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Dr K K Aggarwal

Nirjala Ekadasi is observed the next day after Ganga Dusshera, a ten days period of self confession to remove the guilt acquired over the lat year.

As per mythology observing Nirjala Ekadasi fast which falls during the waxing phase (Shukla Paksha) in Jyeshta month has the benefits of observing all the 24 Ekadasis. Nirjala Ekadasi is one of the strictest fast in Hindu religion and among all Ekadasis. Nirjala means ‘without water.’ Devotees who undertake this fast does not drink water while fasting on the day. No food is also consumed on the day. The fast begins on Ekadasi sunrise and ends on next day (Dwadasi) sunrise.

Observing it is also equal to going on pilgrimage. During the month of Jyestha the day is longer and one after feels thirsty. As a result it is difficult to observe this vow without drinking water. This vow can only be fulfilled by meticulously observing this vow.

But why fast on the third day before the new and full moons – why not fast on the new and full moon days themselves? Scientists have shown that emotional disturbance starts three days before, so we must counteract this effect from the very beginning, before it has a chance to greatly upset our bodies and minds. British scientists have shown that there are two days during the month when the electron-magnetic vibration of the body radically changes – three days before the new and full moons. On these two days during the month there is a marked difference in the electrical potential between the body’s electromagnetic vibration at the navel and in the brain.

Even though many people during these periods may become irritable, restless and upset, those who fast without water will find that their minds remain balanced and calm. Nirjala Ekadashi therefore prevents al the ill effects likely to come on the day of full moon.  The dehydration produces on ekadashi will compensate the water retention occurring on the day of full moon. Rice or carbohydrates are not eaten in this fast. If worms are present in the GI tract they cannot tolerate dehydration and gets attracted towards carb diet and can migrate in gall bladder or appendix causing obstructions.

Smoking Can Cause Erectile Dysfunction

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One reason for a man or a woman not to smoke is that a man is likely to end up with erectile dysfunction and the woman with premature aging with wrinkles on face

It has been shown that men who smoke more than 20 cigarettes a day have 60% higher risk of erectile dysfunction as compared to those who never smoke. Fifteen percent of past and present smokers experience erectile dysfunction. Men, who are current smokers or are former smokers, are 30% more likely to suffer from erectile dysfunction. Among men who never smoke, only 12% end up with erectile dysfunction.

Smoking increases the risk of erectile dysfunction by more than 50% in men in the 30–40 year age group. Diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol are other important risk factors for erectile dysfunction.

Apart from erectile dysfunction, smoking also causes reduced volume of ejaculation, low sperm count, sperm shape etc.

In women, smoking leads to premature aging with formation of wrinkles on the face.

The day when one can get all sins washed away Ganga is most sacred Divine River of the world. Its water never gets spoiled even when heavily polluted. It is worshipped like a Goddess sitting on white lotus (detached attachment) and wearing white cloths (purity).

In uttarayana (positive energy six months period) two festivals are linked to removing the negativity in the kind. The first is eight days of holasthak before Holi when we burn our negative thoughts over a period of eight days.

And the second ten days of Ganga Dusshera festival where we prey, meditate and do cleansing of our sins (guilt) acquired over time. The same can be done by internal meditation and self confession or externally by confessing to Mother Ganges (Ganga) before each dip in the river over a period of ten days.

Eight to ten days are required for any guilt or negative thoughts to be washed away. Black sesame consumption in Ayurveda is known to help remove negativity of mind.

As per mythology it was the tenth day of Jyeshta bright half when Ganga descended on earth from heaven. The day is Ganga Dussehra, which is also the day when ages long hard work and penance of Bhagirath, a Suryavanshi king, got successful and fruitful in the form of river Ganga.

The Ganga Dusshera (Dus means ten and Hera means removal) had ten Vedic astrologic calculations. Jyeshtha month, Shukla Paksha (bright half), Tenth date, Wednesday, Hasta Nakshatra, Vyatipata yoga, Gar Anand Yoga and Moon in Virgo and Sun in Tauras.
These ten Yogas signify Ganga’s ability to wash ten sins linked to thoughts (mental), speech (verbal) and actions (organic).

Action linked three sins are: Fetching anything from others forcibly, indulging in violence and having extra marital affairs. Four verbal sins are speaking harsh words, telling a lie, complaining about others and indulging in irrelevant rambling. Mental sins are occupying other’s assets; desiring to harm others and discussions on irrelevant

As per the ritual on Ganga Dusshera one dips in cold water repeatedly and doing self confession each time. Cold water helps in cooling the mind. Repeated dips help in achieving a para sympathetic state of mind and bringing you closer to your own ‘Judge” who is none other than your consciousness who van pass the order of forgiving you.
The idol of Ganga is considered as Trinetr, quadrilateral, adorned with white clothes and white lotus.

Lord Shiva is the prime deity to be worship during the Ganga Pooja as he is sole owner and holder of river Ganga and by grace of his mercy only sent the river on earth for the welfare of mankind.

