Experts say trans fats are not good for heart health. Trans fats are found in deep fried food items and oily food items. This is because trans fat clogs your arteries by raising your bad cholesterol levels (LDL) and lowering your good cholesterol levels (HDL). By cutting them from your diet, you improve the blood flow throughout your body.
Dental health is a good indication of overall health, including your heart, because those who have periodontal (gum) disease often have the same risk factors for heart disease. Bacteria in the mouth involved in the development of gum disease can move into the bloodstream. These bacteria can cause inflammation of the bold vessels, which may increase your risk of heart disease and stroke.
Sleep is an essential part of keeping your heart healthy. If you don’t sleep enough, you may be at a higher risk for cardiovascular disease no matter your age or other health habits. It is suggestive to make sleep a priority. Experts recommend a good 7 to 8 hours of sleep.
Research has shown that staying seated for long periods of time is bad for your heart health no matter how much exercise you do. Experts say it’s important to move throughout the day. Some easy steps are – Park farther away from the office, take a few shorter walks throughout the day and/or use a standing work station.
Studies show that the risk of developing heart disease is about 25 to 30 percent higher for people who are exposed to secondhand smoke at home or work. According to the American Heart Association, exposure to tobacco smoke contributes to about 34,000 premature heart disease deaths. Try to maintain a distance from passive smokers.
A healthy human heart beats about 2.5 billion times over the average lifetime. The heart is a muscular organ, which pumps blood through the blood vessels of the circulatory system. Blood supplies our organs with oxygen and nutrients, and helps in the removal of metabolic wastes.
According to centre of disease control there are various health conditions which can lead to heart disease. Some major contributory factors are genetics, age, poor lifestyle, age and family history. Genetics, age and family history are the factors which cannot be controlled. However, one can adopt a good lifestyle and can choose to eat a healthy diet to prevent heart diseases.
Risk factors causing heart diseases:
Hypertension (High Blood Pressure)
High blood pressure is one of the prime risk factors for heart disease. It is a medical condition resulting due to an excessive pressure of blood in arteries and other blood vessels. Hypertension is regarded as the one of the prime causes of major heart conditions like heart attack.
High blood pressure is also referred to as “silent killer”, as most of the people do not observe the symptoms of high blood pressure. However, high blood pressure can be controlled with a right diet, medication and a healthy life style.
Cholesterol is a fat-like, waxy thin, substance which is naturally produced by liver. However, consuming foods rich in saturated fats can lead to high cholesterol levels in our blood. The excess cholesterol gets deposited in the walls of the arteries which leads to their narrowing, thereby leading to major heart diseases like atherosclerosis and heart attack.
Diabetes mellitus another major risk factor of heart disease. The body needs sugar for providing energy and in normal circumstances pancreas produces enough insulin for the sugar to get utilized. However, in diabetes either no insulin or less insulin is produced by the body leading to sugar accumulation in the blood.
Major Heart Diseases
Angina is also known as chest pain or discomfort caused when the heart muscle is devoid of enough oxygen-rich blood. Angina patients may experience heaviness or tightness in the chest which can even radiate to arms, neck, jaw, back or stomach. Angina is an alarming condition of a major heart disease and should not be ignored.
Management of Angina
Treatment for angina not only reduces the symptoms but also minimizes the risk for heart attack and death.
Treatment options include:
Modifications in the lifestyle such as quitting smoking, managing weight, eating right, keeping stress at bay, and controlling diabetes
Taking medications like calcium channel blockers, satins (as prescribed by doctor)
Treatment like stenting, coronary artery bypass (depending what doctor opts for)
Cardiac rehabilitation post cardiac procedure which aims for physical fitness, minimize cardiac symptoms, and improves the overall health, and lowers the risk for heart problems in the future
Aortic stenosis is one of the most prevalent and most severe valve diseases of the heart which occurs due to obstruction of blood flow across the aortic valve. Affected patients may suffer from complications like chest pain, fainting, and heart failure which might lead to shortness of breath. This condition could be genetic or age related.
Management of Aortic Stenosis
Treatment for aortic stenosis depends on symptoms and the extent of the disease.
Mild disease may not require any treatment; however, a regular ECG is done by the doctor to forecast any complication. In severe cases the treatment includes:
Replacing the aortic valve: Aortic valve replacement is the only effective treatment for severe aortic stenosis.
Medications: There is no specific medication for this condition, however blood pressure is controlled to prevent further complications.
Atherosclerosis is a disease in which plaque builds up inside the arteries, which eventually causes blockage and limiting the flow of oxygen-rich blood to your organs. It is one of the prime causes of heart attacks, strokes, and peripheral vascular disease together called cardiovascular disease.
