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Archive for category HEALTH WARNINGS

Drinking beverages during meals major cause of fat bellies. Dr. Faisal Khan

Drinking beverages during meals major cause of fat bellies.

Dr. Faisal Khan




Drinking beverages during meals is our national habit. As per World Health Organization (WHO) Pakistani nation is generally classified as malnourished, but same time we are ranked 9th out of 188 countries in terms of fat bellies, because more than 50% of the population in Pakistan have fat tummies. This situation is the major cause of so many diseases including, heart disease, gallbladder disease including gallstones, osteoarthritis, gout, breathing problems, such as sleep apnea (when a person stops breathing for short episodes during sleep) and asthma. Fat belly also can lead to illnesses from acute to chronic, some very severe and deadly, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, coronary artery disease, coronary vascular disease, heart attack, stroke, and even cancer.







In Pakistan the most common causes of fat belly are overeating, drinking beverages during meals, mental stress, physical inactivity, metabolic problems and unawareness from balanced diet. Fat belly is generally caused by eating too much and moving too little. If we consume high amounts of energy, particularly fat and sugars, but don’t burn off the energy through exercise and physical activity, much of the surplus energy will be stored by the body as fat. Other main causes of fat tummy are, eating processed or fast food high in fat,Lack of fiber in our diets, not eating fruits, low consumption of vegetables and unrefined carbohydrates such as whole meal bread and brown rice, drinking too much beverages & liquids while having meals, tea &“sharbat” are our national drinks. Our sleep pattern is also not aligned with nature, sleeping most part of the day and staying up for whole night is never good for health and can causedeposits around belly and weight gain.


Eating patterns in rural & urban areas and our food menus have so many question marks from dieticians. This is in our tradition, that we always entertain our guests with the plenty of servings of Cold drinks, beverages, sweets and meetha panwith full of sugar. We always celebrate our festivals with distribution of laddu, gulab-jamun, jalebi, barfi, rassgullay& other types of “metthai”. We are known as a top sugar loving nation, even the sugar is a product which can topple the government by price hike, as per our national history in the era of 1970s.


In our society most of men have an issue, they don’t feel as much attraction to their wife as they were used to feel earlier, because, when they met their wife first time, she was slim, smart & gorgeous.But just after one or two kids she started put on a considerable amount of weight, has a big tummy and rolls of fat. when this happens, most men do not find their women attractive any longer. Men with fat bellies are also considered as ugly, unattractive and undesirable by their life partners.


Whenever we compare our self as a nation with other nationalities in different international gatherings and multi-nations participated events, unfortunately we find so many deficiencies, including lack of body fitness & charm. Most of times we find our self with big fat tummies. Even if we are good in education, good in financial status, but very rarely we are careful about our physical appearance. It’s a reality that most of us have big fat bellies and we are destroying our natural grace of personality, grace of knowledge, grace of education and also grace of our intelligence.


Generally, we love to eat spicier and chat-patti food, which caused to develop a national habit of drinking too much beverages and cold water while having our meals, so main aim to write this article to inform and educate the general public about disadvantages of drinking beverages and cold water while taking lunch and dinners. We have to get rid from our habit to take cold drinks and too much water & liquids while having our meals.Our stomach contains digestive acids that help in the digestion and breakdown of food. Apart from this, these juices are also responsible for killing any infectious agents that might be ingested along with food. Also known as the ‘digestive fire’.These digestive enzymes are essential for our overall well-being as they also allow the stomach to contract and thrash the food we eat. When this fire is diluted with water, it not only dulls the entire system but may cause cramping of the intestinal wall in some individuals. This inactivity of the entire digestive process allows food to remain in the stomach for longer and slows the process of passing digested food into the small intestine for the absorption of nutrients. Our stomachs have a knack of knowing when we will eat and starts releasing digestive juices immediately. If we start drinking water at the same time, what we are actually doing is diluting the digestive juices being released to digest our food, thusdelaying them from breaking down food, we are eating during having meals.


Our saliva is the first step to digestion. Not only does it contain enzymes that help break down food, but it also helps stimulate the stomach to release digestive enzymes and ready itself for the process of digestion. When we drink water during our meals, our saliva gets diluted. This not only sends weaker signals to the stomach but also stops the breakdown of food in our mouth – making digestion that much more difficult. This situation is a major cause of acidity, if we suffer from constant sessions of acidity, then this habit might be to blame. Since drinking water dilutes our digestive system, it leads to a chain-reaction of ill-effects. The stomach continues to absorb water till it gets saturated, after that, this water starts to dilute gastric juices; making the mixture much thicker than normal. This leads to lesser digestive enzymes being secreted, causing undigested food to leak into our system causing to acid reflux and heart burn.


