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Vitamin C Benefits, Sources And Its Side Effects Tips

Causes Of Hyperpigmentation You Should Be Aware Of!

MBBS, MD - Dermatology
Dermatologist, Gurgaon
Causes Of Hyperpigmentation You Should Be Aware Of!

The dark pigmentation, also known as hyperpigmentation is a condition whereby there is an elevated production of melanin, the pigment responsible for the skin color. The hyperpigmentation can be an extremely unpleasant and annoying experience affecting the overall appearance of a person.

What triggers the hyperpigmentation of the skin?

  • The hormonal imbalance can be an underlying factor responsible for the increased production of the melanin by the melanocytes. It is a well-known fact that the use of birth control pills can elevate the estrogen and progesterone level. The increased estrogen level acts as a catalyst, triggering an upsurge in the melanin production.
  • The dark pigmentation can also be a hereditary trait that runs in the family.
  • In some, if not all people, increased exposure to the sun rays can trigger a skin inflammation leading to hyperpigmentation.
  • The problem can also stem from skin allergies that may result in an inflammatory response, eventually giving rise to the skin pigmentation.
  • Certain medications such as chemotherapeutic drugs, anti-seizure drugs, non-steroidal drugs, or hormone therapy can act as catalysts resulting in dark pigmentation.
  • Skin damage caused by eczema or identical dermatological conditions can also lead to pigmentation of the skin.

Natural remedies to reduce the dark pigmentation
While medications and treatments may be available to reduce the hyperpigmentation of the skin, most people opt for the natural remedies which prove to be equally effective, if not more. Mentioned below are some natural remedies that have produced amazing results in the case of hyperpigmentation.

  • Many people with skin pigmentation or blemishes have benefited immensely from the use of potatoes. Just cut a potato in two halves and sprinkle some water on the exposed side. Now take this exposed side of the potato and gently rub it on the affected skin area. Keep it for about 10 minutes and then rinse it off with lukewarm water. Regularly use this for about a month (three to four times daily).
  • Apple cider vinegar can also work miracles in the case of dark pigmentation. Take water and apple cider vinegar (about 3-4 tablespoons each) in a bowl. Apply this mixture on the affected skin area and then wash off with water (lukewarm) after 5 minutes. For the maximum results, the mixture should be used twice daily.
  • Lemon, known for its bleaching properties can also be used to treat the pigmentation. Take lemon juice and turmeric powder (1 tablespoon each) in a bowl and apply it on the affected skin every night before retiring to bed. In the excitement, however, do not forget to rinse it off with water after 15 minutes.
  • You can also use lemon juice (1 whole lemon) and organic honey (2 tablespoons) mixture on the skin. Wash it off after 15 minutes and skin pigmentation will be a thing of the past. Use this regularly (twice daily).
  • The regular use of aloe vera gel (2 tablespoons) and raw honey (1/2 tablespoon) can also work wonders to reduce the pigmentation. The mixture applied should, however, be rinsed off with lukewarm water after 20 minutes.

Eating Habits - How Hormones Can Affect That?

Ph.D In Food Science & Nutrition, M.Phil Foods & Nutrition, MSc - Dietitics/Nutrition, B.Sc - Home Science
Dietitian/Nutritionist, Coimbatore
Eating Habits - How Hormones Can Affect That?

Are you aware of the function of appetite hormones in your body? Appetite hormones or hunger hormones are the hormones which are responsible for making you feel hungry, and also account for a decreased appetite, which is common for all of us at times.

Leptin and Ghrelin are the two primary appetite hormones, which are produced in your body.

About Ghrelin
Ghrelin is your body’s appetite increasing hormone, which gets released in the stomach. It is responsible for signaling hunger to your brain. It is said that the ghrelin levels in your body play an important role in how quickly you feel hungry after having a meal. Usually, the ghrelin levels increase before you eat. This signifies that you are hungry. They go down for almost three hours after your meal. It is believed that ghrelin plays a more important role in the regulation of your body weight, which is a much more complex procedure.

About Leptin
Among the two appetite hormones, leptin accounts for being the appetite suppressing hormone. It is considered to play a more important role than ghrelin in maintaining the energy balance of your body. It is also believed that leptin is responsible for the regulation of ghrelin. Leptin helps in signaling the brain that your body has enough energy in the form of body fat. It is considered that the more fat you have, the more amount of leptin is present in your blood. However, the level varies based on factors such as when you took your last meal, and your sleeping patterns.

