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World Mental Health Month 2022: Do you know if your child is being bullied?


Every year, the United Nations celebrates World Mental Health Month in October. Globally, World Mental Health Day is celebrated on October 10. When we talk about mental health, one can’t ignore the focus the last two years of the Covid-19 pandemic has put on one’s mental health and its resilience in difficult times. This year, the theme is ‘Make mental health & well-being for all a global priority’. While we talk about mental health of adults, it is important to remember that it even impacts children. One of the many reasons for the latter is bullying that can stay with them even in their adult life.  Dr Jalpa Bhuta, consultant psychiatrist at Global Hospital, explains, “A bully intends to cause pain, either through physical harm or words or behaviour repeatedly.”  The effects of such behaviour heavily are due to particular reasons identified by the bully that leads to a drastic effect on the child who gets bullied.  “There are definitely some risk factors that can be considered to perceived obesity, or thinness or any physical attributes that makes a child stand out from the crowd, physical or behavioural characteristics stereotypically associated with LGBTQ community, disability, underprivileged background or lack of resources in comparison to peers,” explains Shiny Shrivastava, consultant psychologist, Bhatia Hospital. She adds that it can also be done to children who are not good at emotional and social interactions due to neurological concerns or mental illness.  Mid-day Online spoke to Bhuta and Shrivastava to understand the causes and adverse effects of bullying. They also dwell on what parents can do to identify if their children are being bullied. The experts say that the responsibility of addressing the issue doesn’t fall on the parents alone but also the school and teachers who are with them during the day. What are the causes of bullying?  Shrivastava: Bullying involves either physical or verbal aggression that may be repeated over a period of time but is not limited to simply someone being mean to you. There is a characteristic imbalance of power involved in the interaction. It also isn’t limited to a child's experience at school. It is the result of an aggressor's need to gain and maintain control over some person or situation. There is no way in which a victim can invite such an interaction due to any individual characteristics. Bhuta: Bullying can particularly be done to vulnerable children, who are shy or sensitive or very gentle. It may also happen to kids with gender identity issues, or children with any form of disabilities. Characteristic of a bully: A need for power and control.  Fear of vulnerability and exposure, being seen as imperfect or flawed in any way. To gain superiority or social status in peer groups. He/She might have been bullied before. Usually bullies may have less empathy, more aggression and a weaker moral compass. What are the effects of bullying and how can it affect a child? Shrivastava: Children who are targeted by the bullies not only suffer emotionally, but socially as well. They may not just find it difficult to make new friends, they may even struggle to maintain any meaningful friendships in the long run. The hurtful things said and the actions that they are subjected to eventually leads to a child believing that these words might be true and that in some way they are responsible for inviting such a difficulty upon themselves.  Some of the emotions experienced by a child in such a scenario could be anger, bitterness, helplessness, loneliness. Eventually a child may struggle to attend classes, hangout with peers and resort to some form of substance abuse to help numb their pain, especially in the absence of an effective support system in the form of empathising parents or teachers. It can also contribute to the development of depression and contemplation of suicide. Bhuta: Effects of bullying can be dire. It can lead to academic underachievement. The child feels very unsafe and develops ‘school phobia”. It may lead to low self-esteem, depression, social anxiety, and panic attacks. Does bullying affect boys and girls differently? Shrivastava: Gender plays an important role in bullying. The various stereotypes at play influence the socialisation of young children and makes them follow certain roles assigned to their gender. For example, boys may be socialised to be strong and independent and girls may be socialised to be understanding and sensitive. As a result, a child who doesn’t act according to the expected roles tend to stand out and are viewed negatively and thus are often targeted for bullying. Generally, boys could be choosing more physically aggressive methods of bullying when compared to girls. In comparison to boys, girls could be using more indirect methods like verbal assaults, spreading rumours, gossiping. Such passive-aggressive ways also make it more difficult to spot. Bhuta: Boys are more likely to experience physical bullying, whereas girls are more likely to experience psychological bullying. How can parents understand if their child is being bullied?  Shrivastava: A lot of times, kids choose to stay silent due to their experience of shame and helplessness coming in the way which may lead to escalation of the bullying. Hence, as a parent, you cannot simply count on your kid opening up to you about their experiences. You will need to make an effort at your end. Some of the signs to note could be gradual shortening of the friend circle, frequent changes in mood, especially towards anxiety, clinginess, withdrawal from social interaction, increase in irritability. It also includes frequent complaints of headaches, stomach aches or unexplained physical injuries, children experiencing trouble in falling asleep at their regular hours, drop in grades, loss of interest in activities that were interesting earlier.   Bhuta: Bullying is a pattern of behaviour and not just an isolated incident. It can happen in-person or online. Cyberbullying often occurs over social media, SMS/text, email or any online platform. As parents may not always follow the online trail, they may be unaware that it is happening.  What are the signs to look to know if a child is being bullied? Does the responsibility fall only on the parents or the teachers in their school too?  Shrivastava: It is the responsibility of the parents as well as the teachers to provide children the kind of safe, understanding and accessible environment at home and at school so that they feel open enough to share their day-to-day experiences with their parents and other caretakers.  