Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Swine Flu


Like people, pigs can get influenza (flu), but swine flu viruses aren't the same as human flu viruses. Swine flu doesn't often infect people, and the rare human cases that have occurred in the past have mainly affected people who had direct contact with pigs.

But the current swine flu outbreak is different. It's caused by a new swine flu virus that has spread from person to person -- and it's happening among people who haven't had any contact with pigs.


Symptoms of swine flu are like regular flu symptoms and include fever, cough, sore throat, body aches, headache, chills, and fatigue. Some people have reported diarrhea and vomiting associated with swine flu.

Those symptoms can also be caused by many other conditions, and that means that you and your doctor can't know, just based on your symptoms, if you've got swine flu. It takes a lab test to tell whether it's swine flu or some other condition.


swine flu

The new swine flu virus apparently spreads just like regular flu. You could pick up germs directly from an infected person, or by touching an object they recently touched, and then touching your eyes, mouth, or nose, delivering their germs for your own infection.

That's why you should make washing your hands a habit, even when you're not ill. Infected people can start spreading flu germs up to a day before symptoms start, and for up to seven days after getting sick.

The swine flu virus can become airborne if you cough or sneeze without covering your nose and mouth, sending germs into the air.

The U.S. residents infected with swine flu virus had no direct contact with pigs. The CDC says it's likely that the infections represent widely separated cycles of human-to-human infections.


The new swine flu virus is sensitive to the antiviral drugs Tamiflu and Relenza. The CDC recommends those drugs to prevent or treat swine flu; the drugs are most effective when taken within 48 hours of the start of flu symptoms.


  • Wash your hands regularly with soap and water, especially after coughing or   sneezing. Or use an alcohol-based hand  cleaner.

  • Avoid close contact with sick people.

  • Avoid touching your mouth, nose, or eyes

  • You can't get swine flu by eating pork, bacon, or other foods that come from pigs.

The U.S. government has declared swine flu to be a public health emergency.

It remains to be seen how severe swine flu will be in the U.S. and elsewhere, but countries worldwide are monitoring the situation closely and preparing for the possibility of a pandemic.

The World Health Organization has not declared swine flu to be a pandemic. The WHO wants to learn more about the virus first and see how severe it is and how deeply it takes root.

But it takes more than a new virus spreading among humans to make a pandemic. The virus has to be able to spread efficiently from one person to another, and transmission has to be sustained over time. In addition, the virus has to spread geographically.

Source: TOI

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Drink Water, Stay healthy and Active

It is popular in Japan today to drink water immediately after waking up every morning. Furthermore, scientific tests have proven a its value.


For old and serious diseases as well as modern illnesses the water treatment had been found successful by a Japanese medical society as a 100% cure for the following diseases:

Headache, body ache, heart system, arthritis, fast heart beat, epilepsy, excess fatness, bronchitis asthma, TB, meningitis, kidney and urine diseases, vomiting, gastritis, diarrhea, piles, diabetes, constipation, all eye diseases, womb, cancer and menstrual disorders, ear nose and throat diseases.


  • As you wake up in the morning before brushing teeth, drink 4 x 160ml glasses of  water

  • Brush and clean the mouth but do not eat or drink anything for 45 minutes

  • After 45 minutes you may eat and drink as normal.

  • After 15 minutes of breakfast, lunch and dinner do not eat or drink anything for 2 hours

  • Those who are old or sick and are unable to drink 4 glasses of water at the beginning may commence by taking little   water and gradually increase it to 4  glasses per day.


The following list gives the number of days of treatment required to cure/control/reduce main diseases:

1. High Blood Pressure - 30  days

2. Gastric - 10  days

3. Diabetes - 30  days

4. Constipation - 10  days

5. Cancer - 180 days

6. TB - 90  days

7. Arthritis patients should follow the above treatment only for 3 days in the 1st week, and from 2nd week onwards - daily.

This treatment method has no side effects, however at the commencement of treatment you may have to urinate a few times. It is better if we continue this and make this procedure as a routine work in our life.

The Chinese and Japanese drink hot tea with their meals, not cold water. Maybe it is time we adopt their drinking habit while eating!!! Nothing to lose, everything to gain. For those who like to drink cold water, this article is applicable to you.

