Cardiovascular disease (CVD), also known as heart and circulatory disease, is a class of diseases that involve the heart or blood vessels. It forms as a result of plaque buildup in the walls of the arteries, thereby narrowing the arteries, making it harder for blood to flow through. If a blood clot forms, it can stop the blood flow.
Cardiovascular disease includes coronary artery diseases (CAD) such as angina and myocardial infarction (commonly known as a heart attack). Other CVDs are stroke, heart failure, hypertensive heart disease, rheumatic heart disease, and such. The main 4 types of CVD are:
- Coronary Heart Disease: Coronary heart disease occurs when the flow of oxygen-rich blood to the heart muscle is blocked or reduced.
- Strokes and Transient Ischaemic Attack (TIA): A stroke is where the blood supply to part of the brain is cut off, which can cause brain damage and possibly death. In TIA or “mini-stroke” the blood flow to the brain is only temporarily disrupted.
- Peripheral Arterial Disease: Peripheral arterial disease occurs when there’s a blockage in the arteries to the limbs – usually the legs.
- Aortic disease: Aortic diseases are a group of conditions affecting the aorta. This is the largest blood vessel in the body, which carries blood from the heart to the rest of the body.
- High blood pressure: High blood pressure can cause damage to your blood vessels, making it one of the primary risk factors of CVD
- High Cholesterol: If you have high cholesterol, it can cause your blood vessels to narrow and increase your risk of developing a blood clot.
- Diabetes: High blood sugar levels can damage the blood vessels, making them more likely to become narrowed. Also, many people with type 2 diabetes are also overweight or obese, which also increases the risk of CVD.
- Sedentary Lifestyle: If you are physically inactive, it’s more likely that you’ll have high blood pressure, high cholesterol levels and be overweight. These are risk factors for CVD.
- Family History: If you have a family history of CVD’s, then it is more likely for you to have the same.
- Excessive use of alcohol and smoking
- Chest pain (angina)
- Shortness of breath
- Pain, numbness, weakness or coldness in your legs or arms if the blood vessels in those parts of your body are narrowed
- Racing heartbeat (tachycardia) or slow heartbeat (bradycardia)
- Chest pain or discomfort
Almost 90% of CVD’s can be prevented if the right lifestyle is adopted. Here are some techniques:
- Quit smoking.
- Have a healthy balanced diet including low levels of salt, saturated fats, sugar, plenty of fiber and fruits and vegetables.
- Maintain a healthy weight, and never stray over your adequate BMI.
- Exercise daily for at least 30 minutes.
- Cut down on alcohol.
Treatment – Hridaya vasti
Sinusitis is a condition characterized by the inflammation of the tissues of the sinus cavities. These cavities exist in the skull. The tissues, when they function healthily, are filled with air, but when they get infected with germs, they get filled with fluid and get blocked. Sinusitis is much common in the winter season as the damp and cold air carries around infections and germs. In extreme cases, untreated sinusitis can lead to brain abscess, bone infections or even meningitis.
- Swelling of the nose due to the common cold
- Nasal Polyps – they are small abnormal growths in the lining of the nose
- Deviated Septum – this is a shift in the nasal cavity of the nose
- Allergic Rhinitis – this is the swelling of the lining of the nose
- Blocked ducts
- Facial pain
- Swelling of eyelids
- Runny or clogged nose
- Bad breath
- Mucus or nasal discharge
- Tooth ache
Ways to get relief from sinusitis:
- Warm compress can be used to relieve facial pain
- Use of nasal sprays and decongestants that can open blocked nasal passages
- Avail Ayurveda treatments such as swedana and shirodhara
- Inhalation of warm moist air or use of a humidifier
Most of us wouldn’t know exactly what Lutein is. Lutein is a carotenoid that gives certain fruits and vegetables their respective colours. Lutein is also an antioxidant, which are substances that helps to reduce free radical activity in our body. Thus, Lutein not only makes a fruit or vegetable appear colourful, it also lends a variety of health benefits. Let us look at some of its benefits and the food sources that provide Lutein.
- Prevents age-related macular degeneration – Lutein helps in maintaining health of macula, which is a most important part of the retina. Without macula, our eye vision diminishes. So, without doubt it can be said that Lutein helps in maintaining good eye vision.
- Reduces risk of cataracts – Lutein helps to prevent cataract, which is a condition wherein the clear lens of the eyes becomes opaque or cloudy, making the vision blurry and eyes sensitive to light and glare.
- Keeps skin young looking – being an antioxidant, Lutein protects skin cells from being damaged by free radicals. It can prevent the unnecessary oxidation of lipids and oils, which helps keep the skin soft and wrinkle free.
- Promotes healthy cardiovascular system – Lutein prevents high blood pressure by keeping the levels of bad cholesterol in check. The antioxidant properties of lutein help in warding off the thickening of the arteries.
- Good for Brain – Lutein helps in the proper functioning of the brain and facilitates all sorts of neural functions.
