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Heart Attack in Women :
Heart disease is most common disease in women all over world. But women often chalk up the symptoms to less life-threatening conditions like acid reflux, the flu or normal aging. This leads them to life threatening condition. Heart Attack can be prevented with proper awareness and treatment.
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Breast-Feeding Protects Mothers From Cancer, Heart Attacks

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Breast-feeding not only protects babies from premature deaths and serious diseases but also mothers from breast cancer and heart attacks, among others, suggests a study.

According to the study published in the journal Maternal and Child Nutrition, breast-feeding helps mothers to reduce chances of getting diagnosed with breast cancer, per-menopausal ovarian cancer, diabetes, hypertension and heart attacks.

For children breast-feeding reduces the risk of diseases like acute lymphoblastic leukemia, ear infections, Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis, gastrointestinal infections, lower respiratory tract infections, obesity, necrotizing enterocolitis and sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).

"Breast-feeding has long been framed as a child health issue, however it is clearly a women's health issue as well. Breast-feeding helps prevent cancer, diabetes and heart disease, yet many women have no idea breast-feeding has any of these benefits," said Eleanor Bimla Schwarz, Professor at University of California - Davis Health System in the US.
For the study, the research team modeled two groups: One was an "optimal" group in which the majority of moms breastfed as recommended. That group was compared with a "sub optimal" group, in which young mothers breastfed less than the recommended guidelines.

Using existing research and government data, they projected the rates and costs of diseases that breastfeeding is known to reduce, along with the rates and costs of early deaths from those diseases.

"Breast-feeding is far more beneficial in preventing disease and reducing costs than previously estimated," said Melissa Bartick, Assistant Professor at the Harvard Medical School.

Currently, 22 per cent of employed mothers return to work within 10 days of childbirth. Paid leave keeps mothers and babies together, which is essential for breast-feeding. Enacting paid family leave will impact the lifelong health of women and children, suggested the study.

The study authors said their findings underscore the importance of providing women with the support they need to breast-feed their babies, beginning at birth.

"The study results underscore the importance of policies that make it possible for women to breastfeed," Alison Stuebe, Associate Professor at the University of North Carolina, US.

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Women's Health: Obesity Shouldn't be Left Ignored, it's Not Just Weight Gain

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Obesity refers to having too much fat in one's body. But it isn't the same as being over-weight. An over-weight person weighs more than he is supposed to due to the weight of his bones, muscles, fats and body water. Whereas obesity occurs when there is an accumulation of excess or abnormal amounts of fat in the body. People are considered to be obese when their body mass index is more than 30 kg/m2, when the normal range is 25-30 kg/m2. Body Mass Index (BMI) is the body mass divided by the square of the body height and is universally expressed in kilograms by metre square.

According to Dr. Sujeet Jha, Director Endocrinology, Diabetes & Obesity, Max Super Specialty Hospital, "Obesity in women leads to abdominal obesity, which is the excessive fat build-up around the stomach area that leads to cardiovascular disease risk factors such as high blood pressure and diabetes. It also can harm the heart muscle more directly."

Causes of Obesity in Women

Women develop this medical condition due to several reasons which result in negative and harmful effects on their health. Thyroid, metabolic syndrome and polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) are a few of the leading causes of obesity in women. Genes also play a significant role at making an individual obese and some rare genetic diseases make it impossible to get rid of this condition. Pregnancy too may contribute to obesity and result in eating disorders like binge-eating.

obesity obese kids

Those who were over-weight as kids have a higher chance at being obese as adults. Steroids and drugs may have harmful side-effects on one's body and lead to obesity too. Eating foods which are high in fat and calories and not working-out to burn the added pounds are a common problem seen in most Indian households. Women who have a lower metabolic rate have a tough time in keeping a check on weight. This puts the women at a high risk for diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and a number of cancers like postmenopausal breast cancer and endometrial cancer.

Symptoms of Obesity

The symptoms of obesity are disturbed sleep, shortness of breath, gallstones, varicose veins, sleep apnea, which is a condition which causes breathing irregularity and trouble while sleeping, etc. BMI is used to diagnose obesity; if it is higher than 30, it is stated as obesity. Body fat can also be calculated by using an instrument that measures the thickness of your skin, called "Calipers".

