Last update08/06/2018


Health (20)

6 simple steps to prevent Hepatitis

Tuesday, 11 September 2018

Did you know that Hepatitis A,B, C, D and E causes more number of deaths in the world as compared to HIV, malaria and tuberculosis? Yes, this virus that attacks the liver causing it to swell, and is the reason why so many people die across the world, across age groups.

So how can we make sure that we protect our loved ones and ourselves from it? On this International Hepatitis Day, letÔÇÖs strive to bring about a change in habits and lifestyle to end this viral Hepatitis curse!

There are a few simple steps you can take at home to prevent this deadly disease from touching your dear ones.

Educate yourself and your family

Knowledge is power! So get to know atleast the laymanÔÇÖs perspective about Hepatitis and its types. Learn how its spreads and also the causes behind Hepatitis A, B, C, D and E infection.

Get vaccinated

Vaccinations are an effective way to protect yourselves from contracting this deadly disease. There are vaccines available for the A and B type. No vaccines have been invented yet for C, D and E. However medical professionals opine that Hepatitis B vaccine can protect you from D also. Remember that you need to get vaccinated well before you contract this disease. If you get your shots after you are infected, there is absolutely no use.

World Hepatitis Day

Avoid unclean water

Hepatitis A and E is easily spread via contaminated food and water. So avoid water from potentially contaminated sources such as taps, public tanks etc. Always ensure you boil your water before you drink. Even for brushing your teeth, washing vegetables and fruits, you must use clean water.

Consume fresh warm food

Always ensure that the food you consume is freshly prepared and kept covered till consumption. Never eat food thatÔÇÖs open and has flies and mosquitoes hovering over them. These cause food contamination and acts as an effective source and transmitter of Hepatitis infections.

Wash hands regularly

Frequent washing of hands and using a safe hand sanitiser, helps prevent Hepatitis A and E. Right after you come back from work, rest room, play or after any other job, always wash your hands. Never touch your food without washing your hands with a good soap. ItÔÇÖs very important that you develop this habit amongst your family members, especially children.

Never share personal items
Personal care and grooming items that may carry traces of body fluids must never be shared with others. Do not share even if they belong to your close family members, such as your spouse or child. This includes the usage of toothbrushes, razors, combs, towels, handkerchiefs etc. These are highly potent transmitters of Hepatitis.

Avoid toxins such as alcohol, OTC medications such as acetaminophen, herbal supplements that contain metals etc. These can be hard on your liver and result in Hepatitis infection.

Now that you are aware of the simple steps to avoid Hepatitis, it is now your duty to raise awareness and to influence a real change!

When Jane moved to Dubai from Canada, she knew she would have to struggle with the weather change. The sudden rise in temperature was a bit too much for her body. However she soon found herself facing an understanding doctor in one of DubaiÔÇÖs plush hospitals.

Bring your international health insurance

This was when she realised how smart she was to have obtained an international health insurance before moving into Dubai! The doctor explained, how expats can enjoy advanced healthcare facilities, if only they have proper international health insurance papers with them. He deliberated on how not all expats are well versed with the healthcare requirements, which can be a problem for them. Because since January 1, 2017 Dubai has made it mandatory that all migrants to have health insurance. They can face a monthly fine of up to AED 500 if they do not comply with the Insurance System for Advancing Healthcare in Dubai( ISAHD).


Enroll yourself for the Essential Benefits Plan

If you feel obtaining and paying for international health insurance is expensive, you can opt for the Essential Benefits Plan (EBP), which is designed to assist low-salaried migrants as well as provide cover for their children and non-working residents. This initiative by the Dubai Health Authority, that began in 2014 covers both inpatient and outpatient treatments and it offers healthcare packages with very low and standardised premiums. However, the basic plan of EBP is not valid outside the UAE so overseas treatments will not be covered.

Get permission for prescription medicines

It is extremely important for expats to remember that some prescription drugs and over-the-counter medications are not allowed in the UAE. If you need to bring some medications into the country, but are unsure if it is permitted, then contact the UAEÔÇÖs Ministry of Health and confirm the same. You may require written permission to bring such medicines.

All of these rules and requirements were put in place so that everyone in Dubai could enjoy amazing healthcare facilities. Make sure you do your homework before you arrive in Dubai and remember that health is wealth!

Seasoning your food with the right spices, eating certain fruits and nuts with MUFA will help you control diabetes naturally!

