Doctor in Alliance Munot Hospital
Headache is a pain in any part of the head, including the scalp, upper neck, face (including the eye area).
A primary headache is caused by problems with or overactivity of pain-sensitive structures in your head. A primary headache isn't a symptom of an underlying disease.
What are the causes and triggers?
The three most common causes of a primary headache are:
Some primary headaches can be triggered by lifestyle factors, including:
- Alcohol, particularly red wine
- Certain foods, such as processed meats that contain nitrates
- Changes in sleep or lack of sleep
- Poor posture
- Skipped meals
Doctors focus on determining whether a headache has another cause. They also check for symptoms suggesting that a headache is caused by a serious disorder. If no cause is identified, they focus on identifying which type of a headache is present.
Tips that could help before seeking consultation:
- Try to keep stress in check. Stay organized and prepared to minimize stressful situations. Have some fun, and don't overdo it at work.
- Try incorporating meditation or yoga in your daily regime.
- Apply a heating pad, hot water bottle or warm compress to aching muscles. Or take a hot shower.
- Apply an ice pack wrapped in a towel to the neck.
- Practice good posture to ease muscle strain. While standing, keep shoulders back and head level, buttocks and abdomen pulled in. While sitting, keep your head straight and thighs parallel to the floor.
When to seek consultation?
- It occurs more frequently than usual
- Are more severe than usual
- Worsen or don't improve with appropriate use of over-the-counter drugs
- Prevent you from working, sleeping or participating in normal activities
- Headaches that cause you distress, and you would like to find treatment options that enable you to control them better
- Tenderness at the temple (as when combing hair) or jaw pain when chewing
- The presence of cancer or a disorder that weakens the immune system
- Use of a drug that suppresses the immune system
- Red eyes and halos seen around lights
- If you are experiencing certain other symptoms like- headaches that increase in frequency or severity, headaches that begin after age 50, worsening vision, weight loss
A headache can be a symptom of a serious condition, such as a stroke, meningitis or encephalitis. Go to a hospital emergency room or your local emergency number if you have the worst headache of your life, a sudden, severe headache or a headache accompanied by:
- Confusion or trouble understanding speech
- Fainting, drowsiness, confusion
- High fever, greater than 102 f to 104 f (39 c to 40 c)
- Numbness, weakness or paralysis on one side of your body
- Stiff neck
- Trouble seeing, speaking or walking
- Nausea or vomiting (if not clearly related to the flu or a hangover)
If people with none of the above symptoms or characteristics start having headaches that are different from any they have had before or if their usual headaches become unusually severe, they should call their doctor.
Doctors can usually determine the type or cause of headaches based on the medical history, symptoms, and results of a physical examination. Depending on their other symptoms, the doctor may advise taking an analgesic or ask them to come for an evaluation.
When it comes to health, there is no taking a chance. Most of us are in the habit of storing some medicines at home, which could come in handy, say for a headache or an acidity attack. However, these often remain in the medicine kit for a long time before they are actually used. So, finally when the day arrives when there is an actual need for it, we are not sure if it is still usable. The one thing we dread is the use of a medicine, which is past its expiry date.
What if there is an adverse event? What if there is a complication or a side effect?
Then, if we are not in a position to get a fresh pill, we would rather endure the pain or acidity than pop that outdated pill. Is it really prudent to do so? I say otherwise. Most medicines have the expiry date to indicate the date or time, until when the drug would have the most potency and efficacy. Meaning to say, the drug may become weak (take longer to act or may require more of the drug to produce the same effect) when taken after the listed expiry date.
The truth is that most pharma companies list a date, which could be months, if not years, ahead of the actual expiry date. In reality, a drug never really expires. Most medicines can be used up to a few months after this date. Some medicines may even be useful after years of their expiry date.
It depends as to what the medicine is for:
- Painkillers are usually harmless to take beyond the expiry date. If there is no effect (even prolonged), then try to get a fresh one.
- Chronic medications like anti-hypertensives and anti-diabetic medications can be used up to a few months at the most, not beyond. Make sure to monitor readings to check for the efficacy. Often times, a greater dose may be required to get the desired effect, but this should not be done without medical supervision.
- Biologic products like EpiPen, eye drops or injectable substances should not be used, if they are cloudy. In fact, most of these should be kept for a very short period after opening.
- With any expired medicine, keep your doctor posted, especially your chronic meds to seek further advice and information.
The place and the way the drug is stored also may help in retaining its strength. A drug stored in the fridge is safer than something stashed away in a cupboard with a lot of other things. Keep these in mind, and take a call!