It is nice to have a cup of cold drink after a meal. However, the cold water will solidify the oily stuff that you have just consumed. It will slow down the digestion.

Once this "sludge" reacts with the acid, it will break down and be absorbed by the intestine faster than the solid food. It will line the intestine. Very soon, this will turn into fats and lead to cancer. It is best to drink hot soup or warm water after a meal.

Source: TOI

Monday, April 20, 2009

For all who love eating Maggi or Noodles

The correct way to cook instant noodles without harming our bodies and health. `Normally, how we cook the instant noodles is to put the noodles into a pot with water, throw in the powder and let it cook for around 3 minutes and then it's ready to eat.


This is the WRONG method of cooking the instant noodles. By doing this, when we actually boil the ingredients in the powder, normally with MSG (Monosodium glutamate), it will change the molecular structures of the MSG causing it to be toxic.  The other thing that you may or may not realize is that, the noodles are coated with wax and it will take around 4 to 5 days for the body
to excrete the wax after you have taken the noodles.


1. Boil the noodles in a pot with water.

2. Once the noodles is cooked, take out the noodles, and throw away the water      which contains wax.

3. Boil another pot of water till boiling and put the noodles into  the hot boiling  water and then shut the fire.

4. Only at this stage when the fire is off, and while the water is very hot, put the ingredient with the powder into the water, to make noodle soup.

5. However, if you need dry noodles, take out the noodles and add the ingredient with the powder and toss it to get dry noodles.

Dietician's Note:

If you buy plain hakka noodles which you make initially need to boil in water and discard the water. This will soften the noodles but to prevent it from sticking we need to add a tbsp of oil and also the noodles are deep fried partially to make it crunchy and then dusted with flour to prevent it from sticking while boiling.

Hence when you buy the noodles they are already made unhealthy and this is the type we use to make stir fry noodles and the regular maggi too is made the same way plus they add MSG/ ajinomoto and other chemical preservatives.

A large number of patient with the ages ranging from 18-24 years are ending up with pancreatitis either as a swelling or infection of the pancreas due to regular consumption of instant noodles. If the frequency is more than 3 times a week, then it is very hazardous.

Please share this info and help save a life.

Source: TOI

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Coffee May Be Linked To Rheumatoid Arthritis

Coffee drinkers seem to be at increased risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis, suggests research in the Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases.


The association between coffee drinking and the presence of a hallmark indicator for the development of rheumatoid arthritis "rheumatoid factor" was studied in a cross sectional survey of almost 7,000 people, and in almost 19,000 people who were monitored for around 15 years. None of the study participants had any evidence of arthritis when first tested.

The number of cups of coffee drunk daily was strongly associated with rheumatoid factor in the survey study. In the second larger study, those people who drank four or more cups of coffee a day were twice as likely to test positive for arthritis than those who drank less. The results held true even after adjusting for other risk factors, such as age, gender, smoking, and weight. Those who drank 11 or more cups a day were almost 15 times as likely to have rheumatoid factor as non-coffee drinkers.

The authors conclude that some as yet unidentified ingredient in coffee, particularly in coffee that is not filtered, may trigger the production of rheumatoid factor, which can precede the development of arthritis by years, and consequently lead to an increased risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis.

Source: TOI.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Can Food Change Your Genes?

New research shows how nutrition can help prevent certain diseases.

In the future, a drop of your blood placed on a special DNA chip will predict the diseases that lie dormant in your genes. Your doctor will then suggest a personalized set of lifestyle and dietary changes, as well as pharmaceutical recommendations. These changes will “turn off” the genetic trigger in your cells that begins the process of disease. Medicine will be able to deal with disease at the roots, rather than at the branches.

That future is not far away. Already, research in genetics is proving that it is possible to prevent as well as reverse chronic conditions that lead to disease and disability.

All of us are susceptible to certain illnesses because of our family histories—that is, our genes. But the field of nutrigenomics is demonstrating that, if we alter our diets and lifestyles early enough, our genes do not have to be our destiny.

Insulin resistance: ‘the obesity disease.’


