Some people believe that psoriasis is just a common cosmetic, skin problem. Many believe it is contagious, making it one of the most stigmatized of all skin conditions and cannot be managed. So, which is it?
Psoriasis occurs when one's immune system is overactive and attacks healthy skin tissue, causing inflammation and speeding up skin cell growth. As a result, the skin becomes itchy, painful and scaly, with inflamed red plaques (patches) or silvery scales. These can appear across the body, often on the scalp, knees, back or elbows. Still, many believe these patches cannot hurt them.
Shrichand G. Parasramani, Dermatologist, Anisha Clinic, Mumbai said, "Psoriasis is an autoimmune disease which can be controlled but has no cure. It can go into remission. Patients and their families have several misconceptions of the disease, such as it are infectious in nature and they have to live with it lifelong.
It affects the patient's quality of life to a large extent which increases his level of stress. Many patients are drawn towards alternative medicine such as Ayurveda or homoeopathy due to the failure of conventional therapy and at times high cost of treatment. This leads to irregularity in treatment, resulting in a flare-up of the disease or treatment failure.
However, patients must understand the importance of addressing the disease so as to avoid the progression of psoriasis and its underlying complications. They must be told that with newer treatment options patients can lead an almost near-normal life."
Here are 4 ways Psoriasis can worsen if not managed:
Inflammation: Psoriasis is a chronic autoimmune disease that causes inflammation. What's especially important to note is that even mild psoriasis can be a sign of significant inflammation in the body. This inflammation, in turn, can contribute to other associated health conditions.
Given that dermatologists are the key medical experts responsible for treating psoriasis, it is important to consult one to understand the condition and suitable and advanced treatment options such as biologics
Increased Risk of Health Complications: People living with psoriasis are at a higher risk of developing associated conditions or comorbidities. The most common of these is psoriatic arthritis which affects 30 per cent of psoriasis patients. It is a chronic and inflammatory disease of the joints, resulting in stiffness, pain, throbbing, swelling and tenderness in joints. If this is not treated, long-term joint damage can result.
People with psoriasis, particularly in more severe cases, are also more likely to have other inflammatory conditions, including heart attack, stroke, type-2 diabetes, and inflammatory bowel disease. Other related health issues can also include obesity, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, metabolic syndrome, hypertension, kidney or liver disease uveitis, and sleep apnea.
Treatment to Prevent Flare-Ups: If unmanaged, psoriasis can lead to plaques and scales that continue to build and spread. Over time, these can become quite painful, causing severe itching. Without adequate treatment to prevent flare-ups, these can increase in severity and frequency. This can even happen to patients who begin medication but suddenly discontinue adhering to their recommended prescription.
It's important to remember that psoriasis can be treated. By adopting advanced therapies, such as biologics, the disease, as well as flare-ups, can be effectively managed.
Mental Health & Quality of Life: Another long-term effect of psoriasis is its effects on an individual's mental health and across one's overall quality of life. Physical symptoms, especially in commonly visible areas like the face or hands can lead to distress and affect one's self-esteem. Psoriasis, which is highly stigmatized, can be isolating or even affect social relationships.
It is also associated with psychological conditions, including depression and anxiety. These place an individual in a vicious cycle increased plaques can lead to anxiety or depression, and such stressors act as common triggers for a psoriasis flare.
By striving to address one's psoriasis, while also attempting to manage stress such as through counselling or lifestyle changes or community support groups individuals may begin noticing improvements in their overall health and well-being.
What Steps You Should Take
First and foremost, consult a dermatologist. Typically, psoriasis can be diagnosed with a simple physical examination with the doctor taking a look at one's skin, scalp and nails.
Once diagnosed, adopting a holistic treatment plan depending on the severity of one's psoriasis is key. If previously taking medication for psoriasis with limited effects, this responsiveness to treatment may also be used to find an approach more suited to the individual, especially considering recent advancements in psoriasis treatment.
It is important to remember to treat psoriasis as a chronic condition with longer-term implications, as opposed to one with temporary treatment solutions. The main aim of psoriasis treatment is to reduce inflammation and plaques. Currently, there are newer, advanced and innovative treatments, including biologics to safely and effectively treat and manage psoriasis. These work by blocking reactions in the body that cause psoriasis and its symptoms.
Biologics are important treatment options, particularly for people with moderate-to-severe psoriasis. While they may believe their condition cannot be improved or are distressed about other treatments failing, biologics can have life-changing impacts, especially in controlling one's symptoms. (Shrichand G. Parasramani, Dermatologist, Anisha Clinic, Mumbai)
Read More► Common Menstrual Problems
It is very common during the winter and monsoon seasons for us to be more susceptible to various infections. According to Ayurveda, a year is divided into 2 kaalas i.e., Uttaryana and Dakshinayana. Each kaala consists of 3 seasons, and so 6 seasons per year with each season persisting for about 2 months.
