Sunday, January 31, 2010

Smoking plays an important role in heart disease deaths. It is about 30% in USA and may be more in the poor and developing countries.

The adverse effects of nicotine include:

• Decreased oxygen in the blood, this less to the heart
• Too much of carbon monoxide
• High blood pressure
• Increased heart rate
• Blood clotting risk is increased
• Trigger of atherosclerosis, thus heart disease

Do not forget the cancer risk from tobacco. There are no healthy tobacco products.

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Saturday, January 30, 2010

There are many foods which are good for our heart health. Healthy food along with enough physical activity is the best. Your lifestyle plays also a vital role here.

The good foods are as follows:

Fish – fatty fish is very good because it contains a lot of omega-3 fatty acids. It has preventive and also therapeutic effects against cardiovascular disease. Fish decreases the chances of heart attack at least to 50%. If you are a non-eater of fish, eat fish after a heart attack or at least tablets of fish oil. The effects of fish eating are the following:

It blocks clotting
It reduces blood vessel constriction and increases blood flow.
Blocks cell damage from oxygen free radicals.
It raises the good HDL cholesterol and also lowers triglycerides.
It also lowers blood pressure

Garlic – It reduces or prevents artery-clogging. The several antioxidants present in garlic are being responsible for this positive effect.

Nuts, pulses, beans and seeds – These are good food for persons having heart problems. Groundnuts, almonds and walnuts are commonly consumed and they reduce the risk at least 25%. Nuts have monounsaturated fatty acids, rich in fibre and several antioxidants. Eating nuts mean that one puts on weight and you must be careful with the amount.

Fruits and vegetables – Vegetarians have less heart attack and I am sure their arteries are much cleaner. Fruits and vegetables are good to prevent as well as post heart attack food.

Oils – Olive oil and sesame oil are good food for heart’s health. They lower bad LDL cholesterol and have antioxidants also. Sesame oil is as good as olive oil and the difference is only the composition of the fatty acids.

Alcohol – Alcohol is not necessary for our metabolism. But one or two drinks or a glass of wine or a glass of beer per day is healthy. Alcohol helps to expand the arteries. Two glasses of wine or four drinks per day are harmful to health. Addiction is also a big danger and so it is better to avoid alcohol. Only the resveratrol present in red wine could lower cholesterol. It also only one glass (180 ml) is enough and than one glass is advisable. Excess alcohol narrows the arteries and this is very bad to your health.

Whole grains products are better than milled ones.

What types of food you have to avoid? Animal food should be taken less, lean meat may be taken and the saturated animal fat must be below 10% of the total calories intake.

Skinless poultry meat is good in limited amount.

You must avoid also excess intake of carbohydrates. Excess sugar is converted the lives as blood fat, triglycerides which is a risk factor for heart disease.

Avoid heavy meals.

Avoid excess salt.

Drink 3 to 4 litres of water (unless you are fluid restricted).

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Heart disease is the leading cause of death in women over 40 years old. After menopause this risk increases dramatically..

In recent years there many heart attacks in younger women over 30 years are also reported. Early menopause is a risk factor in young women.

The common risk factors include:

• Early menopause
• Diabetes
• High LDL-cholesterol
• High blood pressure
• Smoking
• Excess alcohol
• Obesity
• Family history of heart disease
• Less or no physical activity

Several things are in your hands to change. Healthy food and enough physical activity can do a lot for your heart health.

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The hardening of the arteries is normally called atherosclerosis. It occurs when the normal lining of the arteries are damaged. This makes the artery walls thick. The deposits of fat and plaque can build up there and this cause narrowing and in extreme cases blockage of the arteries.

In coronary artery disease which is a form of atherosclerosis, the arteries that supply blood to the heart is narrowed. This decreases the supply of oxygen-rich blood to the heart. Extra strain on the heart may result in chest pain and other symptoms like short breathing.

It it is not treated the result is heart attack. If the symptoms are there you must go to your doctor immediately. If it is severe go to the hospital directly or call for an ambulance immediately.

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Friday, January 29, 2010

Pure gold (24 carat) is soft and can not used to make jewels. In India, it is normally 22 carat and in Europe it is 14 carat and very rarely 18 carat.

It is always the metal in the alloy that makes the colour different.

Normally copper, silver and other base metals form the gold alloy.

• Copper is the most common metal and it forms a red alloy.
• 25% copper in the antique created a rose gold.
• Iron alloys with gold gives blue gold.
• Aluminium and gold give purple gold alloy.
• 14 carat and 18carat with silver give a greenish yellow gold.
• The white gold alloy is made with palladium or nickel.

This is the story of gold colours.

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Good oral hygiene is important for maintaining overall health. Poor oral health has been linked to heart disease including stroke, lung diseases, diabetes, low birth weight and premature births. Many diseases give their first warning signs as oral problems.

The four important steps to maintain good oral health include:

• Brush your teeth after every meals or at least twice daily with fluoride toothpaste
• Floss every day
• Do not eat snacks between the meals several times
• Visit your dentist once in a year even if you have no problems

The electric toothbrush is better and here many achieve good results even without flossing. Consult your dentist. To understand the right brushing and flossing techniques there many videos in the Internet and you could see that. Normally you get information from your dentist.

Without regular care, many oral health problems can happen. These include:

• Gingivitis, mild gum disease
• Periodontists, severe gum disease
• Cavities
• Tooth decay and tooth fall

Once if you have any one of these problems you must visit your dentist twice in a year. Neglecting this may cause oral cancer. Inflamed and infected gums are the result of the build up of plaque and calculus.

Dental plaque is a soft deposit on the surface of the teeth formed by bacteria. Brushing the teeth and flossing can remove this effectively. The hardened calcified plaque is called calculus. It should be removed by your dentist with instruments. Gingivitis means inflammation of the gums and it is mostly caused by plaque. Periodontists means inflammation around the teeth. It occurs when the gingivitis becomes worse and here the tissue which joins the teeth to the gums and/or the supporting bone are affected. The result is the formation of a pocket between the tooth and gum. If it is not treated the tooth may loosen and fall out. The depth of the pockets indicates the severity of periodontists. Brushing the teeth in a normal way removes the plaque from pockets up to 3 mm deep and treatment is necessary for deeper pockets.

To prevent tooth decay the amount of acid formed by the bacteria on your teeth must be kept to a minimum. Food choices and dietary patterns influence dental health. The development of tooth decay (dental caries) involves the interaction of saliva, oral bacteria, fermentable carbohydrates and the teeth. Each plays an important role here. The food related points include:

• The between-meal snacks must be selected in an intelligent way so that your teeth are not exposed continuously to acid. Select foods that contain less fermentable carbohydrates. If you mix protein and fat in a good way with the fermentable carbohydrates the exposure of the teeth is limited to acid. Fruits have natural sugars, but the high water content of them helps to protect against tooth decay. Vegetables except root vegetables have not much carbohydrates and these are very healthy for tooth. The worst choices are bananas, raisins and other dried fruits, potato chips, french-fries, pretzels, chocolates, all sweets, cookies, cakes, muffins, crackers and breads. Avoid sucking on hard candies or mints. Citus fruits and juices are also very acidic.

• You must be careful with soft drinks which contain any form of sugars. It is better to avoid these soft drinks. Natural sugars from the fruit juices can also cause tooth decay. Drink them quickly, sipping them throughout the day is bad. Do not add too much of sugar to your coffee, tea or cocoa. Soda contains also acid. Water, tea and milk are the good choices to drink. Water helps to flush away food debris and dilutes the acids.

Brush the teeth after every meals. If it is not possible mornings and evenings are good. Sugarless chewing gum which contain xylitol is good to reduce the risk. It helps to remove the food stuck to your teeth and increases the saliva flow to neutralise the acids.

