Sunday, December 6, 2009

Little-known Facts about your Eyes

1.Eyes are the most complex organs you possess except for your brain.

2.Eyes are composed of more than two million working parts.

3.Eyes can process 36,000 bits of information every hour.

4.Under the right conditions, can discern the light of a candle at a distance of 14 miles.

5.Eyes contribute towards 85% of your total knowledge.

6.Eyes utilize 65% of all the pathways to the brain.

7.Eyes can instantaneously set in motion hundreds of muscles and organs in your body.

8.In a normal life-span, will bring you almost 24 million images of the world around you.

9.The external muscles that move the eyes are the strongest muscles in the human body for the job that they have to do. They are 100 times more powerful than they need to be.

10.The adult eyeball measures about 1 inch (2.5 cm) in diameter. Of its total surface area only one-sixth is exposed — the front portion.

11.The eye is the only part of the human body that can function at 100% ability at any moment, day or night, without rest. Your eyelids need rest, the external muscles of your eyes need rest, the lubrication of your eyes requires replenishment, but your eyes themselves “never” need rest. But please rest them!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Sleep and Heart Attacks

Sleep and Heart Attacks

What killed Ranjan Das and Lessons for Corporate India

A month ago, many of us heard about the sad demise of Ranjan Das from Bandra, Mumbai. Ranjan, just 42 years of age, was the CEO of SAP-Indian Subcontinent, the youngest CEO of an MNC in India.

He was very active in sports, was a fitness freak and a marathon runner. It was common to see him run on Bandra's Carter Road. Just after Diwali, on 21st Oct, he returned home from his gym after a workout, collapsed with a massive heart attack and died. He is survived by his wife and two very young kids.

It was certainly a wake-up call for corporate India. However, it was even more disastrous for runners amongst us. Since Ranjan was anavid marathoner(in Feb 09, he ran Chennai Marathon at the same time some of us were running Pondicherry Marathon 180 km away), the question came as to why an exceptionally active, athletic person succumb to heart attack at 42 years of age.

Was it the stress?

A couple of you called me asking about the reasons. While Ranjan had mentioned that he faced a lot of stress, that is a common element in most of our lives. We used to think that by being fit, one can conquer the bad effects of stress. So I doubted if the cause was stress.

The Real Reason

However, everyone missed out a small line in the reports that Ranjan used to make do with 4-5 hours of sleep. This is an earlier interview of Ranjan on NDTV in the program 'Boss' Day Out':

Here he himself admits that he would love to get more sleep (and that he was not proud of his ability to manage without sleep, contrary to what others extolled).

The Evidence

Last week, I was working with a well-known cardiologist on the subject of ‘Heart Disease caused by Lack of Sleep’. While I cannot share the video nor the slides because of confidentiality reasons, I have distilled the key points below in the hope it will save some of our lives.

Some Excerpts:

· Short sleep duration (<5>

As you know, high BP kills.

· Young people (25-49 years of age) are twice as likely to get high BP if they sleep less.

Paper published in 2006.

· Individuals who slept less than 5 hours a night had a 3-fold increased risk of heart attacks . Paper published in 1999.

· Complete and partial lack of sleep increased the blood concentrations of High sensitivity C-Reactive Protein (hs-cRP), the strongest predictor of heart attacks. Even after getting adequate sleep later, the levels stayed high!!

· Just one night of sleep loss increases very toxic substances in body such as

Interleukin-6 (IL-6), Tumour Necrosis Factor-Alpha

(TNF-alpha) and C-reactive protein (cRP). They increase risks of many medical conditions, including cancer, arthritis andheart disease.

Paper published in 2004.

· Sleeping for <=5 hours per night leads to 39% increase in heart disease. Sleeping for <=6 hours per night leads to 18% increase in heart disease. Paper published in 2006.

Ideal Sleep

For lack of space, I cannot explain here the ideal sleep architecture. But in brief, sleep is composed of two stages: REM (Rapid Eye Movement) and non-REM. The former helps in mental consolidation while the latter helps in physical repair and rebuilding. During the night, you alternate between REM and non-REM stages 4-5 times.

The earlier part of sleep is mostly non-REM.

During that period, your pituitary gland releases growth hormones that repair your body. The latter part of sleep is more and more REM type.

For you to be mentally alert during the day, the latter part of sleep is more important. No wonder when you wake up with an alarm clock after 5-6 hours of sleep, you are mentally irritable throughout the day (lack of REM sleep). And if you have slept for less than 5 hours, your body is in a complete physical mess (lack of non-REM sleep), you are tired throughout the day, moving like a zombie and your immunity is way down (I’ve been there, done that L)

Finally, as long-distance runners, you need an hour of extra sleep to repair the running related damage.

If you want to know if you are getting adequate sleep, take Epworth Sleepiness Test below.

Interpretation: Score of 0-9 is considered normal while 10 and above abnormal. Many a times, I have clocked 21 out the maximum possible 24, the only saving grace being the last situation, since I don’t like to drive (maybe, I should ask my driver to answer that lineJ)

In conclusion:

Barring stress control, Ranjan Das did everything

right: eating proper food, exercising

(marathoning!), maintaining proper weight. But he missed getting proper and adequate sleep, minimum

7 hours. In my opinion, that killed him.

If you are not getting enough sleep (7 hours), you are playing with fire, even if you have low stress.

I always took pride in my ability to work 50 hours at a stretch whenever the situation warranted. But I was so spooked after seeing the scientific evidence last week that since Saturday night, I ensure I do not even set the alarm clock under 7 hours. Now, that is a nice excuse to get some more sleep. J

Unfortunately, Ranjan Das is not alone when it comes to missing sleep. Many of us are doing exactly the same, perhaps out of ignorance.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Cancer Update from Johns Hopkins


Cancer Update from Johns Hopkins :

1. Every person has cancer cells in the body. These cancer cells do not show up in the standard tests until they have multiplied to a few billion. When doctors tell cancer patients that there are no more cancer cells in their bodies after treatment, it just means the tests are unable to detect the cancer cells because they have not reached the detectable size.

