What to do if your child is Overweight?

Children today spend greater time with their gadgets than doing some outdoor activities. Limited physical activity results in poor metabolism and fat accumulation that results in your child getting overweight. But this is not okay for your child in the long run as it can cause serious health issues and affect their lives.

Here are a few tips to start with:

Set a goal

It is advisable to consult a paediatrician. It’s okay for kids to gain weight as they are in a growing stage. A doctor will help you to set a weight goal as per their height and metabolism. This will give you a more realistic goal before you start working on reducing your child’s weight.

No dieting

Don’t put your child on a major calorie cutting plan. Kids need the right proportion of food and the right nutrients for their growth.

Be a role model

 Parents can instill good habit of exercising regularly in their kids by going for a walk or run along with them. Enrol them in swimming classes or encourage them to take part in other sports activity. Start with a shorter goal like 10 minutes of exercise. This will keep them motivated.

Avoid junk food

Junk food is tastier than healthy food but is more dangerous for the health. So, children get tempted to eat junk food. Avoid taking kids to restaurants more often. Once in a while if your kids want to eat junk food like pizzas or burgers, prepare them hygienically at home and use healthy substitutes to prepare these dishes. It will keep their temptations at bay.

 Get good sleep

Kids these days are having sleepless nights because they increasingly spend more time playing video games on mobiles. This also drains their brain and they are completely exhausted during the daytime in schools. This can seriously affect their education. Limit their time for activities that can disturb their sleep pattern and affect their eyes. Remove all gadgets from the bedroom during night time so that they can sleep in peace.

Motivate

Often there is a decrease in confidence levels of kids after getting overweight. They need constant support instead of reprimanding them. Involve other family members to keep them motivated.

 Track their progress

Setting the goals isn’t sufficient to reduce the weight of your child. You have to constantly monitor his/her weight. Also, stay in touch with a paediatrician to report any extra pounds gained or lost and getting the right advice through the journey. It will take time but will ensure a better present and future of your kid.

How dopamine affects patients with Parkinson’s disease?

Parkinson’s disease is a neurodegenerative disorder that affects primarily dopamine-producing (“dopaminergic”) neurons in a specific area of the brain called the substantia nigra. In simple words, Parkinson’s is a progressive nervous system disorder that affects the movements of our body parts causing sudden stiffness and tremors. Parkinson’s usually develops slowly over the years. The symptoms of the disease are not even noticeable during the first few years. The progression of the symptoms is different depending on each individual due to the diversity of the disease.

Our brain produces a chemical called dopamine which acts as basically a messenger. Sometimes the brain cells or neurons break down and die causing abnormal brain activity due to lack of neurons and lack of dopamine levels in the brain, leading to symptoms of Parkinson’s. In some rare cases, certain genetic mutations can cause Parkinson’s. Environmental toxins or the presence of Lewy bodies within the brain cells are some other causes of the disease.

Dopamine has been implicated as the cause of love, lust, food cravings, and even compulsion, drug abuse, etc. Another important function of dopamine is to kick off a movement in our body. Many researchers believe that a lack of dopamine causes Parkinson’s disease. Because of a certain disorder in the brain, nerve cells reduce the production of dopamine. But it’s much more complicated than that. See, dopamine is not the only neurotransmitter affected by Parkinson’s disease. Multiple chemicals and neurotransmitters are affected by Parkinson’s but dopamine is the most significant and the most recognized of the lot.

Every emotion and movement in our body starts in the brain with dopamine traveling from one neuron to the other. It’s simple when you take only two neurons, but the human body contains over tens of billions of neurons. In Parkinson’s disease, the dopamine cells are destroyed. Scientists are still searching for answers as to why that happens? What occurs just before dopamine’s destruction that leads to it? Why do dopamine cells die? Is there something happening in our brain right now that will cause Parkinson’s disease 10-20 years in the future? What is altered in the brain which leads to Parkinson’s disease? Many medications are available nowadays to slow down the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. These medications either increase dopamine levels in the brain or play substitute to it.

