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HOW’LL YOU FIND IF THE LEFT ARM PAIN HEART RELATED?

We have read a lot about left arm pain and heard friends and family suggest that it could be heart related. Actually pain in the left arm can be due to various reasons, ranging from ordinary muscle pain to even severe heart attack. Other reasons are ailments of the skin, soft tissue, nerves, bones, joints or blood vessels in the arm. Before concluding that left arm pain is due to heart problem we should eliminate other causes.

There are several factors like those given below to consider before narrowing down the pain to heart related pain.

What is the intensity of pain?

If it is a heart attack then most often we feel like some pressure or squeezing like sensation in the left side. It can be mild in pain or not painful at all (called silent heart attack). The pain can also be in full measure and it will rank 10 out of 10 in intensity. Rather than the left arm this pain will be more in the chest area and then radiate down the left arm and go up your jaw or the back.

Look for other signs

Apart from the pain in the arm, jaw, neck and back some other symptoms are also observed and these may include – nausea, dizziness, and cold sweat, shortness of breath and chest tightness & difficulty in breathing. If any of these symptoms occur along with left arm pain then it is advisable to see a doctor immediately to rule out heart attack.

Note the duration of pain

If the left arm pain lasts only for few seconds then it is unlikely that it is due to any heart ailment. If the pain persists for a long time (for days or even weeks), it is also unlikely that it has something to do with your heart. Only if lasts for few minutes to few hours then you should doubt that it has connection to heart problem. Take not of the interval of your pain occurring and if possible not it down which will help the doctor know your case better.

Is your pain due to Angina?

Angina is a pain that is caused due to insufficient blood flow to the heart. When Angina occurs you feel a squeezing or pressure sensation along with pain in your shoulders, your chest, your arms, your back or your neck. It may also feel like indigestion. It is not compulsory that Angina pain should be in the left arm but there is always a possibility. Angina can worsen due to stress either physical or emotional. If you suspect you have Angina it is best to meet a doctor. It requires appropriate evaluation and treatment.

Check for pain due to other reasons

There are many other reasons for the left side pain to occur and if you look at them one by one then here are a few important ones.

Moving your neck causes pain, and then it should be due to cervical spondylosis. If the pain aggravates when you move your shoulder it could be due to shoulder arthritis. If you feel numbness or lose function in the left arm it may be due to nerve related injury. If there is variance in your blood pressure then it may be due peripheral arterial disease like atheroscelrosis and commonly occurs in smokers.

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QUIT SMOKING TIPS FOR FIRST TOUGH DAYS

We all know that it is very difficult to get off a habit like smoking. To quit the habit it requires a humongous effort from the smoker and even after quitting it take careful steps to keep the urge to smoke away from you. Here are a few tips how to manage the first few days after you quit smoking.

SIPPING & FOOD

One easy way to prevent the urge to smoke is by sipping cold water through a straw so that it replaces the act of sucking on a cigarette. Sipping also releases dopamine, a brain chemical that helps in easing our bad moods.

As far as food or diet is concerned, eating small meals can help to get over the urge to smoke. You should choose light, healthy foods to avoid any weight gain.

NOTE THE BENEFITS

As you quit smoking you will be starting to enjoy the benefits of a smoke-free life. What you should do is seriously make a note of all the benefits and store it in your mind. The benefits may include feeling in control, saving money, smelling better, food tasting better, feeling more energetic. When the urge to smoke rekindles, just take a look at the long list of benefits and decide to keep it away.

ORAL HYGIENE

One big advantage of stopping the smoking habit is that your mouth feels and smells better. You will have better taste for your food and your breath will be fresher. Brush your teeth as often as you can so that your teeth, mouth and breath remain fresh. This will deter you every time you want a smoke.

AVOID DRINKING ALCOHOL

It has been found that drinking is a habit that will make a person go back to smoking. We know alcohol breaks down self-control and that can increase your urge for a smoke. Many people associate smoking with a session of drinking, so a drink or two can make you feel like lighting up again.

FIND A NO-SMOKING ZONE

Earlier when you smoked you would hunt for a place to smoke but now you should do the opposite. You can find a no-smoking zone and enter it whenever you feel like having a smoke. If the place has other distractions like a football game or music then it will help you get away from smoking.

