10 Kidney Damaging Habits You Should Know

Kidneys are a pair of small, fist-sized organs resembling beans in shape. They are present one on each side of the spinal cord. The main function of kidneys is to filter waste and excess fluids and maintain the levels of electrolytes and fluid balance in the body. Healthy kidneys are vital in normal functioning of the body. Kidneys filter blood and excrete toxins from the body via urine.

kidney

Damage to kidneys can interrupt their ability to filter blood and fluids and excrete the toxins. Accumulation of these fluids and toxins can lead to kidney failure. Certain habits and lifestyle changes cause damage to the kidneys. Don’t you want to know what these habits are?

These are ten kidney damaging habits you should know:

1. Smoking

smoking

One of the main causes of kidney disease is high blood pressure. Smoking interferes with the medicines taken for regulating blood pressure. It also leads to higher excretion of albumin in urine and lower levels of creatinin, suggesting early stages of abnormal functioning of kidneys. Smoking also interferes with the blood flow to kidneys as it narrows the blood vessels in kidneys and damages them.

2. Excessive sugar intake

Excessive sugar intake

Sugar levels above 180 mg/dl results in kidneys expelling sugar in the urine. In diabetic conditions, excess sugar can cause kidney damage. High sugar levels damage the blood vessels in kidneys resulting in their inefficiency to work properly. This can lead to high sugar levels in urine and retention of water and salt, and accumulation of waste materials. Indulging in sweets too often should be avoided.

3. High sodium foods

Consumption of food containing high salt, elevates sodium levels in the bloodstream leading to imbalance. Too much salt affects the ability of the kidneys to remove water. High water retention and consequent strain on kidneys, result in high blood pressure which can lead to chronic kidney disease.

High sodium foods

The recommended dietary allowance (RDA) for sodium is 2-2.3 g/day. Consuming more than the recommended value can cause elevated blood pressure. Avoid eating salty foods and meat products such as ham, sausages, bacon, anchovies etc. Cutting down on cottage cheese, buttermilk, canned beans and pizza will also be beneficial. Alternative to these food products are milk, egg, fresh or frozen fish, beef, lamb etc.

4. Sedentary lifestyle

Little to no physical activity can cause damage to kidneys. Physical activity improves blood pressure and maintains glucose metabolism. Both of these factors are essential for good health of kidneys. Sitting still for a long period of time with no physical activity can affect the blood pressure and can put stress on the kidneys and eventually lead to damaging them. Sitting for more than 7-10 hours a day is bad for health. Routine exercise, for about 2-4 hours a day, can benefit in reducing the risk of any damage to kidneys.

5. Excess use of painkillers

Excess use of painkillers

Pain medications such as NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) reduce blood flow to the kidneys. Pain medications may provide relief from the pain but they also possess health risk such as damage to kidneys, fluid retention and increase in blood pressure. Long term intake of painkillers can cause irreversible kidney damage and chronic kidney failure. These medications should only be taken as per prescribed dosage.

6. Inadequate water intake

Low water intake is also one of the main reasons for the development of kidney stones. Dehydration is also one of major causes for kidney diseases. Adequate amount of water consumed, helps kidneys excrete sodium and toxins from the body, thereby rendering it healthy. A total of 2-3 liters of water or fluids should be consumed per day to prevent kidney stones and other damages to kidneys.

7. High protein diet

Reports have shown that a high protein diet can increase the progression of kidney damage in patients already suffering from kidney disease. High protein consumption can also lead to acidosis and harm the kidneys. A well balanced diet with vegetables can be consumed to avoid the damage. Recommended dietary allowance (RDA) for protein in adults is 0.8 g/kg/day. Limiting protein in the diet can help in decreasing the loss of kidney function. Meat, dairy products and nuts should be avoided to decrease the protein intake.

8. High alcohol consumption

High alcohol consumption

Alcohol, even in small amounts, can have a negative impact on kidneys’ functioning. Alcohol causes dehydration, putting a strain on the kidneys to maintain the water level during this time. Excessive alcohol intake can also lead to vomiting and impaired pH levels, resulting in strain on the kidneys. Intoxication also interferes with kidneys’ function to filter blood and fluids, thus impairing their normal function. Excess alcohol can cause a strain on kidneys for prolonged period of time, resulting in kidney damage. People who drink and smoke have a higher chance of kidney diseases.

9. Full bladder for a long time

Full bladder for an extended period of time can result in too much pressure on the kidneys and may increase the risk of infection or kidney damage. Holding it in for too long results in the kidneys retaining toxins and fluids that harm them.

10. Sleep deprivation

Sleep deprivation

A study reports that, kidney function is regulated by the sleep-wake cycle. Less amount of sleep is directly proportional to a faster decline in kidney function. Missing out on sleep can disturb the functioning of kidneys. Less than 6.5 hours of sleep daily can lead to chronic kidney disease (CKD). Getting enough sleep for about 7-8 hours a night can help in maintaining normal kidney function and decreasing the risk and prevention of CKD.

Kidney damage occurs gradually over a period of time. The main causes are these habits and improper lifestyle choices. Little changes in these lifestyle choices can help slow the progression of kidney damage and help prevent severe kidney disorders. Drinking sufficient water, following a healthy well balanced diet, getting proper sleep, routine exercise etc. are certain factors that can be regulated and managed properly to avoid health complications. Remember, healthy kidneys help in maintaining a healthy body. So we need to take care of kidneys to stay healthy.

What is Salt Room Therapy?

Salt room therapy is one of the newer alternative therapies that is rapidly gaining popularity for all the right reasons. It is based on the principle that direct exposure to the right amount of salt helps in rejuvenating all the body tissues. It is part of dry salt therapy and has been used successfully to treat several disorders.

Salt room

Salt room therapy is inspired by an ancient form of therapy that originated in Poland. People used to visit caves that were known to have a good amount of salt deposits. Exposure to salt helped them get rid of several ailments. There are several spas and health resorts all over Europe, America and Asia offering salt room therapy.

Health Benefits of Salt Room Therapy for Patients

Some of the health benefits of salt room therapy are mentioned below:

Respiratory System:

Salt room therapy is said to be the most beneficial, for treatment of respiratory disorders. Patients suffering from asthma, COPD, asbestosis, experienced considerable improvement in their symptoms after regular sessions of salt room therapy.

Respiratory System

Exposure to dry air laced with salt helps in drying up the unhealthy secretions of lungs and bronchial tubes. This is one of the major benefits of salt room therapy for lung ailments.

Nervous System:

Salt room therapy is known to have a rejuvenating effect on tired and fatigue ridden nerves. Many people who need a break from their daily grind opt for a session of salt room therapy and come back refreshed.

Nervous System

Salt particles help in stimulating nerves to conduct electrical impulses better and leave the patient feeling energetic. Salt room therapy is also known to have beneficial effects in curbing headaches of nervous origin, migraine, spinal nerve disorders etc.

Mental Health:

Exposure to salt and minerals stimulates energy levels and also enhances blood circulation to all body tissues. This helps in improving cerebral circulation and helps in maintaining healthier brain cells.

Patients battling depression have experienced great benefits from regular salt room sessions. Anxiety, sleep disorders, mood disorders are also known to benefit from this therapy.

Skin and Hair:

It is said that salt helps in balancing the moisture levels of skin. People undergoing salt room therapy get their skin directly exposed to salt. This allows the salt particles to repair dead and damaged skin and help to retain the required amount of moisture.

Skin and Hair

Health conditions like psoriasis, eczema, dermatitis respond very well to salt room therapy. Salt has an anti bacterial effect which makes it an efficient cure for skin infections. Aside from skin disorders, salt therapy also helps in cleansing the skin and making it healthier. People who opted for salt room therapy as part of rejuvenation, developed healthy, glowing and soft skin.

Salt is also known to have a beneficial effect on one’s immune system. It helps to control levels of IgE and thus helps in battling allergic responses. Salt is a known anti inflammatory agent. Therefore, salt therapy is also helpful for patients suffering from joint disorders, auto immune disorders etc.

Salt Room Therapy for Healthy People

Other than helping to treat several health disorders, salt room therapy is also known to provide a rejuvenating and relaxing experience. Many people who want a break from their daily grind, indulge in salt room therapy regularly. People have reported feeling fresh and more energetic by spending time in a salt room on a regular basis. Salt room therapy helps to get rid of mental stress, tired nerves, muscular soreness, which has become part of the daily fast paced life most people lead.

What is a Salt Room?

