HEALTH & FITNESS

50 pc diabetes cases preventable
Vibhor Mohan
HE has a vision for healthcare services in Punjab and advocates some radical changes like the introduction of multi-professional education to do away with the watertight compartmentalisation of the vocational curriculum. Prof J.S.Bajaj, who is the new deputy chairman of the Punjab Planning Board, revealed a lot about his healthcare plans in an interview with The Tribune the other day.
                                                                                      Prof J.S. Bajaj
Prof J.S. Bajaj

Ayurveda & You
Lifestyle to blame for stones in urinary tract
Dr R. Vatsyayan
CALLED urolithiasis in medical parlance and referred to as “ashmari” in ayurvedic literature, urinary tract stones and their related problems form an important part of medical practice. These stones are hard, semi-hard or fragile mineral and crystalline material formed in either place of the urinary tract like the kidneys, ureters or the bladder. The most common type of urinary stones contain calcium in combination with either oxalate or phosphate.

Want immediate relief? Think of spine manipulation
Dr Ravinder Chadha
MANIPULATION of the spine has been used since ancient times to treat neck and back pain by Egyptians and Greeks. The concept of manipulation was initiated in India by therapists to provide prompt relief from pain, but sadly it was not continued as individuals performing such manipulations were very few and most were not adequately educated in the field of anatomy and physiology (which is indeed the basis for such manipulations).

Health Notes

  • New blood test to detect stroke within minutes

  • Asians taking over 3 drinks a day at increased stroke risk

  • Smokers at greater risk of developing psoriasis

 

 

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50 pc diabetes cases preventable
Vibhor Mohan

HE has a vision for healthcare services in Punjab and advocates some radical changes like the introduction of multi-professional education to do away with the watertight compartmentalisation of the vocational curriculum. Prof J.S.Bajaj, who is the new deputy chairman of the Punjab Planning Board, revealed a lot about his healthcare plans in an interview with The Tribune the other day.

Question: Do you think it is feasible to complement allopathic treatment with ayurvedic and unani therapies?

Answer: Why not? Treatment is supposed to be a team work and all systems of medicine should be put to use to make sure that the patient recovers. In fact, the patient should have the right to decide what kind of treatment he wants to go in for. The artificial divide between the modern and Indian systems of medicine needs to be removed so that a unified faculty of complementary medicine, interacting closely with the conventional faculty of mainstream medicine is achieved. Portions of subjects like informatics technology could also be included in the MBBS curriculum to better equip the would-be doctors.

Q: You are now the deputy chairman of the Punjab Planning Board. What would be your agenda?

A: To begin with, we would set up de-addiction centres in all district hospitals of the state in a year’s time. In case of 50-bedded hospitals, 10 beds would be reserved for de-addiction cases and the number would be doubled in the case of 100-bedded hospitals.

The nodal set-up would be in Amritsar, where a state-of-the-art laboratory would come up, which would be equipped to detect the presence of narcotics in blood and urine samples. The chunk of land lying between Mental Hospital and Guru Nanak Dev Hospital has been identified for this.

Q: Would you also focus on the follow up to the treatment to make sure the addicts don’t go back to drugs?

A: First of all, the project would have the unique concept of day-care, wherein collaboration would be worked out with NGOs to devise ways to keep the patients away from drugs. For instance, if listening to Gurbani or Gayatri Mantra helps someone, tapes would be played for such a patient.

Besides, community extension services would also be provided to make sure that after being discharged from the hospital, patients don’t face indifference from their relatives and friends and are absorbed back into the social fold.

Q: As it has been pointed out, 75 per cent people are still deprived of medical services. What would you suggest as a solution to this?

A: Before we begin with the reforms, it is important to get feedback about the ground realities. Therefore, a high-powered review panel has been constituted and its first meeting was held on October 25. The protocol has been chalked out and the committee would not only carry out a medical audit, collecting figures about bed occupancy and strength of doctors, but would also take feedback from patients on the lines of exit polls during elections. This would give a complete picture of the status of health care in Punjab, bringing out the areas that need improvement.

Q: You also make a case for using music therapy for treatment, don’t you?

