Monday, March 19, 2012

AC rooms no sunlight aggravate diabetes

"Spending too much time indoors in air-conditioned rooms coupled with inadequate exposure to sunlight aggravate the risk of developing diabetes".This was stated here today by renowned Diabetologist and National Professor of Diabetes, Dr Jitendra Singh while speaking at a Doctors CME update programme. The occasion was the launching of Jammu and Kashmir chapter of "Endocrine Society of India"(ESI).

The scientific session was chaired by Dr R P Kudyar and there were three faculty update lectures. While Dr Jitendra spoke on the topic "Diabetes and Vitamin D", he was followed by Col (Dr) Narendra Kotwal from AFMC Pune who spoke on "Osteoporosis" and Dr Ashraf Ganai from SKIMS, Soura who spoke on "Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome".

Dr Jitendra referred to changing lifestyle, spending too much time indoors in air conditioned rooms, less of sun exposure, unhealthy dress code and less of calcium intake in diet as common causes of Vitamin D deficiency which has been recently implicated in contributing and aggravating diabetes. In case of Type 2 Diabetes, Vitamin D deficiency increases insulin resistance thus predisposing to high blood sugar levels while in Type 1 Diabetes Vitamin D deficiency acts by altering auto immunity, he said.

Dr Narendra Kotwal dwelt on increasing prevalence of Osteoporosis, bone degeneration, bone problems and bone pains due to Vitamin D deficiency and suggested measures as well as pharmacological remedies to overcome these. Dr Ashraf Ganai spoke on the current common problem of "Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome"among young women. He said there is nothing to be dejected by it because there are modern day treatments available for it.

Specialist doctors, MD scholars and senior faculty from Government Medical College Jammu, ASCOMS and other private institutions attended the programme and participated in an interesting question-answer session at the end of three faculty lectures.

Dr Krishan Lal Gupta, veteran medical practitioner and Retd Director Health, Dr Mohan Lal Cardiologist, Dr Rakesh Kakkar, Dr Virendar Dhar, Dr Vipin Gupta and Dr Pandita were among those who participated in discussion.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Diet plan for new mothers

Everything you wanted to know what to do during pregnancy. :

The postpartum diet need not be complicated - just a mix of age-old remedies and home science

The stork came and went, and left you multitudes of relatives who are telling you what to eat. They are peddling age-old remedies, while you are clutching on to your doctor's advice of no green vegetables or fruits. Iron deficiency, constipation and soreness are some of the things you may suffer, while expending more energy and needing more calcium. The best path is to try out both sets of advice and see what works for you. 

Ketaki Karpe-Kolgaonkar, new mother and clinical pharmacist found that 'the diet should be all about the mother's needs'. "The baby takes the nutrition it needs and doesn't need any help doing that," she says. "Watch out for bacteria from unwashed vegetables, unpasteurised milk, unfiltered water or uncooked meats." 

Raise calorie intake 

Nutritionist Dr Shilpa Joshi emphasises on the importance of wholesome meals with no restrictions apart from oil and spice, unless the doctor says so specifically. "The mother needs extra energy, at least in the first six months, because she will be nursing the baby more often," she says. "So she needs to eat more calories, which will come from small meals, which are rich in proteins - nuts, daals and legumes." 

If you are a non-vegetarian, don't switch to a leafy vegetarian meal instantly. This will cause you more harm than good. Eat shredded meat in soups and broths without too much spice or oil. 

Pump iron 

Since a new mother suffers from loss of blood, her iron levels could be precariously balanced. A little spinach can go a long way. Ketaki developed low iron levels in her second trimester, and panicked. "So I started to incorporate spinach in everything such as daal, chappati dough and even in chicken curry." She continued this after the baby came, which steadied her iron levels. 

Milk the calcium 

It goes without saying that you'll need lots of calcium so that the baby can use the cafeteria uninterrupted. "If you are lactose intolerant, and can't drink milk or eat milk products, go for curd," says Joshi. "Garden cress seeds (aleev or haleem), are a rich source for calcium. Traditionally, these are made into sugar-rich ladoos. If you are being careful about sugar, make a haleem kheer." 

Water yourself 

There's not much you can do to artificially stimulate breast milk, other than drink lots of fluids. Also, new mothers tend to be a little scared of the pain and resist passing urine or stools, which can result in constipation. Ordinarily, this can be resolved by medication, but because medicines will pass on the baby, it's better to take preventive action. "I used to keep a huge bottle of water and use a straw to sip it so as to not put pressure on a the C section incision," says Ketaki. 