Spiritual significance is that to wash the sins (Kama, krodha, lobha, moha and ahankara represented as blue neck or slow poison) one must continuously (matted hairs) with cool mind (moon), through positive thoughts (Ganga) over the sins and wash them.

Ganga Dusshera also reminds us of keeping our rivers clean by not polluting them with feces, urine and gargles. We should not wash clothes of use soap in that area. The ten days of Ganga bath in sun also give enough vitamin D required for the body.

The festival is followed with Nirjala Ekadashi where we try to dehydrate our body so that the water retention which accompanies on full moon can be balanced and we can avoid getting the ill effects of full moon.

Smoker Diabetics More Likely To Have Severe Hypoglycemia

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People with diabetes who smoke are more than twice as likely to have an episode of severe hypoglycemia, or very low blood sugar, as those who have never smoked. Read more

Islam is based on the teachings of Paighambar Mohammad. Muslims believe in only one God ‘Allah’ who is most powerful. As in Christianity, after death, the soul is judged by Allah and remains
either in heaven or hell. Read more

Sewa, Simran and Sangat are the three principles of life as per the most Vedic literature. Even Adi Shankracharya described Sangat as the main force for living a spiritual life. Read more

In one of the US based study, dying people were asked about their regrets, if any. The top five regrets were: Read more

Eating Less Salt Does Not Reduce Mortality Or Cardiovascular Events

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A new study published in the American Journal of Hypertension has reported that there is no strong evidence that advising people to eat less salt or putting them on low salt diet reduces their death rate or cuts cardiovascular events. Read more

Get Your Body Insured And Serviced Regularly

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Recently, in my hospital, the echo machine whose new model costs about Rs. 30-40 lakhs, needed a service. The machine was insured but not in service contract with the company.

The company representative did not come for a week and when I called them up, they said that they will not come to look at the machine unless they are paid Rs. 15,000 per visit charges. They said that our hospital is paying only Rs. 5000  per visit to them.

They further said that they are not a TV and radio repairman, their visiting charges are no less than Rs. 15,000 and these visit charges do not include any consumables.

It means that for a machine costing Rs. 30-40 lakhs, people are ready to pay Rs. 15,000 for their visit charges.

In one of my class, I asked one of my patients who owned a car worth Rs. 16 lakhs as to how much he is paying for insurance and service. He said that he was paying Rs. 30,000 for the insurance and Rs. 40,000 per annum for four servicing of the car.  That means, for car worth Rs. 16 lakhs, he was spending Rs. 70,000 (Rs. 6,000 per month) for its maintenance and insurance and when I asked him as to how much he was paying for his personal body insurance and service, he said only 14,000 for insurance and nothing for the AMC (tests).

We are ready to pay Rs. 15,000 to a technology mechanic or Rs. 70,000 for a car costing only Rs. 16 lakhs but we do not want to pay for our adequate insurance or for the maintenance of our machine on a period basis.

Suppose a doctor visits a house and asks for Rs. 15,000 fee, our answer will be “I am shocked and doctor is a cheat or greedy.”

Let us rise and take messages from this and keep some budget for our insurance and body servicing on a regular basis.

Both active and passive smoking is known to cause mutation in tumour suppressing genes.

Smoking can cause gene defects by causing aberration in tumour suppressing genes leading to mutations. Tumour producing genes are called oncogenes and cancer-suppressing genes are called tumour-suppressing genes.

There is an important link between tobacco smoke and increased production of prostaglandin E-2. In smokers levels of EGFR (epidermal growth factor receptor gene) ligandin are increased which can lead to tumour cell growth. There is an association between EGFR mutations and the amount and duration of cigarette smoking, with the highest incidence of mutations seen in never smokers. Mutations were less common in people who stopped smoking cigarettes less than 25 years ago.

Tobacco addiction is one of the biggest menaces to the mankind. The only way to curb this menace is to declare tobacco drug and cigarette and bidi as the vehicle of the drug. Nicotine present in tobacco and cigarette has been used in many medicinal preparations in conditions
like Alzheimer’s disease and ulcerative colitis. Once tobacco related products come under FDA or Drugs Controller of India they can be banned to be available on the road and can only be available through chemist for de-addiction or for selected medical indications.

One minute of smoking leads to reduction of one minute of person’s life. An average cigarette reduces six minutes of life. Smoking is practically related to every possible disease including heart attack,  cancer and paralysis. 50% of tobacco consumers ultimately die of disease related to tobacco.

Tobacco smoking strongly increases the risk of developing cancer of the lung, oral cavity (mouth), pharynx, larynx, oesophagus, pancreas, bladder and renal pelvis (the kidney outlet). It also increases the risk of cancers of the nasal cavities (nose) and sinuses, stomach, liver, kidney, cervix (neck of the uterus) and bone marrow (myeloid leukaemia).

