Thursday, December 31, 2009

Party Hangover - How do I manage?

New Year Eve! Festival Season! Party Party Party! Unavoidable.
Excitement and happiness on 31st night party leads to spicy food, drinks, smoke all of them lead to disaster on 1st Jan. I dont think it feels good to have a bad New year. Here are some good tips on how you can manage your 31st night and 1st Jan to feel normal and enjoy the new year.

Acidity and gastritis are normal effects of parties. All you need to do is just realize what you are consuming. Just think twice before over eating and drinking.
Consume lot of water and juices, take more vegetables like cucumber, tomato and fruits like guava, apple, etc. These can control your hangover to some extent.

Make your drinks diluted and take time to drink. Do not gulp in haste and reduce your excitement time. Make it slow and with lot of salads and juices, which can reduce the impact of drinks and junk food.

Have a good sleep. Have a bottle of water on your bedside and whenever you wake up take a few gulps of water (preferably room temperature). Atleast consume a litre of water in the night, so that whatever you have consumed gets diluted.

1st Jan, a hot black tea to start with will help you clean your stomach. Over the day, drink good amount of juices. Avoid citric fruits like orange and lemon. Guava, Banana and apples can help a lot.

Take a hot water bath and allow lot of warm water flow through your face, which will make you feel better. Avoid non-vegetarian food and spicy food during the day and have light food and be kind to your digestive system.

Happy new year! Wish all the readers a great new year agead

Monday, December 14, 2009

The Diabetic Foot

The human foot according to Leonardo Da vinci, is the most marvelous of machines and a work of art. It is made a work of art. It is made up of 27 bones, 19 muscles and 32 joints. It is estimated that by the time a person is 55 years old he may have walked nearly 70,000 miles, the equivalent of circling the globe two times.
What is a “Diabetic Foot”?
It is the term used to describe changes which occur in the foot in patients with diabetes mellitus. These include changes in sensation where the nerves have been affected and sensations altered, blunted or completely absent. The sensation of touch, pain, heat or cold is those that are affected. Eighty-five percent of diabetes- related amputations begin with into the foot leading to an infection. In some cases gangrene may set in.
  • Every year 4 million people worldwide get a food ulcer?
  • One in every 6 people with diabetes will develop a foot complication in their life time?
  • People with diabetes are up to 40 times more likely to undergo a lower limb amputation

Why do diabetic patients develop problems in the feet?
There are two main reasons for the foot complications
Some diabetic patients develop diabetic peripheral neuropathy characterized by loss of sensation in the feet. Such patients have a high risk of injuries which often go unnoticed.

Diabetic patients particularly those with neuropathy often develop abnormal pressure points under the ball of the feet. In these areas, the skin often thickness into a callus which if it becomes excessively thick can lead to an ulcer. Chronic infection in the ulcer ultimately leads to amputation of a toe or the whole foot. Some diabetic patients have reduced blood circulation in the feet. These two groups of patients are considered to have “High Risk Feet”.

How can we diagnose patients with a high risk foot?
We do not require any expensive gadgets to diagnose high risk foot in diabetic patients. A physician should check for sensation in the feet with simple devices like a tuning fork, feet the pulsations in the feet and look ofr deformities in the feet to diagnose a high risk foot in a person with diabetes mellitus. People who have loss of sensation should never walk barefoot even inside their homes. This is necessary to prevent injuries and reduce the high pressures under the feet. The footwear which could be a sandal should have soft insole, heel counter, Veicro straps in the footwear upper. Hawai chappals, sandals with toe grips should not be worn since the strength of the small muscles in the foot is weak.

The diabetic foot complication is preventable to a very large extent, if the patients take proper care of the feet. However, even today the majority of people with diabetes do not perform regular, daily inspection of their feet, do not wear adequate foot wear or practice proper foot care. These three elements essential to the prevention of foot ulcers.

In an Amputation Prevention Study at Diabetes Research Centre, it was shown that strategies such as intensive management and foot care education were helpful in preventing newer problems and surgery in diabetic foot disease. It was published in the journal Diabetes Care in May 2005, In this study, patients were provided with simple foot care management like daily examination of foot, performing pedicure and usage of footwear.

Diabetic foot complications are preventable or treatable with patient education, properly designed and fitted footwear and careful periodic follow-up. It is important to remember that all persons with diabetes, even those without any risk factors, must be careful with their feet.

  • Regular examination of the feet by the physicians
  • Identification of persons with high risk foot
  • Proper care of feet by regular pedicure
  • Avoiding barefoot walking and usage of right type of footwear
  • Good control of diabetes to prevent loss of sensation and blood circulation in the feet.

    The Hindu November 14 2006

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Juices and their Health Benefits

Fresh juices from fruits and vegetables offer many health benefits. Drinking juice on a daily basis can strengthen the body and keep the skin, glands and organs well hydrated. Furthermore, juices are easy to digest and make great dietary supplements.


Pomegranate juice is a good source of antioxidants and also lowers LDL cholesterol. Studies show that it may also slow down the growth of prostate cancer and increase blood flow to the heart in people with certain coronary heart diseases.


