Category Archives: HealthWise

HealthWise: Drink Some Tea and Visit the Nilgiris!

Drink tea and be happy and healthy.

Enjoying the lovely weather in beautiful Coonoor, in the Nilgiris (blue mountains), in the Western Ghats, sipping a nice cup of piping hot tea and getting inspired to write a book. What else could I want?

I need no excuses at all but for those who like some scientific data a long term health study (7 years) published online by the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology which followed more than 100K Chinese adults and compared those who drank tea less than 3/week with those who drank more. Those who drank more were found to have a 20% lower risk of heart attack and 22% lower risk for dying of heart disease.The findings don’t prove that tea drinking was responsible for those benefits. But both green and black tea are rich in compounds called flavonoids that help dampen inflammation, a culprit in heart disease. Tea drinking has also been linked to lower cholesterol and improved blood vessel function. Source: Harvard Health Letter.

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HealthWise and AuthorTalk with Simi K. Rao Podcast

Hi friends! Listen to my new podcast to learn more about my books, health, medicine, culture and me!

HealthWise Podcast: My Teen is Driving Me Crazy!

Where did my sweet child go? Who is this stranger?

Adolescence– a period of stress and storm. A time of tremendous change and emotional upheaval. A time when your child becomes unrecognizable. Why is this happening? Is there anything I can do about it? Yes you can!

Join me as I talk with counselor and family therapist Deepika Pawar, and find answers to all your questions and solutions that make sense!

Please share and subscribe. You can post your comments here or on social media.

Please follow my podcast on Anchor.fm and Spotify.

HealthWise: Tasty Wholesome Chana Masala

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Chana masala served with naan

Who hasn’t heard of Chana Masala (chickpea curry). It’s everyone’s favorite. We don’t fail to order it when we go to the Indian restaurant even though we can easily make it at home. It’s not just delicious but it is also healthy and Vegan! What else could you want?!

So we decided to make some chana masala at home. This is our own recipe. You can try it too. It’s easy!

Most of the ingredients are easily available– the spices are available in Indian stores. The quantities/measurements are essentially estimates. They can be varied depending on taste etc.

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Shaking the Family Tree: Rituals and Recovery

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Opening the Toolbox

Rituals, especially for those of us in recovery, can impact the quality of our sobriety.  Established early on, mine has remained basically the same throughout the years.  They require minimal effort on my part and include prayer and reading my daily meditations.  They are my number one priority every morning.  No matter how lackadaisical I might be in other areas of my life; no matter what kind of a mood I wake in, or no matter that I might be running late, I rarely leave the peace and quiet of my home without taking the time to gear up for the day ahead.

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Podcast: HealthWise and Author Talk with Simi K. Rao Episode #1

Community

Hi friends!

Announcing my podcast- HealthWise and Author Talk with Simi K. Rao. It’s another way I’d like to connect with my readers, have some in depth discussions about my books and medicine and more!

In the first episode I talk about my journey as a writer and a physician and I share my personal experience taking care of patients with COVID 19. Hope you will like it.

The podcast is available on multiple platforms such as Anchor.fm; Spotify;Breaker; RadioPublic and others.

Please listen, follow and subscribe. You can leave your thoughts here or at any of my social media sites.

Spotify: 

Please read the associated blog posts mentioned in this podcast: An Unprecedented Time and COVID 19- an overview.

Links to all my social media sites can be found here: simikrao.carrd.co

HealthWise: On Call #3 A Young Woman Who Took Too Much Fever Medicine.

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Based on true events:

A young woman in the late teens called 911 after she swallowed a whole bottle (100 pills) of a common fever and pain medicine called Tylenol (generic Acetaminophen). She was depressed and despondent because her family didn’t understand her. She also took another bottle (more than 3/4 full, unknown quantity) of Tylenol PM (acetaminophen + diphenhydramine) a common OTC (over the counter) drug sold as a non-habit forming pain reliever and nighttime sleepaid. She said she wanted to end it all, but then got scared and called for help.

She had ingested these pills about 6 hours ago and had begun to vomit before calling. She admitted to vomiting some pill fragments.

When I talked to her, she admitted she had made a mistake, and wanted to live not die.

Fortunately her vitals signs were normal, she was alert and completely with it but her blood work showed an elevated acetaminophen level  and signs of liver injury. Her EKG (electrocardiogram) was normal.

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HealthWise: On Call #2 A Young Man Who Went Blue in the Face

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The following is based on true events:

RM is only 21. “Don’t be surprised doc. He’s tiny!” His nurse informed me before I stepped into the room. So he was. Tiny (barely over 5 ft, under a hundred lbs) and young. His innocent face belied the colorful life he’d led so far. RM had been admitted because he had popped a couple of fentanyl tablets he’d bought on the street  (the same drug that was found in Prince’s and Tom Petty’s system). When I inquired why, he said he’d been taking the drug for the past 6 months or so; 2 to 3 a day “to get high that’s all” he informed me as if talking about the weather. “No, I don’t want to kill myself but I get depressed sometimes;” was his response when I asked if he’d had any intention to cause harm to himself. I tried to maintain a straight professional face but I was flabbergasted. I was shocked he was still alive. The lethal dose of fentanyl is very small– a quarter of a milligram, and this young man had consumed several times that. He was one hell of a lucky boy. 

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Shaking the Family Tree: Alcoholic

ADAPT: sentinel against substance abuse

 

I have encountered alcoholism both in my personal and professional life. The damage done is incalculable and recovery is long and arduous. Who better to tell about it than someone who has made the journey herself?

Here I present a series of guest posts by Dallas Hembra titled Shaking the Family Tree on Alcoholism from a layman’s point of view.

Shaking the Family Tree is a book by Dallas Hembra; a double genre memoir/poetry offering that looks at the genetic predisposition for alcoholism from a layman’s point of view.

The victims include the alcoholic, adult children of alcoholics, and family members and loved ones who suffer the shared consequences.

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HealthWise: On Call #1 A Young Woman with Fatigue and Shortness of Breath

 

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On Call is a series where I present some interesting cases I saw in the course of my practice. 

Case #1: A Young Woman with Fatigue and Shortness of breath

Mrs. S, is a very pleasant 35 yo young woman. She is married with two young children and is a school teacher by profession. She was referred to the hospital by her doctor for evaluation of new onset shortness of breath and concern of a serious heart condition. 

When I interviewed her she told me the shortness of breath has been now ongoing for about a month and steadily getting worse. In the beginning she noticed she was unusually exhausted when she reached home from school and didn’t find the energy to prepare dinner and play with her kids (something she really loved to do). She also notes headaches, irritability of mood, difficulty concentrating which has been affecting her work as well as dizziness. She is also very concerned that she is losing hair. She denies that she is under much stress and says her family has just returned from a two week holiday. Unfortunately, she couldn’t enjoy herself very much because of how exhausted she felt. 

Her symptoms have progressed to the extent that now she is out of breath when she walks up a short flight of stairs; she also notes a feeling of tightness across her chest. She also feels her heart racing and puffiness in her arms and legs. She is worried she has a serious heart condition especially since her father died of a heart attack in his 60s. 

When I examined her I was struck by the pallor of her skin. I also noticed her tongue was swollen and her nails were thin and brittle and there was definite swelling around her ankles.

Her heart rate was regular but fast– 90-100 beats/minute, she had a normal blood pressure and oxygen level. 

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