With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic last year and now its resurgence in the second wave we have been left unprepared in true sense to fight this biggest threat to human race in recent times. There are different aspects that need to be seen which in general can help us understand and plan better for future as this disease is here to stay and may not be gone so soon.
Issues with COVID Pandemic
COVID infection has posed a recent threat to mankind especially considering its intensity of spread and also severity and increased mortality in cases with comorbidities or older age. The best of the countries too have failed in providing adequate attention to ailing cases because of a simple reason of sudden rise in total number of cases in society surpassing limits that healthcare infrastructure can accommodate at any given time. Secondly, being totally new viral disease, assured and complete treatment and prevention will take time to develop by researchers. So to limit the spread and halt the rate of spread is the best way forward as of date.
COVID and Cancer
In the last one year, we have seen COVID infecting mostly older age group, but now even the young and children are getting infected in the second wave probably due to the new mutant variant. Although complications can arise in almost any case, mostly people with co-morbidities and immune-compromised state have been found to be infected earlier and also have more complicated clinical course with mortalities. Cancer being a known immuno-compromised state thus poses a risk factor. Moreover, issue with cancer is unawareness, late presentation and lack of timely treatment which has made cancer as one of the most dreaded diseases. With COVID scare in public - restrictions due to lockdown and prevention protocols, it has posed as a major roadblock in active management in needy cancer patients. This has left common public and also the care giver confused about the right approach in cancer care in this pandemic era.
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Effect of Covid on Cancer Management
Cancer is a disease that is known of stage progression if left untreated. Also, cure from cancer treatment largely depends on the stage that the patient presents. Thus cancer is a disease where we cannot hold treatment fearing a possible infection which may or may not affect the individual depending on exposure risk and on the contrary may also not be symptomatic or life threating even if infected, in all cases. At the same time in an already infected case, individual's capacity to fight infection in immune-compromised state created with cancer therapy and the risk of cancer progression outcome on survival if treatment delayed , is something that has to be weighed with caution.
Effect on Infrastructure and Care Givers
Apart from effect of COVID on individuals, the effect on infrastructure and care givers also decides the management in cancer cases. With sudden rise of Covid cases, as per government policies a big share of infrastructure (beds, ICUs, oxygen, medications, staff) is being diverted to COVID emergencies, which is logical too. However, this poses a serious threat to our capabilities of providing adequate care to non Covid oncological emergencies and timely intervention in needy patients. Although the priority between a COVID or an oncological malignancy is something that cannot be decided so easily, at least treatment related known morbidities and emergencies in cancer cases ï¿½is something that really needs to be looked into.
Lessons Learnt and Precautions for Future
To summarise, it should be known that COVID is here to stay. State, care givers and individuals in public have their own important role to play. First and the foremost role is of an individual to take all steps to avoid spread of Covid infection by social distancing, face masks and frequent hand-washing. Specific to cancer patients do understand that cancer growth will not stop so we cannot neglect this disease, be it a pandemic or no pandemic. Timely detection of symptoms, consultation by specialists be it physical with all Covid precautions or better by a virtual mode can atleast help detect urgency, stage and then prioritize treatment to see if it can be delayed or needs urgent start. Once diagnosed, care givers take all due precaution to decide appropriate treatments where routine management can be slightly modified with non invasive and less toxic therapies given priority.
Truncated iso-effective therapies needing lesser visits and monitoring if possible are preferred. More emphasis of preparing the patient for treatment with adequate nutrition, timely immunization prevention and preventive treatments to spare cases landing into severe treatment related complications and admission are advocated. Understanding limited resources especially as seen in this second wave, it will be prudent to choose alternatives where chances of medical emergencies and need of special care like oxygen and ICUs are reduced as far as possible.
Lastly there is a huge demand and need for the authorities from state health departments to understand the ardent need of expansion of our health care system, timely pre-planning of improving infrastructure and establish disaster management protocols where we are well prepared to fight such unpredicted emergencies and we have ample preparedness to support our ailing population in the time of need and none of them suffer due to lack of healthcare facilities at least. It's a ongoing battle, which we sure are going to win with patience, understanding, cooperation and collaboration.
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It is a universal fact that a wholesome diet is mandatory for a healthy body. Lack of nutrition can lead to various diseases. The whole dietary pattern can be defined as the quantity, frequency, variety and combination of different foods and drinks that need to be consumed. Deficiency of any nutrients may cause physical, mental, and behavioural effects, says an expert.
Aseem Sood, Managing Director, Proveda India, shares insights on the dietary pattern and its behavioural impact.
