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Mid-Day Premium Expert remedies to prevent heartburn and acid reflux

Ever felt a burning sensation rising from your stomach up to your chest? If yes, then you're not alone. Known as acid reflux or heartburn, the condition occurs when the stomach’s acid content flows into the oesophagus. The discomfort can strike at the most inconvenient moments, turning a meal or a night's sleep into a tormenting ordeal. According to data released by the National Health Profile in 2022, acidity-related ailments have witnessed a startling surge across the country. In fact, the prevalence of acid reflux and heartburn has increased by 30 per cent in the past decade alone, affecting individuals of all ages and backgrounds. This statistical revelation underscores the need to promote greater awareness about acidity management and prevention. Here are a few tried and tested remedies by yogini Radhika Iyer, who also helms the wellness outfit – Anahata Organic. Food items to curb acidity Roasted fennel and cumin seedsTaking a teaspoon of roasted fennel seeds after every meal reduces the risk of acidity. These seeds aid digestion, control bloating and help regulate acid production in the stomach. Simply chew these seeds with a pinch of sugar post lunch and dinner every day to see remarkable results. Watermelon juiceThe juice of a watermelon is not only good for digestion, but it can also help the body feel at ease if you are suffering from severe acidity. During summer, when the watermelon grows, it is advised to consume its juice in the afternoons to cool down the heat within the body. ClovesIf you are used to consuming deep-fried food every now and then, chances are that you will experience acidity more regularly. Chewing some cloves after your meals keeps the stomach acid secretion in check and improves the acidic environment in the body. AlmondsFull of antioxidants and fibre, almonds help digestion and also help regulate the formation of stomach acid. They also help curb hunger pangs and are thus highly recommended to stop binge eating. Due to their high nutritional value, eating a few almonds throughout the day will help lower food intake, preventing the risk of acidity. Mint LeavesThe cooling sensation of mint leaves can help you find temporary relief from heartburn and acid reflux. Not only that, but these leaves support digestion and help control bad breath that could be a cause of acidity. Include plenty of mint-infused water and buttermilk in your daily diet to keep acidity at bay. ButtermilkMade from freshly formed curd, a full glass of buttermilk after lunch helps neutralise acidity in the stomach. Combined with black pepper powder and cumin powder, it soothes the burning sensation emerging in the stomach caused due to hyperacidity. Ginger TeaLoaded with phenolic compounds and antioxidants that support digestion and treat several complex gastric issues, including acidity, consuming a hot cup of ginger tea may well be your secret medicine to cure acid reflux. Consume this hot beverage before each meal to ensure a relaxed digestion. Papaya and BananaThe digestive enzymes in both banana and papaya help neutralise excess stomach acid. Consuming these fruits alternately every day will help improve digestion and regulate stomach acid secretion to prevent chronic belching and heartburn. Apart from these, chewing on basil or tulsi leaves, consuming organic jaggery and drinking fresh aloe vera juice everyday will make a massive difference in managing your acidity issues. “Many of these remedies have been passed on from my grandmother to my mother and then to me and time and again, they have helped me and my family reduce the effect of acid reflux without the intake of any prescribed medication,” shares Iyer. Herbs known for their effectiveness in relieving acid reflux Those who experience acidity and acid reflux should follow a Sathwik diet, shares Dr Manoj Kutteri, Medical Director and CEO, Atmantan Wellness Centre. The diet should consist of well-cooked vegetables, non-citrus fruits and vegetables, foods that are low on fibre content, nickel-free along with sufficient amounts of natural probiotics as well. He shares four essential herbs and plants to treat acidity. LicoriceDeglycyrrhizinated licorice (DGL), in particular, is frequently regarded as a natural cure for acidity due to its capacity to alleviate acid reflux and heartburn. The oesophagus and stomach's fragile mucous membranes are protected by substances found in licorice roots. This defensive function helps lessen the discomfort and harm that stomach acid causes, easing acidity symptoms. Licorice also has anti-inflammatory qualities, which can be beneficial for people who have acid reflux. Licorice may also encourage the stomach to produce more mucus. This elevated mucus production can be beneficial. PeppermintThe plant peppermint is well known for its potential to help with acid reflux or indigestion problems. There are a number of reasons why it is used as a natural cure for stomach problems. First, peppermint has long been used to treat heartburn and indigestion. It contains substances that could ease the lower esophageal sphincter and other gastrointestinal tract muscles, which could lessen the chance of acid reflux. ChamomileIt has anti-inflammatory qualities that make it very beneficial for relaxing the inflamed lining of the oesophagus and lowering inflammation brought on by acidity. This can lessen the burning sensation and discomfort that are frequently felt during episodes of acid reflux. The mild calming effects of chamomile may also assist in lowering tension and anxiety, which can result in acid reflux. GingerThe anti-inflammatory effects of ginger can soothe the stomach lining and lessen the formation of stomach acid. Digestion is aided as well. Lifestyle habits to reduce acidity Lifestyle habits and routines play an important role in managing acidity symptoms. 1. Using a wedge pillow is beneficial while lying on the bed, shares Dr Manoj. This can help raise your upper body so that the burping of acids can be prevented. Adopt a left lateral lying position which is ideal to reduce acid reflux.2. Avoid larger meals at night just before bedtime and consider giving a gap of 2-3 hours between the food intake and sleep.3. Avoid all aerated drinks and coffee and also only sip water frequently rather than drink too much at a time. 4. Do stroll immediately after the food so that you take advantage of the gravity to push the acids down. 5. Stress management techniques help a lot in controlling acidity symptoms, considering that stress is a major contributing factor causing acidity. 6. Various meditation techniques, pranayama techniques such as Nadi Shudhi, Sheetali, Sheetkari Pranayama are all beneficial in dealing with acidity.7. Another effective way to combat acidity is by incorporating probiotic-rich foods into your daily diet. Probiotics help restore a healthy balance of bacteria in the gut and improve digestion, leading to reduced acidity levels. Common causes of acidityWhile occasional acidity may not pose a significant health risk, chronic acidity can damage the digestive system. One of the main causes of acidity is a poor diet, particularly one high in spicy and fatty foods. These foods can irritate the lining of the stomach, leading to increased acid production, informs Dr. Meghraj Ingle, Senior Consultant - Gastroenterology, Global Hospitals, Parel Mumbai. Certain lifestyle factors such as smoking and alcohol consumption can also contribute to acidity by relaxing the muscles of the oesophagus and allowing stomach acid to flow back into it.  Another common cause of acidity is stress. When one is stressed, the body produces more cortisol, which increases gastric secretions and elevates stomach acid levels. This can disrupt normal digestion and result in symptoms like heartburn and indigestion. Moreover, frequent use of over-the-counter pain medications also triggers acidity as they interfere with the protective lining of the stomach. Identifying trigger foodsIdentifying trigger foods that worsen acidity can be a game-changer when it comes to managing acid reflux and heartburn. While everyone's triggers may vary, there are some common culprits that individuals can start paying attention to. Spicy foods, citrus fruits, coffee, alcohol, and fatty foods are often known for their potential to exacerbate acidity symptoms. However, it's important for one to realise that not all trigger foods affect everyone in the same way. One person's acid reflux trigger might be perfectly manageable for another individual. This is why keeping a food diary can be helpful in tracking down specific trigger foods. By taking note of everything consumed throughout the day and any corresponding symptoms experienced, patterns may start to emerge. Once these triggers have been identified, the next step is finding suitable alternatives that won't worsen acidity. Instead of indulging in spicy food that is notorious for causing discomfort during digestion, opt for herbs like oregano or basil. Similarly, replacing citrus fruits with low-acidity options such as melons or bananas can provide the necessary vitamins while being gentle on the stomach. 

