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Can dental cleaning damage your teeth and gums?


When Upasna Sen returned from her dental cleaning session, she was afflicted with a chilling sensation in her gums. In a frenzy, she stood against the mirror and scrutinised the insides of her mouth. “After my regular teeth clean-up, my teeth felt exposed and even a whiff of air caused immense discomfort. When I checked in the mirror, I noticed reddish sores developing on my gums. The cleaning was not so painful, however, I bled occasionally. Is it possible that my teeth and gums are permanently damaged?” Like Upasna, many people undergo dental cleaning sessions and experience similar anguish. In hopes to attain sparkling white teeth, they withstand the pangs of the vibrating metal tip on the scaler. Often the scalar messes with their natural oral state and causes their gums to bleed, which they obediently swallow or spit. Dental cleaning is important to keep your teeth free from tartar and plaque which are the primary factors responsible for dental cavities and decay. However, the process comes with its hazards and is not completely damage-free. Midday Online spoke to Mumbai-based dental expert Riddhi Katara to investigate the risks attached to dental cleaning and measures that can be incorporated for a safe procedure. What are the risks/drawbacks associated with a dental cleaning?   The primary result of dental cleaning is cleaner teeth, healthier gums, and improved oral health. However, there are a few potential dangers associated with the process. These include: Damaged tooth enamelOverzealous scraping or polishing during dental cleaning can erode tooth enamel, leading to tooth sensitivity. This exposes the inner layer of teeth which can give rise to gingivitis and excruciating pain when you eat cold or tangy food items. Soreness of gumsDental cleaning tools can sometimes irritate the gums. As the scalar vibrates at high intensity to remove plaque from under the lining of your gums, it leads to sore gums that turn reddish. The discomfort can last for a while and needs to be dealt with over-the-counter medication. Bleeding of gumsIf you have persisting periodontal disease, chances are that you have stubborn tartar and plaque that has accumulated over a long period. In this case, the process of scaling can damage your gum as it removes dense layers of plaque from your teeth. This can lead to temporary bleeding and swollen gums. InfectionIn rare cases, dental cleanings can cause infection if bacteria are introduced into the gums or bloodstream via exposed gums. Gaps between teethOur teeth have natural spacing which gets filled due to food deposits. Eventually, these deposits turn into plaque which poses a threat of cavity and decay. After undergoing a teeth clean-up, these spaces get exposed and you might notice the appearance of new gaps between your teeth. The clean-up will not create those gaps but will expose the existing ones. CostTeeth cleaning can be expensive, particularly if you do not have dental insurance. However, it is important to consider the long-term cost savings of preventing more serious dental problems that could require more extensive and expensive treatments. Fear or anxietySome people may experience fear or anxiety about visiting the dentist or undergoing dental procedures, including teeth cleaning.  What are the factors that lead to the yellowing of teeth?“If you're concerned about yellowing of your teeth, it's important to talk to your dentist, who can help identify the cause and recommend appropriate treatment options”, says Riddhi. The yellowing of teeth is a sign of neglected oral hygiene and a careless attitude. Several factors can contribute to the yellowing of teeth: Poor dental hygieneNot brushing and flossing regularly creates a thriving environment for plaque and tartar to build up on your teeth. These stubborn layers of deposits sit on your teeth and turn them yellow. AgingAs we get older, the outer layer of our teeth, called enamel, gradually wears away, revealing the yellow dentin layer underneath. Tobacco useSmoking or using other tobacco products exposes our teeth and gums to toxic smoke. This smoke is infused with noxious substances like carbon monoxide, nitrogen, etc. which can lead to the yellowing of teeth. Food and drinkCertain foods and drinks, such as coffee, tea, red wine, and dark-coloured fruits and vegetables, can stain your teeth over prolonged usage. MedicationsSome medications, such as tetracycline and doxycycline, can cause yellowing of teeth when taken during childhood. GeneticsSome people may be more prone to yellowing of teeth due to their genetics. Health conditionsCertain health conditions, such as liver disease, can cause the yellowing of teeth. What are the safety measures that can be avoided to avoid damage to teeth and gums? Assessing the patient's oral healthBefore performing a dental cleaning, the dentist or dental hygienist will evaluate the patient's oral health and identify any potential risk factors that could increase the risk of complications. Using appropriate tools and techniquesDuring a dental cleaning, dental professionals use specialised tools and techniques to remove plaque and tartar from the teeth without damaging the enamel or gums. Taking precautions to prevent infectionDental professionals follow strict infection control protocols, such as wearing gloves and masks, sterilising equipment, and properly disposing of contaminated materials, to prevent the spread of infection. Providing aftercare instructionsAfter a dental cleaning, patients are typically given instructions on how to care for their teeth and gums at home, including proper brushing and flossing techniques and any additional measures needed to promote healing. What are the benefits of getting one's teeth cleaned?There are several benefits to getting your teeth cleaned regularly by a dental professional: Preventing tooth decayDuring a dental cleaning, your dentist or dental hygienist will remove any build-up of plaque or tartar on your teeth. This can help prevent the development of cavities and tooth decay. Preventing gum diseaseGum disease is a common condition that can lead to tooth loss if left untreated. Regular dental cleanings can help prevent gum disease by removing bacteria and plaque from the gums. Maintaining good oral healthDental cleanings are an important part of maintaining good oral health. They can help prevent a range of oral health problems, including tooth decay, gum disease, and bad breath. Removing stainsTeeth can become discoloured or stained over time due to food and drink consumption, tobacco use, and other factors. Dental cleanings can help remove surface stains and improve the appearance of teeth. Early detection of oral health problemsDuring a dental cleaning, your dentist or dental hygienist will also check for signs of oral health problems, such as cavities, gum disease, and oral cancer. Early detection can help prevent these conditions from becoming more serious and can improve your chances of successful treatment. Improving your smileDental cleanings can help remove surface stains and improve the appearance of your teeth. This can help boost your confidence and improve your overall quality of life. Are there any long-term impacts of dental cleaning?There are generally no long-term negative impacts of teeth cleaning on gum health, and regular teeth cleaning can help prevent gum disease and promote healthier gums over time. However, if the gums are already damaged or if there is an underlying health condition that affects gum health, such as periodontitis, additional treatments may be necessary to improve gum health. How can one maintain clean, white gums?Maintaining clean, healthy gums is an important part of overall oral health. While the colour of gums can vary from person to person and is not necessarily an indicator of health, there are some steps you can take to promote healthy, pink gums: Practice good oral hygieneBrush your teeth twice a day and floss daily to remove plaque and bacteria from the teeth and gums. This can help prevent gum disease and promote healthy, pink gums. Use a gentle toothbrushChoose a soft-bristled toothbrush and avoid brushing too hard or using abrasive toothpaste, which can damage the gums and cause a recession. Rinse with mouthwashUsing an antimicrobial mouthwash can help kill bacteria in the mouth and prevent gum disease. Look for a mouthwash that is alcohol-free to avoid drying out the gums. Eat a healthy dietA diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains can help promote overall health, including healthy gums. Avoid sugary and acidic foods and drinks, which can contribute to tooth decay and gum disease. Avoid smokingSmoking can cause a host of oral health problems, including gum disease and oral cancer. Quitting smoking can help improve gum health and prevent further damage. Regular dental check-upsVisiting your dentist regularly for check-ups and cleanings can help detect and treat any potential oral health problems before they become more serious. Ridhi summarises by observing that there are some potential downsides attached to teeth cleaning but the benefits of maintaining good oral health generally outweigh the risks. It is important to discuss any concerns or questions with your dentist to ensure that you are comfortable and informed about the procedure.Also Read: How do genetic factors influence oral health

