Archive for the ‘ Healthcare ’ Category

Childhood developmental disorders

Friday, July 23rd, 2021

Have you ever wondered why some children have unusual physical characteristics or have delayed development? Childhood disorders, often known as developmental disorders, refer to a range of problems characterised by impairments in physical, learning, language, or behaviour areas. These conditions usually begin during childhood, have an impact on day-to-day functioning, and usually last for the rest of a person’s life.

Most children with developmental disabilities are often affected in multiple domains of function because of the nature and extent of brain dysfunction. As a parent, if you feel that your child is not meeting his/her age-appropriate milestones, or if you think there could be a problem with the way your child plays, learns, speaks, acts, or moves, talk to your child’s paediatrician and explain your concerns. Acting early can help in early intervention and can make a great difference.

Common Developmental Disorders

  • Cognitive Disabilities
    Cognitive disabilities in children include mental retardation as well as specific learning disabilities in children. Mental retardation is characterised as a condition in which a person’s intelligence is below average and their adaptive behaviour is impaired. Mild mental retardation is known to limit the child’s academic performance while more severe grades occur with multiple disabilities.
  • Motor Disabilities
    Motor disabilities include limitations in walking and in the use of the upper extremities (arms and/or hands). Some motor disabilities also affect speech and swallowing of the child. Severity can range from mild to profound. Motor disabilities diagnosed in infancy or childhood include cerebral palsy, congenital abnormalities or progressive disorders, such as the muscular dystrophies and spinal the muscular atrophies.
  • Vision, hearing and speech disabilities
    A number of cases of visual as well as hearing disability have their onset early in life. Learning to speak depends on the ability to hear and repeat sounds. The optimal period for speech acquisition is the first 2 years of life; any further delay may indicate a speech disorder. It is recommended to screen young children for hearing impairment or speech delay early and evaluate any suspected disabilities.
  • Behavioural Disorders
    The majority of children with psychological or behavioural disorders go undiagnosed or untreated and this is more prevalent in developing countries. Anxiety disorders, depression, autism and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorders are examples of behavioural diseases that need further investigation. These illnesses can have a significant impact on the child’s overall development if left untreated. 

Types of Developmental Disorders                

Childhood developmental disabilities are sometimes diagnosed at birth, but more often, are not easily identified until ages three to six. They may range from mild to severe depending on their symptoms. Some of the more common developmental disabilities include:

  • Autism
    Autism is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by severe impairment in reciprocal social interactions and communication skills, as well as the presence of restricted and stereotypical behaviours.
  • ADHD
    ADHD is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by inattention and disorganization, with or without hyperactivity-impulsivity, causing impairment of functioning.
  • Cerebral palsy
    Cerebral palsy is a group of disorders that affect movement and muscle tone or posture. It’s caused by damage that occurs to the immature brain as it develops, most often before birth.
  • Down syndrome
    Down syndrome is a genetic disorder caused when abnormal cell division results in an extra full or partial copy of chromosome 21. Depending on the severity of the disorder, it may cause lifelong intellectual disability and developmental delays in individuals.
  • Fragile X syndrome
    Fragile X syndrome (FXS) is an inherited genetic disease passed down from parents to children that causes intellectual and developmental disabilities.
  • Genetic disorders
    A chromosomal disorder may be inherited or may be sporadic, meaning there is no family history.
  • Spina bifida
    Spina bifida is a condition that affects the spine and is usually apparent at birth. It is a type of neural tube defect (NTD) that results in damage to the spinal cord and nerves.
  • Muscular Dystrophy
    Muscular dystrophy is a group of diseases that cause progressive weakness and loss of muscle mass. In muscular dystrophy, abnormal genes (mutations) interfere with the production of proteins needed to form healthy muscle.
  • Velocardiofacial syndrome
    VCFS, is a complex syndrome that has been associated with more than 30 different characteristics, including defects of the palate, heart defects, learning disabilities and distinct facial features.
  • Intellectual disability
    Intellectual disability is a generalized disorder that is characterized by significantly impaired cognitive functioning and deficits in two or more adaptive behaviours.

Developmental Disorders: Risk factors

Developmental impairments can occur at any time throughout childhood and endure for the rest of a person’s life. The majority of developmental problems start before a baby is born, but some can occur after delivery due to injury, infection, or other circumstances. Most developmental disabilities are thought to be caused by a complex mix of factors. These factors include genetics; parental health and behaviours (such as smoking and drinking) during pregnancy; complications during birth; infections the mother might have during pregnancy or exposure of the mother or child to high levels of environmental toxins.

