Articles on aging associated diseases

6 Ways Exercise Can Reduce Your Risk of Heart Attack

Ms. Swati Kapoor, Dietitian/Nutritionist
A sedentary (inactive) lifestyle is one of the top risk factors for heart disease. Exercise is beneficial for preventing heart ailments. It is also a major modifiable risk factor in reduction of non-communicable diseases such as cardiovascular diseases. Regular exercise of moderate intensity reduces the incidence of coronary events and mortality from CHD (Coronary Heart Disease) by around 50%. It is essential to remember that the body weight is affected by the balance of “calories consumed” and “calories-burned”.Benefits of regular exercise or some sort of intense physical activity is:-1) Decrease workload on heart:-Exercises that put the heart and lung to stress are called aerobic exercises. Aerobic exercise increases heart size and strength. The heart’s stroke volume is also increased. The heart then needs to pump fewer times per minute to circulate the same amount of blood. This represents a long-term reduction in the heart’s workload.2) Increase HDL :-Exercise raises blood levels of HDL (good cholesterol) creating a more favourable ratio of HDL to LDL (bad cholesterol). This effect is more marked in men, although high intensity exercise will have the same effect on women. Studies also show that, exercise stimulates enzymes that help move LDL from the blood (and blood-vessel walls) to the liver. From there, cholesterol is converted into bile (for digestion) or excreted. So, the more you exercise, the more LDL your body expels and your blood’s LDL gets lowered, which protects you from heart disease.3) Improvement in blood circulation:-Exercise enhances the circulatory system by increasing the oxygen carrying capacity of blood and increases the blood volume. Regular physical activity increases Lipo protein lipase concentration which in turn reduces CHD risk. This is because lipase enzyme plays a role in the digestion of the fat.4) Lowers blood pressure :-Exercise help in lowering blood pressure levels by improving endothelial vasodilator function and left ventricular diastolic function. In lay man language, it means, exercise lowers blood pressure levels.5) Lower blood sugar level:-Exercise increases the sensitivity of the cell so that cells can utilize insulin very effectively. During exercise, when muscles contract, it allows your body cells to consume the glucose irrespective of whether insulin is available or not.6) Exercise lowers your stress levels:-While exercising, the happy hormone or Serotonin gets released into the body. Serotonin keeps your stress level down and also controls emotional eating.Exercise also keeps your cravings for junk and unhealthy food in control, which is amongst the most common reasons for heart diseases. Junk food contains saturated fat which is not good for the heart and it even contains high amounts of sugar, which lead to an increase in the body's glucose levels.In general, to achieve maximum benefits, you should gradually work up to an aerobic session of at least 20 to 30 minutes, at least three to four times a week. Exercising every other day will help you maintain a regular aerobic exercise schedule. Every exercise session should include a warm up phase, a strengthening phase, and a cool-down (stretching) phase. “Being fit is more important than weight or body mass index for heart health,” says Martha Gulati, M.D., the lead author of the study and an associate professor of medicine at Ohio State University in Columbus.Due to Indian genetic risk of heart diseases and diabetes, Indians are recommended to exercise for 5 days a week, at 40-50 minutes. But as we said earlier, work your stamina up from a slow start.So along with diet, exercise plays a major role in the health of the heart, so never skip your exercise session. Make it a permanent part of your lifestyle and you will reap it's long term health benefits.

Do You Have a Bone to Pick With Arthritis ?

