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Mid-Day Premium Adarsh Gourav spills the beans on crafting his new look for Kho Gaye Hum Kahan

Released on Netflix, Kho Gaye Hum Kahan, starring Adarsh Gourav, Ananya Pandey and Siddhant Chaturvedi is perhaps Bollywood’s first attempt at capturing ‘social media-induced loneliness.’ Playing the role of a calisthenics instructor, Adarsh’s remarkable physical evolution is stealing the spotlight, earning admiration for both his acting prowess and sculpted body. Adarsh’s trainer – Robin Behl was assigned to the actor with just a brief from the film’s director, “I want him to look like Brad Pitt from Fight Club.” The actor who started with a super lean body, eventually built up for this role with a combination of calisthenics training and skill work for aesthetics and strength. In an exclusive conversation with Midday, Adarsh Gourav from Kho Gaye Hum Kaha, opens up about his gruelling training regime, the challenges he faced and what kept him motivated through the journey. Adarsh, your transformation into Neil's character is remarkable. How did you gear up for it? Facing the challenge of exploring body-focused aesthetics for the first time, I, having a background more rooted in sports, committed to the process with dedication. While there were moments of uncertainty, we collaboratively navigated through challenges, such as adjusting to a high-protein diet with chicken, a departure from my vegetarian habits. Despite initial difficulties, I embraced the changes during filming and returned to my vegetarian lifestyle post-project. In the preparation for the film, acquiring skills like ring muscle-ups, bar exercises, L set two shoulder stands and shipayos proved both challenging and enjoyable. Although these skills didn't make it to the film, learning them added an interesting dimension to my fitness journey, complementing the traditional weightlifting at the gym. The excitement stemmed from overcoming these challenges and exploring a new aspect of physical training. “His routine was finished with weight lifting to add finesse to the muscles. Not just as part of his role, calisthenics is a superb way to work out using body weight strength wherein you use your body weight to build strength. Think of exercises like pull-ups, push-ups, parallel bar dips and planks,” adds Behl. To further make the workout routines more intense, Adarsh started doing the same movements with weight belts around him, adding more weights to his body to do weighted pull-ups, dips and muscle ups. To make it another level harder, he has also done towel pull-ups to build his grip further. These intense sessions were complemented by an intense nutrition plan by Mishti Khatri. What was the brief given to you by the filmmakers? Regarding the filmmakers' brief, they emphasised the need for a transformation aligned with the character's physicality, drawing inspiration from Brad Pitt's roles in Fight Club and Snatch. The focus was on achieving a specific physique through a transition from bulking to cutting, with the guidance of my trainer and nutritionist. Robin shares how he converted the brief into a strategic body transformation for Adarsh. “We would work in sync with each other to give Adarsh the desired body through a combination of the right foods and how I would use that energy at his workout sessions.” He continues, “We started with 3400 calories and even though Adarsh is a vegetarian, he turned non-vegetarian to achieve this body.” He further adds, “Adarsh as a student is amazing. I’ve never had a better student. He showed up half an hour before time, was always ready to go when needed and didn’t miss a single day of training.” How long did it take you to achieve the desired body type? The noticeable changes in my physique started becoming apparent a few months before the film, roughly around February-March 2022, as we shifted from bulking to cutting. I owe credit to Robin for his patient training and Misthi Khatri, my nutritionist, who crafted a detailed meal plan with specific breakdowns of carbs, protein, and fat. Sticking rigorously to the plan played a crucial role in achieving the desired body definition. What were the challenges you faced while training for this particular body type? Did you ever feel like giving up? There were some anxious moments, but we managed to find common ground and overcome hurdles, like adjusting to a high-protein diet with chicken, which was a departure for me as a vegetarian. Despite the initial challenges, I adapted smoothly during filming, and once the project concluded, I happily returned to my vegetarian lifestyle. What kept you motivated throughout the journey? Portraying a fitness trainer in the film required me to refine my acting skills and focus on physical fitness. Unbeknownst to the other person, I observed and learned from their walk and body language. Despite my sports-oriented background, I fully committed to the challenge, including adjusting to a high-protein diet with chicken, specially for the look required for the character. While it had its challenges, I adapted during filming and returned to my vegetarian habits after completing the project. Given that abs take 6 months to a year, how feasible is it build such a body in a short span of time? Achieving a well-defined physique in a short span of time, like 6 months to a year, is a challenging but feasible endeavour. It requires a focused and disciplined approach to both training and nutrition. What is your advise for those trying to build their bodies within time constraints? While significant progress can be made, a sustainable and healthy transformation might take longer for some individuals. It's crucial to set realistic goals and prioritise long-term well-being over quick results. Having a structure in place and following the process, not skipping steps for a longer duration and not basing ourselves on quick results and setting ourselves for strong foundation to be build for a period of time and trusting the process are all essential elements while transforming one’s physique.

