Archive for the ‘ Healthcare ’ Category

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:

https://www.kokilabenhospital.com

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: www.kokilabenhospital.com

Thyroid Disorders

Tuesday, January 12th, 2021

Thyroid diseases are common worldwide and are increasingly affecting people from all age groups. We are sure you know someone in your family or neighbourhood suffering from thyroid. India shares a significant burden of thyroid diseases, with over 42 million thyroid patients. 1 out of 3 Indians suffer from one or the other kind of thyroid disorder that may lead to weight gain and hormonal imbalances.

Functions of the Thyroid Gland
The thyroid gland is a butterfly-shaped organ located in the base of your neck. It is a vital hormone gland and plays a major role in the metabolism, growth, and development of the human body. It helps to regulate many body functions by constantly releasing a steady amount of thyroid hormones into the bloodstream. If the body needs more energy in certain situations – like pregnancy or cold climate, the thyroid gland produces more hormones. Here are the essential body functions that the thyroid controls:

  • Breathing
  • Body weight
  • Heart rate
  • Central and peripheral nervous systems
  • Muscle strength
  • Menstrual cycles
  • Body temperature
  • Cholesterol levels

Common Thyroid Disorders
Normally the thyroid gland produces the exact number of hormones needed to keep your body’s metabolism running and in balance. Thyroid disease occurs when the thyroid fails to function properly, either by releasing too much T4 hormone or by not releasing enough. Here are the most common thyroid disorders:

Hyperthyroidism
In this condition, the thyroid gland is overactive and produces too much of its hormone. Excessive thyroid hormone production leads to symptoms such as:

  • Nervousness and irritability
  • Weight loss
  • Brittle hair and nails
  • Bulging eyes

Hypothyroidism
This is the opposite of hyperthyroidism. The thyroid gland is underactive, and it can’t produce enough of its hormones. Hypothyroidism leads to symptoms such as:

  • Fatigue and weakness
  • Weight gain
  • Depression
  • Memory problems

Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis
This is the most common cause of hypothyroidism. It can occur at any age, but it’s most common in middle-aged women. The disease occurs when the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks and slowly destroys the thyroid gland and its ability to produce hormones. The disease can remain stable for years, and symptoms are similar to as of hypothyroidism.

Graves’ Disease
This disease is the most common cause of hyperthyroidism. Graves’ is an autoimmune disorder that occurs when the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks the thyroid gland. This can cause the gland to overproduce the hormone responsible for regulating metabolism. Some of the risk factors include family history, stress, pregnancy, and smoking. The symptoms are common to hyperthyroidism.

Goiter
This is a noncancerous enlargement of the thyroid gland. The most common cause of goiter worldwide is an iodine deficiency in the diet. Goiter can affect anyone at any age, especially in areas of the world where foods rich in iodine are in short supply. The symptoms include:

  • Hoarseness of voice
  • Swelling in your neck
  • Difficulties breathing or swallowing
  • Coughing or wheezing

Thyroid Cancer
Thyroid cancer is a type of cancer that starts in the thyroid gland. Cancer starts when cells begin to grow out of control. It is three times more common in women than in men. The cause of thyroid cancer is unknown, but certain risk factors have been identified and include a family history of goiter, exposure to high levels of radiation, and certain hereditary syndromes. Common symptoms include:

  • A lump around the neck
  • Trouble swallowing
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Throat or neck pain

Preventing Thyroid Disorders
Though you may not be able to prevent thyroid disease, you can reduce its risk by following a healthy lifestyle, and avoid complications with early diagnosis and treatment. Here are a few health tips to protect your thyroid health:

  • Be regular with health checkups
  • Stop smoking
  • Exercise regularly
  • Have balanced meals
  • Manage stress better
  • Take a selenium supplement if needed

