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Mumbai-based experts bust five misconceptions about Down Syndrome

Living with the Down Syndrome is not easy and can be challenging not only at home but also in the classroom and even in adult life. While many family members and friends of those who live with it are considerably more aware of the disease, others do not know much about it and often let their ignorance get the better of them. They may often have a bias towards people with Down Syndrome and thus treat them differently. Every year, March 21 is celebrated as World Down Syndrome Day to raise awareness about the disorder and the people living with it. Incidentally, the 21st day of March was chosen to represent the triplication of the 21st chromosome that leads to the syndrome in people. So, what is Down Syndrome? Dr Sandeep Mehta, pediatrician at Bhatia Hospital in Mumbai explains, "We have 46 chromosomes i.e 23 pairs of chromosomes, one pair from the mother and the other pair from the father. 22 pairs are known as Autosomes and 1 pair is known as sex chromosome. In Down Syndrome, chromosome number 21 instead of two in number becomes three in number that is one extra 21st chromosome, that is known as trisomy 21 which is Down Syndrome.” This extra chromosome, Mehta says, most likely comes from mother but can also come from father. “This condition can be picked up in 8 to 12 weeks of the pregnancy and basically depends on the maternal age of the mother. The higher the age of the mother there are more chances of developing Down Syndrome due to which division of the gametes becomes slightly defective with older age,” he adds. It is for this reason that doctors always conduct an antenatal diagnosis by doing either triple marker or sonography in the fetus to find out if there are signs of Down Syndrome. What are the causes of Down Syndrome? Mehta says there are three types: Nondisjunction, translocation and mosaic. Nondisjunction: Normally when the gametes are formed from an ovum, the chromosomes are divided into equal numbers. Here, instead of forming an equal number of chromosomes one more chromosome comes in one the gamete from either one of the parents. Translocation: Here one chromosome gets attached to another chromosome which goes to the baby Mosaic: It occurs when the additional chromosome replicates in some cells of the body. This type of Down syndrome has few characteristics and symptoms or partial features of the condition. With every disease, there comes a set of misconceptions that spread, and people often believe them:Dr Sapna Bangar, psychiatrist (Specialist - Child and Adolescent), head, Mpower Centre Mumbai said these are the common ones that people have about the genetic condition: People with Down Syndrome are always happy While people with Down's Syndrome can be joyful and sociable, they experience the same range of emotions as anyone else. They can feel sad, angry, and frustrated just like everyone else. People with Down Syndrome are all the same Each person with Down Syndrome is unique and have their own personality, likes and dislikes. They can have a range of abilities and talents and should not be judged based on stereotypes or assumptions. People with Down Syndrome can't learn or go to school People with Down Syndrome can learn and benefit from education, just like anyone else. They may require more support and accommodation in the classroom, but with the right resources, they can succeed academically and socially. People with Down Syndrome are a burden on their families People with Down Syndrome can bring immense joy and love to their families, just like any other family member. While they may require extra care and support, this does not make them a burden. People with Down Syndrome are always sick While people with Down Syndrome can have certain health conditions that are more common in their community, such as heart defects or vision problems, many people with Down's Syndrome are healthy and live full and active lives. Dr Bangar concludes that it's important to remember that people with Down Syndrome are individuals with their own unique experiences, perspectives, and abilities. “They should be treated with respect and dignity, and not defined by their condition.” Read More: These 5 personalities with Down Syndrome prove that nothing is impossible

21 March,2023 06:54 PM IST | Mumbai | Nascimento Pinto
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Drinking more water can reduce bladder infections in women