Drinking water while we are eating can also lead to a rush-flow in our insulin levels, much like high glycaemic foods would. This is because when our body is not able to digest foods well enough it tends to convert the glucose filled part of that food into fat and stores it. This process then requires a gush of insulin in the body increasing our overall blood sugar deposits.Another common side-effect of drinking water with our meals is the fact that we do tend to put on weight. As explained earlier, there is a surge in insulin levels and food is broken down to make fat which is stored. Apart from that, according to recent researchers it is proved that a weak digestive fire is one of the leading reasons for obesity. Not only does this lead to an imbalance between the digestive elements in the body, but it also leads to the disruption in the way our body works.


While the practice of drinking beverages and too much water while having meal is bad for health, there are a few ways we can overcome the need to drink water during our meals.We should have meals with less spices &salt. Spices & salt are tend to make us thirsty during having meal, so it is best we lessen the intake of these compounds. Don’t gulp down food, chew it well. Chewing our food has a number of health benefits, and one of those is the fact that our saliva helps hasten the process of digestion. Moreover, well chewed food is easier to breakdown and assimilate, allowing our digestive system to do its job well. Apart from all this, one great benefit of this practice is the fact that as we chew, the amount of saliva produced increases, beating the urge to drink water.


Drinking water 30 minutes before our meal is always the best for our health and helpful to reduce weight. We should ideally drink room temperature water before our meals if we wish to lose weight and have a healthy metabolism. This practice also beats the urge to drink water during one’s meals.We also can prevent our self from fat belly by exercise regularly. We need to get 150 to 300 minutes of moderate-intensity activity a week to prevent weight gain. We have to follow a healthy eating plan, we should also know and avoid the food traps that cause us to eat more than our body requirements and we should monitor our weight regularly.


There is a need to educate the masses about disadvantages of belly fat, obesity, fast food, beverages, extra salty or sugary products. There is also need for awareness campaigns with the help of print & electronic media to educate the people regarding advantages of healthy life style, healthy food, balanced eating habits, importance of healthy activities, importance of daily exercise & sports, importance of gym, play grounds, walking tracks, public parks, sports clubs, with an aim to educate the people about eating& drinking wisely if you want to keep your belly down and body best.



Dr. Faisal Khan


Al-Dar Hospital Madina Munawara, Saudi Arabia.


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Essentials for National Health Policy of Pakistan For: 2018 – 2038

Essentials for National Health Policy of Pakistan

For: 2018 – 2038

Dr. Faisal Khan, M.B.B.S, MPH, MCPS 

Al-Dar Hospital Madina Munawara, Saudi Arabia.


To achieve the most challenging goal “Naya Pakistan – Healthy Pakistan,”our new federal government has to plan systematic, immense and massive reforms across Pakistan in the health sector, with the aim to bring back top medical professionals from abroad to carry out and implement the upcoming new health policy. Federal Govt has to execute some truly effective medical teaching institutions reforms in all over Pakistan unanimously with the help and consent of all provincial governments, federal & provincial ministries of health, doctor’s associations, paramedical alliances, ministries of education, higher education commission, PMDC and DRAP. Same time there is a need to plan to introduce positive changes to the Pakistan Medical and Dental Council (PMDC) and Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (DRAP) to give the country a truly effective national health policy for next 20 years, under the vision of “Healthy Nation – Healthy Pakistan”.

List of Top 8 Health Issues in Pakistan

1 – Tuberculosis
2 – Hepatitis A, B and C
3 – Dengue fever
4 – Ischemic Heart Disease
5 – Stroke
6 – Cancer
7 – Diabetes
8 – Malaria

Photo & List – Courtesy Transparenthands.org

The leadership of new Govt has to create special task force and social support groups on permanent basis to handle and look after all issues related to public health, medical teaching, health information system, medical research and also community awareness regarding health issues  in the country, along with other issues related to curriculum, quality of medical graduates and a continuous supervision of all teaching & learning process related to health sector in Pakistan.

