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Slow heartbeat called bradycardia, is a disorder of the heart’s rhythm. Each day, a normal heart beats about 100,000 times, at a rate from 60 to 100 times a minute. Changes in heart rate caused by activity, diet, medications and age are normal and common.

A heart rate of less than 60 beats per minute (BPM) in adults is called bradycardia. This slow beat may depend on your age and physical condition.

  • Physically active adults often have a resting heart rate slower than 60 BPM but it doesn’t cause problems and is normal for them.
  • Your heart rate may fall below 60 BPM during deep sleep.
  • Elderly people are more prone to problems with a slow heart rate.

The heartbeat is controlled by an electrical system that signals the heart muscle to contract, or “squeeze,” pumping blood to the rest of the body. Bradycardia happens when the system slows or blocks these signals.

Complications of bradycardia:

Severe, prolonged untreated bradycardia can cause:

  • Heart failure
  • Loss of consciousness, fainting
  • Chest pain
  • Low blood pressure or hypotension
  • High blood pressure or hypertension

Treatment of Slow Heart Rhythms:

Heart medications  used to treat other illnesses can cause bradycardia. In these cases the risks and benefits of continuing those medications must be thought about carefully.

Usually, unless the causes are temporary or there are medications that can be changed, the treatment for bradycardia that causes symptoms is a pacemaker.


Dry Skin

Dryness of the skin is marked by scaling, itching, and cracking

Skin is one of the largest organs of the body. It has two layers, epidermis and dermis. Skin protects the body from infections and acts as a natural barrier from mechanical impact, temperature variations, micro-organisms, radiation and chemicals.

Skin regulates the body’s temperature and helps to maintain fluid balance via sweat. Skin’s nerve cells or receptors help to identify cold, heat, touch and pain. During neuropathy, a condition seen in diabetics the nerve cells of the skin are damaged and increase the risk of severe wounds.

Skin isn’t uniform for everyone. There are different types of skin – normal, dry, oily, combination, sensitive and mature types. The type of skin depends on external (climate, skin care) and internal (medications and hormonal changes).

Dry skin is an abnormality, and also known as Dermatitis. Dry skin occurs during winters due to lack of moisture in the atmosphere and features scaling, itching and cracking. Dry skin is mostly found on legs, arms and belly region. In some, dry skin may also occur from birth. Dry skin or dermatitis may be allergic, atopic, contact and seborrheic.


Dry skin may occur due to many factors. Dry skin is found in people who have less of oil producing glands on the skin. Women are at higher risk of dry skin than men. Those who spend more time in water, and those having greater exposure to more sunlight or UV rays also suffer from dry skin. Also, people living in dry and cold areas are more likely to suffer from dry skin.


Dry skin is evident as skin tightness, roughness, itching (pruritus), flaking, cracks, ashy skin, redness and deep cracks.


The more the age of the individual, the greater the risk of dry skin. Those who live in dry, cold and low-humid climates are also more at the risk of dry skin. Those who swim frequently in chlorinated pools also experience dry skin. The complications of dry skin are evident as infections like eczema.


The specialist doctor or dermatologist checks  your skin and looks for any infections. The doctor inquires about your bathing habits, diet and your skin care practices. Each patient’s history of skin infections and thyroid profile are also checked.


The standard treatment for dry skin includes use of moisturizers and avoiding hot showers and baths. Doctor’s advice is needful when dry skin leads to serious skin diseases such as eczema, psoriasis and others. Cracked skin can be treated by wet dressings to prevent infection.

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Depression is a serious mental illness that has an impact on both physical and mental health of the affected

Depression is a mental health condition where the affected suffers from low mood, feeling of worthlessness and lack of concentration. Depression is marked by insomnia (no sleep) or hypersomnia (excess sleep), impaired concentration, restlessness, weight loss or gain. Depression may not occur due to a drug or medication, or as a result of a medical condition viz. hypothyroidism. Depression may lead to a variety of emotional and physical problems. Depression requires treatment on long-term basis that includes medication, psychological counseling or both.


There are different types of depression – anxious depression occurs when something goes out of hand or someone loses control; atypical depression occurs due to increased appetite and sensitivity to rejection; catatonia depression is marked by uncontrolled and purposeless movement; and Peripartum depression occurs during pregnancy or post delivery.


Different people experience depression due to different factors. Depression may result from physical or emotional abuse or use of certain medication. Conflicts with people and death of someone close may increase the risk of depression. Significantly, personal issues and problems may lead to isolation and depression. Sudden change of fortunes and a prolonged illness may throw some into depression.


Depression in young and the old is evident as sadness, irritability, clinginess and turning to be extremely sensitive. The symptoms of depression are evident as loss of interest in normal activities, insomnia, anxiety, agitation, trouble in thinking, urge to commit suicide, back pain or headache.

Risks and Complications:

Some factors increase the risk of depression. Low self-esteem, huge financial losses, alcoholism and chronic health conditions viz. cancer, stroke and heart disease may increase the risk of depression.

Complications of depression are evident as obesity, illness, anxiety, panic or phobia, family conflict, social isolation, suicidal feelings, self-mutilation or punishment and premature death.

Tests and Diagnosis:

The doctor looks for health problems, that may include hereditary diseases and infections. For this, the doctor may recommend for a complete blood test. A depressed employee is referred by the employer for psychological evaluation. The doctor identifies the type of depression and provides treatment accordingly.


The standard treatment for depression includes medications and psychological counseling (psychotherapy). The cooperation and coordinated work with family members of the affected and community is crucial for successful treatment of depression.


Surgical Wound Care Tips

A surgical wound is any incision made on the skin as part of the surgery. Incisions may be small or long depending on the type and requirement of the surgical procedure. If an incision is made at an area where a cut was made earlier, it may lead to skin break. All incisions need to be closed properly with sutures (stitches).

When incisions are not closed by your doctor, you may need to take care till the wounds heal. Usually, the surgical wound heals bottom-up. Proper dressing of the incision helps in absorption, allows the  skin from closing and fills-in the wound underneath.


You should wash your hands properly, before you change the dressing. Follow some simple steps:

  • Ensure that your hands are free of jewelry
  • Soak your hands in warm running water
  • Wash your hands for 15 to 30 seconds
  • Rinse well and clean your nails too
  • Dry hands with a clean towel


Follow these simple steps

  • Put on a clean medical glove
  • Remove the old dressing gently
  • Wet the old dressing, if it sticks or fails to come off
  • Put the old dressing in a plastic bag
  • Clean your hands


The consulting doctor or attending nurse will guide you on removing and dressing the surgical wound

  • Wash your hands before you dress the wound
  • Open a sterile dressing package by holding the upper two edges of the package and don’t tear the package open
  • Touch only the edges of the new dressing and don’t touch any part of the dressing that will cover the incision
  • Secure the dressing by putting tape on it
  • Clean and dry your hands after dressing the wound


You have to strictly follow the instructions provided by your doctor or nurse while taking care of the incision site.

  • Wash your hands and dry them before caring for your incision.
  • Unless advised by the doctor, do not apply any creams, salves, ointments or powders
  • Remove the old dressing before you take a shower. Do not poke, scratch or rub your incision, but pat the incision site dry with a clean towel and put on a new dressing. If the doctor allows for tub bath, you can have it
  • Ensure that the incision site is always kept dry, especially when the dressing is on your hand or arm
  • The incision may show clear or slightly bloody drain, which is reduced in course of time
  • Avoid exposing incisions to sunlight


The signs and symptoms of infection may include, redness, swelling, unusual drainage, warmth at incision site, increased pain, and fever of 100.40 F. If you find any signs of infection at the location of the incision report immediately to the doctor.


