Your Network Hospital Search – Now just a click away!

The search for network hospitals becomes convenient and hassle-free with MediBuddy!

If you or a loved one needs to undergo hospitalization, either planned or emergency, what’s the first thing that crosses your mind? You are most likely to think of where the nearest network hospital is and how to get there at the earliest. A couple of years ago, as soon as you were enrolled under a health insurance policy, you would be provided with a list of network hospitals. But wasn’t maintaining that list a cumbersome task? And even if you did keep that list in plain view, you wouldn’t be able to refer to that list for any additional information about the hospital. For example, would you have known what the room rent is or what the procedure cost is? And what if you needed to plan a hospitalization a few months after being enrolled under the policy? There’s no guarantee that no changes would have been made to the list provided to you. A new hospital (one that’s much closer to you) could have been added to the list and some hospitals may have even been removed from that list.

In this tech age, when we are dependent on our smartphone for most of our day-to-day tasks, why should something as important as hospitalization be left behind? Smartphones, to a large extent, make our lives less complicated by keeping us abreast of all the latest information. Their use has become so invaluable that we no longer need to memorize important information. All information is accessible with just a tap on our screen.

There are several things you need to consider before choosing a network hospital. The facilities provided by the hospital, the proximity of the hospital to your house, the hospitalization charges and availability of doctors are some of the things you need to keep in mind to make an informed decision.

Medi Assist members can now make their hospital selection effortless and opt for a network hospital on the basis of all these factors! As a Medi Assist member, when you log into MediBuddy, the network hospital search feature enables you to filter hospitals by location, radius and speciality! What’s more, when you click on a particular hospital, you get to view additional information such as:

  • Hospital packages/procedures along with the prices, according to room types
  • Photos and description of the hospitals
  • Specialties available
  • Facilities available in the hospital
  • Doctor availability
  • Hospital contact information

You can also directly intimate the hospital of an eCashless hospitalization, and plan your cashless hospitalization in advance with MediBuddy.

And to make it all the more easier for you to get to your chosen hospital, MediBuddy gives you the added option of booking an Uber cab from within the app. Not just that, you also get to view the estimated price and time to reach the destination! On clicking the icon, you will be navigated to the UBER app with your pick-up and drop location pre-populated. To know more, click here.

So go ahead and explore this exciting feature today and make your hospitalization truly hassle-free!

Login to MediBuddy today, and experience the convenience of the Network Hospital Search feature and a host of other benefits!

Annual Health Checks – Your Stepping Stone to Good Health

The hustle and bustle of our modern-day lifestyle leaves us with hardly any time to prioritize our health. The late-night meetings, a happening social life and a blooming family leave us with no time for anything else! Gone are the days when people returned home from work and enjoyed a game of badminton with the family. These days, we’d consider ourselves lucky to get home just in time for dinner. While this tech-age has made our lives better in numerous ways, it has also made us more susceptible to illnesses and diseases.

We’ve all heard the saying “Prevention is better than cure”. Annual health checks are one way to prevent the numerous illnesses that we are at risk of developing. Thankfully, most of us are enrolled under a group/company health insurance policy that may give us the added benefit of availing an annual health check, free of cost or at a reduced price. Read on to know how to schedule your annual health check in a hassle-free manner!

Just follow these 6 simple steps to book your health check on MediBuddy:

  • Log into portal.medibuddy.in with your unique credentials:
    Username: employeeid@corporate
    Password: Date of birth DD-MM-YYYY (For first-time login only)
    If this is not your first-time login, just sign-in with your credentials.
  • Once you’ve logged in, click on the ‘Book Appointments’ tile.
  • Based on who needs to be enrolled for the health check (you or a family member), enter all the necessary personal details.
  • Next, you will have to choose your preferred date, time and diagnostic centre for your health screening. Once you’ve picked a slot that’s suitable to you, all that’s left to do is book the appointment.
  • You will be sent an order confirmation email, which you can use for further reference.
  • And that is all! Be there on the chosen day at your chosen venue. Remember to carry a copy of your order confirmation email with you!