As you see it is in your hands to do a lot for your oral hygiene. Teach the children properly when they are small the importance of oral hygiene. Adolescents must also be informed regularly. Persons with depressions are the biggest risk group and the lack of energy makes them to neglect their oral hygiene and many get periodontists.

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Gold is a soft, dense and the most malleable and ductile metal. One gram of gold can be beaten to one square meter sheet. Pure gold has a bright and attractive yellow colour. As a precious metal, for centuries, it has been used as money, crisis-free investment and above all in jewellery. It is also used in the industry as well as in the medicine. Gold dissolves in mercury to form amalgam alloy, but does not react with it.

The uses of gold include:

• In several countries it is a monetary reserve.
• We know its value in jewellery.
• Gold leaf or flakes (E175 in EU) are used in gourmet foods or sweets or in juice or alcoholic fruit drinks.
• In the alternative medicine, it is very often used (e.g., Thanga pashpam).
• It is used in the dentistry to make the crown and bridges.
• Colloidal gold is used as medicine for arthritis.
• It is used as a thin thread in silk sarees and in embroidery works.
• Used in electrical connector and electronic cable.
• Used in computers of the spacecraft and jet aircraft
• Its resistance to corrosion makes it useful in several industries.
• Gold medal is a part of honour-Nobel Prize, Olympic medals, etc.
• It is also the protective coat in artificial satellites as a reflector of electromagnetic radiation.
• Used in high quality CDs

Gold is not toxic and its cyanide salts are poisonous. But, patients who are taking gold as a medicine develop toxic effects and this is approximately 25% of them. Gold plays a role in kidney problems, gold influenza, proteinuria and skin toxicity. In extreme cases, I have seen very strong deposits of metallic gold in the eyes.

In white gold alloy, the nickel present can cause contact allergy problems and persons who are having this problem should be careful with nickel or nickel alloys.

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Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Greenhouse effect is very important for us to live in or earth. There are two greenhouse effects. One is the natural and the other one is the man-made. Earth’s surface is warmed by the infrared radiation from the sun. The natural greenhouse effect keeps the Earth’s climate warm and habitable. It is a very necessary effect; otherwise the earth’s temperature will be much lower.

Global warming, i.e. the increase of temperature in earth’s atmosphere is from the man-made greenhouse effect. This is due to the increased concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.

The dominant greenhouse gases include:

• Water vapour (about 80 to 90%)
• Carbon dioxide
• Ozone

• Methane
• Nitrous oxide
• Chlorofluorocarbons are the other important greenhouse gases.

Carbon dioxide is the worst greenhouse gas. More than 7.5 million tons of carbon dioxide reach atmosphere from the automobile exhausts, industries, rain forest and other forest burnings and all fossil fuels burnings. It should be reduced drastically by all the nations of the world.

Is it so dramatic increase of 3 to 4 degrees C? Yes, it is very dangerous. In 2050 it is expected an increase of 3 to 4 degrees average in the temperature of earth’s surface. The ice in poles is also no more secure. Many low lying places in the world will be under water. This is also applicable to Maldives.

We all can contribute to reduce carbon dioxide. For example, do not drive your car unnecessarily. Do not eat too much beef. Uncontrolled burning of old tyres and other wastes are crimes against humanity.

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At first, your will power is very important, without which you cannot manage your diet even for few days. Here are some of the tips which you have to keep in your mind:

You only must decide to reduce your weight, fix your goal; do not diet because somebody says to you.

Control your fat intake – note for two weeks everything which you eat and drink; if you see it later you can see how much fatty food you have eaten with their hidden calories and then avoid these foods. Reduction of fat and sugar are the most important part of the diet to become slim.

If you want to reduce your weight, during that time there should be no other tensions for you such as partner or family problems or examinations or starting a new job or moving to a new flat, i.e. you must have a stable life.

Do not make a sudden change in any of your habits such as smoking because the tension becomes more and it is difficult to achieve your goal. Once you have reached your goal in weight reduction, stop smoking. Slowly One by one, with a well planned strategy you can realize your aim.

Try to motivate one of your family members or friends to diet with you and two persons are always better to continue successfully. Here the continuous motivation from each has positive effects and there are generally very good results.

Aim at realistic goals. Reduction of one kilo in two weeks is normally a success. Never listen to people who have reduced 3 or 5 kilos a week without any problem and this is mostly a story without any truth. Otherwise, your expectation will be very high. Too much of expectations can always lead to frustration.

You should not put yourself under pressure to reduce the kilos immediately, at first the excess water goes out of the body since you take less salt. You reduce 2 kilos quickly. After that, brain orders the metabolism to slow down since it gets less than normal food and the lavish use of calories by the body is then stopped and the metabolism runs in a reduced speed. The effect in this wonderful game is no weight reduction and you are mostly the looser. You are mostly frustrated and start eating more than previously and you gain more weight. It is the duty of your physician and dietician together to solve this with necessary measures.

In the beginning, your goal must be in very low level and this success gives you the necessary strength to go further with good results.

You must be proud of you for every kilo weight reduction, if you reduce the weight slowly, you can keep it also for a long time.

Increase of one kilo weight should not be seen as a total failure, but only a small accident and you must always in a position to keep your head clear and never interpret this as a failure.

In a marriage or in a party you can politely refuse to take cakes, sweets or fatty food or take a very little piece or portion and keep it in your plate always which helps unwanted trials to feed you more and you must do follow this strictly. Never eat such foods because of the compulsion of your friends. You also learn never to press anybody to eat or drink something. But you can eat this also if you understand more about food and how to adjust the amounts by yourself.

You can eat a small portion of everything but do not take second time, even it is very tasty.

If you go for shopping to buy food, make a list and go, never buy anything which is not in your list and the most important thing is, do not go for shopping when you are hungry.

In your house, eat always only in a particular place and if possible eat at the same time everyday.

During your meals, do not watch television or read a book. If you concentrate on your food, you will not eat too much; otherwise you have no feeling of the amount you eat. When you see the film, your hand will be filling your mouth without any brake.

Do not keep sweets, chocolates or chips on the table, your eyes eat always with you, keep them in some drawer or do not buy.

Do not weigh your weight everyday, Day-to-day changes could not be seen in the weighing machine. Once in a week is necessary and the change is also very clear to see. Otherwise, the frustration makes you eat something bad, such as snacks which lead to enormous weight gain because your metabolism runs in low speed.

Do not miss a meal, my experience shows, people eat the next meal heavily, this is our nature.

Diet to reduce the weight should not be very low in calories, then in course of time you will put on weight because once you finish your diet, you eat normally and your metabolism is still low which makes the Yo Yo effect to increase more weight than you have reduced. Reduce your meals slowly every week and do your exercises, it is easy to reduce your weight because your body spends the energy normally, that means no slow down of your metabolism.

Change your food habits slowly.

Drink water, 3 to 4 litre a day and coffee or tea maximum two glasses a day. Cola, lemonade and other soft drinks should be consumed rarely.

Avoid alcoholic drinks completely because these are only empty calories.

All these will help you, if you take your foods which have all the nutrients for your health, if not deficiencies will result which can spoil your health. Here the dietician could help you much.

Many medicines have weight gain as side effect. In this case you have to talk to your doctor whether it is possible to change to another medicine. If it is not possible then it is difficult to reduce the weight.

Above all, try my metabolism based individual diet which not only helps to reduce weight but also good for weight maintenance. See

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Tuesday, January 26, 2010

There are so many, the people who sell it, promise you earth and sky come together and the success is always there. In the last four decades several chemicals are allowed, then banned, it is an unending story.

Medicines are effective only in very high amount and the side-effects are also correspondingly high. Abused drugs such as amphetamine, methamphetamine and their derivatives, the so called designer drugs or party drugs have all these effects to lose the appetite, but in course of time they will cause damage to central nervous system (brain, and spinal cord). Moreover, possessing these illegal narcotics is a crime.

