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Dr K K Aggarwal

Eating high fiber diet

By Dr K K Aggarwal
Filed Under Wellness | Tagged With: | | Comments Off

• There are two types of fibers. One is soluble and the other is insoluble.

• Soluble fiber includes those that are made up of carbohydrates and absorb water. Examples are oats, barley and legumes.

• Insoluble fiber comes from plant cells and does not dissolve in water. Examples are wheat, ragi and other grains.

• Traditionally, fiber is insoluble fiber.

• Dietary fiber is a combination of soluble and insoluble fiber.

• The recommended intake of dietary fiber is 20–35 gm in a day.

• Eating a high–fiber diet both can prevent constipation, reduce cholesterol, and help in reversing obesity and heart diseases in children and adults.

• A high–fiber diet should be a balanced diet with food from all food groups.

• The common sources of fiber are whole grain produce and cereals, legumes, fruits and vegetables.

• Raw vegetables such as carrot, garlic or cherry tomatoes are rich in fiber.

• Salads with dark green lettuce provide high fiber content.

• Eating whole wheat bread or with added fiber is a rich source of fiber.

• Prefer brown rice over white rice.

• You can eat whole wheat carbohydrates, bran muffins, bran cereals or oat meals.

• Avoid eating refined white flour, cereals and other starches.

• If juices are to be taken, one should take 4–6 ozs.

• Fruits are better than juices • Try to develop a taste for bran by starting with 2–4 tablespoons every day.

• Mix a high fiber cereal with a regular cereal.

• Isabgol is a fiber supplement.

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Understanding who we are…

By Dr K K Aggarwal
Filed Under Spirituality - Science Behind Rituals | Tagged With: , , | | Comments Off

The classical description of ‘who we are comes’ from Adi Shankaracharya’s Bhaja Govindam, where he says that even the wife refuses to touch the same physical body after death, and if she touches it, a ritual bath has to be taken. This means physical body is not what we are.

If we weigh physical body before and after death there will be no difference. The life force also called consciousness or atman has no weight, shape or dimensions.

In Bhagavad Gita, in Chapter 2, Krishna describes its characteristics as “fire cannot burn it, air cannot dry it, weapons cannot cut it, and water cannot wet it. It is omnipotent, omnipresence and omniscient”.

Though modern medicine may not talk about soul but it does differentiate life and death based on certain parameters.

Vedic description describes five different movement forces in the body: apana vayu expulses urine, stool, baby and menses; samana vayu controls the intestinal movements; vyana vayu controls the circulatory system; udana vayu controls the neurological impulses and the connection between soul and spirit; and prana vayu controls the brain stem reflexes.

Soul or consciousness is linked to udana vayu and prana vayu. The best description of these five forces apart from Ayurveda text comes from prasannopanishad.

A patient with brain stem death can be kept on ventilator for months together, as the body has normal vyana vayu, sana vayu and apana vayus. The patient will therefore, maintain blood pressure, GI functions, urinary functions and reproductive functions. These three vayus are controlled by the atmospheric oxygen and not by the life force.

Can anyone remember the weight, height, abdominal circumference or size of collar, waist or shoes of Lord Krishna? He is only known only from his actions and the soul profile.

All of us have physical, mental, intellectual, ego and soul characteristics. Soul characteristics are same in all and are positive. The examples are love, compassion, care, humility, etc. These soul characteristics are influenced by the subtle mind, intellect and ego characteristics.

While introducing ourselves, most of the times we talk about define our intellectual or ego profile and not the soul profile. When we describe our status, house, car or money, we are describing our ego profile and not the soul profile. Our aim in life should be to understand our soul profile, as without the soul nobody will come near us. The very same people will dispose off our body at the earliest opportunity they get.

Most of us correlate life span with the life span of the physical body, which has to perish sooner or later. When we ask people how long they want to live, their usual answers are 60 years, 70 years, 80 years or 90 years. Nobody thinks beyond physical death. People like Mahatma Gandhi, Indira Gandhi, and Mother Teresa are not dead. Though their physical body does not exist, their good karmas, work, memories and the soul profiles are still alive.

The purpose of life should be to create an atmosphere or an aura in such a way that the society remembers us after the death of our physical body. This is only possible when we shift our thinking from the ego profile to the soul profile.