How to control your hunger hormones?
There are certain ways by which you can control your appetite hormones. It can be done primarily by avoiding food items that contain high fat. When you eat, messages are transmitted to several parts of your body, indicating that you have had enough. While consuming fatty food, this system does not send messages as effectively. Consuming fat makes you consume more calories, which in turn lets you store fat and gain fat.

It has been proven that either a diet which is rich in good carbohydrates or a diet which is high in protein, suppresses your ghrelin production more effectively than a high fat diet. It is important for you to get proper sleep for controlling your appetite hormones. Studies prove that sleep deprivation is associated with an increase in your ghrelin levels, appetite, and hunger, compared to people who get 10 hours sleep on a regular basis.

Ovarian Cysts - Should You Get Them Operated?'

MBBS, MS - Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Ultrasonography Basic Traning Course, Diploma in Minimal Access Surgery, Advanced Infertility & ART training, Advanced training in ultrasonography, PG Diploma in IVF & Reproductive Medicine
Gynaecologist, Ahmedabad
Ovarian Cysts - Should You Get Them Operated?'

Though ovarian cysts can be well-treated with surgeries but not all surgeries are good for operating them. Thus, you have to choose the safest option that can help you to avoid adverse impacts after surgery.
 Laparoscopic method is the approved surgical method that can operate ovarian cysts in the best possible manner. This treatment is completely painless, and thus you will not suffer at all while conducting the concerned method. 

What is the best surgical method for ovarian cysts? 
If you are looking for the best surgical method that can treat ovarian cysts, then nothing can be a better option other than laparoscopic surgery. There are many potential benefits of this surgical treatment for which it is more preferred in comparison to the traditional surgeries.  

- Improved treatment: This treatment is quite an advanced treatment which is not invasive and moreover, the count of side-effects is quite lower. Modernized surgical equipments are used in this regard so that ovarian cysts can be removed with great ease and convenience. Moreover, the chances of medical malpractices or errors can be completely eliminated, and thus the patients remain safe. 

- Needs short tenure: This treatment does not take a long time, and rather it can be completed within a short time. You do not have to stay at the hospital for long rather can get discharged on the same day treatment takes place. Thus, you can save a lot of medical expenses. 

- Reduction in sufferings caused due to surgery: Sufferings due to surgery can be reduced or completely eliminated to a great extent, and this is one of the leading reasons why this treatment is preferred for removing ovarian cysts. You will not face any painful sensation and on the other hand, the trouble of blood transfusion is also avoided in this case.

- No exposure to contaminants:  internal organs will be protected against different kinds of contaminants by implementing laparoscopic surgery. If the organs get contaminated, then the possibility of post-operative infections will rise. Infectious diseases are very much dreadful. 

- Small incision-size: Incision size is quite small, and this is really quite beneficial in preventing different unwanted symptoms like pain, excessive bleeding and others. You do not have to take strong medications for getting rid of post-surgery symptoms. Scar tissues often get affected by infectious diseases, but in this case, it does not happen, and thus you will remain completely safe and secured.

Fat Loss: Debunking The Myths And Facts About It!

MD - Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation
General Physician, Ranchi
Fat Loss: Debunking The Myths And Facts About It!

There are many myths surrounding fat and weight loss today. From fad diets to exercises that promise to burn fat in no time at all, the Internet is flooded with material and information that can confuse people. So here is our list of facts and myths regarding fat loss.

Starving: This one is a big myth! Do not starve as this will only make your body store fat from whatever little you may be ingesting. Also, such habits will weaken your bone and muscle strength in the long run.

Snacking: Avoiding snacks for fat loss is a myth. You need to divide your meals into smaller portions for faster fat loss, which means one or two of those meals could actually be snacks. But a snack which comes in the form of a bag of chips is a bad news. So get a salad or almonds for a snack instead.

Carbs: If you have come to believe that all carbs are bad, then you need a reality check. This one is a major myth. The body requires nourishment above all else, and this includes some amount of carbs. While having a cheese burger is a big no, having a potato salad minus the heavy cream dressing is actually a good idea and will give your body plenty of energy. Get the drift?

Calories: While you may have been led to believe that certain kinds of food can burn calories, this is actually a myth. The reality is that there are different kinds of calories and you must choose food that is high in fiber so that the metabolicsystem gets a boost. Food like oats which come with high dietary fiber can actually help push the food out of your digestive system, faster and more effectively.

Eating Right and Exercising: Many people believe that eating right and exercising are the best ways to banish fat from your life - forever. This is a myth. After a certain age, the metabolism does slow down. Eating right and exercising as a matter of routine helps in avoiding a sudden and massive weight gain. Above all, your diet and exercise should be flexible so that you can accommodate a slowdown without piling on fat.

