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Asthma is a chronic problem that occurs in the tubes that carry air into the lungs. Asthma can make it extremely difficult to breathe; the airways get so narrow that air can’t pass freely. The result is a serious wheezing problem and breathlessness which is known as the asthma attack.

Today there is no proper cure for Asthma but most people control the symptoms through medications and lifestyle changes.

What causes asthma?

Some triggers like dust, chemicals and food can make the condition in the airways worse, where the swelling in the airway gets worse and blocks the space inside. This makes the airways smaller. The body also makes lot of mucus that clogs the airways. This is when it becomes hard for air to get in and out of the lungs and you start wheezing.

Symptoms of asthma

One of the main symptoms is wheezing where you get short of breath, start gasping and feel tightness in the throat. You hear a whistling sound in the chest which is called wheezing. Sometimes the condition will be accompanied by severe coughing.

Severe asthma is life threatening and if you don’t use medicines properly then it can be really tough to control an asthma attack.

Who are at risk?

You are more risk of catching asthma if your immune system is underdeveloped those with history of allergy. This is the case in developed countries where too much hygiene and use of more household cleaning sprays. Asthma usually develops during childhood. Few might continue to have in adulthood.  It affects those with parents who have asthma or a close family member with asthma.

More boys have asthma than girls but as they grow up more women get asthma than men.

Work related Asthma

Certain type of job or occupation raises the chance of getting asthma as an adult. This is true of those working in factories and other places where there is a lot of chemicals and dust that is created around them. Prolonged working in these conditions causes asthma.


People who smoke whether men or women, teens or adults they are likely to get asthma. Second-hand smoke also can lead to breathing problems and asthma. Especially children who are around people who smoke have more chance of contacting asthma.

Body Weight

Being overweight is another reason for getting asthma. A study found that more adults with overweight bodies were affected with asthma than those who were of normal weight.


A lung test is called spirometry and it actually measures how much air you breathe in and out. The spirometry results will enable a doctor decide whether you have asthma and how severe it has become. Certain allergy tests are also recommended by the doctor to pinpoint the triggers that cause asthma.

How to avoid asthma?

I Work out an action plan with your doctor

I Find out your asthma trigger and safeguard from it

I Take allergy shots

I Use prescribed rescue inhaler for sudden asthma attacks

| To continue meter dose inhale when symptomatic.

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We all are aware of cardiac arrest, which simply means the heart suddenly stops to beat. When this happens it cuts off blood supply to the brain and other vital organs. It is deadly and a serious emergency. You should take medical help immediately to save life.

Symptoms of Cardiac Arrest

Even before a cardiac arrest is due a person will feel very tired, dizzy, weak, short of breath and sick to the stomach. Cardiac arrest can also happen without any warning signs. When it happens the person may suddenly collapse, lose consciousness, have no pulse and stop breathing.

How it happens

The human heart has an electrical system that keeps it beating in rhythm and regularly. When the electrical signals get disturbed it causes irregular heartbeat or arrhythmia and then cardiac arrest. Most arrhythmia are not dangerous but some leads to cardiac arrest. With a cardiac arrest the blood supply to the various parts of the body stops and this causes a life-threatening situation.

What are the causes?

There are various factors that can lead to a heart attack:

A pre-existent coronary artery disease

A sudden loss of blood or sever lack of oxygen

High levels of potassium and magnesium in the blood

An inherited arrhythmia problem

An enlarged heart or change in shape of the heart

Cardiac Arrest & Heart Attack

In a heart attack the heart does not stop, but the blood flow to the heart gets blocked and so there is lack of oxygen to the heart. This can kill the heart muscles. But with cardiac arrest the heart itself stops due to disturbance in the electrical signals. Heart attack can also disturb the electrical signal and lead to a cardiac arrest and they are interlinked.

Is it heart failure?

No, cardiac arrest is not a heart failure. Cardiac arrest happens suddenly whereas a heart failure happens over a longer period of time. It is a condition where the heart gets weaker and can’t send blood or oxgen to the cells in the body. You will find it difficult to catch your breath after a normal activity like carrying groceries or climbing few stairs.

Who are at risk?

Those at risk for cardiac arrest can be:

If you are a male

Have coronary artery disease

Have family history of arrhythmia

Smoke, drink or do drug abuse

Have diabetes, BP or heart failure

Are overweight

Have already had a heart attack

The treatment

Immediatel treatment for emergency cardiac arrest is using a defibrillator that gives a sudden electric shock to the heart muscles. The shock can bring your heart back to action.

Once retrived the doctor may advise angioplasty or heart surgery to removes blocks in your artery. This is followed by medications and lifestyle changes to lower the risk of other heart problems and keep your heart working.

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One of the effects of unmanaged diabetes is the damage to peripheral nerves, those  that help you feel pain, heat and cold. This condition mostly affects the feet and legs. In some cases it may affect the hands and arms also. It causes a tickling or odd feeling in the skin and at the same time cause numbness that will lead to injuries that the person may not realize has happened.

 What causes DNP?

 DPN the short form for Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy. A person with diabetes will have high levels of glucose and triglycerides (kind of fat) in their blood. Over time, they damage the nerves that send pain signals to the brain as also the tiny blood vessels that supply the nerves with nutrients. The best way to prevent or delay DPN is to control blood sugar and blood pressure.

 Who are at risk?

 Nearly 50% of diabetic patients have some kind of nerve damage. Two out of ten people have DPN especially those with a long history of diabetes. A person who is obese, has prediabetes or metabolic syndrome with high blood pressure, high sugar and high cholesterol along with belly fat is a sure candidate for DPN.

