Archive for March, 2016

Health Hazards of Excessive TV Viewing

Wednesday, March 30th, 2016

People blame a hectic work schedule for missing out on their daily workout but somehow make time to watch the television every day without fail.

With hundreds of channels featuring a variety of entertainment programs, it has become next to impossible for people to maintain a safe distance from Television. Anything in excess is bad for health and this saying is also applicable to an individual’s TV viewing time.

Did you know…?

Experts believe that every hour spent watching television cuts down the viewer’s life by 22 minutes. What’s more…some researchers are also of the view that watching too much TV is as dangerous as smoking

In addition to causing vision-related problems, spending several hours in front of the idiot box makes a person highly vulnerable to cardio-vascular diseases, obesity, diabetes and hypertension – all of which are linked to lack of exercise. With every 2 hours of TV viewed each day, the risk of Diabetes and Obesity is increased by 14% and 23% respectively

Sitting in a certain position for a long time also paves way for spine related problems that often result in acute back ache. While watching television, a person often remains inactive at a stretch for several hours. This puts the body’s metabolic functions on hold. Lack of physical activity causes the lungs & heart to work slowly resulting in very little blood being pumped through the system. This allows fats and cholesterol to build up in the arteries. When this happens, an individual becomes highly susceptible to heart attacks and strokes.

Chronic TV watchers often end up missing out on a lot of sleep and experience extreme fatigue throughout the day.

Television viewing has turned out to be a major sedentary behavior that is threatening the lives of many. Studies conducted on this subject have revealed that watching television in excess can change the structure of a child’s brain in a way that it tends to lower their verbal intelligence

Another study has further insinuated that watching television for 5 or more hours a day could increase the risk of developing a blockage within the artery that carries blood from the heart to the lungs – a condition also known as ‘Pulmonary embolism’

With these findings and Cricket Matches in full swing, it is highly crucial to keep a close watch on the amount of time you and your loved ones spend in front of the Idiot box.

Holi Special – Tips to Prevent Skin & Hair Damage

Tuesday, March 22nd, 2016

It’s that time of the year when watery splashes and powdered colors seem to be a common sighting across the country.

Did you know…?

In olden days, Holi was played with vegetable colors but these days most kinds of water colors & pastes contain toxic compounds (used in the base of engine oils) that can easily trigger acute skin allergies as well as temporary blindness.

Lack of knowledge and information about synthetic colors is one of the prime reasons that trigger hair & skin problems post Holi celebrations. Chemical and metallic colors are health hazards and highly capable of causing skin and hair allergies. Instead of using colors that contain harmful chemicals, you can opt for natural colors such as henna, turmeric, marigold flowers, tomatoes and tea leaves for a safe and skin-friendly Holi.

Soak in the colors of Holi, but before you do that, spare a few minutes to think about the effect of colors on your skin and hair.

Safe colors are duly certified by relevant authorities and carry all product information clearly on the product packaging. Red & Pink colors come off easily as compared to Green, Orange or Purple which are gaudy colors and contain harsh chemicals.

Chemical colors can cause severe damage to the skin. Apply a generous proportion of Vaseline or Mustard/Olive/Coconut oil to the exposed areas of your skin before and after Holi celebrations. It acts as a protective shield and guards the skin to some extent from the damaging effects of synthetic colors. Do not forget to apply a good quality moisturizer to your face before stepping out. If you are planning to go for a short haircut, a few days before Holi could be the best time to get that perfect makeover

Drink plenty of water to replenish the skin which tends to become dry after coming in contact with the toxins used in artificial colors. Wear long sleeved tops and full length bottoms to protect your skin.

Get a relaxing head massage with a good quality hair oil. Oiling the hair prevents Holi colors from sticking on to the strands thereby reducing hair damage. Apart from this precautionary measure, it would also be a good idea to cover up your hair with a scarf, cap, hat or bandana just to offer extra protection from colors that contain hard-to-rinse dyes. Avoid keeping your hair open while playing with colors.

For removing these colors it is best to use a mild cleanser as compared to soaps which can trigger dryness or skin irritation

Do not apply make up while playing Holi as the colors can easily stick with cosmetics and cause subsequent skin damage.

Try not to undergo any cosmetic procedure for atleast 7-10 days after Holi if the color remains on the skin.

Every year, Holi gives us colorful memories to cherish for a lifetime. These precautionary measures will ensure that your hair and skin remain unharmed during & after the celebrations.

These Habits could be Depleting your Energy

Thursday, March 17th, 2016
Do you feel lethargic all day?

Is it difficult to concentrate on your daily chores?

Ever thought what could be draining your energy?