Treatment at Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital

Highly trained specialists at our Centre for Neurosciences help diagnose childhood developmental disorders early. Therapists at our Department for Developmental Disorders work closely with children to foster their overall development and make them as independent as possible. Our multidisciplinary team across various departments aims to provide world-class comprehensive care to children suffering from developmental disabilities. For further information, please visit our website:

International Day of Yoga

Monday, June 21st, 2021

Yoga is an ancient form of exercise that entails physical postures, meditation, and deep breathing. It is highly beneficial in its ability to increase mind-body awareness and promote physical movement. This form of exercise helps rejuvenate the mind and spirit, tones the body, and maintains the health of your internal organs and hormonal system. Yoga asanas are one of the few physical exercises you can continue doing as you age. Always remember when it comes to yoga slowly and steadily aim at perfecting your poses, focus on how you do yoga rather than how much you do.

Health Benefits of Yoga

People across age groups and from all walks of life benefit from various yoga poses. A consistent practice offers a plethora of mental and physical health benefits. Here are the top benefits of yoga:

  • Improves flexibility 
    Stretching and moving your body in new ways will help you become more flexible, bringing a greater range of motion to tight muscles. Your hamstrings, back, shoulders, and hips should all get more flexible with time.
  • Boosts cardiac health
    Heart disease is the world’s top cause of death, and research suggests that daily yoga practice helps older persons with metabolic syndrome decrease cardiovascular risk factors such as obesity and high blood pressure.
  • Improves sleep
    Many people who practice yoga report that it helps them to sleep better and a large body of scientific evidence supports this claim. It helps fight insomnia and reduces incidents of troubled sleep.
  • Eases back pain
    Increased flexibility and strength can help prevent the causes of some types of back pain. As more and more people work and study from home and lead sedentary lifestyles lower back problems are becoming increasingly  common.
  • Builds strength
    Many yoga postures, such as balancing on one leg or holding yourself with your arms, require you to carry your body weight in novel and often difficult ways. Holding these poses for multiple breaths aids in the development of muscular strength and endurance.
  • Improves joint health
    Yoga requires low-impact motions that allow you to use your joints without damaging them. Yoga also strengthens the muscles that surround the joints, reducing the load on them.
  • Promotes better breathing
    Different types of breathing exercises in yoga help focus your attention and take deeper and longer breaths that help improve your respiratory health.
  • Boosts your mental health
    Yoga is a combination of exercise, meditation, relaxation and helps reduce the symptoms of anxiety and depression. Yoga also teaches you how to meditate, focus on your breath and disengage from your thoughts helping your mind relax. This helps you cope better with stress.

Here is how yoga benefits people across gender and age:

Yoga for students

Practicing yoga is said to come with many benefits for both mental and physical health. Virtual learning has led to more and more students leading sedentary lifestyles that have caused increased incidents of stress, nervousness, indigestion, sleep disorders. Learning yoga at an early age helps students increase concentration levels, boosts their memory power, improves adaptability, and helps channelize their energies correctly. Here are 5 yoga exercises recommended for students:

  • Matsyasana (Fish pose)
  • Virasana (Hero pose)
  • Suryanamaskar (Sun salutations)
  • Bhramari pranayam (Bee breathing)
  • Vajrasana (Diamond or thunderbolt pose)

Yoga for women

Women experience various reproductive health concerns namely menstruation, pregnancy, and menopause. Yoga helps deal with these different life changes smoothly.

  • Menstruation – Several women experience some negative emotional, physical, or relational symptoms in the days prior to menses, with symptoms ranging from mild to severe. Mood changes, irritability, fatigue, bloating, and breast tenderness are common symptoms. Regular yoga practice helps alleviate discomfort associated with periods.
  • Childbirth (pregnancy and postpartum) – Research suggests that prenatal yoga helps decrease the perception of pain during labor, reduces physical discomfort during pregnancy and childbirth and improves the overall quality of life. Prenatal yoga has been associated with reduced risk of postpartum depression.
  • Menopause – The most common menopausal symptoms include hot flashes, night sweats, fatigue, pain, decreased libido, and mood swings, etc. Perimenopausal women often turn to yoga to reduce the unwanted side effects of menopausal symptoms. 5 poses yoga exercises recommended for women:
  • Adho mukha svanasana (Downward facing Dog)
  • Virabhadrasana I (Warrior I)
  • Malasana (Garland pose)
  • Utkata Konasana (Goddess Pose)
  • Navasana  (Boat pose)

