Minimize the intake of white bread; as it is high in calories and carbs, but low in fiber, protein and nutrients. The simple starches in bread are digested so quickly that they spike your glucose levels just like sugar — and leave you hungry soon afterward. So these foods should be avoided to prevent weight gain and other health concerns like diabetes.
Limit white rice as they are less in fiber and protein but simply are loaded with empty calories. White rice is quickly digested and absorbed, making your blood sugar rise faster. White rice should be avoided if you are diagnosed with prediabetes or if your family has a history of diabetes. If rice is your staple diet try replacing it with brown rice as they are healthier and has more nutrition benefits.
Skinless white potatoes have a very high glycemic index — meaning they raise your blood sugar quickly. So, however you like your potatoes, try to incorporate their skin. The skin’s fiber will slow your digestion and keep you full longer. (You’ll benefit from potatoes’ potassium, phosphorus, and vitamins B and C, too). Try making mashed potatoes with the skin on.
Avoid processed cereals like maida as they are starchier. The more processed a grain is the more unhealthy and calorie leaden it is. Try to consume cereals which have a bigger grain size. Just for an instance atta is more nutritious and healthier than maida. Gram flour is healthier than besan.
Pasta and chips are high in starch which is digested quickly and are low in essential nutrients. You can try for a whole wheat pasta or bean pastas. Their fiber will leave you feeling full for longer. If you want to enjoy crackers, choose whole-grain varieties. Look for brands with minimal added sugar and ingredients.
Good habits for Mental health
Taking care of yourself physically can improve your mental health. Be sure to eat nutritious meals, avoid cigarettes, drink plenty of water, exercise and get enough sleep.
Deal with stress-Stress is a part of life. Practice good coping skills and try to manage stress. Experts suggest including yoga, meditation and exercise in daily routine. Research shows that laughter can boost your immune system, ease pain, relax your body and reduce stress.
Exercising everyday-Physical activity can have a positive impact on our mood. Even as little as a brisk 10-minute walk can increase our positive mood. Exercise releases certain hormones which are stress busters and relaxes our body and mind to a great extent.
Bask in Sun-Research has proved that sunlight helps promote the production of vitamin D which increases your level of serotonin (which helps regulate your mood) in the brain. Plus, time in nature is a proven stress reducer. It is advisable to daily sit in a good sunlight for atleast 10-15 mins for a good mental health.
Avoid alcohol and other drugs-Experts recommend alcohol use to a minimum and avoid other drugs. Sometimes people use alcohol and other drugs to “self-medicate” but in reality, alcohol and other drugs only aggravate problems. They are addictive and can only complicate stress levels.
Dizziness isn’t a disease, but rather a symptom of various disorders.
Dizziness is the feeling of being lightheaded, woozy, or unbalanced. It affects the sensory organs, specifically the eyes and ears, so it can sometimes cause fainting.
Causes of Dizziness
Common causes of dizziness include a migraine, medications, alcohol and problem in the inner ear.
Some other possible causes of dizziness include:
Sudden drop in blood pressure
Heart muscle disease
Decrease in blood volume
Low blood sugar
How to identify Dizziness
People experiencing dizziness may feel various sensations, including:
light-headedness or feeling faint
a false sense of spinning
loss of balance
feeling of floating or swimming
Sometimes, dizziness is accompanied by nausea, vomiting, or fainting. Seek emergency medical help if you have these symptoms for extended periods.
What to do when you feel Dizziness.
Follow these tips if you have recurrent bouts of dizziness:
Sit or lie down immediately when you feel dizzy and rest until the dizziness goes away.
Use a cane or walker for stability, if necessary.
Always use handrails when walking up or down the stairs.
Do activities that improve balance, such as yoga and Tai Chi.
Avoid moving or switching positions suddenly.
Avoid driving a car or operating heavy machinery if you frequently experience dizziness without warning.
Avoid caffeine, alcohol, and tobacco. Using these substances may trigger dizziness or make it worse.
Drink at least eight glass of water a day, get seven hours or more of sleep, and avoid stressful situations.
Eat a healthful diet that consists of vegetables, fruits, and lean proteins to help prevent dizziness.