Women who drink about an extra litre-and-a-half of water daily are nearly 50 per cent less likely to suffer from bladder infections, especially in premenopausal stages, a new study has found. According to researchers from the University of Texas in the US, more fluids help to reduce bacteria and limit the ability of bacteria to attach to the bladder. "The study is important because more than half of all women report having bladder infections, which are one of the most common infections in women," said Yair Lotan, Professor of Urology with the Simmons Cancer Center at the varsity. For the study, published in journal JAMA Internal Medicine, the team focussed on 140 women with recurrent urinary tract infection (UTI), who typically drank fewer than 1.5 liters of fluid (about six 8-ounce glasses) a day. For 12 months, they asked half of these women to continue their usual fluid intake and asked the other half to drink an additional 1.5 litres of water daily. The findings revealed that 93 per cent of the women who drank an additional 1.5 litres of water daily had two or fewer episodes of cystitis -- a type of UTI -- while 88 per cent of women in the control group had three or more episodes. Further, Lotan noted that more than a quarter of women experience a secondary infection within six months of an initial infection and 44 to 77 per cent will have a recurrence within a year. The increased consumption of fluid could also help reduce the use of antibiotics as such infections are typically treated with antibiotics, Lotan said. Symptoms for acute uncomplicated cystitis include painful or difficulty in urination, a feeling of a full bladder, an urgency or frequency of urination, tenderness in the lower abdominal area, and possibly blood in urine. Catch up on all the latest Crime, National, International and Hatke news here. Also, download the new mid-day Android and iOS apps to get the latest updates This story has been sourced from a third party syndicated feed, agencies. Except for the change in the headline, the story has been provided "AS-IS," "AS AVAILABLE, without any verification or editing from our side. 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.

21 March,2023 05:40 PM IST | New York | IANS
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World Water Day: From water consumers to conservers

New Delhi: Somewhere in a mountain village in the Himalayas, a woman folds a taro leaf into a cone, fills it with soil, and sows a seed. She waters her little cone with waste water from the kitchen, creating an enabling environment for the seed to germinate in, says a woman researcher of an international institute. She hopes in time the seed will add a bit of greenery to her kitchen. For her, water flows down in the river where it is not easy to access, and the nearby springs are all drying up as the climate changes, Kathmandu-based International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) researcher Pranita Bhushan Udas said ahead of World Water Day on March 22. She has no option but to maximise the use of available water. She has to reuse and recycle. The taro leaf prevents seepage, holds water for more days, and turns into manure over time. By the simple act of planting a seed the woman is utilising holistic knowledge and combining various resources to maximise benefit. This is just one instance showing how resourceful mountain women have been in actively engaging in managing water resources, said Udas, who is gender, water and adaptation specialist in the livelihoods theme with ICIMOD. According to her, traditional knowledge of the skills necessary for surviving in harsh mountain terrains, passed on from one generation to another, gives mountain people a unique, holistic understanding of how a single resource can be put to multiple uses. "The principle of reuse and recycle is at the core of resource management for women and men living in challenging environments today, as it was in the past. It is unfortunate that such age-old practices are forgotten as communities rush to modernisation and the availability of water starts to get determined by the ability to pay for water," she said. "Whether it is a village along the Ganges, Kosi or the Indus rivers, it is women who are solely responsible for managing water resources for the family. The men are absent, having ventured off their farms in search of employment. For the women left behind, problems arising from water scarcity and water-induced disaster, and the associated conflicts and insecurities make them more vulnerable." Udas said the situation in cities is no different for women among the urban poor. She said with increase in migration in cities and competition for aesthetic and industrial water use, women among the urban poor struggle to manage water and compromise their water need for the sake of their family members. By 2015, 663 million people in the world still lacked safe and improved drinking water sources, and 2.4 billion lacked improved sanitation, for which women and girls bore the brunt. The researcher said increasing global threat to water scarcity in the face of both climatic and socio-economic changes demands urgent action for the reuse and recycle of available water resources, at both individual and institutional levels. "Changing our habits to make sure we reuse and recycle water will not only help us meet our water need, but also help reduce gender water poverty by reducing water conflicts and water grabbing, and promoting sensitivity to water sharing," she added.

21 March,2023 05:36 PM IST | New Delhi | IANS
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Here's why you need to drink water and stay hydrated

