Ever been guilty of gulping a bar of chocolate?

Well, now there are reasons to feel better.

– the thought of it leaves your mouth watering, doesn’t it? Well, chocolate is one of the few food items that are liked by people of all ages. So what makes chocolate so irresistible? Firstly, more than anything it is a rich blend that has the potential to please every palate. But according to nutritionist Hira Ranjan, “Several chemical reactions also take place. Chocolate leads to the secretion of endorphins that makes you feel happier or in other words ‘a high’.” Unlike the popular belief that it is an unhealthy snack, chocolate also has many health benefits.

Myth buster

When it comes to talking about health hazards, there are several myths that are making the rounds, and all you chocoholics would be glad to know that it is not as bad as it is assumed to be. Here’s a quick myth buster:

Myth: Chocolate leads to increase in weight
Fact: Chocolate does not lead to an increase in weight. The butter/cream, and sugar in milk chocolates lead to an increase in weight.

Myth: Chocolate can lead to tooth decay
Fact: According to Eastman Dental Center in Rochester, New York, chocolate contains phosphate and is therefore least likely to contribute to tooth decay. In fact, cocoa contains certain antibacterials that fight tooth decay.

Myth: Chocolate causes acne
Fact: Chocolate has no effect on acne, unless you are allergic to it or any other ingredient in the chocolate.

According to Samir Vadalar (name changed), nutritionist,“Chocolate contains a number of nutrients like potassium and magnesium. It also has vitamins like A1, B1, B2, D and E, and most health hazards attributed to a bar of chocolate are due to other ingredients that are added in the chocolate.” Ranjan further adds, “A bar of chocolate brings a smile on everyone’s face and remember there is nothing more healthier than a happy mind and a satisfied heart.”

So, are we trying to then say that chocolate has no health hazards? Not really. Says Vadalar, “In India, most people consume milk chocolates that are high in calorie count due to the butter and sugar content in it. So it could be harmful. Remember, it is always advisable to indulge in dark chocolate rather than milk chocolate.”

10 Reasons to eat chocolate

1. Chocolate is a high-energy food and contains many essential nutrients

2. Chocolate increases antioxidants in the blood

3. Apparently, people who eat chocolate regularly live longer!

4. Chocolate helps prevent cardiovascular diseases

5. According to an Italian study, dark chocolate can be used to control blood pressure and diabetes

6. Chocolates made from cocoa are one of the richest sources of magnesium

7. Eating moderate amount of dark chocolate can lead to health and well being

8. Chocolate reduces anxiety and acts as a painkiller

9. Chocolate can trigger the brain's natural opiates

10. And finally, it is indeed yummy!

So all you chocoholics can now rejoice as you can actually boost your health with chocolate! But remember the darker your chocolate is, the better it is for your health.

Anaemia -- Too Few RBC( Red Blood Cells)

About Anemia

Just over half the volume of your blood is made up of a yellowish watery fluid called plasma, which contains proteins, salts and other substances.
The rest of your blood is made up of the following cells and cell fragments, which are all produced in the bone marrow.

• Red blood cells make up more than 99 percent of the cells in the blood and carry oxygen around the body in a substance called hemoglobin, which gives blood its red colour. Iron is an important ingredient of hemoglobin.
• White blood cells are larger than red blood cells and make up less than one percent of the blood cells. There are several different types and they are important in protecting the body against infection.
• Platelets are tiny fragments of cells that are involved in blood clotting.

Anemia occurs when you don't have enough red blood cells, or enough of the oxygen-carrying pigment called hemoglobin. There are different types of anemia, including pernicious anemia, hemolytic anemia, aplastic anemia and sickle cell anemia.

Symptoms of anemia

The symptoms of anemia include:
• breathlessness with little exercise
• feeling very tired
• looking pale
• being intolerant of cold temperatures
• a rapid pulse
• palpitations
• headaches

Less common anemia symptoms can include tinnitus (ringing in the ears) and an altered sense of taste. There may also be other symptoms of anemia, which result from the underlying condition that is the cause of anemia.

Causes of anemia

There are many possible causes of anemia but they fall into the following three groups.

Loss of blood

Blood loss can result from an obvious injury, or surgery, but it's not always easy to detect, especially if it's happening inside the body (eg a bleeding stomach ulcer). Women who have heavy periods can develop anemia.