30 September,2023 09:58 AM IST | Mumbai | Ainie Rizvi
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Medical expert shares causes behind women's irregular periods

Did you know? Certain factors such as polycystic ovary syndrome, over-exercising, stress, and thyroid problems can lead to irregular menses. Read on to know more about this and seek timely medical attention to avoid any further health problems. Having irregular periods is a common occurrence in women. However, frequent or large changes to one’s menstrual cycle may indicate that there is an underlying issue. There are some women who get their menses after a gap of 2-3 months leading to panic-like situations. These are some of the reasons behind irregular periods: 1. Regardless of whether your menstrual cycles are consistent or not, most women experience irregular periods due to factors such as pregnancy, perimenopause, certain medications, uterine fibroids, breastfeeding, and birth control. These issues are completely normal and usually temporary, resolving themselves quickly once you move past these different stages in life.2. Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) happens due to metabolic issues that result in hormonal imbalances. PCOS can manifest with a variety of symptoms including irregular periods, excessive hair growth in male-like hair pattern areas of the body, acne breakouts, weight gain, thinning hair, and darkening skin. Visit the doctor without any delay and seek timely intervention.3. Thyroid problems impact your menstrual cycle. Hypothyroidism can lead to prolonged and heavy periods, while hyperthyroidism may result in shorter and lighter periods. According to various studies, those women with thyroid disorders also suffer from irregular periods. To diagnose a potential thyroid disorder,  consult a doctor who can determine the exact underlying cause behind irregular periods.4. Females who engage in intense training may also experience irregular periods, and some may even stop menstruating altogether. This is because excessive exercise can disrupt the hormones responsible for menstruation. The solution here is to reduce the intensity of your workout routine to allow your metabolic system to regulate itself.5. Stress has a pervasive impact on various aspects of our health, including our menstrual cycles causing irregular periods.6. Endometriosis is another reason for irregular periods. Here, the tissue that usually lines the uterus grows outside the uterus. Thus, one will experience irregular periods. So, stay alert and take charge of your health.7. Prolactin hormone excess - Small pituitary adenoma infrequent cycle. (Dr. Supriya Puranik, Director – 9M Fertility & Senior Consultant Obstetrics & Gynecology, Ankura Hospital, Pune)

30 September,2023 08:47 AM IST | Mumbai | mid-day online correspondent
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Lack of sleep, reduced physical activity may increase risks of premature birth

