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

Navratri is here and many people are looking forward to the season after two years of the Covid-19 pandemic. This time of the year also brings with it the practice of fasting during the nine days. Interestingly, it is also a time for people to enjoy many mouthwatering dishes are also cooked, including sabudana khichdi, fruit chaat, and kheer to kuttu ki poori and aloo kadhi.Adults are advised to fast occasionally as it gives their digestive systems a break and aids in the body's detoxification process. However, if necessary precautions are not followed regarding the type of foods consumed, particularly if the person has diabetes, fasting and consuming a restricted diet for 9 to 10 days consistently can endanger one's health.Dr Sunil M Jain, endocrinologist , TOTALL Diabetes Hormone Insitute, Indore, says, "Diabetes management during Navratri fasting is important owing to the change in food patterns, nature of the fast, and the food items allowed. People with diabetes must eat at regular intervals to maintain optimum blood glucose levels and consume foods, which have a low glycemic index, before beginning the fast. It is key to check blood glucose levels a few times during the day. Today, there are continuous glucose monitoring devices that are easily accessible and do not involve any pricks. These devices show real-time glucose results and a directional trend arrow showing where glucose levels are headed, that help make informed dietary decisions by the person."Here are some suggestions for navigating the holidays without jeopardising your health, even if managing diabetes is more difficult when fasting is followed by a feast.Eat the right foods: Due to the dietary restrictions and altered food patterns, it is possible that blood sugar levels could fluctuate. Therefore, it is important to talk to your doctor about your plan for fasting, which should include the number of fasting days, eating frequency and timings, and foods that can be consumed, as that will help regulate glucose fluctuations and boost overall health. One can opt for foods rich in vitamin C, antioxidants, protein, and fiber, which facilitate in controlling blood glucose levels.Consumption of roasted makhana, nuts, and pumpkin cutlets can make for good snackable satiety during fasting, as they also meet protein requirements. Additionally, vitamin C and fiber-rich fruits such as orange and kiwi are good for consumption as they help manage the insulin fluctuations in the body.Keep track of your counts: Knowing when to check your blood glucose levels during fasting is key. Keeping a home glucose monitoring system will help you track your glucose levels from time to time. Today, there are sensor-based devices such as Freestyle Libre, that provide actionable trends and patterns that help you make better decisions about your health. It is also important to monitor glucose levels during fasting, to ensure you avoid a hypoglycemia or hyperglycemia attack.Maintain hydration: Dehydration during fasting is troublesome for those with diabetes. Consumption of at least 2 to 3 liters of water is a must while fasting. Buttermilk without salt and low-calorie drinks like nimbu pani, green tea, mint water, cardamom tea, smoothies, and coconut water can help combat dehydration during Navratri. It is better to have fruits like apples in the smoothie instead of bananas. You can also add 2 teaspoons of flaxseeds and chia seeds to your smoothie as they help reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes and diabetes complications.Exercising: People with diabetes can exercise during fasting, however, it needs to be done at a low pace. It is important to not strain yourself during this time. One can go for short walks and include stretching exercises in their routine. You can also ditch the exercises during Navratri and enjoy yourself to the tunes of garba.Eating an hour before Garba will not make you feel heavy during the dance and will also ensure that you are not low on energy. For people with diabetes, having a combination of proteins and the right carbohydrates keeps you going for a long period. You can opt for a dry fruit milkshake or a buckwheat pancake with some cottage cheese cubes in such cases.Also Read: Navratri 2022: Looking for a festive spread? Order-in from these Mumbai kitchens This story has been sourced from a third party syndicated feed, agencies. Mid-day accepts no responsibility or liability for its dependability, trustworthiness, reliability and data of the text. Mid-day management/ reserves the sole right to alter, delete or remove (without notice) the content in its absolute discretion for any reason whatsoever

26 September,2022 12:48 PM IST | New Delhi | IANS
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More people suffer from high blood pressure than expected: Study

