Archive for June, 2020

International Yoga Day 2020

Saturday, June 20th, 2020

The theme for this year’s International Yoga Day on June 21, is “Yoga at Home and Yoga with Family.” This year International Yoga Day will be observed differently. Everyone is advised to stay at home and celebrate this day due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We encourage each one of you to make yoga a part of your life and spread awareness among your family and friends. If you are new to yoga you can refer to various online tutorials by experts to learn the correct form of yoga from the safety of your home.

How should Yoga be practiced?
Yoga should be practiced in a clean and calm environment, with a relaxed body and mind. It should be practiced on an empty or light stomach. A yoga mat or a folded blanket is ideal to perform yoga asanas. Choose to wear comfortable cotton clothes to ensure easy movement. If a person is unwell than yoga must be skipped that day. Also if you are suffering from chronic disease, pain or cardiac problems you must consult a yoga expert before practicing yoga. Pregnant women must speak with their doctor before starting any yoga routine. It is important to perform each asana slowly with awareness of the body as well as breath. Regular practice of yoga helps provide physical, emotional, and mental health balance.

Health benefits of yoga
Yoga is attributed to its many health benefits over hundreds of years. Here are some of the key ones:

  • Better Flexibility and Posture
    Yoga must become a part of your daily routine to get a body that is strong, supple, and flexible. Regular yoga practice stretches and tones the body muscles and also makes them strong. It also helps improve your body posture.
  • Builds Strength and balance
    Many yoga poses require you to bear your body weight in new ways, including balancing on one leg (as in tree pose) or supporting yourself with your arms (as in downward facing dog). Holding these poses helps build muscular strength.
  • Improves Immunity
    Yoga poses help massage various organs and strengthens muscles while breathing techniques and meditation release stress and improve immunity.
  • Supports Joint Health
    The movements necessary for yoga are low impact, allowing you to use your joints without injuring them. Yoga also helps strengthen the muscles around the joints, lessening their load. 
  • Prevents Back Pain
    Increased flexibility and strength can help prevent the causes of some types of back pain. Many people who have back pain have a sedentary lifestyle. Spending long hours in front of your computer also causes tightness throughout the body and spinal compression. Yoga counteracts these conditions.
  • Helps you Breathe better
    Yoga breathing exercises, called pranayama, focus your attention on breathing and teach you how to take deeper breaths, which benefits the entire body. Certain types of breath can also help clear the nasal passages and even calm the nervous system, which has physical and mental benefits.
  • Helps calm your mind
    Yoga asana practice is intensely physical. Concentrating so intently on what your body is doing has the effect of bringing calmness to your mind. Yoga also introduces you to various meditation techniques. These skills help support you overcome an anxiety attack, fight insomnia, and even deal better with childbirth.
  • Reduces Stress
    Regular practice of yoga helps relax your body and eases the stress. Yoga can decrease the secretion of cortisol, the primary stress hormone.
  • Increases Self Confidence
    Doing yoga improves your mind-body connection, giving you a better awareness of your own body. The small subtle movements to improve your alignment helps you feel more confident over time.

Yoga and COVID-19
As the world faces one of its worst pandemics, there’s been a renewed focus on building one’s immunity. While eating right is one way to do it, another time-tested way is to practice yoga. Yoga also helps keep stress at bay in these uncertain times. This is the time to strengthen your defence system and stay positive.

Beginners guide to Yoga
If you are not practicing yoga now is the time to induct this ancient philosophy in your life. Starting your day with morning yoga will keep you energized and active full day. Here are some expert-recommended asanas:

