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Dr. Vivek Sharma participates in 7th Asia Pacific Nutrition Symposium on Early Life Nutrition

Posted by Indian Muslim Observer | 16 June 2013 | Posted in , , ,

By Our Health Correspondent

New Delhi: Jaipur-based Pediatrician Dr. Vivek Sharma recently participated in the group discussion and expressed his views on complementary feeding during 7th Asia Pacific Nutrition Symposium on Early Life Nutrition held in Guangzhou, China, on 1st and 2nd June 2013.

During the group discussion on "Pre-term infants feeding and complementary feeding", Dr. Sharma elaborated his views and enlightened the participating nutritional experts from across the world.

Dr. Vivek Sharma, who is also Health Editor with IndianMuslimObserver.com, spoke on the topic "Complementary feeding: A journey into a sensory world".

Dr. Sharma elaborated thus: "Preferences for the taste of sweet have been observed shortly after birth and young children show the capacity to readily form preferences for the flavors of energy rich foods. Acceptance of other foods, however, is not immediate and may occur only after 8 to 10 exposures to those foods in a non-coercive manner. Many parents are not aware of the lengthy but normal course of food acceptance in young children approximately 25% of mothers with toddlers reported offering new foods only 1 or 2 times before deciding whether the child liked it, and approximately half made similar judgments after serving new foods 3 to 5 times. Touching, smelling and playing with new foods as well as putting them in the mouth and spitting them back out are normal exploratory behaviors that precede acceptance and even willingness to taste and swallow foods. Beginning around 2 years of age, children become characteristically resistant to consuming new foods, and sometimes dietary variety diminishes to 4 or 5 wellaccepted favorites. It should be stressed to families that children's failure to immediately accept new foods is a normal stage of child development that is called as Neophobia (repulsion to new food), although potentially frustrating, can be dealt with effectively with knowledge, consistency, and patience."

He further stated: "Although toddlers are in a generally explorative phase, they can go on food "jags," during which certain foods are preferentially consumed to the exclusion of others. Parents who become concerned when a "good eater" in infancy becomes a "fair to poor" eater as a toddler should be reassured that this change in acceptance is developmentally typical. During starting the complementary feeding all concerned persons should keep in mind the economic, religious, cultural and spiritual status of the family."

The participants unamimously concluded thus: "Complementary feeding is a transition process between consuming a unique food, milk, to varied family foods. During this time, the diet gets progressively diversified. Because complementary feeding drives the infant towards his/her family's diet, it incorporates, consciously or not, many beliefs about appropriate eating behaviors concerning what, when and how to eat. At this stage, nutrition is still critical for child development, moreover early eating habits will contribute to the development of subsequent eating habits. For these reasons, it is very important to understand the learning processes that occur concurrently with complementary feeding."

Prominent nutritional experts from other countries who expressed their views included Dr. Sophie Nicklaus, Dijon, France; Professor Yvan Vandenplas, Brussels, Belgium; Professor Berthold Koletzko, University of Munich, Germany; Professor Zulfiqar A. Bhutta, Karachi, Pakistan; and Professor Allan Walker, Boston, USA.

Release of Health awareness booklet authored by Dr. Vivek Sharma

Posted by Indian Muslim Observer | 24 April 2013 | Posted in , , , , ,

By Our Special Correspondent

New Delhi: Sitaram Yechury, Rajya Sabha MP & CPI (M) leader, recently released a Health awareness booklet on 20 April 2013 at CPI (M) Central Office at New Delhi.

The 80-page booklet "Health Guardian" has been authored by Dr. Vivek Sharma, a prominent Jaipur-based Consultant Paeditrician. Dr. Vivek Sharma is also associated with Indian Muslim Observer as Health Editor.

A wide range of topics for teenagers have been covered in the enlightening health awareness booklet. The topics include teenage obesity, smoking, depression, scholastic problems, rebellious adolescent, sleep problem, tattooing etc.

Dr. Vivek Sharma said that he will continue to provide valuable guidance and make all possible efforts to promote health awareness among the people by using various information tools.
Dr. Sharma also said that the book will be distributed free of cost among parents, counsellors, school libraries and disability centres. He further stated that this book will be translated in regional languages and distributed all over the country.

Sitaram Yechury said that this booklet will effectively fulfill the long felt need for an authentic treatise on the day to day problems face by teenagers.

He appreciated the efforts taken by Dr. Sharma for compiling this book for the welfare of society, particularly teenage population.

5-15% school-going children experience dyslexia, says Dr. Vivek Sharma during a lecture

Posted by Indian Muslim Observer | 19 March 2013 | Posted in , , , , ,

Jaipur: A lecture on dyslexia was held at Hemlata Durlabhji Sabhagar, SDMH Campus on 12th March 2013. The programme was conducted by a Jaipur-based Umang, an NGO dealing on issues related with Disabled Children.

On this occasion Jaipur based consultant pediatrician Dr. Vivek Sharma said that 5-15% school going children experience specific learning disability called dyslexia. He said unlike other disabilities such as paralysis or blindness dyslexia is a hidden handicap. This disability creates a significant gap between the true potential and day to day performance of a child in school. The trauma of not doing well academically, often leads to emotional trauma, causing an aberration from normal behaviour outside school as well.

Dr. Sharma said the criteria most commonly used in assessment is the Disparity between a child's intelligence and their actual achievements. If a child speaks and listen normally, Yet they are unable to read and spell, then there may be more to check out.

