World Heart Day

Sep 29th, 2016

Archive for September, 2016

World Heart Day

Thursday, September 29th, 2016

World Heart Day is celebrated on 29th September 2016. It is the World’s Heart Federation’s biggest platform for raising awareness about Cardiovascular disease (CVD). The success of World Heart Day depends on the pro-activity of organizations from around the world to help spread awareness of CVD, the world’s number one killer. The theme for 2016 is creating heart-healthy environments. This means we create healthy places to live, work and play, our environment should not increase our risk of cardiovascular disease.

It has been noted that at least 80% of premature deaths from cardiovascular disease (CVD) could be avoided if four main risk factors – tobacco use, unhealthy diet, physical inactivity and harmful use of alcohol – are controlled. In recent times there is a greater risk of heart failure due to the increase in conditions like hypertension and diabetes.

Heart Disease and India

Statistics suggest that the occurrence of heart disease among the youth has increased at a rate of 24.8 per cent in the past decade. Sadly, nearly 1/6th of all Indian patients of cardiovascular diseases are under 40 years of age and nearly 1/4th of all heart attacks in India occur at less than 40 years of age. If you are conscious about your heart health, start early.

Smoking is one of the worst habits for our heart health. It damages the inner lining of the arteries supplying blood to the heart muscle and increases the risk of clot formation which leads to heart attacks. Also, a very prevalent risk factor among Indians is the combination of high triglyceride counts and low levels of good cholesterol (HDL).

A decent work-life balance with low stress levels is important for a healthy heart. Negative emotions, stress and tension pump up the secretion of epinephrine in the body and can precipitate vulnerable plaques and massive heart attacks.

As Indians we also lack behind in fitness routines. A healthy diet with an exercise routine is a must to avoid or delay heart diseases. Have your measured your waist lately? It is said anything greater than 80 cm (32 inches) for women and 94 cm (37 inches) for men means increased risk.

Prevention

People of every age and gender irrespective of family history of heart diseases are getting cardiovascular diseases. It cannot always be avoided but can at least be pushed to a lot later in life. The best way to do so is by adopting a healthy lifestyle starting today.

Here are a tips to maintain a healthy heart:

  • Eat Right – Let us adapt a healthy diet low in saturated fat, transfats, cholesterol, sodium, sugars and added sweeteners.  Eat more fruits and vegetables, fibre rich wholegrain, nuts, legumes, seeds and low-fat dairy products. Adapting healthier cooking methods can also make a huge difference as well.
  • Maintain an active lifestyle – Get into the habit of daily yoga, aerobics or brisk walks. Regularity in your fitness routine is as important as starting the activity.
  • No smoking –  Smoking is a complete no, avoid passive smoke also as much as possible. Exposure to second-hand smoke also poses a serious health hazard.
  • Family history – It is essential to keep a track on family history of heart diseases as it increases your risk of getting one. You control or delay your risk of heart disease by maintaining a healthy weight, exercising regularly, not smoking and eating right.
  • Stress..the biggest killer – Long-term stress causes an increase in heart rate and blood pressure that may damage the artery walls. Learn some stress management techniques like meditation and deep breathing to relax yourself.
  • Blood sugar tests- In addition to blood pressure checks and other heart-health screenings, you should test your blood glucose regularly.
  • Learn the warning signs of a heart attack and stroke – Heart attack symptoms in women can be different than men. Knowing when you’re having a heart attack or stroke means that you’re more likely to seek and get immediate help.
Age wise precautions:
  • Crossed 20 years , start check-up routines. Surprising as it may sound, youths also need to be checked for heart disease. With our current lifestyle and food habits, our heart is at its vulnerable most.
  • Crossed 30 years, maintain a heart-healthy lifestyle for your entire family. You must create and sustain heart-healthy habits in your parents, spouse and kids.
  • Crossed 40 years, control your weight. Maintain a healthy weight with a good diet and a daily exercise routine.
  • Crossed 50 years, healthy diet is a must. It’s easy to slip into some unhealthy eating habits as you age. Refresh your eating habits by eating plenty of fruits, vegetables, wholegrain, nuts, legumes and seeds.
  • Crossed 60 years, have an ankle-brachial index test. As soon as you turn 60, you must get an ankle-brachial index test done every year. The test will assess the pulse in your feet to help diagnose peripheral artery disease (PAD), a lesser-known cardiovascular disease in which plaque builds up in the leg arteries.

Live better, Live longer. Our heart health is in our own hands, the earlier we realise this the better it is. Do visit the Centre for Cardiac sciences at Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital for all your heart concerns. Our Cardiac sciences department has been ranked no. 1 in western India at the All India Multispecialty Hospitals Survey 2016. We have performed more than 1,500 coronary angioplasties and 2,500 cardiac surgeries till date. The Cardio sciences department provides an all-inclusive programme for the management of all heart diseases.

World Alzheimer’s day

Monday, September 19th, 2016

We have all heard about the term Alzheimer’s. But do you know what happens in this disease? Let us understand more about Alzheimer’s disease this World Alzheimer’s day, 21st September 2016.

What is Alzheimer’s ?

Alzheimer’s disease is named after the doctor who first described it – Alois Alzheimer. It is a physical disease that affects the brain. During the course of the disease, proteins build up in the brain leading to loss of connections between nerve cells and eventually to the death of nerve cells. People with Alzheimer’s develop a shortage of some important chemicals in their brain, these chemicals help transmit signals around the brain.

Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of dementia. The word dementia describes a set of symptoms that can include memory loss and difficulties with thinking, problem-solving or language. Alzheimer’s is a progressive disease, which means over time, more parts of the brain are damaged and symptoms become more severe.

Who is at risk?

Most people develop Alzheimer’s disease after the age of 65. Above 65 years, a person’s risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease doubles approximately every five years. Research shows that almost twice as many women as men over 65 get Alzheimer’s. This disease may also be passed down by inheritance.

Health and lifestyle

Medical conditions such as diabetes, heart problems, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and obesity increase the risk of Alzheimer’s. People who adopt a healthy lifestyle, especially from mid-life onwards are less likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease.

Diagnosis

If you or a loved one is facing some of the below symptoms, then visit a doctor immediately. He may conduct initial checks or refer you to a specialist. Some brain scans show whether any changes have taken place in the brain.

Treatment

There is currently no cure for Alzheimer’s disease. Regular visit to a psychiatrist or a therapist works well for most patients. There are drug treatments for Alzheimer’s disease that can temporarily alleviate some symptoms or slow down their progression.

Symptoms

The most common symptom is loss of memory. However everyone is different and unique and face different symptoms.

Some of the most common symptoms are listed below

  • Memory loss that disrupts daily life – One of the most common signs of Alzheimer’s is memory loss, especially forgetting recently learned information. Others include forgetting important dates or events and  asking for the same information over and over.
  • Challenges in planning or solving problems – Some people may experience changes in their ability to develop and follow a plan or work with numbers. They may have trouble following a familiar recipe or keeping track of monthly bills.
  • Difficulty completing familiar tasks – People with Alzheimer’s often find it hard to complete daily tasks. It may include driving to a familiar location or remembering the rules of a favourite game.
  • Confusion with place or time – People with Alzheimer’s can lose track of dates, seasons and the passage of time.
  • Trouble understanding visual images and spatial relationships – For some people, having vision problems is a sign of Alzheimer’s. They may have difficulty reading, judging distance and determining colour or contrast.
  • New problems with word in speaking or writing – People with Alzheimer’s may have trouble following or joining a conversation. They may also repeat themselves.
  • Misplacing things and losing the ability to retrace steps – A person with Alzheimer’s disease may put things in unusual places. They may lose things and be unable to go back over their steps to find them again.
  • Withdrawal from work or social activities – A person with Alzheimer’s may start to remove themselves from hobbies, social activities, work projects or sports.

The Alzheimer and Memory Clinic at Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital is a specialist clinic for people with neurological problems. We offer a comprehensive screening and care program for Alzheimer disease and other memory disorders, including neurology consultation, physical and cognitive rehabilitation, and psychotherapy.

Dengue

Thursday, September 15th, 2016

As we are nearing the end of monsoon season the nation is engulfed with an increasing number of dengue cases. Let us all work together to keep our neighbourhoods mosquito free and curb the menace of dengue.

Dengue pronounced as Dengee fever is a painful, debilitating mosquito-borne disease caused by the bite of an Aedes mosquito infected with a dengue virus.

Dengue is spread by dengue virus I, II, III and IV types, all transmitted by Aedes aegypti. Strains II and IV are considered to be deadly. An estimated 390 million dengue infections occur worldwide each year, with about 96 million resulting in illness.

Dengue fever cannot be spread from one person to another person. It is transmitted through mosquitoes. The disease is often called the “break-bone fever” because of the unusually severe muscle and joint pain it causes.

Dengue symptoms usually begin three to fourteen days after the infection. Some of them are listed below:

  • Sudden fever
  • Severe headaches
  • Pain behind the eyes
  • Severe joint and muscle pain
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Skin rash, which appears two to five days after the onset of fever
  • Mild bleeding (such as nose bleed, bleeding gums, or easy bruising)

Sometimes, symptoms are mild and can be mistaken for a viral infection or flu. Young children tend to have milder symptoms than older children and adults. But once developed, these symptoms may last up to 10 days.

Timely treatment for dengue is essential as sometimes serious problems can develop. These include dengue hemorrhagic fever, a rare complication characterized by high fever, damage to lymph and blood vessels, bleeding from the nose and gums, enlargement of the liver and failure of the circulatory system. The symptoms may progress to massive bleeding, shock, and death. This is called dengue shock syndrome (DSS). People with weakened immune systems as well as those with a second or subsequent dengue infection are believed to be at greater risk for developing dengue hemorrhagic fever.

Why is dengue increasing?
  • Increased urban crowding gives more sites for mosquitoes to develop.
  • Local and world environmental changes allow mosquitoes to survive throughout the year.
  • International travellers tend to carry the disease to areas where mosquitoes have not been previously infected.
Treatment for Dengue:
  • Unfortunately there is no vaccine or medicine for dengue fever.
  • Complete bed rest accompanied with plenty of oral fluids is advisable during dengue.
  • Regular consumption of paracetamol tablets is needed to control the high fever.
  • It is advisable to monitor platelets count during dengue.

Are you or a family member suffering from any dengue symptoms? Visit KDAH today and get yourself tested. Make every effort to reduce mosquitoes in your area and maintain a high level of cleanliness.