Fluctuating levels of blood pressure (BP) is experienced by many these as a result of lifestyle factors. Experiencing high blood pressure is a precursor to underlying heart ailments. While one may not feel the hypertensive levels of BP regularly, a new study suggests that we are missing out on a crucial time to check BP levels. Millions may be suffering from high blood pressure without knowing it because their levels only spike at night, suggests a new study. An Oxford University study found one in eight people aged 40 to 75 had hypertension in the evening that would be missed by a daytime GP appointment, reports the Daily Mail. Having high blood pressure raises a person's risk of heart attacks, strokes and even death -- especially if it is left untreated. Healthy people usually see their blood pressure drop at night as the body winds down and prepares to sleep. But researchers found the opposite happens in 15 per cent of people, according to the story. The study, published in the British Journal of General Practice, involved around 21,000 patients from 28 GP practices and four hospitals in the Oxford area. The National Health Service (NHS) watchdog NICE recommends that GPs diagnose patients based on daytime blood pressure levels only. But the team at Oxford says ambulatory monitoring -- when a cuff is worn over a 24-hour period -- should be used more often. Also Read: Blood clot risk remains for year after Covid-19 in those who aren't hospitalised: Study This story has been sourced from a third party syndicated feed, agencies. Mid-day accepts no responsibility or liability for its dependability, trustworthiness, reliability and data of the text. Mid-day management/ reserves the sole right to alter, delete or remove (without notice) the content in its absolute discretion for any reason whatsoever

26 September,2022 11:28 AM IST | Mumbai | IANS
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Heart health with meditation: Here's how to practice

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

24 September,2022 12:55 PM IST | Mumbai | IANS
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Indoor air pollution may cause headaches, itchy skin and runny nose: Study

The effects of pollution not only outdoors but also indoors could affect one's health with common symptoms like headache, itchy skin and stuffy or runny nose, which may otherwise be considered the reasons when one is suffering from a cold. It can be caused due to poor air quality within one's home. Research carried out among women and children in Lucknow, has found poor indoor air quality leading to over 10 ailments. including cough and wheezing, dry throat, shortness of breath, itchy eyes and more. The research was undertaken by a team led by Alfred Lawrence of the chemistry faculty at the Isabella Thoburn College of the University of Lucknow to assess the health risk among the women and children specifically due to indoor air pollution. The findings of the research presented recently at an international conference at the University College of Stockholm, Sweden, found headache as the most common symptom as reported by 60 per cent women, while in children it was stuffy nose as reported by 62 per cent. The participants included 560 women from three microenvironments. While 434 (77. 5 per cent) women were from planned residential areas, 107 (19.1 per cent) were from the industrial belt of the city, whereas 19 (3.4 per cent) were from the commercial belt of the city. The study was done using a real time portable air sampler that was placed in the living area to study the variation pattern and was placed at least two meters away from doors and walls of the room. It found the concentration of PM 2.5 pollutants indoor to be almost six times higher than the WHO standards. Research scholar Samridhi Dwivedi said the study also found 51.1 per cent of women consciously unaware of household air pollution. The study found that the deposition of particles in women was the highest in the head region (61.1 per cent) followed by pulmonary (21.1 per cent) and tracheobronchial region (17.3 per cent). Among 408 children, who were part of the study, 62 per cent complained of a stuffy nose, followed by dry/sore throat reported by 30.6 per cent children. The study found that in most of the cases, these symptoms were more prevalent during October and November, followed by February and April. The study found that poor indoor air quality is also keeping children at increased risk of attention deficit hyperactivity.Also Read: Young adults need to beware of heart attacks post-Covid-19, here’s why This story has been sourced from a third party syndicated feed, agencies. Mid-day accepts no responsibility or liability for its dependability, trustworthiness, reliability and data of the text. Mid-day management/ reserves the sole right to alter, delete or remove (without notice) the content in its absolute discretion for any reason whatsoever

23 September,2022 04:25 PM IST | Lucknow | IANS
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Most long-Covid patients recover within a year, irrespective of severity: Study

