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Dr K K Aggarwal

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 or 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 min 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.

Vedic Fasting

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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Fasting and starvation are two different terms commonly confused with each other.

Starvation means not eating or drinking altogether, while fasting means control and restrain of five sensory and five motor senses.

During fasting one may continue eating or drinking but under discipline. Vedic fasting or spiritual fasting is mentioned in Karam Kanda in Yajurveda. Every fast in our mythology has a scientific basis and rituals are added so that the common man can follow it.

 

Eating Out Tips

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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• Curb portions: Always order for one if you are two people and if you are alone set aside some of what is on your plate to bring home.

• Resist refined carbohydrates.

• Load your plate with colorful choices at the salad bar with vegetables, fruits, and small amounts of lean protein. Skip the creamy dressings.

• Choose dishes that are grilled, roasted, steamed, or sautéed.

• Don’t be afraid to request a salad, vegetables, or fruit instead of starchy side dishes.

• In non–vegetarian food, order only fish or seafood.

• If you decide to have dessert, share it with your dining companion(s).

Think differently in mythology

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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• Lord Ganesha with the elephant’s head depicts that one should use their wisdom before taking any decision.

• Vishnu’s first incarnation, fish, symbolizes learning to swim in the opposite direction.

• Brahma’s five heads denotes using all your five senses before taking any decision.

• Shiva’s third eye means to think differently in difficulties.

• Ravan’s ten heads mean using your ten senses/emotions before taking any decision. But, Ravan used them for negative forces.

• Maha Mrityunjaya mantra begins as we worship the three-eyed Shiva.

• Gayatri mantra means that one should ask the heart to direct the intellect to take the right decision. The 3H philosophy is linked to the same. The first H is ask the head for options; second H is to ask the heart to choose one of the options and the third H means to order the hand to do the action

Treatment of acute leg cramps

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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Patients with an acute leg cramp should forcefully stretch the affected muscle, as an example by active dorsiflexion of the foot with the knee extended, when the cramp is in the calf.

Some patients may also find relief from passive stretching by getting out of bed and standing with the foot flat on the floor then pressing downward firmly, although active dorsiflexion of the foot may be more effective.

Other measures that may offer relief from the acute cramp include:

• Walking or leg jiggling followed by leg elevation

• A hot shower with the stream directed at the cramp area of the body, usually for five minutes, or a warm tub bath

• Ice massage

Why do we not offer onions to God?

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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Anything that grows under the ground is not offered to God. According to Vedic science, anything which is grown under the ground is Tamasik in nature and produces sluggishness, heaviness and extreme aggressiveness. Not only onion, all food products grown under the ground are not offered to God and are not supposed to be eaten during spiritual fasts. People who are spiritually-oriented like monks, rishis, munis avoid underground food altogether. Some people try to convert Tamasik food into Satvik food by slow heating them or by sprouting them or by soaking them in water. This is one reason why boiled potato is eaten during Vrat.

Alcohol: Benefits Vs Risk

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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• There is consensus that nondrinkers should not start and the ones who drink can continue provided they do so in moderation and in absence of contraindications. People tend to consume more alcohol in winter and near the New Year.

• Persons who have been lifelong abstainers cannot be easily compared with moderate or even rare drinkers. Recommending alcohol intake to them even if they would agree to drink is not justified.

• The diseases that moderate alcohol use prevents (such as coronary heart disease, ischemic stroke, and diabetes) are most prevalent in the elderly, men, and people with coronary heart disease risk factors. For these groups, moderate alcohol use is associated with a substantial mortality benefit relative to abstention or rare drinking.

• For young to middle–aged adults, especially women, moderate alcohol use increases the risk of the most common causes of death (such as trauma and breast cancer).

• Women who drink alcohol should take supplemental folate to help decrease the risk of breast cancer.

• Men under the age of 45 may also experience more harm than benefit from alcohol consumption. In this age group, moderate alcohol use is unlikely to provide any mortality benefit, but consumption of less than one drink daily appears to be safe if temporally removed from operation of dangerous equipment. For individuals with established contraindications to alcohol use, even this level of alcohol use is dangerous.

• Men can tolerate more alcohol than women. The ideal therapeutic dose of alcohol is around 6 grams per day. Medically safe limits are 10 grams in one hour, 20 grams in a day and 70 grams in a week. (50% for the women).

