Archive for October, 2023

Stroke Prevention: Lifestyle Changes for Better Brain Health

Saturday, October 28th, 2023

Around 1,85,000 stroke cases are reported every year in India with nearly one stroke every 40 seconds. Stroke is the second most common cause of death in India, as per experts at the All India Institute Of Medical Sciences (AIIMS). Stroke, often referred to as a “brain attack,” occurs when there is a sudden interruption in the blood supply to the brain. This can happen when a blood vessel in the brain bursts (hemorrhagic stroke) or when a clot obstructs the blood flow (ischemic stroke). A stroke is a medical emergency that can happen when blood flow to the brain is blocked or when there is bleeding in the brain. This can cause brain damage, long-term disability or even death, so it’s crucial to seek immediate medical help. A healthy lifestyle is the key to help reduce the risk of stroke.

Lifestyle Changes for Stroke Prevention

By making conscious choices and adopting healthier lifestyle habits, you can significantly reduce your risk of experiencing a stroke. Recent studies suggest that nine in 10 strokes could be prevented by modifying 10 primary risk factors. These include:

  • Maintain a Healthy Diet
    Choosing the right types of food is essential for maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Diet plays a crucial role in maintaining cardiovascular health, which, in turn, is vital for reducing stroke risk. A diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats can help you control your weight, blood pressure, and cholesterol levels. Here are some dietary tips to consider:
    • Reduce Sodium Intake
    • Embrace the Mediterranean Diet
    • Increase Fibre
  • Manage Weight
    A person who is overweight and suffering from obesity has a high stroke risk. To understand whether the weight is in a healthy range you must know your body mass index (BMI). Maintaining a healthy weight through diet and regular exercise is crucial for stroke prevention.
  • Exercise Regularly
    Physical activity not only helps with weight management but also improves overall cardiovascular health. Aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity exercise every week. This can include brisk walking, swimming, cycling, or dancing.
  • Control Blood Pressure
    One in three adults suffer from high blood pressure. High blood pressure is the leading cause of stroke. If yours is elevated, have it checked frequently and monitor it regularly. Lowering salt consumption, staying away from foods rich in cholesterol, increasing physical activity, and quitting smoking can all help lower high blood pressure.
  • Manage Diabetes
    Diabetics have a 1.5-fold increased risk of stroke compared with those without the disease. Consult your physician to control your blood sugar levels.
  • Stop Smoking
    Smoking is a major risk factor for stroke. All forms of tobacco can cause blockages in the artery leading to the brain. The harmful chemicals in tobacco damage blood vessels and increase the risk of blood clots. Quit smoking to improve your brain health and reduce your risk of stroke.
  • Say No to Alcohol
    Excessive alcohol consumption can lead to high blood pressure and atrial fibrillation, a heart condition that can result in blood clots and stroke. Quit alcohol.
  • Stay Hydrated
    Dehydration can increase the risk of blood clots and thickening of the blood, both of which can lead to stroke. Make sure you drink an adequate amount of water throughout the day to stay properly hydrated.
  • Get Sufficient Sleep
    Quality sleep is essential for brain health. Lack of sleep can contribute to high blood pressure, obesity, and other stroke risk factors.
  • Manage Stress
    Chronic stress can greatly impact your cardiovascular system negatively. Take up stress-relieving activities like yoga, meditation, deep breathing, or enjoyable hobbies. Managing stress effectively can help reduce your risk of stroke.

