FAQ Heart Failure

Sep 27th, 2019

Archive for September, 2019

FAQ Heart Failure

Friday, September 27th, 2019
What is heart failure?

When your heart is working less efficiently can’t pump enough blood that you need.

Your heart chambers respond to stretching to hold more blood to pump. This helps to keep blood moving but gradually the heart pumping deteriorates.

Your kidneys react to this by retaining more salt and water.

What are symptoms:-

Depending on severity of disease, one cane have mild, moderate or severe symptoms.

Fluid overload – As a result of fluid retention you develop swelling in ankles and legs (called edema). This leads to bloating of stomach and loss of appetite.

Fatigue and weakness – less blood and flow to your muscle can cause fatigue and weakness. Less blood to brain may lead to dizziness.


Heart attack, high blood pressure, diabetes, atrial fibrillation (fast heart beat) disease of valves of heart, disease of heart muscle – (cardiomyopathy), congenital heart defects.

Smoking by causing heart attack leads to heart failure.


Diagnosis of heart failure is based on clinical examination and few tests.

Blood test: For sugar, cholesterol, kidney and thyroid. Also NT-proBNP is blood test which help in diagnosis. Higher levels are seen in heart failure.

ECG: Shows heart rate and rhythm, chamber enlargement and electric conduction delay in heart.

Echocardiogram: This is sonography of heart and is most important test. It gives complete interaction of heart pumping, heart valves and is most important tool for diagnosis as well as to seen response to treatment.

X-ray chest: Gives information of water build up in lungs and size of heart.


Three important medications to improve heart pumping are betablocker, ACE inhibiter / ARB / ARNI and third is Aldosterone Antagonist.

Unfortunately majority of patients do not get target dose of these drugs.

Diuretics are used to reduce fluid retention.

Newer Antidiabetic drugs like SGLT2 inhibitor also gives lot of benefits to patient with heart failure even if they don’t have diabetes.

Correction of iron deficiency also improve outcome of heart failure patients.


Salt restriction of less than 1500 mg previous day is important way to manage heart failure.

When to report to Doctor / A & E:-
  • If weight gain more than 2 kg in week,
  • Increasing swelling of ankle, feet,
  • Worsening of breathlessness,
  • Feeling tired or harder time to do daily activity,
  • Fast heart beat or palpitations,
  • Decrease urine frequency and quantity,
  • Dizziness, loss of appetite.
Advanced treatment:

Some candidates with heart failure are candidates of special procedures and surgery.

  • CRT (Cardiac resynchronisation) It is type of pacemaker which helps to improve heart pumping.
  • ICD (Intracardiac defibrillation) Some heart failure patient may require ICD, to prevent and treat cardiac arrest. It is also a type of pacemaker.
  • Heart valve surgery for affected valves.
  • Heart transplant for advanced heart failure, not responding to all treatment options.

World Alzheimer’s Day

Friday, September 20th, 2019

Alzheimer’s disease is an irreversible, progressive brain disorder that slowly destroys memory and thinking skills and, eventually, the ability to carry simple everyday tasks. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of dementia among older adults. The disease is named after Dr. Alois Alzheimer.

People suffering from Alzheimer’s might forget their loved ones. They might forget how to dress themselves, feed themselves, and use the toilet. The disease makes your brain tissue break down over time. It usually happens to people over age 65. A person can live with Alzheimer’s disease for just a few years or for a few decades.

Prevent Alzheimer’s

Here are a few things you can do to enhance your brain health and work to prevent Alzheimer’s:

1. Learn a second (or third, or fourth) language.

2. Eat raw fruits and vegetables.

3. Add a vitamin K supplement to your diet.

4. Reduce stress.

5. Commit to regular exercise.

6. Laugh more.

7. Limit sugar intake.

8. Make time for meditation.

9. Quit smoking.

10. Adopt a Mediterranean diet.

How to care for an Alzheimer’s patient:

Communication difficulties can be one of the most upsetting aspects of caring for someone with Alzheimer’s. It’s frustrating for those with the disease and for the caretaker. Familiarize yourself with some of the common situations that arise when someone has dementia, so that you can respond calmly and effectively. Here are few to tips to make note of:

