5 ways to increase your water intake

A 2010 study by American Chemical Society of Boston says, “Drinking two glasses of water before breakfast, lunch, and dinner while also cutting back on portions may help you lose weight and keep it off for at least a year.” Well, weight loss is just one benefit of drinking water. From treating skin problems, reducing risk of heart ailments, regulating digestive system to curing headaches, water has many more benefits to offer. But, we can only be benefited when the intake is in an adequate amount. It is said that one should drink at least eight glasses of water a day. So, let’s explore ways on how we can increase water intake in our daily diet

Set a schedule
Begin with setting a schedule for yourself. As soon as you wake up, drink two glasses of water. After that, drink a glass of water every two hours. Set achievable targets and do not keep on drinking water all the time. Too much of it can also be bad for you. It can make your body cells bloat and you might experience dizziness and difficulty in breathing. So, strike a balance

Eliminate caffeinated and sugary drinks
The first step toward increasing your water intake is restricting consumption of caffeinated beverages. Prepare your shopping list in a way that can curb your unhealthy desire of cola and soda bottles and coffee jars. These have a diuretic effect and increase the risk of dehydration. This is why, water is the best bet to stay hydrated. Carry a water bottle with you to avoid buying sugary drinks

Jump to water-rich foods and juices
Around 20 per cent of our water needs are met from the foods that are naturally high in water content. So, if you have more fruits and veggies you can boost your fluid intake. Try eating papaya, berries, oranges, cherries, grapes, peaches, watermelon, strawberries and apples. Among vegetables, you can go for carrots, broccoli, onions, cauliflower, peas, and tomatoes. An added advantage of having all these is that you will increase your vitamins and minerals consumption besides water. You can also have fruit juices. Although you will be adding a few calories if you have juices, you can discount a few calories by adding a little water to it

Drizzle some flavour
In order to do away with the bland taste of water you can add some flavour to it. Add mint leaves, flavours of orange, cucumber, strawberry and lemon. Get creative with wat
er and stay enthused. Beside these, you can also buy no-calorie seltzer water that is available in the market in various flavours

Urine check
The easiest way to find out whether you are taking sufficient amount of water or not is through a urine check. It is a good sign if it is pale yellow or clear, but if it is darker it means you are not getting enough water. You will complain of nausea, dizziness and experience a few signs of dehydration like dry and sticky mouth.

So, whether you want to lose weight, get a glowing skin or cure acne, water is the best option available. Drink as much water as you can to make your lifestyle a healthy one

Man lives with bullet lodged in his heart for TWO MONTHS

An Indian man survived for two months with a bullet lodged just in his heart after walking in on a bank robbery. Bharat Sharma, from Aligarh in Uttar Pradesh, northern India was shot on July 22 as thieves targeted his local bank.

Man lives with bullet lodged in his heart for TWO MONTHS

As the 32-year-old tried to deposit a number of cheques for his company, he walked in on the ambush. Two 20-caliber bullets were fired – one hit Mr Sharma’s waist, while the other became lodged in his heart.

A week after the robbery, surgeons at the Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College in Aligarh, removed the bullet in Mr Sharma’s waist. But doctors refused to remove the bullet in his heart, fearing the newly married man would lose his life.

A second referral to Safdarjung Hospital in New Delhi saw Mr Sharma refused for surgery a second time. For two months he lived with the bullet lodged in his heart.

Eventually doctors at Sal Hospital in Ahmedabad, Gujarat, accepted the challenge and agreed to take on Mr Sharma’s case. They successfully removed the 20-caliber bullet yesterday.

Dr Anil Jain, Cardiac Surgeon, who led the surgery, said: ‘It was a very rare case and extraordinary that he was living with a bullet in his heart for two months. ‘The bullet was lodged in the heart muscle before the apex of the left ventricle, one of the two chambers of the heart.

‘It was just a millimetre away from puncturing the left chamber and could’ve killed him. ‘Whenever the heart pumped, the bullet would’ve moved proving fatal.