Stroke Treatment at Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital, Mumbai

Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital, Mumbai has established a comprehensive stroke care programme for the management of acute and chronic stroke patients. A dedicated stroke unit, neuro-imaging, emergency care, neuro-intervention, neurosurgical, and neurological intensive care unit services are all included in the Code Stroke Plan. Under the direction of highly skilled professionals, our team provides complete acute neurointervention services. Over 1500 successful brain operations for stroke have been performed by the Centre for Neurosciences. We are the only private hospital in Mumbai and in Western India to offer a comprehensive Level-1 Accident & Emergency Department (A&E) for patient care, training and research. Our Trauma Centre is reputed to respond the fastest in times of a stroke, which ensures higher recovery chances. If you or someone around you is having a stroke – reach out to our Centre for Accident & Emergency team on 022 42699999. Please find below our website details:

Arthritis Diet and Nutrition: Foods that Soothe or Trigger Flare-Ups

Wednesday, October 11th, 2023

Arthritis, a term encompassing over 100 different types of joint diseases, affects millions of people worldwide. Every year, approximately 14% of Indians seek medical attention for this joint condition. While there is no cure for arthritis, proper nutrition can play a significant role in managing symptoms and improving the quality of life for individuals dealing with this condition. Let us understand the impact of diet and nutrition on arthritis, focusing on foods that can either soothe joint pain or trigger painful flare-ups.

Understanding Arthritis

Here are the two most common types of arthritis:

  • Osteoarthritis (OA)
    This is a degenerative joint disease that primarily affects the cartilage cushioning the ends of bones. It often occurs with age and is associated with joint wear and tear.
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)
    An autoimmune disease where the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks its own tissues, especially the synovium (the lining of the membranes that surround the joints).

Both types cause pain, stiffness, and inflammation in the joints, which can significantly impact a person’s mobility and overall well-being.

How can your Diet affect Arthritis?

Leading a healthy lifestyle such as eating healthy, regular physical activity, quitting alcohol and tobacco can have a huge impact on arthritis and your health. Although there are no diets or supplements that will treat your arthritis, medical researchers suggest that your diet affects your condition. Consuming a balanced diet is known to reduce inflammation and improve joint pain.

Foods that Soothe Arthritis

Here are some foods can help soothe arthritis symptoms:

  • Whole Grains
    Whole grains like brown rice, quinoa, and whole wheat bread are high in fiber, which can help control weight and inflammation. They also provide sustained energy.
  • Citrus Fruits
    Oranges, grapefruits, and other citrus fruits are packed with vitamin C, which plays a role in the formation of collagen, a component of cartilage. Adequate vitamin C intake can support joint health.
  • Dairy
    Low-fat dairy products like yogurt and milk are rich in calcium and vitamin D, both of which are crucial for maintaining strong bones and may help manage arthritis symptoms.
  • Nuts and Seeds
    Almonds, walnuts, and flaxseeds are packed with healthy fats, protein, and fiber. They can help manage weight, which is crucial for easing the pressure on joints.
  • Berries
    Berries such as strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries are high in antioxidants, which can help combat inflammation. These fruits also provide essential vitamins and fiber.
  • Leafy Greens
    Spinach, kale, and other leafy greens are rich in vitamins and minerals, including calcium, which is essential for maintaining strong bones.
  • Ginger
    Ginger has anti-inflammatory properties and is known for its pain-relieving effects. It can be consumed in various forms, including tea or as an ingredient in cooking.
  • Garlic
    Garlic contains compounds with anti-inflammatory and immune-boosting properties. Incorporating it into your dishes can be beneficial for arthritis management.

Foods to Limit or Avoid

Here are some foods to limit or avoid as they trigger flare-ups:

  • Processed Foods
    Highly processed foods often contain trans fats and high levels of salt, which can contribute to inflammation. It’s wise to minimize your consumption of these products.
  • Sugary and Fizzzy Beverages
    Sugary drinks, such as sodas and certain fruit juices, are high in sugar and can promote weight gain, exacerbating joint stress.
  • Red Meat
    Red meat, especially when cooked at high temperatures, can produce advanced glycation end products (AGEs), which have been linked to inflammation and arthritis symptoms.
  • Alcohol
    Excessive alcohol consumption can increase inflammation and potentially interact negatively with arthritis medications. Say “No” to alcohol.
  • Fried and Fast Foods
    These are typically high in trans fats, saturated fats, and salt, all of which can contribute to inflammation and weight gain.
  • Excessive Salt
    High salt intake can lead to water retention and may worsen swelling in joints. Reducing salt can help alleviate this issue.
  • Refined Carbohydrates
    Foods made with white flour and refined sugars can cause spikes in blood sugar, which may promote inflammation.
  • Nightshade Vegetables
    Some people with arthritis report increased symptoms when they consume nightshade vegetables like tomatoes, peppers, and eggplants.

