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New growth, changes in size and colour of moles may be skin cancer: Doctors

One should always pay attention to new skin growth, size, colour of moles as it could be skin cancer, said doctors on Thursday, after American pop singer and actor Kevin Jonas shared that he underwent surgery to remove basal cell carcinoma.   In a video posted on his Instagram account, Jonas shared that he underwent surgery to remove basal cell carcinoma -- a type of skin cancer that most often develops on areas of skin exposed to the sun, such as the face -- from his forehead. "Yes, that is an actual little skin cancer guy that started to grow and now I have to get surgery to remove it." "Make sure to get those moles checked people," shared Jonas, brother-in-law of actress Priyanka Chopra, in the video. The news highlights how crucial it is to keep an eye on moles and new skin growths, especially in younger people. "Even while it could be easy to simply write off skin changes as nothing serious, there are some symptoms that need to be seen by a doctor right away. These consist of any progressive changes in size, shape, or colour as well as asymmetry, uneven borders, various colours, and a diameter bigger than a pencil. Because skin cancer, especially melanoma, can be aggressive in its early stages but is highly treatable, early diagnosis is critical," Pooja Babbar, consultant - medical oncology, CK Birla Hospital, Gurugram, said. "Pay attention to any new skin growth, non-healing skin ulcer or swelling or change in any moles like (increase in size, change in colour, bleeding) and consult your doctors," added Vineeta Goel, senior director and HOD - Radiation Oncology, Fortis Hospital, Shalimar Bagh.  The expert advised to always use sunscreen, hats, gloves, and other protective clothing when stepping out in the sun and maintain a healthy lifestyle to prevent skin cancers. S C Bharija, chairperson, department of Dermatology, Sir Ganga Ram Hospital said that moles, especially on white skin, need to be monitored regularly. "They should be protected from UVA radiation by avoiding extreme sun exposure. In case of a sudden increase in size, the presence of itching or bleeding and darkening of the lesions should not be ignored and urgent medical opinion should be taken. An early skin biopsy would help to diagnose the problem," the doctor said. The experts also called for frequent self-inspections and expert skin examinations to help in early detection, as it can boost treatment outcomes. "Early diagnosis requires lesser treatment and results in higher cure rates -- this is a golden line for every cancer including skin cancers. Skin cancers are easy to pick up at an early stage as they get noticed if one is little aware of them," Vineeta said. 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.

14 June,2024 04:41 PM IST | New Delhi | IANS
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Clear national blood policy best way to ensure patients receive safest possible

A clear national blood policy, with all its stakeholders working together, is the best way to ensure that patients receive the safest possible blood whenever they need it, said experts on World Blood Donor Day on Friday.  World Blood Donor Day is observed every year on June 14 to honour and thank those people who donate their blood, voluntarily and unpaid, to give others the gift of life. According to Rahul Bhargava, principal director and Chief BMT, Fortis Memorial Research Institute, Gurugram, investing in blood bank infrastructure and advanced testing allows us to catch potential issues early on. "That's why robust government initiatives are crucial. Encouraging voluntary donation and stricter donor screening tests are vital for blood donation and access to safe blood," Bhargava said. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the national blood system should be governed by national blood policy and legislative framework to promote uniform implementation of standards and consistency in the quality and safety of blood and blood products. In 2018, 73 per cent of reporting countries, or 125 out of 171, had a national blood policy. Overall, 66 per cent of reporting countries, or 113 out of 171, have specific legislation covering the safety and quality of blood transfusion, as per WHO data. "The government should urgently consider consolidating the regulatory framework for blood tender services under a single legislation- blood law. Blood should be brought out of the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, and the regulator should look much beyond the licensing of blood banks," said Anubha Taneja Mukherjee, member secretary, Thalassemia Patient Advocacy Group. According to experts, it is important to screen for infectious agents such as malaria, HIV, hepatitis B and C, and syphilis to prevent transfusion-transmitted infections (TTIs). Additionally, performing blood typing, antibody screening and crossmatching to ensure immunological compatibility is crucial, thereby preventing hemolytic and other transfusion reactions. "These measures safeguard patients, particularly those with compromised immune systems or requiring multiple transfusions, from potentially life-threatening complications," said Shruti Kamdi, consultant transfusion Medicine, SRCC Children's Hospital, Mumbai. She also mentioned that comprehensive testing and strict adherence to safety standards are "fundamental in maintaining a reliable blood supply and ensuring the efficacy of transfusion therapy". 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.

14 June,2024 04:34 PM IST | New Delhi | IANS
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10 tips to manage conjunctivitis during monsoon season

The onset of monsoon brings with it an outbreak of conjunctivitis, which can be viral, bacterial or a combination of both. Conjunctivitis refers to a common ocular condition encountered by ophthalmologists all around the world. Patients usually present with red or pink eyes, lid swelling, watery or mucoid discharge (yellow or greenish), eye pain, and severe eye congestion with blurred vision.  At times, there can be fever, sore throat or upper respiratory infection associated with it. Patients with conjunctivitis need to be thoroughly examined in clinics to start appropriate treatment. Over-the-counter prescriptions usually lead to microorganism resistance and ineffective therapy because not all pink eyes are infectious.  Tips to safeguard yourself from contracting the disease: • Keep good hand hygiene - regular hand washing, using sanitizers regularly.• Avoid eye rubbing and touching of the eyes.• Avoid using common water bodies like swimming pools and steam rooms like saunas.• Avoid sharing common items like towels, pillow covers, handkerchiefs, clothes, makeup brushes and eye drops.• Wearing dark glasses to avoid cross-contamination is a myth; they should be worn to avoid aversion to light (photosensitivity) if present, and they give protection from touching your own eyes.• Keep your workplace and your home clean by frequently disinfecting surfaces like tabletops, floors, and seating and changing bed linens.• Avoid using contact lenses during monsoons as they can be a source of infection.• After coming in contact with dirty water or swimming pool water, it's better to always take a shower.• Whenever your eyes turn pink or red, visit your nearest ophthalmologist and never self-prescribe medicines or self-treat. If conjunctivitis is not well treated, it can lead to vision problems and cellulitis of the area around your eyes.• Eye makeup should be minimal. If you apply it regularly, make sure you wash it off before you go to sleep. Sanitise your makeup brushes and applicators.• Treat your underlying cold, cough, or respiratory tract infection.• Complete the course of medicines as prescribed by your treating doctor and also go for a follow-up whenever called. (By: Dr Sakshi Lalwani, Pediatric And Neuro Ophthalmologist at Dr Agarwals Eye Hospital with CEDS, Bandra)

