New to Bangalore? 10 things to keep in mind to remain healthy

Bangalore is many things to many people. The place where their careers started or to some, the place where new relationships were formed. Bangalore is a city that is full of promise for everyone who calls her home. If you’re new to the city all excited to embark on the journey to ace your new job, make new friends and the chance to live on your own, there are a few things you need to know about Bangalore.

Ask anybody who has been living in Bangalore, they’ll tell you that the city that is always blooming also puts a stress on your health. From pollen allergy, typhoid infection to jaundice, the new resident in Bangalore has many health challenges to adjust to in their new environment. The reason behind these health issues include pollution, unhygienic food consumption, work-related stress and other factors.

So, how do you stop yourself from getting sick? We have listed a few tips to help you settle down in Bangalore.

1.Vaccination

Be it jaundice, hepatitis or typhoid, currently many vaccinations are available that can be used to boost your immunity against virus and bacteria. Though not fool-proof, vaccinations act as the first defence against potentially harmful germs.

2.Alcohol consumption

Bangalore is currently the pub capital of the country. With the trend of alcohol consumption on the rise, liver diseases like fatty liver is also on the rise. Having a weak liver can affect your overall health and fitness. Get a healthy liver assessment done and reduce the chances of being caught unaware.

3. Exercise regularly

Being desk bound reduces your immunity and keeps you open to the possibility of contracting infections. It also leads to many work-related conditions like carpal tunnel, tension neck syndrome, back pain etc. Always take breaks in between work and walk around your workspace. It is always a good idea to keep aside at least an hour or half in a day for exercise. This will energize you daily and keep you fit. You can even take up a sport you like and work towards building your stamina and resistance. Next time you are at Vikram hospital, pop in for a chat with our Yoga expert, Dr Shashikant.

4. Stay away from allergens

The dry climate of Bangalore and the constant pollution makes it easy for people to get sick due to allergies. Added to that, Bangalore is home to many flowering trees that cause pollen allergy in many people. Wear a mask when you travel in the city and always keep your surroundings free of dust.

5.Washing hands with soap

Diseases like typhoid and jaundice spread from our hands to our mouth. Make it a habit to always clean your hands with soap and water to ensure no germs get to your mouth.

6.Always drink boiled water

Contaminated water is the main reason behind gastrointestinal diseases. Even if you buy mineral water cans, it is best to drink them after boiling. The source of the water is unknown to most of us so it is best to boil the water.

7.Eat hot and healthy food

If you have no option but to eat out, ensure the food is at least hot which will check the propagation of microbes. The best option is to eat home-cooked meals, but if that is impossible, go to restaurants that are known for their hygiene.

8.Try to live close to your office

This is a huge challenge but one worth attempting! The long travel time is one of the worst scenarios that plagues the office crowd. Try to find accommodation close to office so that you are not unnecessarily tired with commuting, which can lead to reduced immunity. It can also save you money!!

9.Maintain healthy body weight

Cholesterol and obesity have been linked to severe lifestyle ailments like heart disease and diabetes that could turn fatal. With the increasing instances of cardiac arrest and stroke in young people, it is time to take steps to ensure you retain a healthy body weight. Bengaluru offers many options of activity, from walking in the fabulous parks, cycling & running clubs and gyms. Join one and stay fit.

10.Take your meals on time

Acid reflux, peptic ulcer and other related ailments are seen to be affecting those in the IT sector. This is mainly due to long work hours, skipping meals and irregular meal times. Ensuring your meal routine is not disturbed due to work goes a long way in helping you stay healthy. Carry healthy bites with you to avoid long gaps in meal times or if you are stuck in traffic.

Bangalore offers its populace many avenues to unwind, from beautiful sightseeing locales, sumptuous spread of local delicacies to hotspots for fun and entertainment. But a hospital is not one of them. So, keep these points in mind and live healthy!!

Your dad has just suffered a stroke - 
what needs to be done immediately

You walk into the living room. Your father is holding on to the sofa, his feet weak and trying to call for you, but his speech is slurred. What do you do?

First recognize these as the symptoms of stroke. To remember the symptoms of stroke, recall the FAST test. If you believe a person is suffering from stroke, look for the following signs -

F – Face

See if the face is drooping. Ask the patient to smile. See if the smile is lopsided.

A – Arm

Test for numbness or weakness in an arm or both. Ask the person to lift their arms. See if the arms are drifting down.

S – Speech

Check for slurred speech. Ask the person to speak a sentence. See if the person is coherent.