The basic aim of these proposals to focus on the construction of an effective health policy to deal with the main challenges we are facing in the public health segment as a developing country, which demand more systemic approaches from governance, management, and leadership for the betterment of healthcare sector in Pakistan. If we have to design and construct truly an effective national health policy then it’s an essential need to keep in view the following basic facts regarding current healthcare conditions in Pakistan as per united nations and world health organization’s recent statistics.

  • The current population of Pakistan is 201,313,705
  • Maternal mortality rate: 260/100,000 live births
  • Neonatal mortality rate: 46.6l1000 live births
  • Infant mortality rate: 72/1,000 live births
  • Under age 5 mortality rate: 65.75/1000 births
  • Physicians in country: 7.8/10,000 population
  • Nurses and midwifes: 3.8/10,000 population
  • Healthcare workforce (physicians, nurses andmidwives): 11.6/10,000 population


Our newly elected government has to face so many challenges to designing a perfect national health policy. There is a need for radical improvement in already existing hospitals, medical colleges, healthcare institutions, dispensaries, health units, nursing colleges, LHV training centers, to make them state of the art institutions, directly responsible for providing medical & surgical treatment, nursing care and all types of healthcare facilities to the people of Pakistan. New health policy should be helpful to deal with health inequalities among urban and rural areas and also between different classes of the society.

As we know Human resources in healthcare sector are not properly and systematically planned in Pakistan, with the result that there are only 7 to 8 doctors & and only 3 to 4 nurses for every 10 thousand people. So, our new health policy should be able to deal with the problem of “brain drain” from rural to urban areas and abroad. It’s also time to scaling-up and to increase the number of public health care workers, their distribution, and to polish their capabilities. New Govt has to play its role in providing quality essential healthcare services equally in all urban and rural areas to reduce the burden of out-of-pocket expenditure derived from seeking good healthcare facilities in the private sector, for the low socioeconomic status population.














It’s a stage to develop new dimensions for a multicomponent multidisciplinary approach and also legislation through parliament to achieve the goal and to help meet the unmet demand for health services through effective rules, regulations and a better national health policy. A mandatory legislation needed to increase contact and concern with child health, vaccination programs, and also steps towards child protection, with an improvement in healthcare response to domestic violence and abuse, with an influence of awareness and education about childhood immunization & vaccination.

New health policy also has to fulfil a significant demand for women health care, especially maternal health care. Only 33 percent of births take place in a health facility, and less than two fifths (only 38 per cent) of births occurred with the assistance of a skilled medical practitioner. Pakistan has a high fertility rate of 4.2 million new births annually. This rapid population growth will further strain an already overstretched, overburdened and underperforming health care services delivery system, including deliveries by skilled birth attendants. So, there is a need for an effective family planning & population control policy as well.

The service structure for doctors, nurses and para-medical staff need to improve, currently, it is not well defined, it favours tenure over competence, it largely ignores technical capacities and does not allow encouragements, incentives or rewards for performance. The conduct of education for medical, nursing and related cadres is mostly conventional and does not utilize recent developments in the field of medical & health education. So, there is a serious need to develop a well-organized system for continuing medical education for all health providers, they should be continuously updated, supervised and should be well equipped with the latest skills to tackle emerging diseases.

The federal and provincial governments will have to clearly plan and forecast their human resource requirement for next 20 years in the health sector, according to the proposed services in the particular areas. The government should have to take vigorously short term and long term steps to achieve the balance in manpower and needs of the public health sector. Provincial health ministries must have to develop, implement, maintain and continuously update a database of health human resources, including the government sector, private sector, social support groups and different non-governmental organizations related to the health sector. Countrywide campaigns should be launched to endorse and promote the everlasting roles that of health researchers, physicians, nurses, midwives, allied health professionals and social support groups should have to play in providing and delivering effective health facilities to the public.

Federal and all provincial health ministries should have to launch awareness campaigns with the help of social support groups & media to educate the people regarding advantages of: healthy lifestyle,  healthy food, balanced eating habits, family planning, anti-narcotics, importance of vaccinations, importance of healthy activities, importance of daily exercise & sports, importance of playgrounds, walking tracks, plantation, pollution control, clean environment, public parks, gyms, sports clubs,   disadvantages of: obesity, fast food, beverages, extra salty or sugary products, self-medication, all types of smoking. Moreover, awareness campaigns about seasonal diseases, infection control programs, effective health information system, emergency mobile units, ambulance services, medical Insurance, school vaccination and issuance of health cards to the general public also good ideas, these concepts could be more successful it will be followed by all above-mentioned awareness campaigns.


