infections children monsoon

Monsoon brings some relief from heat and by the end of summer months we eagerly wait for rain showers. This time of the year carries a few health issues for both children as well adults. Children have lower immunity as compared to adults are more prone to getting infections.

If proper care is taken along with appropriate dietary and hygiene measures, we can prevent certain infections during monsoon. Thus, we must be little careful regarding overall hygiene & sanitation.

  • Children are most susceptible to infections from unwashed hands. Therefore, hands must be washed frequently with anti-microbial soaps and sanitizers.
  • While drenching in monsoon and playing in muddy water may be an enjoyable thing for a child, but he/she should not be allowed to play in water for long hours and very frequently.
  • If the child has got drenched, make sure they take a bath with clean water and disinfectant soap.
  • Staying wet for a long time may increase the chances of viral infection, influenza or common cold.
  • In case you notice any signs of illness like fever, sneezing, joint pain, breathing issues, etc. contact your pediatrician right away.
  • Avoid self-medication.
  • Check with your doctor about your child’s immunization schedule & enquire about what vaccines he or she needs in order to be protected from range of diseases.
  • Malaria, dengue fever & chikungunya can be avoided by clearing polluted water or stagnant water, if there any, on an urgent basis from your immediate surroundings, so that mosquitoes do not breed.
  • Apply a strong insect repellent (creams/ gels/sprays) to keep the mosquitoes away.
  • Discourage walking through stagnated water areas.
  • During this season slightly damp clothes can lead to fungal infection. Choose loose, cotton clothes over synthetic & nylon fabrics as it quickly absorbs sweat & let the skin breathe.
  • Children’s’ clothes such as socks, school uniforms, raincoats & shoes must be kept clean & dry.
  • When moving out encourage your child to have an umbrella or a raincoat.
  • Dry their feet whenever they get wet. Don’t allow them to wear wet socks or wet shoes.
  • To avoid eye infections (sty, dry eyes) children should be refrained from touching their eyes with dirty hands or after spending long hours in front of electronic devices.
  • Trim their nails short & keep it dirt free.
  • Proper hand wash is necessary before each meal or after touching anything outdoors, along with washing the feet thoroughly after returning home. This habit will help parents to ensure avoiding any infections during monsoon in their children.

Be Food Ready: –

  • Feed your children lighter foods that can be easily digested & are gut friendly. Stick to eating food that’s been cooked fresh or heated just before serving.
  • Completely refrain buying chaats, salads & juice from roadside vendors.
  • Make sure they carry their own bottle of filtered & boiled water.
  • Try different dal preparations
  • Prepare wholesome soups and serve it warm
  • Natural fruit or vegetable-based health drinks, Haldi milk, ginger-tulsi water & mint lemon water are also very useful.

Wishing you a Happy and Healthy Life. Take Care.

Contributed by Dr. Swati Dave, a leading Dietitian and Nutritionist

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Women of any age group may encounter any of these abnormal changes in their breasts. Yes, if you find any of these unusual signs in you, it can be scary. But one must refrain from panicking and must consult doctor immediately so that appropriate testing and treatment (if needed) can be carried out.

Flat or inverted Nipples

Some women naturally have flat or inverted nipples. Check yourself for flat or inverted nipples by placing your thumb above and finger below your breast on the edge of areola and gently pressing your areola. The nipple should protrude or stick out. If it flattens or indents, you have a flat or inverted nipple. Women with inverted or flat nipples may encounter some difficulties during breastfeeding their child.

Consult your gynecologist or breast care specialist if you have flat or inverted nipples. There are some simple techniques that would help you in correcting this.

Breast pain and tenderness

Breast pain or tenderness in breasts is highly common in females during their periods. The hormones and hormonal changes that play role in regulating menstrual cycle may cause breast pain. This kind of breast pain is normal and usually the pain stops on its own after the menstrual cycle. This can also be called as cyclical breast pain.

The breast pain that happens due to some skin injury, muscle or tissue injury, acidity/heartburn, chest pain or some other reason is called acyclical breast pain.

If you suffer from severe breast pain very often, then you must talk to your doctor.

Change in the skin color or texture of breasts

Skin infections may occur on or around your breasts. Skin related problems in breasts like redness, rashes, dimpling, itching, crusting, moles, cyst formation or changes in breast skin color can occur. Most of these changes might not be very serious. In certain conditions only, changes in breast appearance can be a symptom of Paget’s disease or breast cancer.

Self-breast examination also includes keeping a check on change in skin color or texture of breasts. If you notice dimpling or scarring or skin of breasts appearing like an orange peel, get yourself examined and consulted by a doctor immediately.

Breast Lump/s

While self-examining your breasts if you find some abnormal growth or unusual lump, you must not panic but should immediately consult your gynecologist or breast care specialist.

Lumps in breasts can be an indication of breast cancer. Although, all breast lumps are NOT cancerous. Some lumps can be fluid-filled cysts that are usually not caused by cancer and only require treatment if they cause discomfort.

If you find any sort of breast lump or an unusual growth in your breast you must consult a doctor. The doctor may examine you. Mammography and breast biopsy are other methods of diagnosis to determine the nature of lump. After that the doctor might decide the appropriate treatment, if you need any.

Change in the skin color or texture of breasts

Skin infections may occur on or around your breasts. Skin related problems in breasts like redness, rashes, dimpling, itching, crusting, moles, cyst formation or changes in breast skin color can occur. Most of these changes might not be very serious. In certain conditions only, changes in breast appearance can be a symptom of Paget’s disease or breast cancer.

Self-breast examination also includes keeping a check on change in skin color or texture of breasts. If you notice dimpling or scarring or skin of breasts appearing like an orange peel, get yourself examined and consulted by a doctor immediately.

Nipple discharge or bleeding from nipples

Just like other ducts in the body, breast ducts also have their own secretions.

Women after giving birth, produce milk secretions for feeding their baby. Those suffering with hypothyroidism (lesser secretion of thyroid hormones) might also show nipple discharge from both breasts.

Many women can squeeze out from their nipples, small amount of yellowish, greenish, or brownish discharge. This is often called “physiologic” discharge. Physiologic discharge is not bloody and most of the times is not cause of concern.

If a nipple discharge is involuntary, comes out spontaneously and has blood, then one must immediately consult a doctor. Bleeding from nipples is one of the symptoms of breast cancer. The doctor may advice you to take diagnostic tests like ductogram (examination of breast ducts) as well as mammogram to understand the cause of bloody discharge and the condition of your breasts.

Choose from our scientifically designed health check-ups to get a detailed report of your inner health. To know more click here

Contributed by Dr. Shefali Desai – Breast Care Expert and Surgeon

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Your liver is one of the most vital organs of your body. The major role of liver is removal of toxins from the body. Anything and everything you put in the body is processed and taken care of by the liver that later is excreted. In fact, your liver can automatically replace the damaged cells thereby repairing and restoring itself.

However, after a certain point of time the liver loses its ability to repair itself if one constantly indulges in habits that could be secretly damaging the liver. Here are habits that could damage the liver beyond repair.

Habits which you need to give up if you want to keep your liver healthy –

1. Alcoholism – Anything that is consumed in moderation and is not regular may not harm the liver. However, excessive consumption of alcohol can damage the liver beyond repair. It leads to a condition known as Alcoholic Liver Disease. Alcoholic liver disease damages the liver, leading to a buildup of fats, inflammation, and scarring. In short, the detoxification mechanism is bound to go kaput if consumption of alcohol is not restricted or controlled in the long run.

2. Smoking – It is written on the pack of cigarettes that ‘’Smoking is Injurious to Health’. However, many of us still choose to smoke because we find it cool or to fit in with peers or have got addicted and now, it has become too hard to quit. Cigarette smoking can have numerous side effects and liver damage is one of them. While cigarette smoking does not affect the liver directly, but excessive use of nicotine-filled rolls can lead to oxidative stress, which in turn produces free radicals ultimately damaging the liver.

3. Overuse of Drugs – So you immediately pop a pill whenever you are not feeling well. Isn’t it? Excessive use of any medicine or drug can again damage your liver eventually and can lead to liver failure. The liver breaks down majority of the medicines before they are distributed to other parts of the body. Hence, if you continue to abuse it with overuse of drugs – medicinal drugs or recreational drugs, believe me it is bound to affect health.

4. Sleeplessness – So you work all day and party hard in the night by sacrificing your sleep? Or you are multi-tasking person juggling multiple responsibilities, some days at the cost of your sleep. Hold on! This might damage your liver in the long run. Studies indicate that not sleeping enough can cause oxidative stress to the liver.

5. Poor nutrition and obesity – We all love eating out at restaurants, cafes. Don’t we?  Bear in mind that poor eating habits and consumption of processed and frozen foods on regular basis could be damaging your liver slowly. Poor eating habits, erratic schedules and consumption of processed/packaged/outside/fried foods can damage the liver as it leads to build up of fat and toxins, which the liver cannot get rid of easily.

Wishing you a very Happy and Healthy Life. Take care.

Contributed by – Huda Shaikh, a leading nutritionist, clinical dietitian and health blogger.

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Health Risks for Men

Men have shorter life expectancies than women. Men are at higher risk of certain diseases as compared to women attributing to their lifestyle, habits, genetic factors, work patterns, gender related behaviours.

Here are top 5 health risks for men –

1. Heart Diseases

Heart diseases which are also known as cardiovascular diseases (CVD) are the number 1 killer worldwide and accounts for 1 out of 4 deaths in males. Coronary artery disease (CAD) develops when arteries that supply blood to the heart muscles become hardened and narrowed which reduces blood flow and therefore oxygen to the heart leading to heart attack.

Most of the risk factors for heart diseases are modifiable and thus a heart attack is preventable to the larger extent if appropriate lifestyle and dietary modifications are brought about.

Prevention includes avoidance of excessive smoking and alcohol consumption, blood pressure control, maintaining appropriate blood sugar level, keeping a check on cholesterol levels, doing physical activity especially cardio activities for at least 30 minutes for 5 days a week, weight control.

2. Accidents

Accidents cannot be called as a “health risk “and certainly not a gender specific health risk yet many men die in big numbers every year due to road accidents, injuries due to fall and fire accidents. According to a report in Economic times in 2018 – In India, more than 150,000 people are killed each year only in traffic accidents. 

Prevention includes avoidance of speaking or texting on mobile phone while driving, avoiding speeding, avoiding drunk and driving.

Try to avoid falls by regular exercises which would improve body’s strength and balance, have regular eye check-ups and improve lighting of your surroundings. To ensure fire safety – install smoke alarms, check safety of heating units and cooking units, electrical units and appliances.     

3. Cancer

Most common forms of cancers in men are cancers of lung, liver, prostrate and intestine.

Men after the age of 40, must get checked on regular basis for prostate cancer. Commonly used household chemicals and cosmetics contain cancer-causing compounds. Apart from genetic factors, it is estimated that up to 20% of cancer cases can be linked to environmental exposure of toxins like tobacco, alcohol, air pollution, food chemicals and diets rich in meat and low in vegetables.

Prevention includes avoidance of risk factors, regular screening and check-ups for cancer and its early symptoms, and early detection in high risk individuals.

4. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

It is the leading cause of death among males; risk factors include smoking (both active and passive) and air pollution. This disease can also be a result of professional hazard for those working in mining or stone quarries.

For prevention – cessation of smoking, lessening exposure to environmental pollution, increase in ventilation and fresh air by opening windows at home and workplace, using portable air cleaners, minimise exposure to workplace chemicals and industrial pollutants will help to mitigate the risk of COPD.

5. Cerebrovascular accident or stroke

A cerebrovascular accident occurs when blood flow to an area of the brain is interrupted by either a blood clot creating blockage in an artery or rupture of blood vessel in the brain. Brain cells begin to deteriorate, and brain damage occurs. This condition leads to loss of speech, movement and memory.

