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ARE YOU AWARE OF THE BENEFITS OF WALKING?

It is said that we should walk at least 5.5 miles per week. Walking at a slow pace of 2 miles per hour is enough to lower the risk of heart attacks, strokes and heart failure by 31%. Those who walk further and faster benefit more. This is truly a motivator for those who are avid walkers.

Walk for 30 minutes daily

A very little effort on your part like walking for 30 minutes continuously can do wonders to help the blood move through the body the way it should. Walk any time you feel comfortable but every time try to push yourself a little bit. This can g et your heart rate up and can strengthen it while lowering the blood pressure.

Count your steps

Walking 10,000 steps is equal to walking for 5 miles and if you can’t do it everyday, any walking will help your health. You can use a pedometer which is readily available in the market to count your steps and the step it up little by little.

Brisk walking

It is best if you do at least 150 minutes of exercise every week. This will raise the heart rate to the optimal levels. Walking can be counted towards the exercise you need. For walking you don’t need any special equipments, except a pair of shoes. Women think that the daily chores in the kitchen takes care of exercise but a stroll to your fridge and back is not the right exercise. You need to do some brisk walking that will set your heart into rhythm and help you lead a healthy life.

As good as running

Many experts earlier believed that pushing yourself and your heart rate was the best way to strengthen the heart. Now, it is recognised that brisk walking is just as good as running. Brisk walking can cut down the risk of blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes.

Take your dog for walk

Two people don’t burn calories the same way so it is not sure how long or how often you should walk. But one exercise that is really good for your health is walking your dog. When your dog looks at you with those pleading eyes, just go ahead and oblige with a long walk in the park.

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HOW MUCH DO YOU KNOW ABOUT HERNIAS?

Whatever you physique, your belly will have walls of muscle that support you, help you move about and also hold things in place inside of you. Hernia is a condition when this normal arrangement is disturbed and a part of the inside body squeezes through a weak spot or opening in the muscle wall. It is like a tyre burst when the inner tube bulges out through a hole in a worn out tyre. There are many types of hernias but almost all of them occur between the chest and the hip.

Symptoms of Hernia

Very rarely hernias hurt and you just see a bulge or lump near the belly or groin. The bulge may even reveal only when you laugh, cough or exert yourself while lifting a heavy object. Many people tend to push the hernia back in place. But the bulge may get bigger with time and you will constantly feel fuller and some sort of dull ache around the bulge. There may be a sharp pain when you lift something.

Types of Hernia

There are several types of hernia based on the part of the body they occur. The main types of hernia are Inguinal hernia when a loop of intestine pushes into the groin, Femoral hernia which is similar to Inguinal hernia but in a different part of the groin, Ventral hernia which occurs between the belly button and chest, Incisional hernia that occurs through a surgical wound and Hiatal hernia where a part of the stomach juts out through the diaphragm into the chest cavity.

Hernia in children

Children usually get inguinal hernia or umbilical hernias. Inguinal hernia is common among babies born before date and in boys whose testicles have not dropped into the scrotum. Umbilical hernia as the name suggests occurs near the belly button. The umbilical hernia does not hurt much and looks like an inside out belly button. By the age of 2 years the hernia goes back into place.

How to prevent hernia?

You can prevent hernia from taking the quality out of life by following certain simple steps in daily life.

At the slightest possibility or symptom consult your doctor

Eat lots of fruits, vegetable s and whole grain

Maintain healthy weight with proper diet and exercise

Be careful when lifting weights

When to consult a doctor?

A hernia usually begins as a small bulge but over time it can get bigger. In some cases it can even become a threat to life. Whenever to suspect a lump, a bulge or experience pain in and around the belly it is best to consult your doctor.

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HOW TO AVOID COMMON SUMMER DISEASES?

The period from March to June is the summer season and it is the warmest of all seasons in a year. Summer brings with it a dry, warm and hot weather in India, when schools and educational institutions take a break from the harsh weather. It is also that period of the year when lot of health issues crop up for children as well as adults.

The scorching heat and the driest of dry weather brings with it a host of diseases if proper precaution is not taken.

Here are some of the more common diseases that tend to occur during the summer season:

Heat Stroke: The rise in body temperature due to prolonged exposure to the summer heat can lead to heat stroke. It is an abnormal rise in body temperature or hyperthermia along with physical and behavioural symptoms like headaches, nausea, dizziness, muscle cramps, faster heart rates and fever.

Food Poisoning: During the season a surge in harmful bacteria and parasites occur causing food-borne disease. The warm and humid weather provide the right environment for bacterial growth leading to food contamination.

Sore Eyes: Conjunctivitis is a disease that is also known as sore eyes which is typical of the summer months. The presence of viral or bacterial infection and allergies lead to the inflammation of the conjunctiva and causes much irritability, redness and pain in the eyes. These are contagious and can affect anyone who comes in contact with an infected person and it lasts for 4-7 days at a time.

Dehydration: This is the most common of summer health problems. It occurs when there is no adequate intake of fluids or water to replace the loss of moisture and salts due to sweating. Replenishing the water content in the body from time to time will help it function properly and prevent any health issues due to dehydration

Headache: Due to dehydration and heat the summer season causes typical headache problems to many people.

