World Malaria Day

Apr 25th, 2019

Archive for April, 2019

World Malaria Day

Thursday, April 25th, 2019

Malaria is caused by the Plasmodium parasite. The parasite is transmitted to humans most commonly through mosquito bites. While the disease is uncommon in temperate climates, malaria is still common in tropical and subtropical countries like India.


A malaria infection is generally characterized by the following signs and symptoms:

  • Fever and chills.
  • Headache.
  • Nausea and vomiting.
  • Muscle pain and fatigue.

Other signs and symptoms may include:

  • Sweating.
  • Chest or abdominal pain.
  • Cough.

Some people who have malaria experience cycles of malaria “attacks.” An attack usually starts with shivering and chills, followed by a high fever, followed by sweating and a return to normal temperature. Malaria signs and symptoms typically begin within a few weeks after being bitten by an infected mosquito. However, some types of malaria parasites can lie dormant in your body for up to a year. A blood test is used to confirm the presence of Malaria.

Other modes of transmission

Because the parasites that cause malaria affect red blood cells, people can also catch malaria from exposure to infected blood, including:

  • From mother to unborn child.
  • Through blood transfusions.
  • By sharing needles used to inject drugs.

Here are a few Malaria complications which can prove fatal:

  • Cerebral malaria – If parasite-filled blood cells block small blood vessels to your brain (cerebral malaria), swelling of your brain or brain damage may occur. Cerebral malaria may cause seizures and coma.
  • Breathing problems – Accumulated fluid in your lungs (pulmonary edema) can make it difficult to breathe.
  • Organ failure – Malaria can cause your kidneys or liver to fail, or your spleen to rupture. Any of these conditions can be life-threatening.
  • Anaemia – Malaria damages red blood cells, which can result in anaemia.
  • Low blood sugar – Severe forms of malaria itself can cause low blood sugar (hypoglycemia), as can some malaria medications. Very low blood sugar can result in coma or death.

To protect yourself from mosquito bites, you should:

  • Cover your skin. Wear pants and long-sleeved shirts.
  • Apply an insect repellent to your skin and clothing. Sprays containing DEET can be used on skin and sprays containing permethrin are safe to apply to clothing.
  • Sleep under a mosquito net. Bed nets, particularly those treated with insecticide, help prevent mosquito bites while you are sleeping.
  • Make sure the room doors and windows are closed properly and screened with gauze to prevent mosquitoes from getting in.
  • Use citronella candles in your house to keep mosquitoes away.
  • Keep your home and surroundings clean.
  • Clear any stagnant water in and around your home.
Are you travelling to a Malaria infested region?

Take the right type of anti-malarial medicines after consulting your doctor. The choice of anti-malarial prevention tablets will also need to take into account your medical history, age and other concurrent medications. You must take them daily or weekly, depending on the medication choice, prior to travel and upon return from the malaria area. Consult our Travel Clinic for more details.

Common Myths and Facts:

Here are a few common myths and facts that need attention:

1. Myth – Malaria isn’t fatal

Fact – If left unattended, malaria can cause death. This disease is spread by the female Anopheles mosquito, and is caused by a parasite called Plasmodium. Once in the blood stream, it multiples and affects the liver and red blood cells, and if not addressed, it can become quite serious.

2. Myth – Malaria carries the same risk for everyone.

Fact – Young children and pregnant women are much more vulnerable to malaria. Infants are more at risk because their immune systems are not yet fully developed, while in children under five they have not yet developed effective resistance to the disease.

3. Myth – Once you get Malaria you will never get it again.

Fact – It’s true that people who have grown up in malaria-endemic areas, in particular have been exposed to malaria and may gain some protection. However you can still get malaria. Hence you need to follow preventative measures to avoid mosquito bites.

Malaria statistics

India reported almost 3 million fewer malaria cases in 2017, a 24% decrease over the previous year, while cases increased worldwide to 219 million from 217 million, according to the World Malaria Report 2018. With 9.5 million cases in 2017, India now accounts for 4% of the world’s total malaria cases.

In 2017, India launched its five-year National Strategic Plan for Malaria Elimination that shifted focus from malaria “control” to “elimination” and provided a road-map with targets to end malaria in 571 districts out of India’s 678 districts by 2022. This has immensely helped reduce Malaria cases.