Good Exercise

A good work out is a powerful distraction tool. When you are active the body sends natural chemicals that help in easing your mood or stress. Walking is the simplest form of exercise. You can choose the right activity to keep you motivated.

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DO YOU KNOW ABOUT VITAMIN B12 DEFICIENCY?

You should know if you are getting enough of vitamin B12, since it is vital to stay healthy. Vitamin B12 is one such vitamin that does a lot of things for your body. Mainly vitamin B12 is responsible for making the DNA and the red blood cells of the body. The important aspect is that vitamin B12 is not produced by the body naturally and your body should get if from animal based foods or supplements. The supply of vitamin B12 should be regular again because the body cannot store vitamin B12 by itself for long periods.

How much vitamin B12 is needed?

The quantity of vitamin B12 required by the body for its normal functioning depends on varieties of factors like the age, eating habits, medical conditions and whether you are taking any type of medications etc. Usually babies between the age of 7- 12 months may need 0.5 micrograms of vitamin B12, whereas a child of 9-13 years may need 1.8 mcg and an adult 2.4 mcg.

Vitamin B12 deficiency

It is observed that with age it becomes really harder to absorb vitamins. If you have had a weight loss surgery or any other surgery that reduced your stomach then absorption of vitamin is again impaired. If you drink heavily or if you’ve taken acid- reducing medications for a long time it will cause problem in absorbing vitamins.

Vitamin B12 deficiency is also seen in those with gastritis, where the stomach lining gets thinned. Chronic anaemia is another reason for vitamin B12 deficiency. Conditions that affect small intestine like celiac disease or bacterial growth can affect vitamin B12 absorption. Immune system disorders like lupus can also be a reason. Deficiency occurs when your diet is purely vegan where you don’t eat any animal product or you are a vegetarian and you don’t eat enough of eggs or dairy products to meet your B12 needs.

Pregnancy & B12 Deficiency

A pregnant woman on a vegetarian or vegan diet has to be extra cautious about the required B12 levels. A normal level of B12 is an absolute necessity for an expectant mother and even after delivery if you are breast feeding the infant a healthy level of B12 is required for both your health and the baby’s health. If you lack B12 the bay will have problems in its development and will not grow normally. So, pregnant and lactating mothers have to be extra careful about their levels of vitamin B12.

Symptoms of B12 deficiency

Some of the main symptoms associated with B12 deficiency are weakness, tiredness, heart palpitations, shortness of breath, pale skin, constipation, diarrhoea, loss of appetite, nerve problems, muscle weakness, vision loss, mental depression,  memory loss and behaviour changes. The person will also show symptoms of being anaemic.

How to prevent B12 deficiency?

You can prevent the onset of B12 deficiency by eating enough meat, poultry, seafood and dairy products. If you restrict or don’t eat animal products you can go in for multivitamin tablets, supplements and foods fortified with vitamin B12. It is always better to consult your doctor before taking any food supplement especially if you are on other medication.

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WHY BECOME AN ORGAN DONOR?

How often do we look into the mirror and ponder. Do I really like what I see? You will always want to be more perfect, a little thinner, curvier, tanner or muscular. But next time when you stand before the mirror just give a few seconds to the thought of those who live in this world with  many organs missing or dysfunctional. Rather than thinking of improving your own looks, you could actually do something for those struggling to live without a fully functional body. You can be an organ donor.

There are lot of fears and phobias regarding organ donation and here let us see if some of these tips help you make a decision.

Hundreds of thousands need organs

Imagine a huge football stadium overflowing with people and that could be the number of people in your country waiting for an organ. As science advances and medical technology grows there is more and more possibility for a dying person to hang on to life and maybe return to a normal life. In fact everyday the number of needy people are growing but the number of organ donors are not equal to it.

You body can save lives

If you have ever dreamt of changing a little bit of this world an its miseries this may be an opportunity. It is estimated that instead of confining your body to a deep grave or burning it on the pyre, your single body can save up to 8 lives and enhance the quality of life for 50 others. These could be the people who will bring about a change in the world that your future generation will benefit from.

Beyond age, religion or geography

There are many who think that you are too young for organ donation, but it is just a myth. Organ donation stretched beyond barriers of age and young and old can participate in it.

