10 early signs of pregnancy to know about
18 Jul 2024
7 mins
10 Early Signs of Pregnancy to Watch Out ForPregnancy is a transformative journey that begins with subtle clues your body provides. Recognising these early signs can help you confirm your pregnancy sooner, empowering you to take proactive steps for your health and the health of your baby. Below are ten early signs of pregnancy that are commonly experienced.   1. MISSED PERIOD   A missed period is often the first noticeable sign of pregnancy. If your menstrual cycle is regular, missing a period can be a clear indicator that you might be pregnant.    According to a study published in the Journal of Women's Health, about 29% of women reported a missed period as their first sign of pregnancy [https://www.lancastergeneralhealth.org/health-hub-home/motherhood/getting-pregnant/is-it-pms-or-am-i-pregnant#:~:text=In%20a%20poll%20of%20pregnancy,test%20and%20see%20the%20results.]. However, stress, hormonal imbalances, and other factors can also cause missed periods, so it's important to consider other symptoms as well.   2. MORNING SICKNESS   Morning sickness refers to nausea and vomiting that typically occurs in the morning but can happen at any time of the day.    The American Pregnancy Association states that up to 85% of pregnant women experience this symptom, usually starting around the sixth week of pregnancy. It is believed to be caused by the rapid increase in hormones like Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (HCG) [https://www.mrmed.in/molecule/chorionic-gonadotropin].   3. NAUSEA AND VOMITING   Beyond morning sickness, general nausea and vomiting can be prominent signs of pregnancy. These symptoms can start as early as two weeks after conception. According to Dr. Linda Burke-Galloway, a board-certified OB-GYN, these symptoms are due to the hormonal changes that occur during early pregnancy.   4. FATIGUE   Extreme fatigue is another common early sign of pregnancy. The body produces more progesterone [https://www.mrmed.in/molecule/progesterone] to support the pregnancy, which can cause you to feel unusually tired. According to a study in the Journal of Obstetric, Gynecologic & Neonatal Nursing, 60% of women reported fatigue as an early pregnancy symptom.   5. BREAST CHANGES   Changes in your breasts, such as tenderness, swelling, or darkening of the areolas, can be early indicators of pregnancy. These breast changes are due to the increase in hormones preparing your body for breastfeeding. The Mayo Clinic notes that these changes can occur as early as one to two weeks after conception.   6. MOOD SWINGS   Hormonal fluctuations during early pregnancy can cause mood swings. According to Dr Mary Jane Minkin, a clinical professor of obstetrics, gynaecology, and reproductive sciences at Yale School of Medicine, these mood changes are similar to those experienced before a menstrual period but can be more intense.   7. FREQUENT URINATION   Increased urination is a lesser-known but common early sign of pregnancy. The growing uterus can press against the bladder, causing you to need to urinate more often. The Cleveland Clinic reports that this symptom typically starts around six to eight weeks after conception.   8. IMPLANTATION BLEEDING   Some women may experience implantation bleeding, which is a light spotting that occurs when the fertilised egg attaches to the lining of the uterus. This usually happens around 10 to 14 days after conception.   9. FOOD CRAVINGS OR AVERSIONS   Sudden changes in your food preferences, such as cravings or aversions, can be an early sign of pregnancy. Ensure to include leafy greens in your diet to avoid constipation during pregnancy [https://www.mrmed.in/health-library/gastroenterology/diet-plan-for-constipation-how-to-control].    10. ELEVATED BASAL BODY TEMPERATURE   Tracking your basal body temperature (BBT) can provide early clues about pregnancy. A consistent rise in BBT after ovulation that lasts for more than two weeks may indicate pregnancy. According to research from the National Institutes of Health, a higher-than-normal BBT for 18 days post-ovulation is a strong indicator of pregnancy.   HOW DO I KNOW WHEN I CONCEIVED?   Determining the exact date of conception can be challenging, but several methods can help you estimate when you might have conceived:   1. Tracking Ovulation: Conception typically occurs around the time of ovulation, which is when an egg is released from the ovary. Ovulation usually happens about 14 days before your next expected period. If you track your menstrual cycle and know when you ovulate, you can estimate that conception likely occurred within 24 to 48 hours of ovulation.   2. Basal Body Temperature (BBT) Charting: By tracking your basal body temperature daily, you can identify a slight rise in temperature that occurs after ovulation. This temperature shift can help you pinpoint when ovulation occurred, giving you a better idea of when conception might have happened.   3. Ovulation Predictor Kits (OPKs): These kits detect the surge in luteinising hormone (LH) that triggers ovulation. By using OPKs, you can determine your most fertile days and estimate the likely date of conception.   4. Ultrasound Dating: An early ultrasound can provide a more accurate estimate of your conception date. Ultrasound measurements of the embryo can give a precise age of the pregnancy, which can then be used to estimate the date of conception. This method is particularly useful if you have irregular menstrual cycles.   5. First Day of Your Last Menstrual Period (LMP): Healthcare providers often estimate the date of conception based on the first day of your last menstrual period. They typically add two weeks to this date to account for the average time between the start of the menstrual cycle and ovulation.   EXPERT ADVICE   Dr. Jane Frederick, a renowned reproductive endocrinologist, emphasises the importance of early detection and prenatal care. "Recognizing early pregnancy symptoms can help you take prompt action to ensure a healthy pregnancy. If you suspect you might be pregnant, schedule an appointment with your healthcare provider to confirm your pregnancy and begin prenatal care," advises Dr. Frederick.    Recognising the early signs of pregnancy can provide peace of mind and help you take the necessary steps to ensure a healthy pregnancy journey. From a missed period to implantation bleeding, each symptom is your body’s way of indicating that it’s nurturing a new life. If you experience these symptoms and suspect you might be pregnant, consider taking a pregnancy test and consulting with a healthcare professional for confirmation and guidance.   REFERENCES   1. https://coastlinewomenscenter.org/ [https://coastlinewomenscenter.org/] 2. https://www.hellomotherhood.com/ [https://www.hellomotherhood.com/] 3. https://americanpregnancy.org/prenatal-testing/ultrasound/ [https://americanpregnancy.org/prenatal-testing/ultrasound/] 4. https://icogonline.org/wp-content/uploads/pdf/annual-report/ICOG-Annual-Report-Oct-2022-Dec-23.pdf [https://icogonline.org/wp-content/uploads/pdf/annual-report/ICOG-Annual-Report-Oct-2022-Dec-23.pdf]   Note: The information provided in this blog is intended for general knowledge. It is important to remember that it should not replace professional medical advice. If you have any concerns about your health or pregnancy symptoms, please consult a healthcare provider.
