Winter Health Remedies

  • FG Bureau
  • India
  • Dec 19, 2014

As the mercury dips and the winds turn chilly, a number of health ailments witness a spike. Be it cold and flu, asthma attacks, skin sensitivity or headaches, the dropping temperatures cause a rise in people reporting several ailments. At the same time, the winter season increases the risk of heart attacks, and ups the incidence of bladder problems and joint pains. Paras Hospitals had organised a special health talk on this, featuring Dr Tapan Ghose, Director and HOD, Cardiology, Dr Vivek Logani, Chief of Joint Replacement Surgery and Dr Anurag Khaitan, Sr. Consultant, Urology. “In extreme winter, the body finds it difficult to retain its heat. Sometimes the body can experience a sudden loss of heat in a condition called hypothermia. This can be dangerous for people with heart ailments. The instances of angina also increase in winter. However, most people are not aware of this and do not exercise the needed precautions - like wearing several layers of clothing to prevent heat loss, avoiding exertion and keeping alert. Blood pressure rises in the winter season and this needs monitoring and maybe a drug dosage alteration. A consultation with the doctor is recommended,” said Dr Tapan Ghose. “One of the major reasons for an increase in joint stiffness during winter is the reduction in our physical activity in colder months. We tend to prefer the comfort of blankets and often forgo our daily walk and exercise. In winter our skeletal muscles increase their background contraction activity in order to generate heat; as a result they undergo fatigue and spasm, leading to muscle pains and stiffness. A regular exercise regime and stretching exercises, conducted in warm/cosy surroundings, can help prevent such problems. Ensuring a good intake of water and fluids and a balanced diet, and wearing (knee) supports also helps,” said Dr Vivek Logani. Bladder and urinary issues - like loss of bladder control, leakage of urine while coughing and sneezing, or discomfort/difficulty during urination - were discussed by Dr Anurag Khaitan. “Many people do not seek medical help for these ‘embarrassing’ problems. These issues may also be linked to the prostate (gland). In winter, when we urinate more as compared to summer, these problems further exacerbate. Sometimes, urinary problems may be caused by seasonal infections, which can easily be treated; other cases may involve stones in the kidney or the urinary tract, or even a bladder tumour. It is not advisable to take these conditions lightly,” said Dr Khaitan

The good doctors’ common advice was:

Keep well clothed: Keep yourself protected from the winter chill by wearing clothing in layers, which helps trap body heat.

Exercise: If it is cold, it doesn’t mean that you give up your physical activity. In fact, in winter your body needs exercise all the more to ensure that warm blood reaches even peripheral areas of the body like knee joints. But heart patients should indulge only in mild exercise, like walking.

Drink sufficient water: While in winter you feel less thirsty, this doesn’t mean that your water intake should go down. Sufficient water intake is crucial to keep the body hydrated and functioning well.

Stay alert: Do not ignore any symptom that spells worry. In case of chest discomfort or backache, consult a doctor immediately.

Take your vitamins: You also need to ensure a regular intake of vitamins – like C, E and K - to keep the bones strong and the body’s immune system healthy. Make sure you spend 15-20 minutes in the sun everyday.u


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