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Dr K K Aggarwal

Smoking in women can increase risk of colorectal cancer

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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Women who smoke are at twice the risk of developing cancer of the rectum and the risk goes up with the increase in number of cigarettes smoked per day, duration of smoking and older age at smoking cessation.

Women should never smoke. Current smokers are 95% more likely to develop rectal cancer. Younger adults can develop colorectal cancer, but the chances increase markedly after age 50. More than 9 out of 10 people diagnosed with colorectal cancer are older than 50.

A history of adenomatous polyps (adenomas) especially if they are large, increase the risk of cancer.

If you have had colorectal cancer, even though it has been completely removed, you are more likely to develop new cancers in other areas of the colon and rectum. The chances of this happening are greater if you had your first colorectal cancer when you were younger.

Though the no. 1 cancer in women in urban areas is breast cancer and in rural areas is cancer of the cervix, cancer of the rectum is on the rise.

Smoking makes you 5 years older

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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Men have a greater chance of dying then women, and smoking increases any adult’s risk of death just as if five years were suddenly added to their age.

• For men who have never smoked, heart disease presents their greatest risk for death at any age, exceeding the odds of dying from lung, colon and prostate cancer combined.

• Male smokers face a lung cancer risk that is greater than the odds of heart disease taking their lives after age 60, and is 10-fold higher than the chances of dying from prostate and colon cancer combined.

• The chances of dying from heart disease and breast cancer are similar for nonsmoking women until age 60, when heart disease becomes a greater risk.

• For female smokers, dying from lung cancer or heart disease is more likely than dying from breast cancer after age 40.

Don’t ignore women’s health

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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Women are not diagnosed or treated as aggressively as men. Even though more women than men die of heart disease each year, women receive only 33% of all angioplasties, stents and bypass surgeries; 28% of implantable defibrillators and 36% of open-heart surgeries, according to the National Coalition for Women with Heart Disease. Although the traditional risk factors for coronary artery disease — such as high cholesterol, high blood pressure and obesity — have a detrimental impact in men and women, certain factors play a bigger role in the development of heart disease in women.

• Metabolic syndrome — a combination of increased blood pressure, high blood glucose and triglycerides — has a greater impact on women than men.

• Mental stress and depression affect women’s hearts more than they do men’s.

• Smoking is much worse for women than men.

• Low estrogen level before menopause is a significant risk factor for developing microvascular disease.

• Though women will often have some chest pain or discomfort, it may not be the most prominent symptom. Diffuse plaques build-up and diseased smaller arteries are two reasons why symptoms can be different in women.

• In addition to chest pain, pressure or discomfort, signs and symptoms of heart attack in women include: Neck, shoulder, upper back or abdominal discomfort, Shortness of breath, Nausea or vomiting, Sweating, Light-headedness or dizziness and unusual fatigue.

• Endothelial dysfunction is more common in women. In this the lining of the artery does not expand (dilate) properly to boost blood flow during activity, which increases the risk of coronary artery spasm and sudden death.

• WISE study results suggest that the commonly used treatments for coronary artery disease — angioplasty and stenting — are not the best option for women with more diffuse plaques.

• Typical tests for coronary artery disease — angiogram, treadmill testing and others — are not reliable in women.

• The WISE study showed that in some women, plaques accumulate as an evenly spread layer along artery walls, which is not visible using traditional testing methods.

Preventing a Peptic Ulcer

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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An ulcer is a breakdown in the lining of the stomach or the first part of the small intestine. A type of bacterial infection (Helicobacter pylori) is the most frequent cause, but lifestyle factors may also raise the risk. The following preventive steps may ward off a peptic ulcer:

• Limit alcohol to no more than two drinks daily.

• Stop smoking or chewing tobacco.

• If you need to take painkillers, avoid anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as naproxen, ibuprofen or aspirin.

• Consider, with your doctor’s approval, paracetamol instead.

Smoking makes you 5 years older

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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Men have a greater chance of dying then women, and smoking increases any adult’s risk of death just as if five years were suddenly added to their age.

