My Articles

01.QUALITY OF DEATH.

Death is inevitable. People suffer needlessly because of ignorance and lack of planning early in life. This article talks about why we need to spend time discussing the topic of death (minus the melodrama) when we are still in good health.

02.THE PERFECT DIET.

Summarises all the latest scientific evidence for the common man. Though the narration is in the South Indian context, the fundamental principles are universal.

03.MEDICAL HOAXES.

This article is an in-depth analysis on how and why all of us unwittingly believe and spread lies, and how our health could suffer if we didn’t know the truth from a lie. These lies get spread by email, WhatsApp and FaceBook.

04. FIRST AID: Are you able to help someone who suddenly collapses on to the ground?

This article describes how to do first aid without any prior training. Easy and practical steps for the general public with simple explanation. Also includes an intro into mob psychology, which explains why people don’t come forward to help in an emergency.

 

05.HEALTHCARE TIPS TO SURVIVE A WARM SUMMER.

Surprisingly simple measures get overlooked by people during hot summer weather.

 

06.NOISE POLLUTION.

Noise is everywhere. Being a form of energy, it produces physical effects on the human body. This article discusses the medical and social aspects of noise pollution and offers practical strategies to curb it.

 

07.TRANSGENDERS.

They are all around us, but we don’t know all the facts. This comprehensive article covers all aspects of the transgender phenomenon.

 

08.DOCTOR VS. GOOGLE!

Many people attempt self-diagnosis using a Google search for convenience sake.
What are the pros and cons?

I wrote this article to explain how Google searches the internet, and how a doctor’s mind works.

It is a long article, because the complexity of the topic demands adequate explanation in plain English.

 

09.THE SCIENCE BEHIND A LAB TEST.

Lab tests and scans are commonly done, but are they done for the right reasons? How are normal ‘ranges’ calculated? This article discusses in detail how a lab test, when not ordered correctly, can create confusion.

Over investigation is as common as under investigation.

Includes an introduction to essential biostatistics in simple, non-technical language. What is sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value of a test? What is an ROC curve?

Doctors will find it useful as a refresher course in statistics, while others will get a comprehensive picture of the world of medical investigation. A long read, essentially a review article.

 

10.THE STIGMA ABOUT PSYCHIATRIC ILLNESS AND THE NEED TO DISCUSS IT OPENLY.

Psychiatric illness is commoner than we think, and is not really what we think it is. There is a stigma about it, that prevents patients from getting the care they deserve. This article explores the reasons why diagnosis and treatment gets delayed, both from the patients’ and doctors perspective, and offers practical solutions. Also includes a summary of recent advances in psychiatry.

 

11.WHAT EXACTLY IS BRAIN-DEATH?

Why is it important to know the difference between vegetative state and brain death?

This article is written to remove the confusion between coma, vegetative state and brain-death.

Scientific progress has necessitated even changing the definition of death. Clarity on this topic is essential to minimize unnecessary suffering and to facilitate sensible decisions in healthcare.

 

12.STAYING ALIVE ON OUR ROADS: WHAT EACH ONE OF US CAN DO TO PREVENT ROAD ACCIDENTS.

Anyone who uses the road is at risk of death or serious injury. Use this article to estimate your risk, and revise some high school physics and biology that might save your life and that of others. Please pass on to the younger generation that’s at greatest risk.

 

13.HOW TO MAKE THE MOST OUT OF A DOCTOR VISIT?

Preparation is the key to success. These simple yet practical tips will help patients be better prepared, and get better care from the doctor in the limited time available.

 

14.FATTY LIVER EXPLAINED.

This article, published on 25.10.16 is my effort to condense anatomy, physiology, biochemistry, pathology, psychology, gastroenterology and nutrition into a single essay for the non-medical reader.

I believe that will definitely quench the thirst for knowledge on this popular topic.

An abstract of my numerous lectures on this topic in various forums, it is written in the plainest English possible, but contains all the important medical terms explained for the common man – a difficult but enjoyable and rewarding task indeed.

Suited for all readers, also for doctors who wish to further their knowledge, and even obtain ideas on teaching this topic effectively.

 

15.WHY NOT OPT FOR A SILENT DIWALI AND BE KIND TO THE WORLD AROUND US?

Article in Manoramaonline about how to reduce noise pollution this Diwali.
Input from Dr John Panicker and Dr Rajeev Jayadevan.

 

  1. HEPATITIS B

The secrets of Hepatitis B revealed in plain English. Wrote this article condensing this difficult topic into a single narrative.

Includes an easy description of the natural history of the virus, which is crucial to gain (and to retain) understanding of the disease. Also useful for doctors.

 

17.SIDE EFFECTS.

Why do side effects occur with medications? What can we do to reduce our risk? What is the problem with alternative medications? Are herbal medicines really as safe as people believe?

Wrote this article with sufficient detail in a language that will prove useful for patients and doctors alike.

 

18.THE CHANGING TRUTHS ABOUT ALCOHOL – and why it may not be good for the heart.

Wrote this article compiling the best available scientific papers on the topic. Includes a detailed discussion on the merits and demerits of the popular claim that alcohol is heart-healthy.

The discussion is followed by 10 conclusions about how exactly alcohol affects health.

The list of 19 references in the end will provide a wealth of additional information to those interested.

 

19.COLON CANCER CAN BE PREVENTED.

This article discusses the fascinating mechanisms of cancer in plain English, illustrating the role of lifestyle and genes in cancer. Shows how we can utilize the power of scientific research and apply some common sense to defeat the no.2 cancer in the world: Colon cancer.

Those interested may please check the ‘further reading’ section, which includes one of my recently published scientific papers.