Not making enough red blood cells and/or hemoglobin

The bone marrow may not be able to make enough good-quality red blood cells because of a lack of essential vitamins such as vitamin B12 or folic acid, or because of a serious bone marrow disorder such as leukemia or aplastic anemia. Long-term (chronic) inflammation, for example in rheumatoid arthritis or long-term infections, may also suppress your bone marrow.

The most common cause is lack of hemoglobin due to iron deficiency. This usually results from long-term bleeding, for example in women, the monthly period (menstruation). The kidneys also have an important role because they produce a hormone called EPO, which tells the bone marrow to make red cells. If you have long-term kidney problems you may have anemia due to the lack of EPO.

Red blood cells broken down too quickly

Red blood cells normally live for about 120 days before they are broken down and replaced. Various inherited problems with the red blood cells, or their hemoglobin, or an attack on normal red cells by the immune system, may cause them to be broken down too soon. This is called hemolytic anemia. Some medicines may also be involved in causing hemolytic anemia.
People with a condition called sickle-cell anemia tend to have red blood cells that are broken down too soon. Sickle-cell anemia is an inherited condition in which the red blood cells can become crescent-shaped rather than round due to the presence of an abnormal type of hemoglobin (hemoglobin S) These cells don't survive as well as normal red blood cells.

Diagnosis of anemia

If you have symptoms of anemia, such as breathlessness and fatigue, you should visit your GP. He or she will ask about your symptoms, any previous illnesses or treatments and your eating habits. You will probably have a physical examination.

If your doctor thinks you have anemia, he or she will probably ask you to have a blood test. This involves taking samples of blood from one of the veins in your arm. The needle used is narrow and the amount of blood taken is small. For most people having a blood test is virtually painless.
The tests on your blood will include a full blood count (FBC), which is done by a machine in a hospital laboratory on a sample of your blood.

A full blood count gives information about your hemoglobin levels and how many of each of the different types of blood cells you have, as well as information about the size of your red cells (MCV) and the amount of hemoglobin each one contains (MCH). In America, the same test is known as a complete blood count (CBC).

The normal amount - or concentration - of hemoglobin for men is at least 13g/dl (13 grams of hemoglobin per decilitre of blood - a decilitre is 100ml) and 11.5g/dl for women. If your hemoglobin level is lower than this you have anemia.

If your hemoglobin level is low, the other results from a full blood count can give clues about what might be causing anemia. For example, if your hemoglobin is low and your red blood cells are small, you may have iron deficiency. However, if the hemoglobin is low and the red cells are large, you are more likely to have a deficiency of vitamin B12 or folate.

If the cause of anemia isn't clear, your GP may recommend further tests. These might include investigations into possible blood loss from the stomach or bowel, so you may need to have a test to see if you have blood in your faeces. This is called a faecal occult blood test. If your doctor suspects that you are losing blood into your gastro-intestinal tract you may also be offered an endoscopy. This is an examination of the lining of the stomach (gastroscopy) or large bowel (colonoscopy) using a thin, flexible telescope.

Your GP may also refer you to a haematologist - a doctor specialising in conditions of the blood - for further tests, which may include taking a sample of your bone marrow.

Treatment of anemia

Treatment of anemia depends on its underlying cause. You may need to improve your diet or your doctor may recommend that you take supplements of iron, folic acid or vitamin B12. If you are severely anaemic due to a serious underlying condition, you may need a blood transfusion. Or, if you have a condition such as chronic kidney disease, you may need to have injections of the hormone EPO.

Prevention of anemia

The best way to prevent anemia is to eat a healthy, balanced diet. For most people, this sort of diet provides enough essential nutrients, without the need for supplements.

As a guide, the main nutrients you need to make healthy red blood cells are:

iron - in meat, liver, green vegetables, dried fruit, pulses (eg chick peas and lentils) and fortified foods such as some breakfast cereals and bread

vitamin B12 - in meat, milk, cheese, eggs and fortified foods such as some breakfast cereals and bread. It is not found in vegetables

folate - in liver, yeast extract, green leafy vegetables (such as peas and spinach), oranges, milk and fortified foods such as some breakfast cereals and bread

If you don't eat animal products (a vegan diet) or have a condition that affects how well you can absorb nutrients (eg coeliac disease), you may need to take supplements of nutrients. You should also get advice from a doctor or a registered dietitian.

If you are pregnant, you are more likely to get a form of iron-deficiency anemia. Your antenatal checks will include regular blood tests to check your hemoglobin levels. Your doctor or midwife will prescribe iron supplements if you need them.

Understanding Stomach Cancer

What is Stomach For?

The stomach is a storage organ for food. When you eat your meals, food stays in the stomach for a while, and this is where digestion starts. Food is churned up, and mixed with acid until it is partly liquefied, when it is passed on into the rest of the bowel for further digestion, and for the nutrients to be absorbed. The stomach is actually a large hollow muscle, whose movement is controlled by nerves and hormones, triggered by the sight, smell or sound of food.

How does stomach cancer start?

Cancers of the stomach are not all the same, and it is likely
that there are different causes.

Certain conditions of the stomach may predispose to stomach cancer. These include pernicious anaemia, chronic inflammation, ulcers and large polyps. Smoking, and a high salt or high nitrate/nitrite diet may also cause problems. Nitrites are found in cured meats, pickled fish, and may also originate in fertilisers.

Helicobacter pylori is a bacterium which can infect the stomach. This may lead to ulcers, and is also thought to predispose to stomach cancer.

Stomach cancer does not often run in families; a family history of stomach cancer is found in less than one in ten patients with the condition.

How does an ulcer turn into a cancer?

The genes that control the growth of stomach cells become disorganised, making the cells grow quickly, and beyond their normal boundaries. As the tumour enlarges, the cells grow through the lining of the stomach, and can invade adjacent structures such as fat or the pancreas. Some cells can break away, travel up the bloodstream and go to other sites such as the liver or lungs. These are known as secondaries, or metastases.

What protects against stomach cancer?

A healthy diet containing fruit, vegetables and some animal fat and protein may help to prevent stomach cancer. The widespread use of frozen rather than pickled foods may have influenced the reduction in the incidence of the problem over the last fifty years.

Medical advice

Does early diagnosis make a difference?

The earlier a diagnosis can be made, the more likely it is that the problem can be cured. The longer a cancer is present in the stomach, the more likely it is that it will spread to other parts of the body such as lymph glands and the liver.

What are the symptoms of stomach cancer?

Stomach cancer can present in many different ways depending on which part of the stomach is involved. Indigestion (pain or discomfort in the upper abdomen related to eating or drinking), and loss of appetite are common, and associated with weight loss. If the cancer is at the top of the stomach near the gullet, it may cause difficulty with swallowing food. If it is at the bottom of the stomach, it may cause vomiting of food. Cancers can sometimes bleed, leading to symptoms of anaemia such as tiredness and shortness of breath.

Aren’t some symptoms similar to those of a peptic ulcer?

Many of the symptoms of stomach cancer are similar to those of a benign ulcer. It is very important that any new occurrences of the symptoms listed above are reported to your doctor if you are over 40.

How is the diagnosis made?

Occasionally a lump can be felt in the abdomen, but other tests are always needed.

Endoscopy (video examination of the stomach). This is a simple test carried out under local anaesthetic. A small sample of tissue is taken for examination under a microscope (histology) and a test is taken for Helicobacter pylori, a bacterium which can infect the stomach and is thought to increase the risk of stomach cancer.

CT scan – this is an X-Ray which takes 3 dimensional pictures of the chest, abdomen and pelvis areas. It gives information about the stomach itself, and also about other areas that disease may have spread to.

What happens once cancer is diagnosed?

If the tests show that you have stomach cancer, you will be referred to a cancer specialist – usually a surgeon – for further assessment. It is likely that you will have a staging laparoscopy. Under a general anaesthetic, a small telescope is passed through the belly button into the abdomen to examine the stomach and other areas closely. The results of your tests will then be discussed by a group of cancer experts, and a decision will be made on the best form of treatment.

How are cancers of the stomach treated?

