Many young and middle-aged people today are dying of sudden heart attacks. Studies show that cardiovascular diseases (CVD) strike Indians a decade earlier compared to their Western counterparts.
Why is this happening? How can we prevent it? Are we just focused on post-heart attack action? Or should we be focused more on prevention?
Luke Coutinho, Holistic Lifestyle Coach Integrative and Lifestyle Medicine shares an input that could prevent heart attacks at a young age:
Cholesterol is not the culprit, inflammation is: Many people believe that high levels of cholesterol and triglycerides are the sole culprits behind their heart attacks. The main reasons behind most heart attacks are inflammation and oxidative damage in the heart, blood vessels, endothelial lining, arteries, and more. While maintaining healthy cholesterol levels is important, we cannot blame heart attacks on cholesterol levels alone.
What then can you do to keep inflammation in check and your heart strong? Adopt simple lifestyle changes.
Switch From Ordinary Substandard Cooking Oils to Cold-Pressed Oils: Refined oils are highly inflammatory and a threat to your heart. Using refined oils just to save some money isn't a wise idea. Choose the right quality and quantity of oil to boost your heart health. It might cost you a few extra bucks, but remember, your health is not a cost but an investment.
Switch From A Sedentary Lifestyle to An Active One: Even if you don't engage in a full-fledged workout, just stay active. Walking and yoga are the most effective exercises. Choose fun workouts that you enjoy -- dancing, aerobics, Zumba, swimming, whatever it is, but keep that body moving. People who live a sedentary lifestyle are at high risk of heart attacks. Having said that, over-working out with little or no rest or recovery period is equally harmful. So, figure out the adequate level of activity your body needs and stick to it.
Don't Take Matters to Your Heart: Before renting out your heart space and mind space to a person, event or experience, ask yourself if it is worth it. While stress is inevitable, what sets a happy person apart from a stressed person is their capacity to diffuse and navigate stress and see things in a positive light. You can continue attending stress management classes and workshops, and while all of them can help you feel better for some time, the real change happens when you start changing your perspective towards life and how you relate to stress.
Learn to accept and let go. Build your self-worth, create a beautiful inner world, reflect inwards, and allow these teachings to slip into your daily living.
Fix Your Sleep Routine: There is nothing cool about pulling an all-nighter to work or socialize more. Your body only cares about survival. Remember, your sleep is your heart's free drug. The chronic deprivation of it can increase your risk of a heart attack. Your heart is a muscle that needs recovery. Lack of sleep increases your insulin resistance and makes you more prone to type-2 diabetes and a gamut of metabolic conditions. So, adopt a fixed sleeping schedule and sleep deep.
We cannot wait for more misfortunate incidents to realize the importance of lifestyle and start prioritizing it. We must wake up and work towards prevention. Many of us may go through heart disease later in life, no matter how well we exercise or eat clean. So, identify risk factors and work towards tackling them. Even if one of your risk factors is genetic predisposition and there is nothing you can do about it, you can still alter your lifestyle. Our intelligent human body was designed to fix and heal itself. The least we can do is invest in it and help it do its job effectively. Lifestyle can help you bridge this gap.
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Migraine is a debilitating neurological disease, ranking consistently among the top 10 leading causes of years lived with disability, worldwide. The main symptom of migraine is an enduring headache, along with symptoms such as severe pain on one side of the head or throbbing pain, sensitivity to light and sound, and nausea. Despite being a very common headache disorder that affects roughly 15 percent of the adult population worldwide, it remains inadequately understood and most neglected.
In Delhi, approximately 25 per cent of the population suffers from migraines, every year.
While migraine is an invisible condition, it can severely impact individuals across personal, professional and social domains, thus affecting the overall quality of life and productivity. Work-from-home, or the 'new normal,' has drastically impacted the lives of people suffering from migraines from an inability to concentrate at work to missed workdays. It has become even more urgent to ensure that individuals have the understanding and tools to effectively manage migraines.
There is a lack of understanding amongst people about the severity of migraines. In a study we recently conducted, about 50 to 60 per cent of migraineurs were undiagnosed, despite recurrent headaches. Because migraine falls on a spectrum, ranging from infrequent or mild attacks to recurrent ones, many pass it off as merely a headache'. With busy work-from-home schedules, paired with fear of contracting COVID-19 infection and difficulty in accessing in-person care, people are avoiding seeking medical help for the condition, instead attributing symptoms to associated comorbidities, such as stress or depression."
He continued, "Financial worries due to job loss or salary cuts also contribute to aggravated migraine attacks, which is more noticeable recently. The effects of migraine on one's quality of life also reportedly worsened, particularly for many migraineurs working as essential healthcare workers at this time.
Symptom neglect and failure to treat the condition can lead to migraines becoming chronic. A fundamental need is to recognize migraine as a serious condition with severe disability and adopt a holistic treatment approach. Early detection can be a key enabler of a smoother patient journey and an improved quality of life."