• For men who have never smoked, heart disease presents their greatest risk for death at any age, exceeding the odds of dying from lung, colon and prostate cancer combined.

• Male smokers face a lung cancer risk that is greater than the odds of heart disease taking their lives after age 60, and is tenfold higher than the chance of dying from prostate and colon cancer combined.

• The chances of dying from heart disease and breast cancer are similar for nonsmoking women until age 60, when heart disease becomes a greater risk.

• For female smokers, dying from lung cancer or heart disease is more likely than dying from breast cancer after age 40

Myths

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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• The right skin cream can keep your skin looking young: For reducing wrinkles, the topical treatment with the best evidence behind it is retinoic acid (as in Retin-A). The best ways to keep wrinkles at bay are using sunscreen and not smoking.

• Antibacterial soap is best for keeping your skin clean: Many experts are concerned that the use of antibacterial soap could lead to more antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Antibacterial soap is not necessary for everyday use. Regular soap is fine. Thorough and consistent hand-washing, not antibacterial soap, is what helps prevent the spread of infection.

Smoking makes you 5 years older

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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Men have a greater chance of dying then women, and smoking increases risk of death for adults just as if five years were suddenly added to their age.

  • For men who have never smoked, heart disease presents their greatest risk for death at any age, exceeding the odds of dying from lung, colon and prostate cancer combined.
  • Male smokers face a lung cancer risk that is greater than the odds of heart disease taking their lives after age 60, and is tenfold higher than the chance of dying from prostate and colon cancer combined.
  • The chances of dying from heart disease and breast cancer are similar for nonsmoking women until age 60, when heart disease becomes a greater risk.
  • For female smokers, dying from lung cancer or heart disease is more likely than dying from breast cancer after age 40.

Sangat and smoking

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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Sewa, Simran and Sangat are the three principles of life as per the most Vedic literature. Even Adi Shankaracharya described Sangat as the main force for living a spiritual life.

Sangat is the company of people you live with. Living in the company of good people makes one good and the reverse is also true.

The same is now being proved in the allopathic context. A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine has shown that when one person quits smoking, than others are likely to follow. One person quitting can cause a ripple effect, making others more likely to kick the habit.

  1. If your spouse stops smoking, you are 67 percent less likely to continue smoking.
  2. If your friend kicks the habit, it’s about 36 percent less likely that you’ll be smoking.
  3. When a sibling gives up cigarettes, your risk of smoking decreases by 25 percent.
  4. Your risk of smoking drops by 34 percent if a co–worker in a small office quits smoking. It is sort of like watching dominoes. If one falls, it very quickly causes others to fall.

We should treat people in groups, rather than as individuals. Friends and family need to be involved. If you want to quit, try to get close friends and family to quit as well.

Quitting smoking may have the side benefit of improving social well–being, just as it improves physical health.

Weight gain after quitting smoking does not increase the risk of heart disease

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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In a study published in Journal of American Association, researchers from Switzerland have shown that in non–diabetics, weight gain after quitting smoking does not take away the cardiovascular benefits of quitting smoking. 

There is a net cardiovascular benefit of smoking cessation despite subsequent weight gain. Smoking cessation is always beneficial for smokers. 

People gain 6 to 8 pounds of weight after quitting smoking. In the study, quitting smoking was also linked with a decreased risk of heart attack or cardiac death compared to smokers.

Sangat and smoking

By Dr K K Aggarwal
Filed Under Wellness | Tagged With: , , | | Comments Off on Sangat and smoking

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

Sangat is the company of people you live with. Living in the company of good people makes one good and the reverse is also true.

The same is now being proved in the allopathic context. A new research published in the New England Journal of Medicine has shown that when one person quits smoking, than others are likely to follow. One person quitting can cause a ripple effect, making others more likely to kick the habit.