Management of Atherosclerosis
Lifestyle management-Eating a healthy diet
A healthy diet is primarily a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and low in refined carbohydrates, saturated, trans fats, and sodium.
Some simple ways are to switch from white to whole-grain bread, eating fruits and vegetables rather than refined food items, using olive oil instead of solid fats like butter, and reducing sugar and sugar substitutes to a greater extent.
Quit smoking– According to the Mayo Clinic- for heavy smoker, quitting is the single most effective way to stop atherosclerosis from getting worse and reduce risk of complications
Maintain healthy weight– obese individuals are more prone to heart disease. Hence, a person should try to maintain a healthy weight.
Manage Stress– Keep the body relaxed; try deep breathing, meditation, and yoga to keep stress at bay. .
Medications and Surgery– Doctor may prescribe medication like cholesterol medication, anti-platelet medication, and calcium channel blockers. Surgery includes angioplasty, endarterectomy and bypass grafting
Atrial fibrillation (also referred to as AFib or AF) is the most common type of abnormal heart rhythm (arrhythmia) which can cause complications like blood clots, stroke, heart failure and other heart-related complications.
Management of Atrial Fibrillation
The atrial fibrillation treatment depends on how long the patient has had atrial fibrillation, acuteness of symptoms and the underlying cause of atrial fibrillation. Generally, the treatment goals for atrial fibrillation are to:
A Cancer diagnosis is dreaded and feared yet rarely understood. Even as cancer cases in India and across the world are poised to grow, there continues to be a sense of mystery around it with very little understanding of the causes and cures for an ailment commonly referred to as the Big ‘C.’ A cancer diagnosis is typically followed by intense periods of anxiety, stress, and fear for the patient as well as a caregiver. Cancer fighters recall feelings of shock followed by anger and denial when their cancer is first discovered mostly because of the myths surrounding it. The questions abound and range from “How can this happen to me?” to “I don’t have any bad habits so why me?” and is inevitably followed by that looming unspoken query, “Can I survive this?” While these questions besiege patients and caregiver, Doctors, Oncologists and Cancer support groups reassure us that a cancer diagnosis is not a death sentence. Given the right circumstances, one can control and even conquer Cancer. Accurate information and a better understanding about Cancer will certainly help reduce negativity around it so that it can be treated like other health conditions. ‘Cancer fighters’ and ‘Cancer thrivers’ have shared their journey with us in the course of this research and echoed the importance of the right information and a stress-free frame of mind to get through the long drawn treatment and overcome the Big ‘C’.
Did You Know?
The Greek word ‘Oncos’ and ‘Carcinos’ are attributed to Hippocrates and refer to a ‘benign swelling’ and a ‘malignant swelling’ respectively.
What is Cancer?
Cancer, a word surrounded by much fear and plenty of uncertainty, refers to an uncontrolled growth of cells that invade and damage normal tissue. These cells may form a mass called ‘tumor’ which could be malignant or benign. A malignant tumor grows and spreads to other parts of the body while a benign tumor could grow but won’t spread.
Signs and Symptoms
Cancer typically distorts normal organs, nerves and blood vessels causing symptoms related to that specific body part. One of the first places that cancer spreads is the lymph nodes – those bean-shaped organs located in clusters in the neck, groin and under the arms.
Though generalized symptoms like fever, fatigue and weight loss are common in cancers that have spread beyond their site of origin it is the size and aggressiveness of cancer that determines its symptoms.
Types of Cancer
Carcinomas – These are the most common type of cancer and begin in the skin or the tissue that covers the surface of internal organs and glands. Carcinomas usually form solid tumors.
Sarcomas – These begin in the tissues that support and connect the body. A sarcoma can develop in fat, muscles, nerves, tendons, joints, blood vessels, lymph vessels, cartilage, or bone.
Leukemia – These are cancer of the blood and begin when healthy blood cells change and grow uncontrollably.
Lymphomas – This is cancer that begins in the lymphatic system. The lymphatic system is a network of vessels and glands that help fight infection.
Even though over 75 percent of cancer cases are diagnosed in people aged 55 or older, increased age alone is not a risk factor for cancer. Statistics show that 5 to 10 percent of cancers are genetically inherited and those cancers tend to occur earlier in life.
Risk factors could include genetics (the BRCA genes, for example) lifestyle (such as smoking, diet, and sun-tanning), environmental exposures or the presence of harmful substances. Viral and bacterial infections also lead to certain cancers, such as the hepatitis virus in liver cancer, Helicobacter pylori in stomach cancer and the HPV virus in cervical cancer.