Dr. Sharma emphasized that dyslexia is not brought about by poor parenting.

Individual parents have persisted in pointing out their children's school that something must be wrong when a child of apparently normal intelligence fail to learn, to read and write.

Dr. Sharma said children suffering from dyslexia will answer correctly orally but cannot do so in writing, they have got difficulties with directions and keeping organized.

Dr. Sharma asserted that early identification and intervention is much easier than remedial education and any medical treatment in late years. He said the problem is not lack of motivation or low intelligence. It is hidden disability that needs accommodation and special help in the classroom along with the focus on strengths. These children need caring and support, not humiliation and intimidation. They need accountability and reasonable expectations. They need positive affirmations, accurate assessments and respect for their learning style.

Dr. Sharma pointed out that some famous people who allegedly experience or experienced dyslexia and who did not let it stand in their way are Albert Einstein, Thomas Edison, Walt Disney, Tom Cruise, Henry Ford etc.

Dr. Sharma added Dyslexic people are visual, multidimensional thinkers. They are intuitive and highly creative, and excel at hands on learning. Because they think in pictures, it is sometimes hard for them to understand letters, numbers, symbols and written words.

They can learn to read write and study efficiently when the methods used to gear to their unique learning style.

Dr. Vivek Sharma is a consultant pediatrician based in Jaipur. His news views and articles have been published in leading national and international daily newspapers. He has conducted more than 200 workshops on dyslexia in children throughout the country and few in abroad. They all have been conducted all free of charge and sometimes at his own expense.

National Seminar on Gandhi and his basic education organized at New Delhi

Posted by Indian Muslim Observer | 12 December 2012 | Posted in , , , , , ,

IMO News Service

A National Seminar on Gandhi and his basic education was held at National Gandhi Museum Auditorium, Rajghat, New Delhi, on 8th and 9th December 2012. It was conducted by Gandhi Memorial Museum, Bithiharwa, (W) Champaran and National Gandhi Museum, New Delhi. The programme was inaugurated by D.P. Yadav, former Union Miniser of State for Education.

On this occasion, Jaipur-based pediatrician Dr. Vivek Sharma said that Gandhi's basic education has got great role in children with learning disabilities. Dr. Sharma said children with learning difficulties are intuitive and highly creative and excel at hands on learning.

Dr. Sharma affirmed the problem is not motivating or low intelligence. It is hidden disability that needs accommodation and special help along with the focus on strength.

Dr. Sharma emphasized that arts and crafts projects, as well music, and the natural world should be taught regularly to all children, but are specially important for children with learning difficulties.

In many instances, depending on the particular condition of the child, the sensory input provide by artistic endeavor can support physical condition development, as well as emotional, mental and social Dr. Sharma added.

Dr. Vivek Sharma is also presently associated with the popuar web News Portal IndianMuslimObserver.com as Health Editor.

Dr. Vivek Sharma presents collection of his writings "Good Parenting" to Rajasthan Governor

Posted by Indian Muslim Observer | 08 August 2012 | Posted in , , , , ,

IMO News Service

Jaipur-based Paediatrician Dr. Vivek Sharma presented a collection of his writings based on submission in various national and international websites titled "Good Parenting" to Governor of Rajasthan Margaret Alva. Dr. Vivek Sharma is also Health Editor of popular News Portal IndianMuslimObserver.com.

On this occasion the Governor applauded Dr. Vivek Sharma's endeavour and stated that works of this kind would be beneficial for the masses and concerned parents. She showed deep concern about the lack of awareness regarding health problems amongst the population at large. 

Dr. Vivek Sharma said that his work would be available on websites of various social and welfare societies, portals, national and international hospitals, health newspaper and school websites. He said this book covers topics like learning, behavioral, school, eating and sleeping problems in children.

Dr. Vivek Sharma's 75-page booklet "Health is Everything" released

Posted by Indian Muslim Observer | 27 July 2012 | Posted in , , , , , ,

IMO News Service

Jaipur: Dr.Vivek Sharma, Health Editor of IndianMuslimObserver.com, has prepared a booklet containing articles about health-related problems, causes and precautions to prevent common ailments in growing kids with an objective of educating parents.

Rajasthan Tourism and Environment Minister Bina Kak recently released the 75-page booklet "Health is Everything" written by Dr. Sharma. This booklet is a collection of topics about scholastic and social problems amongst children.

"It is in sole interest to release and distribute for public awareness amongst schools, disability centres, NGOs and concerned parents free of cost," said Dr. Sharma.

The Minister applauded his effort and expressed happiness, and stated that this is important for public betterment and welfare.

Dr. Vivek Sharma also said on this occasion that it would be his sincere endeavor to distribute the booklet free of cost after translation into other regional languages on a nationwide basis.

Doctors' Day : A Time To Remember Their Service

Posted by Indian Muslim Observer | 30 June 2012 | Posted in , , , , , ,

By Dr. Vivek Sharma

The first Doctors' Day observance was held on March 30, 1993 in Winder, Georgia, The idea came from Eduora Brown Almond wife of Dr. Cha Almond, and the date was the anniversary of the first use of general anaesthetic in surgery. On March 30, 1842, Dr. Crawlord Long of Barrow County, Georgia, used ether to remove a tumour from a patient's neck.

The Barrow County Medical Society Auxiliary proclaimed the day as 'Doctors' Day', which was celebrated by mailing cards to physicians and their wives, and placing flowers on the graves of deceased doctors.

