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Dr K K Aggarwal

High fat diet is prostate cancer prone

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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Diets high in saturated fat increase the risk of prostate cancer. As per a report from University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston published in the International Journal of Cancer, men who consume high saturated animal fat diet are two times more likely to experience disease progression after prostate cancer surgery than men with lower saturated fat intake. There is also shorter “disease–free” survival time among obese men who eat high saturated fat diet compared with non–obese men consuming diets low in saturated fat. Men with a high saturated fat intake had the shortest survival time free of prostate cancer (19 months). Non-obese men with low fat intake survived the longest time free of the disease (46 months). Non-obese men with high intake and obese men with low intake had “disease–free” survival of 29 and 42 months, respectively.

Take home messages

  •  High saturated fat diet has been linked to cancer of the prostate
  • Reducing saturated fat in the diet after prostate cancer surgery can help reduce cancer progression.
  • Cancer prostate has the same risk factors as that of heart blockages and both are linked to high saturated fat intake.
  • With an increase in number of heart patients, a corresponding increase in prostate cancer patients is also seen in the society.

Dealing with Stress

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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Stress may be broadly defined as comprising of three components, namely a “known situation,interpretation of a situation and the physical and mental reaction to that interpretation of the situation”

.Stress is a situation: There cannot be a stress without a situation. One cannot be stressed aboutsome event occurring in USA without knowing the person or the situation. The situationrequires familiarity with the particular sensory object (known situation).

Stress is an interpretation of a situation: Without interpretation, stress is not possible. The samesituation can be interpreted differently by different people. A stimulus may be stressful to onebut not to another.

Stress is a physical and mental response to the interpretation of the situation: Stress manifestsbecause of a chemical imbalance resulting due to sympathetic overactivity, which manifests asmental and or physical symptoms.

Stress, therefore, is the body’s physical and mental response to the interpretation of a situation.Management of stress, therefore, involves either changing the situation, changing theinterpretation of the situation or making the body resistant to physical and mental changes in the situation.

Practicing Patanjali’s eight limbs of yoga via living a yogic lifestyle, adhering to the various Dosand Dont’s in life as taught in various religious teachings, and learning to meditate help our bodyto resist these sympathetic–activating changes and handle the stressful situation. These involveproper diet, exercise, meditation and relaxation exercises.

Changing the interpretation of a situation involves counseling. Cognitive behavior therapy usedin counseling is one such example. Change in interpretation requires deeper understanding of theproblem and removal of the obstacles. This can be done by using Ganesha’s principles of stressmanagement, Rosenburg’s Principle of Non–Violent Communication, or the principles of counseling from Bhagwad Gita.

Change of the situation is the final resort for solving the problem, even though this may not bealways possible. For example, in a dispute between husband and wife, divorce should be the lastchoice, after all counseling efforts have failed to resolve the issue.

Ten ways to ease neck pain

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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  1. Don’t stay in one position for too long
  2. Keep the computer monitor at eye level.
  3. Use the hands–free function of the phone or wear a headset.
  4. Prop your touch–screen tablet or the ipad on a pillow so that it sits at a 45° angle, instead of lying flat on your lap.
  5. Keep your prescription up to date, if you wear glasses to prevent leaning your head back to see better.
  6. Don’t use too many pillows as it can stifle your neck’s range of motion.
  7. Before you move a big wardrobe across the room, consider what it might do to your neck and back, and ask for help.
  8. Sleep well.
  9. Call your doctor if neck pain is associated with radiating pain, weakness, or numbness of an arm or leg.
  10. Also call the doctor if you have fever or weight loss associated with your neck pain, or severe pain.

Mindful meditation

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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Sit on a straight–backed chair or cross–legged on the floor.

Focus on an aspect of your breathing, such as the sensation of air flowing into your nostrils and out of your mouth, or your belly rising and falling as you inhale and exhale.

Once you’ve narrowed your

concentration in this way, begin to widen your focus. Become aware of sounds, sensations, and ideas.

Embrace and consider each thought or sensation without judging it good or bad. If your mind starts to race, return your focus to your breathing. Then expand your awareness again.

Warning signs of worsening heart failure

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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If you have heart failure, call your doctor if you notice any of these signs:

  • Sudden weight gain (2–3 pounds in one day or 5 or more pounds in one week)
  • Extra swelling in the feet or ankles
  • Swelling or pain in the abdomen
  • Shortness of breath not related to exercise
  • Discomfort or trouble breathing when lying flat
  • Waking up feeling short of breath
  • Coughing or wheezing
  • Increased fatigue
  • Mental confusion
  • Loss of appetite

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).

But as children, 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 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.

Healthy obesity does not exist

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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New research published online in the Annals of Internal Medicine suggests that individuals cannot be simultaneously overweight and physically fit.

As BMI rose, so did blood pressure, waist circumference and insulin resistance. As BMI increased, levels of HDL cholesterol, thought to protect against heart attack and stroke, decreased.

While participants who were either overweight or obese “may not yet have reached the points that define metabolic illness, they appeared to be on that road as their weight” increased.

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.Bhoot, Pret and Pishach are seen only by some people and not everyone. This 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.

