Diagnosed With High Cholesterol Levels? Here Is What You Need To Know

Good heart health begins in your younger days. The lifestyle and eating habits during your prime years will have a lasting impact on your overall health during the later years of your life. An average person’s heart beats about 2.5 billion times during their lifespan during which, millions of gallons of blood is pumped through the body. The blood is a carrier of oxygen, hormones, fuel and essential cells required for the proper functioning of the internal organs and the human body. Blood also clarifies the waste generated by the metabolic function.

It is no rocket science that heart is one of the most important organs in the human body. The sedentary lifestyle and stressful work and living conditions are adding to the ever-increasing health woes. The long and stressful desk jobs today are cited as one of the major reasons on unhealthy mind and body.

What is Cholesterol?

The most common heart health risk today is the high cholesterol levels in the body. Where does this cholesterol come from? It is a fatty substance found in certain types of food as well as made by the body itself. The human body requires cholesterol to work properly – it helps in protecting nerves and makes cell tissues. However, when the cholesterol levels cross the optimum level required by the body, it puts the person at risk of having strokes or heart attacks.

The high level of cholesterol in the body results in unused cholesterol. This unused cholesterol then builds up into blood vessel walls which results in blockages. These blockages, in turn, affect the blood and oxygen flow in the body which results in a stroke or a heart attack.

What are the Optimum Levels of Cholesterol?

The level of cholesterol varies in different age groups. Cholesterol consists of Low-Density Lipoproteins (LDL) and High-density Lipoproteins (HDL). LDL is commonly known as ‘bad cholesterol’ and HDL as ‘good cholesterol’. The blockages caused in the human body are due to high or increased levels of LDL in the blood.

As we grow, the cholesterol levels tend to rise in the body. Doctors recommend getting your cholesterol levels checked every 5 years after the age of 20. Men are at a higher risk of having high cholesterol levels compared to women. The cholesterol level in women tends to increase post menopause.

The cholesterol levels are measured in milligram per decilitre (mg/dl).

Cholesterol Level in Adults:  A total cholesterol level less than 200 is considered as a good level to maintain. The LDL should be 40 or higher and HDL should be less than 100.

Cholesterol Level in Kids: A total cholesterol level less than 170 is considered as a good level to maintain. The LDL should be 45 or higher and HDL should be less than 110.

What to do when you have a high level of cholesterol?

It is not the end of the road if you are detected with high levels of cholesterol in your blood. It is time to make some lifestyle changes that include healthy eating and living. The most common cause of an increased cholesterol level is bad eating habits and lack of exercise in the daily routine.

Here are a few things that you should do when detected with high cholesterol level:

  1. Healthy Eating Habits

Obese people, be it an adult or a kid, are at high risk of having high levels of cholesterol. Keeping a check on your weight is the best way to control your increasing cholesterol levels. Get rid of the fatty and unhealthy foods which are full of bad cholesterol. Reduce saturated fats and trans fats from the diet eat foods with Omega-3 fatty acids.

  1. Exercise Regime

Long sitting hours and no exercise can affect your heart health. You don’t need to get into extraneous workout regimen but maintaining a healthy exercise regime can go a long way. Exercising for at least 40 minutes every day has been scientifically proven to keep the cholesterol levels in check.

  1. Stretching between work hours

Stop being glued to your desk all the time. Take stretching breaks every 30-40 minutes. Get up from the chair, walk around a bit and stretch your body to get rid of the stiffness. This helps in maintaining a healthy flow of blood in the body while relieving stress and tension.

  1. Meditation

There are many scientific studies that back the claim that meditation helps in reducing stress and tension over time. By adopting a meditation regime, one can help in keeping a check on the stress and tension levels which, in return, helps in controlling and maintaining a healthy blood pressure level.

In today’s time, increased cholesterol levels have become a common occurrence. Getting the cholesterol levels checked at regular intervals can help in curbing the risk of heart diseases. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle during your prime years is as important as taking your multivitamins every day. Sometimes, just changing the dietary habits or changing the lifestyle may not be enough and you might need to take medication. Speak to your doctor to take the appropriate medication.

Quick Tips To Detox After The Festival Binge

What is a festival without food and merriment? And, Diwali is all about indulging your taste buds and forgetting all about calories, isn’t it? Well, now that Diwali is over and we are sure your brain and body must be killing you with the guilt of the entire festive binge that you have done. Oh, we forgot to mention your trainer there! Do we see you smiling and nodding at that? Then, you should definitely read on for these quick tips to detoxify your body after that festival binge.

What is detoxification and why it is needed?

