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Friday, March 17, 2017

Welcome the bundle of joy

As a woman embarks on the journey of pregnancy, she brings with her a lot of hope and happiness for her family. Right from her food to her lifestyle directly or indirectly impacts the baby in the womb. The extra care that is taken during these intense periods of foetal development, go a long way in having a healthy baby. An expecting mother should always be treated with care and love by her near and dear ones, to keep her positive and happy. This combination of physical and mental wellbeing is imperative to create a positive pregnancy experience.
Here are some of the things the mother and her family can follow to prepare themselves in welcoming the bundle of joy.
·         Eat healthy foods rich in iron, calcium, vitamins and folic acid. Eat at regular intervals and do not stick to the three-meal a day regime. During the initial months of nausea, keep your body well hydrated and eat foods that are filling and healthy.
·         Practice a fitness routine by doing simple walking or pregnancy yoga. It not only helps to stay active but also helps in strengthening the muscles that are essential during childbirth.  Choose the exercises that are suitable to the corresponding stage of pregnancy and always learn it from a trained professional.
·         Always keep the mind and thoughts positive. Read books that are motivational in nature and listen to soft music to keep the mind always calm.
·         Do not skip any doctor visits and scans, as regularly monitoring the health of the mother and baby is very important.
·         Always verify facts or clarify from your doctor about any kind of myths related to pregnancy. Many varied opinions about what is the best food or what is the right sleeping position can be offered to the expecting mother. Clarify it with your doctor and understand the scientific basis behind the suggestions before following them blindly.
·         Towards the end of the third semester keep a bag of essentials ready to be taken to the hospital. It will be very handy to the caregivers during and after the delivery.
·         Try to find some help during the post-partum period as it can be overwhelming for the mother and the baby. Especially first-time mothers can choose a person who they are very comfortable with, to help them with the baby right after the delivery.
·         After the delivery, take the help of the doctor or a good lactation consultant to establish breastfeeding. Breast milk is the most nutritious fluid for a baby and mastering the art of feeding a baby can be tricky without proper guidance or help.
·         Family members and husband, in particular, can help the mother with the newborn and give her some much-needed rest. The entire pregnancy and childbirth can be a very energy draining process for the woman and helping her to get adequate rest can help her get back to normalcy quickly.

There are many world-class maternity hospitals in India today that offer premium pregnancy care for expectant mothers. Choosing the right hospital with proper pre and post-partum care can make the birthing experience very smooth and joyful. 

P.S. This is a sponsored post.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

New Widget for all the information you need as a patient or parent

Dear Reader,

UpToDate is the most advanced medical information website in the world. While the information for doctors and healthcare workers is something that they charge the medical professionals for, the information for patients is available for free. There are two levels of information: Basics - which is appropriate for patients who are able to understand at the 5th to 8th-grade level, and Beyond the Basics - for more learned individuals. 

I have added the widget for this information on my blog. Check it out on the top right. Enter the search terms and you will be taken to the UpToDate website where there will be links to the information you need. You can simply print it out or email it to yourself. 

Nifty, isn't it? Do try it out!

Friday, December 16, 2016

The child with a learning disability

With more and more advances in the understanding of children with behavioural, mental and learning-related problems, it is becoming increasingly difficult to separate one disorder from the other. Thus, compartmentalising a child as one with, say, Attention Deficit, or, say, Dyslexia, is useful for classification, for stratifying data, and for planning individualised care, in reality, children often have a mixture of problems from more than one specific category of a disorder. 

This, on the one hand, complicates rendering simplified information to parents, and our ability to deliver specific modalities of therapy. On the other hand, it enables us to better deliver holistic care to the affected child, as many of the therapeutic modalities are dependent on simple but standardised principles. 

LD is the new compact form of addressing children with some or the other mental disability. This does not include the deficiencies resulting from acute illnesses that often causes complex mental problems and not just LD. However, it does include dyslexia, problems with maths, problems with praxis (the carrying out of tasks) - the latter being also called dyspraxia.

Often, children with minor epilepsies will seemingly not pay attention in class and we would mistakenly name them as dyslexics. In the same vein, dyslexics might get labelled as "retards"- a rather pejorative use of the expression. Thus, one can easily see why managing a child with a LD can be very challenging. 

Thursday, December 01, 2016

Invited post on Pericardial mesothelioma

Pericardial Mesothelioma 

Causes

Many doctors and researchers consider that asbestos fibres and dust are the major pericardial mesothelioma causes. Pericardial mesothelioma originates from the heart’s lining or the pericardium. Everyone out of 20 mesothelioma cases would turn out to be pericardial mesothelioma. A healthy pericardium provides protection and support to the heart. However, pericardial mesothelioma leads to the buildup of fluid around the heart and this exerts a great amount of pressure on the patient’s heart, which leads to pain and numerous symptomatic problems.

Asbestos Fibers and Pericardial Mesothelioma

Doctors and researchers are yet to establish or understand the causal relationship between pericardial mesothelioma and exposure to asbestos fibres or dust fully. Nevertheless, most patients that are diagnosed with pericardial mesothelioma have an asbestos exposure history. However, the rarity of pericardial mesothelioma hinders researchers from analysing this causal relationship comprehensively. Based on the reported cases, however, researchers have come up with an explanation for this relationship. 

How asbestos fibres and dust cause pericardial mesothelioma

Asbestos fibres are inhaled or ingested during asbestos exposure after which they travel through the bloodstream and become lodged in the pericardium or the membrane that surrounds the heart. Once lodged in this membrane, the body finds their elimination extremely difficult. Thus, the fibers remain stuck in this membrane for a long period. However, they cause the cells and tissues to undergo changes during this period and this causes cancer.
Ideally, the lodged asbestos fibres turn normal cells into cancerous cells. Cancerous cells divide abnormally or more rapidly without restraint or regulation as it is the case for the growth of normal or healthy cells. Continuous growth of mesothelioma cells lead to thickening of the heart’s lining and eventual development of tumours. Changes in the pericardium lead to fluid buildup between pericardial layers. When fluid buildups and thickening of the pericardium are combined, they exert more pressure on the heart. 

Symptoms

A patient may experience the following symptoms of mesothelioma once fluid builds up around the heart and starts exerting pressure on this vital organ:
ü  Heart palpitations
ü  Chest pain
ü  Persistent coughing
ü  Shortness of breath

These symptoms are similar to those of other ailments such as heart failure. As such, there are many cases of misdiagnoses which lead to the discovery of this disease at its advanced stages. Nevertheless, pericardial mesothelioma diagnosis can be done after a careful examination of the patient to determine whether additional testing is required. Generally, pericardial mesothelioma diagnosis is confirmed after tests like fluid and tissue biopsies which enhance the detection of mesothelioma cancer cells. After diagnosis, doctors determine the stage or progress of mesothelioma. This includes determining the extent to which the cancer has invaded tissues and organs that surround its point of origin. All tumours are located before appropriate treatment methods are determined.

Treatment Options

Since pericardium rests closely to the human heart which can easily be damaged by most therapies, pericardial mesothelioma has limited treatment options. Although surgery is mostly used to treat mesothelioma cancer, most pericardial mesothelioma patients cannot undergo surgery. Nevertheless, there are cases where this cancer is diagnosed in its early stages and surgery performed to remove the localised, small tumours. Other treatment options for pericardial mesothelioma include chemotherapy and palliative treatment.

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