Yoga for seniors

You are never too old to practice yoga and even get started with this form of exercise. For seniors who are looking for a safe, effective way to enhance their physical health and overall wellness, the stretching, breathing, and meditation practices of yoga are highly beneficial. Yoga helps strengthen your joints, improve balance and flexibility, lowers stress and promises better sleep. 5 poses yoga exercises recommended for seniors:

  • Trikonasana (Triangle pose)
  • Tadasana (Mountain pose)
  • Vrikshasana (Tree pose)
  • Bhujangasana (Cobra pose)
  • Titli asana (Butterfly pose)

2021 International Day of Yoga focuses on the theme “Yoga for well-being”. As we struggle each day from the ups and downs of life and are still recovering from the impact of a pandemic physically and emotionally, yoga can be of immense help. Embrace yoga as a new way of life to stay healthy, fight various mental health challenges, and also help conquer fear and anxiety. Regular practice of yoga helps strengthen your body’s immune system that helps fight various infections.

Stay healthy & fit as you age

Tuesday, June 1st, 2021

Are you overwhelmed seeing your elderly parents?
Do they have mobility issues or medical conditions?
Do you think life could have been better for them?

Statistics suggest that India will have 330 million individuals aged 60 years and above by 2050, accounting for 18% of our total population. Medical professionals suggest that people who had good healthy habits when they were younger tend to become healthy seniors, but it is never too late. Good health habits can make a difference even to seniors who are prone to illness or have not made their health a priority in the past. Here are some insightful details to help navigate senior health.

Healthy living tips for seniors

Your health tends to deteriorate as your age. However, with a positive attitude, better lifestyle choices and a healthy diet can help slow down the aging process and live better. Do share these healthy living tips with your parents and senior loved ones:

  • Be active more often
    Exercise reduces your risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and some cancers. It also means that you will be healthier in your later years and will be less likely to develop dementia and other cognitive changes.
  • Improve your diet
    A healthy and balanced diet that is high in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, olive oil, and protein, and low in meat, sugar, and processed foods helps your cells function better and slows down aging.
  • Get quality sleep
    Sleep deprivation affects your memory, emotions, weight, and even your appearance. The older you get, the harder it can be to fall and stay asleep, but you still need the same amount of hours. Speak to your doctor for any sleep disorders.
  • Stop smoking
    Research suggests that quitting smoking reduces your risk of getting a heart attack and other chronic diseases. The earlier you quit, the better it is as smoking cessation decreases the risk of middle-aged smokers dying by almost half.
  • Focus on prevention
    Annual health checkups, cancer screenings, as well as screenings for diseases that run in the family must form a part of healthcare for the elderly. Seniors must consult their doctors from time to time and review their medications.
  • Care for your mental health
    Loneliness, particularly at this age, can lead to feelings of anxiety and depression. Spend time socialising with family and friends, even if it means interacting virtually. Aside from that, doing crossword puzzles, sudoku, reading a book, and trying new hobbies all help to stimulate your mind and improve your mental health.
  • Screen for vision changes
    Seniors who wear glasses should have their prescriptions checked for changes and their eyes screened for health issues once a year. Their risk of accidental falls can be reduced considerably by wearing the proper glasses.
  • Be regular with dental checkups
    As you age dental cavities, as well as gum infections, may increase. These may be linked to serious health conditions, such as diabetes, heart disease, and stroke.

Exercise tips for seniors

Irrespective of your age and physical condition, it’s never too late to start exercising and get fit. People tend to slow down and become more sedentary with age. You may feel discouraged by health problems, aches, and pains, or concerns about injuries or falls. As you grow older, an active lifestyle becomes more important than ever before. Here are some health benefits of exercise:

  • Maintain or lose weight – As your metabolism naturally slows with age, maintaining a healthy weight can become a challenge. Regular exercise helps increase your metabolism and build muscle mass, helping your body to burn more calories.
  • Reduce the impact of illness – People who exercise tend to have improved immune system, better digestion, reduced risk of heart disease, controlled blood pressure, and better bone health.
  • Enhance your flexibility, and balance – Exercise improves your strength, flexibility, and posture, which in turn can help with your balance and coordination, and reduce your risk of falls.
  • Improves your sleep – Quality sleep is vital for your overall health as you get older. Regular activity can help you fall asleep faster, sleep more deeply, and wake up feeling more energetic and refreshed.
  • Boost your mood and self-confidence – Exercise is a great stress reliever, and the endorphins released can help reduce feelings of sadness, depression, and anxiety. Being active and strong can also help you feel more confident.