Diabetes tips final

How often, have you caught your mind drifting to the past or future? While reminiscing moments of the past is good, one cannot live in its glory. And neither is it practically useful to live in the future.

Our lives are nothing but accumulated memories and moments we have acquired over the years. Every day we encounter so many different people and situations which have an impact on us. Most of the times, we let these events hijack our minds from the present.

how to practice mindfulness

If you are one of the majority of people who get hijacked often, then your answer to most of the questions in the below quiz, will be a loud “YES”!

  • On waking up every day, do you always long for it to be the weekend?
  • Has brooding over the past become your hobby?
  • Are you constantly mulling over what someone told you when they were angry or upset?
  • Is your mind clouded with a myriad of thoughts when you are about to sleep?
  • Are you perennially thinking about the future?

If you have been doing one or all of the above, then it’s high time you train your mind to focus and live in the moment. We’ll help you with 6 practical pointers to evoke your attention to the need of the moment.

  1. Prioritise and act on what is critical at the moment
  2. Solve one problem at a time
  3. To build focus, practice slow breathing exercise anywhere possible, through the day
  4. Listen to gain insight, and not to just reply
  5. Pause, breathe and respond thoughtfully

Simple isn’t it? Mindfulness is not about hitting the pause button on fun. It’s about fighting distractions to savour the moment and live your life to the fullest. Remember, the body achieves what the mind believes.

Do you have any techniques to be mindful of the present moment?

10 Practical Tips to Stay Healthy

Thursday, 07 April 2016

ten health tips

Microbeads, as the name suggests, may be tiny, but they pose a big environmental problem and are said to have an adverse impact on ecosystems, wildlife, and human health. Here’s how.

Microbeads resemble tiny, colourful dots that are suspended in personal care items such as lotions, toothpastes, hand sanitizers, soaps and facial scrubs. Microbeads claim to exfoliate by scrubbing away dirt more efficiently. These microplastics have become increasingly popular over the past 10 years, since they are a cheaper alternative to natural exfoliants like apricot seeds and coconut husks.

micro beads 1

These tiny, perfectly spherical, synthetic plastic particles that look like grains of sand are known to contribute to major plastic pollution in lakes and other water bodies.

Environmental impact of microbeads
When used directly, microbeads are not harmful. But the problem arises when these microbeads are washed down the drain along with the soap. Since they are too small to be caught by the filters in water-treatment plants and are also tough to dissolve, they find their way into water bodies.

Because these plastic fragments are not biodegradable and are highly absorbent, they are discharged into natural water systems and cause untold damage to fish and algae.

Once in the water, the miniscule plastic beads are absorbed by algae, which in turn are consumed by fish, making their way up the food chain, and ending up in the flesh of fish that humans eat. And once they enter the marine environment, it is impossible to remove them.

Health impact of microbeads
Microbeads absorb toxic pollutants like heavy metals, and oil. When the contaminated beads are swallowed by fish and other marine creatures, these chemicals are introduced into our food supply.

When toothpastes that contain microbeads are used, there is a possibility that they remain in the mouth, trap bacteria and possibly cause gingivitis.

Response of cosmetics companies
In the face of consumer pressure, and considering the environmental and health effects that microbeads cause, some large cosmetics manufacturers have either removed microbeads from their products or have committed to phase them out. Johnson & Johnson has pledged to eliminate the beads by 2017, while Procter & Gamble has also promised to phase them out. 

What you can do
To cleanse your beauty routine of microbeads, just make face and body scrubs at home using biodegradable materials and, stay clear from products that contain polyethylene or polystyrene in the ingredients list.

With a little research, we can steer clear of microbeads, encourage safe food, and stop pollution of the environment on which we rely.

Meditation can erase a day's stress, providing inner peace and calm. The lives we lead today are stressful, caused by anxiety, tension and worry.  Inexpensive and simple, meditation does not require any special equipment and can be practiced anywhere.  

Meditation was at first meant to aid a deep understanding of lifeÔÇÖs sacred and spiritual forces. Today, it is most commonly used to reduce stress and relax the mind and body. Meditation creates a deep state of relaxation and a peaceful mind.

Benefits of Meditation

Essentially, during meditation, you focus your attention and remove jumbled thoughts that crowd your mind and cause stress. This process may result in improved emotional and physical well-being.

