World Kidney Day: 8 Common Causes of Kidney Failure You Should Know About

 

By now we know that cancer, heart disease and obesity are some of the heavy weights in the category of major diseases in the world that are also responsible for killing millions and millions of people every year. So much have been spoken about these diseases that somehow other ailments, of significant importance too, seem to have been pushed to the background. The truth is that there are other diseases, probably resulting from our sedentary lifestyles, that are on the rise, and alarming growing every year. For example, kidney disease. According to several Indian population-based studies, the number of Indians suffering from chronic kidney ailments has doubled in the past 15 years, and at present 17 in every hundred citizens suffer from some form of kidney disease.

In an attempt to spread awareness about kidney diseases, 9th March is observed as World Kidney Day. The theme of the global campaign this year is obesity and how it plays such a crucial role in increasing the risks of kidney ailments. Kidney is an essential organ in the body. Its primary role is to remove toxins and excess fluids from the body through urine, and also maintain a good balance of body salts and other chemicals. It is also involved in controlling the production of red blood cells and regulating blood pressure.World Kidney Day: 8 Common Causes of Kidney Failure You Should Know About

So how do we prevent kidney failure and other ailments? Here are some pointers –1. Obesity is a Lead Cause

Obesity is becoming a growing worldwide epidemic, and is expected to affect more people in the years to come. One’s lifestyle habits, particularly sedentary lifestyle, are adversely impacting health. According to researchers and authors of the study – Obesity and Kidney Disease: Hidden Consequences of the Epidemic, “Obesity is one of the strongest risk factors for new-onset chronic kidney disease, and also for nephrolithiasis and for kidney cancer.”

As stated on the official website of the campaign, “A growing body of evidence indicates that obesity is also a potent risk factor for the development of chronic kidney disease (CKD) and end-stage renal disease (ESRD). People who are overweight or obese have 2 to 7 more chances of developing ESRD compared to those of normal weight. Obesity may lead to CKD both indirectly by increasing type 2 diabetes, hypertension and heart disease, and also by causing direct kidney damage by increasing the workload of the kidneys and other mechanisms.”

Also read: (Are You Obese? Your Child Could Inherit Obesity and Be At Health Risk)

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2. Cut Down on Red Meat

According to a study done by National University of Singapore, they found that participants who ate the largest amount of red meat had about 40 percent greater risk of developing kidney failure compared with people consuming the lowest amounts of meat. “Our findings suggest that individuals can still maintain their protein intake unless their kidney function has been severely compromised. However, to reduce the risk of end-stage renal disease, it is best to eat red meat in moderation,” said the lead author of the study Woon-Puay Koh.

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3. Good Sleep Time is Crucial

According to a study done Brigham and Women’s Hospital, shorter sleep duration can lead to a more rapid decline in kidney function. Many of the body’s processes follow a natural daily rhythm or so-called circadian clock that is based on regular sleep-wake cycles. The study found that kidney function may be compromised when this natural cycle is disrupted.

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4. Hypertension Ups Risk

About 20 per cent of India’s youth suffer from hypertension which makes them 40 percent more vulnerable to kidney damage and cardiac arrest. There is little understanding in the country of hypertension, also known as high blood pressure, which usually does not cause symptoms but gradually affects various body parts. “As many youngsters do not get to know that they are hypertensive they continue with their sedentary lifestyle,” said Gireesh Manwani, Senior Consultant (Internal Medicine), Saroj Super Speciality Hospital. “This slowly and steadily damages the kidneys and heart apart from giving rise to various other problems; it could even be fatal.”

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5. Say No to Junk Food

According to a study by Anglia Ruskin University in Britain, a diet that relies mostly on junk food or processed food may cause long-term damage to the kidneys and trigger diabetes. “Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes both induce changes in glucose transport in the kidney but junk food or a diet high in fat causes changes that are very similar to those found in Type 2 diabetes,” said Havovi Chichger, lead author of the study.

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6. Cut Down on Sugar

Dr. Anshul Jai Bharat, a Delhi-based Nutritionist, says, “Most processed food products contain too much sugar, so when it goes to your system it leads to hormonal imbalance and also your blood profile changes. High consumption of these empty calories can cause obesity and diabetes – diseases that directly impact the functioning of your kidneys. You can treat yourself to your favourite dessert or a fast food burger sometimes as long as it does not replace your daily balanced diet.”