Detoxification is the process of cleaning the bloodstream by getting rid of toxins. Detoxification has been in practice since centuries across cultures. In olden days, fasting was a largely practiced tradition to detoxify and the methods have evolved over the years. The purpose of detoxification is to get rid of impurities from blood in the liver which processes toxins for elimination from the body.

Detoxification process helps in providing rest to the internal organs thereby felicitating the elimination process of toxins from the body. It is known to improve blood circulation and helping to refuel the body with healthy nutrients.

How to detoxify?

There is a plethora of ways to detoxify the body. Rather than opting for a strenuous detox program which is usually difficult to maintain, it is better to adopt and adapt to the following healthy lifestyle routines:

  1. Warm Water with Lemon and Honey

As clichéd as it may sound but starting your day with lemon & honey in warm water is the best thing you can do to detoxify your body. It promotes good digestion thereby ridding your body of bloating and constipation.

  1. Try Fasting

By fasting, we don’t mean to  say that you stay hungry. Here, fasting implies consuming lighter and easy to digest foods. You can fast for a day or two depending upon your body’s needs. Load yourself with fresh fruits and juices and clear soups and salads on the day of fasting. This will provide much-needed rest to your digestive system.

  1. Say no to Processed Food

Diwali is all about binging on fried foods and snacks. Your body is already high on all the puris and laddoos you have had. It’s time to cut down on your sugar and carbohydrate intake now.

  1. Say bye to your regular tea

As heartbreaking as it sounds, it is going to be good for your body. Replace it with either Green or Chamomile tea. They are rich in antioxidants and boost immunity. This will also help in combating the winter season.

  1. Add lots of Vitamin C to your diet

Vitamin C is known for its detoxifying properties. Foods rich in Vitamin C will not only help you in detoxifying but also act as a shield from common cold as winters are almost here; the chances of catching a cold are higher than ever. Perhaps it’s time to soak in the sun and enjoy those oranges.

  1. Eat fibrous foods

Fibrous foods help in promoting healthy gut bacteria which aids digestion. Fibrous foods are also very filling and low on calories. They can also help in maintaining weight.

  1. Replace the regular vegetable oil

The regular vegetable oil along with other oils like peanut and sunflower are heavy to digest. Replace them with lighter ones like coconut oil, extra virgin olive oil, avocado oil or flaxseed oil.

  1. Add probiotic foods or supplement to your diet

Probiotic foods contain live cultures i.e. healthy bacteria which help in combating unhealthy bacteria in the body. Greek yogurt, curd, and kefir are a very good source of healthy bacteria. Or, you can simply start your day with probiotic supplements that are easily available in the stores today.

  1. Replace the sodas and canned juices for fresh juices

Sodas and canned juices are loaded with processed sugar and it’s time to bid adieu to these. Replace canned juices with fresh juices without sugar.

  • Abstain from alcohol

Alcohol messes up big time with your body’s metabolism. It’s time to give rest to your liver. Avoid alcoholic drinks post the festivities. It will help in better digestion and detoxification.

  • Hydrate your body

Water is all that your body craves post the festive binge. Consume as much water as you can. Water is the best source of flushing out toxins from your body.

  • Sweat it out

The best way, after consumption of water, to flush out toxins from your body is through sweat. So, get done with your festive lethargy and hit the road. Get back to your exercise regime without much ado.

We know it is difficult to get back to a healthier routine post the festivities but as much difficult as it is, it is essential to detoxify your body. Taking a break now and then from your routine is completely fine but then one shouldn’t prolong that break especially when it is about your body and health.

 

 

 

Networking for Smart City and Smart Health

The Smart City mission, a part of the Urban Rejuvenation initiative by the Government of India, is a step towards leveraging technology to create smart solutions to make our cities efficient and sustainable. This concept includes smart governance, education, and healthcare along with smart buildings, infrastructure and energy. The rise of digital India and the government’s ongoing initiatives towards digitisation have taken this concept from dream to a reality. Considering that the success ratio of any city is directly proportional to the health of its people, can the smart city and smart health concepts remain mutually exclusive?

Nilesh Vyas, a US-based technologist, has a long experience in healthcare systems and solutions. He is the founder of MARS Plus, a fully-integrated healthcare platform. “This digital age compels us to explore opportunities for doing things better. An integrated ecosystem for smart health is a strong push in making healthcare better, more organised and accessible for all,” he shares. He further gives a lowdown on the same.

