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Dr K K Aggarwal

Lowering BP of No Help in Acute Stroke

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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According to findings from China Antihypertensive Trial in Acute Ischemic Stroke (CATIS) published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, use of antihypertensive drugs to lower systolic blood pressure by close to 13% as part of acute treatment of ischemic stroke did not reduce early mortality or disability compared with patients who did not receive antihypertensive therapy. At 14 days after randomization, there were 683 events among patients who received early aggressive antihypertensive therapy versus 681 events in the control group and at 3 months, there were 500 additional events in the treatment arm versus 502 among controls, said Jiang He, MD, PhD, of Tulane University School of Public Health in New Orleans. (MedPage)

How to Remove Negative Thoughts

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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Darkness is absence of light and similarly negative thoughts are absence of positive thoughts. The answer to negative thoughts is to bring back positive thoughts. An ideal mind is a devil’s workshop and will always think negative. Here are some ways by which you can remove negative thoughts. 

• Think differently as taught by Adi Shankaracharya. Once Menaka approached Arjuna with lust and said that she wanted to have a son like him with him. Arjuna said why wait for 25 years consider me as you son from today.

• Think opposite as taught by Patanjali. For example, if you are having a though to steal, silently start thinking of charity.

• Think positive as taught by Buddha. Make a list of positive actions to be done today as the first thing in the morning and concentrate on that list. Divert your mind to the pending works. It’s a type of behavioral therapy.

Water Hygiene

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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Safe water is an essential commodity to prevent most water and food-borne diseases like diarrhea, typhoid and jaundice. These diseases are 100% preventable. All of them can be lethal if not prevented, diagnosed or treated in time.

Transmission of parasitic infections can also occur with contaminated water. Here are a few tips:

• Travelers should avoid consuming tap water.
• Avoid ice made from tap water.
• Avoid any food rinsed in tap water.
• Chlorination kills most bacterial and viral pathogens.
• Chlorination does not kill giardia cysts.
• Chlorination does not kill amoeba cysts.
• Chlorination does not kill cryptosporidium.
• Boiled water is safe.
• Treated water is safe.
• Bottled water is safe.
• Carbonated drinks, wine and drinks made with boiled water are safe.
• Freezing does not kill the organisms that cause diarrhea. Ice in drinks is not safe unless it has been made from adequately boiled or filtered water.
• Alcohol does not sterilize water or the ice. Mixed drinks may still be contaminated.
• Hot tea and coffee are the best alternatives to boiled water.
• Bottled drinks should be requested without ice and should be drunk from the bottle with a straw rather than with a glass.
• Boiling water for 3 minutes followed by cooling to room temperature will kill bacterial parasites.
• Adding two drops of 5% sodium hydrochloride (bleach) to quarter of water (1 liter) will kill most bacteria in 30 minutes.
• Adding five drops of tincture of iodine to a quarter of water (1 liter) will kill bacteria within 30 minutes.

Avoid Drunk or Drugged Driving

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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The dangers of drinking alcohol and driving are well known to all. But, it is also important to recognize that taking drugs and driving too can be as dangerous. Drugged driving or driving under the influence of any drug that acts on the brain can adversely affect your vision, reaction time, judgment and driving skills. This not only endangers your life but also of your co-passengers as well as others on the road.

Tips for safe driving

• All through the year, especially during the holiday season, take steps to make sure that you and everyone you celebrate with avoid driving under the influence of alcohol or other drugs.

• Always designate a non-drinking driver before any holiday party or celebration begins.
• Arrange for someone to pick you up
• Do not let a friend drive if you think that they are impaired. Take the car keys.
• Stay overnight at your friend’s place, if possible and drive back home in the morning.

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.

• Even mild thyroid deficiency in pregnancy 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 is related to preventing ants and insects from approaching the food. But in spiritual language there is a deeper meaning to these rituals.

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 foods provide calmness, purity and promote longevity, intelligence, strength, health, happiness and delight. Fruits, vegetables, leaves, grains, cereals, milk, honey, etc. are examples of satwik food. 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 foods have 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 one, which comes 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 external God if is 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.