Preventable risk factors of stroke include hypertension, stress, anxiety, tobacco consumption, diabetes, heart disease, high cholesterol, excessive alcohol, obesity, physical inactivity, drug abuse.

Finally, it can be concluded that many of these risks to life and health in men are preventable by adopting healthy lifestyle and habits and with efforts to maintain physical fitness and mental peace.

Wishing you a very Happy and Healthy Life. Take care

Contributed by – Dr. Parag Sharma, M.D Director at Aarogya hospital, Hapur

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Diabetes is a metabolic disorder characterised by high blood glucose due to lack of insulin secretion or action or both. Today, the ratio of diabetes is rapidly increasing worldwide, and India would be ranking number one by 2030. Not only adults’ toddlers and kids are also at risk of getting diabetes

Let us understand in simple terms why Diabetes occurs and how it can be prevented or managed.

The food we eat is digested and converted to glucose, which is then utilised for energy production (or stored in liver and Muscles) through a chain of process mediated by insulin hormone secreted by Pancreas.

Change in production levels or action of insulin hormone leads to increase sugar levels in blood which is termed as hyperglycaemia (excess blood glucose) or hypoglycaemia (sudden decrease in the levels of blood glucose). Increased blood sugar level is not a one-day game it starts years before in your body but after a certain time it shows it’s presence by damaging some of our systems. Many a times apparently visible healthy individuals with good lifestyle may also have disturbed glucose levels.

Diabetes is only caused by eating too much sugar is one of the biggest health myths.

What can trigger Diabetes in an individual?

  • Excess intake of carbohydrates
  • Sedentary lifestyle
  • Junk food
  • Overeating
  • Obesity
  • Genetic factors
  • Environmental factors
  • Hormonal disturbance in body
  • Poor sleep

In hyperglycaemia fasting blood sugar > 126 mg/dL, Post-prandial > 200 mg/dL and HbA1c > 5.7 whereas in hypoglycaemia blood sugar drops below 70 mg/dL.

When fasting glucose is between 100-125 mg/dl and /or PP is 140-199mg/dl this is termed as prediabetes. Normal blood glucose as defined American Diabetes Association is Fasting less than 100 and PP less than 140 mg/dl.

The bitter truth is that Diabetes develops silently for years in your body. Most of the time people surprisingly come to know during some or other health check-up that they are affected with irregular blood sugar.

For consistent and accurate monitoring of your blood sugar levels at regular intervals check out the DIABETES tests and profiles offered by Metropolis here

Signs and symptoms of hyperglycaemia –

  • Increased thirst
  • Lack of appetite
  • Frequent urination
  • Frequent infections
  • Feeling tired or fatigue
  • Sudden weight loss
  • Numbness or tingling in limbs
  • Poor vision

Signs and symptoms of hypoglycaemia –

  • Fatigue
  • Excess hunger
  • Shakiness
  • Bouts of confusion
  • Heart palpitations
  • Headache
  • Excessive sweating

To manage or prevent hypoglycaemia, keep an eye on blood sugar levels at regular intervals and take proper balance diet and exercise. Known diabetics who are on medication must carry sugar/candy pouch for contingencies.

If not taken care of in time diabetes will damage your vital organs like kidney, nervous system, heart, eyes, brain and would lead to fatal diseases like heart attack, renal failure and stroke.

3.4 Million deaths in India occur due to high blood sugar. So, if you consistently see any of the above signs and symptoms particularly those mentioned for hyperglycaemia please visit a doctor and get your sugar test done and take a proper diet and exercise guidance from qualified dietitian to prevent yourself from this silent killer.

Learn more about Types of Diabetes and its Signs & Symptoms:

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Anemia Disorders

Anemia is the most prevalent nutritional deficiency disorder in the world. While it affects all the age groups – preschoolers, adolescent girls, pregnant women and non-pregnant women of childbearing age are at the highest risk. Adolescent girls are equally vulnerable to iron deficiency, characterizing anemia due to the onset of menstruation as there is blood loss every month and the iron consumption is not in line with the amount of iron required by body on a daily basis.