2. Cancer cells occur between 6 to more than 10 times in a person's lifetime.

3. When the person's immune system is strong the cancer cells will be destroyed and prevented from multiplying and forming tumours.

4. When a person has cancer it indicates the person has multiple nutritional deficiencies. These could be due to genetic, environmental, food and lifestyle factors.

5.. To overcome the multiple nutritional deficiencies, changing diet and including supplements will strengthen the immune system.

6.. Chemotherapy involves poisoning the rapidly-growing cancer cells and also destroys rapidly-growing healthy cells in the bone marrow, gastro-intestinal tract etc, and can cause organ damage, like liver, kidneys, heart, lungs etc.

7. Radiation while destroying cancer cells also burns, scars and damages healthy cells, tissues and organs.

8. Initial treatment with chemotherapy and radiation will often reduce tumor size. However prolonged use of chemotherapy and radiation do not result in more tumor destruction.

9. When the body has too much toxic burden from chemotherapy and radiation the immune system is either compromised or destroyed, hence the person can succumb to various kinds of infections and complications.

10. Chemotherapy and radiation can cause cancer cells to mutate and become resistant and difficult to destroy. Surgery can also cause cancer cells to spread to other sites.

11. An effective way to battle cancer is to starve the cancer cells by not feeding it with the foods it needs to multiply.


a. Sugar is a cancer-feeder.. By cutting off sugar it cuts off one important food supply to the cancer cells. Sugar substitutes like NutraSweet, Equal,Spoonful etc are made with Aspartame and it is harmful. A better natural substitute would be Manuka honey or molasses but only in very small amounts. Table salt has a chemical added to make it white in colour. Better alternative is Bragg's aminos or sea salt..

b. Milk causes the body to produce mucus, especially in the gastro-intestinal tract. Cancer feeds on mucus. By cutting off milk and substituting with unsweetened soya milk, cancer cells are being starved..

c. Cancer cells thrive in an acid environment. A meat-based diet is acidic and it is best to eat fish, and a little chicken rather than beef or pork. Meat also contains livestock antibiotics, growth hormones and parasites, which are all harmful, especially to people with cancer.

d. A diet made of 80% fresh vegetables and juice, whole grains, seeds, nuts and a little fruits help put the body into an alkaline environment. About 20% can be from cooked food including beans. Fresh vegetable juices provide live enzymes that are easily absorbed and reach down to cellular levels within 15 minutes to no urish and enhance growth of healthy cells. To obtain live enzymes for building healthy cells try and drink fresh vegetable juice (most vegetables including bean sprouts) and eat some raw vegetables 2 or 3 times a day. Enzymes are destroyed at temperatures of 104 degrees F (40 degrees C).

e. Avoid coffee, tea, and chocolate , which have high caffeine. Green tea is a better alternative and has cancer-fighting properties. Water- best to drink purified water , or filtered, to avoid known toxins and heavy metals in tap water. Distilled water is acidic, avoid it.

12. Meat protein is difficult to digest and requires a lot of digestive enzymes. Undigested meat remaining in the intestines become putrified and leads to more toxic buildup.

13. Cancer cell walls have a tough protein covering. By refraining from or eating less meat it frees more enzymes to attack the protein walls of cancer cells and allows the body's killer cells to destroy the cancer cells.

14. Some supplements build up the immune system (IP6, Flor-ssence, Essiac, anti-oxidants, vitamins, minerals, EFAs etc.) to enable the body's own killer cells to destroy cancer cells. Other supplements like vitamin E are known to cause apoptosis, or programmed cell death, the body's normal method of disposing of damaged, unwanted, or unneeded cells.

15. Cancer is a disease of the mind, body, and spirit. A proactive and positive spirit will help the cancer warrior be a survivor. Anger, unforgiveness and bitterness put the body into a stressful and acidic environment. Learn to have a loving and forgiving spirit. Learn to relax and enjoy life.

16. Cancer cells cannot thrive in an oxygenated environment. Exercising daily, and deep breathing help to get more oxygen down to the cellular level. Oxygen therapy is another means employed to destroy cancer cells.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Gas in the Digestive Tract

Everyone has gas and eliminates it by burping or passing it through the rectum. However, many people think they have too much gas when they really have normal amounts. Most people produce about 1 to 4 pints a day and pass gas about 14 times a day.

Drawing of the digestive system with parts labeled: mouth, esophagus, stomach, large intestine (colon), small intestine, ileum, rectum, and anus.
The digestive tract.

Gas is made primarily of odorless vapors—carbon dioxide, oxygen, nitrogen, hydrogen, and sometimes methane. The unpleasant odor of flatulence, the gas that passes through the rectum, comes from bacteria in the large intestine that release small amounts of gases containing sulfur.

Although having gas is common, it can be uncomfortable and embarrassing. Understanding causes, ways to reduce symptoms, and treatment will help most people find relief.

What causes gas?

Gas in the digestive tract—the esophagus, stomach, small intestine, and large intestine—comes from two sources:

* swallowed air
* normal breakdown of certain undigested foods by harmless bacteria naturally present in the large intestine, also called the colon

Swallowed Air

Aerophagia, or air swallowing, is a common cause of gas in the stomach. Everyone swallows small amounts of air when eating and drinking. However, eating or drinking rapidly, chewing gum, smoking, or wearing loose dentures can cause some people to take in more air.

Burping, or belching, is the way most swallowed air—which contains nitrogen, oxygen, and carbon dioxide—leaves the stomach. The remaining gas moves into the small intestine, where it is partially absorbed. A small amount travels into the large intestine for release through the rectum. The stomach also releases carbon dioxide when stomach acid mixes with the bicarbonate in digestive juices, but most of this gas is absorbed into the bloodstream and does not enter the large intestine.

Breakdown of Undigested Foods

The body does not digest and absorb some carbohydrates�the sugar, starches, and fiber found in many foods�in the small intestine because of a shortage or absence of certain enzymes that aid digestion.

This undigested food then passes from the small intestine into the large intestine, where normal, harmless bacteria break down the food, producing hydrogen, carbon dioxide, and, in about one-third of all people, methane. Eventually these gases exit through the rectum.