If you find your child being tired and often irritated, then it is important to know the cause of it. These kids are also disruptive, have a short attention span and lack interest in their surroundings. Such behavioural changes are cause due to a lack of iron in the body. Iron deficiency can cause Anaemia. It is a condition in which you don't have enough healthy red blood cells to carry adequate oxygen to your body's tissues. Iron deficiency is commonly seen in preschool children and if they are not given iron-rich foods then they are easily prone to this deficiency.
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Vitamin A Deficiency
We often hear parents complaining about their kids being very aggressive and have rule-breaking behaviour. These kids show anxiety disorders in adolescence. Forgetfulness and low energy level show the deficiency of Vitamin A which is a very crucial group of nutrients. It is also required for a healthy reproductive system in men and women. Green and orange vegetables are a great source of Vitamin A nutrients. For newborn babies, breast milk is considered the best source of vitamin A.
In many cases, we have seen that children with mental disabilities, impaired intellectual development or impaired growth are victims of low iodine. Almost a third of the world's population is shaken by Iodine deficiency. Thyroid hormones are a part of various physical growth like brain development, strong bones and regulating the metabolic rate in the body. The most widespread symptom of iodine deficiency is an enlarged thyroid gland. This may also cause an increase in heart rate, breathing problem, and weight gain.
If a person, irrespective of age groups, experiences weakness throughout, lack of energy and an overall feeling of sluggishness. Fatigue due to calcium deficiency can also lead to light headedness and dizziness which is also characterized by a lack of focus, forgetfulness, and confusion. Moreover, calcium works as a communicating particle. Without this, your heart, muscles, and nerves would not be able to function. Dairy products and dark green vegetables are a good source of calcium.
A deficit of Magnesium can be seen through some symptoms like hyperactivity where the kid is fidgeting with hand or feet or is squirms in the seat. They become impulsive and don't have control over their anger or movements. Their lack of attention, careless mistakes, loss of interest in a certain task where mental effort is required are all signs of low magnesium. The deficiency of magnesium can also lead to several conditions like type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome and heart disease. In a long-term symptom, one may not notice insulin resistance and high blood pressure.
Improving diet intake is not easily achieved. Healthy eating patterns are all about regular consumption of a variety of foods from key food groups which includes cereal and cereal products, fruits and vegetables, meat and dairy products. Every so often, consuming foods contributing an equal quantity of nutrients to our health quotient is not possible and hence Immunity boosters are supplemented in our meal to fill in the required minerals. Considering the present scenario, Proveda India launched a segment of immunity boosters and drinks that are a unique combination of science and nature.
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New Delhi, June 14 (IANS) The Union Ministry of Science & Technology said on Monday that a study conducted by Indian scientists have recently found that cancer-causing Epstein-Barr Virus (EBV) affects the glial cells or the non-neural cells in the central nervous system (CNS) and alters molecules like phospho-inositols (PIP) when the virus infects the brain cells.
The findings could pave the way towards understanding the probable role of the virus in neurodegenerative pathologies, especially given the fact that the virus has been detected in the brain tissue of the patients suffering from neurological disorders such as Alzheimer's, Parkinson's disease and multiple Sclerosis.
The EBV can cause cancers like nasopharyngeal carcinoma (a type of head and neck cancer), B-cell (a type of white blood cells) cancer, stomach cancer, Burkett's lymphoma, Hodgkin's lymphoma, post-transplant lymphoid disorders, and so on.
However, the infection is mostly asymptomatic, and very little is known about the factors which trigger the development of such a disease. It was the detection of the virus in patients with neurodegenerative diseases that triggered the search for the mechanism of propagation of the virus.
Scientists' teams from the Departments of Physics nd Biosciences and Biomedical Engineering at IIT Indore along with their collaborator, Fouzia Siraj, at the National Institute of Pathology (ICMR), New Delhi, used the Raman Spectroscopy System supported by the Fund for Improvement of S&T Infrastructure (FIST), a scheme of the Department of Science and Technology, to trace the propagation mechanism of the virus.
The study, based on spatial and temporal changes in the Raman signal, was helpful in advancing the application of Raman Scattering as a technique for rapid and non-invasive detection of virus infection in clinical settings.
