Archive for February, 2018

Weather Change and Health

Wednesday, February 28th, 2018

Any change in season affects people with illnesses. The young and old are easily affected and so are the ones with low immunity. People usually suffer from cold or flu when the seasons change. The most common reason one may think for this is the change in temperatures. But that is not true. Rather, the temperature shifts permit a different group of viruses to flourish, and it’s these viruses that make people sick.

Many studies suggest that rhinovirus and coronavirus are the two main agents of the common cold.  They are more likely to flourish in cooler climates. Likewise, the influenza virus replicates and spreads most effectively when the air is cold and dry.

Summer illnesses arise from a combination of several factors. People with seasonal allergies often feel congested and develop runny noses and itchy eyes when they’re near pollen, or grass. Their immune systems may go into overdrive as they react to these allergies, leaving them more vulnerable to viral contagions.

Here’s how our body reacts to a seasonal change:

Blood Pressure

Do you notice your blood pressure numbers decreasing when the weather gets warmer?  Your systolic and diastolic blood pressure numbers change when confronted with warmer weather, so when the sun starts shining in the spring and summer, your blood pressure generally gets lower. But during the cold winter months, you can expect the diameter of blood vessels to tighten, causing the heart to work overtime to force blood through the narrowed veins and arteries. So you’ll see a spike in blood pressure when it’s cold and a decrease in numbers when it’s warm.

Joint Pain

Your joints are sensitive to temperature. Doctors often recommend warmer climates for individuals with joint pain because cold weather causes muscles, ligaments, and tendons to become stiff. Cold weather causes added pressure on the joints.  So when the weather shifts from cold to warmer temperatures, your joints experience a bit of pain relief. But when you are exposed to heat for long periods of time, your body may experience dehydration, which decreases the amount of fluid in the joint. This exacerbates existing pain levels.

Headaches & Migraines

If you have frequent migraines, you may experience lower workplace productivity and missed social events that can dampen your quality of life.. Researchers believe these changes in weather patterns may affect the pressure on the brain or the way the brain manages pain. When the warm weather begins to kick in or the days get longer, exposure to bright sunlight might trigger a migraine or headache.


Extreme cold or hot weather conditions can aggravate those with asthma symptoms. The airways become irritated by these sudden swings in temperature. If you’re inhaling cold air, on the one hand, it can constrict the airways.  During the warmer months, on the other hand, asthma sufferers have to deal with pollutants and exhaust fumes that are hard to escape.


If you’re dealing with eczema, your skin will enjoy the relief that comes when the weather becomes warmer. On the other hand, you don’t want your body to become too overheated during the summer months.

In the spring, seasonal sniffing can also come from another culprit: allergies. They need to be diagnosed and treated correctly. Those who know they have allergies need to take particular care in the spring. Allergies can leave you feeling miserable and more likely to catch a cold virus because the immune system is already under attack.

What can help in such scenarios? Frequent washing of hands is essential as the  cold virus can live on the human skin for at least two hours.

The weather outside can certainly significantly influence how we feel. Not by as much as most people think and not the same way in everyone. But enough to make a difference. Warm and moist conditions also promote the release of fungal spores which can set off allergies in some people.

Take care of your health. Our team of doctors at Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital can help you in case of any illnesses. Please find below link for more details:

Dealing With Exam Stress

Tuesday, February 20th, 2018

It is that time of the year when students are preparing for their exams. Board exams, school exams , college exams they are all lined up in March and April. As the academic sessions come to a close these exams can become a huge source of fear and worry for students and can impact their mental status.

For many students in secondary school and university, anxiety and stress can become a growing obstacle to their health and happiness and may affect their exam performance too.

Every student who aims to become a high-achiever generally experience exam stress. It’s an unavoidable part of student life that can be difficult to handle. Remember, stress exists for a reason and you can choose to let it be your downfall or use it to drive you to improve your work.

As a parent or guardian you may notice signs in your child of increased stress leading up to tests and formal exams. This may be evidenced by subtle mood swings, reduced appetite, sleeping problems, crying, panic, aggression or decreased motivation.

Tips to deal with exam stress:

1. Establish an Appropriate Study Spot Location is key when it comes to studying, and what works for one child might not work for another. The study spot needs to enable focus, concentration and an atmosphere for the student to absorb learning material.

2. Know What to Study Minimise panic and non-value downtime by adapting an organised workspace and logically aligning exam preparation in advance. A methodical approach to exam preparation proves beneficial.

3.Break Free from Distractions You never realise the number of times you check Facebook, Instagram or any other distraction unless you add the time together and realise the quantum of time wasted. Focus is the key word.

4. Rest, Activity and Sleep Keep some time aside for rest, non-study related activity and sleep. Going for a walk, continuing sport activities, reading a book can provide a positive release of built up stress.

5. Eat Healthy Lower the intake of carbs, sugar, caffeine and aim for more proteins, and fresh vegetables and fruit, to optimise concentration and general wellbeing. Healthy eating practices are essential during your study time.

6. Give Your Mind Space Meditation is one of the most effective ways to take a break and see your stress from a different perspective. Practicing meditation is another way to maintain focus while improving both mental and physical health to reduce pre-exam stress.