Lack of sleep and reduced physical activity during pregnancy may increase the risk of premature birth, according to a study. The team used a machine learning (ML) algorithm to detect fine-grained changes in sleep and physical activity patterns of 1,000 women whose data was collected by devices worn by them throughout pregnancy. "We showed that an artificial intelligence algorithm can build a ‘clock’ of physical activity and sleep during pregnancy, and can tell how far along a patient’s pregnancy is, but some patients don’t follow that clock. When patients’ sleep and activity levels don’t change on a typical trajectory, the study showed, it's a warning sign for premature birth,” said Nima Aghaeepour, Associate Professor of anesthesiology, perioperative and pain medicine and of paediatrics at Stanford School of Medicine. The study, published in the journal npj Digital Medicine, also identified a variety of risk factors for premature delivery, including greater levels of inflammation in the pregnant woman, specific immune-system changes, higher levels of stress, history of having a preterm birth and certain types of bacteria in the mother’s microbiome. "Our patient population experiences a lot of adversity, and our preterm birth rates are much higher than at Stanford," said co-author Sarah England, Professor of obstetrics and gynaecology at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. "The study participants included women experiencing a variety of stressors linked with higher rates of preterm birth, such as racism, low socioeconomic status and living in areas with higher crime rates," said England. Surprisingly, sleeping better and being more physically active than usual for her stage of pregnancy was linked with a 48 per cent reduction in risk for preterm delivery. Conversely, if a woman was sleeping worse and being less physically active than usual for her stage of pregnancy, her risk for preterm delivery was 44 per cent higher than for pregnant women with typical sleep and activity patterns. "The results suggest that scientists should run studies to test whether tracking and modifying pregnant women’s sleep or physical activity could lower their prematurity risk. It’s telling us where to go for future interventions," said Aghaeepour. This story has been sourced from a third party syndicated feed, agencies. Mid-day accepts no responsibility or liability for its dependability, trustworthiness, reliability and data of the text. Mid-day management/ reserves the sole right to alter, delete or remove (without notice) the content in its absolute discretion for any reason whatsoever

30 September,2023 08:41 AM IST | New York | IANS
While the benefits of body butter are promising, understanding how it helps one boost their skin health is essential. Photo Courtesy: iStock

Nourishing body butters are effective to treat dry skin: Skincare experts

Packed in aesthetic boxes and marketed as premium products that promise to help moisturise and protect the skin, body butters are appealing to those who love taking care of their skin. Moreover, skin care experts are endorsing it too.  While the benefits of body butter are promising, understanding how it helps one boost their skin health is essential. We spoke to Dr Batul Patel, celebrity dermatologist, founder and medical director, The Bombay Skin Clinic and Dr Shefali Trasi Nerurkar, MBBS, MD dermatology, consultant dermatologist, Dr Trasi Clinic and La Piel Skin Clinic, who delve into the application and benefits of body butters.  Firstly, what is body butter? “Body butter is a thick and creamy skin moisturiser made from natural oils and butters, such as shea butter, cocoa butter, and mango butter. It often contains essential oils or other natural fragrances for added benefits,” says Patel.  In addition to this, Nerurkar says body butters are of two kinds. “They are either made from natural ingredients like extracts of nuts, seeds and plant oils, or are formulated chemically.”  They are different from body lotionsThe key difference is in their texture. Body butter is always thicker than creams and lotions. It contains very little water content. Besides, these products have a higher concentration of natural butter and oils.  Due to its high oil content it often provides long-lasting moisture.  Further, unlike creams and lotions that get absorbed into the skin faster due to their water content, body butter takes more time. Benefits of body butter1. Body butter is an excellent skin moisturiser for extremely dry skin. Its thick texture and natural formulation contain the essential vitamins that make the skin soft and supple. 2. Body butter also contains essential fatty acids and antioxidants to help increase collagen formation. Further, they protect your skin from free radicals that are responsible for premature ageing of the skin. This skincare product is also great for cracked hands and feet. It seals the cracks and hydrates the skin. This said body butter can largely benefit those suffering from skin conditions like eczema, psoriasis, or dermatitis although professional guidance is recommended.  Body butters can also also help fight lip dryness as they as excellent lubricants and will help restore their natural softness. Though body butters have their own set of advantages for the skin, those who have naturally oily skin and are prone to developing acne must refrain from using body butters. Further, any person with an active skin infection should avoid using the butter temporarily till the infection subsides. Also Read: Ultimate bridal skincare guide: Say ‘I do’ to radiant skin on your big day Best time of applicationSince body butter is thick and creamy, it is best to apply it after having baths.  After the bath, pat the skin dry. Then apply the body butter on the slightly wet skin, which helps in the easy spreadability. Further, since the skin’s pores are open after showers, applying body butter will seal the pores and prevent any water loss from the skin. It will also help in locking the skin’s moisture.  For the complete benefits of the product, experts suggest purchasing natural body butters as they contain good antioxidants and nutrients for the skin as well as the hair.  There are many body butters available in the market that you can try. These include: 1. Shea ButterIt is derived from the nut of the shea tree native to Africa. It consists of essential fatty acids like oleic acid, linolenic acid and palmitic acid that ensure deep moisturising for dry skin. It also has potent anti-inflammatory properties which aid in decreasing irritation, swelling and redness in the skin. 2. Almond ButterDerived from almond nuts, it contains vitamin E and omega-6 fatty acids. It has intense emollient properties to repair dry and damaged skin. It also helps in maintaining skin elasticity to significantly fade the visibility of stretch marks, cellulite and dented folds and tissues. 3. Cocoa ButterObtained from the seeds of the cacao plant, this thick creamy concoction is a boon for dry skin. Additionally, it is also great for dry scalp and dandruff. It helps stimulate hair follicles for a strong and silky hair texture. While these three are the most common ones, you can also try palm butter, mango butter, kokum butter, soy butter, avocado butter and aloe vera butter. Always opt for reputable brands whose products are free of chemicals. Check the ingredients before making a purchase. Be cautious if you have allergies, especially to tree nuts or fragrances. Patel suggests the following products:  1. The Body Shop: It is known for its wide range of options and natural ingredients. 2. Josie Maran: It offers high-quality, organic argan oil-based body butter. 3. Alba Botanica: These offer vegetarian and cruelty-free options and is good for sensitive skin.Also Read: Acne scars: Skincare experts share effective home remedies to get rid of them