The signs to take note include: the child showing reluctance in going to the school and presenting recurring excuses; complaints of frequent headaches and stomach aches or trouble falling asleep, not to say that they are faking it, such aches are common physical manifestations of the stress and anxiety which could be a sign of bullying; loss of friends the child was previously good friends with or reluctance to hang out with his usual set of friends; child showing intense emotional reaction to conversations around social or especially school activities; torn clothing and physical marks on the body; one can take special care if they know that the child is a new kid in the school or in the society complex. Bhuta: Physical signs may be bruises, scratches, broken bones and wounds. If your child avoids school often If he is anxious, nervous or very vigilant. If he starts avoiding social situations, gets mood swings, frequent nightmares, becomes cranky.  If there are unexplained headaches, tummy pains, vomiting. How can a child deal with bullying or the bully at the most basic level personally?  Shrivastava: Parents or teachers can help a child learn how to identify bullying behaviour and deal with it if it happens. The actions that a child can learn to take in order to deal with a bully include: avoiding the bully especially at places where they are more likely to meet them and try to have a buddy around so that they do not have to face the bully all alone.  It is natural to get upset, but in this case, it would be giving a bully exactly what they need, and so holding the anger and practicing cooling down techniques and keeping themselves calm at least till they are out of danger, acting brave, walking away from the scene, ignoring the bully. Getting in touch with an adult to help stop the bully. Talking to someone a child trusts for helpful suggestions even if the trustful other isn’t able to fix the situation for the child. And hence a sibling, a friend, guidance counsellor, anybody can be reached out to open up about their experience. How can parents create awareness and tell their child about bullying and ways to deal with it?  Shrivastava: When a child opens up to their parents about their experience around being bullied, parents need to listen to them calmly and offer them comfort and support instead of showing any big reactions like getting angry or threatening the bully, their caretakers or the school. Kids find it difficult to open up to adults because of their feelings of embarrassment and shame. They may also worry that if their parents get to know about this, they may feel disappointed, upset, angry or show an extreme reaction which may scare the child.  Choose to praise your child for finding the courage to open up about their difficult experience. Let your child know that you have their back and that they are not alone in this. Explain how getting bullied is a common experience and it’s the bully who is behaving badly and not your child. Reassure your child that you will work with people and authorities to find a way out. In most cases, teachers and counsellors are the best point of contact for reaching out. Most schools have anti-bullying policies and programs so there are various methods available to resolve the issue. Bhuta:  Educate your child about bullying. This will help them to identify it more easily. Focus on your child being heard and supported. Make sure that they know it’s not their fault. Tell the child you believe in them. Talk to the teacher at school. The child does not have to face bullying alone.  Talk openly and frequently to your children. They will be more comfortable about telling you about it. Enquire about their feelings, not just about classes and activities. Help build your child's confidence, by a lot of encouragement and praise. Be a role model. Show them how to treat others with respect and kindness, including speaking up if mistreated by others. Know about their online exposures, and warn them about the risks involved. Does school management have to take the responsibility to prevent bullying? Shrivastava: School administration which includes principals, teachers, assistants and other staff, play a key role in helping create an environment that provides the safety and awareness necessary to tackle issues like bullying and harassment. They are also required to understand and follow various state and central policies and procedures regarding bullying and make school a safe place for children to grow, learn and nurture their minds. They are required to have a system in place that is consistent and appropriate without being overly harsh or unfair. While bullying is often considered for children without special needs including speech disabilities. Does bullying of children with special needs (who are not in a special school) affect them differently? Shrivastava: Children with special needs such as physical, developmental, intellectual, emotional or sensory needs are at a higher risk of being bullied. The factors that contribute to this experience include physical and emotional vulnerability, challenges in social skills, intolerant or highly competitive environment, etc. Therefore, special considerations are needed when addressing bullying in children with special needs.  Schools need to have in place Individualised Education Programs (IEPs) that are useful in creating specialised approaches for preventing and responding to bullying. Another reason why special needs groups are at a higher risk is because of lack of peer support. It is difficult for this group to have and maintain friends who will have their backs and help in preventing and protecting against bullying. Peer support makes a difference. Training of teachers to the specific needs of the child so that individualised strategies and support can be developed to help them participate and succeed in class along with their peers and help them build meaningful relationships with each other. Parents of children with special needs are already protective about them. What should they be looking for differently to identify it in time and how can they deal with it? Shrivastava: The Right to Education Act (RTE) includes having zero tolerance against discrimination and harassment. Knowledge of the legal technicalities may offer hope to parents of children with special needs facing bullying and harassment by accessing legal protections. However, before bullying reaches such a crisis point, parents, teachers and the school administration can collaborate to work together to prevent bullying and stop it at early stages.  Noticing signs of withdrawal and anxiety in the child, and then working with the school administration can help address the issue at early stages. Being proactive about school’s anti bullying policies and provisions, addressing concerns at PTM meetings or IEP meetings, maintaining records of past incidents over and above noticing the general changes in behaviour and attitude of the child can be an effective strategy for parents. Also read: Do you feel burned out? Why it is urgent for Indian employers to act on employees’ poor mental health

