Jan 31st, 2018

Archive for January, 2018


Wednesday, January 31st, 2018

What does Cancer…the dreaded disease actually mean?

Cancer, also called malignancy refers to any one of a large number of diseases characterized by the development of abnormal cells that divide uncontrollably and have the ability to infiltrate and destroy normal body tissue. Cancer often has the ability to spread throughout the body.

There are more than 100 types of cancer, including breast cancer, skin cancer, lung cancer, colon cancer, prostate cancer, and lymphoma. The symptoms vary depending on the type. Cancer treatment may include chemotherapy, radiation, and/or surgery.

Cancer Symptoms

Signs and symptoms caused by cancer will vary depending on what part of the body is affected. Some of them are listed below:

  1. Fatigue
  2. Lump or area of thickening that can be felt under the skin
  3. Weight changes, including unintended loss or gain
  4. Skin changes, such as yellowing, darkening or redness of the skin, sores that won’t heal, or changes to existing moles
  5. Changes in bowel or bladder habits or indigestion
  6. Persistent cough or trouble breathing
  7. Difficulty swallowing, hoarseness in voice
  8. Persistent, unexplained muscle or joint pain
  9. Persistent, unexplained fevers or night sweats
  10. Unexplained bleeding or bruising

Cancer is caused by changes (mutations) to the DNA within cells. The DNA inside a cell is packaged into a large number of individual genes, each of which contains a set of instructions telling the cell what functions to perform, as well as how to grow and divide. Errors in the instructions can cause the cell to stop its normal function and may allow a cell to become cancerous.

Risk factors

Factors known to increase your risk of cancer include:

  1. Your age – Cancer can take decades to develop. That’s why most people diagnosed with cancer are 65 or older. While it’s more common in older adults, cancer isn’t exclusively an adult disease — cancer can be diagnosed at any age.
  2. Your habits – Certain lifestyle choices are known to increase your risk of cancer. Smoking, drinking more than one alcoholic drink a day, excessive exposure to the sun, being obese, and having unsafe sex can contribute to cancer.
  3. Your family history – Only a small portion of cancers are due to an inherited condition. If cancer is common in your family, it’s possible that mutations are being passed from one generation to the next.
  4. Your environment – The environment around you may contain harmful chemicals that can increase your risk of cancer. Second hand smoke, chemicals in your home or workplace, such as asbestos and benzene, also are associated with an increased risk of cancer.

There’s no certain way to prevent cancer. But you can reduce your risk of getting cancer by taking the below steps:

  1. Stop smoking. If you smoke, quit. If you don’t smoke, don’t start. Smoking is linked to several types of cancer — not just lung cancer. Stopping now will reduce your risk of cancer in the future.
  2. Avoid excessive sun exposure. Harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun can increase your risk of skin cancer. Limit your sun exposure by staying in the shade, wearing protective clothing or applying sunscreen.
  3. Eat a healthy diet. Choose a diet rich in fruits and vegetables. Select whole grains and lean proteins.
  4. Exercise most days of the week. Regular exercise is linked to a lower risk of cancer. Aim for at least 30 minutes of exercise most days of the week.
  5. Maintain a healthy weight. Being overweight or obese may increase your risk of cancer. Work to achieve and maintain a healthy weight through a combination of a healthy diet and regular exercise.
  6. Drink alcohol in moderation, if you choose to drink. Do not start drinking if you don’t. If you choose to drink alcohol, limit yourself to one drink a day if you’re a woman of any age or a man older than age 65, or two drinks a day if you’re a man 65 years old or younger.
  7. Schedule cancer screening exams. Talk to your doctor about what types of cancer screening exams are best for you based on your risk factors.
Some crucial facts about Cancer:
  1. Cancer is the #2 killer in developed countries and #1 in underdeveloped countries.
  2. Scientific experts worldwide agree that at least half of all cancers and cancer-related deaths are preventable.
  3. A single cigarette contains 69 known cancer-causing carcinogens and over 4,000 chemicals.
  4. Cancer is the #1 disease killer of children.
  5. Globally, one in every eight deaths is caused by cancer. Approximately 70% of cancer deaths occur to those of low and middle incomes.
  6. One may experience no symptoms of ovarian cancer, lung cancer, or colon cancer until the cancer cells spread to other areas of your body. Early screening is imperative to catching these cancers in time.
  7. What you eat matters. Green tea, berries, turmeric, avocados, garlic, kale, and even dark chocolate can naturally trigger cancer cells to self destruct via apoptosis.
  8. If anyone among your family or friends is showing any cancer related symptoms, waste no time. Meet our team of specialists at the Centre for Cancer at Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital. Please see below link for more details:


