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Menopause

Menopause is the physiological phenomenon of stoppage of menstruation. It occurs in all of the wo...

FOOD BUDGET

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Tannins are a broad class of compounds that is present in tea, red wine, cocoa, chocolates, coffe...

Glaucoma

Glaucoma is caused due to increased pressure inside the eye. It is a dangerous eye disorder, whic...

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Treatment Options To Quit Smoking And Prevent Nicotine Dependence

Smoking is estimated to the most commonly preventable cause of death in the US. Stoppage of smoking leads to immediate benefit of health. For younger smokers quitting smoking leads to having normal life expectancy whereas for older people quality of life is improved along with along with addition of years to life.It is reported that the risk of several diseases drop immediately following giving up smoking. The risk of heart attack becomes 50% less in the first year of quitting smoking, in the second and third years of quitting smoking the risk of suffering from stroke becomes comparable to a non smoker and tenth year of smoking quitting the risk of suffering from cancer becomes half. There are several treatment options which help a smoker to give up smoking successfully. These options are usually the most helpful when used in combination.
The treatment options are
1. Drugs: these drugs include nicotine replacement therapy and non nicotine drugs. Both of these treatment options are approved by the FDA, USA. Pregnant, breastfeeding women, smokers less than 18 years etc should consult doctors before choosing the appropriate drugs,
    A.  Nicotine replacement therapy: in nicotine replacement therapy nicotine is advised to relieve the bothersome withdrawal symptoms. Unlike common belief  nicotine does not cause cancer. Nicotine supplements are given via various forms like nicotine patches, chewing gums, spray,inhalers etc.
        1.Nicotine patches are applied on the skin so that nicotine is delivered to the blood stream. The patch is replaced every day with a new one. The total duration of nicotine patch treatment is 8 weeks, if craving or the symptoms is not relieved despite treatment for two weeks or more doctor should be consulted regarding the dose of the nicotine in the patch or use of other addition al drugs.
        2.Nicotine chewing gums: these gums release nicotine in the oral cavity which enters the blood stream through the linings of the mouth. Drinking and eating should be avoided immediately after chewing the gums
        3.Nicotine lozenges act in the same way as the nicotine gums by releasing nicotine in the mouth and then reaching the blood stream
        4.Nicotine nasal spray and inhalers: these are prescription drugs which when sprayed or inhaled through the nostrils gets absorbed through the mucosal lining of the nose into the blood stream.
    B.  Non nicotine drugs: there are some drugs approved for use in nicotine dependence. These are
        1.Bupropion: this antidepressant drug raises the level of dopamine in the brain just like the nicotine and relieves the withdrawal symptoms. This drug is often prescribed along with nicotine patch. Bupropion also helps to lower the weight gain following quitting smoking. people with past history of seizure or severe degree of head injury should avoid this drug.
        2.Varenicline: this drug binds with nicotine receptor and thus relieves the withdrawal symptoms and also reduces the pleasant effects experienced with nicotine use.
        3.Nortriptyline: this antidepressant helps in nicotine withdrawal by lowering noradrenalin level in the brain

2. Counseling: often drugs are combined with counseling to get maximum benefit. Counseling options are
    a.  Telephone counseling
    b.  Group counseling
    c.  Individual counseling
    d.  Internet counseling
Use of certain products may help the person to avoid smoking, although scientific evidences regarding the usefulness of these products are not very strong. These products include certain herbs, supplements, nicotine lollipops, balms, hypnosis, electronic cigarettes etc.
Certain tips are helpful to refrain from smoking, these are
1. Motivating oneself all the time
2. Do not be discouraged if slip occurs
3. Identifying individual triggering factors for smoking and the challenges to remain tobacco free
4. Seek support whenever necessary
5. Practicing self talk
6. Regularly evaluating the benefits achieved from quitting smoking
7. Avoiding alcohol
Measures to prevent nicotine dependence
The best measure to prevent nicotine dependence is complete avoidance of smoking and other tobacco containing products.
As a parent or responsible citizen certain measures can be taken; these are
1) Promotion of smoke fee environments
2) Supporting laws which increases taxes on cigarettes and other tobacco containing products
3) Talking to teenagers regarding their ideas on smoking
4) Taking part in different community services which promote avoiding tobacco

Jimmy Carter wins over cancer

Jimmy Carter, the former President of United States wins over cancer. He said the melanoma that was found in his liver and spread to his brain has cleared. He made the announcement during Sunday school teaching at Maranatha Baptist Church in Plains, GA.

Carter said he would continue to receive regular three-week treatments. The former president said in August he had four spots of melanoma on his brain. A 1-inch mass in his liver was removed earlier that month, and a biopsy revealed the cancer was melanoma. Carter said he would receive radiation as well as the immunotherapy drug to treat the cancer as part of his treatment at Atlanta’s Emory University Winship Cancer Center. He described the spots in his brain as small – about 2 millimeters each. But cancer that has spread so extensively is classified as Stage IV.