Arthritis care at Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital

Our Centre for Bone & Joint is a comprehensive centre dedicated to bone, muscle, and joint health including all kinds of arthritis. From diagnosis to treatment to nutrition care to surgical intervention the team is capable of helping you manage your arthritis and help improve your quality of life. We are here to support individuals in their journey to manage pain and improve joint function. Please find below the website link for further information:

How Exercise Boosts Your Mental Health

Monday, October 9th, 2023

Medical research statistics conducted by India’s National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS) found that nearly 15 crore Indians are in need of mental health care services, but fewer than 3 crore are seeking care. With unhealthy lifestyles, hectic work schedules, increased social media use, and loneliness taking care of your mental health is important in today’s times than ever before. Getting timely medical advice for mental health disorders is not a luxury but a necessity.

Physical activity can play an important role in improving your mental well-being and can even reduce symptoms of serious mental health conditions. Exercise isn’t just about building muscles or shedding pounds; it also has a profound impact on your mental health. The connection between physical activity and mental well-being is well-documented, with numerous studies showing that regular exercise can alleviate the symptoms of many existing mental illness.

How Exercise Promotes Positive Well-Being

Exercise can also be used to enhance well-being in already healthy people. Here is how regular exercise benefits your health:

  • Exercise decreases stress hormones
  • Keeps you away from negative thoughts
  • Exercise promotes confidence
  • Exercise provides a buffer against stress

Mental Health Benefits of Exercise

Exercise is not just about improving your fitness levels. People who exercise regularly are motivated to do so as it gives them a great sense of emotional satisfaction. Here are some benefits:

  • Exercise and Depression
    Medical research suggests that that exercise can treat mild to moderate depression effectively. Research suggests that running for 15 minutes a day or walking for an hour reduces the risk of major depression by 26%. Exercise is known to be a powerful depression fighter. Most significantly, it encourages a variety of changes in the brain, including a neuronal development, decreased inflammation, and new activity patterns that foster emotions of peace and wellbeing.
  • Exercise and Anxiety
    Exercise is a natural and effective anti-anxiety treatment. Through the release of endorphins, exercise reduces anxiety and stress, increases physical and mental vitality, and improves wellbeing.
  • Exercise and Stress
    Another mental benefit of exercise is reduced stress levels—something that can make everyone happier. Increasing your heart rate with exercise can actually reverse stress-induced brain damage by stimulating the production of neurohormones like norepinephrine, which not only enhance cognition and mood but also clear thinking muddled by stressful experiences.
  • Exercise and ADHD
    Regular exercise is one of the simplest and most efficient strategies to lessen ADHD symptoms and enhance focus, motivation, memory, and mood. The levels of dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin levels in the brain rapidly increase with physical exercise, which improves your focus and attention.
  • Exercise and PTSD and trauma
    There is evidence to support the idea that paying close attention to your body and how it feels when exercising might really assist your nervous system get “unstuck” and start to emerge from the immobilization stress response that characterises PTSD or trauma. Exercises that involve cross movement and that engage both arms and legs—such as walking, running, weight training, swimming, or dancing—are some of your best choices.

Other Mental Health Benefits of Exercise

Regular physical activity plays a huge role in improving your mood and helps maintain a positive outlook in life. Regular exercise can help provide:

  • Increased energy levels
  • Sharper memory and thinking
  • Higher self-esteem
  • Better sleep
  • Stronger resilience
  • Fosters discipline

Mental health care at Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital

Incorporating regular exercise into your life is a powerful tool for improving your mental health. From releasing feel-good chemicals to reducing stress and enhancing cognitive function, the benefits are wide-ranging and well-documented.