People who make methane do not necessarily pass more gas or have unique symptoms. A person who produces methane will have stools that consistently float in water. Research has not shown why some people produce methane and others do not.

Foods that produce gas in one person may not cause gas in another. Some common bacteria in the large intestine can destroy the hydrogen that other bacteria produce. The balance of the two types of bacteria may explain why some people have more gas than others.

Which foods cause gas?

Most foods that contain carbohydrates can cause gas. By contrast, fats and proteins cause little gas.


The sugars that cause gas are raffinose, lactose, fructose, and sorbitol.

Raffinose. Beans contain large amounts of this complex sugar. Smaller amounts are found in cabbage, brussels sprouts, broccoli, asparagus, other vegetables, and whole grains.

Lactose. Lactose is the natural sugar in milk. It is also found in milk products, such as cheese and ice cream, and processed foods, such as bread, cereal, and salad dressing. Many people, particularly those of African, Native American, or Asian background, normally have low levels of lactase, the enzyme needed to digest lactose, after childhood. Also, as people age, their enzyme levels decrease. As a result, over time people may experience increasing amounts of gas after eating food containing lactose.

Fructose. Fructose is naturally present in onions, artichokes, pears, and wheat. It is also used as a sweetener in some soft drinks and fruit drinks.

Sorbitol. Sorbitol is a sugar found naturally in fruits, including apples, pears, peaches, and prunes. It is also used as an artificial sweetener in many dietetic foods and sugar-free candies and gums.


Most starches, including potatoes, corn, pasta, and wheat, produce gas as they are broken down in the large intestine. Rice is the only starch that does not cause gas.

Many foods contain soluble and insoluble fiber. Soluble fiber dissolves easily in water and takes on a soft, gel-like texture in the intestines. Found in oat bran, beans, peas, and most fruits, soluble fiber is not broken down until it reaches the large intestine, where digestion causes gas.

Insoluble fiber, on the other hand, passes essentially unchanged through the intestines and produces little gas. Wheat bran and some vegetables contain this kind of fiber.

What are some symptoms and problems of gas?

The most common symptoms of gas are flatulence, abdominal bloating, abdominal pain, and belching. However, not everyone experiences these symptoms. The type and degree of symptoms probably depends on how much gas the body produces, how many fatty acids the body absorbs, and a person's sensitivity to gas in the large intestine.

An occasional belch during or after meals is normal and releases gas when the stomach is full of food. However, people who belch frequently may be swallowing too much air and releasing it before the air enters the stomach.

Sometimes a person with chronic belching may have an upper gastrointestinal (GI) disorder, such as peptic ulcer disease, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), or gastroparesis, also called delayed gastric emptying.

Sometimes people believe that swallowing air and releasing it will relieve the discomfort of these disorders, and they may intentionally or unintentionally develop a habit of belching to relieve discomfort.

Gas-bloat syndrome may occur after fundoplication surgery to correct GERD. The surgery creates a one-way valve between the esophagus and stomach that allows food and gas to enter the stomach but often prevents normal belching and the ability to vomit. It occurs in about 10 percent of people who have this surgery but may improve with time.

Another common complaint is too much flatulence. However, most people do not realize that passing gas 14 to 23 times a day is normal. Too much gas may be the result of carbohydrate malabsorption.

Abdominal Bloating

Many people believe that too much gas causes abdominal bloating. However, people who complain of bloating from gas often have normal amounts and distribution of gas. They may just be unusually aware of gas in the digestive tract.

Doctors believe that bloating is usually the result of an intestinal disorder, such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). The cause of IBS is unknown but may involve abnormal movements and contractions of intestinal muscles and increased pain sensitivity in the intestines. These disorders may give a sensation of bloating because of increased sensitivity to gas.

Any disease that causes intestinal inflammation or obstruction, such as Crohn’s disease or colon cancer, may also cause abdominal bloating. In addition, people who have had many operations, internal hernias, or bands of internal scar tissue called adhesions may experience bloating or pain. Finally, eating a lot of fatty food can delay stomach emptying and cause bloating and discomfort, but not necessarily too much gas.
Abdominal Pain and Discomfort

Some people have pain when gas is present in the intestine. When pain is on the left side of the colon, it can be confused with heart disease, which sometimes causes abdominal pain. When the pain is on the right side of the colon, it may mimic gallstones or appendicitis.

What diagnostic tests are used to find the cause of gas?

Because gas symptoms may be caused by a serious disorder, those causes should be ruled out. Health professionals usually begin with a review of dietary habits and symptoms. The health professional may ask the patient to keep a diary of foods and beverages consumed for a specific time period.

If lactase deficiency is the suspected cause of gas, the health professional may suggest avoiding milk products for a period of time. A blood or breath test may be used to diagnose lactose intolerance.

In addition, to determine if someone produces too much gas in the colon or is unusually sensitive to the passage of normal gas volumes, the health professional may ask a patient to count the number of times he passes gas during the day and include this information in a diary.

Careful review of diet and the amount of gas passed may help relate specific foods to symptoms and determine the severity of the problem.

Because the symptoms that people may have are so variable, the health professional may order other types of diagnostic tests in addition to a physical exam, depending on the patient's symptoms and other factors.

How is gas treated?

Experience has shown that the most common ways to reduce the discomfort of gas are changing diet, taking medicines, and reducing the amount of air swallowed.


Health professionals may tell people to eat fewer foods that cause gas. However, for some people this may mean cutting out healthy foods, such as fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and milk products.

Health professionals may also suggest limiting high-fat foods to reduce bloating and discomfort. Less fat in the diet helps the stomach empty faster, allowing gases to move into the small intestine.

Unfortunately, the amount of gas caused by certain foods varies from person to person. Effective dietary changes depend on learning through trial and error how much of the offending foods one can handle.

Nonprescription Medicines

Digestive enzymes, available as over-the-counter supplements, help digest carbohydrates and may allow people to eat foods that normally cause gas.

The enzyme lactase, which aids with lactose digestion, is available in caplet and chewable tablet form without a prescription; Lactaid and Lactrase are two common brands. Taking lactase supplements just before eating helps digest foods that contain lactose. Also, lactose-reduced milk and other products, such as Lactaid and Dairy Ease, are available at many grocery stores.