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7. Keep a Check on Phosphorous Intake

Health experts and doctors have issued a warning against excess phosphorous in the human body claiming that it may increase the risk of chronic kidney disease where the phosphate levels in the body shoot up to abnormally high levels. According to them, muscle cramps, numbness, tingling, bone or joint pain and rash are all the symptoms of hyperphosphatemia and people who experience them quite often should consult a doctor at the earliest. Foods that should be strictly avoided, or at least consumed in moderation include soft drinks, chocolates, tinned milk and processed meat,” suggests Neerja Jain who works in Nephrology department at Ram Manohar Lohia (RML) hospital.

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8. Pollution is to Blame As Well

According to a study by George Institute for Global Health, climate change may be accelerating the rate of chronic kidney disease caused by dehydration and heat stress. The research paper, published in Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology (CJASN), suggests that a condition called heat stress nephropathy may represent a disease of neglected populations but one that may emerge as a major cause of poor kidney health in the near future.

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5 Herbal Remedies for Depression: Know What Could Help

5 Herbal Remedies for Depression: Know What Could Help

We are not oblivious to the fact how depression is fast becoming a common lifestyle problem with many of us suffering from symptoms like anxiety, stress and insomnia. These may seem like mere day to day problems, but they can turn into a matter of concern in the long run. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), depression is the leading cause of ill health and disability worldwide. More than 300 million people are living with depression with an increase of more than 18 percent between 2005 and 2015. The depression rate in India in 2016-17 was 36 percent. The fear of stigma and lack of support for people with mental disorders have known to be the biggest reasons for not being able to get the right treatment. There may not be a sure shot cure for depression, but there is a possibility to slow it down and calm your perturbed self.

Ayurvedic herbs can help in healing your body in more ways than one. According to Dr. Ashutosh Gautam, Clinical Operations and Coordination Manager, Baidyanath, “During depression, your feel good hormones are not competent anymore to handle many situations, hence, putting you in different moods. Some ayurvedic herbs and spices have proved to help reduce the symptoms of depression.”
He suggests the following herbal remedies for depression.
1. Ashwangandha

Ashwangnadha is believed to relieve stress and anxiety due to the presence of active compounds like steroidal lactones, saponins, alkaloids and withanolides that provide antidepressant, anti-inflammatory and anti-anxiety properties. These properties help in reducing stress caused by emotional and physical fatigue. It also balances out the constant mood swings and increases mental alertness, focus and concentration. It helps restore the normal physiological functioning. Ashwangandha can be consumed in its powdered form or as a liquid extract.

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Ashwangandha helps restore normal physiological functioning

2. Brahmi

Brahmi is a small perennial creeping herb that has an age old reputation of curing stress. Brahmi acts as an adaptogen, which simply means that it helps the body adapt to new or stressful situations. When consumed, it is believed to increase the serotonin levels in the brain that help the mind keep calm and give relief from anxiety and nervousness.

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Brahmi helps in adapting new or stress situations

3. Jatamansi (Spikenard)

Jatamansi is a perennial herb that helps curing insomnia and other sleeping disorders. It is also known for its anti-depressant, anti-stress and anti-fatigue properties. The roots of jatamansi are used for the medicinal purposes in Ayurveda which are known to give a therapeutic effect to mood swings and stress disorders. Jatamansi can erase negative thoughts by channelizing the energies of the mind in the right direction.
4. Pudina (Peppermint)

Pudina or peppermint has been used for centuries to cure nervous system disorders due to the presence of menthol as it helps calm the frazzled nerves and has a cooling effect. It is loaded with vitamin A and C, minerals including magnesium, manganese, calcium, iron, folate, copper and potassium. Menthol helps cure insomnia by keeping your mind calm and lets you sleep in peace.

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Pudina has menthol that keeps your mind calm

5. Maca (Peruvian Ginseng)

Maca also known as Peruvian ginseng is a herb that is power packed with nutrients. It is a rich source of vitamins, amino acids, various minerals and phytonutrients that increase stamina and decrease excessive anxiety. A Peruvian plant that belongs to the radish family, maca has proved to be a natural healer that helps with hormone and neurotransmitter production due to the presence of adaptogen. Additionally, maca is a natural energizer and helps people overcome lethargy.

