Importance of Health in Our Lives

It is rightly said, “Health is Wealth”. And we cannot deny the fact that health plays an important role in the well-being of an individual. Being healthy does not necessarily signify physical fitness but also the mental state of well-being. A person needs to be both mentally and physically sound to be referred to a healthy individual.

The two ways to keep have a healthy body are- Physical activity and balanced diet. When these two are in a good proportion, no one can stop you from attaining your desired fitness goals.

• Physical Fitness

Physical fitness is a common state of health and well-being and, more clearly, the ability to perform various types and parts of sports, as well as everyday activities. Physical fitness is typically achieved through proper diet, moderate to an enthusiastic physical exercise routine and sufficient rest.

It is essential that one is both physically and sensitively fit. Exercising holds a crucial place in our lives. It assists us in staying bodily healthy. The human body is designed to be in action. If we don’t walk or exercise on a daily basis then we might easily get prone to various kinds of diseases in due course. As eating food is important in our lives, same way exercise also plays a great role in your fitness. Physical activity does not necessarily mean that you need to do vigorous training sessions in the gym, but just to keep your body active by the usual day-to-day work. You can perform yoga Asana or just go for a walk and you will see a lot of difference.

• Mental Fitness

Another major aspect that plays a vital role in your overall fitness is your mental well-being. A person needs to be mentally sound and only then he/she will be able to perform any given task successfully. Mental fitness does not denote your intelligence quotient level but the normal functioning of your mind. A mentally sound person is an optimistic person and is not a sufferer of depression. Such problems can make you lose control over your mind and perform tasks that can prove to be regretful in future.

For attaining a mental stability you can perform meditation and yoga. This will help you focus and have a clear viewpoint in life. If you are suffering from depression it is advised that you visit a physiatrist and ask for further guidance. They will direct you in the best way possible and help you come out of this situation easily.

To get yourself a happy and content life you need be healthy. For this, you need to stay focused and have a goal. This goal can be related to any aspect of life, but it starts with one thing- HEALTH.

Incorporating Heart Healthy Habits in Life

According to the American Heart Association, heart disease remains the No. 1 global cause of death with 17.3 million deaths each year. That number is expected to rise to more than 23.6 million by 2030.

The Heart Foundation suggests that cardiovascular diseases claim more lives than all forms of cancer combined and coronary heart disease is the most common type of heart disease, killing nearly 380,000 people annually.

Many of us are well aware of these facts about heart diseases but still we do so little for the health of our tickers, which keep working grudgingly for us despite being subjected to our neglect. Caring for our tickers requires attention to many aspects of our life. By adopting the following heart healthy habits, we can add years to life besides staving off financial burden.

Heart healthy habits:

Exercise regularly – Our heart is a muscle that needs to be worked regularly to stay strong and healthy. Though any amount of exercise is better than no exercise, we must aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity aerobic physical activity (e.g., brisk walking) every week or 1 hour and 15 minutes (75 minutes) of vigorous intensity aerobic physical activity (e.g., jogging, running) or a combination of both every week.

In addition, we need muscle strengthening activities that work all major muscle groups (legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest shoulders, and arms) on 2 or more days a week.

Eat healthy – We must choose foods low in saturated fat, trans fat, and sodium. In addition, we must eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, fiber-rich whole grains, fish (preferably oily fish at least twice per week), nuts, legumes and seeds and try eating some meals without meat. Further, one should limit sugar-sweetened beverages and red meat. If one chooses to eat meat, one should select the leanest cuts available.

Quit smoking – Smoking is a major cause of cardiovascular disease (CVD) and causes one of every three deaths from CVD. The risk of CVD increases with the number of cigarettes smoked per day as well as the numbers of years they were smoked. Smoking cigarettes with lower levels of tar or nicotine does not reduce the risk for cardiovascular disease.

Avoid second hand smoke – People are more likely to develop heart disease if exposed to second-hand smoke at home or work. According to the American Heart Association, exposure to tobacco smoke contributes to about 34,000 premature heart disease deaths and 7,300 lung cancer deaths each year. This is because the chemicals emitted from cigarette smoke promote the development of plaque buildup in the arteries.

Practice dental hygiene – It has been found that bacteria in the mouth, involved in the development of gum disease, can move into the bloodstream and cause an elevation in C-reactive protein, a marker for inflammation in the blood vessels. These changes may, in turn, increase our risk of heart disease and stroke.

Have regular and adequate sleep daily – A 2011 European Heart Journal review of 15 medical studies involving almost 475,000 people found that short sleepers had a 48% increased risk of developing or dying from coronary heart disease (CHD) in a seven to 25-year follow-up period. Interestingly, long sleepers, those who averaged nine or more hours a night, also showed a 38% increased risk of developing or dying from CHD. Lack of sleep doesn’t necessarily cause heart disease but it really increases the risk factors for heart disease.