Beano, an over-the-counter digestive aid, contains the sugar-digesting enzyme that the body lacks to digest the sugar in beans and many vegetables. The enzyme comes in liquid and tablet form. Five drops are added per serving or one tablet is swallowed just before eating to break down the gas-producing sugars. Beano has no effect on gas caused by lactose or fiber.
Prescription Medicines

Doctors may prescribe medicines to help reduce symptoms, especially for people with a disorder such as IBS. For more information about IBS, see the Irritable Bowel Syndrome fact sheet from the National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse.
Reducing Swallowed Air

For those who have chronic belching, health professionals may suggest ways to reduce the amount of air swallowed. Two options are to avoid chewing gum and to avoid eating hard candy. Eating at a slow pace and checking with a dentist to make sure dentures fit properly should also help.

Points to Remember

Although gas may be uncomfortable and embarrassing, it is not life threatening. Understanding causes, ways to reduce symptoms, and treatment will help most people find some relief.

* Everyone has gas in the digestive tract.
* People often believe normal passage of gas to be excessive.
* Gas comes from two main sources: swallowed air and normal breakdown of certain foods by harmless bacteria naturally present in the large intestine.
* Many foods with carbohydrates can cause gas. Fats and proteins cause little gas.
* Foods that may cause gas include
o beans
o vegetables, such as broccoli, cabbage, brussels sprouts, onions, artichokes, and asparagus
o fruits, such as pears, apples, and peaches
o whole grains, such as whole wheat and bran
o soft drinks and fruit drinks
o milk and milk products, such as cheese and ice cream, and packaged foods prepared with lactose, such as bread, cereal, and salad dressing
o foods containing sorbitol, such as dietetic foods and sugar-free candies and gums

* The most common symptoms of gas are belching, flatulence, bloating, and abdominal pain. However, some of these symptoms may be caused by an intestinal disorder, such as IBS, rather than too much gas.
* The most common ways to reduce the discomfort of gas are changing one’s diet, taking digestive enzymes to help digest carbohydrates, and reducing the amount of air swallowed.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Chinese Breathing Techniques

Breathing techniques

The five major schools of breathing are medical, Confucian, Buddhist, Taoist and wushu or martial arts. Medical breathing techniques aim at strengthening one’s overall health and are mainly preventive. The Confucian school of breathing deals with self-cultivation and temperament. Taoist breathing deals with one’s moral character and longevity. The Buddhist breathing exercises are broken into two lines of thought and involve mainly the mind. The first Buddhist school is called ‘Samadhi’ and claims that everything in the world is illusionary. The other school is that of meditation which deals with the cultivation of the mind and the preservation of all forms of life on earth. The wushu method of breathing is for physical training and good health.

All of these schools have one thing in common, that of training of the mind and development of the qi, or ch’i.

The breath is the most important part of the Chinese self-healing arts. There are certain ways to breathe while performing the various exercises described in this book.

The first and most important way to breathe is the natural way i.e. we try to get our breathing back to a more natural way, the way of the child. As we grow older and are affected by stress, the cause of 70% of all modern diseases, our breathing rises to the upper chest and we end up only using the top portion of our lungs. The lungs start just under the collarbone and end at the bottom of the rib cage. But the major part of the lungs is the part covered by the ribs on either side of the abdomen. This part, through tension and stress is sometimes not used, and so we are only receiving a small amount of oxygen. We try to compensate for this by breathing faster. One of the big faults in western posture is the ‘pull the belly in and stick out the chest’ syndrome supposed to look good on men and women. But in order to pull in the stomach and stick out the chest we have to tense certain muscles and this restricts our lung capacity.

The first thing to do is relax the upper chest and shoulders so that the breath is able to go deeper into the lungs and eventually fill up the whole lung again.

If you find it difficult to relax the chest while standing in a Qigong position, lie down and place your palms across your stomach.

As you breathe in, feel the lower abdomen pushing outward and try to totally relax the chest. It may not look too cosmetic but it may just save your life. Feel your palms rise with each breath and lower with each exhalation. Try to not force the action, just breathe and it should happen naturally IF YOU ARE RELAXED. If you have access to a small child, see how it breathes and copy that. If you have been doing heavy exercise then the chest may rise a little more with the breath, but generally the chest should not stick right out.

Breathe with your nose; that’s what it’s for There are certain times when we breathe through the mouth and I’ll cover these later. Try breathing naturally while doing the triple warmer exercise covered earlier — this tends to open the lungs more. And remember there is a natural wait from inhaling to exhaling unless violent exercise has been undertaken.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Cure for Cancer

View of an Amblyomma cajennense. Brazilian reasearchers have identified a protein in the saliva of the South American tick that apparently reduces and can even eradicate cancerous cells while leaving healthy cells alone.

It may be one of nature's repulsive little blood-sucking parasites, but the humble tick could yield a future cure for cancers of the skin, liver and pancreas, Brazilian researchers have discovered.

They have identified a protein in the saliva of a common South American tick, Amblyomma cajennense, that apparently reduces and can even eradicate cancerous cells while leaving healthy cells alone.

"This is a radical innovation," said Ana Marisa Chudzinski-Tavassi, the molecular biologist at the Instituto Butantan in Sao Paulo who is leading the research.

"The component of the saliva of this tick... could be the cure for cancer," she told AFP.

She said she stumbled on the properties of the protein, called Factor X active, while testing the anti-coagulant properties of the tick's saliva -- the way it stops blood thickening and clotting so the tick can keep gorging itself on its host.

The protein shares some characteristics with a common anti-coagulant called TFPI (Tissue Factor Pathway Inhibitor), specifically a Kunitz-type inhibitor which also has been shown to interfere with cell growth.

A theory that the protein might have an effect on cancerous cells led to laboratory tests on cell cultures -- which exceeded all expectations.

"To our surprise it didn't kill normal cells, which were also tested," Chudzinski-Tavassi said. "But it did kill the tumorous cells that were being analyzed."

In her modest lab in the institute, housed in a rundown building, a line of immobile bloated ticks could be seen lined up with straws under their heads.