Dr. Tejashwin Adiga
List of essential helpline numbers in India
16 Jul 2024
10 mins
List of India’s Top Emergency Helpline NumbersIn India, emergencies strike without warning, and having the right helpline number at your fingertips can be a lifesaver. Whether it's a sudden medical crisis, a safety concern, or needing support for vulnerable loved ones, knowing which helpline to call can mean the difference between chaos and calm.   From urgent medical care to safeguarding women, children, and older people, these helplines are more than just phone numbers - they're your direct line to immediate assistance and expert guidance. Join us as we delve into the critical role each helpline plays and how they can be your beacon of hope during times of distress.   EMERGENCY SERVICES   1. National Emergency Number (112)   When to contact: The National Emergency Number 112 serves as a single point of contact for various emergency services. It integrates police, fire brigade, and ambulance services, ensuring a swift response to any emergency.   Significance: Dialing 112 connects you to emergency services without the need to remember separate numbers for police, fire, or medical assistance. It ensures the quick deployment of resources, which is crucial in situations like accidents, crimes, or natural disasters.     2. Police (100) and Fire Brigade (101)   When to contact: The police emergency number (100) and fire brigade (101) are essential for immediate intervention in crimes, accidents, or fire emergencies, respectively.   Significance: Prompt reporting to these services can prevent the escalation of incidents, protect lives, and ensure public safety. Police respond to crimes, accidents, and public disturbances, while fire brigade services handle fire emergencies, rescues, and disaster management.     3. Ambulance (102) and Disaster Management Services (108)   When to contact: Ambulance services (102) provide emergency medical transportation, which is critical for transporting patients to hospitals during medical crises. Disaster management services (108) coordinate responses to natural disasters and offer rescue operations.   Significance: Ambulance services offer timely medical assistance, which is essential for patients in critical condition. Disaster management services coordinate relief efforts during floods, earthquakes, or other calamities, ensuring swift evacuation and aid distribution.   MEDICAL EMERGENCY   1. National AIDS Helpline (1097)   When to contact: The National AIDS [https://www.mrmed.in/health-library/viral-infections/hiv-medication] Helpline provides information on HIV/AIDS prevention, testing, and treatment options.   Significance: It offers counselling and guidance on living with HIV/AIDS [https://www.mrmed.in/condition/hivaids], promotes awareness, and addresses stigma associated with the disease. Access to accurate information can encourage testing and early intervention, improving health outcomes.     2. Blood Requirement (104)   When to contact: This helpline facilitates blood donations by connecting blood banks, donors, and recipients in need of blood.   Significance: Timely access to blood saves lives during surgeries, accidents, and medical emergencies. It ensures a steady supply of blood, crucial for patients with chronic conditions or undergoing treatment.     3. COVID-19 Helpline (1075) and Ayush COVID-19 Counselling Helpline (14443)   When to contact: These helplines provide information, guidance, and support related to COVID-19, including Coviself testing kit [https://www.mrmed.in/health-library/covid-19/coviself-testing-kit-facts], vaccination, and mental health [https://www.mrmed.in/health-library/mental-wellness] counselling.   Significance: During the pandemic, these helplines played a critical role in disseminating accurate information, facilitating testing, and promoting vaccination. They offered psychological support to manage stress and anxiety [https://www.mrmed.in/health-library/mental-wellness/anxiety-symptoms], ensuring holistic care during the health crisis.     4. Mental Health Helpline (14416)   When to contact: The mental health helpline (Tele MANAS [https://telemanas.mohfw.gov.in/home]) offers counselling, crisis intervention, and support for individuals experiencing mental health issues.   Significance: It provides a confidential platform to discuss anxiety, depression [https://www.mrmed.in/health-library/mental-wellness/depression-symptoms-causes-treatment], suicidal thoughts, and other mental health challenges [https://www.mrmed.in/health-library/mental-wellness/mental-stress-symptoms-effects]. Access to timely support can prevent crises, promote mental well-being, and reduce the stigma associated with mental illness.     5. National Health Helpline (1800-180-1104)   When to contact: This helpline provides information on health-related queries, government health schemes, and access to healthcare services.   Significance: It educates the public on preventive healthcare, disease management, and government initiatives. Access to reliable health information empowers individuals to make informed decisions about their health and well-being.   WOMEN'S HELPLINE   1. National Women Helpline (181)   When to contact: This helpline supports women facing domestic violence, harassment, or in need of rescue and rehabilitation services.   Significance: It provides immediate assistance, legal aid, and counselling to ensure safety and empowerment. The helpline promotes gender equality, advocates for women’s rights, and offers a confidential platform to seek help.     2. Domestic Abuse Helpline (181)   When to contact: Dedicated to addressing domestic violence cases, this helpline offers support, intervention, and legal guidance.   Significance: It helps women escape abusive situations, access shelters, and pursue legal recourse against perpetrators. The helpline raises awareness about domestic violence, encourages reporting, and facilitates a supportive environment for survivors.     3. National Commission for Women (NCW) (7827-170-170)   When to contact: The NCW helpline addresses grievances related to gender discrimination, harassment, and violations of women’s rights.   Significance: It advocates for policy changes, legal reforms, and initiatives to protect women’s rights. The helpline offers guidance on legal options and support services and promotes social justice for women across India.   ELDERLY ASSISTANCE   1. Elder Helpline (14567)   When to contact: This helpline provides support, counselling, and assistance to elderly citizens facing abuse, neglect, or seeking healthcare services.   Significance: It ensures the well-being and dignity of senior citizens, connects them to healthcare resources, and addresses elder abuse cases. The helpline promotes active ageing and social inclusion and safeguards the rights of elderly individuals.     2. HelpAge India Helpline (1800-180-1253)   When to contact: HelpAge India offers advocacy, healthcare [https://www.mrmed.in/health-library/health-care/digital-dispensaries-india], and social support services for elderly citizens.   Significance: It empowers elderly individuals with access to healthcare, pension benefits, and community engagement opportunities. The helpline promotes age-friendly policies, addresses elder rights issues, and fosters a supportive environment for senior citizens.   LEGAL ASSISTANCE   1. Legal Aid Helpline (15100)   When to contact: This helpline provides free legal aid, advice, and representation to individuals who cannot afford legal services.   Significance: It ensures access to justice, promotes legal literacy and facilitates equitable legal representation for marginalised communities. The helpline advocates for human rights, empowers disadvantaged groups, and supports fair judicial processes.   CHILD WELFARE   1. Childline India Foundation (1098)   When to contact: If you suspect or witness any form of abuse, neglect, or exploitation of a child, this helpline provides immediate assistance and intervention to ensure the child's safety and well-being. It can also be used to report cases of missing children or when a child needs urgent help.   Significance: It ensures child safety, advocates for child rights, and offers support to children in distress. The helpline promotes child welfare policies, prevents child abuse cases, and fosters a nurturing environment for young individuals.     2. National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) (011-23478260)   When to contact: The NCPCR helpline addresses violations of child rights, advocates for policy reforms, and ensures legal protection for children.   Significance: It monitors child welfare initiatives and promotes education, healthcare, and protection from exploitation. The helpline empowers children with access to justice, fosters child-friendly policies, and advocates for a safe and supportive environment for all children.   CYBER CRIME   1. Cyber Crime Helpline (1930)   When to contact: This helpline addresses cybercrimes, online frauds, and identity theft and guides cyber safety measures.   