Once checks have been made that it has not spread anywhere else, most stomach cancers will be removed by surgery. Either a part of the stomach or the whole stomach is removed, with lymph
glands that are close by. The stomach or gullet is then joined to the bowel (anastomosis). Once the cancer has been removed it is examined closely under the microscope to decide exactly what stage it is at. If the cancer is an early one that has not spread through the stomach wall, then no
further treatment may be necessary. If the cancer has spread through the wall, or involved lymph glands you may be offered further treatment such as chemotherapy, radiotherapy or a
combination of both. Sometimes chemotherapy is given before surgery.

What happens after surgery?

You will stay in hospital for about 10 days after your operation. You will take 6 to 8 weeks to recover fully. You will see a dietician who will advise you on the best foods to eat. The main advice will be to eat a balanced diet, little and often. All the test results will be discussed to decide if any further treatment is necessary. You will be told the results when you come back to see your surgeon about a month after surgery. You will be seen regularly in clinic over the months and years after your treatment, and will be offered regular blood tests. Sometimes further scans and endoscopies are needed to see if the cancer has come back. If the problem does recur, it can be treated again, usually with chemotherapy or radiotherapy.

What is advanced stomach cancer?

If the cancer has already spread beyond the stomach to other structures when it is diagnosed, it is sometimes not amenable to surgery. In this case it is treated by chemotherapy, and sometimes radiotherapy. There are some new minimal access (endoscopic) ways of dealing with problems such as blockages, by using fine mesh tubes called stents. Cancer can sometimes become advanced even after treatment, and careful follow up is usually necessary.

If I have had stomach cancer, what can I do to stop it coming back?

A healthy lifestyle, with a balanced diet and a positive mental attitude are good advice. Regular medical follow up is also important.

Are there any implications for my family?

Only about 4% of patients with stomach cancer have a close relative with the same problem. It is therefore not likely that other members of your family will need to be screened. They should however be advised on a healthy diet.

Is there a screening programme for stomach cancer?

In some areas of the world such as Japan, the incidence of stomach cancer is so high that endoscopic screening is carried out on everyone. In the UK, the incidence of the problem is a lot lower, so screening is not necessary.

What research is going on?

Recent research into the treatment of stomach cancer has centred around how medical treatment may improve the results of surgery. Treating some patients with chemotherapy before surgery may improve long term outcome, and some patients with more advanced disease may benefit from post-operative chemotherapy, sometimes with radiotherapy as well. Trials are in progress to study these factors in more detail.

Oh My GOD.. HEARt Attack!!!!! ( DONT PANIC )

How to Treat a HEART ATTACK?

A heart attack victim whose heart is still beating has a much better chance of survival than a victim whose heart has stopped! Most heart attack victims who die succumb within 2 hours after having their heart attack. Many of these victims could be saved if bystanders recognize the symptoms of a heart attack and get the victim to a hospital quickly! Indeed, many victims of heart attacks think they are experiencing HEARTBURN or other minor discomfort when in fact their life is in jeopardy! This is why this article provides basic information for emergency first aid.


# Comfort & reassure the victim

# Don’t panic. The casualty will likely clutch their chest and may fall over. Sit them down if they are conscious, with their knees up and back leaning on something. Call an ambulance immediately.

# If they are unconscious then lie them on their back, check that nothing is obstructing their airways (could be tongue) and listen with your ear just over their mouth for breathing.

# If you are on their right, rotate your head to the right, so that you can watch for the rise and fall of their chest. If they are not breathing after you have listened for a count of ten, then give two breaths, pinching their nose to prevent loss of air, and breathing away from them to maximize oxygen content.

# Check for circulation – if they have an obvious pulse that’s great, but any movement is a sign of circulation, and blueness and other discolouration is a sign of a lack of it. Pinching a digit (fingers) and watching for recolouring – if there is fast recolouring, this is a sign of circulation.

# Don’t waste time checking for circulation if it is slowing down the process. Someone else can do that as you check for airways.

# If there is not circulation, then start cardio resuscitation. This means putting a hand on the split of the casualty’s lungs (the top of the inverted V) and your other hand on top.

# Interlock and raise your fingers so the heel of your hand is all that touches them. Straighten your arms and depress their chest 5cm (if they’re over 8rys old) with your whole weight.

# Raise again and do this 30 times. Then perform two rescue breaths. Someone else can take over the chest compressions if they’re competent or if you’re tired but it is best just one person does the breaths.