Salt room therapy is conducted in artificially built salt caves. Temperature controlled rooms are built in an attempt to simulate a sea side experience, minus the humidity. Floor of these rooms is layered with salt and salt is also introduced in the room through air vents. Due to absence of humidity, patients can can experience the benefit of dry salt therapy. The salt is usually imported from ancient caves in Poland known for their rich salt deposits or from Himalayas. The salt is then processed and refined before using it for therapy sessions.

A halogenerator is used in most of the spas offering salt room therapy. This device filters and spreads salt evenly into the salt rooms during therapy sessions. People can enjoy a relaxing session of dry salt therapy in one of these rooms for a time span of anywhere between 25-45 minutes. Salt therapy does not make use of chemicals, steroids or any artificial preparations. This makes is 100% safe with little possibility of side effects.

Limitations of Salt Room Therapy

Salt room therapy has proven to be beneficial since ancient times. People have been benefiting from it since as early as the 1800s. However, no scientific or medical experiment has been conducted to prove its efficacy. Therefore, this therapy has not received adequate recognition.

There is no documented evidence of salt therapy proving to be beneficial in every patient. The therapy cannot replace medical or surgical treatment completely. It has to be used in conjunction with main stream treatment. While ancient proofs and documents exist about how salt therapy was discovered and used, there is no proof of any recent study being done for the same.

Contraindications of Salt Room Therapy

While salt room therapy is impressing one and all across the globe, it may not be helpful for everyone. Certain health conditions may contradict the use of salt room therapy.

Pregnant women should not undergo this therapy; especially if they have been battling blood pressure issues. It is also inadvisable for patients with cardiac disorders to opt for this therapy. While salt room therapy has proven to be beneficial in case of respiratory ailments, it should be avoided during acute exacerbations of symptoms. Patients who have recently suffered from burn injuries, should also refrain from undergoing salt room therapy as it may irritate the skin.

Salt room therapy should be chosen as a treatment method, only if it has been approved by a qualified physician. This form of therapy is widely available in Europe, America and parts of Asia.

Hole in the Heart – Causes, Symptoms & Treatment

There are a wide variety of diseases and disorders concerning the heart which is part of cardiovascular system in human body. Some of them are in the body since birth and some are contracted later on in life. The former category is termed as congenital heart defects and the latter is called acquired heart diseases.

Hole in the heart

Atherosclerosis, coronary artery disease, heart rhythm disorders, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, are some of the cardiac diseases people suffer. Again, there are a number of diseases that come under the collective umbrella of congenital defects or congenital heart diseases. Anomalous pulmonary venous return, Atrial septal defect (ASD), Atrioventricular septal defect (AVSD), Ventricular septal defect (VSD), Tetralogy of Fallot are few congenital heart defects. In this article, ASD and VSD are discussed ahead.

What is hole in heart?

Hole in the heart is a layman term for denoting ventricular septal defect (VSD) and atrial septal defect (ASD). VSD is less common in adults, because some VSDs close on their own.

The heart is made of different components like left and right atria which are known as the chambers of the heart, blood vessels comprising of capillaries, veins and arteries and lastly tricuspid and mitral valves. In a healthy person, blood travels from heart to lungs for oxygen, and in turn oxygenated blood is provided to the body. Congenital heart defects are a result of structural abnormalities of formation of components of the heart. And thus, when there are defects or malformations since birth, the pumping function does not take place as it should.

What is hole in the heart

The heart starts developing at 22 days in a baby, when it is still inside the womb. The inside structures and chambers start forming by the 28th day. Structural defects form when the inner parts do not form correctly. When there is a heart defect in the child, the blood flow to the heart becomes abnormal and is reflected in his or her heartbeats. However, a normal life is possible for the child that is born with an Atrial or Ventricular Septal Defect after the conditions are treated. Adults with complex heart defects are also able to lead productive lives with the help of medications, treatments and lifestyle changes. Congenital heart defects are referred to as or congenital cardiovascular malformations, congenital heart disease or heart defects.

What are the causes of hole in the heart?

