Archive for April, 2018

Summer Holidays – Health Precautions

Monday, April 30th, 2018

Summers are here, and it’s holiday time for the kids to relax, enjoy, have fun and travel too. But what about the sweltering summer heat? It is important for children of all age groups to stay healthy and safe in the summer holidays. With the change in weather, increasing temperatures and heat waves, simple precautions can help prevent heat strokes and dehydration.

Here are some summer tips to keep your children healthy:
  • Stay Hydrated – The scorching heat leaves your body hydrated. You should make sure that you drink enough water or water-based drinks to keep your body hydrated.
  • Sunscreen – In the scorching summer heat, make sure you use a sunscreen lotion. Take precautions, try not going out in the sun when the sun is out, shining brightly.  If at all you are out in the sun for too long, make sure you reapply the sunscreen.
  • Protect Your Eyes – It is not just your skin that needs to be protected, but also your eyes. Make sure you wear sunglasses when going out in the sun. Choose sunglasses which provide 99% protection against the ultraviolet rays.
  • Watch your foods – Summer also brings with it the temptation of ice creams, however, they are best avoided. Instead, choose fresh fruits and vegetables which are easy to digest.
  • Choose indoor play at noontime – Play indoors during the afternoons to avoid extreme summer heat from 12.00 noon to 4.pm.
  • Dress appropriately – Wear cotton clothes rather than synthetic ones to avoid skin problems. Also wear lighter colours, to attract less body heat!
  • Refresh yourself – Summer is the perfect time of the year to get wet! Start by swimming for 10 minutes and increase the time over the following weeks to beat the summer heat.
  • Protect yourself – Kids must wear hats to cover their head from the sun’s heat. Also, children should apply insect repellents to avoid insect bites that can cause infections and diseases.

Are you travelling this summer? To stay healthy, take care of these basic precautions. Consume wisely by eating freshly cooked food and drinking only from sealed water bottles. To protect against pollution in the cities, wear a scarf. It is also essential to travel with medications for diarrhoea, headache and other common ailments. Consult a doctor to check if any immunization is needed.

Here are a few tips to keep yourself and your family healthy while travelling.
  • Avoid cut and peeled roadside fruits, raw vegetables and meat which are pre-exposed to flies.
  • Vegetable and chicken salads are better avoided as we don’t know how old the product is and how safe it has been stored.
  • Always carry some instant energy source to avoid situations like vomiting, lose motion and have some lime water with sugar and salts.
  • Outbreaks of diarrhoeal disease have also been associated with bottled water.  In most situations, boiling water is the simplest solution in places with poor sanitation and hygiene.
  • Always remember, correct food choices while travelling can make the difference between good health and sickness. Avoid places which are tourist traps and densely inhabited.
  • Do not step out into the sun directly from a cool atmosphere like ACs and coolers.
  • Cut down on your tea and coffee intake, switch to green tea and cool juices if possible!
  • Drink loads of water to prevent dehydration and carry wet wipes to keep your skin hydrated!

Let your children enjoy their summer holidays but with some precautions. It is important that they understand the importance and value their health from a young age. It helps them grow into healthy and responsible adults. Wishing you happy and healthy holidays!

The Importance of Immunization

Tuesday, April 24th, 2018
What is immunization?

Immunisation describes the process whereby people are protected against illness caused by infection with micro-organisms (formally called pathogens). The term vaccine refers to the material used for immunisation, while vaccination refers to the act of giving a vaccine to a person.

A vaccine usually contains an agent resembling a disease-causing bacteria. When this biological preparation is injected into your body, your immune system recognizes the agent and destroys it. However, your immune system remembers the agent and next time, when the actual microbe attacks you, it safeguards you against the disease. Vaccines are usually made from the toxins of the killed or weakened microorganism.

Some Immunization facts:
  • Immunization saves 3 million lives every year.
  • More than 1 million infants and young children all over the world die every year from rotavirus diarrhoea and pneumococcal disease. Both of these diseases can be prevented through vaccination.
  • The global measles mortality rate has reduced by 74%. This has been possible due to intense campaigns for vaccination worldwide.
  • Thanks to extensive vaccination drives, the cases of Polio have decreased by more than 99%. According to the World Health Organisation, only three countries in the world are now polio-endemic. It includes Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Nigeria.
  • As per UNICEF, if all children were vaccinated with the existing vaccines, at least 25 million lives could be saved between 2011 and 2020.
  • With the exception of drinking water, no other human undertaking can equal the impact immunization has had in reducing infectious diseases mortality – not even antibiotics
  • Immunization reduces mortality, morbidity, reduces direct and indirect medical costs.
  • Flu vaccine has led to a 70% decline in hospitalizations.
  • Hepatitis B vaccines have caused a drop in the incidence of liver cancer

The World Health Organisation is driving a Global Vaccine Action Plan (GAVP) that aims to prevent deaths due to diseases that can be prevented through vaccination. Under this plan, the organization is working towards increasing the access to vaccinations, thereby increasing the percentage of coverage. By 2020, all the countries are aiming to increase vaccination coverage by 90% nationally. Vaccination is a major step towards the prevention of infectious disease.

Important Reasons to Vaccinate Your Child
  1. Vaccination protects children from serious illness and complications of vaccine-preventable diseases which can include amputation of an arm or leg, paralysis of limbs, hearing loss, convulsions, brain damage, and death.
  2. Vaccine-preventable diseases, such as measles, mumps, and whooping cough, are still a threat.
  3. If children aren’t vaccinated, they can spread the disease to other children who are too young to be vaccinated or to people with weakened immune systems, such as transplant recipients and people with cancer. This could result in long-term complications and even death for these vulnerable people.
  4. Vaccination is very safe and effective. Vaccines are only given to children after a long and careful review by scientists, doctors, and healthcare professionals. Vaccines will involve some discomfort and may cause pain, redness, or tenderness at the site of injection but this is minimal compared to the pain, discomfort, and trauma of the diseases these vaccines prevent.
  5. Vaccines have reduced and, in some cases, eliminated many diseases that killed or severely disabled people just a few generations ago. For example, smallpox vaccination eradicated that disease worldwide..
  6. Getting immunized costs less than getting treated for the diseases that the vaccines protect you from.
  7. If exposure to a disease occurs in a community, there is little to no risk of an epidemic if people have been immunized.
Adult immunization

Vaccinations aren’t just for children.
Adults need them too at times, depending on factors such as age, health conditions, travel plans and personal vaccination record.

India needs substantial improvement and awareness in adult vaccination. The government of India as well as the WHO consider childhood vaccination as the leading priority. However, there is no focus on adult immunization which also is the most ignored part of healthcare services in India. Adult vaccination coverage in India is negligible.

Adults can be vaccinated for a range of diseases such as swine flu, typhoid, hepatitis, tetanus and pneumonia. Vaccines such as hepatitis A and B, pneumococcal and meningococcal meningitis, rabies, human papillomavirus vaccine and tetanus are the most common vaccinations given in India.
The guidelines to get vaccinations in India are not as strict as in the UK or the US. People over 50 years, or those who are more susceptible to infections, are usually asked to go for vaccinations

Travel immunizations

It is important to take vaccines as precautions while travelling to certain countries. For example, yellow fever vaccination is needed by Indians travelling to African countries. We don’t have yellow fever in India yet – but the country has all the favourable parameters for it to thrive quite well. So if someone from India travels to Africa, contracts the disease and returns to India, they can spread the disease. Similarly, vaccinations against tuberculosis, typhoid and meningococcal meningitis are required if you travel to the US or European countries.

Know more about vaccines, consult our doctors at Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital. Please consult our Adult immunization clinic and our Centre for Mother and Child for child vaccines, please refer below link for more details:

https://www.kokilabenhospital.com/departments/clinicsatkh/adultimmunizationclinic.html

https://www.kokilabenhospital.com/departments/centresofexcellence/centrefor_motherchild.html

World Liver Day

Tuesday, April 17th, 2018

The liver is an organ about the size of a football that sits just under your rib cage on the right side of your abdomen. It is an unsung hero. Every day it works hard to clear the waste products and toxins your body produces, or takes in. It takes up these waste products from your bloodstream, breaks them down and sends them down your bile duct, in a liquid called bile, into your intestine. This bile helps with digestion. Your liver also controls some infections and helps your blood clot properly.

