Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Treatment and Guidance for Health Issues


Doctor
Technology has made great headway in improvement of several functions, making most of the function easy, comfortable and convenient to handle. Internet has provided an opening withthe opportunity of going online and obtaining all the information and services which may be needed in our day to day life, making everything available at our fingertips.

When it comes to health issues and the guidance together with the treatment needed, Sehat.com is one of those reliable health portals catering to the needs of individuals in need of services in educating, guiding and helping them in making the appropriate health decisions in their life. The health and its overall treatment in case of any ailment depend on the right choice of doctors and hospitals which could provide the best quality treatment and help individuals with a quick recovery of their illness.

The portal in question is one of its kinds which provides a 24 hours online medical assistance through it free module - `Ask a Doctor’. For any skin issue and for individual in any destination for instance Chennai, Skin specialist in Chennai, is made available to the individual for appropriate treatment and recovery. Viewers could take a look at the portal for all the required information made available for the benefit of their viewers.

Chennai – Medical Tourism in India 

Chennai is considered to be the city of choice for medical tourism in India with some of the renowned doctors and best choice for patients from North East as well as south India. Detailed information has been provided in locating the best doctor in Chennai at the site wherein on making an appropriate choice on the doctor; viewers could call for an appointment and fix their schedule.

Should they miss out on any of the doctor, they could use the contribute feature that is available at the footer and submit the required information or request the registration of the doctor that would help others to benefit from his services. If personal guidance is required in locating the right doctor, viewers could get in touch with them by contacting them and submitting their question, using the option of `ask a doctor’, service, for any assistance needed.

Viewers could also take the opportunity in searching and researching on hospitals as well as doctors which provides a list of doctors together with hospitals wherein they could opt for the ones which fits their requirement. All the doctors listed at the site are some of the `Best doctors in Chennai’, and one can rest assure in obtaining quality treatment at the hands of these reliable doctors placed on board for the benefits of their patients.

Promoted by Dot Labs Web Solutions 

The site is promoted by Dot Labs Web Solutions Private Limited; which is a web solutions major based from Hyderabad and is in the process of redefining the online health space in India; its focus is to be `The Word of Mouth in Health. An amazing fact about the site is that one could also get the opportunity to view some of the featured doctors on board, besides hospitals and fitness centre, on providing the required information, which could be of tremendous help to the individual. Details on featured doctors provided, enables viewers to select the appropriate physician for the treatment needed.

The overall information provided at the site helps in a big way without the need of physically being available to get details and information that are needed by the individual.The portal has a display of immense information and guidance to navigate the viewer along for all the requirements and treatment. Moreover the reviews and feedback posted by several viewers on the various topics like the hospital, fitness centres, and health issues conveys a lot to the others intending to know more about them.

Tuesday, 30 December 2014

Leaky Gut Syndrome


Leaky_Gut
Image Credit: GHC
Leaky Gut – Cause of Several Health Problems

Leaky gut is an ailment which is the cause of several health problems. Most of the individuals are often unaware of this condition and have no clue with regards to this condition. The leaky gut which is an important organ is the small intestine where most of the vitamins and minerals in the foods that are consumed are absorbed here.

 For the vitamins and the minerals to get absorbed, the small intestine which contains microscopic pores enable the nutrients to get transferred into the bloodstream which when transferred are then shuttled and deposited in the body by the blood. Semipermeable which is the wall of the intestine allows only certain things to enter the bloodstream and blocks things not needed from entering the bloodstream such as specific molecules and nutrients which are permitted to pass through though toxins and large undigested food particles tend to get blocked from passing through.

The issue with leaky gut is that it causes the widening of the pores in the intestine and when it occurs, the undigested food particles as well as the toxins which are not supposed to pass through are allowed to make their way into the bloodstream causing the immune to go in attack mode and often leading to several allergies.

Expansion of Pores in Small Intestine 

A few different forms of developing leaky gut for instance is when one is chronically constipated and over a period of time the toxins in the stool tend to irritate the lining of the intestine which could lead to inflammation. This in turn would then cause the pores in the small intestine to expand. If the irritation and inflammation goes on for a long period of time, it could lead to irritable bowel syndrome known as Crohn’s disease or colitis.

Another common cause is an imbalance of the flora in the gut where we tend to have the good as well as bad bacteria in our digestive system. When the flora here is balanced, the bad bacteria are not harmful but when the bad bacteria tend to outweigh the good, it leads to irritation together with inflammation causing the pores of the intestine to open up leading to several health issues.

Symptoms of Leaky Guts 

Some of the symptoms of Leaky guts could include problems like gas, diarrhoea, bloating or irritable bowel syndrome, seasonal allergies or asthma, hormonal imbalances like PMS or PCOS, mood and mind problems like getting into depression, anxiety, skin problems like rosacea, acne or eczema, diagnosis of an autoimmune disease like rheumatoid arthritis, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, lupus, celiac or psoriasis disease, diagnosis of chronic fatigue or fibromyalgia, food allergies/intolerance and diagnosis of candida overgrowth.

For the treatment of leaky gut, it is essential to take amino acid which has the ability to heal soft tissue such as the lining of the intestine and is also very good in improving the health as well as the integrity of the gut. Another option is to take probiotic which are full of good bacteria and helps to restore the balance of the gut flora

Programs For Weight Loss




Fitness
Losing weight might be a difficult achievement for some people. If you are like those who need a hand in losing a few pounds or a few dozen pounds, weight management programs that are supervised by a doctor might be the answer. You can sometimes talk to your family doctor about ways to lose weight, but there are physicians who specialize in weight loss.

These physicians will be able to give you the direction that you need to safely lose weight instead of using the crash diets that only give temporary results.

An evaluation is given before you begin the weight loss journey. You will be assessed of your overall health, and the physician will determine the amount of weight that you should be able to lose in order to be healthy. Some of the things that might be done include blood work to check the cholesterol, an EKG to examine the heart and a medical history of yourself and your family.

While you are in the process of losing weight, you will have a support system of your doctor and other people who work in the program. These are people who will encourage you when you don't want to eat healthy or exercise. With this kind of encouragement that you might not get on your own, you will be able to lose the weight in a healthy manner.

Monday, 29 December 2014

Long QT Syndrome


Long_QT_Syndrome
Long QT Syndrome – Disorder of the Heart’s Electrical System

Long QT syndrome is a disorder of the heart’s electrical system causing fainting and episodes of an abnormally rapid heart rhythm known as arrhythmia. It could be either inherited or acquired later in life. Everyone with long QT syndrome will not experience arrhythmia but when it does occur, it could be serious. It has got its name from the way the heart’s electrical activity gets recorded during an electrocardiogram – ECG or EKG.

The electrical activity which is recorded produces a characteristic pattern while the different parts of the pattern are named with the letters P, Q, R, S and T. The space between the Q and the T or the interval between Q and T indicate the time taken for the electrical signal to pass through the lower chambers of the heart till the heart is ready for its next beat.

 If it tends to take longer than the normal time it is diagnosed as a prolonged or long Q-T interval. Individuals with LQTS do not have a prolonged Q-T interval all the time and it is possible for people with this syndrome to have an ECG with normal or borderline Q-T interval. They may also show prolonged Q-T interval during physical exercise at the time of intense emotion or when startled.

Abnormal Heart Beat – Torsade De Pointes

In another form of inherited LQTS, the person is born with hearing impaired. It is often inherited and is present from birth and could also bedue to some medication which can prolong the Q-T interval thus disrupting the heart rhythms.

At times some people with QT syndrome would find that their heart suddenly tends to beat fast in an abnormal manner which according to doctors refer this arrhythmia as `torsade de pointes’ and when this occurs, the heart is unable to pump the blood properly resulting in the brain being temporarily deprived of oxygen resulting in the person to temporarily pass out or faint.

The torsade pointes rhythm tends to return to normal within a few minutes and the person then gains consciousness and these instances could take place at any age which could be triggered due to certain situations like stress, sudden noise like an alarm bell, exercise particularly swimming, or a slow heart rate while sleeping.

