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Over 4 hours of smartphone use daily may affect mental health: Study

Adolescents who indulge in smartphones for more than four hours daily could be at higher risk of adverse mental health and substance use risk, according to a study. Prior research has shown that smartphone use among adolescents has increased in recent years, and that this usage may be associated with higher risk of adverse health -- such as psychiatric disorders, sleep issues, eye-related problems, and musculoskeletal disorders. To deepen understanding of the relationship between adolescents' use of smartphones and health, the team from Hanyang University Medical Center, Korea analysed data on more than 50,000 adolescent participants. The data included the approximate number of daily hours each participant spent on a smartphone as well as various health measures. The statistical analysis employed propensity score matching to help account for other factors that could be linked to health outcomes, such as age, sex, and socioeconomic status. Adolescents who used a smartphone for more than four hours per day had higher rates of stress, thoughts of suicide, and substance use than those with usage below four hours per day. However, adolescents who used a smartphone one to two hours per day encountered fewer problems than adolescents who did not use a smartphone at all, revealed the findings published in the open-access journal PLOS ONE. The authors note that this study does not confirm a causal relationship between smartphone use and adverse health outcomes. Nonetheless, the findings could help inform usage guidelines for adolescents -- especially if daily usage continues to rise. "This research shows the impact of using smart devices for more than four hours a day on adolescent health," said Jin-Hwa Moon and Jong Ho Cha of Hanyang. “The adverse effects of smartphone overuse became prominent after 4 hours of daily usage time. These results can help establish smart device usage guidelines and education programmes for appropriate media use,” they added. This story has been sourced from a third party syndicated feed, agencies. Mid-day accepts no responsibility or liability for its dependability, trustworthiness, reliability and data of the text. Mid-day management/ reserves the sole right to alter, delete or remove (without notice) the content in its absolute discretion for any reason whatsoever

08 December,2023 08:36 AM IST | Seoul | IANS
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Light therapy may improve symptoms of Alzheimer's disease: Study

Light therapy leads to significant improvements in sleep and psycho-behavioural symptoms for people with Alzheimer’s disease, according to a new study. The cognitive decline associated with Alzheimer's disease is often accompanied by sleep disturbances and psycho-behavioural symptoms including apathetic and depressive behaviour, agitation and aggression. The study, published in the journal PLOS One, used photobiomodulation -- a non-pharmacological therapy that uses light energy to stimulate the suprachiasmic nucleus (SCN) -- a sleep modulator in the brain. The team from Weifang Medical University in China concluded that light therapy is a promising treatment option for some symptoms of Alzheimer's disease. "Light therapy improves sleep and psycho-behavioural symptoms in patients with Alzheimer's disease and has relatively few side effects, suggesting that it may be a promising treatment option for patients with Alzheimer's disease," Qinghui Meng from the varsity said. Despite light therapy receiving increased attention as a potential intervention for Alzheimer's, a systematic evaluation of its efficacy and safety has been unavailable. To explore, researchers analysed 15 high-quality trials related to light therapy for Alzheimer's disease or dementia. The included trials were published between 2005 and 2022, performed in seven countries, and included a combined 598 patients. The meta-analysis of all 15 trials found that light therapy significantly improved sleep efficiency, increased interdaily stability (a measure of the strength of circadian rhythms), and reduced intradaily variability (a measure of how frequently someone transitions between rest and activity during the day). In patients with Alzheimer's disease, light therapy also alleviated depression and reduced patient agitation and caregiver burden. Given the limited sample sizes in studies included in this meta-analysis, the authors advocate for larger future studies, which could also explore if bright light exposure could cause any adverse behaviour in patients. 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

08 December,2023 08:29 AM IST | Beijing | IANS
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Plant-based foods lack key vitamins necessary for healthy pregnancy: Study