Here are some foods that provide us with Lutein:
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is a type of obstructive lung disease that is progressive, meaning the condition gets worse over time, and characterized by long-term poor airflow, making it hard for the person to breathe. This condition includes chronic bronchitis, emphysema (a condition where alveoli in your lungs is gradually damaged), refractory (non-reversible) asthma, and some forms of bronchiectasis.
Smoking can be the primary cause of the condition of COPD. COPD can cause coughing that produces large amounts of mucus, wheezing, shortness of breath, chest tightness, among many other symptoms. COPD can develop for years without much noticeable shortness of breath. The symptoms can only be usually seen in the more developed stages of the condition.
Causes of COPD
- Smoking and second hand smoke
- Dust and air pollution
- Occupational exposure
Symptoms of COPD
- Chronic cough
- Producing lot of sputum
- Shortness of breath while doing everyday activities (dyspnea)
- Frequent respiratory infections
- Blueness of the lips or fingernail beds (cyanosis)
COPD is a progressive disease, but adopting the right lifestyle can help prevent complications and slow the progress of the condition and stem additional deterioration of your health. The best practice to prevent COPD is to quit smoking, if you are a smoker, and also stay away from second hand smoke. It is also better to take preventive actions such as wearing a mask while going out so as to keep of air pollutants and dust from entering your body.
From time immemorial, ginger has been used as a common spice, lending its unique spicy flavor to the dishes it is added into. But more than that, Ginger is an Ayurveda recommended superfood, that can also be hailed as an ayurvedic universal medicine, as it lends a variety of health benefits.
Let’s look at some of the medicinal properties of this superfood:
- Ginger can be used as a perfect remedy to combat low appetite. To increase appetite, mix equal parts of ginger juice with lemon juice. Add rock salt to it and take this before meals.
- The condition of indigestion can be combated with ginger. Mix ginger juice with water and cane sugar and boil it till it becomes in a syrup form. Add powdered cardamom, nutmeg and clove to it, and preserve the decoction. This decoction is helpful in indigestion, flatulence, vomiting, stomach and bowel pains with fever, colds, cough and asthma.
- Ginger contains a very effective anti-inflammatory compound that are called gingerols. It helps ease and reduce osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis pain levels and improve joint mobility.
- Ginger can be helpful in foiling potential risk of a stroke by inhibiting fatty deposits from the arteries. It also decreases bacterial infections in the stomach.
- Chewing a fresh piece of ginger few times a day can help ease sore throat.
- Taking ginger powder tea before bed can help ease chronic rheumatic pain, colds and excess mucus.
- When you suffer from headache, make a paste of ginger, either with aloe vera gel or water, and apply to the head. You can use same paste for tooth aches too.
- Ginger tea is a good remedy for combating seasonal allergies like cold, flu and cough.
Ginger, thus, has been the constant health companion of man because of these wonderful health benefits and its miraculous medicinal properties.
Office workers who spend long hours in front of their computers, tapping on the keyboards, or using the mouse continuously are at a greater risk of developing Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS). It, but, can be prevented or minimized by adopting the right lifestyle.
Here are 5 tips to keep CTS at bay.
- Use a prop – If you have a wrist pad, use it, as it will keep your forearms, wrist and hands in a straight line, and it will help minimize your carpal tunnel syndrome from being squeezed or pinched.
- Choose height – If your wrist is bothered by the use of regular mouse, then consider using a vertical mouse, where your thumb is pointing upwards.
- Take breaks – Doing repetitive motions for hours can cause CTS. It is suggested that you take 10-15 minutes break in between work to give your wrists time to rest.
- Maintain your health – Another way of keeping CTS at bay is making sure that you are in the best of shapes, that you maintain your health by eating right, getting enough rest and exercising for at least 30 minutes a day.
- Check your desk setup – CTS can be aggravated if your hands are not in the ideal position when you are using your computer or desk. Your keyboard, phone, etc. should be within the length of your forearms and your keyboard in line with your forearms.
Following these practices and giving your wrists a break can save you plenty of trouble in the long run, as it helps keep Carpal Tunnel Syndrome at bay.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome can be defined as a hand and arm condition that causes numbness and tingling in your arms. This irritating condition occurs when one of the major nerves to the hand — the median nerve — is squeezed or compressed as it travels through the wrist.
The median nerve is the nerve in the wrist that allows feeling and movement to parts of the hand. The median nerve run from your forearm to your hand through a small space in your wrist called the carpal tunnel. When the tunnel becomes narrow due to some swelling, carpal tunnel syndrome occurs. It typically affects the thumb, index, and middle fingers and is often particularly troublesome at night, and can lead to numbness, tingling, weakness, or muscle damage in the hand and fingers, if not proper care is given to.
- Anatomic factors – A wrist fracture or dislocation that alters the space within the carpal tunnel can cause pressure on the median nerve.
