Archive for 2017

Diabetes, the New Epidemic

Friday, November 10th, 2017
What is Diabetes?

Diabetes or diabetes mellitus is a condition where the body is unable to break down sugar (glucose) in the blood. It occurs when the body does not produce enough insulin or when we cannot use the insulin made by the pancreas properly.  This leads to an increase in blood glucose levels and causes diabetes.

There are Three Different Types of Diabetes:

Type 1 Diabetes:

This type occurs when the pancreas is unable to produce insulin, typically due to death of the beta cells in the pancreas from an autoimmune reaction. Type 1 Diabetes is usually diagnosed in children and adolescents. This can cause people to have too much glucose in the blood or hyperglycaemia. This affects 10% of the people.

Type 2 Diabetes:

This type occurs when the pancreas does not produce enough insulin or when the body does not effectively use the insulin produced. It develops in adulthood, although levels are increasing in children due to obesity, which is a risk factor for diabetes. Approximately 90% of people with diabetes have Type 2 diabetes.

Gestational Diabetes:

Gestational Diabetes is a temporary condition that occurs during pregnancy. This type may increase future risk of developing diabetes for both the mother and child.

Some common diabetes symptoms:

Frequent urination, frequent thirst, unexplained weight loss, fatigue, blurred vision, weakness, increased hunger, headaches, skin infections, slow healing, and numbness in feet.

Some Diabetes Risk factors:
  • Family history of diabetes
  • Ethnicity
  • Have been diagnosed with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome
  • Had gestational diabetes
  • Being overweight or obese
  • Having an unbalanced diet high in fat, refined and processed foods.
  • Living a sedentary lifestyle
  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol
  • Smoking

Pre-diabetes is a condition in which blood glucose levels are higher than normal, but not high enough to be classified as full-blown diabetes. If you have pre-diabetes, you are at high risk of developing type 2 diabetes and also are at increased risk of developing heart disease. Those with pre-diabetes are at increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes within a decade unless they adopt a healthier lifestyle that includes weight loss and more physical activity.

Some Diabetes facts:
  1. About one third of all people with diabetes do not know they have the disease.
  2. A meal plan for a person with diabetes isn’t very different than that which is recommended for people without diabetes.
  3. Diabetes is the leading cause of blindness in working-age adults.
  4. People with diabetes are twice as likely to develop heart disease than someone without diabetes.
  5. Good control of diabetes significantly reduces the risk of developing complications and prevents complications from getting worse.
  6. There is an emerging global epidemic of diabetes that can be traced back to rapid increases in overweight, obesity and physical inactivity.
  7. Total deaths from diabetes are projected to rise by more than 50% in the next 10 years. Most notably, they are projected to increase by over 80% in upper-middle income countries.
  8. Type 1 diabetes is characterized by a lack of insulin production and type 2 diabetes results from the body’s ineffective use of insulin.
  9. Lack of awareness about diabetes, combined with insufficient access to health services, can lead to complications such as blindness, amputation and kidney failure.
  10. Reports of type 2 diabetes in children – previously rare – have increased globally.

Some tips for living healthy with diabetes:

  • When you have type 1 or type 2 diabetes, you need to be very aware of not only what you eat, but also when and how much you eat. Following a healthy meal plan is essential.
  • Controlling intake of saturated and trans fat is also important. Obesity is a major risk factor for diabetes, so controlling and maintaining a healthy weight is vital for diabetes control.
  • Keep your blood sugar meter handy and accessible. It is important to keep it with you at all times to measure blood sugar levels periodically.
  • It’s essential to keep fast acting carbs close and nearby like honey, parle G biscuit or a candy. It will be helpful when your sugar levels go low.
  • Physical activity is an important part of controlling diabetes and preventing complications such as heart disease and high blood pressure. Try for 30 minutes of moderate exercise, like brisk walking, on most days.
  • Your doctor may give you oral medication to help control your blood glucose levels. For people with type 1 diabetes (and some people with type 2 diabetes) this means taking insulin.