Friday, January 19th, 2018

What is it about running that it attracts more and more people? Professional trainers, fitness classes, running shoes all dedicated to running. Running attracts people from all age groups and all walks of life. There are more and more groups being formed and there is an increasing participation seen in marathons too.

It is the only fitness regime which requires no equipments, no specialised play areas and just any one can practise it, with a lot of dedication.

Health Benefits of running:

Studies have shown that running can help prevent obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, some cancers, and a host of other unpleasant conditions. Here’s why running is good for your health:

1. Running makes you happier If you’ve been working out regularly, you’ve already discovered it: No matter how good or bad you feel at any given moment, exercise will make you feel better. And it goes beyond just the “runner’s high”—that rush of feel-good hormones known as endocannabinoids. It helps instantly lift the mood of someone suffering from a major depression.

2. Running strengthens your knees (and your other joints and bones, too).
Running increases your bone mass, and even helps stem age-related bone loss. Contrary to popular belief it does no harm to your knees.

3. Running will keep you sharper Regular exercise helps defeat age-related mental decline, particularly functions like task switching, selective attention, and working memory. In fact, even stroke patients see an improvement by almost 50 percent in their memory, language, thinking, and judgment problems.

4. Improve Your Health Believe it or not, running is actually a great way to increase your overall level of health. Research shows that running can raise your levels of good cholesterol while also helping you increase lung function and use. In addition, running can also boost your immune system and lower your risk of developing blood clots.

5. Prevent Disease For women, running can actually help to lower your risk of breast cancer. It can also help reduce the risk of having a stroke. Many doctors today recommend running for people who are in the early stages of diabetes, high blood pressure, and osteoporosis, and it is proven to help reduce the risk of having a heart attack. By helping the arteries retain their elasticity and strengthening the heart, your chances of suffering a heart attack can be significantly reduced.

6. Lose Weight Running is one of the best forms of exercise for losing or maintaining a consistent weight. You will find that it is a leading way to burn off extra calories and that it is the second most effective exercise in terms of calories burned per minute.

7. Boost Your Confidence Not all of the benefits of running are physical. Running can provide an noticeable boost to your confidence and self-esteem. By setting and achieving goals, you can help give yourself a greater sense of empowerment that will leave you feeling much happier.

8. Relieve Stress Stress can actually cause a number of health and mood problems. It can also diminish appetite and sleep quality. When you run, you force your body to exert excess energy and hormones. Running also helps to reduce your chances of developing tension headaches.

9. Eliminate Depression When you are depressed, the last thing you likely want to do is to get up and go for a run. Yet you will find that after only a few minutes of running, your brain will start to secrete hormones that naturally improve your mood.

10. Running adds years to your life Even if you meet just the minimum of amount of physical activity—(30 minutes, five times per week), you’ll live longer.

It may seem surprising to learn all of the different ways that running can improve your health, but the truth of the matter is that these are only a few of the many benefits that it can offer to your body.  Running really is incredibly beneficial to the body, mind, and spirit, and you will find that even short runs can leave you feeling more energized, more focused, and better able to enjoy all that life has to offer.

Some facts about Running:

1. The marathon was not an event of the ancient Olympic games. The marathon started in 1896 in Athens, a race from Marathon – northeast of Athens – to the Olympic Stadium, a distance of 42.195 kilometers.

