Why Indians should be worried about Superbugs ?

antibiotic resistance and superbugs in India

India on one side is world’s biggest consumer of antibiotics and on other side in India antibiotic resistant superbugs are on the rise. In India, antibiotic-resistant infections in new born babies alone claim 60,000 lives each year.  News hit headlines when last year a woman from US died after being infected by a superbug  named carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE), a multidrug-resistant organism (resistant to a total of 14 antibiotics) during her visit to India. If we go by research reports, one in every four samples of Escherichia coli and all samples of Klebsiella pneumonia in India will be resistant to key last-resort antibiotics by 2030.

Antibiotic Resistance and Superbugs in India

The scary point is, it can affect anyone, of any age. If urgent action is not taken, we will soon head back to ‘post-antibiotic era’ where lives were lost to small infections & minor injuries.

Antibiotic resistance has become one of the biggest threats to health, especially in developing countries like India. Microorganisms are becoming resistant to the antibiotics used to treat the infections they cause, leading to longer illnesses & more deaths. Benefits of advanced medical treatments such as chemotherapy & major surgery will be completely lost. Already a growing list of infections like pneumonia, tuberculosis, blood poisoning & gonorrhoea are becoming difficult to treat.

The current antibiotic resistance crisis is the result of:

  1. over-prescribing & dispensing of antibiotics
  2. misuse of antibiotics by patients
  3. over-use & misuse of antibiotics in livestock, fish farming & on plants
  4. lack of new antibiotics being developed
  5. poor infection control in hospitals, clinics & farms
  6. lack of toilets & proper sewage disposal

It’s just not humans who are over using antibiotics, but livestock’s too. If we have to believe they are used  more each year on healthy animals than on sick humans. Tetracycline, penicillin, erythromycin, and other antimicrobials that are important in human use are used extensively in the absence of disease in today’s livestock production.

Antibiotic makers are also contributing towards drug resistance. It is estimated that 80% of the antibiotics sold by multinational pharmaceutical companies in the global market are manufactured in India and China. It was alarming to learn that a drug factory in India was found to have the same level of antibiotics in its wastewater as in the blood of a person under treatment for severe infection.

In India antibiotic resistant superbugs are on the rise.

What can we do to avoid this situation from becoming worse

Read moreWhy Indians should be worried about Superbugs ?

Secondary Infertility : What is it and Why does it happen

Secondary Infertility : What is it and Why does it happen
Female Reproductive age is the main culprit. With age, chance of getting pregnant naturally diminishes

‘Secondary infertility’ adds up to about 20-30 per cent cases of total infertility cases that happens in India. As per reports  instances of women facing problems getting pregnant for the second time is a growing concern especially in urban India.

I already have a child, so why can’t I get pregnant again?……you are facing Secondary Infertility

We have a kind of thought process that goes like, if you succeed with first pregnancy then it would happen naturally second time too….but this not be the case. The fact is, it is extremely difficult for couples to believe that they will have to take some medical intervention to become parents again.

Secondary Infertility is defined as “When a woman is unable to bear a child, either due to the inability to become pregnant or the inability to carry a pregnancy to a live birth following either a previous pregnancy or a previous ability to carry a pregnancy to a live birth.”

So this includes women

Who repeatedly and spontaneously miscarry

Whose pregnancy results in a stillbirth

Are unable to carry pregnancy to a live birth (failed/successful first pregnancy)

Secondary infertility:  Why does it happen?

Female Reproductive age is the main culprit. With age, chance of  getting pregnant naturally diminishes. Women are born with all of the eggs (oocytes) they will ever have. As women age their ovarian reserve diminishes, which means that their egg quantity and quality decreases with time.

Status of the pelvic organs. Presence of fibroid or a polyp in uterus could be the trouble maker

About one-third of infertility cases are related to male infertility. It could be due to low or absent sperm count, problems with sperm shape or problems with sperm motility

Weight too could be the problem. Being over or underweight alters ovulation in women. It also can impact sperm health in men.

Lifestyle diseases like diabetes, blood pressure, cardiovascular problems and even depression can lead to secondary infertility

The everyday stress of being a parent can also be a contributing factor. Sleep deprivation,  busy household, managing a toddler  all can add to it.

Secondary infertility

Secondary Infertility Treatment Options

Treatment option does not mean head straight to IVF clinic. The truth is many fertility treatment options are available like infertility medications to intrauterine insemination. But the key point is more you delay, more difficult it’s going to be. Medical team suggests that couple should meet fertility specialist if they are unable to get pregnant again after six months of trying if they are over 35, or one year of trying if they are under 35. 

