Tips to beat work stress

Stress accounts for 40% of all work related illnesses. Progressive organizations are adopting proactive ways to build employee resilience to avoid stress and exhaustion, based on the understanding that mental health is as important as physical health for well-being.

Tips to handle work stress better –

  • Right start to the day – A calm morning will lead to a better day.  Starting the day with good nutrition, proper planning, and a positive attitude may relieve the stress of the workplace.
  • Be clear on requirements – Unclear job requirements contributes to job burnout. If you don’t know exactly what’s expected of you, or if the requirements keep changing with little notice, you may find yourself much more stressed than necessary. Talk to your supervisor about the expectations and requirements from you, it can relieve stress for both of you.
  • Stay away from conflict – Interpersonal conflicts are a major part of work stress and most of the time avoidable. Avoid getting into office gossip, discussion on personal issues and comparisons. Try to avoid people who don’t work well with others.
  • Stay organized – This helps in avoiding unnecessary clutter and chaos at workplace reducing a lot of work stress. Keeping yourself organized means by maintaining a work calendar, clearing the clutter.
  • Be comfortable – Since a major part of the day is spent in the office, physical discomfort is one of the most common causes of work stress. Sit on a comfortable chair, avoid incorrect posture and take rest whenever possible can relieve a lot of stress at work.
  • Walk at lunch – One way to increase physical activity and manage stress at work at the same time, is to get some exercise during your lunch break and perhaps take short breaks throughout the day. This can help you relax, lift your mood, and get into better shape.

 

Being a high achiever can help you feel good about yourself and excel at work but being a perfectionist, can drive you and the people around you stressed. Hence opt for achievable goals and make it a stress free working environment for yourself and others.

 

-Dr Prerna Gaur

Syncope (Loss of Consciousness): A symptom, not a diagnosis..

Syncope, or fainting, is a form of sudden loss of consciousness caused by decreased or insufficient blood flow to the brain which can be of rapid onset, short duration, and spontaneous and complete recovery.  40% will experience syncope at least once in a lifetime. Syncope can occur when a normal reflex is overstimulated, which slows the heart rate and, along with dilation of blood vessels, lowers blood pressure and decreases blood flow to the brain.

Types of Syncope:

Vasovagal syncope is the most common type of fainting. It can be provoked by emotional or physical stress, for example, intense fear, prolonged standing in a crowded, warm room, or having blood drawn. It is often preceded by warning symptoms such as sweating, nausea, lightheadedness, and visual blurring.

Situational syncope occurs in relation to certain specific actions, most commonly urinating or straining with a bowel movement.

Carotid sinus syncope can occur with pressure on the carotid artery, often resulting from a tight-fitting shirt or shaving.

Orthostatic syncope Occurs immediately or up to 10 minutes after assuming upright posture from sleeping or sitting position. Orthostatic hypo-tension refers to low blood pressure that occurs while standing. This may result from dehydration, medications, or certain health conditions.

Cardiac Syncope(or cardiovascular) syncope is caused by arrhythmia and structural heart disease. These may occur in combination because structural disease renders the heart more vulnerable to abnormal electrical activity.

Disorders Mimicking Syncope

  • With loss of consciousness, i.e., seizure disorders, concussion
  • Without loss of consciousness, i.e., psychogenic “pseudo-syncope”

 

Evaluation:

  • The history and physical examination are the most important tools in the initial evaluation of syncope.
  • Details of the syncopal event must be evaluated in detail, including postural, exertional, or situational symptoms, palpitations or cardiac symptoms, use of medications, family history of sudden cardiac death and personal history of cardiac disease.
  • Patients who experience syncope with urination, defecation, coughing, swallowing, or while drawing blood have situational syncope.
  • Syncope related to ischemia is presumed when symptoms are present with ECG findings.
  • Monitoring blood pressure during and after attack are necessary to know if it is related to change in the blood pressure
  • Syncope in patients with coronary artery disease requires evaluation for arrhythmia and ischemia. The evaluation includes exercise stress testing, myocardial perfusion imaging, or cardiac catheterization, depending on the patient’s level of risk and specific findings
  • EEG, Head CT, Head MRI are rarely used, may help in diagnosing seizure and neurological causes.
  • Sugar levels are also tested to rule out hypoglycemic attacks which can mimic syncope.

