Vaccinations: What vaccinations do adults need?

Do you think vaccinations are for kids? Well, whoever put that idea into your mind was wrong. Vaccinations make you immune to certain diseases. But most of the immunizations dwindle as the years pass by, leaving you and your body at high risk to many ailments.

Your body’s demand for immunizations doesn’t just stop as you become an adult. It is necessary to stay up-to-date with several immunizations at specific ages for the best protection. This article includes the list of vaccines which are required during your adult life

Shingles

Shingles are caused by the varicella-zoster virus. This virus is also responsible for chickenpox. Shingles vaccine will protect you from the chances of rashes and even from chickenpox. It also reduces the risk/severity of developing ongoing nerve-pain. This vaccine is recommended for adults aged 50 or over.

Pneumococcal

Pneumococcal diseases are infections caused by a bacteria named Streptococcus Pneumoniae or pneumococcus. These infections can be as small as ear/sinus infections or can be as threatening as pneumonia/bloodstream diseases. The pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine reduces your risk of getting infected from 23 types of pneumococcal bacteria. Adults over the age of 65, adults with chronic diseases like diabetes, heart disease, etc. and active smokers are suggested to take this vaccine as a precaution.

Influenza shots

The seasonal Influenza vaccine protects you from seasonal flu. Every adult or everyone over the age of 6 months must just get a flu shot every year to reduce the risk of flu and fatal infections caused by them. Also, this vaccine is highly recommended to adults with chronic illnesses like asthma, heart disease, diabetes and those above the age of 65.

Tetanus

Tetanus infection is caused by a bacteria called Clostridium tetani. This bacteria produces a toxin that contracts the muscles throughout the body. The tetanus vaccine protects you from those bacteria. Once the regular tetanus shot is taken, every adult needs a tetanus booster every 10 years. One of the tetanus shot has to be Tdap vaccine to avoid tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis. It is mandatory for women during pregnancy.

Hepatitis

Hepatitis vaccine prevents the liver from Hepatitis A and Hepatitis B viruses. These viruses can induce life-threatening effects on the liver. Every adult dealing with exposed body fluids of patients must take the Hepatitis B vaccine. Also, the adults who travel a lot are preferred to get a shot of the Hepatitis B vaccine.

Others

Apart from the above-mentioned vaccines, adults are also recommended to take vaccines against HPV-Human Papillomavirus to reduce the risk of certain cancers. There are other diseases like measles, mumps, rubella and meningococcal diseases that can also be prevented by periodic vaccinations.

Why suffer for something that can be avoided? Stay up-to-date with vaccination as it is one of the safest methods to protect yourself.

Putting mental health first: Dealing with anxiety

Some people find it hard to keep their stress, anxiety, nervousness, and tension under control. If anxiety or worry feels like too much to bear with, it can be a sign of anxiety disorder. Anxiety can be a real joy killer for your life. Putting mental health first by coping up with anxiety might sound unattainable to mind-disturbed people. However, below are a few hacks to deal with your anxiety and stress.

1. Understanding your self is the key. Write down your thoughts.

Most of the time, when anxiety strikes you, you don’t even realize what is happening to you. It will start becoming a normal routine, which you will start getting adjusted to. Eventually, you will start believing it is normal.

Self-realization is the key to face your anxiety. Know what you are going through. Acknowledge your concerns. The concerns might include persistent, excessive, and unrealistic worrying about anything and everything. Write down your daunting fears. This can help you get your anxiety out of your head. When you write down about what makes you anxious, you tend to feel more relaxed.

2. This is Okay! Take a long breath!

Yes. What you are going through is completely fine. There is nothing to be ashamed of about anxiety nor depression. When you feel anxious take a few cleansing breaths. Taking a couple of diaphragmatic breaths through the nose and letting it out through mouth at regular intervals can work in the long run. You can also set a breathing alarm to never miss out on your breathing breaks. Mediating for a few hours daily can be helpful for people dealing with anxiety. Apart from that, mini-meditations can also be a stress buster during your busy schedule. The best thing about mini-meditation is that it can be done on a train or while walking down the street or at an airport while waiting for your flight or even when you are in an elevator.

