Friday, 31 March 2017

Intermittent Fasting Benefits

Not many decades have passed since India was ravaged by a number of natural calamities, like famine and floods. And when these calamities would occur, one aftermath that would follow invariably was the acute scarcity of food. In order to take on these frequent challenges, the body had very adaptive response of putting some fats during good time and burn it when there was unavailability of food.

But, as there has been sharp decline in these calamities in recent decades, and food are now available in abundance, the glycogen stores in the body do not get depleted. Or, before they get depleted, we move to a situation of putting on or adding more fats. And in this way, the problem related to fat deposition or obesity keeps on increasing that gives birth to a number of health-related complications and diseases.
Intermittent fasting is the best way to counterattack all these health menaces. Suppose a person fasts around 16 hours, after 8 hours, the glycogen stores in the liver of that person will start getting depleted. And the fat will start burning. In the recent past, intermittent fasting has been gaining not only the popular attention, but also scientific endorsement.

Comprehensive study was conducted at the University of Southern California on fasting effect in mice. Its findings showed that the biomarkers for heart disease, cancer and diabetes reduced in those mice that were subjected to two to five days of fasting every month. The study then expanded to people, and the scientists saw a similar reduction in these life-threatening diseases. The recent findings have also suggested that fasting lowers insulin and another hormone called insulin-like growth factors, which is associated with cancer and diabetes.
                                                                                ---Ashish Jha

Thursday, 30 March 2017

Cleanliness in Office

Tidiness always helps forge and cement bonds in all walks of life. It's particularly useful at a workplace where this quality enhances work-efficiency. This trait leads one to perfection and hones his/her overall personality. The tidiness of your work-station (computer, desk, etc.) guarantees progress in your career.  Not only that, this also helps increase your popularity in the office and the absence of it, ensures your banal presence at the workplace. So always strive to keep your workplace spick-and-span.

Cleanliness in the office has its numerous advantages. You're always at a vantage point if you're tidy and immaculate. Unclean habits in the office make you a butt of ridicule which starts from your back and soon becomes obvious when your colleagues look down upon you because of your shoddiness. Tidiness also gives you a positive sense of belonging and exhortation to work in a healthy frame of mind.  Remember, efficient way of working is always admired by all and sundry. Try to be a role model in the office to be emulated by other colleagues. If your appearance is winsome, everyone in the office will look up to you. A good sartorial sense as to how to dress up for the office is something every office-goer must know. A plain, and not garish or gaudy, shirt and trousers for men and a saree /salwar kurta for women are perfect apparels for office. Indians are under the impression that a tie and a blazer in the office will get them brownie points. They're sadly mistaken.

 First of all, a tie is not meant for the tropical Indian climate and it straightjackets a person. The silly English legacies have not yet been done away with by most of the Indians. When the legendary British political thinker Sir Harold Laski visited Delhi, Calcutta and Nagpur universities in April 1953, he was amused to see all professors and students wearing ties and coats in the perspiring heat of April. He was in a  white half shirt and light grey trousers to counter the oppressive heat of Central, Northern and Eastern India. Indian office-goers must realise that a tie ties them down and their stubbles are the stumbling blocks in their career progress. Always go to office in a clean shaven look. Unless, you're Kabir Bedi or Shekhar Kapoor, beard suits very few and gives a wrong impression about your persona. It projects you as a casual and often frivolous person.

Your workstation ought to have the cleanliness and is always dusted off. Remember, these things are considered in the final appraisal of your office and corporate work. Bear on mind the Japanese corporate maxim, 'A clean desk appeals to one's boss.' It sure does and is an infallible mantra to succeed in this competitive and ruthless age.
                                                               ---Sumit Paul

Wednesday, 29 March 2017

Is Perfection Possible?

Isn't perfection itself an imperfection? Is there anything and anyone we can call perfect? The most beautiful face never has a symmetry and the most beautiful thing comes with a baggage. A rose is accompanied by thorns and a peacock has ugly feet. A lotus never has a perfect surrounding because it blossoms in muck. And what's perfection? Can it be defined? Can we zero in on it? All the so-called conditions of perfection are set by us, the human beings.