Mumps:  This is a contagious and threatening viral disease that tends to spread during summer. It can be transmitted when an infected person sneezes or coughs. It affects the parotid gland in front of the ears, causing severe swelling, pain and fever.

Measles & Chicken pox: Viral infection causes measles and chicken pox especially in young children during summer. The symptoms include skin rashes, high fever, cough and watery eyes.

Sun Burn: The overexposure or going out without proper skin protection can cause exposure to harmful ultra-violet radiation from the sun that leads to painful skin rashes known as sun burn.

Water-Borne Diseases: Summer is a season for water contamination that causes widespread diseases like diarrhoea, dysentery, cholera and typhoid.

Mosquito Infections: The mosquitoes are active and breed during summer giving rise to mosquito bites that spread and cause a great deal of infections in humans.

How to prevent Summer diseases?

The rise in body temperature will lead to dehydration, so replace the water in the body by drinking more fluids and keep the body cooler. Increase the intake of fresh juices and plain water and avoid beverages, alcohol and sugar.

You can also eat small, light and frequent meals instead of larger ones. Include fresh fruits and vegetables with more water content in them like peaches, melons, pumpkin, cucumber and onions as they are also easily digestible. Drink coconut water, lemon juice and fresh fruit juices to fight the summer weather.

Maintain general hygiene, prevent mosquito bites and get proper vaccination against diseases like measles, mumps and rubella. Protect your skin with sunscreen and use loose fitting and lighter clothes all the time as well as protect your eyes with coolers when you go out. Take bath twice daily and wash your hands, face and eyes with fresh water when you return home.

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HOW TO KNOW BETWEEN MEASLES AND CHICKEN POX?

Measles and chicken pox are most common diseases that affect children. Both have certain similarities but actually they are caused by two different viruses – Paramyxo Virus and Varicella Zoster Virus, respectively. The first sign of being affected by either of them is the appearance of rashes on the skin.

Another common aspect is that both measles and chicken pox are contagious and spread through coughing, sneezing or coming in contact with the infected person in one way or the other. A person can get vaccinated from measles but not against chicken pox.

Symptom

When a person is affected with measles there will be splotch rashes, high fever, cough, sore throat, white spots, runny nose, soggy eyes and body ache. The difference in symptoms for chicken pox include high fever, skin rashes, loss of appetite, red or pink bumps on the body, headache and tiredness.

Duration

There is a difference in the duration of measles and chicken pox. A few days after the rashes appear on the body, a person with measles will feel sicker compared to those with chicken pox. Chicken pox patients will have stomach upset, irritability and trouble with itching, but the symptoms gradually reduce along with the fever. But in the case of measles, people will feel sick longer, suffer from fever, fatigue and achiness with running nose, coughing and watery eyes.

Treatment

When it comes to treatment for measles and chicken pox, there are lot of similarities. First of all people suffering from both diseases are suggested to take complete rest, then get properly hydrated with some seasonal juices and most importantly advised against vigorous scratching of the skin which will only aggravate the itching and leading to more rashes developing.

People with measles are usually advised to drink lot of water and ingest Vitamin A rich food substances in their diet. Those with chicken pox are told to take regular baths with lukewarm water, apply unscented lotions on the body and wear as lightweight and softer clothes as possible.

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DO YOU KNOW ABOUT AUTO IMMUNE THYROIDITIS?

The thyroid is a small gland in front of the neck that makes produces hormones to control the body organs. When there is a deficiency in making these hormones then the body functions get affected. It also affects one’s energy levels, mood and weight.

If the thyroid gets inflamed then the condition is known as thyroiditis. This happens mainly when the body makes antibodies that attack the thyroid by mistake. Such a condition is called as autoimmune thyroiditis, lymphocytic thyroiditis or Hashimoto’s disease.

What are the causes for thyroiditis?

Still it is not very clear why the immune system behaves in such a harmful way. There are possibly many reasons including a defective gene, a virus attack or a combination of many causes.

Who can get affected?

Women are more likely to get autoimmune thyroiditis and especially if they are in the middle age group. Those having other autoimmune disorders like lupus, type 1 diabetes or rheumatoid arthritis are also likely to be affected. Those exposed to environmental radiation is also susceptible to get the disorder.

What are its symptoms?

As the disease progresses, the thyroid may become enlarged and lead to goitre formation. The front of the neck will be swollen, which makes the throat feel always full. It usually does not give any pain and if left alone will shrink on its own, though it does not mean the patient is cured.

Since the thyroid is damaged it leads to hypothyroidism or too little of thyroid hormones leading to major symptoms like  tiredness, puffy face, sensitivity to cold, trouble in passing stools, enlarged tongue, pale and brittle nails, hair loss, weight gain, muscle aches and joint pains, depression, memory lapse and irregular menstruation.

What is the treatment for autoimmune thyroiditis?

The doctor will treat an autoimmune thyroiditis patient with prescription medicines like levothyroxine or Unithyroid which is human made thyroid substitute. The dosage of the medicine will be adjusted frequently to suit your progress and medicines are for life. The diet is important during the therapy and so foods like high-fibre diet and soy products are best avoided.

The doctor should also know whether you are taking iron supplements, cholesterol medicines, antacids that have aluminium hydroxide, ulcer medicines or calcium substitutes.

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