Mumbai's top doctors give you tips for a healthy 2018
Healthier Yo : What should your concerns be according to your age group? What should you get checked and how often? Start the year right with some tips given by the Mumbai's top doctors
Dr Veena Aurangabadwala
Consultant Gynecologist, Zen Hospital, Chembur
Dr Veena Aurangabadwala
Women above 30: For women in this age group, it's necessary to keep a watch on their menstrual cycle. Because stress levels are high, the tendency to develop hormonal imbalances are high. Signs are irregular period and increased hairfall. If it doesn't normalise within three to six months, get it check with a gynecologist.
Pap smear: A Pap smear is a simple, quick, and mostly painless screening test (procedure) for cancer or pre-cancer of the uterine cervix. Doctors generally recommend repeating pap testing every two to three years for women ages 21-65, essentially once you become sexually active. Breast examination after the menses cycle is also important because sporadic cases of cancer, where the patient has no history of it in the family, is on the rise. There are multiple factors ranging from lifestyle to cosmetic products. If you have do have a history, get a a Mammography done after 40 for early detection of breast cancer.
Men above 30: Men after the age of 30 need to look into reproductive health by keeping testosterone levels active. For this, you need to exercise regularly, eat a balanced diet and avoid processed food. Men after 40 sometimes experience andropause, a condition that is associated with the decrease in the male hormone testosterone. It leads to the decrease in testosterone and the development of symptoms is more gradual than what occurs in women through menopause. They experience low sex drive, irritability and mood swings. They need to keep tabs on their sugar levels, blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
Dr Pradeep Gadge
Dr Pradeep Gadge
Diabetologist, Gadge Diabetes Centre
No symptoms is the most common symptom in diabetes but it's important to watch your bodily functions to detect potential signs. Identifying possible symptoms can help you get a timely diagnosis and treatment. These include increased thirst, increased hunger, especially after eating, frequent urination, unexplained weight loss, weakness and dry mouth.
All children: Ideally, we should target the primordial reasons for diabetes by discouraging children from eating fast food, and teaching them the importance of outdoor activities. Young adults: Type 2 diabetes is not a death sentence, but it is a disease that demands your immediate attention. So if you are diagnosed, be as active as you can. Use stairs, get adequate sleep. Diet has shown to improve the condition. So avoid processed meat and red meat and; choose greens, nuts, whole grains, poultry, or fish instead.
60 plus: Go for morning walks. Diabetes springs from psychological causes like depression as well, so keep your mind stimulated. Check for support groups who could provide the necessary emotional support required to keep the condition in check. One needs to ensure you monitor your blood sugar closely, especially when you are ill. Maintain intensive control of blood sugarsCardiac Care
Dr Kaushal Malhan
Consultant Knee and Hip Replacement Surgeon, Fortis Hospital
Ages 25-30: Uptil this age, our body still gains bone mass. After that, every year we start losing bone mass. In the formative years, therefore, diet needs to be given attention, with a lot of protein included. What most people don't realise is that proteins constitute 70 per cent of the bone material. Impact exercises such as running, skipping, in which the body hits the ground hard, help increase the bone mass.
Ages 50-55: At this time, the bones become weak and one must work harder at this age. We know that one of the things that increases fracture risks is loss in bone mineral density. It is higher in women, especially those in the post-menopausal phase as they are more susceptible to osteoporosis. Osteoporosis, however, is an ailment that needs to be treated separately.
Dr Dev Pahlajani
Head of Dept cardiology, Breach Candy Hospital
Age 50 and above: While factors such as smoking, a BMI of more than 18, genetic history and hypertension, make you prone to coronary artery disease, age itself is a risk. Men above the age of 55 are more prone to heart attacks than women. After 55, both are equally susceptible to heart disease.
Age 70-75: Any form of exercise helps, it's the sedentary life that kills. Even moderate exercise is beneficial. After a certain age, it becomes difficult for the muscular skeletal system to do exercise in a way that doesn't strain the body tissues and joints. Swimming is the best exercise as there's no weight on the joints and not just the legs, all parts of the body are used. Breathing exercises are great for those across all ages.
Dr Pradeep Mahajan
Regenerative medicine researcher
Age 40: A stroke happens when there's a bleed or clot in the brain. In India, most patients are above of the age of 40. Standards keep varying 10 per cent depending on lifestyle. Mumbai is a very stressful city and sees more than 50,000 stroke patients a year. There's no genetic pre-disposition but vascular diseases, hypertension, high blood pressure are factors that need to be reported and managed. After the age of 40, get regular MRIs done, especially if you have any of the stated risk factors. If you are a heavy drinker, stop immediately. If you smoke, stop immediately. If your triglycerides are high, bring it under control.
Dr Mukul Dabholkar
Cosmetic Dentist, Bandra West
Aged 6-8 months: When breastfeeding a child or with a bottle of milk, at some point, the child stops feeding or pushes the bottle away. At this point, the mother should shove a bottle of water into the child's mouth. It will take two sips of water and spit it out. This serves to wash the teeth. Keeping the bottle of milk will lead to rampant decay. All children should brush twice a day. If a child doesn't like brushing, put a mirror on the wall and keep it at eye level so that the child can brush while looking into the mirror. Electric toothbrushes, they start at R500, are more efficient than regular ones. "Everyone brushes their teeth wrong, including me," says Dr Dabholkar. The right way, he says, is to brush vertically on the front side and in circular motions, instead of horizontally. On the inside, at a 45 degree angle.
Age 6 to 9: This is when permanent teeth start developing. Molars have got deep grooves and fissures. Use tissue sealants. This reduces the valleys so the food doesn't get stuck. Repeat this again at the age of 12 or 13. That's when new teeth come in.
Every six months: Get your teeth checked
Once in 3 years: Get an X-Ray. Cavities start underneath and may not show till much later. If food is sticking in your teeth, this could be the reason behind this. Adults in India take teeth for granted. But, there's nothing like natural teeth. Bleeding gums and tartar could lead to gum decay and this could lead to other problems such as tinnitus, jaw bone problems. Gum disease is a harmful trigger that has been linked to other problems such as cardiac diseases or pre-term babies.
Dr Annu Aggarwal
Consultant, Neurology, Specialist Cognitive and Behavioural Neurology at Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital
Young adults: According to research, you need to get 20 minutes of exercise five days a week. Exercise, healthy diet and avoiding excessive alcohol when young will have logarithmic benefits at older age. It will not only not only help delay onset of hypertension and diabetes but also help keep dementia at bay.
60 plus: The older adults are the most vulnerable to dementia. While likelihood of developing Alzheimer's disease increases with age, old age itself does not cause the disease. Nevertheless, age-related problems such as high blood pressure, diabetes, vitamin deficiencies, thyroid problems, may be important contributing factors. Cognitive planning for old age is necessary. They need to be engaged in productive activities or hobbies every single day. The point is to continuously stimulate the brain and keep your recall abilities high.
6 months: Mix and match hobbies and physical activities every six months so that the body and mind doesn't settle down in a comfort zone.
Mental health care
Dr Kersi Chavda
Infants: If eye contact is sparse, or socialisation skills are low, these can be indicative of something wrong. Early diagnosis will lead to early stimulation, which makes all the difference between normal and almost normal. Pre-Teens and Young Adolescents: At this age, children have masked depression. It will present itself as psychosomatic aches and pains. Parents should get them checked, but if situation persists, get it looked at by mental health professionals. Depression and psychotic illnesses show themselves in the 14-20 age group in forms of Schizophrenia, experimentation with drugs. People also show signs of mood disorders, eating and sleeping disorders or adjustment disorders.
Adults: They usually suffer problems related to concentration or stress at the home or work front. More people are open to meeting psychiatrists now. I have women who come and talk about sexual issues, in front of husbands. Loneliness is one problem that adults need to watch out for as they get older. It becomes difficult to make new friends and then at some point, you realize that the ones you had are dying. The nest is empty. It gets worse when one spouse dies. Setting up a system to counter this is important.
Dr Tejas Upasani
Orthopedic and Joint Replacement surgeon, Upasani Super Speciality Hospital
The age group for spine-related troubles has lowered because of improper posture and sitting for long. Older people don't exercise regularly, so core muscles become weaker, and then back pain sets in. One of the main reasons for experiencing back pain is Vitamin D deficiency, that is caused due to not getting sunshine. Surgery is always the last resort and is considered only when the back ache results in shooting pain or complete numbness in the legs. All ages: Ensure you spend at least 15 to 20 minutes in the sun every day. If you have a desk job, take regular breaks. Get up from your seat, stand and have a stroll every 45 minutes. It's important to have an ergonomic chair that supports the lower back and neck. Practice yoga, swimming and planks. Start slow with planks and don't overdo it.
50 plus: Those above 50, need to start taking calcium because as you age, it is hard to maintain bone mass. While natural sources for vitamin D include yoghurt, milk, and cheese, as well as leafy green vegetables. Teens, for instance, require 1,300 mg of calcium a day and older people about 1,000 mg daily.
'80 percent of all back pain can be treated with muscular exercises'
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