Archive for July, 2015

Monsoon Alert – Beware of Gastroenteritis

Friday, July 24th, 2015

Also referred to as Food poisoning, ‘Gastroenteritis‘ is a highly contagious viral infection of the stomach and intestines. It commonly shows symptoms such as diarrhea, vomiting, nausea, body ache, stomach cramps and fever with chills. A mild case of gastro can be treated with over-the-counter medication whereby the symptoms last for approximately 2 to 4 days. During this time, dehydration could be one of the major concerns for the patient owing to massive loss of fluid from the body. It is thus essential to consume plenty of water with and between meals and stick to a bland diet. High fever accompanied by blood in the vomit or stool, could be an indication that the patient’s symptoms have worsened and he/she may have to be admitted to a medical facility for advanced treatment with IV fluids.

As per the recent figures provided by the BMC’s health department, 1,023 cases of gastroenteritis were reported last month in civic hospitals. In the past few days, the BMC hospitals have received more than 66 gastroenteritis cases.

Mumbai is already under a spell of gastro diseases, it’s about time; you get acquainted with the lesser known facts

Mumbai is already under a spell of gastro diseases, it’s about time; you get acquainted with the lesser known facts

  • Gastroenteritis is typically caused by bacteria such as Salmonella, E. coli, Campylobacter or a virus like Norovirus. This virus is commonly transmitted by drinking contaminated water, consumption of raw/undercooked food and improper hand washing, especially by food handlers.
  • Not only adults but kids too can contract this disease. The smaller/younger the child, the earlier medical assessment should be sought
  • Gastroenteritis is easily transmittable. The virus that causes this disease thrives in our faeces and vomit. One of the symptoms associated with gastro is vomiting and often particles become airborne during or after people puke, thereby infecting others around. Even a sneeze could be responsible for spreading this virus. Patients can spread this virus up to 48 hours after their symptoms have stopped. If you are nursing someone who is suffering from Gastroenteritis, make sure you take necessary precautions to protect yourself.
  • A thorough physical exam is the basis of diagnosis for gastroenteritis. A stool sample could give a better understanding of this disease and help in detecting the exact type of virus (parasitic or bacterial infection) that has caused the illness
  • Bacterial gastroenteritis is spread as a result of poor hygiene (mainly if people do not wash their hands properly after using the washroom, or after cleaning vomit or dirty nappies). Rotten food and pets could also be the carriers of this virus. The symptoms of food poisoning usually starts to show almost 6 to 12 hours after consuming rotten or contaminated food & beverages.
  • Recovery time depends on the severity of this medical condition. As soon as your appetite returns, do not switch to normal food. Continue with the consumption of bland food items at least for a day, as your intestines will remain sensitive until you’ve made a full recovery.

When down with gastroenteritis:

Have more of citrus fruits, soup, boiled/steamed veggies, bland food items, Apple/Pears/Sweet lime juice, beans, and bananas

Avoid dairy products, Salty, Sugary, Spicy & Oily foods, caffeine, alcohol, and nicotine

Rain Check: Useful Tips to Boost Immunity During Monsoon

Saturday, July 18th, 2015

Rainy season is fraught with the danger of illnesses caused by bacteria and viruses. Temperature fluctuations, pollution and water contamination jointly contribute to the spread of water-borne diseases. What’s even worse is the fact that during this time of the year, intestinal functions as well as the digestive system becomes weak resulting in low metabolism and increased fat storage.

Underactive or Poor performing immune system can make the body susceptible to a host of gastrointestinal problems and monsoon related ailments. Under these circumstances, keeping your immunity levels high could be the only way to stay healthy & fit while enjoying the rains.

Did you know…?

Many organic herbs and natural ingredients sitting in our kitchen closets are in fact one of the finest immunity boosters.

For Ex- Turmeric powder, Neem and Fenugreek seeds are natural antibiotics which are known to enhance the metabolic rate, promote digestion and improve immunity.

Here are a few tips to boost your immunity during Monsoon.

