Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Smoking: Myths, quitting and chewing tobacco

What does it take to quit smoking? Why is a smoker so keen on smoking? How does a smoker justify smoking? We often try to reason with ourselves over smoking even when we are fully aware of its harmful effects. Below are the reasons that a smoker gives for smoking and some myths that smokers might have in their minds.
  1.       Smoking keeps me slim
  2. It is known that a lot of people smoke because they want to stay thin. And it is this misconception that does not let them quit smoking. The fact is that the nicotine in the cigarette suppresses the appetite and it also makes the body burn the calories faster. So when a person stops smoking, there appetite is not suppressed anymore so they tend to eat more. So when they crave for nicotine, they mistake it for hunger and start eating whenever there is a craving for cigarette.

  3.      Smoking keeps a check on stress
  4. A lot of people smoke to keep their stress level in check. They have a belief that smoking a cigarette in a stressful situation will help them get through it. But the fact is nicotine acts as a stimulant thus it can never calm a person. It is only the belief that it can do actually works. So if a person is strong enough to believe in himself, there would be no need of the cigarette.

  5.      Low tar cigarettes are fine to smoke
  6. People tend to think that mild or light cigarettes are ok to smoke that they would be lighter than regular ones. But research shows that people who smoke mild or light cigarettes have the same likeliness to inhale tar as much as those who smoke regular cigarettes. So mild or light cigarettes are as harmful as regular ones.

  7.      Reducing number of cigarettes help reduce risk
  8. Cutting down the number of cigarettes does not help reduce the health risk. People cut down by reducing the number of cigarettes or smoking mild or light ones. But a study conducted shows that people who are trying to cut down end up smoking the cigarettes harder to compensate. Health risk reduces only when one quits smoking completely.

  9.      Smoking one cigarette would be ok
  10. This is for the people who have stopped smoking and are tempted by one more. There is nothing riskier than this. It is very easy to fall back into the smoking phase. One can avoid places and those situations that gives rise to that temptation. If you have stopped one, one more cigarette can break the will power you had to stop.

  11.      Smoking will only affect me
  12. The tobacco and chemicals smoked by a smoker when he inhales, comes out too. So people around this person are also subjected to those chemical even though they are non-smokers. Study shows that families of a smoker have 20%-30% higher risk of developing a respiratory problem. The research also shows that babies born to parents who smoke are more likely to end up in hospital with breathing issues.

  13.      Chewing tobacco is a safer alternative
  14. Even though chewing tobacco puts other people at lesser risk than smoking a cigarette, it still does not stop the health risks involved for the concerned person. Even though the respiratory problems get reduced, chewable tobacco increases the probability of mouth cancer, gums, jaw lips, tongue etc. It can even lead to problems in kidney and pancreas leading to cancer.

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Alcohol: Myths, Facts and Risks involved

  1.       Alcohol works as a stimulant
  2. A major misconception about alcohol is that it is stimulating. Even though in the initial phase of consumption it seems to be stimulating, the total effect of alcohol on the brain is that it depresses it. It shuts down the neural system. The effect can be seen in the ability to make judgments, then goes the coordination of major functions and motor function like slurring. If alcohol is consumed beyond a level, it can even stop the breathing and heartbeat.

  3.      Sobering time can be reduced
  4. The sobering time required by a body cannot be changed and is different for every individual. The process involves breaking down of alcohol into various basic elements by liver. It also depends upon metabolism rate of an individual.

  5.      Cold shower, coffee and exercise can sober someone
  6. The process of sobering involves liver breaking down the alcohol into elements and absorbing them, metabolism process, thus reducing the blood alcohol concentration level. Definitely drinkers feel more alert after cold shower or having a mug of coffee, but the level remains same.

  7.      Alcohol is a great relaxant and stress buster
  8. Alcohol may cause the body to relax but only because it acts depressant of nervous system. But it does not reduce the stress level, in fact it increases it. Level of adrenaline increases in the body as alcohol is consumed, thus resulting in additional stress.

  9.      Alcohol increases sexual desire
  10. A lot of people think that alcohol helps increasing sexual desire. But all it does is loosen your inhibitions thus increasing desire for sex. But on the other hand, it reduces the performance level and lowers sensitivity to stimuli.

  11.      Alcohol has same effect on everyone
  12. The effect of alcohol is different for everyone. In fact, the same individual may be affected by alcohol in one way at one time and totally different way at some other time. How alcohol affects someone also depends on the circumstances. Factors such as gender, body weight, tolerance, how one feels mentally, expectations, body chemistry etc. play a role in effects of alcohol.