Pregnant women are not getting the essential nutrients they and their babies need from modern diets, said scientists, who have warned that the situation will likely worsen as more people turn to plant-based foods. A study looking at the health of expectant mothers from high-income countries, including the UK, New Zealand and Singapore, found that 90 per cent were lacking key vitamins necessary for healthy pregnancies and the well-being of unborn infants. Scientists from the University of Southampton in the UK, working with experts worldwide, surveyed more than 1,700 women and found that most were missing essential nutrients found in abundance in meat and dairy products. These included vitamins B12, B6 and D, folic acid and riboflavin which are essential for the development of foetuses in the womb. “The prevalence of vitamin deficiencies among women attempting to become pregnant in wealthy countries is a serious concern,” said lead author and Professor of Epidemiology, Keith Godfrey, from the University of Southampton. "The push to reduce our dependence on meat and dairy to achieve net-zero carbon emissions is likely to further deplete expecting mothers of vital nutrients, which could have lasting effects on unborn children. Our study shows that almost every woman trying to conceive had insufficient levels of one or more vitamin, and this figure is only going to get worse as the world moves towards plant-based diets. "People think that nutrient deficiency only affects people in underdeveloped countries -- but it is also affecting the majority of women living in high-income nations," he added. The study, which was published in PLOS Medicine, assessed 1,729 women between the ages of 18 and 38 at conception and followed many during subsequent pregnancies. Results showed that nine out of ten women had marginal or low levels of folate, riboflavin, vitamins B12 and D around the time of conception, and that many developed vitamin B6 deficiency in late pregnancy. Co-author Professor of Pediatric Endocrinology Wayne Cutfield, from the University of Auckland, said while folic acid is recommended for women planning conception and during pregnancy, expecting mothers should be given over-the-counter multivitamins to reduce nutrient deficiencies. "The well-being of a mother ahead of conceiving and during a pregnancy has a direct influence on the health of the infant, their lifelong physical development, and ability to learn," he added. The PLOS Medicine trial was the first to show that supplements, available over the counter, can reduce vitamin insufficiencies during the preconception, pregnancy and lactation periods. 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

07 December,2023 08:28 AM IST | London | IANS
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Fatty foods can dent body's ability to fight stress: Study

Eating fatty foods during stressful periods can impair the body's 'recovery' from the effects of stress, new research suggests. The study, published recently in Frontiers in Nutrition and Nutrients, showed that consuming foods high in fat before a mentally stressful episode can reduce brain oxygenation and cause poorer vascular function in adults. Researchers from the University of Birmingham took a group of young, healthy adults and gave them two butter croissants as breakfast. They then asked them to do mental math, increasing in speed for eight minutes, alerting them when they got an answer wrong. They could also see themselves on a screen while they did the exercise. The experiment was designed to simulate everyday stress that we might have to deal with at work or at home. The team found that eating high-fat foods attenuated cerebral oxygenation in the pre-frontal cortex, with lower oxygen delivery (39 per cent reduction in oxygenated hemoglobin) during stress compared to when participants consumed a low-fat meal. Furthermore, fat consumption had a negative effect on mood both during and after the stress episode. The scientists were also still able to detect reduced arterial elasticity -- which is a measure of vascular function -- in participants up to 90 minutes after the stressful event was over. "When we get stressed, different things happen in the body: our heart rate and blood pressure go up, our blood vessels dilate, and blood flow to the brain increases. We also know that the elasticity of our blood vessels declines following mental stress," explained Rosalind Baynham, doctoral researcher at the University. "We found that consuming fatty foods when mentally stressed reduced vascular function by 1.74 per cent (as measured by Brachial Flow-mediated dilatation, FMD)." "Previous studies have shown that a 1 per cent reduction in vascular function leads to a 13 per cent increase in cardiovascular disease risk. Importantly we show that this impairment in vascular function persisted for even longer when our participants had eaten the croissants," Baynham said. For people who already have an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, the impacts could be even more serious, the researchers said. "We all deal with stress all the time, but especially for those of us in high-stress jobs and at risk of cardiovascular disease, these findings should be taken seriously," said Jet Veldhuijzen van Zanten, Professor of Biological Psychology at the University. The research also suggested that by consuming low-fat food and drinks, people's recovery from stress is less affected. After eating a low-fat meal, stress still had a negative effect on vascular function (1.18 per cent decrease in FMD), but this decline returned to normal 90 minutes after the stressful event. Further research has shown that by consuming 'healthier' foods, particularly those rich in polyphenols, such as cocoa, berries, grapes, apples and other fruits and vegetables, this impairment in vascular function can be completely prevented. 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

