Why the teachings of Swami Vivekananda even more relevant today (2)

While inaugurating a seminar organized by ICCR (Indian Council for Cultural Relations) to mark the 150th birth anniversary of Swami Vivekananda at Rashtrapati Bhavan on 7th march 2013, our honouarable President Mr. Pranab Mukherjee pointed out the fact that Swami Ji’s teachings have great relevance  even today in the modern world and should be the guiding light in our progress to the future. Though we have made progress, there are a lot of issues that confirm the fact that much is to be done regarding ethics and morality, the lack of which is the root cause of all woes and miseries in the world and particularly in our country.

Swami ji believed it was only through proper education and guidance that socioeconomic change could be brought about and advised against any abrupt change in society. Swami ji gave emphasis upon two kinds of education:

1)      Secular education

2)      Spiritual education

Swami ji, so long ago, felt the need and advised us to undertake and propagate secular education that would impart knowledge about modern and innovative techniques in agriculture and village industries, which in turn would strengthen our economy and emancipate the country men economically. He said that secular education should go hand in hand with spiritual education that would help our countrymen to a great extent in reviving their inner strength, self-belief and worth and provide them the impetus to work for a better future selflessly with utmost conviction.

Today the entire world is witnessing the adverse effects of religious fanaticism. Unfortunately our country is one of the worst affected countries in the world. One of the major concerns and major issues today is “terrorism.” This global problem cropped up due to ignorance of other people’s beliefs and views. Swami ji like his illustrious preceptor “Sri Ramkrishna Paramhansa” said, “No religion is superior or inferior.” As rivers originating from different places covering thousands of miles, witnessing many ups and downs ultimately reach the sea, similarly people following different religions and having different views and beliefs reach the same God at the end of their journey.

Swami ji’s life was full of challenges. He led his life like a true monk. He was a true torch bearer and dedicated his life to serve the poor and the downtrodden.

It was on 11th September 1893, while addressing the “World Religious brotherhood”, at Chicago Swami Vivekananda gave the call for “Universal brotherhood”. In that historical speech Swami Vivekananda had expressed apprehensions that the world would witness much bloodshed due to religious fanaticism in the years ahead. Almost 120 years after the great man’s historical speech, we find that his words and teachings are even more relevant today.

It is high time, the ignorant youths of the world and particularly that of India should be made aware of the teachings of “Nishkam Karma Yoga” to enable them to come forward with unbiased and emancipated hearts to help the downtrodden and  the needy, irrespective of caste, creed and religion. It is a matter of grave concern that the parents being ignorant themselves are failing to infuse the moral values and the teachings of Swamy Vivekananda in their children.

Today when the world and particularly India is celebrating the great soul’s 150th birth anniversary, let us pledge to comprehend and spread his teachings with a a new zeal to make this world a better place to live in. Let us focus on ‘nation building’ and ‘man making’ as shown and taught by the great soul with renewed vigor and enthusiasm because that and only that will be our true “Tribute” to Swami Vivekananda.

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Why the teachings of Swami Vivekananda even more relevant today

It was on 11th September 1893, while addressing the “World Religious brotherhood”, at Chicago Swami Vivekananda gave the call for “Universal brotherhood”. In that historical speech Swami Vivekananda had expressed apprehensions that the world would witness much bloodshed due to religious fanaticism in the years ahead. Almost 120 years after the great man’s historical speech, we find that his words and teachings are even more relevant today.

It is high time, the ignorant youths of the world and particularly that of India should be made aware of the teachings of “Nishkam Karmayoga” to enable them to come forward with unbiased and emancipated hearts to help the downtrodden an the needy, irrespective of caste, creed and religion. It is a matter of grave concern that the parents being ignorant themselves are failing to infuse the moral values and the teachings of Swami Vivekananda in their children.

Today when the world and particularly India is celebrating the great soul’s 150th birth anniversary, let us pledge to comprehend and spread his teachings with a a new zeal to make this world a better place to live in. Let us focus on ‘nation building’ and ‘man making’ as shown and taught by the great soul with renewed vigor and enthusiasm because that and only that will be our true “Tribute” to Swami Vivekananda.

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MeTaBoLiC AcIdOsIs and AlKaLoSiS

 

(1) The pH value of a normal body fluid ranges between pH 7.35 and 7.45. If the pH value of the normal body fluid is less than 7.35, it is a case of acidosis and if the pH value is less than 7.45, it is a case of alkalosis. The pH value of a normal body fluid is lowered when acidic products are formed due to Metabolism. The continuous removal of the acidic products from the body, formed due to formed due to metabolism results in alkalosis whereas when the acidic products cannot be removed, it results in acidosis.

(2) Metabolic Alkalosis: Depending upon the chloride level in urine, cause of metabolic alkalosis can be divided into two groups:

1)      Chloride-responsive (<10mEq/L): This includes:

  • Fall in the number of hydrogen ions- This mainly happens either due to vomiting or fall of hydrogen ions in the kidneys. There is a loss of hydrochloric acid due to vomiting whereas due to the loss of potassium and sodium in the body there may be severe vomiting. The compensation is done by the kidneys by collecting sodium into the collecting ducts, spending hydrogen ions causing metabolic alkalosis.
  • Congenital Chloride Diarrhea: It is rarely seen diarrhea causing alkalosis and not acidosis.
  • Contraction alkalosis: The blood pH is raised, as hydrogen ions are mopped up by the increase in the concentration of bicarbonate due to the loss of water in the extracellular space, due to diuretic use.
  • Diuretic therapy: Increase in chloride can be initially caused by “thiazides” and “loop diuretic”. If the urine excretion is below 25mEq/L, contraction alkalosis may be caused due to loss of fluid from sodium excretion.
  • Posthypercapnia.
  • Cystic Fibrosis.

2)      Chloride-resistant (>20mEq/L): This includes:

  • Bicarbonate retention
  • Shifting of hydrogen ion into intracellular space: A raise in the pH of blood occurs due to the shift of hydrogen ion in the cells for maintaining electrical neutrality.
  • Alkalotic agents: Excess administration of antacids, bicarbonate in the blood can cause alkalosis.
  • Excess Glycyrrhizin Consumption
  • Gitelman and Barters syndrome
  • Liddle syndrome

SYMPTOMS: The symptoms of metabolic alkalosis are:

  • Irritability
  • Nausea
  • Mental Confusion
  • Spasms in muscles

CONSEQUENCES IF NOT TREATED: If metabolic alkalosis is left untreated, it may lead to all or any one of the following:

1)      Convulsions

2)      Cardiac arrest

3)      Coma

(3) Metabolic Acidosis: If the body produces much acid or if the kidneys are unable to remove the produced acids, metabolic acidosis occurs.

SYMPTOMS: A person having metabolic acidosis may show the following symptoms:

  • Palpitation
  • Headache
  • Bone pain
  • Muscle weakness
  • Vomiting

CONSEQUENCES IF NOT TREATED: If metabolic acidosis are left untreated, it may cause acidemia. Acidemia happens when the body is incapable to produce bicarbonate. Neurological and Cardiac problems are lead by extreme acidemia. The neurological and cardiac problems may be:

  • Neurological: Lethargy, Seizures, Coma, Stupor
  • Cardiac: Hypotension may occur by arrhythmias and low response of epinephrine.

RECOMMENDATION:

Metabolic Alkalosis: Excess use of drugs like diuretics, antacids should be avoided. Patients being fed by tubular method should be monitored carefully for avoiding salt and fluid imbalance.

Metabolic Acidosis: In certain cases, one may be asked to consume sodium bicarbonate which is also known as “baking soda” for the regulation of the acid level in the blood of the body. It is not an acidosis remedy and should not be tried at home. One should visit a doctor for proper treatment.

References:

1)      www.mhhe.com/biosci/ap/foxhumphys/student/olc/u-reading1.html

2)      www.en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metabolic_alkalosis

3)      www.en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metabolic_acidosis

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NepHriTiC SynDRomE

Accumulation of symptoms (also known as syndromes) related with disorders which affect the kidneys are called as Nephritic Syndrome. The disorders are mainly glomerular disorders. It is identified by the small pores present in the podocytes of the glomerulus, which are enough large to allow proteinuria or proteins and hematuria or red blood cells to pass in the urine. Usually nephritic syndrome is identified only by the movement of proteins in the urine.