29 September,2023 05:36 PM IST | Mumbai | Aakanksha Ahire
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Exposure to air pollution can significantly increase the risk of stroke: Study

Short-term exposure to air pollution, defined as occurring within five days of the stroke, can significantly increase the risk of stroke, according to a new study. In the study, researchers from University of Jordan in Amman looked at pollutants such as nitrogen dioxide, ozone, carbon monoxide and sulphur dioxide as well as different sizes of particulate matter, including PM1, which is air pollution that is less than 1 micron (μm) in diameter, as well as PM2.5 and PM10. The team found higher concentrations of nitrogen dioxide were linked to a 28 per cent increased risk of stroke; higher ozone levels were linked to a 5 per cent increase; carbon monoxide had a 26 per cent increase; and sulphur dioxide had a 15 per cent increase. Along with this higher concentration of PM1 was linked to a 9 per cent increased risk of stroke, with PM2.5 at 15 per cent and PM10 at 14 per cent. Their findings, published in the journal Neurology, is based on a review of 110 studies that included more than 18 million cases of stroke.  The team also found that higher levels of air pollution were linked to higher risk of death from stroke. Higher concentrations of nitrogen dioxide were linked to a 33 per cent increased risk of death from stroke, sulphur dioxide, a 60 per cent increase, PM2.5, a 9 per cent increase and PM10, a 2 per cent increase. “There is a strong and significant association between air pollution and the occurrence of stroke as well as death from stroke within five days of exposure,” said Ahmad Toubasi, study author, MD of the University of Jordan in Amman. “This highlights the importance of global efforts to create policies that reduce air pollution. Doing so may reduce the number of strokes and their consequences,” Toubasi added. This story has been sourced from a third party syndicated feed, agencies. Mid-day accepts no responsibility or liability for its dependability, trustworthiness, reliability and data of the text. Mid-day management/ reserves the sole right to alter, delete or remove (without notice) the content in its absolute discretion for any reason whatsoever

29 September,2023 02:13 PM IST | New York | IANS
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Hot flashes in women may increase risk of heart disease, Alzheimer’s

Hot flashes, one of the most common symptoms identified during the menopause transition, may increase the risk of heart disease and Alzhimer’s in women, according to two studies. Vasomotor symptoms, more often referred to as hot flashes, are with roughly 70 per cent of midlife women reporting them. Not only do they interfere with a woman’s quality of life, but they have also been related to physical health risks. A study led by researchers University of Pittsburgh included 276 participants and utilised sternal skin conductance to physiologically assess hot flashes and tested whether more frequent physiologically assessed hot flashes are associated with heightened system inflammation. Their findings showed physiologically assessed hot flashes during wake time were associated with higher levels of a high-sensitivity C-reactive protein, even after adjusting for potential explanatory factors such as age, education, race/ethnicity, body mass index, and oestradiol. “This is the first study to examine physiologically measured hot flashes in relation to inflammation and adds evidence to a growing body of literature suggesting that hot flashes may signify underlying vascular risk and indicate women who warrant focused cardiovascular disease prevention efforts,” said lead author Mary Carson, from the Department of Psychology at the University of Pittsburgh. A separate study on 250 midlife women, also led by researchers from the University of Pittsburgh, showed that when hot flashes occur during sleep, it may be early indicators of a woman’s increased risk for Alzheimer’s. And, the more hot flashes, the greater the disease risk. Women comprise two-thirds of individuals with Alzheimer’s, and there are a number of theories as to why this is true, with many focused on decreased oestrogen levels that occur during the menopause transition. The new findings remained significant after additional adjustments for oestradiol and actigraphy-assessed sleep characteristics. Hot flashes were measured objectively by using ambulatory skin conductance monitoring. “Among other things, these findings indicate that women who experience frequent hot flashes, particularly during sleep, may warrant Alzheimer’s dementia risk reduction efforts,” said Rebecca Thurston, Director of Women’s Biobehavioral Health at the University’s Department of Psychiatry. Both studies will be presented during the ongoing 2023 Annual Meeting of The Menopause Society in Philadelphia. This story has been sourced from a third party syndicated feed, agencies. Mid-day accepts no responsibility or liability for its dependability, trustworthiness, reliability and data of the text. Mid-day management/ reserves the sole right to alter, delete or remove (without notice) the content in its absolute discretion for any reason whatsoever