Perfection is a human concept. It's the limit of a limited mind. There's never a fixed concept of perfection. It keeps changing. The so-called perfection is impossible to achieve because as human beings we've certain limitations and imperfections. When there're inherent perfections in us, how can anything made by us be perfect? Before Aishwarya Roy, the erstwhile Maharani of Jaipur Gayatri Davi was the epitome of feminine perfection, so mush so that great cameraman Raghu Rai famously declared, 'Here ends the perfection in a woman's beauty.' The same legendary Raghu changed his idea of beauty and called Aishwarya Roy when she became the Miss world in 1994, 'A face that goes to the outermost edge of feminine beauty and grace.' Let someone prettier come and Raghu will push his flexible idea of perfection further! There's no end to it because we've never limitized perfection.

American humorist Mark Twain wisely said that the very notion of perfection is continuously getting perfected all the time, so much so that it needs an element of imperfection as a catalyst to grow further! In fact, anything or any person with a slight error or imperfection is more admired by people because we all can relate to the imperfections more easily than an imaginary idea of perfection. A slight defect in appearance adds to the essence. English intellectual poet Alexander Pope inked, 'Just a little defect/Made my beloved's face perfect.' He sent it to his friend and equally great John Dryden, who immediately wrote back, 'Just because her nose wasn't straight/Her face looked so divinely great.' The legendary beauty Helen of Troy didn't have two fingers from her birth. The famous actress Minakumari didn't have a pinky (little finger). She lost it when she fell from a tree at the tender age of nine. Mumtaz had a pug-nose and Hollywood actress Grace Kelly had a distinctly asymmetrical face.

Today, Rekha is called 'elegance personified' despite her too prominent jaws! The devilishly handsome English poet Lord Gordon George Byron (1788-1824) was club-footed. He was lame and obese. But many women fell for his intriguing obesity (he looked perpetually pregnant) and a dragging foot. Hardly any lady-friend of Byron ever loved him for his perfectly chiselled poetry; instead they all went ga-ga over his imperfect personality and flawed character. Our attempt to achieve perfection has robbed us of the simple joys of life. When Chinese poet Lu Shun was asked how he wrote such simple and beautiful poems, he said that he never bothered about his poems' perfection. He scribbled them when thoughts struck him. Lu Shun never tried to perfect the deluge of thoughts that descended on him so effortlessly. Buddha advised one of his five great disciples Vaishampayan to flow with the tidings without putting much accent on perfection.

'Wisdom comes to those, who strive for perfection, but at the same time don't make it the alpha and omega, be-all and end-all of life,' opined U G Krishnamurthy. Too much stress on perfection makes our life boring and dry. Perfection takes away the spontaneous element from life. It (perfection) makes things so wooden and lifeless. The pursuit of perfection makes life unnecessarily methodical and mathematical. Human life loses its mojo because of running after perfection. It's a wet blanket and a veritable dampener. Don't chase perfection. Attainment of perfection is a fool's errand. It's the dream of an opium-eater, nay an unmitigated lunatic. Life is not always 2+2=4. And one must also remember that the so-called perfection is an imaginary idea. It's a presupposed motivating factor in mankind's collective fate. It's not a tangible goal. It's the intangibility of perfection that makes it forever elusive. So it's futile to hanker after an eternally elusive notion and a will-o'-the-wisp object. Enjoy life without being too much of a perfectionist. Inaccuracy leads to accuracy.      

                                                               ----Sumit Paul

Sunday, 26 March 2017

Best Foods to Eat for a Diabetic

When a food-lover is diagnosed with diabetes, ground slips under his or her food. The person starts thinking, how could I survive with no yummy plates around me? What is the point of surviving without the foods I have liked since my childhood? Nothing can keep me happy from now onwards.
But, contrary to what most of the diabetics think, it is irrefutably true that they can still gorge on most of the foods they like without thinking a bit about their health complications. If you are a diabetic, you can eat tandoori chicken, malai chicken tikka, various types of Kababs, Paneer Tikka, mushrooms and a number of tasty foods.
Besides these things, it is also important not to give long gap between the meals. Those who are diabetics, should keep on taking their meals in short duration. It will not only keep your stomach full, but also stop your cravings for consuming sweets. For a diabetic, it is very important to get nutrients from foods.
Let’s have a Look on the Nutrient-rich Foods that will Augur Well for your Health:
Take dark green leafy vegetables, like spinach, collards. These super foods are low in calories and carbohydrates. Beans are also very nutritious, since they are high in fiber. If you take just 1/2 cup of beans, you will get 1/3 rd of your daily requirements. Apart, they are also very rich sources of magnesium and potassium.
Do not forget to include citrus food, if you are a diabetic. Grapefruit, lemons, limes and oranges are good citrus foods. Consumption of these foods will fulfil your daily requirements of vitamin C. It is very much essential for the growth and repair of tissues in our body. And since the body does not store Vitamin C in its tissues, its consumption is needed on a day-to-day basis.

