Being self-aware is a basic requirement to living a healthy disease-free life. Identifying such symptoms, at an early stage helps easily resort to simple and effective home remedies or easy lifestyle changes to curb various diseases at their budding stages.
- Cold has various very obvious and distinctive symptoms.
- Signs of thirst
- Various degrees of dryness and itchiness in the throat
- Occurrence of sneezes
- Runny or stuffy nose
- Sore throat
- Slight body aches or a mild headache
- Sneezing continuously
- Low-grade fever
- Generally feeling unwell (malaise)
These factors can increase your chances of getting a cold:
- Age. Children younger than six are at greatest risk of colds, especially if they spend time in child-care settings.
- Weakened immune system. Having a chronic illness or otherwise weakened immune system increases your risk.
- Time of year. Both children and adults are more susceptible to colds in fall and winter, but you can get a cold any time.
- Smoking. You're more likely to catch a cold and to have more severe colds if you smoke. Smoking weakens your respiratory system.
- Exposure. If you're around many people, such as at school or railway station or on an airplane, you're likely to be exposed to viruses that cause colds.
There's no vaccine for the common cold, but you can take common-sense precautions to slow the spread of cold viruses:
- Wash your hands. Clean your hands thoroughly and often with soap and water, and teach your children the importance of hand-washing. If soap and water aren't available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitarium.
- Disinfect your stuff. Clean kitchen and bathroom counter-tops with disinfectant, especially when someone in your family has a cold. Wash children's toys periodically.
- Use tissues. Sneeze and cough into tissues. Discard used tissues right away, then wash your hands carefully.
- Teach children to sneeze or cough into the bend of their elbow when they don't have a tissue. That way they cover their mouths without using their hands.
- Don't share. Don't share drinking glasses or utensils with other family members. Use your own glass or disposable cups when you or someone else is sick. Label the cup or glass with the name of the person with the cold.
- Steer clear of colds. Avoid close contact with anyone who has a cold.
- Choose your child care center wisely. Look for a child care setting with good hygiene practices and clear policies about keeping sick children at home.
- Take care of yourself. Eating well, getting exercise and enough sleep, and managing stress might help you keep colds at bay.
"Bed-wetting, also known as nocturnal enuresis, occurs when a child over five years old unknowingly pees while sleeping. Bed-wetting becomes a problem when it is frequent enough to be disturbing, usually more than twice a week
Bed-wetting is the most frequently seen pediatric problem and is called Shayyamutrata in Ayurveda.
- Bed-wetting is a common problem many children and their families face. The exact cause is still unknown. But it is largely believed that a delay in the child developing bladder control causes Bed-wetting. This explains why Bed-wetting goes away on its own in 10 to 15 percent of affected children every year.
- Also, some children have small bladders or have such difficulty waking up from deep sleep that they sleep through the urge to pee. Bed-wetting does run in the family, so it is more likely in children whose parents used to be ‘bed-wetters’ themselves.
- A lack of the anti-diuretic hormone may also be the cause of Bed-wetting. Although rare, there could be a physical problem causing Bed-wetting and as such, it is important that an experienced doctor checks the child.
- The doctor will go through the child’s medical history and do a thorough physical examination. He may also suggest blood and urine tests as well as to measure the blood pressure to rule out other causes of Bed-wetting.
- Various causative factors responsible for Bed-wetting include the small capacity of the urinary bladder, weak bladder muscles, neurological problems, intestinal worms, psychological factors (like fear, anger etc) and maturation delay. The habit of drinking excessive water and genetic factors too are sometimes responsible for Bed-wetting.
- Shayyamutrata is considered to be a Vata disorder in Ayurveda as elimination of urine happens to be the function of Vata. Ayurveda offers effective treatments for this problem that affects hundreds of children across the world.
Diet & Lifestyle Advice
Certain disciplinary measures are recommended for children suffering from Bed-wetting:
- Intake of water after 8 pm should be avoided as far as possible.
- The child should not be allowed to drink excess fluids.
- The bladder should be emptied before going to bed.
- Food that can encourage the growth of worms should be avoided, e.g. chocolates, biscuits, cakes, pastries, bread, ice creams, etc.
- Attention should be paid to child's psychology and child should never be scolded, insulted or punished for Bed-wetting as such things can worsen the problem instead of curing it.
- Parents can also wake the child one to two hours after sleep and encourage him or her to use the toilet so that he or she remains dry for the rest of the night.
- Until bedwetting stops, you could place plastic under the bed sheet to protect the mattress from getting wet.
- Getting your child involved in changing the wet sheets will teach him or her responsibility and also avoids embarrassing the child should the rest of the family knows about it.
- Set fluid intake limitations
- Reduce or cut out caffeine and alcohol from the diet
- Make urinating a routine. Set a schedule to make sure to urinate every one to two hours during the day
- Void bladder before bedtime even when you don't quite feel the need to go
- Set a night time bathroom alarm to urinate in the middle of the night
- Protect your bed with special mattress covers
- Wear absorbent briefs during the night
- In many cases controlling nocturnal urinary incontinence comes down to treating underlying medical conditions. However, there are some prescribed medications that have been shown to help.
- Anticholinergic drugs to calm irritated bladder
- Antibiotics to treat urinary tract infections
- Desmopressin acetate increases levels of ADH to slow night time urine production
- DHT-blocking medications to reduce prostate swelling
- Cinnamon – It keeps the body warm. You can have the child chew on a piece of cinnamon once in a day. A combination of sugar & cinnamon sprinkled over a buttered toast can be fed to the child at breakfast.
- Amla or Indian Gooseberry – Amla is considered to be a very effective remedy for bed wetting. Crushed and deseeded amla added to a teaspoon of honey with a pinch of turmeric can be given to the child every morning. Make a combination of Amla powder and ashwagandha powder in equal amount. Give one teaspoon of this powdered mix once daily to your child.
- Give your child a piece of jaggery (20 gm) early in the morning. After an hour let him/her have 1/2 teaspoon of celery seeds (Ajwain) with a pinch of rock salt (sendha namak). Repeat this once a week for 4 weeks. This helps in deworming your child and if he/she is Bed-wetting due to worm infestation, this should relieve the problem.
- Give your child one teaspoon of black sesame seeds twice daily.
- Olive Oil Massage: Massaging the abdomen with warm olive oil for several minutes is another remedy for bed wetting.
- Cranberry Juice: Cranberry juice is recommended for children with bed wetting problems. It is good for the bladder and urinary tract. 1 cup of cranberry juice can be given to your child for a few weeks. If the bedwetting is due to a urinary infection, then you give your child 1.5 cup of juice thrice a day.
- Walnuts and Raisins: Walnuts and raisins can also be given as a snack to the child. Two walnuts and five raisins should be given to the child before going to bed. This helps in stopping bedwetting.