Archive for February, 2016

Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) – Get your facts right!

Tuesday, February 23rd, 2016

It is extremely traumatizing for any parent to hear that their child has a disability . For many, this information comes as a sudden shock, so much so that they lose the ability to think clearly. In an attempt to cope with their own pain and frustrations, parents often end up ignoring the special needs of their child. With result-oriented, comprehensive care people with developmental disabilities can be more active, productive, and independent.

The early years of a child’s life are very important for his/her overall health and development. Developmental disorders are a group of childhood neurological conditions that develop over time and cause impairment in mental, emotional, behavioral, and physical features.

One such form of disability also known as the Pervasive developmental disorder (PDD) impedes an individual’s ability to develop normal communication and socialization skills. Autism , Rett Syndrome, Childhood disintegrative disorder and Asperger syndrome are all categorized as a form of Pervasive developmental disorder (PDD). Although this illness doesn’t physically affect an individual, it does have a significant impact on his/her behavior.


In order to commence with the treatment, it is extremely important for family & relatives to spot the warning signs of this developmental disability. Common symptoms associated with a PDD include:

  • Recurring behavior or body movements (For Ex – rocking back and forth)
  • Difficulty in comprehending language and speech development
  • Inability to deal changes in daily routine
  • Difficulty in adjusting in a new surrounding
  • Inability to relate to people, normal tasks, and objects
  • Strange behavior with regard to objects and toys

If monitored closely, a child’s behavior can give several clues about his/her physical & psychological condition. Although, the symptoms of a pervasive developmental disorder become visible right from infancy, they are often overlooked due to ignorance and lack of awareness about the same. This developmental disability can strike from birth or any time before the child turns 3. Accurate diagnoses could be a tricky task as the assessment is based on behavioral analysis rather than medical tests. A pervasive developmental disorder therefore has to be diagnosed only by a qualified specialist.


There is no permanent cure for a Pervasive Developmental Disorder however medications can be extremely helpful in coping with some of the behavioral problems associated with it. In addition to medication, a specialized therapy will further benefit the individual in developing some social skills

Those diagnosed with this disability almost always have a normal mental function with few even demonstrating a high intelligence quotient (IQ). With comprehensive care and medical assistance, children with disorders can function reasonably well in a normal school setting while others may have to opt for specialized teaching, which caters to their needs

If your child is diagnosed with Pervasive Developmental Disorder , it is not the end of the world. With continued progression in the world of science & medicine, there is no reason why an individual with this disability cannot live a normal life in the near future. As a parent, you know your child better enough to gauge if he/she is or isn’t showing age-appropriate behavior. If you’re concerned that your child has developmental delay, don’t hesitate to share your doubts with an expert healthcare provider

The Department of Developmental Disorders at Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital takes a multi-disciplinary approach that is aimed at early & accurate diagnosis, followed by personalized medical and therapeutic care.

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Tips to combat cold & flu

Wednesday, February 17th, 2016

With winter chills re-entering the city, cases of viral fever and flu seem to have doubled in the past few weeks. Medical dispensaries and clinics are flooded with patients showing symptoms of common cold, flu and viral infection. While the temperature outside keeps fluctuating by the day, it is extremely vital to ensure that your body is equipped to cope with the dramatic climate changes.

Even though you may feel like chilling out & enjoying the pleasant weather, make sure you do not neglect your health in the process. Breeze through this season and keep those winter health woes at bay with these simple tips

Practice good hygiene and get into the habit of washing your hands frequently. This habit could easily prove to be one of the most effective ways of preventing diseases, especially the ones that are contagious. A powerful sneeze or cough sends an aerosol spray that contains millions of virus particles, which remain suspended in the air for a while. People within range of the spray inhale the virus and fall ill after getting infected. Viruses cling to and remain active for several hours on bare hands hence don’t use your hands to cover up your mouth while coughing and sneezing. Instead, use tissues for the same. Also, carry & use a hand sanitizer while visiting public places.

When you feel those first cold symptoms, increase your fluid intake. Drinking plenty of water keeps your system moving so that it can discard what’s not needed. Phlegm can be pushed out of the body only if you are sufficiently hydrated

Take good care of your Immune system. Fill-up your grocery bag with lots of fresh fruits & veggies, especially those that are rich in Vitamin A, C & E. If your immune system is strong enough, it becomes easier to combat many infection & illnesses.

Get plenty of sleep. When you are asleep, the body releases certain chemicals into your system which is known to benefit the immune system. In the absence of adequate sleep, your immune system takes a serious hit, making you more vulnerable to minor ailments like cold & flu.

Seasonal changes have long been associated with sickness. These measures will help you combat bacterial infections and safeguard your health

ZIKA Virus – Get your facts right

Tuesday, February 9th, 2016
Did you know…?

India has had a history of ZIKA virus attacks as early as in the 1950s.

ZIKA Virus is transmitted via the Aedes Aegypti mosquito which also carries dengue and chikungunya viruses. Since May 2015, the ZIKA infection has reportedly spread in 24 countries and territories of America.

ZIKA virus commands attention because it is known to trigger birth defects and neurological problems in newborns. Although in India, there have been no cases or medical emergencies caused by the ZIKA virus so far, we also cannot deny the fact that our fertile climate & environment is conducive for the growth and multiplication of the Aedes aegypti mosquitoes. Rising temperatures across India could work in the favor of this mosquito breed, making it easier for them to reproduce & spread the virus. As of now, there is no vaccine or medication to prevent or cure the ZIKA infection and considering the number of dengue cases in India, there is certainly a cause for concern because the mosquito that carries this virus actually thrives in our country.

