Water For Good Health

January 25th, 2009 healthwiki Weight Loss 0

Water for good health is an idea that goes back centuries. It is an old belief that an average person should drink at least ‘8 glasses of water’ a day.

A lot of people believe that drinking water throughout the day can cure many diseases. But the ‘8 glasses of water’ per day is just a rule of thumb, not an absolute standard.

Some people force themselves to drink water throughout the day and facing some small problems as well.

According to some kidney experts of the Pennsylvania University, drinking increased amount of water throughout the day is not beneficial for health. Moreover, they said (Journal of the American Society of Nephrology, April 2008), “since water is cleared from the gastrointestinal tract very quickly, it is likely that people who try to diet by not changing their food consumption and just drinking water, will be hungry between meals”.

There has yet to be a study that compares two groups of people and weight loss through water consumption.

In general, to remain healthy one need to drink enough water to replace the amount we lose daily through excretion, perspiration and other body functions. But that amount can vary from person to person. Different things are important like surrounding weather, physical condition and one’s activity level.

In fact, total water intake includes water in other beverages, and the water in food. But how do we know whether we are drinking enough water or not? Some experts say, “If you are not thirsty, your fluid intake is probably ok.” That is why marathon runners and bikers all need to recognise the signs of dehydration.

The American College of Sports Medicine recommends that athletes drink 16 ounces of fluids a couple of hours before starting sports practice. And certainly people in hot or in dry climates have increased need for water. They need to understand the importance of dehydration.

A German physician, Wilhelm Hufeland (1764-1836), who practiced natural medicine and vitalism, was one of the early promoters of ‘8-10 glasses of water’ a day. He and some other practitioners encouraged their followers to drink lots of water for curative properties and to flush out toxins and impurities. He wrote, “fresh spring or mineral water, was the best drink and an excellent means of prolonging life.” He also added, “Many special curative properties were attributed to fresh, cold water – which was a fortifier of the stomach and nerves.”

Drinking 8 glasses water was rarely questioned until Dr. Valtin’s important investigation in 2002. He tries to find any scientific justification for drinking so much water. Dr. Valtin conducted a 10-month review of the scientific literature and historic documents and interviewed many medical experts. He also tried to uncover a definitive science-based origin for the above conventional recommendation.

Than again, it does not mean that we do not need to drink water. Water is important to maintain a healthy body.

Our body is estimated to be about 60 to 70 percent water. Water transports oxygen to your cells, removes waste, and protects our joints and organs. Blood is mostly water, and our muscles, lungs and brain also contain a lot of water. Our body needs water to regulate body temperature and to provide the means for nutrients to travel to all our organs.

Anyhow, these views about water have certainly helped the plastic bottled water industries. But remember, bottled water available in our local markets is mostly purified waters. They are not mineral waters. And clearly, we need better sources of information about this bottled water as well.

One of The Most Basic Tenets of Weight Loss

January 25th, 2009 healthwiki Weight Loss 0

One of the most basic tenets of weight loss is to burn more calories than you consume. It is not terribly complicated, but it can easily lead to one of the most common weight-loss misconceptions: The less you eat, the more you lose.

This truth does apply to a certain extent — if you eat more calories than your body needs to maintain your weight, you will gain weight. However, if you suddenly drop your caloric intake too low, your body will think you are starving and go into survival mode. If you do not eat enough, you will sabotage your weight-loss efforts.

A healthy diet generally will not drop your caloric intake below 1,200 calories, but you will need to find your “magic number” for optimum weight loss. Research suggests that women who consume less than the optimal amount see their resting metabolic rate plummet by as much as 45 percent.

Don’t be surprised if you need to adjust your calories several times throughout your weight-loss journey, especially if you have a lot of weight to lose. Your calories will need to be adjusted to account for your changing weight, activity level and metabolism.

The best way to lose weight is to keep your metabolism firing on all cylinders by eating enough calories, which can be accomplished by following these simple steps:

Always eat breakfast. may be there is no time for breakfast, you are not hungry enough and you can save some calories by skipping it. But this is completely wrong. While you are asleep, your metabolism slows down, and it does not pick back up until you eat something. Eating breakfast is crucial for boosting your metabolism first thing in the morning and burning more calories all day long. It does not need to be a hot-cooked breakfast that takes long to prepare, either.

Even if you just grab a piece of fruit and a string cheese on your way out the door, you need to at least eat something to get your system going in the morning.

Eat more often. That is right, eating every two to three hours will not only keep you from gorging at meals because you are starving, but it also keeps your metabolic rate higher because it takes more energy to digest food. Shoot for eating smaller meals and snacks — yes, you can snack! Aim for 200 to 400 calorie mini-meals every few hours and keep your metabolism stoked.

Plan your meals. It does take a little work to learn to plan ahead, but once you get into the groove, it is a piece of cake. You will find that by knowing what and when you are going to eat, you have more energy throughout the day and you will have a steadier stream of nutrients supplied to your body. The other key is to make sure you have proper snack foods on hand, like whole grains, fruits, vegetables and nuts — anything that is high in fiber is helpful, too.

