Articles on health in the united states

Child Nutrition Tips

Dr. Yogesh Kumar, Ayurveda
By eating the right amount and type of food recommended here, children can get the nutrients they need to grow and thrive. Young children can have small appetites which can sometimes make meal time a challenge. Check out some ideas on how to meet their needs.Serve small nutritious meals and snacks each day.Because preschoolers and young children have small stomachs, they need to eat small amounts of food more often throughout the day. One Food  Serving from a food group can be divided up into smaller amounts and served throughout the day. For example, half a Food Guide Serving of Meat and Alternatives can be served at two different meals such as one egg at lunch and about 30 g (1 oz.) of chicken for dinner.Do not restrict nutritious foods because of their fat content. Offer a variety of foods from the four food groups.Offer a variety of nutritious foods, including some choices that contain fat such as 2% milk, peanut butter and avocado.Satisfy their thirst with water.Encourage young children to drink water to quench their thirst and replenish body fluids. children and adults choose vegetables and fruit more often than juice. Children also need a total of 500 mL (2 cups) of milk every day to help meet their requirement for vitamin D.Respect your children's ability to determine how much food to eat.While parents and caregivers determine the selection of foods offered, young children can determine how much food they need. Throughout the day, children are able to adjust their intake. This explains why some children eat more at one meal than at another.Be a good role model.Be a role model for healthy eating. Start by having meals together as a family as often as possible. Turn off the TV. Set a good example. If your child sees you eating your vegetables - he/she will be more likely to eat them too!Be patient.If an unfamiliar food is rejected the first time, it can be offered again later. The more often children are exposed to a new food the more likely they are to accept it.Organize fun physical activities.Young children rely on parents and caregivers to provide opportunities for physical activity. Some ideas include: bicycling, walking, dancing, games of ball or tag in the summer and sledding or building a snowman in the winter. For more great ideas check out tips for being active.

Planning a baby? Here's a Physical & Lifestyle Readiness Checklist

Dr. Rushabh Mehta, Gynecologist/Obstetrician
Physical readiness checklistOne way of giving your baby the best start in life is to get your own health under control before you get pregnant. You could choose to have a complete physical check-up three months to a year before you start trying to conceive. This would give your doctor an important baseline to use as a guide during your pregnancy - as well as help determines whether you're physically ready to have a baby. To help you keep track of all your tests and vaccinations, we've prepared the checklist below. You are unlikely to need all these tests and checks, but you could print the list out and tick off the items you choose to have.Medical history: Keeping your doctor informed will help her get you ready for pregnancy.Cervical smear: Check that you are up to date with this, or arrange to have one done.Urine analysis: Detecting infections and other problems early will help you have a healthy pregnancy.Blood tests: Your doctor may check your blood for anaemia, sugar levels and screen for any potential problems.Blood pressure check: If it's too high, you (and your pregnancy) could be at risk.Vaccinations: If you need any immunisations, now's the time as some vaccines aren't safe for pregnant women.Test for sexually transmitted diseases: Finding and treating them now increases your odds for a healthy pregnancy.Viral tests: Have you had toxoplasmosis? If you're not sure, it's possible to be tested.Start taking prenatal vitamins: Make sure you're getting enough folic acid for your baby.Ask all your questions: Don't be shy - this is what your doctor is for.Address medication and health concerns: If you take medication for a pre-existing condition check out now if your prescription is safe to take during pregnancy.Genetic testing and counselling: If any genetic disorders (such as cystic fibrosis) run in your family, getting a test now is a good idea.Lifestyle readiness checklistYou've decided it's time to start your family. But are you ready? By making a few lifestyle changes now, you can give your baby the best head start possible. Print out our checklist and check off each goal on the day you reach it.Improve your diet: Proper nutrition is essential for a healthy pregnancy and baby.Achieve a healthy weight: Being Significantly overweight or underweight can affect your ability to conceive, as well as your baby's health.Create (and follow!) an exercise plan: Start a programme now that you can continue through pregnancy.Start taking antenatal vitamins: Make sure you're getting enough folic acid, iron, calcium and the other nutrients your baby will need.Stop drinking, smoking, and taking drugs: All three can impair your fertility and harm your baby.Eliminate environmental dangers: Your job may not be as safe as you think it is. Some jobs can also be dangerous for your unborn baby.Stop using contraception: Depending on what method you use, your body may need time to get back to normal before you can conceive.Get your finances in order: becoming a parent comes with a hefty price tag - and lots of responsibility.Think your decision through: be sure that parenthood is really for you

