This section provides you with an array of informative articles on women’s, men’s and children’s health. Stay abreast on trending health topics and latest health information from our medical experts. Find out what best hospitals can offer and grow your understanding of the best health plans available. This section will also help you understand about various disease conditions and treatment plans.
How To Choose Your Doctor and Hospital for Pregnancy
Choosing an Obstetrician to guide you through your pregnancy and labor and gift you with a healthy baby has to be done with a lot of forethought. Obstetricians come with varying levels of professional excellence and individual temperament. You as parents will have to look for an obstetrician with two vital qualities: competence and compassion.
He/she should possess clinical competence to be able to detect risks to the mother and baby and be able to provide appropriate advice and treatment
He/she should be competent enough to diagnose and manage expected and unanticipated problems during labor
He/she support you throughout your pregnancy, labor and later A neonatologist and pediatrician should also have all the above qualities, as care of your child is very important. You should feel comfortable discussing the most personal issues with your doctor.
Make sure you choose a hospital with the following qualities:
multi-specialty services under one roof
Clearly defined protocols for clinical and non-clinical care
Maintains digital records of you and your baby, so that future follow-ups of the baby throughout childhood is available
Practices evidence based medicine
Where your health insurance is valid
Has a Neonatal Intensive Care unit in case your newborn is sick
Has postpartum breastfeeding support
Warning Signs – Not to be Ignored
f you have any of the warning signs during your pregnancy, never ignore it, however small the problem may seem. Vaginal bleeding or spotting Once you start feeling the movements of your baby regularly, at any time movements cannot be felt or are reduced all of a sudden is a danger sign. Your doctor will guide you on doing daily “kick counts” and when to call Severe or persistent abdominal pain or tenderness Painful, burning, little or no urination Quantity of vaginal discharge increases or it changes and becomes watery, bloody or blood tinted or sticky. After 37 weeks, a mucus discharge may indicate progression into early labor A feeling that your baby is pushing down, lower back pain (especially if it’s a new problem for you), menstrual-like cramping or abdominal pain or more than four contractions in an hour before 37 weeks
Severe or persistent vomiting or any vomiting accompanied by pain or fever
Chills or fever of 100 degrees Fahrenheit or higher
Visual disturbances such as double vision, blurring, dimming, flashing lights, or “floaters”(spots in your field of vision)
Persistent or a severe headache, or any a headache accompanied by blurred vision, slur speech, or numbness
Any swelling of the face or puffiness around your eyes, swelling in your hands, severe and sudden swelling of your feet or ankles, or a rapid weight gain
Calf pain which is persistent or one leg being more swollen than the other
Trauma to the abdomen
Fainting, frequent dizziness, a rapid heartbeat or palpitations
Difficulty in breathing, coughing up blood or chest pain
Severe constipation accompanied by abdominal pain or severe diarrhea that lasts more than 24 hours
Persistent, intense itching of your torso, arms, legs, palms, or soles, or a feeling of itchiness all over your body
Pregnant women are high risk for contracting influenza and H1N1. So any flu-like symptoms you may have or you coming in contact with a person with flu-like symptoms should be reported to the doctor
Seek immediate emergency medical care if you’re experiencing shortness of breath or difficulty in breathing, chest or abdominal pain, sudden dizziness or confusion, severe or persistent vomiting, decreased fetal movement, or if you have a high fever
Exposure to a communicable disease like chicken pox or rubella if you’re not immune or are showing signs of infection.
Depression or severe anxiety. If you are feeling a profound sense of sadness or hopelessness, having panic attacks, are unable to handle your daily responsibilities or are having thoughts of harming yourself then seek help immediately.
Nutrition During Pregnancy
Childbearing imposes both physical and mental strain. To be able to counter this, it is important that the mother has a healthy diet during pregnancy. Health and well-being of both mother and baby in the womb depends on the mother having a wholesome nourishing diet.
The aim of the nutritional plan
Successful pregnancy requires a diet that:
Maintains maternal nutritional needs and helps in the development of a healthy fetus
Provides continuous adjustments in maternal body composition and metabolism
Provides good maternal nutrition, which is vital for health and reproductive performance of the mother and the health, survival, and development of the baby
The dietary advice is as follows:
Eat a variety of food from all food groups (cereals, pulses/non-veg, milk, fruits and vegetables, oils & nuts, sugar).
Cereals: Choose from whole wheat, wheat bread, multi-grain bread, ragi, bajra and jowar
Pulses: Include a variety of green gram, horse gram, soya beans, black eyed beans
Fruits: Eat 2-3 whole seasonal fruits daily
Vegetables: One cup each with lunch and dinner. Restrict root and tubers
Green leafy vegetables: Thrice a week
Milk and milk products: Preferably skim milk. 400 ml a day
Oil: Choose from sunflower or safflower oil. 3-4 tsps a day
Fluid intake should be at least 2-3 liters per day
Raw salad with at least one meal a day
Non-vegetarian foods: Chicken (no skin), fish (not fried) or eggs white
Have small, frequent meals 5-6 times per day.
Maintain at least 1 1⁄2 -2 hour gap between dinner and bedtime.
For morning sickness keep crackers, plain sweet biscuits/ rusk or toast handy.
Have at least one portion of dry fruits 25gms (almonds, walnuts, figs-2, raisins) each daily. Follow it up with citrus fruits so the absorption of iron is better.
