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Care n Cure

Health Newsletter from RAK Hospital…empowering the community

Inside Arthritis some symptoms and diet tips Lower Back Pain risk factors and recommended exercises

Relax... for better health

Ever wondered why the back hurts even though you have been just sitting and working at your desk. Nothing strenuous, but the back sure thinks the other way! Well, sitting too can be bad for health... if you are doing it the wrong way. And as we get more and more into city dwelling, becoming used to our computers and work cubicles, we neglect our muscles. Twisting and turning in wrong positions, slumping, eating at our desk, reaching for the phone instead of walking to our colleagues’ desk; these just some of the abuses we constantly lavish on our system. It eventually takes a toll on our bodies with a multitude of aches and pains. The correct posture, obviously, is to have our backs firmly aligned to the backs of chairs, the legs placed firmly on the floor, and the head straight in front of the monitor. This issue of the newsletter addresses arthritis and back pain and steps to prevent them.

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Timely tips

Get up, stretch your limbs, take a walk – maybe to the water dispenser, or the coffee machine – and come back to sit in the proper position. That way, all the limbs can get the much-needed exercise. And of course, you no more feel tired or sleepy. Periodically, shake and rotate your arms, legs, neck and shoulders to avoid stiffness that leads to pain. Relaxation is the key. Take deep breaths and never let stress gain the upper hand.


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ARTHRITIS A joint is an area of the body where two different bones meet. A joint functions to move the body parts connected by its bones.

By Dr John Bera Arthritis literally means inflammation of one or more joints. Arthritis is frequently accompanied by joint pain. There are over 100 types of arthritis, ranging from those related to wear and tear of cartilage -- such as osteoarthritis -- to those associated with inflammation, resulting from an overactive immune system such as rheumatoid arthritis. The causes of arthritis include injury (leading to osteoarthritis), metabolic abnormalities, hereditary factors and infections, among others. Arthritis is classified as one of the rheumatic diseases with varying symptoms, treatments, complications, and prognoses. Symptoms Symptoms include pain and limited function of joints. Inflammation of the joints is characterised by joint stiffness, swelling, redness, warmth, and possibly tenderness of the inflamed joint. Many forms of arthritis can cause symptoms affecting various organs of the body like fever, gland swelling (lymph node), weight loss, fatigue, feeling unwell, and abnormalities of organs such as lungs, heart, and kidneys. Prevention Controlling weight or maintaining a healthy weight may help lessen the stress or strain on the joints, especially in the knees. Regular exercise can provide strength to the joints and help maintain healthy muscle tone. Walking and other weight-bearing exercises can also help prevent osteoarthritis by increasing the strength of the muscles that support the joints. A balanced diet can help reduce the risks of the potential for arthritis because it will provide the natural vitamins and nutrients needed by the body to function normally.

Diet Tips Nutritious foods provide a well-balanced diet that can help cure arthritis through loss of weight. The foods that should be included in your diet are rich in elements that may help provide relief from arthritic pain. • Vegetables Foods high in Vitamin A and C are needed. All arthritis diets should include vegetables, which have these vitamins, foods like brussel sprouts, broccoli, cabbage, spinach, kale, carrots, squash and sweet potatoes. • Fruits Most fruits provide Vitamin C – some more than the others. These include kiwi fruit, mango, cantaloupe melon, peaches, strawberries, blackberries, raspberries. Fruits like apples have anti-inflammatory properties and should be included in the arthritis diet plan. • Oily Fish Fish high in Vitamin E and Omega 3 – the essential fatty acids. Apart from providing relief from pain, they may also help in lowering the levels of cholesterol. Oily fish are trout, herring, mackerel, sardines, tuna and salmon. • Pulses and Grain They should be included in arthritis diets. Examples include whole wheat bread, brown rice, lentils and chickpeas. • Nuts and Seeds Nuts and seeds are high in Vitamin E and rich in Omega 3 fatty acids and are recommended in arthritis diets, and like oily fish, they can help in lowering cholesterol. Nuts to include in your diet are almonds, brazil nuts and walnuts. Seeds should include linseeds, pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds. Make sure you only use unsalted seeds and nuts and avoid dry roasted nuts. • Anti-inflammatory foods Apples, garlic, ginger and turmeric.

