Giving birth is the most transformative, enriching and soul-satisfying experience in a woman’s life. But it's a lot of hard work as she faces physical and mental agonies like morning sickness, stretch marks, swollen legs, and heartburn. She also sacrifices and gives up things she is most habituated to - junk food, fish, soft cheese, that extra cup of coffee, cigarettes, and alcohol.
For few pregnant women, it is tough to give up alcohol entirely. It can be very tempting to have one teensy-tiny glass of wine especially at occasions where everyone else is drinking, making her think that after all, how much damage can a glass of wine do? But she forgets that the alcohol would seep into her baby's cells and can cause damage to the developing baby. When a woman consumes alcohol during pregnancy, the alcohol passes freely through her placenta to the baby. If she chooses to drink alcohol during the pregnancy, then she is making the baby more vulnerable to Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD).
What is Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD)?
Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) is an umbrella term of congenital disabilities that encompasses all the possible negative effects caused due to prenatal alcohol exposure. These defects may include lifelong complications affecting child’s physical, mental, behavioral, and learning disabilities.
Types of FASD:
● Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS)
● Partial fetal alcohol syndrome
● Alcohol-related congenital disabilities
● Alcohol-related neurodevelopmental disorder
● Neurobehavioral disorder associated with prenatal alcohol exposure
Why is the baby affected by alcohol?
In the present scenario, almost half of all women of childbearing age consume alcohol—ranging from sporadic drinking to binge drinking. When a woman drinks alcohol during her pregnancy, some of the alcohol passes through the placenta to the fetus. The body of a developing fetus doesn’t accept alcohol the same way as an adult does because a fetus metabolizes alcohol slower than an adult. The alcohol gets concentrated in the fetus, and prevent the baby from getting enough nutrition and oxygen.
Even before the woman realizes that is pregnant, some of the damage by alcohol is already done. Though most women cut back or stop once they know they are expecting, 7.6% women continue alcohol use globally. The risk increases if the mother is a heavy drinker which leads to miscarriage, stillbirth, or premature birth.
There’s no particular time when it’s “safe” to consume alcohol during pregnancy. Even though most of the organs develop in the first trimester, but the baby is growing and changing, throughout the pregnancy.
Symptoms of FASD:
Since FASD covers a broad range of health conditions, here is a list of possible symptoms. The severity of these symptoms varies from mild to severe which includes:
● Small head
● Abnormal facial features
● Below average height and weight
● Lack of concentration
● Poor coordination
● Developmental delays
● Problems in thinking, speech, movement, and social skills
● Poor judgment
● Poor vision
● Learning disabilities
● Intellectual disability
● Heart problems
● Kidney defects and abnormalities
● Deformed limbs or fingers
Don’t take any chances. Give your baby the best chance for the best possible life. Avoid consumption of alcohol during pregnancy for a healthy baby. Don’t land your little ones into trouble as FASD is incurable.
Depending on the symptoms, the child may need:
● Speech therapists who will work with toddlers to help them learn to talk.
● Behavioral training may improve skills such as self-control, reasoning, and understanding cause and effect.
● Massage and acupuncture
● Movement techniques, such as exercise or yoga
● Certain medications
As a mother, you can prevent your little ones from FASD by avoiding alcohol during pregnancy. If you are a woman with light or social drinker, who wants to conceive then, consult a doctor for help. Remember, the effects of your habits can make a negative impact on your child's health. Do not give up on your child, and do not put them in danger.
For an online consultation with our best gynecologist log on to www.askapollo.com
A migraine often misunderstood and dismissed as “just a headache” can disrupt a person’s sense of well-being. It can be a throbbing pain in the head that forces people to retreat into a dark room, shut the blinds and burrow themselves under the covers. People suffering from a migraine are often overwhelmed by the pain, which is so severe that it turns the faintest sound into an agonizing roar and launches waves of nausea with the slightest movement.
A migraine is not as uncommon as people think. In fact, a recent survey by the Migraine Research Foundation states that about one billion people are affected by this health condition globally and it is more common in women than men.
