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Why bereavement can lead to a ‘broken heart’

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Heart Break

While loss of a loved one or breakdown of a relationship is often linked to a “broken heart”, not much is known why such emotional trauma could make someone physically ill. New research suggests that the body’s own immune response could play a key role in the condition.

Symptoms of broken heart syndrome include shortness of breath and chest pain and as such it is often mistaken for a heart attack. However, unlike in a heart attack, patients do not suffer from a blockage of the arteries that supply the heart with blood.

The cause of broken heart syndrome is not clearly understood but often is a result of intense emotional or physical trauma, which is thought to induce a strong response that affects the heart tissue.

“We found that broken heart syndrome triggers a storm in the immune system which results in acute inflammation in the heart muscle. The heart muscle then spills inflammatory signals that are circulating throughout the body,” said lead researcher Dana Dawson, Professor at University of Aberdeen in Scotland.

There is currently no treatment for broken heart syndrome, or Takotsubo cardiomyopathy.

The new study, published in the journal Circulation, suggests that drugs that target inflammation could offer hope of fixing broken hearts.

In the study, 55 patients with acute Takotsubo cardiomyopathy were recruited from five Scottish cardiac centres.

Using sophisticated MRI techniques, the researchers found that the inflammatory immune response in the hearts of those with broken heart syndrome was heightened compared to healthy volunteers.

This study also showed that signs of inflammation were still found five months later, albeit at a much lesser level.

“Takotsubo cardiomyopathy is a serious stress-induced condition which affects mainly women and can cause long-lasting damage and scarring to the heart muscle. Surprisingly, there are still large gaps in our knowledge of its underlying biology,” said Professor Metin Avkiran, Associate Medical Director at the British Heart Foundation which funded the study.

“The discovery that it is accompanied by inflammation within the heart and in the rest of the body is an important step forward,” Avkiran said.

“We now need further research to understand if inflammation causes Takotsubo cardiomyopathy and determine if drugs that target inflammation could be the key to fixing broken hearts,” Avkiran said.

Lifestyle

Myntra taps 9,000 kirana stores in 50 cities to boost last-mile delivery

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New Delhi, Jan 22 : Flipkart-owned ecommerce platform Myntra that saw 80 per cent revenue fall in FY2018 has doubled down on last-mile delivery, tapping into over 9,000 kirana stores across 50 cities to fast deliver packages.

Today, nearly 60 per cent of all Myntra’s product pick-ups and deliveries happen through its “Kirana Delivery Programme” — helping the company reduce delivery costs, the company told IANS on Tuesday.

“Myntra’s ‘Kirana Delivery Programme’ is a successful model introduced by the company to accelerate order delivery in the most efficient way possible, while ensuring we provide a good partnership opportunity to our kirana partners,” a company spokesperson told IANS.

“We will continue to innovate, expand and hope to register more kirana partners in the future as well,” the spokesperson added.

The “Kirana Delivery Programme” is an ingenious model introduced by the company to accelerate order delivery, while creating a platform for kirana stores to have an additional source of income.

“A mutually beneficial model, it has helped Myntra achieve greater consumer satisfaction and is enhancing the standard of living of the owners of several ‘mom & pop’ stores across the country,” said the company.

Several tailors and beauty parlour owners, among others, have also signed up with Myntra for the programme.

The online fashion retailer narrowed its consolidated losses to Rs 178.7 crore for 2017-18, compared with a loss of Rs 655.8 crore in the previous fiscal.

According to business intelligence platform Tofler, the company saw its income growing nearly threefold to Rs 427.4 crore in 2017-18 as against Rs 155.6 crore in the previous financial year.

Ananth Narayanan, Chief Executive of e-tail portals Myntra and Jabong, stepped down from the post on January 14 “to pursue external opportunities”.

The 11-year-old Flipkart Group, owned by US retail giant Walmart, includes e-tail sites Flipkart, Myntra, Jabong and digital payment platform PhonePe.

In May last year, Walmart bought a 77 per cent equity stake in the company for a whopping $16 billion.