03 October,2022 09:41 AM IST | Mumbai | Nascimento Pinto
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International Podcast Day: Tough day? Five mental health podcasts to help you

Mental wellness has become an increasingly popular topic in recent years, partly due to the pandemic, which was a difficult time for many of us personally, but also due to prevalent external factors such as world news and social media. In the midst of this chaos, we seek solace in order to sleep better, feel less overwhelmed, or simply relax after a long day. In this age of visual fatigue and 'doom scrolling,' audio - both music and podcasts -- is becoming increasingly important. Recognizing the value of audio, Spotify's new initiative, 'Pause with Spotify', aims to create a mental wellness ecosystem of content, experts, and advocates who can simplify and share relatable conversations with anyone looking for relevant resources. Here are a few examples: The Pause playlist - this brings together podcast episodes and songs that will help you take a break, when you need it, where you need it. Updated every mid month, the playlist will focus on different aspects of mental wellness. Current theme: mindfulness. The All is Well playlist - Episodes from across different podcasts, curated to nourish your mind and soul. Here are also a few of the best podcasts catering to mental health needs - whether you want straight science, apt advice, or just listen to real life experiences of others like you. Yours Mentally Podcast - The podcast discusses issues that are on all of our minds, but we are afraid to speak up on. Hosted by 3 teenagers with the help of multiple mental health professionals, the podcast aims to help listeners get answers to their questions that they may not get elsewhere. Let's Talk About Mental Health - Each week, writer/host Jeremy Godwin looks at one aspect of mental health and provides straightforward, practical advice based on quality research and his own experience of learning how to live with anxiety and depression -- so you can get tips that actually work from someone who understands what it's like to go through mental health challenges New Mindset, Who Dis? - A podcast that has no gurus, no fluff, and no preaching of generic life advice. Just unfiltered thoughts on self-help, wellness, and mindsets with practical and personal insights on how to live a purposeful life. Take a Pause with Varun Duggirala - Does the daily hustle make you anxious and overwhelmed? Join Varun as he sheds light on concepts and real-life stories that will motivate you, and build the right mindset. The Sarah Jane Show - Sarah engages in a friendly conversation with a few incredible people who share their experiences and knowledge to inspire listeners. She also shares her own thoughts and ideas that can help you live the best life. If you still cannot make up your mind, Spotify's Wellness hub has a collection of playlists and podcasts that will help you navigate through a few of the most common issues we face on a daily basis. Go to the Spotify app, type 'Wellness' in the search bar, and pick your audio of choice. This story has been sourced from a third party syndicated feed, agencies. Mid-day accepts no responsibility or liability for its dependability, trustworthiness, reliability and data of the text. Mid-day management/ reserves the sole right to alter, delete or remove (without notice) the content in its absolute discretion for any reason whatsoever

30 September,2022 12:55 PM IST | New Delhi | IANS
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World Heart Day 2022: Reasons why heart attacks in women are often missed

A team of researchers has identified a specific gene that may be responsible for differences in symptoms and outcomes of heart attack between men and women.According to Jennifer Dungan, Associate Professor at University of Florida's College of Nursing, many of the current symptom profiles and lab tests for heart disease do not accurately reflect known differences in women's heart disease.This oversight has led to increased gaps in health care equity."Because of this disparity, women are more likely than men to report heart disease symptoms that appear out of the norm, experience delayed treatment for heart disease and even have undiagnosed heart attacks," Dungan said."For reasons that remain uncertain, women can experience heart disease differently than men. This can lead to inequities for women that need to be addressed."Dungan said cardiac researchers believe that some of these differences in symptoms and outcomes may be due to genetic variation between men and women. She has identified a specific gene she believes may be responsible, named RAP1GAP2."RAP1GAP2 is a strong candidate for sex-linked effects on women's heart disease outcomes," Dungan said."Certain DNA markers in this gene are thought to manage the activity of platelets, colourless blood cells that help our blood clot. This also presents a heart attack risk. An overactive gene could cause too many platelets to respond to the clot, which could block the flow of blood and oxygen to the heart muscle and lead to a heart attack," she added.Since RAP1GAP2 was not linked to poor heart outcomes among men in her team's study, she believes this gene may work differently in women.Their findings were recently published in American Heart Journal Plus."Our goal is to find the gene markers most accurately linked to heart disease for all women," Dungan said.Dungan and her team aims to analyse health data from 17,000 postmenopausal women. They plan to use statistical genetics methods to study if there is a link between certain DNA markers on RAP1GAP2 and heart disease among women."At the end of the study, if RAP1GAP2 gene markers accurately reflect women's heart symptoms and predict their likelihood of a future heart attack, stroke or death, then those gene markers could help us be more confident in their diagnosis and future prognosis," she said. "Having more accurate biomarkers for women would save lives and improve health equity for all women." Also Read: Mindful eating: Ahead of school reopening, here’s how parents can clean up kids’ dietary habits This story has been sourced from a third party syndicated feed, agencies. Mid-day accepts no responsibility or liability for its dependability, trustworthiness, reliability and data of the text. Mid-day management/ reserves the sole right to alter, delete or remove (without notice) the content in its absolute discretion for any reason whatsoever

29 September,2022 01:15 PM IST | New York | IANS
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World Heart Day 2022: Heart health with meditation: here's how to practice

The practice of meditation can do more than just relax the mind. Recent studies have revealed that meditation can positively impact heart health by reducing stress and lowering blood pressure and heart rate. Mindfulness and meditation can benefit overall health, including heart health. The age-old practice uses quiet contemplation, breathing and sustained focus to help let go of stress and feel more calm and peaceful. It can be thought of as a mini-vacation from stress in life. Psychological stress increases the activation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis and the sympathetic nervous system. This causes a release of harmful hormones cortisol, adrenaline and noradrenaline. These harmful hormones fasten the heart rate, increase cardiac output and narrow the arteries. As meditation induces deep relaxation in the mind and body, the stress subsides, and stability is restored. How to Make Meditation a Habit?Once people understand the basics of the practice, the next challenge is making it a habit. Like every other lifestyle change, it takes time to incorporate meditation into everyday life and build it into a routine. Here are some tips: . Set a daily alarm on the phone or block out time on a digital calendar . Try an app that reminds it's time to meditate and then record the length of the session . Start by practising a few minutes every day and increase the time in small amounts until the goal is reached . Meditation to Connect with the Heart's Energy Here are some simple steps to connect with the heart's Energy: . Sit in a comfortable position and close your eyes. . Let go of any thoughts and the world outside. . Focus the attention on the spiritual heart centre (the middle of the chest) and be aware of the heart as a space. . Resting the attention on the heart centre, breathe gently and sense the breath flowing into the heart. One may also visualise a coolness permeating the chest. . Breathe normally and steadily. . For the next few minutes, sit and listen to the heart. The heart will gradually begin to release emotions, wishes, memories, dreams and fears long stored inside. If the mind wanders, gently return to the focus on the heart. . Upon completing the meditation practice, take a few moments to reflect on the practice. Why Meditation can be Useful for Heart Health?Several studies have shown that meditation can lower stress levels, reduce cortisol levels and improve heart health. Meditation can activate the "rest-and-digest" functions of the body, which counteracts the "flight-or-fight" responses. With daily meditation practice, people can lower their heart rate and blood pressure, which may reduce the risk of heart diseases. Here's a look into what different studies have to say about meditation and heart health. Researchers in 2013 at the University of Sydney found that meditation can improve HRV. It is a significant marker of mental and physical health. After spending ten intensive days learning how to meditate, meditation drastically improved the heart's responsiveness. In 2021, the American Journal of Biomedical Science and Research published a report on meditation's effect on heart rate. It revealed that with time, meditation helps the heart to beat slower and become more consistent. This indicates that meditation may be effective in preventing heart diseases. The International Journal of Exercise Science published a study in 2017 on the effect of meditation on stressed college students. Throughout the 6-week-meditation programme, blood pressure and pulse decreased significantly. It takes time to learn meditation and gain confidence, as with any new endeavour. The important thing is to practice every day, even if only for a few minutes. Meditation, no matter how brief, is always preferable to doing nothing. A schedule can also be used to establish a routine. In addition, every day, one should try to practice meditation. Daily practice can have enormous benefits not only for the heart, but also for the mind, body, and soul. Also read: Young adults need to beware of heart attacks post-Covid-19, here’s why This story has been sourced from a third party syndicated feed, agencies. Mid-day accepts no responsibility or liability for its dependability, trustworthiness, reliability and data of the text. Mid-day management/ reserves the sole right to alter, delete or remove (without notice) the content in its absolute discretion for any reason whatsoever