Dr. Vishwas Virmani, Physiotherapist
Inflammation of the joints, accompanied by symptoms like stiffness and excruciating pain, is called arthritis. Once called the 'old man's disease,' arthritis generally affects adults over 65. It can affect people of all ages. There are various types of arthritis viz osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, autoimmune arthritis, infectious arthritis, juvenile arthritis and more. The types vary depending on age and which part of the body is involved. For example, rheumatoid arthritis is common among the old and the injured, while juvenile arthritis affects only children.When do you know you have arthritis?Given that arthritis isn't just an old man's disease, here's a list of symptoms. You could have arthritis if you:Have a sprain or muscle tear that refuses to heal, get your doctor to take a look.Encounter numbness and a tingling sensation in the hands (are caused when inflamed tissues press against nerves in the hand and feet).Experience frequent bouts of foot pain, irritation and swelling of the joint linings (the swelling occurs due to an accumulation of white blood cells in the inflamed area.)Have inordinately stiff muscles when you start moving after a period of inactivity.Can feel firm lump-like nodules under your skin especially near the affected joints.What causes Arthritis?Different types of arthritis occur due to different reasons. Injury, abnormal metabolism, heredity, uric acid crystals, infections such as lyme disease, and an overactive immune system are some common causes.Does it primarily affect men?No. Research actually suggests that it affects women more than it does men, rheumatoid arthritis in particular. However, studies have also shown that the symptoms of this disease decrease when treated at an early stage, particularly among men.TreatmentThere are several treatments for arthritis today, the aim of which is to ease out pain and initiate a comfortable living. There are certain remedies that are commonly applicable, as listed below.Applying ice packs to swollen joints may relieve acute pain, while maintaining a balanced diet and controlling one's weight can help manage pain in the long run.Doctors also prescribe routine exercises as a part of the arthritis treatment, as exercising gives strength to the muscles and keeps the joints flexible.Using neoprene sleeves and other supportive devices can help lessen the wear and tear of joint cartilage, thus reducing pain.PreventionThere is currently no preventive treatment for arthritis. However, if detected at an early stage, arthritis can be cured completely.If you can literally feel it in your bones, don't hesitate to consult a doctor. Remember, even if it can't be prevented, arthritis can definitely still be treated. 

Love Your Bones - Say No to Osteoporosis

Dr. S.Sham , Rheumatologist
World Osteoporosis Day which is being celebrated on October 20th of every year since 1997, is actually a year long campaign to create awareness about the disease. It is important, as the need of the hour for people to understand the immense burden caused by osteoporosis and the ways to overcome it.Osteoporosis is a medical condition which leads to reduced bone mass with micro architectural deterioration and hence increasing the risk of fracture. So such fractures which occur due to trivial trauma (eg: falling from a walking height) are called fragility fractures. The sites more prone are spine, femur andradius. Osteoporosis  is usually known as the "silent killer" as it doesn’t show any prior symptoms and the person comes to know about it only after he sustains a fracture. We have so many diseases in our country so why is this so important? The current population of India is around 1.2 billion. By 2020, there will be around 76 million people with their age greater than 65 years, which is quite a significant number.Worldwide it seems every 3 seconds one sustains an osteoporotic fracture. Approximately one in three women and one in five men aged over 50 years will suffer an osteoporotic fracture in their remaining lifetime. A prior fracture is associated with a 86% increased risk of any fracture. More than 50% of hip fractures in the world will occur in Asia by 2050 and the mortality rate is around 20-24% in the first year. Aren’t these statistics quite alarming?The most sad part is  that we all have accepted this as a natural process of ageing. Whatever be our age, we shouldn’t break our bones with a trivial fall. If we do, then our bones are weak and it is not normal. It can be detected early and a fracture can be prevented with adequate treatment.It’s widely known that osteoporosis usually affects the older people. But it’s actually a disease of the young with consequences in the older age. We usually attain the peak bone mass at 20 – 30 years of age, after which there is a gradual decline in the bone mass. So in the earlier stages of life, with the help of a good diet and healthy lifestyle one can attain the maximum bone mass. If they do so, the chances of them having a low bone mass  later in life will be less.Similarly it’s usually thought as a disease of postmenopausal women. Yes of course the women are at a higher risk but men are no safer and are at a greater risk of getting a prostate cancer. Actually the mortality and morbidity post fracture is more in men. ‘Usually women maintain their health whereas men just go for repairs’. This attitude should change among men and they should also screen for osteoporosis rather than getting medical attention after a fracture. There are a lot of secondary causes for osteoporosis like drugs, various rheumatological,endocrine diseases etc. which have to be thought of particularly in males and those with fragility fractures at a younger age.So it’s high time everybody becomes aware about this disease and its consequences. It can be screened effectively by DEXA scan. After detecting osteoporosis it can be effectively managed with the likes of Calcium, Vitamin D, Bisphosphonates,Parathormone analogues, Monoclonal antibodies etc. As we all know ‘prevention is better than cure’, one should try to maintain a healthy lifestyle by regular exercises, requisite sun exposure, adequate dietary intake of calcium and vitamin D. So let’s promote the caption ‘Love your bones’ i.e. the global symbol of bone health.

