Friday, 1 June 2012


Pregnancy is associated with increased physiologic activity in most instances and most of the organs return to prepregnancy status between the time of delivery and 6 weeks postpartum.The changes in haematologic system include increase in blood volume, red blood cell mass, leucocytes, platelets and clotting factors.During pregnancy the red blood cell mass is increased 33% and the erythrocyte volume is increased steadily whether or not iron supplementation is given but with iron supplementions ,the increase in erythrocyte volume is greater.Since plasma volume also increases earlier in pregnancy and faster than RBC volume the haematocrit values may fall until the end of second trimester when the increase in RBC volume synchronises with the plasma volume increase.With the increase in RBC, the need for iron naturally rises and if the iron intake is not increased ,iron deficiency anaemia will result.In the later half of pregnancy maternal iron requirements may reach 6-7mg/day.If the iron is not readily avialable the foetus uses iron from maternal storage thus the production of foetal haemoglobin is usually adquate even if the mother is severely iron deficient.Anaemia is one of the most prevalent nutritional deficiency problems affecting pregnant women.As per WHO criteria haemoglobin <11gm/dl is anaemia.

SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS :- A person may have following symptoms and signs.

1. Dyspnoea (shortness of breath) due to decreased oxygen carrying capacity.
2. Palpitations (awareness of heart beating)
3. Tiredness and lethargy (due to lack of energy)
4. Pale complexion.
5. Angular stomatitis (ulcers on the corners of mouth)
6. koilonychia (spoon shaped nails)
7.Pica (eating non-food items like clay etc.)
8. Hair loss.
9. Others.

DIAGNOSIS :-To diagnose iron deficiency anaemia three parameters are useful ,which include:-

1. Haemoglobin( Hb) .
2. Red blood cell count.
3. Hematocrit.
Apart from these other parameters like MCV (mean corpuscular volume may also be helpful to rule out other causes of anaemia.

1. Early detection and management may prevent late complications.
2. Routine use of daily iron supplements (30mg/day) after twelth week of gestation.
3. Well balanced diet rich in iron (green leafy vegetables, beans ,nuts , meat etc.)
4. More severe cases may require aggressive therapy or even blood transfusion.

Wednesday, 2 May 2012


Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis characterized by swelling,pain and stiffness of the affected joints that results from cartilage degeneration.Cartilage is a tissue present between the articulating surfaces of the joint.As a result of cartilage degeneration, the articulating surfaces of the joint rub against each other and increased friction in the joint leads to pain,inflamation and stiffning. Most common joints affected are the weight bearing joints like hips and knees,however other joints like spine,elbows,etc may also be affected.In majority of the cases there is no known cause for osteoarthritis but its incidence and severity increases with the age but some cases of osteoarthritis may be due to previuos surgeries,trauma, sports injuries etc..Unlike other forms like SLE,rheumatoid arthritis etc. there is no systemic involvement in osteoarthritis ,ie other organs of the body are not involved.There is no cure for osteoarthritis as the degeneration process can't be halted and the aim of treatment is to relieve pain ,inflamation and stiffness of the joints.Before starting any treatment it is extremely important to confirm the diagnosis and diagnosis is established on the basis of clinical features,x-ray,arthoscopy and others however blood tests may be helpful to exclude other forms of arthritis.Treatment of osteoarthritis includes anit-inflamatory drugs,analgesics,topical pain relievers,invasive procedures,corticosteroids,braces,surgeries and others.Today we will discuss only natural,non-pharmacological and non-surgical ways to treat osteoarthritis.

WEIGHT REDUCTION :-  Obesity or excessive body weight is the second most common cause for osteoarthritis after ageing. Excessive body weight increases the pressure on weight bearing joints which results in increased friction in the joint ,thus aggravating  the symptoms.Every person suffering from osteoarthritis should be encouraged to loose weight unless he or she has normal BMI. Even little reduction in body weight can bring dramatic improvement in the symptoms.Weight reduction can be achieved with both dieting and exercise.

