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Health Disaster Behind Tobacco Use

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One of the biggest public health threats faced by the global population is from the Tobacco Epidemic. Approximately 7 million people succumb to it every year and this number is expected to reach at least 8 million by 2030.Out of these, more than 6 million deaths are due to direct tobacco consumption. Tobacco users who face untimely deaths deprive their families of income, raise healthcare costs and hinder economic development.

Smoking is act or addiction of inhaling and exhaling the tobacco smoke or other similar harmful addictive drugs. It is one of the leading causes of preventable death worldwide and is unhealthy to the human body both in active and passive forms.

Effects of Smoking

Smoking harms almost all organs of the body. This happens because combustion of tobacco produces carbon monoxide which impairs the blood’s oxygen carrying ability. Therefore inhaling smoke into the lungs, irrespective of the substance, has adverse effects on one’s health. Smoking

  • Thickens and damages blood vessels thereby increasing blood pressure .This in turn causes Stroke and Coronary Heart Disease.
  • Damages airways and air-sacs (alveoli) in the lung causing diseases like Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) including bronchitis, lung cancer and triggers asthma attacks.
  • Causes cancer in almost all body parts including bladder, rectum, blood, cervix, colon, kidney, liver, trachea, bronchus and lungs.
  • Affects fertility rates.
  • Causes pregnancy related problems including pre-term births, ectopic pregnancy and still-birth of babies.
  • Weakens bones, teeth and gums and increases risk of diabetes, cataracts and rheumatoid arthritis.

Lung Cancer Treatment in India 

Lung Cancer is one of the most dangerous outcomes of Smoking. Smoking causes about 90% of total lung cancer deaths! This cancer damages the lungs eventually reducing its capacity to deliver oxygen to different body parts.

Fortunately India is equipped with state-of-the-art facilities and advanced technologies, experienced oncologists and offers comprehensive post-operative care for treating this complex disease. Thus India is highly ranked on quality and expertise in comparison with its counterparts.

Treatment of Lung Cancer depends on its type, extent of spread and patient condition. Effective treatment procedures include

  • Surgery for removing out the cancer tissue.
  • Wedge Resection/Segmental Resection for removing a small portion of diseased lung.
  • Chemotherapy wherein medications are given for reducing or killing cancerous cells.
  • Radiation Therapy which uses high energy rays to kill cancerous cells.
  • Molecularly Targeted Therapy which is a procedure where specific targeting of cancerous cells is done by dispensing drugs to inhibit growth and affected areas.
  • Pneumonectomy which is a rare option used for removing the entire lung if cancer has spread all over the lobes.
  • Sleeve Resection which involves removal and reconnection of airway sections near the lung tumour after its removal.
  • Lymph Node Dissection where lymph nodes adjacent to lung are removed and tested to assess extent of spread of cancer.
  • Of late, Cancer Healer Therapy is being used to effectively treat advanced lung cancer with no harmful side effects. This therapy is targeted at combating cancer and restores its ability to eliminate cancerous cells in future.

Ways to Quit Smoking

  • Cold Turkey which essentially means trying to quit smoking without external aids, therapy or medicines.
  • Behavioural Therapy in consultation with a counsellor for understanding triggers for smoking and making plans for evading it.
  • Nicotine Replacement Therapy which substitutes tobacco with nicotine supply through gums, patches, inhalers, sprays and lozenges.
  • Prescription Medications that help manage cravings and withdrawal symptoms.
  • Combo Treatment (mixing few of above methods) for increased probability of permanently quitting smoking.

Smoking increases risk of death –One in Ten deaths around the world is caused by Smoking!

Wake Up NOW- ‘Choose Life–Quit Tobacco Use!’

 

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Arrest the Asthma with these 6 Breathing exercises

 

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Life on earth thrives on oxygen. Imagine a person gasping and panting for breath. Our heart reaches out to that person as they struggle to swallow gulps of air which we effortlessly inhale. 235 million people in the world suffer like this due to Asthma, according to the WHO. Nearly 1000 deaths from asthma can be prevented every year with timely medical treatments.

Facts about Asthma-Causes and symptoms

  • Asthma is a recurrent lung inflammatory disease that causes difficulty in breathing.

  • Asthma can only be controlled and not completely cured.

  • Deep Breathing exercises help to prevent and control asthma attacks by improving the lung function.

Causes of Asthma

  • Environmental allergens like dust, mites, mold or pollen.

  • Medications like Aspirin or Beta – blockers.

  • Irritant factors like extreme heat, cold or radiation

  • Psychological factors like stress.

Symptoms of asthma

  • Wheezing, coughing, shortness of breath and a tightening of the chest.

  • Severe asthma symptoms include breathlessness, inability to speak or breathe even while lying down, bluish lips, tight chest, hunched shoulders etc.

Breathing Exercises to Control Asthma

1. Diaphragmatic Breathing

Here you use the diaphragm which is a dome-shaped muscle below your chest to breathe.

  • Sit straight in a chair or lie down on your back with bent knees supporting a pillow under them.

  • Inhale slowly through your nose by moving your abdomen up without moving your chest.

  • Now exhale very slowly through pursed lips by moving your abdomen down.

  • Practise daily for 10-15 minutes.

2. Buteyko Breathing

This famous Breathing technique focuses on regulating the breathing rate or volume and is highly effective in controlling asthma.

  • Sit up with chest and belly relaxed and eyes closed with face up.

  • Exhale all the air from your lungs with a whoosh sound.

  • Now inhale slowly through your nose with your mouth closed to a count of 4.

  • Hold your breath for as long as you can until a count of 7.

  • Exhale very slowly through your mouth till the count of 8.

  • Repeat this 3-4 times for 4 breaths.

3. Physical movement Breathing

Here the exercise involves physical movements to relax tense muscles.

  • Close your eyes, relax and concentrate on breathing.

  • Focus on your breathing while doing forward curls.

  • Rotate your shoulders while focussing on breathing.

  • Raise your arms while focussing on your breathing.

  • Repeat this twice before opening your eyes.

4. Reduced breathing

This increases air distribution in lungs through slow breathing.

  • Sit with your legs crossed on the floor, face upwards and eye closed.

  • Relax your chest and belly and inhale slowly through your nose with mouth closed.

  • Take shallow breaths slowly.

  • Exhale through your mouth completely till there is no air left.

  • Hold your breath for a long time and get back to normal breathing.

5. Pursed Lip Breathing

Best for an asthma attack, this technique traps the air within the lungs making breathing easier.

  • Inhale slowly with nose and diaphragm keeping your mouth closed.

  • Purse your lips as if you are about to whistle.

  • Now exhale through pursed lips to a count of four.

6. Progressive relaxation Breathing

  • Lie on a bed or sit relaxed

  • Inhale slowly using diaphragmatic breathing

  • Tighten the muscles of the left foot, hold for 20 secs. and relax.

  • Repeat for right foot, upper legs, forearms, shoulders etc.

  • Focus on your breathing throughout.

Proper breathing techniques can definitely diminish the frequency of asthma attacks. These should be taught by a respiratory physiotherapist or trained physician for best results.