Consumption of whole grains is also very advantageous for a diabetic. So, do not forget to include the whole grains in your diet chart. Besides containing all the nutrients that a grain product has, these foods do also have magnesium, chromium, folate and omega 3 fatty acids.

Apart from the foods discussed above, you also need to include sweet potato, berries, nuts, fat-free milk, yogurt and tomatoes in your diet chart. If you are a non-vegetarian, take fish that is high in Omega-3 Fatty Acids, like Salmon, Tuna, etc. Do not consume breaded or deep fat fried varieties.

You can also take coriander. It is very nutritious herb. You can take its seeds, make these wet in water in night and sip its water in the morning. Along with coriander soup, you can also take ginger and garlic in small amount. These are very much effective for a diabetic.
                                                                               ----Ashish Jha

Saturday, 25 March 2017

Diabetic Neuropathy Natural Treatment

Diabetic Neuropathies: Causes, Types, Symptoms and Treatment

Years of poorly controlled diabetes can lead to nerve damage. The medical term for this damage is Diabetic Neuropathy. This nerve damaging disorder can affect all organs and systems, as all body parts have nerves. The present blog talks about diabetic neuropathies, their causes, types, symptoms and treatment.

The term diabetic neuropathies refer to the string of nerve disorders that are predominantly caused by diabetes. Years of poorly controlled diabetes can lead to nerve damage throughout the body. Some people with nerve damage show symptoms, while some do not show any symptom. Nerve damage can occur in any organ including extremities (heads and legs), digestive tract, heart and sex organs.

The severity of neuropathy can be very well understood from the fact that two-third of diabetics develop the complications of neuropathy in their lifetime. Though the highest rates of neuropathy are in the people diagnosed with diabetes for at least 25 years, but it may develop early. Obese people also tend to develop neuropathy.

What Causes Diabetic Neuropathies?
There is combination of factors that cause diabetic neuropathies. Some of these factors are given below:
Ø Autoimmune factors
Ø Mechanical injury to nerves
Ø Inherited Traits (Disease in family)
Ø Lifestyle Factors (smoking, alcohol)
Ø Metabolic Factors (high blood glucose, low insulin, poor handling of diabetes for long time, abnormal blood fat levels)
Ø Long exposure to high blood glucose
Ø Neurovascular Factors (damage to the blood vessels that transport oxygen and nutrients to nerves)

What are the Types of Diabetic Neuropathy?

Ø Peripheral neuropathy: It is the most common type of diabetic neuropathy. It is characterized by pain or numbness in the feet, legs, toes, hands and arms.

Ø Autonomic neuropathy: It causes change in perspiration, digestion, bowel and bladder function and sexual response. It does also affect the nerves that keeps heart in good condition and controls blood pressure.

Ø Proximal neuropathy: It is characterized by weakness in the kegs. It causes pain in the thighs, hips, buttocks, etc.

Ø Focal neuropathy: It is characterized by sudden weakness of one nerve or group of nerves causing muscle pain or weakness.

What are the symptoms of Diabetic Neuropathies?

