Health, Health Conditions

Viral Fever in Monsoons: Symptoms, Precautions and Remedies

Viral fever in monsoon can destroy your daily routine and make you immensely ill. Well, every season brings with it a bunch of blues along with a bagful of bouquets. While there are many things to rejoice about, there are some things to be careful about. Similar is the case with the monsoon season. The arrival of rains gives respite from the scorching heat of summer; weather becomes cool, romantic, and colourful umbrellas, and raincoats come out of your closet.

While monsoon season cools down mother earth and fills up dams and rivers, it also opens Pandora’s Box of health ailments and infections. The dampness and humidity in this reason is the right medium for germs to multiply and cause a host of diseases and health problems. Viral fever is the most common illness seen during the monsoon season.

What is a viral fever?

You are said to have a fever when your body temperature rises above normal reading of 98.6 degrees F or 37 degrees C. The rise in temperature is a way of indicating that body’s immunity is compromised, and it is trying to fight off some infections caused by bacteria or virus.
You get a viral fever when the fever is caused by an infection from a virus. There are many types of virus which can attack the body, causing a host of different illness. The implications may range from low-grade fever to more serious diseases like dengue, chicken guinea, etc.

Symptoms of viral fever

Symptoms range from mild to severe depending upon the category of virus causing the infection. However, general symptoms include:

1)  Low-grade or high-grade fever
2)  Chills
3)  Nausea
4)  Aches in body parts like the legs, hands, joints, etc.
5)  Vomiting
6)  Headache
7)  Dizziness
8)  Sweating
9)  Inflamed tonsils
10) Running nose
11) Congestion in throat
12) Sore throat
13) Coughing
14) Sneezing
15) Rashes on skin
16) Diarrhoea
17) Loss of appetite
18) Weakness
19) Dehydration
20) Burning in eyes

Not all the above symptoms occur together. A person may exhibit only a few of these symptoms when infected.

How does it spread?
Viral fever is rampant during monsoon season because it offers the perfect weather to breed and multiply germs. When an infected person coughs or sneezes, they expel droplets carrying the virus into the atmosphere around them. When a normal person breathes this air, he gets infected with the virus. This is how viral infection is spread from one person to another.

When a person is down with viral fever, the symptoms take a toll on his health. The tremendous weakness and unbearable body pain affect the routine. There is also the risk of spreading the illness to other family members. So, it is always better to take precautionary measures and keep yourself safe from viral fever.

Precautionary measures

If you have already contracted the infection, avoid spreading it to other people. Cover your mouth and nose with a clean handkerchief while coughing or sneezing.

To reduce the chances of getting sick this monsoon, follow these tips:
Always wash your hands with disinfectant after coming in contact with an infected person.
Wash hands thoroughly before eating.

1)  If there is a sick person at home, clean floors, door handles, towels, and bed linen using disinfectant soap.
2)  Avoid going to crowded places. If it is necessary to go, cover your mouth and nose with a handkerchief.
3) Avoid having food in open areas.
4) Drink enough water and keep yourself hydrated.
5) Avoid getting drenched in the rain.
6) Use sanitizers to clean hands while travelling.
7) Exercise daily. It makes your body fit and helps combat infections.
8) Take enough rest and sleep for 7-8 hours. Sleep deprived body is immunity compromised.
9) Keep the surroundings clean.

Home Remedies to Combat Viral Fever
There are certain home remedies you can follow to pep up your immunity and keep infections at bay:

Turmeric: Turmeric milk or more popularly called as “golden milk” is touted as the saviour of infections in general because it is a great immunity booster, anti-inflammatory and has anti-microbial properties.
Basil (Tulsi): Basil has antiviral properties, which can prevent as well as help in curing viral fever. You can chew on basil leaves directly or brew a tea out of it.

Coriander seeds: Known to be rich in essential vitamins and phytonutrients, coriander seeds are excellent to ward off infections as well as treat them. You can make a tea of these seeds or simply mix with water and drink.

Fenugreek seeds: Soak fenugreek seeds in water and let it remain overnight. Drinking this at regular intervals will give you relief from viral symptoms.

Ultimately, the key to good health is good food, exercise, and enough rest. If you notice the above symptoms persisting, please visit a doctor and get treatment to avoid complications.


Health, Health Conditions

Debunking Myth: Drinking Milk After Eating Fish Causes Leukoderma

How many of us have been warned against drinking a cup of milk soon after having fish in the meal? Well, it is advice being passed on through generations. And this belief that having milk with or shortly after eating fish causes skin disease like leukoderma is popular not only in India but in other countries too.

So, what is the authenticity of this belief? Is there any truth or scientific evidence attached to it or is it a mere superstition handed down to us?

The notion that having milk and fish together causes white patches on the skin is supported by ancient medicines like Indian Ayurveda and Arabian medicine. While these traditional medicines are a treasure house of knowledge and play a major role in healing several diseases, this particular claim is not entirely true.

Dr. Manoj Jain, Dermatologist, Navi Mumbai states that there is absolutely no scientific data which supports this claim. There has been no study or research which proves that having milk and fish together can cause white patches on the skin.

Let us see what leukoderma is and what the causes of this disease are.

What is leukoderma?

Leukoderma, also called vitiligo, is a skin disease which causes white patches to appear on the skin. It can affect any part of the body. It may focus on one part or may spread to other parts. The white patches are a result of the partial or complete destruction of skin pigment melanin, which gives the skin its colour.