Nephritic syndrome also known as glomerulonephritis is the inflammation of the kidneys. Destruction or damage of the glomeruli may be caused due to the disorders. Glomeruli are very small blood vessels present in the kidneys which filter out the waste materials and excess fluids. When a protein called albumin is lost from the blood, swelling may occur in the body. Albumin maintains fluid in the blood and when the blood loses it, the fluid gets collected in the tissues of the body. Loss of blood from the damaged structures of the kidney leads to blood in the urine.

It is more likely to occur in the people having an autoimmune disorder like lupus. Children may develop nephritic syndrome who has recently recovered from chickenpox or stetococus. In some people, nephritic syndrome may be hereditary due to genetic abnormalities, while some people may develop it due to no apparent reason.

Nephritic syndrome may have some relation to:

  • Acute kidney failure: Fast loss of the ability of the kidney of removing waste and the ability in balancing electrolytes and fluids in the body is called acute kidney failure.
  • Hypertension.

Some of the common causes, due to which nephritic syndrome occurs in adolescents and children may include the following:

  • Hemolytic-uremic syndrome (HUS) – It generally occurs due to the destruction of red blood cells and the production of toxic substances, causing injury to the kidney, due to an infection in the system of digestion.
  • Henoch-scholein purpura: It is a type of disease that includes glomerulonephritis (type of kidney disorder), gastrointestinal problems, joint pain and spots of purple colour on the skin.
  • IgA nephropathy: It is a disorder of the kidney which includes building up of antibodies known as IgA in the tissues of the kidney.
  • Post-streptococcal glomerulonephritis: It is a disorder that occurs after an infection with streptococcus bacterial strain in the kidney.

Some of the common causes due to which nephritic syndrome occurs in adults may include the following:

  • Abdominal abscesses (collection of pus in certain part of the body that causes inflammation or swelling around it is known as abscesses).
  •  Hepatitis B or C.
  • Goodpasture Syndrome (fast worsening kidney failure and diseases of lungs).
  • Infective endocarditis (infection caused by fungi, bacteria and other substances that are infectious, in the heart valves and the lining of the chambers of the heart).
  • Viral diseases like mumps, measles.
  • Vasculitis (damage to the blood vessels of the skin and inflammation lead by an infection or reaction caused due to a drug).

SYMPTOMS: Some of the symptoms characterized by the Nephritic Syndrome are as given below:

  • Hematuria: Blood passing through the urine with casts of red blood cells present in the urine.
  • Proteinuria: Presence of protein in the urine.
  • High blood pressure.
  • Uremia.

Nephritic syndrome may be caused due to some renal insufficiency too. The renal insufficiencies may be with:

  • Azotemia (elevated level of nitrogen in the blood).
  • Oliguria (lower output of urine, usually less than 400mL/day).

CONSEQUENCES IF NOT TREATED: Nephritic syndrome may be fatal if left untreated. The consequences, if nephritic syndrome is left untreated are as follows:

The untreated nephritic syndrome may lead to:

  • Acute failure of the kidney.
  • End-stage diseases of the kidney.
  • Pulmonary oedema.
  • Hypertension.
  • Heart failure due to congestion (congestive heart failure).
  • Chronic glomerulonephritis.

RECOMMENDATIONS: People with nephritic syndrome or glomerulonephritis should avoid certain food as well as, should have a limitation on the amount of other food. In nephritic syndrome, the kidneys fail to filter waste products and hence intake of phosphorus, sodium, potassium and protein should be limited.

Calories:  It is a measurement of the food’s energy value. Calories that one eats, affect the ability of one’s gaining and losing weight. Inappropriate numbers of calories inside the body burns proteins that are derived not only from the food one eats but from the muscle store of the body also. Excess amount of protein and calories to put strain on the affected kidney. Hence consumption of calories should be restricted.