Very much like primary infertility, secondary infertility screening will also include looking for hormonal, environmental, immunological and physiological causes.

Semen Analysis – Male patients will have to go for semen analysis to determine motility and sperm count

Female check up – This would include ultrasounds to determine whether ovulation and egg release is happening normally,  X-ray to look for blocked fallopian tubes etc

Once detailed check up and discussion are carried out expert could suggest the treatment procedure.

This could start with

Read moreSecondary Infertility : What is it and Why does it happen

A teaspoon less of salt, sugar and oil

"A teaspoon less of salt, sugar and oil" for better health
“A teaspoon less of salt, sugar and oil” for better health

“A teaspoon less of salt, sugar and oil — that’s the Indian Medical Association’s mantra for tackling lifestyle diseases”. This title reminded me of the video “Salt, Sugar and Oil: What You Need to Know” by Michael Klaper, M.D. There are two significant reasons why we should control our Salt, Sugar and Oil intake.

Reason 1 – New age life threatening lifestyle diseases like obesity, hypertension, diabetes, and chronic kidney disease is linked back to excessive eating of salt, sugar and oil.

Reason 2 – Salt, sugar and oil leads to food addiction. The more we eat, the more we want, also called “Pleasure Trap”.

All about Salt

Salt or sodium chloride is an essential mineral to life. Sodium is essential to control the body fluid, maintains electrolyte balance, and is an integral part of nerve and muscle function. But consuming too much salt constricts blood vessels, which is dangerous because this makes heart to work extra hard. It also increases the risk of heart disease, heart failure, stroke, and kidney disease. Edema is another side effect of excess salt intake. A high salt intake can cause calcium losses through the urine, which can increase the risk of osteoporosis. A high salt diet during childhood could increase the risk of stomach cancer by damaging the stomach lining and increasing the growth of the bacteria Helicobacter pylori, asthma by increasing bronchial reactivity and kidney disease by increasing protein urea.

Teaspoon less of Salt:

If you intend to add salt to your food, add it at the table and not while cooking

Never add extra salt to your snacks and chats

Replace salt wherever possible with lemon juice other salt-free seasonings and flavored vinegars

All about Sugar

The scary thing about sugar is that, it’s difficult to weed it out from us,  It’s addictive and toxic…. like a drug. In addition to causing  increase in obesity, diabetes and heart disease, sugar causes mood swings, fatigue, headaches, sagging skin, gum disease and tooth decay.

Teaspoon less of Sugar:

Ditch sugar in tea and coffee

Opt for sugar free snacks like popcorn

Use natural substitutes of sugar (Do not recommend artificial sweeteners)

Cross check food labels when you buy processed food

Salt, Sugar and Oil
“A teaspoon less of salt, sugar and oil — that’s the Indian Medical Association’s mantra for tackling lifestyle diseases”

All about Oil

Read moreA teaspoon less of salt, sugar and oil

Women’s Day Special: In conversation with CEO of ChetChat, Chetna Vasishth

CEO of ChetChat, Chetna Vasishth

Women’s Day Special: In conversation with CEO of ChetChat, Chetna Vasishth

Chetna Vasishth, Blogger, Director, Movie Editor, Traveler, Trainer….she dons many hats. She is one woman who found success with all the three career choices she made. She started off her journey as a banker with ANZ Grindlays Bank after completing her studies from XLRI, Jamshedpur. She moved to Standard Chartered Bank and then took a break from her career to raise her son. Shortly, she started her own training firm where she trained Bank professionals from private and multinational banks for close to ten years while also teaching at leading business schools in India. During this period, she realized that Indian students and parents do not have a ‘go to’ place to learn about career choices, courses and colleges. She took this challenge head on…and thus was born ChetChat.

Let’s hear from Chetna….

Chetna….What is ChetChat

ChetChat is a YouTube Channel. This is one of a kind career-oriented channel featuring students and experts speaking about their journey of becoming lawyers, doctors, designers, chartered accountants, dentists, entrepreneurs, CEOs or even prosthetic designers. They also share their experiences from universities around the globe like Harvard, Cambridge, Columbia, Oxford, University of Toronto. They speak about cracking top exams like the UPSC, CLAT, IBPS and CA entrances. You will also find videos from students pursuing pure passions like dancing, art, singing and scuba diving etc.

Why did you start ChetChat

Having been in the field of education for over a decade, I realised that students across India lack for authentic information. Most students and parents sadly make misinformed choices and career counsellors are either very few or very expensive. So, I thought, why not create a platform wherein I could interview students from different courses and colleges and upload those videos, which would then help other parents and students.

