Archive for October, 2015

Diet Tips to Eat Healthy on a Vacation

Friday, October 30th, 2015

All set to embark on a relaxing journey to your favorite destination?

Make sure you don’t leave your good eating habits behind.

Holiday excitement often overshadows the body’s needs for nourishment, resulting in mindless eating and over indulgence of food & alcohol which could negate all the health improvements that you may have achieved so far.

Why fill up on unhealthy munchies when you can make delicious and healthy food choices?

These diet tips will ensure that you return from your vacation with loads of happy memories and no extra body weight

It is feasible to eat right on a vacation. All you have to do is conduct a proper research on the available food options and local cuisines in that area. If you have a clear picture of all the food items that are easily accessible at your holiday destination, it would be easier to make smart swaps when eating out

Stay hydrated at all times. Throughout the trip, keep a few bottles of water easily accessible and sip once in every few minutes. Lack of water intake could trigger false hunger signals thus making you eat more than you need

Have 1 glass of milk daily.  Milk supplies the body with a host of important nutrients and is also a great pick for satisfying the untimely hunger pangs. Grab a few extra cartons of Milk on your trip but not without checking their expiry dates.

Making smart food choices and monitoring the portion size is extremely important when it comes to eating healthy on a vacation. Restaurants often serve food in a large quantity. The trick is to order for something that is not only healthy but tempts your taste buds and satisfies your hunger at the same time. Salads, soups, stews, milkshakes, smoothies etc. although filling, doesn’t have a negative impact on your body. Also, chew your food properly before gulping. Eating food in a hurry often results in overeating therefore slow down and savor every bite as much as you can.

Enjoy a Dessert but share it with a buddy or family member. This way you can split the calories

Avoid skipping meals. Very often people tend to skip a meal while vacationing which is simply not acceptable as it could lead to a serious amount of binge eating later on at the next meal.

Quit the caffeine dependency. Coffee is served in many different ways across the globe and the temptation to gulp down this ‘pick-me-up’ drink can sometimes be overwhelming especially if all you need is jolt of quick energy while holidaying. Too much of caffeine can sometimes cause irritability and nervousness which is just not what you need on a vacation hence moderation is the key

Limit your alcohol intake. To prevent fatigue and reduce jet lag, be sure to load up on fresh water and juices.

Staying on the right track with healthy eating is attainable when you plan in advance and select food wisely.

Breast Cancer Screening – Why is it important?

Monday, October 19th, 2015
Did you know…?

At present, it is estimated that 1 in 23 women is likely to develop breast cancer and according to a recently concluded study, these figures are expected to double by 2030

After 20 years of age, it is recommended for every woman to regularly perform breast self-exams and go for periodic breast screenings at least once in 2 years. Most women who lead a healthy lifestyle believe that they can never be diagnosed with a breast cancer but this kind of wishful thinking can sometimes take you into troubled waters.

Like many women across the globe, you too might wonder as to why is it so important to go for a breast screening?

The answer is simple – Breast cancer can happen to anyone and early detection is the best defense against it

Regarded as the most common cancer affecting Indian women, breast cancer is also one of the most curable cancers if diagnosed early. Screening refers to medical tests and exams that help in discovering a disease that hasn’t started to show any symptoms. Breast cancers that are detected through symptoms are more likely to have already spread beyond the breast. When the cancer spreads beyond the breast, it is referred to as “metastatic” and is expected to affect to the bones, liver, and lungs. On the other hand, cancer that is detected through periodic screening exams is often smaller and still confined to the breast. Also, the earlier this cancer is detected, the less likely it is that the person would have to undergo a mastectomy (breast removal) or chemotherapy.

Breast cancer screening is often misconstrued as means to prevent this disease whereas what it actually does, is reduce the chances of late detection thus improving the survival rate of patients. Mammography is the single most screening and diagnostic technology that can detect breast cancer at an early stage. It is important to find cancers as early as possible. Lack of awareness and ignorance about this disease has resulted in late detection, especially due to many patients opting for alternative treatments offered by quacks, who claim to treat cancer without surgery or chemotherapy. Many reach the hospital at an advanced stage whereby the cancer has spread to an extent that very little can be done to help them.