Here are some ways to make your fitness routine fun and keep yourself motivated:

  • Use guided meditation.
  • Listen to music while exercising.
  • Meet a friend for a walk.
  • Walk or play fetch with a dog.
  • Play with your grandchildren.
  • Find an exercise buddy for daily workouts.

Always listen to your body and never over-exert yourself. Stop exercising immediately if you experience discomfort, pain, feel dizzy or short of breath. Start slowly and build up your exercise program little by little. Prevent injury and discomfort by warming up, cooling down, and keeping water handy.

Following a healthy lifestyle, investing in preventive healthcare, staying active and access to prompt medical attention can help you lead a happy and healthy life in your yesteryears. Doctors at Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital are available to attend to all your medical concerns with utmost care and expertise. For further information, please visit:

Strengthen your immunity, Stay healthy

Thursday, May 13th, 2021

Wondering why every person has different outcomes when infected with the same virus? While some people remain asymptomatic, some have mild symptoms, some are hospitalized while some fail to survive. What are the mechanisms driving this massive diversity? While this needs more research, medical suggest that apart from existing medical conditions an individual’s immune system has an essential role to play. The stronger your immune system, the less chance you’ll have of falling ill and if you do, the quicker you will recover. It is crucial to boost your immune system, as it protects your body from harmful substances, germs, and cell changes that could make a person sick.

Strengthen your immunity

Having a healthy immune system ready to fight off any germs and infections has become even more important now than ever before due to the pandemic. Your immune system gets older just like every cell and system in your body does, reducing your body’s ability to fight infection as you age and making the elderly more prone to illness. Several dietary and lifestyle changes can help strengthen your body’s natural defenses, however, this is a slow process and does not happen overnight. Adapting good and healthy habits can significantly benefit our immune function to work better. Some health tips include:

  • Manage stress
    High levels of stress weakens your immunity. Take steps to cope with stress better, take up meditation, yoga, exercise, enjoy a hobby, and other practices that can help keep your immune system functioning properly.
  • Sleep well
    Inadequate or poor-quality sleep is linked to a higher susceptibility to sickness. Getting adequate rest helps repair your body and strengthen your natural immunity. Adults should aim to get 7 or more hours of sleep each night.
  • Avoid smoking and alcohol
    Excessive tobacco consumption and drinking alcohol impairs immune health and increases vulnerability to lung infections.
  • Exercise regularly
    Regular exercise can boost your mood and improve sleep quality. Both of these factors are vital to improving immunity.
  • Stay hydrated
    Drinking water helps improve your body’s immunity as staying hydrated helps your body naturally eliminate the bacteria and toxins that cause infection.
  • Eat plant-based foods
    Whole plant foods like fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and legumes are rich in nutrients, antioxidants and fibre and help fight harmful pathogens.
  • Eat more healthy fats
    Healthy fats like olive oil and omega-3s are highly anti-inflammatory. Since chronic inflammation can suppress your immune system, these fats help fight diseases.
  • Limit added sugars
    Added sugars contribute significantly to obesity, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease, all of which can suppress your immune system.
  • Maintain personal hygiene
    Washing hands and feet thoroughly can help you stay at bay from cold and infections.
  • Regular health checkups
    It is important to take out time to schedule regular health checkups. Health conditions like asthma, diabetes, cholesterol, health diseases, etc can affect the immune system.

Immunity boosting foods

Several superfoods have been used for ages in India to help boost your immunity. Here are some of the common kitchen ingredients that when used regularly, help strengthen your immune system:

  • Turmeric or Haldi – Most of its immunity-boosting properties come from curcumin,  a compound it contains that has strong anti-inflammatory effects.
  • Pepper – Piperine, the compound in the spice, is high in antioxidants and has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties that cleanses the body of harmful toxins.
  • Tulsi – Also called the holy basil, its antiviral and antibacterial properties are believed to relieve fevers, headaches, sore throats, and cough. Besides boosting immunity, tulsi is also said to improve digestion and help with respiratory ailments.
  • Amla – A rich source of Vitamin C, amla is known to boost immunity by increasing the body’s white blood cell count and help prevent viral infections like the flu.
  • Cinnamon – It is loaded with antioxidants, has anti-inflammatory properties, and is said to help reduce the risk of infections and diseases. The antibacterial and antifungal properties of cinnamon make it a strong immunity booster.
  • Honey – Organic raw honey contains numerous medicinal properties, is antibacterial and also boosts gut immunity. It can be used as a substitute for refined sugar and is known to increase your immunity and cleanse the digestive system.