Ventricular Fibrillations – Rapid Uncoordinated Episodes of Contractions

At times the abnormal heart rhythm may continue which could lead to ventricular fibrillation, which is a rapid uncoordinated episodes of contractions and this rarely reverts to normal without the help of treatment. If this condition is not treated, it could cause the heart to stop pumping or a cardiac arrest resulting in death and long QT syndrome is the main cause of sudden cardiac death in young healthy person which is often considered to be an underlying reason of sudden infant death syndrome.

Medication and lifestyle changes are effective in preventing long QT syndrome causing arrhythmia and treatment could start with beta-blockers while some may need a medical device implanted. Beta-blockers control irregular heartbeats by blocking the electrical nerve impulses which stimulate the heart and decreases the activity of the heart slowing down the heart rate.

If the beta-blockers are unable to control the abnormal heart rhythm and the fainting episodes, a small device known as implantable cardioverter defibrillator – ICD may be fitted which is similar to a pacemaker. If the ICD detects that the heart is beating at a dangerous abnormal rate, it delivers an electric shock and helps the heart to return to its normal rhythm or start pumping at a normal rate.

Thursday, 25 December 2014

Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease


Creutzfeldt - Jakob disease – A Rare & Fatal Ailment


Creutzfeldt_Jakob
Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease – CJD is a rare and fatal ailment which affects the brain causing brain damage which tends to get worse over a period of time. It is a degenerative neurological disorder which is incurable. CJD at times is called a human form of mad cow disease – bovine spongiform encephalopathy or BSE, though it is believed to be the cause of variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease in human and the two often tend to get confused.

CJD is caused due to an agent known as a prion which are misfolded proteins that are replicated by converting their properly folded counterpart to the same misfolded structure they tend to possess that leads to rapid neuro-degeneration resulting in the brain tissue developing holes, taking the form of a more sponge like texture.

These prions accumulate at high levels in the brain causing irreversible damage to the nerve cells resulting in the disease. The abnormal prions are infectious technically, and are very different to viruses and bacteria. Prions are not destroyed by extremes of heat and radiation which is used to kill bacteria and viruses while antibiotics or antiviral medication is not of much help.

The symptoms of CJD include loss of balance and co-ordination, change in personality, loss of intellect and memory, vision problems and blindness, slurred speech, abnormal jerking movements, progressive loss of mobility and brain function.

Four Types of CJD

Most of the people who suffer from this disease die within a year of the ailment, beginning usually from infection which is due to the immobility that makes the victim of CJD prone to infection.There are four forms of CJD namely:

Sporadic CJD which is the most common kind and the cause of it is not known, though it is suggested that in some cases, the normal brain protein goes through an abnormal process and turns into a prion. These cases usually occurs in older people between the age of 45 and 75 years of age and the average age of the symptoms progresses around 60 -65 years.

Variant CJD is probably caused on consuming meat from cow which could have been infected with a similar prion disease known as bovine spongiform encephalopathy – BSE or mad cow disease. The average time taken for the symptoms of variant CJD to take place after initial infection is yet unknown and the incubation period may be longer in some cases. Moreover the prion which may cause variant CJD could also be transmitted by blood transfusion though it is very rare.

Familial or inherited CJD is a rare genetic ailment wherein one of the genes of the person inherited from their parent carries a mutation causing the formation of prions in the brain during adulthood and triggers the symptoms of this disease which develops first in people in their early 50s.

Iatrogenic CJD is when the infection accidentally spreads from someone with CJD through surgical or medical treatment.

Presently there is no cure for CJD and treatment is given to relieve the symptoms making the person as comfortable as possible with medication to improve anxiety, depression together with painkillers to reduce the pain.

Monday, 22 December 2014

Slapped Cheek Syndrome


Slapped_Cheek_Syndrome
Slapped Cheek Syndrome – Contagious Viral Infection

Slapped cheek syndrome is also known as `fifth disease’ or erythema infectiosum and is a mild to moderately contagious viral infection mostly common among school children between the age of three to fifteen though it could also affect people of any age.

 It occurs mainly in winter and early spring and is called slapped cheek syndrome due to the characteristic initial red marks seen on the face of children.Though most of the symptoms of slapped cheek syndrome are identical to other conditions, several of the cases are diagnosed on examining the rash and no further testing in children is essential.