The last two years of the Covid-19 pandemic has shown us the various effects of the virus. Now, a new research study, including a person of India origin, has found that most people infected with the SARS-CoV2 virus recover within 12 months, irrespective of the severity, The study, published in the European Respiratory Journal, showed that although 75 per cent had recovered at the 12-month mark after becoming ill with the virus, 25 per cent of patients still had at least one of the three most common symptoms, including coughing, fatigue, and breathlessness. "Generally, one should not worry if they are feeling unwell right after their infection, as the chances of recovering within 12 months is very high, and just because you have typical long-Covid symptoms at three months does not mean they will stay forever," said senior author Manali Mukherjee from McMaster University. Researchers also found that patients with persistent symptoms also had antibodies associated with autoimmune illnesses, as well as raised levels of cytokines, which cause inflammation. For the study, the team gleaned the results by surveying 106 people recovering from Covid-19 infections at three, six and 12 months after contracting the disease. All patients surveyed were otherwise healthy and had no pre-existing autoimmune conditions or any other underlying diseases pre-pandemic. Mukherjee said that patients with persistent long-Covid symptoms should see a rheumatologist, as they specialise in autoimmune disorders and can better assess development of rheumatological complications and the need for an early intervention. She said that most patients with long-Covid are currently assessed by respirologists or infectious disease specialists, who do not specialise in autoimmunity. Mukherjee said that of the patients who recovered, a reduction in autoantibodies and cytokines was matched by their symptoms improving. Those who had elevated antibody and cytokine levels after one year were those whose symptoms persisted.Also Read: How simple exercises can help strengthen immunity amid a hectic schedule 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

23 September,2022 03:52 PM IST | Toronto | IANS
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Over-the-counter treatment without prescription maybe life-threatening: Study

A new study by King George's Medical University (KGMU) has found that taking over-the-counter (OTC) treatment over a long period of time without timely intervention could cost people their life.  People tend to take sedatives, analgesics, antacids and laxatives for various common problems without any prescription from a medical practitioner. They may give relief for the moment, but in the long term, these drugs cause serious adverse drug reactions (ADR) and allergies, ulcers, tumours and infection. Some patients also suffer from instant drug reactions. According to experts of pharmacovigilance at KGMU, the consumption of antibiotics used to treat infection, and nimesulide for pain, often creates complications and proves hazardous. The most common antibiotics that are misused are Azithromycin, Ciprofloxacin, Augmentin, Ornidazole, Norfloxacin, Levofloxacin, Metronidazole, Ofloxacin, Amoxicillin, and Doxycycline. They should not be given without prescription. Head, pharmacology department, KGMU, Prof A.K. Sachan said, "Patients often do not know about the contra-indications, dosages, interactions, warnings and precautions regarding the over the counter (OTC) drugs and get into trouble." A faculty member at dermatology department, KGMU, Dr Swastika Suvirya, said, "I often see patients with serious implications of antibiotic resistance, skin problems, hypersensitivity and allergy because of overdose and indiscriminate use of common pain-relieving medicines, antibiotics and sedatives. Hence, patients should try to get medicine after consultation, and in case of emergency, medicines should be used after reading precautions. " Also Read: Blood clot risk remains for year after Covid-19 in those who aren't hospitalised: Study 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

22 September,2022 04:56 PM IST | Lucknow | IANS
As of 2019, vaping is illegal in India. Image credit: iStock

Is a ban on vaping helping in nicotine harm reduction in India?