Choose to eat healthier, adapt healthy living practices, stay fit as maintaining a strong immunity is a life-long process. Your immunity helps protect you from getting life-threatening infectious diseases.

Managing Parkinson’s disease

Monday, April 12th, 2021

Finding simple daily tasks like making breakfast, going to answer the phone, getting a glass of water, writing a shopping list exhausting? This may be due to Parkinson’s disease. You may look good, but you may feel entirely different from the way you look. Parkinson’s exhaustion makes it difficult to move, as though you don’t have any energy left. You may also suffer from a debilitating mental exhaustion, sometimes called Parkinson’s apathy, which impairs focus and makes it difficult to begin a task, follow directions or recall information.

Don’t give up!Parkinson’s disease is a type of movement disorder that affects the nervous system and is a chronic and progressive disease. As per statistics, India has 7 million elders afflicted with Parkinson’s disease. Early diagnosis, timely intervention and treatment that includes medication and surgery helps manage this disease and control its progression.

Symptoms of Parkinson’s disease

Many people mistaken Parkinson symptoms for normal signs of aging and may ignore them. However any early signs of Parkinson’s disease must be discussed with a doctor. Here are a few signs and symptoms that need attention:

  • Movement: There may be a tremor in the hands
  • Coordination: A reduced sense of coordination and balance may lead to falls and dropping of items held
  • Gait: The person’s posture may change and they may lean forward
  • Facial expression: This can become fixed
  • Voice: There may be a tremor in the voice, or the person may speak more softly
  • Handwriting: This may become more cramped and smaller
  • Sense of smell: A loss of sense of smell can be an early sign

Mood changes, difficulty chewing and swallowing, problems with urination, constipation, skin problems, sleep problems are some other symptoms. When you have Parkinson’s disease, the nature of the disease makes you more prone to suffering from mental health disorders like depression. It is important for the care giver to recognize this on time and seek appropriate counselling assistance for the patient.

Living healthy with Parkinson’s disease.

Have you been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease? Your focus should be on improving your symptoms and maintaining an active and positive lifestyle. There is currently no cure for this disease, however it is possible to successfully manage symptoms through healthy choices, medications, and in select cases medical procedures too. Here are a few health tips to follow:

1. Exercise Regularly

When you have Parkinson’s disease, a regular fitness regime helps give you flexibility, better balance, less anxiety and depression, improved co-ordination and added muscle strength

2. Prevent falls

Balance problems can make falling a real concern when you have Parkinson’s. Here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Plant your heel first when you take a step
  • Don’t move quickly
  • Work to keep your posture straight as you walk
  • Try not to carry anything when you walk

In spite of these steps if you find yourself falling often consider using a cane or a walker to help you move safely.

3. Sleep well

Sometimes, Parkinson’s can get in the way of a good night’s sleep and may lead to sleep problems. Create a relaxing pre-bedtime routine and follow it every night and maintain your sleep schedule.

4. Eat a healthy diet

It’s common for Parkinson’s disease to cause bone thinning, dehydration, weight loss, and constipation. Here are a few nutrition tips to follow:

  • Eat a variety of whole grains, vegetables, and fruits every day
  • Stay away from saturated and trans fats
  • Limit sugar, salt, and sodium
  • Say “No” to alcohol
  • Stay hydrated
  • Have foods high in vitamin D, magnesium, vitamin K, and calcium for bone strength
  • Take your medications

Being regular with your medicines helps manage the motor symptoms of Parkinson’s disease well.

Parkinson’s treatment at Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital

We understand the impact Parkinson’s disease can have on you and your loved ones. The loss of independence can be frustrating and emotionally draining for patients and carers alike. Our Centre for Neurosciences is committed to therapies that help improve the patient’s quality of life and help them regain the ability to perform their daily activities.

Meet renowned neurologists who are supported by state of the art technology to diagnose, treat and rehabilitate people with Parkinson and Movement Disorders. Our Parkinson’s Clinic offers a comprehensive screening and care program and is equipped with advanced facilities like a gait and balance lab, 3 tesla MRI, surgical suite and intratop MRI, and rehabilitation care.

Our Total Parkinson care program includes:

  • Movement Disorder Specialist Consultation
  • Physiotherapy
  • Speech and swallowing therapy
  • Dietary Counselling
  • Psychology Consultation

The team manages over 7430 Parkinson’s disease patients each year with their unmatched expertise. For further information please visit: https: