Archive for November, 2015

Potential Winter Health Hazards

Friday, November 27th, 2015

The weather has become extremely unpredictable and full of surprises. In the past few weeks, the city has witnessed acute climatic fluctuations that shift from extremely hot and sunny afternoon to cool and pleasant evenings. In the midst of these climatic variations, what’s undeniable is the fact that winter is soon approaching. Even though you may feel like chilling out & enjoying the weather during the colder months, make sure you do not neglect your health in the process. Protect yourself from potential winter health hazards

  • As the cold weather sets in, people suffering from upper and lower respiratory problems, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and asthma endure a lot of discomfort which often leads to medical emergencies. Keeping the body warm during winter months is therefore extremely important.Tip – Cover-up your body the moment you feel cold. Don’t wait till you start shivering. It is recommended to wear, gloves, socks, scarves, woolen hat and/or anything that keeps your body warm & comfortable.
    Winter has long been associated with sickness. Experts advise people to get their routine vaccinations and periodic tests in order to diagnose a viral infection or any other winter ailment that’s about to strike.
  • Seasonal changes are accompanied with several bacterial infections to which the elderly and children are highly susceptible. In addition to lazy mornings and blanket hideouts, winter also brings with it an array of diseases which can be prevented with a healthy immune system.Tip – Fill-up your grocery bag with lots of fresh fruits & veggies, especially those that are rich in Vitamin A, C & E. A strong immune system, safeguards the body from a host of winter ailments
  • In cold weather, the body circulates less blood to the peripheral areas in order to conserve warm blood around the heart. This leads to stiffening of joints, thereby resulting in aches & pains. Osteoarthritis patients with Vitamin D deficiency also have an extremely hard time during wintry months.Tip – Vitamin D plays an important role in the production of cartilage and helps the body absorb calcium, thereby strengthening the bones. During winter, it is less likely to get sufficient amounts of vitamin D from the natural environment hence follow a Vitamin D rich diet. You can also count on Vitamin D supplements
  • Also known as the winter vomiting bug, Norovirus is an extremely infectious stomach bug that is known to be very active in cold weather. Young children and the senior citizens are at a high riskTip – Constant vomiting and diarrhea increases the risk of dehydration. Drink plenty of fluids and rest sufficiently
  • Heart attacks seem to be very common during the winter months because cold snaps increase blood pressure and put more strain on the heart.Tip – Keep your body warm as much as you can
  • Harsh winter winds can be devastating for your skin, making it dull, dry & cracked.Tip – Do not forget to moisturize your skin on a daily basis. The best time to apply a moisturizer is after a bath while the skin is still moist. It is best to avoid bathing with extremely hot water as doing so can take away the natural moisturizers from the skin.

Unseasonal Rains and its Impact on Human Health

Wednesday, November 25th, 2015

Heavy unseasonal rains have been pounding over various parts of Tamil Nadu and neighboring Puducherry causing flood like situation and throwing life out of gear.

Did you know…?

Flooding can trigger a host of health issues for the general population, sometimes even resulting in death and injury. Other potential outcomes include contaminated drinking water, dangerous material spills, increased population of disease-carrying insects and bugs, dingy houses, and public disturbance

Mumbai was also caught off-guard when heavy rains lashed in different parts of the city on Saturday, last week. Experts at the weather office have predicted a certain amount of rain showers to continue in different parts of the country. Although these unexpected showers have caused a slight temperature drop, it has also exposed us to a host of illnesses. Unseasonal rainfall caught many regular commuters off guard. With no defense, people had no choice but to get wet in the rains resulting in an increase in the cases of viral fever.

Abrupt climate change impacts our health and wellbeing. It not only worsens several existing diseases and conditions, but also opens the door for new pests and pathogens to enter our environment. Climate change in the form of unseasonal rainfall also affects the air movement and quality thus promoting the growth of airborne allergens and pollution which causes significant damage to the human health. Another aspect of unseasonal rainfall is the damage caused to the crops resulting in food contamination and shortage.

People who are the most affected and highly vulnerable to diseases due to natural climate fluctuations are children, elderly and the ailing population. The underprivileged section of our society is also affected severely as a result of unexpected changes in the temperature levels

Dry climate before the recent spell of unseasonal rainfall can be conducive for virus growth. Experts believe, rapid fluctuation in temperature initiates an influx of virus which triggers upper respiratory infection

What’s more… pollution and water accumulation in potholes caused by heavy rainfall could add to the mosquito menace thus increasing the risk of illnesses like Swine flu, Dengue and Malaria

Since past few years, unexpected climate changes have been occurring at an increasingly rapid rate. Climatic change that shifts from high levels of heat during the day to heavy rainfall at night may make conditions ripe for disease spread. Such changes have to be actively supervised with co-ordinated responses in all aspects of their impacts on human society, including health.

Epilepsy – Busting common Myths

Monday, November 2nd, 2015

Epilepsy is a medical condition in which a person experiences repeated, unprovoked seizures which is caused by a sporadic, sudden and extreme electrical discharge from cells in the brain.

India is home to an estimated population of 10 million epileptic patients. Atleast 1 out of every 100 or 200 people in India suffers from this neurological disorder. Depending on its kind, Epilepsy affects people in different ways

Treatment options for Epilepsy has progressed immensely since the past decade but the stigma and shame associated with this disorder prevents people from seeing proper medical help. Inspite of being the oldest medical condition on record, Epilepsy has still been kept under wraps and very little has been spoken about this issue on a public platform

Let’s generate awareness by busting some common myths and misconceptions about epilepsy.

Myth – Epilepsy is caused by “evil spirits” or “supernatural powers

Fact – Epilepsy is a neurological disorder hence should be treated by neurologists, epileptologists, physicians and pediatricians.

Myth – Epilepsy is contagious
Fact – Epilepsy is entirely a neurological disorder and does not spread by coming into contact with someone who has seizures

Myth – Epilepsy has no cure
Fact – Medication, surgery, dietary and/or other therapies have successfully helped in reducing or eliminating seizures in many epileptic patients. With proper treatment approach, most patients can lead full, productive lives.

Myth – Epilepsy is genetic
Fact – Anyone can be diagnosed with Epilepsy at any given point in life. While some people are born with this disease, there are others who are diagnosed with it for no apparent cause. Regardless of your age, sex, ethnicity or financial background, epilepsy can occur unannounced

Myth – Epilepsy affects intelligence
Fact – On average, Epileptic patients have shown to possess the same level of intelligence as a healthy human being. Learning abilities of patients can be affected only if the frequency and intensity of seizures increase

Myth – An Epileptic patient can never get married nor have kids
Fact – With the consent of both partners, it is possible for epileptic patients to marry and lead a healthy life. Also with proper pre conception counseling it is possible for an epileptic woman to conceive and have children.

Myth – During a seizure, epileptic patients sometimes swallow their own tongue.
Fact – A person having seizures may end up biting his/her tongue but is simply impossible to swallow the tongue and choke

Myth – If you’ve had a seizure, you have epilepsy
Fact – Not all seizures can be attributed to Epilepsy. Seizures can happen for other reasons, like high temperature, binge drinking, head injury etc. To be diagnosed as a case of epilepsy, the patient must have suffered at least two unprovoked seizures.

Myth – You should force something into the mouth of someone having a seizure
Fact – Please do not put anything into a person’s mouth if he/she is having a seizure as it could cause an injury. During most seizures, the person is unconscious hence incapable of safely handling foreign objects in his/her mouth.