Immunity Matters

Nov 22nd, 2019

Archive for November, 2019

Immunity Matters

Friday, November 22nd, 2019

Do you often fall sick?

What about your neighbour?

And your best friend?

Have you ever wondered why some people get sick more often?

This is because everyone has a different immunity. Elders and infants have a low immunity and hence are more susceptible to diseases.

Immunity is a condition of being able to resist a particular disease especially through preventing development of a pathogenic microorganism. Everyone has a different immunity and thus reacts to viruses in a different way.

Sudden climate changes like unseasonal rain showers or heat waves weakens your immunity and makes you more prone to infectious diseases. In a few days winter will start. The cold climate will increase incidents of flu, cold and other respiratory illnesses. Also, viruses tend to be more stable in colder and drier conditions and stay for longer periods.

How the immune system fights viruses

Your skin and saliva are key barriers to infection and form part of your immune system, along with cells in every tissue of your body, including your blood and your brain. Some of these cells migrate around to fight infection at specific sites, such as a wound graze. Other cells reside in one tissue and regulate your body’s natural state of health by monitoring and helping with the healing process.

Your immune system requires a lot of energy to defend your body. Feeling tired and achy, overheating, and glands swelling are all signs that your immune system is busy fighting something.

Boost your immune system

Do you spend more days on sick leave than at work?

Here are a few simple lifestyle and diet changes to give your immune system an immediate boost and to protect your health:

1. Eat Breakfast

A lack of healthy breakfast makes your blood sugar levels fall and raises your stress levels. This puts your body in a state of fight or flight that lowers your immunity.

2. Add zinc to your diet

This wonder-mineral is found in all your cells and it’s critical for healthy cell development and function. Zinc interacts with thousands of proteins in your body and is involved in around 300 different enzyme processes. It improves wound-healing and improved thyroid function, gut health, blood clotting, vision, and smell.

3. Heal your gut

Research shows that when your levels of bad bacteria outweigh the good bacteria, your immune system is weakened. Digestive issues like dyspepsia, acid reflux and leaky gut affects your immunity.

4. Savour a Cup of Tea

Green tea or oolong tea increases the health-giving antioxidants, called flavonoids in your body. The polyphenols in tea help protect your body against free radical damage.

5. Sleep well.

Your body repairs and renews cells during sleep. Poor sleep patterns affects this process and reduces your immunity levels.

6. Get sunlight

Vitamin D, which is mostly synthesized from sunlight in your skin, is pivotal to important bodily processes such as shutting down cancer cells and assisting proper heart function.

7. Exercise

Exercise causes change in antibodies and white blood cells (WBC). WBCs are the body’s immune system cells that fight disease. These antibodies or WBCs circulate more rapidly during exercise, this helps detect illnesses earlier.

8. Quit smoking

Quitting smoking improves blood circulation, increases oxygen levels, and lowers inflammation – all of which give your immune system a boost.

Winter is almost here. Cold weather is sign for common cold and viruses to enter your body and therefore, it’s essential for you to take care of yourself by consuming healthy food. A healthy diet is essential for preventing yourself from contracting flu. This is because your immunity takes a hit during the winters. Apart from covering yourself up in warm clothes, there are certain foods you can add to your diet, to enhance your immunity and protect you from the diseases that are common during the cold winter months.

Here are six immunity boosting foods you should stock up on during winters:
  • Ginger: One of the foremost winter spices that you must add to your foods is ginger, which can be added to teas, gravies and warm soups. Ginger is a quick fix for a sore throat and it also fights inflammation in the body, as well as boosts immunity.
  • Garlic: This flavour-enhancer has sulphur-containing compounds like allicin, which acts as an immunity booster. It has potent antibiotic actions and supports your liver to effectively carry out detoxification.
  • Citrus Fruits: Most citrus fruits like lemon, lime, orange, etc., contain Vitamin C, which is known as nature’s immunity booster.
  • Dark Leafy Veggies: Spinach, kale, methi, mustard greens and other dark leafy vegetables aren’t just extremely nutritious and low in calories, but are also packed with antioxidants, beta carotene and immunity-boosting vitamin C.
  • Mushrooms: The deliciously flavourful mushrooms are like an immunity boosting shot for your body as they are rich in selenium, niacin, riboflavin and Vitamin D.
  • Turmeric: This essential kitchen spice is also an important immunity booster. This warming, bitter spice triggers an increase in an important protein that helps your immune system fight off fungus, viruses and bacteria.

Do you want to change your existing diet? Do you want a personalised diet plan to enhance your immunity? Consult experts at our Department of Nutrition Therapy for further assistance.