A migraine is described as an excruciating pain that recurs with varying intensities usually on one side of the head and is triggered by specific compounds or situations.The common triggers of a migraine include:
- ● Flashing lights, flickering lights, loud noises, smoky rooms, temperature changes, strong smells, and certain odors or perfumes
- ● Emotional triggers such as stress, anxiety, depression, and excitement
- ● Dehydration
- ● Consumption of alcohol
- ● Physical triggers such as tiredness, jet lag, and exercise
- ● Lack of food or sleep
- ● Smoking or exposure to smoke
- ● Hormonal triggers such as menstrual cycle fluctuations, birth control pills, and menopause
- ● Certain foods (red wine, cheese, chocolate, processed meat, soy sauce, fermented or pickled foods and MSG)
- ● Caffeine
- ● Allergies and allergic reactions
- ● Prodrome
- ● Aura
- ● Migraine attack
- ● Post-drome
- Stage 1: Prodrome
- ● Mood changes, from depression to euphoria
- ● Constipation
- ● Food cravings
- ● Neck stiffness
- ● Frequent yawning
- ● Increased thirst and urination
- ● Visual phenomena, such as bright spots or flashes of light
- ● Pins and needles sensations in an arm or leg
- ● Vision loss
- ● Difficulty in speaking
- ● Uncontrollable jerking or other movements
- ● Weakness or numbness in face or one side of the body
- ● Limb weakness (a hemiplegic migraine)
An attack usually lasts from four to 72 hours if left untreated. The frequency of a headache varies from person to person. Migraines attacks may either be rare or may strike several times a month. But during an attack, one may experience:
- ● Throbbing or pulsing pain
- ● One-sided headache
- ● Sensitivity to light, sounds, smells, and touch
- ● Nausea and vomiting
- ● Lightheadedness, sometimes followed by fainting
- ● Blurred vision
- ● Dizziness
- ● Confusion
- ● Moodiness
- ● Weakness
- ● Sensitivity to light and sound
There are still many people who choose to live with a migraine and gradually begin depending on painkillers to get rid of this mind-numbing pain. But to deal with this incapacitating pain, there are some lifestyle changes aimed to reduce the frequency of a full-blown attack and alleviates the symptoms. They include:
- ● Getting enough sleep
- ● Drinking plenty of water
- ● Reducing stress
- ● Regular physical exercise
- ● Avoiding certain foods
- ● Alternative methods - Yoga. meditation, acupuncture, homeopathy
A migraine isn’t just a health condition. Living with a chronic pain, or constant worry that a migraine can strike at any moment can take an emotional toll. If the above lifestyle changes do not alleviate the symptoms or frequency of migraines, then prefer a treatment that focuses on controlling symptoms, avoiding triggers along with certain medications.
Apollo Hospitals has now introduced the “Apollo Headache and Migraine Clinic”, a comprehensive multidisciplinary center that uses a collaborative approach to treat experienced, complex or difficult-to-treat headache conditions. This initiative is a major step towards specialized care and betterment of health because it is time to take charge of your headaches and live a healthier and pain-free life.Are you one of those individuals who has a migraine and are you suffering in silence? Then it’s time to act wisely. Consult a neurologist at the earliest. For an online consultation with our best neurologists logon to www.askapollo.com
Every night, when millions of people slumber peacefully, there are still few who find it a hitch. While they manage it by counting sheep or watching late night movies, there is still a count of people who face a chronic nightly struggle called insomnia- the inability to sleep. People with insomnia are plagued to fall asleep - an unwelcomed awakeness, a fitful sleep. It further affects their mood, daytime alertness and performance, and also their emotional and physical health.
What is Insomnia?
Since there is no significant measure of the amount of sleep, the diagnosis of insomnia does not depend on the number of hours of sleep. Instead, Insomnia is defined as the inadequate quality and quantity of sleep that interferes normal daily activities. While for a few, insomnia means difficulty to sleep, for few it’s difficult to manage a sound sleep, and for others, it’s an early awakening.
How does insomnia affect daily life?
Insomnia affects the daily activities largely because sleep is so integral to our bodies' and minds' ability to heal and rejuvenate. Insomnia often starts out innocently enough without raising any alarm. Where initially stress or trouble at work or home interfere with sleep. But then, there are some unusual habits that come along with sleeplessness which include lying in bed wide awake, looking at the clock, worrying about not getting sleep. Very soon, just the sight of the bed or the tick of the clock toward 11:00 pm can trigger anxiety, stress and render you wide awake.
Insomnia has serious effects on health because of it:
- ● Disturbs metabolism
- ● Undermines immunity
- ● Disrupts cognitive and neurotransmitter function
- ● Imbalances adrenal function
- ● Upsets overall hormonal balance
Though a restless and wakeful nights are the most prominent symptoms, the experience can be troublesome, and the daytime symptoms are actually more worrisome.