- Gender – This syndrome is generally more common in women.
- Inflammatory conditions – Conditions like Rheumatoid arthritis, which are inflammatory diseases, can affect the tendons in your wrist, exerting pressure on your median nerve.
- Other medical conditions – Conditions like obesity, thyroid disorders and kidney failure, can be a risk factor of developing carpal tunnel syndrome.
- Workplace factors – Working with vibrating tools or jobs that requires prolonged or repetitive flexing of the wrist may create harmful pressure on the median nerve or worsen existing nerve damage.
- Tingling or numbness – Tingling and numbness in your fingers or hand, especially your thumb and index, middle or ring fingers.
- Weakness – Weakness in your hand and a tendency to drop objects.
For determining the condition, the physician will review your symptoms, as its pattern, its timing and such. The usual times when you experience symptoms due to carpal tunnel syndrome include while holding a phone or a newspaper, where he or she will test the feeling in your fingers and the strength of the muscles in your hand. X-ray of the affected wrist can be used to check for arthritis or any fracture.
Amor Ali Hamdan, a resident of Tanzania, was suffering from conditions of backpain, pain in the left leg, kidney stone and stomach ailments. He consulted doctors at Tanzania and as per their recommendation, underwent some surgeries. Unluckily for him, none of those surgeries were effective in granting him any sort of relief. It was then he came to know about Punarnava Ayurveda Hospital and the effective treatments provided by the efficient doctors at Punarnava. So, he arrived at Punarnava and was admitted for treatment. The power of Ayurveda and its natural way of healing began to provide him with relief from his lingering pain. After the treatment, he was healed and was able to go back to Tanzania a changed man. Let’s hear Amor Ali’s experience about his treatment and the doctors at Punarnava.
Stroke, or also known as cerebrovascular attack, or simply put ‘brain attack’, is the loss of brain function due to a disturbance in the blood supply to an area of the brain. When this happens, brain cells are deprived of oxygen and begin to die. It leads to the loss in memory and muscle control, making it one of the leading causes of serious long-term disability.
There are 3 types of strokes:
- Ischemic stroke – In this type, a blood vessel carrying blood to the brain is blocked by a blood clot (ischemic). The blood supply to the brain decreases, leading to dysfunction of the brain tissue in that area.
This could be caused by 4 factors:
- Thrombosis – It is the obstruction of a blood vessel by a blood clot forming locally.
- Embolism – Obstruction caused due to an embolus (particles such as clotted blood cells that move about in our blood vessels)
- Systemic hypoperfusion – General decrease in blood supply usually occurring while in shock etc.
- Venous thrombosis – It is blood clot that forms within a vein, disrupting the blood flow.
- Hemorrhagic stroke – A brain aneurysm (a bulging, weak area in the wall of an artery that supplies blood to the brain) burst or a weakened blood vessel leak (hemorrhagic) is another cause of blood flow disruption in the brain. It is the lesser common of these main two types.
- Transient ischemic attack (TIA) – TIAs are different from the other types of stroke because the flow of blood to the brain is only briefly interrupted. TIAs are similar to ischemic strokes in that they are often caused by blood clots or other debris.
The factors that increase the risk of having stroke attacks are:
- Being overweight
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
Lifestyle to prevent risk of stroke
- Eat a healthy diet
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Get enough exercise
- Control blood pressure
- Manage diabetes
- Quit smoking
Being healthy at all times is what everyone desires. So man is always on the lookout for external sources that would help him stay healthy. But the secret of staying healthy is always near to you, one only need to know where to look.
Superfoods have gained a lot of popularity in the recent past by being one of the best ways to preserve your health. Fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds that are much dense in vital nutriments come under the superfood category, and they can supplement your nutritional requirements and help you stay hale and hearty.
Here’s a list of some easy-to-eat superfoods you can find in your kitchen.
- Garlic – A power house of Vitamin B6, Vitamin C, copper, iron, calcium, and other essential elements, garlic have numerous health benefits, among which, it is best known for its anti-microbial properties and is immunity boosting properties
- Black beans – Beans are one of the best sources of fiber. Fiber helps the body to absorb nutrients and cleanses the digestive system. The complex carbohydrates in black beans are digested slowly and hence they are a good choice when you need long-lasting energy.
- Turmeric – A good source of Vitamin B6, Vitamin C, potassium, manganese and such nutrients, turmeric is known for its anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties. It is also particularly good for controlling heart rate and blood pressure.
- Olive Oil – Olive oil is one of the best edible oils. Packed with Vitamin E, it protects the skin from harmful oxygen-free radicals, and is also a good source of Vitamin K which keeps your bones healthy.
- Walnuts – Being an excellent source of Omega-3 fatty acids, walnuts help in lowering the risk of Coronary Artery Diseases. Walnuts also contain good amounts of Vitamin E and several B-complex vitamins.
So always remember to include these foods in your daily dirt so that you would always stay in the best of health.