  • Naukasana (boat pose)
    It increases the efficiency of abdominal muscles, is good for digestion, and reduces belly fat.
  • Paschimottanasana (head to toe)
    It stretches the calf and hamstring muscles, elongates the spine, and ensures good blood circulation to all the organs.
  • Ardha matsyendrasan (half spinal pose)
    It makes your spine more flexible and strengthens your side muscles.
  • Dwi Pada Uttanasana (both leg raise pose)
    It strengthens your core muscles and is an efficient practice to release the extra fat around the abdomen.
  • Dandasana (plank pose)
    This asana is an excellent way to strengthen the core, burn fat, and increase your overall productivity.
  • Viparita Karni (Inclined pose)
    This asana helps regulate your digestive process and stimulates the hormone system.
  • Kapalabhati (skull cleansing kriya)
    Kapalabhati balances and strengthens the nervous system and tones the digestive organs.
  • Dhanurasana (bow pose)
    It is effective in weight loss, improves digestion, and appetite and boosts blood circulation. It also makes your back flexible.
  • Bhujangasana (cobra pose)
    This pose improves the flexibility of your back, and tones the abdomen, neck and shoulders. It improves blood circulation and rids you of fatigue and stress.
  • Bitilasana (cat-cow pose)
    Bitilasana stretches the back torso and neck and strengthens the abdominal organs.

Start a new chapter in your life this International Yoga Day, make yoga a part of your life. Gift yourself physical, mental, and spiritual wellness.

Work at Home Tips for those Working from Home!

Monday, June 15th, 2020

The COVID 19 pandemic has led to a situation where a majority of people have begun to work from home. In most cases, with domestic help not being available, they have to ‘work at home’ as well as ‘work from home’ and cope with both domestic chores and office work. For homemakers, the lack of domestic help has added to their workload. Among other issues, one complaint that is emerging is an increase in their symptoms and pain for many patients who are restricted to their homes, the most common being back pain and knee pain.

An increase in workload is contributing to this increase in pain. It is important for all members of the family to participate and share the domestic chores. If family members are not supportive, then the onus falls on the homemaker who now has to care for a larger number of people at home and spend more standing cooking in the kitchen with along with the burden of other household work. If there are only senior citizens living alone, then many elderly patients cannot manage heavy physical work at home, and their pain worsens.

For professionals, working from home, they end up sitting for longer periods of time, which can worsen their pain. The lack of exercise arising from closure of gyms, parks, walking areas during lockdown has caused muscle weakness and led to many individuals putting on weight.

Here are some work at home tips for those working from home:

  • Avoid sitting for more than 30-60 minutes continuously. Take breaks, walk around and stretch a little
  • Make a regular schedule for basic stretching exercises at home. Some like to do this early in the morning, some prefer it to be in the evening. Find out what works for you best and fit it in your daily schedule
  • In the kitchen, avoid bending down while cooking or over the sink while washing dishes as this posture can aggravate back pain. Keep a footstool to rest one leg, and keep alternating your weight between each leg, so that when you bend, the stretch is taken off the back
  • Use floor mops, long handle brooms and stand, instead of bending/ squatting while mopping the floor or sweeping
  • Get regular sleep. Good sleep ensures good health and reduces pain levels
  • Meditate for some time every day. This helps in two ways – It helps to reduce pain levels, and also helps in coping with stress during these times from the negative messages floating around
  • Listen to your body. Pain is your body’s way of telling you something is wrong. Do not push yourself when you have chronic pain, because this may worsen your pain levels
  • Use cold packs or warm packs for local application. Avoid using very hot bags for a long period, as this can be harmful. Apply these for a few minutes only, and repeat frequently
  • Use lumbar belts or walking sticks even while inside the house. This will support the back and take load off the knee
  • Most important, do not hesitate to connect with your doctors! Physical distancing is needed, but today technology allows us to connect with doctors virtually on telemedicine. This will help in getting the right advice to help you manage the pain in its early stages and prevent it from worsening

This blog post is written by: Dr. Mahesh Menon, Consultant – Pain and Palliative Medicine, Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital. Find out more about Dr. Menon by clicking here

World Blood Donor Day

Thursday, June 11th, 2020

Blood donation happens when a person voluntarily agrees for his or her blood to be extracted and donated to a person in need. It is a noble deed that helps humanity.  Donated blood can be used for an emergency transfusion or can be separated into individual components to be used later. Donating Blood is a safe and easy process and helps save many lives.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), India suffers from an annual deficit of two million blood units, as only 1% of the Indian population donates blood each year. India faced a shortage of 1.95 million units of blood in 2019.