7. Seek professional help In case the stress levels are showing some harmful side effects on the health of the child, seek medicial help or meet a counsellor.

8. Understand the reasons behind the stress To combat exam stress, firstly you need to understand the reasons behind this heightened anxiety. Then you can establish methods to reduce the pressures you feel. Some common reasons are:

  • Low motivation levels
  • Lack of preparation and planning
  • High expectations from others
  • Competition from peers

9. Eating Dark Chocolate Eating dark chocolate which is over 70% cocoa fights the exam stress hormone cortisol and has an overall relaxing effect on the body. Plus chocolate releases endorphins which act as a natural stress fighter.

10. Let it All Out Sometimes you just need to talk to someone, and it is essential. Speaking to a family member or friend can highlight the bigger picture for you and empower you to rise above the exam stress.

How can parents help children to deal with this stress:
  • Parents should guide their children in planning, organizing and setting a timetable.
  • Encourage students with the right kind of positive conversations.
  • Help the child to develop self-discipline, self-direction, self-confidence and a sense of achievement.
  • Encourage a child’s performance with positive statements like , “well done” you can do better rather than saying “that was not enough”.
  • Do not harp on previous failures of results.
  • Try to gain your child’s confidence and discuss his problems with him, help him to find a solution.
  • Remember always, exams are not the end of the world.

Is your child or a friend suffering from extreme exam stress? The team of psychologists at Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital is well trained to deal with such cases. Please reach us at our below clinic for consultations.

Protect Yourself From Kidney Stones

Saturday, February 10th, 2018

A kidney stone is a hard, crystalline mineral material formed within the kidney or urinary tract. “Nephrolithiasis” is the medical term for kidney stones. One in every 20 people develop kidney stones at some point in their life. With the right foods, plenty of water, and proper medication, you can lower your chances of kidney stones.

What causes them?
  • Kidney stones form when there is a decrease in urine volume and/or an excess of stone-forming substances in the urine.
  • Dehydration is a major risk factor for kidney stone formation.
Some major symptoms include:
  • Pain in the back, belly or side which is extremely sever. Some people who’ve experienced kidney stones compare the pain to childbirth or getting stabbed with a knife.
  • Symptoms of a kidney stone include flank pain (the pain can be quite severe) and blood in the urine.
  • It’s common for people with a kidney stone to have nausea and vomiting.
  • Pain or burning sensation during urination.
  • Fever and chills are signs that you have an infection in your kidney or another part of your urinary tract.
Make these small diet changes, avoid kidney stones:
  • Drinking enough liquid, mainly water, is the most important thing you can do to prevent kidney stones.
  • Keep your weight in control. Studies have shown that being overweight increases your risk of kidney stones.
  • Limit your intake of sodium. It is a part of many canned, packaged, and fast foods.
  • Stay away from Colas. These beverages are high in fructose and phosphates, which may lead to kidney stones.
  • Limit your intake of oxalates, the organic compounds found in a number of foods, including spinach and sweet potatoes. As oxalates bind easily to certain minerals, including calcium, which then help form kidney stones.
  • Eating animal protein may increase your chances of developing kidney stones.
  • Get enough calcium from foods. The right amount of calcium can block other substances in the digestive tract that may cause stones. However too much of it may increase your chances of getting calcium oxalate stones.
Know the risk factors, avoid them:
  • Genetic factor increases your risk of getting kidney stones, forty percent of the people who get kidney stones have relatives who have them, too.
  • Excess amount of certain minerals in your system may increase your risk.
  • When you’re overweight, you tend to get kidney stones more often. The same is true if you have diabetes.
  • Gout, the painful condition when uric acid builds up in your blood increases your risk of kidney stones.
  • If you’ve had certain types of gastric bypass surgery or other intestinal surgery, your risk may go up.
  • Certain kidney diseases may make you more prone to getting kidney stones. One example is polycystic kidney disease, in which clusters of cysts grow in your kidneys. Another is medullary sponge kidney, a birth defect that causes cysts to form in the organ’s tubes.
How to deal with kidney stones:
  • Take charge of your diet and take any medications as prescribed to you.
  • Drink lots of water. Stay hydrated, especially when you exercise.
  • Check food labels. Read the ingredients. Avoid or eat less of foods with high amounts of ingredients like sodium chloride, monosodium glutamate (MSG), and sodium nitrate.
  • Choose foods wisely. Usually it’s good to get more spinach and nuts in your diet. But if you have calcium oxalate stones, which are the most common type, your doctor may tell you to avoid limit foods high in oxalates.
  • Avoid excess dairy foods and animal protein as they can up your chances of less common types of kidney stones.
  • Eat citrus fruits like lemons and limes that are high in citrate, which helps prevent kidney stones.
Treatments options:
  • Diagnosis of kidney stones is best accomplished using an ultrasound, intravenous pyleography (IVP), or a CT scan. Most kidney stones will pass through the ureter to the bladder on their own with time.
  • Treatment includes pain-control medications and, in some cases, medications to facilitate the passage of urine.
  • If needed, lithotripsy or surgical techniques may be used for stones which do not pass through the ureter to the bladder on their own.
  • Do follow the above tips to maintain a healthy lifestyle and avoid kidney stones. However if you are suffering from kidney stones do consult our Urology team for further guidance. Please find below link for further details: