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Dr K K Aggarwal

Blood pressure can 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 the doctor check both your arms for blood pressure, and whichever is higher, use that arm for future blood pressure readings.

Why most temples are located in faraway places?

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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Most temples represent God or the spirit the deity located in the temple or mandir situated in an area at the outskirts of the city. A spiritual atmosphere is devoid of pollution and anything which promotes rajsik or tamsik behavior. The silence of the spiritual atmosphere reduces the internal noise and helps us onward in our inner journey. The inner journey of being in touch with one’s consciousness requires detachment from worldly pleasures and the withdrawal of the five senses of the body.

To be in touch with one’s consciousness one needs to bypass the disturbed state of consciousness controlled by emotion, memories and desires, through mind, intellect and ego.

This bypass usually requires a prolonged period of persistence and undertaking the inward journey devoid of external stimuli. The parikrama, which means “the path surrounding something”, incorporating many long walks helps to detoxify the mind and thus shifts the consciousness from a disturbed state to an undisturbed, calm state.

A long walk not only has physical benefits but one also gets the benefits of nature as one’s inner stimuli are exposed to the outer stimuli during the parikrama. The person is often required to walk bare foot on natural ground, inhale pure air and concentrate and listen to the sounds of the nature, birds and trees. This proximity of nature helps in the inward spiritual journey and shifts one from the sympathetic to parasympathetic mode described by lowering of blood pressure and pulse rate and rise in skin resistance.

The final happiness invariably comes from within us at the time of final darshan when a person invariably closes his eyes and experiences God within his heart.

Most temples today are being constructed in residential colonies and provide a holy atmosphere to people right at their doorstep. However, this does not have the same spiritual significance and benefits as a temple located at the outskirts of a city.

There is no way a person can go to a temple in the vicinity of his house and detoxify his mind as this can hardly be achieved in minutes unless you are a siddha yogi, and if you are one, you need not go to a temple as the temple is within you.

In Vedic texts, it has been clearly mentioned that to acquire powers and inner happiness, rishi, munis were also required to do tapasya for months and years together.

This tells us that spiritual well–being is acquired over an extended period of time as the process of detoxification is a long drawn process. Cars and other vehicles should not be allowed near temples as the basic motive is to have a pollution–free atmosphere and to give time and space for the mind to detoxify.

12 Steps to tackle heartburn

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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  1. Eat smaller meals, but more often.
  2. Eat in a slow, relaxed manner.
  3. Remain upright after meals.
  4. Avoid late–night eating (last meal 3 hours before sleep)
  5. Don’t exercise immediately after meals.
  6. Tilt your torso with a bed wedge.
  7. Stay away from carbonated beverages.
  8. Find the foods that trigger your symptoms and avoid them (fatty foods, spicy foods, tomatoes, garlic, milk, coffee, tea, cola, peppermint, and chocolate).
  9. Chew sugarless gum after a meal which promotes salivation and neutralizes acid.
  10. Check your drugs that can loosen the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) or cause acid reflux or inflammation of the esophagus.
  11. Lose weight if you need to.
  12. Avoid hurry, worry and curry.

You look at people the same way as you are

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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Honest people look everybody as honest and dishonest people look everybody as dishonest. It all depends on the type of people you interact with. If you do not take bribe, nobody will come and offer bribe to you and you will feel everybody is honest. If you take bribe then everybody will come to you to offer bribe and you will feel that everybody in the society is dishonest.

Never judge people with you personal experience. I recall one of the doctors said that every doctor takes and gives bribe because he was running an imaging centre and every doctor who approached him asked for a bribe. But he did not take into consideration the doctors who did not approach him.

 

Vaccination for elderly

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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The best gift to your grandparents is to get them vaccinated if they have not been vaccinated earlier.

  1. Annual influenza or flu vaccine is recommended for all persons aged 6 months and older.
  2. Pneumonia vaccine should be given to all adults aged 65 years and older.
  3. Tetanus Toxoid should be given to all irrespective of age after every 10 years.
  4. A single dose of herpes zoster vaccine is recommended for adults aged 60 years and older regardless whether they have had a previous episode of herpes zoster. The vaccination begins at 60 years of age.
  5. Hepatitis B vaccine should be given to all if they have not been vaccinated earlier.
  6. All diabetics aged 60 years or older should be vaccinated for hepatitis B. This recommendation is based on increased need for associated blood glucose monitoring in long term care facilities.
  7. All patients with chronic liver diseases should also be given the Hepatitis B vaccine

Man Vachan Kaya

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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Man Vachan Kaya are the three fundamental principles used to define non–violence (ahimsa) and truthfulness (satya).