Man lives with bullet lodged in his heart for TWO MONTHS 2

‘It’s a unique story and he’s been a very lucky man.’

During the three-hour surgery, the team of five doctors put Mr Sharma on a life support machine so they could take out the bullet and stitching up the vital organs with less risk. His brother Manish Sharma, 38, said: ‘I am relieved that my brother has got a new life.

‘I am thankful to the doctors for accepting our case and giving him his life back.’ Mr Sharma, who is now recovering at the hospital’s ICU, wants to preserve the bullet as a reminder of how close he came to death.

The bullet will also be used as evidence in the case against the burglars, who are still on the run.

Source: dailymail

Natural Treatments for Menopause Symptoms

Black Cohosh
Symptom: Hot Flashes, Night Sweats

Black cohosh is derived from a species of buttercup. Studies have had mixed results on whether black cohosh is effective in reducing hot flashes. Some studies indicate it may help with mild hot flashes and night sweats for short-term treatment. May lower blood pressure as well. In rare cases, hepatitis has been reported.

Natural Treatments for Menopause Symptoms

Symptom: Hot Flashes, Night Sweats

Soy has isoflavones, which are phytoestrogens (plant estrogens). Some studies have observed that soy may be effective in reducing menopausal symptoms. However, other studies have found no benefit. Soy may also lower cholesterol. Only food forms of soy, like tofu and soy milk, are recommended. Soy in tablet or powder form is not advised.

Flaxseed, ground or oil
Symptom: Hot Flashes

Flaxseed has omega-3 fatty acids and lignans, which act as phytoestrogens. Results from studies have been mixed, but it may help symptoms in some women. It is also believed to help lower cholesterol. Avoid whole flaxseed because it is difficult to digest.

Vitamin E
Symptom: Vaginal Dryness, Hot Flashes

Topical vitamin E oil applied to the vagina helps improve lubrication and may also reduce hot flashes.

Yoga, Aerobic Exercise, Breathing Exercises
Symptom: Mood Swings, Sleep Disruption

Exercise and meditation reduce irritability, even hot flashes, in some women. Yoga combines both. Exercise also helps most people sleep better.

Cold Drinks
Symptom: Hot Flashes, Night Sweats

Cold drinks help you feel cooler. Avoid caffeine and alcohol, which are diuretics that encourage dehydration. Try cold water or fruit juices with antioxidant vitamins.

While the supplements mentioned above are among the most commonly used supplements to help control menopause symptoms, It’s important to note that research is still ongoing to determine their effectiveness. To date, no supplement has consistently been shown to work better than placebo in managing symptoms.

Also, keep in mind that dietary or herbal supplements may have side effects or interactions with each other or with other drugs. Some may be unsafe to take due to certain medical conditions. Consult with your doctor prior to using them.

source: web md

New vaccines can change India’s health battles: Melinda Gates

Introduction of four new vaccines in India’s national immunisation programme by the new government can bring immense change in the country’s major health battles and reduce the child mortality rate, Melinda Gates said.


On a visit to the capital, Microsoft founder Bill Gates and his wife Melinda, who represent the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, were in conversation with celebrated author Chetan Bhagat on the topic “All Loves Have Equal Value”. Replying to a question what their expectations were from the Narendra Modi government, Melinda Gates said: “We are very enthused with the government that has come to power.

“I think in a couple of years, especially in the health sector, there will be optimism. For instance, the fact that they are keen to roll out four key new vaccines across India, is absolutely huge.” “We also see their (Modi’s government) commitment to newborns and also towards sanitation that will help reduce diarrhoeal infections and make sure that children get nutritional diet in schools,” she added.

Bill Gates, however, quickly added that it won’t be an easy task for the government. “Take the economy as a whole. It seems some unpopular things need to be done. Are they willing to do things that are good for the country, but that they can’t immediately embrace,” he asked.

