Monday, December 27, 2010

Alcohol - Benefits and Drawbacks


Alcohol is been used since prehistoric times.  Its primarily consumed for the mood it invokes.  Ethyl alcohol is  the main ingredient of alcoholic beverages.  It is made by fermentation of starch or sugar. Almost any sweet or starchy food like potatoes, grains, honey, grapes and other fruits, even dandelions can be turned into alcohol. Unlike most foods, alcohol is not digested but gets absorbed into the blood stream.  Due to this nature of Alcohol there are few benefits and drawbacks.


·         Consumed moderately lowers the risk of heart attack and reduces the risk of clot formation.

·         Regular consumption of small quantities shall aid in improving appetite and aid digestion

·         Promotes  happy mood.


·         Becomes an addiction

·         Prevents medication from healing

·         Regular consumption over a period of time increases the  risk of cancers, as well as heart and liver disease.

Recent studies have found that drinking small amounts of alcohol, especially red wine, lowers the risk of a heart attack. Studies also have proven having two alcoholic drinks a day offers more than double the protection from cardiovascular disease than one drink provides. The risk of a heart attack lowers because alcohol reduces the detrimental effects of elevated blood cholesterol while also preventing clot formation. In this study levels of bad cholesterol (low density lipoprotein, or LDL) lowered, as did triglyceride levels: High levels of either raise the risk of heart disease.   However, moderation is the key property,  alcohol can be beneficial until consumed moderately.  Excessive consumption may lead to may health problems.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Kidney stone - An insight

What is a kidney stone?

Kidney stone is a hard mass that is caused when calcium oxalate or other chemicals in the urine form crystals that stick together.  These crystals may grow into stones, ranging in size from a grain of sand to a golf ball.  Kidney stones are common between the age of 20 and 40 years.  And they are more common in men, who account for four out of every five cases.


X-rays can usually identify the presence of stones.  Specialised X-ray techniques (Sometimes using dye injections) or sound waves may be used to identify more accurately the size  and location of the stones and to test kidney functions as well.

Blood and urine tests may help the doctor to zero in on the factors causing the stone and plan the best treatment.


Sunday, June 27, 2010

Get a ‘heel’ing touch!

Opting for footwear with a broader heel base has several benefits………
Women spend money and time in procuring perfect pair of shoes. This helps them win appreciative glances from either sex. Women attach more importance to their looks than their health. Health experts across the globe vouch for the bad-effects of the wearing stiletto heels. The prolonged use of high heels gives rise to back as well as severe foot problems. High heels also affect your toes leading to blisters and foot infections.
The human feet is designed to be walked in a certain way so that the arches in the feet help balance body weight. When one wears high heels the nerves in the feet are stressed and the arches would not be able to absorb the shock of the impact. As a result of this a person who uses high heels for prolonged periods may not be able to stand for longer periods and in the long run may not be able to feel their toes.
There are different types of heeled footwear Of the heeled varieties, the pointed stilettos are the worst. Wearing them in the long run can affect your back and knees as they take the maximum pressure in trying to maintaining your balance. This causes your hip muscles in your legs to work harder to move and pull your body forward. Your knees also stay more bent and forward, causing your knee muscles to work harder. But women are often ready to put up with the pain to look good. When you slip your feet into those heels, your body is trying to adjust to height and hence causing a strain on your posture. As you keep wearing heels over a prolonged period of time, the muscles in your back are stressed, this does not allow you to sit erect for too long.
If wearing heels is unavoidable, then it’s important to keep the following tips in mind...
• Take off your heels every few minutes and give your feet a quick massage.
• If you are obsessive about shoes with high heels, make sure that the height of the heels is limited to one inch only.
• Choose heels that can prevent the foot from sliding forward so that you can avoid the pressure on your toes.
• Avoid wearing them to places that do not call for such heels.
For more information on helath tips visit
Courtesy: Chennai time 28/06/2010

Monday, April 19, 2010

Hazards of Dieting

Going on a diet could increase the risk of developing potentially deadly conditions such as heart disease, diabetes and cancer, a new study has found.


The study revealed that those who controlled their calorie intake produced higher levels of the harmful stress hormone cortisol and exposure to the hormone actually made some dieters put on weight, reports the Daily mail.


Dieting could actually damage mental health too as many suffered increased psychological stress when they were constantly forced to count calories and monitor what they ate.  Regardless of their success or failure ( in losing weight), if future studies show that dieting increases stress and cortisol, doctors may need to rethink recommending it to their patients to improve to their patients to improve health.