14 June,2024 03:00 PM IST | Mumbai | mid-day online correspondent
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Mid-Day Premium Discover a lesser-known technique to tackle menstrual woes

Sakshi Mali’s menstrual health took a dark turn when she developed a 4.5-centimetre-wide cyst in 2022. “I used to suffer from severe mid-cycle cramping for one and half years and wouldn't do without anti-spasmodic,” the 32-year-old tells this writer.  Seeking remedies, she experimented with homeopathy for six months without success. Additionally, hormonal medicines from gynecologists failed to help. It wasn't until 2023 that she discovered the benefits of vaginal steaming, which began to alleviate her severe menstrual pain.  “I did vaginal steaming for one month and the midcycle pain went away like magic, I conceived naturally without any medication in a couple of months. Also, when I went for my first sonography, there were no remaining cysts either,” shares Mali.  While this may seem too good to be true, it appears that more women are opting for the practice of vaginal steaming also known as yoni-steaming. For Anshula Singhal, the problem of severe pain in the pelvis and legs after intercourse had become a norm until she steamed her lady bits. “Within two months – I was relieved of the pain and could go about sexual activity without any fear,” informs the 40-year-old.  Recent studies have highlighted potential health risks associated with the long-term use of Meftal Spas, a common medication used to address menstrual pain.In a recent advisory issued by the Indian Pharmacopoeia Commission, health concerns have been raised regarding the use of this widely-consumed painkiller The report highlights that the medicine contains mefenamic acid which is known to induce allergic reactions While the medicine can provide temporary relief from symptoms like cramps and abdominal discomfort, prolonged use may lead to adverse effects such as gastric irritation, kidney damage and increased risk of cardiovascular issues. Given these concerns, many individuals are exploring natural alternatives like vaginal steaming as a safer option for managing period pain and related symptoms. (L-R) Herbs that go into the steam box, Dr Prity Maniar, Mumbai-based certified vaginal steaming practitioner  So, what is vaginal steaming? Dr Komal Bhadu consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist at Ruby Hall Clinic informs, “Vaginal steaming, also known as yoni steaming, is a traditional practice where a person sits over a pot or basin filled with hot water infused with herbs. They typically cover themselves with a cloth or robe to trap the steam, allowing it to permeate the vaginal area.” Dr Prity Maniar, a certified vaginal steaming practitioner and founder of The Womb Story, shares that traditionally, herbs were sprinkled on burning coal inside a pot that produced fry smoke meant to warm a woman’s genitals. This ancient Ayurvedic practice, however, posed risks due to the use of burning coals, which could damage the skin and cause indoor pollution. Additionally, the unavailability of coals made it difficult to perform.  Also Read: Her lady bits are on strike: Misconceptions about female pleasure men need to know Maniar took cues from this practice to devise a new-age steam box that addresses the shortcomings associated with the use of coal. “Now, I use water as a medium instead of coals. The hot water bowl goes inside this steam box and you can sit over it and consume the steam comfortably through an opening which is just around the perineal area.” It can be done right from teenage to menopause and later too.  However, there is limited scientific evidence supporting these claims, and additional research is necessary to validate its effectiveness, informs Bhadu.   But why steam your lady bits? Maniar remarks that while it’s true that the uterus is a self-cleansing organ and periods help to detox/ cleanse, so are our gut and our digestive system, yet we still do a gut detox despite eliminating stool every day. Similarly, a uterus detox needs to be given a thought.  Advocates of vaginal steaming share that this natural remedy offers a multitude of benefits for a wide range of menstrual and period-related issues, such as premenstrual syndrome (PMS), painful periods, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), cysts, fibroids, endometriosis, low libido, menopause, irregular periods, short cycles and postpartum recovery.  Maniar adds that this practice is not only advantageous for addressing physical symptoms but also plays a significant role in enhancing emotional well-being. It helps release pent-up emotions often unknowingly stored in the womb or uterus. Additionally, vaginal steaming enhances sensuality making it a holistic approach to women's health. “The practice of vaginal steaming has deep roots in various cultures across India and around the globe, including traditions from Ayurveda, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), Mexican and Mayan cultures. These traditions have long recognised and scientifically validated the benefits of steaming, especially during the postpartum period,” she adds.   How safe is vaginal steaming? The safety of vaginal steaming is a topic of debate among medical professionals. While proponents claim it offers benefits that have been discussed above, there are significant concerns about its safety.  Potential risks include burns from hot steam, infections from unsterilised equipment and disruptions to the natural vaginal flora, which can lead to other health issues. Bhadu adds that there are chances of potential irritation or allergic reactions to the herbs used in the steaming process.  On the contrary, Maniar opines that there are no side effects associated with using the steam box as it uses water. “If one is sitting over the steam box, there are no chances of burns as there's no constant source of heat/ steam. And when it comes to the pH of the vagina, sexual intercourse and semen would change the pH and not steaming.” Maniar claims this after doing the vagina pH tests post using the steam box.  Group session for vaginal steaming  How to prepare for vaginal steaming? Here is how you can prepare for a vaginal steaming session at home: 1. You will need a bowl of hot water and a selection of herbs suited to your needs. The container can be made of stainless steel, glass, or ceramic to ensure safety and maintain the temperature of the water. 2. Boil water and pour it into your chosen container. Add the herbs to the hot water, allowing them to steep and release their beneficial properties into the steam. 3. Place the bowl in a comfortable, quiet area where you can relax. You can choose to kneel over the bowl or use a steam box designed for this purpose, which provides added comfort and support. 4. Carefully position yourself over the bowl or steam box, ensuring that the steam can reach the vaginal area. It is important to keep a safe distance to avoid burns and ensure a gentle steam experience. 5. Drape a blanket or large towel around your waist and the bowl to trap the steam. Sit comfortably and relax for 20-30 minutes, allowing the steam to work its magic.  Also Read: Endometriosis affects 43 million women in India: Study  What to expect during the steam session: Many women report a variety of sensations and emotional releases during their steam sessions. Some describe it as a melting-down effect, feeling as though tension is dissolving away. Others feel a sense of release as if something is being let go from within, informs Bhadu.   What goes into the steam box Experts list down the herbs that go into the making of the vaginal steam box: Dried rose, lavender, basil, rosemary, chamomile, calendula, nettles and mugwort are commonly used in vaginal steaming, each offering distinct benefits.  Some of these herbs, such as lavender and rosemary, help increase blood flow, while others, like chamomile and calendula, are known for their infection-fighting properties. Additionally, herbs like nettles can help reduce menstrual flow.  Maniar emphasises that “It’s essential that these herbs are not combined randomly, as their effects can vary greatly. I customise herb blends after conducting an online consultation to understand each individual's menstrual cycle, medical history and specific symptoms”   How often can you steam Just as diet, exercise and medication plans vary for each individual, so too must steam plans be tailored according to a person's menstrual history. Each plan can differ in frequency, ranging from 3 to 6 times per month or menstrual cycle, depending on the cycle's length and specific symptoms, outlines Maniar.  It's essential to avoid vaginal steaming during certain conditions: when on periods or spotting, during pregnancy, if there's an active infection and for those trying to conceive naturally, steaming should be avoided until ovulation.  Also Read: Half of slum girls don’t change sanitary napkins in school, survey reveals