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Obesity is a disorder which results in an excessive accumulation of the body fat. To keep a check on obesity is not only important for cosmetic reasons, but it causes serious health issues like heart diseases and high blood pressure. If you are obese it is most likely that you may encounter various health problems.
Obesity is a multifaceted health disorder that affects both adults and children. Being obese not only affects the overall persona of an individual but also increases the risk for many health concerns. An obese person is at a higher risk of developing health conditions like diabetes, heart disease, stroke, arthritis, breathing problems, and some cancers.
Statistics have revealed that obesity is a major factor contributing factor for metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) among Asian Indians. Various factors contribute towards making an individual obese. Some major factors which contribute towards obesity are environment, family history and genetics, metabolism or the way your body converts food and oxygen into energy, and individual’s lifestyle. Besides these factors certain medical conditions also leads to obesity. Scientists are also trying to understand that some chemicals in the environment may be playing in the growing obesity problem.
Recent guidelines have revealed that 10-15% of Indian population would fall under the obese category and would need appropriate management. Purpose of these guidelines on countrywide basis projects an alarming situation of T2DM and cardiovascular disease.
Some startling facts about obesity:
According to a recent survey conducted worldwide: India has second highest obese children in world.
Followed by China India ranks second in childhood obesity with the incidence of China with 15.3 million and India with 14.4 million.
According to National Family Health Survey in 2018 –In past one decade the number of obese people has doubled.
According to a latest publication in a medical journal-“The Lancet” –Currently there are 30 million obese Indians and by 2025, this number is expected to pass 70 million.
Did you know lack of sleep increases the chances of obesity- If you do not sleep enough you produce Ghrelin, a hormone that increases your appetite and hence adds extra pounds to your body.
India the third most obese country in the world – According to a study published in a medical Journal Lancet- India is just behind US and China in this global hazard list of top 10 countries with highest number of obese people.
Latest Survey reveals that technology addiction too is adding to obesity amongst young adults and children in India. Television, computers and video games at the cost of sports and physical activity, causing sedentary life style are prime causes of obesity among young ones.
Surprisingly but true-Globally, Obesity causes more deaths than malnutrition -Worldwide, obesity is one of the top five leading causes of death. It results in greater than 2.8 million deaths every year.
What is the need for new guidelines for obesity among Asian Indians?
New guidelines have been proposed in view of alarming situation of obesity among Indians. These guidelines have been prepared by 100 medical experts all across the country hailing from the backgrounds of internal medicine, diabetes, metabolism, endocrinology, nutrition, cardiology, exercise physiology, sports medicine, bariatric surgery and representing reputed medical institutions, hospitals, government funded research institutions. The very need for these guidelines has been enumerated below:
In view of increasing trend in frequency of obesity and related metabolic diseases, there is dire need of effective interventions in obesity
As Asian Indians manifest a higher risk of cardiovascular risk factors and T2DM at lower levels of obesity, the appropriate obesity diagnosis should be based on lower level of weight for height than in non-Asian Indian populations.
Current obesity international guidelines are not appropriate for Asian Indians. Moreover, WHO has authorized local governments and scientists to decide on the localized guidelines for the Asian Indians.
If appropriate diet, exercise, drug and surgery are employed at lower levels of obesity, nearly 15% of the adult population of India (nearly 5-7 crore people) will show improvement in obesity coupled with reduced risk of diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
How obesity is diagnosed among Indians?
Three parameters which are used to measure obesity are body mass index BMI, waist circumference WC and waist-to-hip circumference ratio (WHR). The most accepted method to define thinness and fatness is BMI, a ratio of weight in kilograms divided by height in meters squared (kg/m2).
What are the cut offs for BMI and WC in defining obesity among Asian Indians?
After a major consensus among scientists below table has been prepared to depict the obesity among Asian Indians:
Principal cut-off points
Cut-off pointsfor Asians
18.5 – 24.9
18.5 – 22.9
23.0 – 24.9
25.0 – 29.9
25.0 – 27.4
27.5 – 29.9
Obese (Class I)
30.0 – 34.9
30.0 – 32.4
32.5 – 34.9
Obese (Class II)
35.0 – 39.9
35.0 – 37.4
37.5 – 39.9
Obese (class III)
Source: Adapted from WHO 2004 and recent guidlines
What does recent guidelines say about WC and WHR cut offs in defining obesity?