Dr. Faisal Khan

M.B.B.S, MPH, MCPS, (Scholar)

Madina Munawara

Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Mobile: Only on Request

Email: [email protected]


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HEALTH WARNING: Michael Douglas: “Oral sex caused my cancer”

Michael Douglas: oral sex caused my cancer

Actor reveals to the Guardian that HPV, transmitted through oral sex, was responsible for his throat cancer

Xan Brooks’ full interview: Michael Douglas on Liberace, Cannes, cancer and cunnilingus

Michael Douglas and the debate over oral sex and cancer


By Nardine Saad

June 3, 2013, 4:48 p.m.


Michael Douglas recently addressed his bout with throat cancer, leading many to believe that his particular battle with the disease was brought on by oral sex. But now his camp is backtracking on the comments.

In a candid interview with the Guardian newspaper, the actor said that he didn’t regret his years of smoking and drinking, which were thought to be the cause of his cancer when he was diagnosed three years ago.

“No. Because without wanting to get too specific, this particular cancer is caused by HPV [human papillomavirus], which actually comes about from cunnilingus,” the 68-year-old said.


PHOTOS: Michael Douglas in ‘Behind the Candelabra’

The “Behind the Candelabra” star, who has been married to Oscar winner Catherine Zeta-Jones since 2000,  was diagnosed with Stage 4 throat cancer in August 2010. That same year, his son Cameron Douglas was hit with a five-year sentence after pleading guilty to charges of distributing crystal methand possessing heroin. 

“I did worry if the stress caused by my son’s incarceration didn’t help trigger it,” Douglas added in the interview. “But yeah, it’s a sexually transmitted disease that causes cancer. And if you have it, cunnilingus is also the best cure for it.”

HPV is indeed a sexually transmitted disease, but HPV infections don’t always lead to cancer, though some types of genital HPV can cause cancer of the cervix, according to the Mayo Clinic.

However, the medical debate continued over the weekend through Monday with some experts saying that HPV, along with smoking, could indeed bring on some types of oral cancers, USA Todayreported.

HPV infections usually don’t cause any signs or symptoms in either sex, but some types can cause genital warts. High-risk types of HPV can cause persistent infection, which can gradually turn into cancer, and usually only cervical cancer, according to the clinic’s website.

PHOTOS: Celebrity portraits by The Times

More than 12,000 HPV-associated cancers occur each year in men, and of those, oropharyngeal cancers (back of the throat, including the base of the tongue and tonsils) are the most common, theCenters for Disease Control and Prevention report.

After his remarks, people began to look at Douglas’ sexual history, specifically with ex-wife Diandra Douglas (they divorced in 2000) and his current wife, Zeta-Jones. But over the weekend, Diandra Douglas said that she did not have HPV, according to TMZ. 

Meanwhile, Douglas’ camp is trying to clarify his remarks by explaining that his cancer was not caused by oral sex and he was simply discussing cunnilingus as a suspected cause of oral cancer.

“In a discussion with the newspaper, they talked about the causes of oral cancer, one of which was oral sex, which is noted and has been known for a while now,” his spokesman Allen Burry told the Associated Press.

“He wants to make it very clear he never said that was the particular cause of his particular cancer,” Burry added in the New York Daily News.

As to what actually caused it, Burry said he didn’t think “it’s really anybody’s business anymore.”

“It’s pretty much out there what was said,” he said.

Douglas may not have been off base by suggesting that HPV, transmitted via oral sex or any other fluid-exchanging sexual act, could be a suspected cause of cancer, but it seems that chances are pretty slim.

“While there are dozens of types of HPV, only a few cause cancer. HPV-16 and HPV-18 cause about 70% of cervical cancers. For oral cancer, the most dangerous subtype is HPV-16,” Eric Moore, an associate professor of otolaryngology at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota, told USA Today.


Michael Douglas
 – the star of Basic Instinct and Fatal Attraction – has revealed that his throat cancer was apparently caused by performing oral sex.

In a surprisingly frank interview with the Guardian, the actor, now winning plaudits in the Liberace biopic Behind the Candelabra, explained the background to a condition that was thought to be nearly fatal when diagnosed three years ago. Asked whether he now regretted his years of smoking and drinking, usually thought to be the cause of the disease, Douglas replied: “No. Because without wanting to get too specific, this particular cancer is caused by HPV [human papillomavirus], which actually comes about from cunnilingus.”

