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Dr K K Aggarwal

Emotionally stressful events, and more specifically, anger, immediately precede and appear to trigger the onset of acute heart attack. Episodes of anger are capable of triggering the onset of acute heart attack and aspirin can reduce this risk. People who cannot control their anger should ask their doctors to consider taking aspirin.

The Onset Anger Scale identified 39 patients with episodes of anger in the 2 hours before the onset of heart attack. The relative risk of heart attack in the 2 hours after an episode of anger was 23. Regular users of aspirin had a significantly lower relative risk (1.4) than nonusers (2.9). Anger in response to stress is also of particular importance for the development of premature heart attack in young men. An episode of anger may also trigger an acute heart attack in the next 2 hours.

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  1. Maintain a healthy weight by exercising every day and consuming a healthy diet.
  2. Get your blood glucose levels monitored at regular intervals.
  3. Do not consume refined sugar in any form as this can get absorbed into the blood stream more easily and cause further complications.
  4. Reduce stress through activities such as meditation and yoga.
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Nosebleed is a common problem and is often because of a respiratory illness or dry conditions. Nasal drying is common in the hot summer months because of the extreme temperature and dry air due to use of air conditioners. Here are some typical reasons for nosebleeds:

 

  1. Nasal allergies
  2. Blowing your nose too hard or trying to remove something from inside the nose
  3. A result of “popping” the ear
  4. Nasal exposure to chemicals
  5. Frequent sneezing or having an upper respiratory infection
  6. Use of nasal spray or a blood-thinning drugs, such as aspirin
  7. Inhaling air that is extremely dry or cold
  8. Having recent surgery on the nose or elsewhere on the face
  9. Breaking the nose or a similar injury
  10. Uncontrolled blood pressure

Bleeding can be controlled by direct pressure i.e. compression of the nostrils rasping the alae distally so all mucosal surfaces are opposed. Direct pressure should be applied continuously for at least 5 min and for up to 20 min. The patient should be encouraged not to check for active bleeding. Patients who are properly instructed may control their bleeding while the evaluation gets underway.

Other maneuvers include bending forward at the waist while sitting up (to avoid swallowing blood), placing a plug of cotton wool or gauze into the bleeding nostril (sometimes coated with antibiotic ointment), expectorating out blood that accumulates in the pharynx and a cold compress applied to the bridge of the nose.
These maneuvers also should be taught to high-risk patients for use at home.

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In case of patients who are suffering from asthma, the lungs become irritable and more reactive than before during winter months

While the sudden change in weather comes as a sign of relief for many, it also brings with it health implications especially for those suffering from pre-existing lifestyle diseases like asthma. It is essential that special care be taken during this time to be able to properly enjoy the winter season.

According to the World Health Organization, India is home to an estimated 20 million asthma patients. All of them suffer from moderate to severe cases of asthma and hence, it really becomes important for these patients to understand how a common virus can trigger a major asthma attack in the winter months.

To eradicate the dangers, one must understand what triggers asthma. We recommend that people must stay away from smoke filled rooms, highly polluted areas and spend more time in parks and amongst nature. Given that mites also trigger asthma, patients should use mite-proof covers on the mattresses and pillows. Special attention should also be paid to keeping ones house dry and cool so as to prevent mites and molds’ from growing. In addition to this, consuming a healthy diet and getting adequate exercise and vitamin D through sunlight is key to mainlining necessary immunity levels.

What can you do?

• Wash your hands regularly: The importance of maintaining hand hygiene has been stressed too often because it is one of the best and simplest ways to avoid catching and spreading common cold and flu viruses. Medical experts advise that an individual uses alcohol-based moist hand sanitizers; this trick will definitely shield you against the danger of catching germs as well.

• Avoid sitting by the fireplace: Lighting up a bonfire in chilly winters might sound as a great idea for a cozy day, but sitting really close to a fireplace or just near the heater might not be good for asthmatic patients. Smoke coming from the burning wood can harm your lungs and give you breathing issues aggravating an asthma attack.

• Get a flu shot: Although having asthma won’t make you susceptible to flu viruses, but these viruses can make asthma severe or worse in some patients. Getting a vaccine will keep your symptoms under control by protecting you from the harmful attacks of the virus.

• Clean the heater and replace the filters: A season off can cause a lot of germs to deposit inside the packed heaters and their filters. And once you start them without cleaning them, it can cause dust to blow through your nose and as well your house causing an asthma patient to develop an allergy. And hence, it is always advised that heaters should be cleaned and filters should be replaced before prepping up for a new season.