T – Time to call for help

If the person shows these symptoms, immediately call for an ambulance or rush the person to the hospital. Remember to note down the time at which the symptoms occur. It would be of immense help to the medical team in charge of taking care of the stroke victim.

With any medical emergency, especially in the case of stroke, immediate and expert medical assistance is required for easy recovery. In the event of a near and dear one suffering from stroke symptoms, ensure the hospital that you take them to has the right credentials for emergency care. A wrong step and the recovery process for the stroke patient becomes that much more difficult.

Stroke – Types and treatments

A person suffers from stroke when blood flow to the brain is cut off because of blood clots or rupturing of an artery. The types of stroke are classified according to the reason for blood deprivation.

Ischemic stroke – The most common type of stroke (close to 85%), ischemic stroke occurs due to a blood clot in the arteries that bring blood to the brain. The treatment for ischemic stroke is through the administration of tissue plasminogen activator (tPA). This medication dissolves the clot and helps improve blood flow. But effectiveness of this treatment has a lot to do with immediate administration of tPA. Ideally, tPA needs to be given within 3 hours of the onset of symptoms In some situations, it can be given up to 4.5 hours after onset of symptoms.
Other forms of treatment include endovascular treatment, where specialist doctors are required to remove the clot with a catheter. This requires enhanced equipment to ensure the proper diagnosis of the area of the clot and specialist emergency care doctors to perform the procedure.

Endovascular treatment is available at Vikram Hospital, with a dedicated team of interventionists and stroke neurologists round the clock.

Hemorrhagic stroke - Hemorrhagic stroke occurs due to rupture or leak of a blood vessel in the brain. Most often, this occurs due to uncontrolled blood pressure. Treatment primarily revolves around immediate and optimal control of blood pressure. In some situations, there may be need for surgical intervention to decompress the brain.

Stroke has adverse effects on the physiology of a person and can also cause permanent physical damage. The only way to prevent lasting impairment is getting the person the right emergency care and FAST.

 

Nursing Problems in First Time Mothers

Your first pregnancy can be very stressful, everything is about to change and you are unsure if you are ready. On the positive side, there is no dearth of information and knowledge on this particular phase of life. But an often unrecognised problem of pregnancies is the difficulty in nursing, especially the problem of flat or inverted nipples. It is a problem faced by 1 in 10 mothers and is particularly true for first-time mothers.

Breastfeeding is an important aspect of life for a new born child. The first six months of a child’s diet consists entirely of the mother’s milk. If the child has difficulty nursing, it can adversely affect the health of the infant.

A flat or inverted nipple doesn’t necessarily mean you cannot nurse an infant. There are many techniques and non-surgical treatments to ensure your child gets the nourishment he/she needs.

Also, there are many steps that you can take to correct the problem before and after the pregnancy.

Determining whether you have a flat or inverted nipple:

The very first step is to determine whether you have a flat or inverted nipple before your child is born. There is a very simple test – the pinch test helps figure out whether you have flat or inverted nipples.

The steps to follow are -

1. Grip the areola of your breast between the thumb and index finger.

2. Pinch gently but firmly an inch behind your nipple.

3. A normal nipple should protrude. If the nipple does not become erect, it is considered flat. If it retracts or disappears, it is considered inverted.

Treating flat or inverted nipple:

Knowing if you do have an inverted or flat nipple before the birth of the child is very good, since you can take measures to correct them. One such method is the Hoffman Technique, it’s an exercise that helps reduce the inversion of the nipples.

The steps to follow are -

1.Place the thumbs of both hands opposite each other at the base of the nipple.

2.Press gently but firmly into your breast.

3.While your breast is still pressed down, pull the thumbs away from each other.

4.Move your thumb to another position and repeat.

Note: Repeat this exercise twice a day at first, then work up to five times a day.

It helps to do the Hoffman Technique during pregnancy so as to prepare your nipples for breastfeeding. Exercising your nipples even after the baby is born will help in drawing them out properly and help you nurse your baby better.

If unfortunately you were not aware of the shape of your nipple during pregnancy and have difficulty feeding your child due to flat or inverted nipples, there are many items that can help protrude your nipples along with exercising them.

Pumping

One such method is pumping milk with breast pump, this will simulate the sucking action of a baby and help in breaking the adhesions under the skin of the nipple that causes the inversion or flatness of the nipple. The disadvantage is that if an infant gets attached to a bottle, it is hard to wean them off it and make them drink from the mother.

