Sub Logo

Dr K K Aggarwal

Top 10 Ways to Keep the Kidneys Healthy

By Dr K K Aggarwal
Filed Under Wellness | Tagged With: , , , , | | Comments Off on Top 10 Ways to Keep the Kidneys Healthy

  1. Monitor blood pressure and cholesterol.
  2. Control weight.
  3. Dont overuse over-the-counter painkillers.
  4. Monitor blood glucose.
  5. Get an annual physical exam.
  6. Know if chronic kidney disease (CKD), diabetes or heart disease runs in your family. If so, you may be at risk.
  7. Dont smoke.
  8. Exercise regularly.
  9. Follow a healthy diet.
  10. Get tested for chronic kidney disease if youre at risk.

Confession

By Dr K K Aggarwal
Filed Under Spirituality - Science Behind Rituals | Tagged With: , , , , , | | Comments Off on Confession

Confession is one of the many ways of detoxifying the mind. It has its roots in Hindu mythology but today it is mainly practiced in Christian religion as a hardcore ritual where one usually goes to a Church and confesses to the Bishop without disclosing his or her identity. In Hindu mythology, confession is a routine spiritual practice. People can confess to their Guru, to their God in the temple or their mentor. Confession can also be done to a plant (Peepal tree), an animal (dog or a cat) or the birds. It is a common saying that taking a dip in Yamuna or Ganga removes all your sins. The dip in water involves a ritual of confessing guilt every time we make a dip. Giving food to birds is also a way of confession where one makes a confession with each offering.

The easiest way to confess is 3 minutes of free writing, which can be done every night. One can tear off the paper after writing. This involves writing from the heart and not giving time to the mind to think. Earlier people used to confess and de–stress their emotions by writing in a diary or making a folder in the computer and writing. But, the best confession is to meditate, which is equivalent to reformatting the hard disk and removing viruses and corrupt files from our body computer. Meditating with intent to get rid of guilt washes them over a period of time. Confession involves the process of forgiving and forgetting. Forgiving is at the level of mind and forgetting is at the level of heart.

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

Slowly add fiber to diet

By Dr K K Aggarwal
Filed Under Wellness | Tagged With: , , , , , | | Comments Off on Slowly add fiber to diet

Fiber is a plant substance that is required for a healthy diet. Lots of fiber is needed each day to help reduce the risk of heart disease, improve digestion, prevent constipation and maintain a healthy body weight. Fiber can be found in fruits, whole grains and vegetables. Most adults should eat at least 20 to 35 grams of fiber every day; though the doctors say most people only eat about half as much. It’s best to slowly increase the fiber in your diet instead of piling it on all at once. A sudden increase in fiber intake can cause abdominal discomfort. Fiber intake should be at least 14 grams per 1000 calories daily; higher fiber intake may improve glycemic control. Saturated fat should be less than 7 percent of calories and there should be minimal trans fat. Total cholesterol should be less than 200 mg daily. There is an average fall of 1.2/1.3 mmHg blood pressure with average 10 gram intake of fiber. Certain soluble fibers (psyllium, pectin, wheat dextrin and oat products) reduce bad LDL cholesterol. Every gram increase in soluble fiber reduces LDL cholesterol by an average of 2.2 mg/dL. The message is incorporation of greater amounts of fiber, in which carbohydrate is derived from unprocessed whole foods.

Why do We Burn Camphor in Any Pooja?

By Dr K K Aggarwal
Filed Under Spirituality - Science Behind Rituals | Tagged With: , , , | | Comments Off on Why do We Burn Camphor in Any Pooja?

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 when burns, emits a pleasant perfume. This signifies that as we burn our ego, we can only spread love and nothing else.

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

Slowly add fiber to diet

By Dr K K Aggarwal
Filed Under Wellness | Tagged With: , , , , | | Comments Off on Slowly add fiber to diet

Fiber is a plant substance that is required for a healthy diet. Lots of fiber is needed each day to help reduce the risk of heart disease, improve digestion, prevent constipation and maintain a healthy body weight. Fiber can be found in fruits, whole grains and vegetables. Most adults should eat at least 20 to 35 grams of fiber every day; though the doctors say most people only eat about half as much. It’s best to slowly increase the fiber in your diet instead of piling it on all at once. A sudden increase in fiber intake can cause abdominal discomfort. Fiber intake should be at least 14 grams per 1000 calories daily; higher fiber intake may improve glycemic control. Saturated fat should be less than 7 percent of calories and there should be minimal trans fat. Total cholesterol should be less than 200 mg daily. There is an average fall of 1.2/1.3 mmHg blood pressure with average 10 gram intake of fiber. Certain soluble fibers (psyllium, pectin, wheat dextrin and oat products) reduce bad LDL cholesterol. Every gram increase in soluble fiber reduces LDL cholesterol by an average of 2.2 mg/dL. The message is incorporation of greater amounts of fiber, in which carbohydrate is derived from unprocessed whole foods.

