Wednesday, July 22, 2015

A chat with Dr Naresh Trehan, (Heart Specialist) at MEDANTA

Of course, this interview was not taken by me nor I have written it. "The Medicity" Gurgaon was arranged by WIPRO for its employees. I am just sharing it because when I read it I found it was useful for everyone:

A chat with Dr Naresh Trehan, (Heart Specialist) at MEDANTA.

 Qn: What are the thumb rules for a layman to take care of his heart?
1. Diet - Less of carbohydrate, more of protein, less oil
2. Exercise - Half an hour's walk, at least five days a week;
avoid lifts and
avoid sitting for a longtime
3. Quit smoking
4. Control weight
5. Control BP - Blood pressure and Sugar
Qn: Can we convert fat into muscles?
Ans: It is a dangerous myth. Fat and muscles are made of two different tissues, fat is fat ... Ugly and harmful... Muscle is muscle. Fat can never be converted into a muscle.
Qn: It's still a grave shock to hear that some apparently healthy person gets a cardiac arrest. How do we understand it in perspective?
Ans: This is called silent attack; that is why we recommend everyone past the age of 30 to undergo routine health checkups.
Qn: Are heart diseases hereditary?
Ans: Yes
Qn: What are the ways in which the heart is stressed? What practices do you suggest to de-stress?
Ans: Change your attitude towards life. Do not look for perfection in everything in life.
Qn: Is walking better than jogging or is more intensive exercise required to keep a healthy heart?
Ans: Walking is better than jogging, since jogging leads to early fatigue and injury to joints
Qn: You have done so much for the poor and needy. What has inspired you to do so?
Ans: Mother Theresa, who was my patient.
Qn: Can people with low blood pressure suffer heart diseases?
Ans: Extremely rare.
Qn: Does cholesterol accumulates right from an early age (I'm currently only 22) or do you have to worry about it only after you are above 30 years of age?
Ans: Cholesterol accumulates from childhood.
Qn: How do irregular eating habits affect the heart ?
Ans: You tend to eat junk food when the habits are irregular and your body's enzyme release for digestion gets confused.
Qn: How can I control cholesterol content without using medicines?
Ans: Control diet, walk and eat walnut.
Qn: Which is the best and worst food for the heart?
Ans: Fruits and vegetables are the best and oilis the worst.
Qn: Which oil is better - groundnut, sunflower, olive?
Ans: All oils are bad.
Qn: What is the routine checkup one should go through? Is there any specific test?
Ans: Routine blood test to ensure sugar, cholesterol is ok. Check BP, Treadmill test after an echo.
Qn: What are the first aid steps to be taken on a heart attack?
Ans: Help the person into a sleeping position, place an aspirin tablet under the tongue with a sorbitrate tablet if available, and rush him to a coronary care unit, since the maximum
casualty takes place within the first hour.
Qn: How do you differentiate between pain caused by a heart attack and that caused due to gastric trouble?
Ans: Extremely difficult without ECG.
Qn: What is the main cause of a steep increase in heart problems amongst youngsters? I see people of about 30-40 yrs of age having heart attacks and serious heart problems.
Ans: Increased awareness has increased incidents. Also, sedentary lifestyles, smoking, junk food, lack of exercise in a country where people are genetically three times more vulnerable for
heart attacks than Europeans and Americans.
Qn: Is it possible for a person to have BP outside the normal range of 120/80 and yet be perfectly healthy?
Ans: Yes.
Qn: Marriages within close relatives can lead to heart problems for the child. Is it true?
Ans : Yes, co-sanguinity leads to congenital abnormalities and you may NOT have a software engineer as a child
Qn: Many of us have an irregular daily routine and many a times we have to stay late nights in office. Does this affect our heart? What precautions would you recommend?
Ans : When you are young, nature protects you against all these irregularities. However, as yougrow older, respect the biological clock.
Qn: Will taking anti-hypertensive drugs cause some other complications (short/long term)?
Ans : Yes, most drugs have some side effects. However, modern anti-hypertensive drugs are extremely safe.
Qn: Will consuming more coffee/tea lead to heart attacks?
Ans : No.
Qn: Are asthma patients more prone to heart disease?
Ans : No.
Qn: How would you define junk food?
Ans : Fried food like Kentucky , McDonalds , Samosas, and even Masala Dosas.
Qn: You mentioned that Indians are three times more vulnerable. What is the reason for this, as Europeans and Americans also eat a lot of junk food?
Ans: Every race is vulnerable to some disease and unfortunately, Indians are vulnerable for the most expensive disease.
Qn: Does consuming bananas help reduce hypertension?
Ans: No.
Qn: Can a person help himself during a heart attack (Because we see a lot of forwarded e-mails on this)?
Ans: Yes. Lie down comfortably and put anaspirin tablet of any description under the tongue and ask someone to take you to the nearest coronary care unit without any delay and do not wait
for the ambulance since most of the time, the ambulance does not turn up.
Qn: Do, in any way, low white blood cells and low hemoglobin count lead to heart problems?
Ans: No. But it is ideal to have normal hemoglobin level to increase your exercise capacity.
Qn: Sometimes, due to the hectic schedule we are not able to exercise. So, does walking while doing daily chores at home or climbing the stairs in the house, work as a substitute for exercise?
Ans : Certainly. Avoid sitting continuously for more than half an hour and even the act of getting out of the chair and going to another chair and sitting helps a lot.
Qn: Is there a relation between heart problems and blood sugar?
Ans: Yes. A strong relationship since diabetics are more vulnerable to heart attacks than non-diabetics.
Qn: What are the things one needs to take care of after a heart operation?
Ans : Diet, exercise, drugs on time , Control cholesterol, BP, weight.
Qn: Are people working on night shifts more vulnerable to heart disease when compared to day shift workers?
Ans : No.
Qn: What are the modern anti-hypertensive drugs?
Ans: There are hundreds of drugs and your doctor will chose the right combination for your problem, but my suggestion is to avoid the drugsand go for natural ways of controlling blood
pressure by walk, diet to reduce weight and changing attitudes towards lifestyles.
Qn: Does dispirin or similar headache pills increase the risk of heart attacks?
Ans : No.
Qn: Why is the rate of heart attacks more in men than in women?
Ans: Nature protects women till the age of 45. (Present Global census show that the Percentage of heart disease in women has increased than in men )
Qn: How can one keep the heart in a good condition?
Ans: Eat a healthy diet, avoid junk food, exercise everyday, do not smoke and, go for health checkups if you are past the age of 30 ( once in six months recommended) ....
Please, don't hoard knowledge.
It takes sharing of knowledge to discover and understand the world in which we live.
Please send it to all your friends and relatives....... They might benefit as well.