14 June,2024 02:05 PM IST | Mumbai | Ainie Rizvi
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Mid-Day Premium Midday Special: Seeking non-discriminatory healthcare for LGBTQ+ patients

A recent qualitative study conducted by Lakshya Arora, P.M. Bhujang and Muthusamy Sivakami has brought to light the prevalent discrimination against the LGBTQ+ community (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, asexual and others) in the healthcare domain.  The study revealed that "Most administrators and doctors in Indian hospitals were not familiar with the varied needs of the LGBTQIA+ spectrum and treated them as a homogenous group." Additionally, some administrators believed that serving the minuscule LGBTQIA+ population may adversely affect business in private hospitals. Consequently, disparities in healthcare delivery have led to a reluctance among the queer community to seek medical services. With a lack of accountability at the systemic level, the report underscores the need to implement inclusive practices in order to create a non-discriminatory environment for LGBTQIA+ patients. Profile of the study participants from "Understanding discrimination against LGBTQIA+ patients in Indian hospitals using a human rights perspective: an exploratory qualitative study" published in the National Library of Medicine To develop guidelines for more inclusive and non-discriminatory healthcare, spoke to experts from the healthcare and legal fields about how hospitals can better serve LGBTQ+ patients. Here are the key takeaways from interactions with Dr Sonal Anand, a psychiatrist at Wockhardt Hospitals, Mumbai and Dr Preeti Rawat, Professor K J Somaiya Institute of Management (KJSIM). How can healthcare providers be trained to ensure non-discriminatory care for LGBTQ+ patients?Anand: Healthcare providers must ensure that they are unbiased and treat every patient equally, irrespective of their gender, economic and social status. This requires creating a safe and welcoming space for LGBTQ+ patients to develop a better understanding of their health concerns.  Healthcare providers can take up comprehensive education programs that focus on cultural competence, inclusive communication and the specific health issues prevalent within the LGBTQ+ community, such as higher rates of mental health disorders, substance abuse and sexually transmitted infections like HIV, Syphilis and Hepatitis B.  Training should include modules on recognising and addressing implicit biases, creating welcoming environments, using inclusive language and understanding the unique challenges and stressors faced by LGBTQ+ individuals due to discrimination and social stigma. Regular workshops, sensitivity training and updates on best practices can equip healthcare providers with the knowledge and skills needed to offer empathetic and equitable care to LGBTQ+ patients. What are the unique health needs and challenges faced by LGBTQ+ individuals that healthcare providers must be aware of?Anand: LGBTQ+ individuals often find it challenging to deal with social stereotypes, which can adversely impact their mental health. This further leads to experiencing mental health problems like depression, stress, social anxiety, self-harm and even suicidal thoughts which can also contribute to bad habits like excessive consumption of alcohol, drugs and tobacco.  These mental health challenges can be compounded by experiences of bullying, family rejection and the stress of concealing one’s identity. Additionally, LGBTQ+ youth are particularly vulnerable and may require tailored support services to navigate these difficulties. Understanding the mental health landscape for LGBTQ+ patients is crucial for healthcare providers, who should be trained to offer empathetic and affirming mental health care and referrals to LGBTQ+-friendly therapists. Another significant health challenge is the higher prevalence of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) within the LGBTQ+ community, especially among men who have sex with men (MSM) and transgender individuals. Some of them are at higher risk of developing STDs like HIV, Chlamydia, Gonorrhoea and Syphilis.  Health experts should take cognisance of the specific sexual health risks and needs of LGBTQ+ patients, including the importance of regular STI screenings, PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis) for HIV prevention, and safe sex practices. Moreover, transgender individuals may face unique health needs related to hormone therapy and gender-affirming surgeries, requiring specialsed knowledge and sensitivity.    What role does patient feedback play in training healthcare providers to deliver more inclusive and non-discriminatory care to LGBTQ+ individuals?Anand: Patient feedback plays a crucial role in training healthcare providers to deliver more inclusive and non-discriminatory care for queer people, by offering direct insights into the experiences and challenges faced by these patients within the healthcare system. This can be accomplished by having meaningful conversations and encouraging them to share their experiences Through feedback mechanisms such as surveys, focus groups and patient interviews, doctors can identify areas where biases and gaps in care exist. This real-world input allows for the development of targeted training programs that address specific issues, improve communication skills and promote understanding of LGBTQ+ health needs.  Incorporating patient feedback into training ensures that the curriculum remains relevant and responsive to the evolving needs of LGBTQ+ patients, ultimately fostering a more welcoming and supportive healthcare environment. What strategies can be implemented in medical training to address and eliminate biases against LGBTQ+ patients?Anand: To address and eliminate biases against LGBTQ+ patients in medical training, one effective strategy is to arrange panel discussions or invite LGBTQ+ individuals to share their personal experiences and healthcare challenges.  These firsthand accounts provide invaluable insights into the barriers and biases LGBTQ+ patients encounter, fostering empathy and understanding among healthcare providers. Hearing directly from LGBTQ+ patients helps humanise their struggles and underscores the importance of non-discriminatory care. Additionally, these discussions can highlight practical examples of inclusive practices, such as using correct pronouns and names, which can significantly enhance patient comfort and trust. Another essential strategy is to incorporate comprehensive LGBTQ+ health topics into the medical curriculum. This includes detailed modules on the specific physical and mental health issues faced by LGBTQ+ individuals, such as higher rates of mental health disorders, the need for regular STI screenings and the particular requirements of transgender patients undergoing hormone therapy or gender-affirming surgeries.  Encouraging an open mindset and curiosity about the LGBTQ+ community helps healthcare providers stay informed and compassionate, ultimately leading to unbiased and equitable medical care.   Edited excerpts from the interview with Dr Preeti Rawat, Professor K J Somaiya Institute of Management (KJSIM): How can healthcare institutions implement training programs that address the unique needs and rights of LGBTQ+ patients within the legal framework?Rawat: Learning to care for members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or queer/questioning community involves understanding and being open to multiple special considerations and avoiding unconscious and perceived biases. Maintain an open mind and avoid judgment regarding sexual orientation and practices.1. They need compassionate care.2. The hospital admission form should include transgender as an option.3. The staff is to be trained to refer to patients by their names and chosen descriptive pronouns. 4. Healthcare professionals should be trained to use gender-neutral terms such as ‘significant other’ or ‘partner.’ 5. Include members of the LGBTQ community as part of their staff and the hospital notice boards should communicate its inclusiveness towards LGBTQ+ patients and staff.6. They should be sensitised to avoid using language or words that are derogatory or discriminating. What legal protections exist for LGBTQ+ patients  and how can healthcare providers be educated to uphold these rights and avoid potential discrimination?Rawat: From a legal standpoint, homosexuality has been legal in India since 2018. Transgender individuals have a constitutional right to change their legal gender and a third gender (non-binary) is officially recognised. The Supreme Court has ruled that the Fundamental Right to Privacy is intrinsic to life and liberty, falling under Article 21 of the Indian Constitution. Additionally, the Court has declared that bodily autonomy is an integral part of the right to privacy, which includes an individual's sexual orientation. These legal protections should be integrated into the curriculum and practical training for healthcare providers. It is crucial that healthcare providers assure patients that their communication and medical records, including tests and results, are kept confidential. This approach ensures respect for the legal rights and personal privacy of LGBTQ+ patients, fostering a more inclusive and trustworthy healthcare environment.

14 June,2024 02:02 PM IST | Mumbai | Ainie Rizvi
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Mid-Day Premium Food, fitness and water workouts: Guide to wellness during monsoon