As per the National Family Health Survey Statistics, every second woman in India is suffering from anemia and 1 in 5 maternal deaths is related to anemia. In fact, it is estimated that ground reality could be that maternal deaths are even higher due to anemia.

What is Anemia?

Anemia is a condition that occurs when the red blood cells do not carry enough oxygen to the tissues of the body.

According to WHO (World Health Organization) – Anemia is a condition in which the Hemoglobin (Hb) content of blood is lower than normal as a result of deficiency of one more essential nutrient regardless of the cause of such deficiencies. Most the anemias are due to inadequate supply of nutrients like iron. Folic acid, Vitamin B12, proteins, amino acid, Vitamin A, Vitamin C and B complex vitamins like niacin and pantothenic acid as these are required for maintenance of Hemoglobin levels in the body.

Mild anemia means Hemoglobin levels ranging from 10 – 11.9g/dl

Moderate anemia is means Hemoglobin levels ranging from 7.9  9g/dl

Severe anemia means Hemoglobin levels less than 7g/dl

Why is Anemia widely prevalent in India?

Unfortunately, anemia is rampant in a developing country like India due to the following reasons

  • Poor eating habits or malnutrition (Not eating enough fruits, vegetables, legumes and foods rich in Vitamin-C)
  • Lack of self-focus on better health
  • Lack of focus on Anemia diagnosis (most of the times it goes unnoticed)
  • Despite the dedicated efforts made by government, Iron supplementation programs in India has not reached the corners of the country. Continuous efforts and monitoring is required to build awareness and enroll the needy.

Why is there a need to review the Nutritional needs of Indian women?

Women are more likely to suffer from nutritional deficiencies as compared to men and you could say this has a lot to do with women’s reproductive biology and their dedication to family. While they take care of everyone, they just do not take care of their own health and  keep ignoring.

Symptoms of Anemia deficiency –

Iron deficiency anemia could be mild at first and most women could come to know about it only post a routine blood checkup.

 Symptoms of Moderate level deficiency to severe anemia are as follows.

  • General fatigue and Weakness
  • Cold hand and feet
  • Pale skin and Brittle nails
  • Excessive hair fall
  • Shortness of breath
  • Cravings to eat unusual items like ice, dirt and clay.
  • Dizziness and intermittent Headache
  • Fast or irregular heartbeat
  • Tingling sensation in the feet
  • Tongue soreness

The best way to correct anemia is to add foods rich in iron and vitamins that are essential to hemoglobin and help in red blood cells production.



India has nearly 355 million menstruating women and almost 50% of them are known to be iron deficient. Low iron levels indicate fatigue, poor immunity, poor performance at school and work and dull-looking skin, increased hair fall. Since Iron is required for healthy red blood cells, including enough iron rich foods in the diet becomes imperative.

Sources of Iron-

  • Green leafy vegetables (Spinach/kale/beet green/romaine lettuce)
  • Nuts (pistachio/cashews/pine nuts)
  • Garden cress seeds
  • Lamb meat /Seafood (Tuna/salmon/halibut/sardines) 
  • Dried fruits
  • Beans (Kidney beans/chickpeas/black eyed beans/soybean/peas)
  • Legumes /Amaranth
  • Oats /Quinoa /Flaxseeds
  • Sesame seeds /Pumpkin seeds /Hemp seeds /Sunflower seeds

The recommended daily intake for an average Female adult is 18mg/day.

Vitamin B12

Vitamin B12 is required for the development of healthy red blood cells. Hence, lack of Vitamin B12 deficiency could again lead to fatigue, tingling sensation in the extremities, weight loss and menstrual issues.

Sources of Vitamin B12-

Vegetarian: Jack fruit, melons, Banana, Sprouts, Spirulina, Soy Milk, Tofu, Cheese etc.