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Maca is a natural energizer and helps overcome lethargy

It is imperative to refer to a doctor before you switch to herbal remedies as the result majorly depends on the dosage and the form in which they are consumed.

 

Want to know if you lead a sedentary lifestyle? Now is your chance

 

A global study looks to medically define sedentary lifestyle to make it an active talking point with regards to wellness and health. (Getty Images)

You would now know which activity has made your lifestyle sedentary as researchers from twenty countries across the world have come up with a dictionary of new terminologies defining sedentary behaviour.

The research, titled ‘terminology consensus project,’ is conducted by Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario Research Institute’s Sedentary Behaviour Research Network (SBRN) with eighty four scientists being involved in it.

Lead author Mark Tremblay said, “This is the world’s most extensive agreement to date on consensus definitions for researchers examining sedentary behaviour, an emerging global public health priority.” He noted that there is an urgent requirement for a clear terminology worldwide to ease the interpretation and comparison of research.

“The terms such as physical inactivity, stationary behaviour, sedentary behaviour and screen time have been defined well and translated into several languages for global uptake,” he added.The paper also describes how both energy expenditure and posture are important components and how the terms relate to movement behaviours throughout a 24-hour period, including physical activity and sleep.

Definition of features related to sedentary lifestyles may help promote an active, healthy lifestyle. (Getty Images)

Sedentary behaviour for people is also based on the age group. For example, sedentary behaviour for a baby includes sitting in a car seat with minimal movement and, for a toddler, watching TV while sitting, reclining or lying down.Examples provided in the study differentiate between active and passive sitting, active and passive standing, sedentary and stationary behaviour, screen time and non-screen-based sedentary time.

The authors hoped that these terminologies will reduce confusion and advance research related to sedentary behaviour and, ultimately, promote healthy active living.The study appears in the ‘International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity’ published on June 10.

 

 

Healthy monsoon: Overall health tips everyone must know

 

New Delhi: Monsoon brings good rainfall, offering much needed relief to people from the scorching heat of the sun. But the rainy season is the also the perfect breeding ground for mosquitoes, which in turn lead to vector-borne diseases, such as dengue fever, chikungunya and malaria, affecting a lot of people.

Similarly, the onset of monsoon also leads to a spurt in water-borne diseases, including, cholera, typhoid fever, diarrhoea, hepatitis A, etc.

Moreover, the oppressive humidity and rains in monsoons make it easier for viral infections to be carried from one person to another. The season could be even more harmful for those who have low immunity power or asthmatic patients as they are more prone to these problems during this time.

Perhaps, the sudden change in temperature and humidity during monsoons can bring havoc to your skin and hair as well.Healthy monsoon: Overall health tips everyone must know

Taking precautions during rainy season is important to stay healthy and happy throughout the monsoons. Here are some overall health tips to help you protect yourself from getting sick in monsoon:

  • Eat a healthy, balanced diet to keep you fit and other infections at bay.
  • Eat fruits, like apples, mangoes, pomegranates, and pears are best suggestible. But avoid having too many mangoes as this may cause pimples. Always go for seasonal fruits.
  • Go for bitter veggies like bitter gourd, and bitter herbs like neem while avoiding vegetables like spinach, cabbage and cauliflower during this season. Make sure that all veggies and fruits are thoroughl washed and cooked well.
  • Avoid raw vegetables as they contain active bacteria and virus that cause bacterial and viral infections. Instead opt for steamed salads.
  • Avoid eating fried food that is difficult to digest. Also, the highly humid weather in monsson can cause digestion process to slow down.
  • Avoid too much of fish and meat this season. Go for light meat preparations like stew and soups.
  • Drink enough water, regardless of your physical activity levels. Drink plenty of herbal teas, including, ginger, pepper, honey, mint and basil leaves, that have antibacterial properties.
  • Limit intake of caffeine and tea that dehydrate body fluids.
  • Avoid walking in the rain that makes you prone to a host of viral diseases such as leptospirosis, while also making you more vulnerable to numerous fungal infections at the feet and nails.

Following these guidelines can help you stay safe and healthy during the rainy season.