A chemical carcinogen, called 2,4-dinitrophenol, increases the rate of metabolism by increasing body temperature, but highly poisonous to us. If you want to spoil your health completely, take any one of these. I say, no to all these drugs and pills and your liver has to eliminate all these chemicals and too much strain is not good for liver cells. If these are damaged it could not be regenerated further.

What about the clinically tested medicines used to reduce the weight? Sibutramine decreases appetite but approximately 4.3 kg weight is reduced in a year and the side-effects are increase in blood pressure and heart rate, constipation, insomnia and dry mouth.

Orlistat inhibits pancreatic and gastrointestinal lipase to prevent the absorption of 30% dietary fat and the average weight loss is 2.7 kg after one year. It has also positive effects on cholesterol, LDL and blood sugar. Few of the possible side-effects are faecal urgency, oily spotting, liquid stools, abdominal cramp and flatulence. Moreover, orlistat can impair the absorption of fat soluble vitamins.

Phentermine is a short term drug, used up to three months and users often lose 2 kg to 10 kg than others taking placebo. The side-effects are euphoria, nervousness, restlessness, increased blood pressure, increased pulse rate, insomnia, dry mouth and constipation.

Leptin – the clinical studies are disappointing.

The above mentioned chemicals may have some properties of weight loss, but the side-effects are dangerous to your health.

If we know everything about this, it is better to try with conservative methods which have more possibilities if they are done properly and professionally. If nothing helps, drugs may be used and there must be medical assistance and supervision.

Conservative, individual, metabolism based on diets with enough physical activity, are the best methods to reduce weight.

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Herbicides are used to destroy the weeds without doing any harm to crop. These are mostly used in agriculture.

The major herbicides used today include 2,4-D, atrazine, dicamba, clopyralid, glufosinate ammonium, glyphossate, imazapic, linuron, metoalachlor, triclopyr, picloram and paraquat

Nematicide is a pesticide used to kill the parasitic roundworms. A mixture of neem cake is reported to be an effective nematicide. Several compounds from carbamates, oxime carbamates, organophosphorus, organophosphate and phosphonothioate are used as nematicides.

Miticides or acaricides are the pesticides used to destroy and eradicate mites. Carbamate, organochlorine, permethrin and organophosphate miticides are the common ones.

Molluscicides are called snail baits and are pesticides against all sorts of snails that can damage the crops in agriculture or in garden. Iron III phosphate, aluminium sulphate, metaldehyde and acetyl cholinesterase inhibitors are the commonly used molluscicides and the last one is highly toxic to animals and human beings.

Rodenticides are poisons used to kill rodents such as rat and mouse. Rodenticides are tasteless, odourless, and lethal and have delayed poisonous effect. Rodents, normally, eat little, wait and if they do not become sick, they eat further.

The important rodenticides include:

• Anticoagulants, for example 4-hydroxycumarin
• Metal phosphides, for example zinc phosphide
• Arsenic
• Bromethalin
• Chloralose
• Crimidine
• 4-amine
• Phosacetim
• Fluoroacetamise
• Endrin
• 1, 3-Difluoro-2-propanol
• Pyrinuron
• Thallium
• Tetramethylene disulfotetramine
• Sodium fluoroacetate
• Scilliroside
• Zyklon B (hydrogen cyanide)

All are poisons and should be handled carefully.

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Monday, January 25, 2010

The immune system is body’s defence against bacteria, viruses and other foreign organisms. It is a very complex system which has to function properly to protect us from the harmful bacteria and other organisms in our environment that may infect body.

What is the relationship between immune system and food?

Your genetic make up influences your immune system and so do the environmental factors. From the scientific studies it is increasingly clear that you can manipulate your immune system by what you eat. Foods, containing vitamins, minerals and other unique compounds, can stimulate immune functioning, increase your resistance to various bacterial and viral infections, as well as cancerous growths which flourish or die according to the strength and operation of immune mechanisms.

How food can influence your immune system?

What you eat can strongly influence the performance of white blood cells, the frontline soldiers against infection and cancer. The B-cells produce critical antibodies which rush to destroy bacteria, virus and tumor cells. Many research documents of various foods and food components help to control the amount of white blood cells and their strength.

The quality of food must be good to prevent infections. Raw or lightly cooked eggs, shellfish or soft cheese may contain bacteria. Therefore, we must be always careful with all the food because the danger of infection may be everywhere.

Is vegetarian immune system better than others?

Fruits and vegetables have always a good influence on immune system because there are numerous substances, including vitamin C and beta-carotene and vegetarians have more strong immune defences. Vegetarians have more beta-carotene in blood than meat eaters and it has a documented influence on immune system.

Eat enough spinach, carrots and other fruits and vegetables rich in beta-carotene. Pulses, beans, nuts and seeds are also very important.

What is the role of our normal yoghurt here?

Eat some yoghurt every day and you do something good for your body and it is a known fighter against disease. Approximately eating 200 gram yoghurt daily can prevent cold and diarrhea in adults and elders. Yoghurt in animals and human beings stimulates the activity of natural killer cells which destroy tumor cells. The heated and frozen yoghurts, in which the bacterial culture is often killed, could strengthen our immune system.

What is shiitake mushroom?

Shiitake is a big, brown and fleshy mushroom of Asian origin. It contains an antiviral substance called lentinan which exhibits strong immunostimulating activity. It is used in Chinese traditional medicine and it can modify cells to resist the spreading of lung cancer cells. Thus shiitake mushroom may help immune system to fight as well as to prevent cancer.

Is garlic a weapon against microbes?

Garlic is a fighter of bacteria, virus and cancer cells and it stimulates the potencies of T-lymphocytes and macrophages, the main cells in immune functions. Garlic extract helps macrophages to generate more free radicals to kill microbes and tumor cells. It is a cheaper weapon to strengthen our immune system.

Zinc, is it really an immune element?

Your immune system cannot function properly if you fail to eat food rich in zinc. It helps to strengthen the immune sytem, including the production of antibodies, T-cells and other white blood cell activities.

What about drinking, I mean water or soft drinks?

Drinking plenty of fluid can help to prevent infection; it keeps your mouth moist and healthy and flushes out kidneys and bladder which prevents the build-up of waste in our body where the bacteria can grow. Three to four liter of fluid does good to our body but at least 70% must be drinking water.

Fat and immune system, what is the correct way?

Reducing fat in the diet is important not only for weight control but also seems to influence the function of our immune system. Diets that are high in fat seem to depress the immune response and thus increase the risk of infections. Reducing fat content in the diet can decrease the risk of infections. Moreover, it is not the amount of fat but also the origin of fat is important. Food rich in monounsaturated or polyunsaturated fatty acids are fatty fish, nuts soya or linseed oil.

Immune system and alcohol, where are we now?

Drinking little alcohol, especially wine, can boost your resistance to some infections and the reason may be, it can destroy or disable disease-producing organisms. Wine can kill any number of bacteria, including Salmonella, E. coli and Staphylococcus which are the common cause of food poisoning. Wine may be better because of grape skin and fermentation but other alcoholic beverages in small amount can destroy unwanted bacteria. Consuming contaminated food and alcohol at the same time may lessen the chance of becoming sick. For example, eating raw oysters may not be safe even with alcohol and avoidance is the best solution.

What about probiotic supplements?

These may be good. These come under food supplements; so no clinical studies and side effects. Nobody knows how the standardisation is done. We have to wait for further research.

What is the relationship between infections and kisses?

Millions of bacteria are transferred from one mouth to the other and there may be many harmful bacteria causing infections.

Do not kiss a child in the lips because the risk of infection is great.