Pitter-patter, rain drops and sweeps us off with monsoon blues. You may ring in the Bambai ki baarish with long drives to Khandala, tapri chai and bhajiyas, tuning in to your monsoon playlist or snoring next to the window. Despite all the fun, your body has to face the brunt of lowered activity and immunity levels Call it a psychosomatic reaction, lethargy or feeling under the weather — the monsoon season often leads to flu, indigestion, shoulder pain or body aches resurfacing. Not only this, the body also becomes prone to infections and our overall immunity is compromised. The onset of this monsoon calls for a holistic guide to maintain fitness through the 4-month long season. Fret not, we roped in fitness, wellness and Ayurveda experts who share with us handy tips to keep sickness at bay during the rains: Foods to eat for a stronger gut  Curd and buttermilk are beneficial during monsoons for their probiotic properties, which boost digestion and immunity. Image Courtesy: iStock The rainy season provides a beautiful break from the scorching sun but also brings an increased risk of infections caused by various viruses and bacteria, informs Dr Nivedita Pandey, gastroenterologist and hepatologist, at Gooddeed Clinics.  These can lead to simple ailments like a runny nose, cough, diarrhea and vomiting, or more severe, life-threatening infections such as viral hepatitis or typhoid. To combat these health issues, Pandey shares dietary recommendations to boost immunity and maintain energy levels during monsoon:  1. Avoid street foods, especially uncooked items like golgappa and chaat, as well as juices like sugarcane or fruit juice. 2. If you must eat out, always choose cooked food and avoid salads and chutneys served with your meal. 3. Include fermented foods in your diet, as they are rich in beneficial bacteria that improve colon health and boost immunity. 4. Consume plenty of buttermilk and yoghurt and consider including South Indian cuisine items like idli and rasam. 5. Eat seasonal fruits like jamun, mangoes and melons, which are rich in vitamin C and enhance immunity. 6. Avoid eating leafy vegetables during the rainy season as they spoil easily. 7. Steer clear of oily and greasy meals, which take longer to digest and can increase fatigue. 8. Drink chana sattu mixed with lemon and cumin to stay hydrated and ensure adequate protein intake in your diet.  While boiled and well-cooked cruciferous veggies such as broccoli and cauliflower are encouraged, leafy greens contain a lot of contamination and are infection-prone and must be avoided. Fibres are important for our bowel movements. To help the gut, add more fibre, probiotics and prebiotics.  Since immunity and digestive power are deeply impacted during the monsoon, eat food that is easier to digest. Add triphala, haritaki, tulsi, guduchi, amalaki to aid the digestive system and stick to meal times without munching in between meals. To maintain gut health, the three vital aspects are normal bowel movement, good fibre intake and healthy gut flora.  Have buttermilk at lunch and add a tadka of hing, zeera, kadi patta to soup and veggies to make them more digestible. Junk and heavy, oily food can aggravate the pitta [acidic fire] in the body, so reduce the intake of gravies and deep-fried dishes and restrain your meat intake. A chicken soup is good in the season, but red meat would be too heavy for the body to digest.  Workouts to try during monsoon  Monsoon weather often leads to reduced outdoor activity, promoting a sedentary lifestyle. However, simple home exercises like pilates, bodyweight workouts and stretching can help maintain fitness during this period. Celebrity trainers share with us two basic workouts to try this monsoon: Pedalling exercise for glutes and obliques 1. Lie flat on your back. Bring your knees up to a 90-degree angle and press your lower back to the floor. 2. Raise your heels until they are in level with your knees and slowly begin to "pedal". Now put your hands behind your head. Do not link the fingers; elbows should be even with your ears. 3. Lift your head as if you are beginning a crunch. While still "pedalling", touch your right elbow to the left knee, then your left elbow to the right knee. Your upper torso should move diagonally across your body with your elbow. This motion works the obliques, while the movement of the legs engages the rectus abdominus. Remember to breathe evenly throughout the exercise. 4. Don't pull on your head. Your lower back should remain on the floor to maintain proper positioning. If your back arches off the floor, it could cause undue strain. To make the abdominal exercises easier on your body without losing effectiveness, raise your heels.   Walking lunges for rear strength and flexibility with the back leg 1. Stand tall with your shoulders back and down, and abdominal engaged, place feet together. Your arms can be flat by your side, or holding your hips or behind your head. 2. Breathing normally, step forward with your right foot, bending both knees so that your front knee is aligned over your ankle and the back knee comes close to the floor. Your back heel is lifted off the floor. 3. Before your back knee touches the floor, push up with your back left leg, forcing the weight of your body through your right heel, simultaneously bringing your left foot together with your right foot. 4. Without pausing, alternate legs, lunge forward with your left foot, bending both knees so that your front knee is aligned with your ankle and the back knee comes close to the floor. Your back heel is lifted off the floor. 5. Before your back knee touches the floor, push up with your back right leg, forcing the weight of your body through your left heel, simultaneously bringing your right foot together with your left foot. 6. Continue to perform the steps above, alternating legs for 20 steps and increasing the steps as you get stronger.  