Being truthful means what you think, speak and do, are the same. You should be one in whatever you think, do or speak.

Ahimsa is the fundamental principle of Jainism, which means that you should be non–violent not only in your actions but also in your speech and thoughts. Being truthful makes you Satyugi. Only in certain circumstances, you may differ in your thinking, speech and actions. For example, you cannot tell a patient he is going to die in the next week. Here your mind may be saying something, your speech and actions will be something else.

Any discordance in Man, Vachan and Kaya ends up with guilt and suppress emotions, which later on can cause blood pressure, diabetes and heart disease.

(Disclaimer: The views expressed in this write up are my own).

Vaccination for elderly

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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The best gift to your grandparents is to get them vaccinated if they have not been vaccinated earlier.

  1. Annual influenza or flu vaccine is recommended for all persons aged 6 months and older.
  2. Pneumonia vaccine should be given to all adults aged 65 years and older.
  3. Tetanus Toxoid should be given to all irrespective of age after every 10 years.
  4. A single dose of herpes zoster vaccine is recommended for adults aged 60 years and older regardless whether they have had a previous episode of herpes zoster. The vaccination begins at 60 years of age.
  5. Hepatitis B vaccine should be given to all if they have not been vaccinated earlier.
  6. All diabetics aged 60 years or older should be vaccinated for hepatitis B. This recommendation is based on increased need for associated blood glucose monitoring in long term care facilities.
  7. All patients with chronic liver diseases should also be given the Hepatitis B vaccine

You are born with a quota, use it judicially

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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Everyone is born with a passport with a defined battery life to live up to 100 years after which one has to go back to renew or recharge the batteries.

If the battery is overused or misused and is depleted early, one may have to go back prematurely for recharging, but this time when one comes back, he or she may come back with a different body which may not be the human one. There are 64 lakh Yonis as described in the Vedic Literature.

According to the Vedic description if one dies prematurely there are chances that the rebirth will not be in the same species.

To live up to the time period defined at the time of birth by Dharmaraja one has to follow the principles as described in Yogashastra.

The main principle is the principle of moderation and variety. It says that everything has to be used, if not used will get rusted and if overused will undergo wear and tear.

When using the principles of moderation and variety, it is important to remember that each one of us is born with a fixed quota of everything, a quota of diet, respiration, heart rate and thoughts.

According to swara yoga, one is born with predefined number of respirations to be taken during life. If one consumes them early he will depart for refueling early from the life. To reduce respiratory rate is therefore the basis of postponing aging and prolonging life. Stimulating the parasympathetic nervous system by learning and practicing pranayama, which is slow and deep breathing, does the same.

One breathes 15 times a minute or 21600 breaths in a day, or 7884000 (78.84 lakh) a year or 788400000 (78.84 crores) during life (assuming it to be 100 years). Some yoga books say that a person is born with 33 crore breaths, the same if taken at the rate or 15 per minute would last for 42 years.

In fact Pranayama originated on the concept that the breaths of each one of us are numbered, that our life-span is dependent on how many times we shall breathe in a given life, and that, as a consequence of this fact, we must reduce the number of breaths so as to live longer.

In Gorakshapaddhati (I.93), it is written that “Due to fear of death even Brahma, the Lord of creation, keeps on practicing pranayama, and so do many yogis and munis. It is recommended that a student of yoga must always control his breath.”

Hathayoga-pradipika (II.39) also writes: `All the Gods including Lord Brahma became devoted to the practice of pranayama because they were afraid of death. We the mortals should follow the same path and control the breath.”

Similarly one is born with a quota of heartbeats with an average of 70 per minute. Many studies have shown that people who have a higher resting heart rate have more chances of sudden death. The aim therefore is to keep their heart rate slow. This can be achieved either by regular exercise, meditation, AUM Pranayama, or by meditation. In people who run marathons or participate in other athletic activities, the temporary increase in the heart rate during exercise is compensated by the body by adapting the cardiovascular system in such a way that the basal heart rate reduces. The marathon runners may have a heart rate of only 50 per minute.

