Teen depression can be serious and not just age related

Health Care, Heart Care Foundation of India No Comments

Bullying and peer pressure are some contributing factors

New Delhi, 20 January 2018: Recent studies indicate that children who face bullying stand a high risk of developing mental health issues in their teenage years. Some of these include suicidal thoughts and anxiety behavior. Children who experienced severe peer victimization are more than twice as likely to report depression or low moods at age 15, and three times more likely to report anxiety.

India has the highest suicide rate among 10 South-East Asian countries, according to a report released by the WHO. Further, one in four children in the age group of 13 to 15 years in India suffers from depression. Teen depression is a serious mental health problem that causes a persistent feeling of sadness and loss of interest in activities.

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 “Issues such as peer pressure, bullying, academic expectations, and changing bodies can be overwhelming for growing youngsters. For some, however, the lows are more than just temporary feelings; they may become symptoms of depression. Teen depression is not a weakness or something common in that age. It can have serious consequences and requires long-term treatment. Untreated depression can lead to emotional, behavioral and health problems affecting every area of a teenager’s life. Some complications related to teen depression can include alcohol and drug abuse, academic problems, family conflicts and relationship difficulties, and the risk of suicide.”

There are other contributing factors too such as a stressful family and parents who fight constantly, which can make teens increasingly withdrawn and socially alienated.

Adding further, Dr Aggarwal, who is also Group Editor of IJCP, said, “Teen minds crave stimulation, and their emotional reactions are by nature urgent and sometimes debilitating. The biggest influence, then, becomes the environment in which teens navigate this stage of development. Their minds can be like little volcanoes with all the constant pressure, from phones, relationships, and the general nature of how things are with youngsters today.”

Some tips to help teenagers cope with depression.

  • Talk to them about what may be bothering them.
  • Empathize with them and their situation.
  • Do not try to fix what is bothering them but help them resolve it with help and advice.
  • Encourage them to undertake physical activity and eat nutritious food as this will help in alleviating their mood and the symptoms.
  • Educate yourself on teen depression and believe the child when they tell you something is not right.

Indians put away treating bone-related problems

Health Care, Heart Care Foundation of India Comments Off

Studies indicate that knee pain is the most common bone problem in India

New Delhi, 19th January 2018: While India has witnessed an increase in life expectancy thanks to advances in medical science and technology, what is also increasing is the number of people leading sedentary lifestyles and eating food that is unhealthy. All this has contributed to an increase in the number of obesity cases and as a natural corollary, given a rise to orthopedic problems. Knee pain seems to be the most common problem.

Other kinds of problems experienced by people include shoulder and hip pain. However, joint pain can affect any part of the body — from the ankles and feet to shoulders and hands. Joint pain could be due to age-related osteoarthritis or auto-immune rheumatoid arthritis or injury to the ligaments, bursae, or tendons surrounding the joint.

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, “Indians are genetically predisposed to osteoarthritis. Lack of exercise and an unhealthy lifestyle have further exacerbated this situation. Orthopedic problems not only cause joint pain but also restrict mobility. This makes it difficult for those with these conditions to perform even daily normal tasks including walking, and working in the kitchen. People with joint pain need to follow a strict daily routine to keep their condition under control and minimize pain and discomfort. By maintaining an ideal body weight and following an active lifestyle, it is possible to avoid orthopedic problems. While one cannot stop the process of ageing, it is possible to prevent the chances of acquiring joint pains through certain lifestyle changes.”

Unhealthy habits such as smoking and drinking can affect bone health adversely. It is also imperative to check weight gain as this can accelerate the damage and eventually lead to significant bone loss.

Adding further, Dr Aggarwal who is also Group Editor of IJCP, said, “Joint and back pains are considered as part of the normal ageing process in our country. Thus, many people tend to go for quick fixes such as analgesics or some pain-relieving balms instead of getting proper diagnosis and treatment; or even finding out the underlying cause of the condition. This makes the situation worse.”

Here are some things one can follow to maintain bone health.

  • Consume foods rich in calcium such as Milk, Yogurt, and Cheese. Those with lactose intolerance can opt for non-dairy sources of calcium such as leafy green vegetables, beans, nuts, and seeds.
  • It is important to get enough Vitamin D as it helps in the absorption of calcium. Some sources of this vitamin include milk, fortified orange juice, mushrooms, and egg yolk.
  • Get enough physical activity for about 30 minutes each day. There are exercises that can help increase bone strength and improve balance and coordination.
  • Limit the intake of caffeine as this can decrease the absorption of calcium
  • If you smoke or drink, it is a good idea to quit both these habits.

Ignoring oral and dental health can cause other complications

Health Care, Heart Care Foundation of India Comments Off

Poor dental health can also cause problems for the heart

New Delhi, 18 January 2018: A study has shown that persons with bad oral health have a high risk of developing cancers of lung, colon and pancreas. Those who are edentulous or lacking teeth – a sign of severe periodontitis – had an 80% increase in the risk of developing colon cancer. A low-grade systemic inflammation related to periodontitis facilitates the spreading of oral bacteria and their virulence factors to other parts of the body.

Advanced gum disease, also called periodontitis, is caused by bacterial infection that damages the soft tissue and bone that supports the teeth. If left unchecked, the resulting inflammation can spread down below the gums and along the roots of the teeth, causing destruction of the periodontal ligament and the supporting bone. This ultimately leads to the loosening and potential loss of the teeth.

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, “Oral hygiene is extremely essential. Dental health is often ignored by many people. Stress can have lasting effects on the teeth as on the overall system. Under stress, many people pick up the habit of smoking and consuming alcohol, which can have serious implications on dental health at a later stage. Periodontitis is a serious condition and if not managed on time can be detrimental to dental health. One should not ignore warning signs and visit a dentist as soon as possible. A dull tooth ache, which does not subside, bleeding gums, and sensitivity to certain eatables are signs that should not be ignored.”

There are more than 700 different species of bacteria colonized in a healthy mouth, most of which are completely harmless and live in harmony with their host. However, in the absence of sufficient oral hygiene and tooth cleaning, bacterial deposits build up next to the gums, forming a plaque, and the conditions become suitable for more dangerous bacteria to flourish.

Adding further, Dr Aggarwal, who is also Group Editor of IJCP, said, “What many people are unaware of is that dental hygiene is also imperative for heart health. Poor oral health and tooth loss is associated with modest increases in future heart blockages and paralysis.”

Here are some tips to take care of your teeth and prevent tooth decay.

  • Brush your teeth twice daily. Brushing helps in preventing the build-up of plaque and bacteria which can cause tooth decay and periodontal diseases.
  • Floss every day as flossing helps clean the crevices where the brush can’t reach.
  • Eat a healthy diet. Avoid sugary and starchy foods as sugar in such foods reacts with the bacteria in saliva to form an acid that erodes the tooth enamel leading to tooth decay.
  • The tongue too harbors bacteria. Therefore, it is a good idea to invest in a tongue scraper and clean it each time you brush your teeth.
  • Consult a dentist if your gums are inflamed or if they bleed. Do not ignore any pain in the teeth and/or gums.
  • Get your teeth checked every six months. Dental cleaning and check-up twice a year is imperative.

« Previous Entries Next Entries »