Also Read: Commuting by Mumbai local trains during monsoons? Mumbaikars share fashion, travel hacks Swimming pool workouts to try this monsoon Swimming is an exceptional full-body workout that can be easily tailored to various fitness levels and goals, informs Aman Puri, Founder of Steadfast Nutrition, a Mumbai-based sports and wellness nutrition brand. Besides being a fantastic way to stay cool during the scorching summer months, swimming also burns more calories than many land-based exercises. Puri breaks down east swimming exercises you can try this monsoon to enhance your fitness routine. 1. Freestyle swimming Freestyle, also known as front crawl, is the most popular stroke and is excellent for cardiovascular fitness. This stroke involves a combination of alternating arm movements and a flutter kick, making it perfect for overall muscle strengthening. Specifically, freestyle targets the arms, shoulders, and core muscles. Benefits:Freestyle swimming improves cardiovascular health, builds muscular endurance, and enhances overall body coordination. It’s an efficient way to burn calories and increase stamina. 2. Backstroke workout Backstroke is another effective exercise, primarily focusing on the upper body, including the arms, shoulders, and back. It also helps improve posture and spine alignment. Unlike freestyle, you swim on your back, which can be more relaxing while still providing a robust workout. Benefits:Backstroke strengthens the muscles of the upper body and core, enhances flexibility, and improves your posture. It’s also an excellent stroke for those with back issues, as it helps in spine alignment and reduces strain on the back. 3. Walk in water Walking in water is a good swimming workout to start with - it strengthens your arms, core, and lower body. The intensity of the exercise can be increased by using hand or ankle weights.  4. Interval training Interval training is a favoured choice among swimmers because it allows them to adjust the intensity of their workout as their fitness improves. Swimmers can customise the number of laps and rest intervals to match their skill level. The key is to maintain a pattern of alternating between high and low efforts.Benefits:Consistent interval training enhances cardiovascular conditioning, increases muscle strength, and boosts endurance. It’s an effective way to break through fitness plateaus and improve overall swimming performance. 5. Butterfly stroke The butterfly stroke is the most challenging and intense swimming stroke, providing a superb workout for the entire body, particularly the upper body and core. It involves a dolphin kick paired with synchronised arm movements. Benefits:The butterfly stroke builds significant strength and endurance, especially in the shoulders, chest, and core. It also improves flexibility and coordination, making it an excellent full-body workout. 6. Sprint Interval workout Sprint intervals are an efficient workout to boost swimming speed, power, and anaerobic capacity. These high-intensity exercises require maximum effort for short bursts, followed by rest or low-intensity swimming. Benefits:Sprint intervals enhance cardiovascular fitness, increase muscle power, and improve anaerobic capacity. This method also helps in developing fast-twitch muscle fibres, essential for explosive movements. 7. Kickboard workouts Kickboard workouts are excellent for improving leg strength and kicking technique. By using a kickboard, you can isolate your lower body, aiding in more efficient and faster swimming. Benefits:Kickboard workouts enhance leg endurance, power, and flexibility. They also help in refining your kicking technique, making you a more efficient swimmer. Additional tips for effective swimming workouts Hydration:Staying hydrated is crucial, even while swimming. Make sure you drink water before, during, and after your workout to prevent dehydration. Warm-up and cool-down:Always include a warm-up and cool-down in your routine to prepare your body for exercise and aid in recovery. Incorporating a variety of swimming activities into your summer fitness program keeps your workouts interesting and provides numerous health benefits. Whether your goal is to boost endurance, build strength, or improve technique, swimming can help you achieve it. Dive into the pool this summer and enjoy a refreshing, full-body workout with swimming. Also Read: Follow this quick fashion guide to help you brave the rains in style Lessons from the books of Ayurveda Further, Dr Sudha Asokan, Founder of Dr Sudha's Ayurveda Kendra informs that monsoons can lead to bad digestion, body aches and terrible immunity. “This damp season is ideal for Panchakarma which refers to the cleansing of the body. The increased moisture helps expel toxins, while Abhyangam (massage) and Pizhichil (oil pouring) loosen them for elimination through therapies like Vamana (therapeutic vomiting) or Basti (enemas).”  To keep monsoon-prone diseases at bay Indian spices serve as as precautionary ingredients. He recommends warming spices such as ginger, garlic, pepper, turmeric and tulsi. “They are respiratory herbs. Cooking spices like rosemary, turmeric, coriander, garlic and cloves have medicinal value and can be used to light the digestive fire. A tablespoon of apple cider vinegar with warm water is also a great addition. Use herbs and spices to make herbal teas and tissanes.  Interestingly, monsoon is a time to put fresh juices on hold and cut consumption of raw foods. This is mostly due to unhygienic handling during the rains. “If you can ensure the vegetables are thoroughly cleaned, a small amount is permissible. Carrots and cucumbers are okay as the outer layer gets peeled, but broccoli and cauliflower should not be consumed raw. Also, if you must, then choose chaas over yoghurt. 