Stages of Cancer
Stage 0: Cancers at this stage are identified according to the location where they initially emerged and multiplied with the resulting tumor not have spread to nearby tissues. The prognosis for Stage 0 cancer is very good and boosting the immune system may reverse cancer.
Stage 1: Small cancerous tumors may have spread to nearby tissue but not beyond, such as the bloodstream or lymph system. “Early stage” cancer prognosis is also quite good with healthy changes preventing its return.
Stage 2 and 3: “Regional spread” indicates that cancer has expanded and embedded into the surrounding tissue. Even though this stage may cause concern, cancer has not spread to other organs in the body.
Stage 4: When cancer spreads from the initial site to other organs or areas of the body, it is referred to as “distant spread” cancer, advanced cancer, or metastatic cancer. Metastasis refers to the spread of cancer cells from the place where they first formed to another part of the body.
Did You Know? While there is so much fear associated with Cancer, the statistics are not completely hopeless. 1. Nearly 70% of people diagnosed with cancer all over the world live for more than five years. 2. Over 85% of cases of childhood cancer are curable. 3. Even the most resistant cancers, like melanoma, respond to immune-modulating treatments.
Cancer survivors often battle stigma that can be removed through awareness. Noted oncologist Dr Amish Vora of HOPE Oncology clinic in New Delhi cautions against ‘Cancerism’ which is worse than racism and sexism as it is tough to pinpoint. “Cancer is not infectious yet people avoid those who are diagnosed with it and patients often find it difficult to socialize. They may be discriminated against during job interviews or even in relationships,” explains Vora.
According to the World Health Organization, the most common types of cancer that kill men in order of frequency are lung cancer, stomach cancer, liver cancer, colorectal cancer and oesophageal cancer. WHO statistics say that the five most common cancers that kill women in order of frequency are breast cancer, lung cancer, stomach cancer, colorectal cancer, and cervical cancer. According to Specialist Oncologist Dr (Col.) R Ranga Rao, 17 lakh new patients are being diagnosed with cancer every year in India which ranks 3rd in cancer cases after China and the US. The data from National Institute of Cancer Prevention Research (NICPR) reports that for every two women newly diagnosed with breast cancer, one woman dies of it in the country, and almost half million deaths happen due to ignorance about the disease. One woman dies of cervical cancer every 8 minutes in India. Nearly one-third of cancers are caused due to tobacco use while alcohol and tobacco together pose higher risks of developing oral and other cancers.
Globocan’s worldwide data states says that there were 14.1 million new cancer cases, 8.2 million cancer deaths, and 32.6 million people living with cancer within 5 years of diagnosis in 2012. 57% (8 million) of those new cancer cases, 65% (5.3 million) of the cancer deaths, and 48% (15.6 million) of the 5-year prevalent cancer cases occurred in the less developed regions. The overall age-standardized cancer incidence rate is almost 25% higher in men than in women with rates of 205 and 165 cases per 100 000 person-years, respectively.
Anti Cancer Diet
Food has an important link to diseases and the focus on building immunity to prevent or to fight cancer (during Chemotherapy) has resulted in research into plant-based diets that seem to help prevent cancer. Some plant chemicals fight cancer cells directly, while others promote a healthy immune system to reduce cancer risk. Fruits, vegetables, chocolate, tea, and wine are considered beneficial as they contain polyphenols. Spices and herbs rich with flavonoids and carotenoids also reduce oxidation and inflammation thus providing multiple benefits.
High, fluctuating or unmanageable blood glucose levels can be an overwhelming experience. If you have been living with Diabetes for some time now, you would have seen some variation in your blood glucose levels, despite your best efforts. While you and your partner/family may find this alarming or even frustrating, you need to look at the cause beyond the symptom.
Erratic sugar levels occur when either the body is not producing insulin at all or the glucose is accumulating in the body. Other factors, such as harsh weather, stress, hormonal changes, and the lack of physical activity could also cause erratic blood glucose levels. Food intake and sleeping patterns also play a pivotal role in erratic blood glucose levels. Research suggests that lack of sleep or oversleeping also affects blood glucose levels in the body.
If you have been living with diabetes for over a decade, there may be a possibility of you becoming insulin resistant. Whatever may be the case, we urge you to remain calm and reach out to your doctor immediately. Your doctor may change your medication or insulin dosage according to your current blood glucose levels.
When to worry
While it is true that there are situations that are beyond your control and these lend themselves to spikes in the glucose levels in your body, most of the time, a one-off surge is not a cause of concern. However, you do need to be watchful and keep track to see if there is a pattern to the surges as well as the triggers.
