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Top 5 tips to help prevent jet lag and make you vacation healthy

The Kashmir Monitor

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In order to reduce the impact of jet lag when you’re travelling, it’s important to manage your sleep patterns, eat healthy, exercise and keep yourself well-hydrated.
You’ve been planning a holiday for eons now. The thought of getting away from the boredom of daily life was an opportunity you wouldn’t miss for the world, but if you’re taking a vacation abroad, there’s more than one thing you need to careful about, especially jet lag, that is a likelihood every time you travel from one time zone to another.
There’s a bright side to everything, though. You could learn how to own this one too through simple dos and don’ts that make your holiday a productive one to cool your heels off and get back to work with full gusto!
The key to avoiding jet lag, even before your trip begins is restoring all your energy through good night’s sleep. Remember that, most your woes can be cured by sleep. So, make it your friend and start the prep right away!
Andrew Thomas, in his article on Inc.com says, “… jet lag is an interruption in your circadian rhythm. Managing and adapting your sleep patterns are crucial to reducing the impact of jet lag on your productivity while traveling. The other tips will help prevent or alleviate the other causes of jet lag – helping you have a healthy and productive trip.”
Read on for the Top 5 tips to prevent jet lag by preparing well in advance:
Water
Whether or not it’s the upcoming holiday, it’s always important to stay well-hydrated for normal functioning. If you are, however, going to be spending long hours on a plane, you need to ensure you don’t get dehydrated. Prep yourself by training your mind and body to have more water and once you’ve set out on the trip, have a glass of water (at least) every hour of your flight to avoid jet lag. Water can be substituted with green tea or juices. Alcohol and coffee are best to avoid as these are known to dehydrate your body.
Keep yourself busy during the day
Keeping yourself amply engaged during the daytime will obviously mean that you turn in sooner at night than your usual time since your body needs to repair yourself in the hours you’re asleep. Remember, the later you go to bed, the wearier your body feels as it hasn’t had enough time to rejuvenate. This practice will also keep you engaged on your holiday when you can get more done during the day, like fun activities, adventure sports, walking around the town to explore, visiting museums etc.
Exercise
It’s always a good idea to get up from your desk every hour, at least, to stretch your legs and open up the muscles in your body. Try and walk up the stairs as many times as possible and avoid the use of escalators, elevators, and travellators (an experience of each of these are of course, necessary, but to keep health on your side, it’s the stairs that’ll aid you). While these are simple hacks, they are likely to go a long way since it’s one of the easiest things that will go a long way.
Avoid heavy meals
Too much of anything is bad enough, and if your meals comprise junk food and sugary drinks, you’re likely to feel sluggish all the time. Since you’re preparing yourself to avoid a jet lag, switch the unhealthy option for a healthier snack, and avoid filling yourself up a lot at one go. Don’t let bad food choices take away from a healthy lifestyle and a much-awaited vacation.
Become the explorer as soon as you land
You’re in a new place! Use each minute to get acclimatised to the new surroundings and get to know your location better. Maybe take a look at the itinerary and check with some locals about what you could add to the list and do more in a limited time! This is of course relevant if it’s still day where you are and can soak up the sun while you explore.
Additionally, watching TV or being exposed to any kind of blue light will only make your eyes and brain more tired, in turn leading to sleep evading you for a while.
Wish you super vacation! Make the most of it to take care of your physical, mental and emotional health.


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Health

This winter control asthma with inhalation therapy

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Whether youre indoors or outdoors, winter will exacerbate asthma attacks. Winter is the most loved season, but it might be unpleasant for patients with lung diseases. An American Lung Association fact-sheet states that asthma is one of the most common chronic disorders and currently affects about 7.1 million children under 18 years. The World Health Organisation Global Burden of Disease Study estimates that 13.8 million disability-adjusted life years (DALYs) are lost yearly due to asthma, representing 1.8 per cent of the total global disease burden.

For 300 million people around the globe suffering from asthma, the cold winter months often lead to a worsening of their symptoms.

The cold environment it not suitable for asthma patients. Their lungs and airway passages are quite sensitive. To a larger extent, asthma symptoms related to winter can be in controlled and managed by precise treatment and medication. Due to the swelling in the lining of the airways which leads to their narrowing, and the sticky mucus or phlegm build-up that blocks the airways, breathing is difficult and forced for asthmatic patients.

 

During winter, the cold air causes airways to tighten further, making it even more difficult to breathe.

Many patients and their family members are misinformed about the causes of asthma and the treatment options available. It is a necessity to educate patients and caregivers about the disease and treatment with minimal side-effects of inhaled corticosteroids, i.e. inhalation therapy.

