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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

Early deafness diagnosis improves teenagers reading skills

A new research says that early detection of deafness in babies is related to better reading skills later in their lives. Deafness if identified and treated at an earlier stage would give out better results. "We believe that the early superiority in the reading skills of the children who were screened may have enabled them to read more demanding material more frequently than their peers with later confirmed hearing difficulties," said lead researcher Colin Kennedy, professor at the University of Southampton in Britain. Follow up assessments when the children were aged eight showed those who were screened at birth had better language skills than those children who were not screened. This new study has now shown that longer term benefits of early detection also occur following assessments at aged 17.

"Screening all babies for hearing impairment at birth enables families to have the information they need to support their baby's development, leads to benefits of practical importance at primary school and now, secondary school and further education," Kennedy added. The study assessed the teenagers level of reading development and compared them to deaf teenagers who were not screened as newborn babies. The gap between the early and late confirmed groups had doubled between the two assessments. The study was published in the journal Archives of Disease in Childhood.

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.

Is Hibiscus the new drug to cure Diabetes Naturally

Just like any form of flu, cough and cold, diabetes has become a common disease these days. As of now, there is no particular cure for diabetes. One has to have a healthy lifestyle and also a healthy eating and living pattern to overcome this situation.

Researchers at Assam's Tezpur University and West Begal's Viswa-Bharati University have come to a conclusion that the natural essence and extracts from some particular species of hibiscus plant can help in curing diabetes.

Samir Bhattacharya, emeritus professor, School of Life Sciences (Zoology Department) at Visva-Bharati in Shantiniketan was quoted saying to a news agency: “We found that ferulic acid (FRL), belonging to the polyphenols, extracted from leaves of the plant, has the potential to be a better therapeutic agent for diabetes”.

Diabetic patients have high risk of getting blood pressure too. Research has shown that enjoying or having hibiscus tea on a regular basis is an effective way for curing diabetes with mild to moderate hypertension to lessen their BP levels.

Tea that contains Hibiscus can provide additional health benefits to diabetic patients by enhancing and improving their blood-cholesterol levels.

Scientific studies have proven that regular consumption of this herbal tea containing Hibiscus can increase the HDL cholesterol and reduce 'bad' (LDL) and overall cholesterol levels for diabetics. Hibiscus contains high levels of vitamin C, Iron absorption levels, antioxidant effects and also protection against common cold and flu.

Parents want genome sequencing for newborns

As per a new study most parents irrespective of their demographic background are very much keen to have genomic sequencing done for their newborns that would make possible for the doctors to have a personalized medicine to guide therapeutic intervention.

As next-generation genome sequencing is integrated into clinical practice, researchers are increasingly interested in genomic testing to provide valuable personalized health information for newborns beyond what existing standard newborn genetic screening produces. But such a testing, performed just after birth, requires the interest and consent of the infant's parents.

The human genome is made up of over 3 billion genetic letters- A, C, G, and T. These are known as DNA nucleotides and represent pieces of DNA called adenine, cytosine, guanine and thymine. Whole genome sequencing (WGS) involves using advanced technology to determine the order of these nucleotides within the genome. As well as enabling quicker and simpler gene discovery, scientists say that WGS may reveal previously unknown genes that contribute to diseases and that the process could lead to personalized treatment methods. Furthermore, WGS could lead to identification of lifestyle and environmental factors that affect genetic predisposition.

The study, led by researchers at Brigham and Women's Hospital (BWH) and Boston Children's Hospital, found that the majority of parents surveyed were interested in newborn genomic testing. Several other studies have measured parents' interest in newborn genomic screening but none focused on new parents in the first 48 hours.

Swine flu claims 38 more lives, death toll now 812

Swine flu claimed 38 more lives in India taking the death toll to 812 with Rajasthan and Gujarat among the worst hit states with 212 and 207 fatalities respectively, as the total number of affected crossed 13,000.

According to Health Ministry figures released today, the total number of deaths due to the disease has now reached 812 while 13,688 people have been affected with the H1N1 virus across the country.

Health Ministry officials had yesterday said that the number of people affected by swine flu was 12,963 while deaths caused by the infection was 774 as per figures available till February 20. A senior health official said that in comparison to yesterday, there has been a dip in the number of fresh positive cases.

Seven more persons succumbed to swine flu in Rajasthan. Out of 4,318 patients who tested positive for the HINI virus, 212 have died since January 1, an official of Medical and Health Directorate (MHD) said in Jaipur. In Gujarat, 10 more people died of the disease taking the death toll to 207, according to an official release.

In Maharashtra, 99 people have lost their lives with seven more deaths being reported in the state, according to Public Health Minister Dr Deepak Sawant. SIn Jammu and Kashmir, one more patient died of swine flu, taking the toll to five, while 119 have tested positive for the disease so far, officials said.

Health benefits of Chikoo

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5 myths about sex

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