A Health Oral Cavity Is the Gateway to a Health Body

Dr. Shikha Goel, Dentist
In the early days, the intent of humans was not to clean teeth but to remove an unpleasant subjective sensation. It was only later that people started keeping their oral cavity clean in order to prevent oral diseases. The state of one’s oral health resulting from this practice or its neglect is known as oral hygiene. A variety of oral hygiene measures have been used that have been recovered from excavations worldwide including tooth picks, chew sticks, tree twigs, strips of linen, bird feathers, animal bones and porcupine quills. The evidence of the first tooth brush - like device dates back to 3500 BC in the chewing sticks of Babylonia. The first tooth brush was invented in China in 1000 AD which had an ivory handle and bristles made from the horse’s mane. The problem of bad breath and halitosis was addressed long back by the Jews who propagated the use of “siwak” for cleaning teeth. The aforementioned historical facts clearly indicate that our ancestors were well aware of the Importance of a healthy oral cavity and every culture and civilization worldwide had devised their own measures to maintain it. They did not have the modern toothbrush nor the dental floss but their teeth were healthier and stronger than of the people nowadays.So the question ariseS, are we losing the war against oral disease? IF yes, who or what is to blame? What has changed so drastically over the years? I can safely rest the answers to all these questions on one single word, “DIET”. It is our diet that has seen a paradigm shift from raw vegetables and meat rich in protein to processed foods with alarmingly high levels of carbohydrates. My child patients’ parents routinely ask me, “Why does he/ she have so many cavities? Is it because of too many chocolates?” I tell them that chocolates is just a small fraction of the caries contributory factors. It’s the diet as a whole. Lets close our eyes for a minute and give it a thought - ”what do we primarily eat the whole day?" - bread, chapattis, dairy products, cookies, wafers besides a bowl of pulses, a bowl of fruits and a bowl of cooked vegetables or meat. How about the treats - cakes, pastries, burgers, pizzas (bread), chocolates, sweets. I am sure you will also admit that we are mostly gulping processed food rich in carbohydrates. Since this is what we eat this is what we give to our children. In today’s fast moving life, we excuse ourselves by saying that we do not have the time to make a choice. We just put into our mouth whatever we can lay our hands on. We do not even have the time to rinse our mouth after a meal.  Let me put it yet another way. We have made ourselves accomplished and competent enough to feed ourselves with the "the best” foods available (pun intended).Dear All, “our mouth is the gateway to our body and not a trashbin” and as a rule of mother nature“. As you sow, so shall you reap. Its time for a self- check! For healthy teeth and gums it is important that we keep a check of what we eat. Moreover, it is not only “what” but also “when” and “how often” we eat. Let me make it easy for all of us:Ø Inculcate the importance of good oral hygiene from the childhood. One should start cleaning a child’s mouth soon after birth, even in the absence of teeth. A moist muslin cloth can be wrapped on the index finger and the gums, inside of the cheeks and the tongue should be gently wiped everyday.Ø Once teeth erupt, a baby brush should be used to clean all surfaces of the teeth in non- scrubbing, vertical motion. Toothpaste should not be used till the age of 2 years after which a pea- sized amount of fluoridated toothpaste (500 ppm of fluoride) should be used. The tongue can be cleaned either with a tongue cleaner or the tooth brush, whichever is feasible.Ø Children and even we adults love chocolates’ and other carbohydrate - rich foods’ treats. Such treats should be allowed once in a while but should not compose the major chunk of a child’s diet. As responsible parents, it is only and only us who introduce these foods to our children and it is only and only us who can control their consumption. All such treats should be followed by a thorough rinsing of the mouth, preferably brushing.Ø One serious culprit to our deteriorating oral hygiene status is “in between the meal snacking”. The salivary flow is the maximum at meal times. This increased salivary flow helps simultaneously clean the oral cavity. Moreover, we generally end up consuming junk as snacks. Snacks in between the meals should largely include fruits, nuts, sliced raw vegetables like cucumbers, carrots etc. Snacks should be of a non- sticky nature.Ø Aerated drinks and colas have very successfully replaced water as an accompaniment with meals. These are very high in sugars. Sugars are food for the micro- organisms in the mouth and the acids these organisms release as a byproduct cause dental cavities. Regular consumption not only leads to cavities but also washes away the precious enamel over the teeth. “Never brush immediately after consuming a cola”.Ø Drink plenty of water which not only flushes toxins from the body but has remarkable oral health benefits.Ø Brush twice a day, night brushing is more important than morning brushing. Adults should use a pea sized amount of fluoridated tooth paste (1000 ppm of fluoride). The correct brushing technique is equally important.Ø Needless to say, consumption of tobacco in all its forms and alcohol is deleterious to the health of both the hard and soft tissues of the mouth. Ø You should also remember, never to consume something extremely hot immediately after something really cold and vice versa. This creates crack lines in teeth eventually leading to infections.Ø Chewing a sugar free gum is not only a good exercise of the muscles in and around the mouth but also has a cleansing action because of the increased salivary flow. In a nutshell, our choices of our foods should be made judiciously. We have put in so much of effort and invested so much of time to create this world for ourselves where everything has become so readily accessible and advanced. All this would become a waste if we would not exist to live through it and enjoy it. So health is primary and the body begins with the mouth.