The fat loss journey is one that is based on a consistent system of eating right and staying within a routine. So avoid myths and get yourself a well nourished, active and well rested body.

Sound Therapy Through Gongs!

Dr. Manan Sharma 85% (10 ratings)
Diploma In Electrical Engineering, MCA, MBA, Certification In Sound Therapy
Alternative Medicine Specialist, Delhi
Sound Therapy Through Gongs!

Gong happen to be one of most powerful and as well as the oldest transformational and therapeutic instruments. It has been used for different kinds of purposes like rituals, any kind of ceremony, meditation and prayer for way back, since the time of Bronze Age.

The sound of the Gongs has different sets of qualities including:

  1. Have relaxing and calming influences on the mind and body.
  2. It centres and energizes.
  3. The sounds have a transforming and healing effect on a person.
  4. Gongs are also used in yoga.
  5. Used as sound to meditate.
  6. Acts as a vibration therapy.
  7. When any metal is banged upon, electrons get electromagnetically charged and hence a plasma field is formed.
  8. The plasma field gets created off the gong and the one who listens, tend to become part of the field. Metal has always been known as a material; wherein the electrons leave behind their own atoms and go on to join other atoms.
  9. As and when there is an end to the activity of the gong, the electrons get back to their original atoms. Once the gong comes back to rest, the plasma along with the energy field collapse. Again when the gong revs up, the Plasma field tends to expand and intensify.

Usefulness of Gongs
Gongs happen to be useful in a number of ways. They include:

  1. They help to resolve emotional as well as physical dissonance.
  2. Playing along with listening to gongs help to offer spiritual, emotional and physical resolutions, thus open the doorway towards the Universe.
  3. Once the path towards the Universe gets opened, energies start to move, which are Universal in nature, to make an entry into a spiritual dimension.
  4. Gong, which is basically a psychoacoustic path towards greater states of awareness and consciousness.
  5. This is also an ideal tool which helps to reduce stress, stimulate the glandular system and break up emotional blockages.
  6. When they are played in a skilful manner, gongs help to resonate and stimulate all cells within the human body at the same time.

Other Effects on One’s Body
There are certain other useful effects of Gong. They are:

  • They generate really powerful ripples of multiple dimensions of sound that grow into waves and fill the whole body in streams of sound.
  • Gongs have the potential to keep on expanding and represent people’s connection with a kind of oneness that is holographic in nature.

So, Gong is a tool which helps to engulf people in total sound and through their intuition, they are brought back towards attainment of complete health and balance.

Through the unique quality of its resonance, ensures integration of diverse elements into a total power of synergy.

Acidity - 6 Ayurvedic Home Treatments For It!

B.A.M.S, MD (Ayu) Kayachikitsa
Ayurveda, Shimla
Acidity - 6 Ayurvedic Home Treatments For It!

Gastric acids are chemicals provided by your stomach to aid digestion. But the corrosive effects they induce are counteracted by the secretion of other chemicals. It is when the secretion of these chemicals is impaired that it leads to damaged stomach lining, causing acidity, also known as acid reflux.

Ayurveda promises some easy home treatments for acidity which are quite efficient in ensuring fast recovery for you. You can use any of these listed Ayurvedic treatments if you suffer from acidity.

1. Amla powder (Indian Gooseberry) and honey
 
Soak one teaspoonful of amla powder in half a cup of water. Add honey and stir and drink empty stomach in the morning. Repeat similarly for the evening.
 
2. Cumin seeds

You can reduce cumin seeds to their powder form, then you have to add half a spoon of it to water; presumably, one liter. Then, keep the solution boiling then filter it. You will have to make sure that you drink this solution instead of normal water. Take this water based solution everyday till recovery. This is quite an effective remedy for acidity.
 
3. Mulethi (liquorice) and honey
 
You can reduce liquorice root to powder, then to half a spoon of this powder add little honey to form paste. Lick to consume this paste twice daily after meals. Liquorice neutralizes the acids quickly to give relief.

4. White pumpkin juice
 
Take white pumpkin peel and slice it and make a pulpy juice out of it. Half a cup twice daily gives fast recovery from gastritis and acidity. Alternatively you may eat sweet made of pumpkin (peetha ki methai) after meals.
 
5. Buttermilk

You can take half a glass of buttermilk and add a pinch of each asafetida and turmeric to it. With it, also take care to add a tiny amount of fenugreek and drink it at night, to make the most of its benefits.

