Jaundice in Adults: Causes and cure

The common understanding of jaundice is that it is a disease that makes your skin and the whites of your eyes go yellow, which happens when there is a lot of bilirubin, a yellow substance, in your blood. But the fact is, that jaundice is not the disease, but a symptom of an underlying condition. It is when haemoglobin is broken down as a part of the normal process of recycling the old or damaged red blood cells when bilirubin forms. It travels through the liver in the bloodstream where it blends with bile and moves to the digestive tract which then gets eliminated from the body. While some bilirubin passes out in the stool and passes out in the urine.

The problem is when the bilirubin does not move through the liver and bile ducts very quickly that it starts building up in the blood and starts depositing in the skin giving it a yellow colour resulting in jaundice. The symptom is also judged through dark-coloured urine and light-coloured stool as well.

Causes 

  • Hepatitis – an inflammation in the liver resulting in a damaged liver resulting in less movement of bilirubin in the bile ducts.
  • Alcoholic liver disease – Consuming a lot of alcohol can result in damaging their liver. Other drugs and toxins can also lead to cirrhosis of the liver.
  • Blockage of the bile duct – When the bile ducts are blocked the bilirubin starts to build up in the blood resulting in blockages caused by gallstone or cancer or liver disorders.
  • A reaction to a drug which might damage the liver, interfere in the flow of the bile or initiate the destruction of red blood cells resulting in producing extra bilirubin than the liver can handle

Other causes include hereditary disorders which decide how the body processes the bilirubin. Other is Gilbert syndrome where bilirubin levels are slightly increased but are not enough to cause jaundice, which is detected in a routine screen test but this does not cause symptoms and no problems.

Cure 

The cure for jaundice is a watchful waiting where rest is advised along with a medical treatment which consists of antibiotics or blood transfusions if required. If there is a worst-case scenario a liver transplant is also done. Jaundice is not the disease, but indicative of the of liver dysfunction.  If the cause of the jaundice is a blocked bile duct, medical procedure might also be needed to open the ducts. This process is done through ERCP where an endoscopy instrument is threaded inside the liver.

How to Make Staying Healthy a Habit?

A positive step becomes a habit only when you are consistent in keeping pace with each passing day. Staying healthy is a good habit to hold on to not only to keep fit but also to have a healthy body for a better future that is dependent on a nourished self and not medicines. Here is a list of some quick and easy tips that you can follow to make staying healthy a habit and these are really easy to follow.

1 – Keep Self Motivated – There are nothing and no one better than the inner voice self that can keep you motivated. Be around a peer group that talks about health to keep you motivated. Make sure you say no to smoking and drinking, do not overeat and keep off the extra calories, drinking fewer aerated drinks and drink more water to keep fit. Exercise well to keep yourself kicked.

2 – Take one step at a time – Small and minor changes at a time are the key to laying a strong and deep foundation to your confidence. Start small and keep on adding to your efforts. Make an exercise regime, add more fiber to your food, avoid fats, choose to use stairs than using the lift, eat lots of veggies, prefer to walk a lot in the day.

3 – Forgive and Forget – Not only will this keep you motivated but will help you to go easy on you. you must avoid overeating but if you do, do not lose your sleep. Eat well and in moderation and make sure you never go hungry. Couple your mid meals with fruits to keep hydrated.

4 – Keep calm – Accept the fact that you will make a practice a habit slowly and steadily. You need not make a commitment at the start, you must take small steps at a time which will keep you motivated. Also, embrace how you look. Eating and adopting healthy as a habit can also be done while enjoying the size you are at the present. Even if you are thin or obese you can still embrace small achievements and keep happy with the little pleasures each good habit is giving you.

Follow the above tips to keep content with yourself and feel motivated at the same time. Planning to take the next step is the key to every problem in the world, you must be well equipped emotionally to keep healthy and manage to be healthy as a habit too.

The Myth About Being Thin as Being Unhealthy

Like beauty comes in all shapes and sizes and like how you must not judge the book by its cover, many people tend to think to be thin or being fat has to do with being healthy. A body can be healthy irrespective of your weight. If you are lean genetically and are being constantly reminded to feast like a king, you must note that this is a myth that being thin is being unhealthy. There is a lot of misinformation and stigma on how weight affects health. All the research that work on weight and height consider the BMI as a primary index. BMI is the body mass index that is calculated on the weight in kgs of the person divided by the height of the person in meter square.

On average BMI between 18.5 and 24.9 is considered to be normal, all numbers below are considered underweight, above 25 is considered to be overweight and above 30 is considered to be obese. All medical researchers use the BMI matrix to make it a base to find the obese range. As per a study published in the International Journal of Obesity in 2016, found that out of the 4000 participants, half of the BMIs in the obese range and 29% of those in the obese range were considered to be metabolically healthy.

