Apollo Health Blog
The theme of this World Mental Health day on 10/10/2025 is ‘Dignity in Mental Health’. In the Indian sub-continent context, a good question to discuss is ARE WE MENTALLY HEALTHY?? Just glance through the next few lines and maybe you will wake up to have a real-time check on your own MENTAL HEALTH.
1.World suicide ranking for India – 11
2. World ranking for road traffic accidental deaths in India – 64
3. World ranking for unemployment in India – 104
4. World ranking on corruption- India ranked 85 out of 175 countries
5. Second highest population in the world!!
Do these numbers make sense? The gist of these few statistics clearly indicates that many Indians are wilting away in the stress/pressure of life. If corrective and supportive measures are not put in place, ‘MERA BHARAT MAHAAN’ may also soon be in the top 10 mentally ill population nation.
So the message to take home is:-
i. Let the mind be peaceful and dwell in serene environments to generate positivity,
ii. Avoid all addictions,
iii. Develop problem-solving skills in practical life rather than relying on aggression and emotional manipulation,
iv. Be creative and dedicated in your thoughts and deeds,
v. Last but not least- CONSULT a mental health professional in your hour of distress. Do not sweep your problem under the carpet, if ignored mental health issues can become riotous for the mind & body.
So here is wishing you a healthy mind in a healthy body for your lifetime.
Apollo Health City, Hyderabad,
Monsoon not only brings in beautiful weather and fun but also infections and diseases like, Malaria, Dengue, Chikungunya etc. Fever, flu and cold are most common ailments in this season.
The following are a few simple tips for maintaining good health during this season.
- Stay hydrated and drinking lots of water
- Carry an umbrella
- Wear cotton clothes.
- Drink plenty of liquids and consume seasonal fruits.
- Use talcum powder to keep body dry.
- Sweat can give rise to fungal infections, try to stay indoors with fans and ventilation.
- Avoid eating street food as it can give rise to bacterial and viral infections.
- Street food can also cause diarrhea.
- If fever lasts for more than two days, consult a doctor for Typhoid or Malaria.
- Keep home and surrounding clean, avoid stagnation or water, it could breed infection and disease spreading mosquitos.
- Bronchitis and Arthritis are also common in this season due to sudden rise and fall in temperatures, consult a doctor if the symptoms persist over 2-3 days.
Dengue Fever is caused by a mosquito bite. Dengue Fever starts with mild fever & then turns out wild with severe body pains, skin rashes, high fever, muscle pains, severe headache. Dengue Fever is also called as Breakbone Fever”. Dengue diagnosed in time is life-saving and if not is very dangerous & can lead to death.
Prevention of mosquito breeding is the only way to stop the spread of Dengue. Remove all stagnated water, cover all water stores, remove excess water from flower posts, sunshades, keeping surroundings dry & neat. Drainages must be flows without any obstacles. Mosquito repellant nets, creams, sprays should be used to avoid mosquito bite.
Dengue Fever Symptoms:
- High fever between 103- 105 degrees Fahrenheit
- Skin Rashes
- Low blood pressure
- Loss of Appetite
- Severe pain in Joints, Muscles and Bones
- Difficulty in Breathing
- Bleeding from Nose, Gums and Mouth
Preventive measures like vaccination for Hepatitis A and B, avoiding tablets like aspirin and ibuprofen, blood thinners like heparin and warfarin and good dental hygiene is very important to ensure stable quality of life, state experts for World Haemophilia Day that falls on April 17.
Haemophilia is a bleeding disorder wherein the body does not have enough blood clotting proteins. It is a genetic disorder that runs in the family and is often identified during childhood, within nine months to two years.
Dr S.V.S.S. Prasad, senior consultant hematologist and oncologist at Apollo Hospitals. said, “Once the disease is identified, it is very important for the family members to educate the child to avoid injuries and be very careful. A lot of them suffer from dental problems like bleeding gums and injuries to the teeth, which demand that they must practice good dental hygiene”.
