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Dr K K Aggarwal

OTC drug does not mean it can be taken without a doctor’s advice

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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An over–the–counter antacid is often used to relieve mild cases of heartburn orACID REFLUX. Though they are available without a doctor’s prescription they should be taken only under a doctor’s advice. 


As per American Academy of Family Physicians

  • There are different types of antacids that work in different ways.
  • One should talk to the doctor before taking an antacid.
  • To manage an ulcer, an antacid may need to be taken in conjunction with an antibiotic.
  • If one needs more calcium to help strengthen bones, one should prefer an antacid that contains calcium carbonate.
  • In some, antacids may have minor side effects such as nausea, headache, diarrhea or constipation.
  • One should read the label carefully to make sure that one is not allergic to any of the ingredients.
  • People with kidney disease may not be able to take all types of antacids.
  • An antacid may interact with other medications.

Sword, Dragger and Discus in Mythology

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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Out of nine forms of Goddess Durga, Chandraghanta, Katyayani and Kalratri are depicted as carrying a sword; Kushmunda, Sidhadhatri as holding a discus and Kalratri as holding additional Dragger (Bhala). All have mythological significance. 


The powers of Durga represent feminine powers in all of us. The mythological weapons represent our inherent mental powers to fight to live in this world. 

The power of a sword power (non moving astra power) indicates sharp intelligence and relates to straight forward resistance. For example, if you are not happy with somebody’s answer and you stab him on the spot and prove him wrong, is like using your sword power. 

On the contrary, the power of a discus (moving shastra power) is your indirect power to make the other person realize his mistake and come back and withdraw. 

The dagger or Bhala is in between the two. It is both an astra and a shastra. It is much sharper and more powerful than the sword. 

All three of them are three human qualities used by a person in three different situations. For example, there is a theft in your house and you suspect your servant. You can use the sword power and confront him directly till he says yes or you can keep mum for the time being, look for evidence and, if you find it, then you confront him with much more force using your dagger power and, lastly, you can create circumstances by using your discus power and make the servant realize his mistake and come back to you to admit his mistake and seek pardon.

Nine Modifiable Risk Factors for Heart Attack

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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The majority of known risk factors for heart attack disease are modifiable by specific preventive measures.

Nine potentially modifiable factors include smoking, dyslipidemia, hypertension, diabetes, abdominal obesity, psychosocial factors, regular alcohol consumption, lack of adequate fruits and vegetables in diet and sedentary lifestyle. These account for over 90 percent of the population–attributable risk of a first heart attack.

In addition, aspirin is recommended for primary prevention of heart disease for men and women whose 10–year risk of a first heart attack event is 6 percent or greater.

Smoking cessation reduces the risk of both heart attack and stroke. One year after quitting, the risk of heart attack and death from heart disease is reduced by one-half, and after several years it begins to approach that of nonsmokers.

A number of observational studies have shown a strong inverse relationship between leisure time activity and decreased risks of CVD. The Heart Care Foundation of India recommends walking 80 minutes in a day and with a speed of 80 steps per minute.

Bhoot, Pret and Pishach

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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In mythology, ‘Bhoot’ means the memories of known people whose unfulfilled desires keep on disturbing us. ‘Pret’ means the memories of unknown people whose unfulfilled desires keep coming to our mind during sleep and disturbing us. These unfulfilled desires of unknown people are instances that we may have forgotten but still reach us through the cloud internet. When these memories start disturbing our day to day life, they are defined as Pishach.

Pret, Pishach and Bhoot are seen only by some people and not everyone. That means that their attachment will only be with those with whom their unfulfilled desires were linked to.

This attachment disorder where the unfulfilled desires of the deceased person keep on coming to our mind during day time, night and in our dreams can be understood by a computer IT model used by porn sites.

People who own porn sites develop software by which a specific program can get transferred to our computer and whenever we open these sites the program file gets embedded in our computer in a secret location in such a way that whenever we open the computer, the specific will appear on the desktop or will become the preferred sites whenever we open the internet. The specific site only will automatically open even if we do not wish to open it.

These files are difficult to delete unless the computer is reformatted or an experienced IT professional is able to delete these files.

The attachment disorders and the unfulfilled desires of the deceased persons can be compared to this technology and can be explained why those thoughts keep on coming in our mind. Not only the thoughts, even the images of people keep coming into mind and they are difficult to get deleted.