Simple habit changing tips:

Substituting healthy habits for unhealthy ones rewards us with good health and better quality of life. Still many find it difficult to incorporate healthy habits in their life as sooner or later they revert back to unhealthy lifestyle, thereby losing all the beneficial effects they had. Like any other health habit, heart healthy habits need to be followed throughout life.

The following tips will help us to incorporate heart healthy habits in life:

• One has to make a decision and do conscious efforts to stick to the commitment.
• One has to discover triggers and obstacles that need to be overcome otherwise one will set oneself up for failure.
• One should devise a plan and review it from time to time.
• One should employ visualizations and affirmations, relating to habits to be changed because they program the subconscious with the right mindset for establishing a new habit.
• By enlisting the support of family and friends, we can steer away the temptation that may thwart our efforts.
• One should find ways to reward oneself because they make us feel good, even if it’s just temporarily. They will help keeping us motivated to stay on the track.

The bottom line:

Our awareness about the heart disease as number one cause of death worldwide has risen. Nevertheless, many still lack the adequate knowledge of those heart healthy habits that need to be incorporated to keep our ticker strong. What’s more, though many do make efforts to adopt them, they fail to continue with them and are thus unable to derive benefits from them.

Finding an Authoritative Health Magazine

Many consumers today get their health information from the internet, TV, and magazines. It is also true that most of the published materials are also availed online at some point. While the resources are great, some offer information that is good and up to date while others do not. Things have become very convenient these days and there are many health magazines that have become available online today.

If you are using the web, then you should find out more about who exactly is running that site. You should always base your focus on the quality. You should be skeptical. When you read things and they sound as if they are too good to be true, most probably they are. You should always seek information that is based on research, is unbiased, and is current especially when it has to do with health.

There are some steps that can be followed to ensure that you achieve just that.

Consider the source

You should only use the sources that are responsible and recognized. Find out whether the information is from an individual, a commercial institution, a health system, a professional organization, a non-profit organization, or even the federal government. This can make a very big difference in the kind of material that you end up reading. A website should also display the contact information because lack of information is usually a bad sign.

Quality

Websites are not created the same. There are those that have an editorial board, meaning that information is first reviewed before it is published. You can find the information on the mission statement or the about us page. Sometimes the website could also have a section where information about the health writes is given or the authors. Sometimes, even though the magazine is not published by health professionals, there could be links to resources from people who actually are authorities in that area. These are some of the things that will guarantee that you actually end up with the best information.

Cyber-skepticism

Sometimes some of the things written seem to be out of this world. Beware of magazines that give cures for different illness and call them breakthroughs or sites that give secret ingredients. Also, be careful with a site that uses sensational writing where so many exclamation marks are used and so on. The best health magazine should use simple language.

Evidence

You should look for the evidence behind claims made. Be reliant on medical research rather than opinion. Look for references or author information. Testimonials and case histories should have contact information. Anonymous testimonials should never be relied on.

Timeliness

This is the other thing that you definitely need to check. Consider how current the information given is. Look at the dates on the documents. Latest treatments should always be very current.

Biased information

You should always be very aware of any kind of bias. Find out the main purpose of the site and if it is supported by commercial advertising. Always make sure that you protect your privacy too. Make sure the magazine has a privacy policy in place.

Accreditation Is Key in Securing a Cord Blood Transplant

Umbilical cord blood plays a potent role in treating life-threatening ailments like sickle cell anaemia, lymphoma, leukaemia and the like. Today, over 25,000 patients round the globe have had cord blood transplants since their parents had a long-term vision that made them donate the child’s umbilical cord blood to a prominent cord blood bank.

In fact, most ace doctors and health experts suggest that blood from umbilical cord must be preserved until there’s need of it. Medical science presently believes that it can be preserved for an indefinite time, so that it can be of use for several generations. Stem cell transplants having 40 years as the average age, the longer the tissue and blood from the umbilical cord is stored, the maximum will be its use. And this where the accreditation process ties in!

Who manages the cord blood banking facilities?

Simply put, the banks which stores blood from the umbilical cord get regulated by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA). It is essential for all blood banks which store cord tissue and blood to register their name with the FDA and welcome the recurrent inspections and adhere to the regulations listed by this body. Furthermore, there are several other banks, comprising of the Core 23 BioBank, that willingly place themselves for other additional regulation under reputed accrediting bodies such as FACT and AABB.

Recently, AABB accreditation is considered to be the standard or key to cord blood transplant globally, where about 70% of the AABB accredited cord blood banks are located outside of U.S. As an authorized and authentic accrediting organization for cellular therapies and transfusion medicine round the word, the AABB gives a patient ear to the stories from various members of blood banks, hospitals and other bodies. Listening, it is said is a vital aspect of AABB’s accreditation process and programme.

As a group of AABB assessor approach an organization, basic checklists aren’t what they depend on! On the other hand, their key responsibility is to enquire, observe, gather data, build connections and provide a direct feedback on the organization’s accomplishments in catering to AABB’s technical and quality management par. Other than the formal reviewing process, there’s a peer-to-peer knowledge sharing process that takes place along with other discussions related to the best practices. Furthermore, it is interesting to note that the accreditation programme of AABB is accredited by International Society for Quality in Healthcare, a notable global organization that oversees and accredits accrediting bodies.