12 July,2024 07:19 PM IST | Mumbai | Ainie Rizvi
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Dietary approach to correct autoimmune erectile dysfunction

Autoimmune-related erectile dysfunction (ED) arises when the body's immune system erroneously targets healthy cells in the genital area, resulting in challenges to achieving or sustain an erection. The condition poses a unique set of challenges, affecting a significant number of men worldwide. According to researchers, approximately 8-10 per cent of men experience erectile dysfunction due to autoimmune conditions. The global impact is evident and this issue is also prevalent in countries like India, where a growing number of men seek solutions. Integrating dietary strategies, nutraceuticals, and Ayurvedic practices can provide a holistic solution that addresses the underlying inflammation and immune dysregulation contributing to this condition. Dietary Approach shared by Dr. Vivek Srivastav: Anti-Inflammatory Diet: Research indicates that adopting an anti-inflammatory diet can significantly impact autoimmune conditions, including ED. This dietary approach is relevant not only globally but also for the Indian population, where traditional diets rich in fruits, vegetables, and spices contribute to anti-inflammatory benefits. Limit Processed Foods and Sugar: Processed foods and excess sugar can contribute to inflammation and negatively affect overall health. Cut down on sugary snacks, sodas, and processed foods, as these can exacerbate autoimmune symptoms. Instead, choose whole, unprocessed foods to support your body's natural functions. Gluten-Free Diet: Some autoimmune conditions, like celiac disease, involve gluten sensitivity. For individuals with autoimmune erectile dysfunction, experimenting with a gluten-free diet might be worth considering. Wheat, barley, and rye contain gluten. Opt for gluten-free alternatives like rice, quinoa, and gluten-free oats. Probiotics and Gut Health: Emerging research indicates the crucial role of gut health in autoimmune conditions. Probiotic-rich foods like yogurt can contribute to a healthy gut microbiome and can positively influence immune system balance. Nutraceuticals: -    Omega-3 fatty acids, found in fish oil, flaxseeds, and walnuts, have anti-inflammatory properties. They may help in managing autoimmune conditions and promoting cardiovascular health, positively impacting erectile function-    Vitamin D- Vitamin D deficiency is prevalent among individuals with autoimmune disorders. Addressing this deficiency is crucial, as lower levels are associated with increased inflammation. Consultation with a healthcare provider is essential to determine appropriate vitamin D supplementation levels for individuals with autoimmune-related ED, potentially leading to improvements in symptoms.  Ayurvedic Practices: Herbal Remedies: Ayurvedic herbs have long been used to promote overall wellness and immune function and have significantly demonstrated its positive effects in immune modulations. Incorporating herbs like ashwagandha ( Indian Winter cherry” or “Indian Ginseng), triphala(consisting of three key fruits: Amla - Emblica officinalis, Haritaki - Terminalia chebula, and Bibhitaki - Terminalia bellirica), guduchi (Tinospora cordifolia ), and shatavari (Asparagus racemosus) may offer holistic support in managing autoimmune-related ED.  Dietary Recommendations: Ayurveda emphasizes a personalized approach to diet based on individual body types (doshas). According to a study in the "Journal of Ayurveda and Integrative Medicine," adhering to an Ayurvedic diet tailored to one's dosha may positively influence immune function. Consulting an Ayurvedic practitioner for personalized dietary advice can be a valuable step in the comprehensive management of autoimmune-related ED. Lifestyle Modifications: Stress is a known factor that can exacerbate autoimmune conditions, including ED. Incorporating stress-reducing practices such as yoga, meditation, and mindfulness can provide culturally relevant approaches to managing stress and improving overall well-being. Caution and Consultation: Professional Guidance: Seeking collaboration with healthcare professionals is paramount. A multidisciplinary approach involving doctors, registered dietitians, and Ayurvedic practitioners is effective in managing autoimmune conditions. Their expertise can tailor a comprehensive plan specific to the individual's condition and needs. Monitoring and Individualisation: Regularly monitoring how dietary changes, nutraceuticals, and Ayurvedic practices affect symptoms is essential. An individualised approach enhances treatment adherence and outcomes. Adjustments may be needed based on individual responses and evolving health conditions. In conclusion, autoimmune-related erectile dysfunction requires a nuanced and individualized approach. By integrating dietary strategies, nutraceuticals, and Ayurvedic practices, individuals can address the underlying inflammation and immune dysregulation contributing to this condition. With a focus on evidence-based interventions, regular monitoring, and professional guidance, this holistic approach offers a promising avenue for improving the quality of life for those experiencing autoimmune-related ED. (Dr. Vivek Srivastav, Senior Vice President - Innovation, Business Strategy and Scientific Affairs, Zeon Lifesciences Ltd)