Peptic Ulcer Disease

Peptic Ulcer develops in the lining of the stomach or duodenum, and caused by the bacteria called Helicobacter Pylori

Peptic ulcers develop inside the lining of the stomach and in the upper portion of your small intestine. The common symptom of peptic ulcer is stomach pain. Peptic ulcers include gastric and duodenal ulcers. Infection caused by bacterium Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) is considered as the major cause for peptic ulcer. Painkillers, stress and spicy food definitely make the symptoms worse.


The primary cause for peptic ulcer is the occurrence of Helicobacter pylori bacteria which lives in the tissues of stomach and small intestine. This bacterium spreads from one person to another by close contact with the infected, food and water.


Stomach pain is the most common symptom of peptic ulcer. It turns worse between meals and at night. Other symptoms of peptic ulcer include, fullness feeling, bloating and belching, food intolerance, heartburn, weight loss and nausea.


People who smoke, drink alcohol and eat spicy foods are greatly at the risk of peptic ulcer. The complications of peptic ulcer are evident as internal bleeding, infection and obstruction. Continuous bleeding leads to anemia and may require hospitalization. Infection of the abdominal cavity or peritonitis is prominently seen in people with peptic ulcer. In certain conditions, peptic ulcer may cause blockage of the digestive tract.


Most popular tests in the diagnosis of peptic ulcer are blood, stool or breath tests. During the endoscopy test, a small tube is inserted into the throat, stomach and small intestine to study the ulcers. Endoscopy is usually recommended for people with symptoms of bleeding and weight loss.


The doctor looks for symptoms of peptic ulcer. The standard treatment includes prescribing drugs to eliminate H. pylori bacterium, and treating acidity. Surgery may be suggested for acute bleeding or a perforation.



Back pain is extremely common and can be caused by many simple everyday activities. Back pain can be the result of trauma, such as a fall or a car accident. But Most often back pain is the result of an everyday activity done incorrectly.

By following these simple tips you can prevent back pain and protect your spine from injuries caused due to everyday activities (lifting an object, sitting at the computer for long hours, carrying shopping bags, bending over to vacuum and others).

  • Exercise helps in the prevention of back pain. It helps in the movement of muscles and keeps the joints fluid
  • Healthy diet includes fruits and vegetables, lean meats, dairy products and whole grains
  • Right sleep position which includes sleeping on your side
  • Work at ergonomically correct workstation to maintain proper posture
  • Reduce stress by practicing yoga, meditation, deep breathing, Taichi and others
  • Quit smoking as it narrows blood vessels and reduces flow of nutrients and oxygen to the spine





Calcium deficiency refers to lack of adequate calcium in the body. It is seen more in women than in men. Calcium deficiency is seen in women after pregnancy, and those in their postmenopausal phase.

Calcium helps in the growth and development of bones and teeth. It regularizes the heart beat, helps in blood clotting, and allows for conduct of nerve impulses. Taking calcium supplements (1000 mg to 1500 mg every day) treats its deficiency. However, excess calcium intake may lead to constipation or bloating.

The symptoms of calcium deficiency are muscle cramping, dry skin, brittle nails, increased PMS, fractures and breakages, and toxicity. By taking more of calcium enriched foods as supplements, the condition of calcium deficiency can be treated significantly.


The health benefits of calcium are many. The most important ones are, it helps in maintaining bone health and dental health. It also helps in the  prevention of colon cancer and the reduction of obesity. Calcium is an essential mineral for the human body from birth to old age. It protects cardiac muscles, helps maintain optimal body weight, controls blood pressure and prevents premenstrual depression.

Infants require calcium for proper bone and tooth growth; adolescents for bones development, and for the aged to lead a healthy life. As one gets older, the bones become porous and weak. This condition requires us to take ample calcium. Calcium also helps in reducing the risk of kidney stones, promotes healthy alkaline level and transportation of nutrients in the body.


Women in the post menopausal stage witness heavy loss of calcium, which makes them greatly prone to osteoporosis, a condition where the bones turn brittle and weak. It is extremely important to take enough of calcium, vitamin D, magnesium, and K2 throughout tender and adolescence years.

