Acute respiratory infections have risen alarmingly in India

Health Care, Social Health Community No Comments

ARI is a serious infection that prevents normal breathing function

New Delhi, 16 December 2017: As per reports, air pollution killed an estimated 1.81 million people in India in 2015. Acute respiratory infections (ARI) have increased from 32.76 million in 2013 to 40.3 million in 2016, rising consistently over the past four years. For almost two-thirds of the cities and towns where air quality was monitored, PM10 levels were above permissible limits in 2016. Nitrogen dioxide crossed the limits in 21 places and 31 places did not meet the PM 2.5 standards.

ARI is a serious infection that prevents normal breathing function. It usually begins as a viral infection in the nose, trachea (windpipe), or lungs. If the infection is not treated, it can spread to the entire respiratory system. ARI prevents the body from getting oxygen and can result in death. A person suffering from this condition needs medical assistance immediately.

Speaking about this, Padma Shri Awardee Dr K K Aggarwal, National President Indian Medical Association (IMA) and President Heart Care Foundation of India (HCFI) and Dr RN Tandon – Honorary Secretary General IMA in a joint statement, said, “While it is impossible to avoid viruses and bacteria, certain risk factors increase the likelihood of developing acute respiratory infection. The immune systems of children and the elderly are more prone to be affected by viruses. Children are especially at risk because of their constant contact with other kids who could be virus carriers. Children often do not wash their hands regularly, rub their eyes, and put their fingers in their mouths, resulting in the spread of viruses. People with heart diseases or other lung problems are more likely to contract an acute respiratory infection. Anyone whose immune system might be weakened by another disease is at risk. Smokers also are at high risk and have more trouble recovering from it.”

The early symptoms of acute respiratory infection usually appear in the nose and upper lungs. Some other symptoms include congestion, runny nose, cough, sore throat, body aches, and fatigue. More serious symptoms are low blood oxygen level and loss of consciousness.

Adding further, Dr Aggarwal, said, “With many viruses, there are no known treatments. Your doctor may prescribe medications to manage your symptoms while monitoring your condition. If your doctor suspects a bacterial infection, they may prescribe antibiotics.”

Getting the MMR and pertussis vaccine can substantially lower your risk of getting a respiratory infection. Other than that, one should also practice good hygiene. Some tips include:

  • Wash your hands frequently, especially after you’ve been in a public place.
  • Always sneeze into the arm of your shirt or in a tissue. Although this may not ease your own symptoms, it will prevent you from spreading infectious diseases.
  • Avoid touching your face, especially your eyes and mouth, to prevent introducing germs into your system.

Lifestyle changes play a major role in cancer prevention

Health Care, Medicine, Social Health Community No Comments

About two-thirds of cancers are diagnosed in the advanced stages

New Delhi, 15 December 2017: A recent research has indicated that about 40% cancer deaths can be prevented through simple lifestyle changes. The eight groups of modifiable risk factors that were examined in the research include tobacco smoke, dietary factors, alcohol consumption, being overweight or obese, physical inactivity, ultraviolet (UV) exposure, infections, and hormonal factors. The work has highlighted how cancer is not always genetic but can be acquired due to an unhealthy lifestyle.

Smoking and chewing tobacco are two of the biggest cancer risk factors. Tobacco use alone accounts for 12 lakh deaths every year. Reducing tobacco consumption can significantly decrease the global burden of 13 different types of cancers, including lung, oral cavity etc. Alcohol use has also been linked to cancers of the mouth, pharynx, larynx, esophagus, bowel, liver and breast.

Speaking about this, Padma Shri Awardee Dr K K Aggarwal, National President Indian Medical Association (IMA) and President Heart Care Foundation of India (HCFI) and Dr RN Tandon – Honorary Secretary General IMA in a joint statement,said, “Cancer is a group of diseases with similar characteristics. Cancer can occur in all living cells in the body and different cancer types have different natural history. Although some rare cancers can be driven by genetic mutations, the most prevalent diseases are down to environmental and lifestyle factors. We all know that cancer, if detected early, can be treated at a much lower cost compared to that incurred when diagnosed at an advanced stage. Its mortality rate is also lowered substantially if people report for screening when the earliest symptoms manifest. Unfortunately, nearly two-thirds of cancer cases are diagnosed at an advanced stage, reducing patients’ chances of cure and survival.”