Many pharmaceutical organisations are running campaigns to bust myths around inhalation therapy. Often, the word steroids evokes apprehensions in the minds of patients causing them to shy away from inhalers. The steroid is produced by the human body naturally to deal with inflammation and it is also safe for children and pregnant women. The inhalation therapy consists of an inhaler pump to send the corticosteroids into airway passages.

According to a research article published in Respiratory Medicine journal, the correlation between inhalation therapy for asthma and clinical efficacy is positive, with improved symptom-control and lung-function shown in most studies of adults, adolescents and children.

In the inhalation therapy, the inflammation of the airway requires a very small quantity of corticosteroids — around 25 to 100 micrograms — but when it is consumed through the oral/intestinal route the amount administered is very large — about 10,000 micrograms, since only a fraction of the drug reaches the lungs. This means that every time an asthma patient pops a pill or a tablet, he/she is actually taking almost 200 times the amount of medication required, leading to ill-effects on health.

Inhalation therapy directly gives body only that amount of steroid needed to control the symptoms. Against this, oral medication first gets dissolved in the blood and then reaches various organs, including the lungs.

Thus, inhalation therapy is a simple and easy solution for asthma patients to enjoy their winter to the fullest.

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Health

Some nose, throat bacteria less likely to develop into flu: Study

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US researchers have identified a cluster of nose and throat bacteria that made their hosts less likely to get flu.

The researchers from the University of Michigan (UM) looked at samples of nose and throat bacteria and used DNA sequencing to identify which bacteria were present.

Analysing the bacterial composition across all samples, they found five clusters.After taking into account other known factors that could affect an individual’s
susceptibility to influenza, such as age, exposure to tobacco, crowded household and flu vaccination, the researchers then looked to see if individuals with a given cluster were less likely to get influenza.

 

“We looked at who had which cluster and whether it makes a difference on whether they got influenza, and it does,” said lead author Betsy Foxman, Professor at UM. “That’s the exciting thing about it. It tells us if you have this bacterial community, you have lower risk for getting the flu. That’s big news because it really hasn’t been shown before.”

However, the findings published in PLOS ONE journal also bring new questions.”Is it really possible to push someone’s microbiome in a way that would make a difference? Is it possible that we could tell people – ‘Here’s your microbiome pill?'” Foxman said, adding that “It’s a very long road and we’re at the beginning.”

Researchers hope that similar studies can be done in a different population and possibly follow them longer for secondary bacterial infections.”We know we are always going to need new antibiotics but this way we could hold on to them longer and, presumably, if we could intervene in this way there would be fewer side effects,” Foxman said.

For the study, the team enrolled 717 participants from 144 households. Household members of individuals with confirmed influenza were recruited for the study and followed for 13 days or until they developed influenza, whichever came first. They included only the 537 individuals who tested negative for influenza at the beginning of the study.

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Health

Taking artificial sweeteners as a sugar substitute? Study says it may not be effective

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While some people who are trying to avoid sugar are increasingly opting for artificial sugar, a recent study has revealed that taking artificial sugar may not be a good idea after all.”Growing concerns about health and quality of life have encouraged people to adapt healthy lifestyles and avoid the consumption of food rich in sugars, salt, or fat to prevent obesity and other non-communicable diseases. With increased consumer interest in reducing energy intake, food products containing non-sugar sweeteners (NSSs) rather than simple sugars (monosaccharides and disaccharides) have become increasingly popular”, the study stated.

But replacing sugar with artificial sweeteners used in Diet Coke and other soft drinks has no effect on weight loss and their long-term health effects are still poorly understood, the review said. The study titled ‘Association between intake of non-sugar sweeteners and health outcomes: systematic review and meta-analyses of randomised and non-randomised controlled trials and observational studies’ was led by the University of Freiburg and published in the BMJ.

It also highlighted the absence of research on the long-term health effects of sweeteners when taken over years or decades. In this comprehensive systematic review, a broad range of health outcomes was investigated to determine a possible association with non-sugar sweetener used by a generally healthy population.

 

“The studies were set up to look at different types of sweeteners, measuring weight, blood sugar (glycaemic) control, oral health, cancer, cardiovascular disease, kidney disease, mood and behaviour in consumers. For most of them, there was no statistical difference in weight loss or health benefits of adults and children using higher doses of sweeteners rather than small amounts or none”, a report in The Guardian stated.

This comprehensive systematic review covers a broad range of benefits and harms of NSSs in a generally healthy population of adults and children, following rigorous systematic review methods. “Overall, we included 56 studies of adults and children, which assessed the associations and effects of NSSs on different health outcomes.

For most outcomes, there seemed to be no statistically or a clinically relevant difference between NSS intake versus no intake, or between different doses of NSSs. No evidence was seen for health benefits from NSSs and potential harms could not be excluded. The certainty of the included evidence ranged from very low to moderate, and our confidence in the reported effect estimates is accordingly limited”, the study stated.

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