Slapped cheek syndrome or fifth disease is usually mild and is spread by respiratory droplets which enter the air when an infected individual sneezes or coughs or through blood. It is less risky to healthy children and adults, though pregnant women without immunity to this condition are at risk of miscarriage since it could cause anaemia in the unborn child.

Slapped cheek syndrome is caused by parvovirus B19 which is an airborne virus that spreads in a similar way as the cold or flu viruses through respiratory secretions from an infected person. By the time the rash appears, children are not infectious. The period of incubation is between four to fourteen days though it can be long as 21 days.

Three High Risk Group

There are three kind of high risk groups wherein the parvovirus B19 could cause more serious infection as well as trigger complications namely, with people having certain kind of blood disorder like sickle cell anaemic or thalassaemia where the blood does not contain enough healthy red blood cells or anaemia and the infection could lead to a further and more severe loss of red blood cells.

People with weak immune system could either be due to side effect of treatment like chemotherapy or from condition like HIV and experience prolonged and at times severe symptoms of infection, In the case of older children and adults, they may experience persistent joint pain once the skin rash tend to disappear.A blood test may be needed to check if one is immune to the infection and if not, treatment needs to be started to prevent any complication.

In some cases, the person may need to be admitted in the hospital where a blood transfusion would be necessary. In some rare cases, after being infected with parvovirus B19, it could also lead to the development of meningitis.

Symptoms & Prevention

Symptoms like headaches, high temperature or itchy skin is usually treated with medications available over the counter. Adults particularly women developing joint pain frequently with or without any skin rash could use painkillers of non-steroidal anti- inflammatory drugs.

 If the persons’ temperature rises to 39C or above or the symptoms suddenly tend to get worse, the physician needs to be consulted for immediate treatment. It seems to be difficult to prevent the spread of the virus since the victim is most contagious before the symptoms show up and hence are unaware that they are infected.

The only means of prevention of the spread of this ailment is to ensure that the members of a household tend to wash their hands as often as possible to reduce the chances of spreading the infection.

Saturday, 20 December 2014

Pleurisy


Pleurisy
Pleurisy – Inflammation of the Pleura

Pleurisy also known as pleuritis is a condition in which the layer covering the lungs called the pleura, a double layered membrane that is moist, surrounding the lungs and lining the rib cage, gets inflamed. This condition could make a person experience painful breathing and could at times be associated with another ailment known as pleural effusion where the excess fluid gets into the areas between the membrane’s layers.

The double layers of the pleura protects and lubricates the surface of the lungs when they inflate and deflate in the rib cage. In normal case, a thin fluid filled gap which is the pleural space permits the two layer of the pleural membrane to pass gently against each other though when they get inflamed, every breath, sneeze or a cough, rubs painfully against the roughened surface causing the pain.

 In some case of pleurisy, the excess fluid tends to seep into the pleural space causing pleural effusion and this build-up of fluid has a lubricating effect, relieving the pain which could be associated with pleurisy and reduces friction between the membrane’s layers.

However at the same time, this excess fluid tends to put pressure on the lungs, thereby reducing its capability to move freely. The excess amount of fluid could also cause shortness of breath and in some cases of pleural effusion it could also get infected.

Symptoms – Sharp Chest Pain/Shortness of Breath/Dry Cough

Pleurisy could affect people of any age though the older people of 65 and above are at a greater risk since they are more prone to develop chest infection. In most cases it is the cause of a viral infection like flu or a bacterial infection like pneumonia. In other rare cases, this ailment could be the result of conditions like blood cloth which tends to block the flow of blood in the lungs – a pulmonary embolism and lung cancer.

The symptoms that are common in the case of pleurisy is a sharp chest pain while breathing in and out and the pain may get worse when the person coughs, sneezes or moves around. The person may find relieve only with shallow breaths.

Besides chest pain, the other symptoms include shortness of breath and a dry cough. If the person experience chest pain which does not seem to improve or gets worse after a period of three to five days, a visit to the physician is very essential.

Treatment Depends on Underlying Cause

The treatment for pleurisy may depend on the underlying cause, for instance if the ailment is caused due to viral infection, it often gets resolved without much treatment, though in the case of bacterial infection one would be treated with antibiotics.