12 July,2024 07:18 PM IST | Mumbai | IANS
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Use of 'benzodiazepines' drug during pregnancy may cause miscarriage: Study

A class of drug called "benzodiazepines" -- which is used in the treatment of anxiety, depression and insomnia -- could be linked to higher odds for miscarriage if taken during pregnancy, a new study has found. Benzodiazepines, generally known as benzos, are a class of sedative medications. Xanax, Valium, Ativan, and Klonopin are some of the most well-known drugs, reports Daily Mail. In the study, published in the journal JAMA Psychiatry, researchers from Taiwan looked at miscarriages among women exposed to benzos before getting pregnant only, during pregnancy only and during both time periods. They studied over three million pregnancies in two million women and found that 4.4 per cent -- or 136,130 -- resulted in miscarriages. They analysed the medical history of all the women studied and found those prescribed benzos were, on average, 70 per cent more likely to miscarry compared to those who didn't take the pills, the study noted. The researchers also mentioned that this higher risk persisted even when other confounding factors such as the woman's age and health were taken into account. The risk of miscarriage was increased by 67 per cent with long-acting benzos like Valium, compared to 66 per cent with short-acting benzos like Versed. Alprazolam, the generic version of Xanax, showed the lowest risk association, at 39 per cent, according to the study. As per researchers, benzos, when used during pregnancy, can cross the barrier between the mother and the placenta, exposing a fetus to the drugs. Researchers theorised that because benzodiazepines have a role in cell development and growth, benzodiazepine exposure could cause fetal developmental defects, which could lead to miscarriage. While the study found a relationship between benzos and miscarriages, researchers were unable to establish a direct link. The researchers did account for underlying diseases that could have caused miscarriage, but they did not assess the impact of a combination of factors, such as smoking and anxiety.

12 July,2024 07:18 PM IST | Mumbai | IANS
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Took a New Year's resolution to quit smoking? 'Cytisine' drug may help

2024 is now here and some of you might have made a New Year's resolution to quit smoking. To keep you up with your resolution, a new study on Monday said that "Cytisine", a low-cost, generic stop-smoking aid that has been used in Eastern Europe since the 1960s, increases the chances of successful smoking cessation by more than two-fold compared with placebo and may be more effective than nicotine replacement therapy. While this sounds perfect for your New Year resolution, there’s a catch. Cytisine is not licensed or marketed in most countries outside of central and eastern Europe, making it unavailable in most of the world, including many low and middle-income countries, according to the study published in the journal Addiction. Cytisine is a plant-based compound that eases smoking withdrawal symptoms. It was first synthesised as Tabex in Bulgaria in 1964, and it later expanded to other nations in Eastern Europe and Asia, where it is still marketed. "Our study adds to the evidence that cytisine is an effective and inexpensive stop-smoking aid. It could be very useful in reducing smoking in LAMI (low and middle-income) countries where cost-effective smoking cessation drugs are urgently needed," lead author Dr Omar De Santi said. "Worldwide, smoking is considered the main cause of preventable death. Cytisine has the potential to be one of the big answers to that problem," he added. This study pooled the results of eight randomised controlled trials comparing cytisine with placebo, with nearly 6,000 patients. The combined data demonstrated that cytisine when compared to placebo, increased the probability of successful smoking cessation by more than twofold. The study also looked at two randomised controlled trials comparing cytisine with nicotine replacement therapy, with modest results in favour of cytisine, and three trials comparing cytisine with varenicline, without a clear benefit for cytisine.