6 Dietary Tips for Speedy Recovery From Tuberculosis

Dr. Yogesh Kumar, Ayurveda
Tuberculosis is an infection of Lungs,You may experience Cough and weight loss.The recovery process may be long depending on the severity of the condition.Tuberculosis lease the patient weak and malnourished.The core emphasis of the Tuberculosis Diet is to supplement the Medicines and clear the weakness in the body.1. High Protein DietEat Food rich in proteins. Some sources of good protein are Fish, Lean meat, Chicken, Eggs, Unpolished Lentils, Soybeans. High protein diet helps in repair of the damaged cells, promotes  growth and   protects the body from malnutrition.Eat more pulses,sprouts and beans.2. VitaminsEat food that is rich in vitamins like green leafy vegetables and seasonal fruits or you can take vitamin supplements also.Eat plenty of Fish liver oil, Liver, Milk, Egg yolk, Spinach, lettuce, Turnip, Almonds and other dry fruits as these are good sources of Vitamin A.Vitamin B complex:Yeast, whole grain, lentils, milk, green-leafy vegetables, eggs, nuts, sunflower seeds are some sources of vitamin B complex.Vitamin C:Citrus fruits, berries, vegetable, Tomatoes are rich sources of Vitamin C.3. IRONIron from natural food sources should be considered as the Iron supplements available in the market are not devoid of side effects, hence the natural iron is the best and healthiest option. Meat,Seafood,Oysters ,Fish,Mussels,Tofu and beans,Chick peas,Black eyed peas Vegetables,Spinach,Onions,Pumpkin,Beet root,Turnip And other green leafy vegetables.4. Milk-Take milk with protein powder two to three times a day.5.Carbohydrates-You can have normal quantities of carbs and fats.So take your roti,rice chapati,potato and vegetables.You can also have oil,ghee.Oil should be polyunsaturated or unsaturated.6.Others-Take plenty of water and fluids.for snacks you can have idli,vada,bread fruits like banana,apple.Take thin soups avoid deep fried foods like samosa,pakodas,chips.Avoid cold drinks,cold cream,chilled food from the refrigerator.Avoid heavy meal eat in small quantities.Take early Dinner.

10 Things About Emergency Contraceptives Women Must Know

Dr. Jyotsna Gupta, Gynecologist/Obstetrician
Emergency contraceptive pill is a pill used by a woman after having an unprotected intercourse to prevent her from getting pregnant. It is sometimes called "the morning after pill," "the day after pill," or "morning after contraception or postcoital pill. the term ”morning after pill” is misleading; ECPs may be initiated sooner than the morning after—immediately after unprotected intercourse—or later—for at least 72 hours after unprotected intercourse. ECPs are considered 96-98% effective in preventing pregnancy.The word “Emergency” is important to note. If you are sexually active or planning to be, don't use emergency contraception as your only protection against pregnancy.Many youths in India are using ECPs like I pill & Unwanted 72 without caring about their after effects on the health of the girl.Most youngsters have unprotected sex depending on these emergency contraceptive pills. However, i-pill or any other emergency pill is not a contraceptive pill you can depend on daily. With the fabulous marketing that these pills do, it has succeeded in making it one of India’s most favored ‘emergency contraceptive pills’. In a country like India where people only expect you to have sex after getting married, these advertisements are highly misleading.But before you think of it as a miracle pill, you should know about the dangerous side effects of these emergency contraceptive pills. Given below are 10 facts about the emergency pill that every sexually active woman must know about and ask their partner for a much safer option like condom.The emergency contraceptive pill is not an abortion pill. It stops pregnancy but cannot terminate it. Therefore it is ineffective if a woman is already pregnant.The pill is to be taken soon after unprotected sex. It should be taken preferably within 24 hours and before 72 hours or else the pill may turn useless. Emergency contraceptive pill is about 96-98% effective only if taken in time.It does not offer protection against HIV/AIDS or other sexually transmitted diseases.If you are on long-term medication for any ailment, consult a doctor before taking the emergency contraceptive pill.Nausea, breast tenderness, delayed menstruation, lower abdominal ache, headache, vomiting and irregular menstruation are some of the temporary side-effects of the emergency contraceptive pill. However, these effects subside within a day or two depending on the metabolism of the woman.The emergency contraceptive pill is to be used only as an emergency contraceptive method. It should not be used as a regular contraceptive method and is quite unhealthy if taken more than twice a month.According to researchers, emergency pill can reduce sexual interest; lead to skin allergies and also prepone periods in some women. Other women complain of severe headache which is a result of hormonal imbalance.A woman who has an allergy to Levonorgestrel (contraceptive pills) must consult a doctor before taking the contraceptive pill.The emergency pill is only safe for women between the ages of 25 and 45. It is not the best contraceptive method for teenagers. With the rate of teenage pregnancy growing in India, there is need to educate the youth about the harmful side effects of the i-pill on a developing reproductive system.The emergency contraceptives are hormonal pills and its long time usage can lead to severe menstrual problems or even ovarian damage.