It is very important for haemophiliac patients to let their friends, teachers and also colleagues know that they suffer from this problem. Experts insist that talking and accepting the disease helps to deal with it better.
Arthritis developing in children below 16 years of age is called Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis (JIA). The word arthritis means joint inflammation; “arth” means joint and “itis” mean inflammation. The aetiology of childhood arthritis is unknown but a dysfunctional immune system starts attacking healthy joints and tissues causing symptoms. Occasionally an infection can trigger for the onset of arthritis. Untreated arthritis in children can lead to joint contractures, damage the cartilage and bones and cause altered bone growth leading to growth retardation. Therefore, early diagnosis and treatment can prevent joint damage.
There are different types of childhood arthritis-like polyarticular JIA, oligoarticular JIA, systemic-onset JIA, Juvenile spondyloarthritis and others. About one in every 1000 children may develop some form of arthritis during any age but it is rare in the first six months of life. Children can present with a variety of symptoms such as fevers, rash, red eyes, joint pain and swelling. Children may not be able to express their feelings or joint symptoms in words. They can hence present with restriction of their activities and mobility or may limp or may stop walking or stop using the affected limb.
Arthritis in children is treatable. You should consult a Rheumatologist if your child complains of pain in his joints and is restricting his or her activities. Your Rheumatologist will ask your child and yourself questions regarding your child’s joint pains, examine your child and may order investigations including blood tests and x-rays to arrive at a diagnosis. Your Rheumatologist will discuss the best treatment options available and expected outcomes for your child’s arthritis. Management of different childhood arthritis is different. Learning strategies to cope with pain, balancing your child’s activities and rest periods and eating a healthy balanced diet isF also essential.
Children with arthritis should attend school and can live a normal life. They should participate in extra-curricular and family activities to lead a full and active life. Do not ignore your child’s symptoms of joint pains if they persist for more than a month and are affecting their activities.
Dr Manish Dugar MD, FRACP (Australia)
Childhood arthritis or Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis (JIA) information sheet
The normal haemoglobin molecule has a haem surrounded by two pairs of globin chains. The types of globin are called alpha (α), beta (β), gamma (γ) and delta (δ). HbA, the most common form of adult haemoglobin, has two α and two β chains. Fetal haemoglobin (HbF) has two α and two γ components (this is the predominant type of Hb before birth). HbA2 is present in smaller amounts, with two α and two δ chains.
The thalassemias are a group of autosomal recessive inherited conditions characterised by decreased or absence of synthesis of one of the two polypeptide chains (α or β),which results in reduced haemoglobin in red cells, and severe anaemia. β-globin gene defects may give rise to β thalassemia, while mutations of the α globin gene may cause α thalassemia.There are many forms (over 300 mutations giving rise to thalassemia have been identified) and its clinical severity varies enormously. β-thalassemia is prevalent in areas around the Mediterranean, in the Middle East, and Southeast Asia, and in Southern China.α thalassemia is prevalent in Southeast Asia, Africa, china and India.
Infant with beta thalassemias major usually presents with pallor, stunted growth, along with hepatosplenomegaly. Frontal bossing and overgrowth of maxilla results in chipmunk facies. Early institution of regular blood transfusion is associated with normal growth and development. But most children will develop the complication of iron therapy. 1.5% (80-90 million people) of the world’s population are carriers of β thalassemias and 5% are carriers of α thalassemias. Hence screening of high risk communities and relatives of affected children , genetic counselling is important
Specialization – Haemato-pathology
Qualifications – MBBS; MD (PATHOLOGY)
Apollo Health City
Apollo Hospitals, Chennai harvested 23 different organs from these five donors and conducted 10 transplants in a day at the flagship Hospital on Greams Road on May 6, 2015. A case of extreme gesture of kindness displayed by five strong families who came forward to donate the organs of their loved ones, incidentally on the same evening, enabled this feat to give a fresh lease of life to 23 people.
