Archive for September, 2015

Tips to fend off Dengue Fever in Children

Saturday, September 26th, 2015

After Malaria, Dengue has become one of the most common mosquito-borne illnesses in India. Senior citizens, younger children and those with a compromised immune system are highly susceptible to being infected with the Dengue virus. Like most viral diseases, there is no specific medicine or antibiotic to treat Dengue. Hospitalization is essential and the treatment is aimed at alleviating the symptoms. The symptoms of a Dengue fever in kids closely resembles that of a viral infection which is why parents have to be doubly cautious to identify the warning signs and act immediately

If you see rashes on your child’s skin and he/she has fever as well as body ache since the past few days, its best to visit your physician for immediate diagnosis

Here are a few important preventive measures to keep your child away from Dengue fever

  • Make sure your kid consumes plenty of water throughout the day as dehydration increases the risk of Dengue fever
  • Aedes aegypti mosquitoes that carry the dengue virus do not breed in stale water but use fresh water stored in flowerpot, cooler, water puddle etc. as their breeding grounds. They are most active during the day therefore limit the amount of time your child spends outdoors, especially in the hours around dawn and dusk.
  • Always dress them up in long-sleeved clothing so as to reduce skin exposure. Dark colors attract mosquitoes. Prefer light colored clothes
  • Instill the habit of hand washing in kids from an early age and encourage them to eat nutritious home cooked food as compared to roadside snacks
  • Use citronella oil-based creams and sprays or other herbal mosquito repellents to minimize the chances of a mosquito bite. Consult your child’s pediatrician before using any mosquito repellent. Oil of leaves from lemon eucalyptus trees is also known to be very effective in keeping mosquitoes away. If possible, install a mosquito net across their bed. Just to be safe, you can also fit mosquito meshes on windows. If there are any gaps, cracks, or holes in the walls, repair it immediately. Keeping a bunch of Neem leaves tied in a cloth at different corners of house is an age-old practice to keep mosquitoes away
  • Sweat and humidity also attracts mosquitoes hence make sure that your child’s skin is always clean and dry. Ask kids to take a shower immediately after returning from their play date and pat them dry upon arrival
  • It becomes easier for the body to fight any kind of infection if the immunity levels are high. The trick is to include foods that are rich in vitamins and nutrients. Make sure your child follows a well-balanced diet

Dengue is preventable as well as controllable but if left untreated, it can create severe medical complications and also trigger Dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHF) which can cause bleeding, liver failure, convulsions and even death. Children who have already been infected by Dengue are inclined to get infected again, thus have to be extra careful to prevent a second attack as it could be more lethal than the first time.

Follow the above mentioned tips to keep your little ones away from this disease

Dengue Fever – Get Your Facts Right

Friday, September 18th, 2015

If recent reports are to be believed, New Delhi is battling the worst Dengue fever outbreak in the last 5 years. More than 2000 cases have been recorded in the past few weeks, with the death toll mounting to 20. The statistics are alarming and can easily cause panic in any city, state or country. But what’s important is to acknowledge the fact that dengue is preventable and manageable, hence with better knowledge and understanding of its causes, symptoms and treatment, a lot can be done to control as well as cope with this epidemic

If you ask people to name a few mosquito borne illnesses, most of them would come up with one common answer and that is – Malaria. Considering its impact on the human health, there’s very little awareness about Dengue fever, especially within the rural areas of our country.

Let’s get acquainted with some of the most important facts associated with this disease:

  • Dengue isn’t contagious but is certainly preventable and controllable.
  • Andes aegypti mosquitoes are the carriers of dengue fever. Extremely active during the daytime, these insects carry the blood of an infected person and transmit it to another person through a bite.
  • Those with a compromised immune system such as the elderly and young children pose a greater risk of contracting Dengue fever
  • In addition to high body temperature, symptoms of Dengue fever include: severe pain in the muscle and joints, swollen lymph nodes, headache, fever, exhaustion, and rash.
  • The symptoms typically show between 4 to 7 days after being bitten by an infected mosquito.
  • Like most viral diseases, there is no specific medicine or antibiotic to treat Dengue. Hospitalization is essential and the treatment is aimed at alleviating the symptoms.
  • If a person has already been diagnosed and treated for Dengue in the past year, he/she has to be extra careful to prevent a second attack as it could be more lethal than the first time
  • Surprising as it may sound, Aedes aegypti mosquitoes do not breed in stale water but use fresh water stored in flowerpot, cooler, water puddle etc. as their breeding grounds.
  • Anyone can get infected with the Dengue virus. Keeping your environment clean & hygienic is the most effective way to prevent this disease. It is equally important to maintain a strong immune system with the help of a healthy diet plan
  • Dengue fever impacts each part of the body’s system including the brain (encephalitis) which is why patients are advised to get sufficient rest and drink plenty of fluids during and post treatment
  • Early diagnosis and management of symptoms is critical in saving the life of a Dengue patient
  • Aspirin should be strictly avoided by Dengue patients as it is known to thin the blood, thereby resulting in heavy bleeding
  • Dengue vaccine hasn’t been discovered so far hence the only way to effectively steer clear of this disease is by preventing mosquito bites

Coping with Suicidal Thoughts

Wednesday, September 9th, 2015

Did you know…?

