Heart-Diseases

Heart diseases rank among one of the top most causes of death globally according to WHO (World Health Organization). Deaths due to heart diseases have doubled in India, its 28% now as compared to 15% in 1990s, as per a report published in Lancet Journal.

In the light of growing modern technology, not only the new and young “smartphone generation” but also everyone else is facing more devastating consequences due to their comfortable yet fast paced and stressful lifestyle. This is leading to spike in heart diseases and lifestyle disorders. And to further the situation is the fact that cardiovascular disorders are very unpredictable, they begin slowly but lead to sudden serious disturbances of heart and ill health.

We cannot change the causative factors of cardiovascular diseases like family history of heart diseases, gender or age but that does not mean we should not do our best to bring about changes in our lifestyle that can help in lowering the risk of cardiovascular diseases. Proper lifestyle, diet, exercise with appropriate medical interventions can help delay the problem or even put a stop.

Here are the pointers of the governance for a better Heart and actions to be taken:

  • Stress

One word, one cause that can be the root for different health disorders is stress.

In times when technology and support was not abundant activities such as house cleaning, gardening, taking children and pets to play and walk, climbing stairs, doing household work manually were daily physical activities. These activities even though sedentary, were helping people to keep their body fit and also assist to reduce the occurrence of high blood pressure, high sugar levels, high cholesterol and thus, check the overall strain on the heart, to a certain level.

Today’s fast moving lifestyle has literally reduced all these small yet essential de-stressing physical activities. Thus resulting in increase of oxidative stress and free radicals in the body that are detrimental for the heart.

Coping with stress in unhealthy way like binge eating, eating at irregular intervals or anorexia nervosa causes further negative impact on heart health.

The key is to find alternative ways of managing and reducing stress using various relaxation techniques like meditation, yoga, pranayama, 30 minutes of physical activity preferably cardio exercise done 5 days a week, aerobics or brisk walking and more. These activities offer great benefits like increasing the oxygen levels in the body, enhancing blood circulation to all parts of the body, toning of muscles and nerves and much more resulting in better inner health of the body and the heart.

  • Sleep

Getting quality sleep for appropriate amount of time is missing in this generation where most of the population is addicted to mobile phones and laptops, working in night shifts, late night binge watching, hectic work schedules. Sleep apnoea, breathing troubles are conditions which if persist for a considerable amount of time lead to disturbance in sleep-wake cycle that can further lead to increase in the risk of heart diseases.

Sleep is one of the major function during which the body goes into repair, maintenance and rest mode.

Making sleep a priority in life and sticking to a schedule is the solution. Most adults need 6 to 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep daily to feel fresh, stay health and to wake up energised.

  • Diet

A diet lacking in fruits and vegetables devoid the person of the micronutrients and trace elements essential for body. Consuming too much sugar, salt, high-fat food, processed foods are a threat to heart health.

Fast foods and ready-made foods are rich in trans-fats, hydrogenated and saturated fats. Food products like red meat, palm oil, crackers, chips, cookies, deep fried food, baked foods and all food types categorized as ‘junk food’ are detrimental in long run especially when consumed in excess or regularly. These can lead to accumulation of fat or sugar in the body and can lead to heart trouble. The increased exposure of chemicals and pesticides to the cultivated crops is also a major culprit for toxin build up.

  • Substance misuse – Alcohol, smoking, consumption of drugs

When it comes to these habits, occasional and moderate usage of Alcohol is fine, but smoking, substance misuse and excessive alcoholism are immensely detrimental to the cardiovascular (heart) health of your body and are direct causes of heart disease.

Chemicals in tobacco damage blood vessels, causing plaques (fat deposition inside blood vessels). It also narrows the arteries leading to atherosclerosis and myocardial infarction (cardiac cell death). These symptoms have increased over the years and so has the risk of coronary artery disease (CAD), even in non-smokers in last few years.

Smokeless tobacco, low nicotine cigars, low tar cigar, second-hand smoke (passive smoking) can also be dangerous and increase the risk of heart disease even if it is social smoking only with friends. Especially Women are at a greater risk if smoking while consuming contraceptive pills.

Getting regular health check-ups and medical consultation is advisable. As regular and early screening can help in detecting the diseases in time and hence can be better monitored and managed to reduce the risk to life.

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

Check tests & Profiles for Heart here

Contributed by Dr. Chaitra Avinash, an expert on lifestyle disorders, dietary intervention and hair-skin care.

Like
Like Love Haha Wow Sad Angry
Breast-cancer

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

Like
Like Love Haha Wow Sad Angry