 

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, thyroid deficiency should be looked for.
  • 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 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.

An empty mind is the devil’s house

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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It is an old saying that “Khali dimag shaitan ka ghar“.

Empty mind means when you are doing nothing and Shaitan means negative thoughts. In terms of Vedic Sciences, negative thoughts mean absence of positive thoughts and they are often equated to darkness which is absence of light.

Positive thoughts always need efforts and exertions while negative thoughts are spontaneous and without exertion. It is recommended that one should think differently and positive otherwise there will be spontaneous appearance of negative thoughts.

Darkness is spontaneous and naturally present and to bring light one has to make efforts by switching on the light or the nature has to ask the Sun to come and give the light.

Prevention strategy relies on lifestyle

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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Stenting may not always be the answer to treating heart disease with stable coronary artery disease.

A German study has shown that patients with stable coronary artery disease who were put on an exercise regimen had significantly higher rates of event–free survival than those who had undergone percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI). In the study, patients in the exercise program had higher event-free survival –– no stroke, heart attack, or death –– compared with stented patients after four years.

Exercise is an important part of any type of prevention, and it should be instituted for “anyone with stable coronary heart disease.”

The study on stenting versus exercise come was a continuation of a pilot study first reported in 2004 in the journal Circulation. That study of 101 male patients found that after one year, 88% of patients who exercised had event–free survival compared with 70% of stented patients.

The updated data reflect an additional 100 patients, who performed moderate intensity exercise for two weeks under hospital supervision, and then were given an exercise bike to continue their regimen at home.

Patients with stable angina exercised at 80% of their threshold, and that after four weeks of exercising, their angina threshold increased.

The clear message for patients is to get 30 to 60 minutes of moderate–intensity aerobic activity every day, noting that 30% of heart disease could be prevented by 2.5 hours of walking per week.

Search for Happiness in the Present Moment

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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Happiness should not be considered as being synonymous with pleasure. Pleasure is transient and is always associated with pain later on. Any transient addiction to any of the five senses will either lead to pleasure or pain. Pleasure leads to attachment resulting in more intense and greater desires, and if these are not fulfilled, they cause pain, which manifests as anger, irritability or even a physical disease. This type of transient pleasure is chosen by the individuals who attach themselves not only to the actions, but also to its results.

The soul, which is an energized field of information and energy, is controlled by the person’s action, memory and desire. With every action, a memory is created which either gets stored or is recirculated again as an action. If one does not control the desires, the recurrent actions may cause more problems than happiness.

True happiness, on the other hand, is internal happiness or the happiness of the soul or of the consciousness. It is often said, “You are what you eat, you are what you think and you are what you do.” Hence, your own internal happiness will vary with what you eat, think, and do.

Being in the present moment leads to true happiness. If one laments about the past or keeps fearing about the future all the time, you will never be able to live in the present. Not living in the present is bound to cause unhappiness. One should learn to live and enjoy the present, which can only be done by attaching oneself to the actions and not to its results.

Doing one’s duty with devotion and discipline also helps one to remain in the present. Performing good action is important, but it is equally important to maintain the purity of the mind at the same time. Because any intention in the thought creates the same chemical reaction as when the actual deed is done, abusing a person in thought is the same as abusing him in person. Cultivating positive actions in day–to–day life, like, giving or sharing etc., helps in acquiring internal happiness.

Thoughts ultimately get metabolized into various chemicals and hormones changing the internal biochemistry of the person; hence, by thinking about cancer all the time, one can actually induce it over a period of time. And similarly, cancers can be cured by thinking positive over a period of time.

Internal happiness gives a deep feeling of satisfaction and is not associated with any transient chemical changes which are generally associated with bodily pleasure activities. People who are internally happy are always contented and are devoid of jealousy, anger, irritability, greed and ego.

One should learn to disassociate from, both, external pain as well as pleasure, and only then can one acquire true internal happiness.

Pumpkin Extract Beneficial for Diabetic Patients

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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Pumpkin extract has insulin–like effects. It can help people with diabetes keep their blood sugar under control.