6 Frequently Asked Questions About Rheumatoid Arthritis

Dr. Pravin Patil, Rheumatologist
Arthritis is a broad term that describes inflammation of the joints (pain, swelling and redness). Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a disease of immune system. Patient with Rheumatoid arthritis suffer from multiple joint pains and swelling. In severe cases RA can affect eyes, lungs, heart, nerves or blood vessels.1. What are the symptoms of Rheumatoid arthritisThe most common symptoms of RA are:· Pain in multiple joints · Stiffness on getting up after a period of inactivity or in the morning · Swelling in one or more joints · Joint pains worse with rest, better with use· Fatigue /difficulty in performing routine activitiesThe most common joints involved are the hands, wrists and feet. The stiffness in the morning generally lasts longer than 45 minutes.2. How common is rheumatoid arthritis?In the general population about a 1 in 100 people develop RA. It is three times more common in women than in men. 3. What causes rheumatoid arthritis?RA is an autoimmune disease. An autoimmune disorder occurs when the immune system mistakenly attacks patient’s own healthy body tissue. In Rheumatoid arthritis body's immune system attacks normal joint tissues, causing swelling of the joint lining. Once the disease begins the joints become inflamed and, if untreated, the joints, cartilage, and bone can be damaged.4. Is rheumatoid arthritis hereditary?If you have a td family member with RA then your risk of developing RA is higher than the general population.You should see a rheumatologist if you have joint symptoms.5. Is RA a disease of old people?No. RA is most common in young and middle-aged adults but can also affect children and the elderly.6. Is there any relation with climate?Many people think that weather in winter may aggravate the arthritis. This is a misconception. Cold weather may cause more stiffness in the joints, but it will not aggravate or precipitate the arthritis.

What a Pain! Managing Pains Associated With Ageing

Dr. Vishwas Virmani, Physiotherapist
Ageing is a part of growing up and one cannot stop growing. But one can certainly manage the pains that grow with time. Arthritis, particularly osteoarthritis, back pain, frozen shoulders etc are common pains associated with aging.Ignorance is NOT alwaysbliss! Flexibility and stiffness could be quite a challenge especially aftercrossing 60. Most often, we ignore stiffness and joint pains thinking they aretemporary and will cure by itself without medical help.Here is a list of some chronic pain conditions that mostsenior citizens face: ●  Joint pain & stiffness: Osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis can be possible reasons for your suffering as you grow older. Senior citizens suffering with this condition complain of morning stiffness in fingers, knees and other joints.●  Lower back pain: Do you face pain that often starts from your neck and then crawls down to your lower back? This pain grows common with age and is called degenerative disc disease.Degenerative disc diseases generally start during forties and might go worse after sixties.●  Another reason of lower back pain could be bone spurs. These are calcified growths along the spine,neck, knees and feet. This too increases with age.●  Frozen shoulder: This excruciating pain arises when connecting tissues around the shoulder joint thicken. This could be a result of arthritis or prolonged shoulder immobilization.How to manage pain?●   Exercising regularly will help you manage pain. Your doctor may also suggest physiotherapy in order to improve flexibility and reduce joint pain.●   If it is a muscle pain then muscle relaxants for the back and neck could also give you relief.●   Inflammation may also accompany joint pains, with the help of non steroidal pain relief medicines both inflammation and joint pains could be managed. But make sure you suggest a good doctor first.

