Thursday, July 3, 2014



• Painkillers should not be taken without a doctor's advice.
• If a painkiller has to be taken, it should be one tablet of paracetamol.
• People who take alcohol should not consume paracetamol without asking their doctor.
• In patients with kidney disease, even one tablet of painkiller can precipitate kidney failure.
• In patients with acid peptic disease, one tablet of painkiller can precipitate gastric bleeding.
• Instead of taking a painkiller, look for alternative methods to relieve pain.
• Pain relieving ointments are better than oral painkillers.
• In hospital setting, intravenous and intramuscular injectable painkillers are available.
• Always tell your doctor that you are taking painkillers.
• There are effective pain management therapies available in Homeopathy and Ayurveda.
• Always contact your doctor if the pain is uneasy, unexplainable or appears for the first time in life.

Cinnamon in diabetes
In a new meta–analysis of 10 studies in patients with type 2 diabetes, taking cinnamon supplements improved fasting blood glucose and cholesterol levels, but not HbA1c levels. The report is published in September 9issue in the Annals of Family Medicine.
Small doses of a cinnamon supplement could be used along with traditional diabetes medication, Cinnamomum cassia, either as natural supplement powder or capsule, was the most common form of cinnamon that was studied in the trials, and 1 tsp of cinnamon is approximately 3 g.
Cinnamon effect is attributed to its active component cinnamaldehyde.
The advantages of cinnamon are its cost, tolerability, and relatively safe profile.
Long–term administration of high–dose cinnamon may possibly be unsafe due to the coumarin content of cinnamon, which has been associated with liver damage in animal studies.

Tomato reduces prostate cancer risk

Consumption of lycopene–containing foods, especially tomato and its products is prostate friendly. A prospective study in a cohort of over 50,000 men from the Health Professionals Follow–up Study suggests that dietary intake of lycopene is associated with a lower incidence of prostate cancer and a decreased risk of lethal prostate cancer. These effects may be mediated through inhibition of tumor angiogenesis.

Cough Hygiene :
1. When you cough or sneeze, you tend to expel out respiratory waste, which can be droplets (larger than 5 microns) or airborne droplet less than 5 microns; both have different implications.
2. Droplets remain suspended in the air only for a limited period and exposure of less than 3 feet is usually required for human to human transmission of droplet–borne respiratory organisms. In flu this can be upto 6 feet. The examples of droplet infections are patients with meningitis, influenza, rubella (German measles) etc.
3. No precautions need to be taken by a person, who is 6–10 feet away from the patient but if a person is sitting or working even at a distance of 3–6 feet, the non–coughing person should wear simple mask.
4. In contrast, airborne droplet nuclei, which carry respiratory secretions smaller than 5 microns can remain suspended in the air for extended period and can cause infections to people who are standing even more than 10 feet away. The example of airborne droplet nuclei infections are TB, measles, chickenpox and SARS.
5. Patients with these diseases require to be placed in an isolation room and all those people who are looking after these patients must use a safe N95 mask.
6. In normal house with open windows, there is a constant exchange of air, which prevents spread of infections but in rooms with air conditioners (ACs) with no air exchange, the infections can spread from one person to another.
7. When sitting in an air conditioned atmosphere, the setting of the AC should be such that the same air is not circulated and fresh air is allowed to exchange. Split ACs, therefore, are more dangerous than the window ACs.
8. In an office with split AC, if one of the employees is suffering from any of the droplet nuclei disease, he/she can transmit infection to others. Therefore, patients with confirmed TB, measles, chickenpox and SARS should not be allowed to work in offices with split ACs.
High fat diet is prostate cancer prone
Diets high in saturated fat increases the risk of prostate cancer, according to a report from University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston published in the International Journal of Cancer.
• Men who consume high saturated animal fat diet are two times more likely to experience disease progression after prostate cancer surgery than men with lower saturated fat intake.
• There is also shorter "disease–free" survival time among obese men who eat high saturated fat diet compared with non–obese men consuming diets low in saturated fat.
• Men with a high saturated fat intake had the shortest survival time free of prostate cancer (19 months)
• Non–obese men with low fat intake survived the longest time free of the disease (46 months).
• Non–obese men with high intake and obese men with low intake had "disease–free" survival of 29 and 42 months, respectively.
Take home messages
• High saturated fat diet has been linked to cancer of the prostate
• Reducing saturated fat in the diet after prostate cancer surgery can help reduce the cancer progression.
• Cancer prostate has the same risk factors as that of heart blockages and both are linked to high saturated fat intake.
• With the increase of heart patients, a corresponding increase in prostate cancer patients is also seen in the society
Why is My Nose Bleeding?
Nosebleed is a common problem, occurring in up to 60 percent of the general population and is often because of a respiratory illness or dry conditions. Nasal drying is common in the hot summer months because of the extreme temperature and dry air due to use of air conditioners.
Here are some typical reasons for nosebleeds:
• Nasal allergies
• Blowing your nose too hard or trying to remove something from inside the nose
• A result of "popping" the ear
• Nasal exposure to chemicals
• Frequent sneezing or having an upper respiratory infection
• Use of nasal spray or a blood–thinning drug, such as aspirin
• Inhaling air that is extremely dry or cold
• Having recent surgery on the nose or elsewhere on the face
• Breaking the nose or a similar injury
• Uncontrolled blood pressure
Bleeding can be controlled by direct pressure i.e. compression of the nostrils rasping the alae distally so all mucosal surfaces are opposed. Direct pressure should be applied continuously for at least five minutes, and for up to 20 minutes. The patient should be encouraged not to check for active bleeding. Patients who are properly instructed may control their bleeding while the evaluation gets underway.
Other maneuvers include bending forward at the waist while sitting up (to avoid swallowing blood), placing a plug of cotton wool or gauze into the bleeding nostril (sometimes coated with antibiotic ointment), expectorating out blood that accumulates in the pharynx and a cold compress applied to the bridge of the nose.
These maneuvers also should be taught to high–risk patients for use at home. Many ENT specialists recommend initial treatment with two puffs of oxymetazoline to hasten hemostasis.
New form of heart failure on the rise
Heart failure is routinely described as the progressive loss of ability of the heart to pump blood. But, there is another form of heart failure where the blood–pumping ability of the heart remains near normal. This second form of heart failure is too often overlooked and is just as lethal.
In this condition the heart muscle becomes thickened. The chamber inside gets smaller and the heart is unable to relax to accommodate the blood it needs to pump out. As there is no room for the heart to relax, the blood backs up into the lungs. This kind of anomaly is not picked up by standard measurements of "ejection fraction" – the percentage of blood in the heart that goes out with every beat.
This form of the disease is called "diastolic heart failure" because the problem occurs during the diastole portion of heart activity, as the heart relaxes after a beat. Nearly one–third of these patients have an ejection fraction greater than 50 percent, which is very near normal. However, the death rate for this kind of heart failure matches that of patients with the more common form of heart failure, with more than 20% of all the patients dying within a year. There is a steady increase over 15 years of heart failure with normal or near–normal ejection fraction.
For patients, the symptoms of both types of heart failure are the same: Shortness of breath, difficulty exercising and fluid retention in the body. Physicians cannot make a diagnosis on the basis of symptoms or routine examinations. One has to have an echocardiogram and see the heart pumping and see if the ejection fraction is normal or reduced. Until now, relatively little attention has been paid to diastolic heart failure. Advances have been made against systolic heart failure, in which the ejection fraction falls below normal but not much has been done about diastolic heart failure.
Pacing for heart failure
For patients with advanced heart failure waiting for cardiac transplant, biventricular pacing not only improves the quality of life but also prolongs life. If the ejection fraction is low the combo device also gives an electric shock when the heart stops. It is said that all patients with low ejection fraction should ask their doctors for possible implantation of these devices.
Signals of heart failure
One of the commonest presentations is breathlessness on exertion, which is often confused as a part of aging or being obese. Not being able to climb stairs may be the earliest sign of hypertensive diastolic heart failure. Other signals are:
1. Feeling extra tired even after a good night's sleep. People with heart failure may limit activities they like to do or take naps to avoid feeling tired.
2. Weight gain: Call your doctor if you gain weight for more than 2 days in a row or if you gain 2 or more pounds.
3. Shortness of breath: Heart failure makes breathing harder, especially during exercise. The lying down position may make it worse.
4. Swollen ankles, legs, belly, and/or lower back, the swelling is often worse at the end of the day.
5. Going to the bathroom more at night.

