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Dr K K Aggarwal

Guidelines on Health

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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  • Keep your blood cholesterol less than 160 mg%. Even 1% reduction in cholesterol reduces the chances of heart attack by 2%.
  • Uncontrolled diabetes and blood pressure can precipitate a heart attack. Keep these under check.
  • Eat less, walk more.
  • Regular exercise is good for health. The best exercise is walking, which is brisker than brisk walking.
  • Soya products are good for health. These should form an essential ingredient of the diet.
  • Fruits are better than juices.
  • Brown rice is better than polished rice and jaggery is better than white sugar.
  • Eat high fiber diet.
  • Driving and drinking do not go together.
  • Pregnant women must not drink. It harms the baby in the womb.
  • Get your health check-up done at least once in a year.
  • Salt intake should be restricted.
  • Avoid APC where A stands for achar, P for papad and C for chutney.

Sewa the best dharma

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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Offering help is the best service to the humanity. As per Sikhism, Sewa (unconditional service), Simran (meditation) and Satsang (company of good people) constitute the trio to acquire happiness and spiritual health. In Sikhism, Sewa is the main path for acquiring spiritualism. In Gurudwara, one even offers sewa by cleaning the shoes of others or by cleaning the entry paths to any Gurudwara.

Offering help covers all the paths of being a Satyugi, i.e., truthfulness, unconditional hard work, purity of mind and finally, Daya and Daan. When you offer help, you always do it in a positive state of mind and it involves hard work, mercy and charity.

The five pillars of Jainism are Ahimsa (non-violence in action, speech and thoughts), Satya (being synonymous in action, speech and thought), Brahmacharya (disciplined life), Asteya (non-stealing) and Aparigriha (not storing more than required).

Any offering, therefore, should be without any reward; the same applies to actions, thoughts and speech.

Jainism also prescribes not storing things which are not required, and therefore, anything more than required can be donated or offered to people in the form of sewa.

All professions which primarily do sewa are given special status in the society. for example, doctors are allowed to prefix ‘Dr.’ in front of their names and eminent people who offered help to the society are allowed to prefix names like Raja, Deewan, Rai Bahadur, Rotarian, Lion, etc.

As per Government policy, every PSU has to spend a 2% budget for charity in corporate social responsibility. Similarly, each one of us should spend 2% of our time, money or assets for charity or community service.

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

What are three great sentences of importance other than 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.

Expressive writing can relieve stress

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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One can significantly boost mental and physical health by spending 30 minutes each day for four days to write out the innermost thoughts and feelings.

This so-called expressive writing requires only a pen and a paper.

In expressive writing therapy, patients are encouraged to express whatever is on their mind, letting their hopes and fears flow out in a natural, unrestrained way. It is like keeping a journal, but more focused on the things that might be bothering one or triggering stress.

Guidelines about Eating

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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  • 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. Use oils which are liquid at room temperature for cooking.
  • Do not take red meat and if you are a non-vegetarian, you may take poultry meat or fish.

Understanding exact speech

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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Upanishads, Yoga sutras of Patanjali and teachings of Gautam Buddha, all talk about “the right speech”. As per Gautam Buddha, the right speech has three components:

  • It should be based on truthfulness.
  • It should be necessary.
  • It should be kind.

All three have to be in the same sequence with truthfulness taking the top ranking. For example, when a patient asks a doctor, “Am I going to die in the next few weeks or will I survive longer?” The truth may be that he is serious enough and may not survive but it is not necessary to speak the truth and also it is not kind. Therefore, that truth should not be spoken.

Lord Krishna in Mahabharata explained when not to speak the truth and when to speak a lie. The truth which is going to harm the society may not be spoken and a lie which can save the life of a person without harming others may be spoken.

  • A truth which is necessary and kind may be spoken.
  • A truth which is not necessary but kind may not be spoken.
  • A truth which is necessary but not kind may not be spoken.
  • A truth which is neither necessary nor kind may not be spoken.

Younger women with acute coronary syndromes may not have classic chest pain

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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Younger women with an acute coronary syndrome have slightly lesser likelihood than men to present with the classic symptom of chest pain, reported a study published in JAMA Internal Medicine. As a result, they often fail to receive a correct diagnosis in the emergency department.

Khan and colleagues prospectively evaluated data from over 1,000 ACS patients aged 55 or younger (30% women), participating in the GENESIS PRAXY study.