Besides meditations, doing yoga or walking every day can help you too. Anxiety can be controlled to a large extent when you divert your focus from mind to your body.

3. Face your fears.

Negative thoughts have the power to worsen the situation. You can face the situation by questioning your negative thoughts. Talkback to your fears. Ask them whether they are true. Once you continue to do this, you will realise there is a point where you can take back the control. So instead of strengthening your negative thoughts by overthinking, you can talk back to your fears and take control. This is going to be a long journey, but you will find the light at the end of the tunnel, for sure.

4. Smell it out.

Aromatherapy helps in activating certain receptors in the brain which is believed to have the potential to reduce anxiety. So lighting scented candles, incense sticks, or diffusing scents like lavender, sandalwood, and chamomile in any form can be soothing to your mind and help you relax a bit.

5. Never alone!

Millions of people out there live with an anxiety disorder. Although these statistics won’t solve your problem, you should know that you are not alone. You should know that your health is important and there are people out there willing to help you no matter what. And it is completely OKAY to put you first, at least at times. Be easy on yourself and start sharing your feelings with the right people. The set of right people might include parents, friends, spouses, and more importantly medical help. Don’t ever let anything consume you. Not even ANXIETY. Because YOU ARE IMPORTANT.

To cope with anxiety, you can also try focusing on a particular object, repeating a mantra, closing your eyes for a while and even going to a happy place will help you relieve your stress. You must follow a healthy daily routine with exercise and diet which includes supplements like green tea, ashwagandha, dark chocolate, lemon balm, omega-3 fatty acids, and valerian root. Above all, talk to a counselor or psychiatrist for practical remedies and help.

Indian superfoods you must include in your diet

Superfoods are food that is rich in nutrients and exceptionally beneficial for health and well-being. It’s important to include superfoods in your diet to keep your diet nutrient-dense. They are often associated with food such as broccoli and avocados. In reality, you can find many superfoods in your kitchen at home.

Choose these below Indian superfoods to help improve your health and get rid of toxins from your body:

1. Ghee

Most often dismissed due to its high-fat content, ghee is rich in antioxidants and aids in strengthening the immune system. If consumed on a regular basis, it also improves digestion, promotes brain function and strengthens bones. A single tablespoon a day is all it takes so, add it over your rice, rotis or just about any dish to enjoy all its nutritional benefits.

2. Amla

Commonly known as the Indian gooseberry, Amla is another superfood that helps strengthen the immune system. Along with having strong antioxidising capabilities, the fruit is rich in vitamins and promotes the growth of hair, skin and nails. It is also a natural remedy for those suffering from the common cold, many chronic skin conditions and it even helps regulate blood sugar levels. You can consume this superfruit once a day in the form of juice or chutney.

3. Turmeric

We have been hearing about the medicinal properties of Haldi milk for decades. Turmeric is a detoxifying agent that helps significantly improve cardiovascular health, enhance liver functions and fight inflammations as well. Coming from the root of the Curcuma longa plant, this spice is easy to incorporate into almost any dish and is favourable for the bright yellow colour it adds. Even the West is beginning to catch-up with the health benefits of the Indian spice.

4. Ragi

Highly recommended for diabetics, ragi is a super grain that greatly lends a hand in regulating blood sugar levels. Since it is also rich in iron and vitamin D, it reduces the chances of getting a stroke. Loaded with calcium and fiber, it is the ideal alternative for those who are allergic to gluten and lactose. Adding ragi into your diet will also help with weight loss.

5. Curd

We know curd as a great source of calcium which helps strengthen our bones and muscles. Those who regularly consume curd can also benefit from enhanced digestion and improved cardiovascular health and immunity. It is also a common food for diet plans for weight loss and de-stressing.

