10 Must Know Facts About Brain Tumour

Incidence of brain tumor in India is on the rise as every year 40,000 to 50,000 new persons are diagnosed with it, according to a recent hospital-based study that was carried out in the country. People of all ages and socio-economic background are reporting to hospitals with tumors at various stages. A brain tumor causes problems in thinking, seeing and also speaking. It can cause seizures and also lead to sudden death. With early detection, it can help in effective treatment and also controlling the growth of tumours. Here are 10 facts about brain tumour you must know.

10 BRAIN CANCER FACTS YOU MUST KNOW

Fact 1: 

Not all brain tumours are cancers, some are completely benign or harmless masses of cancerous cells that mainly target the structural tissue of the brain. While, some could be malignant or cancerous in nature, which means that the cancerous cells can spread to the other organs of the body.

Fact 2:

Unlike popular belief that brain cancers are a common occurrence in India, the incidence of brain cancers is found to be extremely rare in India. Only two or three out of 1,00,000 people are affected accounting for less than 2% of the total number of malignancies diagnosed.

Fact 3:

If you thought that brain cancer is just one type of cancer that affects the brain cells or tissues, then you are wrong. In fact, there are various types of brain tumours which are categorised based on the size, location, cell of origin and grade. Hence, not all types of brain tumours are the same.

Fact 4:

Brain cancers are mainly categorised into two types namely primary tumours and secondary tumours. Primary tumours are the ones that affect the brain tissue and grow there. Secondary tumours also called metastatic tumours affect a certain part of the body such as lung, breast, kidney, stomach and intestine and spread to the brain over time. Secondary tumours are more common than primary tumours and found to be the most common in India.

Fact 5:

One of the most common brain tumours symptoms is increasing severity of headaches, which is more severe in the morning. Other common symptoms of brain cancer include weakness in the hands and legs, loss of balance while walking, blurred vision, seizures or fits, memory loss, vomiting and sudden shifts in mood or personality. If you experience any of these symptoms, do consult a doctor immediately. However, bear in the mind that these symptoms are not always indicative of brain tumours unless confirmed by radiological tests.

Fact 6:

If your doctor speculates a brain tumour, clinical tests are recommended to assess the neurological system. The doctor will also advise a CT scan, followed by various types of MRI scans to diagnose the grade of the cancers. To identify the aggressiveness of the tumour, examination of the tumour tissue is done through a biopsy or tumour excision. This typically requires the opening of the skull and removal of the tumour surgically.

Fact 7:

According to the guidelines released by WHO, tumours are categorised into four grades based on the intensity and abnormality of the cells.

GRADE 1:

Cells look benign and grow slowly; survival of the patient is likely.

GRADE 2:

Cells look slightly abnormal. The tumour grows slowly and may spread to other tissues.

GRADE 3:

Cells look abnormal. The tumour grows aggressively and tends to recur.

GRADE 4:

The cells look abnormal and spread quickly. Tumour could be life-threatening.

Fact 8:

Brain tumour treatment depends on the type/grade of the cancer, age and general fitness. For grade I and II brain tumours, surgical removal may suffice which will reduce the size of the tumour and curb symptoms. In the case of more malignant tumours (Grade III and IV), radiation therapy and chemotherapy are used to kill the remaining cancerous cells. Chemotherapy could be done either orally or IV (through a vein). The higher the grade of the tumour, the poorer the survival. Grade IV tumours have a median survival of 15 months.

Fact 9:

Genetic mutation is a proven risk factor for brain cancers. These genetic mutations can occur either by birth or spontaneously develop over a period of time. While lifestyle or other habits cannot be held as prominent causes for the same, a good lifestyle is nonetheless a great way to avoid medical complications during treatment.

Fact 10:

Post treatment care, as a follow-up, is crucial to identify tumour recurrence. Ask your doctor about risks or long term side-effects based on the type of cancer, treatment plan and overall health. Be watchful of the common symptoms to know the recurrence of the cancer post treatment.

Awareness of patient and family members is mandatory for brain cancers since it can affect regardless of age, sex or history. Stay equipped to diagnose this disease early for faster treatment and better mitigation.

Source:
1. https://www.deccanchronicle.com/lifestyle/health-and-wellbeing/190318/understanding-brain-tumours.html
2. https://cytecare.com/media/10-must-know-facts-about-brain-tumour-or-brain-cancer/
3. https://www.nfcr.org/blog/blog7-facts-need-know-brain-tumors/

The importance of taking medicines correctly

To get complete benefit from your medication, you need to make sure that you are taking them as prescribed by your doctor. The chance of better health improves when you take the medicines as instructed.

But 4 out of 10 mainly older people are taking only one drug who is instructed to take more than one of their prescriptions. It is important to take correct medicine dose what your healthcare professional has indicated.

Taking the right dose

For children, the dosage varies upon the child’s weight. Dosage for child depends on weight rather than age. In some cases, doctors may increase the dosage. You have to follow the prescribed increased rate to make sure you can tolerate the increase of medication.