Who needs Blood Transfusions?
Blood transfusions are a critical part of everyday medicine. A person may need a blood transfusion for a variety of reasons. The most common situations include:

  • Surgeries
  • Accidents and Trauma
  • Childbirth complications
  • Organ Transplant
  • Cancer therapies
  • Thalassemia patients
  • Sickle cell anaemia patients

Blood Donation Process

The complete blood donation process which includes all the registration and formalities takes about an hour. The donation itself is only about 15 minutes. Here is the blood donation process:

  • If you’re donating whole blood, the area on your arm is cleansed and a sterile needle is used to extract blood.
  • The blood donor is seated comfortably or lying down.
  • Once the blood donation is complete a bandage is placed on your arm.
  • Platelet donation is slightly different from giving a whole-blood donation.

During the platelet donation, blood is removed from one arm, and then a centrifuge separates out the platelets. The rest of the blood then returns to the donor through the other arm.

Who can Donate Blood?
Most people can give blood if they are in good health.

What makes you Eligible:

  • Any donor, who is healthy, fit and not suffering from any transmittable diseases can donate blood.
  • The Donor must be 18 -60 years age and should weigh minimum 50 kgs.
  • The Donor’s Haemoglobin level must be 12.5g/dl 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.

What makes you Non-Eligible:

  • Patients of cardiac arrest, hypertension, kidney disease or epilepsy.
  • Consumption of alcohol within the last 24 hours.
  • HIV + status
  • Having a cold, flu, sore throat, or any other infection.
  • Pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers cannot donate blood.

Myths and Facts

Every year there is a shortage in the actual demand and supply of Blood donations across India. There are many misconceptions regarding blood donations that must be cleared. Here are a few myths and facts about blood donation:
Myth #1: Giving blood hurts.
Fact: The only pain you’ll feel is the quick prick of the needle when it is inserted. The area may be slightly sore afterward, but this settles in a few hours.

Myth #2: Blood donation increases the risk of infections.
Fact: A new sterile needle is used each time someone donates blood and is then immediately discarded. Strict procedures are followed to avoid any kind of infection.

Myth #3: I can’t give blood because I have high cholesterol.
Fact: Having high cholesterol does not disqualify you from donating blood, as long as you are otherwise healthy. Consult your doctor for more details.

Myth #4: I can’t give blood because I am on medication.
Fact: As long as you are healthy, most medications will not disqualify you from donating blood. Speak to your doctor to clear your doubts about this.

Myth #5: Blood donation takes a lot of time.
Fact:  The whole procedure of blood donation from the time of registration takes less than 1 hour.

Myth #6: Blood donation lowers your immunity.
Fact: This is completely false. Your body’s immunity level is not affected by blood donation.

Myth #7: Donating blood frequently causes an iron deficiency.
Fact: No, a healthy individual with good eating habits can donate blood four times a year with a gap of three months. It does not affect your iron levels.

Blood Group Types
There are eight different blood types, and they’re not always compatible with each other. People who have O-negative blood are considered universal donors for the entire population. Here are the further details for quick reference:

Blood Donation and COVID-19

Does COVID-19 spread through blood donations?

No, this is a reparatory illness and does not spread by blood transfusion.

Anyone who is not showing any symptoms of COVID-19 currently or has not come in contact with a patient of COVID 19, can donate blood. The fear of the current pandemic and the lockdown has seen a reduction in the number of blood donors. It has caused an unprecedented shortage of blood in the blood bank. There is no substitute for blood. Donate blood, help save lives.

Take these precautions when you go for Blood Donation:

  • Take an appointment to avoid crowds.
  • Wear a mask.
  • Carry a hand sanitizer and use it frequently.
  • Maintain social distancing while at the hospital.

The Blood Bank at Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital is equipped with state-of-the-art equipment, and use advanced techniques for processing and screening of blood and its components. We follow a stringent check on all samples before blood transfusion. Donating blood now is more important than ever before. Call our Blood Bank on 022-30937293 to donate blood. Please find below link for further details:

World Brain Tumour Day

Thursday, June 4th, 2020

A brain tumor is an abnormal growth of tissue in the brain or central spine that can disrupt proper brain function. There are over 120 types of brain and central nervous system tumors. Brain and spinal cord tumors are different for everyone. They form in different areas, develop from different cell types, and may have different treatment options.

