In India, cardiovascular disease has managed to emerge as the number one cause of death.  Heart disease is being increasingly observed in the younger generation and that was unprecedented till now.  More and younger Indians are being treated for heart diseases today more than ever.


Relationship Between High Blood Pressure and Heart Disease

If you already have a condition like high blood pressure, also known as hypertension, it will greatly add to your odds of developing heart disease. And if left untreated, hypertension can lead to fatal heart failures and strokes.  Hypertension and subsequently heart diseases can be directly attributed to the unhealthy lifestyle habits that today’s young generation is accumulating over time.


Among the genders, men are more at risk of cardiovascular disease than women.  While this and the genetic predisposition one might have towards developing cardiovascular disease cannot be avoided, it has been proven that making certain lifestyle changes can be helpful in managing the risk. One study even found that adopting a healthier lifestyle can cut your heart disease risk by 90%.


Lifestyle changes for avoiding high blood pressure and heart disease,


Follow a healthy diet
Choose a diet that is rich in whole grains, fruits and vegetables and low fat dairy products and low on saturated fat and cholesterol. Ideally you should also aim at avoiding most processed foods,  sugar and sodium in your diet.
Trim your waistline
Being obese will add to your chances of developing high blood pressure (Hypertension) and cardiovascular disease. Reducing your weight to a healthy limit is one of the most effective ways to manage the risks associated with hypertension and cardiovascular disease.
Regular exercise
Engaging in regular physical activity can considerably bring down your blood pressure and keep your heart healthy. Even a 30 minute brisk jogging session a day can prove very beneficial in the long run.
Check your alcohol consumption
Though in small amounts alcohol can be beneficial to you, raising your consumption above moderate will have severe counterproductive effects on your blood pressure and heart’s health.
Staying away from cigarettes
Smoking can wreck havoc in your whole body but its effects on the heart are particularly well documented. No heart healthy regime will be complete without stubbing the butt. People who quit smoking, regardless of age, considerably reduce their heart disease risks.
Manage Stress
Taking on too much stress can promote hypertension and heart disease in you. To maintain a healthy cardiovascular system it is vital that you develop effective coping mechanisms if you are someone who is prone to stress.

Staying heart healthy is not a sprint but a marathon. It is the little habits that you cultivate early on that will help you manage your heart disease risks later on and the most important thing to remember is it is never too late to start on this marathon.


Get expert advice at Ask Apollo to stay fit and healthy.


Content Source Credit: Apollo Let's Talk Health




Stomach – One of the major internal digestive organs in our body, is also prone to developing Cancer. Stomach cancer or abdominal cancer results from the abnormal and malignant growth of cells lining the stomach.


According to the World Health Organisation, approximately 723,000 global cancer-related deaths are caused by stomach cancer alone, each year. It is also the 5th most common cancer worldwide. The question now arises as to why it is such a huge number.  It is because stomach cancer is usually not found at an early stage & doesn’t often show specific symptoms. When symptoms do occur, they may be vague and can’t be detected on time.


Though stomach cancer can be hard to diagnose & treat, it’s important to get the required knowledge to beat the disease. And in order to beat it, we need to know the symptoms first.


Few common symptoms of stomach cancer are:

Poor appetite
Weight loss
Frequent burping
Feeling full
Swallowing difficulties
Trapped wind

Most of these symptoms are more likely to be caused by conditions other than cancer, such as a stomach virus or an ulcer. They may also occur due to other types of cancer. But people facing any of these problems, especially if they don’t go away or get worse, should seek expert advice immediately, so the cause can be found and treated.


Experts are yet to ascertain the exact cause of stomach cancer; hence there are no vaccines against it.


However, there’s always a way to prevent the risk of such diseases with just a few simple & healthy steps:


Fruit and vegetables – People who eat plenty of fruit and vegetables are usually less likely to develop stomach cancer, compared with those who don’t.
Eating right – Eat less salty and smoked foods.
Smoking – If you smoke, quit! If you don’t smoke, do not take it up. It will reduce the risk of stomach cancer.

Check with a doctor – Individuals can ask whether they have any medical conditions that might increase the risk of developing stomach cancer. Those who do might consider having periodic screening.