Victims who tend to be frail or weak may also be admitted in the hospital. To relieve the chest pain associated with pleurisy, painkilling drugs are given while in the case of pleura getting filled with too much fluid, it may be necessary to drain out the fluid in order to prevent any difficulties while breathing which is done by inserting a tube either with the use of general anaesthetic or local anaesthetic. If the fluid is too much, the person may have to stay in the hospital for a few days to be treated.

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Acute Cholecystitis


Acute_Cholecystitis
Credit:SmugMug
Acute Cholecystitis – Swelling of Gallbladder

Acute cholecystitis is the swelling of the gallbladder which is the organ below the liver that helps the body to digest fat. Cholecystitis can be very severe which may need immediate medical attention. If this condition tends to persist for a long period or the person may face repeated attacks, it is known as chronic cholecystitis.

The most common cause of acute cholecystitis is gallstones which according to the British Medical Journal are 90% responsible for this condition. The gallstones tend to block the bile ducts, wherein the bile gets build up in the gallbladder causing the inflammation. Besides this, acute cholecystitis could also be the reason of severe illness or tumour though these causes could be rare.

Women tend to suffer from gallstones, two to three times more often than men and have a higher risk of developing acute cholecystitis. The main symptoms of acute cholecystitis is sudden pain in right area of the stomach – abdomen which tends to spread towards the right shoulder and the affected area of the abdomen is very tender where taking deep breaths could be very painful.The pain connected with acute cholecystitis unlike any kind of abdominal pain tends to be persistent which does not go away after a few hours

Symptoms 

Some may experience additional symptoms like a high fever or temperature, sweating, nausea and vomiting, yellowing of the skin as well as the white area of the eyes, loss of appetite, and a bulge in the abdomen.

The symptoms of acute cholecystitis could be like any other illness and to diagnose the illness, the doctor should know the medical history together with the symptoms by checking the abdomen for swelling or tender areas or some additional tests like - Abdominal ultrasound of sound waves is used to create an image of the organ, cholangiography is used for dye injection in the bile ducts to indicate the gallbladder as well as the bile ducts on x-ray, hepatobiliary scintigraphy, a process which tends to create an image of the upper area of the small intestine, liver, gallbladder and the bile duct and CT scan which provide computerized images of the internal organs.

If the person is diagnosed with acute cholecystitis, they make have to undergo blood tests to identify other problems if any.

Calculous/Acalculous Cholecystitis

Cause of acute cholecystitis is grouped in two sections, namely calculous cholecystitis and acalculous cholecystitis. In the case of calculous cholecystitis, which is the most common and less serious type, develops when the main opening of the gallbladder known as the cystic duct tends to get block by gallstone or substance known as biliary sludge with small crystals of cholesterol and salt.

This blockage in the cystic duct collects in the gallbladder putting pressure inside it causing it get inflamed. In few cases, the inflamed gallbladder may get infected by bacteria.Acalculous cholecystitis is a less common type though more serious which usually develops as a complication from a serious illness, infection or an injury which could damage the gallbladder.

It is often connected with problems like accidental damage to the gallbladder at the time of major surgery, or serious injuries, blood poisoning, burns, severe malnutrition or AIDS. The treatment is recommended by the physician based on the symptoms, though most of the time it goes away on its own.

Monday, 15 December 2014

Leptospirosis


Leptospirosis
Leptospirosis – Bacterial Infection, Spread through Animals

Leptospirosis is a kind of bacterial infection which is spread by animals and caused by corkscrew shaped bacteria known as leptospira. Leptospirosis is also known as field fever, rat catcher’s yellow and pretibial fever.

In 90% of the cases, it could cause mild flu type of symptoms like headaches, muscle pains accompanied with fevers. In some other cases, the infection could be more severe causing life threatening problems like organ failure and internal bleeding. If the infection could cause the person to turn yellow with kidney failure and bleeding, it is known as Weil’s disease.

 If lot of bleeding is caused from the lungs, it is known as severe pulmonary haemorrhage syndrome. Common mild symptoms of most cases of leptospirosis infections is difficult to diagnose and a detailed history of the places visited or had been in contact with any animals could help with the diagnosis.