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Chemical substances which are capable of killing almost all forms of living organisms in the fields of agriculture, forestry and household are biocides. These can be insecticides, fungicides, herbicides, nematicides, miticides, molluscicides, and rodenticides.

Insecticides are used against insects, their eggs and larvae found in agriculture, industry and household. Even though the insecticides have contributed towards agricultural revolution in the 20th century, these have altered our ecosystem and poisonous insecticide residues persist in food and drinking water. A balance between agricultural use and environmental health issues is very difficult to maintain. We must try it always with new ideas and more research.

There are various kinds of insecticides and they include:

Organochlorines: DDT, aldrin, chlordane, endosulfan. endrin, dieldrin, heptachlor, lindane, pentachlorophenol and hexachlorobenzene. Mustard gas is used in the war as chemical weapon.

Organophosphates: azinphos-methyl, chlorethoxyfos, dichlorvos, fenthion, malathion, mevinphos, parathion, parathionmethyl and tribuvos.

Carbamates: used as insecticides, fungicides and herbicides in agriculture. Used against mosquitoes inside the buildings. These are aldicarb, carbofuran, carbaryl, methomyl and methyl carbamates.

Pyrethroids: These are natural insecticides developed from the plant product (dried flowers) called pyrethrum. Permethrin, remethrin, cypermethrin, bifenthrin, tetramethrin, transfluthrin and many more belongs to this group and these are produced by adding chlorine, bromine, nitro group or others.

Neonicotinoids: these are the synthetic analogue of natural nicotine. These are often used as substitutes for organophosphates and carbamates. These are clothianidin, nitenpyram, thiamethoxam, acetamiprid, clothianidin, nithiazine and thiacloprid.

The other plant products include caffeine, nicotine, and neem products. Insecticides are poisons and we must be very careful.

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Ozone is a pollutant, but it has many industrial applications. They include:.

• As a disinfectant in hospitals, food processing factories and aged care homes
• Water disinfectant in place of chlorine, also in swimming pools
• To kill bacteria in food
• Washing of fresh fruits and vegetables to kill bacteria, mould and yeast
• In chemical synthesis in the industry
• Used to remove the contaminants such as iron, arsenic, hydrogen sulphide and nitrites in water
• Clean and bleach industrial plants.
• In processing plastics
• Ozone is also used in bleaching wood pulp.
• It is also used to detoxify cyanide wastes from gold and silver mining.

There are several other applications because of the high oxidation potential of ozone.

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The ozone layer in the stratosphere which blocks the dangerous ultraviolet rays is vital to our health and life. Increase of skin cancers are noticed when it is thinning or a hole is there. Aerosols, coolants and chlorofluorohydrocarbons cause ozone depletion. When they reach the stratosphere they will exist at least for 50 years.

Many countries have banned these substances but the industry nations refuse to ban. Even if we reduce or stop this pollution, the effect would be seen only after several decades. It is an Antarctic phenomenon and really a problem. In Australia there are restrictions to go in the sun because of ozone hole.

The triatomic molecule of ozone contains three oxygen atoms and it is less stable than oxygen molecule. It is a pale blue gas with irritating odour and is highly toxic on the respiratory system. At the same time ozone in the upper atmosphere filters damaging ultraviolet light from reaching the earth. It is also very strong oxidation agent.

Ozone is produced in the stratosphere which is 10 to 50 km away from the earth, between the reaction of molecule oxygen and ultraviolet light in the presence of hydrocarbons and nitrogen oxides and the amount present here is 20mg per cubic meter. Air in the upper troposphere contains 2mg per cubic meter and in the lower part depending on the time in a day it is present between 0.004 and 2mg per cubic meter.

The half life period of ozone is very short, only seven minutes. Ozone decays in houses and buildings very rapidly, will not also be formed once again, the amount in the open place is more than the buildings. It is not emitted by the automobiles or industry.

Photocopy machines produce ozone and it is better to use ozone filter.

Ozone is regarded as a pollutant by the World Health Organization.

Normally in Western countries through television and radio public is informed if the concentration of the ozone is high. It is advisable to do this in other countries also. During that time it is not advisable to do any hard work outside. Children, aged and sick people must stay in their home because there the concentration is less compared to outside.

When we do hard physical work, sport and any other tedious work, we take the most ozone.

Exposure up to 1 ppm produces irritation in the respiratory passages, headaches and burning of eyes.

2 to 10 ppm with an exposition of 1 to 2 hours will damage the eyes.

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Sunday, January 24, 2010

A special filter in a car engine used to lower the exhaust pollution level; it can break down many exhaust pollutants.

The catalytic converters are used to reduce the amount of carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons and nitrogen oxide. Platinum, palladium and rhodium are used in catalytic converters. Chemical reaction and temperature makes these emission substances to carbon and nitrogen. The emissions are also reduced significantly.

The other problem produced here is the poisonous heavy metal platinum or palladium will be released into the environment.

The fine carbon particles are also dangerous to our health.

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Prolonged abuse of inhalants may lead to tolerance development and the abuser needs more to get his kick and this is a dangerous situation.

Addiction is the result when the user needs it every day, more and more, to do his normal duties and his slow reactions and actions show us where he is.

The symptoms include:

• Irritation
• Dizziness
• Nausea
• Tremors
• Loss of appetite
• Aggressive behaviour
• Anxiety
• Depression

The short-term effects are, the wellbeing and relaxation is the first feeling and after that excitement, drowsiness, chillness, blurred vision, loss of inhibitions, bad behaviour, unpleasant breath and sores around the mouth and nose and nosebleeds.

Short-term effects can be similar to alcohol-abuse effects and may last one hour and after that headaches and tiredness may last to several days, but it depends on the dosage inhaled. Disorientation, loss of control of the feelings and body are the result of abuse of large quantities in short time.

Some of the reports in magazines tell that most of the solvents do not cause any damage to the body, if used in small doses for a short period. It is totally wrong, all the organic solvents which are not miscible in water are big danger to our body and if you have deficiency in your detoxification system, then it is too late to think about the adverse effects. These are absolutely wrong information to mislead children and teenagers.

The long-time abuse has more serious adverse effects to our health and they are seizures, irregular heart beat, brain and nerve damage, memory loss, tremors, facial sores, irritability and coma.

Another important problem is the personality change, which can spoil many things in your life.

In rich countries, the inhalation death are rare, but in developing countries you do not know mostly, it is the organic solvents or malnutrition or any disease killed one and it is difficult to say anything concretely. If you are unlucky, you may die also after the first use.

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Inhalants are organic solvents including nitro-aromatics, all volatile organic solvents including nail polish remover, paint diluters, whitener-solvent etc., gas aerosols, petrol and Kerosene. The vapours of the inhalants, when inhaled can cause a high intoxication. These are CNS depressants and slow down or affect the brain and CNS activity which affects physical, mental and the emotional responses.

These solvents and propellants are available everywhere, in the household, office, garden house etc. and moreover they are legal and also very cheap.

Acetone is available in nail polish remover; toluene and xylene are present in permanent markers.

Aerosol is present in every aerosol spray systems, such as air freshener, computer keyboard cleaner spray, aerosol hair spray and aerosol insecticides.

Toluene is present in many products such as turpentine, petrol, paint, spray paint and in many adhesives.

Cigarette lighter fluids and paint thinners

Butane gas is also used in households as inexpensive home welding kits.

Amyl nitrite, a nitrite drug which is used in the treatment of angina could also be inhaled and abused.

Alkyl nitrite is in video head cleaner or in some nail polish remover.

Butyl nitrite is sold as a room deodorizer could also be abused.

Think of the whitener used even by school children in India and the thinner is used to abuse. It could be avoided if the industry could supply closed whitener which also looks like a ball point pen without any thinner and only this is used by children in developed countries. Normal whitener is exclusively used only in the offices.