There’s a lot you can do to reduce your risk of stomach cancer. Maintain a healthy lifestyle and stay on track with Apollo experts.


Content Source Credit: Apollo Let's Talk Health

Ditch the bulging tummy!




I was a sportsman in my younger days and was very fit. The rigours of studying medicine made me bid goodbye to sports and I have consistently put on weight around my belly, and despite my best efforts, the accumulated fat refuses to go. It is critical to avoid the fat around the belly, simply because getting rid of it once it has accumulated, is an impossible task!


The key to avoid belly fat is an efficient lifestyle. Exercising at moderate intensity, including strength training for 30 minutes or more, at least five days a week, avoiding or minimal intake of alcohol, eating healthy and above all, an awareness about belly fat will help in avoiding a resistant problem.


It is not a sign of prosperity, but definitely an indication of an unhealthy status of the individual. A number of diseases, some of which are even fatal, are attributed to abdominal obesity. Also, these fat cells change the way your body operates. Women with a waist circumference of more than 35 inches and men with a waist circumference of more than 40 inches are at increased risk.


One should distinguish between fat under the skin (subcutaneous fat) and fat around the internal organs in the abdomen (visceral fat). Visceral fat is hidden in  the abdomen and is much more dangerous than the subcutaneous fat.


Just a word
A variety of diets, supplements and exercise regimens are being advertised to lose belly fat. Remember that it is more difficult to lose belly fat than overall weight — no single technique is adequate. I must end by stating that it is easier said than done — please do everything possible to prevent an increase in the size of your waist.


Why this bulge?

Diet: Consuming too many calories without adequate activity to burn them, results in accumulation of fat.


Age: As we get older, the metabolism in our bodies decreases and the excess calories starts getting accumulated as fat.


Women: After menopause, there is a change in the hormonal status of a woman that results in weight gain, particularly around the abdomen.


Depression : Depression is a proven cause of obesity and belly fat. People with depression put on weight much faster than those who are not.


Alcohol : Alcohol increases calorie intake and causes obesity. It has been proven that those having more than three drinks daily, are prone to abdominal obesity.


Stress: Stress results in increased secretion of the hormone called cortisol, which increases belly fat.


Medications: Some medications like cortisol and prednisolone, when used for medium to long periods, result in accumulation of belly fat.


Genetics: There is a genetic predisposition towards gaining belly fat. However, this predisposition is more in women.


How to get rid of belly fat?
Ditch your diet and stop counting calories, otherwise your body will think there’s a famine and will raise stress levels, which contribute to fat storage.


Eat every three hours. Keep your blood sugar levels and energy levels stable by eating regularly. Eat breakfast, lunch and dinner plus a mid-morning snack and one mid-afternoon. No carbs after 6 pm. This will stop those roller-coaster highs and sugar cravings. Because your blood sugar isn’t allowed to drop, your body will no longer have to ask you for a quick fix.


Don’t skip breakfast. If you do, your body immediately registers famine and holds on to your stores of fat.


Cut down on all added sugar and refined carbs. Avoid any foods that make your blood sugar rise quickly, because, as your blood sugar drops again, your body releases adrenaline and cortisol to stabilise it once more. Switch to whole grain alternatives that release energy slowly.


Add protein to each meal. It slows down the rate your stomach processes food and delays the passage of the carbohydrates with it, keeping your sugar levels at bay.


Eat essential fats. Long-term dependency on low-fat products might mean that you’re consuming less saturated fat, but also that you are deficient of the good fats — essential fatty acids, found in oily fish, nuts and seeds. They help to boost your metabolism, so don’t forget to include them in your diet.


Don’t eat on the run. It tells your body that time is scarce, you are under pressure and stressed. Furthermore, your digestive system will be less efficient. Make it a point to sit down and eat your food as calmly, as possible.


Cut out all caffeine and sugary drinks and significantly lower your alcohol intake (abstain completely for a month if you can). If you can’t live without your cappuccino, make sure you don’t drink it on an empty stomach as it gets straight into the bloodstream and triggers cortisol release.


Content Source Credit: Apollo Lets Talk Health

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