Uttaryana Kaala (14 January to 14 July)
Shishir Ritu (Winter) Mid- January to Mid- March
Vasant Ritu (Spring) Mid- March to Mid-May
Grishma Ritu (Summer) Mid- May to Mid- July
Dakshinayana Kaala (14 July to 14 January)
Varsha Ritu (Monsoon) Mid- July to Mid- September
Sharad Ritu (Autumn/ Fall) Mid- September to Mid- November
Hemant Ritu (Late Autumn/Pre-Winter) Mid- November to Mid- January
Out of these 6 seasons, Shishir Ritu (winter) extending from Mid-January to Mid-March is a period that remains cold and windy.
Ritusandhi: 'Ritu' means season and 'Sandhi' means junction. It Is a junctional period consisting of the last 7 days of the previous season and the first 7 days of the next season. During this period, our body is prone to infections.
The common ailments which occur during the winter season are:
Common Cold: A common cold is an upper respiratory tract infection caused mainly by viruses. It mainly affects children, old aged people and other immune-compromised individuals. The symptoms include throat irritation, cough with or without phlegm, running nose, sneezing, watery eyes, headache and a low-grade fever.
Stomach Flu: Stomach flu can spread rapidly during the winter season and is caused by the Norovirus. In this condition, there is an ongoing inflammation of the mucosal lining of the stomach. It can be easily transmitted through food and drinks and through feco-oral contamination. The symptoms include nausea, vomiting, watery diarrhoea and stomach cramps. The person may also feel chills, headaches, fatigue and muscle aches.
Extreme Dry Skin: Dry skin also known as winter skin, is usually worsened during the winter season when the environmental humidity is very low. This is because of the cold and dry air which evaporates the water content of the skin very quickly, making it dry and tight. Skin can be prone to inflammations during this period.
Asthma: Asthma is a condition in which the airway becomes narrow and inflamed, leading to difficulty in breathing, cough and wheezing. For some Individuals, these symptoms may flare up during the winter season. The cold dry air can irritate the airways, producing more mucus and increasing the symptoms. Also, the cold environment can worsen airway constriction.
Flu: Flu is commonly mistaken for a common cold but both are different. It is a common viral infection that can be even life-threatening in highly vulnerable groups. It affects the lungs, throat and nose. Flu commonly affects younger and older populations and also people who have reduced immunity or other underlying chronic conditions. Symptoms include high fever, chills, sore throat, nausea, swollen lymph nodes and headache.
Wellness Tips for Winter Ailments
Practice Good Personal Hygiene: Practising good personal hygiene is one of the most important ways to protect yourself from getting infectious diseases such as stomach flu, common cold and flu. It also helps to prevent the spread of infection from yourself to the next person.
Yogic Kriyas: Practising yogic kriyas such as Jala neti will help to remove the excess mucous from the upper respiratory tract and help in the proper airflow without any obstruction. Thus it also helps in asthmatic conditions and alleviates congestion, allergies and cold. It should be practised under the guidance of a proper Yoga trainer. Care should be taken to blow the nostril properly after the practice to avoid headaches.
Basil: Basil has good antiseptic and antiviral properties and is recommended for viral infections like the common cold and flu. It also helps to liquefy the phlegm and is effective for cough and Asthma. It can be added as a topping to soups and sauces
Turmeric: Turmeric has a great antiviral property and acts effectively against the influenza virus. It is also rich in antioxidants and has an anti-inflammatory property.
Vitamin C Rich Foods: Taking Vitamin C rich food is essential for the repair of the tissues. It helps to improve the production of white blood cells and fights against infection. Vitamin C rich foods include Amla, strawberries, broccoli, Brussel sprouts, pepper, citrus fruits like lemon, orange.
Probiotics: Probiotics reduces the possibility of getting upper respiratory tract infections. They help to keep the immune system healthy. It includes buttermilk, fermented rice water, pickled vegetables, kefir etc.
Stay Hydrated: Having a sufficient amount of warm water will help to maintain the moisture content of the skin.
Hot Soups: Soups are a great diet to be added to our winter menu. This can be further enhanced by using various herbs and spices which are good for winters such as rosemary, oregano, ginger, garlic, pepper, cumin etc.
Exercise: Moderate exercise is extremely important to keep our metabolism high. We can get into cardio or yoga practices that help to elevate the body heat and to improve heart functions so that the circulation can be improved to different parts of the body. (Dr Manoj Kutteri, Wellness Director, Atmantan Wellness Centre)
Read More► Understanding The Need of Nail Hygiene After Covid
A team of Israeli researchers have identified five proteins in the SARS-CoV-2 virus that are responsible for severe vascular damage that could lead to heart attack or stroke.