Even though 70 per cent of the earth consists of water doesn't mean that all 70 per cent will be safe for drinking. In India, where digital spaces are gaining momentum rapidly, more than 50 per cent of the domestic spaces still rely on boiling their water for drinking. Almost 70 per cent of your body is water and it is water that helps in flushing out the toxins through urination and perspiration etc. The water also helps in lubricating joints and protects sensitive tissues in our bodies. It is said that drinking eight glasses of water a day is ideal for overall health. Water is very important to your body. In fact, without it, the majority of the functions like temperature control and breakdown of essential nutrients won't take place. Drinking more water comes with remarkable advantages. Sadly, people tend to only consume water when they are thirsty, which clearly indicates that they only get the bare minimum of benefits. So, if you follow a poor water intake, it's recommended to start by properly tracking the amount. Most medical experts suggest consumption of 2-3 litres across the whole day. It's best to break it down in terms of glasses and merely keep a track of your hydration levels. Aditya Patnaik, CEO and founder, of Lustral Water mentions are reasons stating the importance of monitoring your day-to-day drinking water consumption: It facilitates upholding energy levels: You may be experiencing low energy levels, particularly in the summers. Constant dehydration can impact your brain even more. For instance, feeling exhausted and inactive. The most exceptional way to raise your energy levels is by drinking more water. Doing this can lend you that added burst of power and energy to go about your day. Proper hydration helps stay focused: While you might not understand how tired you are; your brain gets to experience it primarily. After all, water is essential for your brain to send electrical signals to your cells. This implies when your brain is fatigued, your muscles will fail to move efficiently, your eyes get tired and your brain goes in a survival mode. Your brain fundamentally won't have the energy to assign to anything other than running vital functions. So, you won't be able to concentrate on the task at hand, even if you want to. Hence to avoid this, it is best to get ready to track your water consumption by journaling, making use of a functional drink-water app or monitored by your water purifier. It helps in lifting up your mood: Since being dehydrated can make you super cranky and irritated, you should perhaps down a glass of water. This will help you end up feeling better and restored. Water enables weight loss: Along with a wholesome diet, water too can contribute to losing weight. Water, alongside being calorie and fat-free, can aid you in burning resting calories. It adds to the metabolic process by suppressing your appetite, thus preventing you from overeating. It helps you uphold beautiful skin: It is important to note that our skin is full of water. Collagen, the protein that keeps your skin firm and elastic is very dependent on water. Hence an absence of water can make your skin appear dry and wrinkled. So, if you want to uphold a healthy skin help, you better get to drinking sufficient water. Water is crucial for the proper functioning of our overall body, hence it's not enough to drink water only when you feel thirsty. Instead, try to stick to the everyday prescribed amount and start by tracking your intake to make the most of the advantages. 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.

21 March,2023 05:29 PM IST | New Delhi | IANS
Sujeet Desai is a musician by profession and the first with Down Syndrome to play at Carnegie Hall in 2015. Image Courtesy: AFP

These 5 personalities with Down Syndrome prove that nothing is impossible

It is rightly said, ‘where there is a will, there is a way.’ Anyone with determination and a strong will can go places even when faced with tough circumstances and hurdles. People with any kind of disabilities who pursue their dreams despite the odds are a perfect example of this. Despite serious restrictions, these individuals have inspired millions across the world by succeeding in doing the unimaginable. Every year, people around the world celebrate World Down Syndrome Day on March 21. Those with the syndrome have to constantly face personal as well as professional hurdles. There are many among them who leave no stone unturned to excel at things they love. Here are five such personalities with Down Syndrome, who prove they can achieve whatever they put their minds on and nothing can stop them, certainly not Down Syndrome.   Riza RejiRiza is a young woman from Bengaluru, who was the first Indian to get selected for participating in the annual ‘Be Beautiful, Be Yourself’ fashion show by the Global Down Syndrome Foundation. It is a show that is held annually to raise funds for carrying out research on cognitive health problems. Riza was selected for the show after an online audition. She has a strong liking for art and is a trained dancer too. In several media interviews, she spoke of how art and theatre helped her express her thoughts and feelings. Sujeet DesaiSujeet Desai is a musician by profession and the first with Down Syndrome to play at Carnegie Hall in 2015. Sujeet has mastered seven instruments including violin, piano, trumpet, bass clarinet, alto saxophone, and drums. He has also won many awards including the Achievement Award on United Nations International Day of Disabled Persons. He has also won the World Down Syndrome Day Award from Down Syndrome International. Desai has performed in 13 countries till now. Collette DivittoWhen the culinary world rejected Collette Divitto, she went on to set up her own successful cookie business, Collette's Cookies. Divitto developed a passion for baking when she took a class during high school. After going viral she was invited to appear on several television channels which has made her quite popular. Tim HarrisHarris is an athlete who competed in basketball, poly hockey, volleyball, golf and track and field in the Special Olympics. He has also won numerous gold medals. Harris had also opened his restaurant in Albuquerque, New Mexico, naming it ‘Tim's Place’ before closing it in 2016. Chelsea WernerChelsea Werner couldn’t walk until she was nearly two years old. The doctors had told her she would always have low muscle tone. Werner proved the doctors wrong when she became a four-time US National Championships winner in gymnastics at the Special Olympics. Following this, she pursued modelling and has not only appeared on the cover of popular teen magazines but also walked at New York Fashion Week in 2016. While these are only a few of them, the list only keeps getting longer. While society may have reservations about people with Down Syndrome, these will definitely inspire many. Also Read: World Down Syndrome Day 2023: Everything you must know about it