Though symptoms depend largely on the type of neuropathy and the nerves of the organ that get affected, there are some symptoms that are generally seen in the people affected with diabetic neuropathies. These symptoms are given below:
Ø Numbness, pain or tingling or loss of feeling in hands, arms, legs, fingers, toes, feet, etc.
Ø Indigestion, nausea, vomiting
Ø Dizziness after standing or sitting up (due to drop in blood pressure)
Ø Problem in urination
Ø Weakness
Ø Erectile dysfunction in men
Ø Vaginal dryness in women
Ø Constipation or diarrhoea
Ø Deterioration of the muscles of hands or feet

Treatment of Diabetic Neuropathies
Ø The first stage of treatment is to bring blood glucose level in the normal range to prevent progression of the disease.
Ø Regular blood glucose monitoring, maintaining active lifestyle, careful meal planning, diabetes medicine, insulin will help bring blood glucose level in safe range.
Ø Once blood glucose level reaches in safe range, it will prevent or delay the occurrence of further problems.
Ø Foot care is also very important part of treatment. People with neuropathy need to monitor their feet daily and treat any injury at the earliest. Untreated injuries may lead to infected foot sores, gangrene.
Ø Depending upon the type of nerve damage, treatment also includes pain relief and other medications as required.
                                                                  ----Ashish Jha

Friday, 24 March 2017

Diabetic Kidney Disease

Summary: Kidneys are bean-shaped organs. These are very important organs of the body. The main functions of kidneys include extracting waste from blood, balancing body fluids, forming urine and contributing in other important functions of the body. The onset of diabetes makes the work of kidneys tough and disrupts its normal functioning. Impaired functions of kidneys give rise to kidney diseases. This blog talks about diabetes and kidneys, symptoms of the kidney diseases and the tips to prevent these diseases.

Diabetes and Kidneys: Diabetes increases blood glucose level. The surge in glucose level in blood make the work of kidneys difficult as they have to filter more and more blood. This increased work load starts putting burden on the filters. Slowly and slowly they start becoming leaky and the useful substances, such as protein fail to get filtered. It gets flushed out along with urine. It is a medical condition known as microalbuminuria (having small amount of protein in the urine).
If the condition of microalbuminuria is allowed to worsen, it will result into macroalbuminuria (having large amount of protein in urine). If even in this stage, the kidney complication remains untreated, the kidneys start losing their ability to filter. Resultantly, waste products start getting deposited in the blood. In that stage the filtration work is done through machine(dialysis). When even dialysis does not produce the required result, kidney transplant becomes the only solution.

In essence, better a person keeps diabetes under control, the lower becomes the chance of getting kidney disease.
Symptoms of the Kidney Disease: The problem with kidney diseases is that they do not show symptoms unless the entire function is out of order. It is simply because the kidneys start working hard to compensate for the failing capillaries. However, some symptoms of these diseases (though the symptoms of two individuals are not same) are as follows:
Ø Fluid Build Up
Ø Loss of Sleep
Ø Weakness
Ø Upset Stomach
Ø Poor Appetite
Ø Difficulty in Concentration
Ø Weight Loss
Ø Dry, itchy Skin
Ø Puffiness around the Eyes
Ø Muscle Cramps
Ø Needing to Pass Urine more often than usual

Tips for the Prevention of Kidney Diseases:

Ø Control Diabetes, High Blood Pressure and Heart Diseases: The precursors of kidney diseases are diabetes, high blood pressure and heart diseases. Therefore, controlling sugar levels, blood pressure and cholesterol will help keep heart diseases at distance. Annual health check-up for those who are above 40 years also serve the purpose.

Ø Reduction in Salt Intake: Salt triggers the formation of kidney stones. Apart, it also increases the amount of sodium in diet and blood pressure. Therefore, the intake of salt should not be more than five-six grams (one teaspoon) per day. Apart, avoid restaurant food and stick to home-made food.

Ø Remain Hydrated: Drink adequate amount of water every day to keep yourself well hydrated. It is simply because presence of enough fluid will help kidney flush out sodium, urea and toxins from the body and nullify the possibility of developing kidney diseases. The recommended dose of water for a healthy kidney is 4-6 glasses of water whereas people who have a kidney stone, should take 2 to 3 litre of water everyday to minimize the risk of developing new stones.

Ø Say No to Alcohol and Smoking: Frequent intake of alcohol causes imbalances of the body and hormonal control that disrupts the normal functioning of the kidneys. Though smoking does not have any bearing on the functioning of the kidneys, but it makes them less efficient. Smoking does also affect heart health adversely that trigger kidney problems.