Melinda Gates was referring to the introduction of four new vaccines, including one for Japanese Encephalitis, in the national immunisation programme, which will provide free vaccines against 13 life-threatening diseases to 27 million children annually. Vaccines for rotavirus, rubella and polio (injectable) were also introduced as part of the universal immunisation programme in July.

Bill Gates, one of the richest men in the world, became involved in philanthropic work with the creation of the foundation in 2001. It aims to help people lead healthy lives and use technology and research to find solutions to health and preventive issues. They launched their foundation in India in 2003 with an HIV/AIDS prevention programme known as the Avahan initiative.

Melinda Gates also said she feels “outraged” whenever she sees a woman being illtreated in any part of the world, including her own country. “I get very outraged to see domestic violence. But I try to find ways to empowering these women. We need to understand their culture and break down social structures that confine them. I think of ways to empower these women,” she said.

Source: UCAN

8 Best Natural Remedies to Treat Malaria

malaria Prevention

Malaria is extremely common and a serious disease that causes chills, shivering and high fever. You can get infected from a bite by a malaria parasite carrying mosquito. Malaria is most commonly found in Africa, Southern Asia, South America and Central America. The elderly, children and people with lower levels of immunity are a greater risk. Early diagnosis and anti-malarial medication will help in effective treatment of malaria. Usually the malaria is caused by a bite from a mosquito infected with parasites.

The Most Common Symptoms are:

  • Anemia, caused by destruction of red blood cells
  • Merozoites being released into the bloodstreamThe Most Common Symptoms
  • Chills in the body
  • High fever and headache
  • Blood in stools
  • Excessive sweating
  • Vomiting
  • Feeling of Nausea
  • Coma
  • Jaundice
  • Convulsion

The parasite for malaria seems to disappear over the winter. More than one million people die of malaria every year. It is a major hazard for travelers to warm climate. In some parts of the world the mosquitoes carrying malaria have become resistant to insecticides and the parasites have developed resistance to antibiotics. This has made it much more difficult to control the spread of diseases and rate of infection.

Possible Complications:

The parasites in the body can create different types of complications.

  • Cerebritis – brain infection
  • Hemolytic anemia – destruction of blood cells
  • Kidney failure
  • Meningitis
  • Liver failure
  • Pulmonary Edema – Fluid in lungs causes respiratory failure
  • Hemorrhage – Spleen rupture leading to heavy internal bleeding


People living in areas where malaria is common found usually develop immunity to the disease. However, visitors will not have this immunity and need to take preventive medications.

Before traveling overseas or other areas of your country, you need to see your health care provider. The treatment may begin 2 weeks before your trip for the prevention of malaria. It may also continue for a month after you leave the area.

There are different types of anti-malarial medications prescribed for a different area of visit. Anti-malarial medications will not completely protect you from becoming infected. You need to avoid mosquito bites by using mosquito repellents, creams, wearing protective clothing that will cover your arms and legs and using screens on windows. Maintain clean surroundings by avoiding swamps and drainage flow beside your residence.

Treatment for Malaria

Medicines are the first option treat the illness. However, some malaria parasites can survive as they are in your liver or they are resistant to medicines. Inform your doctor in case you notice the symptoms of malaria.

The three main types of malaria, tertian fever, malignant tertian malaria and quartan fever, are caused depending upon the parasites which cause it. The most common symptom of all these types of malaria is high fever. The fever is accompanied by shivering, chills, headache and pain in the limbs. The temperature comes down after some time with excessive sweating. Avoiding stress is also essential to protect your body.

According to Naturopathy wrong feeding habits and unhealthy lifestyles are the real causes for accelerating malaria. The consumption of tinned, flesh foods, alcoholic beverages and de-natured foods causes the development of malaria.