Due to the inability of women to resist emotional cues and uncontrolled eating, obesity affects them more than men. According to Dr. Pradeep Chowbey, Chairman of Max Institute of Minimal Access, Metabolic & Bariatric Surgery, Chairman of Surgery & Allied Surgical Specialties, Executive Vice Chairman of Max Healthcare, "Women are approximately 60% more prone to obesity. In addition to genetics, caloric imbalance and poor lifestyle choices, there could be multiple reasons for obesity in women. Primarily, multiple pregnancies and sedentary lifestyles today as compared to the enormous physical activities till about few decades back are showing a rise in obesity cases. But this can be avoided by sensitizing women from an early age and introducing such issues in schools and colleges where women must be made aware of what Body Mass Index is and continuously monitor it."

How to Control Obesity

Obesity can be treated by increasing physical activity and reducing calorie-intake. A modified diet which consists of healthy fats like monounsaturated and polyunsaturated oils will help reduce the condition. Carbohydrates and unhealthy fats should be reduced and in-take of calcium-based foods like kale, broccoli, salmon, cabbage, etc. should be increased. Whole grains, nuts, seeds and leafy vegetables should be added to one's diet. Regular jogs and moderate intensity workouts for 60 minutes on most days is important to do away from obesity. All-round fitness should be strived for to make oneself healthy and get rid of obesity.

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Breastfeeding Mothers Have 10 Per Cent Lower Risk of Heart Attack

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Breast milk is said to contain a number of benefits for the baby’s health. It contains a variety of nutrients essential for the newborn’s well-being, and also includes antibodies which cannot be medically engineered. However, there are also several advantages for the breastfeeding mother. Breastfeeding may reduce a mother's heart attack and stroke risk later in life, according to new research. The study, published in the Journal of the American Heart Association showed that women who breastfed their babies had about a 10 percent lower risk of developing heart disease or stroke later in life. The study analysed data from 289,573 Chinese women participating in the China Kadoorie Biobank study who provided detailed information about their reproductive history and other lifestyle factors.

Breastfeeding helps the mother burn extra calories faster, thereby facilitating a quicker loss of post-pregnancy weight. "The health benefits to the mother from breastfeeding may be explained by a faster 'reset' of the mother's metabolism after pregnancy," explained Sanne Peters, a research fellow at University of Oxford. Breastfeeding is the easiest and the most natural way to shed the kilos and drop the unnecessary weight for newbie mothers. It is considered a much better way, rather than resorting to other measures such as extreme dieting or vigorous exercise.

Peters further elaborates, "Pregnancy changes a woman's metabolism dramatically as she stores fat to provide the energy necessary for her baby's growth. Breastfeeding could eliminate the stored fat faster and more completely.”

This study comes after previous research indicated that mothers get short-term health benefits from breastfeeding such as weight loss and lower cholesterol, blood pressure and glucose levels after pregnancy.

"The findings should encourage more widespread breastfeeding for the benefit of the mother as well as the child," said Zhengming Chen, Professor of Epidemiology, University of Oxford.

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Diet You Should Start Consuming To Prevent Heart Attack!

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If you had suffered a heart attack recently, it is quite natural to for a patient to feel weak as the heart goes through a tremendous amount of stress during the condition. So, it is very important for a heart patient to know the things that will help you them recover from it. A healthy diet is the first step towards the recovery. A proper diet can not only help you recover quickly, but you won’t suffer from a second attack too. If people had followed this dietary habits beforehand, then they wouldn’t have to face a heart attack in the first place. So, to recover and get back to your daily lifestyle, you must keep these foods in your daily diet.


Fruits and Vegetables: Fruits and vegetables are a must and are of paramount importance when it comes to recovering from a heart attack. The most significant advantage is that they have lower calories and at the same time they provide sufficient nutrition. They will keep your blood pressure at a standard level and thus promote the health of your heart. Fruits and vegetables that are rich in potassium can also combat and balance the counter-effects that result from sodium. So, avoid your oily snacks and have fruits instead.
Green Tea: Green tea is highly recommended by doctors for patients that have recently suffered a heart attack. They have been proven to be at risk of heart attack and other health problems related to the heart by 20%. Green tea does not contain any calories and is rich in anti-oxidants which are the main constituents responsible for the recovery.
Nuts: You must have already been aware of the several advantages of consuming almonds. Another addition to its advantages is aiding the process of recovery after a heart attack. However, it is to be noted that nuts are good for a person who has suffered a heart attack only if they are not salted.
Whole Grains: The refined grains tend to lose their nutrients while on the other hand whole grains are rich in fiber and nutrients. They will keep your blood pressure in check and promote the well-being of your heart.
What to avoid?
Apart from the items mentioned above, there are several foods that you must avoid at all costs. The first one that comes in this list is the food items that are rich in sugar content. This will lead to an increase in weight and thus aggravate heart problems. You must also avoid salty foods as they will increase your blood pressure. Avoid meats and eggs as much as you can as they are highly rich in cholesterol which is another factor that must be avoided.