There has been a change in the scenario of occurrence of cancers in the country. Today the most common cancer in men is lung cancer and the cancer of the head and neck. While the cancer of the cervix is still no. 1 cancer in the country, but in metros like Delhi and Mumbai, cancer of the breast has now taken over the position of no. 1 in women.

It is nicotine in tobacco which is addicting and responsible for cardiovascular complications and while tar in tobacco is carcinogenic and related to cancers. Tobacco consumption can also cause early cataract and many eye disorders. Smoking during pregnancy is related to miscarriage, premature delivery and low birth-weight babies.

The combination of different cancer factors can produce an effect greater than the sum of their individual effects. In particular, synergies have been found between smoking and:
•       Exposure to arsenic, asbestos and radon at the workplace for lung cancer;
•       Alcohol consumption for cancers of the oral cavity, pharynx, larynx and oesophagus;
•       Human papillomavirus infection for cervix cancer (neck of the uterus).
Over one thousand million people worldwide smoke tobacco. The percentage of smokers has decreased in developed countries, but is increasing in developing countries and among women

Are five basic acts in Islam, considered obligatory by Sunni Muslims.

1.     Shahada (creed) or oneness of God (tawhid) and acceptance of Muhammad as God’s prophet.

2.     Daily prayers (salat)

3.     Almsgiving (zakāt) or charity

4.     Fasting during Ramadan (sawm),

5.     Pilgrimage to Mecca (hajj) at least once in a lifetime.

Cell Phone Elbow: A Disease of Mobile Era

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Nintendo thumb, Guitar Hero wrist and now cell phone elbow are all diseases of the new gadget era. Cubital tunnel syndrome or cell phone elbow is numbness, tingling and pain in the forearm and hand caused by compression of the ulnar nerve, which passes along the bony bump on the inside of the elbow.

Cubital tunnel syndrome results from prolonged flexing of the elbow.

In susceptible people, holding the bent-elbow position for extended periods can lead to decreased blood flow, inflammation and compression of the nerve. One of the causes of pressure on the ulnar nerve is excessive use of mobile phones.

Prolonged flexing of the elbow occurs when you hold a cell phone to your ear. The first symptom patients often notice include numbness, tingling or aching in the forearm and hand.

As symptoms progress, they can include a loss of muscle strength, coordination and mobility that can make writing and typing difficult. In chronic, untreated cases, the ring finger and pinky can become clawed. Evans and colleagues note in a report in the Cleveland Clinic Journal of Medicine that most people who get cubital tunnel syndrome are middle-aged or older. Women get cubital tunnel syndrome more often than men.

Other causes may include sleeping with the elbows bent and tucked up into the chest, sitting at a desk with the elbows flexed at an angle greater than 90 degrees and driving with your elbow propped on the window for extended periods.

In most cases, minor lifestyle changes can help alleviate symptoms, including using a hands-free headset for your cell phone. If sleep position is the problem, an elbow pad to keep the arm straighter at night can help.

As treatment, the occupational therapist may use ultrasound to loosen the scar tissue that can form around the nerve as a result of the inflammation, as well as stretching, deep massage and “nerve-gliding” exercises to reduce pressure on the nerve. Doctors may also use anti-inflammatory injections or surgery.

By the time we cross 40, most of us suffer from minimal cognitive impairment and have a memory loss of very recent events or objects. This is age related and should not be confused with dementia.

This can also happen in patients who are vegetarians and vitamin B12 deficient. People often have difficulty in naming objects and name of the people.

Like a computer hangs when multi tasking is done the human mind can also hang. When you are handling multiple projects at the same time, you may experience thought blocks which is natural and not a sign of a disease. Read more

When we do not take our car on the roads without an insurance then why do we take our body out without insurance. Read more

Once a foreigner visited India and when he returned back, somebody asked him to tell three things about India. He said – All time is tea time; all behave like doctors and every street wall can be used as a urinal.

Out of these three, the second one is very important and must be understood by all of us. In India, every person behaves like a doctor and is ready to give an advice.

In the West, when a person is sick, nobody is supposed to visit him or her except for close relations, but in India, not visiting a sick person is considered a bad manner.

Everybody who visits comes with an advice; an advice to change the doctor, hospital or the pathy. They will start giving examples of their experiences and try to influence the patient and the family. Neem Hakeem Khatraye Jaan is an old saying. No two patients are same and no two diseases behave in the same direction.

Changing medicines or pathy can be dangerous. When you go to another doctor for a second opinion, by default he or she has to disagree with the previous doctor, even if they do not need to. If they cannot find anything wrong in the prescription of the previous doctor, they will change the brand of the drugs or do minor modifications in the medicine.

In the judicial practice when you go for review of judgment, you always file review petition in front of the same judge. Why can’t same thing happen in medical science? If you are not satisfied with a doctor, go back to him and ask him to review you again as a fresh case.

Also in judicial system, if you are not satisfied with the judgment, you do not go to single judge bench but a double judge bench.  Same thing should happen in medical science. If you are not happy with one doctor, never go to another single doctor but ask for a joint opinion with two specialists.