The small amounts of saliva captured that way was reproduced many times over in yeast vats so that tests could be carried out on lab rats with cancer.

The results have been more than promising.

"If I treat every day for 14 days an animal's tumor, a small tumor, this tumor doesn't develop -- it even regresses. The tumor mass shrinks. If I treat for 42 days, you totally eliminate the tumor," the scientist said.

Producing a medicine from the find, though, will require years of clinical tests and a significant financial investment -- neither of which Brazil is geared to provide.

Chudzinski-Tavassi has applied for a patent on the tick protein, and is presenting her team's discovery in medical journals and conferences around the world.

But she says moving beyond her lab "proof of concept" will be frustratingly difficult.

"To discover this is one thing. To turn it into a medicine is a whole other thing entirely," she said.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Swine Flu Symptoms with Q&A

H1N1- Swine Flu Symptoms

The symptoms of this virus are like many others. Monitor their symptoms and look for a
high fever over 101 degrees following a cold. Worsening cough is also a sign of Swine Flu.
If you are treating your child for flu, and their cough worsens, it is a symptom of the virus.2

· Look for a Rash

Look for a rash that accompanies the fever. This is an indication of Swine Flu
infection. The child may also have a blue color to their skin. This indicates a lack
of oxygen and requires immediate emergency care.

· Stops Drinking

If your child quits drinking fluids do not hesitate to rush them to the emergency
room. Dehydration is a killer for young children. In addition, if they have explosive
diarrhea or vomiting you should seek immediate emergency treatment.

· Breathing Problems

If they appear to be breathing quickly or having any shortness of breath, get
them help quickly. The faster you get emergency help in this situation, the more
likely they will suffer no adverse affects.

· Body Aches

If they act as if they are in pain when you hold them, or try to wriggle away
because they appear uncomfortable, it could indicate severe body pain. Get
them to a treatment facility immediately. This is an indication of a Swine Flu virus

· Flat Affect

If they are not maintaining eye contact, or appear flat in affectation this is a
warning sign of severe viral infection. Get to an emergency facility.

· Will Not Wake Up

Finally, if you are unable to wake your child, call an ambulance immediately. Do
not hesitate in this situation. Swine Flu is a deadly virus and can be treated with
antiviral medications such as Tamiflu so getting your child treated immediately
can save your child's life. The Swine Flu epidemic is likely to get worse before it
gets better and it is important to be aware of symptoms of the virus that may
require emergency care.

Q&A of Swine Flu

What can I do to protect myself from catching influenza A(H1N1)?

The main route of transmission of the new influenza A(H1N1) virus seems to be similar to
seasonal influenza, via droplets that are expelled by speaking, sneezing or coughing. You
can prevent getting infected by avoiding close contact with people who show
influenza-like symptoms (trying to maintain a distance of about 1 metre if possible) and
taking the following measures:
· avoid touching your mouth and nose;
· clean hands thoroughly with soap and water, or cleanse them with an alcohol based
hand rub on a regular basis (especially if touching the mouth and nose, or
surfaces that are potentially contaminated);
· avoid close contact with people who might be ill;
· reduce the time spent in crowded settings if possible;
· improve airflow in your living space by opening windows;
· practise good health habits including adequate sleep, eating nutritious food, and
keeping physically active.

What about using a mask? What does WHO recommend?

If you are not sick you do not have to wear a mask.
If you are caring for a sick person, you can wear a mask when you are in close contact
with the ill person and dispose of it immediately after contact, and cleanse your hands
thoroughly afterwards.
If you are sick and must travel or be around others, cover your mouth and nose.
Using a mask correctly in all situations is essential. Incorrect use actually increases the
chance of spreading infection.

How do I know if I have influenza A(H1N1)?

You will not be able to tell the difference between seasonal flu and influenza A(H1N1)
without medical help. Typical symptoms to watch for are similar to seasonal viruses and
include fever, cough, headache, body aches, sore throat and runny nose. Only your
medical practitioner and local health authority can confirm a case of influenza A(H1N1).

What should I do if I think I have the illness?

If you feel unwell, have high fever, cough or sore throat:

· stay at home and keep away from work, school or crowds;
· rest and take plenty of fluids;
· cover your nose and mouth when coughing and sneezing and, if using tissues,
make sure you dispose of them carefully. Clean your hands immediately after
with soap and water or cleanse them with an alcohol-based hand rub;
· if you do not have a tissue close by when you cough or sneeze, cover your mouth
as much as possible with the crook of your elbow;
· use a mask to help you contain the spread of droplets when you are around
others, but be sure to do so correctly;
· inform family and friends about your illness and try to avoid contact with other
· If possible, contact a health professional before traveling to a health facility to
discuss whether a medical examination is necessary.

Should I take an antiviral now just in case I catch the new virus?

No. You should only take an antiviral, such as oseltamivir or zanamivir, if your health care

provider advises you to do so. Individuals should not buy medicines to prevent or fight this
new influenza without a prescription, and they should exercise caution in buying antivirals
over the Internet.

What about breastfeeding? Should I stop if I am ill?

No, not unless your health care provider advises it. Studies on other influenza infections

show that breastfeeding is most likely protective for babies - it passes on helpful maternal
immunities and lowers the risk of respiratory disease. Breastfeeding provides the best
overall nutrition for babies and increases their defense factors to fight illness.

When should someone seek medical care?

A person should seek medical care if they experience shortness of breath or difficulty

breathing, or if a fever continues more than three days. For parents with a young child
who is ill, seek medical care if a child has fast or labored breathing, continuing fever or
convulsions (seizures).Supportive care at home - resting, drinking plenty of fluids and using
a pain reliever for aches - is adequate for recovery in most cases. (A non-aspirin pain
reliever should be used by children and young adults because of the risk of Reye's

Should I go to work if I have the flu but am feeling OK?

No. Whether you have influenza A(H1N1) or a seasonal influenza, you should stay home

and away from work through the duration of your symptoms. This is a precaution that
can protect your work colleagues and others.

Can I travel?