You should never change or alter your medication without any prescription. If you are not getting enough relief from the prescribed medicines, don’t take more without the permission of your healthcare professional. Consult them and they will suggest the prescription to improve your condition.

Taking the medication at the right time

Are you taking the medication at a prescribed time? When and how you are taking the medicines impacts the medicine effectiveness. Some medicines have to take more than once a day. If you skip or wait to take the dose for a long time, you may not get benefits and better health outcome.

You check your prescription for the information on how and when to take the medication such as before or after breakfast and supper, on empty stomach and before going to bed. It is necessary to follow the instructions to maximize the health benefits without any side effects.

If the directions provided on the prescription aren’t convenient, consult your doctor or pharmacist. They can make changes or provide you the suggestions.

Most of the people forget to take the medicines once in a while. To avoid the missing dose, take your medication with your everyday tasks. This will help you to take the dose correctly without fail. If you forgot to take dose at prescribed time, ask your healthcare professional what to do. Don’t make your assumptions on doubling the dose at next time.

Nowadays, there are many smartphone apps are available to connect with the meds. Reach them through apps and they will give you the solution.

Not taking medicines as prescribed

Instincts do help us sometimes. But trusting your instincts in overriding matters like self-medication is a grave mistake that you need to immediately call off. In the name of getting rid of your health problems, you are literally tuning your body to a bigger problem- antibiotic resistance.

Antibiotic resistance is an underrated problem which nobody really talks about. This condition is caused merely due to few of our habitual mistakes, but its consequences are quite appalling and far-reaching. Check out this article to know more.

Get organized

Organizing the medications as prescribed is very important. Here are the few steps and related information to make easier for you to organize the medicines.

  • List out all the medications which you want to take such as prescriptions, vitamins, supplements and drugs.
  • Note down the questions which you want to ask your doctor. This will helps you to remember what to ask and makes your medication process correctly.
  • Save all your medical information such as emergency contact number, your physician contact and much more.

Conclusion

Don’t hesitate to consult your physician or pharmacist when you have any queries or problems with your medication. Even if you feel unimportant to consult, it could have the significant impact on your treatment and also your health.

5 superfoods that reverse Diabetes

It’s not easy to go into remission from Type 2 diabetes, but it is possible through diet.

Whilst diabetes is often linked to obesity and poor diet, it’s important to remember that there are two types of diabetes: type 1 and type 2.

Type 1 diabetes is when the pancreas doesn’t produce any insulin and type 2 is the same or when the body’s cells don’t react to insulin.

Type 2 diabetes is far more common than type 1 and often comes down to lifestyle choices as it is linked with obesity.

The most common symptoms of type 2 diabetes according to the NHS are feeling thirsty, passing more urine than usual, feeling tired and weight loss or loss of muscle.READ MORE

One of the most common side effects of this type of diabetes is vision loss and blindness, it can also cause kidney failure and lower limb amputation and those with diabetes are five times more likely to have heart disease.

So what can you do if you are pre-diabetic or have diabetes?

While there is no cure for diabetes as yet, one of the things you can do to go into remission from diabetes is to overhaul your lifestyle.

Experts suggest eating plenty of fruits and vegetables as they are naturally low in fat and packed full of vitamins, minerals and fibre. Foods such as wholegrains, nuts, seeds, legumes and fermented foods like yogurts have also been found to be protective against Type 2 diabetes when eaten as part of a healthy and balanced diet.

Ultimately the best way to reduce the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes is by maintaining a healthy weight and this can be done by following a balanced diet and doing regular exercise. For some people with Type 2 diabetes, we also know that significant weight loss can potentially put it into remission.

You can better manage the condition through a number of ways, such as exercising regularly to lower your blood glucose levels, eating a healthy, balanced diet, and limiting your alcohol intake.”

High-fibre foods help slow down glucose absorption and regulate blood sugar levels, which makes them perfect to help prevent or reverse the effects of diabetes.

1. Fruits

If you are already diabetic, stick to low-sugar fruits like oranges, melon, kiwifruit and berries. Fruit can satisfy your sweet tooth while also being rich in fibre and antioxidants.

2. Green vegetables

These are the most important foods to focus on as high green vegetable consumption is associated with a lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes and lowering the hemoglobin A1c levels in people with diabetes . In fact, a recent study found that a greater leafy green intake showed a 14 per cent decrease in type 2 diabetes.

3. Non-starchy vegetables

Other than green veggies, mushrooms, onions, aubergines, garlic and peppers have almost non-existent effects on blood glucose and are packed with fibre.

4. Beans and legumes

These, along with lentils are an ideal carbohydrate source as they are low in GL and contain high amounts of protein and fibre.

5. Nuts and seeds

Nuts have anti-inflammatory effects that could prevent the development of insulin resistance. A recent study found a 27 per cent reduced risk of developing diabetes in the participants who ate five or more servings of nut per week.

Do you know any foods that we can add to the list? Share your thughts in the comment section.


Evergreen Diabetes Self Management tips to follow

Diabetes can be best handled by self-management than any other means. Diabetes self-management can reduce blood sugar levels, mortality risk, and healthcare costs, as well as weight in people with excess weight.