As with my previous works, this article is meticulously conceived to be useful for anyone interested in science, and not just for those in healthcare.

 

20.PAIN IS INEVITABLE, BUT SUFFERING IS OPTIONAL.

How and why do we feel pain? is it a protective mechanism? Are painkillers safe? How do placebos (‘fake treatments’) work?

This article provides a refresher course on the fascinating biology of pain and how to effectively treat it.

 

21.WHY INDIA ISN’T READY FOR GENERIC PRESCRIPTIONS YET.

This article goes into great detail about the pharma industry, quality of medicines in India and the factors that influence a doctors prescribing patterns. It includes the perspectives of various stakeholders, most important of whom is the patient.

 

22.CATASTROPHIC THINKING: EXPECTING THE WORST CASE SCENARIO.

  • What makes certain people expect catastrophic outcomes from everyday situations?
  • Why do some patients panic and refuse to undergo even minor surgeries orie medical treatments?
  • What is denominator blindness?
  • Why do we remember bad things better than good?
  • What is the neurology of fear?
  • What is amygdala hijack?

This article explores such areas and comes up with workable solutions. Suited for all readers.

 

23.THE TRUTH ABOUT COOKING OILS: THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE UGLY.

*What are oils?
*Do they raise cholesterol?
*What do the terms saturated, trans fats, omega-3 mean?
*Is saturated fat dangerous?
*Is coconut oil healthy?
*What should we be careful about?

This article is written to answer the common queries and the science about cooking oil.

Sections:

  1. Fat and its role in the body
    2. Explanation of the common terms
    3. The indisputable scientific facts
    4. Controversies
    5. Adulteration and recycling of frddvfoil
    5. Conclusions

It is lengthy because it comprehensively written from A to Z in simple language, after interviewing over a dozen experts including food safety inspectors, biochemists, cardiologists, nutritionists as well as those in the food and oil industry, and having analysed numerous books and scientific papers.

Suitable for all readers.

 

24.GETTING TO KNOW THE CHOLESTEROL FAMILY.

What is cholesterol? What is its role in the human body?
How does the body maintain cholesterol levels?
What is HDL and LDL; ‘good’ and ‘bad’ cholesterol?
How to interpret a lipid profile?
How to reduce the risk of heart disease?

The biology runs pretty deep but I have kept it interesting and relatively easy to follow. Written as a sequel to my article on cooking oils. Suitable for all readers.

 

25.WHEELCHAIRS CAN’T CLIMB STAIRS.

People with disabilities suffer not only due to their own physical limitations, but from ignorance and bad attitude from some sections of society and administration.

This article, my 25th, is written for non-disabled people to better understand the world of a disabled person. Includes easy and workable solutions to make it a better world for them.

  • What is the proper way(etiquette) to behave with a disabled person?
  • Why sympathy alone is not enough.
  • What is empathy, and how can we teach our children?
  • What can we do to prevent disability?

Written in an easy-to-deliver lecture format along with graphics, it can be given to all audiences by those with an interest. Do check out the further reading section.

Let’s make the world a better place from tomorrow.

 

26.APRIL 26 IS NO HORN DAY – a big step to cut noise pollution.

Horn can’t be totally avoided; but unnecessary honking has to stop.

This article explains the science, habit and culture behind honking and will change the way readers will use the horn from tomorrow.

 

27.JAUNDICE EXPLAINED.

What is jaundice? How is it diagnosed?

Hepatitis A is a contagious form of jaundice. Unfortunately, outbreaks are frequent in Kerala inspite of relatively advanced healthcare.

In fact, it is so common, jaundice and hepatitis A are synonymous in this part of the world. This article discusses preventive strategies and treatment. Suitable for all readers.

 

28.INFORMATION OVERLOAD:

a phenomenon that’s all around us and affecting us. It can seriously impair our decision making ability, slow our efficiency and destroy our mental peace. What it is, and what we can do about it.

 

29.SCHADENFREUDE: THAT GULITY FEELING OF PLEASURE UPON SEEING SOMEONE ELSE’S MISFORTUNE.

This article discusses why it happens, and how it is a basic human trait albeit undesirable. This helps explain many of the phenomena around us. Solutions are also offered.

 

30.DO’S AND DON’TS WHILE VISITING THE BEREAVED.

Visiting a family who just lost a loved one?

This article lists the do’s and don’t-s while visiting the bereaved. Includes real-life practical tips, harvested from all over the world using the power of social media.

My own recent experience as Honorary Secretary of Indian Medical Association (Cochin) gave me some insights.

A big thanks to all who spared their time to contribute. This article may be used to discuss this topic in schools and homes.

It also serves as an example of constructive use of social media.

 

31.INFORMATION OVERLOAD.

It is all around us, and is getting worse. It can cause mind clutter, poor decision making ability, lowering of IQ and stress. This article is about how we can identify it, and protect ourselves.

  1. THE CURIOUS CASE OF THE PANCREAS: the body’s own explosives warehouse.

The biology of the pancreas is fascinating. So are its diseases, many of which are serious yet preventable.

This article takes the reader through a delicious narrative that, like in my previous articles, gets more complex as one reads along.

The language used is non-technical to the extent possible. I have included just the essentials and left out a lot of technical material to keep it interesting to all.

Suited for all readers.

Doctors can use the interesting examples and slides to communicate more effectively to patients about pancreatic diseases.

 

33.DIET AND LIFESTYLE IN DIABETES, A KERALA PERSPECTIVE published on Kerala medical journal 2016

 

http://journals.publishmed.com/index.php/KMJ/article/download/468/499