Significance: It promotes digital literacy, educates the public on cybersecurity threats, and facilitates reporting of cybercrimes. The helpline ensures swift investigation and legal action against offenders and promotes safe internet usage practices.   MISSING PERSONS   1. Missing Child and Women Helpline (1094)   When to contact: This helpline facilitates search, rescue, and reunion efforts for missing children and women.   Significance: It ensures timely intervention, coordinates with law enforcement agencies, and supports families in locating missing loved ones. The helpline promotes child safety initiatives, raises awareness about human trafficking, and advocates for preventive measures.   PUBLIC GRIEVANCES   1. Public Grievances Helpline (1800-110-139)   When to contact: This helpline addresses public grievances and complaints against government services and facilitates redressal mechanisms.   Significance: It promotes transparency, accountability, and citizen engagement in governance processes. The helpline ensures timely resolution of grievances, improves service delivery, and strengthens public trust in administrative systems.   SENIOR CITIZENS   1. Senior Citizens Helpline (1291)   When to contact: Dedicated to elderly citizens, this helpline offers support, guidance, and assistance on healthcare, legal rights, and social services.   Significance: It enhances the quality of life for senior citizens, promotes active ageing, and addresses age-related challenges. The helpline ensures access to elder-friendly services, advocates for elder rights protection, and fosters a supportive community for elderly individuals.   TOURIST HELPLINE   1. National Tourism Helpline (1363)   When to contact: This helpline provides information, assistance, and support for tourists visiting India, including travel advisories and emergency services.   Significance: It promotes tourism safety, enhances visitor experience, and ensures immediate assistance during emergencies. The helpline facilitates cultural exchange, promotes tourist-friendly policies, and contributes to the growth of the tourism sector.   ANTI-TRAFFICKING   1. Human Trafficking Helpline (181)   When to contact: Dedicated to combating human trafficking, this helpline supports victims, facilitates rescue operations, and coordinates with law enforcement agencies.   Significance: It protects vulnerable individuals from exploitation, raises awareness about human trafficking, and promotes rehabilitation services. The helpline ensures swift intervention and legal support for victims and advocates for stringent measures against human traffickers.   ANIMAL WELFARE   1. Animal Helpline (1962)   When to contact: This helpline addresses animal cruelty, provides rescue and veterinary care, and promotes animal welfare initiatives.   Significance: It ensures the humane treatment of animals, facilitates adoption efforts, and educates the public on responsible pet ownership. The helpline advocates for animal rights, support wildlife conservation efforts, and fosters compassion towards animals in distress.   RAILWAYS   1. Indian Railways Helpline (139)   When to contact: This helpline provides information, assistance, and emergency services for passengers travelling by Indian Railways.   Significance: The helpline ensures passenger safety, addresses travel queries, and facilitates immediate assistance during accidents or emergencies. It promotes efficient rail transport services, enhances passenger satisfaction, and provides seamless travel experiences.   AIRLINES   1. Civil Aviation Hotline (011-24604283)   When to contact: This helpline addresses passenger grievances and flight-related queries and assists with air travel.   Significance: It ensures customer satisfaction, facilitates the resolution of aviation-related issues, and promotes transparency in airline services. The helpline supports safe air travel, enhances passenger convenience, and promotes efficient air transport operations.   ROAD TRANSPORT   1. National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) Helpline (1033)   When to contact: This helpline addresses road safety issues and traffic management and assists national highways.   Significance: It promotes safe driving practices, facilitates emergency response on highways, and ensures smooth traffic flow. The helpline supports infrastructure development, enhances road connectivity, and promotes efficient road transport systems.   CLOSING REMARKS    Each of these helpline numbers serves a critical role in ensuring public safety, promoting well-being, and providing timely assistance across various emergencies and services in India. Whether it's addressing medical emergencies, supporting vulnerable populations, ensuring legal protection, or promoting tourism safety, these helplines play a crucial role in fostering a safe and supportive environment for all individuals.   By familiarising yourself with these helpline numbers and sharing this information with others, you contribute to building a more informed and resilient society. Remember, in times of need, a simple phone call to the right helpline can make a world of difference. Stay informed, stay safe, and know that help is just a call away.   REFERENCES:   1. http://www.ncw.nic.in/helplines [http://www.ncw.nic.in/helplines] 2. https://www.civilaviation.gov.in/contact_us [https://www.civilaviation.gov.in/contact_us] 3. https://ncpcr.gov.in/contact-us [https://ncpcr.gov.in/contact-us] 4. http://elderline.dosje.gov.in/ [http://elderline.dosje.gov.in/] 5. https://telemanas.mohfw.gov.in/home [https://telemanas.mohfw.gov.in/home]
Sakshi Anil More
Best Tips to Prevent Flu During Rainy Season
11 Jul 2024
9 mins
11 Tips to Prevent Flu & Other Viral Diseases This Rainy SeasonRain, rain, go away, come again another day. But oh, the memories of playing in the rain, the smell of petrichor, and the cozy feeling of being indoors. The monsoon in Mumbai is truly a season to cherish, with its soothing showers turning the city lush and green.  Imagine the delicious smell of pakoras frying, a hot cup of chai in your hand, and children joyfully playing football in the rain. It’s a season of fun and coziness, but it also brings along a hidden danger – the viral flu. Have you ever thought about how something as wonderful as the rainy season can also make us sick? How can the same rain that brings us happiness also lead to sneezes, fevers, and visits to the doctor?   As we enjoy the beauty of Mumbai’s rains, it’s important to stay alert and protect ourselves from the increase in flu and other viral infections. How? Don't worry; our new blog has you covered.   WHAT ARE THE MOST COMMON DISEASES DURING THE RAINY SEASON?   As the monsoon arrives, it's not just joy in the air but also an increased risk of flu and other viral diseases [https://www.mrmed.in/health-library/viral-infections/what-are-antiviral-drugs]. The combination of fluctuating temperatures and higher humidity provides ideal conditions for viruses to thrive.   The flu, with symptoms like fever, cough, sore throat, and fatigue, peaks during this season. Alongside, the common cold, dengue fever [https://www.mrmed.in/health-library/viral-infections/all-you-need-to-know-about-dengue], and viral gastroenteritis become more prevalent. The rainy season boosts mosquito breeding, spreading diseases like dengue, while indoor gatherings facilitate virus transmission.   Understanding these risks is crucial. By knowing how these diseases spread, we can take measures to stay healthy and enjoy the rainy season safely. So, let’s dive into 11 essential tips that will help you stay healthy and flu-free during this beautiful yet challenging season.   HOW CAN I PREVENT GETTING SICK IN MONSOON?   Here are 11 flu-prevention tips to keep in mind this rainy season  Tip 1: Maintain Personal Hygiene   Personal hygiene is your first line of defence against viral infections. It might seem simple, but washing your hands frequently with soap and water can significantly reduce the risk of getting sick. Think about all the surfaces you touch throughout the day – doorknobs, public transport handles, and even your phone. These can all harbour germs.   When soap and water aren’t available, hand sanitisers with at least 60% alcohol are a great alternative. Also, keep personal items like your phone, keys, and wallet clean. These everyday items can carry viruses and bacteria, so give them a good wipe down regularly.   Tip 2: Get Vaccinated   Vaccination is one of the most effective solutions to prevent the flu and other viral diseases. The flu vaccine [https://www.mrmed.in/molecule/influenza-vaccine], in particular, helps protect against the most common strains of the influenza virus. It’s best to get vaccinated before the flu season starts to give your body time to build up immunity.   Don’t forget about other important vaccinations, such as those for Hepatitis [https://www.mrmed.in/health-library/viral-infections/all-about-viral-hepatitis] and Typhoid, which can also be beneficial during the rainy season. Check with your healthcare provider to see which vaccinations are right for you.   