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Dr K K Aggarwal

All diabetics must have an eye check up done

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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The vast majority of diabetic patients who develop diabetic retinopathy have no symptoms until the very late stages (by which time it may be too late for effective treatment). The rate of progression may be rapid. Therefore, treatment has a role to play in both symptom amelioration as well as reduction in the rate of disease progression. Screening patients with diabetes regularly for the development of retinal disease is important. The eyes carry important early clues to heart disease, signaling damage to tiny blood vessels long before symptoms start to show elsewhere. Diabetic people with retinopathy are more likely to die of heart disease over the next 12 years than those without it. As per a study from the University of Sydney and the University of Melbourne in Australia and the National University of Singapore, people with retinopathy have nearly two-fold higher likelihood of dying of heart disease as compared to people without it.

People with these changes in the eyes may be getting a first warning that damage is occurring in their arteries, and work to lower cholesterol and blood pressure. Patients with retinopathy have a greater risk of incident cardiovascular disease (CVD) events, including heart attack, stroke, revascularization, and CVD death, compared with those without retinopathy.

Three great sentences of importance apart from mahavakyas

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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  • Brahma Satyam Jagan Mithya Jivo Brahmaiva Na Aparah. Brahman only exists truly, the world is false, and the individual soul is Brahman only and no other.
  • Ekam Evadvitiyam Brahma. Brahman is one, without a second (There is one absolute reality, without any secondary parts).
  • Sarvam Khalvidam Brahma. All of this is Brahman.

Avoid chocolate for heartburn

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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People with heartburn should avoid chocolate as it can worsen heartburn. They should also avoid other reflux-inducing foods (fatty foods, peppermint and excessive alcohol, which may reduce lower esophageal sphincter pressure). Certain beverages have a very acidic pH, such as colas, red wine and orange juice (pH 2.5 to 3.9), and can exacerbate symptoms. Promotion of salivation by either chewing gum or use of oral lozenges may also be helpful in mild heartburn. Salivation tends to neutralize the refluxed acid, and can thus increase the rate of esophageal acid clearance.

Restriction of alcohol use and elimination of smoking helps. Smoking is deleterious in part because it diminishes salivation.

Why do we burn camphor in any pooja?

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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No aarti is performed without camphor. Camphor burns itself out completely, when lit, without leaving a trace. Camphor represents our inherent tendencies or vasanas. When lit by the fire of knowledge about the self, the vasanas burn themselves out completely, not leaving a trace of ego. Ego is responsible for a sense of individuality that keeps us separate from the Lord or consciousness. In addition, camphor, on burning, emits a pleasant perfume. This signifies that as we burn our ego, we can only spread love and nothing else.

Ways to get a restful sleep

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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Limit caffeine intake: Those who take caffeine find it harder to fall asleep. Even a single cup of coffee taken in the morning may lead to sleeplessness at night. Caffeine tends to inhibit the effects of adenosine, a neurotransmitter that is believed to promote sleep. Caffeine also interrupts sleep as it increases the need to urinate during the night.

Caffeine withdrawal tends to lead to headache, irritability, and fatigue. Therefore, it seems wiser to cut back gradually. Those who can’t or are not willing to give up caffeine should avoid it after 2 p.m., or noon, particularly if they are caffeine-sensitive.

  1. Quit the habit of smoking or chewing tobacco: Nicotine is a known stimulant of the central nervous system, and can cause insomnia. If you continue to use tobacco, try to avoid smoking or chewing it for at least one to two hours prior to bedtime.
  2. Limit alcohol intake: Alcohol tends to depress the nervous system. As a result, a nightcap may appear to help some people fall asleep. Alcohol suppresses REM sleep, and the soporific effects tend to disappear after a few hours. Alcohol can worsen snoring and other sleep-related breathing problems.

[Source: Harvard Health]

Following are the five types of people

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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  • Nastik: Those who do not believe in God.
  • Astik: For whom God exists.
  • Those who believe that God also exists in them (I and the God are the same)
  • Tat Tvam Asi (God not only exists in me but also in you)
  • God is in everybody.

People who believe that God exists are fearful people and they always fear God. People who see God in themselves, live a disciplined Satvik life and do not indulge in activities that are not God-friendly. People who believe that God is not only in them but also in others, treat every person the same way as they treat themselves. People for whom God is everywhere always work for the welfare of the society.

Flu in children

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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  • The classical features of uncomplicated flu in children include abrupt onset of fever, headache, muscle pain and malaise, affected by manifestations of respiratory tract illness – sore throat, cough and nasal discharge.
  • All the above features may not be present in children.
  • Flu sometimes may last for more than a week in children.
  • Ear discharge, development into asthma and pneumonia are common complications in children.
  • Complicated pneumonia may be severe and rapidly fatal, especially if the bacterium is Staph.
  • During winter, a diagnosis of flu should be considered in all children with fever; children with fever and acute onset of respiratory illness; children with fever and exhilaration of underlying chest condition; children with pneumonia and children with fever of more than 100°F, with severe cough or sore throat.
  • Fever is present in over 95% of cases, often more than 39°C.
  • Cough is present in over 77% patients.
  • Nasal discharge is present in more than 78% patients.
  • Headache is present in more than 26% patients.
  • Muscle pain is present in more than 71% patients.
  • Incubation period is 1-4 days with high transmissibility.
  • The treatment is often symptomatic.
  • Cough hygiene should be practiced.

