General Physician and Diabetologist
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Consultant at : Gleneagles Global Hospital | Tambaram Medical Center

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What is common cold

What is Common Cold

How common is Common Cold or Flu ?

Viral Infection of the upper respiratory tract commonly referred to as common cold is usually harmless. Most of us are concerned and worried about different types of infection in modern days. Its usual to see more of respiratory related illness in urban world due to dust, pollution and most importantly spread from person to person.In an highly populated country like India, we pay least attention to protect us from the rest of the world.Here are few commonly asked questions regarding cold and its symptoms.

what is Common Cold

What is flu and cold ?

The flu and the common cold are respiratory illnesses .They have similar symptoms, it can be difficult to tell the difference between them based on symptoms alone. In general, the flu is a sever form compared to common cold, unlike common cold which is not life threatening, Flu can really make you sick and create various complications and be more intense.

What are the symptoms of Flu ?

Dry or Productive cough, stuffy nose, Muscle cramps, High Grade fever, Sneezing ,chills, dehydration, fatigue, fever, flushing, loss of appetite, body ache, or sweating, chest discomfort, head congestion, headache, nausea, shortness of breath, sore throat and many more.

How dose it spread ?

Flu spreads from person to person, the are mainly airborne disease. It spreads through droplet from the infected person through touch, sneezing and coughing.One sneez can infect people 6 feet away.People who have flu from day one can start to infect people and it may continue until 5- 7 days after the illness subsides.

Who is At High Risk from Flu ?

Young Children, Pregnant Women, Known case of Lung diseases such as COPD, Bronchial Asthma, Allergic Bronchitis.People with high risk also included Diabetic, Heart and Stroke patients. Patients with immunodeficiency state, cancer, Blood disorder, Kidney Disorders and liver disorders.

Influenza Virus and Types :

There are four types of influenza viruses: A, B, C and D. Human influenza A and B viruses cause seasonal epidemics of disease almost every winter. Current subtypes of influenza A viruses found in people are H1N1 and influenza H3N2 viruses.H1N1 is also called the Swine flu which was endemic in parts of India.There was an outbreak in 2015 and still seen in some parts of India.

How can Flu be treated ?

When you are suspected to have a flu, always consult your doctor and start treatment as early as possible. Flu is treated with Anti Viral drugs , the earlier can give very good results.Anti Viral drugs play a major role in preventing complication which can be life threatening.Sometime antibiotics may be warranted if secondary infections are suspected. Symptomatic treatment includes medicines for fever, cough and decongestants.

Preventing Flu:

  • Avoid Close Contact with people who are sick if possible
  • Stay Home if you are sick, we all have social responsibility by helping us to build a healthy society.
  • Cover your nose and mouth with tissue when coughing and sneezing
  • Wash your hands, it protects your from germs and infections
  • Healthy life style, exercise regularly it helps you boot your immunity, eat healthy and stay healthy.
  • Vaccination for seasonal flu

How helpful and effective are your Vaccinations ?

Vaccination from Flu is widely available, they protect you from seasonal illness.Vaccination help you reduce frequent infection from common cold and flu.Vaccines are recommended for children above 6 months and high risk category category.They are also recommended for all category of people and help them reduce the chances of contracting flu. Talk to your doctor today and know more about the benefits of Vaccination.

When should you seek medical help ?

As I have said earlier Flu can cause serious illness and Common cold is harmless, but symptoms of both can give you a confusing picture.Its difficult to say if its flu or cold unless tested.Here are a few warning signs you should be aware of

  • Fever above 100 F or continues fever
  • Sever Sore throat and stuffy nose
  • Head ache , chills and rigours
  • Nausea and vomiting especially in children
  • Breathlessness and sever cough

Patients who should not wait to seek medical attention include:

  • 5 years and younger children ,65 year and above age group
  • Pregnant women , Chronic medical condition related to lung, heart,Kidneys and blood

For any medical help and clarification contact your Doctor. Eat Healthy and Stay safe.

Read More:  All that you need to know about Good Health

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what is rabies

Rabies: Your Friendly Neighbor with a lethal strike!

What is Rabies ?