Cycling can cause erectile dysfunction

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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Age, diabetes, hypertension, obesity, high lipids, smoking, drugs, heart disease, upright cycling for more than 3 hours a week can cause erectile dysfunction (ED) in males. Those who ride bicycles for more than 3 hours a week should do so in a reclining position and not upright position. A man is considered to have ED when he cannot acquire or sustain an erection of sufficient rigidity for sexual intercourse. Any man may, at one time or another during his life, experience periodic or isolated sexual failures. The term “impotent” is reserved for those men who experience erectile failure during attempted intercourse more than 75% of the time. Heart disease increases the risk for later ED; ED also may be an early warning sign of future heart disease. Men with erectile dysfunction without an obvious cause (e.g., pelvic trauma), and who have no symptoms of heart disease, should be screened for heart disease prior to treatment since there are potential cardiac risks associated with sexual activity in patients with heart disease.

Eight of the 12 most commonly prescribed medications list impotence as a side effect and it is estimated that 25% of cases of ED are due to drugs. Depression, stress, or the drugs used to treat depression can result in ED. Neurologic causes include stroke, spinal cord or back injury, multiple sclerosis, or dementia. In addition, pelvic trauma, prostate. Surgery or priapism may cause ED.

A less obvious, but of increasing importance, has been the possible association of ED with bicycling. Anything that places prolonged pressure on the pudendal and cavernosal nerves or compromises blood flow to the penile artery can result in penile numbness and impotence. Cycling-induced impotence, is primarily a problem of serious cyclists and has been reported to occur in Norwegian men competing in a 540 km bicycle race. The penile numbness is attributed to the pressure on the perineal nerves whereas the erectile dysfunction is thought to be due to a decrease in oxygen pressure in the pudendal arteries.

Recreational cyclists, those who cycle for less than 3 hours per week and men who cycle in a reclining position avoid the sustained intense pressure on the penile nerve and artery and are less likely to experience sexual side effects. Continued cycling in a seated upright position can reduce the penile oxygen levels lasting 10 minutes.

Positive Attitudes

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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All those out there who feel you are at your wits end wondering how things don’t ever work out for you, can now relax and dwell on all those failures that life has taken you through and turn failure into success.

• Failure doesn’t mean you are a failure. But it does mean you haven’t succeeded yet.
• Failure doesn’t mean you have accomplished nothing. It does mean you have learned something.
• Failure doesn’t mean you have been foolish. It does mean you had a lot of faith.
• Failure doesn’t mean you’ve been discouraged. It does mean you were willing to try.
• Failure doesn’t mean you don’t to do. It does mean you have to do it in a different way.
• Failure doesn’t mean you are inferior. It does mean you are not perfect.
• Failure doesn’t mean you have wasted your life. It does mean you have a reason to start afresh.
• Failure doesn’t mean you should give up. It does mean you must try harder.
• Failure doesn’t mean you’ll never make it. It does mean it will take a little longer.
• Failure doesn’t mean God has abandoned you. It does mean God has a better idea.

Myths

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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• The right skin cream can keep your skin looking young: For reducing wrinkles, the topical treatment with the best evidence behind it is retinoic acid (as in Retin-A). The best ways to keep wrinkles at bay are using sunscreen and not smoking.

• Antibacterial soap is best for keeping your skin clean: Many experts are concerned that the use of antibacterial soap could lead to more antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Antibacterial soap is not necessary for everyday use. Regular soap is fine. Thorough and consistent hand-washing, not antibacterial soap, is what helps prevent the spread of infection.

The spiritual meaning of the word ‘Artha’

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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Dharma, Artha, Kama and Moksha are the four fundamental principles of our very existence which means earning righteously with a desire to fulfill the inner happiness. Righteous earning is called ‘Artha’ and mistakenly it has been linked to materialistic money. In mythology, Artha is synonymous with Lakshmi, Saraswati and Kali where Lakshmi represents righteously earned materialistic wealth, Saraswati represents wealth of knowledge and Kali represents wealth of wisdom to fight the bad in you and in the society. In any country, it is the wealth of knowledge, which is more important. India was ruled initially by warriors (Kali), later by money (Lakshmi) and in future will be ruled by knowledge (Saraswati). It is the human resources, which today decide the growth of a company and the amount of money invested. If you have good human resources, your company is going to succeed.