New Delhi, June 14 (IANS) The Union Ministry of Science & Technology said on Monday that a study conducted by Indian scientists have recently found that cancer-causing Epstein-Barr Virus (EBV) affects the glial cells or the non-neural cells in the central nervous system (CNS) and alters molecules like phospho-inositols (PIP) when the virus infects the brain cells.The findings could pave the way towards understanding the probable role of the virus in neurodegenerative pathologies, especially given the fact that the virus has been detected in the brain tissue of the patients suffering from neurological disorders such as Alzheimer's, Parkinson's disease and multiple Sclerosis.The EBV can cause cancers like nasopharyngeal carcinoma (a type of head and neck cancer), B-cell (a type of white blood cells) cancer, stomach cancer, Burkett's lymphoma, Hodgkin's lymphoma, post-transplant lymphoid disorders, and so on. However, the infection is mostly asymptomatic, and very little is known about the factors which trigger the development of such a disease. It was the detection of the virus in patients with neurodegenerative diseases that triggered the search for the mechanism of propagation of the virus.Scientists' teams from the Departments of Physics nd Biosciences and Biomedical Engineering at IIT Indore along with their collaborator, Fouzia Siraj, at the National Institute of Pathology (ICMR), New Delhi, used the Raman Spectroscopy System supported by the Fund for Improvement of S&T Infrastructure (FIST), a scheme of the Department of Science and Technology, to trace the propagation mechanism of the virus.The study, based on spatial and temporal changes in the Raman signal, was helpful in advancing the application of Raman Scattering as a technique for rapid and non-invasive detection of virus infection in clinical settings.--IANSmiz/arm
Lucknow, June 13 (IANS) With the monsoon season now round the corner, the Yogi Adityanath government in Uttar Pradesh has directed that special fever clinics should be set up across all community and primary health centres to check the spread of diseases.According to a government spokesman, the Chief Mnister has asked officials to make special efforts to improve surveillance and check the spread of encephalitis and malaria. Officials have been asked to undertake additional precautions in the Terai belt.Adityanath has also said that ASHA and Anganwadi workers, ANMs, and village heads should be entrusted the responsibility of apprising people about various water-borne and mosquito-borne diseases.He said that sanitation and hygiene must be maintained at all levels to check the spread of such diseases.--IANSamita/ksk/
Lifestyle disorders are a major cause of death in almost every country now. The occurrence of these problems is not a one-day process; people suffer due to long-time ignorance of their health care. Some of the lifestyle disorders are obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, cancers, strokes, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), arthritis, and mental health issues.
Himanshu Rai, Chief Dietician and Nutritionist at Think You shares some of the leading causes of lifestyle disorders:
If your eating habits are linked to skipping meals, overeating, oily-fried-sugary meals, then you could be in the trap of lifestyle disorders. As per the WHO, "A healthy diet helps to protect against poor nutrition in all its forms and lifestyle-related health issues such as diabetes, heart diseases, strokes, cancers and brain disorders also." Eating healthy meals, not skipping meals and food that contains ingredients from all the major food groups (cereals, legumes and pulses, milk and meat, fruits and vegetables, fat and sugar) would be helpful to protect you from lifestyle disorders.
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Lack Of Physical Activity
Lack of physical activity may lead to obesity or being overweight and it may lead to several other disorders such as cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, cancers and various others. The WHO suggests regular physical activity is very helpful for the prevention of diseases and improves the overall quality of life. As per WHO, adults should do 150 - 300 minutes of moderate-to-intense physical activity every week to provide significant benefits to overall health.
Lack Of Sleep
According to CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), poor sleep has been linked to diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, depression and obesity. In the case of diabetes, it has been linked to poor control of blood sugar levels. Whereas, in cardiovascular diseases, persons with poor sleeping are found to be at increased risk of high blood pressure, stroke, coronary heart diseases and irregular heartbeats. In obesity, short sleep duration results in metabolic changes, which are linked to obesity. Sleep disturbances for a long time have been one of the important symptoms of depression also.
As per Mayo Clinic, long-term stress puts the body on over-exposure to cortisol hormone and other stress hormones, which affects your body's normal health process. Overexposure to stress results in heart diseases, weight gain, depression, anxiety, digestive problems, sleep issues, headaches and memory issues. Stress management is very important to keep away from the different health issues.
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Smoking affects almost all the organs in a bad manner. Direct smoking may lead to different serious health concerns such as cancer, heart diseases, diabetes, stroke, lung disease, COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease), etc. Whereas second-hand smoke causes stroke, coronary heart diseases, lung cancer, etc in adults. In children, second-hand smoke causes sudden infant death syndrome, acute respiratory infections, middle ear disease, more severe asthma, respiratory symptoms, and slowed lung growth.
Excess Alcohol Consumption
Excess alcohol drinking in the long term may lead to chronic diseases such as heart diseases, stroke, liver diseases, cancer, mental issues, digestive issues and several others. Whereas in short term, it causes accidents, violence, alcohol poisoning, risky sexual behaviours, miscarriage and stillbirth in pregnant women.
Mahatma Gandhi once wrote, "Instead of using the body as a temple of God we use it as a vehicle for indulgences, and are not ashamed to run to medical men for help in our effort to increase them and abuse the earthly tabernacle."
This statement is well connected to today's lifestyle disorders also; it means we are neglecting the power of prevention, doing excess and inviting lifestyle disorders.
Lifestyle disorders can be easily prevented with the help of eating nutritious meals on time, proper physical activity, proper sleep, stress management and avoiding alcohol and smoke.
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