  • Calcium forms 2% of total body weight
  • Calcium helps in the formation of bones and teeth
  • Presence of calcium in the blood prevents hemorrhages
  • Lack of calcium leads to the condition of osteoporosis


Milk and dairy products are rich sources of calcium. Nuts, seeds and pulses also provide sufficient amount of calcium. Leafy green vegetables including broccoli, spinach, orange juice, cereals, oysters, rice beverages, soy, almonds, black-eyed peas and green peas can enhance the calcium content in the diet.




Protect yourself against the affects of smog

SMOG is a combination of smoke and fog. Smog is formed when smoke released by burning of fuels mixes with fog, which includes tiny droplets suspended in the atmosphere. Smog is formed by air pollution when pollutants are released into the air by gasoline and diesel-run vehicles, gen-sets and industries.

An ideal environment for smog includes heavy traffic, high temperature, sunshine and calm wind. Smog is aggravated during winter when the wind speeds are low with smoke easily mixing with fog to form smog. At the ground level there is increase in pollution levels, hampering visibility and disturbing the environmental conditions.


Smog is harmful to humans, animals and plants. In humans, smog has a disastrous fall-out which is evident as bronchial diseases. Smog may inhibit bone  development which leads to rickets. As smog decreases UV radiation it leads to low production of vitamin D. Other harmful effects of smog on human health includes, chest pain, pulmonary diseases viz. lung inflammation & bronchitis, asthma, eye irritation and others. Smog affects those with a history of lung conditions and low in immunity.

Even nature is not spared by smog, as it leaves a trail of destruction. Crops like soya bean, wheat, tomatoes, peanuts and cotton are most affected by smog. Animals too cannot survive smog, as the latter poisons the air and makes the environment highly toxic. Smog has the potential to kill a number of animal species and green life.


Urban areas and industrial zones are adopting more and more of Green, Energy Efficient & Eco-friendly Programs. The focus is on adopting cleaner emission technologies and implementation of stricter laws to control vehicular pollution and release of toxic gases especially smoke and sulphur dioxide. In general, there is increased preference for the use of alternative fuels. Pollution control agencies have developed the Air Quality Index (AQI) that ranks air quality from zero to 300.


You can prevent the disastrous impact of smog on your health, by limiting your outdoor activities during smoggy days, adopting a lifestyle that includes greater physical activity and taking the right diet. You can prefer to go for a walk than running or biking which are more rigorous activities. Children and the old should be extra cautious during smoggy days as they are greatly susceptible to cold, cough and lung infections.




A Headache is defined as “a pain or ache in the head…It accompanies many diseases and conditions, including emotional distress.”Headaches are one of the most common ailments with most people experiencing a headache at some point in their life. They can affect anyone regardless of age and gender.

Headache is a painful feature of a relatively small number of primary headache disorders, some of which are widespread and are often life-long conditions. Headache also occurs as a characteristic symptom of many other conditions these are termed secondary headache disorders. Collectively, headache disorders are among the most common disorders of the nervous system, causing substantial disability in populations throughout the world. Depression is three times more common in individuals with severe headaches than in healthy people.

Headache is a broad term that encompasses many different things. Headaches are pains that occur in any region of the head; they can occur on both sides the head or be isolated to a certain location.


1) Primary Headaches: 

Primary headaches are stand-alone illnesses caused directly by the over activity of, or problems with, structures in the head that are pain-sensitive. This includes the blood vessels, muscles and nerves of the head and neck. They may also result from changes in chemical activity in the brain.