Ø Exercise Daily: Obesity is closely associated with kidney-related problems; in fact, it doubles the chances of developing kidney diseases. Therefore, doing exercise daily proves to be extremely instrumental in keeping kidney diseases at bay, as it controls the portion size. 
                                                                       ----Ashish Jha

Thursday, 23 March 2017

6 Things that you should do to Avoid Diarrhea in Summer

Summer months are favourite months of diarrhoea. Though diarrhoea can hit anybody at any point of time, but in scorching hot weather conditions, it hits more and more infants, children and younger people. It is because in summer season severe gastroenteritis takes place because of bacterial infection in intestine and stomach. However, there are some preventive measures to keep this disease at a distance. This blog talks about some of these measures.

During summers, the most common cause of diarrhoea are infections caused by the microscopic-sized parasites, known as giardiasis and cryptosporidiosis. Diarrhoea generally gets transmitted through the contaminated water. These can spread from one person to the other and also from animal to person by contracting illness from agents. Diarrhoea comes along with other ailments, such as abdominal cramps, nausea, loss of appetite, vomiting, mild fever, etc. Sometimes Diagnosis of Diarrhoea gets delayed and that triggers alarming and chronic situations.

However, to prevent these alarming circumstances during summer months, it is always a prudent move to follow some natural preventive measures. Some of these measures are given below:

Ø Keep your Hands Clean: Mind, if your hands are not clean, more susceptible you will become to get diarrhoea. It is because diarrhoea attacks when it comes in contact with bacteria, viruses, organisms and parasites, like giardiasis. If your hands are not clean, germs will get spread at a fast pace, damaging your bowel movement and causing watery poo.

Therefore, for ensuring safety from these pathogens, you should keep washing your hands at frequent intervals. Mind, the cleaner your hands are, lesser you become susceptible to diarrhoea.

Ø Stay Away from Antibiotics Though doctors of today are quite prompt in recommending antibiotics, but the use of antibiotics is not good for the microbial balance in the intestine. This imbalance leads to diarrhoea. Hence, you should go for holistic remedies than to take(devour) antibiotics. Avoid using these medicines in minor infections, but if the intake is unavoidable, include more yogurt. Yogurt will help prevent the occurrence of diarrhoea as its live active culture help maintain the microbial balance and prevent infection from reaching the intestine.

Ø Say No to Undercooked Foods:  Eggs and meat contain bacteria and live parasites that give rise to chronic diarrhoea conditions. Hence, before consuming them, make sure that they are properly cooked. Apart, drink adequate water in summer months as water washes off toxins and infections from the body naturally. Despite remaining hydrated, if parasites are still in your body, you can take mild antibiotic, but only after taking advice and assent of your doctor. The moderate dose of antibiotics helps kill parasites and stop occurrence of the disease.

Ø Do not Eat Raw Foods without Washing: Fruits and vegetables are the breeding grounds for bacteria that may lead to acute infections and diarrhoea. Therefore, make sure to wash fruits and vegetables thoroughly before eating them raw. Apart, Salads should also not be consumed hours after they are cut/prepared. Making these types of mistakes may lead to intake of parasites/viruses and ultimately diarrhoea.

Ø Have More of Fluids: During summer season, maintain your body well hydrated. Take adequate of water, but not the untreated water, as diarrhoea is predominantly a water-borne disease and dirty and impure water is the main reason of infection.

Ø Avoid Acidic Foods: In summer season, our body tends to get infections/ diseases very fast. Therefore, you should minimize the intake of spicy and acidic foods, such as grapefruits, oranges as they can cause diarrhoea symptoms by breaking down the stool. Apart, avoid taking milk if your body is sensitive to lactose products. In addition to these, you should also avoid taking caffeine as it can make your stool loose.

It is important to know that the above-mentioned measures include, but not limited to the measures taken to avoid diarrhoea in summer.

                                                      ---Ashish Jha


Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Suicide: The Ultimate Existential Choice

Reading Albert Camus' 'The Myth of Sisyphus' seventh time, I again stopped at his deeply thought-stirring words and didn't proceed further: 'There's but one truly serious philosophical problem, and that's suicide. Judging whether life is or is not worth living amounts to answering the fundamental question of philosophy. All the rest-whether or not the world has three dimensions, whether the mind has nine or twelve categories-comes afterward. These are games; one must first answer.'