28 March,2023 07:33 PM IST | Mumbai | Ainie Rizvi
Quash the myths around pubic hair to ensure a healthy and hygienic aura for your intimate parts. Image for representational purposes only. Photo Courtesy: iStock

Debunking common myths about pubic hair


Let’s address the elephant in the room: the pubic hair. Irrespective of gender identities, the desirability to have smooth, glossy skin has increased manifold over the past few decades. People enjoy the feel of shaved skin for optics as well as physical touch. Some also believe that a clean skin paves way for hygiene in their intimate areas. But how legitimate is the claim, clinically? Sahil Arora, 29, gets his boy-bits waxed every three weeks. In a conversation with, he reveals that he is waxed by the same male beautician who services Hrithik Roshan. When asked about why he chooses to get waxed, he said “I have a strong aversion towards body hair since my adolescence. Not only my intimate parts, but I also get my chest waxed to feel comfortable in my skin.” Dr Anagha Chhatrapati, consultant gynaecologist and obstetrician, Global Hospital, Parel shares that the role of pubic hair has evolved with over generations. “In ancient times, it was a marker of sexual maturity and would help people choose the right mate for reproductive functions.” To understand the role of pubic hair in human anatomy, we spoke to obstetricians and gynaecologists from Mumbai. Myths about pubic hairWith a lackadaisical sex education system in the country, there are multiple myths that have sprouted up around pubic hair. Dr Pratima Thamke, consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist, Motherhood Hospital, Kharghar debunks common myths with fact-based evidences: Myth: Pubic hair is a sign of bad hygieneFact: The presence of pubic hair is a signifier of good sanitation. If someone has pubic hair, it does not mean that their intimate parts are unhygienic. On the contrary, pubic hair serves the purpose of trapping sweat, oil and bacteria. It also prevents harmful microorganisms from coming in contact with the fragile skin of the genitals. However, care has to be maintained in cleaning the pubes at regular intervals. Due to hair growth, there is a natural smell associated with the intimate parts which is completely natural and can be eradicated with a deep wash. Myth: Pubic hair makes sex less pleasurableFact:  Many women and men as well believe that pubic hair causes friction between two bodies leading to a messy sexual act. However, the presence of pubic hair provides a natural cushion and grip while performing intimate acts with your partner. Additionally, it traps the exchange of bacteria and candida (fungi) which prevents you from acquiring infections. Myth: The colour of the hair on one’s head and pubic hair is sameFact: This statement is false as there is very minimal correlation between the colour on your head and the colour on your pubes. Doctors are of the opinion that there can be similarities, however, it all boils down to melanin. Melanin is the substance responsible for the production of hair and skin pigmentation. A high melanin would imply high growth of hair and darkening of body parts which undergo friction, for e.g. under arms and genitals. Due to increased friction down there, there will be an increased melanin production which can lead to darker hair down there. Myth: Pubic hair will grow endlesslyFact: Unlike the hair on our head which continues to grow, pubic hair does not grow forever. After reaching a certain point, it stops. This stage is subjective to each individual and the length at which it stops growing varies from person to person. The average range of pubic hair growth lies between 0.5 to 2.0 inches. Myth: One should never remove their pubic hairFact: This myth is not only wrong but can be life-risking as well for those who believe in it. If not cleaned for long, pubic care can cause abrasion, ingrown hairs, folliculitis, and sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Even dirt and sweat will get trapped in the hair leading to a bad odour. It can also lead to redness, burning, and itchiness down there. It is advised to remove pubic hair well within 40 days to ensure sanitation and hygiene in your private bits. Myth: Pubic hair wards off diseasesFact: The underlying fact is opposite in certain cases. If one does not clean their pubic hair at regular intervals they might be housing one or the other STD. As the pubic hair traps bacteria and other microorganisms, it needs a robust mechanism to wash off the dirt. If you are not cleaning them at proper intervals, your pubes can become a housing ground for a host of diseases. Purpose of pubic hair in human anatomy: 1 As with eyelashes and nasal hair, pubic hair has the potential benefit of preventing the entry of harmful bacteria into the genital areas. 2 Pubic hair offers protection against friction leading to skin irritation in this sensitive area. It helps to deal with the amount of sweat produced down there. It helps block your vagina/penis from sexually transmitted infections (STIs) 3 Pubic hair reduces the friction during sexual intimacy but providing a cushiony base. It also keeps the organs warm, increasing sexual pleasure. Tips to maintain clean pubic hair: 1. Whether you decide to grow pubic hair or keep them trimmed, cleaning and maintaining hygiene should be a daily ritual.2. Washing the hair with mild soap during the shower keeps the germs at bay and also removes dirt and discharge from getting stuck in there.3. Also, clean your intimate area thoroughly from front to back, after urinating and excreting.4. After Washing the hair, dab lightly with a dry towel to keep the area dry. Dampness of hair with wet undergarments is an invitation to infections. Safe measures for removing pubic hair: Hair removal creamThe safest and most painless way to get rid of hair down there are hair removal creams. Care has to be maintained in finding the right fit for your skin type to avoid any irritation or rashes. Keep the following measures in mind for a fail safe experience: a) Do allergy testing on small portion of skin on elbow before usingb) Avoid contact with vagina/ inner parts to avoid irritationc) Don't use expired products ShavingOne of the quickest ways to remove pubic hair is shaving. However, shaving can cause exfoliation of skin around the hair roots and thus facilitating the entry of bacteria inside causing boils. This is especially true if hygiene is not observed. While shaving, ensure the following: a) Use new blade after 2-3 usesb) Keep the razor blade dry, wash off hair after use, to prevent rusting. Never use a rusted bladec) Use shaving foam or soap for frictionless shavingd) Shave in direction of haire) Apply emollient after shaving to prevent irritationf) Use loose undergarments for few days to prevent friction with newly grown hair after shaving WaxingWaxing is another efficient way which not only removes pubic hair, but dead skin as well. The results are often long lasting with the next batch of hair appearing after 3-4 weeks. For people who prefer waxing, keep the following tips in mind:a) Avoid too hot wax to prevent burning of delicate pubic areab) Can seek professional helpc) Don't reuse the straps LASER treatmentThe pubic hair growth can be completely eradicated only with help of permanent hair removal solutions like LASER treatment. In LASER hair removal, a protective gel is applied on skin and then LASER current is applied. This causes damage to the hair root causing loss of hair. Multiple sessions are required for long lasting effects. How to take care of pubic hair in scorching heat?Dr Pratima shares a home remedy to maintain hygiene in private parts during the scorching heat of Mumbai. Soak the area in warm water to soften the hair. Apply a generous amount of unscented shaving cream, gel, or soap and shave it properly. It is better to wear an undergarment of breathable and loose fabric such as cotton to avoid odour and friction of hair. Do not use any chemical products down there.Also Read: Follow these 8 tips to nail the 'no-makeup' look

28 March,2023 01:23 PM IST | Mumbai | Ainie Rizvi
Representative image.Pic/iStock

The negative impact of sleep deprivation on health

A state of decreased response and motor activity, sleep is quickly reversible. The fact that all creatures experience this phenomenon in some way indicates that it probably has some evolutionary significance.Sleeping takes up roughly one-third of a person's lifetime or eight hours per night. There are many explanations for why people slumber. These hypotheses encompass memory consolidation, energy saving and restoration.For the best possible physical, immune, mental, and cognitive wellness, getting enough sleep is crucial. Nearly 30 per cent of adults (according to a study from the United States) report having trouble sleeping enough. Short sleep duration has been linked to a number of unfavourable health outcomes, such as decreased performance at work or school, slowed reaction time, an increased risk of accidents, mental health disorders like drug abuse, depression, and anxiety disorders, as well as complications during pregnancy and all-cause mortality.The inability to function well at work or in school because of insomnia can result in psychosocial problems, which then may make it challenging to keep up with interpersonal relationships. a bad work environment and decreased output. Depression and anxiety at the job may result from this.Slow response times increase the chance of serious injury, permanent disability, and death in homes, workplaces, and roadside collisions.Major health issues brought on by insomnia include mental health disorders like depression, anxiety disorders, and substance abuse. Insomnia and psychiatric disorders are inversely correlated, and it is frequently essential to treat both conditions concurrently in order to hasten recovery and increase the likelihood that both conditions will respond sustainably.Drug abuse and insomnia are both related to mental conditions. Patients with drug use disorders and chronic insomnia may have "forgotten" how to fall asleep on their own without the aid of a sedative.Increased chance of chronic illnesses like cardiovascular disease and hypertension. Your chance of developing heart conditions like coronary heart disease, an irregular heartbeat, and heart failure rises when you consistently get inadequate sleep. It raises the risk of diabetes and uncontrolled blood pressure, both of which can result in chronic organ damage. Reduced immunity brought on by insufficient sleep can cause repeated infections and slow healing.Sleep deprivation can worsen pregnancy problems. It increases the possibility of preterm birth, C-sections, more painful labour, depression linked to pregnancy, and low birth weight babies. (Dr Aabid Amin is a Consultant Internal Medicine and Medical Director, of Sanjeev Bansal Cygnus Hospital Karnal) Also Read: Experts reveal that female genital tuberculosis needs timely intervention  