While Covid-19 is largely known as respiratory disease, there has been a very high incidence of vascular disease and blood clotting, for example stroke and heart attack, among Covid patients.
Researchers from Tel Aviv University identified the five proteins from a total of 29 different proteins that make up the novel coronavirus. When the coronavirus enters the body, it begins to produce 29 proteins, the team said.
In the process of infection and the protein development, the "blood vessels turn from opaque tubes into kind of permeable nets or pieces of cloth, and in parallel there is an increase in blood clotting", said Dr Ben Maoz, Afrom the varsity's Department of Biomedical Engineering and Sagol School of Neuroscience.
The team thoroughly examined the effect of each of the 29 proteins expressed by the virus, and were successful in identifying the five specific proteins that cause the greatest damage to endothelial cells and hence to vascular stability and function.
"We tend to think of Covid as primarily a respiratory disease, but the truth is that coronavirus patients are up to three times more likely to have a stroke or heart attack. All the evidence shows that the virus severely damages the blood vessels or the endothelial cells that line the blood vessels. However, to this day the virus has been treated as one entity. We wanted to find out which proteins in the virus are responsible for this type of damage," Maoz said.
In the study, published in the journal eLife, the team used the RNA of each of the Covid-19 proteins and examined the reaction that occurred when the various RNA sequences were inserted into human blood vessel cells in the lab.
In addition, the team used a computational model which allowed them to assess and identify which coronavirus proteins have the greatest effect on other tissues, without having seen them 'in action' in the lab.
"Our research could help find targets for a drug that will be used to stop the virus's activity, or at least minimise damage to blood vessels," Maoz noted. (Agency)
Read More► Severe Covid Infection in Mothers Linked to Preterm Births
The festive season is around the corner and with sugar-laden sweets, snacks and luncheons, festive eating tends to tip towards an indulgence. The pandemic alongside the festive season gives us double the reason to take care of our health, especially if you are living with a chronic health condition like diabetes. People with diabetes need to find ways to manage their health smartly and effectively to mitigate risks that come with the disease such as kidney problems, heart diseases, nerve issues, foot problems, and so on. Controlling glucose levels, maintaining a healthy lifestyle and regular medical consultations are key to managing this disease effectively.
Dr Jothydev Kesavadev, Diabetologist and MD of Jothydev's Diabetes Research Centres said, "It is imperative for one to always make sure diabetes is being well-managed, but, during the festive season, it is important than usual. Uncontrolled diabetes can heighten the risk of developing severe diseases or complications. Regularly monitoring glucose levels helps you catch spikes or trends that suggest your diabetes may be getting out of control. This also helps you to take timely measures," he explains.
Here are a few tips for better diabetes management during the pandemic:
Scheduling is Key
Diabetic patients need to continue medications without interruption. Apart from continuous monitoring of glucose levels, do plan regular consultations with the doctor. It is also imperative that patients do not ignore high blood glucose levels, HbA1C >10%, or positive urine ketone status.
No Pain, No Gain!
Diet & exercise play a major role in preventing and managing diabetes. Attention to nutrition and adequate protein intake along with exercise helps control weight and lower blood pressure. It also lowers harmful LDL cholesterol and triglycerides, raises healthy HDL cholesterol, strengthens muscles and bones, reduces anxiety, and improves general well-being. Patients with diabetes are encouraged to take up 45 minutes of moderate activity every day.
Wearable Devices for The Win!
Technology advances have led wearable devices, to allow patients to keep a close tab on glucose levels. One such wearable is the Freestyle Libre that go a long way in helping people with diabetes (both type 1 and 2) manage the disease well. Continuous glucose monitoring, through these devices, offers the highest levels of accuracy and performance standards.
Say No to Stress
Stress can be a major barrier to effective glucose control. This has become worse during the pandemic, as health anxieties and long lockdowns have given rise to emotional responses like anxiety, frustration and disappointment. One can opt for healthier life choices such as exercise, yoga and meditation to avoid stress.
The pandemic is still with us. Patients with diabetes need to practice utmost caution to reduce the risk of catching an infection. Along with vaccinations, patients with diabetes need to ensure safe choices such as social distancing, wearing a mask, and frequent hand washing.