World Liver Day

Friday, April 19th, 2019

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. The liver is essential for digesting food and ridding your body of toxic substances. Liver disease can be inherited (genetic) or caused by a variety of factors that damage the liver, such as viruses, alcohol use or even obesity.

Your liver does a lot of things that keep you healthy. It turns nutrients into chemicals your body needs. It filters out poisons. It helps turn food into energy. So when your liver doesn’t work well, that can affect your whole body.


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 colour.
  • Pale stool colour, or bloody or tar-coloured stool.
  • Chronic fatigue.
  • Nausea or vomiting.
  • Loss of appetite.

Here are some of the most common liver infections:

  • Hepatitis A. Most people get it by eating or drinking something that’s tainted by faecal matter. You might not have any symptoms. It usually goes away by itself within 6 months without any long-term harm.
  • Hepatitis B. You get it from somebody else, such as through unprotected sex or taking drugs with shared needles. If it lasts longer than 6 months, it makes you more likely to get liver cancer or other diseases.
  • Hepatitis C. comes from infected blood that gets into your blood. You might get it if you take drugs with shared needles or in connection with HIV. Symptoms may not show up for many years.
Immune System Problems:

Your immune system fights off invaders including bacteria and viruses. But it might go wrong and attack one or more parts of your body, such as your liver.

  • Autoimmune hepatitis inflames your liver. It can lead to other disorders and even liver failure.
  • Primary biliary cholangitis attacks tiny tubes in your liver called bile ducts. They carry bile, a chemical that helps you digest food. When the ducts are injured, the bile backs up inside your liver and scars it.
  • Primary sclerosing cholangitis scars your bile ducts, and it can eventually block them. The bile builds up inside your liver, and that makes it harder for your liver to work. It may lead to liver cancer, and you might someday need a liver transplant.
Cancer and Tumours:

If cancer shows up in your liver, that’s most likely because it has spread from another part of your body, like your lungs, colon, or breasts. But a few cancers can start in the liver.

  • Liver cancer affects women more often than men. It is medically called as hepatocellular carcinoma. It’s more likely if you have hepatitis or drink too much.
  • Bile duct cancer strikes the tubes that run from your liver to your small intestine to carry bile, a fluid that helps you digest food.
Inherited Conditions:

Here are a list of few inherited liver disorders:

  • Hemochromatosis makes your body store up too much of the iron from your food. The extra iron builds up in your liver, heart, or other organs. It can lead to life-threatening conditions such as liver diseases, heart disease, or diabetes.
  • Hyperoxaluria hits when your urine has too much of a chemical called oxalate. Oxalate is a natural part of your system, and your liver makes a chemical that controls it. If your liver makes too little of that chemical, oxalate builds up. Then it can cause kidney stones and kidney failure. If your kidneys do fail, that can give you oxalosis, where the oxalate collects in other organs and causes more trouble.
  • Wilson’s disease makes copper build up in your liver and other organs. Its first symptoms usually show up when you’re between the ages of 6 and 35, most often in your teens. It not only affects your liver, but it can cause nerve and psychiatric problems.
  • Alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency involves a chemical that helps your lungs resist infections. Your liver makes it. However sometimes this faulty chemical builds up and may lead to a liver disease.
Other Causes of Liver Disease:
  • Alcohol abuse can lead to cirrhosis. So can non alcoholic fatty liver disease and long-term cases of hepatitis B and C.
  • Drug overdoses. Taking too much acetaminophen or other medications can harm your liver.
  • Non alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is when too much fat has built up inside your liver. The extra fat can inflame your liver. It can scar your liver and lead to other disorders, like cirrhosis.
Complications of liver disease:
  • Acute liver failure. This happens when you don’t have a long-term liver disease but your liver quits working within a very short time — days or weeks. That may happen because of an overdose of acetaminophen, infections, or because of prescriptions drugs.
  • Cirrhosis is a build up of scars in your liver. The more scars replace the healthy parts of your liver, the harder it is for your liver to do its job. Over time, it may not work like it should. This may require a liver transplant.

Here are a few tips to prevent liver disease:

  • 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 against Hepatitis.
  • 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.
  • 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.