28 March,2023 12:06 PM IST | New Delhi
Researchers demonstrated that social anxiety was reduced when patients were exposed to body smell. Picture Courtesy: iStock

Sniffing other people's sweat may help treat mental health issues: Study

A new study has shown that exposure to human odours, collected from other people's sweat, may be used to boost treatment for some mental health issues. According to the study by European Psychiatric Association (EPA), the researchers demonstrated that social anxiety was reduced when patients were exposed to human 'chemo-signals', or what they typically refer to as body smell, derived from volunteers' underarm sweat. "The results of our preliminary study show that combining these chemo-signals with mindfulness therapy seems to produce better results in treating social anxiety than can be achieved by mindfulness therapy alone," said lead researcher Elisa Vigna of the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm. The study involves collecting sweat samples from volunteers and then exposing patients to chemo-signals extracted from these sweat samples while they were receiving social anxiety treatment. The researchers recruited 48 women (aged between 15 and 35), all of whom suffered from social anxiety, and divided them into three groups each of 16 people. Each group was exposed to a different odour, obtained from the sweat samples of people who had seen different types of video clips, plus a control group, which was exposed to clean air. "We found that the women in the group exposed to sweat from people who had been watching funny or fearful movies responded better to mindfulness therapy than those who hadn't been exposed. We were a little surprised to find that the emotional state of the person producing the sweat didn't differ in treatment outcomes -- sweat produced while someone was happy had the same effect as someone who had been scared by a movie clip," Vigna said. She added: "We found that individuals who undertook one treatment session of mindfulness therapy together with being exposed to human body odours showed about 39 per cent reduction in anxiety scores. For comparison, in the group receiving only mindfulness (i.e., the control group) we saw a 17 per cent reduction in anxiety scores after one treatment session." Also Read: WhatsApp building new feature of 'audio chats' for Android users 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 March,2023 12:05 PM IST | London | IANS
Image for representational purpose only. Photo Courtesy: istock

All you need to know about 'prejuvenation' and why it helps your skin

There are many skincare trends that come and go and in fact, it is today easier to get into more skin trouble by trying to solve a skin problem. In the euphoric practice of both diverse clinically proven skin treatments and vague DIYs, the tendency to abuse skincare products is quite high thereby defeating the initial purpose of a skincare routine. There are too many to choose from and it's pretty easy to make the wrong choice. One of the most troubling issues that people face with their skin is aging signs which can manifest as wrinkles, lines, dark under the eye, and other skin conditions. For many years, the solution for many people was to rejuvenate. But have you ever tried "prejuvenation"? So, what exactly is prejuvenation, you may ask? Prejuvenation: the skincare breakthroughIn trying to understand what prejuvenation is, it's important to state what it is not -- rejuvenation. The Oxford Dictionary describes rejuvenation as the process or action of giving new energy or vigour to something; or the restoration of a youthful appearance to something. Therefore, those steps you take to delay or avoid the need for skin rejuvenation is called prejuvenation. After all, prevention is still the best cure. For obvious reasons, it makes more sense to take proactive measures toward delaying and, in some cases, preventing skin damage or complications like sunburn, dark spots, wrinkles, etc. This is why it is recommended that you start early; probably in your late teenage years or early adulthood, so that you can begin to combat early wrinkles and skin dryness even before they show their ugly heads. In today's world, one of the best and highly proven ways to do that is through the administration of hyaluronic acid. Hyaluronic acid is a powerful, gooey gel that has the power to hydrate the skin and ensure it has the right amount of elasticity and flexibility. This is why it is a major ingredient in many creams and lotions in the market. However, many of these are reparative and they hardly work. In recent months, there has been a rush towards a therapy known as Profhilo. Thankfully, Profhilo is not just a superb choice for bio remodelling, but is also a dermatologically-tested and trusted prejuvenation therapy. Each session of Profhilo guarantees the right concentration of undiluted amounts of hyaluronic acid into the skin layers, restoring hydration, stimulating collagen and elastin, restricting bonelessness, and bringing about an overall healthy skin. The logic is simple; because Profhilo delivers hyaluronic acid directly into the skin, it ensures the adequate presence of proteins, compounds, and acids that the skin and joints need to maintain proper structure, moisture, texture, complexion, and overall health. The ability of the body to produce collagen begins to diminish from the age of 25 by one per cent each year, causing the skin to become thinner and sagging in texture. So, prejuvenation would mean doing what you need to do to keep collagen production at an optimum level and ensure your skin maintains proper health. With this, you can avoid or, at least, delay the need for rejuvenation or repairs. Rather than opting for products with a minimal fraction of hyaluronic acid, why not have the whole dose in your system? Profhilo facilitates elastin and collagen production throughout the body, tightens and lifts the tissues of the sensitive areas significantly, remodels and hydrates aging and sagging tissues, and restores youthful firmness to the skin as well as evens skin tone and discolouration. Stay prejuvenated, stay confidentIn a bid to rekindle the skin back to its youthful state, people tend to experiment with both safe and unsafe procedures leading to temporary or complicated health challenges. Prejuvenation with the right therapy and treatment helps to avoid that, as well as the accompanying harmful chemicals that have numerous side effects. Prejuvenating with Profhilo is a harmless way to boost your skin health, especially around your face, neck and hands. (Amit Luthra, Dermatologist, Ishira Skin Clinic)Also Read: Nutritionist shares expert tips for vegans to fast during Navaratri 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

