drawn solely to their phones and computers. They feel the need to be connected to their friends and all times. Ways to monitor that are by setting limit to the maximum hours spent on devices or making them pay their own bills, which will make them more responsible rather than splurging unnecessarily. Also, if your child is not entirely secluded from the family, it is probably best not to interfere all the time.
- Ignoring the curfew: Your kids often stay out later than the set limit. But it is quite possible that your curfew is unreasonable when compared to other parents' curfew. Find out what the average time limit is; it may prevent your child from bearing a grudge against you. In case they still fail to respect your curfew, make sure you spill out to them what the consequences can be, like being grounded for a week. However, in certain cases, your child may be spending time doing nothing constructive, but away from home. There may be something else going on, find out what that is.
- Being friends with the wrong people: Sometimes it might happen that you think some children do not have a good influence on your child, but you cannot say that directly because adolescents tend to get very defensive about their choice of friends. Unless the adolescent is doing something harmful with the friend, like using drugs, let him exercise his choice. Otherwise, don't hesitate from seeking professional help to counsel your child.
- Being over-dramatic: Every emotion is heightened in your child and you cannot tell them that what they are whining or being overjoyed about are trivial, because that's their prime focus then. Let them realize on their own how irrational they sound or else you may risk spoiling your relation with them.
The human digestive system is a very complicated and sizeable component of the body. It starts right at the beginning of the mouth, ending at the rectum. Some of the major responsibilities of the digestive system include absorption of essential nutrients and elimination of wastes.
Not only do digestive problems have embarrassing and unwanted symptoms, serious, chronic diseases can be caused if the minor problems are not treated.
Some digestive problems are listed below:
- GERD: This is a burning sensation that results from acids in the stomach being squirted into the oesophagus. A burning sensation is felt, right from the chest to the end of the throat. Frequent heartburns can lead to GERD (Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease), symptoms of which include dry cough, sore throat, chest discomfort and difficulty in swallowing.
- Bloating: This is caused due to the presence of excess gas in the colon, small intestines or the stomach.
- Dyspepsia: This is an uncomfortable feeling or pain which occurs in the upper abdominal regions, mostly a result of excess food intake. It is commonly referred to as indigestion. Dyspepsia can be discomforting and if prolonged, medical assistance should be opted for.
- Chronic Constipation: Persistent constipation (chronic) is a sign that there is a problem with the elimination of wastes. This usually happens when the colon is unable to move or pass stools. Other major causes of chronic constipation can be changes in your usual diet, various eating disorders, Irritable Bowel Syndrome and excessive consumption of dairy products among others.
- Food Intolerance: This occurs when the digestive system is unable to tolerate certain food items. This condition is different from food allergies as it only affects the digestive system. Some of the common symptoms include diarrhoea, headache, gas and vomiting.
Possible Serious Conditions-
A gastroenterologist is a type of doctor that specializes in diagnosing and treating diseases involving the digestive system. If you continue to experience digestion problems, it’s time to make an appointment.
More serious signs could mean an emergency medical problem. Those signs include:
- bloody stools
- continuous vomiting
- severe abdominal cramps
- sudden, unintentional weight loss
You may be able to overcome digestion problems with treatment and lifestyle changes. Certain diseases of the digestive system might be long-term, but medications can help alleviate symptoms.
Identifying specific digestion problems and talking with a gastroenterologist can go a long way in terms of helping your doctor give you a proper diagnosis. Remember, you don’t have to put up with constant digestive issues.
Heartburn can be a very discomforting condition and affects almost everyone at some point in his or her life. This is a condition wherein the stomach acids back up through the esophagus resulting in a burning sensation, especially near the chest area. Quick-relief medications can help you deal with them for a particular episode. However, recurring deposits might warrant changes in diet and lifestyle. Some of the long and short term remedies are mentioned below:
Short term remedies to deal with heartburn
- Eat a banana or an apple: A few slices of banana and apples can introduce acids into your stomach which will counteract the stomach acids and thus help reduce heartburn.
- Use baking soda and water as a home remedy: This is another quick fix if you don’t have anything at home when suffering from heartburn. If you mix half to a full spoon of baking soda with water and then drink slowly, it will immediately help relieve symptoms. However, don’t make this a regular remedy as it may cause side effects such as nausea and swelling.
- Ginger root tea: Making tea with ginger is another great home remedy which can easily relieve heart burn.