29 September,2022 01:14 PM IST | Mumbai | IANS
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World Health Day 2022: Up to 30 pct rise in heart risks post Covid-19 infection

The effects of the Covid-19 pandemic on our bodies is yet to be seen but as it is being seen in different patients, the possibility of a heart attack exists, according to health experts. The viral infection has seen an increase in the frequency of heart attacks and heart failure by 25-30 per cent.  According to cardiologists at the Sarvodaya Hospital in Faridabad, they have seen a significant surge in cases of heart attack and heart failure in the post-Covid period. The incidence has gone up by more than one-fourth in the last one year."After the pandemic, the incidence of heart attacks and heart failure has increased by 25-30 per cent in people who got infected with Covid. Patients, who had to be hospitalised or put on a ventilator due to Covid-19, are now much more vulnerable to heart complications, and we see a considerable surge in such cases," said L.K. Jha, associate director-Cardiology at the hospital.According to doctors, there are two ways by which Covid-19 affects the heart."First is a direct infection of the heart muscle, due to which it gets weakened, leading to heart failure. The second is that after Covid-19, a mild form of the infection persists in the body for many months. The arteries remain inflamed, leading to the tendency of clotting inside the heart. This results in heart attack and other complications," Jha said.Many incidents have come to light in recent months of a sudden heart attack in people, including celebrities, after doing vigorous exercise."In these cases, the heart muscle may still be inflamed due to long Covid, triggering a heart attack," he said.The doctor also said that people who had a severe form of Covid-19 need to take precautions.According to the expert, it is difficult to predict heart problems in recovered Covid patients. But there are blood tests that measure inflammatory markers like ESR and High-sensitivity C-reactive Protein (hs-CRP).These tests can tell whether any form of infection still exists in the body and how much the risk is."It is advisable not to do any vigorous exercise for the next six months after getting a Covid infection. Only light exercises like brisk walking or mild jogging are okay. Don't indulge in strength training exercises like the weight-lifting or extreme treadmill because your heart may still be weak," Jha said.Also Read: Three years of vape ban: Experts say the move does more harm than good for smokers trying to quit This story has been sourced from a third party syndicated feed, agencies. Mid-day accepts no responsibility or liability for its dependability, trustworthiness, reliability and data of the text. Mid-day management/ reserves the sole right to alter, delete or remove (without notice) the content in its absolute discretion for any reason whatsoever

29 September,2022 01:12 PM IST | New Delhi | IANS
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World Heart Day 2022: Why fitness enthusiasts need to follow rules to maintain

Exercise is known to be beneficial for the body and fitness. However, it may not always be ideal because of existing health conditions, and experts say fitness enthusiasts must be mindful of especially their heart while taking up a fitness regime. Stand-up comedian Raju Srivastav was reportedly running on the treadmill when he suffered a cardiac arrest and was rushed to the All India Institute of Medical Science, Delhi. Srivastav, 59, continues to be "critical and on ventilator". "If someone above the age of 50 years is starting to go to the gym, then it may be better to get yourself checked by a cardiologist or do a stress test," said Dr Tilak Suvarna, senior interventional cardiologist, Asian Heart Institute, Mumbai. "Avoid overdoing any exercise. Moderate exercise is good enough to reduce your risk of a heart attack," he said, adding that work out should be immediately stopped if one "gets symptoms of chest pain or shortness of breath or light-headedness while working out. "One should also keep well-hydrated and avoid going to the gym on a full stomach," he advised. While obesity, sedentary lifestyles, and old age are traditionally existing reasons for heart ailments, health experts suggest increased workouts, stress, and Covid, are adding to the risk. Post Covid, heart attacks have been significantly on the rise, especially in celebrities often touted as fit and healthy. 'Bhabiji Ghar Par Hai' actor Deepesh Bhan (41), Marathi actor Pradeep Patwardhan (65), singer K.K. (53), Kannada superstar Puneeth Rajkumar (46), 'Balika Vadhu' actor Sidharth Shukla (40) are in the list of celebrities who lost their lives to heart attack.  "Post-Covid, there has been a rise in heart attack or cardiac arrest cases among people during a gym workout. Youngsters and middle-aged people are at the most risk as they are more likely to be the victims in such cases," said Dr Ashish Agarwal, HOD Cardiology, Aakash healthcare. "Going to the gym does not imply that your heart is in good shape. Many fitness enthusiasts, irrespective of age, use steroids or synthetic proteins which are not safe at all. Also, engaging in an intense workout or too much physical activity too quickly can injure the heart, especially in beginners or people above 40," he added. Agarwal advised people with hypertension, high cholesterol, or diabetes, to consult a cardiologist before beginning gym training. "Heart attack cases were on the rise even before Covid arrived. However, it is a significant risk factor because it raises the likelihood of blood clot development in patients suffering from long Covid. However, individual cases may differ," he noted.Also Read: Young adults need to beware of heart attacks post-Covid-19, here’s why This story has been sourced from a third party syndicated feed, agencies. Mid-day accepts no responsibility or liability for its dependability, trustworthiness, reliability and data of the text. Mid-day management/ reserves the sole right to alter, delete or remove (without notice) the content in its absolute discretion for any reason whatsoever