29 September,2023 01:53 PM IST | New York | IANS
For those residing in a fast-paced city like Mumbai, the risk of heart attack is believed to be more due to faulty lifestyles. Photo Courtesy: iStock

Mid-Day Premium Scared of dying from a heart attack? Health experts say managing fear is crucial

Just a day back we came across yet another shocking news of a 19-year-old individual dying of a heart attack during garba practice in Gujarat’s Jamnagar. Coming across such headlines every single day is only adding to our already existing fear of heart attacks.    What’s more, heart attacks while performing heavy physical activities like exercising, dancing or playing sports have become common leaving many scared of engaging in any physical activities. Now, even a minor shoulder pain that can arise from an uncomfortable sitting posture in the office or a chest burn that is commonly a result of acidity is instantly linked to a heart attack. So real is the fear, that our mind forces us to believe in the worst.   While we all know the common causes of heart attacks, on World Heart Day 2023, we asked doctors how to deal with the fear of heart attacks and how to truly distinguish between an attack and normal body pains.    Dealing with fearDealing with the fear of heart attacks requires a balanced approach. “Education is key,” says Dr Sunil Wani, consultant, cardiology, Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital, Mumbai. The fear of heart attacks is often associated with panic and anxiety which worsens the situation and comes in the way of pragmatic decision-making.    Wani urges all, especially the young, to educate themselves about heart health and dispel myths and misconceptions revolving around it. This helps in understanding the risks more clearly and reduces anxiety.     Dr Sameer Pagad, senior consultant, cardiologist, Global Hospitals Parel, Mumbai adds, “I have observed a gradually increasing trend in the number of people suffering from a heart attack which also includes young individuals. It is indeed concerning. However, the only way to deal with this is to truly understand the factors that increase one’s risk of heart attack and take steps in the right direction instead of giving into the fear of succumbing to a heart attack.”   Both Wani and Pagad suggest effective ways to deal with fear    Educate yourselfLearn about heart health. Know the lifestyle habits that can benefit and harm your heart. Understand the symptoms of a heart attack or cardiac arrest. Learn about your health as well as your family’s health history. The more you stay informed, the better you will be able to calm yourself down with a pragmatic approach as well as be prepared to deal with a health emergency.      Take regular health check-upsSometimes most people don’t show any immediate symptoms of a heart attack. This makes it extremely important for everyone to take regular health check-ups. Doing so will help one recognise the possible health risks and the need for necessary lifestyle changes that can further help in preventing a medical emergency.   Train yourself for emergency It is essential to learn basic first aid and CPR techniques to be prepared to assist someone experiencing a heart attack. When helping someone having a heart attack, it's crucial to take immediate action.    Know about the emergency services available in your area to seek immediate professional medical assistance. If the person is not allergic and has been prescribed aspirin, give them a regular, uncoated aspirin to chew slowly, as it can help reduce blood clot formation. If the individual has been prescribed nitro-glycerine, assist them in taking it as directed.    Stay with the person, keep them calm, monitor their vital signs and be prepared to perform CPR if they become unconscious and stop breathing.    It's advisable to wait for professional medical assistance rather than attempting to transport the person to the hospital yourself.    Besides this, you can also share your concerns with friends and family, join support groups, or seek therapy to cope with anxiety.     Identifying the difference between heart attacks and other normal health issues  “Although chest burning, underarm discomfort, shoulder pain, and back pain are signs of a heart attack, they can also be caused by other conditions,” says Wani.     A common description of heart attacks is crushing or squeezing chest pain, which can also extend to the left arm, neck, jaw, shoulder or back. Atypical symptoms include nausea, shortness of breath, profuse sweating or extreme weariness might. These occur in certain persons, particularly in women. Symptom duration, accompanying symptoms like perspiration and dizziness and relief with rest might all offer hints.    “Other symptoms of a heart attack also include pain in the underarms, burning in the chest, vomiting, fainting and light-headedness,” adds Pagad.    Both experts suggest seeking emergency medical help when in doubt or excruciating pain.    Besides these common symptoms of a heart attack, Pagad also points out health risks or underlying health conditions that can lead to a heart attack. Family history of heart disease and genetics play a huge role in determining the risk factor. Further, diabetes, especially among the young, hypertension, stress, high blood pressure, dyslipidaemia (high cholesterol levels), sedentary lifestyle, poor dietary choices and obesity have increased the chances of heart attacks even in the young. Further, the increase in alcohol and tobacco consumption, and substance abuse among young is pushing them under high risk.    Further, Wani adds, “Western diets, characterised by high consumption of processed foods and unhealthy fats, have contributed to the problem.”    Lifestyle changes key to preventing heart attacks  For those residing in a fast-paced city like Mumbai, the risk of heart attack is believed to be more due to faulty lifestyles.    Commenting on the same, Wani says, “Mumbai is always running and we all love to hustle to match its pace by being a Mumbaikar. However, we must pause, take a break from time to time, focus on our health and then jump back into the hustle of Mumbai.”    In order to prevent heart attacks there is an urgent need to make key lifestyle modifications:  1. Prioritise a heart-healthy diet 2. Engage in regular physical activity (150 minutes of moderate exercise weekly) 3. Manage stress through techniques like meditation 4. Quit smoking and limit alcohol 5. Maintain a healthy weight 6. Ensure you get adequate sleep   These steps, when integrated into daily life, significantly reduce the risk of heart attacks. 