Natural Remedies to treat Malaria


Fruits and vegetables are always great when it comes to treating the body. One of the most effective home remedies for malaria is Grape fruit. It should be consumed daily. The natural quinine-like substance can be extracted from the Grape fruit by boiling a quarter of it and straining its pulp.


Fever Nut

Another effective natural remedy for malaria is using fever nut seeds. These seeds can be obtained from any herbal store and preserved for use as and when required. Two hours before the assumed time of attack take six grams of these seeds with a cup of water, and the same dosage should be taken one hour after the attack. Whether the attack takes place or not the same procedure should be resorted.


Artemisia Annua

Artemisia annua, also known as sweet wormwood is yet another effective natural agent that helps in fighting malaria. The herb has to be steeped in cold water and the water should be consumed directly in order to get optimum results.



Cinnamon is a valuable remedy for treating malaria. One teaspoon of powdered cinnamon should be boiled in a glass of water with a pinch of pepper powder and a tea spoon of honey. This needs to be taken every day which is a beneficial medicine for malaria.



Chirayata is a herb which is botanically known as Swertia andrographis paniculata. It is beneficial for treating intermittent malarial fevers. It helps to lower the temperature. Take 250 ml of water, add 15 gm of chirayata, 2 cloves and a stick of cinnamon and boil them together. One to two tea spoons of this can be consumed twice a day.


Lime and Lemon

Lime and lemon play a vital role to reduce the quartan type of malarial fever. Take 4 to 5 drops of lime, add the juice of one lemon and dissolve it in one glass of water. This mixture needs to be consumed before the onset of fever.



Alum needs to be dry roasted and powdered. A teaspoon of this powder needs to be consumed four hours before the expected fever attack and half a teaspoon after two hours of the attack. It will give great relief from malaria.


Holy Basil

Holy basil leaves are a beneficial remedy in prevention of malaria. Make a paste using eleven grams of holy basil leaves with three grams of black pepper powder. This mixture can be consumed daily in the cold stages of malarial fever. This will check the severity of the disease.


Best Diet for Patients with Malaria

One can fast on orange juice and water for a few days. Depending on the severity of the fever, one must fast on orange juice. One can munch on fresh fruits for the first few days to repair the infected cells. Milk can also be added after a few days to the diet. Fresh fruits and raw vegetables can be consumed for better results. Prevent yourself from malaria by using the above home remedies. Keep yourself healthy by eating the right kind of food and by keeping away from mosquitoes.

Source: the fit indian

An innovative technology to improve Hand Hygiene in Hospitals


Hospital Acquired Infections (HAIs) are the leading cause of death after cancer and heart disease. Over 103,000 people in the US die every year due to HAIs. The Centre for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that over 5 million people lose their lives every year due to some form of HAI.

The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that over 70 per cent of these lives could be saved if the Health Care Workers (HCWs) across the globe followed the prescribed hand hygiene guidelines. In spite of the established advantages of proper hand hygiene in healthcare settings, the compliance to prescribed guidelines is dismally low. Hand Hygiene Compliance (HHC) is barely 30 per cent in the US and around 35 per cent in Europe. The situation is much worse in the developing countries.

Hand hygiene is considered the primary measure to reduce the transmission of nosocomial pathogens. Non-compliance with hand hygiene, however, remains a major problem in hospitals. Within the hospital environment, preventing the spread of antibiotic resistant germs through good hand hygiene is critical.

To serve this purpose and make hand hygiene an easy and reliable process, a multidisciplinary team of an engineer, a product designer and a clinician has come up with a novel technology that could reduce possible chances of spread of infection via hand and could help reduce HAIs from the healthcare settings.

The new technology named ‘Hansure’ by Observe Design is a joint innovation of Aanan Khurma, an electronics engineer; Saurabh Bag, a product designer; and Agyeya Dwivedi, an occupational therapist.

Hansure is a wearable compact technology, composed of a hand disinfectant ensuring all time access to disinfection. The device carries a smart sensing technology that intimates HCWs at precise instants when they are required to sanitize their hands.