Physical Benefits of Meditation

On a physical level, when you meditate, the physiology experiences a change, as every cell in the body is filled with more energy. When the level of energy increases, it results in more enthusiasm, peace and joy. Meditation,

  • Decreases high blood pressure
  • Lowers any stress-related pain, such as, ulcers, insomnia, muscle and joint problems
  • Boosts the production of serotonin production, which in turn improves mood and behaviour
  • Improves the immune system
  • Augments the energy level, as you gain an inner source of energy 

Some research suggests that mediation can help medical conditions related to asthma, binge eating, cancer, depression fatigue and heart disease.

Mental Benefits of Meditation

Meditation promotes healing. When you meditate, the mind becomes fresh and energetic. Regular practice of meditation,

  • Decreases anxiety 
  • Improves emotional stability 
  • Increases creativity and happiness 
  • Develops intuition 
  • Offers clarity and peace of mind
  • Sharpens the mind
  • Makes you aware that your inner attitude decides your happiness.

Other Benefits of Meditation

  • Emotional control- Whenever you feel unbalanced, or psychologically shut down, meditation purifies, nourishes and clams you from within.
  • Personal Transformation- Meditation ensures personal transformation. When you meditate, you are bound to start discovering more about yourself.

Experience the Benefits

To enjoy the fruits of meditation, regular practice is essential. It requires only a few minutes of your time every day. Once assimilated into your daily routine, meditation is sure to become the best part of your day!

Busy people from all walks of life, find it both emotionally and physically satisfying to stop and benefit from a stimulating few minutes of meditation each day. Meditate and enrich your life.

Though a smoker may not realize it, smoking affects the people in their lives and the environment in unimaginable ways. ItÔÇÖs not just their health that suffers; their family suffers too, both on physical and psychological levels.

Tabocco Day - UAE Exchange

Physical Effects of smoking on family life ┬á ┬á ┬á ┬á ┬á ┬á ┬á ┬á ┬á ┬á ┬á ┬á ┬á ┬á ┬á ┬á ┬á ┬á ┬á ┬á ┬á ┬á ┬á ┬á ┬á ┬á ┬á ┬á ┬á ┬á ┬á ┬á ┬á ┬á ┬á ┬á ┬á ┬á ┬á ┬á ┬á ┬á ┬á ┬á ┬á ┬á ┬á ┬á ┬á ┬á ┬á ┬á ┬á ┬á ┬á ┬á ┬á ┬á ┬á ┬á ┬á ┬á ┬á ┬á ┬á ┬á ┬á ┬á ┬á ┬á ┬á ┬á ┬á ┬á ┬á ┬á ┬á ┬á ┬á ┬á ┬á ┬á ┬á ┬á ┬á ┬á ┬á ┬á ┬á ┬á ┬á ┬á ┬á ┬á ┬á ┬á ┬á ┬á ┬á ┬á ┬á ┬á ┬á ┬á ┬á ┬á ┬á ┬á ┬á ┬á ┬á ┬á ┬á ┬á Passive/ secondhand smoke: It is said that sidestream smoke can be four times harmful as mainstream smoke. Though, family members havenÔÇÖt chosen to smoke, they are subject to the ill effects of passive and involuntary smoking that affect them not only now, but will also have far reaching consequences into the future.

             * Smokers not only harming their cardio- respiratory system, but also expose their spouse and children to similar risks.

             * Instances of lung cancer, asthma, common cough and cold are likely to affect smoker's family more than that of non- smoking counterparts.

             * Babies whose parent(s) smoke are more likely to develop ear infections, bronchitis and pneumonia, in the first few years of their lives.

Psychological Effects of smoking on family life

While the health effects of smoking on a smokerÔÇÖs kith and kin are well known, the emotional and mental effects are not spoken about much.┬á

             * Research has shown that children of smokers are thrice more prone to take up smoking. They are also more likely to have emotional disturbances. 

             * Smokers waste valuable time on bouts of smoking and intoxicating seclusions and tend to care less for their children and spouse. 

             * By investing hard earned money in the injurious habit of smoking the smoker ultimately exposes children and spouse to greater financial and psychological hazards.

Impact on the Environment

Starting with sowing the seed, cultivating a tobacco plant leading to packaging, right to disposal of butts, the environment is deeply impacted. The impacts of tobacco on the environment are many. 

Deforestation: Tobacco contributes to deforestation, as forests are cleared to cultivate tobacco. Fuel wood is stripped from forests for curing and forest resources are used to package tobacco, tobacco leaves and cigarettes. 