• Exercise indoor and warm up before starting up: Chilly waves can impact your lungs and might make it problematic to breathe and that’s why medical experts advise that patients should instead opt for a gym or exercise outdoors when the weather is a little warm. Innumerable studies have shown that the lungs of asthmatic patients work more efficiently when they warm up before starting up their exercise routine.

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  1. Eat a healthy diet.
  2. Be physically active, every day, your way
  3. Get vaccinated
  4. Don’t use any form of tobacco
  5. Avoid or minimize use of alcohol
  6. Manage stress for your physical or mental health
  7. Practice good hygiene
  8. Don’t speed or drink and drive
  9. Wear a seat belt when driving and helmet when cycling
  10. Practice safe sex
  11. Regularly check your health
  12. Breast feeding is best for babies
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  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Check your waistline.
  •  Eat mindfully. Emphasize on colorful, vitamin–packed vegetables and fruits; whole grains; fish, lean poultry, tofu, and beans and other legumes as protein sources plus healthy fats. Cut down on unnecessary calories from sweets, sodas, refined grains like white bread or white rice, unhealthy fats, fried and fast foods, and mindless snacking. Keep a close eye on portion sizes, too.
  • Exercise regularly. Aim for 2½ to 5 hours weekly of brisk walking. Or try a vigorous exercise like jogging for half that time.
  • Keep an eye on important health numbers. In addition to watching your weight and waistline, keep a watch on your cholesterol, triglycerides, blood pressure and blood sugar numbers.
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First aid for poisonous bites and stings

By Dr K K Aggarwal
Filed Under Wellness | Tagged With: , , , , | | Comments Off

People often panic if they have been bitten or stung. You should tell the patient that many snakes spiders insects and sea creatures are harmless and that even the bites and stings of dangerous animals often do not cause poisoning. Keep the patient calm and still. Moving the bitten or stung limb speeds up the spread of venom to the rest of the body. Fear and excitement also make the patient worse. The patient should be told not to use the limb and to keep it still and below the level of the heart. The limb may swell after a while so take off the patient s rings watch bracelets anklets and shoes as soon as possible. A splint and a sling may help to keep the limb still. Avoid doing the following Do not cut into the wound or cut it out. Do not suck venom out of the wound. Do not use a tourniquet or tight bandage. Do not put chemicals or medicines in the wound or inject them into the wound for e.g. potassium permanganate crystals . Do not put ice packs on the wound. Do not use proprietary snake bite kits. The patient should lie on one side in the recovery position so that the airway is clear in case or vomiting or fainting. Do not give the patient anything by mouth no food alcohol medicines or drinks. However if it is likely to be a long time before the patient gets medical care give the patient water to drink to stop dehydration. Try to identify the animal but do not try to catch it or keep it if this will put you the patient or others at risk. If the animal is dead take it to hospital with the patient but handle it very carefully because even dead animals can sometimes inject venom. As soon as possible take the patient to a hospital medical dispensary or clinic where medical care can be given. The patient should not walk but should keep as still as possible. If there is no ambulance or car carry the patient on a stretcher or trestle or on the crossbar of a bicycle. Antivenom should only be given in a hospital or medical Centre where resuscitation can be given because the patient may have an allergic reaction. If available antivenom should be used if there is evidence of severe poisoning. It should not be used when there are no signs of poisoning.

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Uncontrolled blood pressure can lead to heart attacks paralysis and heart failure. Most such attacks occur in the early morning hours. Pulse blood pressure and thickening of platelets are all higher in the early morning hours. Controlling early morning blood pressure can reduce cardiovascular mortality. According to a study published in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology among patients with chronic kidney disease and high blood pressure taking at least one antihypertensive drug at bedtime significantly improves blood pressure control with an associated decrease in risk for cardiovascular events. The study included 661 patients with chronic kidney disease who were randomly assigned either to take all prescribed anti BP drugs on awakening or to take at least one of them at bedtime. Patients were followed for a median of 5.4 years during that time patients who took at least 1 BP lowering drug at bedtime had approximately one third of the cardiac risk compared with those who took all medications on awakening. A similar significant reduction in cardiac deaths heart attacks and paralysis was noted with bedtime dosing. Patients taking their medications at bedtime also had a significantly lower mean BP while sleeping. For each 5 mmHg decrease in mean sleep time systolic upper BP there was a 14 reduction in the risk for cardiovascular events during follow up. Potential explanation for the benefit of night time treatment may be associated with the effect of night time treatment on urinary albumin excretion levels. Urinary albumin excretion is significantly reduced after bedtime but not morning treatment.

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