The less one eats the more he lives is an Yogic saying, It is said that people who eat once a day are Yogis, twice a day are Bhogis and thrice a day are Rogis. There are enough studies now, which say that 25% reduction in the calories content can increase the life span. Many studies in rodents have also shown the same effect.

The moderation in exercise is to walk 10000 steps a day. No exercise will end up with obesity and over use with osteoarthritis.

Stress is the excess of thoughts in the mind. Controlling the mind forms the basis of meditation. Samadhi is the state of no thoughts. Practicing meditation 20 minutes twice daily helps to restrain the mind with resultant state of Turiya where the mind has controlled limited positive thoughts.

(Disclaimer: The views expressed in this write up are my own).

Reasons men die earlier than women

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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On an average, the lifespan is around 5 years greater for women than men in the United States, and 7 years longer worldwide. The composition of people aged 65 years and older is 57% female, and for 85+ it is 67% female.

Why does the ratio of men and women begin to tilt favorably towards women over time when the ratio is roughly equal in early adulthood?

Major reasons include:

  1. Judgment and consideration of consequences of actions are controlled by frontal lobe of the brain, which develops faster in women than men, contributing to fear of death due to violent events and adverse lifestyle decisions.
  2. Men tend to have riskier occupations like the army, construction etc.
  3. 50% increased likelihood of heart disease related death in men, partly due to lower estrogen levels, and propensity to inadequately controlled blood pressure and cholesterol levels
  4. Men are larger than women; across all specimen, all larger species tend to die younger.
  5. Men are more likely to commit suicide despite women making more nonfatal suicide attempts.
  6. Men tend to be less socially connected than women.
  7. Men avoid doctors and health screening more regularly than women.

Early on in life, Y chromosome develops mutations more often than X chromosomes in men. Given the lack of a counterpart X chromosome in men, the X-linked abnormalities are not countered by an alternative normal version. Womb survival rates are also less reliable in male fetuses, as are developmental disorders.

All of this evidence possibly explains why longevity in men tends to be lower than female counterparts. As a fact of science, given the behavioral propensities listed, men should take note and change their behavior components to enhance longevity.

The very purpose of life is to face sufferings

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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According to Hinduism, the very fact we are born means that in our last life, we did not get liberation or Moksha. It also means that some sufferings in our last birth still remained. Therefore, the purpose of this birth is to face those sufferings.

When the purpose of our life is to face sufferings, why suffer from them? This should be considered as ‘sukh’ and not ‘dukh’. As per Vedic literature, every diversity is an opportunity to learn or to do something different. The four notable principles of Buddhism also talk about the same. The first is that suffering exists, second that there is a reason for every suffering and third that it is possible to neutralize the suffering by understanding the 8 paths of cessation of suffering. Also remember that in every ‘dukh’ you think of ‘sukh’ and in every ‘sukh’ you think of a ‘dukh’. Next time you have a problem, think differently and learn to enjoy them.

(Disclaimer: The views expressed in this write up are my own).

Heart risks detected by age 7 in overweight kids

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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Children at risk of future obesity should be examined for body mass index (BMI) rebound.

BMI rebound is the age at which BMI reaches its lowest point before increasing through later childhood, adolescence and adulthood.

An earlier BMI rebound age is associated with adverse risk factors for heart disease as measured at age 7: higher BMI, higher systolic and diastolic blood pressures, higher serum insulin and leptin levels, higher left ventricular mass and left atrial size.

Early BMI rebound age for children is lower than 4.4 years for boys and 4.2 years for girls. Normal values are 4.4 to 6.6 years for boys and 4.2 to 5.7 years for girls.

All children who start gaining weight between 3-4 years should be classified as a high risk for future diabetes and heart disease.

Consciousness

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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  1. Energy is the raw material of the universe.
  2. Information is the organization of energy into reproducible patterns.
  3. Consciousness is living information and energy (living energized information)
  4. Consciousness is, therefore, intelligence.
  5. Intelligence is information and energy that has self–referral or the ability to learn through experiences and the ability to re-interpret and influence one’s own information and energy states.
  6. Consciousness is live, advanced, software–driven energized information. A close example: Advanced computer software which can type, correct, interpret, edit and store spoken or read information.

(Disclaimer: The views expressed in this write up are my own).

