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Monday, 26 December 2011

Healthy Body- Eat the Right Food, Eating Tips

The food we eat should be enjoyable, but more importantly, healthy. Ideally food should be hygienic, warm, unctuous and easy to digest. Food has to be consumed soon after preparation; leaving it open for a long time makes it unhealthy for consumption. Eating too much or too little food is not good for body.

According to Ayurveda food has six basic tastes. They are sweet, sour, salty, bitter, pungent and astringent. Each of these tastes must be taken in moderate quantities.

Sweet: Easily digestible
Astringent: Maintenance
Sour: Growth
Salty: Growth
Bitter: Growth
Pungent: Repair

  • It is good to start the meal with ginger and salt and finish with buttermilk. Pomegranate is also a good choice. Cucumber and jack fruit should be avoided before a meal.
  • Drinking fruit juices in between or soon after a meal is not good for health. Fruit is good to take before a meal. if you want to have fruit juice after a meal, then better to take an hour after the meal.
  • Hard foods, that are hard to chew and ghee mixed food items should be consumed first, followed by lighter food and then liquids.
  • Re-heating the food is not good. The food articles which are reheated (that is already cooked), become like poison according to Charaka Samhita.
  • Older people should avoid yogurt, especially at night.
  • Altering your diet according to the seasons will keep the diseases away. 
  • One must eat at a pleasant spot with necessary materials, lest it should not nourish the body.
  • The incompatible food items taken together act as slow poison and will cause deterioration of health.
  • Fast eating will impair proper digestion.
  • If you eat too slow, you will not feel satisfied, and could eat more quantity than required. This will also affect the proper digestion.
  • Have a fruit or juice at breakfast daily.
How much food should one eat?

The food consumption should be pleasant to the sense organs, mitigate thirst and hunger. After eating one should able to sit, move, sleep and breathe without discomfort. Such a quantity of food will get digested easily and the wastes gets expelled smoothly.

Monday, 5 December 2011

Body Care During Rainy Season(Monsoon)

Any change to our daily routine should be done with care. New lifestyles and diet is adapted by slowly giving up the initial one. If the changes are done suddenly, the body may not be able to cope with them and can cause problems. When changes in weather happens, changes occur in our body too. The physical strength of the body reduces and the digestive fire becomes less, which leads to the accumulation of undigested food(indigestion).  Here I would like to share some of the dietary tips which can follow for good care of the body to avoid health as well as beauty hazards.

  • Eat only moderate quantity of food.
  • Drink plenty of water, add honey to make it more beneficial.
  • To make the digestion easier, use ginger with rock salt.
  • Use of spices should be moderate.
  • Avoid food that are hard to digest.
  • Avoid cold foods and cold drinks.
  • Wash all fruits and vegetables with warm water.
  • Instead of curd use buttermilk.
  • Include milk and green gram in daily intake.
  • Include rice, wheat and cow's ghee in daily diet.
  • If you are not getting proper vitamins through diet, then take vitamins and supplements. 
  • I believe that diets and restricting your food intake can sometimes trigger eating disorders.
  • Eat the same time every day to prevent the body from entering the starving mode.

Healthy diet is useless if it is not accompanied by a healthy life style.

  • Avoid sleeping day, especially during rainy season. Day time sleep hampers digestion and slows down the metabolism.
  • Avoid swimming in natural waters as it is full of (snakes, scorpions and other reptiles).
  • A regular oil massage  and warm water bath daily is good. 
  • Avoid walking in midday sun.
  • Sexual activity should be minimum or better avoid it during monsoon season.
  • Immunity is low during rainy season. So avoid getting wet in rains. Wet cloths must be changed as soon as possible, if exposure to rain to avoid infections.
  • Due to the increase of mosquitoes during rainy season, try to keep the surroundings clean and hygiene. Avoid stagnation of water to protect the breeding of mosquitoes. If needed use pesticides to disinfect the water.