Here are a few essential facts about the ZIKA virus/infection

ZIKA virus is most commonly transmitted when an Aedes mosquito bites an infected person and then spreads the virus by biting others. It can also be transferred sexually as the virus is known to remain active within an infected person’s semen for a long time

If a person is infected with the ZIKA virus, he/she may have mild fever, headache, skin rash, muscle, joint pain, malaise and conjunctivitis that could last for 2 to 7 days. 80% of those infected never know they have the disease because of delayed detection & treatment owing to its resemblance with flu-like symptoms. Screening is thus important.

Getting plenty of rest with sufficient intake of fluid to prevent dehydration is known to be highly effective in treating this illness

Infected people shouldn’t consume Aspirin and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs

Pregnant women fall under the high-risk group as the ZIKA virus is known to cause brain defects in unborn babies

With no treatment or vaccine available, the only protection against the ZIKA infection is through awareness. Here are a few precautionary measures to prevent the spread of this virus:

Surprising as it may sound, Aedes aegypti mosquitoes that carry the ZIKA virus do not breed in stale water but use fresh water stored in flowerpot, cooler, water puddle etc. as their breeding grounds. Do not let clean water accumulate at any place in the house. These mosquitoes are highly active during the day therefore necessary measures should be taken to keep them away. Keeping your environment clean & hygienic is the most effective way to prevent this disease.

Use bed nets and mosquito repellents to protect yourself from mosquito bites. Cover the exposed areas of your skin with adequate clothing before venturing outdoors as Aedes Aegypti is a day-biting mosquito

Grow plants such as citronella, basil, lemon grass, lavender, mint, rosemary etc. in your home in order to repel mosquitoes

It would be favorable for people especially for pregnant women and women who are planning to bear a child in the near future to avoid travelling to affected areas such as Latin American countries like Brazil, and the Caribbean for some time until the situation is brought under control

Travelers suffering from of high/mild fever within two weeks of return from an affected country should report to the nearest health facility

The ZIKA virus is constantly progressing and with World Health Organization (WHO) announcing it as an international public health emergency, India needs to be extremely cognizant about the spread of this disease.

Reference material

Everyday tips for Cancer Prevention

Tuesday, February 2nd, 2016
Did you know..?

More than 3.5 lakh people die of cancer each year and the estimated number of new cancers in India per year is about 7 lakhs. Cancer is the 2nd leading cause of death in India, which is mounting at an alarming rate of 11 % each year

Experts believe that almost 70% of known causes of cancers are related to lifestyle and can be prevented. Although this unexpected, life-threatening disease cannot be predicted in most cases, it can certainly be avoided to a large extent with a few simple changes in your daily life.

Taking place under the tagline ‘We can. I can., World Cancer Day 2016 will explore the ways in which people can contribute in reducing the global burden of cancer. With that intention, let’s work towards spreading cancer awareness and encourage its prevention, detection and treatment

Here are a few Everyday tips for Cancer Prevention

Make smart food choices – Cancer risk can be drastically reduced by consuming a diet that includes more of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and legumes. Cut down the consumption of salty, fatty and processed food items. Non-vegetarians should strictly limit the intake of red meat

Reduce your sugar intake – Without Sugar, your body can survive heartily but Cancer can starve to death

Experts believe that sugar is a major cancer fuel. Cancer cells derive their power from sugar hence the risk of this deadly disease can be minimized drastically by cutting down your sugar intake.

Stay hydrated – Drinking plenty of water and other liquids helps in diluting the concentration of cancer-causing agents in urine and flushing them out through the bladder thus reducing the risk of bladder cancer

Steer clear of Tobacco – Tobacco when consumed in any form, doubles risk of developing cancer. While chewing tobacco causes oral and pancreatic cancer, smoking has been associated with cancer of the lungs, bladder, cervix and kidneys

Limit alcohol consumption – Evidence links alcohol consumption to mouth & throat cancer (larynx and pharynx), oesophageal cancer, bowel cancer (colon and rectum), liver cancer and female breast cancer.

Protect yourself from harsh sun rays – There is no such thing as a safe tan. Any amount of exposure to the sun can subject the skin to harmful ultraviolet rays, thereby increasing the risk of skin cancer. Prevent skin cancer by shielding the sun-exposed areas of the body with proper clothing. When it’s sunny outside, wear long sleeved outfits, wide-brimmed cap/hat and sunglasses.

Exercise regularly – Research indicates that approximately 30 minutes of physical activity on a daily basis can decrease your cancer risk. What’s more…it also helps in maintaining an ideal body weight which could in turn lower your risk of developing breast cancer, colon cancer, lung cancer, prostate cancer and kidney cancer.

Limit the use of Mobile phones – Studies have indicated a direct link between cell phone use and cancers of the brain, nerves and other tissues of the head/neck. This is because mobile phones communicate with base stations that make extensive use of RF radiation and if the intensity of this radiation is high, it can easily increase the body temperature, thereby giving rise to a wide range of health issues.

Limit the intake of Tea and Coffee – Tea is ph value 6, while coffee is ph value 5, both of which are known to trigger acidic reactions. It can also cause major illnesses like cancer, ulcers etc. Drinking a glass of water before tea and coffee will minimize the damage.

Go for periodic health-checkups – Do not let your health take a backseat. Go for your periodic health check-ups as it can provide a better understanding of your current health status. Getting tested regularly will also help in early detection and successful treatment of many kinds of cancer.