Having a family history of breast cancer increases a woman’s risk for developing this disease later in life which is why screening is crucial. Similarly, the probability of being diagnosed with breast cancer increases with age, therefore women between the age group of 50 to 70 are routinely expected to go for a breast cancer screening once in every 3 years.

Breast cancer cannot be predicted but few important measures if undertaken from time to time can certainly reduce the risk and increase the odds that if cancer does occur, it will be identified early at a curable stage. Almost 90% breast cancer cases are diagnosed through advanced screening techniques.  Periodic screening and early diagnosis can save lives!

Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital features a Comprehensive Breast Care Unit (CBCU) that is well-equipped with state-of-the-art radiation machines and day care chemo suites to specifically diagnose and treat all kinds of breast related diseases. To know more, visit:

Hand Washing – Are you doing it right…?

Thursday, October 15th, 2015
Did you know…?

It takes approximately 15 to 20 seconds to wash the hands properly but studies indicate that on an average a person takes not more than 6 seconds to do it. It is estimated that 95 % of people follow an improper hand washing technique.

Frequent hand washing is one of the most effective ways to eliminate germs and prevent diseases from spreading. Washing your hands with soap can prevent the transmission of several pathogens and is therefore more effective than any single vaccine.

Approximately 2 to 10 million bacteria are present between our fingertip and elbow. Soap and water when combined together for hand washing can successfully get rid of dust and dirt but may not necessarily kill the bacteria

The efficiency of hand washing depends on the right technique

  • Run your hands under the tap water
  • Apply soap and rub them together (palm-to-palm) to make a lather
  • Now rub the right palm above the left hand with interwoven fingers (repeated the action with the other hand)
  • Scrub the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails
  • Rinse hands with water
  • Dry thoroughly with towel

In the absence of soap and water, you can use a hand sanitizer. Opt for Alcohol based hand sanitizers as they are proven to be more effective in eliminating the number of microbes on hands

  • Take one or two squirts of the hand sanitizer in your palm
  • Rub them together.
  • Scrub also the front and back, between fingers, around and under nails
  • Allow the hands to dry

On an average, a person touches his/her face almost 16 times in an hour. If your hands aren’t clean, diseases spread easily. Even though washing your hands gets rid of germs, there’s a right time and place to do it

  • After using the washroom
  • Before & after meal preparations (especially while handling raw meat, poultry and/or seafood)
  • Before & after meal consumption
  • After sneezing and coughing
  • After petting animals or handling animal waste
  • Before & after nursing an ailing patient
  • After visiting a public place
  • After touching open wounds
  • After changing a child’s diaper
  • Before wearing a contact lens and while removing the same
  • Anytime your hands are dirty

It is estimated that washing hands with soap at key times can reduce diarrhea rates by over 40% and acute respiratory infections (ARI’s) by approximately 23%

Children are extremely vulnerable to germs and infections’; hence instilling good health and hygiene habits from early childhood is a must. Encouraging them to wash their hands frequently will ensure that this practice turns into a lifelong routine.

Breast Cancer – Awareness can save lives!

Saturday, October 10th, 2015

October is observed as Breast Cancer Awareness Month but how much are we really aware about this illness is the real question here

Did you know…?

Breast cancer has replaced cervical cancer as the leading cause of cancer deaths for women in India and across the globe. It is a fact that many Indian women diagnosed with breast cancer know very little about their condition and do not pay much heed to getting immediate treatment which reduces the chances of their survival. Busy with handling the daily chores and sorting out family hassles, many women keep postponing their treatment and reach hospitals at an advanced stage whereby the cancer has spread to an extent that very little can be done to help them.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO) report, more than 60% of Indian women are diagnosed with breast cancer at stage III or IV. Experts believe 1 in 28 women is prone to develop breast cancer during her lifetime. Public awareness can be part of an overall approach to reducing these figures.

It will benefit the next generation of women who will be much more aware and willing to take the first step towards early diagnosis and treatment.

