Articles on blood

High Blood Pressure Is a Silent Killer

Dr. Mubarak Raja, Diabetologist
In medical term Hypertension means HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE·       It is one of the most common cardio-vascular diseases.·       Many people have Hypertension for years without any symptoms.·       Uncontrolled pressure can cause significant damage to the body.·       It is otherwise called as “SILENT KILLER’’.FACTORSWHICH INCREASE BLOOD PRESSURE:LIFESTYLE:Lack of adequate physical exercise and a sedentary lifestyleincreases the risk of high blood pressureSTRESS:Physicaland emotional stress encountered in private life or work place increases Bloodpressure.OBESITY:Therisk of Hypertension increases with obesityAGE:HTmay be encountered at any age, but as one grows older , the chances of Developinghigh BP increases.DIETARY SALT INTAKE:an excessive amount of salt in the diet can cause high BPALCOHOL:  Regular and heavy consumption of alcohol increases BP. Generally there are no symptoms for mild to moderately high BP.The best way to check BP once in every three monthsIn few patients there may be symptoms like :Lack of sleepGiddinessBlurred visionBrain damageEye damageHeart attackKidney failurePatients with Diabetes and Hypertension need to be very careful as the above risks increase even further with Diabetes.§  Do not check BP immediately after taking food§  Do not check BP when you are tense§  Do not check Bp immediatelyafter urination§  Do not check BP immediately after you rush into a clinic. Wait till your breathing becomes normal.ü Drugs alone may not be sufficient to control BP.Lifestyle modifications arevery important to reduce BPAvoid excess strain andstress both in the office and at home.Should have a good sleep of6 - 8 hrs/dayReduce excessive salt indietAvoid pickles, pappads andsalty fish Avoid too spicy foodsAvoid oily and cholesterolrich foodsUse only Safflower,sunflower or refined oilsIncrease green leafyvegetables in foodFresh fruits can be taken inlarge quantitiesAvoid smoking and alcoholRegular aerobic exerciseWalking/Skipping/Jogging/Swimming daily ½ to 1 hr preferably in the morninghoursReduce weight if you areobeseWith all the above measures,Drugs(tablets) are important in controlling BPTake your medicines regularly as prescribed by the doctor

Does the Blood Type Diet Actually Work?

Ms. Swati Kapoor, Dietitian/Nutritionist
Blood type diets were first popularized by Peter D’Adamo in 1996, in his best selling book, Eat Right 4 Your Type.The basic principle behind his dietary idea is that ABO blood type is the most important factor in determining a diet. He found separate diets for people with one of the four most common blood types (A, B, O or AB). The theory behind this concept is that the ABO blood type should match the dietary habits of our ancestors and people with different blood types process food differently. Each blood type diet includes 16 food groups which are divided into three categories: 1. Highly beneficial 2. Neutral 3. AvoidWhat D'Adamo recommends for each type:1. Type O blood: A high-protein diet. 2. Type A blood: A meat-free diet based on fruits and vegetables, beans and legumes, and whole grains -- ideally, organic and fresh, . 3. Type B blood: Avoid corn, wheat, buckwheat, lentils, tomatoes, peanuts, and sesame seeds. He encourages eating chicken, green vegetables, eggs, certain meats, and low-fat dairy. 4. Type AB blood: Foods to focus on include tofu, seafood, dairy, and green vegetables.According to the theory, people following a blood type diet can improve health and decrease risk of chronic illness such as cardiovascular diseases. And, if you eat food other than the food which is meant for you according to your blood type, you may experience many health problems, including slow metabolism, allergies, asthma, cancer, heart disease and chronic fatigue."Based on the data from research by El-Sohemy, there is no evidence found to support whether Blood Type Diet works or not. The person’s response to any diet has nothing to do with their blood type." In 2013, a comprehensive review published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found no evidence to support the 'blood-type' diet.There's no doubt that you would lose weight on this plan, as it's fairly low on calories. But the concern is about the healthy fibre and disease-protectiving antioxidants from fruits and vegetables that you would be missing out on.Rather than opting for a blood type diet you should focus on developing healthy eating and exercise habits that you can follow for a lifetime. Healthy, balanced meals will help you achieve healthy weight loss. You will also get all essential nutrients and be protected from most health disorders.