The device aims to empower healthcare workers to adhere to the WHO prescribed hand hygiene guidelines. These guidelines are difficult to follow in the existing scenario where multiple factors like lack of time, high inconvenience, forgetfulness and some negligence at play prevent HCWs from being 100 per cent compliant to hand hygiene guidelines.

Aanan Khurma, a part of the team and a consultant with the Stanford India Biodesign programme, told India Medical Times, “Our team has worked for several months at the ground level with HCWs in the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) to identify the fundamental causes of poor hand hygiene in healthcare settings. Our team found out that although WHO guidelines are flawless in preventing spread of infections, they are impossible to adhere to in the existing infrastructure.”

“Our novel solution, Hansure, will ensure that no infections are ever spread through the hands of healthcare workers. We are working to empower healthcare workers rather than penalizing them. Apart from making hand hygiene convenient, our device also protects HCWs from posture related ailments, which affect 50 per cent of entire HCWs at some point or the other. Hansure tackles all these issues simultaneously ensuring that no opportunity for hand hygiene is ever missed by any healthcare worker. All this is done in accordance with the WHO guidelines,” he added.

Most healthcare providers are taught to wash their hands before and after patient contact, however, measuring this accurately on a large scale is extremely difficult, if not impossible. The technology could save time of healthcare workers by as much as 65 per cent, which in turn increases productivity. It makes hand hygiene a convenient process for them and protects them from contracting infections besides preventing posture related problems. Moreover, it does not rely on monitoring, forcing, judging or penalizing.

In order to contain healthcare costs, preventative actions in patient safety are clear ways to decrease expenses. In the past, no one had quantified the value of preventative actions, such as hand hygiene, in decreasing healthcare costs. For administrators, the technology could decrease average hospital stay per patient and reduce expenditure on patient care. Low cases of negligence would further help in reduced legal hassles and brand building. Reduced financial burden on healthcare system would ultimately help in saving taxpayers’ money. In a proper hand hygiene set up in hospitals, patients also feel relieved from the fear of contracting secondary infection when they visit a healthcare facility.

The traditional approach to increase compliance towards hand hygiene among HCWs has been to manually monitor them and penalize them for their non-compliance. Currently, methods to determine hand hygiene adherence include direct observation, product utilization, and reporting of hand hygiene activities, but these are subjective and unreliable.

Not only this technique is inherently flawed, it consumes numerous amounts of man-hours and does not significantly improve the compliance towards hand hygiene. Moreover, such monitoring creates a tense work environment in the healthcare setting where a management person monitors trained healthcare workers and then criticizes them for their behaviour.

Lately, there have been some new technologies in the area of hand hygiene like Mobile/Tablet based apps ZigBEE and RFID (radio-frequency identification) based monitoring solutions that aim to promote hand hygiene among healthcare workers.

Khurma said, “All these upcoming technologies are just trying to mimic the manual monitoring process. The only difference being that these new technologies are automating the process of monitoring, logging data and penalizing the healthcare workers. These systems require huge infrastructure changes, backend server installation, and manpower for backend data management and with so many components maintenance is frequently required. Our solution works to simplify the entire hand hygiene process rather than complicating it.”

The innovators are the product of Stanford India Biodesign Programme, under which the fellows are trained to identify unmet medical needs and design new and cost effective devices to serve India’s specific healthcare needs.

Source: India medical times

10 Nervous Habits That Hurt Your Health


Nix these tics
Nervous habits are often more annoying to the people around you than to yourself, but some types of fidgeting and fussing can do real harm. Here, experts reveal the reasons why nail-biting, hair-twirling, and other seemingly harmless habits can be hazardous to your health.

You bite your nails
It’s one thing if you nervously bite your nails only during scary movies, but when it becomes a regular habit, it can damage both your nails and the skin around them, says Michael Shapiro, MD, a New York City-based dermatologist. Germs from the mouth get transferred to the skin, and vice versa. “Bacteria under the nails may also be transferred to mouth, causing infections of the gums and throat,” Dr. Shapiro says. Painting your nails may discourage you from chewing. No dice? Try tape to break the habit.