 

Management:

After knowing the type of syncope and the cause for it, management will be based on the type.

  1. Acute intervention includes physical maneuvers, eg: crossing legs or tugging arms, lowering head, lying down
  2. If it is orthostatic syncope, moving feet and leg few minutes before rising, rising slowly and step-wise will help.
  3. Syncope due to cardiac issues must be treated accordingly based on the test reports.
  4. Reduce / stop exacerbating medication.
  5. Long-term prevention includes education, diet, fluids, salt, minimizing caffeine/alcohol, support hose, sleeping with head of bed elevated, drug therapy,cardiac pacing.

 

References:

https://www.healthline.com/health/syncopal-episode

https://www.webmd.com/brain/qa/what-causes-fainting

By,

Dr. Y. Alekhya

How important is oral health for overall health??

Maintaining good oral hygiene keeps the body healthy. Oral cavity consists of countless bacteria, if oral hygiene is not maintained properly, it may affect one’s overall health.

Your mouth is a window into what’s going on in the rest of your body, often serving as a helpful important point for detecting the early signs and symptoms of many medical conditions. Normally there is very less chance for bacteria in your mouth to enter into the bloodstream. However, some dental treatments which are invasive, sometimes even just regular brushing and flossing if you have gum disease can provide a way of entry for these bacteria. Some antibiotics and medications which reduce saliva flow disrupt the normal balance of bacteria and compromise your mouth’s normal defenses, allowing these bacteria to enter your bloodstream.

Bacteria from oral infections can enter the bloodstream or airways and travel to other parts of the body. These bacteria have the potential to worsen or increase the risk for other types of health problems such as heart disease, stroke and respiratory problems.  People living with diabetes are prone to a variety of bacterial infections, including gum disease.

Oral infections can make it difficult to control diabetes and cause complications, since the bacteria from severe gum disease may increase both blood sugar levels and the length of time the body struggles with high blood sugar.

It is important for pregnant women to take care of their oral health, as the bacteria from gum disease may trigger an inflammatory response that might induce premature labor and delivery. Poor oral health has been linked to sleeping problems, as well as behavioral and developmental problems in children. Regular visits to a dentist and effective oral care can prevent and control gum diseases or even reverse them in early stages.

Below are some tips to have a healthy mouth:

  1. Schedule dentist appointments, it is important to maintain good oral hygiene
  2. Brush twice a day for two minutes using a soft toothbrush and fluoridated toothpaste.
  3. Cleaning or flossing once a day to remove food and plaque is important.
  4. Clean or scrape the tongue daily.
  5. Using mouth rise after consulting your dentist is recommended.
  6. Check gums/mouth regularly and report any changes or signs of gum disease to a dentist.
  7. Conduct self-examinations for oral cancer. If anything abnormal is noted, you should consult a specialist
  8. Eat a nutritious, well-balanced diet and clean your mouth with water every time after eating
  9. Don’t smoke or use smokeless tobacco, it increases the risk of oral and many other types of cancers.

REFERENCES:

https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/adult-health/in-depth/dental/art-20047475

https://www.healthline.com/health/dental-and-oral-health

By,

Dr. Y. Alekhya

Are you at risk of vitamin B12 deficiency?

Are you a pure vegetarian and do not consume milk products? or

Are you a recently turned vegan? or

Are you above 50 years of age? or

Did you had a weight loss surgery?

 

Chances are that you might be having vitamin B12 deficiency and not have any symptoms.