Healthy sleeping habits can make a big difference in the quality of your life. Lack of sleep at night can prevent the immune system from rebuilding itself, resulting in decreased number of T cells in the body. People who do not get enough sleep end up with a weak immune system due to which they constantly feel exhausted and fall ill frequently

A healthy bedtime routine plays an important role in making you feel fresh to face but did you know that certain lifestyle practices could be making you feel sluggish and tired all the time

Let’s discuss these factors in brief

  • Skipping breakfast – After a good night’s sleep, your body has to be fuelled to go through the rest of the day. This fuel can be provided in the form of a wholesome breakfast like cereal and fresh fruits. Never skip your breakfast as doing so slows down the metabolic process and keeps your energy levels low
  • Not drinking enough water – Approximately 60 to 75% of our body mass is water. There is no better health drink than Water because it is fat-free with zero cholesterol and no calories. When your body is dehydrated, it causes reduced blood volume which decelerates the speed at which oxygen and essential nutrients reach your body.
    Make it a daily habit to drink 500ml of water before breakfast. If you are sufficiently hydrated, you will have more energy, mental clarity and an improved digestive system
  • Missing out on exercise – It is essential to strike a perfect balance between food and physical activity. In order to keep your immune system active and functioning properly, it is essential to participate in some or the other form of physical activity for a minimum of 30 minutes – 5 days a week. Walking is considered as the best and safest form of exercise for people of all ages. It not only helps you burn calories but also improves your strength, stamina and endurance.
    If you exercise daily in moderation, it will not only boost your blood circulation and energy levels but also help you shed those extra kilos
  • Going overboard with caffeinated drinks – In addition to keeping you awake caffeinated drinks can also disrupt a person’s sleeping cycle. What’s more…Caffeine has a diuretic effect that draws water out of the body thus making you feel less active throughout the day
  • Worrying too much – Don’t let Stress get the best of you. People with chronic stress and elevated Cortisol (stress hormone) levels are much likely to skip work and gradually end up losing their productivity. When stress becomes a part of your daily life, your body is bogged down with toxins and anxiety that affects your energy and performance levels.
  • Smoking & drinking excessively – Both, alcohol and nicotine are known to cause severe damage to the blood vessels which automatically doubles the risk of atherosclerosis and blood clotting. What’s more…Experts believe that having an alcoholic beverage before bedtime creates a sudden surge in your adrenaline system thus interfering with your natural sleep cycle. If you are awake at night, you’ll certainly feel tired during the day.
  • Gadget Addiction – Do you spend most part of your waking hours checking your mobile phone and emails for new messages?
    Too much screen time throws your system off track and interferes with your sleep, making you feel lethargic.
  • Reduced Iron intake – In addition to anemia, insufficient iron intake can also cause fatigue and depression. Inadequate iron in the body results in less oxygen supply to the muscles and cells. Keep your energy levels high by chowing down on iron rich foods like cereals, eggs, green vegetables, nuts, legumes, citrus fruits, broccoli, dry fruits, tofu etc.

Women’s Day Special – Lesser Known Health Facts

Tuesday, March 8th, 2016
Did you know…?

Urinary tract infections are 50 times more common in women than in men. Thyroid disease is 15 times more likely to affect women than men

From stroke and cardiovascular diseases to diabetes and menopause, women are susceptible to multiple illnesses. For most women, caring for their health might not be at the top of their to-do list. If a woman is responsible for your smile, please be responsible for her health. This year on Women’s Day, let’s get acquainted with some important body facts to help that special woman in your life stay healthy and hearty

Be well- informed about your genetics – When it comes to getting tested for a chronic illness, most doctors ask their patients about genetics and family history. Knowing about your parent’s illness can certainly not predict your medical future but definitely help you and your doctor lookout for specific things. Next time you get a health check-up make sure to update your doctor about your family medical history. Keep an eye on things like high blood pressure and cholesterol, any cancer or chronic illnesses that may run in your family

Do not ignore cramps and spotting between your periods – Most women tend to ignore painful menstrual cramps and spotting between periods as a routine occurrence. This could prove to be a cause of concern later. For most adolescents and women in their early 20s, cramps could be triggered by excess of the hormone prostaglandin. However, in older women cramps can be a sign of fibroids, polyps or endometriosis. Watch closely for any unusual changes in your body and always keep your doctor informed

Know the signs of a Heart Attack – A study conducted at Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital revealed that women as compared to men pose a higher risk of being under-diagnosed of heart attacks in the absence of gender-specific diagnostic tests.

The warnings signs of a Heart Attack are different for women as compared to men. In addition to chest pains, women tend to have minor discomfort in the upper back, shoulders, neck, jaw or arms. Some women may also experience extreme fatigue or anxiety in the weeks leading up to a heart attack.

