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Dr K K Aggarwal

Patients with asthma and chronic bronchitis should get the dose of their medicine increased during smog days. Avoid exertion in conditions of smog. It is better to avoid walking during smog hours. Drive slowly during smog hours. Heart patients should stop their early morning walk during smog hours. Remember to take the flu pneumonia vaccine. Keep doors and windows shut particularly during the early morning hours. It is better to wear protective masks if you must venture out.

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Is caffeine good for health?

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

Caffeine is the most consumed stimulant globally. It is consumed in the form of coffee and tea. At present there is no scientific data for promoting or discouraging coffee and or tea consumption in the daily diet. Short term benefits include mental alertness and improved athletic performance. Short term adverse effects including headache anxiety tremors and insomnia. Long term adverse effects include generalized anxiety disorder and substance abuse disorders. Long term benefits are dose dependent. Caffeine is associated with a reduced risk of Parkinson disease Alzheimer disease alcoholic cirrhosis and gout. Both caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee are also associated with a lower risk of type 2 diabetes. Heavy coffee intake may trigger coronary and arrhythmic events in susceptible individuals although coffee intake is not considered a long term risk factor for myocardial disease. Most studies show a modest inverse relationship between coffee consumption and all cause mortality. Caffeine withdrawal is a well documented clinical syndrome with headache being the most common symptom. Source Uptodate

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Sitting for three hours per day or longer may reduce an individual s life expectancy. A study calculated that limiting the time people spend sitting to 3 hours or fewer each day would increase the life expectancy of the population by two years. Cutting down TV watching to fewer than two hours each day would bump life expectancy up by another 1.4 years. When you are sitting your leg muscles are completely inactive which causes problems with how you handle your blood sugar and how you handle cholesterol.

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The ambient noise standard for residential areas is 55 decibel dB during the day and 45 dB at night. Permissible noise in industrial area is 75 dB in daytime and 70 dB in nighttime. Permissible noise in commercial area is 65 dB in daytime and 55 dB in nighttime. Permissible sound in residential area is 55 dB in daytime and 45 dB in nighttime. Permissible sound in silence zone is 50 dB in daytime and 40 dB in nighttime. Day time shall mean from 6am to 10 pm and nighttime shall mean from 10 pm to 6am. Silence zone are areas up to 100 m around hospitals educational institutions and courts. One can complain to the authorities if the noise levels exceed from the allowable limit by more than 10dB. High noise levels lead to stress related dysregulation of the autonomic system leading to high blood pressure and heart disease.

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More than 30 people of the society including children have potbelly abdominal obesity. India is witnessing an epidemic of metabolic syndrome which is characterized by abdominal obesity high triglyceride low good cholesterol high blood pressure and high sugar. Abdominal girth of more than 90 cm in men and 80 cm in women indicates that the person is vulnerable to future heart attack. Normal weight obesity is the new epidemic of the society. A person could be obese even if his her body weight was within the normal range. An extra inch of fat around the abdomen increases the chances of heart disease by 1.5 times. Normally once the height stops growing most organs will also stop growing. The weight of the heart liver of kidney cannot increase after that. Only muscles can build up to some extent. The only thing after that stage which can increase the weight of the body is deposition of fat. Therefore any weight gain after puberty is invariably due to fat. Though the overall weight can be in the acceptable normal range but any weight gain within that range will be abnormal for that person. One should not gain weight of more than 5 kg after the age of 20 years in males and 18 years in females. After the age of 50 the weight should reduce and not increase. Potbelly obesity is linked to eating refined carbohydrates and not animal fats. General obesity is linked to eating animal fats. Refined carbohydrate includes white rice white maida and white sugar. Brown sugar is better than white sugar. Refined carbohydrates are called bad carbohydrates and animal fat is called bad fat. Trans fat or vanaspati is bad for health. Trans fats increase the levels of bad cholesterol and reduce good cholesterol in the body. Reduction in weight can reduce snoring pain of arthritis blood pressure and control uncontrolled diabetes.

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The diagnosis of hypertension in children should be based on three blood pressure measurements at separate clinical visits. Normative BP percentiles are based upon data on gender age height and blood pressure measurements from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey and other population based studies. In a study initial BP measurement was normal below the 90th percentile pre hypertensive systolic or diastolic BP between the 90th or 95th percentile and hypertensive systolic or diastolic BP 8805 95th percentile in 82 13 and 5 percent of children. At follow up subsequent hypertensive measurements were observed in only 4 percent of the 10 848 children who had initial hypertensive values. In the cohort the overall prevalence of hypertension was 0.3 percent. Source Lo JC Sinaiko A Chandra M et al. Prehypertension and hypertension in community based pediatric practice. Pediatrics 2013 131 e415.

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Switching to late nights and late mornings on the weekend is associated with cardiometabolic risk. Termed social jetlag it is associated with poorer lipid profiles worse glycemic control and increased adiposity in healthy adults as per a report published in Journal of Clinical Endocrinology Metabolism. These metabolic changes can contribute to the development of obesity diabetes and cardiovascular disease. A total of 111 study participants had a social jetlag of more than 60 minutes. Compared to the other study participants these individuals had Higher mean triglycerides 107 mg dL versus 91 mg dL P 0.009 Lower mean HDL cholesterol 54 mg dL versus 57 mg dL P 0.014 Higher mean fasting insulin levels 13.5 U mL versus 12 U mL P 0.03 More insulin resistance as measured by homeostatic model assessment 4.0 versus 3.7 p 0.028 Greater mean waist circumference 94 cm versus 89 cm P 0.001 Higher mean BMI 28 versus 26 P 0.004 It has been shown that regulating sleep times can help treat insomnia and this emerging evidence along with others suggest that perhaps doing so will have benefits in treatment and prevention of other diseases.

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Research has found that older runners live longer and suffer fewer disabilities than healthy non runners. This observation applies to a variety of aerobic exercises including walking. A study by authors from Stanford University School of Medicine published in the Archives of Internal Medicine has shown that being active reduces disability and increases survival. There are benefits of vigorous activity late in life. Earlier many experts believed that vigorous exercise would actually harm older individuals. And running in particular would result in an epidemic of joint and bone injuries. But this new study proves otherwise. Two hundred and eighty four runners and 156 healthy controls or non runners in California completed annual questionnaires over a 21 year period. The participants were 50 years old or over at the beginning of the study and ran an average of about four hours a week. By the end of the study period the participants were in their 70s or 80s or older and ran about 76 minutes a week. At 19 years just 15 percent of the runners had died compared with 34 percent of the non runners. In the study running delayed the onset of disability by an average of 16 years. It s so important to be physically active your whole life not just in your 20s or 40s but forever. Exercise is like the most potent drug. Exercise is by far the best thing you can do. One should take lessons from Yudhishthir in Mahabharata who walked till his death. However a word of caution if an elderly is walking or entering into an exercise program he or she should have a cardiac evaluation done to rule out underlying heart blockages.

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