Soul is nothing but an energized field of information and can be equated to the live information fed in any computer or mobile phone. Both computer and mobile phones with and without information weigh the same. Similarly, weight of radio does not change whether the radio is on or off. The live data information in the TV, radio or mobile phone can be termed as their soul. A computer without this soul is useless, so are the mobile and radio sets.

The information is always static and still without any movements. This information in a computer requires a software to run. The static soul in our body also requires a software called life force.

Soul, thus can be described as a combination of the life force and the static information. In Hindu mythology this is called shiva and shakti. Some people describe them as prana and chitta. In vedic philosophy by controlling prana one can control chitta and vice versa.

For a computer to operate, two softwares are required: operational software and application software. Operational software makes the computer do basic work and application software helps one to manipulate the data the way one wants.

All of us our born with the operational software or the life force. We develop and create our own application software over a period of time by using the triad of action, memory and desires.

To understand oneself, therefore, one needs to control our own application software and do not let them go beyond its desired scope of work.

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Science Behind Regrets

By Dr K K Aggarwal
Filed Under Health Care - Ask Dr KK  | | Comments Off

In a US-based study, dying people were asked about their regrets, if any. The top five regrets were:

• I wish I had the courage to live a life I wanted to live and not what others expected me to live.

• I wish I had worked harder.

• I wish I had the courage to express my feelings.

• I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.

• I wish I had let myself be happier.

Regrets are always based on suppression of emotions or non–fulfillment of desires and needs. These need–based desires can be at the level of physical body, mind, intellect, ego or the soul. Therefore, regrets can be at any of these levels.

I did a survey of 15 of my patients and asked them a simple question that if they came to know that they are going to die in the next 24 hours, what would be their biggest regret?

Only one of them, who was a doctor, said that she would have no regrets. The physical regret was only one and that was from a Yoga expert who said that her regret was not getting married till that day.

Mental regrets were two.

• A state trading businessman said, “I wish I could have taken care of my parents.”

• A homeopathic doctor said, “I wish I could have given more time to my family.” Intellectual Regrets were three.

• A lawyer said, “I wish I could have become something in life.”

• A businessman said, “I wish I could have helped more people.”

• A retired revenue inspector said, “I wish had married my younger child.” Egoistic regrets were two.

• One fashion designer said, “I wish I could have become a singer.”

• A housewife said, “I wish I could have become a dietician.” Spiritual regrets were six.

• A Consultant Government Liaison officer said, “I wish I could have made my family members happy.”

• A businessman said, “I wish I could have meditated more.”

• A Homeopathic doctor said, “I wish I could have spent more time with my family.”

• A reception executive said, “I wish I could have spent more time with my parents.”

• An entertainment CEO said, “I wish I could have taken my parents for a pilgrimage.”

• A fashion designer said, “I wish I could have worked more for the animals.”

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Non obstructive heart blockages not benign

By Dr K K Aggarwal
Filed Under Wellness | Tagged With: , , | | Comments Off

In a retrospective study of patients undergoing elective coronary angiography, non-obstructive coronary artery disease (heart blockages), compared with no apparent coronary artery disease (no blockages), was associated with a significantly greater 1-year risk of heart attack and all-cause mortality.

After risk adjustment, there was no significant association between 1- or 2-vessel non-obstructive coronary artery disease (blockages in one or two arteries) and mortality, but there were significant associations with mortality for 3-vessel non-obstructive coronary artery disease (blockages in all three arteries).

Veterans with evidence of non-obstructive CAD on elective coronary angiography had a 2- to 4.5-fold greater risk for heart attack compared with those with no evidence of blockages and 1-year heart attack risk was found to increase progressively by the extent of blockages, rather than increasing abruptly when blockages became obstructive. The results of this study are published in Nov. 5 issue of JAMA.

Never tell your patients “that your coronaries are fine and they have nothing to worry about.” Instead, one should say “There is evidence of atherosclerosis and while there is no need to panic, we need to address it.”

Remember there is nothing like “mild coronary artery disease.” Up to 1 in 4 angiograms show minimal plaque or blockages.

Non-obstructive blockages mean presence of atherosclerotic plaque revealed during coronary angioplasty or angiography that does not appear to obstruct blood flow or result in angina symptoms.

These non-obstructive lesions occur in about 10-25% of patients undergoing elective angiography, and their presence has historically been characterized as “insignificant” or “no significant blockages in the medical literature even though multiple studies have shown plaque ruptures leading to heart attack commonly come from non-obstructive plaques.

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Focus on an aspect of your breathing, such as the sensation of air flowing into your nostrils and out of your mouth, or your belly rising and falling as you inhale and exhale.

Once you have narrowed your concentration in this way, begin to widen your focus. Become aware of sounds, sensations and ideas.

Embrace and consider each thought or sensation without judging it good or bad. If your mind starts to race, return your focus to your breathing. Then expand your awareness again.

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Body art in the form of tattoos and piercing has become increasingly popular among children and teenagers.

Children and teenagers with congenital heart disease should be strongly discouraged from getting a tattoo or piercing their ears or other body parts, because it could lead to a potentially deadly infection of the heart called endocarditis. Infective endocarditis occurs when bacteria or fungi attach to and begin to grow on the valves of the heart. If left untreated, it can lead to a fatal destruction of heart muscle.

Most people are not aware that they should talk to their doctor before tattooing or piercing their body.

Most experts today strongly discourage all forms of body art. For those who cannot be dissuaded, the recommendation is to give antibiotics prior to tattooing or piercing, “with strong advice for prompt treatment of any signs of subsequent infection”.

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Why Spirituality is Happiness Friendly

By Dr K K Aggarwal
Filed Under Spirituality - Science Behind Rituals | Tagged With: , | | Comments Off

• What you believe in can have a big impact on health and longevity. People with high levels of religious beliefs or spirituality have lower cortisol responses. Cortisol is a hormone the body releases in response to stress.

• Positive thinking produces nearly a 30 percent drop in perception of pain.

• Spirituality and the practice of religion is associated with a slower progression of Alzheimer’s disease.

• Those who regularly attend organized religious activities may live longer than those who don’t. Regular participation lowers mortality rate by about 12 percent a year.

• People undergoing cardiac rehabilitation feel more confident and perceive greater improvements in their physical abilities if they have a strong faith.

• Increased levels of spirituality and religious faith may help substance abusers kick their habit.

• Spirituality stimulates the relaxation response. When the body is relaxed, your heart rate, blood pressure and breathing rate all go down, which decreases the body’s stress response.

• Spirituality can affect immune-system function. Spirituality, faith, church attendance improves immune function in ways that can be measured, like an increase in white blood cells.

• Prayer heals the heart. Positive talking and thinking in the ICU produces better results.

• Spirituality is what brings you peace and safety. It can be achieved through God or Goddess, nature, a beautiful sunset, a meditation, Pranayama, religious meeting, chanting, mind body relaxation, etc. Spirituality is something that can help all the way from promoting wellness to helping with recovery.

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Hand, foot and mouth disease

By Dr K K Aggarwal
Filed Under Wellness | Tagged With: , , | | Comments Off

• Hand, foot and mouth disease is a viral illness most commonly caused by the Coxsackie virus A6.

• Enteroviruses 71 (EV71) can also cause hand, foot and mouth disease.

• Both adults and children can develop this infection. But young children below 5 years old are more susceptible.

• It is a moderately contagious illness.

• The incubation period is 5 days.

• The illness begins with fever, which lasts for 24–48 hours.

• Fever is followed by appearance of painful sores in mouth. They begin as small red spots that blister and then often become ulcers. Tongue is involved.

• There are peripherally distributed small tender non itchy rash with blisters on the palms of hands, and soles of feet and buttocks.

• The sores hurt on touch and swallowing is difficult.

• There is proximal separation of nail from the nail bed.

• The virus is present in mucus from nose, saliva, fluid from sores and traces of bowel movements.

• The virus spreads in the first week of infection.

• The infection spreads from person to person by direct contact with nasal discharge, saliva or blister fluid or from stool of infected persons.

• The virus can persist in the stool for weeks.

 

• The illness is not transmitted to or from pets or other animals

• The illness stays for 2–3 days. It is usually mild and self-limited.

• Entero 71 virus is associated with brain involvement (meningitis and encephalitis), lungs and the heart.

• The patient remains infectious after the symptoms have gone.

• Test is not necessary.

• There is no specific treatment.

• Paracetamol tablet can be taken to relieve pain and fever.

• Aspirin is to be avoided in children.

• Dehydration should be avoided.

• Eat ice cream to numb the pain.

• Using mouthwashes or sprays that numb mouth

• Regularly wash your hands with soap and water.

• Avoid exposure to infected person.

• Maintain touch hygiene to reduce your risk of acquiring the infection.

• During first week of illness, the child should be kept in isolation.

• Schools should be closed.

• There is no vaccine currently available.

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