EXERCISE :- Activities that aggravate the symptoms should be avoided. Exercise helps not only in burning extra fat but there are other benefits if done properly.Exercise strengthens the muscles around the joint ,improves blood ciculation and maintains the mobility of the joints.Exercise also stimulates the release of synovial fluid which cover the articulating surfaces of the joints and reduce friction .Regular exercise also stimulates the release of endorphins (natural pain relievers secreted in the body).Heavy weightlifting is not recommende because it may worsen the situation so activities like swimming and walking are quite helpful but should be performed at levels that do not cause pain.It is advised to take adequate rest after exercise in order to get maximum benefit out of it.

DIET :- Diet is very important to maintain normal body weight ,but the supply of essential nutrients should not be compromised.Diets containing omega 3 fatty acids(fish,fish oil) should be preferred because of their anti-inflamatory properties.There are some evidences that supplements containing glucosamine and chondrotin my prove beneficial due to their anti-inflamtory and regenerative properties.Ginger is also said to have good anti-inflamatory effect.

OTHERS:- Heating pads,warm bath and massaging over the affected joint may also help in relieving symptoms.

Other articles : How to treat GERD.
                         How to loose weight naturally.
                         Home remedies for constipation.

Sunday, 22 April 2012


Obesity  is  a  condition  in  which  there  is  an  excessive  accumulation  of  fat  in  body.  When  the  body  weight  of  an  individual  becomes  20 %  above  than  the  normal  as  per  the  body  mass  index  the  person  is  considered  to  be  obese.  The  body  mass  index  of  an  individual  is  calculated  from  his  height and weight. There are number of factors responsible , like overeating,alcohol,certain medications,laziness(not doing any physical exercise),overuse of diets that contain excessive amounts of carbohydrates(potato,rice, sugar etc.).
are not the only factors ,some cases are due to the conditions like dysfunction of thyroid or pituitary glands, genetic disorders,mental stress,insufficient sleep etc.Obesity not only distorts physical parameters of an individual but has lots of bad effects on emotional and psychological well being of a person.Excessive accumulation of fat in the body could give rise to number of other serious disorders like, high blood pressure,type2 diabetes,gallbladder stones,high cholesterol,osteoarthritis,sleep and breathing problems, depression,heart burn,snoring and some cancers.Presently various approaches to treat obesity are avialable,most popular are dieting , exercise,pharmacological substances and surgeries,however dieting and physical exercise are the mainstays of the treatment.Dieting and exercise alone could treat mild and moderate forms of obesity and in severe cases could improve the effectiveness of surgical treatment and pharmacological therapies.

                                     HOME REMEDIES                                

1.  Don't ever skip  your  breakfast.  It  provides  a  steady  energy  throughout  the  day  and  thus  prevents  us  from  taking  unhealthy  fast  foods.

2.  Daily  physical  exercise  also  helps us  in  burning  the  extra  calories.  Brisk  walking  in  the  morning  for  at  least  1hour  lowers blood glucose levels,improves blood circulation, strenghtens your heart and also improves your lipid profile.

3.  Taking  mixture  of  two  teaspoons  of  lime  juce  and  one  teaspoon  of  honey  and  some  pepper  in  a  glass  of  water  is  the  best  home  remedy  for  obesity.

4.  Spices  like  ginger,  cinnamon,  black  pepper  are  good  for  losing  weight.

5.  Green  mint  leaves  taken  as  such  or  as  a  mint  tea  is  very  helpful  in  losing  weight.Green tea contains catechin polyphenols 
,very effective in lowering HDL.

6.  Cabbage  is  an  another  excellent  home  remedy  for  obesity.  Raw  as  well  as  cooked  cabbage  inhibits  the  conversion  of  sugar and  carbohydrates  into  fat.Apart from that cabbage is a good source of vitamic C also.

7.   The  diet  that  is  low  in  calories  like  green  leafy  vegetables  and  rich  in  vitamins  and  minerals  should  be  taken.