The Indian government, in September 2019, passed an act prohibiting the production and sale of electronic cigarettes, which also includes all forms of Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems (ENDS) such as vapes or vape pens. According to the US Food and Drug Administration, these devices usually contain e-liquid--made of nicotine derived from tobacco, propylene glycol, vegetable glycerin, and other flavourings—which is heated to create an aerosol that the user inhales.  While vaping has been illegal in the country for three years now, it is not uncommon to spot youngsters vaping in public spaces in Indian metro cities. Data from shows that during the period of 2014 and 2019, there was a consistent rise in electronic cigarettes and vape sales volume in India with over three million units in the year the products were banned. Moreover, various market reports predict the increasing use of e-cigarettes among urban Indian youth through devices that are easily available online.  According to the World Health Organisation, tobacco use accounts for 1.3 million deaths in India and bidi, cigarette and hookah are the major prevalent forms of consuming nicotine in the smoke form. While the economic costs of tobacco use is over Rs. 177 341 crore as of 2018, the production and sale of these products continue with little restrictions.  Samrat Chowdhery, president of Association of Vapers India (AVI)—a group of ex-smokers who have successfully transitioned to vaping, is of the view that cigarettes are actually lot more addictive and the cigarette companies are making a product, which will end up becoming highly addictive over the years.  Moreover, the vape ban is creating a bigger problem in discouraging smokers to switch to an alternative to reduce their nicotine intake.  Restricts the number of accessible options to quit For Chowdhery, switching to vapes in 2013 helped him cut down on his addiction to cigarette smoking and in fact, brought a positive impact on his life. “I tried nicotine gums, quitting therapies and other medicines, which affected my ability to function normally. Like many other ex-smokers and vape users, it’s my personal experience and cannot be negated,” he adds.  Vapes are largely marketed to be an alternative for those addicted to cigarette smoking and are trying to quit. When it comes to tackling tobacco or nicotine addiction, health experts appear to be divided over the theory that vapes are safer than cigarettes and highlight that it can have its own health hazards.  In tune with what Chowdhery explains, Dr Sonam Solanki, consultant pulmonologist and bronchoscopist, Masina Hospital states one could say that “vapes would be the lesser of two evils”. She explains that e-cigarettes were designed to help patients who were already dependent on cigarette smoke to get them off the smoke and other known carcinogens to just nicotine (an addictive substance). The electronic device would help patients gradually taper down their dose of nicotine and get off that as well, which can also lead to accidental quitting.  When asked about methods of cessation, Dr Kedar Tilwe, consultant psychiatrist, Fortis Hospital Mulund, says it is possible to abstain from tobacco at once, but it requires the willpower and motivation of the patient to quit smoking. While adjunct medicines help in reducing cravings, Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) and supportive Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and motivational enhancement therapy also help in the process.  “People tend to prefer gradual reduction with the help of nicotine replacement therapy. But highly motivated individuals do tend to respond to immediate cessation of tobacco use and also respond better to alternative treatment options,” he adds.  When it comes to quitting, for those with a heavy addiction to cigarettes, there are NRT gums and patches in India promoted by the health ministry and are manufactured by different brands. These are basically low nicotine products which help in fighting cravings and easing nicotine withdrawal symptoms. While these products were recently categorised as essential medicines by the Centre, these products are priced at anywhere between Rs 300 and Rs 1000 or more depending on the brand and duration of use.  According to Chowdhery, while there are quit-therapies, it is not possible for a person smoking Rs 10 gold flake cigarette to afford a full-course of NRTs. Moreover, these are also products with low amounts of nicotine in them, similar to vapes, which also allow one to control their nicotine intake and are accessible. With a blanket ban on a device, which is largely used by people who are trying to quit, AVI says the government is restricting people’s options to quit.  “Especially, when you do not have the infrastructure and the money to provide healthcare or support to smokers, then the least you could have done is to at least give them an option to transition to something less harmful,” he adds.  ‘Need for regulation’  Data from ‘India E-Cigarette Market Research Report 2019’ shows that India has over 0.3 million vapers and this number is projected to reach 0.6 million by 2024, indicating a massive shift toward e-cigarettes from conventional tobacco products. At a time when youngsters are finding technological e-cigarette devices innovative and attractive, there are higher chances of them trying these products.  Vapes are available online and from different dealers in the cities in different flavours such as mango, mint, strawberry and watermelon among others. Experts are of the view that due to its illegal nature, there is now no check on the products entering the market and the ingredients used in making them. In such a situation it is unclear whether the constituents are toxic or not.  Dr Solanki says, “We would need years of data on the carcinogenic properties of the aerosols from the vapes. So far, we don't have such data. Each flavour is essentially a different chemical. Sweet and cinnamon flavours have been associated with diacetyl, and cherry flavour has been associated with benzaldehyde; both are irritants to the lungs. Chemical-induced lung injury is known to occur.”  Chowdhery highlights three major drawbacks of a complete ban on vaping products, which now flourish in the black market. While before the prohibition, vendors had their own system in place to check the quality and delivery of products, the ban has lifted off the vendors of a responsibility to maintain the same.  This has encouraged the use of these products by teens too, as there is no method of age-confirmation during the sale, which has limited the scope to protect minors from nicotine intake. “So you have in fact, ended up increasing population level risk and have ended up creating attractiveness around these products among the youth with no correct information,” he adds.  While countries in the European Union and China have detailed regulations in place when it comes to licensing, manufacturing and sale of e-cigarettes to ensure quality and safety standards, Indians are devoid of these checks and balances. “What we need is a good product-regulation in place to avoid the harm. If such regulations could be adopted, instead of a ban, the products would have gone through a certain level of standard checks, but now that’s not happening,” says Chowdhery. (Disclaimer: This article is not intended as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Mid-day Online does not in any way endorse the accuracy, completeness, efficacy or timeliness of any advice or line of treatment mentioned in this article. Readers must always seek the advice of a certified medical practitioner and/or a mental health professional before deciding on or starting any course of treatment.) Also read: Getting poor sleep may have more impact on lung disease than smoking: Study

