When I was a child and encountered the first death in the colony of an elderly neighbourhood-uncle, my grandfather taught me an important lesson.
Diwali is an annual occasion to weigh the banes and boons of rituals we practice and their effects on our health and environment, and to discover new ways to do old things better.
Several modern clinics, hospitals and operating theatres are discovering the clinical benefits of soothing music and using it not just to make patients feel better, but to improve medical outcomes too.
Among the many issues that grabbed media headlines in the aftermath of the Paris carnage recently, the story of how the French medical emergency services responded to the unexpected challenge holds many lessons for us.
With leaders of over 190 countries discussing global climate in Paris this month, unprecedented floods wrecking havoc in Chennai since last week, smog engulfing the Chinese capital Beijing right now, and air quality charts of Delhi showing that the air we are breathing is choking our lungs and hearts, I would have to be quite an ostrich to write about any other health issue this week.
Pimples are those unwelcome pink little bumps that crop up on the cheeks, chins and foreheads of youngsters often spoiling that otherwise perfect party or sometimes shattering self-esteem and scarring their faces for years. True, they are not dangerous, in the sense, they do not kill or shorten life, but their effects can be pretty nasty and long lasting, on the skin and on their personalities.
When a 57 year old well-established doctor suddenly decided to quit his stable government job of 25 years, 8 years ahead of his retirement age, change his career path, move to a new town, buy a swanky car, many were taken by surprise.
A hugely positive note with which 2015 is signing off on the medical front is the revolutionary treatment of Hepatitis C that is set to transform the lives of 12 million Indians and several fold more across the world. Around 1-2% of Indians harbour this chronic viral liver infection, most of them unknowingly and many coming to know of it when they have already developed liver cirrhosis or liver cancer. Treatment over the last 3 decades has been either unusually difficult, with weekly injections of interferon, or impossible (due to weakness or low platelets precluding this form of therapy).
One recent morning while I was gloating about our country’s claim to be seated among the developed powerful nations of the world, my car stopped at a traffic signal and a dirty starving man begged me for some money to eat a meal. While parting with a tenner, I asked him what made him beg. He said he had been a small farmer in UP, but had lost his land, home, money and living, trying to provide treatment to his son who had been stricken with cancer for two years.
One could wonder why in diabetes, a condition in which the blood sugar concentration in the blood goes up, need we worry about the liver? Or for that matter, even take the blood sugar reports seriously at all.
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