  1. If your spouse stops smoking, you’re 67 percent less likely to continue smoking.
  2. If your friend kicks the habit, it’s about 36 percent less likely that you’ll be smoking.
  3. When a sibling gives up cigarettes, your risk of smoking decreases by 25 percent.
  4. It drops by 34 percent if a co–worker in a small office quits smoking. It’s sort of like watching dominoes. If one falls, it very quickly causes others to fall.

We should treat people in groups, rather than as individuals. Friends and family need to be involved. If you want to quit, try to get close friends and family to quit as well.

Quitting smoking may have the side benefit of improving social well-being, just as it improves physical health.

Smoking makes you 5 years older

By Dr K K Aggarwal
Filed Under Wellness | Tagged With: , , | | Comments Off on Smoking makes you 5 years older

Men have a greater chance of dying then women, and smoking increases any adult’s risk of death just as if five years were suddenly added to their age.

  • For men who have never smoked, heart disease presents their greatest risk for death at any age, exceeding the odds of dying from lung, colon and prostate cancer combined.
  • Male smokers face a lung cancer risk that is greater than the odds of heart disease taking their lives after age 60, and is tenfold higher than the chance of dying from prostate and colon cancer combined.
  • The chances of dying from heart disease and breast cancer are similar for nonsmoking women until age 60, when heart disease becomes a greater risk.
  • For female smokers, dying from lung cancer or heart disease is more likely than dying from breast cancer after age 40.

Weight gain after quitting smoking does not increase the risk of heart disease

By Dr K K Aggarwal
Filed Under Wellness | Tagged With: , , , , | | Comments Off on Weight gain after quitting smoking does not increase the risk of heart disease

In a study published in Journal of American Association, researchers from Switzerland have shown that in non–diabetics, weight gain after quitting smoking does not take away the cardiovascular benefits of quitting smoking.

There is a net cardiovascular benefit of smoking cessation despite subsequent weight gain. Smoking cessation is always beneficial for smokers.

People gain 6–8 pounds of weight after quitting smoking. In the study, quitting smoking was also linked with a decreased risk of heart attack or cardiac death compared to smokers.

Sangat and smoking

By Dr K K Aggarwal
Filed Under Wellness | Tagged With: , , , , | | Comments Off on Sangat and smoking

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

Sangat is the company of people you live with. Living in the company of good people makes one good and the reverse is also true.

The same is now being proved in the allopathic context. A new research published in the New England Journal of Medicine has shown that when one person quits smoking, than others are likely to follow. One person quitting can cause a ripple effect, making others more likely to kick the habit.

  1. If your spouse stops smoking, you’re 67 percent less likely to continue smoking.
  2. If your friend kicks the habit, it’s about 36 percent less likely that you’ll be smoking.
  3. When a sibling gives up cigarettes, your risk of smoking decreases by 25 percent.
  4. Your risk of smoking drops by 34 percent if a co–worker in a small office quits smoking. It’s sort of like watching dominoes. If one falls, it very quickly causes others to fall.

We should treat people in groups, rather than as individuals. Friends and family need to be involved. If you want to quit, try to get close friends and family to quit as well.

Quitting smoking may have the side benefit of improving social well–being, just as it improves physical health.

The Five Interior Powers

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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To be in a state of happiness, bliss and ananda is what the ultimate goal of life is. Everybody is born with certain inherent powers, which if cultivated in the right direction will lead to inner happiness.

The ancient Shiva Sutra text talks about the concept of Shiva and Shakti. Shiva is silence, Shakti is power; Shiva is creativity, Shakti is creation; Shiva is love, Shakti is loving.

In computer terminology, Shiva is the knowledge or the information and Shakti is the operational software. Shiva and Shakti both together form consciousness, in other words, the soul.

Shiva sutra – teaching about Shiva – describes five inherent powers of Shakti which everybody is born with. These are “Chitta Shakti”, “Ananda Shakti”, “Gyan (Gnana) Shakti”, “Ichha Shakti” and “Kriya Shakti”.