12 July,2024 07:18 PM IST | Mumbai | IANS
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Study decodes Covid risk with proximity, duration of exposure to infected person

British researchers have discovered how the risk of Covid infection varies with proximity and duration of exposure to an infected person. To understand the likelihood of SARS-CoV-2 transmission after exposure, researchers from the University of Oxford, UK used data from the NHS Covid app with 7 million contacts in England and Wales. Their study, published in the journal Nature, revealed that more than proximity, the duration of exposure to people with Covid may increase the likelihood of infection. Longer exposures at greater distances had a similar risk to shorter exposures at closer distances. The probability of transmission confirmed by a reported positive test increased initially linearly with the duration of exposure (1.1 per cent per hour) and continued increasing over several days. While most exposures were short, transmissions typically resulted from exposures lasting one hour to several days. Households accounted for about 6 per cent of contacts but 40 per cent of transmissions. "With sufficient preparation, privacy-preserving yet precise analyses of risk that would inform public health measures, based on digital contact tracing, could be performed within weeks of a new pathogen emerging," said Luca Ferretti, from Oxford's Department for Medicine. The study analysed 7 million Covid contacts from the app between April 2021 and February 2022, involving 23 million hours of exposure and 240,000 reported positive tests. Contacts were assessed based on proximity, duration, and infectiousness scores as calculated by the app, which were then used to estimate the transmission risk. The results showed immediate implications for contact tracing. "We found that the cumulative duration of exposure to infected individuals is a key predictor of transmission in the Covid-19 pandemic, and needs to be accounted for in preparation for future epidemics of respiratory pathogens," Ferretti said. "Since duration of exposure to known cases can usually be recalled without the support of digital tools, it could be immediately incorporated into manual contact tracing interviews," the researchers said. The researchers said, if deployed at scale, contact tracing apps for infectious diseases have potential not only as interventions to reduce transmission, but also as tools to develop quantitative epidemiological understanding. Doing this and translating it into improved interventions takes time. "We should strive to accelerate and improve this process as a key step toward preparedness for future epidemics," the researchers said in the paper. They called for the development of tools and methods for quantitative risk measurement and to integrate them into the public health toolbox for the benefits they can bring now and in readiness for rapid deployment at the start of the next pandemic.

12 July,2024 07:17 PM IST | Mumbai | IANS
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Study decodes Covid risk with proximity, duration of exposure to infected person

