Saturday, 28 September 2013

Are We Making Progress in Mental Health?

10th October 2012. World Mental Health Day. This day sought to bring new developments, changes and to make strides in the field of Mental Health in the world. But how much has been achieved? Is it enough? Do we need to do more?

Since two decades, the World Federation of Mental Health supported by the World Health Organization has taken up the ardent task of bringing in awareness about Mental Health, just until it reaches equivalence with Physical Health. The entire world still stays behind when it comes to acceptance on Mental Health. The cultural system of our country creates differences and causes stigma which disables our countrymen to make progress. No matter how much effort is put in, mindsets are difficult to change and this is a very challenging task for any Government or recognized body.

Stigma is not the only problem we face. Early identification of symptoms, care and recovery, poverty and the need for intervention and treatment are also long term issues faced by the people in our country. Most countries take steps to promote Mental Health and India is not too far behind. Far behind is of course the stigma attached to it.

Stress and depression are the most common disorders given the lifestyle of the working population in our country. Class and economic status is no barrier. The rich are not getting richer, but are succumbing to the increasing economic changes whereas the poor are struggling to meet both ends. This poses a high risk for developing the most common disorders such as stress, depression, anxiety and sleep disorders. What is more thought provoking is that these disorders are seen as a part of the lifestyle of the common man and less as a risk to livelihood.

The much neglected segment of Mental Health is starting to gain importance now. Anindita Paul, director of Sanjivini Society for Mental Health has said in an interview that the social awakening towards mental diseases and their cure has finally started to come to India.

The present data on the severity of Mental Health is shocking. Thegaps in treatment in terms of severe mental disorders is 50% whereas for common mental disorders is 90%. This is a significantly alarming percentage of people who are unaware of the illness and treatments. About 77% of people with mental health problems never consult a professional. And the most alarming data of all – about 60 to 70 million suffer from Severe and Common Mental Disorders!

Mental health is a big part of our lives and yet it is pushed out of the door as something that doesn’t matter. Our culture teaches us not to express our emotions from an early age and that only good emotions are shared. This restricts our emotional well being and creates an inability to share and accept problems with others, especially mental health professionals.

It’s time to get out of the box! It’s time to create change and give ourselves a chance to heal, a chance to grow and a chance to create new opportunities for ourselves!

Friday, 27 September 2013

Gallstone treatment and its Remedy

The gallbladder is helpful in digesting fatty foods and in the overall digestive process. Its function is to store bile and secrete it into the small intestine when the food enters the intestine. The bile produced in a fluid state by the liver, consists of substances like bilirubin, salt, cholesterol and bile salts. In medical term, Choletithiasis is referred to gallstone diseases which are formed in the gallbladder or the bile duct. Tiny particles having solid texture like stones are formed in the gallbladder which ranges from a tiny piece to the size of a golf ball which is formed due to cholesterol and pigments in the bile as well as the hard particles. Gallstones are of two types namely cholesterol which are in green and yellow color while pigment stones are made of bilirubin and are smaller and darker in appearance. Gallstones in the gallbladder may cause fibrosis and malfunction of the gallbladder is known as chronic cholecystitis resulting in cancer. Some of the symptoms of gallstones are severe backache and vomiting, feeling uneasy, nausea and feeling of sick, sudden pain in upper abdomen and pain between the shoulder blades.

 The remedies for this ailment are available in nature and one can make the best use of what is available in its natural form. Apple can give immense relief and being the first known fruit in paradise is a fine choice to get relief from gallstones. Combination of two apples juice mixed well with apple cider vinegar can be consumed once a day. The juice of Pear mixed with half a glass of water along with two tablespoon of honey is another option to get relief from gallstones. Half a teaspoon of turmeric along with two teaspoons of honey gives instant relief to the victim suffering from pain of gallstones. The juice of a beetroot with a dash of salt taken once a day can also provide immense relief. Lentils are another option which can be finely chopped and consumed on regular basis with the meals. With one glass of cucumber juice and a little honey taken twice a day can give the much needed relief to the victim.

Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Fight Insomnia the natural way

A sleep disorder with the inability to fall asleep is known as insomnia which can affect people of all age. Insomnia can be short term or long term and its symptoms are inability to fall asleep, or waking up in the middle of the night and the difficulty of falling back to sleep, rising too early in the morning with a feeling of tiredness. Insomnia can be due to emotional or physical discomfort, stress, illness, environmental factors like hot weather, sound, light etc. The person suffering from insomnia may tend to feel sleepy all day and be irritable and find difficulty in memory and concentration. It is essential to eliminate this problem before it tends to get too chronic with the simple home remedies that are available in plenty and cost effective with desired results. Some of these natural remedies could be tried to enjoy the benefit of its purpose and enjoy a good sleep, thus being free from the ailment of insomnia. Warm milk can be consumed before retiring for the night which can do wonders for insomnia. Milk accompanied with a bit of honey can also be taken as another option.

 Having an early dinner at least two hours before going to bed and avoiding spicy food can help to fight insomnia. Taking a hot bath can relax the body as well as the mind before going to bed. Dropping two cups of Epsom salt in the hot bath can also relax the muscles and provide sound sleep. Maintaining a strict sleep schedule should be followed to avoid disrupting the sleeping pattern since the body gets adjusted to the daily sleeping schedule. Naps during the day should be avoided however sleepy the person may feel, to enjoy a good night sleep. Aniseed and water also helps to overcome insomnia when one teaspoon of aniseed boiled in half a liter of water for 15 minutes, strained and consumed either warm or hot before going to bed can help a great deal. Jasmine and lavender oil also has tremendous effect on insomnia patients. A little application of lavender oil applied to the temple and the forehead can draw the person to sleep while jasmine oil applied to the wrist or balls of cotton dipped in jasmine oil placed in the bedroom, can help the person to fall asleep.

Remedial treatment for Migraine

Many a times due to our stressful and hectic schedules we tend to suffer from headaches of different kind. Migraine is one type of a headache which can get very severe if ignored and not treated well. Often it tends to get difficult to differentiate between a common headache and a migraine and hence proper treatment for the same is not carried out. Migraines can be due to cold and flu, dehydration, exhaustion, allergies, strong deodorant smell, alcohol, excess consumption of chocolates, caffeine, bright lights, stress or tension. Putting up with severe headache can be avoided if timely treatment is undertaken at the onset of the ache. Home remedies can prove to be of immense help when it comes to eliminating the migraines and be free from the pain and agony of this ailment. Migraine victims can smell peppermint which helps in reducing headache. Ginger is another remedy to eliminate headache and ginger black tea can be consumed morning and evening to reduce headache. Consumption of plenty of water could also help to terminate the headache which may also be a cause of dehydration.

Headache in its initial stage can be stopped by rubbing the temples gently giving the victim a relaxed feeling. Paste formed from freshly ground cinnamon powder mixed with a little warm water and applied to the affected area can reduce the migraine tremendously. Taking deep breaths also proves to be very helpful when a person begins to get headache which enables him to relax and the headache vanishes.. Vinegar also is another remedy in reducing headache when a cloth soaked in vinegar is placed on the affected spot for half an hour with the process repeated two to three times till the migraine disappears. Light to moderate exercising is another remedial form for migraine and being active is very effective treatment for this ailment. Meditation also helps to de-stress and relax the mind and body to a great extent. Half hour mediation can do wonders to a tensed mind and save the person from migraine. One need not endure the aches and pains of life if timely treatment is carried out with the medicines that are available in nature and the purpose of its cure.

Monday, 23 September 2013

Effective Remedies to treat Knee Pain

Pain in the knee is one of those ailments which can affect individuals of all age, especially people in advanced age or those suffering from poor health. This ailment may also be due to injuries, arthritis, obesity, limited flexibility of the muscles, lack of strength, abnormalities in structure etc. Treatment of knee pain in its initial stage is essential, to avoid the unwanted pain while engaging in any activity which can turn to be unbearable thereby restricting movement. With many available home remedies to treat this ailment, one can get relief by treating knee pain when faced with this ailment. Ginger is an age old remedy which is very effective in treating knee pain. Ginger tea consumed daily can give amazing relief to painful knees. Beside this, regular ginger oil massage to the affected area can reduce tremendously, the inflammation and the knee pain. Papaya seeds tea is also another remedy when boiled in water for 6 to eight minutes then boiled with a tea bag for another few minutes and drained. This decoction can then be consumed with a teaspoon of honey combined with a pinch of black pepper powder which can be taken twice daily till the pain subsides.