With MediBuddy, it’s as easy and simple as that!

Embrace wellness by availing your Annual Health Check today, on MediBuddy

Sudden Cardiac Arrest? CPR can save lives!

An experience of sudden, unexpected loss of heart function, breathing and consciousness is a state of medical emergency. Sudden cardiac arrest occurs when the diseased heart’s electrical system malfunctions, producing an abnormal rhythm, disturbing the pumping action and stopping blood flow to the rest of your body.

Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), a lifesaving technique consists of the use of chest compression and artificial ventilation to maintain circulatory flow and oxygenation during cardiac arrest.

Fast facts:

  • A family history of cardiac arrest in a first-degree relative (parents, offspring, siblings) is associated with a two-fold increase in the risk of cardiac arrest.
  • In India, 95% of those who experience sudden cardiac arrest die because they do not receive life-saving first aid within 4 to 6 minutes.

How is Cardiac Arrest differ from a Heart attack and what causes it?

A heart attack is a circulation problem but a sudden cardiac arrest is an electrical problem. The only link between them is that sudden cardiac arrest can occur after a heart attack, or during recovery and heart attacks increase the risk for sudden cardiac arrest. Cardiac arrest is clinically characterized by unresponsiveness, the absence of breathing and absence of the pulse.

Cardiac arrest can occur due to:

  • Heart disease
  • Haemorrhage – head / chest / abdominal trauma
  • Electrical shock
  • Asphyxia – gases / fumes
  • Respiratory illness
  • Following a respiratory arrest
  • Family history of sudden cardiac arrest or other heart diseases

Why CPR?

CPR is a combination of techniques, including chest compressions which cause circulation of the blood so it can provide oxygen to the body, and the brain and other organs stay alive until definitive treatment happens. It should be administered as quickly as possible and to unconscious, unresponsive or to the person who is not breathing or not breathing normally.

CPR can be learnt properly by taking an accredited first-aid training course.

What to do?

For an unconscious adult, CPR is initiated as follows:

1. Before beginning, look into the patient’s mouth for foreign bodies blocking the airway.

2. Give 30 chest compressions as follows:

  • Place the heel of one hand on the patient’s sternum and the other hand on top of the first, fingers interlaced.
  • Extend the elbows and lean directly over the patient.
  • Press down, compressing the chest.

3. After 30 compressions, perform a mouth-to-mouth technique as follows to give 2 breaths (the 30:2 cycle of CPR):

  • Pinch the patient’s nostrils closed to assist with an airtight seal.
  • Place your mouth completely over the patient’s mouth.
  • Give each breath for approximately 1 second with enough force to make the patient’s chest rise.
  • Failure to observe chest rise indicates an inadequate mouth seal or airway occlusion.

4. An intubated patient should receive continuous compressions while ventilations are given 8-10 times per minute.

5. Repeat the entire process until pulse returns or the patient is transferred to definitive care.

6. Perform the head-tilt-chin-lift movement to open the airway and determine if the patient is breathing.

Note:

  • The compression depth for adults should be at least 2 inches. The compression rate should be at least 100/minute.
  • To prevent provider fatigue or injury, new providers should intervene / swap every 2-3 minutes.

Prevent Cardiac Arrest:

Lifestyle changes are the best ways to reduce the risk of sudden cardiac arrest.

  • Quit smoking
  • Lose weight
  • Exercise regularly
  • Consume a low-fat diet
  • Manage diabetes
  • Stop recreational drug use

Sources:

  1. Sudden Cardiac Arrest Foundation. Accessed Oct 12, 2016.
  2. Victoria State Government. Accessed Oct 13, 2016.
  3. American Red Cross. Accessed Oct 13, 2016.
  4. Sudden Cardiac Death in India: A Growing Concern; Journal of the Association of Physicians of India; Accessed Oct 14, 2016.

Keep moving with physiotherapy!

We all have occasionally experienced our body crying out in pain and refusing to do what we tell it to. Like machines, our body is also made up of moving parts and with so many different muscles and joints it is not uncommon if they go wrong once in a while.