This festive season, even those with diabetes can enjoy life to the fullest, provided these simple measures are followed to keep the glucose levels under check. (Agency)
Read More► Your Body Needs A Good 8 Hours of Sleep Every Night
लंदन- यूरोपियन एसोसिएशन फॉर द स्टडी ऑफ डायबिटीज (ईएएसडी) की हालिया वार्षिक बैठक में टाइप 2 मधुमेह (टी2डी) से पीड़ित 100,000 से अधिक लोगों के एक अध्ययन के अनुसार, इंसुलिन प्रतिरोध स्ट्रोक से जुड़ा हुआ है। इंसुलिन प्रतिरोध तब होता है जब शरीर की कोशिकाएं इंसुलिन के लिए ठीक से कम नहीं करती हैं और आसानी से रक्त से ग्लूकोज नहीं ले पाती हैं। टी 2 डी की एक प्रमुख विशेषता और स्तर रोगी से रोगी में भिन्न होता है।
इंसुलिन प्रतिरोध जितना अधिक होगा, स्ट्रोक का खतरा उतना ही अधिक होगा। स्वीडन में करोलिंस्का इंस्टीट्यूट, गोथेनबर्ग विश्वविद्यालय और राष्ट्रीय मधुमेह रजिस्ट्री में एक संयुक्त टीम के नेतृत्व में किए गए अध्ययन से इसका खुलासा हुआ है।
टीम ने इंसुलिन प्रतिरोध के उपाय के रूप में अनुमानित ग्लूकोज (ईजीडीआर) का इस्तेमाल किया। ईजीडीआर को पहले इंसुलिन प्रतिरोध के लिए एक अच्छा प्रॉक्सी के रूप में दिखाया गया है।
स्वीडन में 104,697 टी2डी रोगियों के ईजीडीआर की गणना के लिए स्वास्थ्य रिकॉर्ड का उपयोग किया गया था। उनका औसतन 5.6 वर्षों तक पालन किया गया, जिसके दौरान 4,201 (4 प्रतिशत) को स्ट्रोक हुआ।
सबसे कम इंसुलिन प्रतिरोध (उच्चतम ईजीडीआर) वाले लोगों में उच्च इंसुलिन प्रतिरोध वाले लोगों की तुलना में स्ट्रोक होने की संभावना 40 प्रतिशत कम थी।
अध्ययन में यह भी पाया गया कि उच्च इंसुलिन प्रतिरोध स्ट्रोक के बाद मृत्यु के उच्च जोखिम से जुड़ा था। सबसे कम प्रतिरोध वाले लोगों की अनुवर्ती अवधि के दौरान सबसे गंभीर इंसुलिन प्रतिरोध वाले लोगों की तुलना में 28 प्रति कम मरने की संभावना थी।
करोलिंस्का इंस्टीट्यूट के अलेक्जेंडर जाबाला ने कहा, टाइप 2 मधुमेह वाले व्यक्तियों में, कम ईजीडीआर, इंसुलिन प्रतिरोध का एक सरल उपाय, स्ट्रोक और मृत्यु दर के बढ़ते जोखिम से जुड़ा है।
जाबाला ने कहा, ईजीडीआर का इस्तेमाल टी2डी रोगियों को स्ट्रोक और मौत के जोखिम को बेहतर ढंग से समझने और प्रबंधित करने में मदद के लिए किया जा सकता है।
यह भी पढ़े► कैंसर के कुल मामलों में 14 साल से कम उम्र के बच्चों में पाए गए 7.9
London- Insulin resistance is associated with stroke, according to a study of more than 100,000 people with Type 2 diabetes (T2D), presented at the recent annual meeting of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes (EASD).
Insulin resistance is when the body's cells don't respond properly to insulin and can't easily take up glucose from blood a key feature of T2D and levels vary from patient to patient.
The higher the insulin resistance, the greater the risk of stroke, revealed the study led by a joint team at the Karolinska Institute, Gothenburg University and the National Diabetes Registry in Sweden.
The team used the estimated glucose disposal rate (eGDR) as a measure of insulin resistance. eGDR has previously been shown to be a good proxy for insulin resistance and is calculated using a formula that factors in a patient's waist circumference, HbA1c (average blood sugar level) and whether they have high blood pressure.
Health records were used to calculate the eGDR of 104,697 T2D patients in Sweden. They were followed up for an average of 5.6 years, during which 4,201 (4 per cent) had a stroke.
Those with the lowest insulin resistance (the highest eGDR) were 40 per cent less likely to have a stroke than those with the highest insulin resistance.
The study also found that higher insulin resistance was linked to a higher risk of death after a stroke. Those with the lowest resistance were 28 per less likely to die during the follow-up period than those with the most severe insulin resistance.
Further analysis showed high blood pressure to be more strongly linked to stroke than waist circumference or HbA1c.
"We found that in individuals with type 2 diabetes, a low eGDR, a simple measure of insulin resistance, was associated with an increased risk of stroke and mortality," said Alexander Zabala from the Karolinska Institute.
"eGDR could be used to help T2D patients better understand and manage their risk of stroke and death," Zabala added. (agency)
Read More► Why asthma worsens at night