21 March,2023 03:19 PM IST | Mumbai | mid-day online correspondent
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World Down Syndrome Day 2023: Everything you must know about it

The life of those with Down Syndrome has not been easy. Besides hampered physical and mental development, the kind of ill-treatment and discrimination they are subjected to just worsens life for them. They are often face challenges while accessing basic rights like education, quality health services or the right to earn. According to the United Nations, each year around five thousand children are born with Down Syndrome. On this day, the international agency invites all its member states as well as relevant international organisations to have an in-depth and fruitful conversation for building a better life for those with Down Syndrome. What is Down Syndrome?Down Syndrome is a genetic condition caused when anyone is born with an extra chromosome.  People with Down Syndrome have some common features like small ears, a flat nose, eyes slanted up at the outer corner, protruding tongue, short neck, small hands and feet, etc. Down Syndrome has no cure and is a lifelong condition. Nevertheless, there are treatments in place which, if received at the right time can help individuals live a meaningful life. HistoryEvery year World Down Syndrome Day is observed on March 21. The United Nation General Assembly declared March 21 World Down Syndrome Day in December 2011 and it began observing the day from 2012 onwards. The 21st day of the third month has been selected as the designated date because the syndrome occurs due to the triplication of the 21st chromosome. Theme in 2023The theme for World Down Syndrome Day 2023 is ‘With Us, Not For Us.’ The motive of this theme is to ditch the old charity model and adopt a more human rights-based approach. This theme encourages people to advocate for equality. It seeks to view people with disabilities as having the right to be treated fairly, instead of viewing them as objects of charity, pity, and someone who needs to constantly rely on others for support. Due to their condition, most of them may often face challenges in everyday life. This year’s theme urges people to change. Those with Down Syndrome must have the freedom to make their own choices and those supporting them must do things ‘with’ them, not ‘for’ them. Also Read: International Day of Happiness 2023: India ranks behind its neighbours in World Happiness Index

21 March,2023 01:47 PM IST | Mumbai | mid-day online correspondent
Studies have shown that people who are obese already have higher levels of key molecules associated with inflammation in their blood.  Photo Courtesy: iStock

Why obesity is linked to severe Covid-19: Study

A new study carried out by scientists has identified that Individuals who are obese may be more susceptible to severe Covid-19 because of a poorer inflammatory immune response, which can affect the body's ability to fight infections. Scientists at the Cambridge Institute of Therapeutic Immunology and Infectious Disease (CITIID) and Wellcome Sanger Institute showed that following SARS-CoV-2 infection, cells in the lining of the lungs, nasal cells, and immune cells in the blood show a blunted inflammatory response in obese patients, producing suboptimal levels of molecules needed to fight the infection. Studies have shown that people who are obese already have higher levels of key molecules associated with inflammation in their blood. Thus it was earlier speculated whether an overactive inflammatory response explains the connection between severe Covid-19 and obesity. But scientists found it to be the "absolute opposite". They found that obese patients had underactive immune and inflammatory responses in their lungs. To understand, the researchers analysed blood and lung samples taken from 13 obese patients with severe Covid requiring mechanical ventilation and intensive care treatment, and 20 controls (non-obese Covid-19 patients and ventilated non-Covid-19 patients). Compared to non-obese patients, they found that cells in the lining of their lungs and some of their immune cells had lower levels of activity among genes responsible for the production of two molecules known as interferons (INF) -- interferon-alpha and interferon-gamma -- which help control the response of the immune system, and of tumour necrosis factor (TNF), which causes inflammation. When they looked at immune cells in the blood of 42 adults from an independent cohort, they found a similar, but less marked, reduction in the activity of interferon-producing genes as well as lower levels of IFN-alpha in the blood, the researchers said in the paper published in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine. "This was really surprising and unexpected. Across every cell type we looked at, we found that the genes responsible for the classical antiviral response were less active. They were completely muted," said Professor Menna Clatworthy, a clinician scientist at the University of Cambridge. The team was able to replicate its findings in nasal immune cells taken from obese children with Covid, where they again found lower levels of activity among the genes that produce IFN-alpha and IFN-gamma. This is important because the nose is one of the entry points for the virus -- a robust immune response there could prevent the infection spreading further into the body, while a poorer response would be less effective, Clatworthy said. The findings could have important implications both for the treatment of Covid-19 and in the design of clinical trials to test new treatments. Also Read: Maha reports 128 new COVID-19 cases; active tally at 1,364  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