You twirl and pull your hair
Twisting and twirling a piece of hair around your finger can lead to damage to the root over time, says Ariel Ostad, MD, a dermatologist based in New York City. “This can result in temporary or permanent areas of hair loss as well as infection,” Dr. Ostad says. Obsessive hair pulling may be a sign of a psychiatric impulse control condition called trichotillomania, which requires psychotherapy and medication.

You crack your neck
Twisting your head forcibly to one side releases gases built up in the the joints between vertebrae and creates a popping sound. Although this may feel good, repeatedly cracking your neck can make the surrounding ligaments hypermobile and more susceptible to injury, says Michael Gleiber, MD, a board-certified orthopedic surgeon and affiliate assistant professor at Florida Atlantic University’s Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine in Boca Raton. In addition, this excessive motion on the facet joints themselves can cause wear within the joints and may result in arthritis over time. In rare cases neck cracking may trigger a stroke, says Dr. Gleiber.

You touch your face
Repeatedly touching your face or picking at acne can damage the top very thin microscopic layers of the skin, says Jessica Krant, MD, board certified dermatologist and founder of Art of Dermatology and assistant clinical professor of dermatology at SUNY Downstate Medical Center in New York City. “If you bleed, you may have just created a permanent scar,” she says. “Do not pick at pimples or itchy areas. Treat them gently with topical creams and plenty of moisturizer.

You grind your teeth
Clenching and grinding your teeth (bruxism) when you’re under stress can wreak havoc with your oral health. Grinding can cause teeth to crack or break, which may require repair with crowns or root canals. It can also result in damage to the jaw joint in the form of temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ), says Justin Philipp, who has a dental practice in Chandler, Ariz. “People clench or grind their teeth as a response to stress. However, most cases are a result of pathology such as misaligned or missing teeth and a ‘bad bite.'” Treatments include orthodontics to improve the bite and even Botox injections in the muscles, which can reduce the amount of force and, therefore, the potential damage.

You suck on hard candies
Sucking on hard candies bathes your teeth in sugar, which can lead to cavities, says Philipp. Bacteria feed off the sugar, which creates a perfect environment for tooth decay. Chomping down on hard candy can also risk damaging teeth or dental restorations, says Jack Ringer, president of the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry. “Sucking on candies in moderation is fine provided the candies are sugarless and low in acidity,” Dr. Ringer says

You lick or bite your lip
Nervously licking your lips exposes them to your mouth’s digestive enzymes, says Whitney Bowe, MD, a New York board-certified dermatologist. “These enzymes chew away at the skin and can lead to dermatitis and cheilitis (inflammation), which make lips appear dry and cracked,” she says. Biting your lips when under stress can cause the development of fibromas, firm flesh colored growths, that may require surgical removal, says Coyle S. Connolly, MD, dermatologist and president of Connolly Dermatology in New Jersey.

You gnaw on the inside of your cheek
Like biting your nails, cheek-chewing can also become a nervous habit. “Often the inside of the cheek gets swollen and it then becomes easier to continue biting the same spot,” says Ringer. “Even after it heals the habit continues.” Over time this can result in chronic inflammation, possible bleeding, and scarring of the area.

You chew gum
All that snapping and popping does more than annoy your coworkers. It may also put you at risk for TMJ from overuse of jaw muscles, says Philipp. Sugarless gum presents a different set of problems, mainly digestive ailments. Sorbitol, an artificial sweetener, produces an unpleasant laxative effect when eaten in excess (18 to 20 sticks a day). Swallowing excess air while chewing also increases risk of a gassy stomach, according to the National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse (NDDIC). “It is usually easier to try to replace the habit with another one than it is to quit, so try something a healthier switch such as drinking water,” says Philipp.