07 December,2023 08:22 AM IST | London | IANS
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Doctors warn against removing ear wax, say could lead to hearing loss

Medical experts have warned against using cotton swabs, ear picks, pens, or fingers to remove ear wax since this could lead to hearing loss. During the fourth Voice-Con and Airway Conference, organised by the Association of Otolaryngologists (AOIENT surgeons), experts said that hundreds of such cases are reported every month in the city, where individuals unintentionally cause damage to their ears. President of the Association of Otolaryngologists, Lucknow chapter, Dr Rakesh Srivastava said that the human ear has a self-cleaning mechanism and no routine maintenance was required. "Earwax, or cerumen, serves as a natural protector for eardrums and inner ear against dust and dirt. Improper cleaning pushes wax deeper into the ear canal, resulting in heightened pressure, reduced hearing, and painful ear and infections. Five-six such cases come to light every month," he added. Another otolaryngologist, Dr Sumit Sharma, urged the people to refrain from putting mustard oil in children's ear. This is a common practice in north India. "Putting oil in the ear canal does nothing good. On the contrary it might flare up infection, if any," he added. Regarding excessive wax, he said, "Only some people have this problem because of the design of their ear canal. These individuals, if necessary, may contact doctors who use suction techniques and a syringe filled with warm water and saline or diluted hydrogen peroxide to remove wax." Highlighting another negative aspect of wax removal, Dr Ashish Chandra of RMLIMS said that wax protects the ear from infection from water in ear canal. "It also protects the eardrum from dirt. There should be some wax in the ear for its wellbeing. Even in case of infection, we clean wax when the infection is cured," he added. This story has been sourced from a third party syndicated feed, agencies. Mid-day accepts no responsibility or liability for its dependability, trustworthiness, reliability and data of the text. Mid-day management/ reserves the sole right to alter, delete or remove (without notice) the content in its absolute discretion for any reason whatsoever

07 December,2023 08:19 AM IST | Lucknow | IANS
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Why being mindful of heart health during winter is crucial

Even as temperatures have started to dip in Delhi, cardiologists on Wednesday called people, especially those with pre-existing heart conditions, to be mindful of the winter season -- known to increase risk of heart attacks. "As winter approaches, we have observed a concerning uptick in the number of heart patients, averaging between 12 to 14 cases weekly. Cold weather can exacerbate cardiovascular conditions, posing significant risks, particularly for individuals with pre-existing heart issues," Dr Vikas Chopra, senior consultant Interventional Cardiologist, Primus Super Speciality Hospital, told IANS. He explained that "the drop in temperature prompts physiological changes, leading to increased blood pressure and heart rate, as well as heightened demands on the cardiovascular system". "I strongly urge everyone, especially those with known heart conditions, to take proactive measures during the winter months. It is crucial to adhere to prescribed medications, maintain regular follow-ups with your healthcare provider, and adopt lifestyle adjustments such as staying physically active, managing stress, and adhering to a heart-healthy diet," Dr Chopra added. Studies from several countries have shown that winters are a concern for heart patients and a surge in cardiovascular deaths. A 2021 study in the journal Medicine found that overall, US cardiac arrests peak during December and January. Another study in the journal BMJ Open looked at deaths and daily temperatures in Finland , and found that cardiac death increased by approximately 19 per cent on "unusually cold days". "Colder weather thickens the blood, making it more likely to clot," Dr Sanjeeva Kumar Gupta, consultant, Dept of Cardiology at the CK Birla Hospital, Delhi told IANS. In addition, disruption to the sleep cycle and hormonal balance impacts cardiovascular health, he said, noting that shovelling snow, engaging in winter sports, and other activities common in cold weather can put further stress on the heart. Dr Hemant Gandhi, Associate Director, Cardiology, Max Hospital, Gurugram, blamed "factors like reduced physical activity and changes in diet during winter" behind an increase in heart problems. He told IANS that individual health and lifestyle factors also play a significant role in heart health. Dr Gupta cited the role of "traditional food habits with a higher intake of salt and lipids of animal origin, which can lead to changes in metabolism, and ultimately affect the mechanism of atherogenesis, coagulation, and thrombogenesis". "It is also possible that the influence of day duration and lack of sunlight or UV light in this season, stimulate the synthesis of vitamin D3 in the skin and liposoluble cholesterol sulphate whose deficiency can favour atherosclerosis and inflammation, and be the cause of higher incidence and increased mortality during winter," he added. The doctors called for staying active by engaging in indoor activities or low-intensity outdoor exercise, dressing warmly to prevent chilling, and maintaining a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. People must also manage stress effectively to avoid exacerbating cardiovascular risks, and patients should modify their lifestyle, particularly during the winter months with a diet rich in organic sulphate and vitamin D3 and if possible, exposure to sunlight, the doctors recommended. 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