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Digestion and Good Health

The role of gastrointestinal tract is to give the body water, nutrients, and electrolytes. That is  for doing this the system must be able to do five main processes:
  • Moves food through the system
  • digest the food with enzyme secretions
  • absorb what has been digested
  • distribute the nutrients to the blood for transport
  • eliminate the waste products
The food will be going through the digestive tract following various changes. First of all the food is taken into the mouth and chewed, which makes the particles into smaller. At this time the salivary glands secrete an enzyme called ptyalin that starts to digest sugar. After swallowing the food passes through the esophagus and to the stomach where hydrochloric acid is secreted to begin digesting protein. For further digestion of protein pepsin is secreted. The food is mixed with the enzymes and passed into the small intestine where pancreatic enzymes begin to break the food into smaller and smaller pieces. These pieces are broken down into units small enough to pass through the walls of the small intestine into the blood. The blood then distributes the nutrients to rest of the body. The remaining undigested waste material is passed into the colon and eliminated.

Digestion is in short is about taking big things and making them smaller so that they can fit into our blood stream and finally into our cells. Enzymes are chemicals in our digestive tract that break proteins, carbohydrates into smaller and smaller units necessary for absorption.

Proteins consist of amino acids linked together. Digestion of protein involves breaking down the big, long chains of amino acids into smaller and smaller chains, so that they can get into the system.

Carbohydrates consist of glucose molecules linked together. Starch is a long-chain carbohydrate made up of many glucose molecules linked together. The larger molecules are broken down into smaller ones and eventually into a single molecule of glucose that we can absorb into the blood stream.

Fats consist of fatty acids and glycerol(triglycerides). Fat is digested when the fatty acids and the glycerol are separated, so that absorption into the blood can occur.

Monday, 21 November 2011

Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura, Causes, Symptoms, Treatment

ITP or Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura is an abnormal disease that affects the platelet count. The decrease of platelet count is called Thrombocytopenia. Why it is called idiopathic because there is no known cause for it except in children(it may be related to viral infection). In peoples having this disorder, their immune system attacks platelets, which are necessary for normal blood clotting. That is why its alternative name Immune thrombocytopenic purpura.  

Causes
In most of the causes of ITP the problem is due to the production of antibodies against platelets in blood, as if they were foreign substances. Platelets are one of the components of blood with red and white blood cells. Platelets are made in bone marrow like red and white blood cells. The antibodies get attached to platelets and the spleen destroys the platelets carrying antibodies.

Symptoms
Symptoms become visible when there is an incredible loss of platelets that is count less than 20000 per  microlitre (normal range is 150,000- 450,000 per microlitre). Common symptoms include formation of bruises or purpura, bleeding from the nostrils, bleeding gums, excessive menstrual bleeding, blood in vomit, urine or stool etc....

Platelets(Thrombocytes)
The function of platelets is very important in making clot and there by closing the breaks in damaged blood vessel. They circulate in the blood vessels and get activated if there is a bleeding in the body. When activated, the platelets become sticky and adhere to one another and to the blood vessel wall at the site of the injury to slow down and stop the bleeding (Hemostasis)

Diagnosis
First of all the physician has to confirm the presence of thrombocytopenia and by excluding concurrent causes of thrombocytopenia, is best accomplished with a history, physical examination, complete blood count, examination of the peripheral blood smear and additional blood and urine tests. A bone marrow aspiration may be performed to look at the production of platelets and to rule out any abnormal cells the marrow may be producing that could be the reason of lower platelet counts. The secondary causes like cirrhosis, HIV, leukemia, hepatitis c, some medications, congenital causes .. should be excluded.

Treatment
The treatment options  for ITP include glucocorticoids, intravenous immunoglobulin, and splenectomy. Hormone therapy for teenage girls may need to take hormones to stop their menstrual cycle when their platelets are low if excessive bleeding occurs. Splenectomy should not be done as initial therapy in patients who have no bleeding symptoms, patients who have minor purpura, or patients with mucous membrane or vaginal bleeding. In a patient who has had bleeding symptoms splenectomy is often appropriate if platelet counts are still low after a month of medical treatment. Platelet transfusion is needed for those who have severe bleeding or may be before having surgery.

Lot of alternative medicine and natural treatment are available for ITP, but it can be so confusing sometimes. Always to consult a physician who got knowledge in natural medicine before trying to do anything yourself. For an effective ITP Treatment, you must do things wisely and approach this problem with a more balanced view instead of just taking one remedy here and there.

  • People with ITP should not take aspirin, ibuprofen, or warfarin because these drugs interfere with platelet function or blood clotting, and bleeding may occur.
  • Restrictions should  be there for the activities such as sports, for those having very low platelet count.

Saturday, 29 October 2011

Simple Home Remedies for Acidity

Our stomach contains various acids and enzymes that helps the digestion. When there is a problem in the proper functioning of the digestive system it results in a condition called acidity. Sometimes the gastric juices from the stomach move into the esophagus making it dysfunctional. This is called acid reflux or gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). Excess intake of alcohol, smoking, skipping meals, oily and fatty foods can cause acidity or GERD. Acidity causes burning sensation in stomach and chest area referred as heartburn. Pregnant people also experience acidity or heartburn.

  • Intake of one or two glass of water early morning is good to control acidity. It also detoxify the system and helpful in people suffering from constipation.
  • Peel a small piece of the ginger and slowly chew and swallow the juice, or grate the root and pour boiling water to make a tea and drink it.
  • Cinnamon is not only known for its antiseptic effects to treat colds and flu, but it is also a potent agent that neutralizes acidity
  • Okra is used for healing ulcers and to keep joints limber. It helps to neutralize acids, being very alkaline, and provides a temporary protective coating for the digestive tract. It can be utilized by people suffering from acidity and acid reflux.
  • Pineapple is an effective natural remedy for acid reflux(don,t use canned pineapple, because it make acidity worse)
  •   Coffee which can trigger acidity can be replaced with chicory tea, which is a good digestive supporter. 
  • Aloe Vera has got protective properties on the esophageal wall. It is available in capsule form of both the juice and the gel.
  • Those suffering from acidity can have two tablespoon each of cidar vinegar and honey before meals.
  • Amla is a very effective herb used for curing lot of diseases and can be used as an effective weapon against acidity.
  • Mint juice which contains peppermint oil is also very effective for acidity.
  • Fruits like papaya, banana, cucumber and watermelon can be used against acidity.
  • When acidity or heartburn disturbs, the intake of raw garlic or almonds or cold milk or coconut water can give you relief. 
  • One of the best remedy for acidity and heartburn is the intake of half glass of buttermilk with one spoon coriander juice.

Try to live with a routine in life with timely taking meals, proper exercises and a stress free lifestyle which will keep acidity far away from your life and make you healthy and happy.

Ayurveda's stages of illness

Ayurveda clearly describes how the body becomes ill. The stages of illness according to Ayurveda are: accumulation, aggravation, overflow, relocation, manifestation, and diversification.

Accumulation
 
   For the healthy function of each cell the waste products produced after the metabolism of local tissues need to be transported away regularly. Accumulation occurs when these waste products start to become stuck in the local tissues with out proper transportation. In Ayurveda this is called ama (means undigested food). This can be due to various reasons like change in lifestyle, wrong diet, addictions like smoking and alcohol, seasonal changes, working stress and lot more. This is the starting stage and the more easy stage to be get treated.

Aggravation

   When the accumulation continues, the local tissues begin to lose their own function, and start to apply pressure to the surrounding tissue. Organs begin to get stressed at this stage.

Overflow

   The wastes now begins to move into other non-related tissues, flowing into blood, the lymph, and the gastrointestinal tract. This means the disease is no longer in one place, it is on move, spreading to other parts of the body.

Relocation

   Symptoms will start noticeable at this stage. The accumulation of cellular wastes became visible in the form of Pain, headache, fatigue etc..

Manifestation

   In this stage small symptoms combine to form complex set of symptoms such as arthritis, asthma, diabetes etc...

Diversification

   In this stage complete set of symptoms become visible such as- cold, pain, constipation, anxiety, fever, inflammation, irritation, swelling, weight gain, respiratory problems etc.. From these symptoms the doctor can identify where the imbalance lies and how to correct them.

Ayurvedic concept of correcting these symptoms is to determine what makes us sick, how to become well, and what we can do for ourselves to stay healthy

Thursday, 27 October 2011

Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Common Causes, Symptoms, Management

Irritable Bowel Syndrome(IBS) is a common functional disorder of large intestine, in which the exact cause is still not known. The other common names for IBS are spastic bowel, irritable colon, and spastic colon. Commonly seen symptoms include abdominal pain, flatulence, constipation or diarrhoea, chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, headache, backache, gastroesophageal reflux, and psychiatric disorders such as anxiety and depression. Sensation of incomplete emptying after having a bowel movement. IBS can affect anyone at any age, but it commonly first develops in young adults and teenagers. IBS is more common in women than in men.

 Common Causes Of IBS

The exact cause is still a question. Stress can be a leading factor for the onset of IBS. About 60% of the people suffering from IBS are seen started the disorder after a stressful event. The symptoms will be increasing when the sufferer experience fear, depression, stress and anxiety. Irregular eating habits can be another reason. Stress can also lower the immune system and the bacteria will get a golden chance to multiply and doing the damage.

Certain foods like oily food, alcohol, carbonated drinks, chocolate, citrus fruits can be one of the cause of IBS.

Eating too fast or irregular eating habits can be another factor.

In some cases a course of antibiotics can do the damage. Antibiotics eradicate the harmless bacteria in the intestine and there by allow the bad bacteria to multiply

Common Symptoms

  • People who have IBS will experience watery or hard stool due to diarrhea and constipation. In diarrhea, people experience difficulty in controlling their bowel movement. In constipation, they might feel pain and cramping due to a straining.
  • Stomach pain and discomfort which are usually comes and goes.
  • It was found that, those who develop gastroenteritis, also have more chances of acquiring IBS. 
  • The descending colon may be palpable and tender.
  • Imbalance between good and bad bacteria can be a factor. Those who are suffering fro IBS got a low amount of good bacteria.
  • There will be an abnormal swelling or enlargement in the abdominal area. People will feel a full and tight abdomen.
  • Females are also twice more likely to have IBS than their male, between the ages of 20-40 years. The symptoms ranges to apex especially when they have menstrual period.

Management

The main reason for treatment is to relieve symptoms. Lifestyle modification could manage IBS.  These changes involve regular physical exercise, adequate rest  periods, and enough sleep that may reduce stress. It’s also important to avoid alcoholic beverages and drinks that contain caffeine, avoid smoking, increase dietary fiber, and increase fluid intake.

Probiotics are commonly used for the treatment of IBS. Probiotics are living microorganisms that live in your intestinal tract, or (Probiotics are nutritional supplements that contain good bacteria).They are known to support a healthy digestive tract which limits the growth of harmful bacteria. This gives your digestive tract a protective barrier against harmful bacteria.

One of the leading causes of irritable bowel syndrome is stress.  High levels of stress can often screw up your normal body functions that contribute to good digestion.  By learning to control and reduce your stress levels you can often limit the outbreaks of IBS.

If you have diarrhea, avoid sorbitol, an artificial sweetener found in sugar-free sweets (including chewing gum) and in drinks, and in some diabetic and slimming products.

Avoid missing meals or leaving long gaps between eating.

Simply understanding the situation may help you to be less bother about the condition, which may ease the severity of symptoms. Symptoms often continue for long periods without any treatment. In some cases, symptoms are mild and do not require any treatment.




Irritable Bowel Syndrome- Recommendations (Video)