What causes leukoderma?

Leukoderma is an autoimmune disorder, which means the faulty immune system of the body attacks its own cells and destroys them. Generally, leukoderma runs in families.

There is no correlation between diet and leukoderma in medical literature. So, there is no scientific proof to establish a relation between leukoderma and having milk and fish together.

Then why does our ancient medicine propagate this?

Ayurveda believes that certain types of food are not compatible and hence prohibits consuming such incompatible foods together. Well, there might be some logic which might have led to such beliefs. Let’s check them out!

  1. Some people are lactose intolerant. Drinking milk causes severe allergies in such people. Similarly, fish and other seafood are known to cause allergies in some people. Hence Ayurveda advocates against having milk and fish together.
  2. Milk and fish are both high protein foods. When these two protein-rich foods are consumed together, the body takes a lot of time to break the protein into simpler molecules. This is taxing on the digestive system.
  3. When you consume fish preparations which are high in spices and then subsequently have a glass of milk, there is acid reflux which causes indigestion and a bad stomach.
  4. Another reason Ayurveda claims is that fish is non-vegetarian food whereas milk is vegetarian, rendering the combination incompatible. Consuming the duo together may upset the natural balance of the digestive system.

Over the years, there have been different and multiple reasons for this belief and handed down across generations. But the fact remains that modern medicine does not support this theory. The reason being, for any theory to be proved, there has to be data and evidence. And, in this case, there is no evidence at all.

Not to forget that many cuisines all over the world, including the Mediterranean diet and Bengali fish curries, use curd in their preparations. There have been no reports of people contracting this disease after enjoying this cuisine.

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Health Conditions

Superfoods make superheroes: eat and combat life superbly

Eat better – fight stress!

A superfood is, basically, an enhanced food item, with denser nutrition and more goodness for your body.It is especially beneficial for the body and may also provide additional health benefits. A superfood actually has no proven medical benefit – but it enhances metabolism making systems better and body better equipped to fight stress, thereby positively affecting health. Here is a list of the best superfoods:

1. Quinoa : Move over, white rice and wheat – here is a grain, rather pseudo-grain (more of a seed really) which has all the nine essential amino acids and so much protein, any other staple would be put to shame. It gives nearly 8 grams of protein per serving (a cup) and twice as much fiber, which means it’s excellent for diabetics!

2. Chia seeds : These small black particles are a magical additive! With no flavor of their own, they go well with shakes, juices, and even plain water – the magical property being; they swell up into a gelatinous covering nearly 5 times their size and keep you full for long! What’s more, they have a storehouse of omega 3 fatty acids. The minerals and fiber content is high enough to keep your digestion moving forward like a dream!

3. Kale : A rough and tough green!This plant is found to provide more antioxidants than most fruit varieties and is a storehouse of iron and calcium. The plus point of this veggie is, cooking seldom alters the nutritional value by significant range, so you can even eat it as a chip by roasting it. This vegetable also has a low-calorie count and virtually zero fat. So more or less, this is a dieter’s dream!

4. Green Tea : A very popular weight management superfood these days, green tea as a natural anticancer drink has been around for centuries. The rich antioxidant value of green tea makes it refreshing and satiating drink, minus the ill effects of caffeine in tea or coffee. A phytochemical epigallocatechin gallate is present in green tea, and it has been proven that this chemical slows down the growth of abnormal cells.

5. Dark Chocolate : Who does not love a hearty dose of chocolate? But we are talking about dairy free, bitter and unadulterated unsweetened chocolate here, which makes the body better with each ‘dose’! Not only dark chocolate lifts the spirits, but it also fights bad cholesterol, makes blood flow better, and helps cell renewal thanks to its abundant antioxidants. The key here is to look for a dark variety; at least 70% cocoa is essential for metabolically appreciative chocolate.

6. Walnuts : A small handful of walnuts each day go a long way in replenishing the body with omega 3 fatty acids, alpha-linolenic acid, copper and manganese apart from gamma tocopherol, which is a type of vitamin E hardly present anywhere else. Crack the kernels and put them in salads, or munch on fruit (in the form of smoothies) with a couple of teaspoons of walnut butter.

7. Avocado : Scared of the fatty, creamy pulp of the avocado? No need! This superfood is quite a health boosting one, ideal to replace potato in your meal. Avocados are laden with oleic acids and Vitamin E. It is also rich in Folates and monounsaturated fats – all this is responsible for a good heart, cancer free body and sharp eyes.

8. Spinach : Eat your greens! Your mom has been right all along – spinach along with other greens, especially broccoli, have vitamins (E, K, C to be specific), iron, folates and carotenoids all which are necessary for a healthy body. They boost metabolism and also improve digestion ensuring balanced outflow of nutrients into the blood. They are fibrous, which means you are fuller for longer, and there is less craving.

9. Salmon : Protein, iodine, potassium and zinc, vitamin D, selenium and omega 3 fatty acids – all are present in high quantities in the wild salmon, making it the ultimate superfood! Fighting with brain disorders, vision problems, skeletal structure issues and aging at once, salmon is a must have in your diet.

10. Berries : So many to name! strawberries, acai berries, and the like are rich in vitamins and minerals, especially Vitamin C, which is required for healthy skin and gums and also for better immunity

Superfoods definitely make your body better prepared to fight stress and pressures of today’s fast-paced lifestyle. We need to make a conscious effort to switch to better alternatives than the zero nutrition junk we feed on these days.