Diabetes is a challenging disease. No matter if you have the same exact blood sugar, eat the same exact number of carbs and participate in the same amount of activity, you will still have a different blood sugar number when it’s all said and done. Try your best to lead a healthy lifestyle. Do consult our health experts for all your diabetes queries, please find link below:

Your Spine Health is Crucial

Saturday, November 4th, 2017

Have you ever wondered why is the spinal cord given so much importance? It is one of the most parts of the human body. The nervous system runs electrical impulses up and down the spine to areas that feel sensation. A damaged spinal cord can disrupt neural responses, disabling sensations in parts of your body.

Let us look at some other vital functions below:
  • Your spinal cord gives you the ability to bend and twist. When your spine is injured, your mobility is limited.
  • An injury to the spinal cord can make walking, bending, sitting straight, twisting your spine, or moving your neck difficult.
  • Your oesophagus is parallel with your spine. If you accidentally injure your spine, it can press against your oesophagus, obstruct it, or puncture it and hamper food intake.
  • Incorrect movement, intense exercises and bad posture can add unnecessary pressure to the spine, which over time can lead to degenerative diseases.
  • Without your spine working properly, your quality of life can greatly deteriorate. You won’t be able to enjoy many of the activities you love.

Spinal problems can begin as early as the late twenties. To prevent injury to your spine or further deterioration, it is important to strengthen your spine with exercise. Millions of people are affected by back pain every day. It affects their quality of personal and professional life. In fact, lower back pain is the leading cause of job-related disability.

Here are simple yet important tips to maintain your spine health:
  1. Lift correctly – Improperly lifting heavy items can put your lower back muscles in abnormal positions and cause muscle strains. Additionally, improper lifting may cause your spinal joints to lock or your spinal discs to rupture.
  2. Walking – The benefits of walking are plentiful, including strengthening the core muscles that keep your body upright, improving flexibility, and strengthening your bone structure.
  3. Match your pillow to your sleeping position – When you lie down to sleep, you want a pillow that supports the natural curve of your neck. This means that people who prefer different sleeping positions will need different kinds of pillows.
  4. Choose your food wisely – Your daily diet plays an important role in maintaining the health of your spine. Choose vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and legumes. over processed foods and unhealthy sweets.
  5. Exercise in the water – Exercising in a pool reduces the downward stress of gravity as the buoyancy of water helps to support your spine, thus reducing the risk of injury.
  6. Quit smoking – Smoking increases your likelihood of developing degenerative spinal disorders and back pain.
  7. Sleep well – Sleeping well is important to your overall health. Your body needs a good night’s sleep to repair itself. Sleep on your side, not your stomach as it puts too much pressure on your spine.
  8. Stretch out – Regular stretching and being flexible helps maintain normal joint functions and also reduces the risk of injury.
  9. Maintain a healthy weight –  Being overweight or obese a risk factor for low back pain.
  10. Work smart – Proper ergonomics can help reduce a lot of stress on both the lower and upper back.  Ensure your desk is set up for your height and functionality. Take regular breaks to periodically get up and walk around the office or home.
Some risk factors that contribute to back aches:
  • Back pain is more common as you age, you may first have back pain when you are 30 to 40 years old.
  • Poor physical fitness leads to spine ailments.
  • A diet high in calories and fat can make you obese, excess weight can stress the back and cause pain.
  • Some causes of back pain, such as ankylosing spondylitis can have a genetic component.
  • If you have to lift, push, or pull while twisting your spine at work, you may get back pain.  A sedentary job with a bad posture may also lead to back pain.
What Are the Causes of Back Pain?

Some of the common mechanical problems which cause back pain are:

  • Disk breakdown
  • Spasms
  • Tense muscles
  • Ruptured disks
  • Injuries from sprains, fractures or accidents.

Back pain can also occur with some below conditions:

  • Scoliosis
  • Spondylolisthesis
  • Arthritis
  • Spinal stenosis
  • Pregnancy
  • Kidney stones
  • Infections
  • Endometriosis

Do not ignore spinal problems or pain. Pay attention to any warning signs. If left untreated, problems with your spine can worsen and become serious. The Centre for Bone and Joint at Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital offers comprehensive solutions for various spine disorders. Please refer below link for more details:

World Stroke Day

Saturday, October 28th, 2017

A stroke is a brain attack which occurs when the blood supply to a part of the brain is cut off.  Stroke’s are a leading cause of disability globally. Depending on which part of the brain is affected and how quickly the treatment is received, the effects of stroke can be devastating to a person’s body, mobility, speech and overall mental health. During a stroke, 1.9 million neurons are lost every minute, making the identification of warning signs essential to receiving timely treatment.