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Health

Natural ways to boost immunity in children

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Kids eating, children snacks

New Delhi, Jan 21: It is natural for parents to protect their children from any harm, including the endless array of germs they are exposed to every day.

As children grow up, they are continuously exposed to various germs, especially in places such as daycare centres and preschool. Children with low immunity are highly susceptible to various types of infections. The high incidence of infections has led to an increased and inappropriate use of antibiotics, which has further resulted in antimicrobial resistance.

Antimicrobial resistance, a widespread problem, takes places when microbes build resistance against the medications intended to kill them due to overuse. It is one of the world’s most pressing public health problems. The best way to tackle this is to build a strong immunity, which naturally protects your child from infections. Dr. Rajesh Kumawat, Head – Medical Services & Clinical Development, The Himalaya Drug Company, shares a few tips that can help boost your child’s immunity.

Healthy Diet

A healthy diet that comprises all fundamental components like proteins, minerals, vitamins, micronutrients and unsaturated fats in optimum quantity, helps build the immunity required to fight against various infections or diseases in children. Citrus fruits, carrots, green leafy vegetables, beans, strawberry, yogurt, garlic, and ginger help build immunity with their immunity-boosting properties.

Adequate Sleep

Sleep deprivation suppresses the functionality of the immune system, which makes children susceptible to infections. Adequate sleep is an absolute necessity to rejuvenate the body. Newborns need up to 18 hours of sleep a day, toddlers require 12 to 13 hours, and preschoolers need about 10 hours of sleep.

Hygiene

Maintaining hand hygiene before and after each meal, after playtime, handling pets, blowing the nose, using the restroom and arriving home from daycare helps prevent infections in children.

Herbal Solutions

Despite taking proper care, children’s immunity may be affected. Consumption of herbal dietary supplements like Guduchi (Tinospora cordifolia), Amalaki (Emblica officinalis), Yashtimadhu (Glycyrrhiza glabra), and Guggulu (Balsamodendron mukul) can help children stay healthier as they help build immunity.

“Naturally obtained supplements strengthen the immune system. Herbs like Guduchi, Yashti Madhu, and Guggulu are natural sources of antioxidants. The antiviral property of Yashtimadhu also helps manage asthma, bronchitis, and chronic cough. The anti-inflammatory property of Guggulu helps reduce inflammation,” Dr. Kumawat added.

“Naturally obtained supplements strengthen the immune system. Herbs like Guduchi, Yashti Madhu, and Guggulu are natural sources of antioxidants. The antiviral property of Yashtimadhu also helps manage asthma, bronchitis, and chronic cough. The anti-inflammatory property of Guggulu helps reduce inflammation,” Dr. Kumawat added.

A combination of herbs may be a safe and effective adjuvant to antimicrobials in the management of recurrent infections. When co-prescribed with antibiotics, herbs may
have a role in faster recovery, reduces the duration and cost of therapy, besides preventing reinfections.

IANS

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Lifestyle

Teasing your partner playfully can make lasting relationship

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Are you always in a mood to tease your better half? Then there is good news. A new study suggests that couples who poke fun at each other, indicating humour, are more likely to stay together.

The study showed that inside jokes are particularly important because they affirm ones relationship through laughter, the Daily Mail reported.

However, couples who share mean-spirited jokes with nasty jibes are unlikely to last, which indicates a problem in the relationship.

“Playfulness between romantic partners is a crucial component in bonding and establishing relational security,” said Jeffrey Hall, Associate Professor from the University of Kansas in the US.

“Particularly shared laughter is an important indicator of romantic attraction between potential mates,” Hall added.

The team examined more than 150,000 participants to determine how important humour is in a romantic relationship.

The results, published in the journal Personal Relationships, suggest that couples who create humour together — including inside jokes — are more likely to last.

But, this does not mean that people who are funny or can make a joke out of anything would be more lucky in love.

“If you share a sense of what’s funny, it affirms you and affirms your relationship through laughter,” Hall was quoted as saying by Daily Mail.

However, couples should not go too far, Hall warned.

Importantly, having an aggressive sense of humour is a bad sign for the relationship in general, but it is worse if this style of humour is used in the relationship, the study noted.

IANS

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