Archive for June, 2018

The Importance of Yoga

Thursday, June 21st, 2018

“Yoga is the journey of the self, through the self and to the self” — The Bhagavad Geeta.

Yoga helps liberate your body, mind and soul. You attain a blissful state of mind through asanas and meditation. International Yoga Day is celebrated on June 21st every year. It was internationally recognized by the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) on December 11, 2014. Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his UN Address had suggested the date of June 21, as it is the longest day of the year. Yoga has its roots in India and was developed during the Indus-Sarasvati civilization in Northern India over 5000 years ago. The word ‘yoga’ was first mentioned in the oldest holy book, the Rig Veda.

Types of yoga:

Yoga isn’t necessarily a ‘one-size-fits-all’ practice. Different types of yoga might be best for different people. “A 20-year-old and a 70-year-old probably don’t need the same things. Here is a list of different types of yoga practices practised across the world:

1. Hatha Yoga – The Sanskrit term “hatha”  refers to any yoga that teaches physical postures. It’s all about the basics in these slower moving classes that require you to hold each pose for a few breaths.

2. Vinyasa Yoga – This is a dynamic practice that links movement and breath together in a dance-like way. The pace of each pose is quick.

3. Iyengar Yoga – This yoga is about precision and detail, as well as your body’s alignment in each pose. Props, from yoga blocks and blankets to straps or a ropes wall are used and each posture is held for a period of time.

4. Ashtanga Yoga – If you’re looking for a challenging yet orderly approach to yoga, try Ashtanga. Consisting of six series of specifically sequenced yoga poses, you’ll flow and breathe through each pose to build internal heat.

5. Bikram Yoga – Bikram consists of a specific series of 26 poses and two breathing exercises practiced in a room heated to approximately 105 degrees and 40 percent humidity. All Bikram studios practice the same 90-minute sequence.

6. Hot Yoga – Hot yoga is similar to Bikram in that it’s practiced in a heated room. But teachers aren’t constrained by the 26-pose Bikram sequence.

7. Kundalini Yoga – This physically and mentally challenging practice includes kriyas — repetitive physical exercises coupled with intense breath work — while also chanting, singing and meditating. It is aimed at bringing you a higher level of self-awareness.
8. Yin Yoga – If you want to calm and balance your body and mind, this is the right yoga for you. The opposite of a faster moving practice like Ashtanga, Yin yoga poses are held for several minutes at a time. This meditative practice is designed to target your deeper connective tissues.

9. Restorative Yoga – This slow-moving practice with longer holds gives your body a chance to experience deeper relaxation. You’ll also use a variety of props including blankets, bolsters and yoga blocks to fully support your body in each pose.

Here are some of the common health benefits of practising yoga:
  • Helps reduce stress
  • Relieves anxiety
  • Improves concentration levels
  • Helps reduce inflammation
  • Can improve cardiac health
  • Helps fight depression
  • Improves quality of life
  • Could reduce chronic pain
  • Promotes quality of sleep
  • Improves flexibility and balance
  • May relieve migraines
  • Promotes healthy eating habits
  • Helps increase strength
  • Improves immunity

Yoga is not about enrolling into a class. It is about self practise too. Here are some benefits of practising yoga all by yourself:

  • It builds discipline -When we get up 15 minutes early or take off that time from our routine, it builds self-discipline.
  • Intimate understanding of your body – With gradual practice, you start listening to your body. You become aware of the resistance in certain muscles or asanas that come naturally to you.
  • Understanding the teachings – Certain yoga postures take time and practice. And self practice gives you the best opportunity.
  • Giving time to challenging postures – Self practice gives you time to build on a certain asana.
Common mistakes in Yoga:

Have you been practising yoga watching videos or through a book. Make sure you are not making any errors and accidently causing harm to your body. Here are a few tips to take care:

1) Skipping the warm-up – Skipping warm up makes your body prone to injuries and muscle pulls.

2) Uneven Breath – Holding your breath is the biggest sin in yoga practice. And, forced retaining of the breath can lead to breakdown of the alveoli walls. Thus, practice a smooth and consistent breathing pattern, as it relaxes the muscles and nervous system.

3) Mind Full of chatter – Yoga is about connecting the body and mind. You might have the perfect posture, but incessant chatter in the mind, won’t help, relax your mind and be totally involved in yoga.

4) Pushing too hard – Do not be in a hurry to get an asana right. Unnecessary pushing may lead to injuries.