6. Jackfruit

For a more nutritious energy boost, go for a jackfruit. Since this superfood can be a fruit, nut and carbohydrate, it is considered a whole meal which can be consumed in place of rice or rotis. It is rich in vitamins, fibre, and phytonutrients that instantly energize your body when consumed. It can also help with weight loss, reduce cholesterol and even beat diabetes. Because of its meat-like tenderness, it is also known as the Indian vegan substitute for meat.

7. Makhanas

Sold in the market as lotus seeds, makhanas are a great healthy snack option to keep around the house. Not only are they low in fat, but they are also rich in protein, iron, zinc and magnesium. Makhanas can also help people de-stress and sleep better. These superfoods are proven to help slow down the ageing process as well.

The Indian superfoods list is a long one and includes many other food items such as drumsticks, daliya and jau. They are very simple to add to your diet and can make a world of difference to your mental, emotional and physical well-being. It’s time to switch to superfoods and get the whole family involved in the routine.

Geriatric care: Basics of caring for older individuals

Geriatric medicine is the stream of science that deals with the health care of older adults. Geriatric care demands attention and careful supervision rather than treatments. Aging can also increase the susceptibility to several diseases in older adults. Here we present before you a few tips to provide the best care for the senior citizens.

Educate yourself about the common ailments in seniors

The medical necessities of a human being change with age. The most common medical problems encountered by older adults include memory loss, dementia, heart conditions, and delirium. You have to be aware of the ways to deal with these issues while dealing with senior citizens. The memory-related ailments should be dealt with patience. Also, physical, as well as mental concerns, should be taken care of with proper medical assistance.

Support them in staying active and in socializing

With the help of their doctor or physiotherapist, you can build an exercise routine for your loved one which will help them stay active at least 150 minutes a week. You can also accompany them during their exercises to make sure they never get bored and skips their routine. Apart from regular exercise, you can always take your loved ones for nature walks, which would also help them in socializing. Socialising can make them feel secure emotionally, physically, and mentally. For the same reason, it is very important to encourage them to socialize with society.

Homes should be senior-friendly

You have to make sure the place your loved one stays in is safe and is accessible. From installing bars or railings in bathrooms to making non-slippery floors/ stairs, extra care must be put into the living space of an older adult. You can note down the requirements of your loved one and talk with an architect to adopt those ideas to implement senior-friendly amenities in their living space.

Helping them in daily chores

Older people might find certain chores difficult. But most of the time they might be also hesitant to ask for help. However, they might expect us to understand their needs and act accordingly. You can always talk to them and offer help on things they find difficult to do. Buying grocery for them or driving them to hospitals for regular check-ups etc. can give them a feeling of reassurance.

Age demands respect

It is our responsibility to give the respect they deserve. Keeping their dignity intact is the best act of care to provide them during their senior days. Many of them may have gone through things we can only imagine and respecting their experiences and age will be the foremost thing they expect from us.

Above are a few tips to make the lives of your loved ones happier and more peaceful. Along with all this, it is also important to seek immediate medical assistance in case of any emergencies, rather than going with home remedies.

What is a TMT test?

Treadmill test (TMT) is a form of exercise test where a stress test is performed while the person is exercising on a treadmill during the course of an Electro Cardiogram (ECG). The purpose of a TMT is majorly to compare blood circulation in the heart when the person is resting and when under optimum physical pressure. Abnormal heart rhythms can be detected while exercising and therefore diagnose the presence or absence of coronary artery diseases.