27 March,2023 04:33 PM IST | New Delhi | IANS
While fasting, diabetics should be vigilant for any worrisome trends of hyperglycemia or hypoglycemia and take quick action. Image for representational purpose only. Photo Courtesy: istock

Ramadan 2023: Suffer from diabetes? Follow these 5 tips to manage sugar levels

The holy month of Ramadan is here and as most people think of food available during iftar, there is a lot to look for during the period. It's a time for spiritual development, for getting back in touch with one's religion, and for being kind and compassionate to others. In order to concentrate on your inner self instead of food or drink, you can also fast for 30 days from sunrise to sunset. With Ramadan here and 'iftari' preparations on the mind, it is crucial to think about the best ways to support diabetics and those who care for them in fully celebrating the holiday. Navigating a fast can be challenging because it requires a significant shift in routine and way of life, which can make it challenging for people to maintain normal blood sugar levels throughout the day. In order to comprehend any risks and have a strategy in place to manage your diabetes as effectively as possible, it can be very helpful to consult your doctor before fasting. Dr Shehla Shaikh, consultant endocrinologist, Saifee Hospital, Mumbai said, "For people with controlled diabetes, there are steps they can take to manage their sugar levels, especially while fasting for long periods during Ramadan. There are several healthy eating habits people should follow for the periods between 'sehri' and 'iftar'. Don't forget to monitor your blood sugar during your fast; you can do this effortlessly while on the go as there are now Continuous Glucose Monitoring (CGM) device options available in addition to conventional blood glucose metres that require finger pricking. Taking one's doctor's advice is also important to understand any changes required with their medication." When it comes to managing diabetes while fasting, using metrics like time in range through a CGM monitor can be very beneficial. The proportion of time that a person's blood glucose levels are within a given range (typically 70 to 180 mg/dl) is known as time in range. A longer period of time in the target range is linked to more frequent blood sugar checks, which can help you maintain better glucose regulation and lower your risk of developing long-term health issues. One should try to be within range for roughly 17 of each day's 24 hours. In addition, there are a few important considerations for diabetics to bear in mind as they observe Ramadan. Here are a few tips to manage your diabetes while you observe Ramadan this year: Have an energy-boosting Sehri (pre-dawn) meal: Include more fibre-rich starchy foods that release energy slowly, from oats and multigrain breads to brown or basmati rice, along with vegetables, lentils (dal), and more. You can also have proteins like fish, tofu, and nuts for energy. Drink plenty of fluids, but avoid sugary or highly caffeinated drinks like coffee, soft drinks, and more. Regularly monitor blood sugar levels: Checking your glucose levels more frequently is a must, and there are more ways to do this in the comfort of your own homes. Continuous Glucose Monitoring (CGM) wearable devices provide a simple option for people with diabetes to access real-time glucose readings and trends, such as while you were fasting or at the time of Iftar. This is all while avoiding the pain of pinpricks that come with traditional glucose testing options. Properly replenish during Iftar (breaking of fast): The fast is traditionally broken with dates and milk, which you can follow with complex carbohydrates. Make sure to hydrate yourself as well. Consume sweet and fried or oily foods in moderation, as these can affect your health. Fruit before bedtime can also help maintain sugar levels until early morning. Follow a gentle exercise routine: Keep up physical activity but reduce the intensity to avoid extra exertion. You can try simple workouts, walking, or yoga. Resistance training can also help you avoid muscle loss and build strength at this time. Sleep well: Adequate hours of sleep - of good quality - are key to good health and wellness. Especially during Ramadan when your pre-dawn meal is key to sustain your energy, getting enough sleep is key. This also helps avoid sleep deprivation, which can impact your hunger. This can also support metabolism and help regulate blood glucose levels, which is critical when managing diabetes. In addition to following these suggestions, diabetics should be vigilant for any worrisome trends of hyperglycemia or hypoglycemia and take quick action. The key to this is coming up with a strategy for what to do if your blood sugar levels are too high or low during, before, or after fasting. It's also crucial to follow your doctor's recommendations on how to keep your blood sugar levels in the goal range for at least 75 per cent of the day, even when you're fasting. Having a strategy in place can help you manage your health during Ramadan, even though some diabetics choose to fast during this holy month.Also Read: Explained: How dates are the world’s most complete meal in itself 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

27 March,2023 11:02 AM IST | New Delhi | IANS
Epilepsy accounts for a significant proportion of the world affecting 50 million people worldwide. Representational image. Picture Courtesy: iStock

People with epilepsy at increased risk of early death: Study

Ahead of Purple Day, a new study has stated that people with epilepsy are at an increased risk of early death.  Purple Day is celebrated annually on March 26 to raise epilepsy awareness. The study, published in the journal Neurology, showed that people with epilepsy had more than twice the risk of death compared to the overall population. The increased risk was even higher in younger people in the study of 20,095 epilepsy patients. The increased risk also varies depending on where they live, the number of medications they take and what other diseases they may have, the researchers said. "Our research found an increased risk even among those who do not have other health problems and are taking only one medication to control their seizures," said study author Seo-Young Lee, MD, PhD, of Kangwon National University in Chuncheon, South Korea. Epilepsy accounts for a significant proportion of the world affecting 50 million people worldwide. Each year, an estimated 5 million people are diagnosed with epilepsy. According to Ravindra Srivastava, Director, Neurosciences, Primus Super Speciality Hospital, in India, more than 10 million patients are suffering with epilepsy, 20 per cent out of 50 million worldwide. "If you witness someone having a seizure, it is essential to stay calm and keep the person safe, protect the person's head, turn the person on their side to help prevent choking, time the seizure, do not restrain the person and stay with the person until they are fully alert and oriented," Srivastava said. Also Read: Shocking! 40 per cent of India is infected with TB; health experts share tips to stay safe 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