  • Scheduling. In order to keep your parents or loved ones safe, you have to establish a routine that will make your ordinary day more predictable, stable and less stressful.
  • “Cues.” Explain regular, everyday things in detail. For example, if you name a drawer for what is inside, the patient will most likely put things in the correct place you suggested. This will ease things for both the caregiver and the patient.
  • Remove danger. Remove things that could endanger patients like knives, car keys and matches.
  • Use technology. Use technology at its best to monitor patient health, location as well as to keep a check on them while you are away from home.
  • Create limitations. Limit your instructions to one step at a time. If you are having a conversation, limit surrounding distractions like the TV and radio. It will help your loved ones stay focused on the conversation.
  • Professional help. If the patient’s health deteriorates ask for help. If required hire a professional caretaker or a nurse for full time or on a part time basis.
Facts About Alzheimer’s Disease
  • More than 4 million Indians suffer from Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia.
  • Half of adults aged 85 and over have Alzheimer’s.
  • More than half of the cases of Alzheimer’s remain undiagnosed.
  • More women have Alzheimer’s than men.
  • Globally India has the third highest number of cases of Alzheimer’s.
  • India’s dementia and Alzheimer’s burden is forecast to reach almost 7.5 million by the end of 2030.
Alzheimer’s Symptoms

To receive a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s, the person must have experienced a decline in cognitive or behavioural function and performance compared with how they were previously. This decline interferes with their ability to function at work or in usual activities. The cognitive decline must be observed in at least two of the five symptom areas listed below:

1. Reduced ability to take in and remember new information, which includes:

  • Getting lost on a familiar route.
  • Repetitive questions or conversations.
  • Misplacing personal belongings.
  • Forgetting events or appointments.

2. Impairments related to reasoning, complex tasking, taking decisions, for example:

  • Poor decision-making ability.
  • Poor understanding of safety risks.
  • Inability to manage finances.
  • Inability to plan complex or sequential activities

3. Impaired visuospatial abilities like:

  • Inability to recognize faces or common objects.
  • Inability to use simple tools.

4. Impaired speaking, reading and writing, for example:

  • Difficulty thinking of common words while speaking.
  • Speech, spelling, and writing errors.

5. Changes in personality and behaviour, for example:

  • Mood changes, including agitation, social withdrawal.
  • Loss of empathy.
  • Compulsive, obsessive, or socially unacceptable behaviour.

The number one symptom of Alzheimer’s still remains as memory loss especially in the area of learning and recalling new information. If you know someone showing these symptoms guide them to our Alzheimer’s Clinic. Please find below link of our website for further details:


Spine Care

Friday, September 13th, 2019

Spine care is an essential part of your health. The three main functions of the spine are to: 1. Protect the spinal cord, nerve roots and several of the body’s internal organs. 2. Provide structural support and balance to maintain an upright posture. 3. Enable flexible motion. Your spine allows your body to be in a stable and upright position. A strong spine and good posture are essential to healthy mobility, a painful spine can eliminate it.

Your spine is a part of the central nervous system, along with the brain, and relies on the peripheral nervous system: the millions of nerves that send messages to the brain that control the body’s functions. An unhealthy spine interferes with this entire system, causing a host of unwelcome health issues such as pain, numbness, and weakness in the arms and legs, digestion and impaired control of the bowel and bladder.

Spine disorders:

Here are a few common spine disorders that affect people:

  • Degenerative disc disease is a normal part of aging that often occurs along with spinal stenosis. Over time, stressors and minor injuries cause the spinal discs to gradually degenerate, shrinking the space between discs and causing instability and nerve compression.
  • Slip disc can occur as a result of injury, fall or repetitive motion or as a part of normal ageing process.
  • Spondylolisthesis occurs when one vertebra slips forward on the vertebra below it. It causes immense back pain.
  • Kyphosis is an abnormal forward curve in the upper part of the spine. It is typically found in older women but it may occur in any age. Severe Kyphosis may also cause fractures of the vertebrae.
  • Osteoporosis typically occurs in post menopausal women and may contribute to vertebral fractures.
  • Sciatica is caused by irritation of the root(s) of the lower lumbar and lumbosacral spine.
  • Spinal Stenosis is the narrowing of the spinal canal that often accompanies degenerative disc disease and is typically seen in people over 60. It progresses slowly over time and causes back and leg pain during activity.
  • Scoliosis is a sideways curvature of the spine that occurs during growth spurts before puberty or as a result of arthritis, spinal injury or other spinal disorders. Most cases are mild, but severe cases can be disabling too.