Everything You Must Know About High Blood Pressure

Dr. Aseem Dewan, General Physician
What is blood pressure?Blood pressure is the force of blood moving through your arteries. Arteries are the blood vessels that carry blood from your heart to the rest of your body. What is a “good” blood pressure reading?Blood pressure lower than or equal to 120/80 is ideal.For people with diabetes or kidney disease, blood pressure lower than 130/80 is good. Lower than 120/80 is ideal.What is Hypertension?Hypertension is the technical term for high blood pressure. High blood pressure is a common condition in which the long-term force of the blood against your artery walls is high enough that it may eventually cause health problems, such as heart disease.  It’s like a car tyre with too much air in it. If the tyre pressure is not lowered, there is risk for tyre damage. If your high blood pressure is not lowered, there is risk for damage to your eyes, brain, heart, blood vessels, and kidneys.What are the symptoms of high blood pressure?Most people with high blood pressure have no symptoms, even if blood pressure readings reach dangerously high levels.A few people with high blood pressure may have headaches, shortness of breath or nosebleeds, but these signs and symptoms aren't specific and usually don't occur until high blood pressure has reached a severe or life-threatening stage.You can have high blood pressure for years without any symptoms. Even without symptoms, damage to blood vessels and your heart continues and can be detected. Uncontrolled high blood pressure increases your risk of serious health problems, including heart attack and stroke.Am I at risk of having High Blood Pressure?If you belong to any of the following categories, you should have your blood pressure checked at least once every 6 months:(A) Age above 45(B) Obese(C) Frequently consume alcohol(D) Smoker(E) Diabetic(F) Family history of High Blood pressure(G) Sedentary lifestyle - very little, or no, exercise(H) Stress - Whether at work and/or home(I) Too much salt in the diet - adding table salt to cooked food; picklesSTEPS TO REDUCE HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE1. Reduce salt intake2. Exercise regularly3. Lose weight4. Eat healthy - avoid salty snacks: choose fruits / salads instead5. Avoid butter & full-cream dairy products: Take skimmed / toned milk DO I NEED MEDICATION?Let your doctor decide this.Please do not self-medicate!

10 Tips to Help You Control Your High Blood Pressure

Dr. Nilesh Makwana, Physiotherapist
Some simple to help you manage your high blood pressure better:Make sure your blood pressure is under 140/90 mm Hg. If your systolic pressure (the top number) is over 140, ask your doctor what you can do to lower it.Take your high blood pressure medicine, if prescribed, every day. If you have questions, talk to your doctor.Aim for a healthy weight. If you are overweight or obese, carrying this extra weight increases your risk of high blood pressure. One way to determine if you need to lose weight is to find out your body mass index or BMI. If your BMI is above the healthy range (i.e., 25 or greater), or if your waist measurement is greater than 35 inches (women) or 40 inches (men) you probably have excess abdominal weight and you may benefit from weight loss especially if you have other risk factors. Talk to your doctor to see if you are at increased risk for high blood pressure and need to lose weight.Increase your physical activity. Do at least 30 minutes of moderate activity, such as walking, most days of the week. You can do 30 minutes in three 10-minute segments.Choose foods low in salt and sodium. Read nutrition labels. Almost all packaged foods contain sodium. Every time you prepare or eat a packaged food, know how much sodium is in one serving.Keep a sodium diary. You may be surprised at how much sodium you consume each day and the diary will help you decide which foods to decrease or eliminate.Use spices and herbs instead of salt to season the food you prepare at home.Eat more fruits, vegetables, grains, and low-fat dairy foods.If you consume alcohol at all, consume moderate amounts. For men, this is less than two 12 oz servings of beer, or two 5 oz glasses of wine, or two 1 1/2 oz servings of "hard" alcohol a day. Women or lighter weight people should have not more than a single serving of any one of these beverages in a given day.