29 September,2022 01:11 PM IST | New Delhi | IANS
Experts shed light on the symptoms one must be aware of about blood clots and the preventive measures but while taking expert advice. Image for representational purpose only. Photo: istock

World Heart Day 2022: Coronavirus and blood clots: Causes, effects and treatment


The effects of Covid-19 on people are varied but city doctors have observed that there is a possibility of heart attacks, especially in youngsters.  Some city experts say heart attacks after Covid-19 are caused due to the presence of blood clots in the body. However, others believe there is neither any scientific evidence to prove blood clot-related heart attacks occur due to Covid-19 nor that the virus causes disproportionally more heart attacks than otherwise. The jury is still out but the fact that heart attacks and blood clots and their presence in people who have suffered from Covid-19 is being discussed cannot be ignored. Mid-day Online spoke to Dr Manish Hinduja, consultant-cardio thoracic and vascular surgery, Fortis Hospital and Dr Pravin Kahale, consultant, cardiology, Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital to understand more about the causes of blood clots and the effects post-Covid. They also shed light on the symptoms one must be aware of and the preventive measures but while taking expert advice. What causes blood clots in people after they suffer from Covid-19?Hinduja: In Covid, clots form in blood vessels because once the virus binds to ACE 2 receptors on blood vessel lining cells, it activates the release of clot-forming proteins. It is also sometimes due to hyperactive inflammation caused by the virus in the body. Kahale: Any infection which damages the wall of the blood vessels increases the chances of clotting in the body and that is not particularly due to Covid, many infections can also lead to blood clots. Do blood clots cause heart attacks in people who have suffered from Covid-19? What are the other complications that could occur due to these clots besides heart attacks?Hinduja: Yes, clots if formed in blood vessels of the heart, can lead to heart attack. Clots can also cause stroke, pulmonary embolism, deep vein thrombosis in legs or arms, and kidney but rarely liver damage. Kahale: Blood clots can occur due to multiple infections. There is no evidence of blood clot-related heart attacks due to Covid-19. Apart from leg veins called deep vein thrombosis, other complications that can occur are paralysis due to clots in the brain, and lung arteries. Has there been an increase in the number of heart attacks due to blood clots or people coming with clots after suffering from Covid-19?Hinduja: Definitely. There is an increase in the number of heart attacks after Covid infection (especially in the younger age group).  Kahale: There is no evidence that Covid causes disproportionally more heart attacks. What are the chances of the blood clots occurring? Do they appear more in any particular age group?Hinduja: About 20-30 per cent of patients with Covid-19 infection needing ICU treatment, show features of blood clot formation within six months of infection. Although it is more common in elderly hospitalised patients, it is also seen in young patients who have no comorbidities. Kahale: Blood clots in mild to moderate Covid cases are uncommon. In case of severe Covid, the chances of blood clots occurring are still less. There is no particular age which is more susceptible. Which part of the body do the blood clots occur the most?While Hinduja says blood clots occur in the lungs, heart and brain vessels, Kahale adds that they mostly occur in leg veins and lung circulation. Can people avoid getting blood clots after Covid-19?Hinduja: Yes, preventive treatment with blood thinners and early diagnosis is the key. Kahale: A patient who has suffered from severe Covid-19 infection can take a blood thinner based on the need, and guidance of a doctor. Are there any foods people can eat to prevent getting blood clots eventually causing heart attacks? Do they need to make lifestyle changes?Hinduja: Staying active, avoiding smoking and reducing weight for obese patients can help in reducing the risk. Common foods like ginger, turmeric and garlic have been shown to have some blood thinning effects. However, their role in preventing Covid 19-related blood clots, is not well-documented. Kahale: In terms of blood clotting due to Covid-19, there are no specific food or lifestyle changes required. The risk of developing blood clots for a patient suffering from severe Covid-19 is only a potential threat until a patient is Covid positive. What are the signs or symptoms for people to realise they have a blood clot? Why should they be concerned?Hinduja: There is sudden chest pain, swelling in arms or legs, drowsiness and weakness in limbs. Kahale: Blood clots depend upon the area where the patient is affected. If it occurs in the lungs, it can cause breathlessness. If it is in the legs, then it can cause swelling of the legs; heart blood clots lead to a heart attack-like chest pain, and clots in the brain can cause paralysis or stroke.Also Read: Mumbai rains: Leptospirosis alert — check symptoms and preventive measures (Disclaimer: This article is not intended as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Mid-day Online does not in any way endorse the accuracy, completeness, efficacy or timeliness of any advice or line of treatment mentioned in this article. Readers must always seek the advice of a certified medical practitioner and/or a mental health professional before deciding on or starting any course of treatment.)