6. Jaggery

You can try taking boiled ash gourd with jaggery. This relieves the burning sensation in the stomach to a considerable extent.

Split Ends - Treat Them With These Ayurvedic Remedies!

Bachelor of Ayurveda, Medicine and Surgery (BAMS) And Naturopath (ND)
Ayurveda, Surat
Split Ends - Treat Them With These Ayurvedic Remedies!

Split ends is a cause of concern, especially among women. Split ends badly affect the quality of your hair and also do not look good. It is important that you get rid of split ends as soon as possible. Some of the causes for split ends are excessive combing, lack of conditioning, combing wet hair, deficiency of nutrients in the body, exposure of the hair to pollution and dust, using chemical colours on hair, etc.

In this article we are going to discuss some ayurvedic ways in which you can get rid of split ends:

Oiling Your Hair: It is very important that you oil your hair on a regular basis. You should oil your hair and leave the oil on your hair for 1 hour before you wash your hair. You can use coconut oil, almond oil or Bhringamalakadi taila. Just like you shampoo your hair, you will need to oil your hair frequently to keep it nourished and prevent split ends from developing.

Use a Wide Toothed Comb: You should use a wide toothed comb to detangle your hair. Using a wide toothed comb will prevent your hair from getting damaged any further. Small or sharp combs tangle the hair even more which makes it very difficult for you to detangle.

Use Herbal Based Shampoos: You should use mild shampoos which are herbal based as they will not damage your hair. Using shampoos which have ayurvedic ingredients will not only help repair your split ends but will also help in strengthening your hair. Prevent dying or using chemicals to colour your hair which causes more damage than good to the natural balance to your hair.

Diet: A big part of any ayurvedic treatment or remedy is diet. It is very important that you pay close attention to your diet if you want to get rid of split ends. You should include certain foods like spinach, egg, curry leaves, milk and amla in your diet. These foods not only help in repairing your split ends but also helps the body in many other ways.

We hope that this article will help you in repairing your split ends the ayurvedic way. Ayurveda is one of the best ways of healing and everyone benefits from it.

Psychological Impacts Of Prostate Cancer!

Dr. Rajeev Sarpal 86% (68 ratings)
DNB - Urology/Genito - Urinary Surgery
Urologist, Dehradun
Psychological Impacts Of Prostate Cancer!

Prostate cancer is a very painful disease to go through. However, what some people do not realize is that prostate cancer is equally disturbing from a psychological view point, both for the patient and the family. Here are some psychological impacts of prostate cancer:

1. Shock, fear or anger
These are immediate reactions and you could feel any or all of these feelings when the disease is first reported to you. These feelings may continue for some time but if the patient is unable to come out of the state of the anger for a long time, then he may need psychological help.

2. Denial
Sometimes you may feel well and deny the fact that you have prostate cancer or not realize you really do. Accept it. This is the first step to curing it.

3. Frustration and disappointment
Try to avoid these types of feelings and if you do, then go to a shrink as well, as these are signs of depression.

4. Stress
This is also a natural feeling and will haunt you till this disease is gone. However, there are many ways to help reduce it.

5. Worrying
This is usually related to the side-effects in the early stages of prostate cancer. Trust your doctor. Finding a support group or talking to people in similar conditions may help.

6. Mood swings
This is one of the side effects of the hormone therapy used to treat prostate cancer. It may cause you to get angry and anxious and then tearful and depressed.

7. Anxiety
Some men are overly worried about their prostate-specific antigen or PSA test results. The anxiety may continue even after the PSA test is over.

8. Sense of loss
Hormone therapy causes many physical changes in your body, including weight gain, changes in your sex life as well as reduced physical strength. Few things will be the same after prostate cancer in all honesty. Talking to the people around you can help more than you know.

While prostate cancer can cause all sorts of negative emotions, it is crucial that you use your family to stay strong and do not slip into depression. There are also a few patients who accept this diagnosis well, if properly counselled. In the majority of cases, prostate cancer grows slowly. In those cases, new drugs are available which help the patient lead a near normal life.

Things You Should Know About Migraines!

Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences, Ranchi, Rims, ranchi, AIIMS
General Physician, Patna
Things You Should Know About Migraines!

Migraine is a severe form of headache wherein, the excruciating pain is accompanied by an extreme sensitivity to sound and light; you also experience nausea. The headaches usually affect either side of the head and are throbbing in nature. Hot flashes, numbness of limbs and blind spots in the eye; these are often considered as warnings. In certain cases, migraines can cause blackouts that can range from a few seconds to a few minutes.