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What's Your Daily Salt Intake? Even 5 Gram Can Put You at Risk of Heart Attack

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No other ingredient is as basic but as important as salt in the culinary world. Without it, it is almost impossible to hit the right flavour note and make all the ingredients come together into a gastronomic joyride. A little sprinkling of the white crystals into a bowl of salad, steaks, omelette, stir-fries, soups, etc is customary. Now, coming to Indians, the love affair with salt goes another level. It is almost like a compulsory side that has to accompany every meal. Even our snacks and small bites come smeared with salt and we relish every bite of it. Such as namkeens like bhujiya, dalmoot, chana chor garma, and other treats like pakoras, samosas, chaats, etc. Shattering this fairy tale, health experts are connecting this salty Indian habit to their increased cases of high blood pressure and heart diseases. While natural salt may contain good amount of essential minerals, the variety we pick from the stores are highly processed and devoid of any goodness. So consuming large quantities of it is sure to lead to health hazards.

A recent study has revealed that Indians love salt a little too much. The study conducted by an Australian firm suggests that an average Indian consumes about 119% more salt than the WHO recommendation. WHO guidelines suggest that an individual should limit intake of salt to 2gm per day. The average intake by Indians was noted to be 10.98 gms which is more than 5 times the limit. This is alarming given the rise of Cadiovascular Diseases (CVDs)in India in the recent year. Between 2010 and 2013, around 23% of all deaths in India were attributed to Cardiovascular dieases.Conducted by George Institute of Global Health (GIGH), the study was published in The Journal of Hypertension. Doctors have for long discussed and advocated against the excess intake of Salt. Too much salt in your body can lead to a High Blood pressure, which in turn can cause several other heart-related diseases.

The WHO believes that high sodium consumption (more than 2 gm of sodium which is equivalent to 5 gm salt per day) and insufficient potassium intake (less than 3.5 gm per day) contribute to high blood pressure and increase the risk of heart disease and stroke.

Dr Sanjay Kalra, Consultant Endocrinologist, Bharti Hospital, Karnal, and Vice President, South Asian Federation of Endocrine Societies, said, "Processed and fast foods have become the norm since they are easier to make and carry, and consume. Consumption of pulses, fruits and vegetables has reduced." "A processed food diet is full of sugar, harmful fats, and excess salt leading to conditions such as high blood pressure, obesity, and cardiovascular diseases.

High blood pressure can also lead to kidney failure by causing extra strain on the arteries," he added. The study also notes that every measure of salt intake made in India except one has provided an estimate above the WHO-recommended maximum consumption level of 5 gm/day. The best estimate obtained by this meta-analysis suggests that average salt intake in India is double the recommended maximum level. Another study - published in the British Medical Journal - has shown that a government-supported national policy on reducing sodium intake by 10 per cent over 10 years can help reduce the burden of several lifestyle disorders including hypertension and heart disease.

Dr K K Aggarwal, National President, Indian Medical Association (IMA), said "While sodium is needed by the body in certain amounts, an excess of it is very harmful. Excess salt is directly related to blood pressure. Increase in salt consumption raises the sodium level, thereby increasing blood pressure." "It can also double the risk of cardiovascular diseases such as coronary heart disease, heart failure, and strokes.

So it's about time you started keeping a strict check on your salt intake.

Dr. Lalit deshmukh
Dr. Lalit deshmukh
BHMS, Family Physician, 14 yrs, Pune
Dr. MUKUL TAMHANE
Dr. MUKUL TAMHANE
MS/MD - Ayurveda, Infertility Specialist Spinal Pain Specialist, 3 yrs, Pune
Dr. Niranjan Pathak
Dr. Niranjan Pathak
MD - Allopathy, Cardiologist Diabetologist, 9 yrs, Pune
Dr. Darshankaur Chahal
Dr. Darshankaur Chahal
BAMS, Ayurveda Family Physician, 23 yrs, Pune
Dr. AMITRAJ MHETRE
Dr. AMITRAJ MHETRE
MBBS, Pediatrician, 7 yrs, Pune
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