From five brain dead donors – 4 kidneys, 1 heart and 5 livers were harvested at Apollo Hospitals, Chennai.
A multidisciplinary team of doctors and support staff have worked round the clock to help realize this remarkable feat, adding yet another feather to Apollo Group’s success in running the busiest and most successful transplant centre in the world
Dr J. Radhakrishnan – Health Secretary, Government of Tamilnadu came forward to participate at a gathering organized at the Hospital to express gratitude towards the five bereaving families. Also present at the event were Founder & Chairman of Apollo Hospitals, Dr Prathap C Reddy, Vice Chairperson, Ms Preetha Reddy and the entire clinical team who helped realize this meticulously conducted feat.
Addressing the gathering, Dr.Prathap C Reddy said “Today, these well-meaning families have helped give people in end-stage organ failure, a second chance to live – and in the act have inspired more people to donate organs. Tamil Nadu has the most successful organ donation program running and the Government has done a lot to make people aware of Organ Donation – and this act testifies the efforts put in by the State and the medical fraternity. However, it takes grit, an elevated sense of social responsibility and a heart to give back to society, from individuals to help hospitals and doctors really experience what it means to gift lives to people in the true sense. Human life is priceless, but when it gives away, it gives to many more in need.”
The extreme kindness exhibited by these 5 families, in donating the organs of their beloved ones, is a torch-bearer for others to follow and will mean that a lot more patients who are in end-stage organ failure and who are in dire need of organs, would benefit with a fresh lease of life!
Multiple Sclerosis is an autoimmune disease in which the immune system acts on one’s own central nervous system (brain and spinal cord). It mainly damages the myelin fat sheath around the nerve fibres called axons that decrease the ability to transmit electrical impulses effectively. Later neurons can also be affected. The presenting symptoms of MS are varied and can range from visual impairment, numbness and or weakness of one or more limbs, unsteadiness while walking to problems in passing urine, stools, memory and language disturbances. The symptoms usually develop over a few days to few weeks and minor symptoms may sometimes go unnoticed. MS can be of relapsing/remitting type in which symptoms come and go with partial or total improvement or progressive type in which symptoms gradually increase over a period of time. There also could be relapses superimposed over a progressive type. Apart from patient’s history and physical examination investigations like MRI, VEP, evoked potentials and CSF analysis and blood workup aid in the diagnosis of the disease and in differentiating it from other conditions which may have similar manifestations. Treatment includes IV steroids for acute attacks and disease-modifying therapy for prevention of relapses and disability accumulation. Interferons are used as disease-modifying therapy in the form of injections used either once in a week intramuscularly or thrice a week subcutaneously. Oral formulations are also available now which is slowly gaining acceptance over injections. These are generally given lifelong. Therapy also includes neuropsychological evaluation and counselling as and when necessary.
Asthma is a chronic disease involving the airways, which carry the air in and out of the lung.
The airways in asthma become inflamed, narrow, swell and produce excess mucous. This causes symptoms like cough, wheezing, shortness of breath and chest tightness. Since the airway inflammation is reversible, the symptoms are often episodic and recurrent. Asthma can affect the quality of life of an individual by causing various compromises like…
- Food restrictions
- Missing out on sports
- A constant scare of attack
- Missing out on school days
- Psychological impact
There are many factors that can precipitate or trigger the symptoms of asthma
- Exercise –physical activity in some people can trigger asthma
- Allergies –some patients may have family history of allergies. The triggers can be house dust,molds, cold exposure, animal dander, pollens from plants, perfumes, mosquito coils
- Occupational- due inhalation of fumes, gases, dust or other such harmful substances while being on job
Asthma is diagnosed by medical history, physical examination and measurement of lung function (PEFR/Spirometry)
Recognition of asthma triggers and avoiding them including smoking is the first step towards controlling asthma.