Plants don’t make vitamin B12. The only foods that deliver it are meat, eggs, poultry, dairy products, and other foods from animals. Strict vegetarians and vegans are at high risk for developing a B12 deficiency if they don’t eat foods that have been fortified with the vitamin or take a vitamin supplement. People who have weight-loss surgery are also more likely to be low in vitamin B12 because the surgery interferes with the body’s ability to extract vitamin B12 from food. Elderly have less than normal absorption of B12 from the gut.

Vitamin B12 deficiency can be slow to develop, causing symptoms to appear gradually and intensify over time. It can be overlooked or confused with something else. Common symptoms are tingling, numbness or strange sensations in arms, legs or feet, difficulty in walking(staggering, balance issues), swollen tongue, weakness and memory loss.

Vitamin B12 deficiency can be easily detected by a simple blood test.

In many people,  vitamin B12 deficiency can be prevented. If you are a strict vegetarian or vegan, it’s important to eat breads, cereals, or other grains that have been fortified with vitamin B12.

If you are over 50 years of age, a standard multivitamin is usually recommended since you may not be able to absorb enough of the vitamin through foods.

Early detection and treatment is important. Your doctor may also prescribe tablets or injections if required. If left untreated, vitamin B12 deficiency can cause severe neurological problems and blood issues.
-Dr Prerna Gaur

LIFE WITH OBSESSIVE COMPULSIVE DISORDER AND HOW TO DEAL WITH IT.

It is a well-known fact that OCD or obsessive-compulsive disorder is a type of mental health problem.

As the name suggests, people with OCD can have either obsessive thoughts or urges or compulsive, repetitive behaviors. Some have both obsessions and compulsions.

In case of OCD, an obsession is an uncontrollable thought or fear that causes undue stress and compulsion is a repetitive rule-bound behavior that the individual feels must be performed in order to ease off from distressing situations, the relief, however, is temporary.

If these obsessions and compulsions interfere with daily activities, they may cause significant problems and distress.

If a person suffers from OCD, ignoring or trying to stop one’s obsessions may cause an increase in distress and anxiety and ultimately, there is a drive to perform compulsive acts to ease the stress.

Obsessions and compulsions often have a theme, for example, a fear of dirt and germs which causes a person to compulsively wash hands more than usual.

If you feel that you have OCD and it is causing disruption in your daily life, then talking to a trained health care professional can really help. OCD is usually treated with medication or psychotherapy such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), or a combination of both.

Here are the things that can be tried to overcome OCD-

    1. Talk about your condition – Many people who live with OCD find that an important first step in self-help is to open up about their condition with friends and family to feel more comfortable about the condition, as well as feel less isolated.
    2. Relaxation– Stress, and anxiety worsen the symptoms of OCD. Therefore proper and timely management of stress is a really important coping strategy. It is important to know what your stressors are and learn to manage them well. Avoiding situations that can cause stress, learning how to cope up, taking breaks from stressful situations, taking up hobbies that help you relax are some good methods to deal with stress.
    3. Sleep – Studies have shown that mental health problems including OCD tend to flare up as a result of not getting enough sleep. So it is very important to stick to a healthy and consistent sleeping pattern. Avoiding coffee/tea late in the day, avoiding the use of electronic gadgets late in the evenings are some very important factors that affect sleep.
    4. Diet – It is very important to eat a healthy diet at all times, especially if you suffer from any mental health issue. A very important point is to maintain blood sugar levels. It is best if sudden blood sugar fluctuations are minimized. A sugar rush or a low blood sugar both are equally detrimental. It is therefore advisable to eat foods that release energy slowly. Nuts, seeds, pasta, rice, and cereal are some examples of foods that can be taken as they help to balance blood sugar levels.
    5. Regular Exercise – Regular exercise not only keeps the stress hormone cortisol, under control but also produce happy hormones- the endorphins.