# Continue the 30:2 cycle until help arrives or until you’re likely to become a casualty too. Don’t endanger yourself.

# The most important thing to remember is that you should call an ambulance the second you suspect it is a heart attack, or if you have an unconscious casualty.


Keep them calm and keep everyone else calm if you can. Assign jobs to prevent panic.


  • This is only a guide to assist the person, not cure the heart attack. This care should be given to them while emergency crews are on their way.

People with sleep apnea run higher death risk


he term “apnea” means without breath and sleep apnea is a disorder characterized by stopping or pausing breath during sleep. This is not a mild sleep disorder as longer pauses between breaths can lead to fatal consequences. Each pause in breathing spans between ten to twenty seconds or more but these pauses occur more than twenty to thirty times every hour.

Sleep apnea occurs because adequate air is unable to flow in to the lungs through the mouth or nose as one tries to breathe regularly causing a pause in the breathing activity. Normal breathing resumes with a sudden snort or choking sound but the oxygen levels in blood drop every time there is a pause in breathing.

Sleep apnea is broadly classified into two types: Central and Obstructive. Central sleep apnea is caused due to lack of effort in breathing regularly while Obstructive Sleep Apnea is caused due to a physical block in regular breathing despite effort.

If left untreated sleep apnea can cause: hypertension, stroke, irregular heart beat, heart failure or heart attack.

Symptoms of Sleep Apnea

- Loud snoring
- Dry or parched throat on waking up
- Gasping or choking for breath
- Poor quality of sleep leading to sleepiness during the day
- Memory problems
- Morning headaches
- Relatively higher levels of irritation
- Inability to concentrate for a longer duration
- Depression or mood swings

Causes of Sleep Apnea

The causes and concerns that lead to sleep apnea as a disorder are:

- Inability of the air to flow to the lungs from the mouth or nose due to physical obstruction or lack of effort
- Brief collapsing of the throat causing pauses in breath
- The extra soft tissues in the throat among obese or over weight persons make it difficult to keep the throat area open for circulation of air
- Large tonsils or adenoids may also cause disruption in air flow to the lungs causing pauses in breath
- Hereditary or genetic features of the body such that the shape of the head and neck result in a relatively small airway between the mouth and throat area

Remedies for Sleep Apnea

- Quit smoking and lose weight if a person is overweight
- Avoid alcohol and consumption of sleeping pills
- Change sleep positions to ensure regular breathing
- Tie a ball in socks and tie it across your waist such that you will change your position regularly
- Avoid sleeping on the back and try sleeping laterally
- Conduct polysomnography, a diagnostic test which measures and records a number of physiologic variables during sleep.

Diet for Sleep Apnea

There is no specific diet or particular foods that can help treat or prevent sleep apnea

People with sleep apnea run higher death risk

People with severe sleep apnea face a much higher risk of mortality than 'normal' people, which increases when the condition is untreated.

Results show that people who have severe sleep apnea, which involves breathing pauses during sleep, have three times the risk of dying due to any cause compared with people who do not have sleep apnea.

This risk is represented by an adjusted hazard ratio of 3.2 after controlling for age, sex and body mass index. When 126 participants who reported regular use of continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy were removed from the statistical analysis, the hazard ratio for all-cause mortality related to severe sleep apnea rose to 4.3.

Thyroid Imbalance causes Tiredness

Medical doctors of the Thyroid Society, based in Houstan say that if You are sleeping a lot, longer than usual , yet still have to drag yourself through a day, CAUTION: You may have a Thyroid Problem !!!

The Thyroid Gland , located in the neck just below the Adam's apple, produces hormones that tells your cells how fast you work.

For more information about Thyroid Glance at http://health2dy.blogspot.com/2008/07/interesting-faqs-about-thyroid.html

If the gland produces less than normal amount of thyroid hormone , the body suffers a metabolic slowdown; your heart rate may decline; you may ge constipated and experience muscle cramps; your skin can become dry, your hair thin and your voice husky, and you may gain weight for no obvious reason. This is called Hypothyroidism.

Having too much Thyroid hormone- Hyperthyroidism can also cause fatigue. It is because high hormone levels can weaken muscles Other symptoms are rapid heart beat, sweating and weight loss. Hyperthyroidism can strike at any age and unusually results from any age auto-immune disorder known as Grave's disease.