Nipple shields

Nipple shields with their silicon-based protruding nipple form with holes in the end can help the infant suck directly from the mother. Unfortunately the success rate of this method is not very high. If your child is a fussy feeder, he/she may not take to the foreign feeling of a nipple shield well.

Overall, the best method would be to try and make your baby feed from you directly. This will help in reducing the inversion or flatness of your nipple and help you bond with your child.

Wishing you a happy and comfortable pregnancy. Feel free to contact us for further information about breast feeding and child care.

Chocolate Good for the Heart

Chocolate Good for the Heart

Chocoholics have reason to celebrate today: A large new study confirms that chocolate may be good for the heart and brain. Regularly eating chocolate could cut the risk of heart disease and stroke by about one-third, says researcher Oscar H. Franco, MD, PhD, of the University of Cambridge in the U.K.

But before you indulge, a cautionary note: Chocolate bars, cookies, and drinks are high in sugar, fat, and calories, so eating too much can lead to weight gain and, you guessed it, heart disease. “Moderation is key,” Franco tells WebMD.

Chocolate Linked to 37% Lower Risk of Heart Disease

chocolate

Previous studies have suggested that chocolate may protect against high blood pressure and diabetes, both of which are risk factors for heart disease and stroke. But no large-scale study has ever looked at whether chocolate actually reduces the risk of heart disease, Franco says. So he and colleagues pooled the results of seven published studies involving more than 100,000 people that explored the association between chocolate and heart disease and strokes.

Results showed that people who ate the most chocolate had a 37% lower risk of heart disease and a 29% lower risk of stroke compared with people who ate the least amount of chocolate.

The findings were presented at the European Society of Cardiology Congress 2011 and simultaneously published online at bmj.com.

The Good Stuff in Chocolate

All of the studies reported overall how much chocolate people ate. The research didn’t distinguish between dark or milk chocolate. Any source of chocolate counted, whether chocolate bars, chocolate drinks, or chocolate cookies, for example.

The studies showed how much chocolate people ate, from never to more than once per day. Participants were followed for eight to 16 years.

The components in chocolate that might explain chocolate’s protective effects were not explored. Based on previous research though, the researchers credit what are called polyphenols, antioxidants that increase the body’s production of the chemical nitric oxide.

An increase in nitric oxide production in turn might lead to improvements in blood pressure and blood flow though arteries.

“If we knew what components [exerted the healthy effects, we would package them in a pill,” says past American Heart Association president Robert Bonow, MD, of Northwestern University in Chicago. He was not involved with the study.

Bonow tells WebMD that the study is “impressive” for its large size and the substantial reduction in heart disease and stroke associated with chocolate.

Still, the study doesn’t prove chocolate lowers the rate of heart disease. The people who ate the most chocolate in the studies could share some other characteristics that explain their better heart and brain health.

“The good news is, it’s not bad for you in appropriate quantities,” Bonow says. Franco notes that previous research suggests that dark chocolate may be best for the heart.

‘Baby Blues’ after childbirth! how to deal with it❓

If you have the “baby blues” after childbirth, you’re not alone. About half of women have a few days of mild depression after they have a baby. This can be upsetting, but it’s normal to have some insomnia, irritability, tears, overwhelmed feelings, and mood swings. Baby blues usually peak around the fourth day after the baby is born. They tend to improve in less than 2 weeks, when hormonal changes have settled down. But you can have bouts of baby blues throughout your baby’s first year.

If your depressed feelings have lasted more than 2 weeks, your body isn’t recovering from childbirth as expected.
Postpartum depression:

  • Is a serious medical condition. Without treatment, it can last a long time and make it hard for you to function. And it can affect your baby’s development.
  • Is best treated with counseling and an antidepressant medicine.
  • Can further improve with home treatment.

To prevent serious problems for you and your baby, work with your doctor now to treat your symptoms.

If you are having thoughts of hurting yourself, your baby, or anyone else,see your doctor immediately or call for emergency medical care.

How is postpartum depression treated?

Depression is a medical condition that requires treatment. It’s not a sign of weakness. Be honest with yourself and those who care about you. Tell them about your struggle. You, your doctor, and your friends and family can team up to treat your postpartum depression symptoms.

Talk to your doctor about your symptoms. Work together to decide what type of treatment is right for you. (You may also have your thyroid function checked. This test is to make sure that a thyroid problem isn’t causing your symptoms.)