Tuesday, 10 April 2012


Gastroesophageal reflux (GER) is a condition ,when the contents of stomach (acid,food ,enzymes etc.) regurgitate into the oesophagus.In case of a normal person in an upright position gastric content enters the oesophagus for only 20 minutes per day because the gravaitational pull .When a person is in lying position,LES (lower esophageal sphincter) prevents the back flow of gastric contents into the oesophagus.LES is a muscular structure situated at gastro-oesophageal junction,the junction where the lower end of the oesophagus enters the oesophagus.If due to some reason the frequency of refluxes increase,the result is increased exposure time of oesophageal mucosa to gastric contents.This condition is pathological and is known as GERD (gastro-oesophageal reflux disease).GERD is characterized by the symptoms like chest pain, heartburn,excessive salivation,pain during swallowing and others.
The most common causes of GERD are Hiatus hernia,decreased competency of LES, Systemic collagen disease, Zollinger-Ellison syndrome,Impatred gastric outlet,Obesity and Surgeries. Except few situations ,where surgery is the only solution,GERD is initially treated medically.The surgical intervention is needed when medical treatment proves unsuccessful or when the symptoms reccur after the cessation of treatment.

If you are a smoker,the first thing you need to do is to quit smoking.Nicotine decreases the competency of LES by relaxing its smooth muscles thus increasing the frequency of reflux.Nicotine stimulates the acid secreting cells of the stomach and decreases the saliva production (saliva contains bicarbonates that neutralizes gastric acid.Weight loss in an obese patient have shown to improve symptoms,this is because of the fact that people with abdominal obesity have higher intra-abdominal pressure which can cause back flow of the gastric contents into the oesophagus.

People suffering from GERD should take small meal at a time, and should not eat just before going to bed.There should be atleast 2 hours of gap between your dinner and sleeping time,and it would be prudent enough if you walk for 10-20 minutes after having a big meal.Diet that aggravate your symptoms should be avoided,these may include citrus fruits,coffee,fried and spicy foods etc.Apart from that head end of the bed should be raised so that gravitational force will prevent the gastric contents from entering into the oesophagus.Last but not the least,tight fitting garments and stooping should be avoided whenever possible.

Saturday, 7 April 2012


Constipation is the condition in which there is difficulty in passing the stools and the person has to strain to eliminate faeces and in some cases the stool are excessively hard which may cause pain and discomfort during the act of defaecation .For some people constipation is decreased bowel movements ,for others it is incomplete evacuation of faeces.
                        Medically it is less than 3 bowel movements per week and in severe cases when the bowel movements are less than one per week.Constipation that develops acutely and is associated with other symptoms like abdominal pain,nausea,vomitting etc. needs immediate medical attention because constipation is just a symptom and the cause could be life threatening(intestinal obstruction) .Chronic cases also need evaluation to rule out abnormal growth due to tumours etc.Other common causes of constipation are as under:-

a.The diet that is not rich in fibres and is lacking in vitamins and minerals.
b. Insufficient intake of water.
c. Insufficient chewing.
d. Consumption of meat in large quantities.
e. Irregular habbits of defaecation.
f. Lack of physical exercise.
g. Stress
h. Use of artifical sweetneers.
i. Underactive thyriod.
j. Irritable bowl syndrome.
k. Diabetes
l. Drugs.

                                        HOME REMEDIES   
1. PHYSICAL  EXERCISE:-  One  of  the  best  way  to  prevent  constipation  is  to  do  regular  exercise  which  not  only  keeps  our  body  fit  but  also  tones  up  the  stomach  and  intestines.

2.INTAKE  OF  PLENTY  OF  WATER:-  Water  is  actually very effective  home  remedy  for  constipation.  Every  person  should  take atleast 6-8  glasses  of  water  to  keep  himself  hydrated  and  to  prevent  constipation.

3.USE  OF  HONEY:-  Honey  is  the  best  laxative,  1  teaspoon  of  honey  several  times  a  day  relieves  from  constipation.

4.USE  OF  GRAPES:-  Grapes  are  very  beneficial   in  overcoming  constipation.  The  presence  of  cellulose  sugar  and  organic  acid  in  grapes  makes  them  a  laxative  food.  Grapes  also  tone  up  the  stomach  and  intestine  and  relieve  the  most  chronic  constipation.

5.USE  OF  GUAVA  AND  PEAR:-  It  is  another  effective  remedy.  When  eaten  along  with  seeds  it  provides  roughage  to  the  diet  and  help  in  the  normal  evacuation.

Wednesday, 28 March 2012


 Every women during her reproductive life experience atleast some degree of discomfort during menstruation ,which is normal but when the discomfort and pain is severe enough that  makes her feel sick and limits her daily activities,the problem needs medical attention.Every women should have atleast some knowledge of menstrual cycle and what actually causes pain and discomfort before opting for any kind of treatment.  Pain during menstruation (dysmenorrhoea) can be primary (when there is no underlying cause) or secondary (tumour,PID,IUD etc.),therefore management will be different in both the cases.

                                         During menstrual cycle under the influence of oestrogen and progesterone the endometrium (linning of uterus) prepares itself to establish pregnanacy.In absense of fertilization(fusion of egg with sperm) the endometrium is sloughed off due to decreased level of progesterone.The cells of the endometrium contain substance called prostaglandins  (mediators of inflamation) which actually causes all the symptoms (pain,nausea,vomittig etc.).The prostaglandin causes muscles of the uterus to contract giving rise to uterine cramps and these uterine cramps inturn cause constriction of blood vessels decresing blood flow to uterus.Decreased blood flow to uterus leads to the accumulation of CO2 and lactic acid in the blood, thus firther aggrevating the symptoms.
                                          The treatment of the symptoms should be aimed at counteracting the effect of prostaglandins.Apart from conventional therapies (NSAID's Antidepressents Contraceptives) which are beneficial in treating symptoms of dysmenorrhoea. There are some simple ,effective and non-pharmacological ways to decreases the severity of symptoms and to reduce dependence on drugs.

DIET:-   Food containing Omega 6 fatty acids (Animal meats,egg yolks and shelfish)should be avoided or taken in less quantityThese fatty acids come as arachidonic acid which is the precursor for prostaglandin.high quantity of salt,sugar ,alcohol and caffein may increase the intensity of uterine cramps.Food rich in Thiamine,vitamin B6,calcium and magnesium should be included in diet or vitamin supplements should be added.

EXERCISE :- Exercise regularly,aerobic exercise(walking,swimming,running,etc)inhibit prostaglandins and enhances the release of endorphins (natural painkiller in brain )

HOT BATH :- Hot bath may help to release the uterine tension thus decreasing uterine cramps.

Wednesday, 14 March 2012


The ill effects of cigarette smoking are numerous,the most dangerous being coronary heart diseases,lung diseases,peripheral vascular diseases,urinary bladder cancer,lung cancer,esophageal cancer,premature ageing of skin,the list is endless so is the chemical composition of cigarette smoke.
So cigarette smokers are at higher risk of getting those diseases,most of which are attributedto the presence of nicotine in the cigarette smoke.Is there any disease affecting non-smokers only or more prevelant in non-smokers?

Ulcerative colitis is a chronic inflamatory disease of the colon (large intestine) with unknown cause.It is characterised by inflamation and sore (ulcers) in the inner lining of the large intestine and rectum.The most common symptoms are are chronic diarrhoea mixed with blood .It is now accepted that ulcerative colitis predominantely affects non-smokers and former smokers and the course of disease is more benign in non-smokers.How nicotine exerts protective effect against ulcerative colitis?Firstly nicotine may have inhibitory effect on body immune system and secondly there is excessive production of mucous in the intestinal wall in smokers.This mucous protects the intestinal wall from harmful bacteria an also from the breakdown products of food. Shall we recommend cigarette smoking?If you are reading this post please feel free to leave your comment.

Diabetes is a" silent killer"