|HEALTH & FITNESS|
or vertigo: go in for exercises
look better with wrinkle-free skin
Britain: the sick heart of Europe
early treatment can help teens
or vertigo: go in for exercises
Dizziness and vertigo are among the common complaints encountered by physicians in their day-to-day practice. Dizziness or giddiness is the feeling of light-headedness, confusion and fainting associated with the loss of balance.
Vertigo is also a kind of dizziness where there is a feeling of whirling/spinning on motion. This is usually associated with the fear of falling. At times this could be alarming as it induces fear and the loss of confidence.
Dizziness occurs due to decreased blood flow to the brain, causing light-headedness. The poor circulation could be blamed as narrowing of arteries occurring in individuals suffering from high blood pressure, diabetes or high blood fat levels.
Vertigo occurs due to a problem in the vestibular system in the ear. This leads to headache with nausea, vomiting and anxiety of falling with the movement of the head or the eyes. This can affect the sense of balance, thereby restricting day-to-day activities. Vertigo/dizziness could thus turn out to be one of the leading causes of injuries, especially hip fracture, among people over 65 years of age.
Conditions affecting the vestibular system and causing vertigo: Meniere’s disease: There is usually swelling in the inner ear leading to an attack of spinning/whirling on motion and losing of balance. The vertigo could last from 20 minutes to around two hours or longer. There may be associated temporary hearing loss, feeling of fullness and ringing in the affected ear.
Benign positional vertigo: There is sudden feeling of spinning while the head is rotated/moved in bed. Pressure builds up in the inner ear due to the blockage to the flow of liquid. The culprit could be a small stone of calcium carbonate crystals in the semi- circular canal of the inner ear. In this particular condition, the person experiences spinning with or without nausea on moving the head. Positional vertigo usually does not last more than a minute. This situation bothers the individual but is in no way dangerous.
Vertigo/dizziness is encountered where the head is pushed back to look up — such as when women get their hair shampooed at a beauty parlour.
Diagnosis is of critical importance as treatment is undertaken on an individual basis. Treatment is usually conservative.
Repositioning maneuver provides immediate relief, but this can only be performed by an expert as it entails movement of the head in different positions in order to effectively treat the patients suffering from positional vertigo instantly.
Home Remedy: Sit straight up in bed, then moving into the side lying position with the head angled upward. Return to a sitting position. Repeat it on the other side. This should be performed three times per day for two to three weeks.
The aim of the home exercise programme is to relax the muscles of the neck and shoulders, to improve the balance and train the eye-movements and ultimately to restore and enhance self-confidence. This comprises balance and coordination exercise and gait training.
Exercises should always be initiated slowly while sitting. As dizziness decreases, exercises should be done in a standing position. All exercises should be done three times a day.
Eye exercises —- at first slow, then quickly.
Up and down
Side to side
Focus on finger at arm’s length.
Head exercise – head movements in the forward/backward, side ways direction at first slowly, then quickly.
1.Shrugging of shoulders with rotation.
2.Rotate the head and shoulders slowly, then quickly.
3.Rotate the head, shoulders and trunk with eyes opened, then closed.
Treatment in all the cases of vertigo/dizziness, irrespective of the cause, should be initiated at the earliest. If not done so an individual can develop a fear psychosis as he/she is unable to pursue daily chores, loses self-confidence and may also suffer from depression. Exercises are simple and can be performed at home but under proper guidance to ensure quick recovery.
look better with wrinkle-free skin
Some wrinkles are superficial, some can be deeper. The good news is that almost all wrinkles can be either prevented, or at least successfully treated! But once wrinkles are in place, you can add to your health regime successively, as needed, one of these three methods to eliminate them. The three R’s are resurfacing, recontouring and redraping. The result will be a fresher, happier, more youthful-looking you.
Resurfacing affects the texture of the skin and eliminates the tiny surface wrinkles. Wrinkles from previous sun exposure or smoking can be corrected under the care of a dermatologist with creams, such as products with alpha-hydroxy acids or retinoic acid. People benefit enormously from medical treatments such as chemical peels, microdermabrasion, or laser resurfacing.