As the world around us embraces the ideal weight and body shape, an obese or a lean person who does not fit the bill as per the society norms feel disheartened. But the fact is even if you are not a body type or fall into the orthodox you can still feel happy and be healthy inside at the same time.

A healthy lifestyle is a must whatever size you are. Make sure you are eating a lot of greens in your food, avoid unhealthy fast food to keep fit on the inside because at the end of the day what matters is not how you look but how healthy you are on the inside. Get inspired, feel the body gratitude, have lots of water and keep nourished to slay the way you are.

Viral Fever: How to beat viral fever?

When the body temperature rises due to an infection caused by influenza viruses, it is called a viral fever. Besides high fever, these viral infections can also cause headaches, cough, cold, body aches, burning in eyes, nausea, and vomiting. There are a variety of viral infections ranging from the common cold to the flu that can affect the human body. Viral fevers with a temperature above 41°C can trigger convulsions and is extremely life-threatening.

Viral fevers are usually seen among older adults and children whose immune system is weak. Although fever is not an illness, it might be a symptom of underlying viral infection.

The most common symptoms of viral fevers are:

  • High temperature

  • Shivering caused by chills

  • Feeling hot and sweaty

  • Muscle/ Body/ Head Ache

  • Cough and cold

  • Dehydration

  • Loss of appetite

Taking antibiotics won’t cure viral fevers. Antibiotics will only work on bacterias and not on viruses. Those with a poor immune system are highly recommended to get a flu shot before the flu season. Flu shots can help especially during the senior years when the immune system may be compromised. Although viral fevers are not fatal, it is advisable to seek medical assistance to avoid complications. Home remedies do not treat viral fever but guarantee comfort. A bowl of hot soup, vaporub, keeping warm help the patient feel good.

Viral fevers and its symptoms can be taken care of to a large extent with prevention techniques. The conventional preventive methods like washing your hands before and after having food and covering the mouth and nose while sneezing and coughing are the best ways to avoid catching as well as spreading viral infections. It is important not to have direct contact with a sick person as viral infections are very contagious. Always keep children away from those people who exhibit symptoms of viral fevers because children, especially infants have an immune system that is not developed fully. Mosquito bites are also a leading cause behind viral infections like dengue. Using mosquito repellents and mosquito nets while sleeping can reduce the chances of mosquito bites. It is also advisable to shut the doors and windows before sunset to avoid mosquitoes entering the home.

Despite taking preventive methods, it is common to catch viral infections, especially during flu season. But viral fevers are easily curable if given medical care at the right time. It is advisable to seek medical assistance as soon as a patient starts exhibiting the symptoms. The patients are also recommended to stay hydrated all while getting good rest. Eating healthy foods that makes the immune system stronger will help a patient recover from viral fevers sooner. However, once a human body gets infected with a virus, it takes nearly three to ten days to get disinfected with the virus. So it demands immense patience and regular medications to beat viral fevers.

Preparing yourself for an exam: Beating stress

It’s that time of the year, kids are worried and parents are worried even more. With sleepless nights and the constant pressure of coming first stresses students out.  Our brains are wired to take some stress, but incessant stress is a deterrent in growth. The first thing to do when preparing for any exam to calm down. Acknowledge that an exam is important, but it isn’t the end of the world. We lay too much focus on retaining information rather than understanding it. Spending considerable time understanding a concept will help reduce the stress to a great degree.  When we are stressed, our brains tend to release a high amount of a hormone called cortisol. Cortisol will affect our normal thinking processes. This will affect our performance during the exam. So de-stressing is important for improving productivity as it helps in absorbing more information. Below are a few tricks to de-stress yourself during this exam season.

Plan your time accordingly and appreciate your efforts

As a parent, it is understandable that you want your child to make the most of every waking minute, but know that that’s neither practical nor healthy. Create a time table to accommodate a child’s interests.  Once you make an achievable timetable and start following it, you will start feeling more relieved. A time table with effective time management ensures the right amount of rest and activity. A personal study plan can reassure you that the portions will be covered and thus you will feel less stressed. It helps the child become more productive and stay motivated throughout the study leave. Also, you could give them a treat when you accomplish the tasks which you assigned for yourself.

Drink, Eat and avoid!