A diet of refined sugars and carbohydrates—such as bread, white rice and flour products—leads to a rapid rise in blood sugar and a spike in insulin (a hormone that controls the metabolism of carbs).

Over time, you can become resistant to insulin’s good effects and thus need more to do the same job. Insulin resistance is a major cause of weight gain, heart disease, cancer and dementia, and it often leads to diabetes. It also causes hidden inflammation throughout the body, which, like a smoldering fire, damages our cells and organs and accelerates most of the diseases of aging.

You may have insulin resistance if you have a family history of abdominal obesity, diabetes, gestational diabetes, early heart disease, high triglycerides or low HDL cholesterol. If you do, discuss with your doctor whether you should take a glucose-tolerance test, which measures both glucose and insulin levels.

What you can do: Reacquaint yourself with the diet to which our bodies are best adapted biologically. We can prevent or reverse insulin resistance by eating unprocessed food—fruits and vegetables, beans, nuts, seeds and whole grains. Include in your diet wild fish such as small salmon, sardines and herring. Avoid foods with added salt. Stay away from highly processed foods, particularly those containing high-fructose corn syrup and hydrogenated fats. This diet will “turn off” the genes that promote insulin resistance, obesity and inflammation and turn on the genes that restore weight and metabolism to normal for most people.

Folic acid deficiency: not just a problem for pregnant women.


The gene that increases the need for folate (or folic acid) affects up to half of Americans. Inadequate levels of folate can lead to dementia, many cancers, heart disease, osteoporosis, birth defects, autism and depression.

You may have folate deficiency if you have a family history of heart disease, dementia, breast, colon or cervical cancer, spina bifida, Down syndrome or depression. Discuss with your doctor whether to take a blood test that measures homocysteine levels, which can identify folate deficiency. (When folate is low, levels of homocysteine rise.)

What you can do: Eat a diet rich in folic acid. Good sources include dark-green leafy vegetables—such as spinach, collards, kale and arugula—whole grains, asparagus and beans. Coffee, alcohol and smoking deplete folate and raise homocysteine levels.

About 800 mcg (micrograms) a day of folic acid is sufficient for most people. Vitamins B6 and B12 also are recommended to keep homocysteine at an ideal balance.

Low vitamin D: a result of lives spent indoors.


It’s well known that vitamin D is important for bone health, but that’s just the beginning. Recent research has linked vitamin D deficiency to conditions as diverse as colon, prostate and breast cancers, multiple sclerosis, type 1 diabetes, heart disease, autoimmune diseases, Graves’ disease, seasonal affective disorder (SAD) and osteoporosis.

Increased vigilance against overexposure to the sun’s UV rays —which stimulate the skin to produce vitamin D—also has made it more difficult to get enough of this important nutrient. Sun block prevents its production by the skin.

You may have vitamin D deficiency if you are dark-skinned. Your melanin may prevent absorption of ultraviolet radiation, which helps the body manufacture this vitamin. There is a blood test for vitamin D deficiency.

What you can do: Dr. Michael Holick, professor of medicine and physiology at the Boston University School of Medicine and a pioneer in the study of vitamin D, recommends taking up to 2000 IU a day. Dietary sources include oily fish such as wild salmon, mackerel and sardines, but supplements are essential.

Gluten sensitivity: the great masquerader.


Most of us eat large quantities of gluten, which is the protein found in such grains as wheat, barley, rye, spelt and oats. But 30% of Americans may develop some form of sensitivity to gluten. That’s because they carry the genetic marker for celiac disease, which is an autoimmune disorder related to the consumption of gluten. (About 1% of our population has active celiac disease.)

This condition is dramatically underdiagnosed because it masquerades as many other diseases, including nearly all inflammatory and autoimmune diseases, arthritis, irritable bowel syndrome and other digestive disorders, anemia, osteoporosis, cancers, neurologic disease, depression, migraines, infertility, liver disease and more.

You may have gluten sensitivity if you have a family history of celiac disease, irritable bowel syndrome, autoimmune diseases or thyroid diseases. If you have any of the above, ask your doctor for a blood test for celiac disease and gluten sensitivity.