Tip 3: Boost Your Immune System   A strong immune system [https://www.mrmed.in/health-library/health-care/top-10-ways-to-improve-immune-system] is your body’s best defence against infections. Incorporate a meal rich in vitamins and minerals, such as citrus fruits, leafy greens, and nuts. Nutrients like Vitamin C, Vitamin D, and Zinc can also boost immunity.   Regular exercise, adequate sleep, and stress management are essential components of a healthy immune system. Devote some time from your day to yoga and meditation [https://www.mrmed.in/health-library/health-care/yoga-for-self-and-society] to keep stress levels in check. Remember, a healthy body is better equipped to fight off infections.   Tip 4: Drinking liquids   Staying hydrated is like giving your body a refreshing shower from the inside! During the rainy season, it's easy to forget to drink enough water, but it's crucial for keeping your immune system strong and your overall health in check. So, grab that water bottle and make it your best friend.    Imagine sipping on a warm cup of ginger tea while the rain patters on your window – it not only keeps you hydrated but also adds a cozy touch to your day. Chamomile tea can help you relax, and green tea is packed with antioxidants that give your immune system a little boost.    While it might be tempting to reach for sugary sodas or multiple cups of coffee, these drinks can actually dehydrate you. Instead, try to keep a balance. Enjoy your favourite beverages in moderation, but make sure water and herbal teas are your main go-to drinks. Your body will thank you for it!   Tip 5: Eat a Balanced Diet   Maintaining a balanced meal [https://www.mrmed.in/health-library/health-care/benefits-of-eating-healthy] is key to keeping your immune system strong, especially during the rainy season. Fill your plate with antioxidant-rich foods like berries, nuts, and dark chocolate; they’re not just delicious but also great for fighting off infections.   Boost your gut health [https://www.mrmed.in/health-library/gastroenterology/world-digestive-health-day] with probiotics [https://www.mrmed.in/molecule/pre-probiotics] present in yoghurt and fermented foods like kimchi. These little helpers strengthen your immunity from the inside out.   Avoid processed foods, excess sugar, and trans fats; they can weaken your immune system. Stick to wholesome, nutrient-packed foods to fuel your body and stay healthy all season long.   Tip 6: Avoid Crowded Places   Overcrowded places increase the risk of exposure to viruses. Minimise visits to crowded areas, especially during peak hours. If unavoidable, practice safe measures such as wearing a mask and maintaining physical distance. Online shopping and off-peak travel can also help reduce exposure to crowded places.   Tip 7: Use Protective Gear   Using protective gear like masks and gloves can provide an extra layer of protection against viruses. Ensure that you wear masks properly, covering both your nose and mouth, and dispose of them safely. Raincoats and umbrellas can help keep you dry and reduce the risk of catching a cold.   Tip 8: Keep Your Living Environment Clean   A clean living environment is necessary for preventing infections. Regularly clean and disinfect common areas and high-touch surfaces, such as doorknobs, light switches, and countertops. Ensure proper ventilation in your home to allow fresh air to circulate. Effective waste management is also crucial to avoid attracting pests and spreading germs.   Tip 9: Be Cautious with Food and Water   Food and water safety [https://www.mrmed.in/health-library/health-care/foods-to-eat-and-avoid-in-flu] is paramount during the rainy season. Consume clean and cooked food to avoid foodborne illnesses. Avoid street food and unhygienic eateries, as they can be breeding grounds for bacteria and viruses. Drink purified or boiled water to ensure it is safe for consumption.   Tip 10: Manage Stress   During the rainy season, managing stress [https://www.mrmed.in/health-library/mental-wellness/stress-migraine-causes-symptoms-prevention-management] is key to keeping your immune system strong. Incorporate daily stress-busting activities like meditation, yoga, or deep breathing. Stick to a routine and stay connected with loved ones for added support and a happier you. Stress less, enjoy more!   Tip 11: Recognize Early Symptoms and Seek Medical Help   Early detection of flu and other viral infections can prevent complications and promote faster recovery. Common symptoms to watch out for include fever, cough, sore throat, body aches, and fatigue. If you experience any of these symptoms, seek medical advice promptly. Early consultation with a healthcare professional can ensure timely and appropriate treatment.   FAQS   Q.1) Why do I feel feverish when it rains? A - Feeling feverish during rainy weather can result from temperature fluctuations, increased humidity hindering sweat evaporation, and higher transmission rates of viral infections like the flu in crowded indoor spaces. Allergies to mould or pollen released during rain can also contribute. You can practice home remedies [https://www.mrmed.in/health-library/viral-infections/home-remedies-fever], or if symptoms persist, seeking medical advice is advisable.      Q.2) Can flu vaccination completely prevent the flu? A - Flu vaccination significantly lowers the risk of contracting the flu, but it may not completely prevent it. The vaccine helps to protect against the most common strains of the virus and can decrease the severity of symptoms if you do get sick.     Q.3) What are the most effective ways to boost the immune system? A - The most effective ways to boost the immune system include eating a balanced meal rich in vitamins and minerals, staying hydrated, getting regular exercise, managing stress, and ensuring adequate sleep.     Q.4) What kind of disease spread more in rainy season? A - Diseases that spread more during the rainy season include waterborne illnesses like cholera and typhoid, mosquito-borne diseases like malaria and dengue fever, respiratory infections like the flu, and fungal skin infections [https://www.mrmed.in/health-library/fungal-infections/fungal-skin-infection]. Preventive measures like hygiene practices and avoiding stagnant water can help reduce the risk.     Q.5) How can I differentiate between flu and common cold symptoms? A - Flu symptoms are usually more severe and come on suddenly, including high fever, body aches, and extreme fatigue. Common cold symptoms are milder and develop gradually, often including a runny nose and mild cough. If in doubt, consult your doctor for an accurate diagnosis.   WRAPPING UP!   As the raindrops fade and the clouds part, remember that staying healthy during the rainy season is all about balance and awareness. Embrace the cozy moments with hot chai and pakoras, but also stay vigilant against the sneaky viruses and infections that thrive in this weather.   By following these tips - like staying hydrated, eating well, managing stress, and practising good hygiene, you can enjoy the rainy season to the fullest without worrying about falling ill. Let's make this season about laughter, warmth, and staying healthy together.    Share these tips with your loved ones to ensure everyone stays safe and well. Here's to a happy and flu-free rainy season ahead!   REFERENCES   1. https://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/keyfacts.htm#:~:text=Flu%20is%20a%20contagious%20respiratory,Flu%20Symptoms [https://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/keyfacts.htm#:~:text=Flu%20is%20a%20contagious%20respiratory,Flu%20Symptoms] 2. https://www.cdc.gov/flu/prevent/actions-prevent-flu.htm#:~:text=The%20single%20best%20way%20to,prevent%20respiratory%20illnesses%20like%20flu [https://www.cdc.gov/flu/prevent/actions-prevent-flu.htm#:~:text=The%20single%20best%20way%20to,prevent%20respiratory%20illnesses%20like%20flu]. 3. https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/influenza-(seasonal) [https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/influenza-(seasonal)] 4. https://www.bestchoicewellness4u.com/medical-clinic-services/flu-vaccine [https://www.bestchoicewellness4u.com/medical-clinic-services/flu-vaccine] 5. http://www.nationwidehealthservices.com/healthy-diet-combinations-for-longer-life [http://www.nationwidehealthservices.com/healthy-diet-combinations-for-longer-life] 6. https://www.phsafrika.com/mayo-clinic-q-and-a-tips-to-prepare-children-for-a-flu-vaccination/ [https://www.phsafrika.com/mayo-clinic-q-and-a-tips-to-prepare-children-for-a-flu-vaccination/]
Sakshi Anil More
A guide to chronic inflammation and related diseases
6 Jul 2024
8 mins
