Obesity is the most common nutritional disorder among the affluent in our country. At any given time, approximately 40 per cent of women and 20 per cent of men report that they are presently trying to lose weight. Millions of dollars are spent every year on weight loss treatments. Still with the current medical treatment, the failure rate remains high. And in most cases, there is a strong tendency to regain weight; about one-third of lost weight is regained within a year, and almost all within five years.
As the monsoon sets in, a variety of factors conspire to weaken the immune system and make us vulnerable to colds and flu. People tend to spend more time indoors and keep windows and doors closed, which, in turn, becomes a breeding ground for microbes. Children also tend to bring viruses back home from school.
You cough now and then and sneeze a lot when you get up in the morning. You are feeling tired and your body aches. You suspect you have a cold. You go on to take medication for the common cold. It doesn’t work. You now have a terrible headache as well. You finally consult the doctor. After listening to your history of symptoms, examining your face and forehead, and perhaps seeing a sinus X-ray, the doctor says you have sinusitis. This is the day the health problem begins.
The tonsils are a pair of small almond-shaped structures on either side of the throat, just behind and above the tongue. The structures act as a defense against infections that invade the body through the nose and mouth. Tonsils are a part of the body’s protective lymphatic system, which dispatches cells that literally gulp down bacteria. Adenoids are structures located at the back of the nose, above the tonsils. They too help keep away respiratory tract infections.
Bleeding from the nose (naasagata rakta pitta is the ayurvedic term) is a common problem faced by most of us during the summer. If you have regular bleeding on one side of the nose, which happens any time without warning, you can attribute it to the weather, physical exercise, sneezing and having a cold.
Bronchial asthma is a common disease affecting 10-20 per cent of the population. In the vast majority of cases, the disease is mild and often unrecognized. There is evidence that the prevalence of asthma is increasing. In spite of better understanding of the pathophysiological processes involved in this disease, mortality from asthma has not been influenced, and in our country, it has been increased!
Blood pressure is the force of the blood pushing the walls of the arteries that carry blood from the heart to all body tissues and organs. Each time the heart beats (about 60-70 times a minute at rest), it pumps out blood into the arteries creating some pressure. Blood pressure is highest when the heart contracts and blood is pumped. This is called systolic pressure. When the heart is at rest, in between beats, blood pressure persists, but decreases. This is the diastolic pressure. These two figures, systolic and diastolic pressures, usually denote blood pressure.
Blood cholesterol plays an important part in deciding a person’s chance of risk of getting coronary heart disease (CHD). The higher your blood cholesterol level, the greater is your risk. Even if your blood cholesterol level is close to the desirable range, you can lower it and can reduce your risk of getting heart disease.
Any condition that puts excessive pressure on the legs or abdomen can lead to varicosity. Hormonal fluctuations during pregnancy and menopause may be responsible for the high proportion of varicosities among women. Dietary deficiencies or the loss of skin elasticity due to aging are the contributory factors. Prolonged standing or sitting, constipation, constructive clothing, lack of exercise, obesity, or repeated heavy lifting can interfere with normal circulation and can worsen existing varicosities.
A migraine is a terrible headache that tends to recur and is often accompanied by a feeling of nausea. The pain is usually felt on one side of the head. One may experience flashing lights, zigzag lines, bright spots, partial loss of vision, numbness or tingling in the hand, tongue, or face. Moving around makes the headache worse. While no medical tests confirm migraine, the diagnosis is based mainly on the above-mentioned symptoms.