Oranges are your answer to painful kidney stones. Research says that a daily glass of orange juice can reduce the incidence of kidney stones.


Often used as a home remedy for urinary tract infections, cranberry juice is also helpful for bladder and kidney problems. Rich in Vitamin C, cranberry juice offers a healthy dose of dietary fibre, antioxidants and phytochemical nutrients.


Aloe vera is known for its benefits to the skin. It acts as an anti-bacterial, anti-viral and anti-fungal agent, preventing illness.


Apple juice contains a host of essential nutrients and vitamins which may help protect the body from certain illnesses such as the common cold.

Courtesy : Times of Inida, Chennai Times, 9/12/2009

Bergamot Essential Oil - Healthy Facts

Bergamot essential oil removes body odour, gives relief to spasm, supresses pain and fights against depression. It heals cuts and scars and promotes digestion

Courtesy: Times of India, 10/12/2009, Chennai Times.


Sip green tea or munch on a few nuts to fight bad cholesterol
High blood lipids (cholesterol or triglycerides) requires a combination of diet and exercise as initial treatment. Reducing dietary calories and intake of saturated fat, and consuming a high-fibre diet rich in fresh fruit and vegetables are obvious first steps. Other dietary measures exist, and here is an overview of the most popular ones.

The American heart association (AHA) recommends at least two servings of fatty fish per week to prevent heart disease. The omega – 3 fatty acids in fish lower bad cholesterol and triglycerides. According to the AHA, fish oil supplements, which contain massive amounts of omega – 3 fatty acids, are recommended only in refractory hypertriglyceridemia and are not meant for the general population. Vegetarian sources of omega 3 fatty acids include canola oil, soyabeanoil, flaxseed oil and nuts. Consuming moderate amounts of nuts definitely helps lower cholesterol particularly the bad cholesterol. One study showed that taking 20 percent of daily calories from a PUFA rich source like almonds or walnuts significantly lowered the bad lipids, Green tea and not black tea or oolong tea, has a similar beneficial effect.

Garlic: Something that smells this bad ought to do something good, and garlic indeed has many healthful properties but lowering cholesterol is not one of them. Sorry. And the same goes for soy protein which has only a minor effect on blood cholesterol. Soy protein is a great food but it is not worth having just for the sake of cholesterol.

Guggulipid made from the resin of the mukul myrrh tree, is a controversial product. Indian studies attest to its cholesterol,lowering effect but American research does not bear it out. Moreover, there are questions about the quality of the Indian research that led to the claims of health benefit. Pity.

Red yeast rice: This is a fermented rice dish popular in Chinese cuisine. It contains monacolins, which are substances with HMG COA reductase inhibitor activity similar to that of the statin drugs used to lower blood cholesterol. Unfortunately, not all strains of the rice have the same activity, and extracts of red yeast rice are poorly standardized.

Calcium Supplements improve the composition of blood lipids, and a diet high in calcium is inversely associated with cardiovascular risk. However, in postmenopausal women, who are the chief target of calcium and Vitamin D supplements, there is no reduction of cardiovascular risk with such supplements

The writer is a consultant in Internal Medicine, The Hindu wellness December 11 2008

Saturday, December 05, 2009

A nice spice

Fenugreek is an ancient spice and is mostly used in the middle east, Northern-eastern Africa and India. In egyptian papyri, this spice finds mention as food, medicine and an embalming agent. Fenugreek has a strong, pleasant smell and grows best in well drained soils with low rainfall.

The fresh leaves are eaten as a tasty vegetable and prepared like spinach. Commercially known as 'Methi' Indian fenugreek comes in several wll known varieties such as 'Desi' and 'champa' and is grwon in Rajasthan, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh and Tamil Nadu. The small stony seeds from the pod of a bean like plant are called fenugreek. The seeds are hard, yellowish brown and angular. Some are oblong, some rhombic, others virtually cubic, with a side of about 3mm. A deep furrow all but splits them into two. They are available whole and dried, or as a dull yellow powder, ground from the roasted seeds.

Culinary uses

Dried seeds should be lightly roasted before using. After roasting, they can be easily ground. A small amount will complement many other spices, but too much can be over powering. If the seeds are required as part of a curry paste, they can be soaked overnight to swell and soften, and mixed with the other ingredients.

The major use of fenugreek is in curry powders. It figures in many mixtures, especially vindaloo, and the hot curries of Sri Lanka. It is an ingredient of panchpuran, the Indian five spice mixture. When fish is curried, particularly strong-tasting fish such as tuna and Mackerek, fenugreek is frequently included in the spice mixture. Many chutneys and pickles incorporate it and it gives a tangy aroma to vegetables. The leaves, both fresh and dried, are used in ,eat curries, dhal and vegetable dishes.

Medicinal Properties

Frenugreek is a digestive aid. It is used in poultices for boils, cysts and other complaints. It is used in treating diabetes. It lowers high blood pressure. Fenugreek relieves congestion, reduces inflammation and fights infection. Fenugrek contains natural expectorant properties ideal for treating sinus and lung congestion, it losens and removes excess mucus and phlegm. Fenugreek is a naural source of iron, silicon, sodium and thiamine.