Happy New Year to one and all!

Health Care, Heart Care Foundation of India, Medicine, Social Health Community Comments Off

It is hoped that the new year will be a year of positivity and new milestones for healthcare and the medical fraternity

New Delhi, 31 December 2017: It is that time again when all of us are preparing to bid goodbye to a year gone by and heralding the new year. For some, the year would have entailed good tidings throughout. For others, there may have been ups and downs. However, the arrival of a new year also signals new hope and opportunities. The year gone by was a time of crisis and change for the medical profession as well. The year to come, it is hoped, will bring changes for the better and a bright future for the profession and the fraternity.

From the DillIChalo Movement in June 2017 to a new presidentship for the IMA, a lot happened in the last one year. The goal, ultimately, remains the same – welfare of the medical fraternity and better healthcare for the nation.

Speaking about this, Padma Shri Awardee Dr K K Aggarwal, President Heart Care Foundation of India (HCFI) and Immediate Past National President Indian Medical Association (IMA), said, “I would, at the outset, like to wish all of you a very happy new year 2018. The year 2017 marked the culmination of my time in office in the IMA. I am grateful to the Almighty for having had the privilege and the honor to lead and serve the IMA. A few days back, I woke up in the middle of the night and it struck me that I was nearing the end of my term. I have a habit of writing my ‘Karma Book’ every night before retiring and first thing in the morning. So, I started looking at my Karma Year 2017 with some inputs from the year 2015/16. And, I asked myself ‘What did I achieve during this year?’ When I looked back at the years gone by, I could pen down the following, which gave me the internal satisfaction of having done something for the medical profession under the given circumstances. These years have enriched me and given me valuable insights into the challenges and goals of the medical profession. I compare these three years in office to doing a ‘PhD in Public Health and Public Administration. I have learnt a lot and I am sure that till I remain alive, I will use the knowledge gained through this experience for the betterment of the society.”

The most marked development in the history of the medical profession perhaps was the approval of the NMC Bill by the central government. However, this is not in the best interests of the fraternity and those who are aspiring to become doctors someday. We continue to strive towards achieving justice, however.

Adding further, Dr Aggarwal, said, “Friends, I did my best in the given circumstances.  These years have been a period of self-learning. My goals for the coming year include organizing the Perfect Health Mela in a big way in October 2018, as this will be the Silver Jubilee celebrations of the event this year; issuing out public guidelines on health; and implementation of healthcare regulations.”

The New Year should be taken as an opportunity. We all in the very first week should enlist all our desires what we want to achieve in the coming years and make all efforts to achieve the same. Whatever desires stick to the consciousness invariably gets fulfilled. New year’s resolutions are something like sankalp, which have our intents, based on our desires, which needs to be reminded repeatedly to get fulfilled.

Certain foods can exacerbate fibroid symptoms

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Treatment for fibroids depends on the symptoms, the size and location of the fibroids, age, and other factors

New Delhi, 30 December 2017: As per a recent study, women with a common form of hair loss, are at an increased risk of developing non-cancerous tumors that grow along or within the walls of the uterus (uterine leiomyomas, or fibroids). There is a five-fold increased risk of uterine fibroids in women with Central Centrifugal Cicatricial Alopecia (CCCA). CCCA is the most common form of permanent alopecia or baldness especially in women of African origin.

A uterine fibroid is the most common benign (not cancerous) tumor of a woman’s uterus (womb). Fibroids are tumors of the smooth muscle found in the wall of the uterus. They can develop within the uterine wall itself or attach to it. They may grow as a single tumor or in clusters.

Speaking about this, Padma Shri Awardee Dr K K Aggarwal, President Heart Care Foundation of India (HCFI) and Immediate Past National President Indian Medical Association (IMA), said, “Fibroids start in the muscle tissues of the uterus. They can grow into the uterine cavity (submucosal), into the thickness of the uterine wall (intramuscular), or on the surface of the uterus (subsersoal) into the abdominal cavity. Some may occur as pedunculated masses (fibroids growing on a stalk of the uterus).Although these tumors are called fibroids, this term is misleading because they consist of muscle tissue, not fibrous tissue. The medical term for a fibroid is leiomyoma, a type of myoma or mesenchymal tumor. Fibroids grow in response to stimulation by the hormone estrogen, produced naturally in the body. These growths can show up as early as age 20, but tend to shrink after menopause when the body stops producing large amounts of estrogen.”