  • Keep yourself hydrated. As compared to summer season, people tend to feel less thirsty during monsoon therefore do not consume sufficient amount of water throughout the day which is bad for the body. Drink at least 6 to 8 glasses of water per day. Drink boiled or filtered water. You can also increase your fluid intake by having more of water-based fruits & veggies. They are not only nutritious but will also help in fulfilling the body’s daily water requirement
  • Make smart food choices. Avoid junk food & aerated drinks. Add more of green leafy vegetables, fresh fruits and fibre rich foods like oats, whole grains, beans, nuts and seeds to your diet. Spicy & salty food causes water retention which in turn results in bloating. Prevent stomach ailments during monsoon by opting for home-cooked, light meals as compared to oily & heavy meals which are harder to digest. If you still want to treat yourself to some lip-smacking monsoon munchies, use corn or olive oil instead of heavy cooking oils like mustard or sesame oil for frying purposes.
  • Quit bad habits like drinking (alcoholic beverages) & smoking (exposure to nicotine). Secondhand smoke is known to trigger asthma attacks and aggravate symptoms in people with allergies.
  • Get sufficient sleep. Just like the battery of your mobile, the human body too requires recharging on a daily basis. Sleeping for at least 8 hours per day is the best way to revive the body in order to ensure that it functions properly the next day.
  • Participate in some or the other form of physical exercise. Immune system certainly benefits from physical activity. Any kind of workout spikes the body temperature which like a fever, could help fight infections too. Some studies have also indicated that increased blood flow while exercising helps in pumping antibodies throughout the body.
  • ) Maintain a high level of personal hygiene. Infection and bacteria multiply at an alarming rate especially during rainy season when the surroundings are already polluted, dirty and contaminated. Stay away from mosquito infested areas and avoid walking through puddles of water. Make it a habit to wash your hands frequently. Shower with warm water. Use an antiseptic soap & hand wash
  • Do not stress yourself too much over work or family related issues. Every problem has a solution. All you need to do is stay calm & think positive. Studies have proved that chronic stress impacts every part of the body without sparing the immune system

Despite following these tips, if you have still somehow contracted an infection, do not postpone the treatment by practicing self-medication. Dengue fever, Jaundice, Typhoid, Malaria & Leptospirosis are some of the most common monsoon related ailments which can have serious outcomes if detected at a later stage. If high fever persists for more than 3 days, get yourself tested at the earliest

Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital functions with a FULL TIME SPECIALIST SYSTEM, which ensures the availability and access to the best medical talent around-the-clock.

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Monsoon Maladies – Malaria Prevention Tips

Thursday, July 9th, 2015

Mosquitoes although tiny, can prove to be the most brutal killers during monsoon. Malaria is lethal and accounts for more than 500,000 deaths per year.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), approximately half of the entire human population in the world is presently facing the risk of contracting malaria. Scientists have also issued a warning about the negative impact that this disease could have on the reproductive health resulting in poor quality of semen in men and increased risk of miscarriages in women.

The statistics are terrifying and a lot has to be done on an individual & government level in order to eradicate or at least curb the spread of this life threatening disease.

This mosquito borne, infectious and communicable disease generally shows symptoms like high fever, shivering chills and headache. Immediate medical attention is mandatory, failing which serious medical complications may arise thereby posing a grave risk to the patient’s life.

These important preventive measures can help you keep Malaria at bay:

  • Maintain a high level of hygiene in your home. Dirty and unhygienic environment serves as a breeding ground for mosquitoes. In the absence of mosquitoes there would be no vectors to spread the disease. Scientists believe that housing improvements in certain settings can help eradicate malaria considerably.
  • Make sure that you are sufficiently hydrated at all times
  • Boil water before drinking and stick to home-cooked meals as much as possible. Strictly avoid consumption of food from roadside vendors and if needed prefer eating from hygienic food joints. Parents in particular should ensure that their children keep away from tempting roadside eatables like Bhajiyas, Wada pav, Golas, Pani-puri etc.
  • Prevent food contamination by using good quality containers for storage purpose. Place leftovers in the fridge as soon as they get back to room temperature and do not consume food that is more than a day old. Make sure that the kitchen area is properly cleaned after cooking as it can be easily transformed into a breeding ground for parasites, germs and bacteria. Use a disinfectant while mopping the floor.
  • If you have fever, do not venture outside. You may not only end up aggravating your own medical condition but also be putting others around you at risk of contracting infectious diseases. Fever that persists for more than 3 days should be reported to a doctor at the earliest. It’s always recommended to conduct a blood test for common monsoon ailments like Malaria, typhoid, dengue, jaundice, leptospirosis, cholera etc.
  • During monsoon, mosquitoes and flies multiply at an alarming rate. Always apply a strong insect repellant to keep them at bay. Affix mosquito screens, nets and fibre glass meshes on your doors or windows to prevent these parasites from entering your home.
  • You can also take an anti-malarial drug only if your doctor recommends the same
  • Try to stay away from insanitary and damp places. Avoid walking through dirty water. Polluted water that is accumulated in potholes harbors many bacteria and germs which can later give rise to serious health issues
  • Opt for light-colored clothes as dark colored outfits tend to attract flies & mosquitoes which also increases the risk of being bitten
  • Mosquitoes do not thrive in cold temperature settings. Try to stay away from hot & humid environment for prevention of Malaria infection.