The US House of Representatives adopted a resolution commemorating Doctors' Day on March 30, 1958. In 1990, legislation was introduced in the House of Representatives and Senate to establish a national Doctors' Day. Then President George Bush designated March 30 as National Doctors' Day.

In India, National Doctors' Day is celebrates on the birth anniversary of Dr. B.C. Roy who was born on July 1. He was a highly respected physician and renowned for his diagnosis. He was devoted for his patients and contributed significantly for making modern medical facility available to common people.

Dr. Roy's contribution to medical profession and Indian Medical Association are immense. He played a key role in establishing Indian Institute of Mental Health; Infective Disease Hospital and first ever post graduate medical college in Calcutta. He was instrumental in starting Indian Medical Association in the year 1928 and making it the largest professional organisation in the country. Medical Council of India, the governing body of Allopathic Medicine, was his brain child, and he was its first president in 1939, the position he held till 1945.

Besides, being a doyen of medical profession, he was also a great humanitarian, Vice Chancellor of Calcutta, University and Chief Minister of Bengal.

The illustrious life and achievements of Dr. B.C. Roy for the course of medical profession, the society and the country, he was bestowed with India's top civilian honour Bharat Ratna in 1961. Recognizing his services the Govt. of India declared July 1st as Doctors' Day in India.
Doctors' Day is celebrated recognising the tireless effort of physician around the nation. Doctors' Day provide a time for people to show appreciation to the doctors' who care for them or their loved ones.

Dr. Vivek Sharma
Both patients and those who work for or with physicians may recognise, than or show appreciation by giving cards, notes, commemorative tokens of remembrance etc.
Patients who have long term relationships with their doctors, for example a woman during pregnancy, someone with a long term or terminal illness, families who rely on their family doctor', or anyone who wants to thank a physician for the care he or she has provided take the opportunity to single out a doctor, psychologist, dentist, nurse practitioner, or other health care professional.

Those who work in doctors offices, hospitals, or other medical facilities take advantage of a designated time to be able to express thanks and appreciation for monitoring, being easy to work with, being dedicated, or just to recognise an ongoing working relationship.

[Dr. Vivek Sharma is consultant Paediatrician based in Jaipur. He is associated with IndianMuslimObserver.com as Health Editor. He can be contacted at drvivek_sharma@rediffmail.com]

Dr. Vivek Sharma meets CPI(M) leader Hannan Mulla, discusses representation of Medical Practitioners in political parties

Posted by Indian Muslim Observer | 10 May 2012 | Posted in , , , ,


IMO News Service


Jaipur: Renowned Child Specialist of Jaipur and Health Editor of News Portal 'IndianMuslimObserver.com' Dr. Vivek Sharma met Hannan Mulla, National Secretary of CPI (M) during his Jaipur visit and exchanged views about child death rate, and the impact of vaccination drive and its effectiveness on a nationwide basis.


Dr. Sharma expressed deep concern about the lack of representation of Medical Practitioners in the national political scenario. He apprised the CPI(M) leader on the need to give adequate recognition and participation to the people from the Medical fraternity in the political parties and utilize their services for the larger public cause.


Dr. Sharma also lauded the success of vaccination campaign and childcare programmes in countries like Cuba, Venezuela and Vietnam. He discussed the means to implement such effective health programmes in a country like India.


Hannan Mulla appreciated the efforts being made by Dr. Vivek Sharma to disseminate vital information and spread knowledge aming the people through his writings in various national and international publications. He also lauded Dr. Vivek Sharma in undertaking conscientious initiatives to make Medical Journalism an effective medium to spread awareness about health and childcare.

Dr. Vivek Sharma – Doctor with a Difference & A Philanthropic Crusader

Posted by Indian Muslim Observer | 27 March 2012 | Posted in , , , , ,

By T. U. Khan


Dr. Vivek Sharma with
Rajasthan Chief Mnister
Ashok Gehlot
Dr. Vivek Sharma is a dedicated professional from the medical field; he has earned a reputation as a down to earn communicator who encourages patients to become active and informed participants in the case of their children's health and well being. Dr. Vivek Sharma is not only a popular pediatrician of Jaipur but has also devoted himself in the cause of all round welfare of children. Dr. Sharma is very compassionate, sensitive and patient. He has a philanthropic approach to his work and gives a lot of service free of cost to the needy. There are not many doctors who would focus on disability, behavior disorders etc. that do not have instant cure but require long term management. Dr. Sharma has always shown great interest in reaching out to the disabled and their families. He is committed and always ready to help. In pursuit of his mission beyond the clinic he has regularly been conducting programmes and workshops to create awareness about special needs of children in regard to their mental, emotional and physical well being. These programmes have been widely appreciated. The emphasis in his programmes is on the spread of scientific approach in teaching children's medical problems. The programmes conducted by him are of high educational value and have been welcomed by the all concerned.