Was it challenging for you to start ChetChat

Every road taken will throw up new challenges and road blocks. When we started off with YouTube channel, we did not know anything about making a good video or YouTube marketing and creating awareness. It’s been 2.5 years and we have done around 146 videos. We have now reached over 32,000 subscribers and 1.8 million views. We still have a long way to go….

 CEO of ChetChat, Chetna Vasishth

What would be your piece of advice to any woman who is planning to make a comeback to career after maternity break

Women are blessed with the art of creativity. Armed with your educational background and the magic of ingenuity you can look for the right breaks or even craft a new career. Challenges would be there, but if you persist and look for inventive solutions, you can make a success of it.

Can women have it all

I am of the view that women can have it all but the ability to balance is crucial. Women can have a career, cherish nurturing a baby and can also derive satisfaction from their creative pursuits since we are wired differently.

We need look at what makes us happy instead of measuring ourselves on traditional yardsticks made with men in mind.

Amidst a busy schedule how do you find time to stay fit

I believe in doing a few small things every day, which include taking in the right nutrition at periodic intervals and doing an hour of exercise three times a week. Strength training is highly recommended but often neglected by women. No fad diets or over-exercising for me.

Emotional wellbeing plays a big role as well. We need to celebrate small successes and count the little victories in as much measure as the big wins. We just need to make this present moment happy, the rest will follow.

What does this year’s women’s day theme #PressforProgress mean to you

#PressForProgress is a great initiative towards achieving the ultimate goal of gender equality. We know that today only about 27 companies out of the Fortune 500 companies have women CEO’s.

At ChetChat too, we are launching a MasterClass on Women’s day called “How to Get International Scholarships for Women to Study Abroad | Scholarship for Indian Women”. Here we will talk in detail about the 10 large scholarship awards around the world for higher education, reserved exclusively for women to pursue their passions in fields in which they are traditionally under represented like STEM fields.


Chetna….you have for sure embarked on a less travelled road….I am sure with your confidence and experience you will be able to overcome all future challenges and would be able to turn ChetChat into a big commercial hit.  All the best to you and your team….

You can connect with Chetna 

Read moreWomen’s Day Special: In conversation with CEO of ChetChat, Chetna Vasishth

Cardiovascular disease is the No. 1 killer of women

Cardiovascular disease and Women
A woman’s lifetime risk of dying from heart disease is eight times greater than that of breast cancer

If you thought we lose maximum number of our women to Breast cancer, then you are wrong. Cardiovascular disease is the No. 1 killer of women. A woman’s lifetime risk of dying from heart disease is eight times greater than that of breast cancer.  The most worrying factor is that now heart ailments are affecting more women in the reproductive age group, unlike in the past when women got it mostly after menopause. This could be because levels of oestrogen, a hormone which gives extra protection to women’s heart is found in low levels in young women due to changing lifestyle, early onset of diabetes, obesity and related ailments and physical inactivity.

Some Women heart facts:

Cardiovascular disease and women

  • A greater proportion of women (52 percent) than men (42 percent) with heart ailments die of sudden cardiac death before reaching the hospital
  • 69% of Housewives and 67% of working women above 35 years are at risk of Heart disease
  • Excess belly weight , so-called apple shape , raises a woman’s risk for heart attack
  • Oestrogen is protective for women’s  heart prior to menopause, hence women tend to get heart attacks 10 to 15 years later than men. These numbers are changing with levels of oestrogen going down in young women
  • Smoking and diabetes is more harmful to women’s heart than men
  • Women having high lipids, abdominal obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure are at high risk for heart ailments
  • Women who have had recurrent miscarriages are at particularly high risk for heart disease
  • Women often overlook symptoms and discomfort pertaining to heart diseases, and rarely consult an expert and as a result early symptoms goes unrecorded
  •  Women do not get the classic pattern of angina with pain in the left side of the chest, but are more likely to get atypical angina, in which they could experience discomfort in the shoulders, back, and neck followed by breathlessness

Cardiovascular disease and women

  • Mental stress too contribute towards heart attack symptoms in women
  • Broken heart syndrome, caused by stressful situations which leads to severe, but usually temporary, heart muscle failure is observed in women in menopause
  • Women with inflammatory diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis or lupus, also have a higher risk of heart disease
  • Women who are more prone to depression, are at increased risk for heart disease
  • Women who take birth control pills with estrogen, you are at risk for heart ailment.
  • People who admitted to brushing their teeth less frequently had a 70% extra risk of heart disease
  • Women who take daily soda based drinks are at risk of heart attack

What women need to do

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