Recontouring eliminates the deep wrinkles of facial expression such as horizontal forehead wrinkles, the crease between the eyebrows (from furrowing the brow), the little lines above and below the lips and around the eyes, as well as the deep, vertical creases above and below the mouth. Recontouring can only be accomplished with medical treatments by a dermatologist.
Dermal fillers fill in deep creases or furrows and the treatment involves injecting hyaluronic acid (restylene) using a fine needle inserted at several points. Restylene is available in three forms — restylene (fine lines), restylene and perlane.
If you are relatively happy with the shape of your face and just want to turn the clock back, then dermal fillers are the answer. While the results of these injectable last only a limited period of time, they provide a quick cosmetic boost to the looks and psyche. They are fast, easy and entail no recovery time. A lunch time visit is all its takes.
Redraping eliminates the surplus, sagging skin of baggy eyes or jowls. Redraping can be accomplished by a variety of effective surgical methods such as an eye tuck (or blephoplasty), liposuction of the chin, a forehead lift or a full face-lift.
Botox is a toxin derived from a bacteria and when injected it works by paralysing the connection between the muscles and the nerves thus erasing unwanted lines. The safety profile is excellent and the major advantage is that its effects are temporary and reversible.
Today you can "live longer and feel better" than ever in history. You can also suit your appearance to your enhanced good health. It’s entirely up to you. If you wish to appear as young as you feel, today’s medical science has given us effective means. Your dermatologist can be your partner in this effort.
The writer is Chief Dermatologist, Mohan Dai Oswal Cancer Treatment and Research Foundation, Ludhiana.
Britain: the sick heart of Europe
Heart disease, the most preventable health threat facing Britain today, is costing the economy (pounds sterling) 29bn a year. Rising rates of obesity, an ageing population and the soaring prescription bills for heart drugs such as statins mean that the bill is likely to rise in the future.
In the first study of its kind to calculate the financial burden of cardiovascular disease (CVD), analysts found that the UK is spending more healthcare money on the condition than any other European country. They said that more effort and money should go into preventing CVD through diet and exercise rather than current policies which have focused on improving access to drugs. In Britain, more people die of coronary heart disease and strokes than cancer.
Peter Weissberg, medical director of the British Heart Foundation, said: "This study should stimulate policy-makers to reconsider public health measures to reduce the massive burden of cardiovascular disease in the UK.
"The unfortunate thing is that we know much of this disease burden could be reduced or even abolished with appropriate public health measures such as reducing smoking, increasing opportunities for exercise and improving the nation’s diet.
"Although it might be expensive to provide facilities such as playing fields and gyms, today’s research shows that it is much more expensive not to."
Britain has one of the world’s highest rates of CVD, which covers a range of illnesses including coronary heart disease, strokes, angina and hypertension. Researchers from the Health Economics Research Centre at Oxford University calculated that the NHS spent (pounds sterling)15.7bn on treating CVD in 2004 — 21 per cent of the entire health service budget. Germany spends 15 per cent of its health budget on CVD while France spends just 8 per cent.
Almost 70 million working days were lost due to the diseases and, with other costs to productivity, this added up to (pounds sterling) 7bn.
When the economic burden of informal care for people with CVD by their relatives was included, along with other factors such as private healthcare bills, the total cost to the UK was (pounds sterling) 29.11bn a year. The study, published in the medical journal Heart, concluded: "Our study highlights the public health problem CVD poses in the UK in terms of economic burden."
The government has pledged to reduce deaths from coronary heart disease by 40 per cent by 2010. Heart deaths fell by 7 per cent in 2004 and experts say progress is being made on treating the diseases but not enough is being done to prevent them.
Dr Georgias of the Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire Strategic Health Authority warned that the costs of CVD were likely to rise, despite the falling death rate.
He said that rising rates of obesity and the associated increase in adult-onset diabetes will both impede the progress being made on heart disease and strokes.
Only a third of men and a quarter of women take the recommended level of exercise and more than half of adults are overweight or obese.
— The Independent
HOUSTON: In a significant step towards potential treatment of Type-I diabetes, researchers in the US have developed a novel technique to deliver insulin genes to the pancreas, the organ that produces the hormone.