There is no set data that supports occurrence or origin of congenital heart disease. However, the development of congenital heart defects can be attributed to following factors:

  • Gestational Diabetes: When blood sugar levels in pregnant women having gestational diabetes is uncontrolled, this leads to anatomical defects in the growing fetus.
  • Rubella: Women who contract rubella during their pregnancies are likely to cause the baby to get congenital heart defects. If a pregnant woman has not undergone vaccination against this virus, she is likely to pass on the virus to the unborn baby, who in turn develops heart problems, liver disorders, mental disabilities etc.
  • Genetic History: There may be a family history of this particular heart defect that may cause the unborn child to develop congenital heart defect. Congenital heart defect may be passed on to the first child, if anyone of the parent has it. Likewise, heart defects are likely to occur in children, if any of the parents have had it from their childhood.
  • Smoking: Cigarette smoke has a number of toxins like nicotine, carbon monoxide, arsenic etc. These poisonous substances do not allow nutrients and oxygen to reach the baby or get absorbed well. Any type of smoke is harmful for the baby and can cause health problems like lung disorders, pre-term birth, congenital heart defects, to name a few.
  • Drinking: Alcohol consumption during pregnancy is also not advisable, as it has the capacity to interfere with development of the child’s heart. Consumption of alcohol can also be attributed to the unborn baby developing congenital heart defects. Drugs like cocaine are also a contributing factor in structural problems and cardiac malformations in the child.

What are the symptoms of hole in the heart?

Provided herewith are signs and symptoms that are seen in anyone suffering from Atrial or Ventricular Septal Defect.

Symptoms like fatigue, difficulty in breathing after exercise or littlest of exertion, swelling in legs and abdomen, and weakness suggest possible presence of congenital heart defects in adults.

symptoms of hole in the heartLikewise, signs like a bluish tint in the fingernails, skin, and lips, fast breathing and shortness of breath while breast-feeding, are the signs that suggest congenital heart defects in babies. Also, if the hole in the heart is small, it may not show any symptoms.

The doctor may order chest X-ray, electrocardiogram, echocardiography, pulse oximetry, color Doppler for diagnosing a congenital heart defect. A chest X-ray can spot abnormalities in the blood vessels and chambers in heart. Whereas, the electrical signals in the heart are measured with the help of an electrocardiogram to diagnose cardiac problems. Functions of heart valves and heart chambers are mapped with the help of an echocardiography. Thickness of ventricles can be useful in detecting congenital heart defects. Pulse oxymetry will reveal oxygen quantity in the blood and that will help in determining presence of defect in the heart. Color Doppler studies blood flow through the blood vessels. This helps in determining abnormalities in the heart chambers.

What are the treatments required for hole in the heart?

There are various treatment methods available for treatment of congenital heart diseases. However, many deciding factors influence the method of treating this disease.
Sometimes, medications like beta blockers and diuretics can be sufficient to rein on the condition and sometimes, a combination of treatments has to be implemented for treating the congenital heart defect.

Surgery is only recommended, if the congenital defect causes serious symptoms and discomfort to the child. Sometimes, if the defect is small, it closes on its own.

Heart Transplant – This heart transplant procedure employs implant of a new heart from a donor’s body to treat the cardiac or congenital heart defect in the patient. It is only done, when other treatments for treating the cardiac illness haven’t worked out. This surgery takes a minimum of 4-6 hours.
The patient is connected to a heart-lung by-pass machine that carries out functions of both of these organs during procedure. A cut is made near the breastbone for accessing the heart. After which, the existing heart is taken out, and the new transplanted one is connected to the veins and arteries. The body’s response to the new transplant is monitored through follow-up treatments. A lot of lifestyle changes need to be incorporated after the transplant in order to prevent the body rejecting the new heart.

Catheterization – Cardiac Catheterization involves treatment of the cardiac defect without opening the heart chamber for accessing the heart. It is used both as a diagnostic as well as surgical procedure.
Cardiac catheterization helps the doctor in diagnosing blockages, heart valve disorders, and also combining it with surgical procedures like angioplasty and valvuloplasty to name a few. Likewise, cardiac catheterization is a technique used for diagnosing congenital heart defects as well. The hole in the heart is closed with the help of a catheter. The catheter is threaded through a vein in the leg and up to the heart. The catheter, thus repairs holes in the heart’s walls.

Open Heart Surgery – It can also be termed as corrective surgery for congenital heart defects. Open heart surgery is the technique used for treatment of the particular heart defect.