07 December,2023 08:14 AM IST | New Delhi | IANS
Commercial baked goods like cakes and cookies and pies, popcorn, frozen pizzas, and fried items such as french fries, doughnuts and fried chicken usually contain trans fats. Photo Courtesy: iStock

Mid-Day Premium Love fries and samosas? Trans fats present in them are wreaking havoc on health

Hot fries dipped in ketchup and a burger gives us the much-needed dopamine boost. The same is true with vada pav, pakoras, wafers or even a sinful piece of chocolate cake. These foods we eat to satiate our taste buds and comfort the soul, however, can invite various avoidable diseases.  It’s a known fact that eating fried and processed food is unhealthy and often responsible for weight gain and risk of cholesterol especially among the young. However, unfolding the primary reason behind it is necessary to be able to curb cravings for such foods high in trans fats.   Mid-day Online got in touch with nutrition experts who decode the hidden health risks of consuming trans fats present in a majority of food (especially outside food) we eat today.   It wouldn’t be wrong to say that the majority of food items available in the market and restaurants are often unhealthy. While packaged and processed foods undoubtedly fall in the category of unhealthy food due to the excessive sugar, salt, artificial flavours and preservatives present in them, trans fats are yet another reason why nutritionists urge people against their consumption.   Dr Rohini Patil, a nutritionist says, “While trans fats can occur naturally in small amounts in certain animal products, they are primarily formed through an industrial process known as hydrogenation, where liquid vegetable oils are turned into solid fats.”  During hydrogenation, hydrogen is added to the vegetable oil, creating a more solid and stable fat. This process extends the shelf life of products and provides a desirable texture.  Natural fats and oils are primarily distinguished from trans fats by their molecular makeup and origin. The fats and oils found in natural foods are usually a combination of monounsaturated, polyunsaturated, and saturated fats.  Dr Manoj Kutteri, medical director and CEO, Atmantan Wellness Centre says, “By enhancing the stability and shelf life, oils are better suited for use in industrial food preparation.”  Commercial baked goods like cakes and cookies and pies, popcorn, frozen pizzas, and fried items such as fries, doughnuts and fried chicken usually contain trans fats.  Common sources of trans fatsWhile industrial processes are one common source, many other factors can lead to the formation of trans fats. They are most commonly formed when oils are reused for cooking at high temperatures. Repeated heating breaks down the oil's structure leading to the creation of trans fats. High frying temperatures, particularly in deep fryers, cause oil to go through several chemical processes, such as oxidation and polymerisation. The chance of trans fat buildup increases when the same oil is used for frying regularly. Furthermore, exposure to air, moisture, and heat speeds up the deterioration of oil and encourages the production of dangerous substances like trans fats. Many packaged and processed foods, as well as food served in eateries and by street food sellers, are popular sources of trans fats in India. In India, it is common for restaurants and food stands to deep fry food using partly hydrogenated oils, which results in the presence of trans fat in foods like pakoras, bhajis, and fried snacks.  Thus, partially hydrogenated vegetable oil, which has historically been widely utilised in the food sector for its stability and increased shelf life, is one major source of trans fats in the Indian diet. This kind of oil is also frequently used in professionally produced pastries, cakes, and biscuits as well as in snacks like samosas and fried namkeens.  