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Beware! Poor Air Quality Can Be Harmful For You: Top 6 Natural Ways To Decongest Your Lungs

The Kashmir Monitor

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Air pollution is a universal threat to people. It occurs when harmful gases, dust or smoke enters into the atmosphere and makes it difficult for living beings to survive as the air becomes contaminated. It is a serious issue which poses significant health risks. Air pollution can lead to several diseases like asthma, pregnancy and birth complications and other respiratory illness. Every time you go outside, you may inhale harmful chemicals. Unfortunately, you cannot hold your breath. But do not worry as there are certain precautionary measures which can safeguard you against air pollution.

Health expert Luke Coutinho, “Breathing polluted air tends to irritate and inflame inner linings of our respiratory tract, leading to mucous production as our body’s defense mechanism. While mucus is needed by the human body and immunity to protect us, too much of it is a problem and leads to sinus headaches, chest congestion, stuffy nose, snoring, wheezing and asthmatic symptoms.”

Luke Coutinho suggests top 6 ways to decongest your lungs:

 

1. Eliminate certain foods:

Foods play an important role in the overall health of a person. Your dietary changes can have a significant impact on your health. There are certain foods that trigger mucous production. These foods are dairy products, gluten, corn, soya, fried foods, refined oils, sugar, eggs and alcohol. When the air quality is bad you should avoid eating these foods. Also, avoid eating junk and processed food.

2. Breathing exercises:

Breathing exercises can help keep away the toxic effects of air pollutants. However, outdoor exercises should be avoided. Yoga exercises if practised indoors will be of great help. A deep breathing exercise like Pranayam is recommended on a regular basis. Therefore, you should practise breathing exercises like Kapalbhati, Bhastrika, Anulom-Vilom.

3. Jal neeti:

Jal Neti is a technique that was used by yogis to prevent chronic diseases and most importantly to use the breath well for their yogic practices without any blockages. If you practise Jal Neti regularly it can help maintain the nasal hygiene by removing the dirt and bacteria which gets trapped along with the mucus in the nostrils.

But make sure you do this under a trained professional.

4. Steam inhalations:

Steam can be an effective natural remedy for people who have cold and flu, sinus or puffy nose. In order to beat the air pollution you can take steam with a few drops of eucalyptus oil. It will help relax the air passages and help your body remove the harmful particulate substances. For this you need to take hot boiling water. Add a few drops of eucalyptus oil into it. Try to inhale the warm steam. Also, make sure that you cover your face with a towel or a piece of cloth.

5. Healthy foods:

Foods like onion, ginger, garlic, turmeric, fenugreek, raw honey, cardamom, ajwain and cayenne pepper can help you protect from air pollution. Add these foods in your diet can help you when the air quality is poor. Also, it is always best to eat food cooked at home.

6. Castor oil pack:

Castor oil packs help detoxify the liver naturally. As an added benefit, it supports uterine and ovarian health, improve lymphatic circulation, and reduce inflammation. Moreover, it strengthens the immune system and increases the flow of lymph throughout the body, speeding the removal of harmful toxins from cells and the body. It also aids in digestion and increases the liver activity.


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Health

Hepatitis A Causes and Symptoms

The Kashmir Monitor

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Generally speaking, hepatitis A is more common in parts of the planet that are developing. It’s for the fact that sanitation and food handling practices are by and large poor. However, medical experts say that living in developed countries can also put you at risk of having hepatitis A, but it’s really a rare occurrence.

Just like what’s mentioned earlier, hepatitis A is caused by the hepatitis A virus or HAV. It can be spread around by someone who has hepatitis A because he or she is a carrier of the virus behind it. It is said that a person with hepatitis A is most infectious about 2 weeks before he or she begins to experience signs and symptoms.

Here are some of the ways that hepatitis A is spread around:

 

Consumption of food that is prepared by a person who has hepatitis A. This is most especially true if he or she has not properly washed his or her hands.

Drinking of water that is contaminated with the hepatitis A virus.

Intake of raw or undercooked seafood obtained from contaminated water.

Close contact with someone who has hepatitis A. This includes having sexual intercourse with an infected person, especially when the rectal or anal area has been touched with the fingers, mouth or tongue.

Using illegal drugs, especially when paraphernalia contaminated with the hepatitis A virus are used.

Symptoms

Medical experts say that it may take a while before the various signs and symptoms associated with hepatitis A show up. They say that someone may experience them about 4 weeks after getting infected. It’s even possible for someone with hepatitis A to not experience any sign and symptom at all.