These are only a few to mention but almost all solvent vapours can be inhaled. In the industries hundred thousands of tons of organic solvents are used for the extraction and also as raw materials.

Last but not the least, petrol and kerosene are available everywhere, without any problem.

We must talk to our children and teenagers and explain them about the danger of these cheap and easily available inhalants. In your household keep these solvents somewhere under lock and key, but awareness is the best defence against these horrible things.

Abuse of inhalants is very dangerous for our health.

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Saturday, January 23, 2010

There are two different kinds of houses viz., houses built in very cold region and houses built in, subtropical or tropical region.

In the first case doors and windows are closed always because of the cold climate. Here we have several possibilities of indoor pollution. These include the formaldehyde from wood and plywood, volatile organic compounds from paints and solvents, lead paint dust, air fresheners and scented products. Controlled fireplace can add a big portion to air pollution.

Pesticide sprays may be fatal in tightly closed house. Use of coal in chimneys produces carbon monoxide and there were accidental deaths. We should not forget that the dry cleaned cloths emit tetrachloroethylene for days after dry cleaning. Pet animals produce a lot of dust. Dust mites increase in number in cushion, mattress and sofa.

Air conditioning filters have often harmful bacteria. The pollen from the garden and atmosphere also contaminate the indoor air quality.

Fungus is also a problem in closed houses.

In the tightly closed houses we must open the windows completely for 10 minutes so that the whole air is exchanged. One window per room is enough and this is important for our health.

In our modern flat, the air is automatically sucked out regularly and the fresh air is supplied which is energy saving as well as healthy.

In tropical areas the air pollution from outside brings dust and poisons inside the house. We must keep not only the house but also outside clean so that there will be fewer diseases.

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Dust is minute solid particles less than 500 micrometer radius. Atmospheric dust occurs from soil dust by wind, volcanic eruption and pollution.

Coal dust is responsible for lung disease and black lung disease among coal miners. Flour makes the same effect to bakers and ferric oxide to welders. The dust particles could also transport poisonous things as well as allergy producing substances everywhere. The contamination cycle starts from there once again.

The metal powder dust is also very dangerous.

What is the main dust in the home?

The human skin cells are the most produced dust in houses, offices and the places where many people come together. Approximately 7 million skin flakes fall per minute from our body and constitute the major portion of domestic dust. Domestic pets like dogs, cats, birds and other animals produce also much dust. House dust mites feed on skin flakes and they produce digestive enzymes. These enzymes and their faeces become part of the dust in the house.

How to clean the particles in the home?

Wet wiping, sweeping by hand or with a cloth, sponge or broom or by vacuum cleaner are the methods to clean. Always be careful because the dust could become airborne and then it is dangerous.

Do not use the vacuum cleaner when small children are there. The dirt and dust becomes airborne to the height of the small children and it is very dangerous for their health.

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The adverse effects from smoking include:

• Various Cancers
• Heart attack
• Stroke
• Passive smoking is a risk factor for others including pregnant and children

Smoking is an addiction and you must have the will to stop it and you must believe that also. The best way is to stop it immediately. If you want to reduce it slowly it is difficult to stop. Every individual is different. If you cannot stop it immediately it is better to try to stop it gradually. It is never late stop smoking.

Once you quit smoking, the health benefits could be felt by you immediately, within 24 hours, which could motivate you to be free from smoking.

Many million people want to stop smoking in our world, but 2% to 3% only quit successfully for 3 to 12 months. If we think about stop smoking scientifically, at first, we must know all the adverse effects of smoking. The decision to stop smoking is the next step. You must always remember there are no safe tobacco products.

The tips to stop smoking include:

• Set a stress free date for stopping
• Find a partner who may be a friend, relative or colleague for motivation and support
• Inform all so that nobody offers you a cigarette
• Make a plan for deep breathing exercise or other physical activities; consult with your doctor. Exercises give you more energy and help to reduce stress
• Healthy food and consult with your doctor or dietician about the possible weight gain also
• Avoid the triggers to smoke. They are stress, after a meal, after a coffee or after a drink. You must decide how you deal with the triggers.
• Very dangerous are the cravings which can last for 3 to 5 minutes. Deep breathing, a walk, your music or a telephone call to somebody can help to overcome the cravings. If possible avoid chips, other snacks and chocolates or take in small quantities.
• Everyday be proud of you and this gives you positive energy to master this.
• You must be in a position to manage the nicotine withdrawal symptoms. There are few helps for that – nicotine nasal sprays, nicotine inhalers, nicotine patches and nicotine gum.

Other therapy forms like psychological therapy may also be useful. The first fourteen days are very difficult and here you may need help. The risk of relapsing is the first three months after stopping. But with a strong will you can stop completely. It takes ten years for your body to recover completely from the effects of smoking. So stop smoking now.

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Friday, January 22, 2010

The process of exposing food to ionizing radiation to destroy bacteria, viruses, other micro organisms or insects is food irradiation and in several countries it is banned.

Sprout inhibition, delay of ripening and increase of juice yield and improvement in rehydration are the unnatural practices done by the industry, this spoils the food quality and the health risks are unforeseeable.

The ionizing radiation damages the DNA, the basic genetic information for life and thus it stops the malignant or pathogen activities of micro organisms. Ionizing radiation causes damage to the reproductive organs of insects. Irradiated plant foods cannot continue their natural ripening.

Only 40 countries are allowing food irradiation.

The critics say that the food is dead after irradiation. If it is possible, such food must be avoided.

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Although iron is essential it is also toxic and the toxic metals include:

• Arsenic
• Lead
• Mercury
• Cadmium
• Iron
• Aluminium

Arsenic - It is the most common cause of acute heavy metal poisoning. It is released from different industries to the environment. Shellfish, cod and haddock contain arsenic. Paints, rat poison, fungicides are the other sources. The target organs are kidneys, central nervous system, digestive tract and skin.

Lead - It accounts for most of the cases of paediatric heavy metal poisoning. It reduces the intelligence of the children. The old houses still have the lead pipes. Industry produces every year 2.5 million tons of lead and most of this is used in batteries. Bones, brain, kidneys and thyroid gland are the target organs. The paints also contain lead salts to dry them quickly. Therefore children should not be allowed to lick painted doors or windows. It is a problem throughout the world. Back hair dye and black printing ink have also lead.

Mercury - Its emissions are there from nature as well as from the industry. Chloralkali plants and paper industries are significant polluters. Dental amalgam is also a source of pollution. Fishes have more mercury. Target organs are the brain and kidneys. The present problem of mercury in our environment is the incandescent light bulbs, which we use in our houses. Some politicians want to ban these bulbs because they consume much more electricity. Politics and industry, therefore, recommend energy saving compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulbs. But, the problem is they keep silent about the mercury present in these energy saving CFL bulbs which then could become one of the serious environmental contamination to our soil and ground water. When these bulbs are used up, they form solid wastes. In Western countries we can give back fused bulbs where we bought them and it is the law which regulates this. What will happen in other countries where there are no such possibilities? People simply throw used up bulbs with their household waste or near their houses, the mercury goes to the soil and ground water. The plants take these metals and the animals along with their feed or grass and we are the last in this chain to get it from our food. We must be very careful to keep ourselves and our families free from such poisons.

Cadmium - it is used in nickel-cadmium batteries, PVC plastics and paint pigments. Cigarette (tobacco) also contains cadmium. The absorption is through respiratory system. Liver, placenta, kidneys, lungs, brain and bones are the target organs.