Exercise impact 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.

• Golf swings produces forces of 4.5 times body weight on the forward knee and 3.2 times body weight in the opposite knee.

• Jogging produced forces of 4.3 times body weight.

Relieve stress by changing the interpretation

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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Stress is the reaction of the body or the mind to the interpretation of a known situation. Stress management, therefore, involves either changing the situation, changing the interpretation or taming the body the yogic way in such a way that stress does not affect the body. Every situation has two sides. Change of interpretation means looking at the other side of the situation. It is something like half glass of water, which can be interpreted either as half empty or half full. Studies have shown that anger, hostility and aggression are the new risk factors for heart disease. It has been shown that even recall of anger can precipitate a heart attack. Many studies have shown that when doctors talk positive in front of unconscious patients in ICU, their outcome is better than those if doctors talk negative.

The best way to practice spiritual medicine is to experience silence in the thoughts, speech and action. Simply walking in the nature with silence in the mind and experiencing the sounds of nature can be as effective as 20 minutes of meditation. Twenty minutes of meditation provides the same physiological parameters as that of 7 hours of deep sleep.

Water Hygiene

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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Safe water is an essential commodity for prevention of most water and food–borne diseases like diarrhea, typhoid and jaundice. These diseases are 100% preventable. All of them can be lethal if not prevented, diagnosed or treated in time. Transmission of parasitic infections can also occur with contaminated water. Here are a few tips:

Travelers should avoid consuming tap water.
• Avoid ice made from tap water.
• Avoid any food rinsed in tap water.
• Chlorination kills most bacterial and viral pathogens.
• Chlorination does not kill Giardia cysts.
• Chlorination does not kill amoeba cysts.
• Chlorination does not kill Cryptosporidium.
• Boiled water is safe.
• Treated water is safe.
• Bottled water is safe.
• Carbonated drinks, wine and drinks made with boiled water are safe.
• Freezing does not kill the organisms that cause diarrhea. Ice in drinks is not safe unless it has been made from adequately boiled or filtered water.
• Alcohol does not sterilize water or the ice. Mixed drinks may still be contaminated.
• Hot tea and coffee are the best alternates to boiled water.
• Bottled drinks should be requested without ice and should be drunk from the bottle with a straw rather than with a glass.
• Boiling water for 3 minutes followed by cooling to room temperature will kill bacterial parasites.
• Adding two drops of 5% sodium hydrochloride (bleach) to quarter of water (1 liter) will kill most bacteria in 30 minutes.
• Adding 5 drops of tincture of iodine to a quarter of water (1 liter) will kill bacteria within 30 minutes.

Never hurt the ego of a person

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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It is a well-known Vedic fact that if you hurt the ego of a person, he will never forgive you, especially, if you have insulted or implicated him in character assassination, or have cast implications about financial embezzlement or you call a woman as old or a man as impotent in public. For example, if I hurt ego of a chowkidaar, next time if a patient comes to the hospital gate and asks where Dr. KK Aggarwal is, he only has to whisper, “ Which Aggarwal? The one whose cases never survive?“

Also never hurt the ego of a person who is drunk. Under the influence of alcohol, a person loses his capacity to judge persons and situations. If you provoke him, he can be destructive and aggressive.

Gaining Weight Losing Strength versus Losing Weight Gaining Strength

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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When we gain weight, we must acquire more strength and when we lose weight, we must lose the strength. This is a fundamental medical principle.

If we gain weight and feel weak, it is a disease and when we lose weight and gain strength, we are recovering from the disease. One should not gain more than 5kg of weight after the age of 20 years. Any weight gain after this will only be due to accumulation of fat, which leads to insulin resistance. Insulin resistance does not allow food to convert into energy. In the state of insulin resistance, whatever you eat, it is converted into fat and since it is not converted into energy, you feel weak. When you reduce insulin resistance by drugs or walking, the metabolism becomes normal and whatever you eat gets converted into energy and you start gaining strength.