26 March,2023 06:24 PM IST | New Delhi | IANS
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Nutritionist shares expert tips for vegans to fast during Navaratri

The festival of Chaitra Navaratri commences on the first day of the Hindu lunisolar calendar and goes on for nine days. During this auspicious period, Hindus pray to nine avatars of Goddess Shakti, and many devotees also fast. “Avoiding certain foods such as processed foods, meat, and dairy gives the digestive system a break and can work more efficiently. This can help to improve digestion and reduce digestive issues such as bloating, gas, and constipation. Navaratri fasting can be seen as a way of detoxifying the body. By consuming lighter and simpler foods, the body can eliminate toxins and waste more effectively. Improvement in overall health and vitality could be seen as a result,” says certified nutritionist Dr. Rohini Patil on the impact of fasting on our bodies. While there are variations in the types of foods that are allowed during Navaratri fasting depending on region and tradition, a common practice is to avoid a wide range of foods from grains to eggs. For many, consumption of dairy products increases due to abstinence from other food groups, so the question begs, can vegans fast for Navaratri? Below, Patil lists vegan-friendly foods that are nutritionally balanced. Foods to consume to maintain a nutritionally balanced diet Singhara Flour (Water Chestnut Flour)    Singhara flour is another popular ingredient used during Navratri. A good amount of carbohydrates, calcium, and iron is present. It is also low in fat and high in fibre, which helps regulate digestion and keeps you feeling full for longer. Singhara flour is gluten-free and can be used to make a variety of dishes such as pancakes, puris, and pakoras. Buckwheat Flour Buckwheat flour is another great option for a vegan Navratri diet. It is a great source of protein, fibre, and essential amino acids. Buckwheat flour is also low in fat and gluten-free, which makes it a great option for those with gluten allergies. Pancakes, crepes, and bread can be made using buckwheat flour. Sweet Potatoes Sweet potatoes are a great source of complex carbohydrates, fibre, and vitamins A and C. They are low in fat and calories, which makes them a great option for those looking to lose weight. Baked, boiled, and roasted variations of sweet potatoes are comparatively better. Fruits Fruits are an important part of a vegan Navaratri diet. They are a power pact punch of vitamins, minerals, and fibre. Fruits and vegetables are low in fat and calories, which makes them a great option for those looking to lose weight. Some fruits that are commonly used during Navratri include apples, bananas, and papayas. Coconut Oil Coconut oil is a good source of lauric acid, which has been shown to have antimicrobial properties. Even though it is high in saturated fat but coconut oil also contains medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs), which are more accessible for the body to metabolise and use for energy. Coconut oil is also believed to have many health benefits, including improving heart health, boosting the immune system, and promoting weight loss. Olive Oil It is recommended to use a variety of oils in cooking to ensure a balanced intake of healthy fats. Olive oil is a good source of vitamin E and has been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties.  It is high in monounsaturated fats, eventually a boon for heart health. Olive oil is very beneficial, it promotes good heart health and nullifies heart diseases and strokes. The nutrition expert concludes by saying, “It is important to note that while a vegan diet can be healthy, it is important to ensure that you are getting all the nutrients your body needs during the fast. Some nutrients that may be lacking in a vegan diet include protein, iron, calcium, and vitamin B12. It is recommended to consult a healthcare professional to ensure your nutritional needs are being met during the fast.” Also Read: How one should modify their exercise regime and diet while fasting

26 March,2023 10:14 AM IST | Mumbai | Maitrai Agarwal
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Study shows mindfulness activities can improve mental health