The key is to look for the first changes and clues about the parts of the brain which were affected first and what other brain chemicals were affected due to the first change. This will lead to more information about what is affected at the starting point and help us understand better about Parkinson’s. Perhaps even a cure.

Easy tips to survive pregnancy through the summer season!

Pregnant ladies! As the sun is shining bright in the summer’s sky, you need to take extra precautions to sail smoothly through the pregnancy period. Being pregnant isn’t that fun in the summer season.

So, here are the top surviving tips for you for this season :

Keep hydrating yourself

Sweating profusely is not a good sign. It indicates that your body needs to be replenished and rejuvenated with water. Drink at least 8 glasses of water to beat the heat and prevent dehydration. Avoid going out in the sun. If you have to go out, keep yourself covered especially your face. In case you experience prolonged dizziness, shortness of breath, headache or feeling of vomiting due to exhaustion, call your doctor immediately for help.

Avoid the heat in kitchen

Often standing just in front of the gas burner while cooking chappatis or frying vegetables becomes unbearable due to heat. Cooking in the kitchen becomes even more challenging with a growing baby bump. You can avoid the kitchen heat by going for no-cook or minimal cook healthy dishes for yourself and your family such as salads, soups, pancakes etc. Also, taking juicy seasonal fruits will keep your inside cool and boost your energy levels. Avoid lengthy food preparations that can exhaust you.

Get good sleep

Proper sleep is essential to eliminate stress and exhaustion. Keep the air conditioning of the room to an optimum temperature so that it doesn’t get too cold or hot during midnight. This will ensure you get an undisturbed sleep. Also, make a habit of taking afternoon naps to give your body necessary rest. After all, it isn’t easy to carry that baby bump all day long.

Protect legs from swelling

Summer heat can result in swelling of your legs so take extra precautions while you sit. Cushion your legs with a pillow beneath, while sitting. Avoid sitting with legs hanging down as it can increase swelling in legs.

 Fungal infections

Fungal infections are common in summers and can affect pregnant ladies too. The hot weather is conducive for the growth of many fungi like Candida which causes vaginal infections in females. If you see itchiness or vaginal discharge consult your doctor immediately. Make sure your clothing is loose and doesn’t snug tightly with your body that will increase your body temperature and the chances of infection. Diabetic ladies fac greater risk for these infections. If you have diabetes, manage it well. Consult your doctor before taking antifungal drugs.

Summer can be really tough for pregnant ladies, especially in the third trimester. Use these tips to beat the heat, enjoy the best moments of your life and embrace the motherhood completely and confidently.

Eat these foods to protect against heat stroke

The scorching heat of the sun in summers can deplete your body of electrolytes and water. It is common to have dry mouth, increased thirst, fatigue, dry skin etc. When the body is dehydrated, there are greater chances of heat stroke.

Check out these cool foods to hydrate your body and protect yourself against heat stroke:

Cucumbers

Cucumbers help you stay hydrated as they are mostly made of water. They have high potassium which is good for heart health. It is rich in fibre and Vitamin C too. Due to its anti-inflammatory action, it helps to relieve headaches due to heat or even sunburns. You can cut it to a salad or just add it to your glass of water to get a burst of energy. Also, it puts a bright glow to your face.

Water Melon

 Don’t forget to eat this juicy fruit this summer. A tasty slice of watermelon helps increase sweating in your body. This quickly cools the body and decrease the chances of heat stroke.

Coconut water

The best way to maintain an electrolyte balance in summers is to drink fresh coconut water. It cools the body’s internal system. It is low in sodium content and thus helps to reduce the blood pressure. It is better to take a glass of coconut water than sports drinks.

Celery

It has low calories and is rich in fibres. Celery has about 95 per cent of water in it. It is rich in vitamins and minerals like potassium, sodium, magnesium, calcium and phosphorous.