 Ice packs can also work wonders in soothing pain and helps in reducing the swelling on the knees. Ice cubes wrapped in a towel and placed on the affected areas of the knee for 10 to 15 minutes can give immense relief. Application of ice pack to any area beyond 20 minutes should be avoided since it can cause damage to the skin. Ice pack placed around the knee can be done twice a day for 15 minutes till the swelling is reduced and the person receives relief from knee ailment. Heat therapy is another option which can be tried to get relief from knee pain. Hot water bag can be placed on the painful knee for 10 to 15 minutes which can be repeated three to four times a day till the person get some relief from painful knees. Sitting in a hot water tub and soaking the knees in it can also give the victim immense relief.

Saturday, 21 September 2013

Dandruff Solutions

Dandruff problem is very common among individuals and is a kind of skin ailment on the scalp due to the presence of bacteria and fungus which can tend to get infectious. When the dry flakes present on the scalp increases, it can also cause a lot of irritation to the individual and cause them plenty of discomfort. Dandruff can be controlled by individuals by keeping check on hair care and practicing proper hygiene from time to time. With plenty of natural and homemade solutions available, one can take the opportunity of having a healthy hair growth which can be free from dandruff and other hair problems. Homemade solution being natural does not have any side effects, which are easy and affordable bringing about the desired results in the treatment carried out. Some of the solutions listed can be tried for effective results if one has been facing dandruff problem. Some of the solutions are available on the kitchen shelf in the form of fenugreek seeds, and this herb is known to prevent the progress of any fungus while simultaneously also helps to soothe the scalp and stop dandruff growth. Fenugreek seeds can be soaked overnight in water and ground to a paste in the morning and applied to the scalp to be left for a few hours. The hair can then be washed with a mild shampoo and for those with serious dandruff problem this process can be followed twice a week for desired result.

Another option is the Aloe Vera which has the ability to heal and combat against fungal growth and bacteria which is also known as one of the most effective remedy in dandruff problem. The juice of aloe vera freshly extracted or even the gel of the plant can be applied to the scalp and left for some time, to be washed later on with a mild shampoo. The acids present in lemon are another remedy to solve dandruff wherein the fresh juice of the lemon when squeezed and diluted with coconut oil can be massaged into the scalp. This can be left for a few hours and then rinsed with shampoo and a conditioner. This treatment can be carried out till the dandruff problem is completely solved.

Saturday, 7 September 2013

Facts on Botulinum toxin

Miracle poison, another name for Botulinum toxin, is known to be one of the most poisonous substances which is a neurotoxin produced by bacterium Clostridium botulinum, an anaerobic, a spore forming rod commonly found on plants, in water, soil and in the intestinal tracts of animals. AB Scott tried his first demonstration of botulinum toxin, type A, for management of strabismus in human beings which was then approved for various treatments of spasticiy and numerous other ailments. It is presently being used for sub specialty medicine. Botulinum toxin A (Botox) has been approved by FDA in the year 2002, for cosmetic purpose of temporarily reducing forehead glabeller frown line. Botulinum toxin A was first commercially available in the United States which was considered safe for medical use. The only drawback was that the vial gets dissolved and the reconstituted product loses its potency. Hence dermatologists were in favor of using the entire contents of the vial, the same day on several patients. Botulinum toxin is injected using a 30 gauge one inch needle into the affected muscle or glands with the doses depending on the mass of muscle being injected with individual patient’s treatment. For large muscle mass, higher the dose, though lower doses may be needed for patients with weakness and in felinum males.

This toxin injection is administered through hollow coated needles directly into the affected muscles and in delicate places like strabismus, the injections are guided by electromyography. The precautions needed to be maintained after botulinum toxin injections are by returning home immediately and resting. Patients should avoid strenuous work for a couple of days and refrain from IPL laser treatment, facial massage or facials for one to two weeks after the administration of the injection. This precaution is to minimize toxins traveling and dislodging in the surrounding muscles which may be due to direct pressure or increased blood circulation. Patients may tend to feel some weakness by the injection which normally lasts for about three months and further injections at regular intervals may be needed depending on the dose and the individual’s susceptibility. Follow up monitoring by way of assessments should be done on the subjective and objective measures after the injection. Many a times, patients treated with toxin may need the injections after many years. Some patients, who respond favorably initially, may develop tolerance to the injections because of the development of neutralizing antibodies to the toxin. Patients receiving higher individual dose have a higher risk of antibodies and hence injections should be given at the lowest effective dose less frequently as possible due to several antibodies that are available. Botulinum toxin has been used for treatment of various ophthalmic spastic ailments, facial dystonias and periocular wrinkles and the correct use of botulinum toxin in clinical practice is absolutely necessary.