The rise in air pollution, coupled with lousy lifestyle habits, is causing a spike in respiratory diseases. According to a Lancet report, the contribution of chronic respiratory diseases in India increased from 4.5 per cent in 1990 to 6.4 per cent in 2016. With respiratory issues on the rise, there is an increased demand for natural solutions to treat such issues. Instead of conventional medicine, people are turning to alternative medical therapies to find cures for ailments.
Common Lung Disorders
Bronchitis is a health condition that causes inflammation in the airways of the lungs. This leads to narrowing of the air pathways and excess mucus causes wheezing, coughing and difficulty breathing. It is a chronic condition that interferes seriously with daily life.
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
It is a chronic inflammatory lung disease that obstructs the airflow to the lungs. Symptoms of COPD include breathing difficulty, mucus (sputum) production, coughing, and wheezing. It can result from long-term exposure to irritating gases or particulate matter, most often from cigarette smoke. Those affected by COPD are at an increased risk of developing lung cancer, heart disease, and a variety of other conditions.
This is another variation of COPD. Bronchitis causes a similar build-up of mucus that can cause inflammation and coughing. The lungs' airways are constantly inflamed as chronic bronchitis often lasts for months on end. Symptoms of chronic bronchitis include incessant coughing, whistling sounds while breathing, wheezing and a tightening of the chest.
It is said that the cure for all ailments is available the natural way. Here are some of the alternative medicine approaches to treat respiratory disorders.
Alternative Medicinal Approaches to Treat Respiratory Disorders
Asthma is one of the most common lung diseases. One of the primary causes of asthma is allergies, which often result from the food consumed. It is crucial, therefore, to first prepare a diet that is suitable for an individual. Often, dairy products, meats, and certain nuts can increase the production of mucus.
Foods like these must be avoided. Also, antioxidants can prevent damage resulting from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Diet is important in this regard, as fruits and vegetables high in Vitamins A, C, and E can improve the condition of COPD patients.
Yoga and Exercise
Treatment of lung disorders often involves the use of the lungs to promote healthy breathing habits. Exercises like cycling, swimming, yoga etc. that create a need for full capacity breathing are of great importance. Exercising the diaphragm is important and simple activities can go a long way in the treatment of the same.
Pranayama, the practise of controlled breathing, is an integral part of alternative treatment for people suffering from respiratory issues. This extensive breathing practice helps to expand the lungs and improve the capacity of the lungs, which helps an individual breathe more freely.
Nasal irrigation systems like JalNeti using a Neti pot can help to rinse the sinuses, which may provide some relief from symptoms of respiratory allergies.
The traditional Chinese practice of acupuncture involves inserting thin needles into the skin to stimulate certain parts of the body. According to a study published in the journal Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, people with allergic rhinitis who were given acupuncture treatments twice a week for eight weeks had fewer symptoms than those administered placebo.
It is important to remember that no one complementary or alternative therapy works well for everyone with respiratory issues. Therefore, a proper assessment is done before deciding on the approach to the treatment plan. For those considering alternative medicine for their respiratory problems, it is recommended to speak to an expert first and discuss the approach that may work best. (Vinoda Kumary, Deputy Chief Medical Officer, Jindal Naturecure Institute)
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Winter has arrived, bringing with it dry, flaky skin and hair. Frizzy, lifeless, and damaged hair, as well as dry skin, cannot be blamed only on the winters. Our skin and hair are influenced by many different things, like the ultraviolet radiation from the sun or pollution, particularly pollution from cities.
One of the worst enemies of skin and hair is pollution. Established industries, car emissions, and cigarette smoking all contribute to rising pollution levels. The most harmful pollutants are particulate matter (PM), which includes PAHs (polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons) and poisonous gases like SO2, NO2, NO, CO2 and CO2.
"The exposure to smoke, dust, toxic gas, particulate matter, nickel, lead and arsenic can lead to a condition called 'Sensitive Scalp Syndrome', which happens when this particulate matter settles on the scalp and in the hair shafts.""Pollution exposure can cause chemical damage to the hair. It leads to degrading hair protein, affects the hydrophilic hair surface niche and damages the hair cuticles."
"According to a recent research, Intense exposure to the pollutants also affects the skin, reduces the stratum corneum (outer skin layer) quality, increases the dark spots, intensity wrinkles, fine lines and affects the normal composition of natural sebum production."