Doctors test for Thyroid trouble by feeling for an enlarged gland and by ordering special blood tests. Both Hyperthyroidism and Hypothyroidism require medication.

Tooth loss might raise cancer risk

Tooth loss and periodontal disease might increase the risk of developing various cancers. Periodontal disease is a chronic bacterial infection that affects the gums and bone supporting the teeth and eventually results in tooth loss.

Previous studies have suggested that tooth loss and periodontal disease might increase the risk of developing various cancers, but the role of smoking in the association has been unclear so far.

To assess whether periodontal disease or tooth loss is associated with cancer risk, American researchers collected data on more than 48,000 men, aged between 40 and 75 years. The most common cancers reported were colorectal, melanoma, lung and bladder and advanced prostate cancer.

After taking into account other risk factors, such as smoking and diet, the researchers found that men with a history of gum disease had a 14 percent higher risk of developing cancer compared with men did not have a history of the condition. The risk for specific cancers was typically higher. Compared to men with healthy gums, men with a history of gum disease had a 36 percent increased risk of lung cancer, a 49 percent hike in risk of kidney cancer, a 54 percent higher risk of pancreatic cancer, and a 30 percent increased risk of white blood cell cancers. Further, men who had fewer teeth at the beginning of the study had a 70 percent increased risk of developing lung cancer, compared with men who had 25 to 32 teeth.

It was also noted that the association between gum disease and lung cancer disappeared among men with gum disease who had never smoked. However, men with gum disease who did not smoke had a 35 percent increased risk for blood cancers and a 21 percent overall increased risk for cancer.

The findings indicate a small, but significant association between periodontal disease and increase in overall cancer risk, which persisted in never-smokers. However, more elaborate studies are expected to flow in to confirm the associations.

Fish prevents brain damage

Adults who regularly eat fish may have a lower risk of subtle brain damage that contributes to stroke and dementia.
Previous studies have shown that fish and fish oil can help prevent stroke but no study has yet looked into the impact of fish on silent brain infracts. To investigate the association between fish consumption and brain abnormalities, Finnish researchers studied the MRI scans of 3,660 adults aged 65 years and older. Food frequency questionnaires were used to assess the dietary intakes of the participants. The participants were scanned again after five years.

It was found that those who ate more fish were less likely to show certain silent brain infarcts, tiny areas of tissue that die because of an insufficient blood supply. Silent or subclinical brain infracts raise a person's longer-term risk of having a stroke or developing dementia. The participants who reported that they ate tuna and other baked or broiled fish at least three times per week were one-quarter less likely to have subclinical brain infarcts at the start of the study than those who rarely ate fish. Fish eaters also tended to be less likely to develop new infarcts over the next five years. No such benefits were linked to fried fish consumption.

The findings were attributable to two major omega-3 fatty acids found in fish-eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) that have clinically important health benefit of lowering the odds of developing silent brain infracts among adults.

Improve your CONCENTRATION...

We all have ability to concentrate on some of the time. But at other times our thoughts are scattered, and our minds race from one thing to another. HEALTH2DY tells you how to concentrate effectively.

Have you ever felt that you had been watching a movie for long and end up clueless what the story was about?

How many times have you ended up reading the same line in a book over and over again?
This can be frustrating,right?

It's time you got working on improving your concentration. Concentration is the ability to focus on one's thoughts in a particular direction without getting distracted. Here are some tips to improve your concentration skills.


A good Night's sleep will do wonders for your body and mind. Make sure you have an undisturbed sleep of eight hours. It is the best way of recharging your tired cells.


Always have a balanced diet. An empty stomach will distract you more than a full stomach. Take good care of your body and mind and you ll be able to concentrate better.


Don.t let your surroundings disturb your attention. Clean up all the mess on your table. Keep things in order. Turn off your mobile phone and if you feel tempted to surf the net, shut down the computer.


Redirect your thoughts. When you find that you are staying from your thoughts, REDIRECT IT.Do not let yourself be distracted with petty worries and problems.

Wake up early in the morning and try to meditate in a calm and peaceful surrounding. Meditation is sure to help you improve your concentration.


Every time you increase your concentration time, reward yourself. This will motivate you to work better.

Improving your concentration will help you accomplish more in shorter period of time.