There are more than 100 different kinds of cancer. The treatment options for cancer may include chemotherapy, radiation, and/or surgery. However, it is imperative to make lifestyle changes an essential part of managing this condition.

Adding further, Dr Aggarwal, said, “Prevention and awareness are vital tools in the fight to end cancer, and they start with knowing how to nourish your body and how to develop healthy habits with lasting benefits. There are a lot options available in life and around us to help reduce our risk of cancer – beginning with some basic changes to lifestyle. Learning what influences our health gives us the power to know what to avoid and how to work towards a healthier lifestyle.”

Here are some lifestyle changes one can adopt to prevent cancerand/or manage the condition.

  • Be as lean as possible without becoming underweight.
  • Ensure that you get physical activity for about 30 minutes every day.
  • Avoid sugary drinks, and limit consumption of high-calorie foods, especially those low in fiber and rich in fat or added sugar.
  • Eat more of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and legumes.
  • Limit consumption of red meats and avoid processed meats.
  • Limit your daily alcohol intake. The recommended intake is two drinks for men and one drink for women.
  • Limit consumption of salty foods and food processed with salt (sodium).
  • Don’t use supplements to try to protect against cancer.
  • After treatment, cancer survivors should follow the recommendations for cancer prevention.

Stuttering may be developmental or neurogenic

Health Care, Medicine, Social Health Community No Comments

In some people, this problem can persist lifelong

New Delhi, 14 December 2017: As per estimates, about 11 to 12 million people in India stammer/stutter. Although this condition usually goes away by adulthood, it does persist in about 1% of the adult population and might lead to a decreased quality of life, depending on its severity. This condition is five times more common in boys than girls. In most people in whom the problem persists, professional help and speech therapy might be required.

The WHO defines stuttering/stammering as ‘Speech that is characterized by frequent repetition or prolongation of sounds or syllables or words, or by frequent hesitations or pauses that disrupt the rhythmic flow of speech. It should be classified as a disorder only if its severity is such as to markedly disturb the fluency of speech.’

Speaking about this, Padma Shri Awardee Dr K K Aggarwal, National President Indian Medical Association (IMA) and President Heart Care Foundation of India (HCFI) and Dr RN Tandon – Honorary Secretary General IMA in a joint statement, said, “A person who stutters often repeats words or parts of words, and tends to prolong certain speech sounds. They may also find it harder to start some words. Some may become tense when they start to speak, they may blink rapidly, and their lips or jaw may tremble as they try to communicate verbally. Their speech may be completely ‘blocked’. This happens when their mouths are in the right position to say the word, but virtually no sound comes out. This may last several seconds. Sometimes, the desired word is uttered, or interjections are used to delay the initiation of a word the speaker knows causes problems.”

There are two common types of stuttering: developmental and neurogenic. While developmental stuttering is more common in children, neurogenic stuttering may occur after a stroke, head trauma, or other type of brain injury.

Adding further, Dr Aggarwal, said, “There is currently no cure for stuttering. However, there are a variety of treatments available depending upon a person’s age, communication goals, and other factors. It is important to work with a speech-language pathologist to determine the best treatment options.”

The following tips can help in managing a child who stutters or stammers.

  • Provide a relaxed home environment including setting aside time to talk to one another.
  • Refrain from negative reactions when the child stutters. Praise him/her for being able to speak without stammering at times.
  • Be less demanding on the child to speak in a certain way
  • Speak in a slightly slowed and relaxed manner.
  • Listen attentively when the child speaks and wait for him or her to say the intended word.

« Previous Entries