  13.      Eating milky or greasy solution will slow down the absorption process
  14. This in no way helps in slowing down the absorption process. Though it is advisable to eat protein rich food before alcohol consumption. As proteins takes time to digest, it reduces the level of alcohol absorbed directly by the stomach lining in blood streams.

  15.      If someone has passed out due to excessive drinker, that person should be allowed to sleep
  16. Anyone who has passed out should not be kept out of sight. Alcohol sometimes results in slow heart rate, blood pressure and breathing. The amount of alcohol consumption to result in passing out is very close to what it takes to kill someone. So someone who has passed out should be monitored and taken to hospital in case of any emergency.

Monday, 22 September 2014

Water: Requirement, excess and myths

Water constitutes 60% of a human adult body. It is an essential part of our life. But do we have any idea in what quantity should we be drinking water? From various “truths” that circulates around about drinking water and using various bottles, below are some important myths covered for you.
  1.       Drink at least eight glasses of water daily
  2. To keep your body hydrated, though water is the easiest and most affordable fluid available, studies show that it is not just water, one can take any fluid to keep the body hydrated. It is the total consumption of fluid in any form that matters. Women should have eight glasses or two liters of any fluids and men should have 12 glasses or three liters of any fluids a day, not just water.

  3.      Drink water to keep your skin moist
  4. Though to stay vibrant, youthful looking skin one needs to be hydrated, the amount of water one drinks has little effect on this. Consumption of water prevents dry skin only when one is deeply dehydrated. The moisture of skin depends more on external factors than internal. Factors such as environment, skin cleansing, oil glands on skin and their functioning determine how dry the skin will become. The water consumed is not able to reach the top layer of skin.

  5.      Thirst is a sign of dehydration
  6. If you are feeling thirsty, you should grab a glass of water. But being in no way means being dehydrated. The basic rule behind feeling thirsty is that the concentration of blood in your body has risen by two percent. For dehydration, it is said that the concentration has to rise above five percent.

  7.      Drink as much water as you can
  8. As the saying goes, Excess of everything is bad. Same is in the case of water. In case of certain health condition, people can put themselves in danger if excess of water is consumed. These cases include high blood pressure, heart condition etc. People who have kidney problems, and those who have had a transplant need to consult their doctors on the amount of water they can drink.

  9.      Yellow urine means dehydration
  10. Even though yellow urine can be a sign of dehydration, not all cases are due to that reason. It is the function of kidneys to reabsorb water and filter waste material from blood. So the amount and concentration of urine is controlled by kidneys. Dehydration leads to yellow urination due to increased concentration. But it can also occur due to multivitamins.

  11.      Plastic bottles can be reused after washing
  12. A lot of people use the plastic water bottle again and again after its initial water consumption. This can pose a greater risk as the bottle releases some chemicals on multiple uses. The bottle may also harbor various bacteria from our mouth if it is not properly washed.

Sunday, 21 September 2014

Myths about Homeopathy

  1.       Homeopathy is slow in effect and used only in chronic conditions
  2. Homeopathy can be taken in acute condition too, e.g. sore throat, fever, burns, injuries, etc. It’s just that a correct observation needs to be done. It requires a keen wye and an open mind helps in prescribing in these acute conditions.

  3.      Homeopathy should not be taken with other conventional medicines such as anti-diabetics and anti-hypertensive drugs
  4. This is the biggest myth amongst people. Homeopathy is a treatment for the whole body in context with a long term health & person’s well-being. Even besides conventional medicines, it is important that people continue with their medication prescribed to them. But it is advisable that patients discuss this with experienced physicians.

  5.      Homeopathic medicines contains steroids
  6. A good homeopathic medicine which stimulates and improves body’s defense mechanism (Immune system). It works as a modulator, and gives satisfying results. Derived by and large from plants, homeopathic remedies do have alkaloid which are almost as effective as steroids, but are not STEROIDS. They do not have any side effects like steroids have.

  7.      Homeopathy should not be taken by expecting or lactating/nursing mothers
  8. Homeopathy medicines actually help to-be-mothers in building their immune systems against any general infection and helps in problems like vomiting, nausea etc. without any risk. As these doses are prepared in minute quantities and after dilution, they don’t cause any type of toxics.