29 September,2023 11:01 AM IST | Mumbai | Aakanksha Ahire
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Why do heart attack cases rise during summers?

Heart failure is a chronic condition that affects millions of people worldwide. While its causes can vary, there is a noticeable increase in the incidence of heart failure during the summer months. This phenomenon has prompted researchers and healthcare professionals to delve deeper into the factors contributing to summer heart failure and explore effective prevention strategies. As temperatures soar, the human body undergoes specific physiological changes. Consequently, the heart is compelled to increase its efforts, pumping blood at a faster rate to help regulate the body's temperature. When exposed to extreme heat, there is a heightened risk of heatstroke if the body's cooling mechanisms fail. This place added strain on the heart, significantly elevating the risk of heart attacks and strokes, particularly for those with pre-existing heart conditions. In certain instances, individuals with compromised or weakened cardiac systems face an increased susceptibility to heatstroke, dehydration, heart failure, arrhythmias, angina, and myocardial infarctions. How does hot weather affect the heart?Cardiovascular diseases, particularly heart failure stand as the predominant cause of mortality globally As per a recent report from the World Heart Federation, deaths attributed to cardiovascular diseases (CVDs), which reign as the foremost global cause of fatality, surged by 60%. The global count rose from 12.1 million in 1990 to 20.5 million in 2021. During periods of excessive heat, especially in the summer season, the cardiovascular system encounters the demanding task of regulating body temperature by expelling excess heat. In response to the heat, blood vessels dilate, leading to a decrease in blood pressure and subsequently causing an elevation in heart rate and stronger cardiac contractions. However, this physiological response can pose a significant risk to the heart. Heart failure tends to exhibit an increase in incidents during the summer months, and there are several reasons behind this phenomenon: DehydrationIn hot weather, people tend to lose more fluids through sweat. Dehydration can strain the heart as it needs to work harder to pump blood effectively when the blood volume decreases due to dehydration. High TemperaturesHigh temperatures induce the expansion (dilation) of blood vessels to dissipate heat and cool the body. This phenomenon can lead to a decline in blood pressure, rendering the heart's task of efficiently circulating blood more challenging. Physical ExertionPeople often engage in more physical activities during the summers including exercise and outdoor recreation. Overexertion in the heat can put additional stress on the heart. Sodium IntakeSummer diets sometimes include higher levels of sodium (salt), which can lead to fluid retention and increased strain on the heart. Respiratory ChallengesAllergies and respiratory problems tend to worsen during the summer due to factors like pollen and air pollution. These can affect breathing and consequently place strain the heart. Guidelines for Addressing Heart Failure in Extreme Weather conditions  Fluid ManagementIt's crucial for individuals with heart failure to carefully manage their fluid intake, especially during hot weather. Excessive fluid can lead to fluid retention and worsen heart failure symptoms. On the other hand, dehydration can strain the heart. Work with your healthcare provider to establish a daily fluid intake plan that suits your specific needs. Medication AdherenceContinue adhering to the prescribed medication regimen as instructed by your healthcare provider. During hot weather, your doctor may consider adjusting your medications or dosages to optimize your condition management. Stay CoolAvoid extreme heat whenever possible. Stay indoors during the hottest parts of the day and use air conditioning or fans to maintain a comfortable temperature at home. If you need to go outside, try to do so during cooler morning or evening hours. Monitor SymptomsBe vigilant about monitoring your heart failure symptoms. If you notice increased shortness of breath, swelling, rapid weight gain, or other concerning symptoms, immediately contact your healthcare provider promptly. Low-Sodium DietContinue following a heart-healthy, low-sodium dietary plan. High-sodium foods can contribute to fluid retention, which may worsen heart failure symptoms. Exercise particular caution when dining out or consuming processed foods. HydrationWhile it's important to manage fluid intake, make sure you are drinking enough to stay adequately hydrated. Consult your healthcare provider for personalized guidance on fluid restrictions. Moderate exercisePhysical activity is important, but heart failure patients should establish a sustainable exercise routine in consultation with their doctor. Seek Immediate Medical AttentionIf you experience intense chest discomfort, severe breathlessness, confusion, or fainting, it is imperative to promptly seek medical assistance, as these symptoms may indicate a cardiac emergency. In conclusion, tailoring your heart failure management to cope with the challenges of scorching summer conditions is essential. Collaborate closely with your cardiologist to formulate a customized strategy that caters to your unique requirements, safeguarding your health and ensuring your comfort throughout the hot weather. (Dr Nimit Shah, Consultant ,Cardiology, Sir H. N. Reliance Foundation Hospital and Research Centre, Mumbai)

29 September,2023 10:54 AM IST | Mumbai | mid-day online correspondent
Every year, World Heart Day is observed on September 29 around the globe. Image for representational purpose only. Photo Courtesy: istock

World Heart Day: 'Women at 25 per cent higher risk of heart diseases'