Atrial Septal Defect and Ventricular Septal Defect can be treated using an open heart surgery. If left untreated, the hole in the heart can lead to medical problems, such as arrhythmia, heart failure and the like.
This surgery starts with an 8-10 inch long incision done on the patient’s chest. Another incision across the breastbone makes the surgeon get a clearer view of the heart. Next, a heart-lung machine is connected for performing function of the heart and for oxygenating and circulating blood. Patches are placed for repairing ventricular or arterial defects. The incisions are then sealed. The patch that was placed, then naturally gets covered by heart tissue lining and it becomes a part of the heart for rest of the life.

Fairly, all congenital heart defects can be treated with the help of medication or surgery. The defect also does not have a long-term effect on the child’s day-to-day activities or health. The child will do just fine once he/she is operated on.

Best Health Checkup Packages in India

Medical industry all over the world has undergone a major paradigm shift. Thanks to its continuous evolution, the life span of humans has increased drastically as compared to what it was a 100 years ago. The medical industry comprises of the pharmaceutical companies, hospitals, clinics, health insurance companies and of course the human resources behind it. All these entities and the scientific organizations have worked relentlessly all these years for bringing this face-lift we are seeing in terms of health. No longer there are deaths happening because of polio, cholera or AIDS or for that matter diseases which ended thousands of lives in the past. best-health-checkups-in-india Continue reading “Best Health Checkup Packages in India”

Spa Therapies – Types, Health Benefits and Cost in india

Spa. What does this three letter word bring to your mind?? A luxury or just a cosmetic route for relaxing your mind and body? Majority of you readers would have answered with the first one had we been living in the 19th century. Spas and the various services they provide in terms of their packages are becoming more and more accessible to people of different social status. Cosmetic therapies and alternative medicine practices for mind and body relaxation are gaining traction with people these days. Naturopathy, aromatherapy, acupuncture, reflexology are just few forms of alternate medicine.

A spa is a place for illegal activities is a popular misnomer among sections of society. However, it is a total misgiving and false assumption. A spa to put in simple terms is a therapy center that offers facials, massages and other cosmetic services. Spas are registered with appropriate governing bodies. spa-services-in-india

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Why is Visceral Fat Harmful for Your Health?

What do you see when you look into a full-length mirror? A chiseled and well-maintained body without a single love handle or a body with too many curves? Good for you if you answered with the first point. But really bad news, if it is the second point that was your answer! Yes, you guessed it right. We will be talking about FAT here, especially visceral fat.

why-is-visceral-fat-harmfulIt is everyone’s pipe dream these days to have a flat stomach and enviable washboard abs just like those models gracing glossy magazine covers. However, sadly, this pipe-dream does not reach fruition beyond a couple of weeks after the dust has settled on the new year. Most people then resign to the fact that they would never be able to vanish the ugly fat deposits they have in different regions on their body. As a result they choose to not leave the comforts of their bed every morning. Also eating anything and everything without thinking of its consequences!  Continue reading “Why is Visceral Fat Harmful for Your Health?”

MR Spectroscopy (MRS) Scan in India

MRI Spectroscopy also known as Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy (MRS) is a type of investigation which involves studying a particular body tissue for any metabolic changes that may have taken place. It is similar to MRI but with slightly advanced techniques. MRS is used for the study of nervous system most of the times.

Metabolism is a normal physiological phenomenon taking place in all body tissues. It leads to the formation of certain byproducts which could remain deposited in the tissue. MRS analyses the presence and quantity of these metabolites in order to come to a conclusion.

It cannot be a primary investigation in any patient. Diagnosis is usually done with the help of MRI scan, CT scan, USG etc. MRS helps in studying the abnormal tissue even more clearly to determine the intensity of damage. Continue reading “MR Spectroscopy (MRS) Scan in India”

Is it Myopia? Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis and Treatment

What is Myopia?

Myopia is among the many errors of refraction that affect the eyes. Also known as ‘near sightedness’ or ‘short sightedness,’ it hinders the ability of the eyes to see things which are placed far off.

Myopia today has acquired an ‘epidemic-like’ status, with an estimate of 2.5 billion people expected to be plagued by it till the year 2020. With people involved in more or less sedentary lifestyles and near-work most of the time, myopia has started increasing in terms of its incidence and prevalence over the years.

Most of us today are guilty of spending more and more time on our ‘screens’ such as smartphones, laptops and computers for abnormally large periods of time. Add to that our genetic tendencies and other environmental factors, we are in for a troubled vision which includes a spectrum of ocular diseases apart from myopia.

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