21 March,2023 01:44 PM IST | London | IANS
Every year, March 21 is celebrated as World Down Syndrome Day. Image for representational purposes only. Photo Courtesy: Istock

Impact of Down Syndrome on family caregivers and lack of awareness


Ever since Divya Menon’s daughter was born with Down Syndrome a little over three years ago, it has only been an eye-opener about the many challenges that children with special needs face every day. She shares, “Ever since my daughter's birth, I became more aware of the lack of awareness of disabilities as well as the lack of inclusion in the mainstream.” Over three years, the Hyderabad-based professional has seen many parents and institutions come forward to spread awareness and that has been very encouraging for her in her journey into a completely new space. Every year, March 21 is celebrated as World Down Syndrome Day around the globe. The day in the third month was selected to signify the uniqueness of the triplication of the 21st chromosome that results in the syndrome in people. It is observed to raise awareness about the syndrome and the people dealing with many challenges every day. While there is increasing awareness about the syndrome and those suffering from it, family and friends of those believe there is a lot more that can be done for society to be inclusive towards those with Down Syndrome and Menon is one of them.  Challenges and support groupsIt is primarily because those with Down Syndrome face a range of challenges that affect their physical, cognitive, and social development. Dr. Sapna Bangar, psychiatrist (specialist - Child and Adolescent), head, Mpower Centre Mumbai explains, “They have intellectual disability that can range from mild to moderate, physical development delays such as delayed walking, fine motor skills development and slower speech development, health issues such as heart defects, gastrointestinal problems, hearing loss and vision problems.” Bangar says they also face challenges with social and emotional development such as difficulty with communication and social interactions and learning difficulties that include learning, memory, and attention. It is not without the discrimination and stigma that affects their opportunities for education, employment, and social inclusion. However, the Mumbai expert says there are exceptions, and many who lead happy lives with people around them. Till now, Menon says she hasn’t faced any challenges, however, she has two areas of focus that need to be addressed. While the lack of awareness is the primary challenge, she explains, “Inclusion in schools is still a struggle for many people.” She does admit that since her daughter Anjani is still very young, she still doesn’t have as much exposure to other challenges faced by people. “People equate disability to be a problem, while in reality, the lack of accessibility is the problem,” she adds. Luckily for Menon, who is still learning about the syndrome, she is also part of a strong parent support group that is helping her along the way. “We receive guidance from senior parents of children or adults with Down Syndrome as well as DSFI (Down syndrome Federation of India), the apex body that works tirelessly to create awareness.”Growing up with her younger brother Aryan (in picture), who has Down Syndrome, Dharini Mishra said her parents had to face many challenges while try to secure his education and training in skill development. Photo Courtesy: Dharini MishraInclusive education One of the most important aspects of growing up is receiving an education in school and that presents different kinds of challenges for parents and kids. While Menon’s daughter still hasn’t started school, she hopes that educational institutions are more inclusive for her daughter in the future. “Schools need to be inclusive and the methodology of one-size-fits-all needs to be done away with. Every child is different so evaluating them for the same parameters doesn't help.” She also believes that including children with different abilities in the mainstream helps the neuro-typical population acknowledge and accept the existence of people with different special needs and this would in the long-term benefit having a more inclusive society.   Even as the Hyderabad mother believes there should be inclusivity, Dharini Mishra stresses the need for more government schools for children with special needs along with hassle-free admissions. Mishra, who hails from Kanpur, has grown up with her younger brother Aryan, who lives with Down Syndrome. Now 26 years old, he grew up in the northern city, at a time when she says there were hardly any institutions for him. She explains, “My parents struggled with his education and more specifically his training in skill development. They even took him to a school in Rohtak, which was a government-sponsored institute built on a large campus and had basic facilities, but the staff was not trained to cater to the needs of such children.” So, the Mishras didn't admit him there. “He went to a special school in Kanpur itself. When we look back today, there were so many skills he could have mastered but he didn't get that proper training,” says Mishra, who like every other sister wants to see her brother do well in life.  