A Cup of Yogurt a Day Keeps High Blood Pressure Away

Dr. Sangeeta Malu, Dietitian/Nutritionist
Heard of hypertension? Does it scare you? Indeed the term hypertension can drive anyone to their wits end, but that only happens when it is not understood well. Experts at the esteemed American Heart Association opine hypertension is the result of untreated high blood pressure. The untreated high blood pressure is the reason why the arteries within have scar, and they act as nets that do not allow the impurities to move away while flowing through the bloodstream. Plaque and cholesterol are impurities that are caught in these nets, and this leads to blockages and build-ups that damage the cardio system and up the notch with blood pressure levels too.Results showed that 31 percent of volunteers were less likely to develop high blood pressure when at least 2 percent of their daily caloric intake was yogurt, equivalent to at least one six-ounce cup of low-fat yogurt every three days. Their systolic blood pressure also increased significantly less than those who did not eat yogurt. These findings support a common belief that low-fat dairy products reduce blood pressure.Ways to treat high blood pressure There are many ways your family doctor would suggest that you incorporate to bring about lifestyle changes that would help bring down blood pressure levels- NO SALT Imagine having your favourite meal sans the touch of salt? This could be such a depressing thought, but ask anyone who suffers from high blood pressure and their emotions would be proof enough on the same. However, there are many ways to make your meals yummy too, and this time we would think of a humble cup of yogurt (low-fat) to provide you with a delicious platter and to bring down or manage high blood-pressure levels too.Frequent consumption of yogurt helps manage weight and the BMI of the body, and is known to bring down blood pressure levels too.With a helping of low-fat yogurt in your daily diet, the risks of high blood pressure can be brought down as well. This is because yogurt has plenty of calcium and immense amounts of nutrients that your diet needs.Yogurt has a lot of protein in it, which helps keeps the hunger pangs at bay and you happy and full for a longer period of time. It can also help the body with hydration too, thanks to the abundance of water in it.Snacking on a bowl of yogurt can help bring down the risk of high blood pressure by one-fourth, say experts from AHA.Yogurt smoothies with berries, not only keeps the stomach full and satisfied but the antioxidants found in berries helps prevent signs of early ageing and the water content in yogurt keeps the body hydrated. We hope you now understand the importance of yogurt in your daily diet. Just one bowl a day with your salads or maybe as a delicious smoothie can help a long way!

Healthy Blood Sugar Level

Ms. Swati Kapoor, Dietitian/Nutritionist
Blood sugar, also referred as Blood Glucose is believed to be an important parameter for good health of an individual. Glucose level refers to the amount of glucose present in the blood. Glucose mainly comes from carbohydrate containing food. It’s the main source of energy used by the body. Normally blood sugar level increases quickly after we eat. This increase causes our pancreas to release insulin, so that blood glucose levels do not get too high and are utilized or stored as per requirement. High Blood glucose levels can damage eyes, kidneys, nerves and Blood Vessels. So, maintaining healthy blood sugar level is very important for human body and it’s also very important for the body’s performance. A Healthy range of Blood Glucose in human Body is considered to be 70-120 mg/dl. Too high and too low blood sugar levels in human cause some serious problems to the health. So, it’s very important to control and maintain your blood sugar level.To maintain your Blood Sugar Level you need to check the Blood Sugar Level in your Body. The Blood Sugar Test is Based on Several Factors:Type and severity of diabetes:  The difference is the Severity and in the amount of time that symptoms are present before treatment is sought. Type 1 diabetes is usually diagnosed in childhood and most people who are in their 20’s. In this case body makes little or no insulin.Type 2 diabetes is more common and makes most diabetes cases. In this pancreas doesn't make enough insulin to keep blood sugar level normal. There is another type called Gestational Diabetes, in which high blood glucose levels develop anytime during pregnancy in women, who don’t have diabetes.Risk Factors of DiabetesAge over 45 yearsGestational diabetes or delivering a baby weighing more than 9 poundsHeart diseaseHigh blood cholesterol levelObesityNot getting enough exercisePolycystic ovary or PCOS disease (in women)Previous impaired glucose toleranceApart from Diabetes, Hypoglycemia and Hyperglycemia are two main medical conditions that arise due to blood sugar level imbalance.Hypoglycemia: Hypoglycemia is caused when blood sugar levels are low. If Blood Sugar levels drop below 70 mg/dl, the condition is called hypoglycemia. Hypoglycemia is common in people with diabetes due to taking too much insulin or any other diabetes medicines. Hypoglycemia may also have other lifestyle based causes like alcohol, stomach problems, surgery, disease of pancreas, kidney etc.Symptoms of Hypoglycemia:HungerFatigueNervousnessHeadacheHeart ProblemDizziness Reasons of Hypoglycemia:Skipping mealsTaking too much insulin or diabetes MedicineToo much Workload and other activitiesDrinking too much AlcoholIf you have symptoms of low blood sugar, you need expert advice to maintain a healthy and balanced diet, without any long gaps between meals. Regular blood sugar level monitoring is also advised.Hyperglycemia:Hyperglycemia is a condition when an excessive amount of blood glucose Circulate in the body. It’s the first sign of Diabetes. There are two types of Hyperglycemia.1. Fasting Hyperglycemia:  Fasting Hyperglycemia is blood sugar levels greater than 90-130 mg/dl.2. Post Meal Hyperglycemia: Post Meal Hyperglycemia is blood sugar levels usually greater than 180 mg/dl. A healthy person’s post meal blood sugar usually measures 130-140 mg/dl.Symptoms of Hyperglycemia:ThirstHeadachePoor ConcentrationBlurred VisionFrequent UrinatingFatigueWeight Loss Reason of Hyperglycemia:Skipping medicineEating too much Carbohydrates and too much CaloriesIncreased in Stress LevelDrinking Too Much AlcoholHyperglycemia can damage the vessels that supply blood to vital organs, which can increase the risk of heart disease and stroke, kidney disease, vision problems, and nerve problems in people with diabetes.To reduce levels in Hyperglycemia all you need to do is to control your blood sugar level. You can reduce your blood sugar level by:1. Drink more water. Excess amount of water will remove extra glucose from your body.2. Exercise: Regular exercise is also good in maintaining your sugar level. And also helps you in keeping fit.3. Change in your eating Habit:  You need a proper and healthy diet. A healthy diet and exercise is also good for maintaining blood sugar level.4. Take your medicine on time and Consult your Doctor.5. Go for regular monitoring of blood sugar levels.Maintained healthy Blood sugar level is very important for human health. Too high and too low sugar levels can lead to several medical conditions but by monitoring it and controlling the imbalanced sugar levels, you can maintain a healthy balance free from getting risk of such conditions. So, try to keep your blood sugar levels in normal range and Stay Healthy!