Having a family history of breast cancer increases a woman’s risk for developing this disease later in life. There is no control over genetics but some factors can certainly be controlled to prevent and minimize the risk of breast cancer:

  • Bad lifestyle choices that include a poor diet with excess consumption of alcohol and exposure to nicotine makes a woman highly prone to being diagnosed with breast cancer later in life
  • Lack of physical activity and sedentary lifestyle also contribute to this disease
  • Ignoring the warning signs and delaying the screening process often results in late detection which directly affects the survival rate of breast cancer patients
  •   Many artificial hormone therapies including some oral contraceptives could be potential triggers of this disease. Getting your doctor’s approval before starting with any kind of medical therapy is a must
  • Disrupted sleep cycle as a result of working in rotating shifts can also increase the risk of breast cancer. Some researchers are of the opinion that women who work at least 3 night shifts a week for 6 or more years are twice as likely to develop breast cancer
  • Delaying pregnancy has also shown to increase the likelihood of developing breast cancer at a later stage. Researchers believe that the longer a woman breast-feeds, the lower her chances of getting the disease.
  • Stress may not be directly linked to breast cancer but definitely triggers other bad habits that could then increase your risk factor
  • Certain canned food and drinks are known to possess chemicals that behave like oestrogens, ­increasing breast cancer risk. Also, excess intake of food items that are high in saturated fats doubles the risk of developing this disease
  • Breast implants may enhance your overall appearance but could also make you susceptible to developing breast cancer. Studies indicate that women who have breast implants are 38% more ­likely to die from breast cancer as compared to women who succumb due to late diagnosis

Congenital Heart Disease – Uncovering the Facts

Friday, October 2nd, 2015

One of the most evident misconceptions about heart problems is that, it can affect only adults but the fact remains that every year approximately 130,000 children in India are born with congenital heart disease. A person who is completely unaware of this medical term may not be able to comprehend its impact on his/her child’s life.

In simple terms, congenital heart disease is a birth defect that affects the natural mechanism of the baby’s heart. They are basically structural defects that appear in the heart and blood vessels

Inspite of being the most common kind of of birth defect, congenital heart disease has no known prevention or cure but it can most certainly be corrected through surgical and/or interventional procedures. Pediatric cardiac care in India is still in its early stages. Acute lack of awareness and inadequate health care facilities has pushed up cases of congenital heart disease in India. Misconceptions associated with this fatal disease can subsequently impact further treatment of the patient

Let us uncover a few essential facts about Congenital Heart Disease (CHD)

  • Heart defects in kids is approximately 60 times more prevalent than childhood cancer
  • Congenital heart defects could be simple like having “holes” between chambers of the heart, or complex such as complete absence of one or more chambers or valves. Such defects can be diagnosed before birth, after birth or during childhood
  • More than 75% of infants born with critical heart disease can survive beyond a year and many can lead near normal lives after an open heart surgery
  • Regardless of a child’s race, age, or social class, congenital heart disease, can strike unannounced but certain anomalies can be detected through vital tests during pregnancy
  • Congenital heart defect is not a death sentence and it certainly doesn’t make the child imperfect or flawed. Timely diagnosis, surgical intervention and periodic follow-ups have helped hundreds of CHD patients live longer and healthier lives.
  • More than 50% of all children born with a congenital heart defect will require at least one invasive surgery in their lifetime. Also, he/she may not be able to gain weight as rapidly as other infants hence parents and caregivers are expected to constantly remain in touch with the child’s pediatric cardiologist/heart surgeon through routine follow-up visits.
  • Survival rates which were very low in past decades have improved drastically  with the emergence of advanced testing and treatment options

Children’s Heart Centre at Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital is a world-class cardiac & critical care center offering medical & surgical care to neonates, infants and children with all types of heart ailments

Taking care of children with heart defects can be extremely difficult especially for parents and caregivers who are incapable of handling the financial hurdles that may arise due to expensive treatment. Thousands of children suffering from congenital heart disease succumb to their illness due to lack of funds for medical treatment. Funding from generous sponsors has helped many ailing little-ones receive optimum pediatric care with high success rates.

Come forward and lend your support to this noble cause. A little kindness could help many unfortunate little ones receive improved quality and accessibility of cardiac care