Concerned about your thyroid disorder? Get exceptional care and treatment with our highly trained endocrinologists. The Department of Endocrinology & Diabetes at Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital offers comprehensive services to diagnose, treat and manage your thyroid disorder. Early diagnosis is the key to prevent the harmful consequences of a thyroid imbalance. Please find below the website link for further details:

https://www.kokilabenhospital.com/departments/clinicaldepartments/endocrinologydiabetes/thyroidclinic.html

Antimicrobial Awareness

Monday, November 23rd, 2020

World Antimicrobial Awareness Week (WAAW) aims to increase the awareness of global antimicrobial resistance (AMR) and to encourage best practices among public and health workers to help reduce the spread of drug-resistant infections. Antimicrobials – including antibiotics, antivirals, antifungals, and antiparasitics – are medicines used to prevent and treat infections in humans, animals, and plants.

What is Antimicrobial resistance (AMR)?
AMR occurs when bacteria, viruses, fungi, and parasites change over time and no longer respond to medicines. This makes infections harder to treat and increase the risk of severe illness and death. This makes medicines ineffective and infections persist in the body, increasing the risk of spread to others. WHO has declared that AMR is one of the top 10 global public health threats facing humanity. It is estimated to cause over 700,000 deaths per year, worldwide.

Dangers of Antimicrobial resistance (AMR)
In addition to death and disability, prolonged illness results in longer hospital stay, leading to increases medical expenses. A growing list of infections – such as pneumonia, tuberculosis, blood poisoning, gonorrhoea, and foodborne diseases – are becoming harder, and sometimes impossible, to treat as antibiotics become less effective. Medical procedures, such as surgery, including caesarean sections or hip replacements, chemotherapy, and organ transplantation, will become riskier due to AMR.

What causes Antimicrobial resistance (AMR)?
The main drivers of antimicrobial resistance include the misuse and overuse of antimicrobials; lack of access to clean water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) for both humans and animals; poor infection and disease prevention and control in health-care facilities and farms;  poor access to quality, affordable medicines, vaccines and diagnostics; lack of awareness and knowledge; and lack of enforcement of legislation. The world urgently needs to change the way it prescribes and uses antibiotics. Even if new medicines are developed, without behaviour change, antibiotic resistance will continue to remain a major threat.

How to reduce the spread of Antibiotic Resistance?
Antibiotic-resistant germs can quickly spread across settings, including communities, the food supply, healthcare facilities, the environment (e.g., soil, water), and around the world. Here are some precautions to take to use antibiotics responsibly:

  • Only use antibiotics when prescribed by a doctor
  • Never demand antibiotics if your doctor does not prescribe them
  • Always follow your doctor’s advice when using antibiotics
  • Never share or use leftover antibiotics
  • Prevent infections by regularly washing hands, preparing food hygienically, avoiding close contact with sick people, practising safe sex, and keeping vaccinations up to date.

Myths and facts about Antibiotic Resistance
Myth – It’s the body that becomes resistant to antibiotics
Fact – That is not true, it’s not you but the bacteria within your body that become resistant to antibiotics. Bacteria can even pass this resistance on to each other.

Myth – Antibiotics treat all types of infection
Fact – Antibiotics are only suitable for treating bacterial infections. Other infections, such as those caused by viruses or fungi, will not respond to treatment with antibiotics.

Myth – You must stop taking antibiotics once you feel better
Fact – No. You must complete the entire course of the prescribed antibiotics even if you are feeling better. If treatment stops too soon, the drug may not kill all the bacteria. You may become sick again, and the remaining bacteria may become resistant to the antibiotic that you’ve taken.

Myth – Using antibiotics incorrectly will not cause any major harm
Fact – Overuse and misuse of antibiotics can promote the development of antibiotic-resistant bacteria that can affect the entire world.

Myth – It is okay to share antibiotics
Fact – Never take antibiotics that are leftover from past treatments or given by family or friends. Only take antibiotics prescribed by a doctor. Leftover antibiotics may have expired or may not be correct for your illness.