5) Uncomfortable clothes – Tight pants, uncomfortable clothes are spoilers in your yoga experience. Wear comfortable, well-fitted clothes inside-out.

6) Eating or Drinking before an hour – There is a lot of bending, twisting in yoga. Neither do you want to feel nausea, nor do you want all the energy being taken by the digestive process. So keep your stomach light and idle before the practice.

7) Skipping Shavasana – Again, time crunch is no excuse to skip Shavasana. As we practice yoga, our energy body expands. And when we lie in Shavasana the energy is centred in the body. Which instills relaxation, stillness in the body. So, lie down for at least a minute, before you complete your practice.

This International yoga day make a resolution. Dedicate a few minutes every day for your mind and body and see it reflect on goof health. Yoga with its many health benefits changes you for the better into a fitter and happier person.

Blood Donation

Wednesday, June 13th, 2018

Blood donations are a boon to mankind and can save a million of lives. The noble step can also help patients recover from serious injuries, complex operations, and childbirth. Unfortunately, as a result of lack of knowledge, there is a serious shortage
of blood donors. On this World Blood Donor Day, observed on the 14 th June every year, let us all pledge to actively take part in blood donation. Spread the message of this noble act with your family and friends.

Did you know?

Every two seconds someone needs blood in India and each year our nation requires about 5 crore units. Sadly out of this only a meagre 2.5 crore units of blood are available. Myths about blood donation stop potential donors from considering donating. This World Blood Donor day let’s bust these myths so you can make an informed choice about blood donation.

Here are some blood donation myths and facts:
  • You can’t donate blood if you’re diabetic.
    If you take insulin, you are not eligible to donate. The rationale is that donating could interrupt the glucose control of the body, and potentially lead to a hypoglycaemic reaction in the clinic or on the way home. However, if you manage your diabetes with lifestyle or diabetes pills, you may be eligible, depending on your overall health. Ask your doctor about your eligibility.
  • You can’t donate blood if you’re a smoker.
    Smokers are indeed eligible to donate, but there are a variety of other eligibility guidelines for donation that may decide your eligibility. Its best to consult a doctor. Note – After donating, it is recommended you avoid smoking for at least 3 hours and not consume alcohol for 24 hours.
  • Donating blood is painful.
    Among other important things to know about blood donation , this one is crucial. Giving blood does not hurt. There is a slight prick when they put in the needle, and then you don’t feel much of anything during the donation; maybe an odd feeling in your arm, where the needle is inserted.
  • Immune system becomes weak when you donate blood.
    Research suggests that other than a temporary drop in certain immune cells, like circulating serum proteins and antibodies red blood cells return to normal within a few days and white blood cells in a few weeks. If the body needs more antibodies in the bloodstream, it will produce them extremely quickly therefore there is no danger to the immune system.
  • Blood donation is a time-consuming process.
    All it takes is 45 minutes to one hour to donate. The donation procedure itself takes about 10 to 12 minutes. But it also takes time to fill out the donor registration form, conduct a mini-medical exam, and rest and enjoy refreshments following a donation.
Know the eligibility criteria:
  • Any donor, who is healthy, fit and not suffering from any transmittable diseases can donate blood.
  • Donor must be 18 -60 years age and should have a minimum weight of 50 kgs.
  • Donor’s Haemoglobin level must be 12.5% minimum.
  • A donor can again donate blood after 3 months of the last donation.
  • Pulse rate must be between 50 to 100mm without any irregularities.
  • Blood Pressure Diastolic 50 to 100 mm Hg and Systolic 100 to 180 mm Hg.
  • Body temperature should be normal and oral temperature should not exceed 37.5 degree Celsius.
What makes you Non-Eligible:
  • Patients of cardiac arrest, hypertension, kidney alignments or epilepsy.
  • Women with a miscarriage history should avoid blood donations for the next 6 months.
  • Have undergone malaria treatment within the last three months.
  • Any immunization taken within the past one month.
  • Consumption of alcohol within the last 24 hours.
  • HIV + status
  • If donor had a major dental procedure the wait for one month.
Some facts about blood dontion:
  • One in 4 people need blood tranfusion once in their life.
  • One unit of blood donated can save upto 3 lives.
  • Trauma victims can need upto 50 red blood cell units
  • Liver transplant patients need 20 red blood cell units
  • Heart surgery patients need 6 red blood cell units.
  • You can’t make blood, but what you can do is donate. It forms 7% your body weight.
  • Blood donation is extremely safe and either sterile needles or disposable needles are used for the purpose.
  • If you start donating blood at 18, once every three months by the age of 60 years, you would have saved over 500 lives – being a super hero is sure an extraordinary feat, but you can achieve it by donating blood regularly, thus saving their lives.
How blood donation benefits the donor:
  • Lowers cancer risk
  • Reduces risk of heart attack
  • Maintains weight
  • Prevents premature aging
  • Maintains balanced iron levels

Our team will be glad to assist you with your blood donation. The Blood Bank at Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital is equipped with state-of-the-art equipment, thus enabling use of advanced techniques for processing/screening of blood and its components. All mandatory screening for the transfusion transmissible diseases like HIV1 and HIV2, HBV, HCV are done with the more sensitive and specific CMIA and ELISA method. All units are screened for VDRL and Malarial parasite. Feel free to

visit us for any blood donation queries. Please find below link for further details:

Brain Tumor

Thursday, June 7th, 2018

What is a brain tumor? It is a mass or growth of abnormal cells in your brain. Many different types of brain tumors exist. Some brain tumors are noncancerous (benign), and some brain tumors are cancerous (malignant). Brain tumors can begin in your brain (primary brain tumors), or cancer can begin in other parts of your body and spread to your brain (secondary, or metastatic, brain tumors).

How quickly a brain tumor grows can vary greatly. The growth rate as well as location of a brain tumor determines how it will affect the function of your nervous system. The treatment options depend on the type of brain tumor you have, as well as its size and location.

Over 120 different types of brain tumors have been identified, making universally effective treatments complicated. Both malignant and benign tumors can be life-threatening. The average survival rate for all malignant brain tumor patients is 34.2 percent.

Types of brain tumors:

Primary brain tumors

Primary brain tumors originate in your brain. They can develop from your:

  • brain cells
  • the membranes that surround your brain, which are called meninges
  • nerve cells
  • glands

Primary tumors can be benign or cancerous. In adults, the most common types of brain tumors are gliomas and meningiomas.

Secondary brain tumors

Secondary brain tumors make up the majority of brain cancers. They start in one part of the body and spread, or metastasize, to the brain. The following can metastasize to the brain:

  • lung cancer
  • breast cancer
  • kidney cancer
  • skin cancer

Secondary brain tumors are always malignant. Benign tumors don’t spread from one part of your body to another.

What are the risk factors for a brain tumor?
  • Risk factors for brain tumors include:
  • Family history – Only about 5 to 10 percent of all cancers are genetically inherited.
  • Age – Risk for most types of brain tumors increases with age.
  • Race – Brain tumors in general are more common among Caucasians. However, African-American people are more likely to get meningiomas.
  • Chemical exposure – Being exposed to certain chemicals, such as those you might find in a work environment, can increase your risk for brain cancer.
  • Exposure to radiation – People who have been exposed to ionizing radiation have an increased risk of brain tumors. You can be exposed to ionizing radiation through high-radiation cancer therapies. You can also be exposed to radiation from nuclear fallout.

The signs and symptoms of a brain tumor vary greatly and depend on the brain tumor’s size, location and rate of growth.

General signs and symptoms caused by brain tumors may include:

  • New onset or change in pattern of headaches
  • Headaches that gradually become more frequent and more severe
  • Unexplained nausea or vomiting
  • Vision problems, such as blurred vision, double vision or loss of peripheral vision
  • Gradual loss of sensation or movement in an arm or a leg
  • Difficulty with balance
  • Speech difficulties
  • Confusion in everyday matters
  • Personality or behaviour changes
  • Seizures, especially in someone who doesn’t have a history of seizures
  • Hearing problems
How are brain tumors diagnosed?

Diagnosis of a brain tumor begins with a physical exam and a look at your medical history. The physical exam includes a very detailed neurological examination. The doctor may also evaluate your:

  • muscle strength
  • coordination
  • memory
  • ability to do mathematical calculations

Your doctor may order more tests for examination:

  • CT scan of the head
  • MRI of the head
  • Angiography
  • Skull X-rays
  • Biopsy
Treatment of brain tumors

The treatment of a brain tumor depends on:

  • the type of tumor
  • the size of the tumor
  • the location of the tumor
  • your general health

The most common treatment for malignant brain tumors is surgery. The goal is to remove as much of the cancer as possible without causing damage to the healthy parts of the brain. While the location of some tumors allows for easy and safe removal, other tumors may be located in an area that limits how much of the tumor can be removed. Even partial removal of brain cancer can be beneficial.

Risks of brain surgery include infection and bleeding. Clinically dangerous benign tumors are also surgically removed. Metastatic brain tumors are treated according to guidelines for the type of original cancer.

Surgery can be combined with other treatments, such as radiation therapy and chemotherapy. Physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech therapy can help you to recover after neurosurgery.

Few facts about this dangerous disease:
  1. Brain tumours can occur at any age.
  2. We don’t know what causes brain tumors. Family history and high dose radiation like X-rays increases your risk.
  3. Doctors group brain tumors by grade which means the way the brain cells look under a microscope. A higher grade number means the cells appear more abnormal and the more aggressively the tumour usually behaves.
  4. Brain tumors are graded as grade I, grade II, or grade III, or grade IV.

For any brain tumor related symptoms, do consult our neurologists at the centre for Neurosciences, please see below link for details:

Stressed for Your Exam Results and Admission Process?

Monday, June 4th, 2018

Its result time or India and students across the country are getting their exam results one by one. As they await their results, elements of anxiety and stress may start to emerge. Months of hard work and sustained focus coupled with the pressure of having to make crucial decisions about the immediate and long-term future can leave students feeling overwhelmed. The experience of selecting the right career path, the right university, the right course, deciding whether to have a gap year and how to finance it, devising a realistic Plan B and worrying about what one’s friends will be doing can all play a part in the build-up of stress.

Stress is a natural and essential survival response that can enhance performance at optimal levels. However excess stress can also have a negative impact on health and well-being. Although the effects of long-term stress on the mind and body vary for each individual, common features include muscle tension, palpitations, pain, fatigue, low mood, attention difficulties, and poor concentration and decision-making.

Learning how to manage stress is an invaluable tool crucial, especially on the day, for those who do not achieve the grades that they expected or needed. It is always difficult to cope with negative emotions and perceptions, but it is even harde but with support from family and friends it is possible.

Stress can lead to depression and suicidal thoughts. Every hour, one student commits suicide in India, and India has one of the world’s highest suicide rates for youth aged 15 to 29. Suicide is preventable. If you know someone who is feeling suicidal or is emotionally distressed, tell them that you care for them and be an active listener. Being empathetic helps the person feel understood and heard. It is important to realise that feeling suicidal is not the nature of the person but a mere state of mind. Counselling helps in such a situation.

Conversations with counsellors revealed that young people find it difficult to cope with failure in examinations and careers and neither families nor other social institutions offer adequate support or solace. Family background has an important role in determining how young people cope with despair. Students from “happy” families suffer from less depression.

Stress-management techniques

One of the most effective stress management techniques is the understanding of the biological and psychological mechanisms that contribute to stress. Take deep breaths to calm the sensations in the body and acknowledge that these are natural stress responses that will soon pass.

It is important for parents and teachers to be extra careful during the exam result declaration time.

Here are a few tips to beat the Exams Results stress:
  • Taking long walks in early morning sunlight boosts the level of the hormone Serotonin. Low levels of Serotonin are associated with Depression.
  • Reduce your stress by taking dietary supplements such as omega 3 fatty acids. Low levels of Omega 3 fatty acids are linked to a host of mental/emotional issues such as Depression, suicide, violent behaviour etc.
  • Have a healthy diet including dry fruits, flax seeds, fresh fruits and vegetables to improve mental health as well as physical health.
  • Light exercises help boost your mood, it helps release the  feel-good brain chemicals that ease Depression (neurotransmitters, endorphins, and endocannabinoids).
  • Talk to a loved one or friend. Often, the simple act of talking to someone face to face can be an enormous help to someone suffering from depression. Talk to a friend, family member or a relative about what is bothering you.
  • Relax and take time to chose the right course/college for your future. In order to relax and unwind, do one small thing which makes you happy.
  • Handle peer pressure well. Comparison with peers is one of the major reason why people end up in an engineering college without having the aptitude or interest for it. Take time out to understand where your interest lies.
  • Pet a dog or cat (if you have any). Pets are extremely therapeutic. Nothing beats the experience of putting a cuddly dog or cat, and it is good for you, while facing results anxiety.
  • Understand that these marks do not define you, there are tons of examples of successful people who did not do well in academics. So please do not take hasty decisions in anxiety.

If you feel that you have tried everything to deal with your Depression on your own and nothing seems to work, then consult a professional counsellor. Exam results declaration can be a challenging part of school life for students and their parents. So do not lose hope and always look at the bright side! Seek help if you have to and be optimistic about your future. Please find below link of our psychiatry department for counselling :