The American politician and author Jimmy Carter who served as the 39th President of the United States from 1977 to 1981. He was awarded the 2002 Nobel Peace Prize for his work with the Carter Center. Last month, the Carter Center – the non-profit founded by the former president and his wife Rosalynn – released an update on Carter’s health, saying “recent tests have shown there is no evidence of new malignancy, and his original problem is responding well to treatment. Further tests will continue.”

Losing weight, quitting smoking may reduce risk of old age Dementia

A new study has showed that old age dementia can be controlled by losing weight, quitting smoking and also reduces the risk of heart diseases and diabetes.

Dementia is not just a term or single disease in itself, but it is rather a general term that would show some symptoms such as memory impairments, communication and thinking problems etc.

the researchers have also suggested that dementia can be included as a part national public health prevention and detection programs along with some other non communicable diseases. It is always better to treat this at the earliest than too late to make healthy lifestyle changes.

The World Alzheimer's Report 2014 commissioned by Alzheimer's disease International said that dementia's links to physical health could be effective at fending off dementia even in later life.

It is founded that Diabetes can hamper a person's risk of developing Dementia by about 50 percent. Obesity and lack of physical activity leads to high blood pressure, which is been associated with many cases of dementia.

Marc Wortmann, executive director of Alzheimer's Disease International, said that the risk factors for dementia "overlap" with those of other major non-communicable diseases. It would draw out similarities with that of many forms of non-communicable diseases.

George McNamara, head of policy at the UK's Alzheimer's Society, said many lifestyle factors play a key role in the development of dementia.

Gutka ban is working, but is not enough

The ban on Gutka has laid an impact in access, usage, price and display the point of sale as per the study conducted by the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health and the World Health Organization Country Office for India.

The products that are brought separately and mixed to be consumed as Gutka should also be banned. Government is deciding on expansion of Gutka ban to all smokeless tobacco products. In order to ensure the complete compliance of the ban, enforcement mechanisms needs to be more emphasized and strengthened.

Provision for tobacco cessation services to be scaled up to cater to the unmet need for cessation after the ban. It is important to stop production and sale of gutka. All kinds of pan masala and gutka contain addictive substance which is being projected as lifestyle and desirable product.

The products like pan masala are also made in use to produce products such as Gutka and also for manufacturing purpose under the same brand name. The pan masala products are largely advertised and also acts as a surrogate or alternate advertising medium for smokeless and effectless tobacco. Therefore, the Government needs to take urgent action to stop advertisements of pan masala to protect the vulnerable sections of society including the youth.

Eating certain fats might offset some heart risk from weight gain

If you are, by any chance, going to overindulge yourself and plan to gain some weight, do make sure about the fact that the extra calories come from the unsaturated fats, as per the latest study.

Lean and thin people when pack on even a few extra kilos, the risk factors related to heart in the blood stream tend to change- some for the better if the excess food contains unsaturated fats, versus saturated fats, researchers found.

Even a moderate weight gain of about three pounds for lean, young people clearly increased markers of heart disease risk factors like insulin resistance as well as signs of impaired vascular function, said senior author Dr. Ulf Riserus of the Unit for Clinical Nutrition and Metabolism at Uppsala Science Park in Sweden.

A blood test related to this study was conducted in which it was found that the sunflower oil group had lower level of cholesterol and lipid at the end of the study, than they had at the beginning of the study. But as in case of palm oil group, the cholesterol moderately went up.

Both groups showed signs of increased insulin resistance, a diminished ability to process blood sugar that can be a warning sign for diabetes onset. Saturated and unsaturated fats have different molecular effects on the liver. Unsaturated fats signal the liver to take up cholesterol from the blood, as per the researchers.

Replacing some saturated fats in like fatty beef, butter and cheese with with unsaturated fats like vegetable oils and nuts will be effective.

Severe psychological stress lowers ability to bear physical pain

Psychological stress describes what people feel when they are under mental, physical, or emotional pressure. Although it is normal to experience some psychological stress from time to time, people who experience high levels of psychological stress or who experience it repeatedly over a long period of time may develop health problems.

Stress can be caused both by daily responsibilities and routine events, as well as by more unusual events, such as a trauma or illness in oneself or a close family member. When people feel that they are unable to manage or control changes caused by cancer or normal life activities, they are in distress. A new study has found that high amount of psychological stress has harmful effect on the body's ability to modulate physical pain.

Prof. Ruth Defrin of Physical Therapy at TAU's said that the type of stress and magnitude of its appraisal actually determines its interaction with the pain system, so if the perceived stress was high, the pain modulation capabilities would be more dysfunctional. Prof. Defrin further added that previous studies have always suggested that chronic stress was far more damaging than acute stress, as it not only dysfunction pain modulation capabilities but also leads to chronic pain and systemic illness.

The researcher concluded and advised to do everything in a controlled power and adopt relaxation and stress reduction techniques as well as therapies to reduce the amount of stress in life. The study is published in the journal PAIN.

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