Further, as cooking oils are utilised during the manufacturing of packaged foods, most ready-to-eat items like instant noodles and several other fast food varieties may also include trans fats.Also Read: EXCLUSIVE: ‘Longer the life of a food product, the sooner your expiry date: Revant Himatsingka aka Food PharmerHealth risks of consuming trans fats  Nutrition experts say trans fats can wreak havoc on human health. The most common health risk associated is cardiovascular issues. Trans fats cause a simultaneous decrease in high-density lipoprotein (HDL), or good cholesterol, and an increase in low-density lipoprotein (LDL), or bad cholesterol. This unhealthy lipid profile raises the risk of coronary heart disease by the formation of plaque build-up in the arteries, which results in fatty deposits and blood vessel blockages.  Trans fats have also been connected to other metabolic syndromes, insulin resistance, and inflammation, all of which raise the risk of type 2 diabetes.  Higher trans-fat consumption may also trigger difficulties for those who already suffer from reproductive problems. Trans fats have been connected to systemic inflammation, which is connected to autoimmune diseases and inflammatory disorders among other health issues.  Furthermore, there is mounting evidence that links consuming trans-fat to detrimental impacts on mental and cognitive health as well. Complete elimination of trans fats According to health experts and organisations like the American Heart Association and the World Health Organization (WHO), the consumption of trans fat intake should be kept ideally at zero.  However, given the fast-paced life that involves heavy dependency on packaged, and ready-to-eat food, complete elimination of trans fat from the daily diet can be challenging. In such cases, both nutrition experts suggest keeping consumption at a minimum.  Besides, since trans fat can also be found in some natural foods, it can make eliminating the item from the diet more difficult. Nevertheless, one can greatly reduce the consumption of trans fats by making a conscious effort to choose healthier foods.  To further cut down the intake, you must also always check the nutrition label of packaged food for trans fat content.  Healthy alternatives to trans fatsAlthough food options might seem to be exhausting given the amount of unhealthy ingredients that go into making them, there are always healthy alternatives available. Experts recommend switching to healthy cooking oils like olive, canola, or sunflower. They are high in unsaturated fats and do not go through the hydrogenation process that produces trans fats.  Opt for healthier fats present in olive oil, avocado oil, and nut oils. These oils can be used for regular cooking and as dressings in salads. Include sources of omega-3 fatty acids like fatty fish, flaxseeds, and chia seeds in your diet. These sources of healthy fats are not just safe for consumption but also offer added health benefits.  Always opt for whole and nutrient-rich foods which have a multitude of health benefits instead of indulging in processed foods that are high in trans fats. Choose to munch on nuts and seeds as they make a healthy snack in place of processed baked goods because they contain important fatty acids.  Increase the consumption of fruits and vegetables in the diet. This will help provide the body with a range of essential vitamins and antioxidants in addition to fibre. Lean proteins like fish and poultry, as well as whole grains and legumes, are great options for well-balanced meals that support heart health.  The intake of trans fats can also be greatly reduced by switching to baked, grilled, or steamed foods instead of deep-fried ones. All in all, a diet high in whole, unprocessed foods that are low in harmful fats and high in nutrients can help people maintain a healthier lipid profile and lower their risk of metabolic and cardiovascular problems linked to trans fats. Health experts suggest focusing on an overall healthy lifestyle. Besides eating healthy, exercising regularly and staying hydrated also help flush out toxins from the body.  In conclusion, while avoiding trans fats is ideal, occasional consumption can be managed by making informed choices, emphasising healthier fats, and maintaining a well-rounded lifestyle. Prioritising natural, unprocessed foods is key to promoting overall health and well-being.Also Read: Processed food is a primary cause of obesity in the young: Doctors

06 December,2023 10:30 AM IST | Mumbai | Aakanksha Ahire
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Deaths due to heart attacks up by 12.5 pct in 2022: Report