A person can get affected with leptospirosis on touching soil or water which could have been contaminated with the urine of wild animals infected with the leptospira bacteria. Animals which are known to be carriers of the bacteria include dogs, rodent, especially rats, cattle and pigs and people who tend to deal regularly with animals, like the farmers and vet are at a higher risk of developing this disease.

Biphasic Disease

Besides this, individuals could also be at risk if they are frequently in contact with sources of freshwater like the rivers and lakes which couldbe due to participation in recreational activities like water sports and fishing. This infection in humans could cause a range of symptoms and some infected, may have no symptoms at all.

Being a biphasic disease, it starts suddenly with fever together with chills, intense headache, severe myalgia or muscle ache, abdominal pain, conjunctival suffusion and a skin rash occasionally. The symptoms tend to appear after an incubation period of 7 – 12 days and the first phase ends after three to seven days of illness.

Disappearance of the symptoms coincides with the antibodies that appear against Leptospira and the disappearance of the bacteria from the bloodstream. The person is a carrier for three to four days till the second phase starts with another occurrence of fever.

A distinguished feature of the second phase is meningitis or inflammation of the membranes that cover the brain.

Treated with Antibiotics 

Leptospirosis can be treated with a course of antibiotics where the tablets are given for a week in cases of mild forms of leptospirorsis. In severe cases, the need for admission to the hospital would be essential in order to support the functions of the body when the infection is being treated with injections of antibiotics.

Human vaccines are available in limited countries which include Cuba and China though presently no human vaccine is available in US. Preventive measures can be taken through effective rat control together with avoidance of the urine contamination in water sources.

Leptospirosis is very common in the tropical regions of the world and it is anticipated that due to global warming together with the expected increase in floods that the number of cases of this disease is likely to continue and increase in the near future.

Saturday, 13 December 2014

Carbuncles


Carbuncles
Credit: Skindisorders3
Carbuncles – Cluster of Boils under the Skin

Carbuncle is a red, swollen and painful cluster of boils which are connected to each other in a group of hair follicles under the skin. It is an infection of a hair follicle having small collection of pus or abscess under the skin.

 Carbuncle usually is likely to occur on hairy area of the body like the back or nape of the neck though it could also develop in other areas of the body like the buttocks, thighs, armpits or groin. A person having carbuncle may have additional symptoms like high fever and may feel weak and exhausted.

Most of the cases are caused by Staphylococcus aureus bacteria or staph bacteria which usually live harmlessly on the surface of the skin or in the lining of the nose. If they get inside the skin they cause skin infection like boils.

They inhabit the skin surface, nasal passages and the throat and these bacteria could be the cause of the infection by entering the skin through a hair follicle, puncture, small scrape though at times there is no point of entry.

Boils are common in teenagers and young adults especially males, where young males, living in overcrowded and probably unhygienic conditions could be at risk of carbuncle. It is less common and could occur in middle aged or older men due to poor health of a pre-existing health condition like diabetes.

Likely to Leave Scars

To get healed, the carbuncles have to be drained which are filled with pus, a mixture of white and old blood cells, bacteria together with dead skin cells. Carbuncles are more likely to leave scars than boils.

An active boil or carbuncle is contagious and the infection can spread over to other parts of the body or to other people through the contact of skin or on sharing of personal items. Hence it is essential to ensure appropriate self-care measures such as maintaining clean area and covered, till the carbuncle gets drained and healed.

To manage,promote healing, minimize scarring and prevent carbuncles, medical treatment is essential. Should a person tend to have boils which persists for a more than a few days, they should contact the doctor at the earliest for timely treatment.

 Most of these boils can be treated successfully at home and one of the best means to speed up its recovery is to apply a warm facecloth to the boil three to four times a day and if it does not heal, the doctor may consider draining it.

Possibility of Developing Secondary Infection 

Boils or carbuncles should never be squeezed or pierced since it could cause the infection to spread leading to further complications. If the carbuncle should cause complications, a week long course of antibiotics may be recommended.