It would help if you can share these observations with your doctor in order to review your treatment plan and required modifications, if any. It is possible that depending on your specific case, the doctor may advise you on how to proceed and be more vigilant with your daily/ pre-meal blood glucose readings.
As per the guidelines set internationally, if your blood glucose levels exceed 300mg/dl for a prolonged time and refuse to dip inspite of best efforts, you need to contact your doctor immediately as high blood glucose levels over a long duration may impact the functioning of other vital organs. You may want to discuss this in detail with your doctor.
What I can do as family/friend of an erratic glucose level person ?
We understand as a partner you may become anxious due to your partner’s unmanageable erratic glucose levels. But don’t give up! Identify the key triggers which are leading to spiking of the blood glucose levels in the body.
Sometimes conditions like allergens, harsh weather, stress, anxiety, depression and uncontrolled binging may also lead to erratic glucose levels. However consult with your doctor, your doctor may alter medications and suggest insulin to control erratic blood glucose levels in the body.
Research also hints people living with diabetes for more than a decade tend to develop insulin resistance, which may cause fluctuating uncontrolled blood glucose levels. As a partner you are recommended not to ignore high erratic blood glucose levels and immediately discuss the best possible ways and plans to control blood glucose level with your doctor.
To read more on Diabetes, click on the link below.
Stones which are present in the urinary tract are referred to as urolithiasis. Kidney stones are the result of a buildup of dissolved minerals on the inner lining of the kidneys.
Stones which are present in the urinary track are referred as urolithiasis. There are various sites in the body where stones can be found
Stones present in the kidney is referred to as kidney stones or nephrolithiasis/nephroliths
Stones present in the ureter is referred to as ureterolithiasis/ureteroliths.
Stones present in the bladder is referred as cystolithiasis/cystoliths
Stones in the urethra is referred as urethrolithiasis/urethrolithiasis
The word –lithiasis is added as suffix in all these terms as ‘Lith-‘ refers to a stone, and ‘-iasis’ refers to the formation of a pathological condition. Medically, stone (a concretion) in the urinary tract is a calculus, or calculi.
What causes kidney stones?
Kidney stones are the result of a buildup of dissolved minerals on the inner lining of the kidneys. They usually consist of calcium oxalate but may be composed of several other compounds. Kidney stones grow upto the size of a golf ball while maintaining a sharp, crystalline structure.
The stones become extremely painful when they leave the body, but they can also cause extreme pain as they leave the body.
Symptoms of Stones
Kidney stones result from a build up of minerals. A kidney stone usually remains symptomless until it moves into the ureter. When symptoms of kidney stones become apparent, they commonly result in following symptoms:
Acute pain in the groin and/or side
Blood in urine
Vomiting and nausea
White blood cells or pus in the urine
Lesser amount of the urine excretion
Extreme burning sensation while urinating
Continuous feeling to urinate
Fever and chills in case there is an infection
What are the complications of kidney stones?
Kidney stones that remain inside the body can also lead to many complications such as:
Blockage of the tube connecting the kidney to the bladder, thereby obstructing the path by which the urine uses to leave the body.
It has been found that individuals with kidney stones have a significantly higher risk of developing chronic kidney disease.
What are the causes of kidney stones?
The main cause of kidney stones is a lack of water in the body. It has been found that individuals who drink less than the recommended eight to ten glasses of water a day develop stones.
Lack of sufficient amount of water fails to dilute the uric acid, a component of urine, the urine becomes more acidic. An excessively acidic environment in urine can lead to the formation of kidney stones.
Certain medical conditions such as Crohn’s disease, urinary tract infections, renal tubular acidosis, hyperparathyroidism, medullary sponge kidney, and Dent’s disease increase the risk of kidney stones.
What are the risk factors that can lead to kidney stones?
Males are more prone to suffer from kidney stones than females. People mostly in the age group of 30 to 50 are more likely to encounter stones. People with family history of stones also are more inclined to suffer from stones.
If a person ones recognizes the kidney stones is most likely to suffer from kidney stones.
Certain medications like topiramate (Topamax) also increase the chances of the kidney stones. It has also been found that people on a long term use of vitamin D and calcium supplements also increases the chances of kidney stones.
Some other causes are as below which can lead to kidney stones are as below:
A high in protein and sodium but low in calcium
A sedentary lifestyle
High blood pressure
Gastric bypass surgery,
Inflammatory bowel disease
Treatment of stones
Lithotripsy is the treatment for stones which involves treating stones shockwave and it breaks stone into minute particles.
Pain should be managed as the stone expulsion is a painful process.
Besides anti-inflammatory drugs, narcotics are at times used in an effort to make the pain of passing the stone tolerable. Antiemetic medication can be used in people experiencing nausea and vomiting.