The word “Gestational Diabetes during pregnancy” sounds scary at first. Isn’t it?
But the good news is “IT’S MANAGEABLE”.
We have all had our share of complications during pregnancy whether it is fatigue, Nausea or food aversion. During my pregnancy days, I have never had morning sickness which is quite common among expecting moms. Fatigue, mood swings and swollen feet were few problems that I faced in my initial and later pregnancy. I used to attend prenatal yoga classes where I made few friends, we all could relate to each other’s problems very well. We used to discuss every complication that is associated with pregnancy and that is how I got to know about “Gestational Diabetes” through a friend who was diagnosed with it. I got really scared, started wondering – If it is curable? Is it going to affect the baby’s health? What are it causes & side effects?
Let us first understand its causes, symptoms and prevention measures.
Causes of Gestational Diabetes:
It usually takes place between week 24 and week 28 of pregnancy when insulin gets blocked by hormones from the placenta. Insulin is a hormone produced in the pancreas that regulates the body’s metabolism of fats and helps the body converting sugar into energy. It prevents the body from regulating the increased blood sugar of pregnancy effectively. This causes high levels of sugar in the blood which can damage the nerves, organs and blood vessels in our body.
Factors Causing Gestational Diabetes
Every mom-to-be should get their diabetes checked if they come across below factors:
Overweight- The average weight gain during pregnancy should be between 8-20 kg as per their BMI. Any excess above that makes one overweight and it is one of the most common risk factors of gestational diabetes.
Higher Level of Abdominal Fat- As per recent research, women who gain high level of tummy fat in their first trimester pregnancy are more likely to be diagnosed with gestational diabetes later.
Mid Age- Women over the age of 35 have a tendency to be diagnosed with gestational diabetes.
Family History- If diabetes runs in the family, one should be extra careful and get it checked every month.
Symptoms of Gestational Diabetes
Heavily frequent urination
Sugar in urine diagnosed through test
How it can be diagnosed?
Frequent urine tests cannot diagnose the gestational diabetes during pregnancy. But around 28 weeks, Gynecologist will ask for Glucose Screening Test. It involves taking sugary liquid and an hour later checking the sugar level, if it is high then further Three Hour Glucose Tolerance Test is taken to determine gestational diabetes.
Is it Harmful for the Mother and Baby?
Women having excessive gestational diabetes are at a risk of having too large baby and likely to get C-Section. With proper care & nutrition, gestational diabetes can be managed and not at all harmful for mother as well as baby.
Prevention of Gestational Diabetes
Staying active, eating a healthy diet and keeping an eye on the BMI scale are key factors that helps in prevention of it. In our day to day lives, it is difficult to keep a track on the above mentioned checklist. How about a personal health coach doing all these and more for you? Sounds good? Right!
Portea helps in managing gestational diabetes by guiding you on every step. It helps women who have been diagnosed with GDM by giving them right nutrition, exercise tips and ensuring overall treatment compliance.
Portea is India’s largest home healthcare company which has served lakhs of patients at the comfort of their home. It provides hospital like care at home, maintaining high hygiene while being extremely affordable and flexible as per patients need. They also provide nurses, physiotherapists and attendants for home visits. Portea’s GDM program runs on the central theme of ensuring nothing is missed. It consists of below elements:
The program consists of below elements-
Personal Health Coach – A personal health coach is assigned to every patient to cater their health needs whether it is weight/ stress management, FAQ’s around gestational diabetes. Follow ups are done over call/ text messages.
Personal Nutritionist – Diet plays an important element in controlling high glucose in body. A personal nutritionist helps in providing customized GDM diet plan and also follows up on the same. Their personalized approach has 99% success rate. It is all done over phone/texts messages.
Glucometer- Portea provides one touch Verio Flex Meter which is Bluetooth enabled, allowing their GDM coaches to monitor user’s glucose readings sitting anywhere (through an app).
With Portea’s technology led solution, gestational diabetes can be managed effectively. Their personalized approach helps in guiding the patient at every step of pregnancy. Here’s what my friend has to say about her experience with Portea – “Hearty thanks to Team Portea, blessed with a healthy baby girl! Their team of nutritionists and coaches is very caring and knowledgeable. I am really grateful to Portea for helping me get through this phase with extreme ease”- Mrs. Manisha
Do you know someone who is suffering with the Gestational Diabetes? Let them know, it is not the end of pregnancy but embrace it with appropriate care and advise.
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this post are the personal views of the author. They do not necessarily reflect the views of portea.com. Any omissions or errors are the author’s and Portea does not assume any liability or responsibility for them.
Diabetes is one of the most common lifestyle diseases of the world and about 1 in 11 people suffer from it. Consequently we all know at least a little bit about it, the foods to abstain from and the possible side effects. One of my close friends delivered a baby girl after being diagnosed with gestational diabetes during her second trimester. I remember how she asked me about it as she assumed I had medical background and a family full of diabetics, so I would have knowledge about gestational diabetes as well. However, there were only a limited number of questions I could answer, which made me realize how little we know about a condition which affects about 12% of all pregnancies.
My friend is a little paranoid by nature and had asked me to accompany her for her appointments with the gynecologist and endocrinologist. The doctors were kind enough to explain to us in great detail, however, there were still a lot of queries that either we forgot to ask or remained unanswered. I watched her struggle with lack of information, stress and myths surrounding gestational diabetes till the time of her very uneventful delivery. Not wanting other women to suffer from the same dilemma, I did some further research and suggested my friend to keep a close and regular check on her blood sugar levels. She often checked her sugar at home by using One Touch, and then started maintaining a strict diet chart to keep everything under control. I even decided to jot down information for quick reference to Gestational Diabetes, to make sure I am fully aware and could even assist other women in my life when the need be.
While the world wide incidence of Gestational Diabetes Mellitus [GDM] is 3-4%, Indian women are 4 times more likely to suffer from it, all the more a reason for everyone to know about it.
Basis my research, here are the top 6 things everyone must know about gestational diabetes.
1. What is gestational diabetes and why does it occur?
Gestational diabetes is diabetes that occurs in pregnant women and usually goes away 4-6 weeks postpartum. It means a woman has high glucose levels during pregnancy.
Gestational diabetes is thought to arise because of the hormonal and other changes that occur in the body during pregnancy. The placenta makes hormones that can lead to a buildup of glucose in blood. Usually, pancreas can make enough insulin to handle that. If not, blood sugar levels rise and can cause gestational diabetes.
2. Risk factors for developing GDM
Certain risk factors that increase the chances of a woman getting this condition are
Age greater than 25 which is very common these days due to late marriages and career aspirations.
Obesity or being overweight before getting pregnant
A history of gestational diabetes in a previous pregnancy
Previous delivery of an infant with a high birth weight (over 9 pounds/4kgs)
A parent or sibling with type 2 diabetes
A personal history of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)
Having pre-diabetes i.e. high blood sugar levels, but not high enough to be diabetic
3. How to diagnose Gestational diabetes
Gestational diabetes usually happens in the second half of pregnancy and is diagnosed with blood tests. Most pregnant women are tested between the 24th and 28th weeks of pregnancy, but in presence of risk factors, doctor may decide to test earlier. These tests include Glucose challenge test, glucose tolerance test and HBA1c levels. However, it is important to look out for symptoms such as excessive hunger, thirst and urination and report it to doctor.
4. Risk to the baby
Women with gestational diabetes who receive proper care and monitoring typically deliver healthy babies. However timely diagnosis and management is necessary as there may be harmful effect on fetus every month GD goes unnoticed. Persistently elevated blood glucose levels throughout pregnancy can lead to -Elevated blood glucose levels in fetus which can cause fetal overgrowth, possibly making delivery more complicated.
Low blood glucose immediately after birth.
Greater risk of jaundice
Pre-term birth and increased risk for respiratory distress
A higher chance of still birth
Greater risk of baby becoming overweight and developing type 2 diabetes later in life.
If diabetes is present in an early pregnancy, there is an increased risk of birth defects and miscarriage compared to that of mothers without diabetes.
5. Effects of GDM on mother
Improper care, irregular monitoring and poor control can lead to –
Greater chance of needing a Cesarean birth (C-section), in part due to large infant size.
Increased risk of preeclampsia, a maternal condition characterized by high blood pressure and protein in the urine.
Increased risk of having type 2 diabetes after the pregnancy.
Most women with gestational diabetes who maintain normal blood sugar levels go on to deliver healthy babies. After baby is born, gestational diabetes usually goes away. Risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes can be reduced by following a good nutritional plan, exercising, and maintaining a healthy weight.
6. Prevention and management
There are no guarantees that gestational diabetes can be prevented but the more healthy habits before pregnancy, the better. Eating healthy food which is rich in fiber and vitamins and low in fats and calories along with regular exercise to lose excess weight reduce the risk of developing GDM as well as risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes post pregnancy.
What happens if gestational diabetes is diagnosed?
Doctor will likely recommend frequent checkups, especially during last three months of pregnancy. Close monitoring of baby’s growth and development with repeated ultrasounds or other tests is an important part of treatment plan.
Treatment strategies include:
Monitoring blood sugar: Constant monitoring to know if glucose is within normal test range is of paramount importance and first step towards effective management. Patient may need to check blood sugar four to five times a day –
Fasting blood glucose – right after waking up in the morning,
These testing periods are important because it allows knowing how efficiently body’s hormones are regulating the metabolism and uptake of glucose. As a side benefit, knowing that you have to test makes you accountable for making healthier choices at each meal.
It is important to maintain a Gestational Diabetes sugar level chart to make sure glucose levels stay within a healthy prescribed range. This may sound inconvenient and difficult, but gets easier with practice. Glucometers available now to give blood glucose readings are painless, nice and compact, and super easy to use.
Diet regulation and portion control: Based on personal information (weight and height) Body Mass Index (BMI) is calculated which is important to determine what would be a healthy weight gain for each pregnancy. Eating the right kinds of food in healthy portions is one of the best ways to control blood sugar and prevent too much weight gain for both mum and baby. A healthy diet focuses on foods that are high in nutrition and fiber and low in fat and calories and limit highly refined carbohydrates, including sweets.
Exercise: Regular physical activity plays a significant role in every woman’s wellness plan before, during and after pregnancy. Exercise lowers blood sugar by stimulating glucose to move inside cells, where it can be used for energy. Exercise also increases sensitivity to insulin, which means body will need to produce less insulin to utilize same amount of sugar.
As an added bonus, regular exercise such as walking can help relieve stress as well as some common discomforts of pregnancy, including back pain, muscle cramps, swelling, constipation and trouble sleeping. However all exercise during pregnancy should be done only with permission of concerned doctor.
Medication: If diet and exercise aren’t enough and the sugar levels exceed GD test range, a woman may need insulin injections to lower blood sugar. However, only 10-20 percent of women with gestational diabetes need insulin to reach their blood sugar goals. Doctors may prescribe an oral blood sugar control medication, but some doctors feel oral drugs may not be as safe and as effective as insulin injections to control gestational diabetes.
Even though my friend was worried about her baby during pregnancy, there is a silver lining to every dark cloud. Due to regular monitoring and strict diet control, she did not gain excessive weight and even managed to come back to her pre-pregnancy weight quite easily. Not being judgmental and even though it’s just a superficial comfort; when rest of life turns topsy-turvy with a little baby, it feels good to be back to your normal appearance. Also she swears that for an anxious person like her it may have been hard to go week after week, trusting God without knowing what the baby was doing in there. The additional monitoring at home and hospital reassured her that the baby was doing fine, and helped her relax during those final weeks of pregnancy.
Of course, gestational diabetes is a serious condition that needs to be carefully managed; it doesn’t mean one can’t enjoy pregnancy. It’s stressful to have a condition that can affect unborn baby’s health but women need to be kind to themselves. Family and friends need to support and reassure the affected women that it’s not their fault and can be managed with proper monitoring and care. Despite the myths, a diagnosis of Gestational Diabetes does NOT mean a big baby or a cesarean. A gentle, calm and intervention-free vaginal birth with gestational diabetes is possible for most women.
In fact right attitude, healthy changes to eating habits and exercise can help form habits that not just lead to a smooth sailing pregnancy but last a lifetime.
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this post are the personal views of the author. They do not necessarily reflect the views of Portea. Any omissions or errors are the author’s and does not assume any liability or responsibility for them.
A good night’s sleep is essential for your health and well-being. Lack of sleep can make you foggy and grumpy. You will start noticing a reduction in your energy levels, your emotional balance will go haywire, and it will affect your weight too in the long run. If you are one of those who struggle to get the sleep you need each night, then these tips are for you-
Follow a schedule
Following a regular schedule will help you sleep better and wake up energized. Most people do well with a quota of 8 hours. It is important you stick to the same time every day, i.e., you must go to bed and wake up at the same time and you must follow the same schedule religiously. Even on weekends and holidays, try to maintain the same schedule.
Keep an eye on what you consume
Your eating and drinking habits play a major role in your good night’s sleep. First, you must never go to bed either hungry or with a heavy stomach. This is likely to cause discomfort while sleeping.
Secondly, nicotine, caffeine, and alcohol can also interfere with your sleep. Nicotine and caffeine provide a stimulating effect, which takes hours to wear off, causing a chaos in your sleep cycle. When it comes to alcohol, it makes you sleepy in the beginning, but later it will create a discomfort and disturb your sleep.
What can you do? Avoid consuming caffeine toward the later part of the evening, and try to quit smoking or try not to smoke at least 2 hours before you go to bed. Also, avoid eating protein at bedtime.
Create a peaceful environment
Your room is your heaven. It is important to keep it clean and comfortable. Create an ideal environment for sleeping. Invest in best mattress, buy some good sheets and pillows. Make sure your room is cool, dark and quiet before you go to bed. You can also keep a few indoor plants and use a soothing diffuser with a lavender essential oil to help you with it. You can also do relaxing activities before you hit the sack, such as taking a bath, meditation, etc.
Don’t go for daytime naps
Long naps during the day can interfere with your nighttime sleep. If you must, you can opt for a power nap for 15-20 minutes, but avoid longer naps.
If you start practicing regular physical activity, it will not only keep you healthy, but it will also help you sleep better. You can start slow at the beginning if you aren’t used to it. You can go for walks, take up a sport, dancing, etc. However, avoid being too active before your bedtime. If you want to, you can take a relaxing stroll to soothe your nerves.
Beat that stress
Don’t take stress to bed. Make sure you associate your bed with relaxation and not as a platform to review your stress. You can practice meditation, journaling or create a to-do-list for the next day to help you relax. If something is still bothering you, listen to your favourite music. It is like a therapy that helps you calm down. You can also learn a relaxation technique like progressive muscle relaxation and practice it in bed.
Filter out electronics
It is important to shut down all your electronics at least an hour before you go to bed. This is because the light emitted by the electronics can be disruptive. Also, most television shows are stimulating rather than relaxing, leaving you staring at the ceiling for most part of the night. Invest in a sleeping mask if you live in a surrounding lit at all hours.
If even after following all the tips and tricks you are having trouble sleeping, then it is best to consult a doctor. Your doctor will identify the underlying problem and provide the necessary treatment.
A diabetes diagnosis can be quite upsetting. Cheer up! for diabetes is manageable. Fact of the matter is: It isn’t all that complicated to manage your diabetes. In fact, with a few simple steps and a positive attitude, you can lead a normal happy life without worry and keep your diabetes levels in check! We’ve listed below, 7 simple ways to maintain your diabetes and stay healthy! Take a look:
Spot check your sugar
You will most likely have a set schedule arranged with your doctor to test your blood sugar. It could be at breakfast one day, lunch the next and so on. However, if you know that it is time to check your sugar, you are more likely to behave well during that particular time and pay more attention to maintaining your sugar levels and thereby ensure that the tests will show good results. It is best to spot check your sugar so that you are consciously aware that you have to maintain your health and take care of the activities you undertake throughout the day. In this way, you will also be able to pay better attention to your exercise and diet and not cheat on them.
2. Keep your weight in check
If you have to minimise the detrimental effects of diabetes on your lifestyle, the most important step is to lose weight. Research says that eight out of every ten patient of Type 2 diabetes is overweight. Hence, losing useless body fat, especially the fat around the belly, (the leading cause of diabetes) plays a key role in minimising the risk associated with the disease and keeping it under control. The most important step is to become physically active and avoid leading a sedentary lifestyle which might be affecting you in a negative way. You could opt out of driving, and instead choose to walk more often. You could also join a focus group with similar challenges and motivate yourself to get in shape.
3. Stay on a healthy diet
Your diet is a crucial component to successfully managing obesity and therefore keeping your diabetes in check. Living with diabetes definitely does not mean depriving yourself of a delicious meal, or forcing yourself to give up all of your favourite foods. However, structuring your diet in a way that helps your weight loss is extremely important.
You could stay low on foods that contain a lot of starch and stay away from beverages and carbonated drinks that can affect your weight as well as the glucose levels in your blood. Certain types of foods like white bread, pasta, fruit-flavoured yoghurt and foods containing trans- fat should be actively avoided if you have to control your diabetes.
4. Know your numbers
Along with conducting regular blood-sugar readings, it is also extremely important to pay proper attention to other numbers like your blood pressure levels and your cholesterol levels. These numbers will help you understand if your health is on track and also help you in understanding if you need to undertake any change in your lifestyle.
Some of the numbers which you need to pay attention to are :
A1c, which measures the blood sugar levels over time. This should be done at least twice a year.
Cholesterol levels, which should be tested at least every five years, but more often if you have trouble keeping your cholesterol levels under check and if you are taking preventive measures against them.
Your blood pressure and weight, which will be checked every time you visit the doctor.
5. Keep track of the medications you use
Even if you are keeping track of the food and beverages you consume, it is also necessary to look into other aspects of your health like what kind of medications you consume, and make sure that your health is a top priority. Most of the drugs you use might be recommended by your physician, you should also research a bit on your own, and understand their side effects before you use them. Certain types of diabetes medications like Invokana, has some serious side effects that you should be aware of. Some of the side effects include: high levels of blood acids in diabetes patients, dizziness, light-headedness and a dry mouth.
6. Build a support team and be informed and empowered
If you have to battle this disease, you will be needing support from a number of people who are informed on the disease and the knowledge of an ideal lifestyle for people who suffer from Diabetes. Form a support team consisting of your doctor, nurse practitioner, diabetes educators, dieticians, nutritionists, endocrinologists and pharmacists. Even though having a great support team is very essential in controlling the health risks associated with diabetes, being empowered also goes a long way. Actively engage yourself in your lifestyle and stay informed. Ask questions and practice healthy habits.
7. Lower your stress levels
Higher stress levels makes your muscles prepare to fight or run away from danger, also known as ‘fight or flight’! When your insulin isn’t working properly, this process floods your blood with Glucose (sugar) to help it combat the situation at hand!
This can have very harmful effects on your body, and hence it is very necessary to lower stress levels actively.
Excessive stress also raises your blood pressure and increases your chances of heart disease. If you smoke to relieve your stress, you should consider quitting it immediately because it affects your lungs and narrows your blood vessels, and further prove detrimental to your health when you have a disease like diabetes. For efficient diabetes management, you can enroll in an efficient diabetes monitoring and management program. Also, there is increasing scientific evidence that there is a link between sleep apnea and diabetes. These days with a variety of convenient options, you can get your sleep study done for efficient management of sleep apnea.
When do you go visit the doctor? When does the condition qualify for that visit and the need for ‘medical attention’? Through this post we aim to shed light on the nuances of when you actually need to visit the doctor.
Getting a headache, stomach ache, dizziness or feeling nauseous is normal, but you always need to know when things are getting out of hand and seek timely medical help so that the worst can be averted. After all the Physician or doctor is the first point of contact for medical assistance and should definitely be consulted in case you notice something out of the ordinary. If you feel a piercing pain or any discomfort that shouldn’t be happening, usually it’s time to pay the doc a visit. This could include a piercing or severe chest pain ( which may just be a case of gas, but could very well be a symptom of a heart attack too – a chance you shouldn’t take) or a cough that persists beyond a week or ten days then you need to show the doctor and get the issue resolved.
You can broadly answer the question ‘When to consult a doctor’ in 3 simple parts –
Visits when a problem arises/persists
Routine Visits – These can be monthly or annual visits to your family doctor or physician to make sure that everything is functioning smoothly. You can obtain a schedule of what type of care is required and how often visits are needed from your primary care doctor. Usually, infants and older people need more frequent preventive visits, but frequency also depends on a person’s health conditions. For example, a person with diabetes or a heart disorder would need to visit the doctor more frequently as compared to a normal person.
Visits for a Problem – When something out of the ordinary occurs or when there’s an issue that is hampering with your daily life such as a prolonged cough, people aren’t too sure whether or not to visit the doctor. The reason for this is that many symptoms and problems can be handled at home. For example, most routine cough and colds do not require a doctor’s attention. Many small cuts and wounds can be tackled by first cleaning them with mild soap and water and then applying an antibiotic ointment such as Dettol or Savlon and a protective covering such as a gauge and bandage. Patients with particular disorders should see a doctor sooner rather than later when new symptoms develop. For example, if people with an acute lung disorder (such as asthma) begin to have difficulty breathing or experience high fever or breathlessness, it’s time to sound the alarm bells and pay the doctor a visit.
When unsure about the need to see a doctor or other practitioner, people can sometimes call their family doctor for initial guidance.
Emergency Visits – This one is pretty self-explanatory, in case the situation gets out of hand or there is an emergency such as a deep cut that may require stitches, or a case when you ingest something that has an allergic reaction or a freak accident such as a snake bite or even a road accident you need to visit the Emergency room to get things back in order and ensure that you’re healthy.
As much as we’d like to believe that an apple a day keeps the doctor away, sometimes its imperative to visit the doctor to ensure your good health and well being. It would be even better if a doctor can come home and treat you, saving you time and energy. It is here that a trusted home health care service provider could be of immense help. Call 1800-121-2323 to know more.
Vitamin Deficiency is an age-old problem. Modernization and advancements in lifestyle have only added to the problem. You’d probably wonder why is it so, as advancements are supposed to IMPROVE our lifestyle and health, but that may not always be the case. The rapid rise of junk food and processed edibles that have a massive appeal to the taste buds have been detrimental to our body’s needs, almost always ignoring it’s requirements for necessary vitamins and minerals.
Not having enough vitamins in your daily diet can have a multitude of ill effects on your body. This includes vitamin deficiency anaemia, a condition that occurs when your body doesn’t have enough vitamins necessary to produce sufficient amounts of RBCs (Red Blood Cells) in the human body, which are essential for carrying oxygen from the lungs to all over your body. This condition, known as Vitamin deficiency anaemia, and can be caused by eating food lacking in vitamins or if your body is not able to properly absorb nutrients from the food that you eat.
Common symptoms –
Shortness of breath
Besides these, it can also cause intense weight loss, numbness in hands and feet, muscle weakness, personality changes, unsteady movements and mental confusion or forgetfulness.
That sounds scary, doesn’t it? Well this is just one example of how bad vitamin deficiency could get.
Let’s start off with listing down the 3 most common Vitamins that are found to be missing in a lot of our diets, resulting in deficiencies. These are –
Folate (Vitamin B9) –
Did you even know that B9 was known as Folate? No, right! Well it is, and it’s a rarity in most of our diets. Also known as vitamin B9, Folate is a nutrient found largely in fruits and leafy green vegetables such as Spinach, Kale etc. One of the main reasons that it may not be absorbed is because of diseases in the small intestine, such as coeliac disease, or if it has been surgically removed altogether.
Additionally alcohol and anti-seizure medications can also mean you don’t get as much as you need.
Vitamin B12 – This vitamin is found mostly in meat, eggs and milk, which means that if you’re a hardcore vegan you’re going to have problems absorbing this. It can also happen because of issues with the small intestine – like we mentioned earlier – or if you suffer from Crohn’s disease or have abnormal bacterial growth. A deficiency could also be caused by consuming tapeworm from contaminated fish so be careful where you buy your seafood from!
The most common cause, however, is a lack of intrinsic factor – a protein meant to escort B12 through the small intestine for absorption – which means it leaves the body as waste.
Vitamin C – We’ve all heard the common lingo – “Hey you need Vitamin C, it’s so easily found in citrus fruits like lemon and orange” but even then, a lot of us are deficient in this essential Vitamin. To top that up, activities like smoking reduce the body’s ability to absorb this nutrient and further worsen the condition. Deficiency of Vitamin C can cause Scurvy, and lead to bleeding gums and slow recovery of cuts and bruises. Turns out an orange a day can keep the doctor away too!
Now that you know the main essential vitamins that are most commonly deficient, let’s move on and dig a little deeper to uncover the causes of Vitamin deficiencies. Now of course you can’t help it if your body naturally has a problem absorbing certain vitamins and minerals, but what if the reasons aren’t all natural? Here’s a list of certain activities and causes that hamper the body’s ability to absorb vitamins. –
A Diet low in fat content reduces the body’s ability to absorb Vitamin E. To tackle this, include healthy fats in your diet such as olive oil, dry fruits, nut butters etc.
Alcohol consumption has an impact on folic acid levels. Alcohol consumption is bad for health anyway, but it also restricts the body’s folic acid levels and may result in the need for external supplementation.
Certain Medications can also cause vitamin deficiencies, but this is very case specific and cannot be prepared for or predicted without knowing the patient’s case history.
Certain antibiotics such as isoniazid can cause B6 deficiency.
Now that you know the gist of the problem, you have a basic idea of what the situation is and how to tackle it. What we mean is that you don’t need to wait for your gums to start bleeding or body’s absorption levels falling to take the necessary action. The best way to ensure that you’re healthy is by following a balanced diet that has enough amounts of Vitamins and Minerals and isn’t lacking in any of the above mentioned elements.
In case of exceptions or people whose diet has restrictions such as vegans or vegetarians, it is necessary to supplement your diet with external supplements and multivitamins (especially for athletes and people participating in performance sports) so that your body is adequately fuelled to grow and repair in a healthy manner.
Stay healthy, stay happy guys. Vitamin Deficiency may sound like a very small issue but the magnitude can vary from case to case and it’s best to be prepared. After all, a stitch in time saves nine! Now you can get quality vitamin tests done at the comfort of your home. Call 1800-121-2323 to know more.
Winter is a season of merriment, holidays and lots of fun filled indoor family time. It provides the much needed respite after a prolonged and intense summer. But like everything else, there is a flip side to this too – symptoms of certain health disorders get aggravated during this season.
Asthma, COPD, Arthritis (especially rheumatoid arthritis), pain due to injury, flu and cold are the most common names on this list. To keep the winter joyful and pain free, management of these diseases should be done properly and preventive steps should be taken to avoid any flare ups. Apart from the usual medications, physiotherapy too can play a crucial role in helping you deal with the symptoms of these disorders.
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Diseases (COPD)
COPD is a condition that is seen mostly in middle aged and older adults, especially those whose lung function is impaired. The most common cause of COPD is smoking and chronic asthma. It is a progressive disease that worsens over time. The treatment of COPD revolves around managing the disease condition as there is no permanent cure for this lung disorder. Physiotherapy plays an important role in treating this disease. It makes breathing easier, helps a person to remain active and relax as needed, and promotes the movement of the thorax (upper part of the body – mainly the chest area), shoulders and the neck. The different methods in which these benefits are reaped are:
Thoracic mobility exercises
While COPD and asthma have a lot of similarities, they affect different organs in the body. Unlike COPD, asthma affects the airways that lead air to and from the lungs. Asthma, though untreatable, can be better managed by adapting a healthy lifestyle, taking medications and undergoing physiotherapy. There are physiotherapists who specialise in respiratory physiotherapy. They can help you deal with your condition in the following ways:
Breathing exercises for relaxed breathing
Ensuring that your breathing is properly paced
Managing symptoms like coughing, shortness of breath and wheezing
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease that makes your joints swell and cause a lot of pain. Winter is a difficult time for those suffering from this condition as the cold weather increases your chances of having muscle spasms. It also restricts effective blood circulation in the affected areas. This triggers pain and discomfort, which if left untreated, can lead to disability in the long run. If you are facing this condition then take help from a physiotherapist immediately. He/she can help you in the following manner –
Methods to protect your joint – Rheumatoid arthritis can restrict normal movement and even lead to deformities. You need to adopt specific measures to deal with these symptoms. Here are some that your physiotherapist could recommend:
Splinting and Rest – If the condition is acute, it is best to let the joints rest to avoid any further damage. Keeping your body in a comfortable position is important in order to allow the affected area to heal. Often therapists use splints to position your joints in the correct manner. To ensure comfort, soft splints are preferred.
Compression Gloves – These gloves are used for therapeutic purposes. They provide warmth and comfort to your hands, help in reducing the pain and improve your ability to grip objects. It also helps in keeping the swelling in check.
Assistive Devices and Equipment – A lot of people, especially those who are engaged in occupations that require a high degree of mobility, often complain of problems with respect to the range of motion of various joints. Providing assistive devices and equipment like canes, walkers etc. are helpful in such cases.
Massage Therapy – A massage is often used to improve flexibility, reduce swelling and pain. It is a very good option for you as it not only reduces the agony your joints are causing but also enhances your mood.
Exercises for therapy – Exercising improves your physical capacity and helps you in staying healthy. Here are a few exercises that are prescribed by physiotherapists depending on the degree of severity of your condition:
Range of Motion (ROM) exercises – to avoid contracture.
Isometric exercises – to improve muscle tone when you have acute inflammation in your joints.
Isotonic Exercise – to deal with minor symptoms of a disorder.
It is better to consult a physiotherapist to prevent any undue aggravation of the existing symptoms for the above disease conditions. A physiotherapist can advise you regarding the measures you should take to keep your ailments in check.
According to studies conducted by researchers from the National Institute of Health, the cold and dry weather conditions during winters make it easier for various disease causing viruses to breed and transmit. This along with other factors like lowered sun exposure and staying indoors increase your susceptibility to a host of illnesses.
In order to prevent yourself from falling ill and miss out on all the fun that this season has to offer, consider the following tips –
Massage Your Aches Away
People who suffer from arthritis or other kinds of joint pain find it very difficult to get through the winter season without the pain getting the better of them. It is a known fact that joint aches and muscle pain worsen during winter. Researchers, however, have not yet ascertained the exact reason behind this increase in pain. To keep joint pain and aches at bay, consult a physiotherapist.
It is recommended to exercise daily in order to keep the joints supple and flexible. According to a study published by the Arthritis Care and Research in 2015, lack of regular exercise increases your chances of bone related disorders and obesity. Exercise also ensures that your blood circulation capacity stays optimal. Aim to get at least an hour of low impact exercises like walking and swimming on a daily basis.
During winter, the chances of you falling ill are high, so it is very important that you keep your immune system strong by adding lots of fruits and vegetables to your daily diet. Ensure to eat three to five portions of fruits every day. Replace your sugary treats and snacks with pieces of fruits such as bananas, apples or citru fruits. Bananas are a great source of potassium, fibre, energy and vitamin B6; apples are rich in antioxidants, phytonutrients and flavonoids; oranges are a great source of vitamin C.
If having raw vegetables is not your cup of tea, try making a hot stew or vegetable soup with carrots, papayas, peas and beetroot. Papaya is also rich in antioxidants and protects you from cancer and skin damage that comes with age. Papaya is also highly beneficial to people who suffer from joint pains where there is a certain degree of inflammation involved. Peas and beetroots are both good sources of vitamin C, folate and potassium.
Get that pending vaccine shot today!
Take necessary precautions by getting a flu vaccination at the earliest which can lower the chances of you suffering from the flu by about 50%. During the winter season the number of patients down with the flu is usually staggeringly high. So it is recommended that you get your flu shot done well before October or November to be on the safer side of things.
Don’t Forget to Wash Your Hands!
Even though the use of hand sanitizers has always been controversial, a recent study indicates that people who used hand sanitizers regularly decreased their chances of contracting an illness than those who did not. Often in public places it is not always possible to get access to a bathroom or germ-protection soaps. In such cases using a hand sanitizer lowers your risk of picking up harmful germs by about 59%. While using one, ensure to rub your hands for a good 15-20 seconds to completely eliminate the germs.
So don’t let diseases mar your happiness. Take good of yourself and your loved ones and enjoy the winter season to its fullest. Also, it would be wise to get in touch with a trusted home health service provider to take excellent care of health, if need arises inspite of all precautions.
Winter season often turns out to be a testing time for people with health ailments, especially respiratory disorders and arthritis. Studies also indicate that the probability of a heart attack is more in winter. The chilly conditions can have an adverse impact on wound healing and it is often reported that post surgical rehab takes relatively longer time in winter.
The following article takes a look at how Home Care Nursing can be a boon in winter by taking a look at the disease condition and the best care that can be taken for the condition
Rheumatoid Arthritis – tends to get worse during winter. The pain becomes acute during the cold weather and is further intensified if the moisture content in the air is high. This disrupts the blood circulation and causes a lot of pain. Rheumatoid arthritis thus requires more attention during the winter and having a nurse attend to your needs will ensure proper care.
How can a nurse help –
In severe cases, rheumatoid arthritis could affect your mobility. With the cold weather worsening the symptoms, it might become difficult for you to carry out routine activities like taking a trip to the washroom, wearing your clothes or even eating your food. A nursing attendant could help you out with these activities and make your day to day life easier.
Applying heat to the affected areas could provide a lot of relief to the pain and discomfort. A nurse can help with the application of hot compress to the affected area in an effective manner.
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) – This respiratory disorder tends to aggravate during the winter season. During this season, the severity of coughing and the amount of phlegm produced in the body goes up. Air pollution levels too surge during the colder months, making it difficult for those already suffering from breathing problems. Chances of medical emergencies related to the condition, including heart failure, pneumonia and pulmonary embolism are higher during the winters compared to other months. It is thus advisable to have a trained nurse by your side during these months.
How can a nurse help –
Different medications like beta-agonists that work as bronchodilators, anticholinergics which help to reduce bronchospasm and corticosteroids that contribute as an anti-inflammatory agents, can be monitored by the nurses at your home in case you have trouble breathing.
The oxygen level in your blood can become low if you suffer from COPD, as the lungs do not function to their optimum capacity. A nurse can monitor your oxygen level and if needed, put you on oxygen therapy. The process of assessing the level of oxygen and then bringing it back to normal through oxygen therapy, could become difficult for your family members to execute.
COPD puts a lot of stress on the heart. It is extremely important to keep an eye on the functioning of the heart if a person with this condition starts experiencing breathlessness. An ECG (echocardiography) can be conducted at home these days with devices that are portable and easy to use. Nurses are trained to use these portable ECG machines and call for help if required.
Moderate attacks could require you to undergo nebulization. Since the accuracy of the process determines its efficacy, it is best to go for professional help instead to doing the process on your own. If the mask of the nebuliser is not worn properly and the gas escapes from the gap between the mask and your cheek, or, if the vial containing the medicine is not attached to the device properly, then you would not get the desired result. This is why it is best to have a professional nurse supervise the process till you master it.
Pneumonia – is a lung infection that tends to aggravate in winter, especially in kids, the aged and those suffering from diseases that affect the immune system. Symptoms like chest pain when a person breathes or coughs, reduced mental awareness in adults, fever with sweating and chills could become more severe and even lead to death. This happens because people prefer staying indoors during this season and become easily susceptible to contagious diseases, including flu. Also, reduced exposure to sunlight (best source of vitamin D) leads to a fall in your immunity levels and increases chances of contracting pneumonia.
How can a nurse help –
People suffering from pneumonia could have a blocked airway due to an infection or accumulation of mucus. There are different techniques and manoeuvres that can be done to provide relief from these symptoms. Nurses are taught to use specific devices to expel the mucus and phlegm, and perform the necessary techniques to give quick relief.
Nurses could also help you undergo chest physiotherapy. Undergoing this can help you cope with your condition in a more effective manner.
Collect sputum samples for testing at regular intervals.
It is important to keep an eye on your ABG (Arterial Blood Gasses) level especially if you have less oxygen reaching your tissues (hypoxia).
For most people, winter is that time of the year when a stuffy nose and a nagging cough become their constant companion. The cold and dry weather makes it difficult for your immune system to functional optimally, thus making you susceptible to a host of health ailments including the unfriendly neighbourhood common cold.
To keep your immune system in full throttle during the winter, you can steps like eating healthy, wearing warm clothes and exercising regularly. Being aware of various common winter illnesses is another measure that will serve you well during the cold months.
To make your search easier, we have compiled a list of the six most common winter illnesses –
A Sore Throat
Extremely common during the colder months, a sore throat is usually caused by viral infections. New research has linked sore throat to the change in body temperature that takes place when you move from the comfort of your warm house to the cold outdoors. In addition to the usual symptoms, you may also experience swollen lymph nodes, headaches and high fever. Keep warm saline water handy to ease the symptoms. Other measures in managing a sore throat include drinking hot teas, soups, etc. Some people feel relief with lozenges, readily available in any pharmacy store.
As you know, the onset of winter is accompanied by chilly air. For a patient of asthma, this can lead to increased bouts of wheezing. The patient may also experience breathing difficulties. For such people, it is recommended to avoid the outdoors during cold, windy days. Keep inhalers close by and cover the nose with a scarf when outdoors.
If you are a patient of arthritis, then this is a period when you have to stay very careful about your joint health. A large number of people with bone related disorders like arthritis have reported experiencing ‘more than the usual’ pain during the cold season. Medical experts have not yet ascertained the exact reason behind this. Ofcourse, you can manage the condition better by availing the services of a physiotherapist as he/she can help you better manage the symptoms of joint pain through simple exercises and massages.
Chapped lips and flaky skin are two of the most common skin problems people experience during the colder months. Low humidity levels combined with cold winds form the perfect environment for your skin to dry up. Excessively chapped lips can also cause you to bleed from the cracks of your skin. To prevent this, opt for moisturizers which protect your skin from drying up by trapping the moisture in the skin. Also, avoid using hot water for bathing as that can further aggravate symptoms of dry skin.
When it comes to flu, there is a saying that it can strike anyone, anytime. The most common symptoms include cough, muscle aches, chills and fever. Extremely contagious, implying you can never let your guard down. Getting a flu shot is one of the best ways to immunize yourself this winter. The elderly can also opt for the pneumococcal vaccine to protect themselves from pneumonia.
Bronchitis leads to inflammation in your bronchioles. Bronchioles are small passageways in the lungs which help you breathe. In addition to breathing difficulties, bronchitis also results in sore throat, nasal blockages, fever and dehydration. The symptoms are similar to that of the common cold, but unlike the latter, they persist for a longer duration. Severe cases of bronchitis may require hospitalization.
Inspite of all precautions, if you find yourself falling ill this winter, consider consulting a doctor. Also, if you are already ill, going out in the cold weather may further add to your discomfort. It is, therefore, advisable to avail doctor consultation at home: the place where you are most comfortable at with the added advantage of being surrounded with your loved ones.