Strengthen your spine

Do you slouch?

Slouching is the reason why 80% people suffer from spinal problems.

Here are a few tips to help you take better care of your spine and back:

1. Good posture is essential

Maintaining an erect good posture is the key to a healthy spine and helps prevent many spine problems.

2. Deep belly breathing 

This can help improve your posture. Place your hands on your abdominal area and feel your belly move as you inhale and exhale. Do this as many times a day as possible to improve your posture and overall spinal health.

3. Exercise for good spine health

Just 10 minutes per day is all you need to perform some simple spine-strengthening exercises. Neck stretches, shoulder exercises, including bending and extension range-of-motion exercises can dramatically improve the health of the cervical spine.

4. Eat healthy for your spine

You may not think that your diet affects your spine, but it actually plays a key role. A healthy diet consisting mostly of lean proteins, healthy fats and lots of fresh fruits and vegetables is ideal for building a lean body and muscles that support the spine.

5. Get some sunlight

Sunlight contains vitamin D, which is required for strong bones, including the spinal column, and is manufactured in the body through sun exposure. Try to spend 10 to 20 minutes in sunlight daily.

6. Check your sleep pattern

Studies suggest that insufficient sleep is associated with increased neck and back problems. Sleep in a position that enables the spine to relax, the idal being on your side. Choose a suitable mattress as well as pillow for proper neck support.

7. Don’t hesitate to meditate

People who meditate tend to focus on their core, automatically straightening their spines in the process.

Stop these mistakes!

Here are a few mistakes that may ruin or worsen your spine problems:

  • Ignoring your pain for too long – If back pain continues for a few days do not ignore. Do not just reply on self medication. Consult a spine expert for correct diagnosis and treatment.
  • Choosing surgery too quickly – Do not take hasty decisions. It is recommended to try non-surgical treatments for at least several weeks or months before considering surgery.
  • Poor sitting posture – Do you work for long hours at your desk in a poor posture? It is time to correct it with ergonomics.
  • Excess mobile usage – Excessive texting or seeing your cell phone for long hours can cause repeated stress injury and pain in the neck. This is called text neck.
  • Remaining inactive – If you are in pain, one or two days of doctor-recommended rest is fine. However, over time lack of activity will in fact lead to more pain. Consult a physiotherapist for a daily exercise routine that suits your spine.

Are you or a family member suffering from a spine injury or a chronic back ache? Get yourself checked, consult experts at our Centre for Bone and Joint for further help. Please find below link for more details:


Eat Right, Be Nutritionally Aware

Friday, September 6th, 2019

Do you follow a particular diet?

Are you conscious about your weight?

Do you take any special efforts to eat healthy?

Do you eat as per your body’s needs?

Good nutrition is one of the key to living a healthy life. You can improve your health by keeping a balanced diet. You must eat a variety of foods that contain vitamins and minerals. This includes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, dairy, and a source of protein. Your meal must be planned as per your age as well as your nature of work. Do not fall for fad or short-term diets that look tempting. They may promise to help you lose weight fast. However they may be unhealthy in the long run. A good and balanced diet improves the quality of life and helps prevent illnesses. Let us look at the various aspects of nutrition as we celebrate National Nutrition week from 1st to 7th September.

Benefits of good Nutrition:

Here are a few ways how a good diet affects your body positively:

1. Weight loss

Losing weight can help to reduce the risk of chronic conditions. Obesity highly increases your risk of developing several conditions, including heart disease, cancer, type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis.

2. Diabetes management

Eating a healthy diet can help a person with diabetes lose weight, manage blood sugar levels, manage blood pressure levels, prevent or delay the complications of diabetes.

3. Cardiac health and stroke prevention

A majority of premature heart disease and stroke cases can be prevented by making lifestyle changes, such as increasing levels of physical activity and eating healthfully. If a person eliminates trans fats from the diet, this will reduce their levels of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol. This type of cholesterol causes plaque to collect within the arteries, increasing the risk of heart attack and stroke.