In these younger patients women had lesser odds of having chest pain, compared to men (19% of women versus 13.7% for men, p = 0.03). Additionally, women were more likely than men to have a non-ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction (37.5% vs 30.7%; p = 0.03).

Multivariate analysis revealed that women and patients with tachycardia had a lesser likelihood of having chest pain. The absence of chest pain did not indicate any change in the type or severity of the ACS.

Diagnosis of any disease with a lower prevalence but higher mortality, such as coronary artery disease in younger women, is more challenging.

Public health messages should focus on both men and women regarding ACS symptom presentation with or without chest pain in order to encourage earlier and more widespread access to lifesaving care.

Do we get a human birth every time we die?

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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As per Vedic sciences, Hindu philosophy believes in rebirth unless your Sanchit and Prarabdha Karmas are totally exhausted.

It also believes in liberation in which once your past karma’s debt is over, you do not take a rebirth.

Garuda Purana, on the other hand, says that you can take a birth in animal species which means you can be born like a donkey or a dog. Vedic science, on the other hand, says that once you get a human body, you will either be liberated or get another human body only.

Garuda Purana message can be read and interpreted in a different perspective. In mythology, humans are linked to animal tendencies. For example, bull is linked to sexual and non-sexual desires, peacock to vanity, etc. Probably, people who wrote Garuda Purana meant that if you do not live according to the Shastras, you will end up in getting another human body but with animal tendencies and behavior.

OTC drug does not mean it should be taken without a doctor’s advice

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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An over-the-counter (OTC) 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 the American Academy of Family Physicians –

  • Different types of antacids have different mechanisms of action.
  • To manage an ulcer, an antacid may need to be taken along with an antibiotic.
  • If one needs more calcium to help strengthen bones, an antacid that contains calcium carbonate is preferred.
  • Antacids may cause minor side effects in some, such as nausea, headache, diarrhea or constipation.
  • One must read the label carefully to ensure that he/she is not allergic to any of the ingredients.
  • It may not be feasible for those with kidney disease to take all types of antacids.
  • An antacid may interact with other medications.Talk to the doctor before taking an antacid.

Talk to the doctor before taking an antacid.

Top Characters of Mahabharata

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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To be in harmony with the body (five elements represented by Draupadi), one must acquire five qualities, or in other terms, live a focused life, full of strength and not being disturbed with loss or gain and finally working for the welfare of the society without having any partiality towards anyone.

  • Balanced mind: Yudhishthir (“sthir” or balanced in “yudh” or disturbed state of mind)
  • Focused vision (Arjuna)
  • Using internal power or strength (Bhima)
  • Not being partial or remaining neutral (Nakul)
  • Working for the welfare of the society (Sahdev)

With this, one can kill 100 negative qualities that a person can have (the 100 Kauravas). The hundred negative qualities are acquired because of cunningness (Shakuni), not working with the eyes of the soul (Dhritarashtra) and keeping a blind eye to any wrong happening (Gandhari).

The main negative qualities are taking decisions in day-to-day life situations (Duryodhana: dusht in yudha or war) and choosing wrong choices as a ruler (dusshasana: dusht and shasan).

The positive qualities once acquired will also win over other negative qualities like blind faith or undue attachments (Bhishma pitamaha); unrighteous loyalty (Dronacharya), and unrighteous ego (Karna).

Folic Acid Update

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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  • Folic acid (vitamin B9) is a water-soluble B vitamin.
  • It is lost in traditional Indian cooking.
  • Folic acid is essential for DNA repair, cell division and normal cellular growth.
  • Profound deficiency of folic acid during pregnancy is associated with neural tube defects, such as spina bifida, in neonates.
  • Deficiency in adults has been associated with megaloblastic anemia and peripheral neuropathy.
  • In both men and women, low serum folate levels can increase homocysteine levels, which are correlated with elevated cardiovascular risk.
  • Low folic acid levels during pregnancy in women with epilepsy have been associated with fetal malformation and older enzyme-inducing anti-epileptic drugs (AEDs) are known to reduce serum folate levels.
  • The risk of having a pregnancy complicated by a major congenital malformation (e.g., neural tube defect) is doubled in epileptic women taking AEDs compared with those with a history of epilepsy not taking these agents.
  • Risk is tripled with AED polypharmacy, especially when valproic acid is included.
  • Consensus statements recommend 0.4-0.8 mg of folic acid per day in all women planning a pregnancy. Ideally, this should be started at least 1 month prior to pregnancy, if possible.
  • The guidelines recommend higher daily folic acid doses (4 mg/day) in women with a history of neural tube defects.
  • Enzyme-inducing anticonvulsants, such as phenytoin, carbamazepine, primidone and phenobarbital, are known to decrease folate levels, and valproic acid may interfere with folate metabolism.
  • Other AEDs, such as oxcarbazepine, lamotrigine and zonisamide, do not appear to alter folate levels.
  • Because many pregnancies are unplanned, it is recommended that folic acid supplementation be given routinely to all women of childbearing potential at 0.4 mg/day.