Quoting Chinese researchers that animals with drug–induced diabetes treated with pumpkin extract had lower blood glucose levels, greater insulin secretion, and more insulin–producing beta cells than diabetic rats that weren’t given the extract. This action may be due to the presence of both antioxidants and D–chiro–inositol, a molecule that mediates insulin activity.

Pumpkin extract is potentially a very good product for pre–diabetic persons, as well as those who have already developed diabetes.

Pumpkin is frequently used to treat diabetes and high blood glucose in Asia.

The results of an animal study have shown that rats with diabetes had 41 percent less insulin in their blood than normal rates; giving them pumpkin extract for 30 days boosted levels of the blood sugar–regulating hormone by 36 percent. And after 30 days of being fed pumpkin extract, diabetic rats had blood glucose levels similar to those of non-diabetic rats.

Is time and place of death pre-defined?

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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Some gurus teach that the time and place of death is predefined and some do not. I personally feel that life and respiration are predefined and not day and time of death.


It is something like – water in a sponge will become empty when every drop of water comes out but it does not matter how much time it takes to come out. It is therefore possible to postpone or prolong the fulfillment of Prarabhdha Karma and postpone death.

As per the Karma theory, unless our Prarabdha Karmas (decided at the time of death and birth) are enjoyed and fulfilled, one cannot die. But once the Prarabhdha Karmas are fulfilled, death is inevitable.
Another unanswered question is ‘can Prarabdha karma be modified’? Fate or destiny may not change, which means one may not be able to prolong the quantity of life but can definitely change the quality of life. The quality of life can be changed by modifying Agami (present Karmas).

Sanchit Karmas can be burnt with the file of knowledge about self. Prarabdha Karmas have to be experienced and Agami Karma can be neutralized by positive and negative Karmas to Zero in the present life.

The last few Prarabdha Karma experienced can thus be slowed down by the net positive result of their Agami karmas.

Artificial Sweeteners in Sweets May Be Harmful

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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In a joint statement, the American Heart Association and the American Diabetes Association gave a cautious recommendation to the use of nonnutritive sweeteners to help people maintain a healthy body weight and for diabetics to aid glucose control.

These products should be considered like a nicotine patch. They are appreciably better than the real product (sugar), but not part of an optimal diet. The statement, published in both Circulation and Diabetes Care on July 9, 2012, warns that sweeteners are helpful only as long as people don’t eat additional calories later as compensation.

The term nonnutritive sweeteners cover six sweeteners including aspartame, acesulfame K, neotame, saccharin, sucralose, and plant–derived stevia. These nonnutritive substances have zero calories.

Two things may happen in terms of compensation

1.Physiological, where the body might be expecting more calories and so the individual may be hungrier and therefore may eat more

2.Psychological, where the individual thinks they are allowed to eat more sugar-rich food because they had a diet soda instead of a full–sugar soda.

When people use sweeteners there is compensation. The key is how much? Partial compensation is ok but people often completely compensate or even overcompensate, so these sweeteners have to be used smartly to be successful. Compensation seems less of a problem when these sweeteners are consumed in beverages as opposed to food.

People don’t really notice the lack of calories in a diet soda and so don’t tend to eat more, whereas if they consume a low–calorie foodstuff, they do tend to eat more as compensation.

Its better when sweeteners are used in beverages and not sweets or other foods.
One is not completely sure about the safety of these products, because their long–term use in humans has not been studied fully.

However, the artificial sweeteners on the market are almost certainly safer than consuming large amounts of sugar, which has definite harm when consumed in large amounts.

This harm, particularly when consumed in beverage form such as soda, includes increases in risks of obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and gout.

A concern, though, is that just replacing sugar with artificial sweeteners leaves a person, especially children, conditioned to high levels of sweetness, which is likely to influence their food choices adversely.

Dharma, Artha, Kama and Moksha of Medical Profession

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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The eras of Ram and Krishna represent two different perceptions of life. While Rama taught us the message of truthfulness, Krishna taught us when not to speak the truth and when speaking a lie is justified.

The medical profession today cannot survive on the principles of Rama. According to principles of Krishna, a truth which if spoken may cause harm to someone and if not spoken does not cause any harm, may not be spoken. Similarly, a lie, which without harming the community may help a particular person or situation, may be spoken.