The Connection Between Chronic Inflammation and Diseases: What You Need to KnowAre you secretly sabotaging your health?     In a world where health mysteries still exist in large numbers, one sneaky villain has been wreaking havoc right under our noses. Chronic inflammation is often dismissed as a minor annoyance by people. But it is silently fueling a host of severe and life-threatening conditions. But what if you could uncover the secrets to halting this silent wrecker in its tracks? Dive into this eye-opening exploration of chronic inflammation and unlock the knowledge that could transform your health forever!   WHAT IS CHRONIC INFLAMMATION?   Chronic inflammation is an extended period of inflammatory response that can last for months or years. Although inflammation is the body’s response to a foreign element in the body, chronic inflammation can be harmful. It involves the continuous presence of immune cells at the site of inflammation, leading to tissue destruction and healing simultaneously. This condition can arise from persistent infections, exposure to irritants, or autoimmune diseases [https://www.mrmed.in/health-library/immune-disorders/most-common-types-of-autoimmune-diseases] where the body mistakenly attacks its tissues.  Types of Chronic Inflammation [https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK493173/]:     1. Granulomatous Inflammation: This type features granulomas, small clusters of immune cells, and occurs in diseases like tuberculosis and sarcoidosis.   2. Nonspecific Chronic Inflammation: This involves a mix of various immune cells, and it is commonly found in chronic ulcers and abscesses.   3. Chronic Suppurative Inflammation: Characterized by continuous pus formation, often seen in chronic osteomyelitis.   HOW DO I KNOW IF I HAVE CHRONIC INFLAMMATION?   Feeling tired all the time? Achy joints or unexplained weight gain? You might be surprised to learn these could be signs of chronic inflammation lurking in your body. Here are the six key symptoms you need to watch out!    1. Persistent Pain: Chronic inflammation can result in long-lasting pain in joints, muscles, or other areas of the body.   2. Fatigue: If you are always tired, it might not just be a sign that you need more rest. Feeling consistently tired or lacking energy, even after sufficient rest, could be a red flag and indicate chronic inflammation.   3. Frequent Infections: Recurring or prolonged infections may be linked to an inflammatory response within the body.   4. Digestive Issues: Chronic inflammation within the digestive tract can cause symptoms such as bloating, diarrhoea, or constipation.   5. Skin Problems: Have you ever wondered why your eczema or psoriasis [https://www.mrmed.in/health-library/immune-disorders/treatment-for-psoriasis] keeps flaring up? Chronic inflammation could be the culprit behind your persistent skin challenges [https://www.mrmed.in/health-library/skin-care/skin-disorders].   6. Weight Changes: Rapid weight gain or difficulty losing weight could be related to inflammation in the body.   WHAT IS THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN INFLAMMATION AND CHRONIC DISEASES?   Ever wondered how something as seemingly subtle as chronic inflammation could silently cause significant health issues? This persistent immune response not only builds up plaque in your arteries over time, narrowing them and increasing the risk of cardiovascular problems, but it also prompts your immune system to attack healthy tissues. Chronic inflammation can lead to conditions like inflammatory bowel disease or autoimmune disorders affecting various organs. Understanding these processes is crucial because chronic inflammation isn't just about occasional swelling; it's a stealthy contributor to serious health concerns that require proactive management for long-term well-being.   WHAT ARE TOP 3 DISEASES LINKED WITH CHRONIC INFLAMMATION?   Chronic inflammation can pose a great threat to our health, from cardiovascular diseases like stroke to autoimmune disorders like rheumatoid arthritis.   1. Cardiovascular Diseases   Chronic inflammation plays a crucial role in the development of cardiovascular diseases like heart disease [https://www.mrmed.in/health-library/heart-care/six-most-common-heart-diseases] and stroke. It silently contributes to the formation of plaques in arteries, a condition known as atherosclerosis.    According to the World Health Organization, cardiovascular diseases account for approximately 17.9 million deaths [https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/cardiovascular-diseases-(cvds)] annually worldwide. Managing inflammation through lifestyle adjustments and medication can substantially lower the risk associated with these conditions.   2. Rheumatoid Arthritis   Characterised by chronic inflammation, rheumatoid arthritis [https://www.mrmed.in/health-library/rheumatology/rheumatoid-arthritis-causes-treatment] is an autoimmune condition that damages joints, causing pain and deformity. Globally, about 1% of the population suffers from rheumatoid arthritis, with women being more prone to this disease than men, at a ratio of three to one. Effective management strategies include the use of anti-inflammatory medicines, physical therapy, and, in some cases, surgical intervention.   3. Myositis   Myositis, encompassing conditions like polymyositis and dermatomyositis, involves chronic inflammation of muscles, leading to weakness and pain. Actress Samantha Prabhu has publicly shared her battle with myositis, helping raise awareness about this rare condition. Myositis affects approximately 1 in 100,000 individuals. Treatment typically involves corticosteroids and immunosuppressive drugs to alleviate inflammation and manage symptoms.    HOW CAN I REDUCE CHRONIC INFLAMMATION IN MY BODY?   Reducing chronic inflammation in your body involves making several dietary and lifestyle changes. Here are ten effective strategies that you can incorporate in your life:   1. Low-Glycemic Diet: Limiting high glycemic foods [https://www.diabetes.org.uk/guide-to-diabetes/enjoy-food/carbohydrates-and-diabetes/glycaemic-index-and-diabetes] like sodas and refined carbohydrates can reduce inflammation and lower risks of stroke [https://www.mrmed.in/health-library/heart-care/stroke-causes-types-symptoms-treatment] and diabetes.   2. Reduce Saturated and Trans Fats: Avoiding processed foods and synthetic trans fats while incorporating omega-3 fats that are found in fish like salmon or mackerel can help combat inflammation.   3. Fruits and Vegetables: Containing antioxidants and polyphenols, fruits like berries can be a saviour by protecting us against inflammation. Remember to eat your green veggies like broccoli, spinach and kale.   4. Fiber-Rich Foods: Soluble and insoluble fibre, found in foods like nuts and whole grains, may lower levels of inflammatory markers.   5. Nuts and Seeds: Almonds and sesame seeds, for example, are associated with cardiovascular benefits and reduced inflammation.   6. Green Tea: Green and black tea have been linked to lower C-reactive protein (CRP) levels in clinical studies. A high CRP level can cause cardiovascular diseases. Apart from that, drinking green tea every day will also help you lose excess unwanted body fat.   7. Curcumin: Curcumin [https://www.mrmed.in/molecule/curcumin] is found in turmeric and has shown significant anti-inflammatory effects in various conditions.   8. Fish Oil: Omega-3 fatty acids [https://www.mrmed.in/molecule/omega-3-fatty-acids] can reduce TNF-alpha, CRP, and IL-6 levels, key markers of inflammation.   9. Micronutrients: Magnesium, vitamin D, vitamin E, zinc, and selenium act as antioxidants and have anti-inflammatory properties.   10. Physical Exercise: Regular exercise not only helps with weight management but also lowers pro-inflammatory molecules independently.   In addition to lifestyle changes, certain medicines and herbal supplements can also aid in reducing chronic inflammation:   1. Metformin: Commonly used for type II diabetes [https://www.mrmed.in/health-library/diabetes/diabetes-exercise-diet-lifestyle], metformin reduces inflammation markers like TNF-alpha and CRP.   2. Statins: Besides lowering cholesterol, statins have anti-inflammatory effects that reduce cardiovascular risk.   3. NSAIDs and Corticosteroids: These medications are beneficial to address pain and inflammation in conditions like arthritis [https://www.mrmed.in/health-library/rheumatology/arthritis-symptoms-causes-treatment] and asthma [https://www.mrmed.in/health-library/respiratory-disorder/all-you-need-to-know-about-asthma].   4. Herbal Supplements: Ginger, turmeric, and cannabis have shown anti-inflammatory properties, but caution and medical advice are advisable before use.   Combining these strategies can significantly reduce chronic inflammation and improve overall health. Always consult with healthcare professionals to personalise your approach based on your specific health needs and conditions.   WHAT ARE THE WORST FOODS FOR INFLAMMATION?   Curious about which everyday foods might be secretly fueling inflammation in your body? Explore these five common culprits known to promote inflammation and discover healthier alternatives to support your well-being.   1. Sugary Drinks and Sweets: Did you know that indulging in sugary sodas and sweets can spike inflammation in your body? High sugar intake not only affects your waistline but also triggers inflammatory markers like CRP. Try swapping these out for natural fruit-infused water or unsweetened herbal teas to quench your thirst without the inflammation spike.   