Research has revealed that abdominal obesity is associated with higher risk of diabetes and cardiovascular disease when compared with generalized obesity. Cardiovascular disease is associated with increased amounts of excess abdominal adipose tissue, both intra-abdominal adipose tissue (IAT) and subcutaneous adipose tissue (SCAT). In view of this a joint discussion and consensus among scientists concluded the WC cut off among Asian Indians as defined below:
Action level 1: Men: 78 cm, women: 72 cm. Any person with WC more than these levels should refrain from gaining weight and adopt healthy lifestyle to prevent the risk of any of the cardiovascular risk factor.
Action level 2: Men: 90 cm, women: 80 cm. Individuals with WC above this should seek medical help so that obesity-related risk factors could be diagnosed and handled.
What are the causes of obesity?
Obesity could be genetic, behavioral and can also result due to the hormonal changes in the body. Obesity occurs when you take in more calories than you burn through exercise and normal daily activities. Your body stores these excess calories as fat. Some medical conditions also result in obesity such as Prader-Willi syndrome, Cushing’s syndrome, and other diseases and conditions. The main reasons for obesity are either sedentary lifestyle or eating unhealthy such as junk foods at wrong intervals.
What are the risk factors that can contribute to obesity?
Obesity usually results from a combination factors, including:
Genetics. Genetics may also play a role in how efficiently your body converts food into energy and how your body burns calories during exercises.
Family lifestyle. Family members share common eating habits. Obesity runs mostly in families as common eating habits of eating fatty foods contribute to obesity.
Inactivity. If you are inactive throughout the day, you are more prone towards obesity. Certain diseases like arthritis also result in decreased mobility and hence inactivity
Diet. A diet rich in fats and less minerals and vitamins can result in obesity
Medical problems. In some people, obesity can be traced to a medical conditions like Prader-Willi syndrome, Cushing’s syndrome and other conditions. Medical problems, such as arthritis, also can lead to decreased activity, which may result in weight gain.
Medications. Some medicines such as antidepressants, anti-seizure medications, diabetes medications, antipsychotic medications, steroids and beta blockers also make the person obese
Social and economic issues. Research has shown that weight gain can be linked to social and economic factors.
Age. As we grow in age a decreased physical activity and lower metabolic rate can result in obesity.
Sleep deprivation. Not getting enough sleep or getting too much sleep can cause changes in hormones which may lead to an increase in appetite. You may also crave foods high in calories and carbohydrates, which can contribute to weight gain.
What are the complications associated with obesity?
A number of health problems arise if you are obese. Some of the diseases which you may encounter include:
High triglycerides and low high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol
Type 2 diabetes
High blood pressure
Breathing disorders, including sleep apnea, a potentially serious sleep disorder in which breathing repeatedly stops and starts
Gynecological issues such as infertility and irregular periods
Erectile dysfunction and sexual health issues
Quality of life-If you are obese you are most likely to suffer from other issues, which can severely affect the quality of life. Some common problems which arise due to obesity include depression, disability, sexual problems, shame and guilt, social isolation, and poor performance at workplace
How can you prevent obesity?
You can take some below-mentioned steps to prevent obesity:
Exercise regularly. Exercises such a fast walking and swimming for 150 to 300 minutes in a week can prevent obesity
Eat healthily. Eat low-calorie, nutrient-dense foods, such as fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Refrain from foods which are high in fat content.
Monitor your weight regularly. Keep an eye on your weight at regular intervals as it can help you to assess your weight regularly
What are the recent guidelines on physical activity?
According to joint decision among scientist below is the list of guidelines about physical activity in combating obesity and associated health concerns:
Physical inactivity should be refrained as much as possible
Pro active medical consultation is recommended for those with chronic conditions or those who are symptomatic
Inactive people must switch on to physical activity
Brisk walking (walking at an intensity wherein an individual finds speaking difficult but not impossible) should be encouraged
On an average a total of 60 minutes of physical activity like aerobic activity, work-related activity and muscle strengthening activity should be included daily
For additional and greater health benefits, adults can increase their aerobic physical activity to 300 minutes (5 hours) a week of moderate-intensity, or 150 minutes a week of vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity
Yoga should be included; however, more research is needed to fully explore its benefits
Children should undertake at least 60 min of outdoor physical activity. Screen time (television/computers) should be less than 2 hrs a day.