Doctors come across situations every day in their medical practice, where speaking the truth may be harmful to the patient. Quite often false hopes are given and patients of terminal cancer are not told about their exact nature of illness and the prognosis. There is no way a doctor is going to tell the patient that you are going to die in the next 24 hours even if it is medically true.

Dharma, artha, kama and moksha are the four basic purposes of life for which we are born. The basic purpose of life is to fulfill our desires in such a way that we end up in inner happiness. Fulfillment of desires should be done by following the principles of righteous or ethical earning.

Most charges in the hospital settings are different depending upon the categories chosen by the patient. A single room patient invariably has to pay more than a patient admitted in the concessional three-bed room or general ward. Even the charges of the treatment, operation theatre, investigations and consultations may be different depending upon the categories. Taking more money from the rich and helping the poor. This principle is more according to Krishna’s principle than Rama’s.

Placebo therapy is a well–established therapy in medical science, which means treating the patient without giving the actual drug to a patient. The information that the drug does not contain any ingredient is withheld from the patient in this type of therapy. As per the literature, 35% of illnesses and symptoms may resolve using a placebo and is based on the principle that the very feeling that a medicine is being given stimulates the inner body pharmacy and produces healing substances and chemicals.

Nocebo effect, on the other hand, means that if the patient is told that your illness is not going to be cured even if medicines are given they may not act as the patient’s body produces negative chemicals, which neutralize the effect of medicines that otherwise are effective.

Indian doctors were known for their social medicine, which involves proper assessing of patients’ and their families’ financial status before deciding the treatment. There is no point giving options to a family to spend 10–15 lakhs of rupees for getting an ICD device implanted in the heart, which may increase life span only by one or two years or improve quality of life for a few years to a family who cannot afford this amount of money and may have to sell their house or spend all the money saved for the marriage of their daughters.

But today, with the Consumer Protection Act applicable to the medical profession also, not informing the family may even amount to negligence.

Why do commercial and foods cooked by ‘halwais’ taste better?

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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Hydrogenated oils containing trans fats are tastier than foods cooked in plant oils. Most hydrogenated oils involve hydrogenation of palm oils. Hydrogenation increases their shelf life, makes them easier to cook and spoil less easily. French fries, microwave popcorns and food cooked by traditional halwais are cooked in hydrogenated trans fats.

Most commercially catered food prepared from trans fats are tasty and often people overeat by at least 500 calories because of the taste provided by the hydrogenated oils.

Per serving, 5 grams of trans fatty acids is present in French fries, 6 gm in breaded fish burger, 5 gm in breaded chicken nuggets, 2 gm in biscuits, 2.7 gm in margarine, 2 gm in cakes, 1.6 gm in corn chips, 1.2 gm in microwave popcorn and 1.1 gm in pizza.

Four gm of trans fats are present in one parantha, 3.4 gm in one poori, 5.2 gm in one bhatura, 1.7 gm in one dosa, 6.1 gm in one tikki, 3 gm in one samosa, 2 gm in one serving of pakoda, 2.9 gm in one serving of vegetable pulao and 3.6 gm in one serving of halwa.

Just about 2.6 gm a day of trans fats, half as much contained in a packet of French fries can raise the risk of heart disease significantly.

Some trans fats occur naturally in foods, especially those of animal origin. The chemical configuration of trans fatty acids confers harmful effects, including adverse influences on blood LDL- and HDL-cholesterol concentrations. They raise LDL and lower HDL cholesterols. By comparison, consumption of saturated fats also raises the LDL cholesterol concentration, but does not lower HDL. Thus, while saturated fats adversely affect the lipid profile, they may not be as harmful as trans fatty acids.

Trans fatty acids may also interfere with the desaturation and elongation of n-3 (omega-3) fatty acids. These are important for the prevention of heart disease and complications of pregnancy. In an analysis from the Nurses’ Health Study, for each increase of 2 percent of energy from trans fat, the relative risk for incident coronary heart disease was 1.93. There are no known physiologic benefits related to the consumption of trans fatty acids; thus, reduction in their intake makes sense.