You nibble the ends of pencils and pens
Germs can lurk on the ends of pens so this habit can expose you to nasty pathogens including cold viruses, says Ted Myatt, director of research compliance at the University of Rhode Island. “An infected person likely has the virus on his or her fingers and spreads it through pens as well as computer keyboards and telephones.” And aside from the embarrassment of ink on your mouth from an exploding pen, chewing on writing instruments can damage teeth and dental work as well as injure the soft tissue and gums inside the mouth, says Ringer.

Source: the health


Teen stowaway: Is it possible to survive a 5 hour flight in a plane’s wheel well


A 16-year-old California boy miraculously survived after reportedly stowing away in a plane’s wheel well during a 5 and a 1/2 hour flight from San Jose to Honolulu on Sunday.

So how do you survive being a stowaway in a jumbo jet?

Well, you have to be pretty lucky. For a stowaway travelling in a plane’s wheel well, the overwhelming odds are that he or she will die. But, there are several factors that can increase a person’s odds for survival after being placed in this kind of danger.

These factors include:

1) Age

2) Current medical condition

3) The length of the flight.

Let’s break these factors down one at a time.

The wheel well of a plane is not pressurized and of course has no temperature control. Typically, jumbo jets cruise at an altitude of about 35,000 to 38,000 fee – altitudes at which oxygen is incredibly scarce and temperatures can reach 80 degrees below zero. Needless to say, the most common causes of death for stowaways, aside from falling from the plane, are hypothermia and lack of oxygen.

This is where age and medical condition come into play: The younger and healthier the individual, the better chance he or she has of surviving these harsh conditions. If you happen to be in my kind of shape, there’s no chance you would make it.

The duration of the flight is also a factor in a stowaway’s odds for survival. Most individuals who have survived this kind of stunt have been on flights ranging between one to three hours in length. In 2004, the Associated Press reported that a man from the Dominican Republic survived a flight from Santo Domingo to Miami, after stowing away in a plane’s wheel well. But typically, that’s only a one hour flight.

In this particular case, this was a flight that lasted around five hours. Many who have attempted to stow away during a flight of this duration or longer have died.

For those that survive, some may have entered a state of suspended animation, meaning they simultaneously go into a state of hypothermia and lose consciousness. This combination minimizes a person’s need for oxygen, enabling them to potentially survive for several hours. A similar effect is sometimes seen in patients who drown in cold waters; they are often more likely to survive than patients drowning in warm waters due to their hypothermic state, which helps protect their organs from damage.

According to an FBI spokesperson, the boy was “was unconscious for the lion’s share of the flight,” indicating that suspended animation is likely the reason this boy survived with minimal harm. His system shut down for several hours, his oxygen consumption was decreased, and he was lucky enough to land in time for his body to recuperate and come out of a state of hypothermic shock with minimal side effects.

Source: Fox news

Food addicts: New study measures out-of-control eating .

While “food addiction” is somewhat controversial, a new study is shedding some light on women who may actually fit the profile of an addict, rather than simply liking chips and dip.

Research released this week online in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition looked at food addiction among 134,000 middle-aged and older women, all of whom participated in the large-scale Nurses’ Health Study. Nearly six percent met the criteria for food addiction as established by the Yale Food Addiction Scale, which was developed in 2009 and validated in numerous trials.

Middle-aged women fared the worst. Slightly more than 8 percent of women ages 45 to 64 could be considered food addicts, while 3 percent of older women met the criteria.

The Food Addiction Scale asks questions such as: “I find that when I start eating certain foods, I end up eating much more than planned” and “I find myself continuing to consume certain foods even though I am no longer hungry”.

“We’re starting to see the patterns with food addictions that we see in other addictions, and one of them is that younger people have more addiction problems,” says addiction specialist Ashley Gearhardt, assistant professor of psychology at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, who worked on the study along with researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health.

The women who met criteria for food addiction were also more likely to be not married and not currently smoking. Researchers suspect that former smokers have simply traded the nicotine addiction for a food addiction, a process called addiction transference.

Although addiction was strongly associated with a higher body mass index (BMI), the data also show that you can be an average-weight woman or even underweight and have a negative relationship with food. Geography seems to matter, too. Women from the eastern United States seem to have fewer problems with food addiction than those from the South or Midwest, although researchers don’t know why.

The foods of choice for these women were so-called “hyper-palatable” treats that are high in fat, sugar, salt and processing. These foods seem to trigger the brain’s pleasure and reward centers through increases in the transmission of the “feel good” chemical, dopamine.

“The major narrative with every addiction is that people have no willpower,” says Gearhardt, who was one of the developers of the Yale Food Addiction Scale. “We know that’s not true, so we are trying to better understand if there are some foods that can hijack the system, given the right vulnerabilities in a person, and this study helps us identify those individuals.”

Because the researchers looked at a large population, the data may have important clinical implications. “We are finally getting at a distinct subset of individuals who are struggling in a way that looks like substance abuse more than anything else,” says Marlene Schwartz, director of the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity at Yale University, who was not involved in the study. “Saying eat more vegetables and exercise more won’t work with people who are struggling like this.”

Source: NBC news

Unexpected diagnosis: Some medical tests may be harmful to your health

Everyone’s heard a story: Someone got an MRI for a sports injury or dizziness and the radiologist found a tumor, just in the nick of time. Or maybe it was an aneurysm, just about to burst. Lives were saved. It was great luck.

Some of the stories are dramatic. Joan Rachlin of Boston got what seemed to be a routine Pap smear 27 years ago. Like most Pap smears, it was deemed normal. “I got a call something like seven months later from a gynecological pathologist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston,” Rachlin told NBC News.

“He was doing research on Pap smear tissue and he had come across mine. He discovered that my Pap smear had been misread and that, in fact, I had a cancerous lesion.”

It’s what’s called an incidental finding — the researcher, who Rachlin says does not wish to be named, was studying something else and in fact had to go to some trouble to match the sample to a real person. “He thought my Pap smear had really been so poorly interpreted that my life was in danger,” said Rachlin, who is executive director of Public Responsibility in Medicine and Research. “I am alive today because a very, very conscientious researcher had read my Pap and decided to break the code and find me.”

Joan Rachlin found out she had cancer 27 years ago, purely by accident. There were no guidelines at the time for telling her.
Courtesy of Joan Rachlin
Joan Rachlin found out she had cancer 27 years ago, purely by accident. There were no guidelines at the time for telling her.
There were no guidelines — the researcher just went rogue. More checks showed Rachlin did indeed have cancer, but it was early stage and surgery took care of it.

Today whole industries are building up around the possibility that a test will find a medical problem that was just about to kill you. The latest entry — whole genome tests that promise to detail your medical future in a drop of spit.

But it’s starting to become clear that not all these findings are lifesaving, and some can be downright harmful. Take the case of the elderly woman whose chest lung X-ray showed what looked like lung tumors. She had a biopsy done — a tricky procedure that involves poking a long needle through the chest wall, or sending a bronchoscope down into the delicate lungs. Her lung collapsed and she died. The tumor, it turned out, was harmless. Were it not for the scan, she would have still been alive.

Her case is outlined in a report issued last month by the Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues.

As more and more tests become available and standard, from MRIs to CT scans, to genetic tests and ultrasounds, these issues will come up more often. There’s even a name for these often harmless tumors that get discovered — they’re called incidentalomas.

For instance, 10 percent of brain scans and more than 30 percent of abdominal CT scans turn up something that doctors weren’t looking for and that may need more tests, says Dr. Stephen Hauser, who heads the neurology department at the University of California, San Francisco and who helped lead the Bioethics Commission panel in its report on the issue.

Source: Nmc news