 Kiwi

Kiwi is full of Vitamin C and provides various vitamins and minerals like calcium, magnesium and iron. The black seeds in Kiwi bear load of essential Omega-3 fatty acids. Kiwi is a rich source of potassium. Potassium helps to balance the electrolytes and fluids in the body.

Kokum

This tiny round shaped fruit provides protection against infections and keeps you cool from inside. You can consume it in the form of sherbet to have a refreshing start of the day.

Mint

Sip a glass of mint mojito to get respite from the scorching heat. Mint cools down the burning sensation inside your stomach in summers. It also has anti-inflammatory action. You can also take mint along with green tea to maximize its benefit. Taken along with lemon or cucumber it helps to flush out toxins from the body. It has a refreshing taste and when mixed with other cooling foods gives a burst of flavours.

All these food items are readily available in the food market. Just grab them to have a cooler inside and save yourself from heat stroke.

Don’t panic this Dengue season- Fight it!

Dengue, pronounced as Dengee, is a painful and an enervative fever caused by a virus which is transmitted by certain mosquitoes. Dengue virus is a leading cause of illness and death in the tropical and sub-tropical regions such as Southeast Asia, Southern China, Pacific Islands, Mexico, Africa, South America, etc. Most cases occur in people who got infected while traveling abroad. It is impossible for the virus to spread from person to person. It is only transmitted when an Aedes mosquito infected with the virus bites a person.

Symptoms

Symptoms usually start appearing 4 days after the person is affected. The symptoms at least for 10 days and more if the condition is getting worse.

- High fever

- Fatigue

- Joint and muscle pains

- Headaches

- Vomiting

- Nausea

- Skin rashes and mild bleeding

- Swollen glands

If the patient develops abdominal pain, bleeding gums, and persistent vomiting, he/she has developed severe dengue in which case hospital care is a must. Sometimes the symptoms are mistaken for viral infections because they are mild in some cases. People with no history of dengue infections and children show mild symptoms. But sometimes, the fever can turn into dengue hemorrhagic fever which is also known as brain fever. This can damage lymph and blood vessels. Massive bleeding, shock, and then death, this is called dengue shock syndrome.

Prevention

People with a history of dengue infection are at a greater risk of hemorrhagic fever. So preventing another dengue infection for them is of utmost importance. Although researchers have been working towards it day and night since quite a few years, there is no vaccine that prevents dengue infections. The best way to prevent dengue fever is to prevent getting bitten by the infected mosquito and also preventing mosquito breeding in your neighborhood.

To protect yourself:

- Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants to cover the body completely. Some may even recommend tucking the lower part of your pants in your socks while traveling in areas with water puddles.

- Use mosquito repellents indoor as well as outdoor. Mosquito repellents contain ingredients that repel mosquitoes and other bugs too. Nowadays, in some parts of the World, mosquito repelling pills are also available which are made up entirely of natural ingredients.

- Stay away from heavily populated residential areas. Aedes mosquitoes breed in areas that are well populated and where there is abundant still water.

- Make sure your windows don’t have holes in them. The sleeping areas should be properly screened.

To prevent mosquito breeding

- Remove old bottles and cans

- Cover all the water tanks

- Make sure that your pets have clean water in their bowls. Change the water and clean the bowls multiple times a week.

- Install screens on all windows

- Get rid of things that can accumulate water from rain such as old tires, and flower pots, etc.

- Clean the pool every day.

If someone in your family is suffering from dengue infection, protect yourself and the other members of your family. The mosquito may spread the virus by biting other members of the family.

Can mobiles save your time in getting your medical test reports?

Did you know that your handy mobiles have the power of a supercomputer? So, why not use the immense power of mobile to your benefit!

As medical science has evolved and adopted technology over a period of time, mobiles have been enormously used in the health sector.