Growing up with him and interacting with like-minded kids has shown Mishra how children with Down Syndrome are very focused and need only regular and precise coaching and it is something she hopes for others. “Only a well-trained teacher can nurture these special kids. Providing proper training for teachers is of utmost importance. Such training should be taken to smaller cities and towns as these places do not have proper infrastructure and trained teachers to teach such kids,” she explains.   Encouraging employment opportunities Mishra also shares Menon’s sentiment about how every child has different needs and so they need to be trained to cater to their skill development accordingly. However, it doesn’t stop there for her. “This change is also required in providing employment opportunities. I have seen people with impaired hearing and speech working in malls and hotels, which is a very good move. So, even Down Syndrome kids should be given a chance to work, however small that may be. With inclusivity, there will be more acceptance and these kids will become more confident and live an independent life.” Interestingly, Mishra, who only moved abroad a year ago has seen them get a lot of opportunities and live independent lives working in different places, depending on their brain development. She adds, “Society needs to change its mindset about people with special needs. If given proper care, correct training, and encouragement, these people are capable of performing various roles in our society.” While this seems ideal, Mishra is aware that it will take a lot of time even though there is increasing awareness of the kind that Menon has experienced. “There has been development in the awareness of Down Syndrome but still there is a long way to go when it comes to acceptance.” The fact that even today people target children and adults with the syndrome or family and friends don’t accept them proves to be a hurdle. “This leads to inferiority complexes and they stay in a shell,” she shares.   While that is society at large, there is a lot more to deal with in educational institutions. As many of them go to regular and special schools, one must admit that bullying is one aspect that occurs everywhere and needs to be dealt with but affects them differently. Bangar says, "Bullying is a serious issue that affects students with Down Syndrome more frequently than general children and can have long-term negative effects on their mental and emotional well-being. Teachers play a critical role in preventing and addressing bullying in schools.” She says, educating students about the syndrome, promoting inclusion in the class, monitoring their behaviour to see who is bullying or getting bullied but at the same time encouraging communication, teaching them how to resolve a conflict and last but not the least involving parents can be very helpful for those with Down Syndrome.  This is understandably only the tip of the iceberg. At the civic and community level, Bangar says providing accessibility accommodations such as wheelchair ramps, accessible restrooms, and elevators in public places is also a start. This can ensure that individuals with Down Syndrome can navigate public spaces independently. For adults, businesses and organisations can provide employees with training on how to interact with individuals with Down Syndrome to make their working experience easier.  Dr Bangar's tips to support individuals with Down Syndrome  Be patientIndividuals with Down Syndrome may take longer to understand and process information, so it's important to be patient when communicating with them.  Offer supportOffer your support and help in situations where they may feel overwhelmed or challenged. This could include accompanying them to appointments, helping them with daily tasks, or just being there to listen when they need to talk.  Encourage independenceEncourage them to do things on their own as much as possible, but also provide support and guidance when needed.  Celebrate achievementsCelebrate their achievements, no matter how small they may seem, as this can help boost their confidence and self-esteem.  Provide opportunitiesProvide opportunities for socialising and learning new skills, as this can help them develop their abilities and increase their confidence.  Avoid overprotectionWhile it's important to provide support, it's also important to avoid being overprotective, as this can limit their opportunities for growth and development.  Be inclusiveInclude individuals with Down's Syndrome in family and social activities, as this can help them feel valued and accepted. Also Read: Seven tips for best oral hygiene: Dos and don’ts you must follow  

21 March,2023 12:04 PM IST | Mumbai | Nascimento Pinto
This World Oral Health Day 2023, let us become more aware of the importance of oral hygiene. Photo Courtesy: iStock

