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Demonetisation affecting mental health : psychiatrist

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Kolkata, Nov 18 : The central government’s demonetisation drive has taken a toll on the mental health of many cash-strapped people, with the rural population hit the most, said a senior psychiatrist here.

“Over the past couple of days, I have received quite a few cases from people adversely affected by the demonetization,” said Sanjay Garg, senior consultant psychiatrist at Fortis, Anandapur.

“Many of these calls came from rural Bengal, where people are largely dependent on liquid cash, unlike urban areas where online payments and cards are common”

The rural folk do not have the plastic money option,” he added. Garg said people were skipping consultation dates due to the cash crunch. People are missing consultation dates in hospitals because they cannot afford the travelling expenses and doctor’s fees,” he said.

“Telephone consultations are a possibility but then again patient monitoring isn’t quite viable over the phone,” Garg said.

To fight the stress and anxiety during the liquid cash crunch, Garg provided a few tips to combat the demonetization fallout:
WALK : “The biggest help would be lifestyle modification,” he said. For example,  physical activity like brisk walking and deep breathing could help in calming one’s nerves and relaxing the mind, Garg said.

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LISTEN TO GOOD MUSIC: “Relaxation therapy and distraction technique like listening to music, dancing or pursuing one’s hobbies and engaging in some recreational activity could help, too,” he added.

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STAY CLOSE TO ALMIGHTY: For those religiously inclined, they could engage themselves in meditation and regular spirituality as it would divert their mind and also provide solace from the problem. Take your own good quite time.

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AVOID SMOKING : Garg also advised not to trust random information and rumours.  “Don’t trust information from random resources, check for authenticity before reacting and lastly cut down on maladapted behaviour like smoking and drinking,” he said.

 

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IMPROVE YOUR CONNECTIVITY: “Improving your social network, including your family , friends  are extremely important during these times,” Garg advised.

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Health is wealth!

 

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Reduce stress, anxiety by cycling regularly

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New Delhi, Dec 17 : Cycling can be one of the easiest ways to stay fit. Besides controlling your weight, it can reduce depression, stress and anxiety, say experts.

R.M. Anjana, Managing Director at Dr. Mohan’s Diabetes Specialities Centre and Deepali Badoni, Physiotherapist at AktivHealth Clinic, talk about the benefits of cycling:

* Cycling is an aerobic exercise which has several health benefits. It reduces the risk of heart diseases. The activity boosts production of chemicals like serotonin, dopamine and phenylethylamine in the brain that makes you feel happy and keeps depression at bay.

* Static cycling is better for people suffering from knee or joint pain.

* People suffering from diabetes should make sure that they are well-hydrated while cycling. Type-1 diabetics should carry some carbohydrate based snacks if they are cycling for more than an hour.

Diabetics can track their blood sugar before, during, and after exercise using a finger-stick style blood glucose meter or a continuous glucose monitor (CGM). A prescription for a CGM is required if you are cycling regularly, especially over long distances or in races.

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Maternal blood sugar likely to affect baby’s heart

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New York, Dec 16: Women with high blood sugar early in pregnancy may raise their baby’s risk of developing a congenital heart defect, according to a study.

While it has been long known that diabetes in pregnancy raises the odds for congenital heart defects in babies.

The new findings reveal that risk extends even to women without diabetes in their earliest part of pregnancy, when the foetal heart is forming.

“Most women who have a child with congenital heart disease are not diabetic,” said James Priest, assistant professor at the Stanford University in California.

The results showed that the risk of giving birth to a child with a congenital heart defect was elevated by 8 per cent for every increase of 10 milligrams per deciliter in blood glucose levels in the early stages of pregnancy.

“We found that in women who don’t already have diabetes or develop diabetes during pregnancy, we can still measure risk for having a child with congenital heart disease by looking at their glucose values during the first trimester of pregnancy,” Priest added.

For the study, published in The Journal of Paediatrics, the team examined medical records from 19,107 pairs of mothers and their babies born between 2009 and 2015, which included details of the mothers’ prenatal care, including blood test results and any cardiac diagnoses made for the babies during pregnancy or after birth.

The study may be helpful to measure blood glucose early in pregnancy in all pregnant women to help determine which individuals are at greater risk for having a baby with a heart defect.

“Knowing about defects prenatally improves outcomes because mothers can receive specialised care that increases their babies’ chances of being healthier after birth,” Priest added.

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Radiation from smartphones may up miscarriage risk: Study

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New York, Dec 14: Pregnant women’s exposure to non-ionising radiation from smartphones, Bluetooth devices and laptops may more than double the risk of miscarriage, a study has showed.

Non-ionising radiation — radiation that produces enough energy to move around atoms in a molecule, but not enough to remove electrons completely — from magnetic fields is produced when electric devices are in use and electricity is flowing.

It can be generated by a number of environmental sources, including electric appliances, power lines and transformers, wireless devices and wireless networks.

While the health hazards from ionising radiation are well-established and include radiation sickness, cancer and genetic damage, the evidence of health risks to humans from non-ionising radiation remains limited, said De-Kun Li, a reproductive and perinatal epidemiologist at the Kaiser Permanente — a US-based health care firm.

For the study, published in the journal Scientific Reports, the team asked for 913 pregnant women over age 18 to wear a small (a bit larger than a deck of cards) magnetic-field monitoring device for 24 hours.

After controlling for multiple other factors, women who were exposed to higher magnetic fields levels had 2.72 times the risk of miscarriage than those with lower magnetic fields exposure.

The increased risk of miscarriage associated with high magnetic fields was consistently observed regardless of the sources of high magnetic fields. The association was much stronger if magnetic fields was measured on a typical day of participants’ pregnancies.

The finding also demonstrated that accurate measurement of magnetic field exposure is vital for examining magnetic field health effects.

“This study provides evidence from a human population that magnetic field non-ionising radiation could have adverse biological impacts on human health,” Li noted.

“We hope that the finding from this study will stimulate much-needed additional studies into the potential environmental hazards to human health, including the health of pregnant women,” he said.

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