Kriya Shakti is the one which is most visible. Kriya is not same as karma. Karma is action born of cause and effect. Kriya Shakti is at the level of body and mind.

Ichha Shakti is the inherent desires which control the mind. Gyan Shakti is the inherent desire to learn and is at the level of intellect. Both Ananda and Chitta Shakti are at the level of consciousness and represent the desires or aim to be blissful.

These five powers also decide the needs of a person, which can be at the level of physical body, mind, intellect, ego or the soul. The needs activate the Shakti which in turn leads to action. The purpose of life should be to direct the needs and the Shaktis towards the soul and not towards the ego. The power of Kriya Shakti should have all the actions directed towards the soul; Gyan Shakti should be directed towards the knowledge of the true self; Ichha Shakti towards the desire or intention to unite with the self; Anand Shakti and Chitta Shakti towards the awareness of God and to experience the bliss of God.

All thoughts, speech or actions in life should be directed on two basic goals providing happiness to others and ending up with self–happiness. Every action and relationship in life should involve these five powers to attain inner happiness.

Most computers in the body require a key to get activated and the key in the case of Shakti is “intention or intent”. Intentions are something, which are under the control of a person, or one can practice control over them.

“Intention” always requires the association of its buddy “attention” with it. Attention is the focus of action on that particular intention. The combination of intention and attention can change perceptions of life and ultimately change the reality. It has been an old Upanishad saying that you are what your thoughts are. Right intention leads to the right thought; the right thought to right action; the right action to the right habit; the right habit to the right character and the right character leads you to what you are. The punch–line, therefore, is to have right intention which should be directed towards one of the five Shakti to acquire spiritual well-being.

Health is not mere absence of disease but a state of physical, mental, social, environmental and spiritual well–being. Spiritual well–being now has been added as the fifth dimension of the health. It has been said that the body is the largest pharmaceutical armamentarium in the world and has the capacity to produce each and every drug available in the universe. This is based on the fact that no drug can go into the body without a receptor. The very fact the body has a receptor for every drug means it has the capacity to produce that drug.

All yogic paths to liberation are also directed towards these Shakti. One adopts karma Marg by activating Kriya Shakti, Gyan Marg by activating Gyan Shakti and Bhakti Marg by activating Ichha Shakti.

Faulty lifestyle also involves distractions of three of these powers: Ichha, Gyan or Kriya Shakti. Correct lifestyle involves the correct use of Kriya Shakti in doing actions, correct use of Gyan Shakti by acquiring knowledge about self and healthy behavior and correct use of Ichha Shakti by learning the dos and don’ts of life and controlling the mind towards various addictions of life, which can be addition of food, sex, drugs, alcohol, smoking, sleeping, not walking and or eating faulty Rajsik cum Tamsik high refined carbohydrate diet.

Hookah as bad as smoking

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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An hour of puffs from a hookah packs the same carbon monoxide punch as a pack–a–day cigarette habit.

Hookahs have grown in popularity in recent years and Hookah bars have appeared in cities all over the world that allow people to smoke these water pipes.

Users inhale tobacco smoke after it bubbles through water, a process that some people think filters toxins from the tobacco.

Hammond and a student, in a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, recruited 27 students who smoked water pipes for an hour on three different evenings in April 2006. Another five students did not smoke the hookahs but stayed in the room with those who did. The participants abstained from water pipe smoking for 84 hours before taking part in the study; the bowls of their water pipes were filled with water and 10 grams of Al Fakher mu’assal tobacco, and then heated with charcoal.

Researchers monitored carbon monoxide in the breath of the participants both before and after the experiment using a machine designed to detect if people are smokers.

The exhaled carbon monoxide in participants was an average of 42 parts per million, higher than that reported in cigarette smokers (17 parts per million). The study also found that carbon monoxide levels grew in the room where the subjects smoked hookahs and might reach environmentally unhealthy levels, as determined by the federal government, during longer sessions.

Smoking a water pipe for 45 minutes produces 36 times more tar than smoking a cigarette for five minutes.