Contraception - Common Myths and Misconceptions

Dr. Sujoy Dasgupta, Gynecologist/Obstetrician
Sex is a basic human right. But to have sex safely and without fear of unwanted pregnancy - should be the priority. Many women across the world die every day as a result of unwanted pregnancy, mostly due to unsafe abortion. So, couples can avoid pregnancy and enjoy sex life fully, only if they can follow safe and effective contraceptive advice. Let me clarify some popular myths and misconceptions abut contraception. 1. Contraception is useful for allWhile the ideal contraceptive is necessary but it does not exist. So, what may seem suitable for a couple may not be useful for another couple. We need to assess various points like a number of children they have, wish to have further children and plan to have children, general health of wife and husband (and any diseases they suffer from), the frequency of intercourse, the chance of infection, the age of the partners etc. 2. Regarding barrier methodsMost popular barrier method is a male condom. But the myths are that" condoms reduce sexual pleasure" and" condoms get easily damaged leading to failure.Condoms are especially useful for those who are at risk of infections, who do not have very frequent intercourse and who are not suitable for other methods. Condoms do not decrease sexual pleasure, some of the condoms have medicated products which can increase the duration of intercourse and also act as a lubricant to facilitate intimacy. But men should know how to use it properly. It should be worn on erect penis expelling all the air and projecting the tip beyond the tip of the penis. While withdrawing penis after intercourse, the condom should be held at the base of the penis. Actually, failure/ rupture of condoms occur because of mishandling of condom or not knowing the proper use of it. So, before use, please make sure that you know its correct use. Definitely, some men can feel latex allergy and they have to use a non-latex condom, which is widely available.There are barrier methods for females also- like female condom, diaphragm, and cervical cap etc. But they are not very easy to use and are not so popular.3. Oral Contraceptive Pills (OCP)Myths OCP causes an increase in weight.OCP cause cancers.Facts CP seldom causes gain in weight. The gain in weight is coincidental, that means you have some other reason of gaining weight- like not having exercise, ignoring diet control and some other diseases. OCP rather reduces risk of cancer- especially ovarian cancer (which is very difficult to diagnose and very lethal), cancer of colon, cancer of endometrium (inner lining of uterus). Of course, there is little risk of breast cancer, but the risk is not very high, it can be easily detected by examination by doctor. So, if you take ocp, get rid of all the fears. Just try to have self- breast examination every month. 4. Intrauterine Contraceptive Devices (IUCD)Most popular is copper T. Medicated iucds are also available, that contains hormonal drugs. Copper T does not increase risk of infection, a common misconception lies among woman.5. Emergency contraceptive pills (i pill etc)Often couple uses these pills regularly after intercourse. Remember these pills contain very high content of hormonal drugs, which can lead to serious side effects like hormonal imbalance, irregularities in periods (and thus can prevent you from getting pregnant in future, even when you want pregnancy), ectopic pregnancy (pregnancy outside tubes that are life-threatening) etc. So, use regular contraception if you want to prevent pregnancy. I pill is not meant to be taken for every time.  6. LigationLigation of male (vasectomy) and female (tubectomy) is done as permanent contraception for couples having more than 2 children. Ligation in male does not disturb sexual activity. It is easier than female ligation. Again, female ligation is also a very safe technique. So, please remove all misconceptions and myths about contraception. Have safe sex, enjoy life.