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Healthy Eating Habits

There are two types of people on earth, those who ‘ live in order to eat’ and others who ‘ eat in order to live’. The choice of type put the people under the category of a healthy or unhealthy lifestyle and leads them towards either negative or positive consequences, the outcome of the choices they made.

Does ‘healthy eating habits’ really make any difference in our lives?

Let’s go step-by-step to understand the topic of concern affecting one and all, through the importance of food, advantages, and disadvantages of healthy and unhealthy eating habits respectively.

Why does human being require to eat food?

The human body requires energy to perform all the basic functions of the body like; breathing, digesting food, keeping it warm, helping repair the body, inducing growth and maintaining a healthy immune system. The energy substances are already there in the form of nutrients in a variety of food. A calorie is a basic unit of energy that we get from the food we eat. In other words, you can say that calorie is a fuel which is stored and burnt by our body as per requirement or habit we have cultivated.

Disadvantages of unhealthy eating habits

  • Following unhealthy habits like; eating junk food regularly leads to the risks of obesity, Cardiovascular disease, Type 2 diabetes, liver disease and certain types of cancers too!
  • Poor diet habits can compromise the capacity to work and gradually develop tiredness and stress which contribute further to the risk of being overweight, high blood pressure, tooth decay, and some other illnesses.
  • Processed or packed foods which are frozen or canned contain much extra sugar, salt, oil, calories and preservatives which increases the food’s shelf life but collectively all these increases the risks of hypertension, high sugar levels, heart disease etc.

Advantages of healthy eating habits

  • By following healthy eating habits, The first advantage you can see is lowering the risk of heart diseases.
  • It will help you to boost your mood and reduce the stress levels, and also will help you to perform all daily physical activities well.
  • Food with good nutrition combined with physical activity will help you to lead a healthy weight and lifestyle and reduces the risk of chronic diseases like cancer.
  • Diets rich in fibre such as vegetables and fruits may reduce the risk of obesity, health problems and type 2 diabetes.
  • Healthy eating habits, overall, helps you gain the benefit of weight loss, stroke prevention, building better mood, efficiency, and better memory.

So by this time, you understood the importance of healthy eating habits type of food intake and the disadvantages of unhealthy food habits. Sometimes even unconsciously you follow such unhealthy habits under certain circumstances.

Environment or conditions that foster unhealthy eating habits, you need to avoid

  • In a corporate culture or such meetings, people never pay attention or are not aware of which types of low fibre calories or bad fat foods they consume. Even during the functions or party, people over tend to overlook the amount of food they consume.
  • People working late night, the majority of times fall into the habit of nighttime noshing, the habit of eating late night just to keep them awake. This habit contributes to more weight gain significantly.
  • Working mothers, sometimes in the absence of time, often send their children to school with junk foods like salty potato chips, bread or sandwiches, cookies or fruit juices available as tetra packs.
  • Generally, the people or children who work continuously on computers, watching TV or playing a video game, they often follow the habit of mindless snacking or consuming food more, which results in weight gain very easily.
  • People who are always in rush hours conditions are used to finish their breakfast, lunch or dinner in hardly 10 or 15 minutes. This habit doesn’t allow your brain to signal that you are full and you gradually, following such habits, gain more weight.
  • Extreme emotions whether good or bad and in stressed out conditions, people eat more and over the period, gain more weight unconsciously.

Steps to healthy eating habits

  • First, you need to understand, how much calories your body needs to perform basic metabolic functions and daily physical activities using online calorie calculators.
  • You need to understand and know the type of food and how many calories per gram, it contains.
  • Apart from Calorie concern, it would help if you even focused on the portion control and choosing nutrient-rich foods which are of prime importance. Your food should be the mixture of carbohydrates, protein, fat, minerals and vitamins. You need to choose the portion very wisely and as per your body’s essential requirement only.
  • Have the habit of keeping more fruits, low-fat dairy products, fresh vegetables, whole-grain foods in your diet plan.
  • Cultivate the habit of having home-made food at home or work.
  • Don’t skip or delay your meals, as later on you will end up eating too much or choosing an unhealthy snack.
  • Take a small plate and serving in the beginning, chew your food well; this time, consuming process will help you eat the right amount of food your body requires.
  • Drink water instead of high-sugar drinks.
  • Resins or fibre-rich foods will help you feel full and achieve satiety value so you would eat less and consume fewer calories.

These are the few points or steps you can follow to plan out your balanced diet, however, if you are still not sure about this calculations and pattern of developing a healthy eating habit, consult a good dietician. If you are really over-weight and failed to follow healthy habits or not succeeded in stopping the weight gain with related health issues, you should consult a good obesity expert.

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Active LifeStyle For Healthy Living

People today have fallen prey to sedentary lifestyles and urbanization, like working behind computer screens, sitting at desks, or standing in the same position for a long duration. Increasing Unawareness of healthy diets, disability to engage in appropriate physical activities due to Lack of time for physical and mental well-being, or do not have the means to cope with stress and maintain mental health is alarming to the active lifestyle.