29 September,2022 12:54 PM IST | Mumbai | Nascimento Pinto
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World Heart Day 2022: Young adults need to beware of heart attacks post-Covid-19


The effect of two years of the Covid-19 pandemic on one’s health is slowly being unravelled on a daily basis by experts. People, across age groups, are experiencing different kinds of effects months after recovering from the virus and that now is being called ‘Long Covid’.  There has been an alarming rise in the number of people suffering and dying from heart attacks. According to an earlier Mid-day Online report, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s (BMC) public health department, Mumbai witnessed 17,880 deaths due to heart attack between January 2021 to June 2021 compared to 5,633 deaths in 2020. While the numbers indicate the number of deaths, city doctors have also seen a rise in the number of people being treated for heart attacks over the course of the last two years and more so among younger adults. Mid-day Online spoke to Dr Ameya Udyavar, consultant cardiologist and cardiac electrophysiologist, PD Hinduja Hospital & MRC and Dr Bipeenchandra Bhamre, cardio-thoracic surgeon, Sir H N Reliance Foundation Hospital and Research Centre and they say the reasons are a mix of regular lifestyle habits and could also be Covid-19. They express the need for caution and why more people need to be concerned about it after suffering from Covid.   Has there been an increase in the number of heart attacks experienced by younger adults during the Covid 19 pandemic? Udyavar says there has been an increase in heart attacks in younger adults but it’s difficult to say if it’s due to Covid unless thoroughly investigated. He explains, “Most of them could be due to the conventional risk factors like smoking, increased mental stress, lack of exercise, high cholesterol etc.” However, Bhamre says this could be due to the sedentary lifestyle during the pandemic. He adds, “With no socialisation and physical activities, the cases of heart attack have gone up when it comes to youngsters. The sugar and cholesterol levels were not controlled properly and a majority of people even gained oodles of weight.” The fact that many people were under stress during the pandemic, he says, has also contributed to the rise in the number of heart attacks. Have people experienced these heart attacks after suffering from Covid-19? People coming with heart attacks post-Covid are less, says Udyavar. “Most of the clotting post-Covid happens in the veins. So, one sees more cases of clots in the legs and pulmonary circulation. However, he doesn’t rule out the possibility of heart attacks post-Covid because he points out that clots in arteries can also cause heart attacks and there is a possibility of that after suffering from the virus. On the other hand, Bhamre says he has seen a majority of people who have experienced heart attacks after Covid-19 infection. He explains, “Some patients have already had pre-existing heart problems and also suffered a heart attack. Most of the recovered Covid patients have encountered heart injury, heart failure, stroke and a heart attack”. It is not only these heart related issues but also other symptoms such as chest tightness, breathing difficulties, swelling of the heart, low pumping capacity, heart failure, blood clotting and arrhythmia that have been commonly seen in post-Covid patients. During the ongoing pandemic, majority of people suffering heart attacks  belong to which age group?Udyavar and Bhamre say the majority of patients who have been coming in are in the age group of 30-50 years. “They have suffered heart attacks due to smoking owing to stress, unhealthy lifestyle and even pre-existing heart problems,” adds Bhamre.  What are the reasons for people suffering heart attacks? Udyavar says the most common cause of heart attack is sudden occlusion in the coronary arteries of the heart. “A cholesterol plaque rupture in the artery causes a complete occlusion.”  “The common risk factors are smoking, diabetes, hypertension, obesity, high cholesterol, improper sleep and diet,” he adds. While these are some of the most common factors, Bhamre says unmanaged diabetes and heavy workouts that put pressure on the heart and a diet loaded with trans fats and a sedentary lifestyle that is too much sitting and a lack of physical activity can cause heart attacks. Should younger people be worried about suffering a heart attack due to their lifestyle habits especially after Covid-19? Bhamre believes that youngsters who were severely infected with Covid-19 should definitely take care of their heart. He explains, “They will likely suffer heart issues in the near future. So, follow the precautionary guidelines given by the doctor. Do not take any medication without your doctor's advice.” What are the lifestyle changes that younger people should bring about to avoid heart attacks? Younger people, says Udyavar, should take care of the risk factors and make certain changes in their lifestyle. “They should try to reduce their blood pressure, cholesterol and sugar levels, exercise regularly, eat well and have a good night's sleep. Quitting smoking is the major risk factor initiative in young patients.” The increase in stress levels means that even mental relaxation in the form of pursuing hobbies, outdoor activities and meditation should be done, according to the expert. Youngsters will have to take charge of their health after getting infected with Covid, reiterates Bhamre. “They will have to eat a well-balanced diet inclusive of fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains, pulses, legumes and lentils. Avoid processed, junk, canned and oily food. They should go for regular cardiac screening after every six months,” he concludes.Also Read: Mumbai doctors on why gastroenteritis peaks during monsoon (Disclaimer: This article is not intended as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Mid-day Online does not in any way endorse the accuracy, completeness, efficacy or timeliness of any advice or line of treatment mentioned in this article. Readers must always seek the advice of a certified medical practitioner and/or a mental health professional before deciding on or starting any course of treatment.)

29 September,2022 12:13 PM IST | Mumbai | Nascimento Pinto
Every year, September 29 is celebrated as World Heart Day. Image for representational purpose only. Photo Courtesy: istock

World Heart Day 2022: Why you need to take your heart health seriously


The Covid-19 pandemic and the last year has shown how many people including celebrities have succumbed to heart attacks. These not only include old but also young people who have suffered from it due to different reasons. Every year, September 29 is celebrated as World Heart Day to raise awareness about cardiovascular diseases, of which heart attacks are always a concern. City doctors say the reasons for heart attacks in young and old people don’t differ a lot and are more or less the same. At the same time, they observe that people don't take heart health seriously when in fact, it should be prioritised by people across age groups. Mid-day Online spoke to Dr Pravin Kahale, consultant, cardiology, Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital and Dr Parin Sangoi, consultant cardiologist, Wockhardt Hospitals to understand why heart attacks and heart health should be a concern for individuals of all ages. They dwell on how the new-age lifestyle and habits are the main reason. They also stress on the need for people to address risk factors early and avoid processed foods. A lot of younger celebrities and other people have had heart attacks in the last one year. What is the reason for the rise in the number of young people getting heart attacks? Kahale: A shift in the age for heart attacks has been observed in the past decade. There are a majority of reasons attributed for this. It includes a sedentary lifestyle and lack of exercise leading to the possibility of pre-diabetes and diabetes in young adults. Smoking or drug abuse is also another reason why people get heart attacks. One of the main reasons is excess calorie consumption in addition to the lack of sleep and stress. Sangoi: Heart disease is a leading cause of death in our country and it's a burden on the healthcare systems. In recent years, we have seen cases where many young people are at risk of heart diseases. The reason behind this is the fad of diet, stress, silent diseases not being diagnosed, sedentary lifestyle and at times overdoing workouts. While younger people have heart attacks, it is also known to affect many older people. Are there any different factors in both the age groups getting heart attacks? Kahale: The reasons for heart attacks in young and old people don’t differ a lot and are more or less the same. Sangoi: In older people, diabetes, hypertension, cholesterol, obesity and lack of sleep are the causes of heart attacks. Heart health may not be taken as seriously as it should be. Do you think people take heart health for granted? Why should everybody be concerned about it? Kahale: Cardiac health is not taken seriously and it needs to be prioritised. One of the best ways to do this is by addressing the risk factors associated with heart attacks. People with high blood sugar or obesity do not take significant measures till they suffer a heart attack. People often neglect heart health till it affects their entire body and has major consequences. Sangoi: Heart is a crucial organ of our body. One must look at heart health seriously.  Many people take it for granted by not paying much attention to their health. The earlier the diagnosis, the easier it is to treat it. What are the causes of bad heart health? Kahale: Risk factors:1. Lack of exercise2. Overeating3. Obesity4. Lack of sleep5. Stress6. Air pollution7. Food pollution This increases the risk of ailments like diabetes, blood pressure and cholesterol which leads to heart attacks. Sangoi: Pay attention to every detail of the body. The causes and signs of a bad heart are cholesterol, smoking, excess alcohol consumption, diabetes, blood pressure, drugs, over exertion, sedentary lifestyle, lack of sleep and stress. What are the effects of bad heart health? Please also name the disease associated with it. Kahale: A bad heart is an automatic indicator of an unhealthy body. Our heart health is a reflection of the health of our body and bad heart health is associated with other diseases that include liver diseases, diabetes and cholesterol. Sangoi: Bad heart health leads to further worsening of diabetes and blood pressure due to decreased pumping capacity of the heart, heart failure and irregular heart rhythm. What are the different foods that people can eat to have better heart health? Kahale: Avoid eating processed foods. Cutting down our carbohydrate intake helps us have better heart health. Foods that improve it include salads, fruits, healthy fats and vegetables. Sangoi: There are various ways to keep your heart healthy. Eating a wholesome meal, green leafy vegetables and pulses to your diet. Avoid junk and deep-fried food and eat meals on time. People should also do a regular health check-up after the age of 40. Please share tips to maintain proper heart health. Kahale:1. Maintaining ideal weight2. Good exercise regime3. Healthy amount of sleep4. Cutting down on salt and sugar5. Regular Blood pressure maintenance6. Maintaining our cholesterol and diabetes at a safe threshold7. Regular body check-ups Sangoi: Activities and exercises one must keep in mind are slow body stretches, daily walks of at least 30 minutes for five days a week is very important. However, everything should be in moderation. What are the activities and exercises that people should do and avoid in younger or old age to prevent heart attacks and maintain heart health? Kahale: If the patient does not have any cardiac ailments then they should involve themselves in all types of physical activities which includes walking, running and other exercises. But an exercise limitation is important if one suffers from cardiac ailments. Patients with cardiac ailments are usually involved in activities of ‘Cardiac Rehab’ which has proven to show better health outcomes. Sangoi: Younger age groups should take up jogging, cycling and moderate weightlifting. In the older age group, brisk walking will be good.Also Read: Three years of vape ban: Experts say the move does more harm than good for smokers trying to quit