In many cases, diabetes can be controlled through better nutrition, a healthy weight, physical activity, and regular checkups with your health care team.

In this article, we discuss strategies that people with diabetes can use every day to improve their health.

Self Monitoring

The two important indicators of diabetes control are levels of glycated hemoglobin and blood glucose.

To measuring glycated hemoglobin, you need to take a blood test in a doctor’s office However, you can measure your blood glucose at home.

Doctors recommend that people who use insulin should frequently check their glucose levels. The right frequency of these checks varies from person to person, but doctors usually recommend monitoring levels before and after meals, at bedtime, and before exercising.

People with diabetes who are not taking insulin should also check their blood sugar levels. Self-monitoring can provide information about the effects of dietary changes, physical activity, and medication on blood sugar levels at any time. If you have a blood glucose meter handy, you can measure blood sugar levels any time.

There are also continuous glucose monitors, which provide real-time information about blood sugar levels. These automatically measure levels every 5 minutes through a small sensor inserted under the skin.When a person uses it appropriately, this type of technology can improve health outcomes.

Always check your blood sugar if you feel symptoms of high blood sugar (thirst, frequent urination, fatigue, blurry vision), or low blood sugar (lightheadedness, dizzy, confusion, sweating, shaking, fast or pounding heartbeat) and call your doctor. It is important to immediately treat low blood sugar (<70) with a simple carbohydrate such as fruit juice, regular soda pop, or glucose tablets.

Check your blood sugar more often when you are sick, as infection can make blood sugar rise. And be sure to get plenty of fluids and drink some carbohydrate- containing fluids if you can’t eat. It is very important to continue taking your diabetes medications when you are sick. If you are unsure of dosages if unable to eat, call your doctor or nurse practitioner.

Nutrition for Type-2 Diabetes

  • Follow a consistent meal plan and schedule.
  • Eat a balanced diet with a variety of foods, including fruits, vegetables, whole grain foods, low-fat dairy products, and lean meat, poultry, fish or meat alternatives.
  • Eat the right amount of carbohydrate foods for good blood sugar control. Your registered dietician can determine how much carbohydrate food your body needs at each meal.
  • Choose lower fat options and limit saturated fats.
  • Use sugar in moderation. Consider lower sugar options if available.
  • Check nutrition labels.
  • Get your fiber. The American Dietetic Association recommends that all people eat 20-35 grams of fiber per day. Fruits, vegetables, beans and whole grain foods are good sources of fiber.
  • Drink plenty of water.
  • Use less salt.

Nutrition for Type 1 Diabetes

People with type 1 diabetes should follow good general nutrition guidelines, and in addition, the insulin dose can be adjusted to the mealtime carbohydrates, which allows for more flexibility in meal planning. Your health care provider can help determine how much insulin you need at each meal.

Good amount of physical Activity

Physical activity is good for your health- especially for people with diabetes or those trying to prevent the disease.
In addition to improving blood sugar control, decreasing the risk of diabetes, and maintaining overall good health and weight management, being active boosts brain activity, and helps you de-stress.

Type 2 diabetes is closely linked to being overweight. Diabetes research demonstrates that along with healthy eating habits, regular physical activity helps the body to use insulin better, which helps to improve the symptoms — or even reduce the risk — of Type 2 diabetes. It is very important to check with your doctor first before starting any exercise program. Your doctor can give you an appropriate exercise prescription based on your personal health status.

Foot Care

Diabetes can be dangerous to your feet—even a small cut can produce serious consequences. Diabetes may cause nerve damage that takes away the feeling in your feet. Diabetes may also reduce blood flow to the feet, making it harder to heal an injury or resist infection.
It is very important to check your feet daily, keep them clean and soft, wear well-fitting, breathable shoes and socks, and report any changes you observe to your health care provider.

Good Health Care Follow Up

Finally, it is very important to see your doctor or nurse practitioner regularly to monitor your diabetes, make adjustments in medications, order appropriate tests, and prescribe education for you to better manage your diabetes day to day.

Do you follow any other self management tips? Share it with us in the comment section.

Full spectrum- Metastatic Breast Cancer

Breast cancer is the second most common cause of death from cancer in women. The 5-year survival rate for women with metastatic breast cancer is 27% while that for men is 25%.

It is important to remember that breast cancer is treatable at any stage. Treatments for metastatic breast cancer are continually improving and have been proven to help people with metastatic breast cancer live longer with better quality of life.

What is metastatic breast Cancer

Metastatic breast cancer, also known as advanced, secondary, or Stage IV breast cancer, is the spread of cancerous cell growth to areas of the body other than where the cancer first formed. This may happen before or after treatment of the cancer in the breast, or it may occur from a recurrent breast cancer (breast cancer that returns following a period where it could not be detected). Though breast cancer cells can spread to almost any part of the body, they most commonly spread to the bones. Other common sites include the lungs, liver, brain and skin. It is this new cancer that is called a metastasis.

Signs and symptoms

The symptoms and signs that people with metastatic breast cancer may experience depend on where and how much the cancer has spread. Sometimes people with metastatic breast cancer do not have any of these changes. Or, the cause of a symptom may be a different medical condition that is not cancer.