Once you get your body used to a regular healthy routine, you will be on your way to serious weight loss without the starvation associated with it.

Introduces Hib Vaccine Bangladesh

January 21st, 2009 healthwiki Child Health,HIV-Aids 0

Bangladesh has recently introduced a new combination vaccine that will protect its children against five killer diseases in one injection, including, for the first time, the deadly bacterium Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) that causes some severe forms of pneumonia and meningitis.

In a ceremony in Khulna District, southwest of the capital Dhaka, the Minister of Health and Family Welfare, Professor A. F. M. Ruhul Haque, along with other health officials and representatives of UN agencies and development partners administered the first shots of the combination vaccine to Bangladeshi children on January 15, 2009.

Hib is one of the causes of severe pneumonia and meningitis among children. The majority of them are children under five years of age. Even with treatment, thousands of children die of Hib disease every year. Survivors are often permanently disabled—paralysed, deafened or brain damaged.

The vaccine can prevent about one third of life-threatening cases of bacterial pneumonia, the leading infectious cause of death in children worldwide. In Bangladesh, it is estimated that 24% of under-five child deaths is due to pneumonia.

The vaccine will be provided under the routine immunisation programme (EPI) to nearly four million children born in Bangladesh every year. As Bangladesh records high routine immunisation coverage, it is estimated that Hib vaccine can save about 20,000 children’s lives annually year.

“This life-saving vaccine represents an important step forward in preventing childhood diseases in Bangladesh”, said A. M. M. Nasir Uddin, Secretary of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare at the launch. “It will greatly help our country to achieve the Millennium Development Goal 4 which aims at reducing under-five mortality.”

In South-Asia, Sri Lanka and Pakistan introduced the Hib vaccine in 2008.

The new combination or 5-in-1 vaccine will protect children against Hib and four other deadly diseases: diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, and hepatitis B. Instead of three different injections (for DPT, Hepatitis B and Hib), children will only need one injection at three different times during their first year of life: at the age of 6 weeks, 10 weeks and 14 weeks.

This will make it easier for health workers who will need less time and less logistics to immunise all children. It will also increase the uptake of vaccine as each child will get all five vaccines at once. At the same time, it will drastically reduce the system loss of the vaccines.

“We are proud to be part of this new initiative by helping with the procurement of the vaccines and supporting the training of about 60,000 health workers together with WHO,” said Unicef Deputy Representative in Bangladesh, Dr. Iyorlumun J Uhaa.

The introduction of the 5-in-1 vaccine in Bangladesh is carried out with financial and technical support from the GAVI Alliance (formerly the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation) and its key partners including Unicef, WHO and the Hib Initiative.

GAVI will spend more than US$95 million for procuring more than 27 million doses for 2009—2010. The Government of Bangladesh will co-finance the purchase by investing US$5.6 million during the same period.

“Vaccines and improvement in health and immunisation systems are much needed in this part of the world,” said Dr. Julian Lob-Levyt, Executive Secretary of the GAVI Alliance. “We applaud Bangladesh for taking this important step to help prevent more childhood diseases.”

With high poverty, low literacy levels, and limited access to healthcare, many sick children in this densely populated country of 155 million never reach a hospital and often die at home. Vaccines that protect children against preventable high-mortality infections, such as Hib, were urgently needed. Now more children will be saved from early grave.

Dr Tareq Salahuddin…

Green Tea is Related to Reductions in Body Fat

January 10th, 2009 healthwiki Health Resources 0

Time has come to say, few cups a day — keep the doctor away. I am talking about green tea.

It is produced from the leaves of Camellia Sinensis by some special processes. High in vitamins, minerals, anti-oxidants and a whole swing of anti-aging and cancer fighting compounds, green tea is great. It is wildly being used as a significant part of a healthy diet.

Antioxidants are an important factor in achieving finest health. An antioxidant known as Epigallocatechin Gallate (EGCG) is at least 100 times more effective than vitamin C and 25 times more effective than vitamin E at protecting cells from harmful influence.

Ancient Chinese people have always used it for medical purposes and it is a part of Chinese history. In Japanese tradition, learned scholars wrote whole volumes on the importance of green tea.

Recent studies show that green tea restrains the spread of disease. It has a variety of antibacterial and antiviral properties. It is good to fight against cold to food poisoning. It is good for oral hygiene as it destroys bacteria that cause plaque and bad breath. It closes main receptors that produce allergic reactions.

Studies show that drinking green tea is related to reductions in body fat. According to one Study, green tea can burn 35-43 per cent more fat during the day when one drinks 3-5 cups.

The University of Chicago’s Tang Center for Herbal Medical study shows that it reduces the fat deposits under the skin and in our belly area. Researchers found that Green tea prevents one from gaining weight by stopping the movement of sugar into body’s fat cells and also burns fat by increasing body metabolism.