You might be wondering how is it possible to get lengthy reports on your mobile phone sitting in the comfort of your home.

Yes, it is possible.

Benefits of mobile technology to patients

  • Avoid standing in a queue for long hours in hospitals to get reports
  • Easy access to medical reports at the click of a button
  • Confidential medical information is password protected & needs your authorisation for viewing
  • Chatting with your primary physician for asking a follow-up query
  • Fewer chances of errors in online prescription sent through mobile.

Convenience to patients

In the hustle of modern life, people are barely able to take time to get blood tests done for a full body check up. Waiting in a hospital is not an option for busy people especially if they have to do so just to receive their medical test reports. Mobile technology has brought down the hassle of running for reports.

How does it happen?

Blood samples are labelled with a number that reflects a patient’s identity. This number helps to avoid mixing of samples. Once the test reports are ready, the lab coordinator will send patient’s reports via e-mail.

You have to ensure to provide your email id while registering your name in the hospital. Once the email is sent, you will get a notification on your mobile. Just tap on the notification and open your email. Usually, the files will need a password that will be given to you on the day of taking your blood samples or will be mentioned in the mail you receive. So, now you don’t have to worry as your confidential information can be accessed only using a password. The lab coordinator ensures the password is shared only with the patient or the patient’s nearest guardian whom the patient can trust.

These reports are electronically signed by a pathologist which means that these are validated before sending to patients. These reports are no different from the hard copies.

Inference

 As a patient without any medical background, you may be unable to infer the information provided. But, it will give you a quick indication of any red signs in your body. You definitely have to consult a physician to understand the test reports better. If you are travelling or reside far away from the hospital that performed your tests, you can use these reports to get a consultation from a doctor near your home. So, these reports definitely increase patient convenience with multiple folds.

Healthy tips to avoid diarrhoea while traveling this summer season

One thing that no one wants to pack with them on a vacation is sickness. Traveler’s tummy, Delhi-belly, traveler’s trot, or simply traveler’s diarrhoea, is the worst thing that can happen to you while travelling, if you are optimistic enough. It’s probably the most unpleasant complaint of a traveller and unfortunately, the most common too. let’s face it – it’s no fun as symptoms include stomach cramps, vomiting, nausea, and diarrhoea. Improper management of this ailment can also lead to dehydration.

The common causes of traveler’s diarrhoea include unsafe water, improper hygiene, inadequate sanitation, changes in diet, dehydration, changes in climate, traveler’s stress, lack of sleep, etc.

There are a few ways that you can prevent this unpleasant experience from ever happening.

Consume food items that are fully cooked and served hot.
Bottled water are preferable and, and avoid sealed containers of carbonated drinks that may be dirty and contaminated.
Eat fruits and vegetables after washing them thoroughly and peeling them properly. Wash your hands properly before and after your meal.
Also ensure to clean your hands properly after using the restrooms as well as a liberal use hand sanitisers.

Stomach cramps, nausea, vomiting, and physical discomfort can severely restrict your travel plans so do not overlook the early symptoms of traveler’s diarrhoea. In worse cases, you might be required to seek medical attention.

Be prepared for traveler’s diarrhoea especially if you have a chronic illness. Make sure you have access to plenty of clean drinking water while on the trip. Carry oral rehydration solutions and salts with you at all times. Your travel medical kit should always contain antimotility medications such as Pepto Bismol, etc.

The symptoms of traveler’s diarrhoea are noticeable on the first day itself. Treating it, on the other hand, might not be a day’s work. Avoid drinking caffeinated drinks or alcohol. Ensure to keep yourself hydrated with clean drinking water- preferably bottled water and use oral rehydration solutions. Antimotility drugs or in worse cases, antibiotics can be prescribed by doctors to manage diarrhea and vomiting.