A: Music therapy is a recognised system of medicine as the therapeutic use of sound-based activities helps in the treatment of somatic and mental diseases. In the US, the field of alternative and complementary medicine is growing rapidly. In 2002, according to a US government survey of approximately 31,000 people, more than a third of American adults use such practices. If prayer is included as an alternative form of therapy, then 62 per cent of American adults are estimated to use non-conventional treatment.

Q: You presented a research paper on the “Management of diabetes mellitus: principles and practices” wherein you elaborated on the spread of diabetes in India. How serious is the problem?

A: Type 2 diabetes mellitus is a major cause of morbidity and mortality all over the world. Early diagnosis of diabetes, and achieving the normal blood glucose level by appropriate management can prevent or delay the onset of chronic complications. At least 75 per cent of the diabetes patients are unaware of their disease, resulting in a long delay in the diagnosis and its management.

For every known person with diabetes in India, there are at least three people who are unaware of the disease affecting them.At least half of all cases of Type-2 diabetes can be prevented if weight gain in adults is avoided.

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Ayurveda & You
Lifestyle to blame for stones in urinary tract
Dr R. Vatsyayan

CALLED urolithiasis in medical parlance and referred to as “ashmari” in ayurvedic literature, urinary tract stones and their related problems form an important part of medical practice. These stones are hard, semi-hard or fragile mineral and crystalline material formed in either place of the urinary tract like the kidneys, ureters or the bladder. The most common type of urinary stones contain calcium in combination with either oxalate or phosphate.

Ancient sage-surgeon Acharya Sushruta had clearly mentioned wrong diet and faulty lifestyle to be the major cause of urinary stones. While taking a high-protein diet and being regularly dehydrated are the most common risk factors, excessive use of tea, coffee, alcohol and sweets, taking more of acidic and less of alkaline food and restraining natural urges like thirst, urine or stool have also been cited as important reasons for stone formation. Apart from a certain heredity predisposition, some of the medical conditions like raised uric acid and hyperthyroidism and use of some medicines are also known reasons for this problem. Men are more likely to get urinary stones than women.

Usually, an episode of colic associated with urinary stones runs through a typical mode. There may be sudden pain in the abdomen, which may radiate towards the lower abdomen and the genitals. In a severe attack, the patient may perspire, and vomiting is an important sign. Some patients complain of pain in the back and flanks with burning micturation or passing of little urine with a tinge of blood. Many times an attack is precipitated with dietary indiscretion or on taking less of liquids, especially during summers when water balance in the body is depleted through sweating. In the case of a secondary infection, low-grade fever is also present.

Nowadays it is not difficult to diagnose a case of urinary tract stone thanks to the advanced and easily available medical technology. Treatment depends upon the cause and the type of stones, and most of these can be treated without surgery. Drinking a lot of water (more than three litres per day in normal conditions) and staying physically active help to pass out stones less than five mm of size. However, in the case of an acute infection, a blockage or a risk of kidney damage, the need for an antibiotic or applying other emergency measures and surgery must be thought about.

Gokhroo, apamarg and pashanbhed are some of the famous herbs having dual properties of a diuretic and stone-breaking agent. Trivikram rasa, chandraprabha vati, shwet parpati, badrashma bhasma and gokshuradi guggul are other classical ayurvedic medicines which are being used for centuries to expel urinary stones. Concomitant use of decoctions of gokhroo, kulthi, barley and roots of five type of grass (trinpanchmool) or the famous varunadi qwath and ashmarihar qwath enhance the effect of any other medicine used for this purpose. Alkaline extracts of barley and apamarg (kshars) also help in breaking and passing out stones along with urine.

In most cases, recurrence of stones is a usual phenomenon. Such patients are advised to take a light and easily digestible diet and keep their body system well hydrated. Uric acid or any other metabolic problem giving rise to stone formation should be treated accordingly. Ayurveda views that avoiding heavy and fried food and staying free from hyperacidity also help prevent the recurrence of stone formation.

The writer is a Ludhiana-based senior ayurvedic physician.

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Want immediate relief? Think of spine manipulation
Dr Ravinder Chadha

MANIPULATION of the spine has been used since ancient times to treat neck and back pain by Egyptians and Greeks. The concept of manipulation was initiated in India by therapists to provide prompt relief from pain, but sadly it was not continued as individuals performing such manipulations were very few and most were not adequately educated in the field of anatomy and physiology (which is indeed the basis for such manipulations).