Beware of Skin Cancer – Although face is one of the most sun-exposed areas of the body, it isn’t the only place for skin cancer to show up. Women often ignore certain areas of the body which are lesser exposed but not protected by sunscreen like the scalp, back of the neck and even bottom of the feet. Make regular appointments with a dermatologist and do not forget to use a sunscreen with at least SPF 30. What’s more… take note of your skin texture (on your whole body) and pay attention to any irregularities. Early detection can be very helpful in successful skin cancer treatment

Get a Bone Density Test – Foods that contain a high level of Sodium are known to extract calcium from the body thereby increasing the risk of developing Osteoporosis. Women are naturally prone to losing their bone density after the age of 30. Studies indicate that post-menopausal women who consume a high sodium diet pose a significantly higher risk of losing essential bone minerals as compared to others. It is thus recommended for all women above the age of 45 or 50 to test their Bone Density Test within regular intervals.

Get tested for PCOS – According to a survey, 1 out of 5 women in Mumbai (within the reproductive age) is at the risk of developing PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome), which is also known to cause infertility. Never heard of this term…?

Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome is a common endocrine system disorder, whereby a woman’s levels of sex hormones go out of balance resulting in enlarged ovaries with small collections of fluid called follicles. There is no permanent cure for PCOS, although this medical condition can be managed to a large extent with timely diagnosis

Get screened for Breast Cancer – Any changes in your breasts or nipple, a new lump or changes in skin color and texture are symptoms of breast cancer.

Mammography is an important tool in breast cancer screening and the only means to detect cancer at a very early stage. Many women fear a mammography test because they believe it to be a painful procedure. The fact is that most advanced Mammography machines these days are equipped with a sensor that clearly indicates when optimal compression of the breast is achieved, thus preventing over compression and associated discomfort.

Well-equipped with state-of-the-art radiation machines and day care chemo suites, the Comprehensive breast care unit at Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital is a dedicated service that has been created to specifically diagnose and treat the entire spectrum of conditions affecting mammary gland.

Fertility Facts Every Woman Needs to Know

Wednesday, March 2nd, 2016

For some women, pregnancy comes as a shock or surprise especially when it’s unplanned but for others, the journey to motherhood can be extremely agonizing mainly due to the complications that may arise in the course of time.

Did you know…?

1 out of 10 healthy couples of reproductive age experience problems with fertility.

Although fertility problems have become very common these days, there are many women who are either ill-informed or unaware of the facts concerning this subject.

With an aim to increase awareness, let’s throw some light on a few lesser known facts about Fertility

  • Folic acid is a B-vitamin that plays an important role in building healthy cells and is also known to improve the egg quality. Women of reproductive age should take multivitamins with folic acid in order to prevent neural-tube defects like spina bifida.
  • Being overweight or underweight has a significant impact on a woman’s ability to get pregnant. The human body needs at least 22 % body fat to be able to ovulate and reproduce normally. On the other hand, Obesity is known to trigger a hormonal imbalance, which could also delay/prevent pregnancy.
  • Smoking increases the risk of blockages in the fallopian tubes and causes significant damage to the eggs. Women who smoke are at least 1.5 times more likely than non-smokers to have fertility problems. This habit when continued during pregnancy puts the baby at risk of developing serious health problems. What’s more…Smoking women are also known to reach menopause earlier than non-smokers. Poor diet, alcohol consumption, lack of exercise and chronic stress are a few additional lifestyle factors that can affect your chances of getting pregnant
  • Besides age, there can be multiple factors affecting your fertility. Hypothyroidism, or low thyroid function, autoimmune disease, celiac disease, PCOS and environmental toxins could play a role in preventing or postponing your pregnancy. If you haven’t conceived after 12 months of trying, make an appointment to see your OB-GYN or a specialist
  • Fertility problems can emerge at any age, any time, even if you have conceived in the past. Moreover, it is also important to note that Fertility issues can affect men and women equally. This is a medical condition and a very sensitive matter which should be handled by the couple as two mature individuals without blaming each other
  • If you are thinking of postponing your pregnancy, it is best to do a check on your egg reserve in order to gauge if you do or don’t have time to conceive. This can be done via a simple blood test conducted on the 3rd day of your menstrual cycle. While getting the blood test, you can speak to your doctor about your unique health factors, lifestyle choices, and family history indicators, as all these have a considerable impact on your chances of getting pregnant.

Not all fertility problems are severe. Having fertility issues doesn’t mean that you will never be able to conceive a child or experience motherhood. Continued progress in the world of medical science has created new possibilities for couples facing fertility issues to bear a child with proper treatment and therapy. Those with a severe fertility problem can always explore the option of adopting a child.

For more information on issues related to Women’s Reproductive Health and Fertility problems, attend a Fertility Awareness seminar at Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital, 7th floor, HRD Training Room1 on March 4th 2016 from 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm

Entry is free but strictly for COUPLES only. Registration is mandatory. Please call – +91-22-30972793 or SMS ‘KDAH SEM’ to 55454