The words “partially hydrogenated” on the list of package ingredients are clues to their presence. Since 2006, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has made it a requirement that Nutrition Facts labels portray trans fat content. FDA estimates that the average daily intake of trans fat in the U.S. population is about 5.8 grams or 2.6% of calories per day for individuals 20 years of age and older. On average, Americans consume approximately 4 to 5 times as much saturated fat as trans fat in their diet. FDA’s label requirement is that if a dietary supplement contains a reportable amount of trans fat, which is 0.5 gram or more, dietary supplement manufacturers must list the amounts on the Supplement Facts panel. The FDA final rule on trans fatty acids requires that the amount of trans fats in a serving be listed on a separate line under saturated fats on the Nutrition Facts panel.

However, trans fats do not have to be listed if the total fat in a food is less than 0.5 gram (or 1/2 gram) per serving.

All restaurants in New York have banned all food items, which contain more than 0.5 gm of trans fats in one serving.

Guidelines

  • Check the Nutrition Facts panel: Choose foods lower in saturated fats, trans fats and cholesterol.
  • Choose alternative fats. Replace saturated and trans fats in your diet with mono- and polyunsaturated fats. These fats do not raise LDL (or “bad”) cholesterol levels and have health benefits when eaten in moderation. Sources of monounsaturated fats include olive and canola oils. Sources of polyunsaturated fats include soybean, corn, sunflower oils, and foods like nuts.
  • Choose vegetable oils (except coconut and palm kernel oils) and soft margarines (liquid, tub, or spray) more often because the combined amount of saturated and trans fats is lower than the amount in solid shortenings, hard margarines, and animal fats, including butter.
  • Consider fish. Most fish are lower in saturated fat than meat. Some fish, such as mackerel, sardines and salmon, contain omega-3 fatty acids that are being studied to determine if they offer protection against heart disease.
  • Limit foods high in cholesterol such as liver and other organ meats, egg yolks and full-fat dairy products, like whole milk.
  • Choose foods low in saturated fat such as fat free or 1% dairy products, lean meats, fish, skinless poultry, whole grain foods and fruit and vegetables.

The Science behind Training and Development

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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Training in any field requires gaining knowledge, skills and positive mental attitude towards the object of learning.

Knowledge is everything about what and why. In Yoga, it correlates with the Gyan (Gnana) Marg. Skill is all about how to do it and correlates with Karma Marg.

The positive mental attitude is linked to willingness to do any work or in other words one’s Astha in that action. In Yoga, it is synonymous with Bhakti Marg.

In Bhagwad Gita, Lord Krishna talks about all the principles of management including how to train and develop an individual.

The development teaches and increases one’s intelligence quotient (IQ), physical quotient (PQ), emotional quotient (EQ) and moral quotient (MQ).

Diet and Aging: Gaining a Nutritional Edge

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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Choose fruits and vegetables wisely

  • Eat at least five servings of fruits and vegetables a day.
  • When filling your plate with fruits and vegetables, choose from a full color palette.
  • For even more health benefits, aim for nine servings a day. To get there, choose vegetable soups and vegetable or fruit salads. Sprinkle fruit on breakfast cereal, and select it for snacks or as a sweet end note after meals.

Choose fats wisely

  • Whenever possible, use monounsaturated and polyunsaturated oils. Avoid trans fats entirely. Limit saturated fats to less than 7% of daily calories and total fat to 20% to 30% of daily calories.
  • If you don’t have coronary artery disease, the American Heart Association recommends eating foods rich in omega–3 fatty acids, such as salmon, trout, or mackerel, twice weekly. If you have documented coronary artery disease, consume roughly 1 gram a day of EPA or DHA from oily fish and supplements if your doctor advises this.

Choose carbohydrates wisely

  • Choose whole–grain foods over those made with refined grains, such as white bread. Look beyond popular choices like whole oats and brown rice to lesser–known whole grains like barley, bulgur, kasha and quinoa. Limit your intake of white potatoes.

Choosing protein wisely

  • Emphasize plant sources of protein, such as beans, nuts, and grains, to help you bypass unhealthy fats predominant in animal sources. Enjoying a wide variety of vegetables and eating beans and grains helps you get a full complement of amino acids over the course of a week. Shy away from protein sources high in saturated fat. Favor fish and well–trimmed poultry. If you do eat beef, pick lean cuts.
  • Don’t char or overcook meat, poultry, or fish, it causes a buildup of carcinogens. Cutting off fat, which causes flames to flare on the grill, can help avoid charring; try gently sautéing, steaming, or braising these foods in liquid instead. Grilling vegetables is safe, however.