Migraine occurs in four stages:

  1. Pro-drome (symptom indicative of an onset of an illness)
  2. Aura (visual auras including blurred vision)
  3. Headache
  4. Post-drome (the residual effects of migraine characterized by fatigue and lethargy)

But the occurrence of these stages varies across individuals. The causes of migraines aren’t specifically understood. It may be due to the interaction of the brain stem with the trigeminal nerve, which is an important pain pathway of the brain. Imbalances in hormonal levels or in the levels of neurotransmitters such as serotonin may also prove to be a causal factor.

Symptoms

Migraine may be triggered due to stress, physical exertion, and excess intake of alcohol or food additives such as MSG (Monosodium Glutamate). Changes in the environment and sleeping patterns may also be probable culprits.

Migraine can be easily distinguished from regular headaches, given the fact that migraines last longer and are rather severe in nature with pain felt in one part of the head. Most people experience the ‘Aura’stage where they have visual flashes right before headache. Nausea, eye pain or sensitivity to light and sound are other factors helpful in distinguishing migraine from other headaches.

Symptoms can occur a while before headache, immediately before headache, during headache and after headache. Although not all migraines are the same.

Typical symptoms include:

  • Moderate to severe pain, usually confined to one side of the head during an attack, but can occur on either side of the head
  • The pain is usually a severe, throbbing, pulsing pain
  • Increasing pain during physical activity
  • Inability to perform regular activities due to pain
  • Feeling sick and physically being sick
  • Increased sensitivity to light and sound, relieved by lying quietly in a darkened room
  • Some people experience other symptoms such as sweating, temperature changes, tummy ache and diarrhea.

Complications in migraine may include:

  1. Chronic migraine which last up to 15 days or more
  2. Status Migrainosus where the attacks last for over 3 days
  3. Migrainous infarction where the aura lasts longer than it should, cutting blood supply to the brain. 

Neurological Problems - Know Different Types Of It!

DM - Neurology, MD - Medicine
Neurologist, Mohali
Neurological Problems - Know Different Types Of It!

The brain is like the central processing unit of a computer that controls the entire body’s function. Both structurally and functionally, it is an extremely complex and vital organ and disorders occur due to a variety of reasons – old age, internal injury, accidents/trauma, infections, and malignancy being the most common. The brain has a highly sophisticated network of nerves which arise out of it and the spinal cord and ensures the body works in complete synchrony and coordination. The neurological disorder is a generic term that is used to denote problems in all these – brain, spinal cord, and associated nerves.

The different categories of neurologic disorders include are listed below along with some details on how they affect the individual as a whole.

  1. Developmental defects like spina bifida and hydrocephalus
  2. Genetic disorders like Huntington’s disorder and muscular dystrophy
  3. Infections (bacterial, viral, parasitic) are another major category of neurological disorders, causing symptoms both from the infection per se and aftereffects.
  4. Degenerative disorders like Alzheimer’s, different types of dementias, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's disease, etc.
  5. Traumatic injuries as a result of sports, accidents, etc.
  6. Functional issues like epilepsy, migraine and other headaches
  7. Vascular issues like stroke and haemorrhages.
  8. Malignancy including benign and malignant brain tumours
  9. Malnutrition related disorders.

Let us look at some of the most common ones

  1. Epilepsy: This happens due to inappropriate firing in the brain, resulting in convulsions. While it is hereditary in some people, the exact cause is not identified in most people. Effective medications are available which can completely cure the condition.
  2. Stroke: When a blood vessel is blocked due to plaque formation, blood supply is cut off to that part of the brain, leading to paralysis and sometimes even death. Timely intervention can, however, lead to the arrest and even reversal of symptoms.
  3. Parkinson’s disease: This is gradual degeneration causing reduced pace of movements (bradykinesia), tremors of the hands and feet, rigidity of movements, and loss of balance. The disease progression happens over a number of years, and it is usually genetic. Medications are available to manage the condition, but a complete cure is still under evaluation.
  4. Headaches: While headache can be a disorder in itself, it is also often the symptom of another neurological disorder. Migraines are very common, especially in women, and are characterised by throbbing, pounding headaches associated with sensitivity to light and noise and vomiting. There are usually triggers like menstruation, chocolates, alcohol, etc., which can be managed. Medications are useful in controlling the pain symptoms.

If detected in the early stages, the progression of most neurological disorders can be arrested and in some cases, symptoms even reversed.