The following signs or symptoms should be discussed with a doctor.

Bone metastasis symptoms

  • Bone, back, neck, or joint pain
  • Bone fractures
  • Swelling

Brain metastasis symptoms

  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Seizures
  • Dizziness
  • Confusion
  • Vision changes, such as double vision or loss of vision
  • Personality changes
  • Loss of balance

Lung metastasis symptoms

  • Shortness of breath
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Constant dry cough

Liver metastasis symptoms

  • Yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes, called “jaundice”
  • Itchy skin or rash
  • Pain or swelling in the belly
  • Loss of appetite

Other symptoms and signs

  • Loss of appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Fatigue

Treatment

Metastatic breast cancer is different from early stage breast cancer because you will be treated and monitored for breast cancer for the rest of your life. At present, there is no cure. The goal of treatment for metastatic breast cancer is to manage the disease by slowing the growth of the cancer cells and to prevent the disease from spreading further. Treatment for metastatic breast cancer also aims to help you manage the symptoms associated with the disease.

Everyone reacts to treatment differently.   For some people, certain treatments may work for long periods of time, or some may not work at all. It is common for your cancer to adapt to your treatment, even if it has been working well to control your cancer.  When one treatment stops working, you and your health care team will look at other treatment options. Fortunately there are new ones being developed all the time.

Living with metastatic breast Cancer

For many people with metastatic breast cancer, a good quality of life is possible for months or even years. When there are effective treatments for metastatic cancer, your situation may be like someone with a chronic (long-term) disease. The cancer can be treated to keep it from worsening, but it cannot be cured.

Living with metastatic cancer is challenging. Each person with metastatic breast cancer has individual concerns and challenges. With any challenge, a good first step is being able to recognize your fears and talk about them. Effective coping requires:

  • Understanding the challenge you are facing
  • Thinking through solutions
  • Asking for and allowing the support of others
  • Feeling comfortable with the course of action you choose

Many people with metastatic cancer find it helpful to join an in-person support group or an online community. This allows you to talk with people who are experiencing similar first-hand experiences. Other options for finding support include talking with a friend or member of your health care team, individual counseling, or asking for assistance at the learning resource center of the place where you receive treatment.

Monitoring your health

During treatment, your health care team will continue to check to make sure the cancer has not worsened, manage any side effects, and monitor your overall health. This may include regular physical examinations, blood tests, or imaging tests. The types of tests you receive depend on several factors including your current health and the types of treatment given.

The anticipation before having a test or waiting for test results can add stress to you or a family member. This is sometimes called “scan-xiety.” Learn more about how to cope with this type of stress.

Staying as healthy as possible

People with metastatic breast cancer are encouraged to follow established guidelines for good health, such as not smoking, limiting alcohol, eating well, and managing stress. In addition, it is important to have recommended medical checkups and tests to take care of your health.

Regular physical activity can help with your strength and energy levels. Your health care team can help you create an appropriate exercise plan based upon your needs, physical abilities, and fitness level. Cancer rehabilitation may be recommended, and this could mean any of a wide range of services such as physical therapy, pain management, nutritional planning, and emotional counseling. The goal of rehabilitation is to help people maintain control over many aspects of their lives and remain as independent and productive as possible for as long as possible.

What’s your thoughts on this article? Share it in the comments section.


Cardiovascular Health- An all-know guide for woman

Today, over 41 million women suffer from cardiovascular disease (coronary heart disease, stroke, and congestive heart failure, etc.). Heart disease is known as the major cause of death among women and a survey states that almost 450,000 women above the age of 65 die annually from it. However, heart disease is preventable and increasing awareness of personal risk and preventative measures is a key element of healthcare for women.

Current research has helped explain the underlining contributions to these reductions in mortality. Evidence-based medical therapies have decreased death rates by 47%, and behavior changes to alter risk factors have reduced death rates by 44%. Therefore, a woman can decrease her CHD risk by targeting lifestyle habits.

The Nurses’ Health Study is a large cohort study designed to assess the effects of a combination of lifestyle practices on the risk of coronary heart disease. Findings from this longitudinal, observational study demonstrated that a woman was able to decrease the incidence of a coronary event by more than 80% through not smoking, maintaining normal body weight (body mass index or BMI < 25 kg/m2), consuming a healthy diet, participating in moderate to vigorous exercise for 30 minutes a day, and consuming a moderate amount of alcohol.

Over the 14-year period studied, the incidence of CHD declined by 31% across all age groups. Research has demonstrated that primary prevention can help decrease the incidence of CHD as well as the associated mortality rates. The purpose of this article is to describe the assessment of risk factors associated with CHD, present the current evidence on prevention of CHD, and discuss guidelines for implementing findings in practice.

Assessment of Risk Factors

History

An important first step in assessing a woman’s risk for CHD is to collect information on her medical, social/lifestyle, and family history. A thorough evaluation of the medical history including pre-existing medical conditions, such as hypertension, dyslipidemia, and diabetes, is necessary to determine the woman’s baseline risk. Patients with diabetes are at a higher risk for CHD and have two times the risk of myocardial infarction (MI) compared to the general population.