Know About Heart Failure

Dr. V.Ganesh, Cardiologist
Heart failure is a life-threatening condition in which the heart is unable to pump enough blood to different parts of the body.It can affect the left side or right side or both sides of the heart.Causes of heart failure Coronary artery disease:  narrowing of blood vessels that supply oxygen-rich blood to the heart.Cardiomyopathy : diseases of heart muscle that cause enlargement of the heart.Hypertension: High blood pressure.Valvular heart disease: diseases affecting valves between chambers of heart.Myocarditis : Inflammation of heart muscle caused by a virus.Heavy consumption of alcohol.Diabetes.Thyroid diseases.heavy alcohol consumption SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS OF HEART FAILUREShortness of breath while walking ,climbing stairs or at rest.Swelling of legs,edema( leg swelling).General tiredness or weakness,A chronic cough,Chest discomfort.Walking up during the night with sudden breathing difficulty.PHYSICAL EXAMINATION revealsIrregular or rapid heartbeat,Distended neck veins,Signs of fluid around the lungs,Lung crackles,Blood pressure may be normal, high , or low.INVESTIGATIONSX-RAY:Chest X-RAY helps to find out fluid accumulation in lungs, and heart enlargement.X-RAY CHESTElectrocardiogram (ECG)This test helps to detect any heart abnormality that may be associated with heart failure. Electrocardiogram(ECG).EchocardiogramUses ultrasonic waves to produce a video image of the heart,The image helps in assessment of pumping capacity of heart as well as any abnormality in heart muscle, heart valves etc.echocardiogramCoronary angiogramThis procedure is used to identify narrowing of arteries(blood vessels) which supply the heart which may be the cause of heart failure.In this procedure a thin flexible tube is inserted into the blood vessel through arm or groin which is passed to blood vessels of heart and dye is injected and the picture is obtained.Other investigations:Chest CT, Cardiac MRI, Blood tests to identify chemical markers of heart failure such as BNP.TREATMENT:Avoid smoking.Regular exercise such as walking, jogging, cycling etc.Reduce salt intake.Control blood pressureControl DiabetesControl thyroid diseases.Limit alcohol intake.Control cholesterol.DRUGSACE Inhibitors: these dilate blood vessels , improve blood flow, decrease workload on the heart.Diuretics: These group helps remove excess fluids and sodium from the body.Beta blockers: Slows heart rate and reduce blood pressure.Digitalis: Increase ability of heart muscle to contract properly.SURGERY AND MEDICAL DEVICES:CABG(Coronary artery bypass grafting) and ANGIOPLASTY  :Used to treat severely narrowed coronary arteries that contribute to heart failure.Implantable cardioverter - defibrillators(ICD).ICD monitors irregular heart rhythm and sends electrical shocks to correct this irregularity.they are implanted under the skin and attached to heart with small wires.ICDCardiac resynchronization therapy.(CRT)This is a type of pacemaker-like device which sends timed electrical signals to heart chambers allow them to pump synchronous and efficient manner.CRT DEVICEHeart pumps (left ventricular assist devices)These mechanical devices are implanted into the abdomen and attached to weakened heart to help it to pump better.HEART PUMP

4 Ways by Which You Can Get Relief From Arthiritis Pain Naturally

Dr. Keertee Gupta
ARTHRITIS PAIN its a very common condition as 80% of older people face this problem. Inflamed joints, stiffness, painful walk and movement makes our life very difficult. Its a degenerative disorder that worsens with age. Since modern science has no cure for it, lifelong management with painkillers,steroids and joint replacements are some options. However, Ayurveda can help us a lot to get relief naturally with no side effects.'TAKE CARE OF YOUR BODY.ITS THE ONLY PLACE YOU HAVE TO LIVE IN'For treating this pain naturally one has to understand his body. Here are 4 ways to take care of our body and joints as well.CONTROL WEIGHT GAIN- Obesity or over weight is the prime cause for arthritis pain. Increasing weight, increases the pressure on our joints. This may lead to more difficulty in movement. So take care of your weight and manage it accordingly.EAT HEALTHY STAY FIT-  Ayurveda says  'FIRST TREATMENT STARTS WITH KITCHEN' Proper intake of calcium and vitamin d enrich food like milk and milk products are really beneficial for the joints. Orally intake of fenugreek, ajwain, garlic with warm water really helps in pain and swelling. Avoid vata vardhak ahara like ladyfinger, cauliflower, rice etc as they can aggravate pain.EXERCISE- Mild form of exercises are very useful in arthritic condition like morning and evening walk really help a lot. Some yoga and asanas are beneficial but under guidance. Avoid too much of exercise as it may worsen the condition.REGULAR OIL APPLICATION ON JOINTS- According to Ayurveda and modern science as well the lubrication medium or liquid  in common language decreases and leads to friction and finally pain and swelling occurs. To avoid this condition external application of oil on joints helps in smooth movement and strengthening of joints too.Follow these small steps and you will feel relief from discomfort and pain. Try to follow natural treatments and Ayurveda for great results.