Take small steps to improve your liver health. Following a healthy diet is one of the most important things to do along with regular physical activity. There should be a reduction in carbohydrates and total calories which can lead to improvements in the fat stored in the liver. The idea is to skip high fat high sugar diet.

What are Liver Functions?

The liver has a multitude of important and complex functions. Some of these functions are to:

  • Manufacture (synthesize) proteins.
  • Synthesize, store, and process (metabolize) fats, including fatty acids (used for energy) and cholesterol.
  • Metabolize and store carbohydrates.
  • Form and secrete the bile juice.
  • Eliminate, by metabolizing and/or secreting, the potentially harmful biochemical products produced by the body.
  • Detoxify, by metabolizing and/or secreting, drugs, alcohol, and environmental toxins.
What happens in a Liver disease?

The yellow tinge of jaundice is caused by the build-up of a substance called bilirubin in your bloodstream. It’s produced when your red blood cells, which only ‘live’ for about three months, are broken down. If the cells of your liver are inflamed, or if the exit to your bowel through your bile duct is blocked, it can cause jaundice.

Cirrhosis is a serious condition where the healthy tissue in your liver is replaced with scar tissue. An earlier change is called ‘fatty liver’.

Signs and symptoms of liver disease include:
  • Skin and eyes that appear yellowish (jaundice)
  • Abdominal pain and swelling
  • Swelling in the legs and ankles
  • Itchy skin
  • Dark urine color
  • Pale stool color, or bloody or tar-colored stool
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Loss of appetite
  • Tendency to bruise easily
Causes of liver disease:

Parasites and viruses can infect the liver, causing inflammation that reduces the liver function. The viruses that cause liver damage can be spread through blood or semen, contaminated food or water, or close contact with a person who is infected. The most common types of liver infection are hepatitis viruses, including:

  • Hepatitis A
  • Hepatitis B
  • Hepatitis C

Immune system abnormality

Diseases in which your immune system attacks certain parts of your body (autoimmune) can affect your liver. Examples of autoimmune liver diseases include:

  • Autoimmune hepatitis
  • Primary biliary cirrhosis
  • Primary sclerosing cholangitis

Genetics

An abnormal gene inherited from one or both of your parents can cause various substances to build up in your liver, resulting in liver damage. Genetic liver diseases include:

  • Hemochromatosis
  • Hyperoxaluria and oxalosis
  • Wilson’s disease
  • Alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency

Cancer and other growths

Examples include:

  • Liver cancer
  • Bile duct cancer
  • Liver adenoma

Other

Additional, common causes of liver disease include:

  • Chronic alcohol abuse
  • Fat accumulating in the liver (nonalcoholic fatty liver disease)

Liver disease can be inherited (genetic) or caused by a variety of factors that damage the liver, such as viruses and alcohol use. Obesity is also associated with liver damage. Over time, damage to the liver results in scarring (cirrhosis), which can lead to liver failure, a life-threatening condition.

Some preventive measures:
  • Drink alcohol in moderation. For healthy adults, that means up to one drink a day for women and up to two drinks a day for men.
  • Avoid risky behaviour. Get help if you use illicit intravenous drugs, and don’t share needles used to inject drugs. Use a condom during sex. If you choose to have tattoos or body piercings, be picky about cleanliness and safety when selecting a shop.
  • Get vaccinated. If you’re at increased risk of contracting hepatitis or if you’ve already been infected with any form of the hepatitis virus, talk to your doctor about getting the hepatitis A and hepatitis B vaccines.
  • Use medications wisely. Take prescription and non-prescription drugs only when needed and only in recommended doses. Don’t mix medications and alcohol.
  • Avoid contact with other people’s blood and body fluids. Hepatitis viruses can be spread by accidental needle sticks or improper cleanup of blood or body fluids.
  • Take care with aerosol sprays. Make sure the room is ventilated, and wear a mask when spraying insecticides, fungicides, paint and other toxic chemicals. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Protect your skin. When using insecticides and other toxic chemicals, wear gloves, long sleeves, a hat and a mask.
  • Maintain a healthy weight. Obesity can cause non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.

Consult our Hepato Pancreato Biliary department for any liver related complications. Please see below link for more details:

https://www.kokilabenhospital.com/departments/clinicaldepartments/hepatopancreatobiliary.html