British researchers have discovered how the risk of Covid infection varies with proximity and duration of exposure to an infected person. To understand the likelihood of SARS-CoV-2 transmission after exposure, researchers from the University of Oxford, UK used data from the NHS Covid app with 7 million contacts in England and Wales. Their study, published in the journal Nature, revealed that more than proximity, the duration of exposure to people with Covid may increase the likelihood of infection. Longer exposures at greater distances had a similar risk to shorter exposures at closer distances. The probability of transmission confirmed by a reported positive test increased initially linearly with the duration of exposure (1.1 per cent per hour) and continued increasing over several days. While most exposures were short, transmissions typically resulted from exposures lasting one hour to several days. Households accounted for about 6 per cent of contacts but 40 per cent of transmissions. "With sufficient preparation, privacy-preserving yet precise analyses of risk that would inform public health measures, based on digital contact tracing, could be performed within weeks of a new pathogen emerging," said Luca Ferretti, from Oxford's Department for Medicine. The study analysed 7 million Covid contacts from the app between April 2021 and February 2022, involving 23 million hours of exposure and 240,000 reported positive tests. Contacts were assessed based on proximity, duration, and infectiousness scores as calculated by the app, which were then used to estimate the transmission risk. The results showed immediate implications for contact tracing. "We found that the cumulative duration of exposure to infected individuals is a key predictor of transmission in the Covid-19 pandemic, and needs to be accounted for in preparation for future epidemics of respiratory pathogens," Ferretti said. "Since duration of exposure to known cases can usually be recalled without the support of digital tools, it could be immediately incorporated into manual contact tracing interviews," the researchers said. The researchers said, if deployed at scale, contact tracing apps for infectious diseases have potential not only as interventions to reduce transmission, but also as tools to develop quantitative epidemiological understanding. Doing this and translating it into improved interventions takes time. "We should strive to accelerate and improve this process as a key step toward preparedness for future epidemics," the researchers said in the paper. They called for the development of tools and methods for quantitative risk measurement and to integrate them into the public health toolbox for the benefits they can bring now and in readiness for rapid deployment at the start of the next pandemic.

12 July,2024 07:17 PM IST | Mumbai | IANS
Monoterpenes were the most abundant VOC emitted from the tree. Image courtesy: iStock

Live Christmas trees affect indoor air chemistry, here's how

Live Christmas trees release chemicals called volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that create fresh smell found in air fresheners, candles and some personal care products. In the outdoors, conifers, the group of plants that includes most Christmas trees, release monoterpenes, and they can affect outdoor air quality. But little is known about how much monoterpene is released when a tree is cut down and placed indoors during holidays. “We know that these trees are emitting something, and the question then becomes: How big of a source is it? We wanted to explore which chemicals are emitted and how much, and to put that into the context of other sources of chemicals in a house,” said Dustin Poppendieck, an environmental engineer at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). To answer these questions, Poppendieck and colleagues took a common type of Christmas tree — a Douglas fir— and sealed it inside a chamber. They then measured the amount and type of VOCs it emitted over 17 days and also investigated whether the VOCs reacted with other components of indoor air to create new compounds. They placed it inside an environmentally controlled chamber, where they could measure the chemicals emitted from the tree in real time. They decorated the tree in a typical holiday lighting setup and shone bright lights on it to mimic the day-night cycle. The team turned off the lights every 12 hours and watered the tree every day. The team brought in outside air at a rate typical for households, and constantly measured chemicals in the indoor air. Monoterpenes were the most abundant VOC emitted from the tree. They peaked during the first day before diminishing significantly by the third day. Their concentration was initially at the same level of a plug-in air freshener or newly constructed house before it quickly dropped by nearly 10 times its original amount, said Poppendieck. The researchers detected 52 distinct types of monoterpenes, according to research published in the journal Indoor Environments. For people who are sensitive to VOCs, Christmas trees could be one possible cause for watery eyes and noses, especially when initially brought indoors. In that case, Poppendieck suggests, opening a window near the tree will reduce exposure. “But for most people, this shouldn’t be a major concern.”

12 July,2024 07:16 PM IST | Mumbai | IANS
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Do you have prediabetes? Here are 7 red flags you shouldn't ignore