4. Strong bones and teeth

A diet with adequate calcium and magnesium is necessary for strong bones and teeth. Keeping the bones healthy is vital in preventing osteoporosis and osteoarthritis later in life. Few sources of calcium rich foods are dairy, legumes, cauliflower, broccoli, bananas, etc.

5. Better mood

Research suggests that a diet with a high glycemic load may cause increased symptoms of depression and fatigue. Avoid foods made of refined carbohydrates like cakes, white bread, and biscuits which have a high glycemic index. Vegetables, whole fruit, and whole grains have a lower glycemic load.

6. Improved memory

A healthy diet may help prevent dementia and cognitive decline. Adequate intake of foods with vitamin D, C, E, omega 3 fatty acids, flavonoids and polyphenols helps boost your brain functions.

7. Improved digestive health

The colon is full of naturally occurring bacteria, which play important roles in metabolism and digestion and help fight harmful bacteria and viruses. A diet low in fiber and high in sugar and fat hampers this process. A diet rich in vegetables, fruits, legumes, and whole grains helps good bacteria to thrive in the colon.

Common Nutrition Myths:
  • Carbohydrates make you fat.
    This depends on the quality of carbohydrates consumed that either leads to fat gain or fat loss. Simple carbohydrates like sugar, fruit juices, maida lead to fat gain, whereas complex carbohydrates like whole grains and cereals, whole fruits lead to sustained energy levels and fat loss.
  • Too much protein causes hair fall.
    This is not true. Eating a protein-rich diet prevents deficiencies and reduces hair fall.
  • Dal is a complete protein
    Protein required by our bodies for muscle and tissue repair is made of 22 amino acids. Animal-based proteins such as eggs and lean meat provide all these, whereas dal lacks in one of the amino acids and therefore must be combined with another cereal in order to make a complete protein.
  • Diets don’t work!
    Diets work when they suit your metabolism and lifestyle. Poorly designed weight loss programs are ineffective. Tailor made nutritional plans created by qualified health professionals are effective.
  • Too much protein can cause liver damage.
    No, metabolizing protein is a natural work of the liver. Only with a liver problem, one needs to restrict protein.
  • Eliminating dairy products leads to weight loss.
    Excluding whole dairy products rich in saturated fats leads to fat loss. One can include low fat dairy products in a fat loss program. Excluding dairy completely is not recommended as it may lead to a calcium deficiency.
  • Thirst is an indication to drink water!
    Thirst is an indicator of dehydration. Drink water regularly throughout the day. A dehydrated body compromises on performance and cannot burn fat nor build muscle.
Common nutrition myths for children:
  • Frequent eating will make them healthy
    This is not true. Frequent eating will not advance your child’s growth and development. The fact is that healthy eating habits like fixed time of having meals, eating according to the appetite, healthy snacking and a balanced diet are the growth determinants. Frequent snacking and overeating can result in health issues like obesity, diabetes etc. later in life.
  • Fruit Juice is healthy
    Always choose whole fruits over juices. Fibre is extremely important for a healthy body and fruit juice does not contain fibre, which a whole fruit does.
  • Hide the vegetables
    Many parents secretly put veggies and other healthy ingredients in their child’s meal. While this may work in the short term, they are not developing the habit to eat a healthy diet. It is important to make them understand the concept of healthy eating and its significance in development.
  • More sugar means high energy levels
    Consuming too much sugar is, in fact, bad for health. It can lead to ‘sugar addiction’ which can harm children both physically and psychologically. This addiction can generate mood swings, irritability, changes in activity levels etc. Hence, you should monitor their sugar intake levels regularly, and not encourage over-consumption of sugar.
How to eat Healthy

Make these smart changes in your diet:

  • Swapping soft drinks for water and herbal tea.
  • Avoiding processed foods.
  • Eating whole fruits instead of juices.
  • Limit your salt and sugar intake.
  • Ensure fruits and vegetables make up 50% of your meal.
    • Instead of frying choose to bake or grill your meals.
    • Reduce any extra fat intake.
    • Read the nutrition labels on foods before you buy them.
    • Eat home-cooked meals as much as possible.

Are you struggling with your weight issues? Get your personalised diet plan with our dieticians. Consult our Department of Nutrition Therapy for more help.