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. A medical superintendent at Moolchand Hospital, when he joined the hospital, had this statement on the wall behind him. 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 the problems and not find mistakes. None of us is 100% truthful, honest or hardworking. Each one of us will have some positive points and some negative points. Our job should be to remove our negative points and convert them into positive.

Remembers SWOT analysis taught in marketing i.e. “Strength, Weakness, Opportunity and Threat”. We should be convert our weakness into strength and threat into opportunities.

Inspirational: That little girl

Have you ever not wanted to do something so badly that you would rather die than go? Well that’s how I felt about joining Madcaps and volunteering at Saint Vincent De Paul Homeless shelter. But now I believe that you should have an open mind to things because in the end you might just end up enjoying it.

“It’s a waste of time”, I said when my mom told I had to join Madcaps, a mothers and daughters club assisting philanthropies, and then when she told me I had to volunteer at a homeless shelter I thought this just could not get worse.

We got there late, of course, and walked to the dirty homeless shelter, where we saw a lady yelling at the security guard. He dealt with her and then led us to the kitchen where we ran into my five fellow Madcaps class of 2017 mothers and daughters. Since I’m usually so socially awkward I had met only one person at the pool party, earlier this year. I looked around for her but she was not there. Damn, I was alone!

When the head of the kitchen came out and asked for 3 mothers to work outside the kitchen to clean up the plates and silverware, my mom just so happened to volunteer, leaving me to serve food with people I had never met before.

Soon the homeless families started to walk in and a little girl, around 5 years old, walked up and pointed to the food I was handing out. I handed her the cold sandwich, wrapped in the sticky plastic, she nodded in a form of saying thanks, and then walked to join her family at the large table.

As she walked away I thought of how much I had. I get to go to one of the top schools in San Diego, I have a great house by the water, and I have a warm meal every night. Then I thought of how little she had. She probably didn’t go to school, and this is where she sleeps and eats every day. It took that little girl to make me realize just how lucky I am.

After that moment I had a change of heart. Now, I love Madcaps and don’t miss one meeting, I have gotten over being socially awkward and now have many friends, who I hang out with on a regular basis. And this year I am sure I will do more than the required 20 hours of philanthropies.

I believe that if you have an open mind about things you can learn a lot about yourself and the people in your community, you can make new friends and realize just how lucky you are. I believe that if you have an open mind to things you can accomplish more and become a better rounded person. I believe you can make a difference just by doing one thing you don’t want to do.


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 or acid 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

• Different types of antacids work in different ways.

• 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, prefer an antacid that contains calcium carbonate.

• Antacids may have minor side effects in some such as nausea, headache, diarrhea or constipation.

• Read the label carefully to make sure that you are 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.

So, talk to the doctor before taking an antacid.

More about Debts

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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Hindu scriptures have talked about three types of Hrin (debts): Dev Hrin, Pitra Hrin and Rishi Hrin.

God or the devtas gave us the consciousness, parents gave us our body and teachers gave us the knowledge or intellect.

In Vedic language, our body is a mix of mind, body and soul which can be equated to three Hrins of mind (teachers), body (parents) and soul (Rishi & Gods). In computer language, this can be equated to operational software (God), application software (teachers) and computer hardware (parents).

Don’t ignore women’s health

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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Women are not diagnosed or treated as aggressively as men. Even though more women than men die of heart disease each year, women receive only 33% of all angioplasties, stents and bypass surgeries; 28% of implantable defibrillators and 36% of open–heart surgeries, according to the National Coalition for Women with Heart Disease.

Although the traditional risk factors for coronary artery disease — such as high cholesterol, high blood pressure and obesity — have a detrimental impact in men and women, certain factors play a bigger role in the development of heart disease in women.

• Metabolic syndrome — a combination of increased blood pressure, elevated blood glucose and triglycerides — has a greater impact on women than men. • Mental stress and depression affect women’s hearts more than they do men’s.

• Smoking is much worse for women than men.

• A low level of estrogen before menopause is a significant risk factor for developing microvascular disease.

• Though women will often have some chest pain or discomfort, it may not be the most prominent symptom. Diffuse plaques build–up and diseased smaller arteries are two reasons why symptoms can be different in women.

• In addition to chest pain, pressure or discomfort, signs and symptoms of heart attack in women include: Neck, shoulder, upper back or abdominal discomfort, shortness of breath, nausea or vomiting, sweating, light–headedness or dizziness and unusual fatigue.

• Endothelial dysfunction is more common in women. In this the lining of the artery does not expand (dilate) properly to boost blood flow during activity, which increases the risk of coronary artery spasm and sudden death.