Global Research indicates that more people die from Suicide than from War and Murder combined

It isn’t customary to have suicidal thoughts but many people still have them during the saddest and most depressing phase of their life. Having momentary suicidal thoughts is not necessarily a character defect, and it doesn’t mean that you are crazy, pathetic or flawed. It only means that you are in a state of extreme emotional distress which appears to be permanent. When this happens, it is important to acknowledge that circumstances in life never remain the same, it keeps changing and in time your emotional state will also progress and transform into a positive frame of mind, no matter how hopeless it feels right now.

With timely support and proper guidance, the misery of a suicidal person can be reduced to a large extent.

All you need to do is ask for it

If you are going through a very difficult phase in life which is making you question your existence in this world, the best thing you could do for yourself is to get professional help but if you feel you aren’t ready to take that step, the second best option would be to open your heart out to a family member, best buddy or any other trustable source.

Keep yourself occupied by participating in activities that are emotionally gratifying for you and will keep your mind away from depressing thoughts. Take a break from your routine life and go on a relaxing vacation, if possible with a family member or a friend who could accompany you everywhere. Spend some time exploring the beauty and peace of nature. Spiritual healing therapy is also extremely effective in helping people with suicidal tendencies.

Remember…Depression feels permanent, but it is transitory. Nothing stays the same, not even your feelings. Giving up on life may seem to be an easier option for the moment but your emotional state is bound to get better in coming days, weeks and months.

Free your home from things that you could use to hurt yourself such as pills, knives, razors, or firearms. If unable to do so, go to a place where you can feel safe.

In times of depression, any kind of external help seems feasible which is why most people turn to illegal drugs, non-prescription medication and alcohol for relief. This could be the worst move for your health and wellness. Suicidal thoughts can become stronger when a person is in an intoxicated state.

Seek help from an expert counselor or call a suicide hotline. They are a very helpful resource and can connect you with a therapist who will lend you a sympathetic ear to discuss your problems in a safe environment.

Remember… You are not the only one struggling with suicidal thoughts. At this moment there are hundreds and thousands across the globe who may be going through a similar emotional state. If all things negative in life is what is putting you down at the moment, think about all things positive to look forward to. Think about the people you love the most who would be severely hurt if anything bad happens to you. Think about a beloved pet that needs your love & care for survival. Think about your goals/aspirations that are yet to be accomplished.

Take some time to think about these reasons that would make you want to continue living. Life is beautiful only if you wish to see it that way

Take a good hard look at your life and the people in it. May be it will help you acknowledge that ‘Your Life Means More Than You Think’…!

Alzheimer’s Disease – Are you at Risk?

Thursday, September 3rd, 2015

Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of Dementia and affects millions of people worldwide. This disorder is irreparable and destroys the brain cells which not only results in deterioration of the patient’s thinking ability but also causes significant memory loss. Medical research has yet to discover a cure for Alzheimer’s that effectively slows the progression of this disease, although medications can help relieve some symptoms.

Experts believe that age and genetic factors are 2 of the most important risk factors associated with Alzheimer’s. While a person does not have control over the process of ageing and his/her genetics, there are a few modifiable risk factors that could prevent the onset of this disease.

Obesity – Weight gain is the immediate result of unhealthy food habits & lack of physical exercise. A person who is over weight is highly prone to developing High blood pressure and Diabetes, both of which increases the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.

Head trauma – Studies have revealed that people who suffer severe or repeated head injuries are at increased risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease at some point in life. The deposits that form in the brain as a result of repeated head injuries could be blamed for this outcome.

Smoking – Apart from triggering a host of serious health issues, Smoking is also known to trigger Alzheimer’s disease as it disrupts blood circulation in the brain. The results of a significant meta-study revealed that smokers above the age of 65 have approximately 80% higher risk of Alzheimer’s than those who have never smoked.

Heart Disease. – Several studies conducted over the past few years have shown a close connection between the heart heath and brain health. Experts believe that people suffering from a medical condition that damages the heart or blood vessels have the highest risk of Alzheimer’s disease or Vascular dementia. Hence stroke, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and heart patients should work with their doctor to constantly monitor their heart health and treat any problems that may arise at a later stage.

Lack of physical activity – Regular exercise not only boosts blood circulation but also increases the production of chemicals that protect the brain. Studies indicate that physically active people are less likely to experience a decline in their mental function and therefore are less likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease.

Lack of Mental activity – Any kind of mental activity that keeps your brain engrossed and functional can reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s. Mental challenges keep your cognitive functions healthy and that helps in making more cell-to-cell connections, which protects your brain against the impact of Alzheimer-related changes. Socially and mentally stimulating leisure activities like playing music, reading, or even playing challenging mind games can put a positive spin on this medical condition and slow down its progression.

Poor Diet – In the absence of a healthy diet, an ageing person’s chances of being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s increases drastically. A wholesome diet that enables a person to maintain a healthy body weight reduces the likelihood of developing various illnesses that are linked with Alzheimer’s

Lack of sleep– Amyloid, is a memory-robbing protein, that builds up in the brain of a person who doesn’t get adequate sleep and this protein is responsible for attacking the brain’s long-term memory thereby resulting in Alzheimer’s