Coconut in excess
Deep fried foods
Soft drinks, alcohol, ice cream, honey, jaggery, etc.
Salty foods like pickle, processed foods, salty snacks
Maida based foods like naan, kulcha, roomali roti
Fats like vanaspati, butter, cheese, ghee, re-used oils
Limit the intake of caffeine containing foods to less than 300mg/day (i.e. 2 cups of coffee or 3 cups of tea)
Salt intake 5gm /day and if patient has pregnancy induced hypertension, then restrict the intake to less than 1⁄2 teaspoon/day
A Sample Diet Plan
|On waking||Almonds (2) + water 1 glass or Plain milk or tea/coffee with one spoon sugar|
|8 – 9 am||Roti- 3 numbers (no oil) or 1 medium bowl of upma/poha or 2 table spoon raw oats cooked in water. Add 150 ml milk + 1 Fruit or Wheat bread sandwich with vegetable slices. 1 Fruit/egg white omelet or 1 medium bowl of wheat flakes with skimmed milk|
|11am||Buttermilk/tender coconut water/1 Fruit|
1 – 1:30 pm
|Rice- 1 cup (100g) + 2 rotis|
|Sabzi- 1 cup (100g) + salad 1 cup + dhal or greens -1 cup (100g) + curd 1 cup (75 ml), greens thrice a week|
|Low fat paneer/egg/grilled chicken/fish (1 serving)|
|Tea 4 pm||Tea/coffee 1 cup + 2 plain biscuits or wheat crackers|
|6 pm||(optional)Whole fruit (guava/apple), home made sprouts or bhel puri (150g)|
|or 2 Vegetable sandwich (multigrain bread + green chutney + cucumber)|
|or Buttermilk mixed vegetable soup (200 ml)|
|2 Dry rotis + green gram/brown channa/mixed vegetable curry/palak dal/mushroom curry Bed time Skimmed milk (1 glass)|
Angiography, Angioplasty and Coronary Artery Disease
Coronary Artery Disease is the hardening of arteries that supply oxygenated blood to the heart. These arteries are hardened due to the formation of plaque caused by fatty material and other substances being deposited in the arterial wall. This narrows down the artery and reduces blood flow to the heart and leads to several heart problems, including heart attacks. Heart attacks occur when there is less or no supply of oxygenated blood to the heart muscles causing that part of the muscles to lose function or die.
People suffering from heart problems can be treated using surgical and non-surgical methods. Angioplasty is also one such non-surgical method to treat heart diseases (also called as interventional technique). This method is used to widen blocked or narrowed arteries (a result of coronary heart disease or atherosclerosis ) that carry oxygen-rich blood to the heart.
Symptoms of Coronary Artery Disease
- Pain or discomfort in the chest is the most common symptom
- A squeezing pain in the chest, neck, back, stomach or arm
- Shortness of breath
Treatment of Coronary Artery Disease
Medicines may be prescribed to control high blood pressure, high cholesterol levels or diabetes.
In case the disease is severe, the following procedures and surgeries are done:
- Angioplasty and Stent Placement
- Coronary Artery Bypass Surgery (CABG)
- Minimally Invasive Heart Surgery
What Happens During Angioplasty Treatment?
Before starting the procedure, some pain medicine and blood thinning medicine are given to the patient. A local anesthesia may also be given.
As a part of angioplasty, a cardiac catheterization is performed. A sheath (a thin plastic tube) is inserted through the groin or arm, into an artery. Through this sheath, a long, flexible, narrow and hollow tube called the catheter is passed and guided through the blood vessels to the arteries around the heart. A small amount of a contrast material (dye) is injected into the body to highlight blood flow through the arteries. The dye, injected during angioplasty, is photographed through an X-ray as it travels through the heart chambers, valves and arteries. Through these pictures, the doctor can tell if there are any blockages in the arteries or if they have narrowed down and if the heart valves are functioning properly.
In case a decision is taken to perform an angioplasty, the doctor will move the catheter to the artery with a blockage. An interventional procedure (as mentioned below) will be performed.
Balloon angioplasty: A catheter with a small balloon tip is placed at the point of narrowing of the blocked artery. Upon reaching there, the balloon is inflated to compress the plaque in the artery wall to widen (stretch) the artery and increase blood flow to the heart.
Stent: A stent is a mesh metal tube that is introduced as a scaffold into the coronary artery, with the help of a balloon catheter that is placed over a guide wire. When the balloon tip is inflated, the stent expands to the size of the coronary artery and stays in place permanently.
Rotoblation: An acorn-shaped, diamond coated tip is attached to the catheter, which rotates at high speed and grinds away the plaque upon reaching the blocked artery.
Atherectomy: A minimally invasive surgical method of removing, mainly, atherosclerosis from a large blood vessel within the body. It is generally used to effectively treat peripheral arterial disease of the lower extremities are also been used to treat coronary artery disease
Cutting Balloon: An angioplasty technique that has a special balloon tip with a small blade that is activated when the balloon is inflated. The blade chips at the hardened calcific deposits on the artery
What is Angiography?
Many people tend to confuse angiography and angioplasty. There is a vast difference between these two terms. While angioplasty has been explained above, angiography is a medical imaging of blood vessels, which involves using water soluble ionic or non-ionic x-ray contrast material that is injected into the blood stream to visualize the blood vessels supplying blood to the heart and is a diagnostic tool.