Non-vegetarian: Poultry, Fish, Dairy products, Eggs, Lamb

Folic Acid- Folic acid is another nutrient required by women in order to make healthy red blood cells. Absence of enough folic acid in the body can predispose you to anemia. Hence adding enough folic acid to the diet becomes imperative.

Sources of Folic acid-

  • Green leafy veggies
  • Dried beans and peas
  • Nuts
  • Enriched breads, cereals and other grains

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is required for the absorption of iron in the body. Not having enough Vitamin C in the body can lead to lesser absorption of Iron ultimately leading to Iron deficiency in women. Hence, the diet needs to have foods that are rich in Vitamin C.

Sources of Vitamin C

  • Orange
  • Kiwi
  • Lemon
  • Grapefruit
  • Bell peppers
  • Guava
  • Strawberries
  • Papaya
  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower

Wishing you a very Happy and Healthy Life. Take care.

Contributed by – Huda Shaikh, a leading nutritionist, clinical dietitian and health blogger.

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When was the last time you saw the mild sunrays in morning? Or waited for few minutes while your skin soaked in the sunlight at dawn.

Are you feeling depressed? Are you always hungry? Are you facing anxiety issues? Have you put on extra belly fat?

If yes to all the above, then your body might be deficient in Vitamin-D.

Vitamin-D deficiency is quite common, and yet most people are not aware when they suffer from it.

That’s because the symptoms are often subtle and non-specific, meaning that it’s hard to know if they’re caused by low Vitamin-D levels or something else.

Mild sunlight in morning is the best source of Vitamin-D. Other sources of Vitamin-D are cheese, egg yolks, soymilk, fatty fish, salmon, tuna, mackerel, mushrooms. If your daily exposure to sunlight is limited because you wake up at later hour, if you stay indoors for long duration, live in northern latitudes or have an occupation that prevents sun exposure you may be at risk of Vitamin-D deficiency.

If you think you may have a deficiency, it’s important that you speak to your doctor and get your blood levels measured.

Fortunately, a vitamin D deficiency is usually easy to fix.

You can either increase your sun exposure during morning, eat more Vitamin-D-rich foods, such as fish or fortified dairy products. You can also find a variety of Vitamin-D supplements. Vitamin-D supplements should be taken by advice of a doctor.

Common signs and symptoms of Vitamin-D deficiency –

Common signs and symptoms of Vitamin-D deficiency –

  • Depression and anxiety

Body produces serotonin from the body chemical melatonin, melatonin is produced in response to sunlight, the more exposure to sunlight results in more melatonin thus more serotonin.

Too little of serotonin leads one to feel cranky, irritable, depressed, anxious.

  •  Muscle pain, bone pain, low bone density

Due to vitamin-D deficiency, there will be inadequate absorption of calcium in the body, vitamin-D helps in absorption of calcium. In case of inadequate Vitamin-D in body low bone mineral density can occur which results in chronic muscular pain, pain in joints, osteoporosis.

  • Hair loss

Stress, anxiety, depression, low immunity gradually causes hair loss. As all the above are signs of vitamin-D deficiency. Calcium, vitamins and minerals are major building components of hair and skin and nutritional deficiencies do affect their vitality.

65% of Indians have Vitamin-D deficiency! Get yourself and your family checked up for Vitamin-D. Click here to know more

  • Unexplained infertility

It is observed that the vitamin-D deficient women have less chances of getting conceived.

  • Poor wound healing

It’s also been suggested that vitamin-D’s role in controlling inflammation and fighting infection which is important for proper healing.

  • Poor immune function, increased risk of illness or infections

One of vitamin-D’s most important roles is keeping your immune system strong so you’re able to fight off viruses and bacteria that cause illness. It directly interacts with the cells that are responsible for fighting infection.

  • Constant feeling of fatigue and tired are the signs of low vitamin-D

If you find these symptoms then you lack vitamin-D, though it’s not life threatening initially but it does affect quality of life.

Wishing you a very happy and healthy life. Take care.

Contributed by – Dr. Anushree MV, an Ayurvedic physician specializing in weight loss, PCOS, thyroid disorders, diabetes, infertility and childcare.

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