Iron - it is a heavy metal of concern because iron supplements may acutely poison young children, 5 to 9 years. If the children consume 30mg iron tablets per day, it may spoil their health. The health problems associated with free radicals are dangerous to children. Too much of iron supplement is not healthy for adults. It accumulates in liver, heart muscles, kidney and other organs, rusting a reddish brown oxide coating forms on iron by the action of oxygen and moisture there and producing countless number of free radicals.

Aluminium - it is not a heavy metal but it is ingested through the use of food additives, antacids, nasal sprays and antiperspirants. Other sources are drinking water automobile exhaust, tobacco smoke, aluminium foil, aluminium cookware, ceramics and fancy fire works. Target organs for aluminium are the central nervous system, kidney and digestive system. The question of Aluminium and Alzheimer’s disease is not yet answered. It is proved that aluminium could cross the blood-brain barrier without any problem.

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Some plant food has natural poisons and they include:

Potato: The green part in potato contains solanine, a nerve toxin. In high concentration the symptoms are vomiting, diarrhoea, headaches and even paralysis of the central nervous system.

Green beans: The poison in raw green beans is called lectin phytohaemagglutinin. Ten minutes boiling degrades this toxic component.

Note: Sprouts of pulses are rich in haemagglutin and should not be eaten too much. Haemagglutin is a substance which causes red blood cells to clump together.

Beetroot and Asparagus: The natural poison in these vegetables is saponin. If it is injected, like all soaps, it damages the blood cells and is thus highly toxic. But it is the property of the whole molecule, but on oral intake, hydrolysis readily occurs in the mouth, splitting it into its sugar moiety and sapogenin and it is quite safe. Now you know why we have to grind the meal 32 times in our mouth.

Lakritz: Lakritz, licorice contains glycyrrhizin which metabolizes in our body to glycyrrhizin acid. It changes the mineral household and causes the problems of high blood pressure, water collection in the legs and muscle weakness. Healthy persons can eat a maximum of 50g and children and pregnant women can eat much lower than this.

Bitter almond: Its natural poison is amygdaline. It can be broken down into the poisonous substance hydrocyanic acid (cyanide).

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Thursday, January 21, 2010

There are three forms of sexuality and they are heterosexuality, homosexuality and bisexuality.

Heterosexuality - It is the emotional and sexual attraction or sexual relation with persons of opposite sex. This group is the majority.

Homosexuality - It is emotional and sexual attraction or sexual relation with persons of the same sex. It is reported in ancient times too. Surveys report that 5% to 10% of men and women have an exclusive homosexual orientation in Western countries. In many countries this is prohibited and is an offence and in other countries one could marry his/her same sex partner.

Sexual orientation and identity starts from adolescence. There are no scientific explanations for this.

• Gay - he who has strong emotional, physical and sexual attractions for other man is a gay.

• Lesbian - Woman who has emotional, physical and sexual attractions for other woman is a lesbian.

• Bisexuality - Man or woman who has emotional, physical and sexual attractions for both man and woman is a bisexual.

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There will be increased risk of fracture with minor falls. With increasing age, from day to day works like bending and lifting, the frequency of falls may lead to pain and other physical problems.

The risk of hip fracture is the worst because it affects the quality of life and more often it leads to death in women above 75 years old. About 35% of the women recover or regain their pre-fracture quality of good life. During the sickness, fear, anxiety and depressions are the symptoms along with the suffering of their families.

Imagine, a woman lives alone in Europe or in North America without family members, or the family members have no time because of their job or children, then old age home with medical care is the only alternative and the stress produced from the loss of her home and her personal environment, may increase, the chance of premature death. Here, I do not want to write about the happenings with such persons in the old age homes throughout the world.

Above all, you are lucky if you or your family are financially sound, otherwise the situation is catastrophe. Dear, young readers, by doing several things like good nutrition, enough physical activity, good observation in the families and a good family doctor who can take enough time for you, you can avoid this disease.

Physical activities such as walking, jogging, swimming or gymnastic are very useful to prevent the disease. The human beings are made to move always, but unfortunately mostly you cannot wander during your work or job. Do not work more than 8 to 10 hrs in your office so that you get more time for your physical activity. We work to live, but not live only to work.

The good food intake is throughout the life important. Fresh vegetables, fruits, fish and lean meat are good. One must be careful with calcium supplement and it is better to consult your doctor before that.

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Hygiene, once again hygiene is the best answer. The personal hygiene standards must be very high, keep your house and environment very clean and wash your hands when you have been in the toilet and also before preparing or eating food. Take a bath everyday and have your own towels because these are a good source of cross-infection.

When your immunity is low, your mouth is a place of risk for infections; use a soft brush because hard brush might cause the gums to bleed that increase the risk of infection. Consult your dentist for antiseptic mouthwash to be taken after meals which may prevent infection.

If your immunity is reduced for any reason, avoid people who have sore throat, cold, flu, vomiting and diarrhoea and all the possible other infections.

It is important to go outside for physical activity and for fresh air and avoid crowds in public transport and shopping centres. Select your clothes properly if you go out in cold weather or in winter to avoid getting a chill.

It is better to avoid public swimming hall and the chance of getting infected through the water. It is also better to avoid sport performances and other social activities where more people gather together.

If you have pets or work with animals you should be extra careful, wash your hands if you have contact with them and avoid completely animal wastes which can increase the risk of infection.

Avoid all building materials such as bricks, and cement which may contain dust and fungal spores that may cause infection.

If you plan a trip to abroad, contact your doctor for necessary vaccination which is necessary for the visiting country.

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Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Low cholesterol is good for our heart, but if it is too low, less than 150, it may alter the brain chemistry because brain contains a large amount of cholesterol. We have knowledge about the cholesterol in our body but we know only little about brain cholesterol.

Cholesterol does not go from the blood to brain because of the blood-brain barrier but it is synthesized in the brain itself. About 25% of the total cholesterol found in our body is in the brain and its turnover is affected in neuro-degenerating disorders. The capacity for cholesterol transport and recycling in the brain seems to be important for the development of diseases like Alzheimer’s disease. Lot of research is going on but concrete evidence is unfortunately still missing.

The negative consequences of low cholesterol, whether actively reduced or naturally low, are a few according to the recent research reports.

Men with the lowest cholesterol had the highest mortality rate, but it is generally due to cancer and other non-heart related diseases. It may be the lung cancer in the case of smokers with low cholesterol, but the reason is not low cholesterol itself.

Cholesterol may be important in the brain for the production of serotonin, a neurotransmitter which at low levels associated with depression. Persons with low cholesterol have also low serotonin values and there is a link between low natural cholesterol levels and negative emotional states, depression, accidents, violence and a higher rate of suicide.

Persons with low cholesterol, but with high blood pressure, may be at the risk for haemorrhagic stroke with bleeding in the brain. But it should be clearly noted that this type of stroke is much less common than ischemic stroke which is caused by artery blockage.

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Meals which contain protein, low fat foods and carbohydrates with fibres are the best foods for alertness. During midday the concentration of the neurotransmitters dopamine and norepinephrine are low in brain and if we supply tyrosine from protein and the brain becomes alert.

What are the foods good for brain alertness? Foods which are rich in protein are poultry without skin, turkey, lean meat, low fat cheese, skimmed milk, low fat yoghurt, dried beans, fish and shellfish.

Milk, eggs and meat contain choline and adults performed better memory tests after eating foods containing choline. If you have an interview, presentation or examination, think of these foods.
Prunes contain antioxidants and this can scavenge the reactive oxygen free radicals linked to memory loss and mental deterioration better.

Whole grains carbohydrates can give you brain memory-enhancing simple sugar.

Broccoli, avocadoes, grape juice and apples contain boron, which is responsible for hand-eye co-ordination, attention and short term memory.

Apples, soya milk, yoghurt and oranges have slow digesting carbohydrates and can supply a steady source of energy to our body.