What you can do: If you test positive for gluten sensitivity or celiac disease, a gluten-free diet usually will completely relieve the symptoms. Many gluten-free products can be found in health-food and specialty stores.


More important than the genes you inherit from your parents are the habits of theirs that you repeat. What you eat, how you live and how you handle stress all have an impact on your risk of disease, because these lifestyle habits influence how your genes function. Follow the basic laws of biology and nature by nourishing your body, mind and spirit with the right ingredients (food, vitamins, minerals, water, air, light, love, sleep and exercise), and you will thrive.

Note: The dosages  recommended are higher than the current recommended daily allowances (RDA), which are based on the minimal amount needed to prevent deficiency diseases. However, research in nutrigenomics indicates that our needs may be much higher to prevent and reverse the diseases and to promote optimal health. Discuss with your doctor any questions you have about these conditions.

Source: Parade Magazine.

Thursday, April 9, 2009


MRSA infection is caused by Staphylococcus aureus bacteria — often called "staph." MRSA stands for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus. It's a strain of staph that's resistant to the broad-spectrum antibiotics commonly used to treat it. MRSA can be fatal.

Most MRSA infections occur in hospitals or other health care settings, such as nursing homes and dialysis centers. It's known as health care-associated MRSA, or HA-MRSA. Older adults and people with weakened immune systems are at most risk of HA-MRSA.


  • cellulitis (infection of the skin or the fat and tissues that lie immediately beneath the skin)
  • boils (pus-filled infections of hair follicles),
  • abscesses (collections of pus in under the skin),
  • sty (infection of eyelid gland),
  • carbuncles (infections larger than an abscess, usually with several openings to the skin), and
  • impetigo (a skin infection with pus-filled blisters).

One major problem with MRSA is that occasionally the skin infection can spread to almost any other organ in the body. When this happens, more severe symptoms develop. MRSA that spreads to internal organs can become life-threatening. Fever, chills, low blood pressure, joint pains, severe headaches, shortness of breath, and "rash over most of the body" are symptoms that need immediate medical attention, especially when associated with skin infections.


There are two major ways people become infected with MRSA. The first is physical contact with someone who is either infected or is a carrier (people who are not infected but are colonized with the bacteria on their body) of MRSA. The second way is for people to physically contact MRSA on any objects such as door handles, floors, sinks, or towels that have been touched by an MRSA-infected person or carrier.


Normal skin tissue in people usually does not allow MRSA infection to develop; however, if there are cuts, abrasions, or other skin flaws such as psoriasis (chronic skin disease with dry patches, redness, and scaly skin), MRSA may proliferate. Many otherwise healthy individuals, especially children and young adults, do not notice small skin imperfections or scrapes and may be lax in taking precautions about skin contacts. This is the likely reason MRSA outbreaks occur in diverse types of people such as school team players (like football players or wrestlers), dormitory residents, and armed-services personnel in constant close contact.

Skin infection

People with higher risk of MRSA infection are those with obvious skin breaks (surgical patients, hospital patients with intravenous lines, burns, or skin ulcers) and patients with depressed immune systems (infants, elderly, or HIV-infected individuals) or chronic diseases (diabetes or cancer). Patients with pneumonia (lung infection) due to MRSA can transmit MRSA by airborne droplets. Health-care workers as a group are repeatedly exposed to MRSA-positive patients and can have a high rate of infection if precautions are not taken. Health-care workers and patient visitors should use disposable masks, gowns, and gloves when they enter the MRSA-infected patient's room.


A skin sample, pus on the skin, or blood, urine, or biopsy material (tissue sample) is sent to a microbiology lab and cultured for S. aureus. If S. aureus is isolated (grown on a Petri plate), the bacteria are then exposed to different antibiotics including methicillin. S. aureus that grows well when methicillin is in the culture are termed MRSA, and the patient is diagnosed as MRSA-infected. The same procedure is done to determine if someone is an MRSA carrier (screening for a carrier), but sample skin or mucous membrane sites are only swabbed, not biopsied.


