Overuse of Antibiotics: Wrong analysis # Rebuttal Times of India


     The Times of India today   carries an editorial by Mr Sandeep Bansal on over prescription of antibiotics. Although there are few points which may be correct, but the article fails to highlight the basic reasons for the problem, which it was supposed to address.

    The reason for failure to find the correct reasons can be the distant analysis. Someone working in London and trying to analyse the grass root problem of India may not be a perfect idea. People need to work at ground level to identify the real issues. Otherwise the analysis remains half-baked and gives a glimpse  of the bias, which celebrities use commonly for gaining popularity by finding faults of doctors.

 

     The overall picture has to be understood to identify real reasons and hence the proper solution to the problem. The correct steps taken would settle the issue; otherwise the analytical article would   just remain a piece of paper and an matter of discussions for Arm chair preachers.

over prescription of antibiotics

   The author failed to highlight the factors like easy availability of antibiotics. People can directly approach pharmacist and get whatever antibiotic they want.  Pharmacist can sell whatever brand, doses and kind of antibiotic. The uncountable quacks, doctors of alternate medicines use all kind of antibiotics with impunity. Tons of antibiotics are consumed without any proper medical advice. Self-medication by people themselves, as it is easily available can’t be ignored as an important cause.  

       The reasons written by the author in TOI, actually constitute a minuscule fraction (5-10%), as far as use of antibiotics is concerned. By writing imperfect article, without knowing actual problems by a distant analysis, such article provides real misguidance rather than actual solutions to the problems.

         Someone to do justice to such complex and important issues, one has to work at the place and be aware about real issues and ground problems. Otherwise it just remains a method to gain cheap popularity.

   Sadly, in present era, people who do not treat patients,  are away from  truth, but they can influence the treatment of thousands of patients  just by doing an ‘On Table’ analysis.

        Wrong analysis, hence incorrect conclusions can lead to wrong decisions.

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Balancing Immunity in Corona Times


Any substance is considered effective only after rigorous testing through randomised clinical trials with Covid-19 patients, and additional laboratory analyses.  The substances that are merely propagated on social media or claims of company or advised by quacks will not help and merely remain as part of immunity business. They provide a false hope and thereby earn money  because of fear in the minds of masses.

  As there is no definite treatment or prevention against Covid-19, people need to depend upon their own body resistance and preventive strategies. There are advisory in respected papers about the same in The Hindustan times and The Wall Street Journal, that may be helpful.

 

 

Scientists bust myths about ‘immunity-boosting’ substances in fighting Covid-19

Indian scientists on Thursday released a statement against the promotion of “immunity-boosting substances” to protect oneself from being infected with the novel coronavirus. Citing lack of scientific evidence, scientists said consuming mustard oil or tea, homaeopathic solutions or ayurvedic preparations, or modern medicines like hydroxychloroquine that are claimed to provide either immunity or cure “do not provide any known and/or validated protection against Covid-19”.

Additionally, drinking cow urine, wearing talismans, exposure to ultraviolet light or injecting disinfectants are harmful to the human body, while excess consumption of supplements such as zinc or datura seeds can prove to be fatal.

Aniket Sule, astrophysicist at Homi Bhabha Centre for Science Education and one of the signatories, said, “Since the beginning of Covid-19 epidemic, several statements have propagated ‘immunity-boosting’ substances. Some assertions were also supported by a few government functionaries at the Centre and in various states; and we, therefore, wanted to place scientific facts in the public domain.”

The most severe cases of Covid-19 are made worse by an overreaction of the immune system. So trying to boost general immunity using untested methods may be risky.”

Facts (and Myths) About Boosting Your Immune System

It’s crucial to stay healthy as the threat of coronavirus spreads. Here are the best strategies.

As the new coronavirus continues to spread across the country, having an optimally functioning immune system is more important than ever.

Medical professionals say it is important not to rush to buy supplements and vitamins that promise to enhance your immune system; there isn’t much evidence that such products do any good. Instead, they say, stick with the more mundane, but proven, approaches:

  • Keep your stress levels down.It’s a bit of a vicious cycle, of course: The more you stress about the virus, the more likely you are to suffer from it. “Stress can certainly hurt your immune system,” says Morgan Katz, an assistant professor of infectious diseases at Johns Hopkins University. “Do not panic, try to minimize stress.”

Andrew Diamond, chief medical officer of One Medical, a nationwide network of primary-care providers, says the stress hormone cortisol turns off cells in your immune system. He recommends engaging in activities that people find relaxing, such as meditation.

  • Exercise.Low- and moderate-intensity exercise naturally lowers cortisol levels and helps with immune-system function, says Dr. Diamond. One Medical recommends 30 to 60 minutes of exercise a day. If you’re apprehensive about germs in the gym, walk or run outside.

But it is important not to go overboard. A recent study found high-performance athletes have an increased risk of infection, says Elizabeth Bradley, medical director of the Cleveland Clinic’s Center for Functional Medicine. “Exercise helps boost the immune system, but we have to be careful not to overexercise because it can weaken your immune system,” she says.