According to him, new and emerging technologies in healthcare are driving the consumerisation of healthcare. The smart health ecosystem, much like the smart city concept, aims to leverage technologies to bring about healthcare transformation. This concept gives healthcare providers the option to leverage technologies to create a healthcare system that is more efficient, organised and resilient, thus helping them become more patientcentric by connecting the dots in our existing healthcare structure.

However, in order to reap the benefits of the ‘smart’ concept, what we need is a completely connected and integrated ecosystem that removes the silos that impede growth.

A connected healthcare system, much like the Smart City concept, leverages data to improve efficiencies. Whether it is to improve doctor-patient interactions, improve process efficiencies, or improve healthcare management, data is where we must look. However, when data is stored in siloes, it becomes hard to access and process. An integrated ecosystem takes care of this challenge and makes sure that the users and providers have anywhere, anytime access to all health-related data to facilitate better decision-making. An integrated platform that offers OPD, and IPD management, EHR/ EMR management, finance management, electronic medi-claim supplemented with data analytics helps in eliminating performance inhibitors in the hospital environment.

Such an integrated ecosystem works towards connecting all the stakeholders of healthcare on one platform to facilitate information exchange. This means the patient, the doctors, and the ancillary healthcare branches such as pharmacy both inside the hospital and outside, and labs are also connected seamlessly using a central network. Patient care, thus, becomes infinitely easier with greater access and management of health data for all stakeholders.

The data generated from smart health initiatives can be used to further public health initiatives. Identifying public health problems, assessing risks of pandemics and epidemics, facilitating better decision-making and proactive care become easier and efficient with the help of data.

Such systems can also help in better disease management by enabling better pre and post-operative care. Chronic health diseases management can become easier using mHealth. This helps in reducing hospital readmission rates. Additionally, this variety of data is a goldmine for aiding preventive medicine along with aiding research.

This article originally appeared in Times of India

An Evening Dedicated To Those Who Dedicate Themselves To Us – Times Health Icons Pune 2017

“People pay the doctor for his trouble; for his kindness they still remain in his debt.”- Seneca (the Younger) of Ancient Rome

Mars Pune Times Health Icons It’s hard to think of a profession that carries with it greater moral value than the medical profession. Doctors, quite literally, hold our lives in their hands and to reach that stature they must endure almost unimaginable personal sacrifice and expend an extraordinary amount of labour. Despite all that when was the last time you heard of doctors being honoured for their role in society? Well, the Times Health Icons Pune 2017 was a signal attempt to correct that injustice, and we were privileged to be the title sponsor of this wonderful event.

The evening was dedicated to awarding the finest contributors to Pune’s healthcare services sector. A rigorous survey was conducted by i3 Research Consultants to identify the leading lights in various specialised areas of the practice of medicine. The Survey revealed large hospitals, smaller clinics, and specific individual doctors in various areas whose exemplary contributions demanded recognition. The who’s who of Pune’s medical fraternity joined this celebration of the best the city had to offer.

Mars Pune Times Health Icons

This was also an opportunity to hear from some leading lights with wonderful insights to offer derived from their own personal experiences. The Chief Guest, Dr. Ranjit Patil, Minister of State Home in the Maharashtra Government spoke as a member of the community with the weight of 24 years of experience as an orthopedic surgeon. He mentioned the tremendous pace of growth in the sector – estimated to be at 16.5% over this year. He also spoke of the need to focus even more on the provision of secondary and tertiary healthcare services to the unorganized and rural sector and of the key role that the private sector could play in this key task. He heartily congratulated the winners and in conclusion, left everyone with a keen sense of the task still at hand.Mars Pune Times Health Icons

Our interest has always been in how technology can be leveraged to help doctors improve the quality of care they provide. A panel discussion outlined exactly how this synergy could pay rich dividends. A visionary panel comprising Dr. Mathias Fobi, Dr. Mohit Bhandari, and Dr. Pritesh Vyas shared their personal experiences with adopting high technology and of how this helped them improve care, streamline their clinic operations, and stay more in touch with the entire ecosystem that came together to serve the patient. They each specifically spoke of the role of data. They highlighted how important it was becoming to providing collaborative care and an improved patient experience. Dr. Fobi and Dr. Bhandari especially spoke of how data was being used to help shorten treatment cycles and identify early indicators of chronic complaints. Our CEO, Mr. Nilesh Vyas, was also fortunate enough to get the opportunity to outline the Mars Plus vision to an appreciative audience. We believe that our vision of an integrated healthcare ecosystem that put the patient at the heart of the process, resonated with them.