What is the treatment of obesity?
The treatment of obesity includes a combination treatment from a dietitian, behavior counselor or an obesity specialist. Recent guidelines suggest identifying and treating the underlying cause of obesity, lifestyle modification, pharmacological treatment like ant-obesity drugs along with lifestyle modification, and if needed surgical treatment is advisable in treating obesity.
Scientists have concluded that anti-obesity drugs should be prescribed in combination with dietary and lifestyle changes as a part of comprehensive weight loss program. Also, drug treatment should be monitored on an ongoing basis for efficacy as well as safety. In general, anti-obesity drugs should be administered for BMI above 27 kg/m2 or a BMI above 25 kg/m2
Anti-obesity drugs which are recommended to treat obesity are sibutramine, orlistat should be used as a second line therapy. At times metformin and exenatide can be used under special clinical conditions.
What is the surgical treatment for obesity?
Over the past few years bariatric surgery has come out as an option for obesity reduction. Bariatric surgery involves an alteration in the digestive system by reducing the gastric volume or by changing the path of food bolus which can lead to malabsorption. According to current international guidelines below are the guidelines for bariatric surgery:
Current International Guidelines: BMI above 35 kg/m2, or BMI above 40 kg/m2.
For Asian Indians: BMI above 32.5 kg/m2
Various surgical options are available under the umbrella of surgery which includes:
Restrictive Procedures like Adjustable gastric banding (LAGB) & sleeve gastrectomy
Combined Procedures like Roux-en-Y Gastric or Bypass (RYGBP)
Malabsorptive Procedures like Bilio-pancreatic diversions (BPD)
Experimental Procedures like ileal interposition
Duodeno-jejunal bypass and other implantable pulse generators.
Pros and Cons are associated with above mentioned procedures; however, it is upon the physician to decide that which surgical treatment is best suited for the particular patient.
Having a positive attitude towards weight loss and employing various changes in lifestyle such as exercising and eating a well-balanced diet can help you to lose weight. Nevertheless, obesity remains a rampant problem even in developing nation like India. Appropriate interventions are required in a timely manner to combat this problem to prevent other major health concerns.
Obesity Support Groups
These inspiring stories of those who have overcome Diabetes will keep you motivated
Human body consists of 70% of the water. Water is present both inside and outside the body cells. Most of our organs such as liver, kidneys and skin are composed of water. But, if there is an excessive accumulation of water, it results in water accumulation, which is termed as water retention or fluid accumulation.
One may experience a sudden swelling, puffiness or bloating of feet, ankles, hands, fingers and face. Usually it is misinterpreted as a weight gain and even hard exercising fails to remove this water retention from the body.
Water Retention-What exactly it is?
Water retention also known as is defined as an excessive build-up of fluid in the circulatory system, body tissues or cavities in the body which can lead to swelling of the hands, feet, ankles and legs.
Various factors result in water retention in the body. Some factors are as below:
Diet: Foods high in salt content such as chips, fast foods and processed food like meats can cause water retention in the body. Cold drinks can also result in water retention.
A low protein diet: A low protein diet can lead to albumin deficiency in the body, which also causes the water retention.
Decreased physical activity: Sitting or standing in a sedentary position for a longer period of time can also result in water retention in a particular area. You may observe it after having a long air journey or if you are travelling by a bus.
Hormonal changes: Women commonly experience a bloaty feeling especially during their menstrual cycle. Fluid retention causes painful breasts in women during menstrual cycle. Other symptoms include abdominal bloating and weight gain. Even some hormonal therapies lead to water retention
Hot weather: During hot weathers, our body tends to be less efficient in removing fluid from the tissues.
Some medical conditions such as nephritic syndrome, acute glomerulonephritis water, chronic lung disease like emphysema, malignant lymphoedema, thyroid disease, arthritis, allergic reactions, and autoimmune reactions like lupus also result in water retention.
Some common symptoms of water retention are:
Swelling in the affected body parts such as feet, ankles and hands
Bloaty feeling in the stomach
Pain in the swelled area
Sudden increase or decrease in the weight
An increased weight gain
How water retention is diagnosed?
A physical examination is usually performed by a physician
Medical history of the patient is taken
A detailed review of the edema is done, doctor sees what factors promote and decrease the swelling
A blood examination is recommended
Liver function tests
Kidney function tests
Heart function tests such as electrocardiogram (ECG)
What is the treatment of water retention?
After having a complete diagnosis, the treatment is done to treat the cause. Modifications in the diet, exercise and life style changes are generally introduced by the doctors to suppress edema. Below are some methods by which water retention is eliminated from the body:
Treating the causative factor which results in water retention
Lifestyle changes depending upon the medical condition
Water retention can be drug-induced also, hence doctor might replace those drugs with some other alternative drugs
Water pills (Diuretics) can help to eliminate retained water as it increases the urinary flow
It has been observed that light exercising at times is also beneficial in removing the water retention
Some tips by which you can remove the water retention from the body
Eat a low salt diet, as high intake of sodium in the salt can cause water retention
High intake of vitamin B6 decreases the water retention. Eat foods rich in vitamin B6 such as banana, potatoes, walnuts and meat
Include potassium rich food as they decrease the sodium levels in the body. Bananas and tomatoes are rich source of potassium
Drink lots of water
Avoid having refined foods
Avoid drinks like alcohol as it causes water retention
Eat fresh fruits and vegetables
Raise your legs several times a day to reduce the water retention
Avoid sitting and standing still for too long, keep moving between work
Avoid hot baths or sauna as they also increase the body fluid retention
A headache is a common problem that most of us face. Sometimes, some simple remedies can help. But if the problem persists, it’s best to get it checked by a medical professional.
Headache : Signs, Symptoms, Causes, Treatment
What could be the cause for my headache?
The common reasons for a headache can be
Dehydration can cause headache due to a temporary shrinking of the brain, which causes the brain to pull away from the skull. This causes the pain.
Migraine can cause headaches due to the irregular release of chemicals in the brain
Tension can lead to headache due to muscle contractions in the scalp
A blocked nose can also cause headache due to congestion
Fever causes headache due to dehydration and congestion in the brain
High blood pressure is another reason for headache due to increased blood flow in the brain
An ear or tooth infection can cause headache due to a common nerve and blood supply
Meningitis or encephalitis
How can I know the cause of my headache?
Sometimes, the site of the headache can give a clue about the cause. A headache in the front of your head that’s worse in the mornings can be due to sinusitis.
Headache after prolonged computer work can be due to eye strain.
A severe headache with vomiting and sensitivity to light can be due to a migraine.
Headache with blurred vision can be due to high blood pressure
Headache with giddiness can be due to a cervical or ear issue.
How to deal with a headache?
As most headaches are due to some common causes, it helps to try a few simple measures.
Drinking enough water can take care of dehydration.
Avoiding too much screen use, wearing anti-glare spectacles maintaining a good posture can help deal with eye strain and any cervical strain.
Avoiding excess caffeine, trying some meditation or relaxing music can help if stress is the cause of the headache. Sometimes a cold or hot pack can help in relieving a headache.
Chamomile tea might help to relieve a tension headache.
Resting in a dark, quiet room might help.
Sometimes, massaging a tender spot can help in easing the pain.
A walk in fresh air can help in relieving a headache if stress is the reason.
When to see your doctor?
If your headache is not helped with the use of a simple pain reliever like a paracetamol
A headache that is recurrent or very severe
Also, if there is vomiting, dizziness, double vision or any problems with vision or hearing, a doctor’s opinion would help.
What will the doctor check?
Generally, your doctor will ask in detail about the headache to try to zero in on the possible cause.
This is followed by a check to see if you have fever, if your blood pressure is in the normal range and if there is any sign of irritation of the nerves. This would give an idea if there is any reason like involvement of the nervous system.
The doctor might prescribe some tests to rule out any infection and might also check for kidney and liver functions, a sugar test and sometimes an X ray of the head is done to check for any blocked sinuses.
How will my headache be managed?
Until the cause of the headache is known, the doctor might just prescribe a pain reliever like paracetamol. In case you are not sleeping well, a mild medicine for anxiety might also be given. Further treatment generally depends on the reason for the headache.