Dr. Vivek Sharma with the then
Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh
N. Chandrababu Naidu
Dr. Sharma is a strong crusader who demonstrates a deep sense of purpose and commitment towards his work. Informed by extensive knowledge in the field of learning disabilities, he demonstrates a profound concern for issues of neglected group of disability. Dr. Sharma has made great strides in creating awareness among teachers, educators, school principals and para medical staff on learning disabilities like dyslexia, dysgraphia, dyscalculia, ADD and ADHD that too from his own personal resources and expenses. He is revolutionizing health communications by bridging the gap between media and health professionals. He believes that the future of health care is in communicating health information through a variety of media formats thereby making it accessible to the largest audience possible. Dr. Vivek Sharma is a rare pediatrician in India who has gone beyond his personal calling and impacted lives of countless parents and their children who are affected with learning disabilities. His awareness sessions on dyslexia and other forms of learning disabilities, conducted free of charge, across a whole spectrum of audience including medical doctors, teachers, educators, parents and paramedical staff in India and even far off places like Nepal have made a difference to the lives of children who were humiliated in the school set-up as under performers, and failures giving much needed respite to the helpless. His focus has not only been on diagnosis and early detection but also on guiding them to right remedial support / counseling that is required for better performance and inclusion. His efforts are aimed at making our education more child centric rather than learning centric which is a huge paradigm shift much needed in India. He was working on dyslexia long before Aamir Khan made "Taare Zamin Par".


Dr. Vivek Sharma with
Siddhartha Varadarajan,
Editor, The Hindu, New Delhi
Dr. Vivek Sharma has made ample use of the print and electronic media in the pursuit of his mission. His efforts are not limited to the target audience along but also to the masses which is evident through his publication in reputed international, national, and regional dailies. His articles have been published in a whole gamut of print and online media for example Hindustan Times, Deccan Herald, Asian Age, Pioneer, Tribune, Shillong Times, Darjeeling Times, Daily Excelsior and State Times (J&K), Saakal Times, Brunei Times, Kathmandu Post (Nepal), ADF Stitching Media (Netherlands), Kuwait Samachar.com. Magazines like life Positive, Science Spark, and Women and so on. He has also targeted the scientific community through his publications in Science Reporter and through his websites. There is no other medical; professional who is so widely published. His contribution as medical journalist is to be seen in his publications to be believed. Recently, he has been appointed as Health Editor of the leading news portal Indian Muslim Observer. His selfless efforts in the medical community provide motivation to his peers for going beyond their immediate calling and contribute to the larger cause of creating an inclusive society.


Dr. Sharma has been widely appreciated by many eminent personalities. Many prestigious organizations have felicitated him and nominated for many awards. In his untiring journey he has interacted with many learned politicians, intellectual and eminent journalists.


A few notes of appreciation . . .


I have read your articles published in national and international daily newspapers. You have made a great attempt to look at Medical Service and Health from today's perspective and presented childhood social, school and medical problems in a simple and lucid language for common man. – N. Chandra Babu Naidu, Former Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh & President of Telugu Desam Party


Dr. Vivek Sharma with Barkha Dutt,
Group Editor, NDTV
I feel your avid medical writings are going to be fruitful for betterment of health and prevention of illnesses. I have yet to see a medical doctor who is putting in so much effort for the welfare of the common public through medical journalism. – Late His Highness Maharaja Sawai Bhawani Singh MVC of Jaipur


I am happy that you are doing valuable work for the society in awareness about common diseases. – Dr. Karan Singh, Member of Parliament (Rajya Sabha), Chairman – Committee on Ethics


Your articles published in various newspapers and magazines are useful. I extend my best wishes for your endeavors in this direction. – Brinda Karat, Member of Parliament (Rajya Sabha)


An important aspect of Dr. Vivek Sharma's mission is that he does not charge any fees for the social service he renders – Amrit Tandon, Associate Editor, Complete Works of Jawahar Lal Nehru, Teen Murti House, New Delhi


[T. U. Khan is a Book Reviewer. He can be contacted at tarikkhan49@gmail.com]

LIFESTYLE & HEALTH: Secret Dangers of Tattooing

Posted by Indian Muslim Observer | 28 February 2012 | Posted in , , , , ,

By Dr. Vivek Sharma


"Ink to paper is thoughtful and Ink to flesh, hard-core. If Shakespeare were a tattooist we'd appreciate body art more." ~ Terri Guillements


The word tattoo is said to have two major derivations - from the Polynesian (from Greek) word 'ta' which means striking something and the Tahitian word 'tatu' which means to mark something. Centuries before rock stars and celebrities, tattoos were used by tribal men and women across the world, whether it was Maoris of New Zealand or the Apatanis of Arunachal Pradesh, to mark out identity and territory.


Tattoos and Piercing are hot and happening today with more and more youngsters getting tattoos done on the body and getting various parts of their body pierced. Today, people with tattoos, body piercing and brands are everywhere. They are shown in advertisements on television shows and in magazines and newspaper photographs. Even a glamorous toy icon, Barbie Doll, comes with temporary tattoos.


If you are thinking of getting tattoos done then it is always advisable that you are totally informed about the pros and cons. Learn whether it is safe, how to care for tattoos and much-much more. It is always advisable to be more aware of its method, precautions, consequences etc.


Know the Risks


"Keeping in mind that tattoo parlors and piercing venues are not held to the same sterility standards as doctors' offices and hospitals." (Body Piercing and Tattoos, www.mayoclinic.com)
Tattoos breach the skin, which means that skin infection and other complications are possible, specific risks include:


I. Allergic reaction – Tattoo dye, especially red dye, can cause allergic skin reactions that cause an itchy rash that may continue for years after you get the tattoo.


II. Blood Born Diseases – If the equipment used to create your tattoo is contaminated with infected blood, you can contact blood borne diseases, including Hepatitis-B, Hepatitis-C, Tetanus and HIV (the virus that causes AIDS) even with the use of a new needle, tattooing equipment is still difficult to sterilize.


III. Skin Infection – Tattoos can lead to bacterial infection, these are characterized by redness, swelling, pain and pus like discharge.