Home Remedies To Stop Type 2 Diabetes

Dr. Nikhil Prabhu, Diabetologist
Approximately 95% people suffer from type 2 diabetes, which is primarily obesity & lifestyle related diabetes and can be prevented by diet modification & exercise. We normally diagnose diabetes when fasting blood sugar is more than 125 mg/dl, which is primarily affected by hours of fasting and quantity & quality of carbohydrate meal consumed at dinner last night. Also, 2 hours post prandial blood sugar depends on what we consume at breakfast or lunch. More than 200 mg/dl is diagnosed as diabetes. Majority of obese people, who are in the range of fasting sugars 100-125 mg/dl and/or post lunch sugars in range of 140-200 mg/dl, are about to develop diabetes in succeeding years are termed as Prediabetic. Diabetes can be reversed at Prediabetes stage with lifestyle modification (diet & exercise).Home remedies can help you a lot to control blood sugars at Prediabetes stage to prevent its progress to Diabetes.Now, we have a more reliable test called HbA1c ( Glycated Hemoglobin), which shows an average of blood sugars over last 3 preceding months which is not affected by hours of fasting and quality of food consumed. Normal person has a HbA1c value of 5.7% or less. Prediabetic person ranges between 5.7 -6.4 % of HbA1c , 6.5 % & above is diagnosed as Diabetes.(HbA1c value is also affected by certain rare conditions like blood loss, hemoglobinopathies, adminstration of certain drugs like aspirin, Vitamin C, etc.)Type 2 Diabetes is a progressive disease. When diabetes develops approximately 60% of pancreatic beta cells are dead and eventually over the time beta cells keep on diminishing and finally a stage arrives when exogenous insulin is necessary to control blood sugar.Natural home remedies are fruits and vegetables which helps to lower sugar by reducing carbohydrate absorption from gut, delaying gastric emptying or preserving and promoting beta cell function.In prediabetic stage these home remedies can help a lot to prevent its progress to diabetes. Also, in case of already developed diabetes these home remedies along with medication, can help to keep sugar under control. In diagnosed diabetes patients it is not an alternative to medication but adjunct to medication.Commonly used Natural home remedies includes :Fenugreek (Methi): Methi seeds can be soaked in water overnight and can be consumed in morning along with water or powdered methi seeds can be consumed along with milk or water. Normally two tablespoon is an appropriate quantity.Bitter gourd (Karela): Drinking karela juice daily on an empty stomach helps to lower sugarCinnamon (Dalacini): Adding dalacini to beverages and food helps to lower blood sugar to some extent.Indian Goosebery (Amla): Amla is a rich source of Vitamin C. Drinking small quantity of amla juice daily helps to lower sugars.Black Plum (Jamun): Powdered dried seeds of Jambul can be consumed along with water on empty stomach daily or jambul fruits can be consumed directly.Other Natural home remedies includes consumption of guava, powder of mango leaves with water, black coffee without sugar, green tea, okra, aloe vera, cloves, peas etcAll these home remedies are effective only if they are consumed daily for atleast 2-3 months. In known diabetes patients already on insulin or certain medication, occasional or sudden use may induce Hypoglycemia. In such a case, it is advisable to consult your diabetologist before starting such home remedies.Other Home remedies includes:Lifestyle modification with diet & exercise.Daily high quality sleep to minimize stress.Avoid smoking & tobacco.Avoid excessive consumption of alcohol.Staying lean with healthy diet & regular exercise is key to prevent diabetes.If you like this article , Please share it with your friends & family.Awareness is Prevention!