Science behind kalpvas

By Dr K K Aggarwal
Filed Under Spirituality - Science Behind Rituals | Tagged With: , , , , , | | Comments Off on Science behind kalpvas

The month of Magh is observed as Kalpvas where for one month people from all over gather, do sun worship (vitamin D), eat sesame (high in calcium) and do tulsi or basil pooja (high fertility and high in calcium). The significance behind is to accrue one year’s vitamin D quota. To make enough vitamin D we need to expose 40% of the body for at least 40 minutes at a stretch for 40 days in a year (Formula of 40).

Environmental Impact on Eye Health

By Dr K K Aggarwal
Filed Under Wellness | Tagged With: , , , | | Comments Off on Environmental Impact on Eye Health

Expanding areas of arid land, air pollution and greater exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation all present potential health hazards to the eyes.

The cornea, eyelid, the sclera and even the lens—are all exposed directly to the environment. Rising temperatures and shifting atmospheric circulation patterns force dry air into regions. Drier air means that more people are likely to suffer from dry eye, a condition in which tears aren’t produced properly or evaporate too quickly. There is no evidence that drier conditions cause dry eye but they can accelerate symptoms in people who are prone to dry eye.

Air pollution has long been linked to respiratory disorders; more recently it’s been shown to play a role in eye disease.

Exposure to wood or charcoal cooking fires—ubiquitous in many developing countries—appears to accelerate the scarring caused by trachoma. Recurrent infections over a lifetime lead to scarring inside of the eyelids, which in turn causes the eyelashes to turn inward and brush against the cornea, eventually resulting in damage that impairs vision.

Ozone depletion can lead to higher levels of UV light exposure, which is a known risk factor for cortical cataract. Chronic exposure to the sun’s damaging rays can alter the orderly arrangement of proteins in the lens of the eye or damage lens epithelium, causing the lens to become cloudy. Wearing a hat can reduce UV exposure by 30%. Sunglasses, even simple plastic lenses that offer full UV protection, can reduce exposure by nearly 100% and should be used judiciously.

Entire community should take note of the severe damage that can be caused to the eyes. It becomes all the more important to note these precautions as Indians tend to be vitamin D deficient.

Makar Sankranti: Uttarayana: The Medical Importance

By Dr K K Aggarwal
Filed Under Spirituality - Science Behind Rituals | Tagged With: , , , , | | Comments Off on Makar Sankranti: Uttarayana: The Medical Importance

An extremely auspicious day, Lohri marks the sun’s entry in to the ‘Makar Rashi’.  The next day after lohri is Makar Sankranti. One can remember lohri as the end of winter and Makar Sankranti as the first day of summer.

The word Sankranti means “change of direction” and the sun changes its direction north wards on the day of Makar Sankranti.

The period, beginning from 14 January (Makar Sankranti) lasting till 14 July, is known as Uttarayana (“Uttar” North and “ayan” movement towards).  It is also the last day of the month of Maargazhi, which is the ninth month of the lunar calendar. The Bhagawad Gita deems it as an extremely sacred and auspicious time when Lord Krishna manifests himself most tangibly.  Bhishma Pitamah in Mahabharata also waited for this period (not day) to relieve his body.  Uttarayana is considered to be the holiest half of the year. In Bhagavad Gita, the Lord says, “I am Uttarayana among the Ayanas.”

In chapter 8 shloka 24 Lord Krishna has said “Those who know the Supreme Brahman attain that Supreme by passing away from the world during the influence of the fiery god, in the light, at an auspicious moment of the day, during the fortnight of the waxing moon, or during the six months when the sun travels in the north.”

The earth, farthest from the sun at this point of time, starts its journey towards the sun, thus ending the coldest month of the year (peak winter), Paush, and announcing the start of the month of Magh.