IV. Skin Problems – Sometimes lumps known as granulomas form around.


V. Tattoo Ink - especially red ink. Tattooing can also lead to raised areas caused by an over growth of scar tissue (keloids)


VI. MRI Complications – Tattoos or permanent makeup may cause swelling or burning in the affected area, during magnetic resonance imaging. In some cases – such as when a person with permanent eye liner has an MRI of the eye – tattoo pigments ay interfere with the quality of the image.


VII. Removal Problem – Despite advances in laser technologies, removing the tattoo is a painstaking process, usually involving several treatments and considerable expense.


Key Tips and Warnings


• Don't take tattoo's lightly : If they get infected, it could become very serious.


• Indication that an infection has occurred include : swelling, redness, heat or tenderness around the tattoo ; red streaks extending from the tattoo area, pus coming from the wound ; swollen or tender lymph nodes : or fever.


• Use an antibiotic ointment to treat your infected tattoo.


• Treating an infected tattoo by keeping it dry at all times, water is the biggest enemy of your tattoo when it is healing.


• If there is minimal damage to the skin, the speed of healing will depend on the amount of moisture in the area.


• Make sure to keep your tattoo out of Sun. The Sun will agitate it and the heat from the Sun will make it hurt plus it will cause your tattoo to fade. Whether it's color or black it will fade if exposed to the sunlight.


• As tattoos are placed on different part of body, some areas will be more prone to infection. A few of the things that cause infection are, clothes rubbing against it causing irritation and causing dirt to get into it.


• During the healing process, if you pick at your scabbing tattoo, it can cause infection as well. Your fingers and under your fingernails can get very dirty and full of bacteria.


Think Before you Ink


Dr. Vivek Sharma
A tattooing machine can puncture the skin 3,000 times a minute and everyone of these thousands of punctures create a hole 1/64 to 1/16th of an inch into the dermis that literary invites infection and disease. Every single puncture of the tattoo needle opens up the real possibility of AIDS, Hepatitis-B, Hepatitis-C, Tetanus, Tuberculosis and about any other blood borne diseases. With the average tattoo taking about 60 minutes that equals 1,80,000 tiny "Russian Roulette" punctures wounds providing a potential path to deadly infectious diseases.


However, with the rising demand of tattooing it is important to consider the risk factors and the safety concerns as well. It is not necessary that every person, who impressed tattoos will suffer from skin infections and other complications but it shouldn't ignored.


[Dr. Vivek Sharma is Consultant Paediatrician based in Jaipur. He is associated with IndianMuslimObserver.com as Health Editor. He can be contacted at drvivek_sharma@rediffmail.com]

Vitamin D - The Unique "Sunshine" Vitamin

Posted by Indian Muslim Observer | 13 January 2012 | Posted in , ,

By Dr. Vivek Sharma

"The sun is the orchestra leader for the dance of life. Every living thing on earth vibrates to the energy of the sun, including people. For a long time people have been victims of a huge scam that made them think they were supposed to hide indoors or under a blanket of sunscreen while the rest of life basked in the glory of the sun. Now they are catching on that they too need the sun's life-giving force." ~ Barbara Minton, natural health editor.

Vitamin D is truly the "sunshine" vitamin! The most natural source of this vitamin is sunshine. When the sun's ultraviolet rays reach our skin, they trigger our body's production of vitamin D. Individuals with adequate exposure to sunlight do not require any dietary supplements.

Sources of Vitamin D

A. The SUN! The major source of Vitamin D for most humans is from the skin's exposure to the ultraviolet B (UVB) rays of sunlight. Sunlight contributes on average over 90% of our Vitamin D!

B. Food Sources. Only a few food sources naturally contain appreciable sources of Vitamin D3 that have an impact on dietary intake: fish, fish liver, fish liver oils, fatty fish, mushrooms, egg yolks and beef liver. Mushrooms are the only vegan source of Vitamin D. Fish liver oils, such as cod liver oil, appear to have the greatest concentration of Vitamin D. Fish should be consumed that live only in uncontaminated waters.

C. Vitamin D Supplements. Vitamin D supplements in different dosages are widely and inexpensively available.

What happens in Vitamin D deficiency?

• Bone pain or tenderness in Arms, Legs, Pelvis, Spine, Dental deformities (Delayed formation of teeth, Defects in the structure of teeth; holes in enamel, Increased cavities in the teeth (dental caries), Impaired growth, Increased bone fractures, Muscle cramps & Muscle strain, Decreased muscle tone (loss of muscle strength), Short stature, Skeletal deformities, Asymmetrical or odd-shaped skull, Bowlegs & knock knees, Bumps in the ribcage, Breastbone pushed forward (pigeon like chest), Pelvic deformities, Spine deformities (spine curves abnormally), Dumbell shaped wrist, Very low calcium levels, causing hypocalcemic fits particularly in new born period and again during the phase of rapid growth in adolescence.

Vitamin D deficiency is also connected with cardiovascular health, multiple sclerosis, brain development in the fetus during pregnancy, increase risk of schizophrenia, poor immune function and chronic disease risk, later in life and soon after birth.

Factors Impacting Skin Vitamin D Synthesis (Risk factors)

• Decrease Vitamin D Synthesis – 7-dehydrocholesterol content in the skin is a primary factor in the occurrence of Vitamin D synthesis.