Please consult experts at our Hepato-Pancreato- Bliliary Department for more details. Please find below link:

Parkinson’s Disease

Thursday, April 11th, 2019

Parkinson’s is a degenerative neurological condition. Parkinson’s disease affects the nerve cells in the brain that produce dopamine and leads to low production of dopamine. Low levels of dopamine slow down your movements. Parkinson’s affects the nervous system, and the symptoms become worse over time. The symptoms of Parkinson’s disease develop gradually. They often start with a slight tremor in one hand and a feeling of stiffness in the body.


Here are a few early symptoms of Parkinson’s:

  • Movement: There may be a tremor in the hands.
  • Coordination: A reduced sense of coordination and balance can cause people to drop items they are holding. They may be more likely to fall.
  • Gait: The person’s posture may change, so that they lean forward slightly as if they were hurrying. They may also develop a shuffling gait.
  • Facial expression: This can become fixed, due to changes in the nerves that control facial muscles.
  • Voice: There may be a tremor in the voice, or the person may speak more softly than before.
  • Handwriting: This may become more cramped and smaller.
  • A sense of smell: A loss of sense of smell can be an early sign.
  • Sleep problems: Patients have complains of irregular sleep.
Detect Parkinson’s early

Many people think that the early signs of Parkinson’s are normal signs of ageing. For this reason, they may not seek help. However, treatment is more likely to be effective if a person starts it early. For this reason, it is important to get an early diagnosis if possible.

Risk factors of Parkinson’s

People do not know exactly what causes Parkinson’s disease, but there is evidence that certain factors may make it more likely to occur. Here are a few factors:

    • Age and sex

Symptoms of Parkinson’s become noticeable at the age of 60 years or over. However, in 5–10 per cent of cases they appear earlier. When it develops before the age of 50 years, this is called “early-onset” Parkinson’s Disease. Men appear to have a 50-per cent higher chance of developing PD than women.

    • Family history and genetics

Around 10 to 15 per cent of cases is probably due to hereditary genetic factors. The others are “sporadic.” There is currently no way to predict that they will occur. The presence of certain genes like GBA increases the risk of developing Parkinson’s Disease.

Prevent Parkinson’s Disease

Lead a healthy lifestyle and stay fit. Here are a few tips to prevent Parkinson’s:

1. Eat fresh and organic – Pesticides and herbicides have been heavily implicated in causing Parkinson’s. Choose to buy your fruits and vegetables from a farmers market or a local vendor, choose to eat organic.

2. Eat raw vegetables – Studies show that increased amounts of folic acid, found primarily in vegetables, can significantly reduce the risk of Parkinson’s. The best sources of folic acid are available in dark green vegetables like broccoli, spinach, brussels sprouts, asparagus, avocado and okra.

3. Include omega 3 fatty acids – Parkinson’s is inflammatory in nature, hence a diet high in omega-3 fatty acids helps prevent the disease. Omega-3 fatty acids are strongly implicated in the prevention of cell degeneration and death.

4. Vitamin D3 – It is available in the below two sources:

  • Sunlight – With the help of cholesterol and vitamins, vitamin D is changed chemically and absorbed into the bloodstream.
  • Animal Fat – Eating animal fat from healthy animals that are wild or grass-fed is a premier source of vitamin D.

Research suggests that 70 per cent of early, untreated Parkinson’s patients have low levels of vitamin D – identifying this statistic as a strong correlation would be an understatement.

5. Green Tea – The inherent antioxidant properties of green tea are well known. Multiple studies have shown that certain compounds in green tea have myriad protective benefits on the neural network of the brain. Green tea has also been shown to sustain dopamine levels in ailing brain tissue, reducing the severity of Parkinson’s symptoms for those already diagnosed.

6. Regular exercise – In addition to physical benefits like increasing lung capacity, bone density and overall longevity, exercise has a distinct impact on brain health. Regular aerobic exercise reduces inflammation in the brain, helping to counter the inflammatory signals leading to the development of Parkinson’s.

7. Reduce stress – The most important thing we can do for our long-term health, both physical and cognitive, is to reduce the stress in our bodies. All stress – physical, emotional and chemical – causes inflammation and long-term damage throughout the body.

Are you suffering from Parkinson’s disease? Whether it is sleep, travel, dental issues, home safety or living safely with Parkinson’s consult our Neurosciences team who can guide you with the best advice. Please find below link for more details: