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Water: Drinking how much is enough on a daily basis?

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The newest trend sweeping sunny California is people drinking untreated ‘raw’ water from unfiltered sources packed with natural ions, minerals, chemicals and organic matter. The fad will, sooner than later, wreck their health.
Along with ions and minerals, untreated water comes laced with bacteria, viruses, parasites, pesticides and heavy metals that cause nasty diarrhoea,dysentery, hepatitis A, cholera, typhoid and toxicities, among other diseases.
Just as contaminated water sickens and kills, safe water saves lives. Safe and easily available water for drinking, domestic use and food production lowers disease to boost economic growth and lower poverty, according to the World Health Organization.
Water is needed to carry nutrients to cells, moisten tissue, cushion joints, regulate body temperature and flush out toxins. Staying hydrated protects against colorectal and bladder cancers, high blood pressure, heart disease, urinary tract infections and kidney stones.
Most people drink water when they’re thirsty, but in warm and humid weather, thirst is often not the best indicator of dehydration. So how much water should we drink every day?
Water accounts for 55%-60% of the body’s weight, depending on gender. Much like the human body, water is an essential component of all foods and about 20% of our daily fluid requirement comes from food. Butter and oils are the only foods with no water.
The water content is more than 90% in foods like milk and yoghurt, and in some fruits and green vegetables, such as watermelon, cucumber, cabbage, lettuce and spinach. Fruits like apples, grapes, oranges, pears and pineapple are 80% to 90% water, while beans and legumes have a water content ranging from 60% to 70%. Even dried fruits, seeds and nuts are 1% to 9% water.
A normal healthy person needs about eight glasses (two litres) of water a day, which should go up in hot, sweaty weather and during vigorous activities, according to the Indian Council of Medical Research’s Dietary Guidelines for Indians. The tea, coffee, milk, yoghurt and whole foods you have will also help meet your hydration target, but water should be the fluid of choice.
For people in the UK, the National Health Service recommends 1.2 litres (six to eight glasses) of fluid every day to prevent dehydration, while the US National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine recommends 3.7 litres (15.5 glasses) of fluids for men and 2.7 litres (11.5 glasses) for women.
Don’t substitute water with juices, even if they’re fresh and unsweetened, because they pack a lot of sugar and calories in each glass. While fresh fruit juices do have vitamins, minerals and other nutrients, they also have very high amounts of fruit sugars, which the World Health Organisation puts in the same category as harmful free sugars, the intake of which should not exceed 25 gm a day.
A glass of fresh orange juice, for example, has 0.4 gm of fibre and 24 gm of sugar, compared to 1.5 gm of fibre and 10 gm of sugar in one whole orange. The sugar in a glass of fresh, unsweetened orange juice (24 gm) is almost the same as in a glass of the colas (26 gm).
Coconut water contains potassium, which helps fight dehydration by increasing the body’s capacity to absorb and retain water and is particularly useful to hydrate people who are ill or very active. But since a 250 ml glass has 50 calories, using it as a substitute for zero-calorie water leads to weight gain.
Dry and scaly skin, frequent muscle cramps and constipation are signs that you’re dehydrated, so watch out for signs now that the hot, wet weather will make seat a part of life in most part of the country.


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Health

Hepatitis A Causes and Symptoms

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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

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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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Erectile dysfunction’s connection with lifestyle

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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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