Physiotherapy helps muscles and joints work to their full potential and promotes, restores and maintains physical health. Using a variety of techniques, it assists repair damage by speeding up the healing process and reducing pain and stiffness.

Fast Facts:

•   Physical therapy exercise has been proven to help women who experience incontinence, osteoporosis or breast cancer surgery.

•   Physical activity conducted under the guidance and supervision of a physi0-therapist reduces the risk of heart attack, stroke, Type 2 diabetes, colon cancer and breast cancer.

Why is physiotherapy important?

1.   To improve range of motion: You might feel less capable of participating in your day to day activities if you are suffering from an injury or have a condition. A physiotherapy plan would help you solve issues with your range of motion and you will regain your mobility to return to your usual level of activity.

2.   To improve damage due to neurological disorders: Stroke and Parkinson’s disease can bring physical damage which can be corrected or improved by physiotherapy. Physiotherapy provides assistance in mobility, bringing back full or partial function, and prevents further deterioration.

3.   To check progress on exercises: Physio-therapies revolve around therapeutic exercises which will be assigned by your physiotherapists depending on the type of injury. Regular sessions with your physiotherapists are important to assess your progress, who will then increase or change your exercises as per your state of recovery.

4.   To improve cardiopulmonary conditions: If a patient is suffering from breathing issues, physiotherapy provides assistance by introducing guided exercises.

5.   Management of pain: Chronic pain or pain resulting from an accident or injury can be managed by physiotherapy. Arthritis, osteoporosis, repetitive strain injury, knee, neck, wrist and back pain are some common ailments which require attention. Physiotherapy also helps in improving your quality of life so you can get back to your daily activities, sports, and hobbies.

6.   Post-operative recovery: After orthopedic surgery especially after the fracture or joint replacement, physiotherapy is valuable to help with walking or mobilizing a damaged body part. Regular physiotherapy sessions can also help people to lead active lives with their prosthetic limbs.

What to expect during a physiotherapy session?

A physiotherapist may recommend exercises, use some techniques which involve machines or practise manual therapy to ease pain and promote healing.

1.   Manual therapy: A physiotherapist will use their hands for manipulating, mobilizing and massaging the body tissues. Effective treatment of back pain and other conditions which do not affect the bones, joints or muscles is done using this therapy.

2.   Machine therapy: A physiotherapist will use machines such as ultrasound, interferential and TENS (Trans-cutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation) depending on the type of condition with an aim to relieve pain and spasms.

3.   Exercises: A physiotherapist will recommend and teach exercises designed to improve movement and strength in a specific part of the body.

4.   Physical activities: A physiotherapist will recommend activities that involve moving the whole body, such as walking or swimming or treatments such as hydrotherapy or aquatic therapy.

DID YOU KNOW?

Every year on 8th September, physical therapists around the world use World Physical Therapy Day to draw attention to raising awareness about the contribution that physiotherapy makes to keeping people well, mobile and independent.

Sources:

1.   National Health Service. Accessed on June 13, 2016.

2.   World Confederation for Physical Therapy. Accessed on June 14, 2016.

Stay Active, Stay Fit!

We now recognize the importance of physical fitness than ever before. Being fit is important because it serves as an indication of the physical functioning of a person. Irrespective of our lifestyle, age or physical ability, we all need the right type of exercise which we can practice regularly and stay healthy.

Fast facts:

  • Physical inactivity is the fourth-leading risk factor for global mortality and 6% of deaths are attributed to physical inactivity.
  • Globally, 1 in 3 adults is not active enough.

Why is it important to keep fit?

  • Keep and improve your strength so you can stay independent.
  • Give you a feeling of better health through increased energy and vitality.
  • Improve your balance.
  • Prevent or delay some diseases like heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, diabetes, colon and breast cancer, and osteoporosis.
  • Improve your mood and reduce depression.
  • Improve your muscular and cardio-respiratory fitness, bone and functional health.

How to get active?

There are 4 major categories of activities that can help you improve health and physical ability.