Just as the name suggests, pre-diabetes is a condition when blood sugar levels are higher than normal but not high enough to be diagnosed as diabetes. Though one in three adults have prediabetes as per the Center for Disease Control (CDC), more than 80 per cent of them don’t even know that they have it due to its subtler signs and symptoms. Prediabetes can be dangerous, as it puts the person at a higher risk for other serious health conditions like Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, kidney disease and stroke. Even though there are no clear signs and symptoms of prediabetes, certainly there are some red flags that should not be overlooked. Following are a few signs and symptoms of prediabetes: Frequent Urination: Kidneys produce urine to remove waste products and toxins from the body. High blood glucose levels force the kidneys to work harder and produce more urine to get rid of the excess glucose from the blood. As the urine production increases the frequency of urge for urination also increases. Increased Thirst: With increased urine production and water excretion from the body, the sensation of thirst heightens to protect the body from dehydration. Thus, high blood sugar levels make the person feel more thirsty.Dehydration: To dispose of excess glucose urine production increases and other fluids are pulled out from the tissues in our body. If the person does not drink enough water and only replaces electrolytes then his body may enter into a state of dehydration. Increased hunger: Generally, body cells absorb glucose with the help of insulin to synthesise energy. When the cells do not respond to insulin and absorb enough glucose it triggers hunger and wants more food to suffice its need for glucose. Unexplained weight loss: Prediabetes may often cause an increased sensation of hunger, yet can result in weight loss. The cells need glucose for energy, but due to insulin resistance, the need remains unfulfilled. The body then begins to use stored fat for energy which can result in weight loss.Fatigue: when a person feels over-worked and faces difficulty in getting up and performing basic day-to-day tasks he could suffer from fatigue. Fatigue could be manifested due to numerous reasons but prediabetes could be one of the causes. Not getting enough sleep at night due to increased urination and cells not getting enough glucose for energy could be the possible link between pre-diabetes and fatigue. Dark patches on skin: When the body becomes less responsive towards insulin, the pancreas produces more insulin and these high insulin levels could potentially cause skin discoloration like acanthosis nigricans which makes the skin thick and dark. Although these dark spots can be seen anywhere on the body they are mostly found on the neck, armpits and groin area. "Prediabetes acts like a quiet signal, hinting at possible health problems in the future. By noticing its small signs early on, we can take action to prevent bigger issues. Making simple changes like eating better and staying active can help avoid diabetes. Small steps now can make a big difference later on." - Gopal Sharma, Director of Lifeness Science Institute  If you discover yourself having any of the above signs and symptoms then you must visit a doctor and get tested. Prediabetes does not mean that you will surely develop type 2 diabetes. An effective treatment plan that involves appropriate lifestyle changes, better food choices and improved physical activity can have a huge impact on delaying or preventing diabetes completely. Even small steps can have great outcomes, always remember with pre diabetes, ‘Action’ is the best medicine.

12 July,2024 07:16 PM IST | Mumbai | mid-day online correspondent
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Fresh Covid cases cross 100-mark in Karnataka; positivity rate 5.93 pct

In the latest update on the COVID-19 situation in Karnataka, the state reported 104 fresh cases on Saturday, bringing the active caseload to 271. The Department of Health and Family Welfare released this information, shedding light on the current status of the pandemic in the region. Despite the rise in new cases, it's noteworthy that the test positivity rate has reached 5.93 percent. Fortunately, there were no reported deaths in the state within the past 24 hours, providing a glimmer of relief amid the ongoing health crisis. Among the active cases, 258 individuals are currently under home isolation, while 13 have been hospitalized. Of the hospitalized cases, six are receiving treatment in intensive care units (ICUs), reflecting the severity of the illness in some instances. Over the past 24 hours, the state conducted 1,752 tests to monitor and detect potential cases of COVID-19. Testing remains a crucial aspect of the overall strategy to manage and mitigate the spread of the virus. Breaking down the distribution of new cases across different regions in Karnataka, Bengaluru recorded the highest number with 85 cases. Other districts that reported new cases include Mysuru (7), Shivamogga (6), Chamarajanagara and Tumakuru (2 each), and Mandya and Dakshina Kannada (1 each). The information provided by the Department of Health and Family Welfare serves as a vital update for residents, healthcare professionals, and authorities involved in the ongoing efforts to control the spread of the virus. It underscores the importance of continued vigilance, testing, and adherence to public health guidelines to safeguard the well-being of the community in Karnataka. Further, the WHO said over 118,000 new Covid-19 hospitalisations and over 1600 new intensive care unit (ICU) admissions have been recorded, with an overall increase of 23 per cent and 51 per cent, respectively, globally, reported ANI. As of December 18, 2023, JN.1, a sub-lineage of BA.2.86 Omicron variant has been designated a separate variant of interest (VOI) apart from its parent lineage BA.2.86 due to its rapid increase in prevalence in recent weeks. Globally, EG.5 remains the most reported variant of interest, reported ANI.