14 June,2024 01:24 PM IST | Mumbai | Ainie Rizvi
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Expert sheds light on the role of neurorehabilitation in post-stroke recovery

Stroke, a leading cause of disability worldwide, affects millions of lives each year. In India, the prevalence of stroke is alarmingly high, with the disease burden steadily increasing. Amidst this growing challenge, shares Dr Gaurish Kenkre, General Manager and Center Head, Atharv Ability, Mumbai, that post-stroke neurorehabilitation emerges as a crucial aspect of the recovery journey, filling a significant need gap in the healthcare landscape. Prevalence of stroke in IndiaIndia grapples with a rising tide of stroke cases. Studies indicate that India recorded 13 lakh cases of stroke in 2019, the highest in the Southeast Asian region. Factors such as lifestyle changes, urbanisation and an aging population contribute to the increasing prevalence. Moreover, stroke affects individuals across all socioeconomic strata, highlighting the urgent need for comprehensive care and rehabilitation services. Stroke imposes a considerable burden on individuals, families and healthcare systems. Beyond the physical impairments, stroke survivors often face cognitive and emotional challenges, impacting their quality of life and functional independence. The economic burden is also significant, encompassing healthcare costs, lost productivity and long-term care expenses. Despite the staggering prevalence of stroke, access to specialised neurorehabilitation services remains limited in India. This creates a glaring need gap, as many survivors do not receive timely or adequate rehabilitation interventions. Addressing this gap is essential to maximise recovery potential and enhance the long-term outcomes of stroke survivors. Way forwardNeurorehabilitation encompasses a range of interventions aimed at promoting recovery, restoring function,and improving the quality of life for individuals affected by stroke. Some key interventions include: Robotics: Advanced robotic devices assist in repetitive task training, facilitating motor recovery and functional independence.Artificial Intelligence (AI): AI-based technologies personalise rehabilitation programs, optimising outcomes through data-driven insights and adaptive interventions.Aquatic Therapy: Water-based exercises offer a low-impact environment for rehabilitation, promoting mobility, strength and balance.Physiotherapy: Tailored exercise programs and manual techniques help improve muscle strength, coordination and range of motion.Counselling: Psychological support and counseling address emotional distress, depression, and adjustment issues commonly experienced post-stroke. Research consistently demonstrates the efficacy of neurorehabilitation in improving outcomes and enhancing the quality of life for stroke survivors. Through targeted interventions and multidisciplinary approaches, neurorehabilitation helps individuals regain independence, reintegrate into society and pursue meaningful activities. Furthermore, early and intensive rehabilitation can mitigate secondary complications, reduce disability and promote neuroplasticity, facilitating recovery processes. Offering hope, support and transformative interventions, Neurorehabilitation emerges as a cornerstone of care in the journey of recovery post-stroke. As India grapples with the growing burden of stroke, prioritizing access to comprehensive neurorehabilitation services is imperative. By bridging the need gap and embracing innovative interventions, stroke survivors can be empowered to reclaim their lives, restore function, and thrive beyond the confines of disability.  Also Read: Seeking non-discriminatory healthcare for LGBTQ+ patients