  9.      Homeopathy cannot be prescribed with allopathic medicines
  10. There is no study or rationale that justifies stopping allopathic medicines if one is taking homeopathic medicine. Homeopathic medicines are made from plants are their potencies act only on dynamics whereas Allopathic medicines work on a physiochemical level.

  11.      Homeopathy can make one lose weight or grow tall
  12. As these medicines in no way act on the genetic level or environmental factors that govern these things, homeopathy doesn’t make one grow tall or build a body like an athlete.

  13.      Homeopathy is not advised to Cancer patients
  14. Homeopathy acts on the dynamic level, it helps improve the immune system, the defense system, of the body. In fact, these medicines are very useful in increasing the blood counts that drops after chemotherapy and helps build general resistance.

10 Myths about Introverts

Depression, shyness, rude behavior, arrogant – some of the attributed that are stamped on us. Yet were far from what people say about us. Labeled as mentally and socially inept, and in fact threatening to the society, we are belittled, bullied and accused of things they don’t understand.

10 of the popular myths about us:
  1.       Introverts are assholes
  2. Yes, we might seem aloof and cold, but that is mainly because we are processing and thinking information internally. And around people we are not close to, we keep our personal spaces as we like it that way. There is an uncharted boundary that we guard and do not let anyone enter. This gives us as standoffish, but our silence should not be mistaken for being snobbish. If we do not talk or interact with any particular person, it is surely not because we dislike that person, or think too highly of ourselves to be interacting with that person. It simply means that we are still accustoming to you in our surroundings.

  3.      Introverts want to be alone
  4. We sit alone, we like to spend time with our thoughts, but does that mean we always want to be alone? Reality is introverts don’t like to be alone. We have one or two friends that we are closest to, and love to spend time with them. But that is also on certain levels and times. Although we cherish our “alone time”, we love social time in small doses as well.

  5.      Introverts don’t like socializing or going out
  6. Introverts don’t suffer from a disease or fear of going out. As we find our stimulations inside of ourselves with our hobbies and out thoughts, we like to spend time indoors. This leads us not going out that often as there is no need. Introverts also give more value to safety, comfort and privacy or their personal environment, which leads us staying home more than others.

  7.      Introverts are losers with no friends
  8. Yes, we have a problem making friends. But this is due to the fact that we pick our friends selectively. This in no sense means that we don’t think some people are not good enough to be a friend, it just means that we take some time to open up with new people. Generally introverts have only one or two friends they confide in. This is why some introvert children are friendless in school. They in no way like being always alone.

  9.      Introverts are highly depressed
  10. Quite, detached: two common characteristics between depressed people and introverts have people confused that introverts are depressed. The main difference between introverts and depressed people is that introverts are content in their quite world, whereas people who are depressed are dissatisfied. Some introverts are depressed, but most of introverts are quietly complacent in their world. Unlike depressed people, they aren’t in conflict with the universe and with themselves. Although there are issues that they often face, they do not get trapped in them like people who are depressed.

  11.      Introverts don’t like talking
  12. Even though people think that we don’t like talking, it’s only that we prefer listening closely to what is being said. We contribute only after understanding every person’s point of view lest we speak an irrelevant point. But if there are a lot of people present, introverts have a hard time putting across their point, so they decide to remain silent and observe. Due to this they are labelled as people who have nothing to speak.

  13.      Introverts can’t have fun
  14. Different people have different needs, different desires. So is the definition of fun. Introverts have their own definition of fun. Maybe they don’t like participating in karaoke or going to social clubs, they love going to book clubs, or creating their own web-comics. They seem uptight and uncomfortable in social events and other similar situations, but that doesn’t mean we don’t like to have fun. Having fun is just different that other people

  15.      Introverts are stupid – mentally inept
  16. As we are quite, submissive and that we don’t voice our ideas too often, people assume us to be unintelligent. People would see how much useful knowledge we have if they stopped to listen and observe. Being quite does not mean unintelligent, just as being loud does not mean intelligent.

  17.      Introverts have low self esteem
  18. It is common to have low self-esteem. So introverts are no exception. But that does not mean all introverts have low self-esteem. People perceive quietness and being detached as having low self-esteem and poor self-confidence.

  19.      Introverts are shy
  20. It’s true that large number of shy people are introverts, yet it does not imply that all introverts are shy. We are reserved, which means we like to keep to ourselves and not involve in other people’s lives. What differentiates us from shy people is that shy people are actually scared of social contact, while we aren’t. We just avoid it in large quantities.