• Results of the WISE study suggest that the commonly used treatments for coronary artery disease — angioplasty and stenting — are not the best options for women with more diffuse plaques.

• Typical tests for coronary artery disease — angiogram, treadmill testing and others — are not reliable in women.

• The WISE study showed that in some women, plaques accumulate as an evenly spread layer along artery walls, which is not visible using traditional testing methods.

The Five Interior Powers

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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To be in a state of happiness, bliss and ananda is what the ultimate goal of life is. Everybody is born with certain inherent powers, which if cultivated in the right direction will lead to inner happiness.

The ancient Shiva Sutra text talks about the concept of Shiva and Shakti. Shiva is silence, Shakti is power; Shiva is creativity, Shakti is creation; Shiva is love, Shakti is loving.

In computer terminology, Shiva is the knowledge or the information and Shakti is the operational software. Shiva and Shakti together form the consciousness, in other words, the soul. The Shiva sutra – teaching about Shiva – describes five inherent powers of Shakti which everybody is born with. These are ”Chitta Shakti”, “Ananda Shakti”, “Gyan (Gnana) Shakti”, “Ichha Shakti” and “Kriya Shakti”. Kriya Shakti is the one which is most visible. Kriya is not same as karma. Karma is action born of cause and effect. Kriya Shakti is at the level of body and mind.

Ichha Shakti is the inherent desire, which controls the mind. Gyan Shakti is the inherent desire to learn and is at the level of intellect. Both Ananda and Chitta Shakti are at the level of consciousness and represent the desires or aim to be blissful.

These five powers also decide the needs of a person, which can be at the level of physical body, mind, intellect, ego or the soul. The needs activate the Shakti, which in turn leads to action. The purpose of life should be to direct the needs and the Shaktis towards the soul and not towards the ego. The power of Kriya Shakti should have all the actions directed towards the soul; Gyan Shakti should be directed towards the knowledge of the true self; Ichha Shakti towards the desire or intention to unite with the self; Anand Shakti and Chitta Shakti towards the awareness of God and to experience the bliss of God.

All thoughts, speech or actions in life should be directed on two basic goals: providing happiness to others and achieving self-happiness. Every action and relationship in life should involve these five powers to attain inner happiness. Most computers in the body require a key to get activated and the key in the case of Shakti is “intention or intent”. Intentions are something, which are under the control of a person, or one can practice control over them.

“Intention” always requires the association of its buddy “attention” with it. Attention is the focus of action on that particular intention. The combination of intention and attention can change perceptions of life and ultimately change the reality. It has been an old Upanishad saying that you are what your thoughts are. Right intention leads to the right thought; the right thought to right action; the right action to the right habit; the right habit to the right character and the right character leads you to what you are.

The punch-line, therefore, is to have right intention which should be directed towards one of the five Shaktis to acquire spiritual well-being. Health is not mere absence of disease but a state of physical, mental, social, environmental and spiritual well-being. Spiritual well–being now has been added as the fifth dimension of the health. It has been said that the body is the largest pharmaceutical armamentarium in the world and has the capacity to produce each and every drug available in the universe. This is based on the fact that no drug can go into the body without a receptor. The very fact the body has a receptor for every drug means it has the capacity to produce that drug.

All yogic paths to liberation are also directed towards these Shakti. One adopts the path of karma by activating Kriya Shakti, Gyan Marg by activating Gyan Shakti and Bhakti Marg by activating Ichha Shakti. Faulty lifestyle also involves distractions of three of these powers: Ichha, Gyan or Kriya Shakti.

Correct lifestyle involves the correct use of Kriya Shakti in doing actions, correct use of Gyan Shakti by acquiring knowledge about self and healthy behavior and correct use of Ichha Shakti by learning the dos and don’ts of life and controlling the mind towards various addictions of life, which can be addition of food, sex, drugs, alcohol, smoking, sleeping, not walking and or eating faulty Rajsik cum Tamsik high refined carbohydrate diet (Medscape)





Tips for healthy ageing

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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• Quit smoking: This is the first and foremost critical step that you can take in order to improve your health and combat age related health complications. Smoking kills by causing deadly diseases like cancer, strokes and heart failure. If you were a smoker in your younger years and still are, it is not too late to quit this fatal habit.

• Stay active: Make it a daily routine to undertake something that keep you fit and active. Let it be something that promotes strength, balance and flexibility and most importantly, something that you enjoy. Physical activity is critical for maintaining a healthy weight, controlling illness, promoting bone strength and reducing stress.