If life's an absurd, meaningless pantomime, don't we owe it to ourselves to do the logical thing, and end it? Camus is not being morose here; he was, by all accounts, a warm and amiable individual who relished life. Rather, he asks us to be dispassionately logical. Many have taken their lives from despair or despondency, but who has done so from the necessary conclusion of a logical chain of reasoning? We must also distinguish between having a reason to kill oneself, and suicide motivated by the ultimate meaninglessness of life. The former may be a rational option-as it was for the Stoics-even for those who retain a sense of life's meaning, but whose dignity, or quality of life, has permanently dropped below a level acceptable to them. However, suicide based on the absurdity of life would be different, more fundamental: It's philosophically justified  suicide, which says 'no' to life whatever the circumstances. 

So, philosophically speaking, is life worth living? Sisyphus' task is pointless, and even what's achieved is consequently undone. However, pointlessness is different to meaninglessness, a distinction that Camus stressed, for acceptance of the Absurd is merely the first step to a higher philosophy. If we overcome our disappointment and despair, avoiding the false lures of hope and illusory dreams, then we can achieve a new clarity and strength. At the end of Sophocles' Oedipus Rex, the tragic hero finds himself blind, desperate, and exiled, yet accepts both his choices and absurd fate. Could we not similarly conclude that, despite our absurd existence, and all that life throws at us, 'all's well'?

Personally, I've always believed that suicide's the ' ultimate exercise of  human volition.' It's the extreme manifestation of existential choice. Why can't I die when I'm of no use to anyone, even to myself? And why should one be embarrassed about what the people will say when one ends one's life? If life belongs to an individual, death too is an inalienable part and parcel of his /her existence. Waiting for the perfect moment to shuffle off the mortal coil, Bhishma told Karna when the latter came to see him: " Karna, life comes to a full circle when death's in your hands and at your beck and call ", knowing very well that the man (Karna) he was telling this to, already chose his death by giving away his earrings and impenetrable armour making himself gleefully vulnerable to death. Wasn't it an 'Altruistic Suicide'? 
                                                            ----Sumit Paul

Tuesday, 21 March 2017

Indian Education System Needs A Revamp

Having studied at Indian and foreign varsities, what I've gathered is the startling difference between the oriental (precisely, Indian) and occidental education systems. At the risk of sounding a tad presumptuous, let me state categorically that the existing Indian education system leaves a lot to be desired in terms of classroom teaching and the overall performance of the Indian students. The examination-oriented education system in which students get 596 out of 600 is not just ridiculous, it's outright embarrassing. This bespeaks the accent on memorising and not applying one's brains. This textbook-based and exam-oriented education is outright inimical to the natural intelligence of the students.

I wonder, why UGC has still not dispensed with Lord Macaulay's antediluvian education pattern that aimed at producing English-speaking native babus. What he conceptualised way back in 1832 is still prevalent with minor changes, whereas universities in the West progressed by leaps and bounds in their approach and curriculum. Even Pakistan's premier varsities are far ahead of India in their modernity and revolutionary ideas. Let me tell you with a tinge of sadness and also with a sense of anger that when I approached Lucknow varsity and UGC for my M Phil theory on the homosexual elements in Firaq Gorakhpuri's Urdu poetry (Sukhan-e-Firaq mein humjinsi anasir), I was told that Firaq was a sacrosanct figure in India and I couldn't pursue my M Phil on this controversial aspect of his poetry. The world knows that Firaq was an avowed gay and late Vinod Mehta clearly stated this fact in his memoirs Lucknow Boy. Firaq himself never hid this fact and called himself a homosexual.

I'm sure, the VC of Lucknow University was not aware of this fact. But he outright rejected my intention to pursue an M Phil degree in Urdu on Firaq's rather embarrassing sexual preference. Frustrated, I approached Islamabad varsity and completed my thesis on this aspect of one of the greatest Urdu poets of the last century, that too, without a guide as one can pursue Doctoral/Post Doctoral research works at Pakistani varsities with and without guides. One doesn't have to undergo the rigmarole of seeking the 'guidance' of old-fashioned guides and interminable formalities that are here at Indian varsities. This exasperates me no end. The education system that exists in India, stymies the intellectual queries and is very straight-jacketed. Here, getting high marks is the only criterion of being a brilliant student.