Seven tips for best oral hygiene: Dos and don’ts you must follow

Oral hygiene is something that is taught to us right from our school days. It is a crucial part of our overall hygiene. Brushing twice a day is the most common tip taught since childhood that most of us conveniently choose not to follow it. Throughout the day, we consume a lot of food items which gets stuck between our teeth. Besides, our face and mouth are the first points of contact with external elements like germs. Keeping your mouth unclean can lead to infections and other health concerns. So, taking care of our oral health becomes more important. Some common indicators of bad oral hygiene are: 1. Bad breath 2. Bleeding gums 3. Decay or cavity in tooth/teeth 4. Toothache 5. Mouth sores Here are the seven easiest oral health tips that you can adopt in your day-to-day life: 1. As mentioned earlier, you must brush twice a day, once after waking up and once before going to sleep. This helps in killing all the bacteria that may reside in your mouth. 2. Just as brushing is important, it is also important to clean your tongue. 3. Rinse your mouth after every meal you consume to avoid decaying teeth. Rinsing of the mouth also helps in keeping bad breath at bay. 4. Use toothpaste which contains fluoride as it helps counter tooth decay. 5. Floss daily after brushing. It does not just help in removing minuscule food particles from teeth gaps but also stimulates the gums and reduces plaque. 6. You must keep drinking water from time to time as it helps in washing out the taste pungent and acidic taste of the foods you consume. 7. Visit your dentist at least twice a year for cleanings and checkups. While practising these tips daily are important, it is equally important to avoid some foods that are the worst enemies of your oral health.  1. Carbonated drinks 2. Coffee 3. Cookies or any sugar-based food 4. Alcohol 5. Sour candies 6. Tobacco This World Oral Health Day 2023, let us become more aware of the importance of oral hygiene and take the correct steps to avoid the health concerns that are likely to arise due to poor oral health, in the future. Read More: How do genetic factors influence oral health

20 March,2023 06:18 PM IST | Mumbai | mid-day online correspondent
Every year, International Day of Happiness is celebrated on March 20. Image for representational purpose only. Photo Courtesy: istock

International Day of Happiness 2023: Being happy through mindfulness


International Day of Happiness is observed on March 20 every year across the globe. Established by the United Nations to outline the importance of happiness within our lives, the day also aims to highlight the significance of well-being. While happiness is fleeting and aspirational for most, certain practices, such as being mindful, can aid holistic well-being. On International Day of Happiness, we got a range of experts from JetSynthesys' to share actionable tips that can be adapted to enhance happiness in our everyday lives.   Ritu Gupta, life coach and neuro-linguistic programming therapist  Acceptance One of the most important tenets of living mindfully is acceptance, and it is not the same as tolerance but honouring individual differences. For eg: If you have a difference of opinion at work or home, what do you do? Lash out or stay silent? Practicing acceptance and thus mindfulness would mean, to agree, to disagree without losing control over your emotions. Responding mindfully would be like, communicating not what you dislike or disagree with but what you want or need, maintaining personal boundaries and mutual respect for self and others.  Responsibility The second most important tenet of living mindfully is responsibility. Often mistaken as taking others' load onto your shoulders, responsibility is about taking ownership of everything you do and being aware of the impact it would have on your physical-emotional being just as much as it would affect the environment around, people alike. For eg: You are upset with others’ actions, be it at home, on the road, at the workplace, or just watching the news on the television or social media. Practicing responsibility and thus mindfulness would mean, taking ownership of your role in that equation, if only you have one. You can only take responsibility for your doing and not for others (read misdoings).  Kindness Being kind to oneself and others is quintessential to staying authentic and thus living mindfully. For eg: You often judge people and feel judged most of the time. Is this your reality too? Practicing kindness and thus living mindfully, is to stay true to yourself. Being clear of your intention in doing everything you do, allowing yourself to feel how you feel and feeling it fully, and seeing other’s actions from a space of non-judgment helps one respond from the space of clarity and not react. It is ok to be angry. It is ok to be guilty. It is ok to be sad. You are human! Be one. And bring in a little more Love, each day. Living mindfully is simple. You would know when you are tired and stressed, drink water, and stay hydrated to allow the body to cool down. When you feel tired but not stressed, your body is seeking rest, so sleep. When you are not very tired, but stress is taking the best of you, find yourself a silent corner, journal or gently close your eyes and simply observe your thoughts. Allow them all to come up. Meditate. Your mind needs some decluttering to restore its balance.   Vidisha Kaushal, sound healing and life mastery expert   Practicing non-resistance and non-judgment to the present momentDon’t like where you are or who you are with? How about accepting what exists? How about telling yourself it is not in alignment with you instead of practicing criticism and judgement, once you stop resisting and judging, you are free to make a change in your situation. But without acceptance, we can fall into an endless pit of victimhood or the why me syndrome.  Check-in with your body The body is a storehouse of emotions, especially unprocessed ones. As often as you can, close your eyes and check how it feels inside the body. Instead of running away from unpleasant sensations, and thoughts, embrace them, give them love, and watch them eventually dissolve.  Spend some time in natureOften the mind oscillates between the past and the future. Nature organically disrupts the oscillating mind and transports us into the present moment and heals us at the same time. So lean against a tree or sit and watch the sky and notice how present you feel.   Nishtha Bijlani, yoga expert  Grounding This can be best done as soon as you wake up. Take the time to slowly rest your feet on the ground. Take slow and mindful steps around the house. Be aware of each step and the sensations on the soles of the feet. Enjoy the connection to the earth. Let it slow you down. Make sure to do so bare feet. This can also be practiced later in the day. The effect is heightened when done on grass, sand, or earth.    Mindful eating Growing up in an Indian household, we have always been corrected by our elders to chew our food slowly and not talk while eating. They were always teaching us to be mindful. Learning to savour your food without distractions has become a lost art. Make a small gratitude prayer before you start your meal. Take in all the colours and smells on your plate. Take each bite slowly without a rush. Stay connected to your food from the first touch to the last swallow. Watch how this positively impacts your digestion and your relationship with food.   Breath awareness  Breath is one thing we often take for granted. Most of it is an involuntary action of the body, hence, it is also easiest to ignore. But by simply being aware of your breath you can be in better control of your emotions and thoughts which as a result puts you in better control of your actions.    Allot 5 to 10 minutes in the day to sit in a comfortable position. Close your eyes and draw your attention to your nostrils. Be here to simply observe the breath moving in and out. Resist the urge to change the breath. Instead, simply observe. Also Read: International Day of Happiness 2023: India ranks behind its neighbours in World Happiness Index