22 September,2022 02:03 PM IST | Mumbai | Sarasvati T
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Clot risk stays for year after Covid-19 in those who aren't hospitalised: Study

Covid-19 infection increases the risk of potentially life-threatening blood clots for at least 49 weeks or almost a year, even in those who do not get hospitalised, researchers have warned. The findings suggest that the pandemic may have led to an additional 10,500 cases of heart attacks, strokes, and other blood clot complications such as deep vein thrombosis in England and Wales in the UK in 2020 alone, although the excess risk to individuals remains small and reduces over time. The research - involving a large team of researchers led by the Universities of Bristol, Cambridge, and Edinburgh, and Swansea University - shows that people with only mild or moderate disease were also affected. The authors suggest that preventive strategies, such as giving high-risk patients medication to lower blood pressure, could help reduce cases of serious clots, according to the study of health records of 48 million unvaccinated adults from the first wave of the pandemic published in the journal Circulation. "We are reassured that the risk drops quite quickly -- particularly for heart attacks and strokes -- but the finding that it remains elevated for some time highlights the longer-term effects of Covid-19 that we are only beginning to understand," said Jonathan Sterne, Professor of Medical Statistics and Epidemiology at the University of Bristol, who co-led the study. In the first week after a Covid-19 diagnosis, people were 21 times more likely to have a heart attack or stroke, conditions which are mainly caused by blood clots blocking arteries. This dropped to 3.9 times more likely after 4 weeks. The researchers also studied conditions caused by blood clots in the veins: these include deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism - a clot in the lungs that can be fatal. The risk of blood clots in the veins was 33 times greater in the first week after a Covid-19 diagnosis. This dropped to eight times higher risk after four weeks. Most previous research studied the impact of Covid on blood clotting in people hospitalised. The new study shows that there was also an effect on people whose Covid did not lead to hospitalisation, although their excess risk was not as great as for those who had severe disease and were hospitalised. "We have shown that even people who were not hospitalised faced a higher risk of blood clots in the first wave. While the risk to individuals remains small, the effect on the public's health could be substantial and strategies to prevent vascular events will be important as we continue through the pandemic," said Angela Wood, Professor of Biostatistics at the University of Cambridge. Also read: Coronavirus and blood clots: Causes, effects and treatment 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

22 September,2022 12:45 PM IST | New Delhi | IANS
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Young adults need to beware of heart attacks post-Covid-19, here’s why


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

22 September,2022 11:51 AM IST | Mumbai | Nascimento Pinto
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'Night owls' may be at greater risk of type-2 diabetes, heart disease: Study

There two different kinds of people, some who are awake during the day, and others who are awake at night and are called 'night owls'. A new study has now found that those people who are awake at night may be at a higher risk of suffering from type-2 diabetes and heart disease. It has found that our wake/sleep cycles cause metabolic differences and alter our body's preference for energy sources. The researchers found that those who stay up late have a reduced ability to use fat for energy, meaning fats may build up in the body and increase the risk for type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. "The differences in fat metabolism between 'early birds' and 'night owls' shows that our body's circadian rhythm (wake/sleep cycle) could affect how our bodies use insulin," said researcher Steven Malin from Rutgers University in the US. For the study, published in the journal Experimental Physiology, the team classified participants into two groups (early and late) based on their 'chronotype' -- our natural propensity to seek activity and sleep at different times. They used advanced imaging to assess body mass and body composition, insulin sensitivity and breath samples to measure fat and carbohydrate metabolism. Participants were monitored for a week to assess their daily activity patterns. They ate a calorie and nutrition-controlled diet and had to fast overnight to minimise the dietary impact on the results. To study fuel preference, they were tested while at rest before completing two 15-minute bouts of exercise: one moderate and one high-intensity session on a treadmill. Aerobic fitness levels were tested through an incline challenge where the incline was raised 2.5 per cent every two minutes until the participant reached a point of exhaustion. Researchers found that early birds use more fat for energy at both rest and during exercise than night owls. Early birds were also more insulin sensitive. Night owls, on the other hand, are insulin resistant, meaning their bodies require more insulin to lower blood glucose levels, and their bodies favoured carbohydrates as an energy source over fats.Also Read: What comes first, moisturiser or sunscreen? Experts decode 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 September,2022 04:36 PM IST | New York | IANS
At least 20-30 mins of exercise daily can help improve immunity amid a hectic work schedule. Image for representation: iStock

