Author Archives: Yogender Sharma

About Yogender Sharma

Senior Medical Consultant in Radiology and Nuclear Medicine. Promoter of Preventive Health Check-Up's for Life style Diseases. Health Educator and activist .

13th June – ‘GLOBAL WELLNESS DAY’

 

 

AGING IS OUT, LONGEVITY IS IN.

ANTI-AGEnts : EAT,PLAY,LOVE.

Article by Subodh Verma, in TOI, 13th June,2015.

Till the beginning of the last century, living long was just a dream. Average global Lifespan was just 31 years, going up to 50 and today it is 70 years in the world, and increasing up to 80 years in 36 countries.

First came antibiotics, vaccinations and now public health. With stem cell therapy and genetics engineering extending the lifespan seems to be well within reach.

What is aging? Aubrey de Grey, scientist and crusader for research on anti-ageing discoveries, told Times of India, that it is an accumulation of changes in cells “that  eventually combine to impair function of various organs and cause ill-health and eventually death”.

“These changes are what I call damage. The body is set to tolerate a certain amount of damage, which is why we seriously start going downhill late in life”, he said.

Suresh Rattan, professor at Aarhus University, Denmark said that with time, our cells, tissues and  organs progressively become weaker in function, tolerance, robustness and resilience.

“This change leads to an increased possibility of the emergence of one or more diseases and eventual death. There are no special genes with the sole function of causing aging and death,” he clarified.

So how do you reduce damage to the cells and thereby postpone metabolic disease and maybe death itself ? This is where the concept of Wellness comes in. Wellness is defined as ” a state of complete physical, mental, and social well being, and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity” as well as ” an active process of becoming aware of and making choices towards  a healthy and fulfilling Life”. In other words to postpone death, and to lead a disease -free life you need to make choices on lifestyle habits.

“Our studies have shown  that we could prevent 82% of heart attacks, about 70% of strokes, over 90% of Type-2 diabetes, and over 70% of colon cancers, with right dietary choices as part of a healthy lifestyle. The best drugs can reduce heart attacks by about 20-30%, yet we put almost all of our resources, money and effort, into promoting drugs rather than healthy life-style and nutrition”, Walter C Willett, professor at Harvard School of Public Health told TOI.

Lifestyle medicine is the most important emerging trend in medicine today, said Dean Ornish, president of non-profit Preventive Medicine Research Institute and Clinical professor of medicine, at the University of California, San Francisco . He is famous for the Ornish Diet, based on whole foods and plants.

He told TOI that this diet needs to be combined with stress management and mediation, moderate exercise ( such as walking) or Yoga and social support of community and your companion ( love and intimacy).

“In short – eat well, move more, stress less, and love more,” he said. 

Robert L. Kane, professor at university of Minnesota, who has worked extensively on elderly care, stresses the importance of love, happiness and supportive social system for survival.

“LOVE & HAPPINESS are basic elements of quality of Life. So it is impossible to think about one without the other. Social networks actually support various behaviors, so does family and friends, and practice good health behaviors, Kane told TOI.

The approach represented by Ornish – lifestyle changes-is perhaps the most widely practiced and publicized. But there is growing following for hard scientific approaches like de Grey’s, who recommends seven major damage-repair methods that ” will suffice to eliminate all the damage that contributes to ill- health of old age”.

“One of them is Stem Cell Therapy, which is already well advanced. The others are in early stages of development, but we are working on them hard on and progress is accelerating,” de Grey promises.

Meanwhile let’s eat healthy, love, pray and be happy and  remain active and agile. Walk, Stretch, do Yoga and mediate daily.

More important – as friends Let’s encourage more and more number of people to adopt healthy life-style behaviors.

( I am posting this TOI article, since it represents the basic philosophy of our Non-Profit Trust, Rajendera Foundation, and what I  have often espoused in my articles, thoughts and actions.) Yogender Sharma.

 

 

” Love and happiness are basic elements of quality of life. Social networks actually support various behaviors. So family and friends can keep one living in more healthy ways if they practice good health behaviors.”

Robert L Kane. Elderly Care Expert.

Sleep Epidemic – Eyes Wide Open ?

 

” DO YOU SLEEP WELL  – MOST OF US  DON’T AND ARE CAUGHT NAPPING IN THE DAY”

IN SHORT – TAKE YOUR SLEEP SERIOUSLY !

With our fast paced life and 24 X 7 work mode, Sleep disorders are widespread. It is as silent an epidemic as is Hypertension. Road accidents, heart failure, memory impairment and Obesity are on the increase – all because of lack of sleep or INSOMNIA.

Low awareness about sleep problems means people don’t take their S-N-O-R-I-N-G and breathing difficulties seriously. Snoring is the single most cause of marital discord. “Many divorces take place because a partner snores a lot and is not willing to get treated for it.”

YES, Sleep Apnea, and Insomnia are the two most common causes and both are treatable to a large extent. People who snore must visit a Sleep Specialist or Pulmonologist and get their Sleep Study done for proper diagnosis and treatment. If Insomnia is the cause consult a Sleep Specialist. Taking Sleeping Pills on your own can be dangerous and habit forming. They also have side effects like drowsiness, impaired learning ability, respiratory depression, and short term memory loss. They can cause accidents and other occupational injuries. Beware?

SYSTEM ERRORS

Insomnia: Difficulty in falling or staying asleep.

Snoring and Obstructive Sleep Apnea: Blockage of airways caused by collapsing of soft tissue in the back of throat causing brain momentary hypoxia.

Restless leg Syndrome : Urge to move legs while resting.

Narcolepsy : Sleep and wakeful cycle going haywire; patient experience excessive daytime sleepiness.

For a healthy adult 7 to 8 hours sleep is a must for rejuvenation of our body. You may  Follow a below mentioned PROTOCOL for a good night sleep. This includes :

1. Exercise – Work up a sweat, when you are tired, you are likely to sleep well.

2. Ambience – Calm down. Turn of the TV, don’t browse close to bedtime, rather read a ‘real’ book, or drink a warm glass of milk, though.

3. Food – Don’t eat a large meal at night, avoid spicy or fatty foods as they may cause heartburn.

4. Stimulants – Avoid tea, coffee and caffeinated drinks in the evening. Caffeine prevents brain activity from slowing down.

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NECK OR BACK PAIN- Younger Generation’s – Big Worry?

 

As a Radiologist I find more and more younger professionals in their 30’s and 40’s, walk into my clinic, with constant Neck and Back Pain. The diagnosis is simple : Cervical Spondylitis – or to be more precise – constant wear and tear of the neck vertebrae.

                                     The common threadis long over use of Laptop for hours together, may be due to professional necessity. It starts with a nagging vague occasional pain, goes on to become a constant companion, which refuses to go away and starts bothering you with your daily routine. At times it disturbs your sleep or extends to shoulder, upper back and arm with tingling in the one or two fingers. Time you take notice of it ?  

We must catch this diagnosis in early stages. Earlier this use to be seen in 50’s or 60’s. Now the frequency in young professionals is increasing with every passing year. Use of Laptop is obviously increasing. Most cases are triggered by repetitive injury and stiffness because of lack of adequate movement.

It is simple Ergonomics at play : Ergonomics at the work place makes a huge difference. Earlier people or offices use to provide desktops, which were placed on the tables at a height where eye level of the Screen use to be at proper angle and height  parallel to your eyes and placing of your footrest. But with the technology moving fast- Desktops have been replaced by personal Laptops – handy, light, which the professional carry with them to their homes, and work on them at all odd angles, sitting on sofa or bed or even lying down. All the strain is on your neck and eyes – poor You.

Ideally you should avoid working continuously at a stretch. Take a break, every 30 to 60 minutes, stretch your neck and back, get up and walk, go for a glass of water, say hello to your colleague or find an excuse to get up and walk. This will do you lot of good. Remember prevention is better than cure.

Neglecting the pain could lead to slipped disc as the pain becomes chronic recovery time is prolonged. Proper posture and exercise along with precautions is the simple treatment. Avoid the use of thick pillows. Strengthening of neck and back muscles is of great importance before you have to switch on to medicines. Do not pop painkillers at the first thought.

                                          Loosen – Up and Learn to laugh a while. Too much work can play havoc with your neck. Go on a stroll with your wife and kid. Appreciate the nature !!  

 

 

‘MYTH’ of Obesity – “Blame Your Diet – Not the Physical Activity”

 

Challenging conventional wisdom that made headlines world over, in an article for thr British Journal of Sports Mediine, cardiologist Aseem Malhotra and co-authors T. Noakes and S. Phinney wrote,     “Let us bust the myth of physical activity and obesity – You cannot overrun a bad diet”

All that noise by Health experts and Diet Specialist about banning the Junk Food and the Sugary Drinks from School canteens is a step in right direction. With increasing Obesity epidemic in School going children and an alarming rise in Diabetes among major developing and developed countries, this study proves the fact that high calory diet is the major culprit.  The public health messages around diet and exercise, and their relationship to the epidemics of type 2 diabetes and increasing obesity has been spread by vested interests and Celebrity endorsements of sugary drinks and junk foods that we see on TV and Print Media daily. “This must end-say the authors.”

*  Researchers say that those who want to avoid excess weight gain should adopt a diet that is high in fat but low on sugar and carbohydrates.

                   ** Relationship between Diet and exercise has been corrupted by vested interests, says the new study.

                     *** Study says physical activity is helpful in reducing risk of developing diabetes, heart diseases and dementia, but it does not promote weight loss.

                     **** Researchers blame ‘manipulative marketing’ for false preception of ‘healthy weight’ through ‘ calorie counting’

The ‘health halo’ legitimising of nutritionally deficient products is misleading and unscientific. This manipulative marketing sabotages the effective government interventions of banning such products. For commercial profit we are damaging the population health and the future of childrens health.

The authors said,” Members of the public health are getting drowned by unhelpful message about maintaining “healthy weight” thrugh calorie counting and many still wrongly believe that obesity is entirely due to lack of exercise”

This “false preception” they claim, ” is rooted in the food industry’s public relation machinery which uses tactics chillingly similar to to those of the big tobacco — denial, doubt, confusing the public and even buying the loyalty of bent scientists, at the cost of millions of lives”.

The debate for the facts will continue and experts may once again dismiss the conclusions. The industry will deny these facts – but how can one be blinded by the fact of empty calories. Don’t we know it ??

Remember it is your child’s health and your own health – which is at stake?

                           You must be your own judge – accept it or reject it – IT IS YOUR LIFE ?? 

Vegan’s Diet – Healthy & Nutritious – Helps you to stay close to Nature.

 

Eating Whole, plant based food is an answer to most Life style health anomalies  – say the advocates of a vegan diet?

Expert Indian Vegan’s believe – Eat Local and Eat Whole & Raw – without pesticides and preservatives, organic if available, otherwise use whatever you get, but wash them thoroughly with running or preferably warm water initially with a tea-spoonful of white Vinegar/ or Salt – rinse and subsequently wash in running water thereafter. Peel radish, carrots and cucumber before eating.

Vegans, in addition to being vegetarians, do not eat meat, fish or poultry. They even shun dairy products, including honey. Can you imagine Life without having milk, curd, or ghee? From childhood we have been told milk is important for growth, has calcium which is good for bones and if a child does not drink milk – how will he become strong ??

Dr. Neal Bernard, the author of Program for Reversing Diabetes, that cause of Insulin resistance is fat in the muscle cells ( intra-myo-cellular lipids) that reduces the sensitivity of the receptors to insulin. The other cause they now say, could be the ‘insulin like growth factor’ present in milk. Since it is very similar to insulin, it blocks the receptors. The blocked receptors in our body do not let muscle cells use the  glucose, leading to increased sugar levels. Interesting fact !  

Bone health, in fact is not due to milk, rather “the cause for Osteoporosis is not lack of calcium in the body, but losing it from the body – Dairy products, meat and all high protein foods are acidic in nature. When we eat or drink acidic food(milk), it leaches the calcium out of the bones to neutralize it. There goes the theory of drinking milk – A Big Myth?

Cow’s milk contains high quantity of growth hormones which are most harmful. Lactating cow in the dairy industry is impregnated with artificial insemination within 2 months of delivering a calf . A pregnant cow that also lactates is a storehouse of hormones – which are given –  for increasing milk – and that too due to  BIG GREED .

Shunning dairy and deep fried food, meat and all the junk food and instead turning to a healthy vegan diet which includes lot of fresh fruits and vegetable, is the way to getting healthy. This is the new fad and mantra. Adopt it for Reversing your Diabetes and Hypertension. 