Types of stroke:

1. Ischemic stroke: This happens in about 87 percent of all stroke cases. It  occur as a result of an obstruction within a blood vessel supplying blood to the brain. The underlying condition for this type of obstruction is the development of fatty deposits lining the vessel walls. This condition is called atherosclerosis.

2. Hemorrhagic stroke:

Hemorrhagic stroke accounts for about 13 percent of stroke cases. It results from a weakened vessel that ruptures and bleeds into the surrounding brain. The blood accumulates and compresses the surrounding brain tissue.

Strokes can strike anyone, anytime. Acting in the golden hour can help save a patient’s life. Strokes are the second leading cause of death, 17 million people suffer a stroke each year and 6.5 million die as a consequence. A stroke can happen at any age, it affects one in six people experiencing a stroke during his/her lifetime.

Although no one can predict when a stroke might happen, there are some common signs that may indicate someone is having a stroke. The FAST test is an easy way for everyone to remember and recognize the signs of stroke.

FAST stands for Face, Arms, Speech and Time to act:

Face –Check their face. Has their mouth drooped?

Arms – Can they lift both arms?

Speech – Is their speech slurred? Do they understand you?

Time – Is critical. If you notice any of these warning signs, act FAST. Call your local emergency medical services or get to the nearest hospital immediately.

Disorders after Stroke

The following disorders can occur in the aftermath of a stroke and they affect the majority of stroke patients:

Paralyzed shoulder muscles are not able to help tendons keep the upper end of the arm in the shoulder joint. As a result the arm drops from the joint which is very painful and can prevent rehabilitation of the hand and arm.

Depression after stroke, as after any severe illness, is very common, often goes without diagnosis, reduces the patient’s capacity for rehabilitation, and impairs his/her quality of life. Furthermore this affects not only stroke survivors but also their spouses or care takers.

Cognitive decline
Stroke can lead to cognitive decline, and it is even more common after a recurrent stroke. This is also the case after recurrent subclinical strokes which are often not diagnosed due to missing classical symptoms of stroke. Yet, they cause more and more damage and reduce the mental capacity of patients.

Brain injury from stroke sometimes causes paralyzed muscles to involuntarily contract (shorten or flex) after trying to move a limb. This creates stiffness and tightness. The contracted muscles often freeze the joints of the hand and arm permanently into an abnormal and often painful position.

How to reduce your risk of stroke

90% of strokes are linked to 10 avoidable risks, take care of these risk factors to avoid Stroke:

  • Control high blood pressure
  • Do moderate exercise 5 times a week
  • Eat a healthy, balanced diet
  • Reduce your cholesterol
  • Maintain a healthy BMI or waist to hip ratio
  • Stop smoking and avoid second-hand exposure
  • Reduce alcohol intake
  • Identify and treat atrial fibrillation
  • Reduce your risk from diabetes, talk to your doctor
  • Get educated about stroke

Meet our Stroke specialists at our Centre for Neurosciences for any Stroke concerns. Our comprehensive stroke program gets activated when any Stroke emergency calls are received. For more information visit:

Post Diwali Detox

Friday, October 27th, 2017

Are you recovering from post Diwali binging? Have you fared badly in your recent medical reports? It is time to do a reality check and make some changes in your lifestyle as well as in your diet. Now that the festivities are over it is time to take some control of your health. It not only benefits you internally but also makes a huge difference to the way you look and your overall energy levels.

It is best to keep it simple and follow some basic rules. Create a balance in your life and eat all food groups equally. Instead of going on a crash diet it is recommended that you promise to keep up to your diet daily by creating a life-style change.