The brain is the body organ composed of nerve cells and supportive tissues like glial cells and meninges – there are three major parts – they control your activity like breathing (brain stem), an activity like moving muscles to walk (cerebellum) and your senses like sight and our memory, emotions, thinking and personality (cerebrum). This is how brain tumors are classified:

  • Benign: The least aggressive type of brain tumor is often called a benign brain tumor. They originate from cells within or surrounding the brain, do not contain cancer cells, grow slowly, and typically have clear borders that do not spread into other tissue.
  • Malignant: Malignant brain tumors contain cancer cells and often do not have clear borders. They are considered to be life-threatening because they grow rapidly and invade surrounding brain tissue.
  • Primary: Tumors that start in cells of the brain are called primary brain tumors. Primary brain tumors may spread to other parts of the brain or the spine, but rarely to other organs.
  • Metastatic: Metastatic or secondary brain tumors begin in another part of the body and then spread to the brain. These tumors are more common than primary brain tumors and are named by the location in which they begin.

Types of Brain Tumours

Doctors group brain tumors by grade: grade I, grade II, grade III, or grade IV -the most severe. The grade is determined by the way the cells look under a microscope. The higher the grade number, the more abnormal the cells appear, and the more aggressively the tumor usually behaves.

The most common types of primary brain tumors among adults are astrocytoma, meningiom (a tumor that arises from the membranes surrounding the brain and spinal cord), and oligodendroglioma.

The most common types of primary brain tumors in children are medulloblastoma, grade I or II astrocytoma, (or glioma) ependymoma, and brain stem glioma.

Symptoms of Brain tumor:

Symptoms of brain tumors depend on the location and size of the tumor. Some tumors cause direct damage by invading brain tissue and some tumors cause pressure on the surrounding brain. You’ll have noticeable symptoms when a growing tumor is putting pressure on your brain tissue. Some of these symptoms include:

  • Severe headaches that become more frequent.
  • Unexplained nausea or vomiting.
  • Gradual loss of sensation or movement in an arm or a leg.
  • Difficulty with balance.
  • Vision problems, such as blurred vision double vision or loss of vision.
  • Speech difficulties.
  • Seizures, with no previous history of seizures.

Risk factors of Brain tumors:

Although there are no known causes why Brain tumors occur certain factors highly increase a person’s risk of getting brain tumors. Here are the common risk factors:

  • Family history: Only about 5 to 10 percent of all cancers are genetically inherited, or hereditary. It’s rare for a brain tumor to be genetically inherited.
  • Age: The risk for most types of brain tumors increases with age.
  • Chemical exposure: Being exposed to hazardous chemicals at work or elsewhere can increase your risk of brain tumor. 
  • Exposure to radiation: People who have been exposed to ionizing radiation have an increased risk of brain tumors. This can happen during high-radiation cancer therapies.

Treatment at Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital:

Treatment options for Brain tumors depend on several factors:

  • The size, type, and grade of the tumor.
  • Whether the tumor is putting pressure on vital parts of the brain.
  • If the tumor has spread to other parts of the body.
  • Possible side effects.
  • The patient’s overall health.

In most cases, a brain tumor diagnosis requires immediate surgery or alternative treatment. Experts at our Centre for Neurosciences work together and create a comprehensive treatment plan for the patient. A multi-disciplinary team that includes neurosurgeons, neurologists, medical and paediatric oncologists, radiation oncologists, pathologists and other medical professionals may be part of the treatment team.

The standard treatment for brain tumors includes surgery, radiation therapy, and/or chemotherapy. Advanced treatments like targeted therapy,  stereotactic radiosurgery and robotic surgery are also being used to treat a brain tumor. Additionally Palliative care, as well as neuro-rehabilitaion services, help support the patient’s recovery.

Looking for the best Brain Tumor treatment for a loved one? Consult highly trained experts at our Centre for Neurosciences which are supported by high-end technologies too. Please find below link for more details: