Category Archives: HEALTH

Why breast milk is the divine gift by a mother to an infant?

Breastfeeding is the divine gift by mother to an infant
A few drops of breastmilk can also soothe a newborn’s diaper rash or sore throat, treat acne, and help alleviate eye and ear infections.

Breastfeeding has countless benefits. Breastmilk is the best medicine that a mother provides to an infant.

Breastfeeding builds the immunity of an infant.It also helps the mother.It is not easy for a mother to overcome postpartum depression. Breast feeding helps the mother to fight against postpartum depression.

Continue reading Why breast milk is the divine gift by a mother to an infant?

Price of Motherhood: US is the costliest country for women to give birth

According to a new survey conducted by the UK medical journal The Lancet,US is the most expensive place in the world for women to give birth.Australia is the second most expensive place for women to give birth.
Figures compiled by The Lancet show that the cost of a caesarean section is estimated at $15,500 in the US while it costs $10,000 in Australia.
The survey was conducted in 14 developed countries. The journal also said that mortality rate is low in these countries but health services are becoming costly.
Developed countries has taken many measures to reduce the high cost and to make it more affordable.According to The Lancet “Although mortality is generally low, the picture is far from perfect,” the journal said.
“In some settings, fear prevails among subsets of women and providers, driving increased and inappropriate intervention.”

 

Sulabh International Museum of Toilets – Rendering the Private as Public

toilet-paper-sulabh
Sulabh International Museum of Toilets – Rendering the Private as Public

When a person hears the word “ Museum “ the first thing that strikes the mind is a quaint place with culturally rich artifacts, beautiful tapestry, regal possessions, or the remains of the epic time. Have you ever thought of entering the museum and seeing a variety of toilets displayed before you? Yes, Toilets! The Sulabh International Toilet Museum in Delhi serves this amusement and astonishment to its audience. But how can something which is not even openly talked about in India is displayed as an exhibition in its very own capital?  Does publicizing the private helps in the improvement of it at any degree?

The word toilet is derived from the French word toilette, which means little cloth. In the 17th century it was a cloth cover for a dressing table, called a toilet table. If a woman was at her toilet it meant she was dressing and preparing her appearance. By the 19th century toilet room or toilet was a euphemism for a certain room. Toilet is one arena which is carefully and beautifully missed from all the social talks, movies, daily soaps et al. You will either find a beautiful heroine caressing her tresses or may be a comic character falling off his pot seat and the sound of the flush which instigates immense laughter in the audience.

Toilets have always been showcased either in a romantic or in a comic way. Why never as a part of the house?  If we say it is private and personal to one, then well, so are bedrooms. The point is not that it is private, the point is that it is supposed to be not a very beautifully decorated space somewhere hinting it to be dirty. Have you ever thought why the word ‘toilet’ has so many euphemisms? Euphemism is an inoffensive or indirect expression that is substituted for one that is considered offensive or too harsh. So is ‘toilet’ an offensive word?

India is a normative country. There are certain things which termed as ‘improper’ and not talked about. Imagine a high class party, and a person comes up and starts talking about toilet seats and its various shapes and sizes over the centuries! He will definitely be shunned as a cynical. Or say may be person starts talking about condoms. He will be eyed as a lecherous. These things are not supposed to be talked about in public. The problem lies here. When things are not open in public, they keep on decaying in the private. The emergence of toilet cleaning ads, for example, of Harpic or Lux is a good step towards creating awareness.

While the main purpose of the ad is to sell the product and the profit of the company, but it produces awareness as a by-product. There are so many Indian houses where such ads are treated with disgust which follows the changing of the channel immediately even today. The Sulabh International Toilet Museum then was a radical step because of its one of a kind idea. The museum acts a storehouse for a large variety of toilets dating from Harappan civilization, which was the first among the many to give a sanitation module to the world. The most fascinating piece is the throne like chamber pot of the French emperor Louis XIV, 17thcentury who while using it, used to give audience to the people.

India is a nation gripped terribly in Sanitation problems. Sanitation continues to be inadequate in India despite various efforts by the government. An estimated 69% of Indians still lack access to improved sanitation facilities. The Sulabh International Toilet Museum was established in 1992 by Sulabh International Social Service organization owned by Bindeshwar Pathak. This organization is credited largely in the field of sanitation because of its contribution of constructing “pay and use” toilets. So far it has constructed and is maintaining over 8000 such public toilets in India. Its main aim is to help sanitation experts learn from the past and solve problems in the sanitation sector. It was constructed in 1992. Nearly a decade has passed but not many people know about the museum.

A man cleaning his own toilet is thought of to be in financial crisis because maybe that is why he couldn’t afford the demeaning job to be done by someone of lower rank .The need of the hour, as said by Bindeshwar Pathak himself, is to work “with” him. The first step towards solving a nationwide problem is the awareness of it and denouncing the stereotypes attached to it. Only then changes can not only come but also remain.

World No Tobacco Day: Say No to Smoking and Yes to Life

Smoking Kills
Smoking Kills

31st May 2013: The world today observes World No Tobacco Day (WNTD).The aim of this day is to spread awareness about the harms of tobacco consumption and encourage abstinence from all forms of tobacco consumption. There are approximately 120 million smokers in India, about 37 percent of all men and 5 percent of all women between the ages of 30 and 69.

The theme of this year’s ‘World No Tobacco Day’ is to ban tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship. The ban on any promotion of tobacco usage can bring down the incidence of diseases associated with tobacco usage significantly.

Tobacco ills

Cigarette smoke contains several Carcinogenic products. There are roughly 45 Carcinogens in cigarette smoke. However, cessation of smoking can repair the damage gradually. The primary risk of tobacco usage includes many forms of cancers like cancer of larynx, head and neck, breast cancer, bladder cancer, oesophagus and pancreas cancer and cervical cancer.

Long term smoking is responsible for pulmonary damage leading to chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases (COPD) including emphycema and chronic bronchitis. Smoking also increases the chances of heart disease, stroke and peripheral vascular disease besides increasing blood cholesterol level leading to atherosclerosis. Smokers are also at an increased risk of chronic kidney disease, influenza, periodontitis, gingival recession and white mucosal lesions.

The ills of smoking
The ills of smoking

 

Tobacco is linked to susceptibility of infectious diseases like tuberculosis. Incidence of impotence is 85% higher in male smokers than non-smokers. Smoking is harmful to ovaries causing female infertility and tobacco use is a significant factor for miscarriages among pregnant smokers. Smoking can also cause psychological issues such as mood disorders.  Usage of tobacco can create cognitive dysfunction.

Smoking Stats

According to a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, smoking kills 900,000 people every year in India, and unless corrective action is taken soon that number will increase to over 1 million smoking-related deaths annually by this decade.

The projected increase in smoking-related deaths in India is part of a global trend, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), which estimates that smoking-related deaths worldwide will surpass 9 million annually by 2020—with 7 million of those deaths occurring in developing nations. Twenty-five years ago, nearly 70 percent of the lung cancer deaths worldwide occurred in high-income nations. Today, 50 percent of lung cancer deaths occur in low-income nations, and by 2030 that number is expected to increase to 70 percent.

It is truly remarkable that one single factor, namely smoking, which is entirely preventable, accounts for nearly one in 10 of all deaths in India.

According to the study:

  • Smoking may soon account for 20 percent of all male deaths and 5 percent of all female deaths among Indians between the ages of 30 and 69.
  • About 61 percent of men who smoke can expect to die between the ages of 30 and 69, compared with only 41 percent of non-smoking men who are similar in other ways.
  • About 62 percent of women who smoke can expect to die between the ages of 30 and 69, compared to only 38 percent of non-smoking women.
  • On average, men who smoke bidi—the popular hand-rolled cigarettes that contain about one-quarter as much tobacco as a full-sized cigarette—shorten their lives by about six years. Men who smoke full-sized cigarettes lose about 10 years of life.

Fight against Tobacco

Comprehensive Tobacco control is the single most cost effective, economically viable and practical approach to prevent this tragedy. There are three different types of treatments available — behavioural counselling, nicotine replacement therapy, and medication. The kind of treatment differs from person to person. A few psychological therapies and regular support meetings at city hospitals have also helped several smokers quit smoking.

However, a few city doctors feel that despite the high levels of awareness and anti-smoking campaigns and laws, the battle is far from being won. Even the incidence of lung cancer has not seen any climb down. This should be a wake-up call for smokers to stub that cigarette butt forever.

 

How and why Angellina Jolie’s double mastectomy is the story of courage?

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The initiative taken by Angelina Jolie has definitely managed to spark inquisitiveness amongst public across the globe .

Well surely Angelina Jolie has got another added reason to stand apart from the crowd in Cannes film festival not because of her habit of adopting children across the globe but definitely for cherishing womanhood through double mastectomy.

A growing awareness of breast cancer survivor ship makes undergoing mastectomy not as foreign or frightening as perhaps it once was. An online search shows a seemingly limitless number of breast cancer support groups, with a growing collection dedicated to women considering preventive surgery.

Researchers are paying close attention to the increasing rate of double mastectomies in the United States.

The number of women with early stage breast cancer who went on to remove both breasts (even though only one breast had cancer) increased by more than 150% between 1998 and 2003.Experts say several intersecting factors could be fueling this trend.The initiative is not recent, actress Kathy Bates is recovering from double mastectomy.

Since testing became available in 1996, nearly 1 million people have been screened for BRAC1 and BRAC2, the genetic mutations associated with increasing a woman’s lifetime risk of developing breast cancer as much as 87%, according to Myriad Genetics, the diagnostic company that helped isolate the two genes and later developed a test to detect them.

In a global study conducted by Dr. Steven Narod, senior scientist at Women’s College Research Institute in Toronto, the United States had the highest rate of prophylactic mastectomy in BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutation carriers. The U.S. rate was 36.3%, far outpacing the number of preventive surgeries performed by the majority of other countries Narod studied, including France and Canada.

 

One reason for the spike may be that American women fear cancer more than women in other regions. About 70% of women in the United States who have both breasts removed after a cancer diagnosis don’t have a proven medical reason for undergoing the procedure, according to a 2012 study conducted by the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Centre.

However, a double mastectomy may make sense for women with a strong family history of breast or ovarian cancer, or for women who’ve tested positive for genetic mutations in the BRCA genes.

Women today have access to breast reconstruction options that were unavailable to their mothers and grandmothers.

Doctors are increasingly avoiding the use of implants by taking fat from a patient’s stomach, upper back, buttock or thigh to construct and shape new breasts. If a woman decides to go with implants, they’ve been made safer and more comfortable, and surgeons increasingly offer immediate implant reconstruction instead of the traditional multistep process that took months of additional doctor visits.

It’s hard to believe that implants have only been widely available since the 1970s. Before then, and it’s really not that long ago, women were subjected to wearing falsies. The options available today have dramatically improved the way a woman looks after surgery. And with even better microsurgery options on the way, even higher numbers of women are choosing mastectomy.

One such technique, if put into commercial practice, may raise ethical red flags. Doctors are working on a new procedure that would one day make it possible for individuals to donate their excess fat  similar to the way blood is donated today so women seeking a more natural breast reconstruction could take advantage of somebody else’s flesh.

‘Pink ribbon’ culture is slowly becoming congruent to American culture which requires quick solution and expects answer to every problem.

The initiative taken by Anjellina Jolie has definitely managed to spark inquisitiveness amongst public across the globe in such a manner surgeons are marketing themselves directly to information-hungry patients online. Doctors are holding Twitter chats and creating websites to promote their services. At the Stanford University School of Medicine, a breast surgeon has even launched an online guide to help women decide if preventive surgery is right for them.

Angelina Jolie is pictured left with mother Marcheline Bertrand at Los Angeles airport in 1998, nine years before Ms Bertrand died of ovarian cancer, and right, with father Jon Voight in 2001

The excerpts of a recent chat with Angelina in one of the eminent newspapers “On April 27, I finished the three months of medical procedures that the mastectomies involved. During that time I have been able to keep this private and to carry on with my work.’

The star’s surgery was successful and doctors say Angelina’s chances of developing breast cancer have now lowered to less than 5 per cent.

‘I wanted to write this to tell other women that the decision to have a mastectomy was not easy,’ she wrote. ‘But it is one I am very happy that I made.

‘My chances of developing breast cancer have dropped from 87 per cent to under 5 per cent. I can tell my children that they don’t need to fear they will lose me to breast cancer. It is reassuring that they see nothing that makes them uncomfortable. They can see my small scars and that’s it. Everything else is just Mommy, the same as she always was. And they know that I love them and will do anything to be with them as long as I can.”

Angelina praised the support her fiancé Brad Pitt and their children, Maddox, 11, Pax, nine, Zahara, eight, Shiloh, six, and four-year-old twins Knox and Vivienne, gave her during treatment.

On humanitarian grounds Angelina, pictured while still undergoing treatment on March 26, travelled to the Republic of Congo with William Hague to raise awareness of rape in war zones.After her trip to Africa, Angelina rejoined William Hague at the G8 summit on at Lancaster House on April 11. She said that the decision to undergo major surgery has empowered her and that it has in no way diminished her femininity. Angelina, pictured at the G8 summit, said she wants to encourage every woman, especially if they have a family history of breast or ovarian cancer, to seek out the information and medical help they might need

Angelina assured that having the double mastectomy hasn’t changed the way she feels about herself and her womanliness, and added that results of reconstructive surgery ‘can be beautiful’.

The brave star hopes that she can encourage other women to be informed and consider their options.

Cancer is still a word that strikes fear into people’s hearts, producing a deep sense of powerlessness.

But today it is possible to find out through a blood test whether you are highly susceptible to breast and ovarian cancer, and then take action.