2. Refined Carbohydrates: We all love a good sandwich and pastries, but these tasty treats can cause inflammation due to their high glycemic index. How about trying whole grains like oats or quinoa instead? They're not only healthier but also help keep inflammation at bay.   3. Processed Meats: Bacon and sausages might be breakfast favourites, but their high saturated fat content and additives like nitrites can fuel inflammation. Opt for leaner protein sources like grilled chicken or fish to satisfy your cravings while supporting your body's anti-inflammatory efforts.   4. Trans Fats: Found in margarine and many packaged snacks, trans fats are notorious for increasing inflammation and heart disease risks. Look for food labels with "partially hydrogenated oils" and opt for healthier fats like olive oil or avocado for cooking and salads.   5. Excessive Alcohol: While a drink now and then can be enjoyable, excessive alcohol consumption can inflame your gut and liver, leading to systemic inflammation.   PARTING WORDS   Understanding and addressing chronic inflammation through healthy choices like diet and lifestyle can greatly improve your overall health. Remember, small changes today can lead to profound benefits tomorrow. Take charge of your health journey with well-informed choices and consult healthcare professionals for personalised guidance. Together, we can turn the tide against chronic inflammation and embrace a healthier, vibrant life.     REFERENCES   Here is where the information in this blog has been cited from:  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK493173/ [https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK493173/] 2. https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/medicine-and-dentistry/chronic-inflammation [https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/medicine-and-dentistry/chronic-inflammation]  3. https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/cardiovascular-diseases-(cvds) [https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/cardiovascular-diseases-(cvds)]  4. https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/foods-that-fight-inflammation [https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/foods-that-fight-inflammation]   5. https://www.health.harvard.edu/diseases-and-conditions/what-is-chronic-inflammation [https://www.health.harvard.edu/diseases-and-conditions/what-is-chronic-inflammation]  6. https://www.mdpi.com/1660-4601/17/11/4135 [https://www.mdpi.com/1660-4601/17/11/4135]  7. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0955286321000541#sec0007 [https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0955286321000541#sec0007] 
Sakshi Anil More
ZIka Virus in India Stats & More
5 Jul 2024
6 mins
Zika Virus in India: Stats, Prevention Tips & FAQsZika virus cases are increasing in India. Zika virus spreads through the bite of Ades mosquitoes. This virus can spread through sexual intercourse and from a pregnant mother to a fetus. Taking proper preventive measures to safeguard ourselves from this virus is essential. Especially in pregnancy, as this Virus can affect the fetus and can cause chronic congenital conditions such as vision issues and improper brain development. As of July 2, 2024, Maharashtra has reported eight Zika virus cases [https://pib.gov.in/PressReleaseIframePage.aspx?PRID=2030371], with six in Pune, one in Kolhapur, and one in Sangamner.   In the year 2023 [https://www.fitfortravel.nhs.uk/news/newsdetail.aspx?id=24579], 8 cases of Zika virus were reported in Kerala, with the virus being also identified in mosquitoes in Karnataka.    In this blog, we will learn some key factors about the Zika virus, its symptoms, treatments and prevention. So, please keep reading.   WHAT IS ZIKA VIRUS DISEASE?   Zika virus disease is an infection that one gets through the bite of an Aedes mosquito. The Aedes mosquito usually bites during the day. This mosquito is also responsible for causing chikungunya, yellow fever and dengue.    RECENT STUDIES AND FINDINGS ON THE ZIKA VIRUS   1. Current Research   According to a systematic review published in July 2023, the Zika virus (ZIKV) continues to be a global health threat [https://journals.plos.org/plosntds/article/figures?id=10.1371/journal.pntd.0011842]. The review highlights its persistent geographic expansion, with 89 countries and territories documenting transmission.    The study emphasises the importance of seroprevalence studies in understanding the true burden of the disease, given that approximately 80% of infections are asymptomatic.   2. Transmission   The Pan American Health Organization [https://www.paho.org/en/news/1-9-2023-zika-silent-virus-requiring-enhanced-surveillance-and-control] reported in September 2023 that despite a global reduction in Zika cases since 2017, the virus remains active in 89 countries. The report highlights the various transmission modes, including mosquito bites, sexual contact, blood transfusions, and mother-to-fetus transmission.   3. Epidemiology   The World Health Organization's epidemiological update in February 2022 noted ongoing Zika virus transmission in several countries, emphasising the need for continuous vigilance and public health measures.   HOW IS ZIKA VIRUS TRANSMITTED?   Zika virus is majorly transmitted through the Aedes mosquitoes. However, Zika virus transmission may also occur through:   * Sexual intercourse: As the Virus can stay in the body fluids for weeks to months after the person has contracted the infection, it can spread through unprotected sex. Even if the infected person does not experience any of the Zika virus symptoms, they may still pass it on to someone through oral, anal or vaginal sex.   * From a pregnant mother to the fetus: Zika virus infection can affect the baby by passing through the placenta of an infected mother. This infection can cause congenital conditions in the fetus during birth.   * Blood transfusions: The Zika virus is present in blood, and it can spread from a Zika virus-infected person to a healthy person through blood transfusions [https://www.mrmed.in/health-library/health-care/world-blood-donor-day].    * Organ transplantation: Similar to blood transfusion, Zika virus infection can spread from a Zika virus-infected person to a healthy person during organ transplantation.   WHAT ARE THE VARIOUS ZIKA VIRUS SYMPTOMS?   In most cases, individuals infected with the Zika virus don’t develop any symptoms. Individuals who develop symptoms also feel it after 3-14 days of infection. These are usually mild and last for 2-7 days. Some common Zika virus symptoms include:   * Fever * Muscle pain * Joint pain * Headache Malaise (a feeling of weakness * Rash that may itch * Redness in the whites of the eyes (conjunctivitis or a pink eye)   The symptoms of the Zika virus resemble those of other viral infections. However, individuals with a Zika infection do not fall sick enough to be admitted to a hospital.    HOW IS ZIKA VIRUS DISEASE DIAGNOSED?   To diagnose Zika virus disease, your healthcare provider will first look at the symptoms you are presenting with. They will also ask you about your travel history along with a few other questions. If your healthcare provider suspects the Zika virus, then they will order blood tests to confirm the diagnosis.    HOW TO TREAT ZIKA VIRUS DISEASE?   There is no specific treatment available for Zika virus disease. Your healthcare provider will prescribe antipyretics or analgesics [https://www.mrmed.in/molecule/paracetamol-acetaminophen] to treat Zika virus symptoms. Your healthcare provider will also recommend taking plenty of rest and staying hydrated to manage the symptoms and feel better. Additionally, you will also have to follow the instructions on how to prevent it from spreading.    Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are to be avoided until your healthcare provider rules out the possibility of dengue [https://www.mrmed.in/health-library/viral-infections/all-you-need-to-know-about-dengue]. Pregnant women are advised to speak to a healthcare provider before taking any medication.   In case your symptoms worsen, it is advised to seek emergency care.    EXPERT ADVICE   Dr. Curt Horvath, Professor of Molecular Biosciences at Northwestern University, offers insights into the mechanisms by which the Zika virus evades the host's immune response, which is critical for developing antiviral therapies.   * Dr Horvath's research reveals [https://news.northwestern.edu/stories/2022/01/researchers-pinpoint-how-zika-virus-evades-cells-antiviral-response] how Zika virus suppresses the cell’s interferon response, a crucial antiviral defence mechanism. * Identifying the specific interactions between the virus and host cells can guide the development of targeted antiviral therapies. * Enhanced understanding of Zika virus mechanisms can aid in pandemic preparedness and improve responses to similar viral threats.   HOW DO I PREVENT ZIKA VIRUS INFECTION?   