5 tips to reduce salt in your diet

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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  1. Make reading food labels a habit.Sodium content is always listed on food labels. Sodium content can vary from brand to brand, so compare and choose the lowest sodium product. Certain foods do not taste particularly salty but are actually high in sodium, such as cottage cheese, so it is critical to check labels.
  2. Stick to fresh meats, fruits and vegetables rather than their packaged counterparts, which tend to be higher in sodium.
  3. Avoid spices and seasonings that contain added sodium, for example, garlic salt. Choose garlic powder instead.
  4. Many restaurants list the sodium content of their products on their websites, so do your homework before dining out. Also, you can request that your food be prepared without any added salt.
  5. Try to spread your sodium intake out throughout the day; it’s easier on your kidneys than eating lots of salt all at once.

Science behind regrets

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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In a US–based study, dying people were asked about their regrets, if any. The top five regrets were:

  1. I wish I had the courage to live a life I wanted to live and not what others expected me to live.
  2. I wish I had worked harder.
  3. I wish I had the courage to express my feelings.
  4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.
  5. I wish I had let myself to be happier.

Regrets are always based on suppression of emotions or non–fulfillment of desires and needs. These need-based desires can be at the level of physical body, mind, intellect, ego or the soul. Therefore, regrets can be at any of these levels.I did a survey of 15 of my patients and asked them a simple question that if they come to know that they are going to die in next 24 hours, what would be their biggest regret.Only one of them, a doctor said that she would have no regrets.Only one person expressed a physical regret and that was from a Yoga expert who said that her regret was not getting married till that day.Mental regrets were two.

  1. A state trading businessman said, “I wish I could have taken care of my parents.”
  2. A homeopathic doctor said, “I wish I could have given more time to my family.”

Intellectual regrets were three.

  1. A lawyer said, “I wish I could have become something in life.”
  2. A businessman said, “I wish I could have helped more people.”
  3. A retired revenue inspector said, “I wish I had married off my younger child.”

Egoistic regrets were two.

  1. One fashion designer said, “I wish I could have become a singer.”
  2. A housewife said, “I wish I could have become a dietician.”

Spiritual regrets were six.

  1. A Consultant Government Liaison officer said, “I wish I could have made my family members happy.”
  2. A businessman said, “I wish I could have meditated more.”
  3. A Homeopathic doctor said, “I wish I could have spent more time with my family.”
  4. A reception executive said, “I wish I could have spent more time with my parents.”
  5. An entertainment CEO said, “I wish I could have taken my parents for a pilgrimage.”
  6. A fashion designer said, “I wish I could have worked more for the animals.”

In a very popular and successful movie, Kal Ho Na Ho, the hero was to die in the next 40 days. When asked to remember the days of his life, he could not remember 20 ecstatic instances in life.This is what happens with each one of us where we waste all our days and cannot remember more than 50 or even 20 of such instances. If we are given 40 days to live and if we live every day ecstatically, we can get inner happiness. Therefore, we should learn to live in the present instead of having a habit of postponing everything we do.We should learn to prioritize our work and do difficult work first or else we would be in a state of constant worry till that work is over.I teach my patients that they should practice confession exercise and one confession is to talk about your regrets and take them as challenge and finish before the next Tuesday. When working, there are three things which are to be remembered – passion, profession and fashion. Profession is at the level of mind, ego and spirit.We should convert our profession in such a manner that it is fashionable and passionate. Passion means working from the heart and profession means working from mind and intellect and fashion means working the same at the level of ego which is based on show–off.

Hand, foot and mouth disease: Salient facts

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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  • Hand, foot and mouth disease is a viral illness most commonly caused by the Coxsackie virus A6.
  • Enteroviruses 71 (EV71) can also cause hand, foot and mouth disease.
  • Both adults and children can develop this infection. But young children below 5 years old are more susceptible.
  • It is a moderately contagious illness.
  • The incubation period is 5 days.
  • The illness begins with fever, which lasts for 24–48 hours.
  • Fever is followed by appearance of painful sores in mouth. They begin as small red spots that blister and then often become ulcers. Tongue is involved.
  • There are peripherally distributed small tender non itchy rash with blisters on palms of the hands, and soles of feet and buttocks.
  • The sores hurt on touch and swallowing is difficult.
  • There is proximal separation of nail from the nail bed.
  • The virus is present in mucus from nose, saliva, fluid from sores and traces of bowel movements.
  • The virus spreads in the first week of infection.
  • The infection spreads from person to person by direct contact with nasal discharge, saliva or blister fluid or from stool of infected persons.
  • The virus can persist in the stool for weeks.
  • The illness is not transmitted to or from pets or other animals
  • The illness stays for 2–3 days. It is usually mild and self-limited.
  • Entero 71 virus is associated with brain involvement (meningitis and encephalitis), lungs and the heart.
  • The patient remains infectious after the symptoms have gone.
  • Test is not necessary.
  • There is no specific treatment.
  • Paracetamol tablet can be taken to relieve pain and fever.
  • Aspirin is to be avoided in children.
  • Dehydration should be avoided.
  • Eat ice cream to numb the pain.
  • Using mouthwashes or sprays that numb the mouth.
  • Regularly wash your hands with soap and water.
  • Avoid exposure to infected person.
  • Maintain touch hygiene to reduce your risk of acquiring the infection.
  • During first week of illness, the child should be kept in isolation.
  • Schools should be closed.
  • There is no vaccine currently available

Debts in Mythology

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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It is said that there are three debts which everybody has to pay in his or her lifetime. In Vedic language, they are called Dev Rin, Pitra Rin and Rishi Rin.