29 September,2022 11:08 AM IST | Mumbai | Nascimento Pinto
Representational images. Pic/iStock

Navratri 2022: Upgrade your wardrobe with the nine festive colours

Navratri is here and the excitement to follow the nine colours is not lost on anyone. Every colour worn over the season is a celebration of the person wearing it. Give your festive wardrobe a upgrade this Navratri with nine exquisite hues brought to life in festive wear curated by fashion labels Sukriti & Aakriti, Ridhi Mehra, Nitika Gujral, Prints by Radhika, Loka by Veerali, Global Desi, Drishti & Zahabia, Vvani by Vani Vats, and Pink City by Sarika. White Embroidered Sharara set White serves as the ideal backdrop for highlighting the magic of celebrations with vibrant embroidery and embellishments. The sharara set by Sukriti and Aakriti adds to the holiday spirit, the white giving the silhouette a sense of peace and tranquilly. It has elaborate multicoloured embroidery, and is a great garba option during Navratri. Royal Blue Georgette Saree The colour blue epitomises monarchy like no other. The royal hue radiates strength and elegance. This georgette saree worn by Nitika Gujral makes features elaborate zardozi embroidery and vintage sequin embellishments. Straight Kurta Set The colour yellow is celebrated in prints with Radhika's embroidered straight kurta set with a sparsely adorned dupatta. The vivid colour highlights baadla embroidery, which includes sequin, cutdana, and moti. Hand Embroidered Kurta Set Include a bit of nature in your holiday attire. This bottle green flared chanderi silk set has been hand embroidered with sequins and coloured thread work. Loka by Veerali embraces the jewel tone and completes it with an ombre silk dupatta in shades of melon pink, mustard, and ash grey. A joyous bouquet of hues. Floral Straight Kurta With this grey kurta from Global Desi featuring floral printing, and lace borders in a shimmering golden fabric cane teamed with a dupatta in a contrasting colour, and your favourite jewellery. Mix Print Panelled Kurta Set Kesariya, or orange, appears to be the most popular colour of the season. The orange kurta from Drishti & Zahabia is made of dupion silk and has dori work, mirrors, anchors, threads, sequins, and zardosi hand embroidery. Put on a matching pair of straight slacks and a dupatta with scalloped net embroidery. Embellished Pant Kurta Set Teal is a deep greenish-blue colour that is cheerful and festive. In a decorated pant kurta combination, Vvani by Vani Vats gives the hue a deeper tone and celebrates it. The kurta, which is embellished with light rose gold and silver, is the perfect outfit for an evening event this Navratri. Spaghetti Kurta Set With Bandhani Dupatta Pink is the traditional holiday colour to celebrate tradition. This season, the pink straight spaghetti kurta from Pink City by Sarika with zari embroidery is a must-have. Pink highlights the bandhani dupatta and embroidered booties. A joyful yet tenacious colour to try out; spread the colour and celebrate this Navratri with joy. Also read: Navratri 2022: Mumbai interior designers share unique home decor tips to brighten up your space This story has been sourced from a third party syndicated feed, agencies. Mid-day accepts no responsibility or liability for its dependability, trustworthiness, reliability and data of the text. Mid-day management/ reserves the sole right to alter, delete or remove (without notice) the content in its absolute discretion for any reason whatsoever

28 September,2022 01:38 PM IST | New Delhi | IANS
Image for representational purpose only. Photo Courtesy: istock

Navratri 2022: Fasting With diabetes? Follow these tips to do it successfully

Navratri is here and many people are looking forward to the season after two years of the Covid-19 pandemic. This time of the year also brings with it the practice of fasting during the nine days. Interestingly, it is also a time for people to enjoy many mouthwatering dishes are also cooked, including sabudana khichdi, fruit chaat, and kheer to kuttu ki poori and aloo kadhi.Adults are advised to fast occasionally as it gives their digestive systems a break and aids in the body's detoxification process. However, if necessary precautions are not followed regarding the type of foods consumed, particularly if the person has diabetes, fasting and consuming a restricted diet for 9 to 10 days consistently can endanger one's health.Dr Sunil M Jain, endocrinologist , TOTALL Diabetes Hormone Insitute, Indore, says, "Diabetes management during Navratri fasting is important owing to the change in food patterns, nature of the fast, and the food items allowed. People with diabetes must eat at regular intervals to maintain optimum blood glucose levels and consume foods, which have a low glycemic index, before beginning the fast. It is key to check blood glucose levels a few times during the day. Today, there are continuous glucose monitoring devices that are easily accessible and do not involve any pricks. These devices show real-time glucose results and a directional trend arrow showing where glucose levels are headed, that help make informed dietary decisions by the person."Here are some suggestions for navigating the holidays without jeopardising your health, even if managing diabetes is more difficult when fasting is followed by a feast.Eat the right foods: Due to the dietary restrictions and altered food patterns, it is possible that blood sugar levels could fluctuate. Therefore, it is important to talk to your doctor about your plan for fasting, which should include the number of fasting days, eating frequency and timings, and foods that can be consumed, as that will help regulate glucose fluctuations and boost overall health. One can opt for foods rich in vitamin C, antioxidants, protein, and fiber, which facilitate in controlling blood glucose levels.Consumption of roasted makhana, nuts, and pumpkin cutlets can make for good snackable satiety during fasting, as they also meet protein requirements. Additionally, vitamin C and fiber-rich fruits such as orange and kiwi are good for consumption as they help manage the insulin fluctuations in the body.Keep track of your counts: Knowing when to check your blood glucose levels during fasting is key. Keeping a home glucose monitoring system will help you track your glucose levels from time to time. Today, there are sensor-based devices such as Freestyle Libre, that provide actionable trends and patterns that help you make better decisions about your health. It is also important to monitor glucose levels during fasting, to ensure you avoid a hypoglycemia or hyperglycemia attack.Maintain hydration: Dehydration during fasting is troublesome for those with diabetes. Consumption of at least 2 to 3 liters of water is a must while fasting. Buttermilk without salt and low-calorie drinks like nimbu pani, green tea, mint water, cardamom tea, smoothies, and coconut water can help combat dehydration during Navratri. It is better to have fruits like apples in the smoothie instead of bananas. You can also add 2 teaspoons of flaxseeds and chia seeds to your smoothie as they help reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes and diabetes complications.Exercising: People with diabetes can exercise during fasting, however, it needs to be done at a low pace. It is important to not strain yourself during this time. One can go for short walks and include stretching exercises in their routine. You can also ditch the exercises during Navratri and enjoy yourself to the tunes of garba.Eating an hour before Garba will not make you feel heavy during the dance and will also ensure that you are not low on energy. For people with diabetes, having a combination of proteins and the right carbohydrates keeps you going for a long period. You can opt for a dry fruit milkshake or a buckwheat pancake with some cottage cheese cubes in such cases.Also Read: Navratri 2022: Looking for a festive spread? Order-in from these Mumbai kitchens 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 September,2022 12:48 PM IST | New Delhi | IANS
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