According to study, normalizing mindfulness practices can improve emotional well-being of a graduate student. The study was published in the journal, 'PLoS One' "Because of the state of graduate student mental health nationally, there's a tangible need for a concrete intervention like this," says Susan Hagness, a professor of electrical and computer engineering and one of the study's co-authors. "How do we help our students develop resiliency and a really robust toolbox, both professional and personal, to flourish in an environment where there's inevitably going to be stress? We're getting the word out that investing in self-care is important, and it's normal." Cultivated through practices such as meditation, yoga or prayer, mindfulness centers around being in the present moment in an open, non-judgmental, curious, accepting way. In recent years, corporate giants like Google, Intel, Nike, General Mills, Target and others have included mindfulness in employee development activities to reduce employee stress and burnout, and enhance their focus, creativity, job satisfaction and wellness. The UW-Madison research included two studies involving a total of 215 participants across six academic semesters at UW-Madison (and the final four semesters concurrently at the University of Virginia). In the study, engineering graduate student cohorts participated in an hour-long, instructor-led mindfulness training program once a week for eight weeks. This "Mindful Engineer" curriculum was based on an existing Center for Healthy Minds training, "Cultivating Well-Being in the Workplace," and drew on neuroscience-derived concepts described in The Emotional Life of Your Brain, a book co-authored by center founder Richard Davidson, a professor of psychology and psychiatry at UW-Madison. Each weekly session built on the previous weeks' content; students learned about the brain's neuroplasticity and how it can be trained to change responses to emotions. They explored the six dimensions of emotional style (attention, self-awareness, resilience, outlook, social intuition and sensitivity to context) and learned strategies for creating and maintaining healthy mental and emotional habits. The graduate students also received training in mindfulness meditation and other contemplative practices, cognitive skills and techniques, and each session included time for meditation and cognitive exercises. In post-training surveys, students reported significantly improved emotional well-being, a more positive outlook, fewer negative emotions and increased mindfulness. Over the same period, the control groups (which received training at a later date) noted steady or decreased well-being. Mindfulness participants also reported they were better able to manage stress and anxiety, deal positively with setbacks, work more effectively with colleagues and focus on their research. "What was beautiful is that we saw a really consistent pattern of results across all of the cohorts we did this study with," says Pelin Kesebir, an honorary fellow with the Center for Healthy Minds and a study co-author. Somewhat surprisingly, the researchers also found that engineering graduate students were open to mindfulness training and were not only highly satisfied with it, but also enjoyed the opportunity to connect with other graduate students. "In the literature, there's evidence that engineers are less likely to seek treatment for mental health issues -- so our team wondered if engineers would engage with this," says Wendy Crone, a professor of engineering physics and mechanical engineering and a study co-author. "The answer is that they did, and we had great cohorts throughout the project." The researchers say they'd like mindfulness training to be integrated into the graduate student experience in the future. In the meantime, they recommend the Healthy Minds Program app, which offers podcast-style lessons and seated and active meditations. And while the researchers focused on engineering graduate students, they note that adopting a mindfulness practice can be a positive step for anyone. "Modest investments of your time can result in really significant benefits to your overall well-being," says Hagness. "Small investments in self-care can have long-term rewards." Also Read: Can dental cleaning damage your teeth and gums? 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

25 March,2023 06:25 PM IST | Washington | ANI
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How is your gut health linked to hormonal imbalances


Your gut microbe is the foundation of your health. The gut is the largest immune organ in the body, acting as the gatekeeper, preventing toxins, and harmful microbes in food from entering the bloodstream. “Good gut health is possible only when you have more of the good bacteria than the bad ones. In fact, 80 per cent of your immunity is in your gut. The gut cells produce a variety of immune cells that help in fighting infections. The microbe has an impact on how our immune system responds to infections, allergies and toxins,” says Tanisha Bawa, certified nutrition coach, and founder of TAN|365. Stressing on the importance of gut health, she adds, “If you struggle with poor gut health, you are inviting poor immunity, inflammation and chronic illnesses. That’s why people experience symptoms like brain fog, constipation, gas, acidity, joint pains, skin conditions, hair fall.” The connection between gut and brain Bawa explains, “The gut is also known as the second brain. Our brain consists of a hundred billion neurotransmitters that constantly send messages to our body on how to function and how to behave. Our gut is home to such neurotransmitters as well. Because of this strong gut-brain connection, the gut is also extremely sensitive to emotions like anger, anxiety, sadness and joy. Hence, you may notice if you are anxious or stressed, you may experience indigestion, and likewise a troubled gut can send distress signals to the brain causing us to feel stressed or anxious.” How is gut health linked to hormonal imbalances “The gut microbiota plays a major role in the reproductive endocrine system, throughout a woman’s life, by interacting with hormones like estrogen, androgen, insulin and others. It is the imbalance in the gut microbe composition that can lead to several diseases and conditions such as pregnancy complications, PCOS, endometriosis, thyroid,” explains Bawa. Below, the nutrition expert explains how gut health is linked to the various hormones in our bodies. Estrogen levelsEstrogen is a hormone that plays