Treatment of Asthma Today…
Most Asthma Drugs are to be taken through the Inhaled Route –either through inhalers, rotahalers or nebulizers, as advised by the physician. Inhalational therapy is associated with less drug usage, fewer side effects and effective delivery of drug, straight to the lungs. Inhalation therapy relieves and also controls symptoms. It is often a necessity and not an addiction.
If a patient has acute severe asthma, as evidenced by severe breathlessness at rest, not able to talk in sentences, reliever medications not helping, then he should seek immediate medical attention!
SENIOR CONSULTANT PHYSICIAN,
WHAT CAUSES COARCTATION OF AORTA?
Coarctation of the aorta is a narrowing in the great artery that arises from the left side of the heart and takes oxygenated blood to all parts of the body. It is a luminal narrowing in the descending thoracic aorta located usually just distal to the origin of the left subclavian artery that goes to the left arm. The narrowing is usually discrete due to shelf-like infolding of the posterior wall of the aorta but sometimes especially in newborns, it may be associated with diffuse narrowing of the transverse portion of the aortic arch. Rarely, coarctation may involve a long hypoplastic segment distal to the left subclavian artery. Coarctation may also refer to narrowing anywhere in the thoracic or abdominal aorta or its branches
It is a congenital anomaly, meaning it is present at or before birth. It occurs during the 6th to 8th week of gestation and constitutes 5-8% of all congenital heart defects.
The exact reason for coarctation of the aorta, like for most other CHDs is not known. Several mechanisms are proposed. Two theories are dominant:
Ductus Tissue Theory – ductus arteriosus is a normal fetal structure that attaches adjacent to the isthmus area of the descending aorta. It has specialized tissue that constricts after birth due to increased oxygen concentration thus closing itself. It is believed that in some cases, there may be aberrant ductal tissue in descending aorta adjacent to where ductus inserts, constriction of which after birth results in narrowing of the descending aorta.
Hemodynamic Theory – the presence of proximal heart lesions such as mitral or aortic stenosis decrease blood flow to the aorta, and this is believed to result in underdevelopment of aortic arch resulting in coarcation of the aorta.
Sometimes, underlying Genetic anomalies may contribute to the occurrence of coarctation of aorta for eg. It occurs in 35% of patients with Turner XO syndrome.
Rarely coarctation of the aorta may be the result of traumatic injury, severe hardening of the arteries (atherosclerosis) or inflammation of arteries (Takayasu’s arteritis)
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF COARCTATION OF AORTA?
Coarctation of the aorta is a narrowing of the aorta, the large blood vessel that arises from the left heart and delivers oxygen-rich blood to your body. When this occurs, the heart must pump harder to force blood through the narrowed part of the aorta.
Coarctation of the aorta is a congenital condition i.e generally present at birth; however, the milder forms may not be detected until adulthood. It could be isolated or more often be present along with other heart defects such as the hole in the heart (ventricular septal defect) or bicuspid aortic valve.
Symptoms of Coarctation of the aorta depend on the severity of the condition. Most people may not have symptoms. Children with severe coarctation show signs and symptoms earlier in life; mild cases may not be diagnosed until adulthood. People may also have signs or symptoms of other heart defects that are associated with their coarctation of the aorta.
Babies with severe coarctation of the aorta may begin having signs and symptoms shortly after birth. These include:
- Pale skin
- Heavy sweating
- Difficulty breathing, heavy or fast breathing
- Difficulty feeding, poor weight gain
- Cold feet or legs
- Enlarged liver
Left untreated, aortic coarctation in babies might lead to heart failure or death.
Older children and adults with coarctation of the aorta, often may not have symptoms because their narrowing may be less severe. They can present with:
- High blood pressure in upper limbs
- Weak pulses and low blood pressure in the legs
- Muscle weakness
- Leg cramps or cold feet
- Chest pain
- Heart murmur
- Pain in lower legs with walking (claudication)
- Rarely adults with this condition may present with bleeding in their brain
Kavitha Chintala, MD. FACC
Senior Consultant Cardiologist
American Board of Pediatric Cardiology
Apollo Hospitals, Jubilee Hills