In medical language, the body consists of soul, physical body, mind, intellect and ego. The soul is given to us by God or Devtas (Dev Rin), the physical body by our parents (Pitra Rin) and the mind, intellect and ego by our Gurus (Rishi Rin).

In terms of computer language, if I see my body as a computer, then my body as a computer is made by my parents; operating software and my inner internet represent the soul or consciousness given by the Devtas and the application softwares i.e. Word, Excel and Power point, which we learn over a period of time are given to us by our Gurus. Therefore, we have to pay all these three debts while we are still alive.

Guidelines about Eating

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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Malnutrition and wrong dietary habits have been identified as major risk factors for ill health, including heart attacks. Most people below the poverty line suffer from malnutrition due to lack of calories, proteins and vitamins in their food. In the affluent society, overeating or eating wrong food results in overnutrition, a form of malnutrition leading to heart blockages. Some guidelines about eating include:

  • Eat only when you are hungry.
  • Do not eat for pleasure, social obligations or emotional satisfaction.
  • Eat at a slow pace.
  • Eat less; dinner less than lunch.
  • Take small mouthfuls each time, chew each morsel well, swallow it and only then take the next morsel.
  • Do not eat while watching television, driving a car or watching sports events. The mind is absorbed in these activities and one does not know what and how much one has eaten.
  • Do not talk while eating and never enter into heated arguments. The stomach has ears and can listen to your conversation. It will accordingly send signals to the mind and heart.
  • Plan and decide in advance what and how much food you will be eating.
  • Use low fat or skimmed mild dairy products. For cooking, use oils which are liquid at room temperature.
  • Do not take red meat and if you are a non–vegetarian, you may take poultry meat or fish.

Why do we apply holy ash?

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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Bhasma is the holy ash produced from the Homa, the sacrificial fire, wherein special wood along with ghee and other herbs are offered as a part of pooja. By the time a Bhasma is formed, no trace of original matter remains in the ash. Ash obtained from any burnt object is not bhasma.

The ritual involves worshipping the deity by pouring ash as abhishek and then distributing it as Bhasma, which is then applied on the forehead (usually), upper arms, chest, or rubbed all over the body. Some consume a pinch of Bhasma when they receive it.

The word Bhasma is derived from “bha” or “bhartsanam” (“to destroy”) and “sma” or “smaranam” (“to remember”). It denotes “that by which our sins are destroyed and the Lord is remembered”. Bhasma is also called vibhuti, which means glory. Bhasma is associated with Lord Shiva who applies it all over His body.

Spiritually, the Homa is the offering of oblations into the fire with sacred chants and signifies offering or surrender of the ego and egocentric desires into the fire of knowledge. The resultant ash signifies the purity of the mind. The fire of knowledge burns the oblation and wood signifying ignorance and inertia respectively.

The application of ash implies that one should burn false identification with the body.

Bhasma has medicinal values in Ayurveda. It is supposed to be the strongest of all Ayurveda preparations. According to Ayurveda, a Bhasma is formed when the matter is converted into non matter by the process of homa. The non matter is the spirit or the energy of the matter being processed with strong healing powers. It has the same significance as any ‘potentised’ medicine in homoeopathy.

It absorbs excess moisture from the body and prevents colds and headaches.

When applied with a red spot at the centre, the mark symbolizes Shiva–Shakti (the unity of energy and matter that creates the entire seen and unseen universe).

The Upanishads say that the famous Mrityunjaya Mantra should be chanted whilst applying ash on the forehead.

5 ways to boost bone strength early

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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  1. Monitor your diet. Get enough calcium and vitamin D, ideally through the foods you eat. Although dairy products may be the richest sources of calcium, a growing number of foods, such as orange juice, are calcium-fortified. Fruits, vegetables, and grains provide other minerals crucial to bone health, such as magnesium and phosphorus.
  2. Maintain a reasonable weight. This is particularly important for women. Menstrual periods often stop in women who are underweight — due to a poor diet or excessive exercise — and that usually means that estrogen levels are too low to support bone growth.
  3. Don’t smoke, and limit alcohol intake. Smoking and too much alcohol both decrease bone mass.
  4. Make sure your workouts include weight-bearing exercises. Regular weight-bearing exercise like walking, dancing, or step aerobics can protect your bones. Also include strength training as part of your exercise routine.
  5. Talk with your doctor about your risk factors. Certain medical conditions (like celiac disease) and some medications (steroids and others) can increase the chances that you will develop osteoporosis. It’s important to talk with your doctor to develop a prevention strategy that accounts for these factors.

(Source: Harvard)