Treatment options

  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy with a supportive counselor. This is recommended for all women who have postpartum depression. It can also help prevent postpartum depression. A cognitive-behavioral counselor can also teach you skills to help you manage anxiety. These skills include deep breathing and relaxation techniques.
  • Interpersonal counseling. It focuses on your relationships and the personal changes that come with having a new baby. It gives you emotional support and helps you solve problems and set goals.
  • Antidepressant medicine, ideally along with counseling. Even if you breast-feed, you can take an antidepressant for postpartum depression. Breast-feeding offers many emotional and physical benefits for both baby and mother. So experts are studying which antidepressants are most safe for breast-feeding babies. Whether or not you breast-feed, your doctor is likely to recommend a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI).

Breast-feeding babies whose mothers take an antidepressant do not often have side effects. But they can. If you are taking an antidepressant while breast-feeding, talk to your doctor and your baby’s doctor about what types of side effects to look for.

Home treatment

  • Schedule outings and visits with friends and family. Ask them to call you often. Isolation can make depression worse, especially when it’s combined with the stress of caring for a newborn.
  • Get as much sunlight as you can. Keep your shades and curtains open. And get outside as much as you can.
  • Eat a balanced diet. Avoid alcohol and caffeine. If you don’t feel hungry, eat small snacks throughout the day. Nutritional supplement shakes are also useful for keeping up your energy.
  • Get some exercise every day, such as outdoor stroller walks. Exercise helps improve mood.
  • Ask for help with preparing food and doing other daily tasks. Family and friends are often happy to help a mother with a newborn.
  • Don’t overdo it. And get as much rest and sleep as you can. Fatigue can increase depression.
  • Join a support group of moms with new babies. An infant massage class is another great way of getting out and spending time with others whose daily lives are like yours. You will also learn new ways to bond with your baby.
  • Play upbeat music throughout your day and soothing music at night.

visit: www.vikramhospital.com

credits:
ByHealthwise Staff

Benefits of Eating Frequently During Pregnancy

Pregnancy can cause many changes in your body. In pre-pregnancy days you had lots of energy, strength and stamina. You hardly ever had to worry about weight gain. But now, you are fatigued, weak, light-headed and gaining pounds rapidly. Is there any hope to effectively deal with these ongoing issues?

A simple, yet productive approach to many undesired changes in pregnancy would be to change your eating habits. Of course you should eat a healthy balanced diet stuffed with lean protein and veggies, but what about the timing of your meals?

Eating small meals every 2-3 hours has loads of benefits — not only for pregnant women, but for all people. The typical American diet revolves around three major meal times — breakfast, lunch and dinner. However, this is a less healthy way of eating. Have you noticed that the dinner portions at your favorite restaurant are noticeable larger than the lunch portions? This is exactly what you don’t want. Living in an unhealthy culture makes it more difficult to stick to a nutritious-eating plan, but if you try hard enough, you can do it!

By choosing to switch to a six to eight meals a day plan, you will most likely see an improvement in the following conditions:

Too much weight gain 
Eating frequent meals naturally speeds up your metabolism and your body burns more fat at a faster pace. This one change in your eating routine could help you slow down on the
 pregnancy weight gain.

Dizziness 
During pregnancy, dizziness can be caused by many things. Sometimes low-iron(anemia) or low blood sugar(hypoglycemia) can occur during pregnancy and can cause dizziness. Eating small snacks every 2-3 hours can help keep those conditions stable.

Nausea 
Pregnant women are more susceptible to nausea on an empty tummy. Keep the bites frequent, but low-calorie and healthy for a nausea-busting trick. Keep whole wheat crackers or healthy nuts in your purse in case you are busy and don’t have time to run home and eat.

Morning Sickness and Vomiting 
Eating frequent meals will also help
 alleviate morning sickness. Vomiting is more likely to happen if you go many hours without eating. This can be a result of low-blood sugar and other pregnancy-related ailments. So, keep snacking!

Constipation 
Digesting a large meal takes a lot of work. Give your system a break by consuming smaller meals. An easy trick for pregnant moms that work outside the home is eat half your meal at the restaurant and save half for 2-3 hours later. This way, you are still consuming your meals in more frequent intervals without breaking the work schedule.

Fatigue
Your body is going through so many changes — it’s growing a baby! Keep it fueled and charged with powerful, energy snacks throughout the day.

Low-blood sugar. 
Eating frequently will aid in keeping blood sugar levels normal. Low blood sugar can wreak havoc on your day. It can cause irritability, extreme fatigue, rapid heartbeats, panic attacks, and breathlessness. Stay away from refined sugars and simple carbohydrates, as these can also cause your blood sugar to spike, but then dip dangerously low.

HeadachesPregnancy headaches are typically a result of stress, low blood sugar, fatigue or anemia. Starting this small meal plan will help control those issues and lower the amount of headaches you experience during pregnancy.

