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Dr K K Aggarwal

Cigarettes should be regulated

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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Electronic cigarettes are a new fad in the society. Not only adults, children too are getting hooked to them. They are easily available through Internet and can be ordered and purchased in Indian rupees. In its policy statement on e-cigarettes, published in the journal Circulation, the American Heart Association has asked the federal government to ban the sale of e-cigarettes to minors on the lines of the ban of cigarettes and smokeless tobacco products. The report has shown concern about the industries marketing and advertising e–cigarettes to children. In the US alone, there are 466 brands and 7764 unique flavors of e–cigarette products available. These flavors have been specifically designed to attract the youth. For the youth, an e-cigarette is high–tech, interesting and cool. In the US and in the west, an alarming number of middle and high school children are experimenting with e–cigarettes. It has also been seen that in experimental e–cigarette users, converting to regular smoking is very high. The efficacy of e–cigarettes as a primary smoking cessation therapy has not been established. A recent study published in the March 2017 of the journal JAMA Cardiology has shown an association of habitual e-cigarette use with increased cardiovascular risk.

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, elevated 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.

• A low level of estrogen 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.

• Results of the WISE study suggest that the commonly used treatments for coronary artery disease — angioplasty and stenting — are not the best options 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.

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 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% less likely to continue smoking.

2. If your friend kicks the habit, it’s about 36% less likely that you’ll be smoking.

3. When a sibling gives up cigarettes, your risk of smoking decreases by 25%.

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.

People should be treated 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.

Avoid chocolate for heartburn

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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People with heartburn should avoid chocolate as it can worsen heartburn. They should also avoid other reflux-inducing foods (fatty foods, peppermint and excessive alcohol, which may reduce lower esophageal sphincter pressure). A number of beverages have a very acidic pH and can exacerbate symptoms. These include colas, red wine and orange juice (pH 2.5 to 3.9). Promotion of salivation by either chewing gum or use of oral lozenges may also be helpful in mild heartburn. Salivation neutralizes refluxed acid, thereby increasing the rate of esophageal acid clearance.

Restriction of alcohol use and elimination of smoking; smoking is deleterious in part because it diminishes salivation.

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
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 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
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 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.