We often say that vegan diet is deficient in calcium and proteins. The proteins that we get from meat is secondary protein, this protein is difficult for kidney to excrete. Lentils, Legumes, Sesame seeds ( have 10 times more calcium than milk ) and Millets from plant source is the best protein. Lentil Sprouts is ideal. Vegan diet also lacks omega-3 fatty acids- which is found in fish – but it is present in flax seeds, say the vegans. Vitamin D and B12  are 2 other supplements that you must be careful about, since vegan diet is deficient in both. Vitamin B12 must be taken through supplements. And the most important Vitamin D or Sunshine Vitamin( for bone health) – one must expose 70% of the body to sunlight for at least half an hour in the morning Sun, before noon, every day – say the experts.

Though it may seem difficult to begin with – to change to a vegan diet and shunning dairy and meat – yet a healthy beginning can be made. Choice is more pertinent in view of increasing Life style diseases which are on the rise in all societies. Give it a try?

REMAIN – FIGHTING FIT ( Informative Post)

 

It is hard to decide- What To Eat & What Not To – Anymore, but some rules are universal and constant, right ? Wrong. Here’s a look at some of the things you might think you’re doing right, but are not ….. said a piece by Snchita Sharma and Apoorva Dutt in Hindustan times dated April,12, 2015.

I think everyone must know this and  hence a gist of this information for wider circulation.

 5 Myths Debunked by the Authors

1. Myth : You must drink 8 glasses of water a day : Experts say that it is overall fluid throughout the day that matters, which includes water and water found naturally in fruits and vegetables, juices, milk and yoghurt, and even much abused diuretics such as tea and coffee. So, don’t loose your sleep over it. However, drinking more water has its benefits.

2. Myth : You need daily dose of Multi-Vitamins to stay Healthy : If you’re eating healthy, a multi vitamin will be flushed out of your system. Rather than taking a multi vitamin, eat all the food groups in right proportions. Only resort to multi vitamins if you have a pre-existing condition that necessitates extra nutrition. This also on proper medical advice.

3. Myth : You shouldn’t d eat carbs after 7 PM : What you eat matters much more than when you eat it. While your dinner should ne comparatively light, not eating carbohydrates will not matter, not if you are gorging all the time, so watch your frequency.

4. Myth : Low -fat or Sugar less is always better : Low fat food often contains extreme amounts of preservatives, additives and sodium to retain flavor, which are un-healthy. If not eaten in excess, good fats are healthy and keep you full for  longer hours. Cut on trans-fats and refined carbohydrates – such as bread, pasta and potatoes – and not worrying much about fresh sources of food.

5. Myth : Detoxes or cleanses will help your system : It can cause more damage than a piece of mithai or sweet because binging-starving system can destroy your digestive system. It is ideal to strike a balance . In parties – eat in moderation – this will help you a lot.

Enjoy your life and eat healthy.

7th April,2015- ‘WORLD HEALTH DAY’ -Let’s pledge to live healthy!

Non-Communicable Diseases (NCD’s) or Lifestyle Diseases in India are on the rise. 53% of all deaths are attributed to NCD’s. Cardiovascular disease is the major contributor of this burden.

Dr. T.S. Kler, Head of the Department of Cardiology, Fortis Escorts Heart Institute and Research Centre, said taht increasingly in urban areas people nowadays do not walk do not walk atall. Even for groceries they order on phone or order online or drive to the market. We do not climb stairs any more. We do not cycle to work – even children do not go outdoors to play – they instaed prefer to watch TV or use internet or mobile phones to play games.

EXERCISE – the most important physical activity for healthy living – is missing or has become extinct.

Food and nutritional intake has improved for majority of the population – OBESITY and midline obesity is increasing and is becoming the root cause of all Lifestyle disaeses.

WE ARE IN THE MIDST OF A REAL HEALTHSTYLE PROBLEM.

EXERCISE & HEALTHY EATING ARE THE KEYS TO HEALTHY LIVING.

Our generation must change our lifestyle. PHYSICAL ACTIVITY  – is an ABSOLUTE MUST !

We must eat plenty of fruits and vegetables and avoid the tasty, easily availble junk food.

Eat moderate amount of fats, oily and fried food. Instaed eat Whole Food – Grains and Fruits – with its skin – wherever and whenever possible. Try to eat homecooked fresh food and less of preserved foods.

Eat less salt and sugar.

Safe and secure Food from farm to your plate.

Lat but not the least wash your hands, fruits and vegetables clean before eating . Food Safety is this World Health Day’s theme. 

OUR HEALTH IS IN OUR OWN HANDS !!