A lifestyle disease such as diabetes is never nice to have, isn’t it? Also, when a person has diabetes, there are some things of which more should be had and then, there are some whose consumption should be scaled back. So what exactly does a diet for a person who has diabetes look like?
Breakfast is said to be the most important meal of the day as it kicks off the metabolism for the day. Having a large breakfast is quite important so as to take care of the body, but this only makes sense if the food that is being eaten for breakfast is healthy enough. It is quite a good idea to have some porridge. While it is true that porridge is a carbohydrate-rich food item, what it also has is a great amount of soluble fibre. In fact, this sort of fibre takes some time to digest, so it reduces the pangs of hunger, which would have normally made a person eat unhealthy junk and fast food.
In a world of food that is processed, packaged and picked up from the supermarket, people are just not eating the correct amount of fruits and vegetables as they should. What is important to keep in mind is that vegetables are to be had in multiple portions on a daily basis, but these vegetables must be low in starch content. This means that for a person who has diabetes, vegetables which should not be eaten include potatoes, sweet potatoes, peas as well as corn.
On the other hand, the sort of vegetables which are to be eaten include broccoli and spinach. Spinach is also very good for increasing the level of haemoglobin in the blood. Also, making use of cinnamon extract is good as it has the potential to cut a person’s sugar levels by up to a tenth.
While it is not true that potatoes and other starchy foods should be completely avoided, a diabetic person should watch the amount of them that is being consumed by him or her. The reason for this is that starch-filled vegetables have high amounts of carbohydrates, which are generally responsible for raising the level of blood sugar. This is surely the last thing a diabetic person would want or need.
If you notice, strawberries have some sugar content, but they are a lot better than biscuits and other snacks. So in case a diabetic person wants to nibble on something, sweet fruits are always a better option.
Depression can be caused because of many reasons. However, it can get worse or be triggered due to nutritional deficiency. However nutritional deficiencies and depression act in a vicious cycle. Depressed people often receive less or improper food which leads to malnutrition which again aggravate depression. Thus, both conditions should be treated simultaneously. Read further to know how:
- Omega-3 fatty acids: An Omega-3 unsaturated fat deficiency can cause depression. That shows exactly how much fish, salmon, halibut or flaxseeds and walnuts we have to expend to be at an ideal level. These basic minerals lessen aggravation and take up a basic part in our mental health, particularly memory and disposition.
- Vitamin D: Vitamin D deficiency is a noteworthy problem that specialists and general physicians perceive to be dangerous. This lack has been connected to depression, dementia and mental imbalance. The majority of our Vitamin D levels drop off during the fall and winter months, since daylight is the best source of vitamin D.
- Magnesium: Odds are great that you are magnesium inadequate since a lot of people are. Sugar, phosphoric acid, perpetual anxiety, anti-infection agents and diuretics contain magnesium. Magnesium is infrequently alluded to as the anxiety counteracting agent.
- Vitamin B complex: B vitamins like vitamin B6 and vitamin B12 have some great medical advantages, including decreased heart diseases and healthy skin and nails. Again, a vitamin B deficiency may affect your emotional wellness. Every one in four depressed or stressed woman suffers from vitamin B12 deficiency.
- Folate: Individuals with a low folate level have just a seven percent reaction to treatment with antidepressants. Those with high folate levels have a reaction of 44 percent. That is the reason a lot of specialists are currently endorsing a folate called Deplin to treat dejection.
- Amino acids: Amino acids are the building blocks of protein that help your mind work efficiently. An amino acid deficiency may make you feel slow, foggy, unfocused, and discouraged. Great sources of amino acids include meat, eggs, beans, seeds, and nuts.
- Iron: Iron deficiency is truly common in women. Around 20 percent of the women and 50 percent of pregnant women are iron deficient. Just 3 percent of men are iron deficient. The most widely recognized type of side effect is the decreasing number of red platelets brought on by the lack of iron. The side effects include weakness, concentration issues and a foggy mind.
- Zinc: Zinc is used by more proteins (a person has more than 300) than some other minerals. It is important to most of the body’s systems. It also helps our stomach to determine what food items or nutrients to keep and what to dispose off.
Therefore, it is very important for a person to consume the right amount of nutrients that a human needs. Their deficiency not only causes depression, but also many other diseases and illnesses.