1.   Endurance: These are aerobic exercises that build your energy, increase your breathing, heart rate and improve the health of the heart, lungs, and circulatory system. A regular 30-minute activity is a proper regime. You can build endurance by brisk walking, doing yard work (mowing, raking), dancing, jogging, swimming, biking, climbing stairs or hills, playing tennis or basketball.

2.   Strength: These are strength training or resistance training exercises that build muscles and improve muscle strength. They help prevent falls, maintain your ability to stay independent and carry out everyday activities such as climbing stairs and carrying groceries. Lifting weights, using a resistance band, doing push-ups and sit-ups can help you to use your muscles and strengthen them.

3. Balance: Practice exercises that help you maintain physical balance as they help prevent falls. Standing on one foot, Heel-to-toe walk and Tai Chi are exercises to improve your balance.

4. Flexibility: Stretching exercises can help your body stay flexible thus giving you more freedom of movement for your regular physical activity as well as for your everyday activities. Shoulder and upper arm stretch, calf stretch, yoga are some exercises to improve your flexibility.

Tips to exercise safely:

  1. Start slowly, especially if you haven’t been active for a long time. Start with a low intensity few, short 5 to 10-minute gentle exercise sessions per day.
  2. Proceed to moderate intensity exercises which would bring a slight change in your heart and breathing rate.
  3. Don’t hold your breath during strength exercises. That could cause changes in your blood pressure.
  4. Use safety equipment. For example, wear a helmet for bike riding or the right shoes for walking or jogging.
  5. Unless your doctor has asked you to limit fluids, be sure to drink plenty of fluids when you are doing activities.
  6. Always bend forward from the hips, not the waist. If you keep your back straight, you’re probably bending the right way.
  7. Warm up your muscles before you stretch. Try walking and light arm pumping first.
  8. Make sure you do not continue with the exercises that hurt or make you feel really tired.

Did You Know?

Adults aged 18-64 should do at least 150 minutes of moderately intense physical activity throughout the week or at least 75 minutes of vigorous activity throughout the week or an equivalent combination both.

Sources:

1. World Health Organization. Accessed Sep 12, 2016.

2. National Institutes of Health. Accessed Sep 13, 2016.

3. National Health Service. Accessed Sep 13, 2016.

Eat your way to Good Health!

website-Nutrition-and-Diet-banners

Our body needs nutrients to survive and stay healthy. A proper diet is essential from the very early stages of life for proper growth, development and to remain active. Therefore, a balanced diet can help us to achieve optimal health throughout life. A little learning and planning can help you find a diet to fit your lifestyle, achieve your desired goals and also let you have some fun in the process!

Fast facts:

  • 54 percent of all deaths before the age of five years in India are related to malnutrition.
  • About 33 per cent of Indian men and 36 per cent of Indian women have a BMI below 18.5, indicating a high prevalence of nutritional deficiency.
  • The prevalence of overweight/ obesity is higher among women (10.9%) compared to men (7.8%) in rural areas.

Dietary guidelines:

Right nutritional behaviour and dietary choices are needed to achieve dietary goals:

  1. Eat a variety of foods to ensure a balanced diet.
  2. Ensure that your infant is exclusively breastfed for the first six months.
  3. Feed home based semi-solid foods to the infant after six months.
  4. Ensure adequate and appropriate diets for children and adolescents, both in health and sickness.
  5. Eat plenty of vegetables and fruits.
  6. Ensure moderate use of edible oils and animal foods and decreased use of ghee/ butter/ vanaspati.
  7. Avoid overeating to prevent obesity.
  8. Exercise regularly and be physically active to maintain ideal body weight.
  9. Restrict salt intake to a minimum.
  10. Ensure the use of safe and clean foods.
  11. Adopt right pre-cooking processes and appropriate cooking methods.
  12. Drink plenty of water and take beverages in moderation.
  13. Minimize the use of processed foods rich in salt, sugar and fats.
  14. Include micronutrient-rich foods in the diets of elderly people to enable them to be fit and active.

Why do we need nutritionally adequate food?