"Pollution exposure, particularly PM, VOCs (volatile organic compounds) and PAHs are also known to inflame the skin, increases the oxidative stress in the skin and working synergistically with harmful sun rays, these pollutants can be one of the main reasons of skin cancer."
All these facts are enough to understand how dangerous and detrimental pollution is for our skin and hair. We need to take some proper precautions to protect our hair and skin from this natural enemy. Here's a list of some of the best pollution skincare and hair care suggestions for you today:
Skin Care Tips
Applying Broad-Spectrum Sunscreen Every Day is Important
A broad-spectrum sunscreen with the power of antioxidants is the right option for your skin to protect it from the effects of pollutants. A broad-spectrum sunscreen gives your skin a shield against UVA, UVB, and IR rays. However, the richness of antioxidants in a sunscreen provides full protection from pollution. This is why you don't apply sunscreen even a single day throughout the year.
Must Cleanse The Face After Returning The Home
We rinse our face in the morning for freshness, but in the evening cleansing, the face not only provides you with freshness but also a big relief from dust, grime, and pollutants. Select charcoal-based or active ingredients like vitamin C or retinol-based serums to deeply cleanse your skin from the particles of pollutants. Never skip this step, no matter how tired you are. For healthy skin, this step is a must.
Give Your Skin The Night Skin Repair Therapy
The other thing you need to include in your night skin care routine is a good repair face serum or cream. Retinol, vitamin C or ferulic acid-based face serums are best to repair polluted skin. These ingredients are rich in antioxidants, which help to neutralise free radicals, reduce oxidative stress and reduce pollutant-induced skin damage.
Go For A Home-Based Detox Face Pack Every Week
There is an ultimate DIY detox face pack that you will love to apply to your face, especially if you are a chocolate or coffee lover. You'll need cocoa powder and ground coffee beans for this pack.
These two ingredients contain the best antioxidants to cleanse the face. Take both ingredients in an equal quantity and add coconut oil or milk to make a fine paste. Add honey if you want to, and apply it to your face. Let it dry and rinse your face with normal water. Apply a moisturiser afterwards.
Hair Care Tips
Cover your hair with cloth or hat when outside
Whenever outside, make sure to cover your hair with a cloth or a hat, as it will hinder the direct contact of pollutants with your hair. In the winter, this may be the best option.
Don't Forget to Apply A Good Hair Serum
If you are unable to cover your hair, you must apply a hair protecting serum before going out. It forms a thin covering layer over your hair and protects it from toxic gases and other urban pollutants. The hair serum not only gives shine to the hair but also works as a protector of the hair and keeps it intact from pollution and heat.
Rinse The Hair Every Two to Three Days
Make sure to rinse your hair every 2 to 3 days, especially if you live in an area with high pollution levels. It will clear up all the dirt and pollutants from your scalp, and you can flaunt healthy, wavy, luscious hair.
Give Your Hair A Keratin Spa or Keratin Mask
Pollutants can also impact hair protein levels. To restore it, you should go to a keratin spa at home using a good hair mask. For this, you need 1 tablespoon of almond oil, 1 tablespoon of honey, and 1 egg yolk. Mix the ingredients and apply the paste on the overall scalp and hair. Keep it for about an hour and shampoo the hair.