Facts About Epilepsy

Sunday, November 17th, 2019
What is Epilepsy?

Epilepsy is the name of the medical condition where a patient gets recurrent seizures. Seizures are also more commonly referred to as “fits” or “convulsions”

Is epilepsy common?

Epilepsy is a common neurological condition that affects 1 in every 200 people in the community. People with epilepsy have seizures or “fits”.

Are there different types of fits?

The normal brain continuously has electrical currents in a controlled manner. Fits or seizures occur because of brief excessive currents in the brain. The symptoms of a seizure vary depending on the part of the brain that has abnormal current.. Accordingly there are different types of fits or seizures.

Grand mal seizure:

The classical “grand mal” seizure is a result of the current invading the entire brain.. in this type of seizure the person falls to the ground and becomes stiff and then shakes all over. There may be frothing at the mouth… the person may lose urine and also bite his tongue. These are commonly called “convulsions”

Partial seizures

These are seizures due to abnormal current in only some portion of the brain, the symptoms may vary with the location of the current.

Simple partial seizure:

The person is fully aware and has an unusual sensation or jerking of his limbs, and recollects this event later.

Complex partial seizure:

The person is not fully in his/her senses and has some irrelevant automatic behavior. The person cannot recollect this event later. This is called a complex partial seizure.

Can epilepsy be treated?

There have been major breakthroughs in epilepsy treatment in the last few years. Over 70% of the people with epilepsy have a good control of their seizures with medications. Several new medications available over the last decade have very few side effects. At present there are over 15 different types of medications available for the treatment of fits.

Is epilepsy one disease?

Epilepsy can be of different types, due to different causes, and can greatly vary in severity as well. Therefore the treatment choice and duration has to be tailored to the patient.. The correct choice of medication has to be made, with careful consideration by the doctor. With the right medication and right advice, most people with epilepsy can lead normal lives.

Whom should I approach for treatment of epilepsy?

For the immediate care you may contact the family physician or pediatrician.
To plan the long term care it is advisable to seek opinion of a specialist doctor who treats epilepsy viz a neurologist or an epilepsy expert.

Can medications cure epilepsy?

Medications suppress seizures and keep the patient seizure free, but they do not remove the tendency to seizures. A large percentage of patients outgrow the tendency to more seizures with age, and can eventually discontinue medications.

Is it true that epilepsy can be cured with brain surgery?

About 20-30% of people with epilepsy continue to have seizures despite medications.

Some of these patients may be helped with brain surgery.

Patients have to be carefully selected for epilepsy surgery with some detailed testing. In correctly chosen patients, surgery is safe and can cure epilepsy. The person can become free of seizures and may even be able to gradually stop all medications.

What precautions should a person with epilepsy take?
  • Seek out the correct medical help from the expert doctor.
  • Regularity with medications is of utmost priority, even when there are no fits.
  • Sleep and meal times have to be regular. Lack of sleep is known to precipitate seizures.
  • Avoid driving motorized vehicles, swimming, cooking on open fires or working with heavy machinery if the epilepsy is active.

A person with epilepsy can study, work, have hobbies, marry and have normal children. Epilepsy need not be a barrier to achieving the highest goal.

Epilepsy At KDAH

Sunday, November 17th, 2019

Centre for Epilepsy at Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital, Mumbai has a rare combination of the best Epilepsy Doctors EEG experts and most experienced Epilepsy Surgeon under one roof to care for both, children and adults with fits or seizures. We offer both, basic care for easy to treat epilepsy patients and advanced care for the more difficult patients with uncontrolled epilepsy.

A correct diagnosis of epilepsy and accurate identification of the epileptic firing focus in the brain is important for proper treatment. This is possible possible by a test called continuous Video EEG monitoring. In this test, and the EEG are studied by continuous recording of both EEG and the video of the patient.

Most patients with epilepsy can be treated with medicines. Many new medicines are available with very little side effects.

In some patients seizures may continue despite two or three medicines. In such patients, surgery may be done to control or cure the seizures. Kokilaben Hospital has facilities for high quality brain scanning (3 Tesla MRI with functional imaging, PET and ictal SPECT) facilities. We also have an MRI machine in the operation theatre, and intraoperative brain monitoring so that the surgeon can check soon after the surgery whether he has completely removed the abnormal area that is causing the fits. This makes complete epilepsy cure a reality for many patients.

Kokilaben Hospital is planning an awareness programme on Sunday Dec 1 2019, to inform general public about epilepsy. It will be held between 9 am to 1 pm at the Convention center of the hospital on the 6th floor. All are welcome, no registration fee. Contact Sleta at 8108630154