- Chew gum when you have heartburn: This is helpful as the constant stimulation within the mouth due to chewing gum helps with saliva production. The excess production of saliva helps wash away the acids that have built up in the stomach. Once the acid recedes, it helps in relieving or eliminating heartburn.
- Aloe Vera Juice: Drinking aloe vera juice helps in relieving heart burn very easily. It helps control inflammation in both the esophagus and the stomach and relieves pain from heartburn. However, regular use isn’t recommended as it can act like a laxative.
Long term lifestyle changes
- Change your Sleeping habits: Try to sleep on the left side of your body and ensure that your upper body is in a slightly raised position as this will stop the stomach acids form coming up into the esophagus.
- Watch what you eat, when you eat and how quickly you eat: It is advisable to not only maintain a fixed time of eating but also try to eat slowly as it give the stomach more time to adjust in digesting the food, thereby ensuring controlled secretion of the acids.
- Avoid smoking and alcohol: These are common triggers for heartburn and avoiding them will show results in a relatively short period of time. It is advisable to stop smoking and reduce alcohol consumption to once a week or even lesser.
- Wear loose fitting clothes: Wear clothes which are loose as this would free up your stomach. Tight clothing can push stomach acids up the esophagus and it is advisable to loosen up clothing to relieve symptoms.
Influenza or flu is a contagious respiratory infection that affects the lungs, throat, nose and occasionally, the ears. It usually does not require treatment but Paracetamol can provide relief from most of the symptoms. Rarely, influenza can lead to severe complications like pneumonia, sinus problems and asthma.Annual vaccinations can prevent these complications even if you do get a mild flu.
The influenza virus is air borne and can be spread through coughing, sneezing, skin to skin contact, or indirect contact like touching a contaminated object. Type A, Type B and Type C influenza viruses affect the respiratory organs.
People with weak immune systems are infected more easily than others- children under the age of 4, people above the age of 60 pregnant women, obese people and those who are suffering from kidney disorders and diabetes are at greater risk of infection. Air pollution also aggravates the problem.
There is also little chance that your body has the necessary antibodies to fight the virus if you have been infected before. This is because the influenza virus modifies constantly and new strains of the virus appear rapidly. So, the antibodies that work against one particular variant do not work effectively against the others. This is why vaccination is also not a foolproof preventive technique against this disease.
The symptoms of influenza begin to show within a few days after infection. In a few cases, the infection may be asymptomatic. When they do show, the symptoms are very common- high fever, shivering, a blocked and runny nose, frequent coughing and sneezing and chest congestion are the predominant signs. In the later stages, there are headaches, body aches, general fatigue, reddened and watering eyes, throat pains and difficulty in speaking.
In the cases where the patient is a child, there are a few other symptoms like digestive and gastrointestinal disorders such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and abdominal pain. The last two are especially common in children who have been infected by influenza virus Type B.
Aged people often have low resistance to the virus. This is why the flu quickly escalates and the complications like primary viral pneumonia or secondary bacterial pneumonia. In such cases, there are sever symptoms like breathing problems, the presence of blood in the sputum, red and itchy skin and petechial rashes (caused by minor punctures in the capillary blood vessels).
With changing life scenarios, parents do not have time to spend with their children. The grandparents often fill this gap now. They still have the time and patience to listen to what happened on a daily basis, and are not caught in the whirlwind of having a task list that never ends with the day.
In a way, grand children are very closely bound to their grandparents and are expected to take care of them, when required. In fact, stats show that about 80% of primary caregivers for people over age of 60 are grandchildren. Their average age is about 27(either gender). There are specific advantages of this care giving relationship for both the grandparent and the grandchild.
- There is no hurry: Most of us want a pair of ears to listen to what we have to say. Whether it is the exciting college trip you had or the office dinner you just returned from, we all want to share it. So, in this era where parents are not as available as they were earlier, grandparents fill the gap. They are not just eagerly waiting for you to return, but they seem to have the time to hear you out and feel happy (or sad) about it. This leaves one with a great feeling.
- Been there, done that: Though they have had a different lifestyle, they have “been there, done that,” perhaps in different ways. The definition of fun might have changed, but fun was always there. If you have the time, hear out their version of fun. You would be left thinking that you are not anywhere close to the fun they had.
- Life is the best teacher: The experiences they share will probably be some of life’s best lessons, which cannot be gathered by reading any number of books or TED talks.
- Safety: While there definitely are care giving or assisted living homes, having them at home and taking care of them provides the additional safety net. There are family people around, and if required, readily available.
- A helping hand: Caring for grandparents does not always relate to doing things for them, it is a mutual thing, and they feel equally good and happy that they are able to contribute in some small way in your daily life. You can always offer to help, but very often, their energy levels are quite high, unless they are ill, and they are so happy doing something for you.
- Strengthens the bond: Needless to say, spending time with a person makes the relationship strong and lasting. Grandparents assume a very special place, and caring for them leaves one with a very good and satisfied feeling.
In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!
While some people see tears as a sign of weakness, for others crying is a crucial way of dealing with grief. Though as children we’re told not to cry and to ‘keep a hold’ of our emotions, letting go of a few tears can help alleviate grief and emotional distress.
Here are a few reasons crying could be a good idea when dealing with loss.
- Crying can stimulate the release of endorphins: Crying cleanses the mind of negative emotions and allows you to express your emotions. Crying can be described as a reaction to pain and in order to control pain, the body releases endorphins. Endorphins are also known as happy hormones as they block the transmission of pain signals and create a sense of contentment. These chemicals can take a little time to have an effect and hence in most cases, you will notice an improvement in your mood after a good cry.
- Crying elevates the mood: Crying can help reduce your body’s manganese levels. A higher than normal manganese level can heighten anxiety, irritability, tiredness and emotional disturbances. By lowering manganese levels, the brain is left with enough space for happier emotions and hence crying can help elevate a person’s mood.
- Crying stimulates the body’s parasympathetic nervous system: The parasympathetic nervous system controls a number of functions including heart rate. Crying can stimulate this system and trigger a state of relaxation. For this reason, you may feel sleepy after crying. This gives your body time to relax and deal with the problem at hand with a calmer mind.
- Crying helps deal with stress: A stressful experience or emotional situation can cause a build-up of stress hormones known as cortisol. As the levels of cortisol increase in the body, it goes into flight or fight mode as an automatic response to stress. Crying reduces the cortisol levels and helps relieve tension and stress almost immediately.
- Crying is cathartic: Every day we are exposed to conflicts and stressful situations that can build up into resentments and leave a person feeling anxious and depressed. Sometimes, giving vent to emotions and crying can help release these pent-up feeling and heap cleanse the mind of these negative emotions. Crying also allows us to open ourselves up to the people around and can improve the levels of intimacy between them. In this way, it can help a person become part of a community.
With sedentary lifestyle, refined and processed food habits, obesity and diabetes is the new age epidemic. India, in fact, is being termed as the diabetes capital of the world given the huge rise in the number of cases over the last couple of decades.
There are well established risk factors for diabetes and if these can be managed, then the chance of delaying onset, controlling progress and containing complications are highly possible. Read on to know how simple things can be effective in preventing and managing diabetes.
Weight control: Obesity is the most important risk factor for developing diabetes. A person with normal BMI is 20 to 40 times less likely to develop diabetes than an overweight person. Losing about 10% of the excess weight can help prevent diabetes by more than 50%. Check with your doctor what should be the ideal recommended weight for you and draw up a routine (diet, exercise, etc.) that will help you achieve and stay around that weight range.
Exercise: All methods of exercise help in moving the muscles, which is drastically reduced given our sedentary lifestyle. Moving the muscle (as much and as often as possible) ensures they absorb more glucose and reduce the stress on insulin production. Something as simple as brisk walking for 30 minutes is good enough to reduce the chances of developing diabetes by 50%.
Don’t be a couch potato: If watching television is your favourite pastime, it is time to change it. This puts people at risk of developing obesity, heart disease and diabetes. Also, watching television is usually associated with overeating, further adding to the risk of diabetes.
Fibrous foods: Eating fibrous fruits and vegetables as compared to refined and fried foods helps prevent diabetes.
Whole grains vs processed foods: When you have to choose between a pizza and a bowl of brown rice, go for the latter.
Good fats vs bad fats: Polyunsaturated fatty acids are found in vegetable oils, nuts, and seeds and help control diabetes. Trans fats present in margarine and baked foods are best avoided.
Non-vegetarian foods: If you have a choice, pick fish and poultry versus red meat (processed or otherwise). The fish is rich in Omega-3 fatty acids and helps control inflammation.
Smoking: Quit smoking and you will note how beneficial it is in preventing diabetes.