Dentists can diagnose

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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  1. Early mouth cancer
  2. Scurvy: In the mouth, scurvy can cause gums to swell, bleed and soften which can lead to tooth loss.
  3. Eating disorder: regular bouts of vomiting covers the teeth in strong gastric acid from the stomach that can wear down the tooths protective layer of enamel, causing teeth to become discolored, cracked and sensitive.
  4. Anemia: Ulcers at the corner of the mouth. A change in color of the gums and tongue
  5. Sinus infection: Infected sinuses can cause pain in the jaw and around the teeth, which can be mistaken for a toothache.
  6. Vitamin D is needed to absorb calcium which helps to prevent tooth decay and gum disease.
  7. Too little zinc can leave you open to gum disease, dry mouth and loss of sensation in your tongue.
  8. Low levels of vitamin B3, or niacin, can cause the tip of the tongue to become red and swollen
  9. Vitamin B2 – without it your tongue can become sore and your lips, red and shiny.
  10. B12 levels which can prevent bad breath, loss of taste and a fissured tongue.
  11. Diabetics are at a higher risk of early gum disease – gingivitis – and serious gum disease – periodontitis.
  12. Biting your nails: If you like a nibble, you are putting undue stress on your teeth, causing them to crack, chip and wear down.

Jaw pain, recessed gums and even headaches are other side effects caused by the grinding and clenching involved in nail biting, as well as the germs being passed into your mouth every time you feel like a nibble.

The very purpose of life is to face sufferings

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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According to Hinduism, the very fact we are born means that in our last life, we did not get liberation or Moksha. It also means that some sufferings in our last birth still remained. Therefore, the purpose of this birth is to face those sufferings.

When the purpose of our life is to face sufferings, why suffer from them? This should be considered as ‘sukh’ and not ‘dukh’. As per Vedic literature, every diversity is an opportunity to learn or to do something different. The four notable principles of Buddhism also talk about the same. The first is that suffering exists, second that there is a reason for every suffering and third that it is possible to neutralize the suffering by understanding the 8 paths of cessation of suffering. Also remember that in every ‘dukh’ you think of ‘sukh’ and in every ‘sukh’ you think of a ‘dukh’. Next time you have a problem, think differently and learn to enjoy them.

(Disclaimer: The views expressed in this write up are my own).

Hands-only CPR Guidelines

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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  1. Bystanders should initiate compression-only CPR 10.
  2. Chest compression should be done at the rate of 100–120 per minute (updated from “at least” 100 per minute).
  3. Compression depth should be 2–2.5 inches (upper limit added) but no more than 6 cm.
  4. Compression time should be maximized.
  5. After each compression allow the chest to recoil completely and minimize interruptions in compressions.
  6. Feedback devices may be used to optimize compression rate and depth.
  7. The bystander who is trained and able should assess the collapsed victim rapidly to determine if the victim is unresponsive and not breathing normally and then immediately alert the emergency services.
  8. The victim who is unresponsive and not breathing normally is in cardiac arrest and requires CPR.
  9. The emergency medical dispatcher plays an important role in the early diagnosis of cardiac arrest, the provision of dispatcher-assisted CPR (also known as telephone CPR), and the location and dispatch of an AED.
  10. Social media may be used to summon rescuers to perform CPR.
  11. Bystanders and emergency medical dispatchers should be suspicious of cardiac arrest in any patient presenting with seizures and should carefully assess whether the victim is breathing normally.
  12. CPR providers should perform chest compressions for all victims in cardiac arrest.
  13. CPR providers trained and able to perform rescue breaths should combine chest compressions and rescue breaths.
  14. High-quality CPR remains essential to improving outcomes.
  15. When providing rescue breaths/ventilations spend approximately 1 s inflating the chest with sufficient volume to ensure the chest rises visibly. The ratio of chest compressions to ventilations remains 30:2.
  16. Do not interrupt chest compressions for more than 10 s to provide ventilations.
  17. Defibrillation within 3-5 min of collapse can produce survival rates as high as 50-70 %. Early defibrillation can be achieved through CPR providers using public access and on-site AEDs. Public access AED programmes should be actively implemented in public places that have a high density of citizens.
  18. The adult CPR sequence can be used safely in children who are unresponsive and not breathing normally. Chest compression depths in children should be at least one third of the depth of the chest (for infants 4 cm, for children 5 cm).
  19. A foreign body causing severe airway obstruction is a medical emergency and requires prompt treatment with back blows and, if that fails to relieve the obstruction, abdominal thrusts. If the victim becomes unresponsive CPR should be started immediately whilst help is summoned.