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Correct Sitting Posture

Low Glycemic Index Bulgar Wheat Salad with Pan Tossed Fish Ingredients: • 1 cup bulgur wheat • 1 cup boiling vegetable stock • 2 teaspoons of finely grated lemon rind • Juice from half the lemon • 1 medium carrot, coarsely grated • 1/4 red onion, finely chopped • 2 large tomatoes, diced • 1 cucumber, diced • 200g can chickpeas, rinsed, drained • 1/4 cup chopped parsley • 1/4 cup chopped mint • Black pepper • Olive oil, extra, to grease • 4 (about 100g each) firm white fish fillets Preparation: a. Place the bulgur wheat in a large bowl and stir the stock into the dry grains and cover the dish. Leave for about 10 minutes add hot stock if it is still hard and leave for some more time and drain. b. Toss the lemon rind and juice, carrot, onion, tomatoes, cucumber, chickpeas, parsley, and mint to the bulgur, season with pepper. c. For the fish: Preheat a barbecue flat plate or large frying pan on high. Brush with oil to lightly grease. Add the marinated fish and cook for two minutes each side. d. To serve: Serve the large green salad with tossed fish, reduced fat garlic dip, and a wedge of lemon on the side.

Golden Rules

LOWER BACK PAIN By Dr Masab Moumneh Lower back pain is often triggered by a combination of overuse, muscle strain, or injury to the muscles and ligaments that support the spine. Less commonly, lower back pain is caused by an illness or spinal deformity. A risk factor is something that increases your chances of having back pain. The more the risk factors, the higher are your chances of having back pain. Risk factors that you cannot change include being middle-aged (the risk drops after the age of 65), being male, having a family history of back pain, having had a previous back injury, being pregnant, having had compression fractures of the spine, having had previous back surgery, and having spine problems since birth (congenital spine problems). Risk factors that you can change -- with lifestyle changes or medical treatment – include: no regular exercise, smoking, overweight, poor posture, stress, long periods of depression, and using long-term medicines.

Bulgur wheat is a low Glycemic Index (GI 48) carbohydrate, and so is ideal for diabetics. Low GI foods cause their energy to be released gradually into the bloodstream, and prevent those unhealthy peaks in blood sugar levels. This will also help you to feel fuller for longer, and enable you to avoid unnecessary snacking later on.

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Nursing the community

International Nurses’ Day is celebrated around the world on May 12 every year, the birth anniversary of Florence Nightingale – widely considered the founder of modern nursing. The theme for 2010 is: ‘Delivering Quality, Serving Communities: Nurses Leading Chronic Care’. The International Council of Nurses (ICN) has celebrated this day since 1965. Each year, ICN prepares and distributes the International Nurses’ Day Kit, which contains educational and public information materials, for use by nurses everywhere.The nursing staff of the RAK Hospital celebrates the special day this year with a well-woven programme of education, community interaction and loads of fun. Free screening camps at key organisations will see the modern day angels step into the community.

Eye hygiene

RAK Hospital, the head of ophthalmology, Dr Kumar Hariharan, spoke to a gathering of 100 people about common eye conditions and their preventive measures. Eye hygiene, he stressed, was the key to prevention of common conditions such as contact lens induced keratitis and blepharitis. While speaking about cataract, he dispelled many misconceptions among the audience. He also conducted screenings for those present at the camp.

Created by Sterling Publications

How often have we neglected our eyes by not taking proper care of them? Not enough sleep, insufficient nutrition, reading in dim light or being exposed to bright sunlight without protection like sunglasses, dust and smoke or unclean water getting in the eyes – all lead to eye problems or infections. At a community outreach camp organised by the

Al Qusaidat, P.O. Box 11393, Ras Al Khaimah, UAE Tel.: 07 2074444 | Fax 07 2074455 mail@rakhospital.com | www.rakhospital.com

RAK Hospital Newsletter May '10  

Newsletter from the RAK Hospital

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