Alcohol: Moderate amount helps in effective functioning of the insulin.
If you have a family history or have risk factors, follow the above to prevent diabetes.
Cholangiocarcinoma (Bile duct cancer), like any other cancer, leaves a person physically, mentally and emotionally drained. It has been mostly found to affect people above 60 years of age. The signs and symptoms associated are so common that very few people consult a physician. A delayed diagnosis implies delayed treatment. This goes on to aggravate and complicate the situation further. One needs to be a little alert. Any symptoms, no matter how common, should not be taken lightly. Look for the early signs and symptoms and bile duct cancer can be fully cured.
Signs and symptoms associated with Cholangiocarcinoma
Bile duct cancer can be Extrahepatic (occurs in the duct outside the liver) or Intrahepatic (cancer develops within the smaller ducts inside the liver). It must be noted that Intrahepatic Bile duct cancer and Liver cancer are different.
- Bile duct cancer results in blocking the bile duct. This blockage severely effects the secretion of bilirubin and bile from the liver. Thus, the secretions (bile and bilirubin) which are supposed to flow into the intestine move back into the bloodstream. An elevated level of bilirubin in the blood gives rise to a condition, known as Jaundice (a condition resulting in yellowing of the eyes and the skin). The problem lies in the fact that many other factors can equally contribute to Jaundice. Consulting a physician at the earliest is the best resort.
- A sudden or drastic weight loss and loss of appetite is an alarming sign of Cholangiocarcinoma.
- Excessive itching can be an indication of something as big as bile duct cancer. Itching can be an outcome of the increased bilirubin (blood) reaching the skin.
- At an advanced stage of Cholangiocarcinoma, a patient may experience severe abdominal pain.
- At times, the tumour in the bile duct might exert immense pressure on the nearby organs. This can give rise to an enlarged abdominal mass. Bloated feeling is also very common amongst the patients.
- An unusual change in the colour of the stool and urine should not be neglected. The elevated bilirubin level from the intestine is usually eliminated out of the system through the urine. Thus the stool appears lighter and the urine a shade darker.
- A cholangiocarcinoma patient can, at times feel nauseated. Fever is also a common but an extremely important indication.
Bile duct cancer or cholangiocarcinoma can lead to many other complications. Click below to know every minute detail associated with Cholangiocarcinoma.
Feeling acidic after eating a heavy meal can often make you regret those last few morsels. This acidic sensation is known as acid reflux or Gastroesophageal reflux disease, better known as GERD. GERD occurs when the functioning of the lower oesophagus muscles is restricted. This makes the undigested food in the stomach and stomach acids leak back into the oesophagus.
Thankfully, this is not something you have to live with and a few simple lifestyle changes can help resolve the situation.
- Do not lie down after eating: When your body is in a horizontal position, there are higher chances of food being regurgitated into the oesophagus. To avoid this, finish your meals at least 3 hours before going to bed. Sit upright while eating and do not lie down or slouch immediately after eating. This gives the food time to be digested and move out of the stomach.
- Limit your food intake: Overeating is one of the most common triggers of GERD. Cutting down your portion sizes can instantly reduce the number of GERD occurrences. Instead of eating large, heavy meals, shorten the duration between meals and have more frequent small meals.
- Avoid foods that trigger acidity: With time, you will soon realise which types of foods trigger an acidic reaction. Some common triggers are onions, peppermint, caffeine, citrus fruits etc. Keeping a diary can help identify such foods and ease your problem.
- Quit Smoking: Nicotine not only harms your lungs, but can affect your digestive system as well. It is responsible for weakening the muscles that control the opening between the stomach and oesophagus. This allows stomach acids and food from the stomach to re-enter the oesophagus. Alcohol can also worsen GERD symptoms and hence it is better to avoid alcohol is you suffer from frequent bouts of acid reflux.
- Lose weight: Overeating, obesity and acid reflux go hand in hand. Being overweight can put extra pressure on your stomach and abdomen, thus pushing food and gastric juices into the oesophagus. Losing this extra weight should effectively resolve your acid reflux problem if you are overweight.
- Look at your medications: Some types of medication too can cause acid reflux by interfering with the digestive system and irritating the oesophagus. These types of medication include blood pressure medication, asthma medication, Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, bisphosphonates, sedatives and painkillers. Do not simply stop taking these medications, but talk to your doctor about replacing them with something else.
In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!