A new report by the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) has revealed that the number of deaths due to heart attacks has increased by 12.5 per cent in 2022 as compared to 2021. The report noted that 32,457 people died from heart attacks in 2022, a considerable increase from the 28,413 deaths recorded the previous year. Following Covid-19, the trend has made news. Several studies have connected the virus to poor heart function. According to the data, the rate of sudden deaths has also increased in 2022. The overall number of sudden deaths in 2022 alone is astonishing, at 56,450, showing a troubling rising trend over the previous three years. The NCRB defines sudden death as an "unexpected death that is instantaneous or occurs within minutes from any cause other than violence (for example, heart attack, brain haemorrhage, etc)". The specific category of heart attack deaths has also witnessed a substantial increase, with numbers falling from 28,579 in 2020 to 28,413 in 2021 before rising to 32,457 in 2022, according to the report. Experts have pointed out several factors that increase the risk of heart attacks, such as a high sodium diet, lack of exercise, smoking, binge drinking, sedentary lifestyle, etc. According to health experts, high haemoglobin levels can also raise your risk of heart attack, stroke and blood clots. Known as polycythemia -- a condition where red cells increase in the human body due to abnormalities in the bone marrow. These excess cells thicken the blood, slowing its flow and can cause serious problems like blood clots. "High haemoglobin levels should not be ignored as it can increase the risk of blood clotting and can sometimes lead to dangerous conditions like stroke, heart attack and blood clots in legs and abdomen," Dr Rahul Bhargava, principal director of Hematology and Bone Marrow Transplant, Fortis Memorial Research Institute, Gurugram. 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

06 December,2023 08:10 AM IST | New Delhi | IANS
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Mid-Day Premium Navigating PCOS: An expert home-based guide to combat the ovarian disorder