Country gets its first Yoga University in Gujrat

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The university will offer a three-year degree course for those aged between 15 to 35 in ashtang yoga, karma, bhakti yoga, philosophy, psychology, anatomy, ayurveda and naturopathy

The country’s first Yoga University, Lakulish Yoga University was inaugurated by Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday . The private university has been set up by the Life Mission Trust of Gujarat near Chharodi in front of Nirma University on the Sarkhej-Gandhinagar Highway. The University has been pioneered by Swami Rajarshi Muni who has been spreading the yoga education across the state. It is claimed to be the first ever such private sector self-financed institution in the country. The state government had earlier enacted a law for creation of a Yoga university in the state.

The university has been named after Lakulish who is considered to be the 28th and the last Avatar manifestation of Rudra (Shiva) and the propounder of Yoga system.

Narendra Modi in its’ inaugural speech advocated yoga’s inclusion in the foreign policy and emphasized on the need to spread yoga officially across the world as an Indian tradition. “The whole world is curious about yoga. It would have been better if successive governments of our country had included it as a path to connect India with the entire world,” Modi said. “Yoga was intentionally neglected by Britishers while they were ruling the country as they feared that through yoga India will become powerful in the world.But even after Independence, we didn’t come out of the slave mentality and continue to ignore the importance of yoga. And sometimes by equating yoga with communalism, we inflicted a great damage on us,” he added.

“Today, every human being in the world is confused, unhappy and is seeking inner peace. He does not need materialistic wealth but needs peace and only yoga taught by a professional, an exponent or a complete teacher can facilitate this peace,” he said.
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“Earlier, people used to question the logic of yoga, saying at a time when advances have been made in the field of science how can anyone talk about yoga. Today, not just this country, but the entire world has accepted the power of yoga,” the chief minister said.

The university will offer a three-year degree course for those aged between 15 to 35 in ashtang yoga, karma, bhakti yoga, philosophy, psychology, anatomy, ayurveda and naturopathy. There will also be short term courses for senior citizens. Swami Rajarshi Muni said the university will not have any language barrier and anybody from across the world can pursue yoga courses at the university.

USFDA lowers age limit to 15 from 17 to buy morning after pill after court’s ruling

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USFDA lowers age limit to 15 from 17 to buy morning after pill after court’s ruling

The US Food and Drug Administration lowered the age to buy morning-after pill from 17 years to 15 years without prescription.

Currently Plan B One-Step is sold to customers who are 17 or older and they have to prove their age to buy emergency contraceptive pills. With this decision now 15 years old customers can buy the morning after pill. But customers must prove their age at the cash register.

This decision came after a US court questioned Obama government

for imposing the age-17 limit and asked government to explain why women of any age cannot obtain the emergency contraception

in time. The Court ordered an end to all age restrictions by Monday, for Plan B and its generic versions.

The FDA has denied that its decision is influenced by court’s ruling.

Lowering the age limit “may reduce delays for some young women but it does nothing to address the significant barriers that far too many women of all ages will still find if they arrive at the drugstore without identification,” said Nancy Northup, president of the Center for Reproductive Rights.

In most of US states driving license is issued at age 16 and to buy the morning after pill it is mandatory to provide proof of age. So still the customers of age 15 will find impossible to buy the drug from drugs store.

The women group is happy on the decision but wants to continue to fight for more improvements.

Social conservatives had opposed any efforts to loosen restrictions on sale of the morning-after pill, arguing that it was important for parents and medical professionals to be involved in such decisions involving young girls.

Father of body bodybuilding and mentor of Arnold Schwarzenegger,Joe Weider dies at 93.

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Father of Body building Joe Weider died of heart failure.

Bodybuilding guru,fitness industry God father and mentor of Arnold Schwarzenegger  Joe Weider died of heart failure on Saturday at his home in Los Angeles.

He was 93 and is survived by his wife Betty ,his daughter and three grandchildren. Joe Weider was born in Montreal, Quebec(Canada) to Jewish parents.

Joe Weider established a magazine empire like Muscle and Fitness, Shape and Men’s Fitness. Apart from this he was a manufacturer of a line of fitness equipment and fitness supplements. He sold his magazine empire to American Media Inc. in early 2000.

Joe Weider’s contribution is immense in body building and he is credited to make it popular worldwide by launching number of magazines on body building.

He was the co-founder of International Federation of Body Builders(IFBB) along with brother Ben Weider and creator of the Mr. Olympia, the Ms. Olympia and the Masters Olympia bodybuilding contests.

Arnold Schwarzenegger has been discovered by Joe Weider.

Arnold Schwarzenegger said “Joe Weider was a titan in the fitness industry and one of the kindest men I have ever met. He leaves behind a fantastic legacy of a fitter world . Very few people can claim to have influenced as many lives as Joe did through his magazines, his supplements, his training equipment and his big-hearted personality. ”