Rabies, a virus so fatal that mortality rates are very high if infected. These viruses attacks the central nervous system causing acute inflammation of the brain tissue and producing various central nervous system effect notably hydrophobia, fear of water. They are transmitted from scratches and bites from infected dogs in our country. It’s been estimated that 20000 deaths occur in India every year from rabies, that is far more than the amount of people die from a terrorist attack. The problem of stray dog have become a menace in our country and it has to effectively tackled before its uncontrollable.

Diagnosis of rabies can be confusing and mistaken for many central nervous system diseases with psychiatric illness. WHO recommends fluorescent antibody test( FAT ) to detect rabies antigen from urine, saliva, and central brain tissues. Microscopy examination of the brain reveals Negri bodies which is 100% diagnosis of rabies. Careful examination and history plays a vital role in early diagnosis and treatment.

Once infected incubation period can vary between 4 days to few years before the disease can manifest its self. There has been no effective treatment until today to treat rabies and fatality is inevitable. Treatment includes support care, sedation with induced coma by anesthetic agents and antiviral therapy. This treatment has been name the Milwaukee protocol, which has met with limited success. There has always been a saying prevention is better than cure.

Fortunately we have discovered a vaccine and Immunoglobulin effective to control and treat rabies at an early stage. Primary prevention is by identifying the high risk category and vaccinating them. In India, National Institute of Communicable disease, Government of India has issued National Guidelines for Rabies prophylaxis and Administration of Cell Culture Rabies Vaccine based on WHO recommendations. They have been divided based on type of contact, exposure and recommended post exposure prophylaxis.

According to these guidelines any nibbling of uncovered skin, minor scratches or abrasions without bleeding is categorized as Minor and needs wound management and anti rabies vaccination. Severe injuries include single or multiple bites and scratches, licks on broken skin or contamination of mucus membrane with saliva, requires wound management, rabies immunoglobulin and anti rabies vaccine.

Anti Rabies vaccination regime for post exposure prophylaxis is administering intra muscular Human Diploid Cell Vaccine of five doses. These are given on days 0, 3, 7, 14 and 28. The sixth dose (day 90) is recommended for patients who are extreme aged and are considered to be immune deficient. Day 0 indicates the date of first injection. The deltoid region is ideal site for injection and gluteal is not preferred as it may cause impaired absorption of antigen due to excessive fat cells. In infants its ideal to use the anterolateral thigh for injections. Patients who are previously vaccinated and have been re exposed will need only 2 doses of boosters on day 0 and day 3.

Treatment of Severe injuries include Wound toilet, using soap or antiseptic and flushing the wound with running water or saline. It has to be noted that rabies virus multiplies at the wound site and great care should be given to remove saliva and other contaminants for the site to minimize the infection.

Antiseptics such as betadine , alcohol, chloroxylenol can be used. Suturing the wound should be avoided if possible and if needed loosely placed sutures are preferred.

Rabies Immunoglobulin is available, Human Rabies Immunoglobulin are preferred because of the least immunogenicity and longer half life. The dose of HRIG is 20 IU per a Kg body weight and a maximum of 1500 IU. The injection has to be given in and around the wound site and any left over should be administered deep intra muscular at a distant site. Immunoglobulin are not indicated seven days after vaccination since by then the body will have sufficient IG to fight the virus. In case of multiple bite site it’s been advised to dilute the calculated dose with saline for administration.

By conclusion, Rabies is easy to prevent rather to treat. The Government has taken various steps to tackle rabies among stray dogs by vaccinations and neutering them but enough is yet to come. Dogs are mans best friends but they can be lethal at times. Prompt treatment with proper skills can be life saving. One day we will succeed in eradicate Rabies, that day is not today !

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Insulin Phobia : The sooner the better, later the worst !

Diabetes Mellitus has become worlds leading metabolic disorder affecting all age groups. It is estimated to affect 366 million people by 2030 and estimated to be worlds leading disease in ages to come. Diabetes Mellitus is caused due to insulin insufficiency or resistance to insulin due to various factors contributing to high blood sugar, which disrupts normal organ metabolism of vital organs. Due to chronic hyperglycemia (high blood sugars) there is organ dysfunction causing the organ to die permanently and later leading to chronic complications that are irreversible.

Diabetes is Dis-Ease of the body and can be controlled by proper medications and prompt treatment. The primary treatment being modification of life style including sedentary lifestyle and control of obesity. The studies have proved that reduction in weight can lead to favorable control of blood sugar and the demand of insulin requirement and resistance are directly related to obesity. Other drug primarily used in diabetes is insulin sensitizer and insulin secretors. These drugs primarily increase insulin secretion and sensitize the organs to utilize insulin.

Insulin can be artificially produced by DNA technology and are now widely used to treat diabetes. There are many myths about insulin, which makes one resistant to initiate insulin therapy. The truth about insulin therapy is far more unreached especially in lower economical society, which makes treatment difficult and leads to irreversible complications and ultimately death. “An insulin a day can keep Diabetes away “ is the latest guideline for treatment of Diabetes. The sooner the better since micro vascular complications are avoidable leading to preventable cause of death in diabetic patients.

Many might think is there a way out without insulin therapy, the answer is individualized from person to person. As ages go by the secretion of insulin decrease everyday leading to no sufficient insulin produced for daily metabolic needs of the body which produces increased blood sugars. The ultimate solution is supplementation of insulin by daily injections because when there is no insulin, usage of insulin secretors and sensitizer are not of any benefit. Insulin is easier to administer and latest technologies have made it more convenient and pain free to patients.

Bottom line, Initiating insulin therapy at the earliest in-patient who has uncontrolled sugars in spite of maximum oral therapyis the best choice. Complication of diabetes know to us is just a drop in the ocean,to swim across the sea of sugars all you need is determination and appropriate on time treatment.

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All that you need to know about Good Health

All that you need to know about Good Health

What Is Health ?

The World Health Organization (WHO) defined health in its broader sense in its 1948 constitution as “a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.”

Components of Health 

  • Nutrition
  • Exercise Routines
  • Sleep Hygiene
  • Prevention & Care of Illness/Injury
  • Medication Routines
  • Stress Management
  • Psychological/Mental Health
  • Healthful Living Space
  • Social Relationships
  • Recreational Activities
  • Safety Precautions
  • Personal Health Choices
  • Spirituality

Nutrition

  • Identifying healthy foods

– Whole grains

– Lean protein

– Fruits & vegetables

– Dairy products

– Healthy fats

  • Finding, preparing, and eating nutritious foods
  • Making healthy choices about what to eat from the options available

Exercise Routines

  • Planning, implementing, and sticking to a regular exercise routine
  • Incorporating both strength-building and endurance-building activities
  • Finding time to exercise
  • Staying motivated
  • Avoiding injuries

Sleep Hygiene

  • Getting the right amount of sleep for your body
  • Maintaining a functional sleep schedule

– Setting and sticking to a bedtime

– Getting up around the same time every day

– Managing time well to avoid all-nighters

– Knowing when to prioritize sleep over socializing

  • Dealing with sleep disruptions effectively

Prevention & Care of Illness/Injury

  • Scheduling & attending routine preventive care
  • Avoiding injuries and illnesses
  • Properly treating minor illnesses/injuries before they become serious
  • Recognizing when medical attention is needed

– Using the student healthcare center

– Not relying on the internet to self-diagnose

  • Creating and maintaining a first-aid kit

Stress Management

  • Accepting that some stress is inevitable at work and knowing that it can be coped with
  • Finding and implementing effective, positive strategies to deal with everyday concerns

– “Stress Busters”

– Deep breathing exercises

  • Avoiding negative or destructive behaviors

Social Relationships

  • Establishing and maintaining healthy and fulfilling relationships with others
  • Interacting with a diverse range of people
  • Making new friends while staying in touch with old friends
  • Establishing a network of social and professional connections
  • Adjusting to changes in family relationships and friendships

Personal Health Choices

  • Becoming educated about personal health issues such as tobacco, alcohol, drugs, sexual activity, etc.
  • Making positive and healthful decisions about personal health issues

– Practicing safe sex or abstaining

– Abstaining from illegal drugs

– Using prescribed drugs responsibly

– Drinking responsibly and/or abstaining from alcohol

– Abstaining from or quitting tobacco products

  • Resisting peer pressure and making decisions based on your own convictions

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