Just knowing that your health and comfort during pregnancy could be changed drastically by following a more frequent meal plan is reason enough to get started! Here is a sample menu of what your six to eight meals could look like.

  • 7 am: One cup healthy cereal with fresh fruit and skim milk
  • 10 am: One cup of non-fat yogurt and a handful of almonds, pistachios or walnuts
  • 1 pm: One serving of hummus with fresh veggies, a glass of skim milk or fruit juice
  • 3 pm: One 8 oz carton of cottage cheese with sliced peaches or strawberries, two pieces wheat toast
  • 5 pm: Small serving of lean protein served with brown rice and sautéed green beans.
  • 7 pm: One apple, sliced with peanut butter
  • 9 pm: Glass of skim milk and a handful of whole wheat crackers

Take thought throughout the day to keep drinking lots of water. Water will help you digest your meals and keep everything moving in the digestive system. Also, remember this is only a sample suggestion for a small-meal plan. Your diet may need more or less carbs, more or less protein or other specific nutritional values.

Alison Wood is a stay-at-home mom of six and freelance writer and blogger. She enjoys raising her six children and desires to share her experiences to help other mothers

Men Who Ejaculate More Have Lower Prostate Cancer Risks

An epidemiological study of 30,000 American men by Michael Leitzman, a cancer researcher at the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, Maryland, has found that men who enjoy an active sex life do not risk prostate cancer in later life.

There has been a suggested link with greater sexual activity and increased incidents of prostate cancer in previous scientific data because of the link with the male hormone testosterone and its effect on promoting cancer cell growth.

Leitzmann’s findings were that men who ejaculate between 13 and 20 times a month had a 14% lower risk of prostate cancer that men who ejaculated on average, between 4 and 7 times a month for most of their adult life. Men who ejaculated upwards of 21 times a month had a 33% lower lifetime risk of prostate cancer than the baseline group.
The study of predominantly white professional males would seem to suggest, as Mr. Leitzmann himself says, ‘the finding warrant further investigation’.

What Is Prostate Cancer?
Prostate cancer is the most common cancer among American men, right behind skin cancer. Prostate cancer is also the second most deadly cancer in American men. Prostate cancer is more frequent among African American men than it is among white men. Furthermore, African American men are more likely to die of prostate cancer than are white men.
The vast majority of prostate cancers are a type of cancer called adenocarcinoma.
Adenocarcinomas arise from cells that produce fluids like mucus.

What Are the Symptoms of Prostate Cancer?
Many people who are otherwise healthy and have prostate cancer exhibit no symptoms. Eventually, when the cancer grows large enough or spreads, prostate cancer can cause a variety of symptoms including the following:
• problems urinating due to obstruction (slow or weak stream);
• frequent nighttime urination (nocturia);
• blood in the urine;
• erectile dysfunction (trouble getting an erection);
• pain in the hips, back and other bones (once the cancer has spread or metastasized);
• weakness in the legs and feet (due to metastatic tumors pressing on the spinal cord) .
Please note that if you have a weakened urinary stream or you’re peeing a lot at night (nocturia), this doesn’t automatically mean that you have prostate cancer. In fact, a much more common cause of weak urine stream is benign prostatic hypertrophy (BPH), a condition which isn’t cancerous. Nevertheless, if you’re experiencing any of the above symptoms, you must see your physician as soon as possible.

How Is Prostate Cancer Treated?
Here’s the thing about prostate cancer: Not everybody who has it goes on to die of the cancer. Many older men die of other causes before the cancer becomes severe. Although it’s imperative that anybody who is suspected of having prostate cancer be screened and, if needed, staged for the disease, a physician may decide to forego treatment in lieu of “watchful waiting.”

However, certain people–like those with advanced disease that has spread or metastasized–require treatment.

Here are some treatments for prostate cancer:
• watchful waiting
• surgery
• chemotherapy
• radiation therapy
• hormone therapy
• vaccine therapy (there exists a prostate cancer vaccine called Provenge that induces the body to attack prostate cancer cells)
• cryotherapy (cryosurgery)
• bone-directed therapy

Know more: http://www.vikramhospital.com/specialities/urology/

Sources
Ejaculation Frequency and Subsequent Risk of Prostate Cancer. Michael F. Leitzmann, MD; Elizabeth A. Platz, ScD; Meir J. Stampfer, MD; Walter C. Willett, MD; Edward Giovannucci, MD JAMA. 2004;291:1578-1586