What are the symptoms?

 The symptoms include a tingling or burning sensation in the feet, toes and fingers. It will feel like ‘pins and needles’. In this condition the slightest touch of something like a bedsheet or a towel can hurt. Later the muscles become weak around the ankles and a person may find it hard to balance or painful to walk. Even though there is nerve damage there may not be very serious symptoms.

How to prevent it?

 The best way to prevent DPN or delay its progress is through regular check-ups. You should check every year if you have type 2 diabetes. For type 1 it is best to check every year after puberty or 5 years if you are diagnosed in childhood.

How is it diagnosed?

 Since DPN often starts in the feet and legs, the doctor will look for cuts, sores or circulation issues. You will be checked for balance and your walk. It will be checked whether you feel the temperature changes and delicate touches like vibrations. A thin piece of string or a tuning fork will be used for this purpose.

Blood and Urine Test

This will help the doctor to determine the exact blood sugar and triglyceride levels. The tests will be useful in ruling out other causes of DPN like kidney disease, thyroid problems, low B12 levels, infections or cancer.

 What is the treatment?

Medicines that is used to control depression and seizures will come in handy to to make the pain from DPN more bearable. Some sprays and ointments used to numb the pain will also help. The nerve damage though cannot be reversed.

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All fizzy drinks like soda, beer and bubbly drinks are made with a gas called carbon dioxide. The gas adds extra air into the stomach, which then tries to find a way back the same way it entered, through the mouth.

Many people think that this happens with cold drinks and fizzy drinks alone but this happens even with hot drinks. When you sip them they cause you to swallow a lot of air and this results in lot of belching.

Could be ulcers

Stomach ulcers sometimes causes burping and it could be a sign of ulcers. Stomach ulcers are open sores in the lining of the stomach which are quite common. Some sort of infections leads to stomach ulcers and use of some drugs also can cause them.

If a person has stomach ulcer then you may burp and feel full or bloated after consuming fatty foods. You may also have pain in the stomach after you eat, with proper treatment ulcers go away in couple of months time.

 The way you eat

When you eat a lot of food together, you also swallow extra air along with it. Most of the air does not go to the stomach and stays in the oesophagus and will not go out unless you burp. Slow down when you eat and chew your food well. Eat smaller portions and you’ll burp less. Extra body weight puts more pressure on the stomach, so reducing your weight can also help in reducing the burps.

Lactose intolerance

Milk has a natural sugar called lactose in it and many people lack the ability to break down this lactose. If a person has this problem then they may not be able to digest foods that contain dairy products. The lactose in these foods actually ferment in the stomach and this produces extra gas which ultimately makes the person burp a lot.

 Acid reflux

Some people have the problem of stomach acid backing up into the throat.These  problem happens mostly in pregnant women, obese people and those who over eat. Once a person feel a ‘lump’ in the throat, they will swallow more to try to get rid of it. This will make one burp.

Spicy and high acid foods

Food like onions, tomatoes and citrus fruits have high acid content. When you consume such foods, it triggers heartburn. Similarly spicy foods can bring on acid reflux which inturn triggers burps.

 Chewing gum

Some sugar free candy and chewing gum can make a person burp since a lot of air is swallowed while you chew on them. The sugar free candy will make you belch more. The sugar alcohols they contain can’t be quickly processed once they reach the stomach, they linger before breaking down, this creates gas.l This gas comes out as more burps.

Other causes may be stress, hiatal hernia, too much gut bacteria and even some infections. All these can cause you to burp excessively.

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When the heart beats faster, flutters or seems to skip beats it is called heart palpitations. Usually they are only scary and need not be serious or do not require any treatment.

It is best to know what causes these heart palpitations since it will help in knowing when not to panic and when to seek medical help.

Stress & Anxiety

When you feel very intense emotions then certain hormones are released that in turn speed up the heartbeat. This is how your body gets ready to face a challenge, danger or threat.

Panic attacks are intense bouts of fear that last a few minutes, with symptoms like racing heartbeat, sweating, chills, trouble breathing and chest pain. A panic attack can resemble a heart attack.

Vigorous Exercise

A short run or intense treadmill exercise in the indoors are all good for your heart but it also makes your heart beat faster. The heart actually pumps more blood to power the muscles throughout the workout.

If the heart flutters or pounds, it could be because you are starting the workout after a long gap. It could also be due to arrhythmia and this will require medical consultation before your proceed.

Caffeine Reaction

Caffeine contains stimulants that raise the heart rate, whether it comes from the coffee you drink, from your energy drink, from tea, chocolate or your soft drink. It is not known whether this happens only in people with heart rhythm problems or just in anybody who consumes caffeine.

Nicotine Reaction

There are certain addictive chemicals in cigarettes and all tobacco products which raises the blood pressure and subsequently the heart rate. The best way to save your heart is to quit smoking though palpitations can also be a symptom of nicotine withdrawal, but stops within 3 to 4 weeks.


Palpitations are often experienced by pregnant women, those near menopause or women in menopause. This is due to the changes in hormone levels. The raise in heart beat is often temporary and nothing to worry. Women who are anaemic during pregnancy are also prone to get palpitations.

High Fever

When the temperature is above 104 it definitely affects the heart rate and shows signs of palpitation. When there is high fever the body uses energy at a faster rate and so your heart beats faster to compensate this and causes palpitation.

Other causes for palpitation include certain medications, overactive thyroid, low blood sugar, alcohol and drugs.

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