Sardine, salmon and other young cold-water fish contain proteins which can supply tyrosine to produce the two alertness neurotransmitters, dopamine and norepinephrine. This has vitamin B12 as well as omega-3 fatty acids which may help in preventing depression. Omega-3 fatty acids raise also serotonin level in the brain which can regulate mood and reduces irritability.

Sunflower seeds contain magnesium and it helps to maintain normal muscle and nerve function, keeps the heart rhythm steady and is also important in energy metabolism.

Capsaicin, the hot substance in the hot chillies can lift our mood because chilli produces pain in the nerve endings of the tongue and mouth, and getting this false information, the brain secretes the natural painkillers or endorphins. Each bite of the hot chilli gives one more dose of the mood lifting endorphins.

Chocolates can release endorphins into the brain which contain phenyl ethylamine.

Iron deficiency makes you very tired and so do not forget to include these foods in your meals which are red meat, poultry, turkey, raisins, dried apricots and legumes.

Caffeine in moderate amount helps you to improve your mood and performance but too much gives only a negative result.

Selenium may also improve our mood but the exact mechanism is not yet clear.

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Many people use the word depression if they are sad. Sadness is entirely different from depression. Many depressed people are not at all sad. But they feel empty, lifeless and hopeless.

Depression interferes in your day-to-day life including your ability to work, learn, eat, sleep and social life. You feel that you are empty and you cannot stop the negative thoughts. You feel totally helpless, hopeless and worthless and there is normally no relief from these feelings.

The loss of your child or partner can make you very sad and from this sadness in extreme cases depression may develop. Extreme fear from the finance or other problems can also cause depression

Depression symptoms vary from person to person and the common symptoms include:

• A strong feeling of helplessness and hopelessness. You believe that it is impossible to change this worst situation. You cannot stop your negative thoughts
• Sleep disorders, normally sleeplessness or too much of sleep
• Loss of energy and feeling fatigue
• Complete loss of interest in daily activities
• Loss or gain of appetite and weight changes
• Feeling of worthlessness or guilt. You feel that everything is your mistake and are convinced that you could never change this
• Restlessness or irritability
• Concentration problems – you cannot decide, you forget a lot and the easy things are becoming the most difficult task
• Extreme fear
• Unexplained pains and aches
• Thoughts of death and suicide

Many of these symptoms can be a part of life’s normal lows. If you have more symptoms, they are strong and last long then you have depression. You may need help now.

Suicide is a big risk factor of depression and the warning signs include:

• Talking about death or harming to self
• Calling and visiting people to say goodbye
• Sudden feeling change from extreme depression to acting calm and happy
• Trying to regulate the personal affairs
• “Everything is better without me” is the usually heard sentence

In this case the family members or friends must inform the doctor for professional help. It is a cry for help and the action in the right time can save a life.

There are different kinds of medicines to treat and your doctor will select the right medicine for you. Individual or group psychotherapy is also necessary to treat depression.

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Tuesday, January 19, 2010

The nose has several blood vessels and it is situated in a vulnerable position on the face. The bleeding me much or it may be a minor complication.

The nose bleedings can occur spontaneously when the nasal membranes dry out and crack. This is common when the climate is dry or in winter months. The household heaters dry the air in the home dry. In winter months there are more nose bleedings and the reasons are frequent respiratory infections, frequent temperature and humidity fluctuations and the vast temperature difference from outside and the heated homes. The common causes include:

• Infection
• Injury, including from nose picking
• High blood pressure
• Excess alcohol
• Allergic and non-allergic rhinitis (runny or stuffy nose with or without swelling)
• Use of blood thinning medicines like warfarin or aspirin or any anti-inflammatory medicine

The nose bleeding could be stopped in the following ways:

• Pinch the nose together between the thump and index finger
• Press the nose firmly toward the face
• Apply ice to nose and cheeks. The ice must be wrapped in a towel
• Do not lay, do not put your head between your legs and sit quietly
• Hold the nose at least for 5 minutes. It should be repeated till the bleeding stops
• Lean forward slightly with head tilted forward to avoid the blood from entering the sinuses and throat

If bleeding continues you must go to your doctor. There are some precautionary measures to prevent the repeating of nose bleeding and they include:

• Take rest with 30 to 45 degrees elevated head
• Do not blow your nose
• If you have to sneeze, open your mouth so that the air can escape out through the mouth
• Avoid bending and straining to lift heavy things. The head must always be higher than the heart
• Do not strain during bowel movements, if necessary take stool softener
• The food must be soft and cold and avoid hot food or drinks for at least 24 hours
• After talking to your doctor avoid blood thinning medicines during this period if possible
• Use the ointment which your doctor prescribes
• Avoid smoking

You have to go to the doctor or to an emergency clinic if the bleeding cannot be stopped or if the blood loss is large or if you feel weak or faint from blood loss.

Your doctor may use nasal packs to stop nose bleedings if the above said conservative measures fail.

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Till 2005 it was not considered medically necessary. But in recent times, the practice of newborn circumcision is going up. 60 to 75% of males are circumcised in the United States. The percentage varies depending upon the ethnic groups and religion.

The main reason for this change is that several large studies showed that a 60% decrease in HIV transmission in circumcised males compared to uncircumcised males. This has influence in the decision of parents for newborn circumcision.

The circumcised penis is easier to keep clean. An uncircumcised boy must be taught properly how to clean his penis gently but thoroughly. This must happen mostly when the boys are three years old. Before that the retraction may not be possible and this is normal. Uncircumcised boys get more urinary tract infections. This is significant in infants. The reason is that circumcision prevents the growth of bacteria under the foreskin.

Uncircumcised men have higher risk of sexually transmitted diseases like syphilis, herpes simplex type-2 and human papillomavirus. It is the case with HIV infection also. Gonorrhoea and inflammation of the urethra are less common in circumcised men.

Less infection with human papilomavirus means the partner is also partially safe from cervical cancer. Penis cancer comes exclusively to uncircumcised men.

Circumcision increases the risk of the inflammation of the opening of the penis.

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Osteoporosis is a skeletal disorder characterized by a thinned and weakened bone which increases the risk of fracture. Bone density informs about your bone strength and demineralization of the bones causes osteoporosis.

Simple falls can make an osteoporotic bone more susceptible to fracture.

Primary osteoporosis can occur both in men and women, but more common in postmenopausal women and men get it normally when they are old.

Secondary osteoporosis is due to deficiencies or too much of hormones, steroid medication and chronic illness and there may be more other reasons which we may not know now.

The most important here is not the bone density or daily bone loss but the balance between bone formation and loss.

Calcium, vitamin D and estrogens play a vital role in osteoporosis. Healthy food, good lifestyle and physical activity is important to prevent it.

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Monday, January 18, 2010

E. coli or its various forms present in gut are responsible for most of the bladder infections.

If you live in cold places wear warm underclothes, otherwise the chance of getting it is higher than normal. Women may get bladder infections after sexual intercourse because it makes easier for bacteria in reaching the urethra through the bladder. HYGIENE is written here very big to stress the importance.

Women, who use diaphragm as a primary of contraception, are also susceptible to bladder infection because it may press the bladder and prevent to empty the urine completely. This rest urine is bad for us and good for bacteria to increase the risk of bladder infection.

The compressed bladder of pregnant woman is also susceptible for this infection and it is mostly uncomfortable.

Bladder infections are more common among young women who have just become sexually active and have sexual intercourse often.

Use of spermicides may also increase the risk of bladder infections. Cotton undercloth is useful to prevent bladder infection.

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The immune system is body’s defence against bacteria, viruses and other foreign organisms. It is a very complex system which has to function properly to protect us from the harmful bacteria and other organisms in our environment that may infect body.

If your immunity is reduced for any reason, avoid people who have sore throat, cold, flu, vomiting and diarrhoea and all the possible other infections.

It is important to go outside for physical activity and for fresh air and avoid crowds in public transport and shopping centres. Select your clothes properly if you go out in cold weather or in winter to avoid getting a chill.

It is better to avoid public swimming hall and the chance of getting infected through the water. It is also better to avoid sport performances and other social activities where more people gather together.

If you have pets or work with animals you should be extra careful, wash your hands if you have contact with them and avoid completely animal wastes which can increase the risk of infection.

Avoid all building materials such as bricks, and cement which may contain dust and fungal spores that may cause infection.

If you plan a trip to abroad, contact your doctor for necessary vaccination which is necessary for the visiting country.

The personal hygiene standards must be very high, keep your house and environment very clean and wash your hands when you have been in the toilet and also before preparing or eating food. Take a bath everyday and have your own towels because these are a good source of cross-infection.

When your immunity is low, your mouth is a place of risk for infections; use a soft brush because hard brush might cause the gums to bleed that increase the risk of infection. Consult your dentist for antiseptic mouthwash to be taken after meals which may prevent infection.

The quality of food must be good to prevent infections. Raw or lightly cooked eggs, shellfish or soft cheese may contain bacteria. Therefore, we must be always careful with all the food because the danger of infection may be everywhere.

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These two belong to the same chemical group, methylxanthenes. Both have similar properties, However they are antagonists. During 1800s caffeine was the prime anti-asthmatic drug to dilate bronchial tubes, but in 1920s theophylline replaced caffeine and it is still prescribed.

Caffeine can help to prevent and treat asthma symptoms. If we make observations, the coffee drinkers appear to have less asthma, but do not drink much, maximum three cups will do the good. It is also almost equal to a standard dose of theophylline.

If toxic level of theophylline is found in blood of the patients who take regular doses, we recommend strong coffee which can excrete theophilline very quickly from the body, thus preventing the toxic effects.

Three to four cups of strong black coffee is a good emergency treatment for an asthmatic attack which is as effective as theophylline.

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Sunday, January 17, 2010

Onion contains at least three naturally occurring anti-inflammatory substances which act at the basic cause of asthma. Persons who drank onion juice had only 50% bronchial asthma attack when exposed to irritants. Sulphur containing anti-inflammatory agent makes this possible.

Onions are also rich in quercetin, another powerful anti-inflammatory agent which can relive allergies. Moreover, it is a strong antioxidant, seems to stabilize cell membranes that releases histamine. Onions have the capacity to destroy the bacteria from the inflammation.

Hot chillies, spicy mustard, garlic and onions make breathing easier by opening up the air passages and they have also mucus moving activity which thins the mucus that otherwise plugs up the small airways, making breathing difficult for persons with asthma.

Capsaicin, the hot substance in chillies, onions and garlic has anti-inflammatory properties.

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Kidney stones are hard masses developed from crystals which separate from the urine in the kidney or in the urinary tract. Urine contains chemicals that prevent or inhibit the crystals from forming and most of the time these crystals remain tiny to travel through the urinary tract without pain and pass out of the body in the urine without being noticed. But the bigger stones can block the renal pelvis and tubes completely. It is very painful. There are different kidney stones.

Kidney stones, like the other modern chronic diseases, appear to be another factor from a westernized diet which influences a lot to produce it.

Developing a kidney stone depends on several factors, including hereditary, diet, medication, metabolic abnormalities and infections.

There are four kinds of kidney stones:

Calcium oxalate stone – 80 to 90% of the kidney stones are calcium oxalate stones. Much calcium is present in milk and milk products. Oxalic acid or oxalates are present in vegetables.

Cystine stone – is the least common stone. It has nothing to do with the food but is caused by hereditary disorders. An excessive excretion of this amino acid is the reason for this stone formation.

Magnesium phosphate or ammonium phosphate or a mixture of this also produces the kidney stones. These are mostly formed in infected urine.

Uric acid stone – uric acid is the by product of protein metabolism which also form stones and it is caused due to excessive intake of proteins.

Extremely acidic urine forms stones. We must drink enough water to prevent the stones.

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Constipation is when the bowel movement is less than three times a week. The stool is usually dry, pellet like and in some cases difficult to pass.

The causes of constipation include:

• Less physical activity
• Less fibre in the diet
• Do not postpone always your defecation which can cause constipation
• Milk and other dairy products can cause constipation.
• Consumption of less fluid can cause constipation.
• Eating meals irregularly can also cause constipation. Eat a healthy diet on the same schedule each day and chew your food well which helps to reduce the work of the digestive system.
• If your body is not getting enough rest, that can also cause constipation.
• Stress and worry can often cause constipation.
• The side effects of many medicines such as blood pressure medicines, pain killers, diuretics, antidepressants, anticonvulsants, antacids, antispasmodics, and antiparkinson’s disease drugs can cause constipation.
• Do not avoid fat completely from your food.
• Pregnancy, depression and travelling are also reasons for constipation.
• Do not take laxatives if you are not actually constipated and artificial help to complete the natural digestive process make it dependent and can cause constipation.

These are the commonly known reasons for constipation. It is in your hands to eat healthy food.

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Saturday, January 16, 2010

Traveller’s diarrhoea is the diarrhoea of developed country people getting in developing countries and it is mostly because of bacteria which may come from food or water.

To prevent traveller’s diarrhoea drink only bottled water and other beverages, eat only cooked food, fruits which are peeled and avoid tap water, ice cubes, ice cream, food from street vendors and unpasteurized milk and milk products.

Carbonated water can also be taken to drink or to wash the mouth. Carbonated water is acidic enough to kill the bacteria including those that cause diarrhoea. You must eat and drink normally if you have traveller’s diarrhoea.

If necessary go to a local doctor and get medicine with antibiotic which help immediately. Most of the medicines which they bring with them are useless because they are always without antibiotics.

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Fruit juices containing sorbitol and fructose can cause diarrhoea because they are not absorbed well in the small intestine as well as in the large intestine where they are attacked by bacteria; diarrhoea, gas and crampy abdominal pain are the results.

Apple juice is bad because it is high in sorbitol and fructose, followed by pear and green grape juice.

The safest fruit juice for infants and children is orange juice because it is low in fructose and has no sorbitol.

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Weak lower oesophageal muscles which may also relax too often allow the acid to get into the oesophagus. When the lining of the oesophagus comes in contact with too much of acid from the stomach oesophagus it is injured and produces burning pain. This result is heartburn.

You can prevent heartburn by doing the following things:

• Avoid large meals
• Avoid high fatty food
• It is better to drink a small glass of water at the end of the meal to wash down the acid which might be splashing up into the oesophagus.
• High fibre foods reduce heartburn
• You can drink heartburn friendly beverages like water, mineral water, low fat milk and juices of noncitrus fruits. Decaffeinated tea also helps. Soda, citrus fruit juices, alcoholic beverages, coffee, tea and cola can increase the acid production in the stomach and also to relax the lower oesophageal muscle.
• Fat around the midsection of the body is also a risk factor which can press the stomach and send the acid upwards.
• Chocolate, coffee, alcohol, fatty foods, tomato, citrus fruits and their juices, hot chilli and black pepper must be avoided.
• Chewing gum with no peppermint flavour helps to produce more saliva and the bicarbonate present there can neutralise the acid.
• Avoid alcohol and smoking.
• Give enough time between meals
• Exercises which differ from individual to individual may help to decrease the heartburn.
• Avoid lying down two to three hours after eating; otherwise it can help the acid splash upwards.

Three heavy meals and frequently eating do not ease heartburn. A small meal is advisable. Heavy meal means more acid reflux and small meal means less acid reflux.

When you sleep your pillow must be six to eight inches higher when you lie down so that the head is elevated and a peaceful sleep may be possible.

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