12 July,2024 07:15 PM IST | Mumbai | mid-day online correspondent
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Lifestyle changes to keep arthritis pain at bay during winter season

A variety of reasons contribute to the challenges of the winter season for individuals with arthritis. Below are some simple lifestyle adjustments that can help alleviate arthritis pain during the colder months. The chilly weather can exacerbate the discomfort and soreness linked to the autoimmune condition called arthritis. Numerous factors contribute to the challenges faced by arthritis sufferers during the winter season.  This is why winter can be problematic for those who have arthritis pain: Individuals with arthritis and other joint problems may be more sensitive to fluctuations in barometric pressure. This sensitivity could stem from deteriorating cartilage that cushions the bones within a joint, causing nerves in the exposed bones to react to changes in pressure. Another reason is that during winter, one’s body conserves heat and redirects a greater amount of blood to core organs. As a result, blood vessels in the arms, legs, shoulders, and knee joints may become rigid, leading to discomfort and pain. Individuals with jobs that involve little physical activity are more prone to experiencing arthritis-related problems and arthritis pain during the winter season than those who engage in regular physical activity.  Arthritis patients should follow these lifestyle changes during winter: Prepare for the cold weather by dressing in winter attire and ensuring your home is heated. Engaging in activities such as brisk walks in sunny areas or working out at the gym can boost your metabolic heat and enhance joint function. Eating a balanced diet that includes fruits, vegetables, fish, nuts, and seeds is important for maintaining good health. Taking Vitamin D supplements has been shown to have positive effects. Engaging in activities such as warm baths, swimming in a warm pool, or doing warm water exercises can help regulate body temperature and ease arthritis pain. Regular gentle stretches can improve joint mobility and reduce pain and stiffness associated with arthritis. Maintaining good posture and managing weight are also crucial for managing arthritis. Steer clear of activities that put excessive strain on your body, such as running, jumping, and high-impact aerobics. It's important to stop smoking because it can place stress on connective tissues, potentially worsening arthritis discomfort.  (Dr Pramod Bhor, Director of Orthopedics and Robotic Joint Replacement Surgeon, Fortis Hospital, Vashi)

12 July,2024 07:15 PM IST | Mumbai | mid-day online correspondent
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Respiratory problems that threatened lungs in 2023