13 June,2024 04:00 PM IST | Mumbai | mid-day online correspondent
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40 pc of Indian men don’t talk about their mental health openly: Experts

While society has started openly discussing issues such as anxiety, depression and stress, men’s mental health continues to be an overlooked area. About 40 per cent of men in India do not talk about their mental health openly, over fear of stigma, said experts on Thursday. International Men's Health Week is observed every year from June 10 to June 16, to raise awareness on men’s health issues. “The lack of discussions about men’s mental health or their propensity to seek help along with the growing suicide rates may be explained by the male gender norms that are socially constructed,” said Dr Samir Kumar Praharaj, Professor and Head - Department of Psychiatry, Kasturba Medical College and Hospitals, MAHE, Manipal. “About 40 per cent of Indian men don’t talk about their mental health openly, largely due to stigmas and misconceptions, including the mistaken belief that men should handle their emotions on their own,” added Dr Shyam Bhat, Psychiatrist, and Chairperson, of LiveLoveLaugh. Historically, societal expectations have dictated that men embody strength, resilience and emotional stoicism. Biological and hormonal influences like testosterone also contribute to different emotional responses in men. Dr Samir said that in most cases, men are an example of how to mask emotions since it is considered shameful for them to express feelings or seek help. “When depressed, men are more likely to display aggression and anger rather than sadness, compared with women, who may be more in touch with their sadness and vulnerability,” remarked Dr Shyam. "Consequently, many men suffer in silence or become isolated and resort to substance abuse, as they battle their internal struggles without the support they desperately need. This increases suicide risk in men, and consequently, death by suicide in men occurs 2.5 times more than in women," he added. The doctors called for awareness campaigns and educational programmes to assist in the elimination of myths and stigmatisation associated with mental disorders as well as foster conversation. Dr Samir stressed healthy habits such as exercising, doing mindful activities and engaging in creative outlets for better mental health. “The emphasis should be shifted to altering the perception of male masculinity and persuading men to take their mental health issues seriously and to seek help if they experience any difficulties,” the health expert said. Also Read: Seeking non-discriminatory healthcare for LGBTQ+ 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

13 June,2024 02:35 PM IST | Mumbai | IANS
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Mid-Day Premium World Blood Donor Day: Debunking myths about blood donation

World Blood Donor Day is observed on June 13 every year to spread awareness about the critical role safe blood plays in healthcare systems globally, and the ongoing need for regular donations. “Blood donation is a vital and straightforward process that plays a crucial role in saving lives and supporting the healthcare system. By understanding and following the outlined steps—registration, examination, donation, and refreshment—donors can contribute to this noble cause while ensuring their own safety and comfort,” says Dr Dhaval Fadadu, consultant of transfusion medicine and blood bank at Manipal Hospital Goa. The medical expert stresses on the importance of aftercare. “After donating, taking appropriate care, such as avoiding strenuous activities and staying hydrated, helps in a smooth recovery. The process is quick, typically taking 15 to 20 minutes, and the body efficiently replenishes the donated blood volume within 24 to 48 hours, with red blood cells taking a bit longer to fully recover.” By participating in blood and platelet donation, individuals make a significant impact, providing essential support to those in need and enhancing the overall well-being of communities. On World Blood Donor Day, Fadadu answers the most important questions about blood donation. Who can donate blood? Both men and women have specific intervals between donations to maintain optimal health. Eligibility for donation is broad, welcoming healthy individuals between 18 and 65 years old who weigh more than 45 kilograms, provided they pass medical screenings. Understanding the deferral periods for certain medical conditions and the specifics of platelet donations further highlights the importance of safe and effective blood donation practices. How does the blood donation process work? The procedure for donating blood is easy to understand and effective, with the goal of protecting the donor's comfort and safety. After deciding to donate blood, a person must take these crucial actions: Registration: The process starts with the donor filling out a consent form and inquiry about blood donation. The donor's name, address, and contact information are required on this form. The donor also has to respond to a series of medical questions designed to evaluate their general health and eligibility for blood donation. Examination: The donor next goes through a quick but comprehensive medical examination. Important health markers like blood pressure, pulse, temperature, and haemoglobin levels are assessed during this examination. To ensure the donor is eligible to donate blood, more questions are asked of them. Donation: The donor goes to the donation location after their eligibility is verified. The actual blood donation procedure usually takes ten minutes or less. To maintain sterility, the donor rests down on a cosy couch while their arm is washed. The next step is to take a predetermined amount of blood using a sterilised needle. Refreshment: It is recommended that the donor take a little break following the blood donation. They are given drinks to assist them regain energy during this period. They are free to depart as soon as they feel refreshed and ready. By following these steps, donors contribute to a vital cause while ensuring their own health and well-being are maintained throughout the process. What should I do after donating blood? A blood donor should consider their actions and health after giving blood. It is crucial to stay out of the sun, abstain from intense physical activity, and quit smoking for a while. In order to keep well-hydrated, the donor should also increase their intake of liquids, such as juice or water. In order to guarantee a speedy recovery and preserve general wellbeing, it is also crucial to set aside some time for rest and relaxation. How long does a blood donation take? It usually takes 15 to 20 minutes to finish the entire blood donation process, which includes the medical examination, the actual donation, and the rest and refreshment period that follows. This duration encompasses the initial health examination, the blood donation procedure, and the post-donation period for the donor to unwind and savour some refreshments. How long will it take to replenish the pint of blood I donate? So, 350 to 450 millilitres is the equal of one pint of blood. The body usually replenishes this volume 24 to 48 hours after a blood donation. Red blood cell (RBC) replacement, on the other hand, requires a little more time—roughly six to eight weeks. It is advised to wait at least 12 weeks between donations to make sure the body has fully healed and is prepared for the next one because RBCs require a longer recovery period. This waiting period guarantees a sufficient and safe supply of red blood cells while also promoting the health of the donor. How often can I donate blood? It is recommended that women wait four months between blood donations, whereas men are eligible to donate once every three months. This timetable ensures that both men and women have enough time to restore their blood supply and preserve their general health by accounting for the physiological needs and recovery durations that differ between the sexes. Regular time gaps between donations are crucial for both preserving the donor's health and ensuring that blood is always available to those in need. Who can donate blood? If they pass all additional medical exams and evaluations, everyone in excellent health who weighs more than 45 kg and is between the ages of 18 and 65 is qualified to donate blood. These tests verify that the prospective donor is healthy enough to donate blood and that they meet all other requirements. This involves screening for any illnesses or risk factors that could impact the blood donor or the recipient. Thus, people in this age and weight range can participate in blood donation initiatives as long as their general health is judged normal and within acceptable bounds. What are the general health considerations (eg. flu, cold, etc.), and medical conditions that affect eligibility? Certain medical conditions necessitate specific deferral periods before an individual can donate blood. For instance, a person who has had malaria must wait 3 months, while someone who has recovered from dengue fever needs to wait 6 months. Individuals who have had typhoid or undergone major surgery are required to wait for 1 year before donating blood. Conversely, those who have had minor surgery must wait for 6 months. In the case of common illnesses such as a cold or flu, a donor must wait until all symptoms have completely subsided before they can donate. Additionally, if an individual has been taking antibiotics, they must wait for 14 days after their final dose before they are eligible to donate blood. These deferral periods are in place to ensure the safety and health of both the donor and the recipient. What are platelet donations? Platelet donation is a specialised form of blood donation involving the use of an Apheresis machine. During this process, a needle is inserted into the donor's arm to access a vein. Blood is drawn from the donor and directed into the Apheresis machine, which separates and extracts the platelets from the blood. The remaining components, such as white blood cells (WBCs) and red blood cells (RBCs), are then returned to the donor's body through the same vein. This method produces high-quality platelets that are particularly valuable for patients undergoing cancer treatment or those suffering from dengue fever. The precision and efficiency of the Apheresis machine ensure that the platelets collected are of the highest standard, providing critical support to individuals with these serious health conditions.