Elevated blood pressure and abnormal lipids are both strong, independent risk factors for CHD. Assessment of the social and lifestyle history provides information regarding behaviors, such as smoking, alcohol consumption, dietary habits and physical activity. Smoking, obesity, a diet high in fat, and a sedentary lifestyle are all risk factors for heart disease.

Symptoms

Precordial or retrosternal chest pain or pressure is one of the classic symptoms of a MI. The quality of the pain has been described as heaviness, crushing, aching, burning, or squeezing and has been noted to radiate to the jaw, neck, arms, or back.

Other associated symptoms include shortness of breath, nausea/vomiting, diaphoresis, and lightheadedness. Research shows that about 33% of patients present without chest pain, and symptoms in women tend to be more atypical, e.g., the absence of chest pain is more common in women than men. Women also tend to present with more associated symptoms such as middle or upper back pain, neck or jaw pain, shortness of breath, indigestion, and fatigue.

Framingham risk assessment

Risk factor assessment provides the chance to identify asymptomatic women who are in danger of developing CHD in the long term. The Framingham Risk Score (FRS) is a tool that may be utilized to assess one’s 10-year likelihood of MI or CHD death by assigning a point value to each of five established risk factors— age, total cholesterol, HDL-C, blood pressure, and cigarette smoking.

The total score is used to determine low (<10% risk of MI or CHD death), intermediate risk (10–20% risk), or high-risk (>20% risk). Because overall lifetime risk for CVD approaches 1 in every 2 women and this score is focused on 10-year risk, the FRS should be used as part of the total risk assessment that includes medical, lifestyle, and family history.

Prevention

Food items that should be restricted in a woman’s diet include saturated fat, trans fat, cholesterol, added sugars, and salt.The intake of saturated fat, trans fat, and cholesterol should be limited to < 7% of fat intake, < 1% of fat intake and < 300 mg, respectively.

Trans fats are partially hydrogenated fats created by adding hydrogen to liquid vegetable oils making the oils solid for use in bakery items, pre-packaged snacks, and deep-fried foods.In order to achieve these fat intake goals, women should consume lean meats or meat alternatives and dairy products that are fat free or low fat. Total dietary fat intake should not exceed 35% of total daily caloric intake.

Physical activity

The Women’s Health Initiative Observational Study enrolled 73,743 postmenopausal women to examine total physical activity score, walking, vigorous exercise, and hours spent sitting or sleeping as predictors of cardiovascular events.

They found that the total physical activity score at baseline exhibited a strong inverse relationship with CHD. The more activity a woman participated in, the lower her risk for the development of disease. Women who exercised for 2.5 hours per week, by either walking or through vigorous exercise, had decreased their risk for CHD by 30%.

Cardiovascular risk decreased less in women who spent more time sitting or lying compared to those who moved around more.

Weight management

Body weight management is critically important for promoting cardiac health because obesity is linked to cardiac arrhythmias, congestive heart failure, ischemic heart disease, and sudden death; obesity was added as an independent risk factor for CHD more than ten years ago. For women who are overweight or obese, the recommended initial weight loss goal is 10% of baseline weight because losing and maintaining a moderate 10% weight loss is associated with improvement in insulin resistance, hypertension, dyslipidemia, and inflammation.

Smoking Cessation

Although there is limited evidence from randomized trials, it is still strongly recommended that women refrain from smoking or exposing themselves to second hand smoke. Smoking cessation has been identified as an important lifestyle intervention in the prevention of CHD. The Nurse’s Health Study clearly demonstrated a decrease in coronary events through changes in lifestyle including smoking cessation. As mentioned previously, the risk of CHD declined by 31% across all age groups, and these results were consistent with a decrease in smoking by 41%.

CHD is the leading cause of death among women, and the risk greatly increases as a woman reaches menopause. Engaging in healthier behaviors including maintaining a healthy weight, leading a non-sedentary lifestyle, and refraining from smoking significantly decreasesa woman’s risk of developing CHD. 

References:

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3459312/
  2. Lloyd-Jones D, Adams R, Carnethon M, et al. Heart disease and stroke statistics- 2009 update: A report from the American Heart Association Statistics Committee and Stroke Statistics
  3. Ford ES, Capewell S. Coronary heart disease mortality among young adults in the U.S. from 1980 through 2002: Concealed leveling of mortality rates. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2007;50(22):2128–2132. [PubMed] [Google Scholar]
  4.  Ford ES, Ajani UA, Croft JB, et al. Explaining the decrease in U.S. deaths from coronary disease, 1980–2000. N Engl J Med. 2007;356(23):2388–2398. [PubMed] [Google Scholar]4. Manson JE, Hu FB, Rich-Edwards JW, et al. A prospective study of walking as compared with vigorous exercise in the prevention of coronary heart disease in women. N Engl J Med. 1999;341(9):650–658. (B) [PubMed] [Google Scholar]

Suprising applications of IoT in healthcare

The Internet Of Things (IoT) has been making serious impact on every industry, and wherever this “technology” swept by, you can feel the Midas touch. After the “discovery” of Internet, IoT has been creating waves that not a single business in the world can deny or resist. Those who do will be long left behind as the competition is going to become stronger and tenacious. In this article, we explore the mark IoT has made in the healthcare industry and how it will improve the lives of millions of people worldwide.