Common primary headaches include migraines, cluster headaches and tension headaches. Some types of headache can be both primary and secondary as they may be an isolated issue or a result of another condition or illness. Such headaches can involve:

  • Direct physical stimuli, such as temperature and external pressure
  • Pain over the scalp
  • Physical exertion
  • Other headaches

2) Secondary Headaches:

Secondary headaches are headaches that are symptoms of another condition that stimulates the pain-sensitive nerves of the head. There are a vast number of different conditions that can cause secondary headaches, ranging in severity from an alcohol-induced hangover to a brain tumor.In addition to those two examples, the following list should serve to illustrate the variety of different conditions that can cause secondary headaches:

  • Blood clots
  • Brain freeze
  • Carbon monoxide poisoning
  • Concussion
  • Dehydration
  • Glaucoma
  • Influenza
  • Overuse of pain medication
  • Panic attacks
  • Stroke

As headaches can be a symptom of a serious condition, it is important to seek medical advice if headaches become more severe, regular or persistent. For example, if the headache is more painful and disruptive than previous headaches, worsens or fails to improve with medication or is accompanied by other symptoms such as confusion, fever, sensory changes and stiffness, a health care provider should be contacted.


People experience many different types of headache, affecting a number of areas of the head in myriad ways, with differing intensities and for variable amounts of time. Here are the characteristic symptoms associated with some of the more prominent forms of headache:

  1. Tension-type headaches are the most common form of primary headache. They are described as a feeling of having a tight band around the head, with a constant, dull ache felt on both sides. The pain may spread to or from the neck. Such headaches normally begin slowly and gradually in the middle of the day.

  2. Migraine is the second most common form of primary headache and has been ranked as the seventh-highest specific cause of disability worldwide. A migraine can last for any amount of time between a few hours and 2-3 days.

  3. Rebound or medication-overuse headaches are the most common secondary headache, caused by the excessive use of medication to treat headache symptoms. They usually begin early in the day and persist throughout, improving with pain medicine but worsening when its effects wear off.

  4. Cluster headaches are a relatively uncommon form of primary headache that affect less than one in every 1,000 adults. They strike quickly, once or more daily at the same time each day and often without warning. They usually last between 45-90 minutes and persist for the duration of a cluster period, normally 4-8 weeks.


The health care provider will usually be able to diagnose a particular type of headache through a description of the condition, the type of pain and the timing and pattern of attacks. It can be helpful for those experiencing headaches to keep a diary detailing their symptoms and any possible triggers; this can help both the patient and the health care provider in establishing the precise nature and possible causes of the headaches.

If the nature of the headache is particularly complex, a health care provider may request tests to eliminate other possible causes. Further testing could include blood tests, X-rays and brain scans, such as computerized tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).


The most common methods recommended for treating headaches are rest and pain relief medication. Generic pain relief medication can be bought over the counter, or healthcare providers can prescribe preventative medication, such as tricyclic antidepressants, anti-epileptic drugs and beta blockers.

It is important to follow the advice of health care providers as overusing pain relief medication can lead to rebound headaches. The treatment of rebound headaches involves the reduction or cessation of pain relief medication. In extreme cases, a short hospital stay may be required in order to manage withdrawal safely and effectively.


There are a number of steps that can be taken to adjust daily routines so as to reduce the risk of headaches and to ease the pain of headaches that do arise:

  • Apply a heat pack or ice pack to your head or neck
  • Avoid stress where possible and develop healthy coping strategies for unavoidable stress
  • Eat regular meals, taking care to maintain stable blood sugar
  • Exercise regularly
  • Get enough rest and regular sleep
  • Have a hot shower


Several alternative forms of treatment for headaches are also available.It is best to consult a health care provider prior to beginning any alternative forms of treatment. Such treatments include:

  • Acupuncture
  • Chiropractic treatment
  • Cognitive behavior therapy
  • Herbal and nutritional health products
  • Meditation
  • Hypnosis

In some cases, headaches may arise as a result of a deficiency of  nutrients, especially magnesium and certain B vitamins. Nutrient deficiencies can be caused by an overall poor quality diet, underlying mal absorption issues or other medical conditions. As such, it is important for anyone with a suspected nutrient deficiency to work with a qualified health professional to correct the deficiency in a sustainable and holistic way where possible, rather than simply relying on an isolated supplement.