Chronic stress, in addition to promoting weight gain, has been linked with coronary heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes and cancer.  Dieting might potentially add to this stress burden and its consequences would best not be ignored.


The study, by California University in San Francisco and Minnesota University, looked at 121 women who were put on a standard three-week diet of 1200 calories a day – around half a woman's recommended daily amount of 2000 calories.  Each patient was asked to provide a saliva sample before and after the study to test the cortisol levels. 


The results showed increase in the amount of the hormone after three weeks on the programme.




Courtesy : Times of India, Chennai Times , 20/04/2010

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Thursday, April 08, 2010

Healthy Feet

We take our feet for granted but scarcely give a thought to how best to keep them healthy.  Until of course, something goes wrong.


The human foot is one of the most complicated parts of the body, each foot has 332 joints, eight arches, 26 bones, more than a hundred muscles, ligaments, and tendons that all work in unison to allow movement.  Foot disorders must be diagnosed and treated early, as they often have the potential to become very painful and incapacitating.


There are three common foot problems that when treated early will save you from a lot of pain, and more importantly, form more complications..


Corns and Calluses


Anybody who ever worn uncomfortable shoes has probably had foot corns and calluses problems.  Foot corns are  a result of too much pressure being applied on the foot's skin, such as when the bones of the feet press against tight shores and also press against each other.  This foot condition is fairly easy to treat.  Doctors often prescribe wider shoes or cushion pads to relieve pressure.


Infected Toenails


Sometimes, the things you do to clean your toenails can do more harm than good.  Over clipping and digging deep into the sides can cause nails to throb, swell, and become infected and lead to a more serious foot problem called ingrown toenails. Podiatrists usually remove the nail spike and clean the area.  In the worst case, you may have to undergo simple surgery.


Athlete's Foot


Fungi are attracted to warm and moist areas of the body such as the feet – usually between sweaty toes.  The fungi latch onto the foot and cause itch and peel.  If untreated early, the fungi can even spread to the toenails and lead to what is called as Athlete's Foot.  There are many over-the-counter anti-fungal sprays, creams and powder available to treat this condition.


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Friday, January 15, 2010

Tuberculosis - causes and treatment

The most common cause for tuberculosis to manifest in the human body is low immunity. Lifestyle habits, poverty, personal choices and low awareness create situations for the disease to enter the body and spread. Tuberculosis may also come about due to pre-existing conditions that allow for its development. The awareness of actions and the possibility of developing tuberculosis can help large masses stay clear of the disease.
Low Weight
Poor countries have a high incidence of tuberculosis because of the low availability of nutritious food and poor sanitation in the surrounding areas. Research has shown a higher chance of tuberculosis for people with a low BMI – below 18.5. In some extreme cases of anorexia, that involves the loss of weight with extreme dietary restrictions, tuberculosis may appear when there is another infection that places excess stress on the human body. If you have people who fall in this category of weight as a result, it is advisable to contact an agency to visit the location to check and advice about the presence and prevention of spreading the disease.
Drug abuse
People with a history of drug abuse suffer from reduced immunity and have a higher risk of having unsafe sex. The unwitting sharing of needles and the possibility of developing tuberculosis are closely related. Tuberculosis may affect patients of HIV because their immunity is compromised. Added to this, the absence of awareness of the disease and the risk of spreading increase the possibility of transmission from person to person. Latent tuberculosis is another danger that causes the person carrying the germ to continue without symptoms while others who come in close physical contact develop the disease. Avoidance of dangerous habits is necessary to counter the ailment.

A high-risk lifestyle that involves frequent sexual encounters with different partners, living in crowded surroundings, carers for patients with tuberculosis. Lack of regular exposure to sunlight, poor sanitation facilities and the absence of good hygiene standards are precursors to this disease as are frequent travel to locations with a high incidence of the disease, alcoholism with weakened liver function and poverty are the common causes for the development of tuberculosis. Some patients are carriers and do not develop the disease since their bodies have developed the immunity against it whereas they can spread the disease. It is necessary for communities that living in crowded conditions to ensure that each person is checked for this. Carriers must be trained to avoid certain behaviours that can lead to the spread of the ailment.
The commonest reason for the disease to reach dangerous proportions is the ignorance regarding the developing symptoms and precautions to stem the spread. Lack of isolation of the tuberculosis patient and the complete avoidance out of fear of being infected are both extremes that almost reduce the viability of successful treatment. The patient must be provided nutritious food that may be beyond the reach of the family. The only way to guard against the spread of the disease is with vigilance about the possibility of its symptoms, community awareness of managing the patient and sensitivity towards patients.
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