The spiritual prescription “I am sorry”

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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Two hardest words for a doctor to say: “I’m sorry.” Most defence lawyers counsel doctors to not apologize to patients. Their view is that if you say you’re sorry for something, you are implicitly taking some degree of responsibility for whatever has happened. In other words, you are pleading guilty. The complainant’s lawyers may use a doctor’s apology to the maximum extent possible to show the doctor knew what they did was wrong. The usual approach is deny and defend. But,

  • Apologizing after a medical error is the humane thing to do.
  • Patients often sue simply because it’s the only way to find out what went wrong.
  • Erecting a wall of silence is “enough to make someone very angry. And it’s awfully easy for an angry person to find a lawyer who will listen to them. At that point, it’s too late to say sorry.
  • Over 35 states in the USA have passed laws prohibiting doctors’ apologies from being used against them in court (apology laws).
  • By promptly disclosing medical errors and offering earnest apologies and fair compensation, one can hope to restore integrity to dealings with patients, make it easier to learn from mistakes and dilute anger that often fuels lawsuits.

Apology, the spiritual answer

  • The word ‘sorry’ is synonymous with apology.
  • To err is human, but to be able to admit one’s error is superhuman.
  • Sorry should be heart-felt and not ego-felt. You should not only say sorry but also appear as being genuinely sorry.
  • Tremendous courage is required when you face the victim of your wrong doing and apologize to him.
  • People who are in harmony with their life and with themselves, find it easy to say ‘I’m sorry’. These people are at peace only after making amends for their wrong doings.
  • The word ‘sorry’ is infused with so much power. Within a fraction of a second, grave mistakes are diluted, and estranged relations are brought to life, animosity and anger are dissolved, misunderstandings are resolved resulting in harmony.
  • To forgive and forget is a common spiritual saying.
  • Remember, we all make mistakes and seek forgiveness form GOD every day.

Some tips to prevent type 2 diabetes

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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  • Exercise – Exercise has various benefits such as preventing weight gain, controlling blood sugar levels, and other conditions. A minimum of 30 minutes of physical activity on a daily basis is highly beneficial.
  • Eat healthy – A diet rich in whole grains, fruits, and vegetables is very good for the body. Intake of fibrous food makes you feel fuller for a longer period and prevent any cravings. Avoid processed and refined food as much as possible.
  • Limit alcohol intake and quit smoking – Too much alcohol intake can cause weight gain and can also raise blood pressure and triglyceride levels. Men should limit alcoholic drinks to two per day and women to one per day. Smokers have double the odds of developing diabetes compared to non-smokers. Therefore, quitting smoking is a good idea.
  • Understand your risk factors – Understanding your risk factors can help you take the appropriate preventive measures at the earliest and avoid complications.

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 adversity is an opportunity to learn or to do something different. The 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.

One of my industrialist friends was once ordered to go to Tihar Jail on a Friday night. He tried his level best and wanted to get admitted in the hospital for the weekend so that he could secure bail on Monday morning. I told him that whether he was in jail or in hospital, it would make no difference as far as his status was concerned. In both the situations, he would be listed as being in the jail on paper. So, I told him to go to the jail and enjoy those 48 hours as a holiday. When he came back from the jail, he was a different person and learnt the principle of life which he otherwise could not have learnt.

Smoking makes you 5 years older

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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  • Men tend to have a higher likelihood of dying than women, and smoking heightens any adult’s risk of death just as if five years were suddenly added to their age.
  • Among men who have never smoked, heart disease seems to be greatest risk for death at any age, exceeding the likelihood of dying from lung, colon and prostate cancer combined.
  • Male smokers have a lung cancer risk greater than that of heart disease taking their lives after age 60, and seems to be 10 times higher than the odds of dying from prostate and colon cancer combined.
  • The odds of dying from heart disease and breast cancer appear to be similar for nonsmoking women until age 60, when heart disease becomes a greater risk.
  • For female smokers, death is more likely to occur from lung cancer or heart disease than from breast cancer after age 40.

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 means “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 tends to oblation and wood, which signify 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 ‘potentized’ 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). According to the Upanishads, the Mrityunjaya Mantra should be chanted whilst applying ash on the forehead.

Some tips to keep obesity under check

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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  • Men tend to have a higher likelihood of dying than women, and smoking heightens any adult’s risk of death just as if five years were suddenly added to their age.
  • Among men who have never smoked, heart disease seems to be greatest risk for death at any age, exceeding the likelihood of dying from lung, colon and prostate cancer combined.
  • Male smokers have a lung cancer risk greater than that of heart disease taking their lives after age 60, and seems to be 10 times higher than the odds of dying from prostate and colon cancer combined.
  • The odds of dying from heart disease and breast cancer appear to be similar for nonsmoking women until age 60, when heart disease becomes a greater risk.
  • For female smokers, death is more likely to occur from lung cancer or heart disease than from breast cancer after age 40.

eSpiritual: 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 addiction of food, sex, drugs, alcohol, smoking, sleeping, not walking and or eating faulty Rajsik cum Tamsik high refined carbohydrate diet

Follow a healthy diet for a healthy heart

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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  • Diet should be low in sodium and one should not consume more than 6 gm of sodium chloride in a day.
  • Consumption of trans fats, which is found in hydrogenated oils or vanaspati ghee, should be minimal as they are bad for the heart and reduce the good HDL cholesterol and increase the bad LDL cholesterol.
  • A person should avoid eating out as much as possible since the food in most restaurants and hotels has high amounts of trans fats and is generally bad for the heart.
  • Refined carbohydrates like white bread, white flour, white rice and refined sweetened cereals and white sugar should be avoided and replaced with whole grain flour, healthy green cereals and oat meal.
  • Any sweet item containing more than 10% sugar should be limited. On an average, the sugar content in soft drinks is 10% and Indian sweets contain 30-50% sugar.