The initiative ‘Be the Change’ (BTC) is an innovative intervention launched in the WHO South-East Asia Regional Office (SEARO) in 2016 to promote health and wellness. Eating healthy, exercising regularly, and avoiding alcohol and tobacco are ways of preventing major lifestyle diseases such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and cancers as well as their risk factors such as raised blood sugar level and overweight.

To help you adopt an active lifestyle, here’s a watch list of health and wellness suggestions, what experts call “lifestyle medicine”,

  1. Watch your plate: As the famous saying goes, “Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a commoner and dinner like a pauper” to be more productive.
  1. Watch your waist and weight: Obesity is one of the leading risk factors for diseases such as diabetes, high blood pressure. Measuring of BMI and waist circumference will help identify risks and assist in taking corrective actions for better health.
  1. Watch your steps: WHO Global Recommends that adult aged 18–64 should do at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensive aerobic physical activity throughout the week or at least 75 minutes of vigorous-intensive aerobic physical activity throughout the week or an equivalent combination of moderate and vigorous-intensive activity.
  1. Watch your stress level: Stress in the long run leads to depression, anxiety, hypertension, diabetes, and many other health conditions. Steps to ease stress include
  • Always have a positive attitude
  • Practice relaxation techniques. Try breathing exercises, meditation, and yoga
  • Learn time management
  • Learn to say “No” politely
  • Get enough rest and sleep; most healthy adults need between 7 to 9 hours of sleep per night to function at their best.
  1. Watch and monitor your changes: Monitoring of changes is important as it provides information showcasing progress and motivation. A large number of mobile-based apps, smartwatches, fitness tracker are designed to support people in achieving their goals, for instance, to have an active lifestyle.
  1. Watch your tobacco and alcohol consumption: The use of tobacco and alcohol cause dependence/addiction, leading to health, economic and social consequences and serious lifestyle damages. This includes reduced attention, absenteeism at work, debt, increased risk of injuries while performing tasks, compromise family life.

So, adopt your goals carefully, make it realistic and specific. Focus on what you want to achieve in the short-term and over the long run. Motivate and encourage to adopt and maintain healthy active lifestyles and enhance the quality of life across the life span and maintain a balanced personal, professional and family Lifestyle.

 

Written By : Dr. Apurva Vyas

Youth hypertension with Obesity

Blood pressure is required for blood to flow and carry oxygen to vital organs of the human body. But it is when; this Blood pressure gets too high results into Hypertension. This may harm the arteries and cause the heart to work harder. More of adult medical conditions, but nowadays youth falling prey to it.

Risk Factors that lead to developing hypertension in adolescents include

  • Family history has been linked to a higher risk
  • Racial predilection has been seen, the African-American population is at higher risk
  • Increasing body mass index
  • Low birth weight and intra-uterine growth retardation
  • Increased sodium consumption

Diagnosis of Hypertension in teenager emphasizes on

  1. Going through Patient History: A thorough history is essential in guiding the evaluation and management of a hypertensive adolescent
  2. Physical Examination: A comprehensive physical examination could give hint about the underlying cause of hypertension in children and the presence of target organ damage.
  3. Blood Pressure Measurement: The American Academy of Pediatrics, the European Society of Hypertension and the European Society of Cardiology recommend regular blood pressure screening in children above the age of 3 years at routine health visits.
  4. Ambulatory blood pressure monitoring uses a device that can be worn for 24 hours. It takes multiple blood pressure readings and can help get a more accurate reading of overall blood pressure.

Management of Hypertension in Youth can be achieved by

  1. Therapeutic Lifestyle Modification: Enhances on dietary management, increased physical activity, stress reduction and avoidance of drug and tobacco use. Dietary management should include age appropriate, a salt-restricted diet with an emphasis on weight loss in overweight or obese children.
  2. Pharmacological Therapy: Children who are symptomatic, who have diabetes or end organ damage such as left ventricular hypertrophy should all be prescribed antihypertensive medication. In addition, children with persistent hypertension after 6–12 months of instituting a heart-healthy lifestyle should also be prescribed a medication to lower their BP.
  3. Antihypertensive medications: Combination of drugs recommended if BP control is not achieved with a single drug.

Reports show the reversal of target organ damage following the institution of antihypertensive therapy in children. Seeman et al reported a regression in Left Ventricular Hypertension in a small pediatric cohort treated with ramipril (Antihypertensive medication) monotherapy over a 6-month period.

Other forms of therapy

The emerging trend of utilizing bariatric surgery for reversing morbid obesity in adolescents is gaining awareness. Teen-LABS consortium published the largest series of prospectively collected data on 242 adolescent patients with a mean age of 17.1 (+/−1.6) and BMI of 53. Here in the patient’s Mean weight decreased by 28% with gastric bypass and 26% with sleeve gastrectomy, which was sustained at 3 years. Weight loss, the first line treatment with obesity-related hypertension leads to a decrease in Symptomatic hyperactivity, thereby lowering BP, providing experimental evidence for effective treatment of obesity-related hypertension.

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IVF Treatment

In Vitro fertilisation, also known as IVF, is a fertility treatment where in fertilisation takes place in the lab instead of the female body.

The basic steps involved in IVF technology is taking many eggs from female retrieved through transvaginal ultrasound-guided needle and placing in a petri-dish with cleanly washed sperm cells retrieved via masturbation or else sperm donor. The retrieved eggs will become fertilized by the sperm cells and become embryos. One of the healthy embryo is then transferred to the same female uterus. After process completion, bed rest is advised for at least 24 hrs.

An estimated 6.5 million IVF conceived babies have been born in the world since IVF conception in 1980s. Also famously known as test tube babies, produced by IVF are as healthy and normal as naturally conceived children.

Success rate of IVF, according to a study of approximately 156,000 women, the average live-birth rate for the first cycle was 29.5 percent, which is a comparable success ratio as that to couples with the natural cycle of fertility. Researchers in the UK have developed a prediction model to estimate the success rate of a live birth over multiple cycles of IVF. This prediction model can be personalized based on a number of variables (reproductive history, maternal age, the cause of infertility, and lifestyle factors) as well as their response to treatment for a realistic understanding of the long-term probability of success of IVF.

In Vitro fertilisation

IVF is the preferred choice of treatment in the following health conditions:

  1. Fallopian tube damage or pathology: women with blocked or removed fallopian tubes
  2. Unexplained infertility (idiopathic): irregular ovulation cycles 
  3. Male factor: low sperm count may turn to an intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) which only required 1 healthy sperm to fertilize an egg.
  4. Endometriosis
  5. Cervical factor / immunological infertility: polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) 
  6. Hormonal disturbances

Further, obesity can also complicate IVF, making it harder for overweight women to have successful IVF with their own eggs. Obesity is associated with increased dose and duration of gonadotropin stimulation, lower peak E2 levels, and increased oocyte retrieval time.

A large study published in 2013 reviewed over 9,500 egg donation IVF treatments. The egg donors were all of normal weight, and the recipients were divided into four groups: underweight, normal, overweight and obese. The rates of embryo implantation reduced to 23%, pregnancy rate decreased by 19% and live birth percentage reduced by 27% as body mass index (BMI), increased to obese.

A recent study indicated that obese women may need different doses and dosing regimen and fertility drugs than normal-weight women in order to ensure that their eggs ripen at the right time and can be extracted for IVF.

Therefore, it is recommended that patients with a high BMI reduce their weight before IVF treatment. Bariatric surgical procedures can be a durable option for weight reduction. This study highlights 5 patients who underwent Roux-en-Y gastric bypass bariatric surgery followed by in vitro fertilisation (IVF). Overall, these patients tolerated IVF well, and four of the five went on to have term deliveries. Rapid weight loss and increased risk of nutritional deficiencies in the first year after bariatric surgery have led to recommendations that gastric bypass surgery patients should wait at least a year before attempting pregnancy. IVF after bariatric surgery can be safe and successful.

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Spine Problem

The term “Orthopaedics” signifies a medical specialty that focuses on the body’s musculoskeletal system. This includes bones, joints, muscles, ligaments, tendons, and nerves.

Pain that originates in the spine anywhere between the upper and lower back is the “back pain” we refer to in our daily lives, obesity caused ones are:-

  1. A herniated disc
  2. Spine osteoarthritis

It affects approximately three out of four adults during their lifetime. Many back-pain patients complain about symptoms like numbness and tingling sensations, stiffness, achiness, and weakness.

It is known that obese people are more prone to spinal issues than those who’re not. Deleterious weight stresses almost every organ in the body, so it is no surprise that it also increases the risk of back pain, joint pain, and muscle strain. Every extra inch adds strain to the muscles and ligaments in the back since the spine tends to become tilted and stressed unevenly to an extent that the back may even lose proper support.

Extra weight around the stomach pulls the pelvis forward which in turn strains the lower back thereby causing pain. The vertebral disc as well, of an obese individual, may get weak or damaged sooner. Excess weight is also known to worsen pre-existing spinal issues.

The four common disorders found out by researchers are:-

  1. Lower back pain
  2. Spondylosis (spine degeneration)
  3. Internal disc disruption (IDD)
  4. Neck problems unrelated to IDD or spondylosis

Due to Obesity, adipose tissue causes extra pressure on the lumbar spine and knee which exacerbates pain. Bariatric surgeries help weight loss thereby reducing pain intensity to as much as 75% to 80.8%  as cited by an article of Bariatric times. The pain score carried out in the study when compared to preoperative baseline, indicated significant symptomatic pain resolution of the pain of head, neck, shoulder and lower back. Pain relief was observed in day to day physical activities during sports as well as work. Use of Analgesic significantly reduced. An increase in Quality of life within 6 months to 1 year post operation was observed.  

As per UCLA Health article, Retrospective studies showed that after performing Bariatric surgeries, the frequency of back pain decreased in up to 83% of the patients, and lumbar back pain symptoms were reduced in 82–90% patients in a period of 6 months to one year.

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