IoT has taken the reins and people can enjoy personalized attention for their health requirements; they can tune their devices to remind them of their appointments, calorie count, exercise check, blood pressure variations and so much more.

The applications of IoT in the healthcare industry are numerous. Here are six of them:

Real Time Location Services

Through IoT, doctors can use real time location services and track the devices used for treating patients. Medical staff may sometimes keep the devices in out-of-sight areas which makes them difficult to find when another medical staff comes on the scene.

Medical apparatus and devices like wheelchairs, scales, defibrillators, nebulizers, pumps or monitoring equipment can be tagged with sensors and located easily with IoT. Apart from real time location services, there are IoT devices that help in environmental monitoring as well (checking the refrigerator temperature, for example).

Predicting the Arrival of Patients in PACU

With the intervention of Internet of Things, clinicians can predict the arrival of patients who are recuperating in the Post-Anesthesia Care Unit (PACU). They can also monitor the status of patients in real time.

Hand Hygiene Compliance

There are hand hygiene monitoring systems that would detect the degree of cleanliness in a healthcare worker. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention in the United States, about one patient out of every 20 gets infections from lack of proper hand hygiene in hospitals. Numerous patients lose their lives as result of hospital acquired infections.

The interactions in the hand hygiene monitoring systems are done in real time and if a clinician comes near a patient’s bed without washing his hands, the device would start buzzing. And that’s not all. The information about the healthcare worker, his ID, time and location will all be fed into a database and this information would be forwarded to the concerned authorities.

Tighten Budgets and Improve Patient Journey

The healthcare industry has to keep a watchful eye on the budget and at the same time have updated infrastructure to provide better patient experiences. Thanks to the seamless connection between devices that IoT has made possible, it is now possible for the medical staff to access patient information from the cloud as long as they are stored in there.

The goal is to provide quality medical care to patients, and by spending a small amount on IT infrastructure, hospitals can provide good care to patients at affordable rates. IoT aims to provide better patient journey by:

  • Room lighting through personal control
  • Communicate to family and friends through email services
  • Immediate attention to patient needs

Remote Monitoring

Remote health monitoring is an important application of Internet Of Things. Through monitoring, you can give adequate healthcare to people who are in dire need of help. Every day, lots of people die because they do not get timely and prompt medical attention. With IoT, devices fitted with sensors notify the concerned healthcare providers when there is any change in the vital functions of a person.

These devices would be capable of applying complex algorithms and analyzing them so the patient receives proper attention and medical care. The collected patient information would be stored in cloud. Through remote monitoring, patients can significantly reduce the length of hospital stay and perhaps, even hospital re-admission. This kind of intervention is a boon to people living alone, especially seniors. If there is any interruption in the daily activity of a person, alerts would be sent to family members and concerned health providers. These monitoring devices are available in the form of “wearables” too.

Focus on the Research Side of Healthcare

Protein research and composition analysis benefits from Internet of Things. Through IoT, researchers are able to analyze the accuracy of the equipment, and it rewards them by shortening their workflow through quantitative and reproducible analysis of proteins.

When an infinite array of devices is connected, the healthcare industry is able to provide scalable solutions to its patients. A number of healthcare apps providing cutting-edge personalized solutions are released to them. Here are a few of them:

These applications are just a few of the numerous ways IoT can help healthcare professionals care better for their patients. There is definitely much scope for advancement for IoT in the healthcare sector.

What are your thoughts on this article? Share your thoughts in the comments section.

Vitamin B12: What you need to know

Vitamin B12 and folate is an important nutrient that performs several important functions in the body, including keeping the nervous system healthy.

The deficiency of Vitamin B12 causes anaemia, a general condition that cause wide range of problems.

In this blog article, let’s understand the importance of Vitamin B12, functions, symptoms and its sources.

Role of Vitamin B12

Vitamin B12 is a nutrient that helps keep the body’s nerve and blood cells healthy and helps make DNA, the genetic material in all cells.

The deficiency of Vitamin B12 causes Anaemia, a condition which causes having either fewer red blood cells than normal or having an abnormally low amount of haemoglobin in each red blood cell. Vitamin B12 also helps prevent a type of anemia called megaloblastic anemia that makes people tired and weak.

However, there are several different types of anaemia and each one has a different cause. For example, iron deficiency anaemia happens when the body does not contain enough iron.

Symptoms of vitamin B12 or folate deficiency

Vitamin B12 and folate perform several important functions in the body, including keeping the nervous system healthy.

A deficiency in either of these vitamins can cause a wide range of problems, including:

  • extreme tiredness
  • a lack of energy
  • mouth ulcers
  • muscle weakness
  • disturbed vision
  • psychological problems, which may include depression and confusion 
  • problems with memory, understanding and judgement

Some of these problems can also happen if you have a deficiency in vitamin B12 or folate but do not have anaemia.