‘HEALTHY LIVING MUST START FROM TODAY’

Dr. Yogender Sharma

FOOD & FITNESS

 

Healthy body unfortunately – is not available on SALE. Food is the fuel(Petrol) and fitness is like the service maintenance that the body requires for good ageing.

EAT WISELY : A balanced healthy diet is vital for a healthy body. But modern lifestyle has brought a sea change in what we eat and the way we eat. The ready to eat foods have brought about a deterioration in our health. We lack the time or the space to burn our calories. Watch what you eat. Eat lentils in form of sprouts (full of nutrition and energy), opt for whole grains more and refined ones less. Use healthy oils like olive oil or rice bran oil . Prefer a home cooked food instead of fast or junk food. Eat more fruits and vegetables. Eat at-least one meal with your family. Drink plenty of water – water is the elixir of life ! DO NOT SMOKE. AND AVOID ALCOHOL.

EAT SUPER-NUTRIENT FOODS : like 1) Beans – which are a good source of fiber, magnesium and potassium and half a cup provides as much protein as an ounce of meat. 2) Dark leafy vegetables, like spinach, kale etc – these are powerhouse foods full of iron. 3) Citrus Fruits like Grapefruits,Oranges,Lemons and limes. 4) Sweet Potatoes which are packed with vitamin A and fiber and have low GIycemic Index . 5) Berries are packed with antioxidants,vitamins and fiber. 6) Tomato-eat them raw, in a sauce, pureed or cooked you are eating vital nutrients, vitamin C and E as well as iron 7) Nuts a fistful provide key healthy fats along with hunger management. Walnuts & flax seeds contain Omega 3 fatty acids 8) Dairy products like low fat toned milk, a cup of low fat curd or a slice of cheese provides enough calcium and vitamin D which is good for your strong bones.

KEEP FIGHTING FIT : WALKING IS THE SIMPLEST & THE BEST EXERCISE – and it exercises the whole body ! Walk whenever and wherever- you can!!  Take the stairs. USE YOUR 2 FEET instead of 4 wheels and you will feel less ill ! Research has shown that even 10 minutes of exercise, has a positive impact on your total health. Exercise releases the endorphins or feel good hormones in your blood stream, which helps you feel happier & healthy – which in turn is good for your heart and reduces your stress levels. Pick the exercise that works for you and you enjoy the most – hit the gym,go for a walk, join Pilates, do yoga, cycling, dancing or swimming, or play any game. REMEMBER -YOU MUST EXERCISE – TO AVOID THE LIFESTYLE DISEASES – THAT ARE OUR BIGGEST ENEMIES !! Last but not the least – Walk your way in the crowd wearing a smile on your face. SMILING – costs nothing !!!

 

 

WHY – HEALTHFIRST – Basic Health Check-Up ???

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PAHELA SUKH NIROGI KAYA, DOOSRA SUKH PALLE HO MAYA” – this is a very age old wise saying, which is the REAL TRUTH, AND THE WHOLE -TRUTH. THE VALUE OF GOOD HEALTH – ONE OFTEN REALIZES – WHEN IT IS LOST!!

We all go after WEALTH but never care for OUR Health, which once lost can never be regained ! IT IS THEREFORE WISE, to look after one’s health, and take good care of one’s health, when one is young !!

In today’s fast paced city life, mounting work stress and pollution  : ‘LIFE STYLE DISEASES’ can wreck havoc with one’s health. The least one can do is to ensure that the early warning signs are detected and diagnosed by a preventive health check-up.

In Rs. 300/= (Rupees Three Hundred Only) we provide a – Basic Health Check-Up – which consists of – 1) X-ray Chest 2) ECG 3) Fasting Blood Sugar 4) Blood Pressure Check-up. 5) Weight & BMI check-up and       6) Diet Counseling. 

Following Corrective measures can also be initiated in case of any early detection.

1. PHYSICAL ACTIVITY – Start walking, join a gym, do aerobic exercise or yoga. The idea is to keep one’s weight under check. This helps to keep all the lifestyle diseases at bay!!

(Commonly occurring lifestyle diseases are: diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular diseases, osteoarthritis etc)

2.  EATING WISELY – a healthy, nutritious , home cooked, well balanced      diet, with 3 to 5 servings of Vegetables and Fruits.

3. REGULAR HEALTH CHECK-UP – Last but not the least, one must go for a yearly health check-up – after 30! This must be followed as a ritual – like one celebrates one’s birthday!!