Do not hesitate to seek medical help if the diarrhoea doesn’t get resolved in a day or two. If it is accompanied by fever, blood or mucus in the stool, or an inability to keep down light foods or liquids, seek immediate medical attention. Persistent diarrhoea for more than 48 hours can become critical and difficult to manage.

These are just some simple tips and tricks that most people tend to overlook. Before you set off on a great trip, remember to think about your health and be prepared for any eventuality that you can envision. Being prepared can assist you in enjoying your trip with peace of mind.

Managing a pounding headache at work

Suffering from a pounding headaches at workplace is tough and managing it is especially difficult, considering the presence of many triggers in the office. If the headaches aren’t resolved quickly enough, it might hinder your ability to work efficiently. Keep a log of your headache triggers and try to understand the pattern to avoid getting a pounding headaches at work . But this may be difficult due to the presence of many such triggers at the workplace. While a few simple lifestyle changes may help in preventing the occurrences, the best way is to plan ahead.

Here are a few ways to keep those thumping headaches at bay while you are on the job

Stay hydrated

Dehydration can trigger a headache. Waking up thirsty and going off to work with rehydrating oneself can lead to a severe headache. Waking up thirsty in itself is a sign of dehydration. To avoid headaches caused by dehydration, drink at least 4 bottles of water a day with each bottle containing at least a liter.

Caffeine

People often take caffeine to manage headache while at work. Caffeine can help in alleviating the headache for quite a while but can create withdrawal symptoms if excessively consumed. The excess consumption of caffeine can lead to a reinforced headache which is much worse to manage. So one can opt for a low level of caffeine, when suffering from headaches to help relax the mind.

Breakfast

It has been said many times that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. It helps maintain the metabolism of the body as well as assist in keeping a healthy appetite throughout the day. Skipping a meal can lead to heavy headaches due to low glucose levels. So make sure to have enough proteins and avoid carbohydrate rich food to keep headaches away.

Scents and perfumes

Your colleague smells nice, maybe a little too nice as he/she celebrates their style with a signature scent that triggers your headache. Now, this is a tricky situation to handle as you can’t ask your colleague to stop using the scent. It will work wonders to shift your desk to a better ventilated area away from your awesome smelling colleague. You can also check to see if there is any company policy restricting the use of scents and perfumes.

Sleep

Sleep is important for the body and a proper sleeping schedule can work wonders for you. However, if you have insomnia or have erratic sleeping schedule, it can trigger a headache. Maintaining a proper biorhythm with consistent time for meals, sleep as well as a definite wake-up time can help prevent those particularly nagging headaches.

It might help to create an ergonomic environment in the workplace. Reevaluate the set up of the work desk or choose a chair that supports good posture. Take breaks throughout the day to walk, stretch, and relax your body. These tiny habits and a relaxed demeanor can help prevent workplace headaches.

Keep exercising as you grow older!

Statistics show that adults over 65 spend at least 10 hours a day sitting or lying down, making them the most inactive age group. This type of sedentary lifestyle is not advisable and increases the importance of daily exercise. Exercising, in general,  has innumerable benefits and is advised to everyone – across all age groups. It strengthens the bone structure, improves flexibility, and keeps the heart healthy. Studies have shown that working out for even 10 minutes a day can help improve balance, agility, and mental health.

As you get older, it becomes important for you to remain active and exercise to maintain your independence and remain healthy. Being inactive for long periods of time, especially if you are an elderly person can result in aches and pains that you’ve never had before. Many start struggling with normal errands and small pleasures of life such as playing with your grandchildren, walking to the market, meeting up with friends becomes a tedious activity. Being inactive for long duration results in lethargy and pains that make any outdoor activity strenuous.

As we age, our muscle mass starts decreasing. Muscles play an important role in promoting health and wellness, especially as we age. Muscle mass plays a crucial role in maintaining metabolic and bone strength, helps control body weight and without it, you compromise on your mobility and independence. Loss of agility, balance, endurance, and strength, are just a few concerns associated with old age. You also become susceptible to injuries, especially the ones associated with joints. We are not trying to scare you, just stating the facts.