a major role in skin, and reproductive health. A lack of estrogen can cause hot flashes, mood swings, and an irregular menstrual cycle while an excess of it can increase the risk of endometriosis, and PCOS. Estrogen regulation occurs in the gut through the estrobolome. The estrobolome is a group of bacteria found in your microbiome that helps metabolise estrogen. If you have a higher count of the harmful gut bacteria than the helpful ones in the gut, this leads to an estrogen imbalance which is associated with the symptoms mentioned above. Impact on thyroidA healthy gut microbiome not only keeps your immunity system healthy, but also activates thyroid functioning. However, if you have a leaky gut i.e. where the gut lining is extremely permeable and allows various substances to leak out of the digestive tract into the bloodstream, this can negatively affect the thyroid function by slowing it down and triggering an immune response. The gut produces hormones which directly communicate with the thyroid through the vagus nerve, and this process is referred to as the gut-thyroid-axis. If the gut is unhealthy and unable to communicate well, it can weaken thyroid function. Additionally, the quality of microbiota influences the uptake of minerals like iodine, selenium and zinc that are important in maintaining a healthy thyroid. All these minerals play a major role in supporting the thyroid function and research has found a clear link between thyroid dysfunction and insufficient levels of these minerals. Serotonin levelsAt least 80 per cent of our serotonin, also known as the happy hormone, is produced in the gut and it has an implication in almost every type of behaviour such as hunger, being emotional, being moody, and cognition.  Therefore, if you often tend to feel quite low or are extremely moody, you may need to pay attention to your gut. 5 Practises that can deteriorate your gut health  Lack of sleepLack of sleep can negatively impact the quality of the microbiome and cause larger health issues. Poor sleep can disrupt hormones like Ghrelin, which signals hunger and Leptin, which signals satiation. When these hormones are dysregulated, our appetite can be thrown off causing us to feel hungrier than normal. This, in turn, leads to overeating and craving sugary foods, both of which can negatively impact digestion. We may also crave sugary foods to compensate for the lack of energy we feel when we don’t sleep well. However, these foods are not only inflammatory, they also create intestinal permeability and feed the bad bacteria in the gut. Falling into a deep sleep is one of the few times when the body can completely relax and rejuvenate. Balance is restored, information and food are processed, organs recharge, and the microbiome can reset. Lack of movementResearch suggests that a sedentary lifestyle can be as unhealthy as smoking. Think of what happens if you sit on your leg for too long. Circulation is cut off, which causes the feeling of your leg falling asleep. The body needs movement to allow proper circulation of blood and energy and keep the muscles strong and healthy. Muscles are located in the digestive system as well, namely, in the mouth, stomach, small intestine, and large intestine. Research has shown that the microbiome improves after six weeks of regular physical exercise. Physical movement is essential for gut health. StressHave you ever paid attention to the fact that it’s hard to digest a meal when you are upset or stressed or perhaps, even get constipated? This is because the system we rely on daily to digest our food malfunctions when we are stressed. Stress can also alter the gut microbiome, which can lead to poor overall health.   You may not even recognise when you are stressed because it has become ingrained in your daily routine. Stress can be experienced in many physical ways like irritability, forgetfulness, brain fog, disrupted appetite, racing heart, and sweating, to name a few. When you are experiencing stress, it sends signals to your brain to go into the “fight or flight” mode. The brain prepares and sends all your energy reserves to the parts of your body that need it most. When this happens, our digestive system takes a hit as it is considered “non- important” during times of fight or flight. Managing stress is key to maintaining good digestive health. However you choose to de-stress and prioritise self-care, it’s an essential component in allowing the body to function properly. Managing stress regularly allows the body to be in a relaxed state, known as “rest and digest,” and this is what supports good gut health as well. Non-stop snackingMunching every two hours has now become a rising trend. You need to give your body time to digest the previous meal, which can take up to 3-4 hours. Every 90 minutes, post meals, the small intestine has a cleaning wave, known as the Migrating Motor Complex (MMC) that sweeps the bacteria out and towards the colon. If this motility is disrupted by constant munching, the MMC may be compromised and as a result, you may face bacterial growth in the small intestine which can cause a host of digestive issues. Poor dietWhatever you consume will feed your microbiome, for better or for worse. Just as dietary fibres and probiotics feed the good bacteria, an abundance of processed foods can feed the unhealthy bacteria which can cause gut dysbiosis (an imbalance of good and bad bacteria) and overall poor health. Processed foods contain artificial ingredients including colour, flavourings, preservatives, food additives, emulsifiers, and sugars, all of which cause inflammation, damaging the gut wall and increasing the possibility of a leaky gut. A leaky gut is a condition when food particles and toxins are able to enter your bloodstream causing health conditions to crop up. For example, a leaky gut negatively affects the thyroid function by slowing it down and triggering an immune response. Eating foods rich in refined carbs like pasta, pizzas, noodles can also lead to a leaky gut. Vegetable refined oils are still used by most to cook their foods. These oils get oxidised easily and cause damage to your DNA, age your cells and induce inflammation, which harms the gut and increases the risk of heart diseases. Instead, opt for ghee or mustard oil. Excessive consumption of sugar is the biggest danger to gut health, be it adults or even children. This causes a spike in insulin, accelerates aging and hormonal imbalances. Also Read: World Down Syndrome Day 2023: Mumbai-based experts bust five misconceptions about the genetic disease