Dr Sancheti at Mars Pune Times Health IconsIn probably the most inspirational talk of the evening, Dr. K H Sancheti, addressed his fellow doctors. Over 50 years of experience has made him an iconic name in orthopedic care in India and, indeed, the world. He has been recognized by the Government of India with the very highest level of civilian honours – he is a Padma Shri, a Padma Bhushan, and a Padma Vibhushan. He told the tale of how he was inspired to become a doctor and of the principles that guided his journey. His experiences served as a beacon for the entire audience. His closing remarks will stay with everyone for a long time. He said, “We not only use our head but our heart to treat patients too. This has, and always will, make all the difference in treating patients.”

The evening was all about the awards though. Doctors, clinics, and hospitals got awarded in categories like Cardiology, IVF, Diabetology, Breast Cancer care, Bariatrics, Organ Transplant, and Cosmetic and Plastic Surgery among others. Other fields like Dentistry and Trichology also found their due mention. The awardees were radiant as they stepped up to accept the recognition.

As an emerging, but committed part of this ecosystem this evening meant a lot to us. Of course, it was a great opportunity to showcase ourselves to a community of devoted medical practitioners. But more than that, for us it was a chance to show our appreciation for a community that deserves all the recognition it can get – and more!

Team Mars Plus at Times Health Icons Pune 2017
Team Mars Plus at Mars Pune Times Health Icons

6 Tips To Remember Your Doctor’s Instructions

Having to visit a doctor with a loved one who is suffering is one thing but when you are the patient, it quite another. A doctor’s meeting can cause anxiety but did you know? Anxiety affects your brain and your cognitive function. If you feel anxious during a doctor’s meeting, it can affect your memory making it hard for you to remember the specifics of your doctor’s instructions. Even if you remembered what was discussed, studies have shown that it may only be 50 percent of the right information. See? This is why you need to know these tips to remember your doctor’s instructions!

Prepare yourself

Speaking to another adult about your intimate and personal issue can be a little intimidating. Yes, doctors can also overwhelm you and just to be their presence creates anxiety for some people. Here’s information you need to prepare yourself with before you meet with your doctor.

  • Note down all the symptoms you’re having.
  • If you record your progress or health failing in a journal, bring that.
  • Talk about any situation or person or life change that may cause you stress.
  • Note down all the medicines you may be already taking or bring them along.
  • Are you allergic to anything or ay particular medicine? Remember and take notes.
  • If you’re already on a multivitamin or if you need supplements for any reason and note that down too to share it with your doctor too.
  • Remember to bring all your medical records, previous tests or x-rays? Yes, bring them.

Even better, in today’s age of smartphones, maintain your medical history on your phone so that you don’t have to carry many files and other such details in physical copies along with you.

Ask questions

Sometimes, we don’t like to admit that you didn’t understand something. However, it’s very important to remember your doctor’s instructions. So at the appointment, be sure to ask many questions. Along with all the things you already prepare yourself for in the first point, note down questions as well. Ask these questions one by one at the appointment. If you didn’t understand an instruction, stop the conversation and get clarify right there. If the doctor wasn’t available, check with a nurse or another physician in the vicinity and clear all your doubts before you leave the premises.

Take notes instead of audio recording

Yes, in this fast-paced world, who has the time to write on a notepad anymore? Who does that, right? Well, although you will have to ask permission for voice or video recording, not all doctors are happy about reducing the meeting in any form. For the simple reason that digital recording can be misused. So doctors don’t like to be recording for the fear of using that as evidence for malpractice etc. you don’t want to change your doctor’s mood for any reason, that may affect the meeting. So being safe, take notes instead. Writing using a pen and paper helps you remember better anyway.

Use your smartphone

You also have the notes application on your smartphones. Use that to take notes during your examination. Make sure you write every instruction your doctor gives you down.

Bring a loved one

Whether it is your friend or a family member, your loved one will remind you of things you may forget to bring up the drug in the appointment. Your intention by preparing yourself beforehand and bringing your medical records is all done with good intentions. However, when you find yourself seated at the examination table, you may be too nervous or feel the anxiety to ask your questions. Let your loved one be your rock and your guide. Besides, while you may be on the table, your loved one can take the notes for you!

Organize yourself & follow up

You can organize yourself to remember to take your prescribed medication. Here are a few ideas:

  • Set a reminder on your phone to take medication.
  • Stick the prescription paper on your fridge or anywhere within reach.
  • Follow up with your doctor/physician/nurse if you need more help or information.

So if you get home and you find that your symptoms have changed or worsened, you may have to follow up, anyway. Update your health records and share the details with your doctor when you visit for a follow-up.