As someone who deals with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS), the challenge to maintain optimal weight is real. Addressing the issue, many Bollywood celebrities like Masaba Gupta, Sara Ali Khan, Shruti Hassan and Sonam Kapoor opened up about their battle with PCOS, shedding light on how it affected their mental and physical wellness.  PCOS mars four out of seven women worldwide – reveals Dimple Jangda, a Mumbai-based gut health coach who has guided several women out of this hormonal dysfunction. With six years of experience in Ayurveda and naturopathy, Jangda’s body of work has expanded from identifying the root cause of PCOS to solving it with the right approach involving healthful food and lifestyle choices. While Masaba revealed on Instagram how fitness helped her combat the disorder, PCOS continues to be a major issue that affects fertility, appearance, physical and mental wellness. To gain a thorough understanding of this condition, visited Jangda’s clinic in Bandra and learnt home-based remedies on tackling PCOS.  Dimple Jangda is a TEDx speaker, ayurvedic health coach and founder of Prana Healthcare Center in Bandra A rollercoaster of emotions First things first – stress levels go off the roof when you’re dealing with PCOS. It is an underlying side effect that impacts moods leaving women jittery and strained. Asna Azhar, a 29-year-old digital marketer from Andheri began to notice how her mood swings worsened as her ovarian dysfunction got more pronounced.  “I'll be fine one moment and then suddenly be incredibly frustrated with no control over the situation. The next minute – I’ll be fine again as if nothing happened! Sometimes if I'm planning the errands I need to run the next day, I feel very optimistic about getting out to get things done, but then I'll wake up and be in a horrible mood and not even want to step one foot out of the house,” Asna recounts her mood oscillations while dealing with PCOS. Temper tumult just becomes a part of living with PCOS. This brings us to the question – What causes this malfunction in a woman’s ovaries, that directly impairs her mood? Dimple lays out the root cause of PCOS. Undigested oestrogen leads to PCOS Various endocrine glands are responsible for producing hormones in the human body.  When it comes to a woman’s body, it secretes oestrogen during the first 15 days of the period cycle to boost her femininity. During the next 15 days, i.e., the end of the ovulation date to the start of the period, progesterone (a hormone that supports menstruation) is released to prepare the body for pregnancy. Dimple breaks down this complex phenomenon that enables a woman to conceive.  The first 15 days of the period cycle is when a woman is ready to conceive. If she has not conceived for some reason, the body takes a cue to stop producing oestrogen and produces more progesterone. While the body is producing these chemicals – it requires a process to break them down in order to maintain a hormonal equilibrium.  If this balance is not met – it leads to hormones brimming over the edge. For instance, take the case of pumping fuel in your vehicle. If you constantly keep fueling your car without putting it to use – you will end up with choc-a-block in the fuel tank. Similar is the case of oestrogen in a woman’s body. If the body fails to break down oestrogen – it begins to spill all over the place.  The undigested oestrogen goes on to pile up like toxic waste with no proper disposal. Additionally, the body begins to produce more androgen (male sex hormone) which leads to an irregular period cycle. Such pent-up levels of hormones lead to PCOS, PCOD, infertility, gynaecological disorders, explains Dimple.  Not only this, but it also leads to the formation of fibroids (muscular tumours that grow in the wall of the uterus), cysts (abnormal pockets of fluids) and tumours in the uterus. People with excessive oestrogen in their body are often prone to developing fibroids, outlines Dimple. Now that we know the underlying factors that trigger PCOS, we dig into the symptoms that reveal the presence of the disorder. Hirsutism, mood swings, acne – Signs of PCOS Not every individual with PCOS will experience all of these symptoms, and the severity of symptoms can vary. Common symptoms of PCOS include: 1. Women with PCOS often have irregular periods or may experience fewer than eight menstrual cycles in a year.2. PCOS can lead to problems with ovulation, causing difficulties in conceiving.3. The ovaries may develop small cysts, which are not harmful but can contribute to hormonal imbalances.4. Increased levels of androgens (male hormones) may lead to excessive hair growth on the face, chest, back or other areas where men typically grow hair.5. PCOS can cause male-pattern baldness or thinning of the hair.6. Elevated androgen levels may contribute to acne and excessively oily skin.7. Many individuals with PCOS experience weight gain or have difficulty losing weight.8. Some women may develop dark patches of skin, particularly on the neck, groin, and underneath the breasts. This is known as acanthosis nigricans.9. PCOS can cause fatigue and low energy levels.10. Hormonal imbalances associated with PCOS can contribute to mood swings and depression. How to tackle PCOS with food and fitness? Switch off the tap According to Dimple, paying careful attention to your dietary choices can significantly contribute to overcoming the complexities of conditions such as PCOS. “The minute you stop eating the trigger foods and feeding your diseases – your body starts repairing itself.” A woman battling PCOS should curb the consumption of oestrogen from other animal-based food sources. Seafood, meat and eggs inherently carry these hormones which become a menace for those inflicted by PCOS. Dairy products are also another big source of oestrogen, informs Dimple. Additionally, packaged and processed foods should be avoided as they tend to mess up the endocrine glands. Snacks for women dealing with PCOS: Roasted makhanas, banana chips, chakki, peanut chikki, rajgira chikki.  Fix lifestyle choices Maintaining a balanced and nutritious diet is crucial. Incorporating whole foods, lean proteins and complex carbohydrates can help regulate blood sugar levels, which is particularly important for individuals with PCOS as they may be insulin-resistant. Eating meals at the right time and following intermittent fasting also becomes crucial in PCOS management. The body requires 6 hours to break down the food that we eat – thus, it is important to not overfeed it and stick to eating at regular intervals. Avoiding processed foods and excessive sugar intake is also recommended. Regular physical activity is another cornerstone in managing PCOS. Engaging in a consistent exercise routine not only aids in weight management but also helps improve insulin sensitivity, reducing the impact of insulin resistance associated with PCOS. A mix of aerobic exercises and strength training can be beneficial. Keep stress at bay In addition to dietary and exercise modifications, managing stress is paramount for individuals with PCOS. Chronic stress can exacerbate hormonal imbalances and trigger symptoms. Adopting stress-reducing practices such as mindfulness, yoga or meditation can contribute significantly to overall well-being.  Dimple opines that the sleep cycle plays a major role in the regulation of hormones. Thus, it should be fixed and is not to be fiddled with. Adequate and quality sleep is equally vital, as disrupted sleep patterns can further disrupt hormonal balance. By addressing these lifestyle factors collectively, individuals with PCOS can empower themselves to navigate the challenges posed by the condition. Do not go by what fellow PCOS patients say or do Managing PCOS is far from a one-size-fits-all endeavour as it's more like a personalised puzzle-solving journey. Recognising that each individual with PCOS is unique in their symptoms, experiences and needs, a tailored approach becomes imperative. The complexity of this condition demands a nuanced strategy, considering factors such as hormonal fluctuations, metabolic variations and lifestyle disparities.