Organ donation is beyond any religion be it Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism or Islam. Organ donation is a universally accepted thing and does not transgress any religious beliefs.

If you still feel that you are unhealthy and suffering from some kind of medical condition, remember that except the dysfunctional organ you can commit to donate your healthy organs and they will work to save many lives.

A priceless human act

There is no need to explain that organ donation is a heavenly act that humans  can perform even when they are no more on this earth (organs are harvested only after death). So many pray to god to restore their life or the life of their dear ones and you can be an angel who will enable God to answer their prayers.

Organs are donated after life saving efforts fail

There is a misconception that organ donor will be single out and will not receive proper treatment at hospitals. On the contrary organ donors will be doubly checked to see if there is any chance of their survival and the death is confirmed after a number of tests. The medical care you get will be the finest irrespective of whether you are a organ donor or not.

The whole process if free

As every organ donor and the donor family knows there is not responsibility on your part or your family related to the donation. After registering for organ donation and paperwork you can be assured that there no costs involved in organ donation and all the process is undertaken by the organization that has signed you.

Comfort for family after you pass away

Human psyche is so adaptable that being assured that your organs are functioning in a needy person will comfort your family. Sometimes the donor’s family meet the recipients and there are instances when they felt an immediate connect. The family will be proud of your noble act and feel relived that you have served God’s will even when you are not physically present.

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KNOW THE TRUTH ABOUT VITAMIN D

The world is in a search mode for that one vitamin that could build stronger bones, manage diabetes, multiple sclerosis, cancer, heart disease depression and even help lose weight. Scientists say that Vitamin D has the potential to do all this and more. Vitamin D is basically produced as a result of our skin’s reaction to sunlight and we get it from some food stuff or supplements. Let us now look at Vitamin D in particular and how its absence can affect us.

For Strong Bones

Right from infancy to old age Vitamin D is critical for strong and functional bones. This is so because Vitamin D helps the body absorb calcium from the food we eat. In aged and older adults a dose of Vitamin D with calcium helps to prevent fractures and osteoporosis. In children it helps in building strong bones, prevents rickets or bow legs, knock knees and weak bone syndrome.

Prevents Multiple Sclerosis

For those living in places far away from the sunny equator Multiple Sclerosis or MS is a constant threat. This is an autoimmune disorder and experts believe there is a direct link between sunlight, vitamin D levels and this disorder that damages the nerves. But still the clear cut answer has not been found for the link to happen.

Vitamin D and Diabetes

Many studies have proven that there is a link between Type 1 & 2 diabetes and vitamin D levels in the body. So boosting the vitamin D levels in the body could be the answer to control diabetes, but as of now there is no surety about the claim. Doctors have not yet started recommending vitamin D supplements for treatment of diabetes. Excessive body fat combined with lack of sufficient vitamin D may be the reason for diabetes.

Vitamin D against Depression

Research says that vitamin D has a prominent role in brain development which means lack of it could lead to depression and related mental disorders. But it is not proven that vitamin D supplements can help overcome depression. Your doctor should be consulted in case of depression and for further treatment.

How does sun provide vitamin D?

Normally we get our supply of vitamin D when the body is exposed to sunlight. We can get a fair amount of vitamin D in 5-10 minutes on a sunny day, but on a cloudy day with low light, some sunscreens and beauty lotions the sun may get blocked out. People with darker skin tone and older people will be unable to make enough vitamin D from short sun exposures. Those who don’t get enough of sun can also aim to eat food rich in vitamin D and also take some supplements.

Food and Vitamin D

Apart from the vitamin D supplements the normal food we eat can also supply our body’s requirement of vitamin D. Food such as fish including salmon, swordfish or mackerel provides healthy amounts of vitamin D. Small amounts of vitamin D occur in orange juice, milk, cheese, ice creams and cereals.

What are symptoms of Vitamin D deficiency?

When you have problem converting vitamin D from sunlight then it can lead to vitamin D deficiency. Mostly symptoms are not very clear to notice. Severe deficiency in adults results in soft bones known as osteomalacia. The symptoms include body pain and muscle weakness. In children depending on the severity of the deficiency, rickets may occur. There will be soft bones and skeletal problems.

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