 

 
https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/obsessive-compulsive-disorder/symptoms-causes/syc-20354432

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/obsessive-compulsive-disorder/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20354438

https://www.webmd.com/mental-health/obsessive-compulsive-disorder#1

https://www.webmd.com/anxiety-panic/understanding-obsessive-compulsive-disorder-symptoms#1

https://www.webmd.com/mental-health/mental-tips-living-with-ocd#1

https://www.helpguide.org/articles/anxiety/obssessive-compulsive-disorder-ocd.htm/

http://beyondocd.org/expert-perspectives/articles/ten-things-you-need-to-know-to-overcome-ocd

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/321341.php

PULMONARY FUNCTION TESTS

As the name suggests these are a group of tests done to see how the lungs are working. Pulmonary Function Tests are useful in understanding how well you are able to breathe and how effectively your lungs are bringing oxygen to rest of your body. These are valuable in diagnosing a respiratory disease. Not only in the diagnosis, pulmonary function tests are used to know the response for the treatment and based on these tests your doctor can change or continue the treatment plan. 

INDICATIONS:

  • To diagnose a condition if you have any lung disease related symptoms.
  • To know the disease severity and progression in 

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary disease, Asthma, Sarcoidosis, Congestive Heart Failure, Congenital Heart Disease, Sarcoidosis, Myasthenia Gravis, Guillain-Barre syndrome, Multiple sclerosis etc.

  • To know the lung status before any major surgery. Eg: Cardiac surgery, Thoracic surgery, Organ transplantation etc.
  • If you are regularly exposed to some substances at workplace or environment.

Pulmonary function test performance technique:

  • A nose clip is placed when the patient is in sitting position. He needs to breathe in and breathe out several times before the actual test begins. They need to take deep breaths as much as they can.
  • Mouth should completely cover the mouthpiece. Ask him  to blow out as fast and quickly as they can.
  • After blowing out they need to take deep breaths. Whole test should be repeated thrice. Goal is to get a result which is consistent. You may need to repeat the test more than three times in order to obtain an internally valid test.

REFERENCES:

https://www.healthline.com/health/pulmonary-function-tests

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/622518

https://www.uptodate.com/contents/overview-of-pulmonary-function-testing-in-adults

 

Tips for having acne free skin

Acne is so common that it’s considered a normal part of growing from a kid to an adult.

But knowing that doesn’t make it easier when you look in the mirror and see a big pimple on your chin! The good news is that knowing about acne and taking some simple steps can help you deal better with Acne and prevent Acne.

  • Oil build up on your skin can lead to acne, wash your face once or twice a day with warm water along with a mild soap or cleanser.
  • Don’t scrub your face. Scrubbing can actually make acne worse by irritating the skin. Wash gently, using fingertips instead of a washcloth.
  • If you wore makeup, moisturizer, or sunscreen, make sure they are “oil-free” based and are “noncomedogenic”.
  • Hair sprays or gels can clog pores, try to keep them away from your face 
  • If you have long hair, keep it away from your face and wash it regularly to reduce oil.
  • Helmets and other hats can cause pimples along the hairline. Avoid them if you think your acne is getting worse by them.
  • Wash your face after you’ve been exercising and sweating a lot.
  •  Diet with a low glycemic (sugary)load may help.
  • Moisturizers containing aloe vera at a concentration of at least 10 percent can have a soothing and possibly anti-inflammatory effect.

  • Hold the mobile phone away from the face when talking, as it is likely to contain sebum. 
  • Clean spectacles often as they collect sebum, and skin residue.
  • Avoid anxiety and stress, as it can increase the production of cortisol and adrenaline, which aggravate acne.
  • Never pick. Picking may result in further inflammation and scarring.
  • Wear daily sunscreen since some acne medications may increase the skin’s sensitivity to sunlight.

We hope the tips given above will help you to have acne free skin. Remember that you’re not alone. Look around and you’ll see that most are in it together!

Dr Krishna Priya

References:
https://www.medicinenet.com/acne/article.htm