Depletion of soil nutrients: Growing tobacco depletes soil nutrients at a much faster rate than many other crops, thus quickly decreasing the fertility of the soil. Also, tobacco is greatly dependent on fertilizers. 

Indoor air pollution: In developed countries, cigarettes are the main source of indoor air pollution. Tobacco smoke comprises about 4,000 chemicals, some are cancer causing. 

Eliminating cigarettes worldwide will positively impact our environment. Reduced deforestation and renewed tree growth will lead to reduced amounts of CO2 in our atmosphere. As the growing, manufacturing, use and disposal of these products is reduced, there will be an incredible reduction in the amount of trash that is generated.


Safeguarding and protecting the environment has become paramount in our lives today. Those of us who have gardens have a chance to make a tremendous positive impact on the environment. Having a garden has a direct bearing on our family, society and the planet. Maintaining a garden, whether big or small is one of the ways that we can reduce our carbon footprint and give back to Mother Earth. HereÔÇÖs how gardening is also good for health and the environment.

Gardening is good for health

Reduce impacts of Global Warming

Plants check the effects of global warming, as they take the carbon dioxide out of the air to make energy, thereby lessening the adverse effects that global warming could cause. Plants also keep the Earth naturally cool. It is said that if we each planted one tree every year, it would be enough to cancel out our carbon emissions. A garden also serves a habitat for many life forms and invites birds and insects reproduce and flourish.

Produces Oxygen

It is common knowledge that plants and trees, take in carbon dioxide and give out oxygen. Therefore plants are good for humans and animals as they prepare the oxygen that we need to breathe and survive.

Provides Free Vitamin D and Exercise

Gardening is usually done in the morning and the early morning sun is a great source of Vitamin D.  Vitamin D offers protection against heart diseases and types of cancer. So, while tending a garden you are in the sun consistently and your body naturally produces Vitamin D from sun exposure.

Gardening also gives you free exercise. When gardening, you will need to lift, plants rake and dig soil etc; these activities offer your body the exercise it needs, in a relaxing way. 

Relieves Stress

TodayÔÇÖs busy world is all about stress. Stress increases the risk of diseases and affects hormones. Having a positive outlet for stress is essential. Gardening is said to relive stress and provide relaxation.┬á

Offers a Nutritional Punch

Gardening gives you the freedom to cultivate vegetables and fruits. Needless to say, the vegetables and fruits that are produced on your land are fresh, organic and most importantly, pesticide and chemical free. The organic produce is beneficial for our health as they are sure to be packed with essential nutrients and antioxidants, unlike store-bought veggies and fruits.

Gardening is a feel-good activity. Growing your own fruits, flowers, vegetables, and herbs, in an environmentally sound way to cut down on carbon footprint, increase greenery in your surroundings and obtain food which is healthier and fresh. So what are you waiting for? Enjoy the garden, fresh organic food and ensure you have fun playing in the dirt on a regular basis.


UAE-based NMC Healthcare airlifted medical supplies worth Dh1.8 million ($490,000) to Nepal last week as part of ongoing efforts to help victims of the devastating earthquakes which have killed thousands in the Himalayan nation.

The aid was delivered to Grande International Hospital, a leading medical facility in the Nepalese capital Kathmandu, from where its distribution to the government and other aid agencies will be coordinated.

Dr B R Shetty, founder, executive vice chairman and CEO of NMC Healthcare, said: ÔÇ£At this time of strife and suffering it is important for all of us to come together and support those in need. This is a global mission and I encourage everyone to help the victims in any way they can as the healthcare infrastructure in Nepal is overwhelmed trying to cope with the scale of suffering.ÔÇØ

ÔÇ£Beyond the immediate physical injuries caused by the quake, the lack of food and hygiene also presents a serious risk for the onset of epidemics in the coming days and weeks,ÔÇØ he added.

The contents of the aid shipment to Nepal by the UAEÔÇÖs largest private healthcare provider included antibiotics and painkillers, as well as general antiseptic, first aid kits, surgical equipment and rehabilitation materials such as crutches and braces.

In addition to the medical supplies, other companies run by Dr Shetty in the UAE, including NMC Trading, UAE Exchange and Neopharma, have organised donation drives in support of Nepal. So far, employees have contributed over 200 cartons of clothing and food products to a relief programme being organized by the Emirates Red Crescent, with more donations expected over the coming weeks.


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