If you are feeling unwell or have symptoms of influenza, you should not travel. If you have

any doubts about your health, you should check with your health care provider.
The Union Government has identified the Communicable Disease Hospital, 87, T.H. Road,
Tondiarpet, as the isolation facility, specifically for testing suspected swine flu patients in
Chennai. The government has set up a screening facility at the Chennai International
Airport for all the inbound passengers to prevent the spread of H1N1. Doctors from the
Hospital are round the clock screening the passengers at the Airport.

A confirmed case of swine flu infection is a person with an acute respiratory illness with

laboratory confirmed swine flu infection by one or more of the following tests:
Real-time RT-PCR
Viral culture

Two laboratories in Tamil Nadu — Kings Institute of Preventive Medicine and Christian
Medical College, Vellore — and JIPMER in Puducherry are authorised to screen people
for the infection. Throat swabs will be sent to the National Institute of Communicable
Diseases, New Delhi and the National Institute of Virology, Pune, for verification.

More information can be found in the following links: and

Friday, August 7, 2009

Know Your Organ Timings ! ! ! !

The Most Complicated or Say Complex Machine in this earth is the Human Body..

This Chart will list the time, where each organ works at its best efficiency..

Tuesday, July 28, 2009


Did you know that people compete every year to win the
U.S. Memory Championship? To attain the rank of grand
master of memory, you must be able to memorize 1,000
digits in under an hour, the exact order of 10 shuffled
decks of playing cards in under an hour, and one shuffled
deck in less than two minutes.

To this day, there are only 36 grand masters of memory in
the world.

And while you may not be interested in memorizing digits
and playing cards, I'm sure all of us would like to increase
our mental brain power. Whether you want to quickly
memorize the periodic table, learn a new language,
recite the names of each president forwards and
backwards, or cut down on your studying time, the
following memory techniques will help you do it.

The brain wasn't designed to remember abstract symbols like
numbers and miscellaneous facts. However, if you can
translate those symbols into vivid visual images and
associations, even the dullest list of dates can become as
memorable as your own telephone number. The key is to
develop a system that allows for quick encoding and easy

1. Acronyms

One of the most common memory techniques is the use of
acronyms. This technique uses an easily remembered word
whose first letters are associated with the list of items that
need to be remembered. Pilots use these extensively to run
through essential checklists during flight time.

An example would be:

ROY G. BIV: the colors of the visible spectrum Red, Orange,
Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo, Violet

Keep in mind that associations which are exaggerated, absurd,
humorous, and involve all five senses are much easier to
remember than normal ones. We remember emotionally charged
events much better than boring ones.

2. Chunking

Chunking is one of the oldest memory techniques. Using this
method, the items to be memorized are divided into small
chunks or groups. Chunking is especially helpful for memorizing
telephone numbers, ID numbers, etc.

For example, if you want to memorize the number 411645754,
then split it up into small groups: 411, 645, 754. You can
then memorize each group by rote. By dividing the
larger number into smaller subsets, it will be much easier
to commit the number to memory.

When using this technique, it is also helpful to make
connections and associations among the different chunks and

For example, if you want to memorize a grocery list, you
should group each of the items into related categories. So,
one chunk or group might be composed of oranges, apples, and
pears, while another chunk is made up of vegetables.

3. Acrostic

An acrostic is a memory technique that uses a made up
sentence or poem with a first letter cue. The first letter
of each word is a cue to an idea you need to remember.

One example is:

Please Excuse My Dear Aunt Sally (PEMDAS).

This acrostic represents the sequence in solving or
evaluating math equations. Parenthesis, Exponents,
Multiplication, Division, Addition, Subtraction

4. The Method of Loci

The Method of Loci is a memory technique that dates back to
ancient Greek times when orators, philosophers, and others
had to rely on memory for memorizing speeches and knowledge
in general. This was essential seeing that the printed book
wouldn't come around until approximately two thousand years

Therefore, they invented the Method of Loci. This memory
technique involves associating information you want to
remember with specific locations, also known as loci.

These locations can be points along a journey or objects in
a room. The ancient Greeks not only created rooms, but
entire palaces and cities to remember lots of information.

According to Wikipedia,

"In ancient advice, the loci were physical locations,
usually in a familiar large public building, such as a market
or a church.

To utilize the method, one walked through the building
several times, viewing distinct places within it, in the
same order each time. After a few repetitions of this,
one should be able to remember and visualize each of
the places in order reliably.

To memorize a speech, one breaks it up into pieces, each
of which is symbolized by vivid imagined objects or symbols.
In the mind's eye, one then places each of these images
into the loci.

They can then be recalled in order by imagining that one is
walking through the building again, visiting each of the
loci in order, and viewing each of the images that were
placed in the loci, thereby recalling each piece of the
speech in order."

To create your own mental journey, you must first select the
path you wish to use. Be sure to choose a location that has
the same number of locations as the number of chunks in the
information you wish to memorize.

Take a mental journey through the selected path. You should
be able to recall the specific order of the locations
without trouble.

Now it's time to associate this new information with each
location along your chosen path. If you want to
memorize the presidents, then you might take a
mental journey through your school. In the first
room, you could have George Washington in an
astronaut suit and cutting firewood. In the
second room you could have John Adams
break dancing in front of the classroom.
And on and on until you have completed all
43 presidents.

Remember, emotion and exaggerated associations
are the key to memory.

5. The Image-Name Technique

Here's an excellent (but simple) memory technique for
remembering names.

All you have to do is make up a relationship between the
name and the physical characteristics of the person's name
you are trying to remember.

For example, if you were trying to remember a person by the
name of Tom, you might associate their name with the person
you went to prom with who was also named Tom. In this
instance, you are making the connection between Tom and prom
(rhyming) and between someone you previously knew from
high school.

If you want to remember the name Sally, you might imagine
them in a ballet. This association will help you remember
their name because of the visual imagery and the connection
between the "closely related" words that almost rhyme:
Sally and ballet.

By making connections, you are instantly more likely to
remember their name the next time you see them.

6. Mind Mapping

One of the best ways to learn new things is to relate what
you want to learn with something you already know. This is
known as association and it is the mental glue that drives
your brain.