An adequate diet, providing all nutrients, is needed throughout our lives. Food provides our bodies with the energy, protein, essential fats, vitamins and minerals to live, grow and function properly. Nutrients that we obtain through food have vital effects on physical growth and development, maintenance of normal body function, physical activity and health. A healthy diet helps protect against malnutrition in all its forms, as well as non-communicable diseases.

A healthy diet also plays an important role in preventing/ improving conditions such as coronary heart disease, stroke, hypertension, obesity, some forms of cancer, Type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis, dental caries, gall bladder disease, dementia and nutritional anaemia.

Types of nutrients important for our body:

Nutrients are necessary for physiological and biochemical processes by which the human body acquires, assimilates and utilizes food to maintain health and activity. These nutrients must be obtained through a judicious choice and combination of a variety of foods from different food groups. There are 7 major types of nutrients needed by our body which are known as macronutrients as they are needed in relatively large quantities. These are proteins, carbohydrates, fats, fiber and water. Micronutrients like vitamins and minerals are required in relatively small quantities.

1.   Carbohydrates: These are major sources of energy in all human diets and provide 4 kcal of energy per gram. Glucose and fructose found in fruits, vegetables and honey, sucrose in sugar and lactose in milk are types of simple carbohydrates. Starches in cereals, millets, pulses and root vegetables and glycogen in animal foods belong to complex carbohydrates group.

2.   Proteins: These are structural and functional components of every living cell and are needed for building and repairing tissues. These also provide 4 kcal of energy per gram. More proteins are required by growing infants and children, pregnant women and individuals with infections and illness or stress. Animal foods like milk, meat, fish and eggs and plant foods such as pulses and legumes are rich sources of proteins.

3.   Fats: A concentrated source of energy providing 9 Kcal per gram act as a vehicle for fat-soluble vitamins like vitamins A, D, E and K and carotenes and promotes their absorption. Dietary fats are derived from two sources; the invisible fat present in plant and animal foods; and the visible or added fats and oils (cooking oil). Adults should restrict intake of saturated fat (butter, ghee and hydrogenated fats) and cholesterol (red meat, eggs). Excess of these substances could lead to obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and cancer.

4.   Fibre: It consists mostly of carbohydrates but doesn’t provide energy. However, dietary fibre is an important part of essential human nutrition and is the indigestible part of plant foods that pushes through our digestive system, absorbing water along the way and easing bowel movements.

5.   Water: It plays a key role in the elimination of body wastes and regulation of body temperature. A normal healthy person needs to drink about 8 glasses (2 litres) of water per day. Water requirements vary between individuals and are closely linked to body size, age, environmental temperatures, physical activity, different states of health, and dietary habits.

6.   Vitamins: These are chemical compounds that cannot be synthesized in the body and are essential for adequate functioning and processes of the body and for maintenance of the structure of skin, bone, nerves, eye, brain, blood and mucous membrane. Vitamins A, D, E and K are fat-soluble, while vitamin C and the B-complex vitamins are water soluble.

7.   Minerals: These are inorganic elements required for maintenance of skin, hair, nails, blood and soft tissues and have an important role in nerve cell transmission, acid/base and fluid balance, enzyme and hormone activity and blood- clotting processes. Sodium, potassium, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium and sulphur, while zinc, copper, selenium, molybdenum, fluorine, cobalt, chromium and iodine are some minerals which can be obtained with the intake of foods is varied and balanced.

DID YOU KNOW?

Iodine deficiency is very common in India and around 54 million people are estimated to be suffering from goitre and 2.2 million are affected from cretinism.

Sources:
  1. World Health Organization. Accessed Oct 26, 2016.
  2. Medical News Today. Accessed Oct 27, 2016.
  3. National Health Portal. Accessed Oct 30, 2016.
  4. National Institute of Nutrition. Accessed July 28, 2016.

Stay Aware, Combat Fatigue!

World Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) Awareness Day is celebrated on 12 May since 1992 to honor the birthday of Florence Nightingale, the founder of modern nursing. This day is organized all over the world to spread awareness of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Also known as Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME), CFS is a complex disorder defined by immense fatigue which is not improved by bed rest and can worsen with regular physical or mental activities.

Fast Facts:

  • CFS can be very severe and affected patients might not be able to carry out the daily tasks of eating, showering or sitting up in the bed.
  • CFS is not laziness or a mental disorder which can be cured with psychiatric or psychological treatment.

Spot the signs:

  • Muscle or joint pain
  • Impaired memory or mental concentration
  • Insomnia or non-refreshing sleep
  • Headaches of a new type, pattern, or severity
  • Tender lymph nodes in the neck or armpit
  • Frequent or recurring sore throat
  • Post-exertion malaise lasting more than 24 hours

Know the possible causes:

Although a single cause of CFS has not been identified, many possible triggers are listed below:

  • Bacterial or viral infections
  • Immune dysfunction
  • Abnormally low blood pressure that can cause fainting
  • Nutritional deficiency
  • Physical or emotional stress which alters the activity of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis, or HPA axis.

Manage your condition:

There is no cure and no specific prescription drugs for CFS but patients can monitor their health and manage their condition using these tips:

  1. Get support from a counselor and help from close ones.
  2. Find a job and lifestyle that works for you.
  3. Avoid alcohol, caffeine, sugar and sweeteners.
  4. Include more breaks with your current levels of activities.
  5. Use tips to help with the cognitive problems.
  6. Use massage, exercises, acupuncture, relaxation techniques under the supervision of a qualified practitioner to control joint pains and muscle pains.
  7. Get the most out of sleep by sleeping and waking up at the same time.
  8. Avoid stressful situations and spend time relaxing.

Although living with CFS is challenging and unpredictable, we can easily find ways to understand and deal with it.

Sources:

  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Accessed May 9, 2016.
  2. National Health Portal. Accessed May 10, 2016.
  3. National Health Service. Accessed May 11, 2016.

Stay Safe, Prevent Injuries!

Any harm or damage caused by accidents, falls, hits, and weapons is known as injury. You can get injured at work or play, indoors or outdoors, while driving a car or walking across the street. Accidents happen, but there are things you can do to prevent getting injured.

Fast Facts:

  • Falls account for more than 40 percent of non-fatal injuries.
  • Motorists without helmets are 40 percent more likely to die from a head injury.

What are the common types of injuries?

  • Animal bites
  • Wounds
  • Bruises
  • Burns
  • Dislocations
  • Electrical injuries
  • Fractures
  • Sprains and strains

How to prevent injuries?

1. Animal Bites:

Household pets like dogs and cats are responsible for maximum cases of animal bites. They can be managed by following these guidelines:

  • If the bite breaks the skin, wash the area with soap and water, apply an antibiotic cream, and cover it with a clean bandage.
  • Get a tetanus shot, preferably within 48 hours of getting bitten.
  • If the wound is bleeding, apply pressure to stop the bleeding and get medical attention right away.
  • Never leave young children unattended with animals.
  • If you have not had a tetanus shot in the past ten years, get one.
2. Household burns:

Follow these steps to protect your family and avoid a trip to the emergency department due to burns:

  • Do not leave hot coffee on tables or countertop edges.
  • Cover unused electric outlets with safety caps.
  • Do not put water on a grease fire.
  • Keep matches and lighters out of children’s reach in a locked cabinet.
  • Keep fire extinguishers on every floor of your house and a working smoke detector.
3. Falls:

Unintentional falls are the leading injury-related reason people seek emergency care but they can be prevented by keeping the following points in mind.

  • Don’t leave objects on the stairs or walkways.
  • Use nightlights in the bedroom, hall and bathroom.
  • Remove throw rugs and tack down other rugs to avoid tripping.
  • Be sure the bottom of the tub or shower has a non-skid surface.
  • Cover play areas with paddings such as shredded mulch, wood chips, gravel or fine sand.

Protect yourself from other injuries:

  1. Stay away from damaged buildings or structures until they have been examined and certified as safe by an expert.
  2. Leave immediately if you smell gas or suspect a leak.
  3. Avoid lifting any heavy material alone.
  4. Wear safety and protective gear for clean-up work.
  5. Wear earplugs or protective headphones to reduce risk from equipment noise.

Did you know?

For older adults, unintentional falls are associated with lower-body weakness, problems with balance and walking, visual impairment, chronic illness or a history of stroke.

Sources:

  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Accessed Nov 29, 2016.
  2. Emergency Care for you. Accessed Nov 30, 2016.
  3. British Medical Journal. Accessed Nov 30, 2016.

Don’t ignore flu- get vaccinated!

Do you have cold and mild fever at least once, if not few times a year and you lose sick days at work? Chances are that you catch the ‘flu’ once or few times a year! Influenza or commonly referred to as ‘flu’ is a seasonal illness that impacts our health and productivity at work. While a few days of sickness could be deemed as inconvenient, however, sometimes flu can be dangerous enough to lead to hospitalization or death in some cases. As per World Health Organization (WHO), Flu vaccine is the most effective way of protecting yourself from influenza virus and spreading it to others at work or home.

What is Flu?

Flu or influenza is a viral infection of the nose, throat and lungs that is contagious.

Symptoms of Flu:

  • Fever or feeling feverish
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Muscle or body ache
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue
  • Vomiting or diarrhea, more common in children than adults

How is Flu different from Common Cold?

Symptoms of Flu can often be confused with that of common cold. However, we need to sit and take notice of flu as it can come on suddenly, and varies in severity of illness from person to person and can actually lead to death. Complications arising from Flu include:

  • Pneumonia: a common complication of flu that particularly effects people with lung and heart problems, children, pregnant women and elderly.
  • Bronchitis
  • Sinus
  • Ear infections
  • Aggravation of an existing condition like asthma, chronic congestive heart failure

High Risk Group for Flu

Seasonal Flu can impact all age groups. However, the highest risk of complication are people with existing medical condition like chronic, heart, lung, kidney, blood diseases, diabetics or weakened immune systems, children, adults 65 years or older and pregnant women.

Prevention with Flu Vaccination

Influenza viruses attack up to 10% of the adult population annually. Of the people infected worldwide, there are 3 to 5 million cases of severe illness and 2.5 to 5 lac death every year. The most effective way to prevent flu infection is vaccination.Flu vaccinations have to be taken depending on the flu season in your geography as recommended by your doctor. In temperate climate, flu epidemic occurs in winters whereas in tropical regions, influenza outbreaks may be through out the year.

Benefits of Vaccination

Easily available and safe vaccinations have manifold benefits that include-

  • Prevent, reduce incidence and severity of flu
  • Higher productivity and reduce missed work or school
  • Protect colleagues at work and family’s health by not spreading the infection
  • Avoid flu related hospitalizations
  • Lower medical bills

How does the vaccine work?

The vaccine helps create antibodies in the body that fights against infection two weeks post vaccination. The vaccination can not only help you avoid the flu virus but also protect people around you who are at high risk and vulnerable.

Effectiveness of Vaccine

Ability of the vaccine to prevent infection depends on the prior health status of the person getting vaccinated and the match between the flu vaccine and the circulating virus that season. The healthier the person getting vaccinated and higher match between vaccine and circulating virus will ensure higher protection and effectiveness. Among high risk group, the vaccine may make their illness mild, should they get infected.

The flu vaccine is safe for most people except in extremely rare cases. If a vaccinated person has breathing trouble, feel weak, dizzy or fast heartbeat, they should contact the doctor immediately. Additionally, if a person has had an allergic reaction to the flu shot in the past, they should consult the doctor before getting vaccinated.

Treatment

Most people with mild form of flu do not need medication and should stay at home to avoid spreading the virus. However, if you are very sick or at ‘high risk’ antiviral drugs many be prescribed to you by your doctor. Timely medical intervention by doctor for people at high risk or severe illness is important to avoid complications from influenza infection.