Act Now to Save the Hearts of Those You Love : Dr Siddhant Jain

Dr. Siddhant Jain, Cardiologist
Love makes the world go round Act now to save the hearts of those you love Claiming 17.3 million lives per year, cardiovascular disease, which comprises of heart disease and stroke, is the number one killer worldwide. It claims more than the total deaths (3.86 million deaths per year) due to malaria, HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis put together. In fact, the risk for heart disease is found to be higher in Indians than that in U.S. and Western Europe. In India too, cardiovascular disease is the largest cause of mortality, leading to 1.7-2.0 million deaths annually. It has been pointed out that born with thinner arteries and at genetic risk for cardiac diseases, Indians are worsening their risk for heart diseases with poor physical activity, a high-fat diet and by steadily shunning fruits and vegetables. It can not be more emphasized that in today’s stressful world, it has become crucial that each one of us takes some constructive steps to save the heart of our loved ones before it is too late, especially since prevention is easy and can substantially reduce cardiac risk. I will utilize this opportunity to address certain myths associated with heart diseases.  “It is a myth that cardiovascular disease mostly affects males. In fact, heart disease is the reason for 1 in 3 female deaths each year. It’s my urge to all Indian females that in their daily rush when they are being ideal wives and mothers, please take at least a moment for yourself and listen to your own heart. After all, health of the entire family depends on you. It is important that you should be healthy enough so that you can extend your care to your family members.”  “In fact not only adults, in today’s world, our children are also at increased risk of heart disease. So there is no age or gender bar to develop cardiovascular disease.“India is being known as the coronary and diabetes capital of the world. It is sad that we are losing so many young lives,” . “But the solution is simple. We just need to make some small changes in our lifestyle and if you have some heart problem, follow the instructions given by your doctor rather than following Google.” The Indian Heart Watch study, spanning 11 cities as well as mid-sized towns and covering 6,000 men and women, was the first to offer insights on risk factors for heart diseases in India. According to the study report, around 79% of men and 83% of women (who participated in the study) were physically inactive, while 51% men and 48% women had high-fat diets. About 60% men and 57% women had a low intake of fruit and vegetables, while 12% men and 0.5% women smoked. Around 41% of men and 45% of women were overweight or obese while high blood pressure was reported in 33% men and 30% women, and high cholesterol was found in one-quarter of all men and women. Diabetes was also reported in 34% men and 37% women. After the elaborate discussion on the prevalence of various risk factors in India, Let me highlight that these risk factors especially high blood pressure, diabetes and obesity substantially increase the risk of cardiovascular disease. “But the good news is that these risk factors are modifiable and can be kept under our control,”To best combat heart disease in India, there needs to be a comprehensive approach, which will require improvements in basic amenities, healthcare facilities and, perhaps most importantly, education that will enable people to take responsibility for their own actions. “For tuberculosis you have TB clinics. For malaria, you have the malaria control programme. For cardiovascular diseases especially in rural areas, we have nothing so far.So I take this  initiative educate people on cardiovascular diseases and which emphasizes that if you want to save your loved ones from this killer it is important that you make some small changes in your and your loved one’s lives. Truly, it is important for us to understand that Heart makes the world go round, let’s step up and start caring.”Do’s Don’ts Eat a healthy, well balanced diet, rich in whole grains, vegetables and fruits. Do not consume fried foods or foods rich in saturated fats (e.g. cakes, cookies, red meat, egg yolk etc) or high-salt foods (e.g. papads, pickle, chutneys etc.)Keep your body weight, blood pressure, diabetes and blood cholesterol under control. Visit your doctor at regular intervals. Do not smoke or consume excess alcohol. Walk or exercise for at least 30 minutes, for a minimum of 5 days in a week, with your doctor’s adviceDo not get emotionally upset or stress (physically or mentally).Take the medicines prescribed for high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol or diabetes as per your doctor’s advice. Do not take any medicines without consulting your doctor.