● Waking up too early
● Not feeling well-rested after a night's sleep
● Daytime tiredness or sleepiness
● Difficulty concentrating, focusing on tasks or remembering
● Irritability, depression or anxiety
● Increased errors or accidents
● Ongoing worries about sleep
Psychological conditions: depression, anxiety, stress, and over-stimulation or overload
Sleep disorders: obstructive sleep apnea, periodic limb movement disorder, and restless legs syndrome
Medical illnesses: gastroesophageal reflux, chronic obstructive lung disease and asthma, arthritis, hot flashes, congestive heart failure, benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) and other urinary conditions, and an overactive thyroid
Neurological disorders: Parkinson's disease, strokes, and dementia
Medications: decongestants, bronchodilators, certain antidepressants, steroids, beta blockers, and diuretics. Improper use of sleeping pills can cause rebound insomnia.
Stimulants: caffeine and nicotine
Read more: HOW TO KEEP STRESS OUT OF LIFE
Good nights make good days. The best way to get sound sleep is to take care of yourself. Below are few tips to help you get sound sleep:
● Stick to regular bedtime and rising time
● Empty your brain of disturbing thoughts.
● Allow lots of daylight. But, avoid bright light before bedtime
● Get plenty of exercises to relax your mind and muscles
● Use your bed only for sleeping, never use it for reading or watching TV.
● Eat properly and avoid caffeine
Above all, don’t worry about sleep. Constantly watching the clock will never help. Don’t track the amount of time spent on sleep. Instead just relax quietly and peacefully.
If the above tips don’t solve your sleeping problem and if you are experiencing insomnia that lasts for more than 3 weeks then treat insomnia with the following methods:
Behavioral therapy: relaxation training, stimulus control therapy, sleep restriction therapy, and cognitive therapy
● Use dietary supplements
● Use low dose medication (only as a backup for behavioral changes)
● Go for power naps
The most valuable advice- Hippocrates once said: “Disease exists if either sleep or watchfulness is excessive”. Anything in excess is harmful, the key to good health is the balanced approach.
If you or your beloved ones are suffering from insomnia, then it’s time to act. For online consultation with our psychologist log on to www.askapollo.com
- If the muscles and/or nerves that help movement of food through the throat and esophagus are not working in tandem. This could be due to a stroke, neurological conditions such as Parkinson's disease, neck injury, mouth or throat cancer; or breathing problems.
- If something is blocking your throat or esophagus. This may happen if you suffer from:
- ● Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
- ● Esophagitis
- ● Diverticula
- ● Esophageal tumors
- ● Coughing and choking during meals
- ● Pain while swallowing
- ● Recurrent lung infections
- ● Having pain or pressure in your chest or heartburn
- ● Shortness of breath while eating
- ● A gurgling sound in the voice
- ● X-rays
- ● Swallow test
- ● Esophagoscopy
- ● Laryngoscopy
- ● Eating too much
- ● Drinking carbonated beverages
- ● Drinking too much alcohol
- ● Excitement or emotional stress
- ● Sudden temperature changes
- ● Swallowing air while chewing gum or sucking on candy
- ● Eating
- ● Speech
- ● Sleeping
- ● Wound healing after surgery
- ● Physical test
- ● Imaging test
- ● Laboratory test
- ● Endoscopic test
|Education qualification||Trained medical physicians (MDs or DOs) As an MD they are licensed to prescribe and to give full physical examinations.||Psychologists receive 5 years of graduate training leading to a PhD or PsyD in clinical psychology. Their primary training is in psychotherapy, behavioural science, psychological research and personality assessments.|
|Training and Practice backgrounds||Biology, Genetics and neurochemistry||Human behaviours such as sleep patterns, eating patterns, behavioural patterns and thoughts.|
|Type of work||They administer somatic therapies such electroconvulsive therapy(ECT) and psychotropic medication for those experiencing Severe depression, Schizophrenia and Bipolar disorder||Clinical psychologists provide psychological/behavioural interventions for those who are experiencing psychological disorders, including anxiety, depression, anger, addictions, Behavioural problems, learning difficulties or family problems.|
|Method of treatment||Consults the patient for approximately 5 - 15 minutes and prescribes required medications or further diagnosis||Consults the patient for 45 - 60 minutes, educate about the mind-body relationship, provide emotional support, conduct psychological testing and assessment.|
|Core Practise||Curing mental disorders resulting from physical problems (genetic or obtained), primarily via medication or more invasive medical therapies such as ECT||Finding healthy alternative ways of thinking and living life. How to implement positive habits and assisting clients to improve and enjoy their relationships.|