  • Get adequate sleep.For adults, that means getting seven to eight hours of sleep a night. Children should get more, depending on their age.
  • Make sure your vaccines are up-to-date, especially the flu vaccine.
  • Eat plenty of plain yogurt every day.“It’s really an easy way to boost your probiotics and help support your microbiome,” Dr. Katz says. “It helps to support the good bacteria that live in your body, which help to fight bad bacteria or viruses.”

Dr. Katz also suggests avoiding antibiotics unless you must take them because they deplete the good bacteria in the system, leaving you more vulnerable to other infections.

Other foods that can help support the microbiome include garlic, onion, ginger, sauerkraut and fermented foods, says Dr. Bradley.

 Watch your diet. Stick to a healthful, balanced diet filled with lots of colorful fruits and vegetables to ensure you’re getting enough zinc and vitamin D and other important vitamins and minerals. Most experts say you should be able to get enough of these vitamins and minerals through your diet, and extra supplementation isn’t necessary. But because vitamin D deficiency is relatively common, experts do recommend supplementation if levels are low.

Dr. Bradley recommends eating lots of dark green, leafy vegetables and berries, as well as nuts and seeds, and to minimize foods with sugar and trans fats, which aren’t as nutrient-dense.

Your immune system needs fuel, so avoid ultralow-carbohydrate diets, experts say. In addition, drink lots of water and reduce alcohol consumption, which can disrupt your sleep.

  • Stop smoking or vaping.Smokers and those with respiratory disease have a higher rate of serious illness and complications from coronavirus. “Anything that is challenging to your lungs is going to work in the wrong direction,” says Dr. Diamond.

 

 

 

Cervical cancer: myths and facts


Of all the cancers affecting  women, cervical cancer has emerged as one of most common cause of cancer.

Women between 15 and 44 years of age are particularly at risk.

Cervical cancer is mostly caused by the Human Papilloma Virus or HPV. It is a condition that affects lining of the cervix, or the lower part of the uterus. This cancer develops gradually and becomes full-blown over time.

HPV infection can spread through sexual or skin-to-skin contact. Though this infection usually goes away on its own over time in most women, in others, it can persist and cause precancerous changes in the cells of the cervix.

Some symptoms of this cancer include abnormal vaginal bleeding, vaginal bleeding after menopause or sex, bleeding or spotting between periods, longer or heavier menstrual periods than usual, other abnormal vaginal discharge, and pain during sexual intercourse

As with any other disease, there are certain myths associated with cervical cancer as well.

Myth 1: Women without a family history of cervical cancer do not need to get screened.

Those without a family history of this condition may also be at risk. This is because the HPV infection can spread through sexual contact. It is, thus, important to get take preventive measures and get Pap tests done.

Myth 2: Pap tests should be done every year

There is no need to get a Pap test every year if this test and the one for HPV are normal. The recommended schedule is once in three years in women between 21 and 29; and once every five years in women between 30 and 64. Those above the age of 64 should follow their doctor’s advice.

Myth 3: It is not possible to prevent cervical cancer

Cervical cancer is one of the most preventable cancers. A Pap test can help determine any kind of changes in the cells of the cervix. Once any such change is detected, it is possible to start treatment early and prevent the cancer from developing. Pap test is imperative for anyone who has been sexually active or in women who have HPV and are smokers.

Myth 4: Women with no symptoms need not get tested

HPV infections do not show any symptoms in most cases. While there are different types of HPV, some high-risk types are associated with cervical cancer and can go undetected until the development of abnormal cells. This makes it important for women to get tested on a regular basis.

Myth 5: Women who have had a hysterectomy do not need to get tested

It is imperative to undergo a screening for cervical cancer irrespective of whether a woman has had a hysterectomy. Only those who have undergone a total hysterectomy (a process where both cervix and uterus are removed) need not get screened.

Myth 6: Pap test is similar to a pelvic exam

Pelvic exam is a physical examination of the pelvis, vagina, and pelvic floor (the area encompassed by the hip bones), whereas, in a Pap test, cells from the cervix are gently scraped away and examined for abnormal growth.

Myth 7: Condoms can prevent HPV

Condoms can help prevent certain sexually transmitted infections (STI). However, this may not be true for HPV as the virus can inhabit areas that condoms do not cover.

Myth 8: Cervical cancer treatment can cause infertility

Advances in medicine and surgery have ensured that cervical cancer treatment does not affect fertility in a woman. These surgical treatments can help a woman conceive by removing only the cervix and not the uterus.

Timely screening and detection are two very important aspects of combating cervical cancer, as it is a completely treatable condition. Apart from this, women should make some basic lifestyle changes to avoid contracting an infection. These include avoiding sexual contact with multiple partners; getting screened on a timely basis; quitting smoking; consuming a healthy diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains; and maintaining a healthy weight. All these can go a long way in preventing cervical cancer.

source;

https://www.deccanchronicle.com/lifestyle/health-and-wellbeing/010218/8-myths-and-facts-about-cervical-cancer.html

 

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