Thursday, 20 September 2018

Teen smartphone usage is linked to Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

Teen smartphone usage is linked to rise in ADHD symptoms


Smartphone use is common among teens, and yet, too much screen time can have harmful effects. A new study done by the University of Southern California on teenagers in Los Angeles, USA, shows that digital overload could be linked to a “modest” but significant rise in new Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). The more social media, streaming video, text messaging, music downloads or online chats they engaged with, the more likely they were to report symptoms like difficulty organizing and completing tasks, or trouble remaining still.

Previous studies have shown that ADHD, a psychiatric condition involving persistent difficulty sustaining attention, hyperactivity and impulsivity, affects about seven percent of youths in the United States and may be on the rise in some populations.

The findings published in the Journal of the American Medical Association were based on 2,600 teens who answered survey questions over a two-year period, making it one of the largest and longest studies on the topic.

About 10% of youths, who said they commonly used digital media platforms, frequently showed new ADHD symptoms over the study period, said the report. In contrast, 4.6% of students, who were not frequent users of any digital activity, showed ADHD symptoms. Researchers cautioned that the rise in ADHD symptoms was “modest” and at least some of the effects might be explained by confounding factors. Since the study was observational and based on survey responses by teens themselves, researchers said they could not prove that smartphone use actually caused ADHD symptoms.

“We can say with confidence that teens who were exposed to higher levels of digital media were significantly more likely to develop ADHD symptoms in the future,” said Adam Leventhal, a professor of preventive medicine and psychology at the University of Southern California.

Earlier studies examining the effect of television watching and playing video games found modest increases in ADHD among children.

(Source Hindustan Times)


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Thursday, 13 September 2018

Health Benefits of Fasting- Ganesh Chaturthi Special


Health Benefits of Fasting- Ganesh Chaturthi Special

Ganesh Chaturthi Wishes
Ganesh Chaturthi, also known as Vinayaka Chaturthi, is a Hindu festival that reveres Lord Ganesha. The festival is celebrated with much fanfare and zeal in India, particularly in the southern states of Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Goa and Kerala. The auspicious occasion is celebrated every year on the chaturthi (fourth day) of the Krishna Paksha. On Ganesh Chaturthi, many devotees observe fast, seeking health, wealth and prosperity. Some people abstain themselves from drinking water. This is called Nirjal Vrat. During this period, devotees also strictly refrain from eating non-vegetarian food and alcohol.
Fasting has been a part of the human tradition for many, many centuries - as a religious practice. But it may be noted that fasting offers a plethora of health benefits, including weight loss and reduced risk of diseases. This has been supported by a number of studies. We bring you a list of health benefits of fasting to keep you going strong and healthy. 

·         Fasting improves cardiovascular health, blood composition, and blood pressure.
·         Fasting can help normalise insulin sensitivity, preventing a host of chronic diseases such as diabetes, cancer and heart problems.
·         Fasting can also promote muscle building.
·         Fasting has been known to decrease levels of bad cholesterol in the bod.
·         It cleanses and detoxifies the body.
·         Fasting aids weight loss – excessive fats stored around your organs can interfere with organ function, however, fasting helps you reach ketosis, the fat-burning state.
·         Fasting also leads to a feeling of physical lightness, increasing energy level.
·         Fasting improves body composition in several ways, primarily through its actions on hormones and fat metabolism.
·         Fasting can help slow down the ageing process by producing more human growth hormone (HGH) – we tend to age faster when the body produces less HGH.
·         Fasting also promotes an inner stillness, enhancing spiritual connection.

Although the benefits of fasting are widely hailed by nutritionists worldwide, there is also numerous health risks linked to it, particularly, intermittent fasting. Talking to your doctor before engaging in any form of fasting is important, especially, if you have a severe medical or health concern.
(SOURCE: TimesNow)

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Wednesday, 12 September 2018

Melasma / मेलेसमा : Home Remedies To Treat It


Melasma / मेलेसमा : Home Remedies To Treat It


मेलेसमा चेहरे पर पड़ने वाले सामान् निशान होते हैं

Melasma is a very common skin problem which primarily means hyper pigmentation. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, melasma affects about six million people in the United States and is more common among women than men. The main cause of melasma is excess melanin production in the skin cells which is due to excessive exposure to the sun. Some other factors include hormonal changes in the body, toxins, stressful lifestyle, thyroid problems and use of birth control pills. Melasma can appear on any part of your body like cheeks, nose, forehead and chin and other body parts like forearms and neck.

1. Lemon Juice: Lemon has astringent properties that lightens the grey-brown patches on the skin. Lemon juice is acidic in nature which helps in removing the outer layer of the skin, thereby eliminating the layer of the hyper pigmented skin. You can apply lemon juice on the melasma spots and gently rub it for two to three minutes everyday. You can use this remedy twice for three weeks.

2. Apple Cider Vinegar: The acetic acid that is present in the apple cider vinegar makes it a powerful bleaching agent, which  thereby helps in removing spots and makes the skin more radiant and glowing. You can mix equal amounts of apple cider vinegar and water. You can then apply this solution on the affected areas on a regular basis.

3. Turmeric: The medicinal properties of turmeric have been known for years. No doubt, turmeric is very effective for curing skin problems. Turmeric powder can reduce the skin's melanin and can help combat melasma. You should mix five tablespoons of turmeric powder with 10 tablespoons of milk to make a thick paste. It is better to use whole milk for this process. Apply this evenly on the affected area. After it dries up, you can wash your face with lukewarm water. This treatment can give you best results if you do it regularly.

4. Onion Juice: Another simple and an effective home remedy to restore your natural skin tone is onion juice. Onion juice has a wide range of sulfur-containing compounds like sulfoxides and cepaenes that can fade away the dark patches on the skin. Also, onion juice provides nourishment to the skin cells which in turn brightens your skin. Mix the onion juice with an equal amount of apple cider vinegar and apply on the affected areas.

(SOURCE: NDTV Doctor)

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Sunday, 9 September 2018

FUNGAL INFECTION – TYPES, CAUSES, SYMPTOMS, PREVENTION & TREATMENT


FUNGAL INFECTION – TYPES, CAUSES, SYMPTOMS, PREVENTION & TREATMENT

Fungal skin infections are caused by certain types of fungus, or excessive growth of normally harmless types. Fungal skin infections usually affect your skin because they live off keratin, a protein that makes up your skin, hair and nails. Most fungal skin infections can be treated effectively.

 

Types of Fungal Infections

 

Fungal skin infections are divided into groups, depending on what type of organism is involved. The full name depends on where the infection is found on your body. Some common fungal skin infections are listed below.

Dermatophyte infections

Most basic fungal skin infections are caused by dermatophytes — types of fungi that cause skin, nail and hair infections. They are very common. Dermatophyte infections include the following:
·        Athlete's foot (tinea pedis and tinea manuum). Around one in four adults have athlete's foot (tinea pedis) at some time in their lives. It can be caused by a combination of fungi and bacteria, which makes your skin itchy, dry, scaly and red. Sometimes it causes blisters and cracked skin. It’s especially common between your toes. You often pick up athlete's foot from coming into contact with contaminated skin left behind in swimming pools, showers and saunas. If you don't wash your hands after touching a contaminated area, it can spread to your hands where it's known as tinea manuum. This mostly affects the creases on your palms and sides of your fingers.
·        Nail infections. Onychomycosis is the name for any fungal nail infection. Tinea unguium (ringworm of your nails) is a common infection. Your nails become malformed, thickened and crumbly. Not all nails affected like this are caused by fungal infections, but it's a common cause. Toenail infections are commonly linked with athlete's foot. Your fingernails can be affected too.
·        Ringworm of the groin (tinea cruris). This is often called 'jock itch' because it occurs in sportspeople and is common among young men. It causes an itchy, red rash in your groin and the surrounding area and is usually seen in men who’ve been sweating a lot. Often you’ll also have athlete's foot, as the infection can be spread by scratching your groin after scratching your infected feet.
·        Ringworm on the body (tinea corporis). This often affects exposed areas of your body, such as your abdomen (tummy) or your limbs, causing red raised or flat patches and rings that can merge, grow and spread from the centre. The rings are scaly at the edge surrounding clear skin in the middle.
·        Ringworm of the scalp (tinea capitis). This usually affects young children. It can cause hair loss and inflammation of the affected area. You can be infected by this fungus without developing any symptoms, and become a carrier instead, spreading the infection to others, sometimes for years.

Yeast infections

Yeast infections include the following:
·        Thrush. The fungus Candida albicans usually lives naturally in us and rarely causes problems. However, in certain situations, such as if you're ill, have poorly controlled diabetes, are pregnant or using antibiotics, the fungi multiply and can cause thrush symptoms.
Thrush can affect your mouth and tongue, areas lined with a mucus membrane such as your vagina, and other moist, folded skin. Thrush infection often looks like small white patches, which leave a red mark when rubbed off. In adults, vaginal thrush can cause itchiness and a thick, white discharge. Thrush sometimes affects men, causing a painful red rash on the head of the penis (glans). It also commonly affects newborn babies in the mouth (oral thrush) where the white patches may be mistaken for breast or formula milk. It isn't usually serious, but babies with thrush in their throats may stop feeding properly. Babies may also develop thrush in the nappy area.
·        Intertrigo. This is also caused by the normally harmless fungus Candida albicans, which lives on your skin and in your digestive system. It affects areas where skin touches skin and the environment is warm and moist, such as your armpits, groin, and under heavy breasts or fat folds. It can cause itching, soreness, spots and scales, creating a white-yellow curd over the infected area.
·        Pityriasis versicolor. This infection causes dark patches to form on pale or untanned skin and light patches on tanned or darker skin. Another name for this condition is tinea versicolor (versicolor means 'of various colours').

 

Causes of fungal skin infections

 

You're more at risk of getting a fungal skin infection if you:
  •        have recently taken a course of antibiotics
  •         are taking steroids
  •          have high blood sugar levels (for example, if you have uncontrolled diabetes)
  •         are overweight
  •          have had fungal skin infections in the past
  •          have a weakened immune system caused, for example, by cancer or HIV/AIDS.

Moist skin encourages fungal skin infections. This means you're more likely to pick one up if you don't dry your skin properly after sweating or bathing, or if you wear tight clothes that don't allow sweat to evaporate. Damage to the surface of your skin, such as a cut or graze, can also encourage fungi to grow.
Fungal infections inside your body can cause more serious health problems than those on your skin. These infections only affect people whose immune systems aren't working properly — either as a result of an illness such as HIV/AIDS, or because you're taking medicines that suppress your immune system.

How do fungal skin infections spread? 

Fungal skin infections can be spread from person to person. For example, athlete's foot is thought to be spread in communal areas, such as gyms and swimming pools. Contact with bed sheets or towels and personal items such as hairbrushes can also spread fungal infections. It's also possible to catch some fungal infections from animals such as cats or dogs, and, more rarely, cattle. Ringworm is occasionally caught this way.

Diagnosis of fungal skin infections 

Your doctor will ask about your symptoms and examine you. He or she will look at the appearance and location of your rash. They may also take a skin scraping, or a fragment of your nail or hair, and send it to a laboratory for testing, to confirm the diagnosis.

Treatment of fungal skin infections 

As most fungal skin infections are on the surface of your skin, you’ll usually be able to apply topical antifungal treatments directly onto your skin in the infected area.

There are a variety of treatments available in the form of creams, lotions and medicated powders. Some treatments are available over-the-counter from pharmacists. For example, there are sprays available for treating athlete's foot and antifungal shampoos for scalp infections. Ask your pharmacist for advice.

However, if the infection covers quite a large area of your skin, or affects your nails or scalp, your doctor may give you a prescription for a stronger medication, which is often in tablet form.

These treatments are usually effective. They can occasionally cause side effects which may include skin irritation for topical treatments or an upset stomach for oral medicines. It isn't unusual for your infection to return, even when it seems to have been treated. You’ll usually be advised to keep using topical treatments for two weeks after symptoms have disappeared. You may need to take some treatments for a few weeks, or up to 18 months for toenail infections.
If you're buying an over-the-counter or from directly from medical shop, antifungal treatment, you need to be sure that you have a fungal infection. Sometimes a new rash may look like a previously diagnosed fungal infection. But if there is any doubt about your diagnosis, or if over-the-counter treatments don't work, contact your doctor.

Prevention of fungal skin infections 

There are some steps you can take to reduce your risk of getting a fungal skin infection, such as:
  •          drying your skin carefully after bathing
  •          wearing loose fitting clothes and underwear
  •          choosing cotton socks and natural fibre underwear to allow your skin to breathe
  •          not sharing towels, hair brushes, and combs
  •          washing bed linen and clothes often to get rid of fungal spores
  •          throwing away or disinfecting pillows, hats, combs or scissors if someone in your family has scalp ringworm
  •          always wearing thongs or plastic shoes in communal areas such as swimming pools and change rooms
  • ·        alternating shoes every two or three days so that they have time to dry out (to help prevent athlete's foot)
  •          wearing synthetic fibres that 'wick' the sweat away from the body, helping to keep your skin dry if you're exercising.

If you have diabetes, you need to keep your blood sugar levels under control, as high blood sugar levels can increased your risk of developing bacterial and fungal skin infections.

(SOURCE: Bupa Healthcare)

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Friday, 7 September 2018

Health Tips For People Who Are 60 Plus


Health Tips For People Who Are 60 Plus



Just when you are getting used those reading glasses, frequent join pain, fading hair colour and wrinkles you need to pay more attention to your mental as well as physical health. Health is an asset to all of us and hence we should preserve it. Everyone ages in a different way, and lifestyle plays an important role in the way you age. Making the right food choices, physical exercise, regular checkups and of course confidence and optimism can help you get through those years easily.

 

6 Health tips for those who are 60+;


 1.       Healthy breakfast: It is very important for you to eat a healthy breakfast in the morning. An early morning breakfast kick starts your metabolism, helps you burn calories which eventually helps in weight loss. It also keeps you energetic all day along. Even if you don't have enough time to cook a healthy breakfast in the morning you can eat a leftover chapatti but ensure that you eat something in the morning. You can add a dollop of ghee in it along with some healthy seeds like flax seeds or chia seeds.


2.       Milk: The last thing that you should do before going to bed is drink a cup of warm milk. It will help you relieve you from cramps and other joint pain. As an added benefit you can add a handful of crushed cashews, jaggery or classic white sugar and kesar depending on what you like. This drink will not only ensure a sound sleep but relieve you from the joint pain and severe cramps as well. Also if you are dealing with terrible cramps you can take supplements like vitamin B 12 and vitamin B complex during lunch.


3.       Do not sit for too long: Sitting for long hours at a stretch without any break can have a negative effect on your health. Especially, while watching television you should not sit for more than half an hour.

4.       Afternoon nap: A nap in the afternoon is very essential. Thirty minutes of an afternoon nap will be beneficial for your overall health. Ensure that you are not on phone or not watching television while relaxing.


5.       Dietary changes: You should switch to healthier cooking oils like mustard oil, coconut oil or ground nut oil in your cooking methods. You should also include ghee and nuts like almonds and cashews in your diet. Apart from this you should also have one banana every day. Bananas have all the essential minerals like potassium and vitamin B which will help you cut down swelling in your hands and feet. Additionally it will keep you energetic throughout the day.

6.       Regular physical exercise: It is important to stay active mentally and physically even when you get old. You can go for early morning walks of 30 minutes or jogging, do some yoga or meditation, breathing exercises or may be weight training once a week in the gym. But regular physical exercise is the key to healthy life.


(SOURCE: NDTV Doctor)


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Wednesday, 5 September 2018

The Perfect List Of Foods To Eat And Avoid During Fever


The Perfect List Of Foods To Eat And Avoid During Fever


Fever is an elevation of body temperature above normal. Fever is not a disease by itself, but a symptom produced in response to an inflammation or infection caused by bacteria, fungi, viruses etc. Fevers may be acute or chronic. Chronic fevers are low-grade long duration fevers like tuberculosis. Acute fevers last for a shorter duration but the body temperature is high. For example, influenza, chicken pox, typhoid, malaria etc. The monsoon season brings with itself a number of acute fevers like influenza, the common viral fever and the more dreaded ones like dengue, chikungunya, foot & mouth disease etc.

For every 1degree F rise in body temperature, the metabolic rate increases by 7%. Hence the energy requirement is high. Also, the body is in a catabolic state, leading to breakdown of tissues. Besides fluid, there is loss of minerals too. To compound the situation, fevers are associated with poor appetite which further compromises nutritional status.

Thus, fevers and malnutrition form a vicious cycle; malnutrition increases the vulnerability to infection by compromising the immune system, and infections further deteriorate nutritional status.


Key nutrients required for an efficient immune response include protein, vitamin A, vitamin E, vitamin C, zinc, iron, vitamin D, selenium, vitamin B6 and omega-3 fatty acids. Supplements of these nutrients may be given as the diet may not be able to meet the increased nutrient requirements in lieu of poor appetite, increased losses and poor absorption.

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1. Since the body is in a catabolic state, protein intake should be increased to minimize tissue breakdown. Proteins of high biological value such as eggs, milk, curd, paneer, soft cheese, cereal-pulse combinations should be taken. However, milk may have to be avoided in case there is diarrhea.

2. Include plenty of probiotics, as antibiotics destroy the gut microflora and wreak havoc on your digestion. Curd can easily be your best bet, being an abundant source of probiotics. You may also require probiotic supplements.

3. High fiber foods like whole wheat may have to be avoided in case of diarrhea. The high calorie requirement can be met by including rice, khichadi, suji upma, idli, chila, poha etc.

4. Choose fresh seasonal fruit rich in vitamin C, which is a strong antioxidant and strengthens immunity. Remove peels if you have diarrhea or gastric trouble.

5. Avoid eating raw vegetables as they are hard to digest and can increase risk of further infection. Prefer to eat well cooked veggies, soups, vegetable purees or boiled leafy greens.

6. Hydrate yourself well with electrolytes to prevent dehydration and further complications. Include plenty of fluids like clear soups, nariyal pani, nimboo pani, chicken broth, weak teas, herbal teas, buttermilk, namkeen lassi etc. These help to restore the electrolyte balance and replenish the lost minerals.

7. Easily digestible fats like butter, full fat milk, and whole egg may be included.

8. The diet should be preferably soft and easy to digest and shouldn't burden the digestive system. Start with a soft diet by including soups, broths, khichadi, porridge, daliya, vegetable oats, upma, poha, dal-chawal, curd.

9. Take small and frequent meals instead of taking three large meals that are difficult to digest.

10. Steer clear of colas, carbonated drinks, caffeine, unpasteurized milk, alcohol, tobacco, red meats, shellfish, packed juices, fried fatty foods like samosas, pakoras etc, chemical irritants like spices, condiments, pickles, chutneys, creamy soups, pastries/ cakes etc.

Most importantly, do not try to treat fevers on your own by popping pills. Do visit your doctor, watch out for new symptoms and conduct necessary lab investigations too.

(SOURCE: NDTV Doctor)

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Saturday, 1 September 2018

National Nutrition Week 2018


National Nutrition Week 2018


Begins from September 1 and will run through September 7. This week is observed in order to raise concerns about the importance of good nutrition and healthy eating. With processed and packaged foods along with sugary and high-salted foods, nutrition on the plate has reduced drastically. No wonder why so many health experts are talking about the importance of eating healthy and traditional foods which are nutritious for the body. It is often said that every time you eat, think that you are nourishing your body. And junk and sugary foods hardly come with any kind of nutrition. With rising incidence of obesity, it has become all the more the important to have occasions like National Nutrition Week and increase awareness about nutritious foods and ways to include more healthy foods in the diet.

 National Nutrition Week Theme

 

The theme of National Nutrition Week 2018 is Go Further With Food. The idea is to choose what you eat very wisely. Try to include as many nutritious foods in your diet as possible. These should mostly by naturally growing wholesome foods which can make up for your daily nutrient requirement. Also, on National Nutrition Week, you should work towards spreading awareness about making informed food choices in order to achieve a healthier society at a more holistic level.

National Nutrition Week history

 

The National Nutrition Week was first observed in the year 1982 by the central government. The campaign was started in order to spread awareness about nutrition and encourage people to adopt a healthy and sustainable lifestyle. In a developing country like India, malnutrition is one of the major hurdles which come in the way. It was for curbing malnourishment that National Nutrition Week became an annual event. In order to achieve a goal of nourished India, the Food and Nutrition Board includes 43 units which work collectively.

National Nutrition Week Objectives

On National Nutrition Week 2018, the idea is to help spread awareness about curbing malnutrition and other health conditions which occur because of malnourishment. People need to be made more aware about how nourishing food can help achieve sustainable living. People need to be encouraged to maintain a healthy lifestyle in order to achieve nutritional deficiencies. It is important to implement national nutrition programs for meeting nutritional requirements of the country. On National Nutrition Week, the idea is to increase awareness about orientation training in health and nutrition.

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