So, now, like Yoga, the art of spinal manipulation has been integrated effectively into the health set-up in various countries like the US, Australia and South Africa. In-depth studies have been carried out as regards manipulation of all parts of the body with the aim of providing instant pain relief. India is still taking baby steps as orthopaedicians, who usually treat most cases of back/neck pain, are not taught these techniques.

In Western countries, individuals suffering from such problems initially visit a chiropractor/physiotherapist who treats via manipulation/electrotherapies. Few cases are referred to orthopaedicians.

Manipulation is defined as a form of manual therapy which involves the movement of a joint. This leads to the stretching of the capsules thereby creating a negative pressure providing a rapid release of gas into the joint space giving audible sound. Manipulation involves the following:

  • Relaxation of tight muscles
  • Disruption of adhesions
  • Increase in the range of motion
  • Reduction of the disc bulge

In trained hands, spinal manipulation is safe, effective and devoid of any discomfort to the patient.

Manipulation encourages the “stiff” area of the spine to move again and comprises soft tissue massage, mobilisation of the affected area, and firmly and carefully controlled movements (high velocity low amplitude thrusts) which stretch the stiff part often accompanied by a series of “clicks” or “pops”. Each “click” or “pop” represents a spinal joint being released from its restricted state. This mimics the clicking of a knuckle.

These manoeuvres often result in a rapid reduction in spinal muscle spasm and pain accompanied by a noticeable increase in the range of spinal movements. Manipulation combined with regular, specific exercises is an effective method in successfully maintaining the mobility of the stiff area. In cases where there is no improvement, further investigations are to be considered.

The presence of tumours, infections, fractures, nerve root compression due to disc, etc, is a contraindication to manipulation. Special care should be taken to treat the cases of disc prolapse, pregnancy, osteoporosis and vertigo accompanied by neck/back pain.

Prerequisites for effective manipulation

  • Patients should be adequately relaxed so that manual therapy can be undertaken effectively.
  • Also tell the individual that the procedure does give healing energy to human beings but the promises regarding the results should be strictly avoided.
  • Conventional medicines should go hand in hand with alternative medicines (i.e. manipulation).
  • This therapy alleviates muscular and skeletal pain by adjusting the segments of the spine.

It is important to differentiate between the mobilisation of the spine and the manipulation of the spine. Mobilisation is the movement of a joint without using its own muscles and keeping it short of the natural limit of the joint while manipulation is a small movement beyond nature’s normal limit of a joint.

If during manipulation pain radiates to the leg then stop it immediately. Similar instructions should also be followed in unending numbness, bladder weakness, bilateral sciatica and pins/needles in both feet.

Spinal manipulation, if done correctly, is a very effective and safe procedure which provides immediate relief to individuals suffering from neck and back pain.

The writer is a former doctor/physiotherapist, Indian cricket team.

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Health Notes

New blood test to detect stroke within minutes

LONDON: Scientists have developed a simple blood test that could diagnose within minutes whether or not a patient has suffered a stroke.

A stroke occurs when the brain is not getting enough oxygen, either from a clot or a burst blood vessel. In each type, if the wrong treatment is given it can be fatal to the patient.

In order to determine if the patient has suffered a stroke, doctors rely on brain scans but many have to wait for vital hours before they can get access to a scanner and fewer than a quarter receive a scan on the day they suffer their strokes. — ANI

Asians taking over 3 drinks a day at increased stroke risk

Washington: Tulane University researchers have warned that indulging in heavy drinking may raise the risk of stroke.

The researchers studied a large group of men in China, and found that individuals who consumed more than 21 drinks per week had a higher likelihood of suffering a stroke.

“We found that the men who drink more, especially at the higher levels of alcohol consumption, have a much higher risk of stroke,” says Lydia Bazzano, assistant professor of epidemiology at the Tulane School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine. — ANI

Smokers at greater risk of developing psoriasis

London: A new study has found that people who smoke are at a greater risk of developing psoriasis, a disease which affects the skin and joints and commonly causes red scaly patches to appear on the skin. Researchers in the US discovered that regular smokers have an increased risk of the skin condition, which only falls back to normal 20 years after quitting. The study, which included 79,000 nurses, also found that people with psoriasis who smoke had a more severe form of the disease. — ANI



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