The test involves walking on a treadmill while the electrical activity of the heart is being monitored. The speed and incline of the treadmill are increased throughout the span of the test. The result shows how well the heart responds to the stress of different levels of exercise. The blood pressure, heart rate and electrocardiogram (ECG) are monitored before, during and after the test. Adhesive electrodes and mild abrasion are used to ensure good quality ECG. The person is advised to walk as long as possible because the test is effort-dependent.  It is also important for the person to tell the technologist if he experiences symptoms such as chest pain, dizziness and unusual shortness of breath or extreme fatigue. The blood pressure, heart rate, and ECG are monitored for 3 to 5 minutes after the exercise. The data is reviewed by a cardiologist.

The patient is advised against eating or drinking anything other than water for nearly 4 hours before the test. If the patient is diabetic, he should consult the doctor on the quantity of insulin that can be injected on the day of the test. If the person is under medicine for diabetes he should only resume taking them only after the test has been administered. Comfortable clothes and shoes should be worn for the test.

A TMT is performed to identify a congenital heart problem like Coronary Artery Disease (CAD) where coronary arteries get clogged, diseased or damaged. It is also used to determine the condition of the heart after a person went through angioplasty or heart-attack. Shallow breathing, dizziness, chest discomfort, and abrupt bodily weakness are some of the repressed conditions that can be detected through a TMT. A TMT can also be used to monitor the effectiveness of medicines on angina and ischemia.  It also helps in discerning any abnormal heartbeat rate because of exertion caused by exercise.

TMT is now widely available at a relatively low cost. It is used to estimate prognosis and determine functional capacity. It helps in assessing the probability and extent of coronary disease.

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.

Obesity Related Health Problems in Adults

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Being obese isn’t just a cosmetic issue; it greatly increases the risk for other health problems. Obesity leads to metabolic syndrome which is a group of risk factors that raises the risk for heart disease and other health problems, such as diabetes and stroke. Weight loss surgery in India has given hope to many obese people and has helped in reversing obesity-related health problems.

Coronary Heart Disease and Stroke

As the body mass index rises, the risk of coronary heart disease and stroke increases. CHD is a condition in which a waxy substance called plaque builds up inside the coronary arteries that supply oxygen-rich blood to the heart. Plaque can narrow or block the coronary arteries and reduce blood flow to the heart muscle which can cause chest pain or heart attack. If an area of plaque ruptures and cause a blood clot to form and if the clot is close to the brain, it can block the flow of blood and oxygen to the brain and cause a stroke. Obesity can also lead to heart failure, a serious condition in which the heart cannot pump enough blood to meet the body’s needs.

High Blood Pressure

Obesity increases the risk of developing high blood pressure. If blood pressure stays high over time, it can damage the body in many ways.

Type 2 Diabetes

Being obesity exerts extra stress on the body in a variety of ways, including the body’s ability to maintain proper blood glucose levels. In fact, being obese can cause the body to become resistant to insulin. The prolonged effects of the insulin resistance can eventually cause type 2 diabetes. Diabetes increases the risk of CHD, stroke, kidney disease, and blindness.

Dyslipidemia

Obesity increases the risk of having abnormal levels of blood fats. These include high levels of triglycerides and LDL cholesterol and low levels of HDL cholesterol. Abnormal levels of these blood fats are a risk factor for cardiovascular diseases.

Cancer

Being obese raises the risk for colon, breast, endometrial, and gallbladder cancers.

Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis is a common joint problem of the knees, hips, and lower back. The condition occurs if the tissue that protects the joints wears away. Extra weight can exert more pressure on joints resulting in wear and tear causing excruciating pain.

 

 

Sleep Apnoea and Snoring

Obesity causes sleep apnoea and snoring as excess fat stored around the neck narrows down the airway, making it hard to breathe. Sleep apnoea can cause high blood pressure, stress and sleeplessness that can be detrimental to health.

Reproductive Problems

Obesity can cause menstrual issues and infertility in women.

All these conditions results in reduced life expectancy in obese people. In fact, the heavier the individual weighs and the younger the age, greater is the effect on the health. Weight loss surgery in India is usually recommended to obese people with one or more metabolic syndromes.  Fight obesity and win back health and longevity.