2. Running outside at the same pace as on the treadmill burns more calorie due to air resistance!

3. The most common runners injuries: runner’s knee, stress fractures, shin splints, Achilles tendinitis, and plantar fasciitis

4. Your feet can produce up to a pint of sweat each day.

5. Just 2 1/2 hours of weekly running increases men’s testosterone by 15%.

6. It takes 200 muscles to take a step when you run.

A study suggests that even five to 10 minutes a day of low-intensity running is enough to extend life by several years, compared with not running at all. It shows that the minimal healthy “dose” of exercise is smaller than many people might assume. Get Running today!

Our specialised Sports Medicine team is here to assist you for any running related concerns:


Tuesday, January 16th, 2018

Is depression a feeling like being sad….one may wonder. While we all feel sad, moody or low from time to time, some people experience these feelings intensely, for long periods of time (weeks, months or even years) and sometimes without any apparent reason. Depression is more than just a low mood – it’s a serious condition that affects your physical and mental health.

Depression interferes with daily life and normal functioning. It can cause pain for both the person with depression and those who care about him or her. It is not a sign of a person’s weakness but a sign of an illness. Most people who experience depression need treatment to get better. It is time we take depression seriously and seek treatment instead of ignoring it.

Signs and Symptoms

Sadness is just one small part of depression. Some people with depression may not feel sadness at all. Depression has many other symptoms, including physical ones. If you experience any of the below signs and symptoms for at least 2 weeks, its time to see a doctor.

  • Persistent sad, anxious, or “empty” mood
  • Feelings of hopelessness
  • Feelings of guilt, worthlessness
  • Loss of interest or pleasure in hobbies and activities
  • Decreased energy, fatigue
  • Difficulty concentrating, remembering, making decisions
  • Difficulty sleeping, early-morning awakening, or oversleeping
  • Appetite and/or weight changes
  • Thoughts of death or suicide
  • Restlessness, irritability
Factors that may cause Depression

Many factors may play a role in depression, including genetics, brain biology and chemistry, and life events such as trauma, loss of a loved one, a difficult relationship, an early childhood experience, or any stressful situation.

Depression can happen at any age, but often begins in the teens or early 20s or 30s. Most chronic mood and anxiety disorders in adults begin as high levels of anxiety in children. In fact, high levels of anxiety as a child could mean a higher risk of depression as an adult. Sometimes medications taken for these illnesses may cause side effects that contribute to depression.

Types of Depression

1. Major depression: Severe symptoms that interfere with the ability to work, sleep, study, eat, and enjoy life. An episode can occur only once in a person’s lifetime, but more often, a person has several episodes.

2. Persistent depressive disorder: A depressed mood that lasts for at least 2 years. A person diagnosed with persistent depressive disorder may have episodes of major depression along with periods of less severe symptoms, but symptoms must last for 2 years.

3. Psychotic depression, which occurs when a person has severe depression plus some form of psychosis, such as having disturbing false beliefs or a break with reality (delusions), or hearing or seeing upsetting things that others cannot hear or see (hallucinations).

4. Postpartum depression, which is much more serious than the “baby blues” that many women experience after giving birth, when hormonal and physical changes and the new responsibility of caring for a newborn can be overwhelming. It is estimated that 10 to 15 percent of women experience postpartum depression after giving birth.

5. Seasonal affective disorder (SAD), which is characterized by the onset of depression during the winter months, when there is less natural sunlight. The depression generally lifts during spring and summer.

6. Depression is treatable. Depression, even the most severe cases, can be treated. The earlier the treatment begins, the more effective it is. Most adults see an improvement in their symptoms when treated with antidepressant drugs, talk therapy (psychotherapy), or a combination of both.

Treatments for depression

There’s no one proven way that people recover from depression, and it’s different for everyone. However, there are a range of effective treatments and health professionals who can help you on the road to recovery.

Psychological treatments

Psychological treatments also known as talking therapies can help you change your thinking patterns and improve your coping skills so you’re better equipped to deal with life’s stresses and conflicts. There are several types of effective psychological treatments for depression like cognitive behaviour therapy, interpersonal therapy, behaviour therapy.