Joshi also suggests ingesting fluids by drinking lots of soup, coconut water, broths, whole fruits, fresh fruit juices and milkshakes that are also easier to eat for the harried mother. "I would drink strawberry milkshake so that it didn't feel like you are adding ten things to the plate. Even eating seems overwhelming to a new mom and if she has to chew one thing less, it's a huge convenience," says Ketaki. "Fluids help flush out toxins and medication, and help stay oriented even with the lack of sleep that comes with parenting." 

Yoghurt is not only a stool softener but also has the probiotics essential for keeping Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) away. Edible gum balls (dink ladoos) are a good laxative because of their combination of ghee, edible gum and nuts. "After the baby came, I would resist therapeutic Indian food without thinking about whether it was scientific," says Ketaki. "I eventually did eat one dinkache laadoo a day and that did me good. Sometimes, it pays to listen to your mother - she may know best!" 

Spring Skin Care

Here are some tips to help you tide over the change of season:
For normal to dry skin: Prepare a cleanser at home by mixing half a cup of milk with half teaspoon of any vegetable oil, like sesame seed (til) oil, or olive oil, or sunflower oil. Put the mixture in a bottle and shake well. Wipe your skin with this, using cotton wool and keep the remainder in the refrigerator for the next 2 or 3 days.

Skin Toning: Skin toning helps to improve blood circulation to the skin surface and add a glow. Mix half teaspoom alum with 50 ml rosewater and one teaspoon pure glycerine. Keep in the fridge and use it to tone the skin.

Or, grate cucumber. Add yogurt and apply on the face. Wash it off after 20 minutes. Tones the skin and removes winter tan.

Daily Nourishing of Dry Skin: Take pure almond oil and massage it on the skin every night, after cleansing, with outward and slightly upward movements, for 2 minutes. Wipe off with moist cotton wool.

Tulsi is very useful for eruptive conditions. It helps to soothe rashes and eruptions. The paste of tulsi leaves can be applied on the skin and washed off after 15 minutes.

Sandalwood paste can be applied on the eruptive conditions. Or, mix sandalwood with a little rose water and apply on the entire area. Wash off with plain water after 20 to 30 minutes.

Pimples / Acne: Or, add 2 drops of tea tree oil to 2 tablespoons of water or rose water. Apply this on pimples.

For itchy skin, add 1 tablespoon vinegar to a mug of water and pour it on the affected area. It helps in getting relief from itchy skin.

For dry and rashy skin, add a little turmeric paste to milk and apply on the rashes for quick healing.
Neem: Simmer a handful of neem leaves on very low fire in 4 cups of water for 1 hour. Leave it overnight. Next morning, strain the water and make a paste out of the leaves. Apply it on eruptions and rashes. The water can be used for rinsing the area. Neem contains organic sulphur compounds with versatile healing actions that are of particular benefit to the skin.

Fruit Mask would be good for all skin types. Mix together ripe papaya pulp, grated cucumber, grated apple, mashed banana and apply on the face. Wash it off after half an hour. Curd and oats can also be added to this.
Clays like fuller's earth (multani mitti) have a cooling and soothing effect. Mix it with rose water into a paste and apply on affected areas.

Bicarbonate of soda helps to relieve itchy skin. It can be added to the Multani Mitti pack. Apply on rashes and eruptions and wash off after 5 minutes.

Body Scrub: Twice a week, apply body scrub. Mix sesame seeds (til), dried mint (pudina) leaves, curd and honey. These ingredients are not normally used, but they have a remarkably rejuvenating effect on the skin. Crush the sesame seeds coarsely and powder the dried mint leaves. Mix them with a little honey and curd and apply on the body. Rub gently with circular strokes and wash off with water.

Monday, March 5, 2012

With age you Sleep Better

According to a survey, sleep quality improves with time.
Self-reported sleep quality improvement throughout life.
Women recognize more sleep problems and daytime sleepiness.

Another truism that science denies. It is thought that with age you sleep worse, but it is not . At least, according to a study by the University of Pennsylvania (USA). People over 80 years less complain of not being able to sleep According to a survey of 150,000 Americans by these researchers, aging does not appear to be a factor risk for poor sleep. In fact, the subjective perception of sleep quality seems to improve throughout life, as people who have reached the 80 is less than the rest complain of being unable to sleep. The survey , published this month in Sleep , asked participants about sleep problems and daytime sleepiness , taking into account factors such as race, income, mood or overall health, found that health problems and depression were associated with poor sleep.

Slight increase in median age
The women recognized have poorer sleep and daytime sleepiness than men. Taking into account age, except for a rebound in sleep problems in middle age (more pronounced in women than in men), sleep quality improved consistently over time. The feeling on sleep improvement with age for the study leader Michael Grandner, "the results of its work force to rethink everything we know right now about sleep in the elderly, both men and women," because the original idea of this research was demonstrate, on a large sample, you sleep worse with age . "Even if sleep among the elderly was actually worse than young adults, the feelings about this situation improves with age, "said Grandner. 


Saturday, March 3, 2012

Health benefits of Mushroom

Mushroom is the fleshy, spore-bearing fruiting body of a fungus, typically produced above ground on soil or on its food source. The standard for the name ‘’mushroom’’ is the cultivated white button mushroom,Agaricus bisporus; hence the word’’mushroom’’ is most often applied to those fungi (Basidiomycota, Agaricomycetes) that have a stem (stipe), a cap (pileus), and gills (lamellae, sing. lamella) or pores on the underside of the cap. Mushrooms have long been valued as highly tasty and nutritional foods by many societies throughout the world. It has been used for thousands of years both as food and for medicinal purposes. They are often classified as a vegetable or a herb, but they are actually fungi. While there are over 14,000 mushrooms, only about 3,000 are edible, about 700 have known medicinal properties, and fewer than one percent are recognized as poisonous.

Greeks believed that mushrooms provided strength for warriors in battle. The Pharaohs prized mushrooms as a delicacy and the Romans regarded mushrooms as a gift from God and served them only on festive occasions, while the Chinese treasured them as a health food. Mushrooms are also used in the form of soups, salads, and sandwiches, or to use them as an appetizer. Chinese were first to cultivate black ear mushroom (Auricularia) about 1000 years ago. Paddy straw mushroom (Volvariella volvacea), Oyster mushroom (Pleurotus sojarcaju) and white button mushroom (Agaricus bisporous) are commercially cultivated mushrooms. Morels (Morchella), alsocostly mushrooms belong to Ascomycotina are collected from Jammu and Kashmir, Uttar Pradesh and Himachal Pradesh and exported to other countries.

Composition: Mushrooms contain about 80 to 90 percent water, and are very low in calories (only 100 cal/oz). They have very little sodium and fat, and 8 to 10 percent of the dry weight is fiber. Hence, they are an ideal food for persons following a weight management program or a diet for hypertensives. Mushrooms are an excellent source of potassium, a mineral that helps lower elevated blood pressure and reduces the risk of stroke. One medium portabella mushroom has even more potassium than a banana or a glass of orange juice. One serving of mushrooms also provides about 20 to 40 percent of the daily value of copper, a mineral that has cardioprotective properties.

Health Benefits
The health benefits of mushroom include relief from high cholesterol levels, breast cancer, prostrate cancer, and diabetes.

 It also helps in weight loss, increasing immunity:
Cholesterol Levels : Mushrooms themselves provide you with lean proteins as they have zero cholesterol, fats and very low carbohydrates. The fiber and certain enzymes in them also help lower cholesterol level. Moreover, the high lean protein content in mushrooms helps burn cholesterol when they are digested.

Breast Cancer and Prostrate Cancer : Mushrooms are very effective in preventing cancer of breast and prostrate due to presence of Beta-Glucans and conjugated Linoleic Acid having anti carcinogenic effects. Out of these two, linoleic acid is particularly helpful in suppressing effects of estrogen. This estrogen is the prime reason for breast cancer in women after menopause. The Beta-Glucans, on the other hand, inhibit growth of cancerous cells in cases of prostrage cancer. The chemoprotective effect can be seen with an intake of about 100 grams (3.5 ozs) of mushrooms per day.

Diabetes :Mushrooms can be an ideal low energy diet for diabetics. They have no fats, no cholesterol, very low carbohydrates, high proteins, vitamins and minerals, a lot of water and fiber. Moreover, they contain natural insulin and enzymes which help breaking down of sugar or starch of the food. Again, they are known to contain certain compounds which help proper functioning of liver, pancreas and the other endocrinal glands, thereby promoting formation of insulin and its proper flow.

Immunity : Ergothioneine, a powerful anti oxidant present in mushrooms is very effective in giving protection from free radicals as well as boosting up immunity. Mushrooms contain natural antibiotics (similar to penicillin, which itself is extracted from mushrooms) which inhibit microbial and other fungal infections. They also help heal ulcers and ulcerous wounds and protect them from infections. A good combination of vitamins A, B-Complex and C, found in mushrooms also strengthen immune system.

Other Benefits : Mushrooms are the only vegetable and the second known source (after cod liver oil) to contain vitamin-D in edible form. They are rich in calcium (good for bones), iron (benefits in anemia), potassium (very good for lowering blood pressure), copper (anti bacterial) and selenium (very good for health of bones, teeth, nails, hair and as an anti oxidant). The best source of selenium is animal proteins. So, mushrooms can be the best choice for vegatarians to obtain selenium. A lot of fats are burnt to digest (break - down) proteins in the food, more so when the protein is accompanied by a very low carbohydrate, zero fats and cholesterol and a good amount of fiber. This is exactly what mushrooms offer.

Few Words of Caution :
Mushrooms can even kill! Most of the mushrooms are not edible, are highly poisonous and look strikingly similar to their edible counterparts. Even certain edible mushrooms can go poisonous depending upon the substance they grow on . Do not trust on the unknown vendors too.

Always trust sealed products from reputed companies or those which you grow yourself under controlled conditions after buying their seeds (called spawns) from trusted source. Because a single poisonous mushroom among others can send a whole lot of people to coma, induce severe poisoning symptoms, nausea, vomiting, convulsions, cramps, insanity or worst, can kill them.

Avoid eating discolored mushrooms or those which are different in color than the characteristic color of their species.

Does everyone require a Blood Sugar test

Unless a conscious sustained effort is made to diagnose Diabetes Mellitus early and, if possible, to detect unknown cases of Diabetes and Pre-diabetes, we will continue to be confronted with unfortunate instances of relatively young individuals succumbing to problems like heart attack and only then discovering that they had underlying Diabetes which they were not aware of.

All those who complain of symptoms or show signs commonly associated with Diabetes must have a test done for Diabetes. However, a negative test for Diabetes does not mean that the person will never get Diabetes. It only means that the person does not have Diabetes at the time of testing.

Unless a conscious sustained effort is made to diagnose Diabetes Mellitus early and, if possible, to detect unknown cases of Diabetes and Pre-diabetes, we will continue to be confronted with unfortunate instances of relatively young individuals succumbing to problems like heart attack and only then discovering that they had underlying Diabetes which they were not aware of.

WHO recommends that mass screening to detect Diabetes and even pre-diabetes should include Blood Sugar test for each and every individual. However, for a variety of reasons this may not be feasible in a country like India. Nevertheless, though everybody over the age of 30 years should undergo periodic annual testing for the presence of Diabetes, the following groups of people are at a high risk for Diabetes.

i) All persons manifesting any of the following signs and symptoms like excessive urination, excessive thirst, excessive hunger, weight loss in spite of adequate food intake, undue tiredness and fatigue, tingling or numbness in extremities, burning feet, generalized itching, itching around genital parts in case of women, infection involving genitals in case of men, delayed wound healing, impotence, premature cataracts, visual disturbances etc.

ii) All persons with a family history of Diabetes.
iii) All obese persons, especially those with central obesity, waist-hip (W-H) ratio, approx.>0.95 in men and >0.85 in women, and/ or a Body Mass Index (BMI) >23 to 25 kg/m2
iv) All adults with tuberculosis including atypical presentations, recurrent infections or non-healing ulcers.
v) Those with a history of atherosclerosis and its complications, especially premature heart attacks and brain strokes.
vi) All women with a bad obstetric history, recurrent abortions and those who give birth to large weight babies.
vii) Persons who were large weight babies at birth or very low birth weight babies may also be predisposed to Diabetes.
viii) Persons who show an acute rise in blood glucose levels at the time of physical or mental stress, for example, in situations like acute heart attacks, brain strokes, acute infections, injuries or accidents.
ix) Persons taking drugs which are known to increase blood glucose levels. These include steroids, oral contraceptives, certain diuretics, beta-blockers, etc.

Regarding the methods for detection of Diabetes, it needs to be emphasized that urine test for presence of Sugar should never be taken as an authentic method either for final diagnosis of Diabetes or even for ruling out Diabetes. The diagnosis of Diabetes can only be done by estimating plasma or blood glucose levels in fasting and postprandial/post meal state. In certain cases where the values of blood glucose are found to be higher than those generally expected, an Oral Glucose Tolerance Test (OGTT) may have to be undertaken.