Both hospital- and community-associated strains of MRSA still respond to certain medications. In hospitals and care facilities, doctors often rely on the antibiotic vancomycin to treat resistant germs. CA-MRSA may be treated with vancomycin or other antibiotics that have proved effective against particular strains. Although vancomycin saves lives, it may become less effective as well. Some hospitals are already seeing strains of MRSA that are less easily killed by vancomycin.


  1. Personnel in contact with patients should wash hands before and after patient care.

  2. Use an antiseptic soap, such as chlorhexidine, because bacteria have been cultured from workers' hands after they've washed with milder soap. One study showed that without proper hand washing, MRSA could survive on health care workers' hands for up to 3 hours.

  3. Contact isolation precautions should be used when in contact with the patient. A private room should be used, as well as dedicated equipment and disinfection of the environment.

  4. Change gloves when contaminated or when moving from a "dirty" area of the body to a clean one.

  5. Instruct family and friends to wear protective clothing when they visit the patient and show them how to dispose of it.

  6. Provide teaching and emotional support to the patient and family members.

  7. Consider grouping infected patients together and having the same nursing staff care for them.

  8. Equipment used on the patient should not be laid on the bed or bed stand and should be wiped with appropriate disinfectant before leaving the room.

  9. Ensure careful use of antibiotics. Encourage doctors to limit antibiotic use.

  10. Instruct the patient to take antibiotics for the full prescription period, even if he begins to feel better.

  11. Good hand washing is the most effective way to prevent MRSA from spreading. This includes hand washing between tasks and procedures on the same patient to prevent cross-contamination of different body parts.

Source: Msn

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Herbs that sweeten your breath

Pick up a pinch of any of these — parsley, basil, or coriander

  Can’t stand the stinging sensation caused by a mouthwash, but want sweeter breath? Pick up a pinch of one of these herbs instead: parsley, basil, or coriander.

Parsely                 Basil                       Coriander

      Parsley                                                    Basil                                               Coriander

    All these herbs contain the green plant pigment chlorophyll, which is a powerful breath freshener.

Some more fresheners for your mouth: Apart from parsley, basil, and coriander, here are some more breath fresheners:

  • Dill: It’s also rich in chlorophyll. Chew the seeds, or make dill tea by adding the leaves or mashed seeds to boiling water.
  • Cardamom: It contains cineole, a potent antiseptic that kills bad-breath bacteria. You can chew the seeds and then spit them out.
  • Anise: The seeds of this licorice-flavored herb have been used for a very long time to freshen breath. You can boil the seeds in a cup of water. Strain, and then drink or use as a mouthwash.
  • Peppermint tea: This strong antiseptic helps fight halitosis.

Source: TOI.

Monday, April 6, 2009

New Test For Deadly Fungal Infection In Patients With Damaged Immune Systems

A quicker, cheaper and more accurate test for deadly Aspergillus fumigatus fungal infections in patients with damaged or suppressed immune systems.

Fungal infections are a significant cause of death in patients whose immune systems are suppressed, for example those undergoing bone marrow transplantation or chemotherapy. Infection by breathing in the spores of the fungus Aspergillus fumigatus can cause Invasive Aspergillosis (IA) that can have a fatality rate approaching 90%. IA is very difficult to detect; doctors need to take tissue samples to see if the fungus is growing in the body.


As this is often not possible in very sick patients, tests that detect signature molecules of the fungus in patient's serum are used. These existing tests are costly, and require expertise and sophisticated laboratory facilities to run. They also cannot distinguish between molecules from the Aspergillus fungus and similar molecules from antibiotics and foodstuffs, and even certain bacteria.

Dr Thornton and colleagues have developed a test for IA using technology similar to that used in home pregnancy tests. The test uses a monoclonal antibody that binds to a glycoprotein antigen secreted specifically by Aspergillus species. It does not give a reaction with any other clinically important fungi. It only takes 15 minutes to perform, making it quicker and less costly than conventional laboratory-based tests.

"Because our test is user-friendly it can be used to diagnose IA at the 'point-of-care' for patients, said Dr Thornton, "it can be used to provide routine monitoring of patients at high-risk for the disease, such as bone marrow transplant recipients and leukaemia patients. We are currently working with a multinational clinical diagnostics company to develop a commercial version of the device."