The extra sweet treats this Diwali have not gone very well with your bodies. Apart from the extra weight the body’s digestive has found it difficult to assimilate the festive diet- rich in fats, sugar and carbohydrates as well as alcohol for some. This leads to indigestion, bloating or heaviness. Here are some tips to give your body a break and up your health quotient:

  • Say no to white foods, yes you got it right, stay away from all white breads, rice, maida, sugar and any kind of white processed ingredients. This is challenging but worth the effort.
  • Always be hydrated and have enough water daily. It helps flush out excess sugar and fats in the body. Stick to a minimum of two litres and maximum of four litres.
  • Start your day with some lemons and warm water. From bloating to indigestion, lemons can naturally cure everything related to your digestive system.
  • Instead of having full meals, choose large bowls of vegetable soup to fill yourself. Add a variety of vegetables and spices. Vegetable soup provides the liver with a swell of antioxidants as well as potassium which creates an alkaline atmosphere required to eliminate toxins from the body.
  • Practise yoga. It helps strengthen your body and breathing purifies your complete organ system.
  • Avoid skipping meals, instead stick to small frequent meals throughout the day and have plain roasted, steamed, grilled vegetables.
  • Avoid those so called diet munchies & chips. They are ultimately processed and high in sodium adding to the next day puffiness.
  • You can also include lots of fluids in the form of water , green tea, vegetable juices, coconut water, buttermilk in your daily meals.
  • Have light meals like khichdi ,or porridge. They are all easy to digest and help in keeping the system light. They are not only nourishing and filling but also prevent you from reaching out for that packet of chips. Along with being light, they also aid the body in digestion, provide energy and strengthen the immune system.
  • Fruits are packed with essential vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fibres; hence you should include at least 3-4 servings of colourful fruits through the day. These nutrients act as building blocks for the body as growth of each cell depends upon them. The fibre in fruits specifically helps cleanse the toxins lining the intestinal walls.

For a detailed plan and personalised diet plan do visit the Nutrition department at Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital. Please refer below link for more details.

Diwali – Health & Happiness!

Wednesday, October 18th, 2017

Diwali – the festivals of lights and happiness is here. Let us celebrate Diwali in a healthy way and by following simple ways in which we can spread happiness to others too. This Diwali say “No” to crackers. Celebrate an eco -friendly Diwali to reduce noise, sound and air pollution. Also, the weather is playing havoc this festive season spreading various illnesses due to the sudden change in temperatures.

Eat mindfully this Diwali.
Here are few ways to eat healthy this Diwali:
  1. Avoid bingeing food at odd hours.
  2. Say “No” to sugary beverages and sweets that add unnecessary calories and result in disastrous health outcomes.
  3. Eat at regular intervals to keep your metabolism revved up. Have mini-meals rather than large meals at one go.
  4. Choose baked or air fried Diwali goodies over deep fried ones.
  5. Dry fruits are also an extremely healthy option and go well with the festive mood.
  6. Try to include a small 20 minute exercise schedule in your busy day.
  7. Be hydrated with natural drinks like buttermilk, lemon juice, and fresh fruit juices to be high on energy.
  8. Have a mini-meal at home before stepping out for  Diwali dinner, that makes you eat small portions outside.
  9. Stay away from alcohol this season to ensure less calorie intake.
  10. Avoid ‘chhena’ and ‘khoya’ sweets and milk products from outside shops. Mithais are best when made at home.
Diwali and Pollution

Respiratory ailments rise up during Diwali days. It is sad to see elderly, infants, pets and asthma patients suffer with various kinds of pollutants. Avoid crackers completely and if it is not possible then reduce the numbers. A visual cracker show must be arranged for groups of people to reduce overall usage of crackers.

Some of the precautions to take during Diwali:
  1. Take care of the elderly, asthma patients, cardiac patients and infants during Diwali.
  2. Limit the use of crackers and abstain from using loud explosives.
  3. Never burn rockets facing buildings or windows.
  4. Pay attention to the health concerns of the society and be sensitive towards your neighbours.
  5. Wear face masks to prevent inhaling the poisonous mix of gases  and ear plugs to minimize the impact of the high decibel explosions.
  6. Never leave the crackers half burnt; always douse them in water before disposing.
  7. Always burn crackers in an open area.
  8. Wear cotton clothes while burning crackers.
  9. Children must be accompanied by adults while burning crackers.
  10. Keep any inflammable substance away from crackers to avoid accidents.

Wishing you all a very Happy and Safe Diwali. Stay healthy and happy this Diwali! In case of any medical emergencies please contact our team of doctors at Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital.  Our Full Time Specialist System ensures availability and access to the best medical talent 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Please visit our website for more details: