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Dr K K Aggarwal

Can blood pressure be higher in one arm?

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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A small difference in blood pressure readings between arms is normal. However, a difference of more than 20 mm Hg for systolic pressure (top number) or more than 10 mm Hg for diastolic pressure (bottom number) can be a sign of an underlying narrowing of the main arteries to that arm.

A difference of 10 to 15 mm Hg for upper systolic pressure that shows up repeatedly is a risk marker for vascular disease and future heart attacks.

Always have your doctor check both arms for blood pressure and whichever is higher, use that arm for future blood pressure readings.

My answer is yes; now tell me your problem

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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This was the best statement I have ever come across in my life. One of the medical superintendents at Moolchand Hospital when he joined had this statement on the wall behind his desk. It clearly indicated that he was there to solve the problem and not to create problems.

If all the service provider agencies follow this statement, the scenario of the country can change. Our job should be to solve problems and not find mistakes. None of us is 100% truthful, honest or hardworking. Each one of us has some positive points and some negative points. Our job should be to remove our negative points and convert them into positive.

Remember the SWOT analysis taught in marketing i.e. “Strength, Weakness, Opportunity and Threat”. Our job should be to convert our weakness into strength and threat into opportunities.

Impact of exercise on the Knee

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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Different exercises produce different impacts on the knee joints. The best and safest exercises causing minimum impact on the knee for patients’ post knee replacement or knee arthritis are walking, biking, hiking, riding an exercise bike, riding an elliptical trainer and walking on the treadmill. In sports, one can play doubles tennis and not singles. One can also participate in downhill or cross-country skiing. The maximum stress-producing exercises are jogging and golf swings.

Impact

  • Biking generates the least force, producing impact of about 1.3 times the person’s body weight.
  • Treadmill walking was next best, producing forces of 2.05 times the body weight.
  • Walking on level ground generated forces of 2.6 times the body weight.
  • A game of tennis produces forces of 3.1 to 3.8 times the body weight; serving produces the highest impact.
  • Jogging produced forces of 4.3 times body weight.
  • Golf swings produces forces of 4.5 times body weight on the forward knee and 3.2 times body weight in the opposite knee.

What is the difference between a smile, hug and laughter?

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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Smile is a sign of joy while hug is a sign of love. Laughter on the other hand is a sign of inner happiness. None is at the level of mind or intellect. All come from within the heart.

They are only the gradations of your expressions of your happiness. It is said you are incomplete in your dress if you are not wearing smile on your face.

Hug comes next and laughter the last. Laughter is like an internal jogging and has benefits like that of doing meditation.

But be careful we must know when not to laugh. The most difficult is to laugh at our own self.

Fast for 12 hours if going for a cholesterol test

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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  • Getting a cholesterol test is easy.
  • Food and drinks affect cholesterol profile. Fast for 12 hours to get accurate readings of LDL (“bad” cholesterol), HDL (“good” cholesterol), and triglyceride levels.
  • Avoid drinking alcohol for at least 24 hours before the test.
  • Tell your doctor
  • Flu or another illness shortly before the blood test can have a dramatic effect on your cholesterol levels.
  • A change in diet in the last one week can make a difference. High levels of alcohol or carbohydrates can raise triglycerides.
  • Did you forget to fast or sneak something to eat or drink before the test? It can affect the cholesterol levels.
  • An underactive or overactive thyroid can affect cholesterol levels.

If You Hate Somebody, It Means You Have a Lot of Time to Waste

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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If you hate somebody, it only means that you have lot of meaningless time to spare. If you are busy and live in the present, you cannot think of the past or the future.

There is a well known saying in Vedanta that you cannot hate strangers, you only can hate somebody whom you loved and withdrawal of love is what hatred is.

Love and hate, therefore, are the two sides of the same coin. You cannot have both. You need to make an effort to hate somebody but love is always spontaneous. It is not true that if you love somebody, it means that you have a lot of time to spare. Love comes from the heart and not from the mind or the intellect.

Winter blood pressure 5 mmHg higher than summer blood pressure

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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The systolic (top number) and diastolic (bottom number) blood pressures rise and fall with the change of seasons.

In a study of 8801 people aged 65 or older by the Institute National de la Sante et de la Recherche Medicale of Paris published in the journal Archives of Internal Medicine, the average systolic blood pressure was five points higher during the winter than in summer.

Instances of high blood pressure (systolic blood pressure higher than 159, or diastolic higher than 94 mmHg) in the study were found in 33.4 percent of participants during winter but just 23.8 percent during summer.

The reason could be related to the baroreflex, a mechanism of blood pressure regulation that is modified in elderly subjects or a function of the sympathetic nervous system, which helps control involuntary actions such as stress response. A 5 mm change in blood pressure can explain why more heart patients die in winter.

Be Positive, Be Different and Be Persistent

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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You should be not only positive, different but also persistent. In ten incarnations of Lord Vishnu, the first was a fish, which denotes to be different in life. The second incarnation is the tortoise, which symbolizes that you should not only be different, but also learn to withdraw when the need arises. The third is a boar, which indicates persistence.

The mantra of a successful life is to be positively different and persistent and yet learn to withdraw when the situation arises.

About thyroid gland

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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  • Low functioning thyroid is a new epidemic of the society affecting more than 3% of people. If thyroid function is low, it causes weight gain, loss of energy, cold intolerance and menstrual irregularities in women.
  • All people who are aged 50 and above should have their thyroid profile (TSH test) done to look for thyroid deficiency.
  • In younger people, or in cases of infertility, menstrual irregularity, pregnancy, weight gain, one should check for thyroid deficiency.
  • Iodized salt should be used to prevent thyroid deficiency.
  • Non–iodized salt is only used in two conditions: firstly in patient with thyroid inflammation and secondly, while doing Jalneti in naturopathy, a yoga–related nasal wash technique.
  • In pregnancy, even mild thyroid deficiency can affect the growth of fetus hence dose requirement of thyroid medicine is much higher in pregnancy than in non–pregnancy.
  • In the elderly, the dose of thyroid medicine to be started is always low as compared to one in the adults.
  • If thyroid deficiency is untreated, osteoporosis (thickening of bone) and/or atrial fibrillation (irregular and fast heart rate) may result. Osteoporosis can cause recurrent fractures and atrial fibrillation may cause brain paralysis.
  • In allopathic medicine, thyroid deficiency is treated by synthetic T4 hormone replacement. In TFSP, thyroid extracts are available, which contain both T4 and T3 potential drugs.
  • In Ayurveda, thyroid stimulant drugs are available but they are effective only if some amount of thyroid gland is available.
  • As per Ayurveda, eating soya and drinking water from copper vessel is good for thyroid.

Why do we offer food to God in every Pooja?

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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We follow a ritual of offering ‘bhog’ to the deity we worship. The ritual also involves sprinkling water all around the place where we sit down to eat food. Many people have advocated that the sprinkling of water prevents ants and insects from approaching the food. But in spiritual language, these rituals have a deeper meaning.

Bhagwad Gita and Yoga Shastras categorize food into three types corresponding to their properties termed as gunas. Depending upon satoguna, rajoguna and tamoguna, the food items are categorized as satwik, rajsik or tamsik.

Satwik food provides calmness, purity and promotes longevity, intelligence, strength, health, happiness and delight. The examples of satwik food items are fruits, vegetables, leaves, grains, cereals, milk, honey, etc. These items can be consumed as they are. One can also live on satwik food for life.

Rajsik food items possess attributes of negativity, passion and restlessness. Hot, spicy and salty food items with pungent, sour and salt taste promote rajas qualities.

Tamsik food has attributes of inducing sleep, ignorance, dullness and inertia. The examples of tamsik food are meat, onions, garlic, left-over food, etc.

Only satwik food is offered to God. Rajsik and tamsik food is never offered as Bhog. The only persons who were offered tamsik and rajsik food in Ramayana are Ahi Ravana and Kumbhkaran. Both of them were of an evil nature. Kumbhkaran signified tamas and Ahi Ravana, rajas or aggression. Tamsik and rajsik food can be converted into satwik by slow heating, sprouting or keeping them in water overnight. The examples are sprouted wheat and chana (chickpeas), etc.

A mixture of honey, milk, ghee, curd and sugar is called panchamrut and is a routine offering to the God. All the five components have satwik properties and their consumption promotes health.

In Ayurveda, there is a saying that any food item, which grows under the ground, is tamsik in nature and those that come from the top of the tree or plant like leaves, flower and fruits are satwik in nature. Satwik food is usually fresh, seasonal and locally grown.

Human beings are made up of body, mind and soul and soul is equated to consciousness or God. Whatever offered to the external God, if offered to the internal God or consciousness, leads to inner happiness. The ritual, therefore, of offering food to God before eating forces us to either eat only satwik food or to include a substantial portion of satwik food in our meals. It helps a person convert his meal into a pure satwik one or at least adding satwik items.

Sprinkling water around the plate is considered an act of purification.

Many people confuse bhog with chadhava or offerings to the deity. While bhog is shared with God, chadhava is the offering of your illness or negative thoughts to the God and you go back with prasada of inner happiness. Many people counter the above argument by saying that alcohol is offered to Bhairon, viewed as a demon God, which means alcohol, is good for health. I personally feel that alcohol is offered to Bhairon not as a bhog but as an offering, which means that people who are addicted to alcohol go to Bhairon and give their share of alcohol to him so they can de-addict themselves.

Coffee Consumption Reduces Mortality

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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The largest prospective cohort study evaluated the impact of coffee consumption on all-cause mortality and involved 229,000 men and 173,000 women, who were followed for up to 13 years.

After adjustment for smoking status and other potential confounders, associations between coffee consumption (either caffeinated or decaffeinated) and reduced all-cause mortality were evident at relatively low levels of consumption (2 to 3 cups/day).

Compared to non–coffee drinkers, the risk of all-cause mortality among men and women who consumed 2 to 3 cups of coffee daily was 0.90 and 0.87.

The apparent benefit of coffee was similar for individuals with high levels of coffee consumption, including those who drank six or more cups of coffee per day. (UpToDate)

(Ref: Freedman ND, Park Y, Abnet CC, et al. Association of coffee drinking with total and cause-specific mortality. N Engl J Med 2012;366:1891).

The lips of truth shall be recognized forever, a lying tongue is but for a moment

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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This sutra from Bible has a very deep significance in day to day life. The truth is ever lasting and always ends up in internal happiness and self realization & in long run always gives you happiness and an all-win situation. On the contrary a lying tongue will only give you a momentarily pleasure but will lead to or create some difficulty later in life.

Spoken words cannot come back just as in the case of a released arrow from the bow. Once lost, one cannot get back his youth, virginity, or respect. Similarly, spoken bad words cannot be taken back and once spoken will create negative waves in the other persons (on whom they were spoken) mind which will persist as repressed thoughts or memory in the people’s mind for ever. Such bad memories will keep on coming back in the person’s mind causing damage to the personal relationships.

A spoken word is a karmic expression. For every karmic action there is an opposite and equal reaction. For every negative karmic action, one has to pay the debt either now or in future. The law of karma says that every debt has to be paid.

It is always better to avoid negative language both in spoken words as well as in the mind. The yoga sutras of Patanjali describe thinking, speaking or doing anything wrong as having the same karmic significance. We should not only purify ourselves in actions and spoken words but also in the mind. If a person keeps negative thoughts in the mind, sooner or later the same will be reflected to the outside world.

The momentary pleasure which one gets by “lying” has no spiritual significance as it only satisfies your ego sense or makes you attached to any of the five senses. The transient pleasure experienced by the body stimulates a chain of reactions, consisting of action, memory and desire leading to action again, which will only intensify the greed & attachments.

In the Mahabharata, Lord Krishna has given only two examples, which work as an exception to such a situation. Any truth, which harms others, may not be spoken and any lie which does not harm anyone but benefits a few may be spoken.

Truth is the opposite of doubt and it is always better to clear all the doubts from the mind as any repressed doubts can end up into causation of heart attack, paralysis and cancer.

Truth also means taking conscious-based decisions as the consciousness will never lie. While taking any decision one should always ask oneself— Is it the truth? Is it necessary? And will it bring happiness to me and the people around?

Lord Krishna is also described as “SATCHITANAND” which only indicates the qualities like truthfulness, conscious based decisions and internal happiness. The practice of truthfulness has to be practical over a period of time and made a part and parcel of your daily life. To start with a person may have bad experiences but in the long run truthfulness will always win.

Hookah as bad as smoking

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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An hour of puffs from a hookah packs the same carbon monoxide punch as a pack–a–day cigarette habit.

Hookahs have grown in popularity in recent years and Hookah bars have appeared in cities all over the world that allow people to smoke these water pipes.

Users inhale tobacco smoke after it bubbles through water, a process that some people think filters toxins from the tobacco.

In a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, Hammond and a student recruited 27 students who smoked water pipes for an hour on three different evenings in April 2006. Another five students did not smoke the hookahs but stayed in the room with those who did. The participants abstained from water pipe smoking for 84 hours before taking part in the study; the bowls of their water pipes were filled with water and 10 grams of Al Fakher mu’assal tobacco, and then heated with charcoal.

Researchers monitored carbon monoxide in the breath of the participants both before and after the experiment using a machine designed to detect if people are smokers.

The exhaled carbon monoxide in participants was an average of 42 parts per million, higher than that reported in cigarette smokers (17 parts per million). The study also found that carbon monoxide levels grew in the room where the subjects smoked hookahs and might reach environmentally unhealthy levels, as determined by the federal government, during longer sessions.

Smoking a water pipe for 45 minutes produces 36 times more tar than smoking a cigarette for five minutes.

Sacrifice a goat and clear the board exam: It’s scientific

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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“Students in tribal–dominated Jhabua district in Madhya Pradesh and adjoining villages in Gujarat believe that sacrificing goat can make them pass an exam. Ranapur, 45 km from Jhabua, an idol of Baba Dongar, a tribal god is making all wishes come true. Here, photocopies of exam admit cards are tied around trees and in return for their entreaties coming true, the supplicants promise to offer the god a goat, a hen or a bottle of liquor. Some 500 animals are sacrificed here every day and there are more than a dozen such priests who do the slaughtering.”

The above story is published in TOI and is correct as per mythology provided one understands the mythology.

In mythology riding means controlling and sacrificing means killings and animals are symbolized by human natures and behaviors.

For example, mouse is a vahan of Ganesha and means that to overcome obstacles one need to control one’s greed. Similarly, owl is the vahan of Laxmi and symbolizes that for righteous earning one should be able to control one’s foolishness.

Goats and Rams represent sexuality and sexual desires and lambs represent purity and innocence.
Goat is mentioned in mythology both as a symbol and as a vehicle of Gods. In the Samkhya system Prakriti is depicted as a female goat (Mother Nature). The color of goat is red, black or white representing Sattva, Rajas, and Tamas.

The vehicle of Goddess Kali is a black goat. Agni rides Mesha, a ram. Kubera, the God of wealth, also has a ram as his vehicle. A ram is an uncastrated adult male sheep.

Performing a sacrifice during exams means controlling your tamas or inertia and rajas or aggression, and controlling your sexual desires (uncastrated males).

Brahmacharya in mythology is a period where you are supposed to keep your sexual deviations and other desires under control. So a goat sacrifice does not mean physical killing of goat but killing of goat-like activities within you.

The new IMA year will start with a paradigm shift from health to wellness

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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New Tam IMA to have both President and Secretary being Padma Shri Awardee

The new IMA team will be taking over under the leadership of Padma Shri Awardee Dr Marthanda Pillai as the President on 28th of this month.

The new IMA year will start with a paradigm shift from health to wellness, from professional centric to community centric, from anti government to pro people. The focus will be on the campaign ” IMA Rise and Shine” and ” Jiska Koi Nahi uska IMA”.

The tem IMA needs your blessings on 30th 10 am onwards. The day will have a series of happenings starting from Rudtrahishek Yagna with eleven pandits; IMA- Media advocacy initiative; General house discussions and suggestions; All religion blessings on quality of a healer; IMA Padma Awardee Doctors Forum Initiative and distribution of Prasadam and blessings.

Remember IMA is not a building or a wall. IMA is the collective consciousness of all its members. We all are IMA and we together can make a change.

[The author is Padma Shri Awardee, Honorary Secretary General IMA and President Heart Care Foundation of India]