Associations are also one of the best ways to improve your
memory. To maximize our mental powers, we must constantly
look for associations that connect new ideas and knowledge
with old ideas and concepts that we are already familiar

Association is the primary method that memory champions use
to win international memory competitions. If you want to
enhance your mental abilities, then association is one skill
that you will definitely want to practice.

Mind mapping is one of the best ways to practice association.

According to Wikipedia, mind mapping:

"is a diagram used to represent words, ideas, tasks or
other items linked to and arranged radially around a central
key word or idea."

Mind maps have been used for centuries to aid in learning,
brainstorming, memory, and problem solving.

To start creating your own mind map, simply get
out a piece of paper, multiple colored pens, and begin
drawing a handwritten mind map that connects a variety
of ideas and concepts to a central key word or idea.
The simple act of using your hand for thought can really
get the brain going.

7. Write an Article

One of the best ways to learn a topic is to start writing
about it yourself. This forces you to clarify your thoughts
and dig a bit deeper into the topic at hand.

By expressing the core ideas in your own words, you will
gain a much deeper understanding of the topic.

Explaining a topic to others will help you to "really"
understand the matter because teaching something to others
requires a completely different level of insight.

Think about it. If you had to teach a class, wouldn't you
make sure that you understood the material even better than
the students. Take on the role of an instructor and you will
find yourself gaining a much deeper understanding of the
topics you study.

8. Peg words

Peg words are extremely powerful, but it does take some time
to learn how to use them. However, once you master this
technique, you can probably cut your studying time in half.

The use of pegs goes all the way back to the seventeenth
century and Henry Herson. He came up with a list of ten
objects that physically resembled the number itself. For
example, the number 1 was represented by a candle.
Number 8 was a pair of spectacles.

Peg words essentially become "hangers" or pegs on which
you can hang different items that you want to remember.

This system works by pre-memorizing a list of words that
are easy to associate with the numbers they represent. To
begin, you can connect simple objects with the numbers 1-20.
Those objects form the "pegs" of the system.

Once you have created a list of words for each number, you
can then begin using your peglist to quickly memorize a
list of objects.

For example, let's say you want to memorize a grocery list
of 10 items. To begin, you would need to make a peg list for
the numbers 1-10. Here's an example:

1- pencil
2- shoe
3- phone
4- door
5- book
6- basketball
7- hat
8- radio
9- car
10- barn

Now, you must associate the groceries on your list with each
of your peg words. Remember that your associations must be
exaggerated and filled with emotion in order to make them
easy to remember. Here are some examples of how you could
associate the grocery list with each of the peg words:

1- tomatoes - Visualize an army of pencils attacking a field
of overgrown tomatoes.
2- grapes - Visualize your favorite TV character stomping
through a big barrel of grapes with bright white shoes.
3 - cereal - Visualize opening your phone and having your
favorite cereal start shooting out of the mouth piece.

Get the idea?

Once you have created your list of peg words, you can use
them over and over again to memorize a variety of different

You could use the peg system to memorize the Presidents of
the United States, the periodic table, or the state capitals.

When creating your peg words, it's best to use tangible
things or objects for each peg word because objects are
easier to associate other items to.

Also, make sure that you don't use similar peg words for
different numbers. For reference, always keep a full list
of the peg words close by. In fact, putting this list in
your wallet or purse is one of the best places. This way,
you will always have access to the peg system.

At first, you may find it difficult to come up with the creative,
illogical, and exaggerated associations that help you
remember more. It comes with practice. However, once you
have mastered the technique of association, you will find
that you have also increased your creativity and problem
solving skills at the same time. The key to creating good
associations is thinking like a child again. Let your mind
wander past the limitations created out of what we now know
as "adulthood".

9. Visualization

Visualization is an extremely powerful memory technique.
However, visualization doesn't just improve memory. It can
also help reduce stress, improve sports performance, and
increase your motivation.

Create descriptive pictures of your possible future and move
yourself towards it. Visualize your next sports event or
public speech to improve your performance.

When studying history, play out visual renditions in your mind
of historical events that you want to remember. Imagine the
smells, sights, and sounds of Gettysburg or the excitement
and unity created by Martin Luther King's famous "I Have a
Dream" speech. By visualizing history with mental replays,
you are much more likely to remember them in detail.

10. FlashCards

When it comes to rote memorization, flash cards are my
favorite memorization tool. Flashcards can help you learn
new subjects quickly and efficiently. They are especially
useful for learning new vocabulary or even a new language.

One of the biggest benefits of flashcards is their portable
nature. They allow you to study anywhere at any time. It
doesn't matter whether you're on the bus, stuck in
traffic, or in the doctor's office. You can always whip out
your flashcards for a quick 2 to 3 minute study session.

To create effective flashcards, dedicate one point to each
card. For example, you could put a vocabulary word on one
side and the definition on the other side. This way, you can
repeatedly quiz yourself until you have mastered all of the

Considering that memory is such a fundamental skill, it's
surprising that schools don't teach us more about how to
learn and use our memory to its optimum potential.

Our mind, just like the rest of our body, needs continuous
exercise and training. Those who think they have a poor
memory actually just have an untrained memory.

Just reading this article won't improve your memory. A good
memory comes from practice. Find something new and exciting
to learn. Start testing out these methods as soon as possible.

You could learn how to fly, learn a new language, photography,
or even investing.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Types of Head ache

Detect the type of headache.

Headaches are irritants that could spoil your day. They could take away your efficiency by almost 50 per cent.

Often we neglect headaches and try to get on with the daily chores till finally 3-4 hours later the headache becomes unbearable. After hours of this slow torture, finally we pop in a tablet to relieve the pain. If you do a quick analysis, you'll realise that from the moment the headache began to the time you took the tablet, you may have lost many hours of productive time.

So the next time you feel the headache coming, first of all try to identify what kind of headache it might be. And then go for the cure.

Headaches occur for many reasons. They come due to tension or inflammation of the sinus.
Sometimes headaches come when the eyes are under strain.

Tension headache: The most common type of headache, immortalised in TV commercials where a harried woman is hounded by a demanding husband, bratty children and a tyrannical boss.
Symptom: Feels like a tight band around your head.
Cause: Tight muscles in the face, neck and scalp, usually caused by stress.