At Al-Azhar (Cairo), where I studied Qura'an and Classical Arabic, and then at the elite British and Ivy League US varsities across the globe, nowhere did I find this morbid stress on marks and parroting. There seems to be no concept of liberal education in India. This very idea is alien to the Indians and the UGC. Until the whole system is revamped in India, you'll continue to see brainless, lousy students with marks over 90/95 percents. Indian education system needs a seismic jolt to come out of its deep slumber.  
                                                       ----Sumit Paul

Monday, 20 March 2017

Cardiovascular Diseases: An Overview

Cardiovascular disease is one of the most severe health complications that arise out of diabetes. The data shows that overall, cardiovascular disease is the top killer of Indians. If the symptoms of these diseases are not taken seriously, these will turn into the life-threatening diseases. The present blog talks about the symptoms, risk factors, prevention and treatment of the cardiovascular diseases.

The word cardiovascular means heart and blood vessels and cardiovascular disease means any damage to the heart and blood vessels. The blood vessels get damaged due to surge in the blood glucose level, smoking, high blood pressure and high amount of cholesterol. The medical term cardiovascular disease comprises heart disease, stroke and the diseases of the heart and circulation.

As surge in the blood glucose level is the predominant cause of cardiovascular diseases, it is important for the people with diabetes to make some lifestyle-related changes, such as quitting sedentary lifestyle, eating healthy diet, losing extra weight and stopping smoking. There are a number of things that cause these diseases, but the individual symptoms may vary from person to person.

Symptoms of the Cardiovascular Diseases
·         Hands and legs becoming cool
·         Less or absent pulses in the hands and legs
·         Swelling in the feet and ankles
·         Pale, clammy appearance
·         Swollen veins in the neck
·         Rapid or shallow breathing
·         Rapid and/or irregular heart rate
·         High or low blood pressure
·         Abnormalities in the retina
·         Extra or abnormal heart sounds
·         Fluid in the lungs
·         Abnormal sounds of arterial blood flow throughout the body

Risk Factors of the Cardio-vascular Diseases
Ø Diabetes
Ø Obesity
Ø High Dietary Salt
Ø Hypertension
Ø Alcohol and Cigarette Consumption
Ø Insufficient physical activities and stress
Ø Having a partner with cancer
Ø Hyperlipidemia or high blood cholesterol
Ø Stress
Ø Air pollution
Ø High blood pressure
Ø Family history of heart disease
Ø High blood cholesterol
Ø Sex: Men are more likely to develop CVD at an earlier age than women.
Tips to Prevent Cardiovascular Diseases
Ø Quit Smoking: If you are addicted to smoke, make a comprehensive strategy to quit it at the earliest. You may talk to your doctor, take counselling, smoking cessation drugs or watch online programs to curb the addiction.
Ø Lead Active Lifestyle: Contrary to the popular belief, exercise is very much essential even for the persons suffering from cardiovascular diseases. You just need to take advise on the type of exercise that will suit to your condition.
Ø Eat Healthy Foods: It is rightly said that food is the best medicine. Take low fat and low sodium diet to reduce your risk factors, such as extra body weight, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, etc.
Ø Take Alcohol in Moderation: You need not say no to alcohol, but you should moderate its consumption. Limit to 2 drinks per day if you are a man and if you are a female, stick to maximum of 1 drink per day.
Ø Maintain a Healthy Weight: If you want to keep your cardiovascular diseases at bay, you need to maintain a healthy weight. If you are overweight, you can talk to your doctor and know about some measures to lose extra weight.

Treatment for Cardiovascular Diseases
Medications: If the lifestyle changes do not bear fruit, doctors prescribe medications to control the cardiovascular diseases. Though the type of medication depends upon the type and nature of the cardiovascular diseases. The early the medications start, less becomes the need of any surgical intervention.
Medical procedures or surgery: If medications also do not provide the required results, doctors recommend medical procedure or even surgery. However, that too depends upon the type and nature of the disease.
                                                                                                                                                                                            --------Ashish Jha