Another important fact about exercise is that they are vital to maintain a robust cognitive function. Exercising helps increase brain neurons and boosts your memory as well. So it doesn’t just improve the physical structure of a human body but also gives you mental strength. Let’s look at some major benefits of exercising as you grow older:

- Prevention of diseases and chronic conditions

Exercise helps in delaying, preventing, and even curing some chronic diseases such as cancer, stroke, diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, etc just to name a few.

- Muscle mass

As stated earlier, muscle mass is important to maintain balance and agility of our body especially during the later stages of life. Muscle mass starts decreasing as we grow older thus decreasing the bone strength too. Exercising regularly can slow the process and help in maintaining muscle mass for years to come.

- Balance and stability

Senior citizens are more prone to falling and breaking body parts than any other age group. As we age, we face balance and stability issues and exercising can help prevent that. Maintaining bone strength, muscle mass and stability can help save a ton of money on broken hip surgeries, hip replacement, and knee replacement surgeries.

- Quality of life

Exercising regularly does not just improve physical fitness and mental strength it promotes a sense of well being and happiness. Being dependent on another human being in old age is one of the worst feelings ever. Exercising can help you maintain your independence and improve the quality of life in your later years.

So, go for a leisurely walk, take the stairs instead of a lift, do gardening, cycle to the grocery shops, do yoga, aerobics, swimming or any form of exercise that interests and motivates you to remain sharp. It’s never too late to start exercising. Enjoy the second innings of your life.

How to get rid of backache if your job involves sitting for hours?

Do you work for 9 hours a day? Do you sit slouching in your chair in front of a computer working on deadlines? Is your job desk a pain in the back? If yes, then you are not alone. 90% of people who have a desk job suffer from backache. It’s been said that sitting is the new smoking. Although it won’t kill you, it’ll leave behind a severe and uncomfortable backache. But chances are that you are not giving up your desk job anytime soon, so we are here to help manage the damage that has been done to your back.

Sitting for more than 8 hours can lead to postural problems such as disc damage, strained neck, swayed back, etc. Desk life can be really demanding and stressful, the main issue being that our bodies are not really made to sit and certainly not for nine hours straight. Excessive sitting hunched over a computer, typing furiously, and staring at screens all day and straining the eyes is just not acceptable. The stress impacts the entire body as we hunch forward and our neck protrudes. There are a ton of health hazards associated with sitting for eight to nine hours a day:

- Cardiovascular complications

- Muscle degeneration

- Leg disorders

- Increased stress levels

- Imbalance in the spinal structure

So, what can be done to help an everyday Joe from developing and avoiding back pains? Fret not! Here are a few ways you can incorporate to avoid health problems associated with a sedentary lifestyle:

Sit in the right posture

Keep both feet on the floor with your knees slightly elevated higher than your hips. It’s okay to occasionally cross your legs. You can also keep your feet elevated with the help of a stool to avoid edema.

Yoga

Yoga has proven to be beneficial for people of all age groups. One yoga session in the morning before you leave for work and one session in the evening when you come back from work can do wonders for you. Yoga poses that specifically focuses on strengthening your back is advised.

Regular strolls

If you work sitting in your chair for long hours, taking a 5-minute stroll may improve your backache. A five minutes stroll for every hour you sit on your chair is advised. This will help in improving the blood circulation in the lower body and also increase your productivity.

Stretch yourself

Stretch your legs and arms for five minutes before you leave for work. Even when you are at your desk in the office, stretch your legs every ten minutes or so.

Neck stretch

Most importantly, stretch your neck sideways, back and forth, and from shoulder to shoulder. This will help in keeping your neck muscles relaxed and the blood circulation up too.

The best advice that you can get is to get fit. Workout, hit the gym, go swimming, get regular massages, and keep the blood flowing.