As per the “Puranas” Dakshinayana (The other six month period) is the night of the deities whereas Uttarayana is their day. It’s the time to take a dip in the Ganges at sun rise and at sunset and say good bye to winter foods.

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

Human body needs servicing too!

By Dr K K Aggarwal
Filed Under Wellness | Tagged With: , , , , , | | Comments Off on Human body needs servicing too!

While automobile vehicles need preventive servicing every three months, the human body needs it every two months.

According to Ayurveda, the seasons change every two months, approximately in the middle of the month.

Ayurveda describes these changes and precautions to be taken in great detail. The current makar rashi season, which starts today with sun changing its direction northwards resulting into lengthening of day and shortening of night time needs many lifestyle changes to balance health and prevent diseases. Vata gets aggravated, kapha gets accumulated and pitta gets depleted in this season.

In allopathic language, pitta denotes metabolic functions, vata signifies movement functions and kapha stands for secretory functions of the body.

Lohri, Makar Sankranti and Pongal are celebrated with khichdi, milk, gur, bhaat, sesame (Til) laddu, light hot food and beverages, etc. all indicating measures to reduce vata and kapha and to increase pitta in the body.

Who is a good teacher?

By Dr K K Aggarwal
Filed Under Health Care - Ask Dr KK | Tagged With: , , | | Comments Off on Who is a good teacher?

A good teacher is the one who follows the principles of listening first, teaching in detail till confusion arises and then teaching with reasoning while going into the minutest details and finally summarizing the ‘take–home’ messages.

This is how Lord Krishna discoursed to Arjuna in Bhagavad Gita. In the first chapter, he only listens, in the second, he gives detailed counseling and from chapters 2 to 17, he gives reasoning and in 18th chapter, he revises.

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

Eating Out Tips

By Dr K K Aggarwal
Filed Under Wellness | Tagged With: , , , , | | Comments Off on Eating Out Tips

  1. Curb portions: Always order for one if you are two people and if you are alone set aside some of what is on your plate to bring    home.
  2. Resist refined carbohydrates.
  3. Load your plate with colorful choices at the salad bar with vegetables, fruits, and small amounts of lean protein. Skip the creamy dressings.
  4. Choose dishes that are grilled, roasted, steamed, or sautéed.
  5. Don’t be afraid to request a salad, vegetables, or fruit instead of starchy side dishes.
  6. In non–vegetarian food, order only fish or seafood.
  7. If you decide to have dessert, share it with your dining companion(s).

Desire, Hatred and Ignorance

By Dr K K Aggarwal
Filed Under Spirituality - Science Behind Rituals | Tagged With: , , , , , | | Comments Off on Desire, Hatred and Ignorance

According to Buddhism, the three negative emotions that cause disease are ignorance, hatred and desire. Accordingly, physical sickness are classified into three main types.

  1. Disorders of desire (Ayurvedic equivalent of Vata imbalance): These are due to disharmony of the wind or energy. The seed of these disorders are located in the lower part of the body. It has cold preferences and is affected by mental desires. In this, the person mainly suffers from the disorders of movement functions.
  2. Disorders of hatred (Ayurveda equivalent of Pitta imbalance): It is due to disharmony of the bile. The seed of these disorders is centered in the middle and upper part of the body and is caused by the mental emotion of hate. The person suffers from metabolic and digestive abnormalities.
  3. Disorders of ignorance (Ayurveda equivalent of Kapha imbalance): It is due to the disharmony of phlegm, the seed of which is generally centered in the chest or in the head and the disorder is cold in nature. It is caused by the mental emotion of ignorance.

Desire, hatred and ignorance are the main negativities mentioned in Buddha’s philosophy. They are all produced in the mind, and once produced they behave like a slow poison. The Udanavarga once said, “From iron appears rust, and rust eats the iron”, “Likewise, the careless actions (karma) that we perform lead us to hellish lives.

According to the other scriptures, six afflictions are most troublesome, namely ignorance, hatred, desire, miserliness, jealousy and arrogance. Patience is the most potent virtue a person can acquire. According to the Shanti Deva, “There is no evil like hatred, and there is no fortitude like patience. Therefore, dedicate your life to the practice of patience.”

Bhagvad Gita classifies the enemies as Kama, Krodha, Lobha, Moha and Ahankara; of these, Kama, Lobha and Ahankara, are the three gateways to hell.