How simple exercises can help strengthen immunity amid a hectic schedule


A recent study by British Journal of Sports Medicine found that individuals who engage in regular physical activity have a lower likelihood of SARS-CoV-2 infection, Covid-19 hospitalisation, severe Covid-related illness and death than physically inactive individuals. The study supports the immune-regulatory impact of physical activities. When asked about the effects of exercise on an individual’s immunity, Dr Kirti Sabnis, infectious disease specialist, Fortis Hospital, says, “Moderately intense exercises can stimulate cellular immunity by increasing the circulation and recruitment of immune cells in the body. This helps the body to prepare for a future infection by detecting it earlier. Regular exercise reduces inflammation and indirectly helps in early recovery from illness.” While experts back the study that exercise helps in strengthening immunity, following a daily workout routine is not an easy task for many, especially, for those who juggle between multiple roles and end up sitting for long hours during the day on their laptops or other digital tools. According to Dr. Archana Batra, nutritionist, diabetes educator and physiotherapist, it is important to engage in a short period of exercise as excessive sitting can disrupt an individual’s metabolism, increase one’s blood pressure, sugar and cholesterol levels and can add to the weight around the individual’s waist. “Staying in one position for long periods of time can strain the muscles in your back, neck, hip-flexors, hamstrings, and calves,” she adds. Brian Dsouza, fitness trainer and co-founder of WOD, says there are no exercises that directly improve one’s immunity, but definitely help in strengthening muscles and joints. He also stresses upon the fact that a number of factors comprehensively produce desired results on the body and that only exercising does not result in improving your overall health and resistance towards infections. Experts highlight that one’s dietary habits greatly influence the impact of your exercise routine. It is important to have foods rich in protein and carbohydrates. Having a meal plan in advance for your hectic schedule may help in easing out the daily tasks. Batra suggests instead of eating large meals, one can maintain consistent energy levels throughout the day with planned meals and snacks, which will also maintain the body’s metabolic rate. “The bottom line is that you cannot build immunity with superfoods or tablets. To achieve good immunity, you will need to give time to it through a balanced combination of daily exercises and supplement it with a nutritious diet designed with local food availability,” adds Sabnis. Batra, Sabnis and Dsouza suggest the following methods of exercising amid a hectic schedule: 1. Perform aerobic exercises at a moderate to vigorous intensity for an average of 30–45 minutes. These can include running, swimming, cycling, skipping, or a combination of these activities using high-intensity interval training. 2. Engage in compound movements, which involve more than two or three muscles at one time such as squats, deadlifts, and bench presses, which help in strengthening muscles and joints. 3. Try to squeeze in as many bodyweight exercises as you can by setting your watch or phone for a five-minute alarm. You can perform push-ups, planks, jumps, lunges, jogging, and other exercises. 4. Simple exercises like stair climbing and plank can also be done to maintain a fitness regime. 5. Try alternating push-ups and air squats in a tabata workout, or add some jumping jacks to add cardio / walk while taking over the phone. 6. One can also involve flexibility exercises and try adding 20 minutes yoga movements involving joints and ligaments for agility and free movement of the body. 7. Try to maintain your focus and increase your level of intensity. And when you're finished, remember to drink lots of water. 8. When you've finally caught your breath, ask yourself if five minutes is enough to get your heart pumping. And, in general, doing something is preferable to doing nothing, so get moving. 9. Irrespective of the duration of the exercise, it is important to be consistent with your routine, even if it is for five to six days a week. The duration can be altered. To stay fit, one must be both physically and mentally healthy. It is a well-known belief that exercise becomes a channel for many people to let out their frustration and feel stress-free. Experts highlight that people who exercise daily have better mental health and are emotionally stable. Sabnis states, when a person exercises, the body releases chemicals called endorphins, which interact with the receptors in the brain that reduce our perception of pain. Endorphins also trigger a positive feeling in the body, similar to morphine. Moreover, regular exercise also leads to better sleep, which in turn manages an individual’s mood better. She adds that exercise can reduce skeletal muscle tension, which helps one feel more relaxed. Also read: People with disabilities share their journeys with fitness, exercise and sports

20 September,2022 01:52 PM IST | Mumbai | Sarasvati T
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