The results of the research at Baylor University Medical Centre in Dallas and the Baylor Research Institute were published in the May 2006 issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
The approach is considered as a major development as patients with the disease donot produce enough insulin on their own.
Insulin is a hormone that allows blood glucose (blood sugar) to enter the cells of the body to be used for energy.
The technique, known as ultrasound-targeted microbubble destruction (UTMD), delivers these insulin genes to the organ via microscopic bubbles.
Once the bubbles reach their target, they are burst with ultrasound releasing the insulin genes into the pancreas. — PTI
Cats cause of eczema in new-born
WASHINGTON: They may be cute and cuddly, but if you’re a couple getting ready to start a family then you better be aware that exposure to pet cats can increase the risk of new-born babies developing the skin disease eczema, according to a new study presented at the American Thoracic Society International Conference on May 21.
The study, which included 486 children who had been followed since birth, also found that being exposed to two or more dogs at home had a slightly protective, but not significant, effect on the children’s risk of developing eczema.
As a part of the study, the researchers, led by Esmeralda Morales, Pediatric Pulmonary Fellow at the University of Arizona in Tucson, questioned parents over the number of cats and dogs present in the house at the time the child was born, and then followed up one year later to see which children had been diagnosed with eczema.— ANI
NEW YORK: A study of a class of commonly used cholesterol-lowering drugs called statins, used by patients with enlarged hearts (dilated cardiomyopathy) shows that these patients had significant reductions in mortality, which was due in large measure to an anti-arrhythmic effect.
Investigators with the multicenter Defibrillators in Nonischemic Cardiomyopathy Treatment Evaluation (DEFINITE) trial evaluated the survival benefit and effect of statin therapy on sudden cardiac death in 458 patients with cardiomyopathy. Of the total, 229 patients were randomly selected to receive an implantable cardioverter defibrillator to correct their abnormal heart rhythm. These devices are programmed to detect these abnormalities, and to then deliver a shock to restore normal heart rhythm.— Reuters
Painkillers risky for heart
NEW YORK: Patients who use non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), which include over-the-counter analgesics such as ibuprofen or naproxen, have a small increased risk of experiencing a first hospitalization for heart failure, researchers from Spain report. They also found that for patients with pre-existing heart failure, NSAIDs may worsen the condition, triggering the need for hospital admission.
This increased risk may have ‘’considerable public health impact,’’ particularly among the elderly, the population most at risk for heart failure, notes the study team in a report in the journal Heart. — Reuters
WASHINGTON: Even as fertility procedures such as in-vitro fertilization and donor insemination become more commonplace day-by-day, a new study has researchers warning people that even after thorough screenings of sperm donors, genetic disorders can be transmitted to the child conceived through such procedures.
The study, by Laurence Boxer and colleagues from the University of Michigan and the Severe Chronic Neutropenia International Registry, was based on the findings of an investigation of the cases of five children conceived by in-vitro fertilization or donor insemination who had severe congenital neutropenia (SCN) — a genetic disorder characterized by abnormally low levels of certain white blood cells in the body that fight bacterial infections by destroying invading bacteria.
People with SCN are more susceptible to recurring infections and are at greater risk of developing leukemia. — ANI
Hypertension: early treatment can help teens
WASHINGTON: A study has found that teenagers diagnosed with prehypertension can be prevented from developing hypertension and related complications later in life if they start treatment early on.
Dr Bonita Falkner, professor of medicine and paediatrics at Thomas Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia, examined data from the National Childhood Blood Pressure Database, comparing single blood-pressure readings taken two years apart among 4,147 boys and 4,386 girls between the ages of 13 and 15 years.
They found that there was a linear increase from normal blood pressure, to prehypertension, to hypertension in the percentage of adolescents classified with hypertension at the second examination.
"These findings are valuable, because while an adult’s current blood pressure level is the strongest indicator of that individual’s blood pressure in the future, the variability of blood pressure in the young make it less clear how well blood pressure classification at any particular point in time predicts subsequent blood pressure classification in an otherwise healthy adolescent population," said Falkner. — ANI