Some of the initial signs and symptoms of hepatitis A include:

Tiredness and malaise
Achy muscles and joints
Pain in the upper right section of the abdomen
Loss of appetite
Mild fever
Headaches
Sore throat
Diarrhea or constipation
Hives or raised rash that’s itchy

These initial signs and symptoms associated with hepatitis A can last anywhere from a few days only to a couple of weeks. Afterwards, as the infection of the liver progresses, the following may be experienced by the individual:

Jaundice, which is the yellowing of the skin as well as the whites of the eyes (sclera)

Pale colored stools
Dark colored urine
Skin itching

Tenderness and swelling of the upper right section of the abdomen

Although it rarely happens, hepatitis A can cause liver failure. When such develops, the person who is infected may experience severe vomiting, frequent bruising, bleeding of the nose and gums, drowsiness and confusion.

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Health

Busting myths around blood donation

The Kashmir Monitor

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As per the World Health Organisation (WHO) norms, ideally, one per cent of the total population should regularly donate blood to meet the requirements, which is anywhere between 1% and 3% of country’s population that would require blood in a year.

Contrary to the myth about blood donations making a person weak or anaemic, the body replenishes the lost blood in a matter of a few days, say experts.

“A healthy bone marrow makes a constant supply of red cells, plasma and platelets, so there is no question of becoming weak, much less anaemic. It is a myth and should not deter people from donating blood,” says Dr RK Singal, chairman, internal medicine department, BLK super-speciality Hospital.

 

The donors can give either whole blood or specific blood components, as there is sophisticated equipment available these days that extract relevant components from blood and the rest of the blood can be transfused back to the donor.

As per the World Health Organisation (WHO) norms, ideally, one per cent of the total population should regularly donate blood to meet the requirements, which is anywhere between 1% and 3% of country’s population that would require blood in a year.

About 65% of India’s population is young and if this section donates blood regularly, chances of the country facing blood shortage will be remote. Hence, there is all the more reason for people, especially youngsters, to come forward and be regular blood donors.

How to prepare

Have enough fruit juice and water in the night and morning before you donate

Have a full meal 3 hours before donation; never on an empty stomach

Have some rest for about 10-15 minutes after donation

Have some snacks or a juice with high sugar content after donation

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Health

Erectile dysfunction’s connection with lifestyle

The Kashmir Monitor

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By Dr Anjani Kumar Agrawal

healthy-lifestyle-can-reverse-effects-of-hypertensionAll over the world, but perhaps more so in India, men are embarrassed to admit that they may have a problem getting or keeping an erection — a condition known as erectile dysfunction (ED).

All over the world, but perhaps more so in India, men are embarrassed to admit that they may have a problem getting or keeping an erection — a condition known as erectile dysfunction (ED). From my research, I have found a strong link between ED and stress. Other major causes include smoking, drinking, diabetes, hypertension or high blood pressure and cholesterol levels. My advice to these patients is — do not get even more stressed over this situation. Instead, focus on taking the right medication and making some changes to your lifestyle, so you can once again enjoy a satisfactory sexual life.

 

DIAGNOSIS OF ED

We normally diagnose ED and its underlying causes by asking the patient a few questions about his medical and sexual history. This is sometimes done by sharing a questionnaire with the patient. The questions that we ask are designed to help us understand the cause of ED in the particular patient.

We also do a physical exam, ask for certain blood tests to rule out other medical conditions responsible for erectile dysfunction, and recommend imaging tests (if required) to determine whether the person is physically able to have an erection or not.

SHORT-TERM SOLUTION, LONG-TERM CURE

Underlying medical conditions such as diabetes, hypertension and hypercholesterolaemia (high cholesterol levels) can cause ED. In these cases, ED can be reversed once the patient starts treatment.

In my experience, many men suffer from ED because of work stress, family pressure and anxiety. So, changes in lifestyle with regular exercise, yoga, abstaining from alcohol and smoking, and proper counselling help in treating ED. Along with this, medicines for ED are usually prescribed for about 3 to 6 months by which time lifestyle changes start to take effect and the patient is physically and mentally healthier, which helps resolve the problem.

An estimated 16% to 25% of men experience ED at some point in their lives. I would urge them not to be embarrassed about it. Seek medical help from a urologist or andrologist; get the necessary advice/medication; and go on to enjoy a healthy, fulfilling sexual life.

The author of this article is Dr Anjani Kumar Agrawal, head, andrology, department of urology sciences, Max Smart Super Speciality Hospital, Saket

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