To Lose Weight & Control Blood Sugar - Eat Fruits Before Meals

Dr. Nikhil Prabhu, Diabetologist
Many fruits are rich in micronutrients, essential vitamins, fibre content and antioxidants. Along with that fruits occupy more space and less calories making your tummy full and giving you feeling of satiety or fullness.Most of the fruits have high fibre content, they come in soluble or insoluble form. Both forms are indigestible. They form a bulk & increase water content of stool, making it softer and easily movable in Gastrointestinal tract. High fibre diet reduces cardiovascular morbidity & mortality.Diabetic person should avoid eating fruits with high glycemic index i.e. those fruits which readily digest in stomach and raise your blood sugars more than others like Mango, Chickoo, Banana (Green), Grapes, Custard Apple, etc.Also, one should avoid drinking fruit juices as condensation process increases sugar content of juice. A glass of juice is roughly equivalent to eating 2-3 fruits at a time. It is always better to eat a fresh fruit instead of drinking a fruit juice added with or without preservatives.Managing blood sugars by a diabetic person is all about balancing food intake. For example, suppose Person (A) who is diabetic had four bread slices for breakfast at 9.00AM and his blood sugars are measured at 11.00AM were found out to be 300 mg/dl. If the same person (A) divides the breakfast into 2 halves and takes 2 bread slices at 8.00AM and 2 bread slices at 10.00 AM then his blood sugar roughly remains around 130 mg/dl. In this example the food intake is not decreased but instead it is divided into small quantity and consumed frequently.Normally we consume most of the meal in the first 20 mins of starting a meal so eating a fruit before the meal delays food intake and gives the feeling of fullness or satiety much earlier. That eventually leads to consumption of less food at meal time, so less calorie intake. Many colorful fruits like berries are rich in antioxidants ( Lycopene, Beta-carotene, etc.). In diabetes high bloood sugar values cause damage to nerves, retina, blood vessels and other systems via specific pathways. One of them is through generating free oxygen radical species, these anti-oxidants react with such harmful oxygen radicals and scavenge them, thus minimizing the tissue damage in diabetes.What fruits to eat in diabetes ?Blueberries, blackberries, strawberries etc. all berries are rich in antioxidants, vitamins and low in carbohydrates.Peaches are rich in vitamin A & C, potassium and fibre.An Apple a day keeps the doctor away. Apples are rich in fibre, vitamin C & low in carb. Don’t peel the skin as it contains antioxidants.Oranges are great in vitamin C, low in carb, contain potassium and folate, other citrus fruits like grapefruits are also equally good to eat.Pears are good in potassium and fibre. Other fruits like apricot, guava are also rich in vitamin A and good to eat .Eating fruits before meals helps you to loose weight & control your blood sugars. Making this as a habit helps obese individuals and known diabetic people.If you found this article useful, please share it with your friends & family. Awareness is Prevention.