20 March,2023 04:50 PM IST | Mumbai | Maitrai Agarwal
Every year, International Day of Happiness is celebrated on March 20. Image for representational purpose only. Photo Courtesy: istock

72 per cent of Indians confess to snacking more when they are happy: Report

Many of us consume food depending on our state of mind and that is reflected when we rely on comfort food when we are stressed but it is also apparently the other way around.  Calling for happiness to be given greater priority, ahead of International Day of Happiness, 'STTEM - Safety, Technology, Taste, Ease & Mood Uplifter' - The India Snacking Report (Volume I) by Godrej Yummiez, reveals that 72 per cent Indians confessed to snacking more when they are happy, highlighting how snacking is perceived as a mood uplifter. Amongst those who connect snacking with their mood, 70 per cent of Indians feel satisfied, happy, and excited after consuming snacks. When compared across regions, the report highlights that Eastern India showed the maximum skew with 75 per cent of its citizens snacking more when they are happy. North, West, and South India showed near similar levels of emotions scoring 72 per cent, 67 per cent, and 74 per cent respectively. The above findings get even more corroborated when looked at across cities. Amongst cities, people from Delhi, Chennai, Hyderabad, and Kolkata, snack more when they are happy. With Delhi topping the list at 81 per cent, followed by Chennai and Hyderabad at 77 per cent each, and Kolkata at 75 per cent, indicating that locals of these cities find snacks as mood uplifters. Besides, the average for Mumbai stood at 68 per cent, and the average for Ahmedabad residents opting for snacks when happy is 67 per cent. This is followed by Pune and Bengaluru at 66 per cent each, Lucknow at 62 percent, and Jaipur at 61 per cent. Another aspect that came up in the report was the food-mood connection in both genders, revealing that 74 per cent women and 70 per cent men snack more when they are happy. Abhay Parnerkar, chief executive officer (CEO), Godrej Tyson Foods Limited (GTFL), said, "As a category thought leader, Godrej Yummiez understands consumers well and shaped trends redefining the frozen ready-to-cook segment. The India Snacking Report is one such initiative by Godrej Yummiez to analyse and predict snacking trends. The report clearly showcases consumers perceive snacking as a mood uplifter. Going forward, the dynamics that will shape India's snacking habits will be based on the acronym STTEM- Safety, Technology, Taste, Ease & Mood Uplifter- the five pillars. Speaking specifically of the mood pillar, snacking will have a larger influence over both consumers and brands." Also Read: International Day of Happiness 2023: India ranks behind its neighbours in World Happiness Index 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

20 March,2023 09:47 AM IST | New Delhi | IANS
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