Some signs and symptoms of fibroid include increase in menstrual bleeding, pressure on the bladder and rectum, pelvic pressure, increase in size around the waist and change in abdominal contour, infertility, and a pelvic mass discovered by a health care practitioner during a physical examination.

Adding further, Dr Aggarwal, said, “Treatment for fibroids depends on the symptoms, the size and location of the fibroids, age (how close the person is to menopause), the patient’s desire to have children, and the patient’s general health. If no malignancy (cancer) is found, this bleeding often can be controlled by hormonal medications.”

Some foods can exacerbate fibroids and should be avoided. These include the following.

Saturated Fats Foods high in saturated fats should not be consumed by fibroid patients. These fats can raise the estrogen level, which allows fibroids to grow larger.

Red Meat These foods are likely to be high in added hormones, including estrogen. Eat lean white meat for a protein source instead.

High-fat Dairy Products Women with fibroid tumors are encouraged to limit consumption of high-fat dairy products such as whole milk, cream and butter. These products are often high in added hormones.

Caffeine Laden Beverages Beverages containing caffeine are on the list of foods to avoid when you have fibroids on your uterus. Stay away from caffeinated sodas, tea, chocolate and coffee.

Highly Salted Foods Limit the amount of highly salted foods in your diet because they are hard on your liver. The liver is the organ most responsible for removing toxins and balancing hormones.

Postpartum depression is a serious condition and may require treatment

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Awareness should be created among new mothers on how to cope with this condition

New Delhi, 29 December 2017: Recent research has indicated that a protein regulating a system in the brain that mediates physiological response to stress may be responsible for depression in women during and after pregnancy. The study demonstrated the involvement of the neuroendocrine system that mediates physiological response to stress, called the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, which is normally suppressed during and after pregnancy.

About one in five new mothers are affected by postpartum depression. This condition leads to anxiety, severe fatigue, inability to bond with children, and suicidal thoughts in mothers. It has also been associated with developmental problems in infants. Among other factors, stress in new mothers has been identified as one of the significant risk factors leading to this condition.

Speaking about this, Padma Shri Awardee Dr K K Aggarwal, President Heart Care Foundation of India (HCFI) and Immediate Past President, Indian Medical Association (IMA) said, “There is no single causative factor for postpartum depression but a combination of physical and emotional factors. It is not due to something that a mother does or does not do. Post childbirth, the levels of estrogen and progesterone in a woman’s body drop quickly leading to chemical changes in the brain. This phenomenon can in turn trigger mood swings. Many mothers are also unable to get the amount of rest needed to recover from childbirth. This and sleep deprivation can cause a lot of physical discomfort and exhaustion, which can contribute to the symptoms of postpartum depression. With postpartum depression, feelings of sadness and anxiety can be extreme and might interfere with a woman’s ability to care for herself or her family. Because of the severity of the symptoms, postpartum depression usually requires treatment.”

Some risk factors that can exacerbate this condition include previous experience with depression or bipolar disorder, a family member with depression or other mental illness, a stressful life event during pregnancy or shortly after giving birth, medical complications during childbirth, mixed feelings about the pregnancy, lack of strong emotional support from the spouse, and alcohol or other drug abuse problems.

Adding further, Dr Aggarwal, said, “A major challenge in the detection and treatment of this condition is the lack of awareness, ignorance, and social stigma surrounding this condition. Many women do not recognize or are unable to understand the symptoms that follow childbirth. Then there are others who are unwilling to seek medical help as psychiatric problems are not taken very well in the Indian society even today. There is a need to create awareness about this condition among pregnant women, new mothers, and the family and counsel them on how they can support the women through this phase.”

Some tips for would-be mothers to cope with childbirth and postpartum anxiety include:

  • Get enough rest. Tiredness can make anxiety worse and give you a constant gloomy feeling. Try catching small naps when the baby is asleep.
  • Eat at smaller intervals. Low energy levels can impact mental health.
  • Try not to feel guilty about not helping around the house. Understand that this is a temporary phase and it is not wrong to ask for help.
  • Indulge in activities that can help you in getting distracted from any negative thoughts, such as reading a book and listening to music. Take a short walk if it helps you feel better
  • Lastly, do not compare yourself with other mothers. Each pregnancy is different and understanding this will help you feel better.

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