Reference:

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NePhRoTiC SyNdRoMe

 

A chronic kidney disease which is characterized by swelling (oedema) and fluid retention, presence of excess amounts of protein in the urine, hypoalbuminemia (high serum levels of albumin) and high cholesterol level, is known as Nephrotic Syndrome. It is non-specific disorder where kidneys are damaged, which causes them to leak protein in very large amount. Kidneys that are affected by nephrotic syndrome have small pores present in the podocytes (cells in the Bowman’s capsule), which are enough large to allow protein to pass through urine, subsequently causing hyoalbuminemia, as few protein albumin passes from blood to the urine. The pores are not large enough to permit cells to pass through them, hence there is no hematuria.

Minimal Change Disease is the most general cause of nephrotic syndrome in children. It is a disorder of the kidneys, where the nephrons of the kidney, which does not have a regular and normal view under regular microscope, can be viewed normally and regularly under microscope.

In adults Membranous Glomerulonephritis is the most general cause of nephritic syndrome. Membranous Glomerulenephritis or Membranous Nephropathy is a disorder of the kidney which leads to the inflammation and changes in the structure inside the kidney, which helps in the filtration of fluids and wastes. Problems with the functioning of the kidney may be caused due to the inflammation.

Nephrotic Syndrome may also occur due to the following:

  • Cancer
  • Diseases like:

a)      Systematic lupus erythematosus: It is an autoimmune disorder which can affect kidneys, brain, skin, joints and other organs.

b)      Multiple Myeloma: It is a type of cancer which occurs in the bone marrow (soft and spongy tissue that is found in the bone, which helps in making blood cells).

c)       Amyloidosis: It is a disorder in which abnormal quantity of protein is build up in the organs and tissues.

d)      Diabetes: It is a lifelong disease in which high level of blood sugar is found in the blood.

  • Immune disorders.
  • Genetic disorders.
  • Infections like:

a)      Strep throat.

b)      Hepatitis.

c)       Mononucleosis: It is a viral infection that causes swollen glands, sore throat and fever.

Nephrotic syndrome may also occur due to some kidney disorders like:

  • Focal segmental glomerulosclerosis: It is a form of scar tissues that are produced in the parts of the kidney known as glomureli. The glomureli works as a filter, which help the body in getting rid of harmful and unnecessary products. Thousands of glomureli are present in each kidney.
  • Glomerulonephritis: It is a kidney disease in which the part that helps in filtering fluids and wastes, in the kidney, gets damaged.
  • Mesangiocapillary glomerulonephritis.

SYMPTOMS: nephritic syndrome may show some of the common symptoms like:

  • Swelling: It is the most general symptom of nephritic syndrome. Swelling may be observed in the following places:

a)      Facial swelling (swelling around the eyes and in the face).

b)      Swelling in the legs (commonly in the ankles and feet) and arms.

c)       Swollen abdomen (swelling in the belly area).

  • Appearance of foam in the urine.
  • Reduced desire to eat (poor appetite).
  • Unintentional weight gain.

CONSEQUENCES IF NOT TREATED: Nephrotic Syndrome if left untreated may cause the following:

  • Blood Clots: Incapability of the glomeruli of filtering the blood may lead to loss of proteins that help prevent clotting. This may develop the risk of blood development in the veins.
  • Poor nutrition: When too much of protein is lost, it may lead to malnutrition.
  • Chronic Kidney failure: Kidneys may slowly lose their function due to nephritic syndrome. It may lead to the requirement of a kidney transplant or dialysis.
  • Hypertension: Damage of glomeruli resulting in the building up of wastes in the bloodstream may cause hypertension.
  • Infection: People having nephritic syndrome are more exposed to the risk of getting infections.

RECOMMENDATION: People having nephritic syndrome should follow the following recommendations:

  • Blood pressure should be kept below or at 130/80 mmHg.
  • Intake of corticosteroids and other drugs may be advisable to suppress the immune system.
  • Should follow a low protein diet.
  • If nephritic syndrome is chronic and does not respond to treatment, intake of vitamin D may be required.
  • To prevent or treat blood clots, blood thinners may be required.