Douglas, the husband of Catherine Zeta Jones, continued: “I did worry if the stress caused by my son’s incarceration didn’t help trigger it. But yeah, it’s a sexually transmitted disease that causes cancer. And if you have it, cunnilingus is also the best cure for it.”

The actor, now 68, was diagnosed with cancer in August 2010, following many months of oral discomfort. But a series of specialists missed the tumour and instead prescribed antibiotics. Douglas then went to see a friend’s doctor in Montreal who looked inside his mouth using a tongue depressor.

“I will always remember the look on his face,” Douglas has previously said. “He said: ‘We need a biopsy.’ There was a walnut-size tumour at the base of my tongue that no other doctor had seen.”

Shortly afterwards he was diagnosed with stage four cancer, which is often terminal, and embarked on an intensive eight-week course of chemotherapy and radiation. He refused to use a feeding tube, despite his palate being burnt on account of the treatment, and so lost 20kg (45lb) on a liquids-only diet. “That’s a rough ride. That can really take it out of you,” he told the Guardian. “Plus the amount of chemo I was getting, it zaps all the good stuff too. It made me very weak.”

The treatment worked and Douglas is now more than two years clear of cancer. He has check-ups every six months, he said, “and with this kind of cancer, 95% of the time it doesn’t come back”.

The cause of Douglas’s cancer had long been assumed to be related to his tobacco habit, coupled with enthusiastic boozing. In 1992, he was hospitalised for an addiction which some at the time claimed to be sex. Douglas himself denied this and said he was in rehab for alcohol abuse. He has also spoken of recreational drug use.

HPV, the sexually transmitted virus best known as a cause of cervical and anal cancer and genital warts, is thought to be responsible for an increasing proportion of oral cancers.

Some suggest that changes in sexual behaviour – a rise in oral sex in particular – are responsible. Such changes might be cultural, but could also be linked to fears about the safety of penetrative sex in the wake of the Aids epidemic.

Mahesh Kumar, a consultant head and neck surgeon in London, confirmed that the last decade has seen a dramatic rise in this form of cancer, particularly among younger sufferers. Recent studies of 1,316 patients with oral cancer found that 57% of them were HPV-16 positive.

“It has been established beyond reasonable doubt that the HPV type 16 is the causative agent in oropharyngeal cancer,” said Kumar, who also testified to increased recovery rates among this kind of cancer sufferer. This would help explain why Douglas was given an 80% chance of survival, despite the advanced stage of his illness.

But Kumar expressed scepticism that Douglas’s cancer was caused solely by HPV, and surprise at Douglas’s assertion that cunnilingus could also help cure the condition. “Maybe he thinks that more exposure to the virus will boost his immune system. But medically, that just doesn’t make sense.”

Ann Robinson, a GP, expressed interest in how confirmation of this association would affect the rollout of the HPV vaccine, which is currently restricted in the UK. “My main priority with diagnosing a patient with oral cancer is to get them referred, as early intervention can be so crucial. Asking for a detailed sexual history would be inappropriate at that stage.”

Douglas has two children, aged 10 and 12, with his second wife, Zeta Jones, as well as an older son, Cameron, from a previous marriage. In 2010, Cameron was sentenced to five years in prison for drugs possession and dealing, and a year later had his sentence extended until 2018 after he pleaded guilty to possessing drugs in prison.

HPV: the facts

I Don't Practice Safe Sex, I've Mastered It sticker

• There are more than 100 variants of HPV (human papillomavirus). They appear in different parts of the body and manifest themselves in different ways – some cause warts, but most are symptomless.

• Some are spread by skin-to-skin contact, while others are typically spread during sex. When HPV is found in the mouth, it probably got there as a result of oral sex.

• HPV is common – if you’re a sexually active adult, you’ve probably had it. By the age of 25, 90% of sexually active people will have been exposed to some form of genital HPV.

• Around 15 types of HPV are linked to increased cancer risk, but it can’t be explicitly said to cause any particular cancers. It’s a long-term risk factor: over years and decades the risk is increased, rather than overnight.

• It is calculated that between 25% and 35% of oral cancers are HPV-related – meaning that it seems to be involved in 1,500-2,000 diagnoses a year.

• Overall, HPV-related oral cancers are most common in heterosexual men in their 40s and 50s.

• Teenage girls in the UK and elsewhere are now vaccinated against HPV, which should in time both protect them from cervical cancers and – it’s believed – future partners from HPV-related oral cancers.

Read Xan Brooks’ full interview with Michael Douglas


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