05 December,2023 09:26 AM IST | Mumbai | Ainie Rizvi
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Eye scans can provide crucial information about kidney health: Study

According to studies, 3D eye scans can give critical information about kidney health that can assist in tracking disease progression. The advance could revolutionise the monitoring of kidney disease, which often progresses without symptoms in the early stages. Experts say the technology has the potential to support early diagnosis as current screening tests cannot detect the condition until half of the kidney function has been lost. Researchers used highly magnified images to detect changes to the retina - the layer of tissue at the back of the eye that senses light and sends signals to the brain. They found that the images offer a quick, non-invasive way to monitor kidney health. The eye is the only part of the body where it is possible to view a key process called microvascular circulation - and this flow of blood through the body's tiniest vessels is often affected in kidney disease. Researchers at the University of Edinburgh investigated whether 3D images of the retina, taken using a technology called optical coherence tomography (OCT), could be used to identify and accurately predict the progression of kidney disease. OCT scanners - used in most high street opticians - use light waves to create a cross-sectional picture of the retina, displaying each layer, within a few minutes. The team looked at OCT images from 204 patients at different stages of kidney disease, including transplant patients, alongside 86 healthy volunteers. They found that patients with chronic kidney disease had thinner retinas compared with healthy volunteers. The study also showed that thinning of the retina progressed as kidney function declined. These changes were reversed when kidney function was restored following a successful transplant. Patients with the most severe form of the disease, who received a kidney transplant, experienced rapid thickening of their retinas after surgery. More people than ever are at risk of kidney disease, which is often caused by other conditions that put a strain on the kidneys, including diabetes, high blood pressure and obesity. With further research, regular eye checks could one-day aid early detection and monitoring to prevent the disease from progressing. It could also allow patients to make lifestyle changes that reduce the risk of health complications, experts say. The technology, supported by Heidelberg Engineering's imaging platform, could also aid the development of new drugs, the research team says. It could do so by measuring changes in the retina that indicate whether - and in what way - the kidney responds to potential new treatments. The researchers say further studies - including longer-term clinical trials in larger groups of patients - are needed before the technology can be routinely used. An estimated 7.2 million people in the UK live with chronic kidney disease - more than 10 per cent of the population. It costs the NHS around £7billion each year. The study is published in Nature Communications. It was funded by Kidney Research UK, and supported by Edinburgh Innovations, the University's commercialisation service. Dr Neeraj (Bean) Dhaun, Professor of Nephrology at the University of Edinburgh's Centre for Cardiovascular Science, said: "We hope that this research, which shows that the eye is a useful window into the kidney, will help identify more people with early kidney disease - providing an opportunity to start treatments before it progresses." It also offers potential for new clinical trials and the development of drug treatments for a chronic disease that, so far, has proved extremely difficult to treat. Dr Aisling McMahon, executive director of research and policy at Kidney Research UK, said: "Kidney patients often face invasive procedures to monitor their kidney health, often on top of receiving gruelling treatments like dialysis. This fantastic research shows the potential for a far kinder way of monitoring kidney health. We are continuing to support the team as they investigate whether their approach could also be used to diagnose and intervene in kidney disease earlier." 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

05 December,2023 07:41 AM IST | Thiruvananthapuram | ANI
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Over 40 companies in India manufacturing cough syrups fail quality test: Report

More than 40 companies manufacturing cough syrups in the country have failed quality tests, a CDSCO report said citing the lab tests conducted in different states in the aftermath of reports linking India-made cough syrups to 141 child fatalities globally. As per the report released by the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO), out of 1,105 samples tested, 59 samples were declared as 'not of standard quality'. The report was released by the CDSCO in November under a list of drugs, medical devices and cosmetics declared as 'not of standard quality' or 'spurious' or 'adulterated' or 'misbranded'. The data has come from the test reports of government testing labs. The report said that no samples were found to be spurious or misbranded. The move came after several deaths were reported globally post consuming India-made cough syrups. The Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) after these deaths had made it mandatory for exporters to seek government clearance on the quality of cough syrups. Noting the DGFT requirement, CDSCO has been testing all the batches of cough syrups which seek export permission. 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

05 December,2023 07:38 AM IST | New Delhi | IANS
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