Reference:

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MEnsTRuaTIon

 

The shedding of the lining of the uterine (endometrium) is called menstruation or a period. Menstruation is also called as menses. During the reproductive age, all the female humans and some female mammals have regular menstruation or periods. Periods which include bleeding through the vagina is mainly found in humans and identical animals like primates. The shedding of the uterine lining is re-absorbed in many mammals. In human, a period or menstruation is bleeding from the uterus or womb, is released through the vagina. In every 28 days women have a period. However, in some women the period may occur in every 24 days and in some women it may occur in every 35 days. It is a part of the menstrual cycle of a woman. “Menses” is derived from the Latin word menses which means “Month” and the word “menstruation“, is derived from the French word menstrual which mean “monthly”.

A girl starts having periods when each and every part that makes up a girl’s reproductive system is mature and works together. A girl’s period starts between the ages of 8 to 16 years. Usually periods start when a girl is at an age of 12 years. Periods are one of the many signs that say that a girl is becoming a woman. Menstruation is an important phase in a girl’s puberty. Approximately 6 months, prior to getting her first menstrual cycle, a girl may feel clear vaginal discharge. It may itchiness or may have a strong odour. This has nothing to worry as it is completely normal. Regular periods occur till the menopause is reached by the women. Usually menopause for the women arrives between the ages of 45 years to 55 years.

Commencement of the menstrual cycle or periods may be welcomed with impatience and joy by some girls whereas some other girls may feel uneasy or scared. Fear and uneasiness are mainly found in the girls who are unaware of the reproductive system and the menstrual cycle, well.

The earlier a girl gets her first period, the higher is the chances of getting obese children in the future.

SYMPTOMS: When a woman has her period, her flow of blood through the vagina may seem heavy. In most of the women, the blood lost during a period amounts between 5 to 12 teaspoons. Women experiencing blood flow heavier than the normal are said to be in a condition called menorrhagia, which with the help of medicines may be treated.

Premenstrual Tension (PMT) or Premenstrual Syndrome:

During the menstrual cycle of a woman, the collection of physical, emotional and psychological symptoms is called premenstrual tension or premenstrual syndrome. The following symptoms may be felt by some of the women, prior to the days of having their menstrual cycle:

  • Headache (including migraine).
  • Irritability.
  • Depression.
  • Backache.
  • Insomnia.
  • Swelling or tenderness of the breast.
  • Lack of concentration.
  • Emotionally disturbed.

Immediately after the commencement of the menstrual cycle, symptoms that are listed above usually improve. The symptoms completely go away by the end of the period.

CONSEQUENCES OF MENSTRUAL DISORDERS: Disorders of menstruation or periods include the following:

  • Menorrhagia (heavy bleeding): There is excessive bleeding or long periods in menorrhagia.
  • Amenorrhea (Absence of period): Amenorrhea is considered primary when a girl does not have her first period till the age of 16 years and it is considered secondary when a woman getting her regular period stops getting it for at least 3 months.
  • Oligo-menorrhea (infrequent or light menstrual): In oligomenorrhea, the periods generally occur more than 35 days apart. It may be a matter of concern if periods occur more than 90 days apart.
  • Dysmenorrhoea (painful cramps during periods): Menstruation causes primary Dysmenorrhoea itself. Uterine fibroids or condition like endometriosis causes secondary Dysmenorrhoea.

RECOMMENDATIONS:

  • Painkillers: Women having pain and discomfort during their periods may have some painkillers like aspirin, Tylenol (paracetamol), ibuprofen.
  • Exercise: To reduce the level of pain and discomfort felt by the women during their periods, exercise has been found to be of a great help.
  • Relaxation techniques: These may include medication, massage and breathing exercise.
  • Hot water bottle: Holding a hot water bottle against the areas of the abdomen may help in reducing the discomfort.
  • Warm bath: A warm bath may also reduce the pain and discomfort of a woman during her period.

References:

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HeArT fAiLuRe

 

A condition in which the heart is unable to pump the appropriate quantity of blood to match the body’s requirement is called heart failure. In certain cases the heart cannot fill itself with the appropriate quantity of blood and in some cases it is unable to pump the required blood for the rest of the body, with appropriate force. In certain cases, people suffer from both the problems.