• Diet – A Diet low in Calcium, Phosphorus and Vitamin-D, e.g. exclusively breast feeding into late infancy or, rarely, toddlers on supervised 'dairy free' diets.
– Macrobiotic, strictly vegetarian diet
– High phytic acid diet – e.g. chapattis.

• Skin Tone, Pigmentation – Lighter skin tones have greater capacity to synthesize Vitamin D and require less UVB rays exposure to produce adequate levels of Vitamin D. Darkly pigmented skin isn't as efficient at inducing Vitamin D synthesis.

• Sun Avoidance, Sunscreen and Clothing – Correct application of sunscreen, which blocks UV rays, reduces the skins Vitamin D production by over 90%. Sun avoidance (as in staying indoors) and clothing and hats can significantly reduce sun induced Vitamin D production.

• Solar Zenith Angle, a function of Latitude, Season and Time of Day – Before solar UV rays can initiate Vitamin D synthesis in the skin it must traverse the atmosphere. The main determinant of available UV rays is the angle of the sun. The more directly overhead the position of the sun the more UV rays are available to for Vitamin D synthesis. Latitude, season and time of day are the three factors impacting available UV rays. The higher the latitude, the closer to winter season and the further from mid day, the less UVB rays are available for Vitamin D synthesis. Conversely, the closer to the equater, the summer season and mid day, the more UV rays are available. The more UV rays available, the less time in the sun is needed to meet vitamin D needs from synthesis.

• Atmospheric Conditions (cloud cover, altitude, air pollution and snow) – Cloud cover is a very important factor determining UV rays available for Vitamin D synthesis. Lower thicker clouds have the greatest ability to decrease available UVB rays. Heavy cloud cover can block 99% of UV rays from reaching the ground.

As higher altitudes result in shorter distances and less atmosphere for UVB rays to pass through, more UV rays are available to reach the skin for Vitamin D synthesis.

Airborne pollutants can significantly reduce available UV rays. Tall city buildings, narrow city streets, along with the move to indoor jobs have certainly decreased sun exposure amongst urban populations.

Snow can reflect 90% of UV rays radiation greatly increasing the available UV rays striking the skin.

• Obesity – Obese people generally have lower levels of Vitamin D and a slightly reduced rated of UV rays induced production of Vitamin D.

• Age – The capacity for Vitamin D synthesis is based upon the availability of 7-DHC in the skin. Aging generally reduces the content of 7-DHC in the skin and thus the potential for Vitamin D production.

• Chronic Diseases – Malabsorption (celiac disease, pancreatic insuffiency, cystic fibrosis, biliary obstruction), Chronic liver disease etc.

Dr. Vivek Sharma
• Decreased maternal vitamin D stores and exclsuive breastfeeding in new born.

• Certain Drugs such as rifampicin, isoniazid, anticonvulsants etc.

Panacea – Vitamin D deficiency is managed by taking a balance diet, correction of predisposing risk factors mentioned above, by administration of Vitamin D3 (Cholecalciferol), and of course the natural sunshine for a brighter life!

[Dr. Vivek Sharma is consultant Paediatrician based in Jaipur. He is Health Editor of IndianMuslimObserver.com. He can be contacted at drvivek_sharma@rediffmail.com]

Rajasthan Chief Minister releases Dr. Vivek Sharma’s awareness poster on PICA

Posted by Indian Muslim Observer | 28 November 2011 | Posted in , ,

IMO News Service

Jaipur: Ashok Gehlot, Chief Minister of Rajasthan, recently released an awareness poster on PICA designed by Dr. Vivek Sharma, Health Editor of IndianMuslimObserver.com. The poster was released on the occasion of Childrens' Day. PICA (Eating Non Food Items) is a common illness found in children. Dr. Vivek Sharma is well known and prominent Child Specialist of Jaipur.

The Chief Minister while commenting on the poster said that such posters are beneficial for the common man in spreading awareness about common childhood illnesses. He also said that technocrats should come forward to create a public opinion and awareness which would benefit society at large.

Dr. Vivek Sharma said that PICA is an illness where the child eats clay, lead, chalk, paint etc. He said that this poster is specially designed to make aware the parents and caretakers about the causes and prevention of PICA. To further the cause the poster will be translated into Telgu and Nepalese language and it will be displayed at play schools, disability centres and hospitals.

Baby-Care: How to Stop Thumb Sucking of Baby

Posted by Indian Muslim Observer | 04 November 2011 | Posted in , ,

By Dr. Vivek Sharma

"You are not alone, you are not afraid, you don't need your thumb, and your thumb does not need you." – Dr. Parry Lyman on thumb sucking

Thumb sucking is one of the first coordinated act a baby can do that brings comfort and pleasure. For much younger children thumb sucking can be just a way to relieve the feeling of hunger. It is a comforting behaviour and doesn't usually need to be restricted. Parents usually start to worry too early, about how to stop thumb-sucking habit of their children. It is not necessary to stop thumb sucking before the age of four unless parents notice a problem in their teeth due to vigorous thumb sucking.

When thumb sucking becomes a problem?

• Thumb sucking causes serious teeth problems if it continues long after the eruption of permanent teeth. The problem gets more serious if it continues after the age of four and five.

• Prolonged finger and thumb sucking can create crowded, crooked teeth, or bite problems.

• Child may also develop speech problems or problems with swallowing properly.

• Protrusion and displacement of front teeth are usual results.

• Malformation of teeth can affect the child's appearance and cause further emotional problems.