3 diet changes to help lower cholesterol levels
For every 10% drop in your cholesterol level, your heart attack risk falls by 20% to 30%.
• Choose healthy fats. Avoid saturated fats, which increase unhealthy LDL levels, and steer clear of trans fats, which both raise LDL and lower protective HDL. Instead, substitute healthier unsaturated fats found in fish, nuts, and vegetable oils.
• Go with whole grains. Whole-grain breads, pastas, and cereals help prevent a blood sugar roller coaster and make you feel full longer. Many of these foods contain fiber, which can help lower LDL levels.
• Make other healthy choices. Eat more fruits and vegetables. Ideally, substitute these for processed foods and sweets. Choose fat-free milk instead of whole milk. Opt for low–fat yogurt and pick brands that are not loaded with sugar. (Harvard Newsletter)

Harvard's Medical School's 4 Exercising Tips For People With Diabetes:
1. Get a "preflight" check ◦ Talk with your doctor before you start or change a fitness routine.
◦ Especially if you are overweight or have a history of heart disease, peripheral vascular disease, or diabetic neuropathy.
◦ Go for a complete physical exam and an exercise stress test for people if you are 35 or older and who have had diabetes for more than 10 years. The results can help determine the safest way for you to increase physical activity.
2. Spread your activity throughout the week ◦ Adults should aim for a weekly total of at least 160 minutes of moderate aerobic activity, or 80 minutes of vigorous activity, or an equivalent mix of the two.
◦ Be active at least 3 to 5 days a week.
3. Time your exercise wisely ◦ The best time to exercise is 1 to 3 hours after eating, when your blood sugar level is likely to be higher.
◦ If you use insulin, it's important to test your blood sugar before exercising. If it is below 100 mg/dL, eat a piece of fruit or have a small snack to boost it and help you avoid hypoglycemia. Test again 30 minutes later to see if your blood sugar level is stable.
◦ Check your blood sugar after any particularly grueling workout or activity.
◦ If you use insulin, your risk of developing hypoglycemia may be highest 6 to 12 hours after exercising.
◦ Do not exercise if your blood sugar is too high (over 250).
Be prepared
Should you experience a medical problem while exercising (or at any time) it is important that the people who care for you know that you have diabetes. Keep card handy or glucose tablets with you while exercising in case your blood sugar takes a sudden nosedive


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