Causes of a vitamin B12 or folate deficiency

There are a number of problems that can lead to a vitamin B12 or folate deficiency, including:

  • Pernicious anaemia – In this type of anaemia, your immune system attacks healthy cells in your stomach, preventing your body absorbing vitamin B12 from the food you eat.
  • A lack of these vitamins in your diet –Vitamin B12 is generally found in every food we eat and so this is uncommon unless you have a vegan diet, follow a fad diet or have a generally poor diet for a long time
  • Medicine – certain medicines, including anticonvulsants and proton pump inhibitors (PPIs), can affect how much of these vitamins your body absorbs

Both vitamin B12 deficiency and folate deficiency are more common in older people, affecting around 1 in 10 people aged 75 or over and 1 in 20 people aged 65 to 74.

Complications of vitamin B12 or folate deficiency anaemia

Although it’s uncommon, vitamin B12 or folate deficiency (with or without anaemia) can lead to complications, particularly if you have been deficient in vitamin B12 or folate for some time.

Potential complications can include:

  • problems with the nervous system
  • temporary infertility
  • heart conditions
  • pregnancy complications and birth defects

Adults with severe anaemia are also at risk of developing heart failure.

Some complications improve with appropriate treatment, but others, such as problems with the nervous system, can be permanent.


Early detection is important

Most cases of vitamin B12 and folate deficiency can be easily treated with injections or tablets to replace the missing vitamins.

Vitamin B12 supplements are usually given by injection at first.Then, depending on whether your B12 deficiency is related to your diet, you’ll either require B12 tablets between meals or regular injections.These treatments may be needed for the rest of your life.

Sources of Vitamin B12

Vitamin B12 is found in meat, fish, eggs, dairy products, yeast extract (such as Marmite) and specially fortified foods. However, the best sources of folate include green vegetables, such as broccoli, Brussels sprouts and peas.

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Facts you must know about Intermittent Fasting

Since a few years intermittent fasting has gained traction for its incredible effects on disease and aging. But does it really work or is it worth the effort? In this blog article, we’ll walk you through the process an give you some insider tips straight from our experts. Let’s begin.

What is intermittent fasting

Intermittent fasting is the process of cycling periods of eating and fasting. This type of fasting aids weight loss, but it is less of a diet plan and more of a lifestyle choice that reaps you some incredible health benefits.

There are different intermittent fasting methods. These are:

  • Eating in the ratio of 5:2: This method of intermittent eating allows you to eat normally five days a week and fast for the other two days. However, you need to keep it just between 500 and 600 calories.
  • Eat-stop-eat cycle: In this method, you stop taking food for 24 hours, once or twice a week.
  • 16/8: This is the most popular method where you eat all of your daily calories within a shortened period — typically 6 to 8 hours — and fast for the remaining 14 to 16 hours. You can do this every day, or a few times a week.

HEALTH BENEFITS OF INTERMITTENT FASTING

When you don’t eat any food for a set period of time each day, you do your body and your brain a whole lot of good. It makes sense from an evolutionary standpoint when people weren’t eating three square meals a day. Instead, humans evolved in situations where there wasn’t much food, and they learned to thrive when fasting.

Switching to an intermittent fasting diet expands your limits and boosts your performance in a number of ways. Here are some of the powerful benefits of intermittent fasting:

  • Boosts weight loss
  • Increases energy
  • Promotes cellular repair
  • Reduces insulin resistance and protects against type 2 diabetes
  • Lowers bad cholesterol
  • Promotes longevity
  • Protects against neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s
  • Improves memory and boosts brain function
  • Makes cells more resilient

How to do intermittent fasting?

There are no guidelines or nutritional suggestions for “days” when eating is restricted. But physicians and dieticians suggest eating a nutrient-dense diet full of plants and protein to tide you over through fasting periods.

To understand IF, you have to first understand what happens when you eat.

Insulin is a hormone that’s released when we eat, but it isn’t meant to be released all the time. Intermittent fasting is simply letting your insulin level go down to normal so that you unlock your fat stores. Typically you can’t lose any weight unless they get that insulin level down. Which is why eating very small meals throughout the day doesn’t really help with weight loss.

The science behind intermittent fasting is same as that of exercise. During exercise, there’s a stress on the cells. They don’t grow and get bigger during the exercise but in the resting period. In intermittent fasting, like the resting period, the cells go in kind of a stress-resistance mode. And then when you eat, they’ve prepared themselves to quickly take up nutrients, proteins, and grow.

How to Get Started

When first trying IF, the transition can be challenging.

Initially you may feel uncomfortable, and even get painful hunger pangs as they abstain from food. It is suggested that you take it slow, trying different kinds of IF to see what works with their goals and routine. You can take the “feeding window” from an initial unrestricted period down to 12 hours, then 10 hours, then eight hours, before finding a feeding window that is sustainable.