Migraine: A headache has to be pretty nasty to earn the name migraine, which means "half a head" in French.
Symptom: A throbbing pain, usually on one side of the head. Usually accompanied by nausea, vomiting and sensitivity to light and sound.
Cause: Uneven levels of the brain chemical serotonin, which causes the blood vessels in the head to constrict, then expand, putting pressure on surrounding nerves. Can be aggravated by the hormonal changes of the menstrual cycle.
Prewarning: Most migraines are preceded by what's called an aura - flickering points of light or jagged lines that distort your vision.

Sinus headache: Pain around the bridge of your nose, jaws and ears. Sometimes pain moves down into the gums. Usually starts in the morning and gets worse throughout the day.
Cause: When you have a sinus infection, trapped air and pus press against the swollen, tender lining of your sinuses.
Hard fact: Sinus infections are common but sinus headaches are actually quite rare.

Cluster headache: The most excruciating of all headaches.
Symptom: A piercing, throbbing, burning pain that bores into one side of the head, around or behind the eyes. Can occur several times each day for weeks or months at a time.
Cause: Unknown.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Nutrition tips for kids

Many more children are being diagnosed with high cholesterol, or as overweight or obese. These conditions can cause many health problems for your child such as diabetes and high blood pressure, both now and as he or she moves into adulthood.

By helping your child eat a healthy diet and exercise regularly, you can reduce his or her risk of experiencing these health problems.

How can help a child eat right?

If you prepare healthy foods for your family and eat healthy foods yourself, your child will eat healthier, too.

Make sure to prepare a variety of foods, so your family gets all the vitamins and minerals their bodies need to function properly.

What are some examples of healthy meals?


The first meal of the day is a good time to give your child foods that are high in fiber. Whole-grain breads, cereals, fruit, low-fat or nonfat cheeses and yogurt are also good breakfast foods. Use skim or low-fat milk rather than whole or 2% milk. Fruit juice is usually high in calories and has less nutrients than whole fruit (fresh or canned).


Use whole-grain breads and rolls to make a healthier sandwich. Whole grains increase the total fiber in your child's diet and are less processed than enriched white bread. Give your child whole-grain crackers with soups, chili and stew, and always serve fresh fruit (with the skin) with meals instead of chips or other high-calorie options.

Here are some ways to make healthier sandwiches:

Use low-fat or fat-free lunch meats. They are good in sandwiches or cut into strips on top of a salad.

Buy leaner meats, such as turkey, chicken or veggie dogs.

Put leftover chicken or turkey strips in a tortilla to make a cold fajita (add strips of raw red and green peppers and onions). Use fat-free sour cream as a dressing.

Stuff a pita-bread "pocket" with vegetables, fat-free cheese and bits of leftover grilled chicken.

Cut up vegetables such as onion, carrot, celery and green peppers to add to tuna salad. Mix vegetables and water-packed tuna with fat-free mayonnaise or, for a different taste, mix with a fat-free salad dressing.

Chunky bits of leftover chicken mixed with fat-free mayonnaise, raisins, shredded carrots and sliced almonds is a great chicken salad. Serve it in a pita-bread pocket. Top it with salsa for a Southwestern flavor.

Mix cranberry sauce and fat-free mayonnaise to add to a turkey sandwich.

When buying peanut butter, choose an "all-natural" option. For jelly, buy one that 100% fruit and does not contain high fructose corn syrup. This will make peanut butter and jelly sandwiches much healthier.

Sliced ham and low-fat or fat-free cheese with mustard is great on rye bread.

Low-fat cheese makes a good sandwich with tomato slices and mustard or fat-free mayonnaise on a whole-grain roll.

Slice leftover pork tenderloin and top with barbecue sauce for a hot or cold sandwich.

Make grilled-cheese sandwiches with low-fat or fat-free cheese and serve them with raw carrot and celery sticks.

What snacks are good for child?

Fruits, vegetables, whole grains and low- or nonfat dair also make great snacks for children. Here are some ideas for ways to serve these foods to your kids:


Bits of fruit stirred into nonfat yogurt
Pineapple chunks
Orange or grapefruit sections
Bananas cooked lightly in apple juice
Apple slices with all natural peanut butter
Dried fruit mixes


Carrot sticks
Celery sticks with all natural peanut butter
Raw broccoli and cauliflower florets with a low-fat dip or salsa


1% fat or fat-free cottage cheese or ricotta cheese
Water-packed tuna mixed with fat-free mayonnaise on top of celery sticks or whole-grain crackers
Fat-free yogurt topped with sunflower seeds, chopped dried fruit or a spoonful of oat bran

Whole grains:

Cereals or cereal bars that are low in sugar and fat, and high in fiber and protein
Whole-grain crackers, breads or bagels
Sweets and desserts:
Fat-free frozen yogurt
Juice bars
Sherbet and sorbet

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Super Fruits

Kiwi :Tiny but mighty

This is a good source of potassium, magnesium, Vitamin E & fibre. It's Vitamin C content is twice that of an orange.

Apple: An apple a day keeps the doctor away.

Although an apple has a low Vitamin C content, it has antioxidants & flavonoids which enhances the activity of Vitamin C thereby helping to lower the risks of colon cancer, heart attach & stroke.

Strawberry : Protective Fruit

Strawberries have the highest total antioxidant power among major fruits & protect the body from cancer causing, blood vessels clogging free radicals

Orange : Sweetest medicine

Taking 2 -4 oranges a day may help keep colds away, lower cholesterol, prevent & dissolve kidney stones as well as lessen the risk of colon cancer

Watermelon : Coolest Thirst Quencher

Composed of 92% water, it is also packed with a giant dose of glutathione which helps boost our immune system. They are also a key source of lycopene - the cancer fighting oxidant. Other nutrients found in watermelon are Vitamin C & Potassium.

Guava & Papaya : Top awards for Vitamin C

They are the clear winners for their high Vitamin C content. Guava is also rich in fibre which helps prevent constipation. Papaya is rich in carotene, this is good for your eyes.

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