Indian women are at 25 higher risk of having heart diseases than men, say experts on the eve of World Heart Day. Over the last past two decades, prevalence of heart disease in women has increased by 300 per cent due to various factors. India accounts for 60 of the world’s heart disease burden and according to cardiologists, the growing issue of heart disease among Indians is multifaceted. World Heart Day was declared at The UN Conference on Human Environment in Stockholm in 1972 and is celebrated on September 29 every year to increase awareness amongst people about heart health, including talks, social events, access to health screenings, fundraising events etc. This year’s theme for World Heart Day is "Use Heart, Know Heart" that underlies the importance of caring for our hearts, increase public awareness cardiovascular diseases, including their prevent and global impact. Cardiologists say that on the occasion of World Heart Day, everyone has an opportunity to stop and consider how best to use heart for humanity, for nature and for you. Beating cardiovascular diseases is something that matters to every beating heart. Use heart means to think differently, engage for important causes and learn few things about its potential to unite all of us. According to Dr. P. Rajendra Kumar Jain, HOD and senior consultant cardiologist KIMS Hospitals, the World Heart Federation promotes the concept of heart healthy lifestyle as a basic human right. Heart is a vital organ that is responsible for pumping nutrient rich blood for the body. It also supplies oxygen while removing toxins and waste. Heart can weigh 289.6 grams for men and 284.7 grams for women that beats 60 -100 times per minute. Blood travel 12,000 miles throughout body each day and heart pumps 2,000 gallons of blood a day. "There are special dietary requirements for people with cardiac issues. Sodium and fat intake can increase the impact of cardiovascular diseases. Excessive sodium can increase the risks of heart for heart attacks and other heart problems," Jain said. About the types of heart diseases Dr. Hemanth Kaukuntla, chief cardiothoracic surgeon and CEO, Century Hospitals, Banjara Hills, said, "The term heart disease is a blanket term for various heart-related diseases. Rheumatic heart diseases, valvular heart disease, hypertensive heart disease, cerebrovascular disease, conditions related to abnormality of the rhythm, inflammatory heart diseases, coronary artery diseases etc are some common heart conditions amongst which hypertensive heart disease is one of the most common types of heart disease in Indian patients with high blood pressure that invaluably damages the blood cells." According to Dr Imran Ul Haq, consultant interventional cardiologist at Amor Hospitals, "World Health Organisation conducted a study which has found 35,40,000 deaths in India due to cardiovascular disease, being more prevalent amongst younger population. Also, Indians have the highest rate of Coronary Artery Disease." According to studies, India’s standardised CVD death rate is higher than the global average rate. Indians have been affected by high rates of diabetes, metabolic syndrome, hypertension and smoking which have increased the demographics of heart problems without prior warning. Achieving and maintaining a healthy weight is one of the best things you can do for your heart. For example, eating well, exercising regularly, staying motivated, being aware and mindful can contribute a towards a healthy heart. Most of the women face challenges in accessing quality healthcare, such as cardiovascular screening, preventive care, timely treatment etc. Dr Bhanu Kiran Reddy, consultant interventional cardiology, SLG Hospital, says that taking a dance class, trying pilates, hiking, swimming for social time can multiply healthy heart effects. "The campaign for this year’s theme reminds us to safeguard our health by caring and understanding the importance of our heart. This can help us reduce risk factors such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, obesity, diabetes etc. On most occasions, heart disease is looked at as a broad term that encompasses several conditions. Most people may know about coronary heart diseases and heart attacks, other heart diseases include, heart failure, where heart muscles become weak, arrhythmias in which the heart has rhythm abnormalities." This story has been sourced from a third party syndicated feed, agencies. Mid-day accepts no responsibility or liability for its dependability, trustworthiness, reliability and data of the text. Mid-day management/ reserves the sole right to alter, delete or remove (without notice) the content in its absolute discretion for any reason whatsoever