There are a few preventive measures that can reduce your risk of contracting Zika virus infection. The various Zika virus prevention measures include the following:   1. Wear protective clothing: When travelling to areas that are at a risk of Zika or have an ongoing Zika outbreak, then it is best to wear long-sleeved clothes.   2. Use mosquito repellent creams: Always wear mosquito repellent creams, especially when travelling to high-risk areas.   3. Use protective window screens: When travelling, stay in rooms that have screens or use a mosquito net to protect yourself.    4. Practice safe sex: To prevent contracting Zika virus infection, it is advised to practice safe sex by using condoms if you or your partner has travelled to the area having a Zika virus outbreak.   5. Avoid travelling to areas with Zika Virus outbreak: If you’re pregnant, As pregnant women can also pass the Zika infection to the fetus, it is best advised to avoid travelling to areas with ongoing Zika outbreaks.    FAQS ON ZIKA VIRUS   What happens if you get the Zika virus?   If you get Zika virus, you may experience symptoms like fever, rash, pink eye, muscle and joint pain, headaches and malaise for 2-7 days. In some cases, people with Zika infection may not experience any symptoms at all.    Can I die from Zika virus?   While it's very unlikely to die from the Zika virus, it’s important to stay informed and take precautions. Most people experience mild symptoms like fever, rash, and joint pain, and recover fully without severe complications. Practising mosquito control and protecting against bites are effective ways to prevent infection and keep yourself safe.   Why is the Zika virus bad for pregnancy?   Zika virus is bad for pregnancy as it can not only spread from mother to child, but also pose a serious risk to the health of the child. Zika virus can cause congenital issues such as eye problems, seizures, and loss of hearing. Zika virus also causes a chronic birth defect called microcephaly, where the head and the brain of the baby are small.   Can Zika be cured?   There is no specific treatment or cure for Zika Virus. Depending on your condition and the symptoms you are experiencing, your healthcare provider will prescribe medications. To recover from the Virus, eat healthily, drink lots of fluids, eat healthy meals and take plenty of rest along with your healthcare provider-prescribed medications are to be taken.   Is there a vaccine for Zika?   No, currently, there are no vaccinations available for the prevention of Zika virus disease.    What will happen if I’m pregnant and get Zika virus disease?   If you are pregnant and get the Zika virus disease, then you need to consult your healthcare provider immediately. Your healthcare provider will monitor your health and your fetus closely. It is important to note that Zika virus-related congenital and pregnancy complications cannot be prevented.    Can the Zika virus go away on its own?   Usually, like most viral infections, Zika virus infections may also go away on their own. However, it is advised to follow your doctor’s instructions carefully along with proper rest to manage and recover from the Virus. Additionally, pregnant women are advised to see their doctor if they have Zika infection and take proper care.    KEY TAKEAWAYS   While the rise in Zika virus cases in India is concerning, understanding the virus and taking preventive measures can significantly reduce the risk of infection. Using mosquito repellents and wearing protective clothing, can protect you from this virus. Pregnant women should be particularly cautious, as the virus poses significant risks to fetal development. Being aware and alert is the key in this case.     REFERENCES This data and metrics for this blog has been taken from the following sources:   1. https://www.cdc.gov/zika/about/index.html#:~:text=Zika%20virus%20is%20spread%20mostly,can%20cause%20certain%20birth%20defects [https://www.cdc.gov/zika/about/index.html#:~:text=Zika%20virus%20is%20spread%20mostly,can%20cause%20certain%20birth%20defects]. 2. https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/zika-virus [https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/zika-virus] 3. https://www.cdc.gov/zika/signs-symptoms/index.html [https://www.cdc.gov/zika/signs-symptoms/index.html] 4. https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/16077-zika-virus#symptoms-and-causes [https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/16077-zika-virus#symptoms-and-causes] 5. https://www.who.int/health-topics/zika-virus-disease#tab=tab_1 [https://www.who.int/health-topics/zika-virus-disease#tab=tab_1] 6. https://www.nationwidechildrens.org/conditions/zika-virus [https://www.nationwidechildrens.org/conditions/zika-virus] 7. https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/conditions-and-diseases/zika [https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/conditions-and-diseases/zika] 8. https://www.cdc.gov/zika/prevention/index.html [https://www.cdc.gov/zika/prevention/index.html] 9. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/life-style/health-fitness/health-news/pregnant-woman-tests-positive-for-zika-virus-in-india-know-how-zika-virus-affects-foetal-growth/articleshow/111398333.cms [https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/life-style/health-fitness/health-news/pregnant-woman-tests-positive-for-zika-virus-in-india-know-how-zika-virus-affects-foetal-growth/articleshow/111398333.cms] 10. https://www.who.int/india/health-topics/zika [https://www.who.int/india/health-topics/zika]
Arwa Aliakber
10 Myths & Facts About Detox Diets
3 Jul 2024
8 mins
Do Detox Diets Really Work? Here is The Truth Behind ThemYou love ‘detoxifying’ your body at least twice a week - eat fresh and only rely on things that are the apparent “fruits of nature!” But, have you ever given it a thought on what good it really does to your body? Can a few weeks of clean eating offset the countless cheese-burst pizzas or frittatas?    We bet you not (for real)! And that’s why we have you covered with a handful of facts that you must read to get out of the fictitious world of plans that are created out of fancy. So, read on!   WHAT FOOD CAN I EAT DURING A DETOX?   Detox diets [https://www.mrmed.in/health-library/health-care/ayurvedic-detox-tips] are dietary regimens aimed at removing toxins from the body. These typically involve a period of fasting, followed by a strict diet of fruits, vegetables, juices, and water. Some versions also incorporate herbs and supplements. Proponents claim that detox diets can improve health, boost energy levels, and aid in weight loss.   WHY DO PEOPLE DO DETOX DIETS?   The allure of detox diets lies in their promise of a quick fix. The idea of rapidly cleansing one's body of impurities is highly attractive. Moreover, detox diets often promote the consumption of whole foods and the avoidance of processed foods, which aligns with general healthy eating principles [https://www.mrmed.in/health-library/health-care/benefits-of-eating-healthy].   10 MYTHS AND FACTS SURROUNDING DETOX DIETS   Want to know if what you have been following is right or not? We have got you covered!   MYTH 1: DETOX DIETS ARE NECESSARY TO ELIMINATE TOXINS    Fact: Your body is naturally equipped to eliminate toxins.   One of the most common detox diet myths [https://wellbeingnutrition.com/blogs/detox-cleanse/detox-diet-myths-do-these-diets-really-help-our-body] is that you need a special regimen to cleanse your body. In reality, your liver, kidneys, and digestive system are constantly working to filter and eliminate toxins.    The liver, for instance, plays a key role in detoxification by breaking down and removing toxins from the body. The body has an effective detoxification system in place that doesn't require special diets or supplements to function optimally.   MYTH 2: DETOX DIETS LEAD TO SUSTAINABLE WEIGHT LOSS   Fact: Weight loss from detox diets is usually temporary.   While detox diets often promise quick weight loss [https://www.mrmed.in/health-library/health-care/lose-weight-naturally], the results are typically short-lived. Most of the weight lost during a detox diet is water weight and glycogen rather than fat.    Once normal eating resumes, the weight often returns. Sustainable weight loss is best achieved through a balanced diet and regular exercise.   MYTH 3: DETOX DIETS IMPROVE SKIN HEALTH   Fact: Healthy skin [https://www.mrmed.in/health-library/skin-care/skin-care-methods] is more about long-term nutrition and skincare.   Detox diets claim to clear up your skin by eliminating toxins, but there's little scientific evidence to support this.    Skin health is more closely related to overall nutrition, hydration, and proper skin care routines than short-term dietary changes. Maintaining a balanced diet rich in vitamins and minerals is more beneficial for your skin in the long run.   MYTH 4: CLEANSING DIETS BOOST ENERGY LEVELS   Fact: Energy boosts from detox diets are usually due to calorie restriction.   People often report feeling more energetic during a detox diet, which can be misleading. This increase in energy is usually a result of cutting out processed foods and sugars, leading to more stable blood sugar levels [https://www.mrmed.in/health-library/diabetes/diabetes-exercise-diet-lifestyle].    