In fact, back in 2016 it a Dubai based AABB accredited cord blood bank successfully delivered a life-saving treatment of a 7-year-old boy, by providing stem cells that has been obtained from the umbilical cord blood that was saved 3 years before the birth of his sibling. This 7-year-old boy, who’s the elder brother, was diagnosed with major beta thalassemia, which is a blood disorder that might require daily blood transfusions and in a lifetime, can branch out into other various serious health hazards and ailments.

There are several reasons why AABB accreditation is considered the best practice for cord blood transplant. This accreditation programme makes use of a risk-solving approach that needs a meticulous evaluation by an AABB assessor to be on-site, examining the facility’s policies, processes and procedure to discover any possible marks of non-conformity. At the time of this accreditation process, the institutions gain from customized help rendered by a technical specialist at the AABB’s accreditation department. It is this specialist who in turn guides and assists the institutions and its team members on the accreditation process, giving answers to required queries and authenticating procedure followed and documents maintained. The verification process is strict, so that cord blood transplant taking place from the cord blood bank poses no health hazards and other discomforts.

The Vital Importance of Chaperoning in General Practice for Doctors

What is a Chaperone for General Practitioners?

A chaperone in medical practice, is defined as an appropriately-trained independent person who is responsible for observing the examinations and procedures performed by the doctor or medical professional. Their main job is to assist in strengthening the relationship between the doctor and the patient and enhancing the standards of conventional medical practice.

Need for Chaperones in Medical Profession

Medical examinations are becoming increasingly challenging for the doctors and the patients. The main reasons for this are the detailed doctor-patient discussions, accompanied by increasing the autonomy of the patient and their right to making decisions independently for medical and surgical treatment. This is noticeably affecting the traditional doctor-patient relationship that we know of.

These reasons have made maintaining a transparent and open relationship between the doctor and their patients and is increasingly difficult. The boundaries that govern an ideal and healthy doctor-patient relationships are becoming blurred and making consultation is more challenging for the doctors.
A chaperone works excellently to make the doctor-patient relationship stronger and more trustful. However, reports show a surprising lack of awareness amongst the medical community.

According to a survey published by BMJ (2015), shows that:
• Around 37% of general practitioners admitted to having a chaperone policy.
• While 68% of male general practitioners offered a chaperone when performing an intimate physical examination, only 5% of female general practitioners admitted to it.
• Only 54% of male and around 2% of female general practitioners admitted to having a chaperone when performing examinations.
• Over 70% of female and 8% of male general practitioners admitted they never use a chaperone when conducting an intimate examination of patients.

When the general practitioners did use a chaperone, the sources were varied, such as:
• 22% of interviewed general practitioners used general practice registrars or students as chaperones.
• 47% used a family member or a person accompanying the patient as chaperones.
• 43% of general practitioners used non-clinical practice staff as chaperones.
• 78% of general practitioners normally used qualified female nurses as chaperones.

The main reasons that the general practitioners gave for not using a licensed and qualified professional medical chaperone for chaperoning in general practice are:
• Availability
• Confidentiality
• Time constraints
• Doctor-Patient relationship

Importance of Chaperoning in General Medical Practice

The use of a chaperone during an intimate examination, especially of female patients, is an essential step towards building a stronger, healthier and more transparent relationship between the general practitioner (doctor/medical professional) and their patients.

These are the top reasons that detail the importance of having a chaperone present during an intimate medical examination of a patient:
• Protection – The presence of a chaperone during an intimate medical examination adds a protective layer for the doctor against false allegations of inappropriate behaviour/sexual harassment.
• Trust-building – Chaperones are a way of acknowledging the vulnerability that the patient might feel for their dignity during an intimate physical examination.
• Assistance – Chaperones are also trained to efficiently help the general practitioner for performing examinations.
• Assurance – Chaperones are meant to provide reassurance and emotional comfort to the patient.

The prospect of an intimate examination may result in anxiety and embarrassment to the patient. These types of examinations require immense care and sensitivity towards the patient’s feelings and emotional state.

Intimate examinations mostly consist of examinations or tests being carried out on the breasts, genitals or the rectum. Apart from this, it also includes any examination procedure which requires the doctor to be close to the patient, such as:
• Eye examination in dim lighting
• Putting on the cuff for measuring the blood pressure
• Palpating the apex-beat, etc

It becomes important to let the patient know beforehand in clear terms as to what the specific intimate examination will entail.

It is important for general practitioners and other medical professionals who require performing intimate physical examinations for patients to state their chaperoning policy clearly. It should be advertised sufficiently through informational leaflets for patients, websites and on notice boards inside the clinic or hospital. Ideally, it should be a routine practice for doctors to offer the services of a medical chaperone to every patient before starting the examination. Ensure enhanced levels of medical practice by having an effective chaperoning policy for your medical and healthcare centre.