Blood in Stool

Dr. Kumar Parth, Gastroenterologist
Blood in the stool means there is bleeding somewhere in your digestive tract. It may be a local bleed or may be bleeding from digestive tract (stomach, small/Large bowel) Bleeding may be associated with / without pain.Common diseases which accounts for bleeding have been summarize below with their presentations.PILES (HEMORRHOIDS) – One of the most common causes for lower Gastrointestinal bleed.Presentation: Most of them are painless and often seen following passage of stool with quantity ranging from 2ml -100 ml /day.Causes:  Most common – following constipation (passage of hard stool), during pregnancy,drug induced. Generally happens due to swelling of blood vessels (veins) along the anal canal and erosion to that leads to bleeding.Most of the early piles are managed by medicines, but once get chronic (recurrent attacks) may need surgical cure.FISSURE –IN –ANO – A small cut or tear in the tissue lining the anus similar to the cracks that occur in chapped lips or a paper cut.Presentation: Always be associated with pain while passage of stool.Bleeding is not much as seen in Piles (Generally stool is blood stained, with few drops of blood following passage of stool.Causes: Passage of hard stool, following constipation, during pregnancy, prolong immobilization(Bed ridden patients, local injury.Generally get cured with medicines and lifestyle modifications, may need surgical cure when becomes chronic/severe pain with bleeding.FISTULA-IN-ANO - An ano-rectal fistula (Fistula-in-Ano) is an abnormal communication between the anus and the Peri-anal skin.Causes: Anal canal glands situated in anal canal afford a path for infecting organisms to reach the intramuscular spaces. Fistulas can occur spontaneously or secondary to a Peri-anal (or Peri-rectal) abscess.Presentations: Mucus/ pus discharge from inside of anus or from surrounding skin of anus,associated with / without painDIVERTICULAR DISEASE- Diverticula are small pouches that project from the colon wall. Usually diverticula don't cause problems, but sometimes they can bleed or become infected, then require surgical care.COLITIS  - Inflammation of the colon.Among the more common causes are infections or inflammatory bowel disease (Autoimmune causes), namely Ulcerative colitis /Crohns diseases.Managed with Immuno-suppressant medicines, but may require surgery when gets complicated / cancerous changes.POLYPS:These are out pouching of mucosa of anal canal, when get eroded with hard stool causes bleeding. Polyps may be simple or may be cancerous.CANCERS OF ANAL CANAL: Mostly seen after age of forty. May present with active bleeding (mostly painless) or present as occult bleeding (patient presents with Anemia (low hemoglobin), and on stool examination shows presence of RBCs (blood cells). Few patients present  as recent  onset of constipation, particularly who didn’t had constipation before.Basic Evaluation Needed: Local examination of area by Physician, Chemical Tests of stool for Occult (Hidden) bleeding, Colonoscopy (scope passed from anus up to junction of small and large bowel to see entire colon and part of small intestine. Scanning (CT Scan/MRI) may be helpful following colonoscopy if suspicion of cancer arises.Courtesy: Dr. Kumar Parth(MBBS; MNAMS; FMAS; FAIS; FACRSI  (Colo-Rectal Surgery)DNB; FSGE (Surgical Gastroenterology)Consultant Surgical Gastroenterologist (Bangalore),, WWW.DRPARTHGASTRO.COM

What to Look for in Blood Tests for Patients on Dialysis

Dr. Arvind C, Nephrologist
Blood tests can tell how well the dialysis is working, how well nourished you are, the state of your bones, how much acid thereis, in your blood , as well as your blood count. Monthly blood tests to check the levels of urea/creatinine, waste products produced by metabolism within the body, help to determine the adequacy of the dialysis prescription. Another test, called Kt/V is also performed to assess patient progress and dialysis adequacy. Abnormal electrolyte (Sodium, Potassium) levels may cause organ dysfunction for eg the heart and therefore the need for regular checks. Serum albumin levels tell us how well nourished the patient is, and is the most important test to indicate future morbidity. Calcium and phosphate levels give us an indication of bone metabolism. Hemoglobin levels indicate the degree of anemia (low blood strength) and act as a guide to adjust treatment (blood transfusion/erythropoietin injections).Blood Sugar levels are important in diabetics. Tests for HIV and Hepatitis B & C viruses are done as a routine on admission into the dialysis unit and every 3-4months thereafter.There are other important tests that are done less frequently and include lipid levels, liver function tests, iron studies,etc.Creatinine: This is the waste produced by muscles. A high creatinine level may indicate that not enough dialysis is being done Potassium: This mineral is normally present in the blood. If the level gets too high or low it can cause the heart to stop. The normal level is 3.5-5.0 mmols/l. Crisis levels are less than 2 or greater than 6.5. Urea: Urea is produced when the food we eat is broken down. The normal level is 20-40mg/dl/l, but in dialysis patients urea levels are much higher. A high urea level will often cause sickness(nausea & vomiting) Phosphate: Phosphate is one of the substances in the blood necessary to keep bones healthy. The normal level is 3-4.5mg/dl. A high level can cause itching and bone disease. Diet and phosphate binders can help to control the level. Calcium: This mineral is needed to keep bones healthy. The normal level of calcium in the blood is 9 - 11 mg/dl. Glucose: The normal level of blood glucose is 100-140mg/dl. For diabetics on HD it is important to remember that apart from high glucose levels, hypoglycemia (low sugars) may also occur