“Air pollution encompasses a range of harmful substances emitted from various sources, such as vehicles, industrial facilities and natural events like wildfires. These pollutants include particulate matter, nitrogen oxides, sulfur dioxide, carbon monoxide and volatile organic compounds – all of which can have detrimental effects on the environment and human health. Burning of fossil fuels for energy production and transportation, industrial emissions, including those from manufacturing processes, mining operations, waste incineration and pesticide use cause outdoor air pollution. Indoor air pollution is caused due to smoking, products for household cleaning and maintenance, personal care, heating and cooling systems and humidification devices. Air pollution harms one’s lungs,” Said Dr Chhya Vaja, Internal Medicine Expert, Apollo Spectra Mumbai. In 2023, a wave of unusual lung problems plagued people across the country, leaving experts and the common man puzzled. The symptoms varied widely among patients, ranging from persistent coughing and shortness of breath to coughing, wheezing, sore throat and nasal congestion. These symptoms caused not only physical distress but also significant emotional turmoil as lives were disrupted by ongoing treatments and unanswered questions about prognosis and long-term consequences.  The following respiratory problems have taken a toll on one’s lungs in 2023: “Air pollution causes and triggers asthma. Particulate matter, sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, and ozone are common air pollutants known to trigger asthma attacks by irritating the airways and causing inflammation. Notably, children living in areas with high levels of air pollution are at an increased risk of developing asthma. This is further compounded by the fact that airborne pollutants can weaken the immune system, making individuals more susceptible to respiratory problems and illness.  Prolonged exposure to air pollution has been associated with irreversible lung damage, potentially leading to chronic respiratory conditions such as asthma. It's important to note that while outdoor air pollution plays a significant role in asthma development, indoor pollution from sources like tobacco smoke and cooking fumes also poses a considerable risk. Ultimately, addressing the issue of air pollution is essential in mitigating the burden of asthma on individuals’ health and healthcare systems.”  Dr Prashant Chhajed, Pulmonologist, Lilavati Hospital Said, “Air pollution is a significant contributor to the development and exacerbation of bronchitis, a condition characterized by inflammation of the bronchial tubes. The particulate matter and toxic gases present in polluted air can irritate the respiratory system, leading to increased susceptibility to bronchitis. Moreover, long-term exposure to air pollution has been linked to chronic bronchitis, highlighting the detrimental impact of polluted air on respiratory health.  Those living in highly polluted areas are at a higher risk of developing both acute and chronic bronchitis. This highlights the urgent need for measures to reduce air pollution and protect public health. With the rise in urbanization and industrialization, it's crucial to address sources of air pollution and implement policies aimed at improving air quality to prevent the prevalence of bronchitis and other respiratory diseases. The link between air pollution and bronchitis highlights the importance of addressing environmental factors in promoting respiratory health. By raising awareness about this connection and advocating for cleaner air initiatives, we can strive towards reducing the burden of bronchitis on individuals and communities affected by polluted environments.” Dr Chetan Jain, Pulmonologist, Zynova Shalby Hospital Said, “Air pollution invites pneumonia. The tiny particulate matter and toxic gases suspended in the air can easily penetrate deep into the lungs, causing inflammation and compromising respiratory function. Studies have shown a clear link between exposure to air pollution and an increased risk of developing pneumonia, especially in vulnerable populations such as children and the elderly. Polluted air can weaken the immune system, making individuals more susceptible to infections like pneumonia. Air pollution is also a possible risk factor for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).  Additionally, long-term exposure to air pollutants can accelerate the decline in lung function among individuals with existing COPD, leading to a higher frequency of exacerbations and hospitalizations.  Strict regulations on industrial emissions and vehicle exhaust could significantly reduce the levels of pollutants in the atmosphere, leading to a decrease in pneumonia cases.” “The fine particulate matter and toxic gases due to air pollution cause harm to the respiratory system. Due to prolonged exposure to polluted air, there is a higher risk of developing lung cancer. The microscopic particles in polluted air can penetrate deep into the lungs, triggering inflammation and oxidative stress, which can eventually lead to the development of cancerous cells. Certain air pollutants like benzene and formaldehyde have been identified as carcinogens, further highlighting the grave impact of air pollution on lung health. It's crucial to recognize that vulnerable populations such as children and the elderly are disproportionately affected by the adverse effects of air pollution on lung cancer. As they often spend more time outdoors and have developing or weakened respiratory systems, their exposure to polluted air poses a particularly elevated risk. Indoor air quality also plays a significant role in lung health, as exposure to pollutants from cooking fuels and tobacco smoke can further exacerbate the risk of developing lung cancer and other respiratory problems,” underscored Dr Chhajed. Vital tips to follow in 2024 to take utmost care of the lungs “Taking care of your lungs is crucial for maintaining good overall health, and there are several simple yet effective tips to keep them in top condition. Regular exercise plays a significant role in lung health by improving their capacity and function. Activities such as brisk walking, swimming, or cycling can help strengthen the respiratory muscles and enhance lung efficiency. Avoiding exposure to pollutants like cigarette smoke, air pollution, and harmful chemicals is essential for protecting your lungs. It's important to be mindful of the air quality in your environment and take necessary precautions to minimise exposure to potential lung irritants. Practicing deep breathing exercises can aid in promoting healthy lung function and capacity. Wearing a mask, not being around sick people, eating a well-balanced diet, and staying hydrated by drinking an adequate amount of water throughout the day help maintain mucus membranes that line the lungs, promoting better respiratory function. Incorporating these simple yet impactful habits into your routine can significantly contribute to maintaining optimal lung health for years to come. Pledge to take care of your lungs by adhering to these foolproof measures,” Concluded Shahid Patel, Consultant Pulmonologist, Medicover Hospitals, Navi Mumbai

12 July,2024 07:14 PM IST | Mumbai | mid-day online correspondent
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