Are you or a loved one suffering from any mental health concerns such as anxiety, mood swings, sleep difficulties, depression or some phobia? Do not delay seeking help to address your mental health needs. Consult highly trained and compassionate counselors and mental health specialists at our Department of Psychiatry for further assistance. Please visit the below link for more information:

Supporting a Loved One with Breast Cancer

Friday, October 6th, 2023

In India, every four minutes, a woman is diagnosed with breast cancer. With some 1,78,000 new cases being diagnosed every year, breast cancer has overtaken cervical cancer to become the most common cancer in Indian women. It accounts for 14% of cancers in Indian women. Receiving a breast cancer diagnosis is a life-altering event for anyone, but it’s not just the patient who feels the impact. Friends and family members also go through a rollercoaster of emotions as they try to support their loved one through the challenging journey of treatment and recovery.  While the treatment varies for each patient, it’s vital to support your loved one throughout diagnosis, treatment and recovery. Increased support from family and friends ensures better outcomes and also helps prevent depression following a breast cancer diagnosis.

Understanding the Medical Aspects

Breast cancer is a complex disease with various types and stages, which can determine the treatment approach. Treatments include:

  • Surgery
    This is often the first step in treating breast cancer. It can involve a lumpectomy (removal of the tumor and surrounding tissue) or a mastectomy (removal of the entire breast). Understanding the type of surgery your loved one is undergoing can help you provide appropriate support.
  • Chemotherapy
    Chemotherapy uses drugs to target and kill cancer cells throughout the body. It can be administered intravenously or orally and may have various side effects such as nausea, fatigue, and hair loss.
  • Radiation Therapy
    Radiation therapy utilizes high-energy beams to target and destroy cancer cells. It is usually administered after surgery to eliminate any remaining cancer cells.
  • Hormone Therapy
    This treatment is designed for hormone receptor-positive breast cancers. It involves medications that block or reduce hormone production to prevent cancer growth.
  • Targeted Therapy
    Targeted therapy specifically targets certain molecules involved in cancer growth. It is often used in combination with other treatments.

How to Support someone with Cancer?

Understanding the specifics of your loved ones treatment plan is helpful to provide effective support. Here are a few things to help make things easier for your loved one and yourself after diagnosis and during treatment:

  • Stay in touch
    A breast cancer diagnosis can evoke a wide range of emotions, including fear, anxiety, and sadness. Be a good listener, offer a shoulder to cry on, and reassure your loved one that you are there for them no matter what. 
  • Be patient
    The first few days after diagnosis, the patient is usually overwhelmed and overflowing with emotions. Be patient and kind with the person as they navigate their treatment options.
  • Accompany for appointments
    After a breast cancer diagnosis, doctor appointments can be overwhelming especially the information about their condition, treatment options and prognosis. Attending medical appointments with your loved one can offer moral support and help them remember important information.
  • Help with Chores
    Treatment can be physically demanding. Offer to drive your loved one to appointments, take care of children, pets or help with household chores to reduce their burden.
  • Discuss Mental health
    Poor mental health can negatively impact cancer treatment and its outcomes. If you notice your loved one’s mental health deteriorating, reach out to them and connect them with a mental health specialist.
  • Find Support Groups
    Both patients and caregivers can benefit from joining support groups. These groups offer a safe space to share experiences, ask questions, and find comfort in knowing you’re not alone.

Breast Cancer care at Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital

The journey of breast cancer may be challenging, but your presence and care can make a significant difference in their battle against breast cancer. Remember that every small gesture of support counts in helping your loved one through this difficult time. The Comprehensive Breast Care Unit at our Centre for Cancer is a dedicated service that has been created to specifically diagnose and treat conditions affecting the mammary gland. Consult our experienced oncologists who have successfully performed over 3300 breast cancer surgeries. Please find the below link for further details: