June 15, 2013
When I was the President of Delhi Medical Association in 2005, we wanted to make a list of doctors who were 80 years old and above. We had a hard time finding them. We could collect only 22 doctors. Today, we have 40000 members in Delhi Medical Council and the picture has still not changed. We have only one doctor in the city, who has completed 100 years and those who are 80 and above are again only few in number.
I personally feel that doctors live less number of years than non-doctors. One reason is professional hazards. The factors responsible are:
• The stress level of doctor is much higher than the stress levels in non-doctors in other professions.
• Stress level has increased in the city of Delhi since the introduction of the Consumer Protection Act.
• The decision of Delhi Medical Council and Medical Council of India to suspend license on deficiency of service has also increased the stress in doctors. They always pray that if the patient has a complaint, he approaches the Consumer Court and not the Council.
• Smoking and alcohol is not unknown in doctors.
• Metabolic syndrome and pot belly obesity is again very common in doctors.
• Diabetes and heart disease are also equally common.
• Surprisingly, the incidence of coronary artery disease, angioplasty, stenting and bypass surgery in Cardiologists too is not less.
• Doctors are more susceptible to hospital-acquired infection, tuberculosis, hepatitis B, hepatitis C, HIV as professional hazards.
June 14, 2013
Up till now the debate has been whether mobile radiations can cause brain cancer or not. But recently, a new spectrum of diseases related to use of mobile phones has come to the notice of medical profession and it is anticipated that 10 years from now they will take an epidemic shape.
1. Computer vision syndrome: It occurs in 90% of people who use computer for more than three hours at a stretch. It leads to drying of eyes and headache. Prevention is to take a 20 seconds break after
every 20 minutes and look by a distance of 10 feet for these 20 seconds.
2. Blackberry thumb: This is inflammation of the tendons in the thumb leading to pain. This can be prevented by alternatively using fingers while texting on a Blackberry phone.
3. Stiff neck occurs due to constant use of mobile in one hand with neck flexed. It can be prevented by alternative shifting of phone from one hand to another.
4. Cellphone elbow is a pain in the elbow because of the stretching of ulnar nerve because of use of mobile phone in a flexed position. Using hands-free set can prevent this.
5. Nomophobia – It is present in 50% of the mobile users and is a type of mobile addiction. The term literally means, ‘no mobile phobia’, which means that a person always fears losing his/her phone.
6. Ringxiety – It is the anxiety resulting due to not receiving a call in the last 30 minutes. It is present in the 30% of the mobile users.
7. Phantom ringing – It is present in 20-30% of mobile users. You can feel that your phone ringing but when you check, it is actually not ringing.
8. Social site addiction – With the growing popularity of smartphones, one is addicted to Facebook, internet, Twitter and other such applications. These can cause insomnia, fragmented sleep, etc.
9. After TV, Facebook is the number two cause of relational disharmony within the family and is present in 20% of the houses.
10. Smartphone is a cause for parent-child conflict in 30% of the cases. Often children get up late and end up going to school unprepared. On an average, people spend 30-60 minutes in the bed playing with the smart phone before sleep.
• Electronic curfew means not using any electronic gadgets 30 minutes before sleep.
• Facebook holiday: Take a Facebook holiday for 7 days every three months.
• Social media fast: Avoid use of social media once in a week for the entire day.
• Use your mobile phone only when mobile.
• Do not use computer for more than three hours in a day.
• Limit your mobile talk time to more than two hours in a day.
• Do not recharge your mobile battery more than once in a day.
• Mobile can also be a source of infection in the hospital setup; therefore, it is disinfected everyday.
June 13, 2013
• Low functioning thyroid is a new epidemic of the society affecting more than 3% of people. If thyroid function is low, it causes weight gain, loss of energy, cold intolerance and menstrual irregularities in women.
• All people who are aged 50 and above should have their thyroid profile (TSH test) done to look for thyroid deficiency.
• In younger people, or in the cases of infertility, menstrual irregularity, pregnancy, weight gain, one should check for thyroid deficiency.
• Iodized salt should be used to prevent thyroid deficiency.
• Non-iodized salt is only used in two conditions: firstly in patient with thyroid inflammation and secondly, while doing Jalneti in naturopathy, a yoga-related nasal wash technique.
• In pregnancy, even mild thyroid deficiency can affect the growth of fetus hence dose requirement of thyroid medicine is much higher in pregnancy than in non-pregnancy.
• In the elderly, the dose of thyroid medicine to be started is always low as compared to one in the adults.
• If thyroid deficiency is untreated, osteoporosis (thickening of bone) and/or atrial fibrillation (irregular and fast heart rate) may result. Osteoporosis can cause recurrent fractures and atrial fibrillation may cause brain paralysis.
• In Allopathic medicine, thyroid deficiency is treated by synthetic T4 hormone replacement. In TFSP, thyroid extracts are available, which contain both T4 and T3 potential drugs.
• In Ayurveda, thyroid stimulant drugs are available but they are effective only if some amount of thyroid gland is available.
• As per Ayurveda, eating soya and drinking water from copper vessel is good for thyroid.