The International Journal of Obesity states that green tea contains polyphenols which causes body to produce heat that burn body fat. Several polyphenols also keep cancer cells from gaining a foothold in the body. Study after study has found that drinking regular green tea can decrease the risk of breast, stomach, esophagus, colon, and/or prostate cancer. Some green tea studies prove that it lowers blood sugar.

Green tea is involved in reducing thrombosis cases — one of the main causes of strokes and heart attacks. It reduces the level of cholesterol in blood and improves the ratio of good cholesterol to bad cholesterol. It also reduces high blood pressure by repressing angiotensin-II. Polyphenols keep blood vessels from contracting and raising blood pressure. It is said to be useful to treat impaired immune function and rheumatoid arthritis. Green tea also destroys free radicals that cause aging.

Protected From Cervical Cancer

January 10th, 2009 healthwiki Women's Health 0

Cervical cancer is cancer of the cervix — the lower part of the uterus, which opens into the vagina. Cervical cancer is the second-most-common type of cancer that strikes women worldwide after breast cancer.

It is estimated that nearly 250,000 deaths are associated with cervical cancer globally every year. According to the World Health Organisation, there were 500,000 new cases of cervical cancer in 2005.

The tragedy of cervical cancer is that it often strikes when a woman is still young. It tends to happen in women between the age of 35 and 55 years. She may be trying to raise her family or may be she has not had children yet.

A population-based survey reported that the coverage of cervical cancer screening in Bangladesh is less than 1%. Older and poor women are at the highest risk of developing cervical cancer in Bangladesh.

Cause of cervical cancer
99% of cervical cancers are caused by Human Papillomavirus (HPV), which spreads through sexual contact. There are over 100 different types of HPV. The majorities of viruses are considered Low Risk and do not cause cervical cancer. However, HPV-16 and HPV-18 often referred to as High Risk HPV types are associated with more than 70% of cervical cancer cases.

The body’s immune system usually fights off the infection as a result most women never suffer from HPV infection. However, in some women the infection does not go away. When the virus remains active in the body for a long period of time, cervical cells begin to change and the risk of cervical cancer increases.

There are other factors can increase the risk that an HPV infection develops into cervical cancer:

* Sexual intercourse at an early age

* Multiple sexual partners

* Multiple full-term pregnancies

* Chlamydia, gonorrhoea, syphilis, or herpes simplex virus type 2 infection

* Cigarette smoking

* Use of oral contraceptives for a long period of time

* Weakened immune system or HIV infection • Mother or sister with a history of cervical cancer

* Low levels of folic acid (a type of Vitamin B)

Cervical cancer is usually a slow-growing cancer, typically takes 10-15 years before invasive cancer develops. Once cervical cells begin to change, it first becomes “pre-cancerous” a condition also known as “dysplasia” or Cervical Intraepithelial Neoplasia (CIN).

In the early stages cervical cancer often causes no symptoms. However, when symptoms do occur, they may include:

* Bleeding between regular menstrual periods

* Bleeding after sexual intercourse

* Bleeding after douching

* Bleeding after a pelvic exam

* Pelvic pain not related to your menstrual cycle

* Heavy or unusual discharge that may be watery, thick, and possibly have a foul odor

* Increased urinary frequency

* Pain during urination

These symptoms can be caused by cervical cancer, or by a number of serious conditions, and should be evaluated promptly by a medical professional.

Cervical cancer is diagnosed through a series of examinations. A Pap test is most commonly used to screen and detect the possibility of a cervical cancer or dysplasia.

An HPV DNA test is used to determine the high-risk strains of HPV infection, which is most likely to lead to cervical cancer. If an abnormality is found during a Pap and HPV DNA tests, a Colposcopy is performed.

Finally, a Cone biopsy is performed by removing a cone-shaped piece of tissue from the cervix for microscopic examination. A pathologist examines the sample for confirmation of precancer or cancer cells.

Options for treating cervical cancer depend predominantly on the stage of disease — the size of the tumor, the depth of invasion, and whether the cancer has spread to other parts of the body.

Other factors that are considered are the patient’s age and if she wishes to have children. The primary forms of treatment are surgery or combined radiation therapy and chemotherapy.

* Surgery to remove the uterus

* Radiation therapy to kill the cancer cells

* Chemotherapy to stop the growth of cancer cells

The vaccine is now available for prevention of HPV infection. Studies show that women who receive cervical cancer vaccine between the ages of 15 and 25 have 100% protection against the HPV-16 and HPV-18.

The vaccine is given in three shots over six-months. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommended this vaccine for girl’s ages 11 to 12, although it may be used in girls as young as age 9.

Ideally, females should get the vaccine before they are sexually active. The vaccine is also recommended for 13-26 year-old girls who have not yet received or completed the vaccine series. This allows a girls immune system to be activated before she encounters HPV. Vaccinating at this age also allows developing the highest antibody levels. The higher the antibody levels the greater the protection.

Abu Siddiqui…