• Prevent accidental falls: Elderly people are especially vulnerable to accidental falls. They can be prevented by making small changes around your house like removing loose rugs and carpets, keeping walking paths free of cords and clutters and using night lights for hallways. Wearing good friction supporting shoes has been observed to significantly prevent falls.

• Stay updated with immunizations and screenings: Women over 50 should maintain regular mammography screening for breast cancer and Pap smear test for cervical cancer. Similarly, men should get screened for prostate cancer. Some preventive vaccinations against infections that can occur during old age are also available. Cholesterol, lipid profile and thyroid screenings are equally important. Consult your healthcare provider for these options.

• Maintain a heart healthy lifestyle: The chances of heart disease increase significantly as you grow older. To combat this deadly disease, maintain a healthy body mass index (BMI), keep your blood pressure in check and eat a healthy diet with less salt/sugar and cholesterol.

• Eat well: A well-balanced healthy diet when combined with moderate physical activity can be the key to healthy aging. Many illnesses like heart disease, hypertension, diabetes, obesity and osteoporosis are strongly linked to what you eat. Calcium and vitamin D supplements can help women.

• Stay mentally active: Maintain a good amount of mental activity in old age to counter dementia and cognitive impairment that come with aging. Any issues of mental lapse and memory problems should be addressed promptly.

• Sleep well: Many elderly people face problems with maintaining a healthy sleep cycle. Insomnia and daytime sleepiness in excess are common complaints, talk to your healthcare provider about such issues.

• Manage stress: Old age can be stressful, especially due to emotional trauma associated with loss of loved ones, major life transitions and loneliness. Try exercise and relaxation techniques like yoga or meditation. Old age can be a great time to renew your social circle. Practice the art of positive thinking, it may seem small but it can take your health a long way. Keep you sense of humor, those laughing exercises may look silly but are really helpful.

• Get regular checkups for dental, vision and hearing health: Your teeth, gums, vision and hearing have the potential to last a lifetime, if cared for properly. Get regular checkups with your healthcare provider to understand how old age affects these aspects and what changes you can incorporate to keep them healthy.

Allopathic Medical Vrat

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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There was a time when everybody in India, especially women, observed fast on a regular basis. In my childhood, I saw my mother not only observe fast herself but also insisting upon my sisters to observe fast once in a week, an extra fast once in a month and observe the two Navratras in a year of 9 days each. Together, this comes out to be around 80 fasts in a year.

When I go back to my childhood, I remember the fast used to be one day of avoiding cereals altogether. We were allowed to eat Roti made of Kuttu flour, singharha flour, samak rice and dal made of chaulai (all fruits).

In our childhood, we could never understand the meaning of fast. Today India is becoming a hub of diabetes, heart diseases and insulin resistance and all of them are linked with not observing fasts or eating high carb diets every day.

The culprit is eating carbohydrates, especially, refined carbohydrates. When we recall our mythology, only one king Raja Dashrath died of heart attack. This only signifies that our mythological lifestyle was preventing heart diseases in India. The western culture which is now spreading rapidly in India involves eating carbohydrates, especially, refined carbohydrates (white sugar, white rice white maida) every day.

I recently did a survey and found that women who do weekly vrats had a lower incidence of metabolic syndrome.

Today’s girls and women do not want to listen to the word ‘vrata’ or ‘spiritual vrata’.

Therefore, they must be made to understand the same in the language of a ‘medical vrata’. The simpler version of ‘vrata’ can be – not eating carbohydrates at all once in a week and replacing them with fruits and vegetables.

I normally suggest that once in a week, one should eat only fruits and vegetables and at the most can have milk, curd. If still someone has desires, they can have besan ka chila.







Follow these to beat arthritis

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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• Exercise routinely to maintain the flexibility of the bones

• Don’t smoke as it can lead to rheumatic arthritis

• Eat a low-fat diet; increase the consumption of whole grains, fruits and vegetables. People who eat such foods are on a low risk of developing arthritis

• Consume more of vitamin C if you are an arthritis patient. The best sources of vitamin C are strawberries, kiwi, pineapple, kidney beans, cabbage and cauliflower.

• People who consume Omega 3 have fewer chances of developing swelling and stiffness in the joints. The best sources for the daily dose of Omega 3 are salmon, trout, sardines, mackerel and anchovies. And if you are a vegetarian, then walnuts, fish oil supplements and flaxseed are some of the options