Prevent Transmission of Flu from Infected Individual

Seasonal influenza virus is highly contagious and can spread easily from person to person. If a person is already infected with flu virus, it is critical to contain the virus from spreading especially in closed environment like an office space with many people working in close proximity. To prevent transmission of the virus, infected people should-

  • Stay away from people as flu can spread to people up to 6 feet away
  • Cover their mouth and nose when coughing.
  • Wash their hands regularly with soap and water, preferably. If soap and water is not available, alcohol based hand rub many also be used.
  • Utensils, dishes, linens of an infected person should not be shared with others.
  • Surfaces touched frequently by an infected person at work, home, school should be disinfected.

Flu is a seasonal viral illness that can impact not only the weak but also healthy, young adults. The viral infection has the potential to cause severe sickness in you and those around you at work and home. Flu vaccinations are an easy and effective tool to avoid seasonal illness, increased productivity, probable hospitalizations and protect colleagues, friends and family. Would you chose to losing productive days at work and fun time with family and friends over feeling sick every flu season or worse, face hospitalization? Get flu vaccination and stay healthy.

 Sources:

  1. WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION. ACCESSED OCT 30, 2015.
  2. CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL AND PREVENTION. ACCESSED 4, 2015.

Yoga for body, mind and soul!

Yoga, a 5000-year old practice has gained importance towards the prevention of diseases, maintenance and promotion of health. Yoga is a spiritual science practised all across the world and is not limited to just being a form of physical exercise. On December 11 in 2014, United Nations General Assembly declared June 21st as the International Day of Yoga.

Yoga has known to have brought remarkable lifestyle changes in the practitioners. A sedentary lifestyle leads to very low energy expenditures and can cause a number of lifestyle disorders. Obesity is caused due to an energy imbalance between calories consumed and calories expended. Practising yoga has beneficial effects on internal organs, endocrine glands, and mind and is useful for the prevention of weight gain and the development of obesity.

 Fast Facts:

  • There are 84 classic Yoga Asanas, the Asana being one of the 8 limbs (branches) of Yoga. The other limbs are Yama, Niyama, Pranayama, Pratyahara, Dharana, Dhyana, Samadhi.
  • Studies show that yoga reduces the risk of heart disease by improving arterial flow. Other studies found yoga help treat diabetes, high blood pressure, and asthma

 In this write-up, we will discuss two yoga postures which can be regularly practised for the management of obesity.

 Veerasana (Warrior pose)

 This asana exerts pressure on the digestive organs. It helps to reduce excessive fat accumulated in the abdominal region.

  • Stand erect with both the legs joined.
  • Step your left leg forward at a maximum distance from the right leg.
  • Bend the left leg at the knee to form a right angle between the thigh and calf.
  • Join both the palms and place them on the knee.
  • With the right leg being straight, inhale and stretch both of your arms above your head and bend the upper part of your body backwards.
  • Stay in this posture until you feel the strain.
  • Exhale slowly while straightening your trunk, inhale and bring the hands down to the knees.
  • Return your left foot to the original position aligned with the right, as you exhale.

Bhujangasana (Cobra pose)

This asana targets the stomach muscles and stimulates the digestive organs. It helps reduce flab around the hips, abdomen, and waist.

  • Lie down with the chest and abdomen touching the ground.
  • Stretch both the legs together as much as possible to resemble the tail of a serpent.
  • Place the palms near the chest facing the ground. The elbows should be straight and stretched completely.
  • Now slowly raise your forehead and lift the upper body, from the head to abdomen, to resemble the shape of a hooded cobra.
  • Bend your neck to feel the stretch in your spines.
  • Hold your breath until you maintain this position.
  • Release by relaxing the abdomen first on the ground, then chest, and finally the head.

Did you know?

According to a study, obese participants practising yoga for one year showed more improvement in pulmonary functions and reduced BMI compared to participants doing aerobic exercises.

Sources:

  1. OMICS International. Accessed June 20, 2016.
  2. International Day of Yoga. Accessed June 20, 2016.
  3. The Art of Living. Accessed June 20, 2016.a