To make fasting manageable, experts suggests that you can take an overnight fast, which can more easily fit into people’s routines. Research shows that restricting eating to daytime hours, an approach that aligns eating patterns with circadian rhythms, has been shown to have metabolic and weight loss benefits.

What Are the Risks of Intermittent Fasting?

Some dieticians warn that ignoring hunger cues can have unforeseen consequences.

Anyone with a history of disordered eating patterns should consult a health professional to confirm that IF is right for them.

One systematic review published in the journal Stress in 2016, found that IF may initially increase stress levels of fasters. The increase may subside after a few weeks of fasting. Other research says IF could cause greater metabolic fluctuations and increased appetite on non-fasting days relative to intermittent energy restriction, a diet that allows some food.

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World Hepatitis Day: Know the facts

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 4.4 million people are currently living with chronic hepatitis B and C. Many more people don’t even know that they have hepatitis.

On World Hepatitis Day, let’s raise awareness on how we can prevent hepatitis and keep it from spreading. Let’s dive at the details.

What is Hepatitis?

Hepatitis refers to an inflammatory condition of the liver which is commonly caused by a viral infection. But there are other possible causes of hepatitis which includes secondary result of medications, drugs, toxins, and alcohol.

There are different types of viral infections of the liver that are classified as hepatitis A, B, C, D, and E. A different virus is responsible for each type of virally transmitted hepatitis.

Hepatitis A

Hepatitis A is caused by an infection by hepatitis A virus (HAV). It is transmitted by consuming food or water contaminated by feces from a person infected with hepatitis A.

Hepatitis B

Hepatitis B is transmitted through contact with infectious body fluids. Injection drug use, having sex with an infected partner, or sharing razors with an infected person increase your risk of getting hepatitis B.

Hepatitis C

Hepatitis C comes from the hepatitis C virus (HCV). Hepatitis C is transmitted through direct contact with infected body fluids, typically through injection drug use and sexual contact.

Hepatitis D

Hepatitis D is a serious liver disease caused by the hepatitis D virus (HDV). HDV is contracted through direct contact with infected blood.The hepatitis D virus can’t multiply without the presence of hepatitis B.

Hepatitis E

Hepatitis E is a waterborne disease caused by the hepatitis E virus (HEV) and is mainly found in areas with poor sanitation and typically results from ingesting fecal matter that contaminates the water supply.

Symptoms of hepatitis

Signs and symptoms of acute hepatitis appear quickly. They include:

  • fatigue
  • flu-like symptoms
  • dark urine
  • pale stool
  • abdominal pain
  • loss of appetite
  • unexplained weight loss
  • yellow skin and eyes, which may be signs of jaundice

Chronic hepatitis develops slowly, so these signs and symptoms may be too subtle to notice.

How hepatitis is diagnosed

History and physical exam

Ask your doctor to take your history and determine the risk factors you may have for infectious or noninfectious hepatitis.

Liver function tests

Your blood samples are used to determine how efficiently your liver works. If there are abnormal results of these tests,, it is the first indication that there is a problem. High liver enzyme levels may indicate that your liver is stressed, damaged, or not functioning properly.

Other blood tests

If your liver function tests are abnormal, your doctor will likely ask you to take other blood tests to detect the source of the problem. These tests can check for the viruses that cause hepatitis.

Ultrasound

The abdominal ultrasound uses ultrasound waves to create an image of the organs within your abdomen. This test can reveal:

  • fluid in your abdomen
  • liver damage or enlargement
  • liver tumors
  • abnormalities of your gallbladder

This can be a useful test in determining the cause of your abnormal liver function.

Liver biopsy

A liver biopsy  involves your doctor taking a sample of tissue from your liver. It is done on skin with a needle and doesn’t require surgery. Typically, an ultrasound is used to guide your doctor when taking the biopsy sample.

This test allows your doctor to determine how infection or inflammation has affected your liver.

Tips to prevent hepatitis

Hygiene

Practicing good hygiene is one key way to avoid contracting hepatitis A and E. Hepatitis B, C, and D contracted through contaminated blood can be prevented by:

  • not sharing drug needles
  • not sharing razors
  • not using someone else’s toothbrush
  • not touching spilled blood

Vaccines

Using vaccines is an important key to preventing hepatitis. Vaccinations can help in the prevention of hepatitis A and B and experts are currently developing vaccines against hepatitis C.

Complications that arise due to hepatitis

Chronic hepatitis B or C can often lead to more serious health problems. Because the virus affects the liver, people with chronic hepatitis B or C are at risk for:

  • chronic liver disease
  • cirrhosis
  • liver cancer

When your liver stops functioning normally, liver failure can occur. Complications of liver failure include

  • a buildup of fluid in your abdomen, known as ascites
  • increased blood pressure in portal veins that enter your liver, known as portal hypertension
  • involve fatigue, memory loss, and diminished mental abilities due to the buildup of toxins, like ammonia, that affect brain function
  • hepatocellular carcinoma, a form of liver cancer

People with chronic hepatitis B and C are required to avoid alcohol because it can accelerate liver disease and failure. Certain supplements and medications can also affect liver function. If you have chronic hepatitis B or C, check with your doctor before taking any new medications.

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