Here are 5 ways to manage your migraine while working from home:
Identify Risk Factors and Monitor Triggers
Migraines can begin at any age but tend to peak during one's prime productive years. Moreover, women are three times more likely to be affected than men, with prevalence peaking between the ages of 25 and 55 years.
Long hours of working from home, along with longer screen times, disrupted sleep schedules and irregular eating habits can increase stress levels. For migraineurs, such changes can become migraine triggers, exacerbating their condition. Identifying personal triggers can help individuals manage their migraines better.
Make The Right Choice for Diet and Lifestyle
Working from home can be hard, but a daily routine that optimizes your physical and mental health can help keep your migraine at bay. Eating healthy meals at appropriate times or consuming small, frequent meals throughout the day are associated with less frequent migraine headaches. Taking breaks from work at regular intervals can help you eat right and reduce eye strain owing to excessive screen use. Making modifications to your lifestyle, including smoking cessation and reduced alcohol consumption, and maintaining optimal sleeping habits and exercising regularly can be key to manage migraines. These also benefit migraine prevention and treatment.
Talk to An Expert
It is important to consult a medical specialist when you are experiencing severe headaches that disrupt your daily routine. A lot of migraineurs hesitate to seek medical help. This could be due to several reasons lack of understanding of migraine severity, lack of time due to hectic work-from-home schedules, or recently, due to a reduction in-person clinic consultations owing to the fear of Covid-19 infection. However, consulting a neurologist, even via teleconsultations, is a necessary step to diagnose your condition and understand the available options for acute and chronic management of migraine, including preventive treatment. With evidence-based information on effects across migraine intensity reduction, quality of life and ease of use, neurologists can guide you on the most suitable treatment option to prevent or reduce your migraine episodes.
Track Your Migraines
It is a good idea to maintain a diary (or download a migraine tracker app), to record the time and severity of your migraine attacks, symptoms, daily diet, exercise routines, and medications and side effects. This can help identify triggers and patterns. It can also prompt meaningful conversations with your doctor, contributing to a more holistic treatment plan, personalized to suit your work schedule.
Seek Support From Your Family, Friends or Colleagues
Living with migraines can make one feel helpless, distressed and misunderstood. But talking to your friends and family will help them understand your condition better. Having an open conversation about your migraine with your employer is a good idea, particularly to work out a schedule, with specific routine adjustments to mitigate triggers. This can help you be productive and healthy while working from home. Employers can also take the initiative -- arranging wellness programs for employees to raise awareness about migraines and how to effectively manage them at work and enhance productivity.
Migraine attacks can be challenging. Changes to your daily routine and active communication about your condition with your employer, after consulting a neurologist, can help you better manage migraines as you work from home.
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Scientists at the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER) here have sequenced the genome of giloy a plant with medicinal properties, which shot to fame during the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.
Giloy or guduchi is a climber with heart-shaped leaves, has major applications in pharmaceuticals and ayurvedic formulations to treat various health conditions and was used widely during the pandemic to boost immunity.Giloy (Tinospora cordifolia) is the first species ever sequenced from the Menispermaceae plant family, which comprises more than 400 species having therapeutic values, the institute said in a statement on Monday.
The availability of Giloy genome will also help in bridging the missing link between its genomic and medicinal properties. The new study will also provide leads for exploring the genomic basis of its medicinal properties, the team said.
The team performed a deep transcriptome sequencing of leaf tissue of the plant. The draft genome assembly had a size of 1.01 gigabase pairs and contained 19,474 coding gene sequences. The research is published in the preprint server bioRxiv.
"Giloy is considered as an important multipurpose medicinal plant in ayurvedic science. This plant came into the limelight due to its immunomodulatory and antiviral activity after the emergence of the Covid-19 pandemic. It has been used in various health conditions due to its immune-modulatory, antipyretic, anti-inflammatory, anti-diabetic, anti-microbial, anti-viral, anti-cancer properties, among others," said Shruti Mahajan, doctoral student at IISER Bhopal, in the statement.
Previous studies have shown that a compound from Giloy was reported to target the two proteases of SARS-CoV-2 virus namely Mpro and Spike proteases, and another compound was predicted to inhibit SARS-CoV-2 Mpro and also disrupts viral spike protein and host ACE-2 interaction. Treatment with giloy extract modulates the various pathways of the immune system for improved immunity.
These multiple medicinal properties are because of the presence of its secondary metabolites. Despite these medicinal properties, the unavailability of its genome sequence was a constraint in studying the genomic basis of the medicinal properties. Thus, the genome sequence of Giloy could be a breakthrough as the potential therapeutic agent for diseases like Covid in the future, the researchers said.
Moreover, the usage of giloy is also recommended under ayurveda practice by the Ministry of AYUSH and the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, in prophylactic care as well as therapeutic applications for all symptomatic or asymptomatic patients infected with Covid-19. It is also used in fever and diabetes.