Heart failure has nothing in relation to the stopping of the heart instead it tells us about a serious condition, which requires immediate medical help. As the pumping action of the heart grows weaker, gradually it develops into heart failure. Only right or both the sides of the heart may be affected by this condition. Both the sides of the heart are affected in maximum cases.

If the heart fails to pump the appropriate amount of blood to the lungs to pick up oxygen, heart failure on the right side occurs. When the heart is unable to pump the oxygenated blood to the rest of the parts of the body, heart failure in left side occurs.

Fluids may build up in the veins in the neck, abdomen, ankles, liver, legs and feet due to heart failure on the right side. Fatigue (tiredness) and breathlessness may also be caused by left and right side heart failure.

Damage or overwork of the muscles of the heart may cause failure of heart. This leads to the weakening of the heart. Certain substances and proteins can be released in the blood, as the heart weakens. Due to the toxic effects that the substances have on the blood flow and heart, the heart failure may worsen.

Heart failure may be caused due to some of the common factors. They are as follows:

  • Diabetes.
  • Hypertension.
  • Coronary heart disease.

Diabetes: The inability of the body to produce insulin (a hormone which converts glucose into energy) or the inability to use insulin occurs in diabetes. Gradually, the high blood glucose level may damage the heart muscles and may also weaken the blood vessels near or around the heart, which leads to heart failure.

Hypertension: Blood pressure is said to be high if over time it stays above or at 140/90mmHg. Blood pressure forces the blood to push against the artery walls. The rise in pressure and if the pressure stays over time weakens the heart and it may lead to the build up plaque.

Coronary heart disease: Building up of plaque (waxy substance) in the coronary arteries (arteries that supply oxygenated blood to the heart muscles) causes a condition called coronary heart disease. Plaque reduces the blood flow to the muscles of the heart and the arteries are narrowed due to plaque. Blood flow can be permanently or partially blocked due to blood clots.

Coronary heart disease may lead to a discomfort which is called angina or chest pain, heart damage, a heart attack or maybe death.

SYMPTOMS: Heart failure may have some common symptoms like:

  • Troubled breathing or breathlessness.
  • Tiredness (fatigue).
  • Swelling in the veins in the neck, abdomen, feet, legs, ankles.

All the above symptoms occur due to the building up of fluid in the body. Building up of fluid due to heart failure may also cause the following:

  • Cough (worsens while lying and at night).
  • Gain in weight.
  • Frequent Urination.

CONSEQUENCES IF NOT TREATED: If heart failure is left untreated, it may lead to:

  • Damage or failure of the kidneys: The flow of the blood to the kidneys may be reduced due to heart failure and it may cause failure of the kidney.
  • Problems of the heart valve: The valves which keep the flow of blood in the appropriate direction through the heart may be damaged due to the building up of fluid that is caused due to heart failure.
  • Damage of liver; too much of pressure can be put on the liver due to the building up of fluid arising from heart failure. It makes difficult for the liver to work properly as the pressure due to the build up of fluid causes scarring and may damage the liver.
  • Stroke and heart attack: The flow of the blood being slow in heart failure, it is likely to develop blood clots in the coronary arteries which may increase the threat of stroke and heart attack.

RECOMMENDATIONS:

For the people having healthy heart: To reduce the threat of heart failure or any heart disease, the following actions should be taken:

  • A healthy diet must be followed. It may include a variety of fruits and vegetables, low fat or fat free dairy products, whole grains and foods rich in protein.
  • Quitting the habit of smoking.
  • Losing weight. People who are overweight or obese must have an appropriate weight loss plan.
  • Being physically active.

For people having threat or risk of heart failure: If someone is at a threat or risk of heart failure, the threat can be reduced taking the following actions:

  • Avoiding the consumption of alcohol.
  • Consultation with a doctor about the type of physical activities one should be engaged in.
  • Following all the actions that are recommended for the people with healthy hearts.

Reference: www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/hf/

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