Medical treatments for depression

The main medical treatment for depression is antidepressant medication. There’s a lot of misinformation about antidepressant medication and while there is no simple explanation as to how it works, it can be very useful in the treatment of moderate to severe depression and some anxiety disorders.

Do not suffer in silence. If you or a loved one is suffering from depression, seek medical help. The Department of Psychiatry at Kokilaben Dhurubhai Ambani Hospital provide offer individualised treatment plans that ensure consistent patient care. Please refer below link for more details:

Live 2018, the Healthy Way

Friday, January 5th, 2018

It is that time of the year when the parties and celebrations are over. You can hear people discussing new year resolutions. Resolutions for good health are most popular amongst everyone.

Resolutions are a great way to stay committed to your goals of good health. However consistency is the key. Many resolutions fail by the second month of the year. Inadequate planning, vague resolutions, unrealistic goals are some reasons for this failure.

Studies suggest that the reason most people fail to stick to our New Year’s resolutions has nothing to do with their willpower. Rather, it is because people neglect to think through how they plan to achieve their goals. Let us pledge to live 2018 keeping health as utmost priority.

Listing down some tips to boost your health in the new year :

1. Sleep more Commit eight hours to sound sleep. Proper shuteye is linked to better mental health and a lower risk for physical health conditions.

2. Cut back on sugar It’s a difficult task but the benefits are life changing.

3. Limit sodium intake Dietary guidelines recommend consuming no more than 2,300 milligrams per day. Too much sodium is linked to heart disease, high blood pressure and more.

4. Start meditating The benefits of a meditation practice are boundless, from improved mental health to better concentration to a lower risk for disease.

5. Cut back on social media Research shows that constant scrolling through a newsfeed can lead to social comparison, or the need to stack your life up against someone else’s. This can then lead to depressive symptoms. Take a step back and use social media cautiously.

6. Cut back on social media Research shows that constant scrolling through a newsfeed can lead to social comparison, or the need to stack your life up against someone else’s. This can then lead to depressive symptoms. Take a step back and use social media cautiously.

7. Give up on sodas It does nothing good to your health. Quit having all aerated drinks.

8. Volunteer regularly Donating your time to people or an organization in need can do a world of good. Research shows volunteering can improve your health.

9. Drink more water Forget what you were told about drinking eight glasses a day and aim for hydration instead. Drink adequate water to flush out the body toxins.

10. Cook at home more frequently This helps to have healthier meals and makes you skip excess calories.

11. Commit to a strength-training routine Building muscle can help protect you against injury and even sharpen your cognitive skills. Start small but stick to a regular routine.

12. Say “no” more often Burnout is real and it can happen in a blink of an eye. Make sure you’re prioritizing yourself and not saying “yes” to everything because it feels like an obligation. Always remember, self care isn’t selfish.

13. Fix your posture Straightening up is not only an instant confidence booster, it can also prevent back problems and reduce stress.

14. Learn a language Add a new language to your life, learning a new life skill boosts your brain health.

15. See a doctor when needed If you’re unwell or something is unusual see a doctor or a specialist as needed. Do not self prescribe medicines.

16. Wear sunscreen Protect your skin against the harmful effects of ozone. Use a sunscreen with SPF.

17. Eat more good carbohydrates Make good carbs a part of your diet. Eat healthy, feel better.

18. Cut back on alcohol Do not get carried away with friends or at social gatherings. Excessive alcohol consumption can damage your liver and lead to liver cirrhosis.

19. Floss regularly There’s a reason your dentist pesters you for flossing. Clearing your gums of bacteria is necessary for oral health, do floss without fail.

20. Don’t use your smart phone before bed The type of light that’s emitted from screens can disrupt your sleep and keep you awake longer. Put your phone away at least 30 minutes before you shut your eyes.

Wishing you all a very happy and healthy new year! Focus on good health and positivity this new year. A healthy and happy person is more productive at work and can also balance work and personal life well. Take care!