It is very important to have healthy food during preparation time. Food must include items with a lot of Vitamin C as it has the ability to reduce cortisol and blood pressure. Since the human body doesn’t produce vitamin C, it is necessary to include it in the diet. For example, guava, strawberry, orange, papaya, etc. are a few fruits and vegetables rich with vitamin C. Also, staying hydrated can reduce the stress level to a large extent. Drinking tea and eating dark chocolate will effectively help in reducing stress. However, coffee which contains caffeine is a stimulant. It increases the stress level rather than bringing it down. It is advisable to avoid coffee although it feels like it keeps you awake. Try drinking herbal tea or hot chocolate instead.

Say no Distractions

Distractions are common, if it isn’t social media, it is a game on the phone, if it isn’t that its something else. It is impossible to not be distracted, but the idea is to come back to our ‘task at hand’ quickly. Mobile phones, especially social media can have a big negative impact on during the exam time. Make sure to switch off all the notifications. Switching your phone off or putting it on airplane mode might also work during these times. There are several apps that can help you control your mobile usage.

Breathe fresh air 

Exercise is key when it comes to boosting productivity. The release of happy hormones are essential to ace an exam!  Exercising or sweating out reduces the stress level too. Physical activities help in better blood circulation which makes one more active and energetic. Physical activities can be anything from playing on the ground to hitting the gym. Yoga or meditation can also reduce the stress level as you will feel more at peace after a meditation.

Revise with mock tests

Revising is as important as studying. Revising gives a sort of reassurance which reduces stress. It is also important not to overdo it. Mock tests can help in evaluating what areas need improving on. Mock tests boost confidence in attending an exam

Along with all the mentioned tips, it is very vital to get enough rest too. Don’t forget to include 7-10 hours of sleep in the routine. We usually get stressed because of the fear of failing, lack of preparation, pressure from family, difficulty to study, etc. Sometimes all we need might be someone to talk to. Never hold up the pressure and stress as it might have a bad impact on the future. Talk to a dear friend or a family member and also, never hesitate to seek medical assistance or counseling in case you feel very stressed up or tired. Deal with exam stress with courage and come out with flying colors!

Understand that an exam is just an evaluation of how much you’ve learned. Don’t attach your self worth to how well you do. It isn’t the end of the world.

How to care for your heart?

Heart failure occurs when the heart muscle doesn’t pump blood as efficiently as it should. Narrowed arteries in the heart or high blood pressure can eventually cause this problem. Heart failures can be hereditary too. Whatsoever, heart failure must be discerned as a warning sign from the heart and the body. Moreover, it is very important to take care of your heart even when you haven’t been diagnosed with a heart problem. A few lifestyle changes alone can bring in big changes to a heart.

1. Drink wisely and eat healthily

Fluid buildup is a common phenomenon seen in heart patients. It is an accumulation of water in the body. It is important to keep track and control of the fluid and salt intake as salt or sodium helps the body to hold on to water. Eating foods with less sodium will also help in reducing blood pressure. Foods with saturated and trans fat must be replaced with unsaturated fat to reduce the risk of heart disease. People with heart problems must include whole grains, low-fat dairy products, skinless poultry, nuts, legumes, fish, and a lot of fruits and vegetables in the diet. It is most preferred to avoid sweets, red meats, and sugar-sweetened beverages

2. Identify Symptoms and never skip medicines

People prone to heart failures or those who already have heart problems must always keep track of the symptoms. Any type of discomfort in the heart or any other areas in the upper body part, shortness of breath along with cold sweat, nausea or lightheadedness should immediately be taken to a doctor. Sudden numbness, confusion, trouble in walking, severe headache, etc. might be symptoms of stroke and requires immediate medical assistance.

Medicines are also equally important as they can be lifesavers. Patients who never skip medicines reduce the risk of heart failures. Setting medicine alarms or carrying a pillbox around might be helpful in this case.

3. Staying physically active

Every person requires a certain amount of physical exercise. People prone to heart problems must have at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity every week. Regular physical activity can help a person in maintaining weight, reducing stress, keeping the BP and cholesterol under check. Physical activities can also enhance the strength, flexibility, and balance of the body.

4. Checkups and keeping everything under control

It is necessary to have a yearly check-up even if you are not a heart patient. This checkup should also include monitoring of blood pressure, cholesterol, and diabetes, besides the heart checkup.

5. Quit smoking and avoid alcohol and caffeine

Nicotine content in tobacco can increase the risk of heart diseases. Smoking can cause stickiness or clumping in the blood vessels. Being smoke-free can not only reduce the risk for heart failures but improves the entire body mechanism. Similarly, alcohol and caffeine intake must also be brought under control. Although a moderate amount of intake is admissible, it is always better to consult a doctor before making decisions on these matters.

6. A healthy lifestyle with a healthy weight

A healthy lifestyle is a key to heart-care. Making a few lifestyle changes can be a real game-changer. It is also necessary to keep these as a regular routine for attaining ultimate results. A healthy lifestyle should include healthy and rich food, exercises, meditation, and a lot more. Along with making a healthy lifestyle a habit, it is also important to maintain a healthy weight. Sudden weight gain/loss can be a symptom of developing heart failure. Heart patients must weigh themselves every day before breakfast, preferably one time before urinating and one time after urinating. Notable fluctuation in weight changes should be taken to the doctor.

7. Staying positive

Make yoga/meditation a part of a healthy lifestyle. This will help a person in managing stress. People having heart diseases have a higher chance of falling into depression. This should also be taken into notice. It is important for that patient to talk with the doctor or an immediate family member about what they are going through. Any treatment or precaution will only work on a mind which stays positive.

Cardio Vascular Issues in Runners

Bengaluru is a runner’s paradise. The cool and comfortable weather makes it ideal for people to wear their running shoes and hit the road. Marathon running is picking up, not just in Bangalore but all over the world. Marathoners run a stupendous 42.2km course. Marathons originated in ancient Greece, in commemoration of the fabled run of the Greek soldier Pheidippides, a messenger from the Battle of Marathon to Athens, who reported the victory. While modern marathoners may be channeling their inner Pheidippides to conquer this incredible feat, it begs the question – just because they can, should they?

There has been a lot of speculation around marathon running and its effect on heart health. Although a healthy lifestyle is essential for maintaining heart health, running a marathon may be doing the opposite. Without the right training, the right lifestyle and a clean bill of health from your doctor, signing up for a marathon may be a bad idea.

The human body is not meant for extreme sports, in fact, research suggests that humans aren’t meant for running. While walking comes naturally to people, running much like swimming takes skill, preparation and could potentially injure the runner if done poorly. As such, running puts a lot of stress on the body, but 26 miles pushes your body to its extreme.

While running a marathon may not necessarily be considered bad, coupled with a family history of heart disease and the sedentary lifestyle it could be causing people to collapse during their attempt at taking on the might marathon.

If you are planning on running long distances, the first thing to do is get a clean bill of health. Even preparing to run requires some amount of exertion that needs to be ‘okayed’ by a medical professional. As an aspiring runner, you must focus on your overall health, all year round. By maintaining a good diet,  by sleeping on time and being conscious of your weight are just a few things that are absolutely essential.

Even a 5K ‘ joy run’ is a strenuous event. Ensure that you’ve had enough water before and during the run. If at some point you feel tired or feel like you are about to faint, take a break. The point of the marathon is not to come ‘first’. You have to understand that your competition is with yourself and listening to your body is an absolute must!

 

Hypertension during pregnancy

Pregnancy is a beautiful feeling for both parents. While pregnancy feels wonderful, it comes with its own share of symptoms of feeling tired, bloating, mood swings, swollen feet and much more. What more comes along during pregnancy is hypertension which is very common but yes high blood pressure can cause harm during and after delivery. Fret not, hypertension is curable and preventable too.

What is Hypertension?

Hypertension is the other name of high blood pressure. BP higher than or equal to 130/80mm Hg is high BP. A BP higher than 130/80mm Hg during pregnancy is considered to be a concern.

Complications during pregnancy – The mothers might just need a labor induction to give birth or placental abruption where the placenta separates from the wall of the uterus. The baby might suffer from an early birth i.e. before 37 weeks of pregnancy with low birth weight coz the high blood pressure in the mother makes it difficult for the baby to get oxygen and food to grow resulting in early delivery of the baby.

Causes of Hypertension?

  • Weight of the mothers
  • smoking and drinking, Taking stress about the first time delivery
  • family history of similar hypertension
  • Age – Women over the age of 35 years expecting a baby are at a higher risk of high blood pressure.
  • Hormonal misbalance

Types of Hypertension range from Chronic Hypertension which occurs during the initial 20 weeks of pregnancy and can be treated with BP medicines, Gestational Hypertension that develops after the 20th week of pregnancy and when hypertension is diagnosed during or before 30 weeks there is a chance for the mothers to develop preeclampsia when they release protein in the urine and have/or might have other complications as well during the pregnancy cycle.

The symptoms of Hypertension other than the numbers reflected on the BP machine are consistent headache, feeling of dizziness, nausea, feeling low and experiencing cold and clammy skin. You can easily avoid high blood pressure by consuming the medications on time, eat healthy food where you consume food with less salt, staying active and not indulge in smoking, drinking or consuming drugs. Keeping safe is in your hands for you and your child to be healthy. Always keep walking and avoid long hours of sitting. A healthy weight of the mother and the child should be ideal to avoid medications and a smooth pregnancy journey!