25 March,2023 01:47 PM IST | Mumbai | Maitrai Agarwal
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Your brain is the one craving for unhealthy, sugary foods: Study

Have you ever wondered why it is so difficult to ignore our cravings for unhealthy food like chocolate bars, crisps and fries? According to a new study, foods with high fat and sugar content change our brain, and it unconsciously learns to prefer high-fat snacks. If we regularly eat even small amounts of them, the brain learns to consume precisely these foods in the future, researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Metabolism Research in Germany and Yale University in the US said. They published the findings in the journal Cell Metabolism. "Our tendency to eat high-fat and high-sugar foods, the so-called Western diet, could be innate or develop as a result of being overweight. But we think that the brain learns this preference," lead author Sharmili Edwin Thanarajah, from Max Planck said. To test this hypothesis, the researchers gave one group of volunteers a small pudding containing a lot of fat and sugar per day for eight weeks in addition to their normal diet. The other group received a pudding that contained the same number of calories but less fat. The volunteer's brain activity was measured before and during the eight weeks. The brain's response to high-fat and high-sugar foods was greatly increased in the group that ate the high-sugar and high-fat pudding after eight weeks. This particularly activated the dopaminergic system, the region in the brain responsible for motivation and reward. "Our measurements of brain activity showed that the brain rewires itself through the consumption of chips and co. It subconsciously learns to prefer rewarding food. Through these changes in the brain, we will unconsciously always prefer foods that contain a lot of fat and sugar," lead author Marc Tittgemeyer, from Max Planck explained. During the study period, the test persons did not gain more weight than the test persons in the control group and their blood values, such as blood sugar or cholesterol, did not change either. However, the researchers assume that the preference for sugary foods will continue after the end of the study. "New connections are made in the brain, and they don't dissolve so quickly. After all, the whole point of learning is that once you learn something, you don't forget it so quickly," Tittgemeyer said. Read More: National Cocktail Day: Whip up these 3-step cocktails to beat the summer heat 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

24 March,2023 04:10 PM IST | London | IANS
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