29 September,2023 09:10 AM IST | Hyderabad | IANS
Image for representational purposes only. Photo Courtesy: iStock

This campaign in Mumbai is raising awareness about heart diseases and prevention

World Heart Day is observed every year on September 29 to raise awareness about heart diseases and their prevention. Global Hospital Parel has created a campaign called Mumbai Ka Dil Humara Bharosa to provide people with knowledge and skills to help during heart attacks. The campaign aims to train individuals who can assist during the critical first 60 minutes of a heart attack, as taking appropriate action during this time can reverse its effects. Global Hospitals Parel and the Rotary Club have partnered to launch a two-week CPR training program in Mumbai. Over 200 citizens have actively participated in the program. As part of the initiative, heart-shaped cutouts with QR codes have been placed at various locations in Mumbai. These codes provide essential information on how to respond during a heart attack emergency, including immediate actions, emergency contact numbers, and steps for performing CPR. The community's enthusiastic response shows their commitment to learning and making a positive impact in emergency situations. Recently, there has been an increase in heart attacks among youngsters. Heart disease is a major cause of death worldwide, but many people don't know how to recognise and respond to a heart attack. This lack of knowledge can be risky for someone experiencing a heart attack if those around them don't know how to perform CPR. In Mumbai, heart problems are still a leading cause of death. Giving CPR immediately and effectively can greatly improve the chances of survival for someone having a heart attack. The first hour after a heart attack is crucial, and taking action during this time can reverse its effects. Global Hospitals Parel and the Rotary Club are working together to raise awareness and prepare the public. By teaching people these important skills, they hope to create a safer society where individuals can help those in need. The CPR training program, led by experienced medical professionals, covers various aspects of CPR, including chest compressions, rescue breaths, and the use of automated external defibrillators (AEDs). By engaging a diverse group of participants, the initiative strives to ensure that a wide range of people within the community are prepared to respond effectively in critical situations.  Participants gained hands-on experience and practical knowledge to confidently respond to cardiac emergencies, potentially saving lives in the process. Dr Praveen Kulkarni, senior cardiologist at Global Hospitals Parel, emphasised the significance of this initiative, stating, "Every minute counts during a cardiac emergency. The first hour after a heart attack is called the golden hour. Taking action within the first 60 minutes of a heart attack can reverse its effects. This is important to know because most deaths and cardiac arrests happen during this time. Through this initiative of training over 200 citizens in CPR, we aim to build a strong network of first responders capable of taking immediate action and providing vital support until medical professionals arrive during golden hours. This initiative has the potential to make a significant impact on the survival rate of cardiac arrest patients."  Dr Sameer Pagad, senior consultant cardiologist at Global Hospitals Parel, Mumbai, has expressed deep concern regarding the alarming rise in cardiac arrest cases among younger individuals. The prevalence of risk factors such as high blood pressure, cholesterol, diabetes, smoking, obesity, sedentary habits and social and mental stress has significantly contributed to the increasing occurrence of heart attacks in individuals under the age of 40.  Pagad emphasises the importance of prioritising cardiovascular health by adopting healthier lifestyles and seeking regular medical check-ups to detect and address any underlying risk factors at an early stage. Additionally, he calls for heightened awareness campaigns to educate the younger generation about the significance of maintaining a heart-healthy lifestyle.  Dr Vivek Talaulikar, COO of IHH Healthcare India stressed the significance of CPR awareness in the public. He reiterated that cardiac emergencies can occur anytime, anywhere, and having the knowledge and confidence to perform CPR can be a life-or-death difference. Talaulikar called for a CPR awareness campaign, aiming to empower individuals with life-saving skills and create a community prepared to take immediate action during critical moments. He emphasised the collective responsibility of spreading awareness, educating the public, and ultimately saving lives. By equipping these individuals with essential life-saving skills, we are fostering a safer and more prepared society, where prompt and effective action can significantly improve the outcomes of cardiac emergencies.  Pradnya Sabnis Rotary Club of Mahim said, "By collaborating with Global Hospitals Parel for a CPR training program in the community, we aim to create a society where prompt action and CPR administration become second nature. Every individual trained in CPR becomes a potential hero, capable of making a profound impact on someone's life.”

28 September,2023 06:08 PM IST | Mumbai | mid-day online correspondent
Image for representational purposes only. Photo Courtesy: iStock

New study explains why your face feels tight after being washed

Ever wondered why the skin on your face feels tight after washing with a cleanser? Research shows it is due to contraction of the stratum corneum, the outermost layer of our skin. Skin is the largest organ in the body and it’s constantly exposed to the environment around us. The stratum corneum acts as a barrier to keep out unwanted chemicals and bacteria and to keep up the moisture. Researchers at Stanford University in the US show how mechanical changes in the outer surface of our skin translates into sensations and provides a quantitative approach for determining how people will perceive their skin after using a moisturiser or cleanser. “This work provides a new understanding of how products affect the physical properties of our skin, which includes not just skin health, but also skin sensorial perception. That’s a significant advance,” said Reinhold Dauskardt, Professor in Stanford’s Department of Materials Science and Engineering. The team predicted that the mechanical forces created by this shrinking or swelling propagates through the skin to reach mechanoreceptors (a sense organ) below the epidermis, which then fire off signals to the brain that we interpret as a feeling of skin tightness. In the study, published in ‘PNAS Nexus’ journal, researchers studied the effects of nine different moisturising formulas and six different cleansers on donor skin samples from three locations on the human body -- cheek, forehead, and abdomen. They measured changes in the stratum corneum in the lab and then fed that information into a sophisticated model of human skin to predict the signals that the mechanoreceptors would send. The predictions from their analysis lined up almost perfectly with what people reported in human trials for each formula. Collaborators at L’Oréal Research and Innovation recruited 2,000 women in France to assess the nine moisturisers and 700 women in China to assess the six cleansers. The participants ranked their perceived feelings of skin tightness after using the formula they were given. “The ability to understand and predict how people will feel after using a skin treatment could help cosmetics companies improve their formulations before bringing in people to test them,” said Dauskardt. “What we’ve done is reveal how mechanical information gets from the outer stratum corneum layer down to the neurons much lower in the skin layers,” Dauskardt noted. This story has been sourced from a third party syndicated feed, agencies. Mid-day accepts no responsibility or liability for its dependability, trustworthiness, reliability and data of the text. Mid-day management/ reserves the sole right to alter, delete or remove (without notice) the content in its absolute discretion for any reason whatsoever

28 September,2023 05:34 PM IST | New York | IANS
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