The American Doctors Association has given out answers for the causes of cancer :1.Do not take tea in plastic cups.2.Do not eat anything hot in a plastic bag e.g. chips. 3.Do not heat
foodstuffs in a microwave using a plastic material. REMEMBER when plastic gets into contact with heat, it produces chemicals which may cause 52 types of cancer. Therefore, this sms is better than 100 useless sms.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Death and Denial
In the memory of a never-say-die spirit

'Death is the only truth, no one can deny. So I have stopped fearing it, I just want to live as long as I can,' he said with a smile, one day when I asked about his health. It was his never-say-die attitude that made him bear the suffering and pain with a smile. No one ever found him complaining or making illness an excuse to avoid the work.
Sometimes, he did talk about taking voluntary retirement, but that was an ephemeral thought, after all he was also a human being and bound to phases of joy and sorrow. When he would come back to his usual spirit, he would say, 'Sitting at home will make it more difficult. It is better to work and forget about illness, of which there is no cure. My survival is just a miracle.'
In fact, it was a miracle. Despite such a prolonged illness, he never appeared as a sick man. He loved his work and always performed with diligence.  He always kept himself busy in myriad of activities. He was a good badminton player. He followed Yoga rigorously.
More than six feet, he was tall and handsome man. He stood like a pillar, wherever he went.  
'Tell me if I can do anything for you,' he would say finding any one sad or disappointed. He helped many colleagues, whatever way he could. Most of us who worked with him always found him cooperative and willing to guide and teach.

You will always remain etched fondly in our memory, Kalisharan Budakoti, sir.   

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Not Bullet but Bullock Trains

For years, we have been reading and hearing about the transformation of Indian Railways. After regular intervals, news and reports keep appearing about bullet trains, high speed trains, semi-high speed trains and many more changes in the system. No problem with that. We need better transport system in order to travel faster and safer.

But, before we usher in a golden era of Indian Railways, we must check the solidness and strength of its existing axle. There was a time, not long back, we had mostly Mail or Express trains. Then suddenly Railway terminal or rather say terminology was enriched with 'Superfast'.  Superfast Express trains flooded the every terminal of the country.

At first, we were impressed but it didn't take us long to realize the gimmick. The leader at the helm of affairs had created 'Superfuss' trains not Superfast trains; otherwise how can a train that covers 1000 km distance in 20 to 24 hours is called Superfast train. May be it is time we redefine the words Fast and Superfast, particularly to suit Indian Railways. If a speed of 40 or 50 km per hour can be called Superfast, then what should be the appropriate speed for fast trains? 20 or 30 km/hour? What about passenger trains? 10 or 15 km/hour? A bullock cart can run faster than that, can't?  

So, in reality, we are travelling in Bullock Trains. Isn't it right?

If you are not a frequent traveller like me, then you must travel in any long distance train, apart from Rajdhani trains, which are certainly for elite class, not for Aam Admi of this country. And if you are as unlucky as ninety percent people of this country, you will within hours realize what destiny holds for you: dirty toilets, torn seats, tasteless foods, soiled sheets, stinking blankets and unscheduled stoppage after every 10 or 20 kilometres. 
Wait, that is not all. Real test of your patience will start when the scheduled journey time-whatever it may be, 10 or 16 hours- will start getting longer and longer and if you are the luckiest among unlucky ones, you may reach your destination in 16 or 20 hours and if you are just one of them then it may take 26 hours or may be even 36 hours.

As an ardent admirer, I had Great Expectations from our Macho Man.  I had thought something dynamic would happen. At least, PUNCTUALITY would be given priority. But no, in the name of dynamism, further enriching the terminology of Indian Railways, Dynamic Fare System, Premium Trains, Tatkal Trains and now Suvidha Trains have been introduced and accorded priority.
Earlier, it was during winter our trains used to get delayed due to fog. The days are gone, now it is an annual affair. Just a few days back, and this is July, I travelled in one of the best trains and it was not one or two but FORUTEEN hours late. And I heard from passengers that it had been going on for months.
Shouldn't Railways install bio-metric system for its trains also? After all, Railways collect fare from us up to four months in advance?
‘We, sometimes, just wonder what will happen to this system or to whom we should look forward. The one, we trusted, has neglected it even more,’ said one old passenger, who had missed the connecting train despite a gap of 12 hours between the two. At the end of our conversation during my last journey, he said like an innocent child, ‘I just appeal:
Hey Prabhu,
We don't want Bullet Trains,
We don't want Highspeed Trains,
We don't want even Semi Highspeed Trains,
We don't want SuperFuss Trains,
We don't want Ma(i)l (e) or Female trains;

We simply want TRAINS, which RUN ON TIME, which take us to our destinations on the scheduled time without any delay (We will not mind one or two hours delay!).’