How much alcohol can you safely drink every day? Moderate, say the experts. Alcohol abuse has serious health downsizes, but moderate drinking can actually be good for your heart. Moderate alcohol use has a few other health benefits too. Let’s see what these are:
- Reduces risk of developing and dying from heart disease
- Reduces your risk of ischemic stroke during which the arteries to your brain become narrowed or blocked, causing reduction of blood flow to your brain
- Reduces your risk of diabetes
The link between alcohol and health is tenuous at best and the health benefits of moderate drinking are by no means certain. Also, everyone may not benefit from alcohol.
Moderate alcohol use - Guidelines
One drink a day is considered moderate for healthy women of any age and men older than 65, and up to two drinks a day for men younger than 65. This alcoholic drink can be:
- Beer: 12 ounces
- Wine: 5 ounces
- Distilled spirits: 1.5 ounces
Moderate alcohol use can be counter-productive for you if you have risk factors for heart disease. It’s always better to take care to lead a healthy lifestyle and eat a heart-healthy diet to reduce your heart attack risks.
Risks of heavy alcohol use -
We know about the definition of moderate drinking, but what's heavy drinking? It is defined as more than three drinks a day for women and men older than 65 (or more than seven drinks a week), and more than four drinks a day for men less than 65 (or more than 14 drinks a week).
Binge drinking is even worse. If you drink four or more drinks within two hours as a woman and five or more drinks within two hours as a man, it is referred to as binge drinking. Heavy drinking, including binge drinking, can increase your risk of serious health problems, like:
- Cancer, including breast cancer and cancers of the mouth, throat and esophagus
- Pancreatitis or inflammation of the pancreas
- Sudden death due to pre-existing cardiovascular disease
- Alcoholic myopathy or damage to heart muscle, which causes heart failure
- High blood pressure
- Liver disease
- Brain damage in fetuses
It’s best to ditch alcohol altogether. It is the healthiest thing you could ever do. The guidelines make it very clear that you shouldn’t start drinking alcohol, albeit moderately, to make your heart healthy. The best way to have a healthy heart is to eat and exercise right. However, if you are an occasional drinker, you could make sure that your alcohol intake is within limits and you drink moderately at all times so that you don’t attract any health penalties associated with heavy alcohol use.
Mosquitoes might be tiny creatures, but are responsible for some of the most dreadful diseases, one of them is malaria. Malaria is caused by a parasite that is transmitted through mosquito bites directly or from mother to unborn baby and through blood transfusions. Very widely spread in the Asian and African continents, people travelling here are very cautious of this disease. In areas that are notorious for mosquito infestations, the local people also take preventive measures to ensure mosquito breeding is prevented or at least minimised.
Spread of the disease: When a mosquito bites an infected person, it picks up the parasite from the person and when it next bites another person, the infection is also transmitted. From there, the parasite travels to the liver and into the bloodstream before reaching another individual. While all people are prone to getting the infection, elderly people, children, pregnant women, and immunocompromised people are at greater risk. Also, new travellers are at greater risk than local people, who are to some extent immune to mosquito bites.
Symptoms: The disease is characterised by moderate to severe shaking chills which are more common in the evening, high fever, profuse sweating, headache, vomiting, and diarrhoea. Quite often, there is about a 4-week gap between the time of the mosquito bite and the onset of symptoms. However, in many people, the disease could lie dormant and symptoms manifest when the immunity is severely lowered.
With the gradual progression of the disease, more severe symptoms could evolve as below, and that is when malaria becomes life-threatening.
- Cerebral malaria: Once the parasites enter the bloodstream, they can block the minor blood vessels in the brain leading to cerebral oedema and even brain damage. It could eventually result in coma.
- Anaemia: There is large-scale destruction of red blood cells, leading to severe anaemia and weakness and fatigue
- Breathing problems: Similarly, accumulation of fluid in the lung spaces can lead to pulmonary oedema which causes difficulty breathing and lung failure.
- Organ failure: Blood flow blockage to other vital organs like kidneys, liver, and spleen are also possible. The spleen may rupture leading to severe haemorrhage.
- Low blood sugar: The malarial parasite per se and the most commonly used medicine (quinine) are both known to cause low blood sugar levels. This can result in coma and even death.
Once the diagnosis is confirmed, treatment usually consists of chloroquine, Mefloquine, quinine sulfate, or hydroxychloroquine. There are various drug-resistant forms of malaria, and they may require combination therapy.
Prevention assumes greater significance with travellers going for vaccines prior to visiting these areas. Even the local people should find ways to avoid breeding of mosquitoes, use mosquito repellents and nets to avoid the infection.
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.