These tips can protect you from pollution and revive your skin and hair to maintain their natural essence. Along with these, you must add antioxidant-rich foods like citrus fruits, broccoli, spinach, onions, garlic, and turmeric to revive skin and hair from the inside. (Mr. Rajesh Grover, Co-Founder, Derma Essentia)
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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)
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London, Sep 7 (IANS) Covid-19 infection does not appear to affect the lung function of young adults, according to new research presented at the European Respiratory Society International Congress on Tuesday.The study, by researchers at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden, found that even patients with asthma did not show a statistically significant deterioration in lung function.However, there was a trend towards slightly lower measurements for the amount of air they could exhale forcibly in one second, known as forced expiratory air volume in one second (FEV1), which is one of the measures of lung function."Our analysis showed similar lung function irrespective of Covid-19 history," said Ida Mogensen, a post-doctoral student at Karolinska."When we included 123 participants with asthma in the analysis, the 24 per cent who had had Covid-19 tended towards having a slightly lower lung function, but this was not statistically significant," she added.The team gathered information from 661 young people with an average age 22 years, between October 2020 and May 2021.Collected data included measurements of lung function, inflammation and white blood cells called eosinophils, which are part of the immune system.Of the 661 participants, 178 (27 per cent) had antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 indicating they had been infected.The researchers measured FEV1, FVC (forced vital capacity, which represents the volume of air in the lungs that can be exhaled after a taking the deepest breath possible), and FEV1/FVC ratio, which is an indicator of narrowed airways.They calculated the changes in lung function between the period before the pandemic and during the pandemic. Then they compared the percentage change with participants who had not been infected.There was no difference in lung function among patients who had had Covid-19 with respect to eosinophils, indicators of inflammation, allergy responses or use of inhaled corticosteroids."These results are reassuring for young adults. However, we will continue to analyse data from more people. In particular, we want to look more closely at people with asthma as the group in this study was fairly small. We are also curious as to whether the length of time after the infection is important, as well as the severity of disease and symptoms," Mogensen said.In a separate study, presented at the congress on Sunday, researchers showed that the lung function in children and adolescents was mildly impaired only in those who experienced a severe Covid-19 infection.--IANSrvt/ksk/
Lucknow, Sep 7 (IANS) Waiting for a lung transplant, the Lucknow doctor who was airlifted to Hyderabad in July, has lost the battle for life.Dr Sharda Suman, the 31-year-old resident doctor at Ram Manohar Lohia Institute of Medical Sciences (RMLIMS), lost the battle for life on Sunday night while waiting for a lung transplant at KIMS Hospital in Hyderabad.Her lungs were severely affected after she tested Covid positive in April this year. She was on Covid duty when she contracted the virus.Dr Suman gave birth through an emergency caesarean surgery while on ventilator support.She is survived by her husband and a five-month-old baby girl.Prof P.K. Das, head, anaesthesia department, RMLIMS, said, "We have been informed by the doctors at KIMS Hospital that Dr Sharda Suman passed away on September 5 night."Dr Sharda was airlifted to KIMS hospital on July 11 and had been waiting for a lung transplant since then.Though all the tests required for the transplant were done successfully, the lifesaving surgery could not be performed as she developed a complication, Tracheoesophageal fistula (TEF), in her trachea and food pipe.Her husband, Dr Ajay Kumar, had said, "This poses the threat of any liquid or food taken through the mouth going directly to the lungs. Stomach reflexes can also enter the lungs. Under such a condition, a lung transplant cannot be done. Though the condition had started developing when she was under treatment in RMLIMS, it aggravated with time after arrival in Hyderabad."Dr Kumar and senior RMLIMS officials had met Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath to seek financial help for Dr Suman's treatment and the Chief Minister had sanctioned Rs 1.5 crore for the transplant.--IANSamita/dpb
London, Sep 6 (IANS) People who have modestly but measurably worse lung function are more likely to suffer sudden cardiac death (SCD), according to research presented at the European Respiratory Society International Congress.SCD is an unexpected death that results from a sudden malfunction in the heart and in many people who suffer SCD, there are no previous warning signs. Researchers hope their findings could help spot people at risk of SCD and prevent deaths in the future.The team at Lund University in Sweden studied a group of 28,584 middle-aged people with no known heart problems who were living in Malmo, Sweden and followed them for 40 years.They found that measurably lower lung function in middle-aged people was more strongly related to suffering a SCD (a 23 per cent increase in risk) than a non-fatal coronary event (an 8 per cent increase in risk) later on in life."Although sudden cardiac deaths are common, we don't know enough about who is at risk in the general population. There are links between lung and heart health, so we wanted to investigate whether measurable differences in lung function could offer clues about the risk of sudden cardiac death," said Dr Suneela Zaigham, researcher at the Department of Clinical Sciences at Lund University, Sweden."Our findings suggest that testing people's lungs when they are middle-aged and healthy could help spot those who have a higher risk of sudden cardiac death. This could enable people to take steps to potentially reduce the risk of this devastating event," Zaigham added.Smoking is also known to affect both lung and heart health, however the pattern of risk remained even in people who had never smoked, Zaigham said."This study suggests a link between lung health and sudden cardiac death. It shows a higher risk of fatal than non-fatal coronary events even in people whose lung function is moderately lower but may still be within a normal range," said Marc Humbert, who was not involved in the research, from the Universite Paris-Saclay, France."This is something we can measure fairly easily, meaning that lung function could be used as part of a screening tool," he suggested.--IANSrvt/dpb