13 June,2024 09:28 AM IST | Mumbai | Maitrai Agarwal
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Why are autoimmune diseases more prevalent in women?

Age, genetic and hormonal factors may explain why women are disproportionately affected by autoimmune diseases than men, said experts on Wednesday.  Autoimmune disease occurs when the immune system attacks the body’s tissues. Studies show that the condition affects approximately 8 per cent of people worldwide, of which 78 per cent are women. Dr Rajeev Gupta, Director - Internal Medicine at the CK Birla Hospital (R), Delhi said that hormonal influence and chromosomal differences are the two main reasons why autoimmune diseases are more common in women. “Women experience significant hormonal fluctuations throughout their lives, particularly during puberty, pregnancy, and menopause. These changes, especially in oestrogen levels, may influence the immune system and make women more susceptible to mistakenly attacking healthy tissues (autoimmunity),” the doctor said. Regarding chromosomes, women have two X, while men have one X and one Y. “One theory suggests that the process of inactivating one X chromosome in each female cell might be incomplete sometimes. This could lead to an overabundance of certain genes on the active X chromosome, potentially triggering an overactive immune response and autoimmunity,” Dr Rajeev said. “Autoimmune disorders in women may be due to the silencing of their second X chromosome by molecules leading to a confusing immune system. This can explain why conditions like multiple sclerosis and lupus are more common in women than men,” added Dr Yathish G C, Lead Consultant – Rheumatology, Aster Whitefield Hospital, Bengaluru. Commonly, autoimmune diseases become more prevalent after a woman's thirties, coinciding with hormonal changes associated with ageing. However, some autoimmune diseases can occur at any age. “Some like multiple sclerosis usually begin between the ages of 20 and 40 years whereas others such as rheumatoid arthritis start manifesting later in the 40s or early in 50s,” Dr Yathish said. Dr Harman Singh, Consultant Rheumatologist, Fortis Hospital, Kalyan noted a dramatic rise in autoimmune illnesses, notably among women aged 50 and above. The experts called for adopting healthy lifestyle practices such as a balanced diet, stopping smoking, avoiding alcohol, stress reduction techniques, being physically fit, and avoiding environmental pollutants. 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

12 June,2024 08:02 PM IST | New Delhi | IANS
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Eating disorder may raise psychiatric conditions, early death risk: Study

People with anorexia nervosa -- an eating disorder -- may be at high risk of developing psychiatric conditions and early death, according to a study on Wednesday.  The Mayo Clinic defines anorexia nervosa as an eating disorder where people suffer from an abnormally low body weight and an intense fear of gaining weight. The study, published in the International Journal of Eating Disorders, showed that mortality rates are high in patients with anorexia nervosa and nearly double when coupled with psychiatric conditions. For the study, investigators analysed data on 14,774 patients who were followed for a median time of 9.1 years (and up to 40 years). The results showed that people with anorexia nervosa had a 4.5 times higher risk of dying during follow-up compared with those in the general population. Of all the patients, 47 per cent reported psychiatric conditions, which raised their risk of early death by 1.9-fold compared with those without. When diagnosed between age 6 and 25 years, anorexia nervosa coupled with a psychiatric condition was associated with a 4-fold higher risk of 10-year mortality. The mortality risk was similar according to sex. Also, 13.9 per cent of all deaths in patients with anorexia nervosa were due to suicide. "These findings highlight the crucial need for clinicians to recognise additional mental health disorders in adolescents and adults with anorexia," said Mette Soeby, a doctoral student at Aarhus University Hospital, Denmark. 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

12 June,2024 07:50 PM IST | New Delhi | IANS
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