Panacea

Most kids outgrow this behaviour by their preschool years and up until that point it is relatively harmless. Though beyond pre-school it can be a problem once permanent teeth start coming in. The best way to get your child to stop sucking her thumb is to find ways to help him do it.

Do's & Don'ts

Do's

- Talk about the 'bad' germs that are on our hands and how the child puts them in his mouth while thumb sucking.

- Carefully remove your child's thumb from his mouth during sleep.

- Give your child extra attention and observe if conflicts or anxiety provoke thumb sucking. If so, help him find more healthful ways to deal with stress.

- Reward your child for progress made towards his goal. Don't think of it as a bribe because it's something he has earned through effort.

- Paint something that tastes bad on his thumb, like vinegar or pickle juice. Don't do it forcefully or without his permission, but as a way of helping him achieve his goal. Then when he's engaged in television and sucks his thumb out of sheer habit, the bad taste will quickly remind him of what he's trying to accomplish.

- Distract your child when you see him putting his thumb in his mouth. If you engage him in an activity that requires both hands, he'll have to take his thumb out of his mouth to do the task. Keep the child's hands occupied with a toy, puzzle, or other interesting activity.

-‘Give the example of his friends that have managed to stop thumb sucking. Invite friends over that don't suck their thumbs for frequent play dates. Peer pressure is a powerful motivator and if he surrounds himself with kids who don't suck their thumbs, it will be easier for him to not suck his thumb.

- A pediatric-dentist can also install an oral appliance that makes it uncomfortable to suck his thumb and release pressure on the teeth and palate. This is important if his thumb sucking is affecting his oral development.

Don'ts

- Avoid putting your child down or describing him as being 'babyish'.

- Avoid nagging your child or turning this into a power struggle, the more anxious he becomes the more likely he will need the comfort of his thumb.

- It is not important to get your child to give up this habit if it is not causing any problem.

- Never punish or shame your child to resolve the problem. These types of negative action will hurt his self-esteem and only add to his anxiety.

If your child has not stopped thumb sucking by his third birthday, you should consider taking action to stop this habit if he is sucking on his thumb most of the day, if it is affecting his communication or social skills, if he is having trouble with his pronunciation of words, or if it is causing problems with his oral development. However, it is not as important to get your child to give up this habit if it is not causing any problems.

[Dr. Vivek Sharma is Consultant Paediatrician based in Jaipur and can be contacted at drvivek_sharma@rediffmail.com]

HEALTH WATCH: How to fight Teen Smoking

Posted by Indian Muslim Observer | 25 May 2011 | Posted in , ,

By Dr. Vivek Sharma

"A pinch of tobacco, rolled in paper with fire at one end and a fool at other" - Wonderfully described definition of a cigarette.

Michael Jordan, a basketball legend and entrepreneur has smoked himself into a controversy last year. His enjoyment of cigars is no secret, but now after recent photos of Jordan on some new websites and magazines showed up with Jordan puffing away on a cigar at a celebrity soft ball game.

"When high profile people publicly display unhealthy habits they can mislead young people to emulate their behaviour."

Smoking was once thought to be a very fascinating phenomenon. The pleasure effect it has on the human mind as well as the style statement associated with it was considered an element of high esteem. Formerly regarded as a "lifestyle choice" smoking is now recognized as a chronic, relapsing disorder caused because of addiction.

Tobacco has been used by humans since the earliest recorded history of the western hemisphere, but cigarettes did not become popular until the 19th century. It was in 1913 when camel, the first modern cigarette was introduced and mass marketed by R.J. Reynolds that consumption of cigarettes increased dramatically.

Nearly all first use of Tobacco occurs before high school graduation so if adolescent don't start smoking by age 18, odds are they never will. For those who experiment with cigarette, new research shows teens can get hooked on nicotine more quickly than adults by extremely low levels of Tobacco.

Understanding the addiction

To cease smoking is the easiest thing I ever did. I ought to know because I've done it a thousand times. ~Mark Twain, attributed

When a cigarette is smoked, nicotine rich blood passes from the lungs to the brain within 7 seconds and immediately stimulates the release of many chemical messengers. These messengers stimulate the brain and cause pleasure, appetite suppression, arousal, cognitive enhancement, learning mood modulation and reduction of anxiety and tension. The decrease in brain reward function experienced during cessation of smoking is an essential component of nicotine addiction and a key barrier to abstinence.

Benefits of quitting

One thousand Americans stop smoking every day – by dying. ~ Author Unknown.
By stopping smoking as early as possible, there can be a reduction in the risk of cancers and lung and heart diseases. Quitting is worthwhile because it reduces the risk of heart disease, having a blood clot, developing several types of cancers and chronic lung diseases. At the same time quitting cigarettes,  improves stamina for exercising and participating in sports and also improves senses of taste and smell.

Ways to help teenagers stay free from smoking

• Understand the attraction – Ask your teens how he feels about smoking, sometimes teen smoking is a form of rebellion or a way to fit in with a particular group of friends. Some teens smoke to feel better about themselves others smoke to feel cool or independent.

• Not to go for advertisements – Talk with your teen about how tobacco companies try to influence ideas about smoking – such as paying actors and celebrities to smoke in movies and advertisements to create the perception that smoking is cool.

• Set a good example – Teen smoking is more common among teens whose parents smoke. If you do smoke, quit now. Don't smoke in the house, in the car or before your teen, and don't leave cigarettes where your teen might find them. Explain how unhappy you are with your smoking and how difficult it is to quit.

