Kashmir Scan, Dec 2015
Vitamin D reduces lung disease flare-ups
Flare-ups are when a COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) patient’s usual symptoms (coughing, excess mucus, shortness of breath, tightness in chest) get worse and stay worse, sometimes resulting in hospitalisation.
“Our research has shown how an inexpensive vitamin supplement can significantly reduce the risk of flare-ups for patients who are vitamin D deficient, which could have a major public health benefit,” said lead author Adrian Martineau, professor at Queen Mary University of London.
This is the first clinical trial to investigate the impact of vitamin D supplementation on severity and duration of COPD symptoms. The trial included 240 patients with COPD in and around London. Half of the patients received vitamin D supplements and the other half received an equivalent placebo.
Patients with a vitamin D deficiency benefited dramatically from taking the supplements but the striking reduction in flare-ups was not seen among patients who had a higher vitamin D status at the start of the trial.
However, researchers did find vitamin D supplementation modestly reduced the severity and duration of flare-up symptoms in all patients in the vitamin D group.
Games that can help enhance your memory
If learning is important, retaining and recollecting whatever has been learnt is essential. Here are simple exercises to enhance your memory skills. Remember mobile numbers: Constantly exercising our memory is very important. Make an attempt to memorise mobile numbers, even if they have been saved on your phone. You may find it difficult initially, but nevertheless, you will be exercising your mind.
Memory game: There is a card game called Memory, which can help in sharpening your retention powers. Divide a deck of cards into two parts. Take one set of cards and begin arranging them face downwards in six rows. Before placing each card in such a fashion, show the card to the players and the position it is being placed in. For instance, the first card in the first row could be a 7, the next could be a 9, the third could be a 5 and so on. The symbols don’t matter. Place the other half of the deck in between the players and now, ask each player to draw a card from the deck. Based on the number of the card drawn, the player will have to pick a card with a similar number from the part of the deck that has been arranged into rows and columns. The player who picks the most cards correctly is declared the winner.
How to prevent hiccups
Dr Parul R Sheth, a health consultant, says that hiccups cause a sudden involuntary spasm of the diaphragm. “This is caused by swallowing air along with food, while eating too fast, eating spicy foods, drinking too much of aerated drinks or alcohol, fear, excitement, sudden temperature changes, certain medications or certain diseases and abdominal surgery etc.”
Adds consultant general physician Dr Rajesh Jharia, “The medical term for hiccups is singultus — the state of having reflex involuntary, intermittent, spasmodic contraction or spasm of the diaphragm and intercostal muscles. This is accompanied by a closure of the glottis, producing an audible ‘hic’ sound. Hiccups are common, usually transient, affecting almost all people in their lifetime but rarely become intractable leading to adverse outcomes. Based on their duration, they are divided into three types:
Avoiding a known stimulant can help avoid hiccups. Gastric distention, carbonated drinks, aerophagia, sudden changes in GI (Glycemic index) or ambient temperature, alcohol, smoking, sudden excitement or stress are known stimulants. Avoiding drinking too much, eating too quickly, eating too spicy food or swallowing air while eating can also help prevent hiccups.
Suffering from night sweats?
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Mumbai’s scorching heat has nothing to do with it. Thousands of people suffer from night sweats without realising that there could be an underlying cause for it. Night sweats are when one sweats excessively during the night (and the temperature has nothing to do with it). If you regularly wake up and find that your nightclothes and bedsheets are soaked with perspiration, you need to visit your doctor, who will require to take down your complete medical history and perform certain tests to determine the cause.
– Are you nearing menopause? One of the most common symptoms of menopause are night sweats or hot flashes, which happen at night. Ask your doctor to determine if menopause is the reason and if it is, you can ask your gynaecologist to prescribe some medicine that will provide relief.
– As strange as it may sound, in some cases, there is actually no specific reason for night sweats. This condition, known as Idiopathic Hyperhidrosis, is when the body sweats tremendously without any particularly worrying reason.
– People who suffer from tuberculosis are also said to often get night sweats. Get yourself checked immediately.
– Certain type of bacterial infections are known to cause night sweats. Your doctor needs to prescribe some tests to find out what these could be. Apart from infections, some cancers like lymphoma are also known to cause night sweats.
– At times, the medicine you might be taking for a particular condition can also be the reason. The most common happen to be antidepressant medications.
– When your blood sugar levels become extremely low, it is known to cause night sweats. Diabetics are also prone to it. Apart from that, night sweats can also be attributed to a host of hormonal and neurological disorders.
Drink warm water with lime to stay healthy
We have all heard it somewhere or the other that drinking warm water with the juice of one lemon, is beneficial for health. Here is delving into the reasons…
Helps your digestive system
Works on your pH level
Strengthens your immune system
Clears and freshens your skin
Battles bad breath
Aids in weight loss