Values, Morals and Ethics

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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Values

  • Values are our fundamental beliefs. They are the principles used to define what is right, good and just.
  • Values guide how to determine right versus wrong and good versus bad.
  • They are the standards.
  • While evaluating anything, we compare it to a standard.
  • Values include honesty, integrity, compassion, courage, honor, responsibility, patriotism, respect and fairness.
  • Ethics are universal.

Morals

  • Morals are values attributed to a system of beliefs, particularly a religious system.However, it could also be a political system of some other set of beliefs.
  • These values get their authority from outside us, i.e., from a higher being or a higher authority (e.g. society).
  • We may categorize the values listed above, such as honesty, integrity, etc., as moral values, i.e., values derived from a higher authority.

Ethics

  • Ethics is about our actions and decisions.
  • When we act in ways consistent with our beliefs that is characterized as acting ethically.
  • When one’s actions are not compatible with theirvalues, that is considered as acting unethically.
  • The ethics of our decisions and actions is defined socially.

Preventing death due to hypothermia

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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People can die of hypothermia. Imagine a situation when you come across two people lying in a JJ cluster area with no clothes early in the morning. One of them is shivering and the other one is not. The one who is shivering indicates that his body is trying to compensate with the low core body temperature. The other one, who is not shivering, may be dead, dying or normal.

Recall your naturopathy teaching “Sar Thanda, Pet Naram and Paon Garam”. If the soles of the feet and the feet are cold and the person is not shivering, this is a medical emergency. On the contrary, if the person is not shivering and the feet are warm, it is not medical emergency.

Therefore, hypothermia with no shivering and hyperthermia with no sweating are bad signs.

Direct all your energy towards the soul and not the ego

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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The epic Mahabharata can also be understood as a science of inner Mahabharata that occurs in everybody’s mind.

Lord Krishna symbolizes the consciousness and the five Pandavas, the five positive qualities of a person namely, righteousness (Yudhishthir), focus (Arjuna), power to fight injustice (Bheem), helping others (Sahdev) and learning to be neutral in difficult situations (Nakul). Panchali indicates the five senses, which can only be controlled when these five forces are together.

Dhritarashtra symbolizes ignorance, Duhshasan – a negative ruling quality (dusht while ruling), and Duryodhana (dusht in yudh) symbolizes one who is not balanced in war. Consciousness-based decisions need to be taken to kill the negativity in the mind. Every action, if directed towards the consciousness or the soul, is the right action. To kill all the 100 Kauravas (the 100 negative tendencies a person can have) controlled by Duryodhan and Duhshasan along with Shakuni (the negative power of cunningness), positive qualities have to be redirected towards consciousness and then take right decisions.

The five Pandavas (positive qualities) made soul (Lord Krishna) as their point of reference (Sarthi) and won over the evils (Kauravas).

Bhishma Pitamah, Karna and Dronacharya, individually all had winning powers, but, they all supported negative thoughts and made Duryodhana as their point of reference and ultimately had to die.

The message is very clear – if one directs his or her positive powers towards ego as the reference point in long run, they will be of no use and, in fact, will be responsible for one’s destruction.

Ravana too was a great scholar but he directed all his energies and powers towards his ego and ended up in misery.

Therefore, one should cultivate a positive mental attitude, positive thoughts instead of directing them towards desire, attachment or ego and should direct them to soul/consciousness for a positive outcome.

Expressive writing can relieve stress

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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One can significantly boost mental and physical health by spending 30 minutes each day for four days to write out the innermost thoughts and feelings.

This so-called expressive writing requires only a pen and a paper.

In expressive writing therapy, patients are encouraged to express whatever is on their mind, letting their hopes and fears flow out in a natural, unrestrained way. It is like keeping a journal, but more focused on the things that might be bothering one or triggering stress.