However, severe calorie restriction can eventually lead to fatigue and nutrient deficiencies. A well-rounded diet is a healthier way to maintain energy levels.   MYTH 5: DETOX DIETS CAN PREVENT CHRONIC DISEASES   Fact: There's no conclusive evidence that detox diets prevent chronic illnesses [https://www.mrmed.in/health-library/health-care/chronic-illness-rise].   While proponents claim that detox diets can prevent diseases like cancer or heart disease, there's no scientific evidence to back these assertions.    The best way to reduce the risk of chronic diseases is through a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins, along with regular physical activity and other healthy lifestyle choices.   MYTH 6: DETOX DIETS CLEANSE YOUR DIGESTIVE TRACT   Fact: Your digestive tract is self-cleansing.   The idea that detox diets can cleanse your digestive tract [https://www.mdanderson.org/cancerwise/the-facts-behind-4-detox-myths-should-you-detox-your-body.h00-159385890.html] is a common misconception. The digestive system is designed to eliminate waste and toxins naturally.    Fibre-rich foods, adequate hydration, and regular exercise support healthy digestion without the need for extreme diets or supplements.   MYTH 7: DETOX DIETS PROVIDE ESSENTIAL NUTRIENTS   Fact: Many detox diets lack essential nutrients.   Detox diets often involve severe calorie restriction and the elimination of entire food groups, which can lead to nutrient deficiencies.    Essential nutrients like protein, healthy fats, vitamins, and minerals are crucial for overall health. A balanced diet that includes a variety of foods is necessary to meet your nutritional needs.   MYTH 8: YOU NEED TO DETOX REGULARLY TO STAY HEALTHY   Fact: Regular detoxing isn't necessary for health.   Again, the belief that you need to detox regularly to maintain health is a mistake. The human body is constantly detoxifying itself.    Adopting healthy habits [https://vims.ac.in/vims-hospital/tips-healthy-body-best-healthy-lifestyle-habits/] such as eating a balanced diet, staying hydrated, exercising regularly, and avoiding excessive alcohol and processed foods is a more sustainable approach to maintaining health.   MYTH 9: DETOX DIETS ARE SAFE FOR EVERYONE   Fact: Detox diets can pose risks, especially for certain groups.   It's important to remember that detox diets can be risky, especially for certain groups.    If you have underlying health conditions, are pregnant or breastfeeding, or are elderly, these diets can lead to nutrient deficiencies and electrolyte imbalances, resulting in constipation [https://www.mrmed.in/health-library/gastroenterology/medications-causing-constipation] and other health issues.    Always consult a healthcare professional before starting any detox regimen to ensure your safety.   MYTH 10: ALL DETOX DIETS ARE THE SAME   Fact: Detox diets vary widely and can have different effects.   It's also important to note that not all detox diets are the same. They can vary widely in their restrictions and effects.    Some may focus on consuming different types of fresh-pressed juices, others on fasting or eliminating specific food groups.    The effectiveness and safety of these diets depend on their specific components and how they are followed. Being aware of these variations can help you make informed decisions about your health.   WHAT ARE THE BEST ALTERNATIVES TO DETOX DIETS?   For those seeking a healthier way to cleanse and rejuvenate, consider these sustainable alternatives to detox diets. Not a great change from your daily routine, but just a bit more control over it :)   1. Reduced Consumption of Processed Foods: Reduce the intake of unhealthy fats, added sugars, and artificial additives by eliminating processed and sugary foods. For instance, replacing sugary snacks with whole fruits like apples and berries can improve overall nutrition and reduce the risk of metabolic disorders.   2. Improved Hydration: Experts stress the importance of drinking plenty of water [https://www.mrmed.in/health-library/nephrology/drinking-water-health-kidneys], which supports the body's natural detoxification processes and overall health. For example, starting the day with a glass of water infused with lemon can aid digestion and keep the body hydrated.   3. Promotion of Healthy Eating Habits: Indulge in mindful eating and the development of healthier eating patterns. For example, planning meals that include a variety of vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains can help establish balanced eating habits that continue beyond the detox period. 4. Potential for Reduced Inflammation: Focus on certain anti-inflammatory foods, which can help reduce inflammation in the body. For example, incorporating foods like turmeric, ginger, and fatty fish (rich in omega-3 fatty acids) can help manage inflammation and improve joint health.   5. Enhanced Digestive Health: Eating high-fibre foods can promote better digestion and regular bowel movements. For instance, adding chia seeds, flaxseeds, and legumes to meals can increase fibre intake, support gut health, and prevent constipation.   6. Focus On A Healthy BMI: Rather than going on an aggressive weight loss regime, start by eliminating high-calorie, processed foods and increasing consumption of low-calorie, nutrient-dense foods. Including plenty of vegetables and lean proteins can help shed a few pounds quickly, which might motivate further healthy eating and exercise.   SOME EXPERT ADVICE   Noted health expert Dr Rujuta Diwekar [https://www.rujutadiwekar.com/] cites the following pieces of advice for anyone looking to go on a diet:   1. Personalisation is Key: A personalised diet plan that caters to individual needs and backgrounds rather than following generic diet charts available online.   2. Incorporation of Ghee: The inclusion of ghee in meals [https://fabbon.com/articles/wellness/rujuta-diwekar-diet-plan#google_vignette] helps in combating fat and is an essential part of a balanced diet .   3. Mindful Eating: Diwekar stresses the need for mindful eating without distractions like mobile phones.   4. Seasonal and Local Foods: She recommends eating local and seasonal foods, which not only support local economies but also ensure that you consume the freshest and most nutritious ingredients [https://www.hindustantimes.com/lifestyle/health/national-nutrition-week-4-tips-from-rujuta-diwekar-for-weight-loss-and-sustainable-health-101631008403977.html].   Additionally, our in-house advisor, Dr Tejashwin Adiga, shares the top three essentials you should consider before going on a detox diet plan:    5. Consult a Healthcare Professional: A registered dietitian can assess your nutritional needs and recommend a balanced plan that supports your health goals without unnecessary risks.   6. Avoid Extreme Restrictions: Rather than fasting or relying solely on juice cleanses, aim for balanced meals that include proteins, healthy fats, and carbohydrates. 7. Listen to Your Body: Pay attention to how your body responds to changes in your diet and adjust accordingly. If you feel tired, dizzy, or experience digestive issues, it may indicate that the detox diet is too restrictive.    THINGS TO KEEP IN MIND   The body's natural detoxification system is sufficient for maintaining good health when supported by a balanced diet, hydration, and healthy lifestyle choices. Always consult with a healthcare professional before making significant changes to your diet or starting a detox regimen.   REFERENCES   Here are the sources from which this blog’s information has been picked:   1. https://www.cdc.gov/healthy-weight-growth/losing-weight/improve-eating-habits.html?CDC_AAref_Val=https://www.cdc.gov/healthyweight/losing_weight/eating_habits.html [https://www.cdc.gov/healthy-weight-growth/losing-weight/improve-eating-habits.html?CDC_AAref_Val=https://www.cdc.gov/healthyweight/losing_weight/eating_habits.html] 2. https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/weight-management/tips-get-active [https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/weight-management/tips-get-active] 3. https://newsinhealth.nih.gov/2019/12/fast-or-not-fast [https://newsinhealth.nih.gov/2019/12/fast-or-not-fast] 4. https://newsinhealth.nih.gov/2021/12/do-detox-diets-cleanses-work [https://newsinhealth.nih.gov/2021/12/do-detox-diets-cleanses-work] 5. https://ods.od.nih.gov/pdf/factsheets/WeightLoss-Consumer.pdf#:~:text=URL%3A%20https%3A%2F%2Fods.od.nih.gov%2Fpdf%2Ffactsheets%2FWeightLoss [https://ods.od.nih.gov/pdf/factsheets/WeightLoss-Consumer.pdf#:~:text=URL%3A%20https%3A%2F%2Fods.od.nih.gov%2Fpdf%2Ffactsheets%2FWeightLoss] 6. https://www.nutrition.gov/topics/healthy-living-and-weight/what-you-should-know-about-popular-diets [https://www.nutrition.gov/topics/healthy-living-and-weight/what-you-should-know-about-popular-diets] 7. https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/weight-management/tips-get-active [https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/weight-management/tips-get-active]
Dr. Tejashwin Adiga