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

Kidney patients more at risk for future heart attacks

By Dr K K Aggarwal
Filed Under Wellness | Tagged With: , , , | | Comments Off on Kidney patients more at risk for future heart attacks

Chronic kidney disease patients with kidney function less than 60% are included in the list of criteria for defining people at highest risk for future heart attacks. In a large cohort Canadian study published in The Lancet led by Dr Marcello Tonelli at University of Alberta, patients with only chronic kidney disease had a significantly higher rate of heart attacks than those who only had diabetes. Those who had already had a heart attack had the highest overall rate of heart attacks.

Chronic kidney disease should be regarded as a coronary heart disease risk equivalent, similar to diabetes, as patients with the condition have high rates of cardiovascular events, particularly when they also have proteinuria. When chronic kidney disease was defined more stringently with kidney function less than 45% and increased proteinuria, the rate of first heart attack was higher in those with both chronic kidney disease and diabetes than in those with either disorder alone.

What is the importance of silence?

By Dr K K Aggarwal
Filed Under Spirituality - Science Behind Rituals | Tagged With: , , , , , , | | Comments Off on What is the importance of silence?

True silence is the silence between the thoughts and represents the true self, consciousness or the soul. It is a web of energized information ready to take all provided there is a right intent. Meditation is the process of achieving silence. Observing silence is another way of deriving benefits of meditation. Many yogis in the past have recommended and observed silence now and then. Mahatma Gandhi spent one day in silence every week. He believed that abstaining from speaking brought him inner peace and happiness. On all such days he communicated with others only by writing on paper.

Hindu principles also talk about a correlation between mauna (silence) and shanti (harmony). Mauna Ekadashi is a ritual followed traditionally in our country. On this day the person is not supposed to speak at all and observes complete silence all through the day and night. It gives immense peace to the mind and strength to the body. In Jainism, this ritual has a lot of importance. Nimith was a great saint in Jainism who long ago asked all Jains to observe this vrata. Some people recommend that on every ekadashi one should observe silence for few hours, if not the whole day.

In his book, The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success, Deepak Chopra talks in great detail about the importance of observing silence in day to day life. He recommends that everyone should observe silence for 20 minutes every day. Silence helps to redirect our imagination towards self. Even Swami Sivananda in his teachings recommends observation of mauna daily for 2 hours. For ekadashi, take milk and fruits every day, study one chapter of Bhagwad Gita daily, do regular charity and donate one-tenth of your income in the welfare of the society. Ekadashi is the 11th day of Hindu lunar fortnight. It is the day of celebration, occurring twice a month, meant for meditation and increasing soul consciousness.

Vinoba Bhave was a great sage of our country known for his Bhoodaan movement. He was a great advocator and practical preacher of mauna vrata.

Mauna means silence and vrata means vow; hence, mauna vrata means a vow of silence. Mauna was practiced by saints to end enmity and recoup their enmity. Prolonged silence as the form of silence is observed by the rishi munis involved for prolonged periods of silence. Silence is a source of all that exists. Silence is where consciousness dwells. There is no religious tradition that does not talk about silence. It breaks the outward communication and forces a dialogue towards inner communication. This is one reason why all prayers, meditation and worship or any other practice whether we attune our mind to the spiritual consciousness within are done in silence.  After the death of a person it is a practice to observe silence for two minutes. The immediate benefit is that it saves a tremendous amount of energy.

Silence is cessation of both sensory and mental activity. It is like having a still mind and listening to the inner mind. Behind this screen of our internal dialogue is the silence of spirit. Meditation is the combination of observing silence and the art of observation.

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

Seven Common Causes of Forgetfulness

By Dr K K Aggarwal
Filed Under Wellness | Tagged With: , , , , | | Comments Off on Seven Common Causes of Forgetfulness

  • Lack of sleep is the most common cause. Too little restful sleep can also lead to mood changes and anxiety, which in turn can contribute to memory impairment.

  • Many drugs can affect memory, which includes tranquilizers, antidepressants, blood pressure drugs and anti–allergic drugs.

  • Low functioning thyroid can affect memory.

  • Drinking too much alcohol can interfere with short–term memory.

  • Stress and anxiety can lead to memory impairment. Both can interfere with attention and block the formation of new memory or retrieval of old memories.

  • Forgetfulness can be a sign of depression or a consequence of it.

  • If you are vegetarian, vitamin B12 deficiency can cause memory impairment.