• Appeal to your teen's vanity – Smoking is not glamorous, tell your teen that smoking is a dirty, smelly habit. It gives them bad breath, makes their clothes smell, and it turns their teeth yellow. Smoking can leave them with less energy for sports and other activities that they enjoy.

• Do the arithmetic – Smoking is expensive. Help your teen calculate the weekly, monthly or yearly cost of a pack a day. You might compare teen cost of smoking with that of electronic gadgets, clothes or other teen essentials.

• Take habit seriously – Most teens believe they can quit smoking any time they want. But teens become just as addicted to nicotine as do adults, often quickly and relatively with low doses of nicotine. And once they are hooked, it is tough to quit.

• How to avoid peer pressure – Teach your children how to handle peer pressure. It all starts with talking about peer pressure. How it can be very subtle and how your child can say no without feeling like he is offending his friend.
How teen can avoid smoking

• Brush you teeth right after meals: The urge to smoke is really intense right after meals. So it is a good idea to get up from the table right after you eat, head into the bathroom, and brush and floss your teeth.

• Cut down on alcohol, because all too often a cigarette and a drink are very closely linked.

• Anytime you get the urge to smoke, put a drop of clove oil on your finger and apply it to the back of your tongue.

• Keep your hands busy: write letters, do crosswords, read a book, make puzzles, take up drawing and painting.

• The rubber band method – This method is actually backed by research. You wear a rubber band around your wrist and snap it against your skin when you feel the urge to smoke. Be sure that the rubber band is loose enough so it doesn't block blood flow or leave a mark on the skin when it is removed.

If your teen has already started smoking, avoid threats and ultimatums. Instead, be supporting find out why your teen is smoking and then discuss ways to help your teen stop smoking, such as hanging out with friends who don't smoke or getting involved in new activities. Stopping teen smoking in its tracks is the best thing your teen can do for a lifetime of good health.

Thank you for Not Smoking. Cigarette smoke is the residue of your pleasure. It contaminates the air, pollutes my hair and clothes, not to mention my lugs. This takes place without my consent. I have a pleasure, also. I like a beer now and then. The residue of my pleasure is urine. Would you be annoyed if I stood on a chair and pissed on your head and your clothes without your consent? ~ Sign from Ken's Magic Shop.

[Dr. Vivek Sharma is Consultant Paediatrician in Rungta Hospital, Jaipur. He can be contacted at drvivek_sharma@rediffmail.com]

Beating Examination Blues

Posted by Indian Muslim Observer | 19 March 2011 | Posted in , ,

By Dr. Vivek Sharma

"Beware the ideas of March" said Shakespeare and "April is the cruelest month" wrote T.S. Eliot. For students preparing for exams, this has never been more true.

With March already here and April around the corner, students are all probably being urged by their parents and teachers to pull up their sock and get ready to study hard for their coming final exams.

There is nothing worse than, after all your hard study, you walk in the exam and your mind goes blank, your nerves and anxiety get the better of you and your brain simply stops working properly. If you are very anxious, your brain is simply in the wrong state of thinking. A little fear is healthy but overwhelming fear can be bad.

Some Symptoms of Examination Stress

  • Stomach disorders
  • Headaches
  • Mild Fever
  • Loss of Appetite
  • Insomnia
  • Depression
  • Physical sensation, such as sweating, breathing difficulty, panic attacks, memory losses etc.
How to overcome examination stress

  • Hypersensitivity to anything is not desirable, and that includes exams. Being too anxious, concerned or worried is not a state of mind suitable for exams, undue anxiety is counter productive.
  • A well planned schedule and a steady routine aided by a calm mind, provide the best back drop for effective preparation for exams.
  • During study holidays or preparatory leave popularly known, a time table has to be drawn up by every student. This self drawn time table should be religiously observed. A student who his truthful to his/her own time table will successful.
  • In most cases, combined studies end up as combined chat sessions. How ever there is no harm in seeking clarifications from friends or teachers when a real need arises.
  • Take a 10 minutes break about every couple of hours and go for a walk to clear your mind for the next session.
  • A very important part of examination preparation are your diet. Food high in fiber content, plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, and lot of milk keep you alert and energized, chocolates and chips and other high sugar, high fat food tend do make you feel sluggish.
  • Indulge in hobbies or a certain amount of television or games. When you do something that makes you happy, you will do that thing well.
Do's and Don'ts just before exams to reduce stress

Do's

  • Study according to syllabus.
  • Confirm date, time & venue of exams.
  • Arrange a watch, pens, pencil, eraser instruments, calculator etc. on the previous day.
  • Revise the lessons using summaries, points and mnemonics.
  • Reach the examination hall half an hour before the schedule commencement.
  • Enter the examination hall confidently.
Dont's

  • Avoid using knives or other sharp instruments and participation in games possibly cause physical injury someday prior to exams.
  • Avoid quarrels, fights and arguments that may create stress.
  • Avoid too much discussions with fellow candidate.
  • Do not sacrifice your time to sleep. If you stay up all night you will not perform well in the examinations.
  • Before entering the examination hall, make sure you do not have a paper with you that may contain lesson notes.
"Nothing succeeds like success." For this, the very first condition is the will to succeed. We need to have the determination to succeed against all odds. A desire to perform the best in exams. There is no shortcut to success except hard work.

[Dr. Vivek Sharma is consultant Paediatrician at Rungta Hospital, Jaipur. He can be contacted at drvivek_sharma@rediffmail.com]

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