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Nutrition is the cornerstone of good health and development. From September 1-7, National Nutrition Week is being observed to spread awareness about good nutrition diet and healthy lifestyle. The nutrition week is observed to make people understand the importance of a nutrition filled diet so they can maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Apricots are a great supply of vitamins and minerals that are required for a healthy body. Eating apricots as a part of a diet rich in fruits is a great way to prevent cancer, low cholesterol, and heart disease risk. Apricots also enhance vision and improve digestion. Besides, it also aids in weight loss and improves skin health. The dietary fibre in Apricot increases the metabolism which improves the human body's digestion and prevents constipation. Apricot is also a good source of iron making it one of the curing food for anaemia.
It is a shrub from China and areas of Europe. It contains many medicinal compounds and nutrients like vitamins, amino acids and fatty acids which are good for a healthy immune system. The leaves and the berries of sea buckthorn are all used for their medicinal and nutritional qualities. Sea buckthorn is also used as a cosmetic treatment like sunscreen or any other remedy for skin problems. In herbal medicine, sea buckthorn is used to stimulate the digestive system and enhance heart and liver health as well. It is helpful for other health issues like diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, inflammation, and arthritis. According to Aseem Sood, Managing Director, Proveda India, their new nutritional powerhouse 'Sante Sea buckthorn Juice' is useful for all parts of human health.
Giloy has been used in Indian medicine for a very long due to its medicinal properties. Giloy is a powerhouse of antioxidants that attacks free-radical and prevents diseases. It helps in cleansing the blood and ward off liver diseases and urinary tract infections. Consuming Giloy is very beneficial as it improves digestion and treats bowel-related issues like constipation. Giloy is for excellent health and regular consumption of Giloy juice helps to reduce the high level of blood sugar and respiratory problems. It is also beneficial in treating arthritis.
Amla also known as gooseberry is powerful than any other fruit and is considered as one of the superfoods. Vitamin C, one of the nutrients in Amla, is easily absorbed by the body to combat the common cold. Studies have proven that carotene in Amla improves vision and regular consumption leads to improved eye health. One of the most exciting advantages of Amla is that it burns fat. Consuming Amla before a meal makes one feel full and help them eat less. Amla also boosts metabolism that will help in faster weight loss. This superfood also prevents dandruff and strengthen the hair follicles making hair look beautiful.
Ginseng is a light coloured, fork-shaped root herb that boosts energy and controls blood sugar and cholesterol levels. It helps to promote physical and mental activity for those who feel weak and tired most of the time. Some initial studies on cancer patients receiving treatment have shown that ginseng help reduces cancer-related weakness. Due to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, Ginseng reduces inflammation. Ginseng also benefits brain functions like memory or mood swings.
Blueberries are incredibly healthy, nutritious and widely popular and often known as a superfood. Blueberries are low in calories. These berries are among the most nutrient-packed berries containing fibre, Vitamin C, Vitamin K and Manganese along with a small number of other nutrients. The king of antioxidant foods, blueberries protect your body from free radicals preventing early ageing and other diseases like cancer. People with high blood pressure issues can consume blueberries as a part of their daily diet. Alongside, it also prevents heart diseases and helps in maintaining brain functions and also improving memory.
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Kathmandu, Sep 7 (IANS) World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has called for countries to work together to ensure that another pandemic at the magnitude of the Covid-19 crisis should not occur again in the near future."The pandemic's impact differs from country to country," Ghebreyesus said at the inaugural ceremony of the 74th Session of the WHO Regional Committee for Southeast Asia here on Monday. "We must ensure that a pandemic of this magnitude does not occur in the near future."He urged the entire world to work together to make it a reality.Addressing the virtual session hosted by Nepal, top health executives emphasised the need for greater commitment to global healthcare delivery and a risk-averse health system, as well as the importance of providing vaccines, medicines, equipment and technology to the region.Poonam Khetrapal Singh, WHO regional director for Southeast Asia, spoke of the significance of increasing the health sector's capability.Nepali Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba stressed that for health care reaching out to individuals in distant areas should be a top concern for everyone.The five-day session is being attended by representatives from Bangladesh, Bhutan, South Korea, India, Indonesia, the Maldives, Nepal, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Timor-Leste. --IANSksk/
Buenos Aires, Sep 7 (IANS) Argentine Health Minister Carla Vizzotti has called on members of the Group of Twenty (G20) to strengthen international cooperation and solidarity amid the Covid-19 pandemic.Vizzotti made the appeal during a conference of G20 health ministers in Rome, Italy, Xinua news agency reported, citing the ministry's statement.She stressed the need to turn the Covid-19 crisis into an opportunity to strengthen preparedness and management in a coordinated and equitable response to future health emergencies, with a special emphasis on low-and middle-income countries."For a sustainable, inclusive and resilient recovery, all countries must implement measures in line with the principles of international solidarity, collaboration and equity, ensuring access for all people to vaccines against Covid-19," she said.The minister also highlighted "the importance of the G20 supporting the reform process underway within the World Health Organization, aimed at strengthening and streamlining the coordination of the global health response and improving the application of the International Health Regulations."--IANSint/shs