At times, the boils or carbuncles tend to return and in such instances, one may need further test to identify the problem and could be prescribed with antiseptic solution for removal of the bacteria from the skin. Though most of the boils tend to get better without much complication, some may tend to develop a secondary infection which could range from a relatively minor infection of the deeper layer of the skin like cellulitis, to rarer and more serious infection like blood poisoning – sepsis.

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Keratosis Pilaris


Keratosis Pilaris
Credit: Doctor Tipster

Keratosis Pilaris – Common & Harmless Skin Condition 

Keratosis pilaris is a common and harmless skin condition causing the skin to become rough and bumpy as if it is covered in permanent goose pimples making the skin feel like sandpaper. The bumps tend to be light coloured and appear usually on the upper arms, buttock and thighs with swelling or redness at times. They also tend to show up on the face which is less common. With the exception of itching, this ailment does not hurt or gets worse.

 Children and teenagers tend to suffer from this condition which disappears as they get older. There is no cure for keratosis pilaris though there are treatments to improve the rash, like usage of soap free cleansers and exfoliating gently. The need to visit the physician does not arise unless the condition tends to cause reasons for concern.

Patches of the affected skin may be covered in tiny spiky bumps which may be white, red or skin coloured and this spotting tend to appear like `chicken skin’ or permanent goose pimples. This condition is not contagious and could get worse during winter months or dry conditions but improves in summer.

Build-up of Keratin 

Keratosis pilaris is the result of build-up of keratin, which is the protein that protects the skin from infections together with other harmful issues. These build-up acts as a plug which blocks the opening of a hair follicle and what triggers it, is not known.

If a person tends to have a dry skin, they are more likely to suffer from keratosis pilaris which gets worse in winter when the moisture level is the air is less, though it can get better in summer time. Besides this, it could also affect people with certain skin conditions like eczema which is also known as atopic dermatitis.

This condition cannot be prevented though it can be kept under control by lessening it effects which include using warm water instead of hot for showering and bathing, limiting the time in water, avoid scratching at the bumps or rubbing the skin roughly, using soap which contains added oil or fat, adding moisture to the air with a humidifier at home and using thick moisturizers generously on the skin.

Treatment – Moisturizing/Exfoliating/Laser Therapy 

With no cure for this condition, moisturizing lotion or creams could be of tremendous help to the skin which can look and feel better, where various options are available over the counter though for stronger versions, a prescription would be needed.

To reduce the redness, steroid creams could also be used though the effectiveness of these treatments is limited. It often takes months for the improvement of the skin. Warm baths followed by exfoliating the affected areas with coarse cloth or a stiff brush could be helpful in unplugging the pores and can be used as a treatment method.

Several case of keratosis pilaris have been successful with treatment of laser therapy which involves the passing of intense bursts of light at the affected areas of the skin and based on the response to the treatment, multiple sessions over a period of few months would be essential.

Saturday, 6 December 2014

Dwarfism


Dwarfism
Dwarfism – Restricted Growth/Short Stature

Dwarfism is restricted growth, a condition which is characterised by short stature and could be caused due to several various medical conditions. It is generally defined as an adult height of 4 feet 10 inches or less and the average adult height with people of dwarfism is 4 feet.

This disorder is divided into two categories namely: proportionate short stature – PSS, which is a general lack of growth and disproportionate short stature – DSS, a problem with the way some bones tend to grow. In the case of Proportionate shorty stature the length of the trunk, which is the abdomen and chest, will have a normal proportion with the legs though they will have a general lack of height. Common cause of this disorder is being born to small parents and can also occur when the body is not capable of producing enough growth hormone.

There are certain types of genetic syndrome which may also cause PSS. For instance, girls with Turner syndrome and children have genetic abnormality like SHOX, gene haploinsufficiency may have a mild form of PSS. Proportionate dwarfism could be due to medical conditions that may be present at birth or appear in the early stage of childhood which limits the overall growth and development where the head, trunk and the limbs are small though proportionate to each other. The outcome of these disorders could affect the overall growth, most of which could end in poor development of one or more body systems.

Disproportionate Short Stature – DSS

Disproportionate short stature – DSS is when a problem occurs with the way joints and bones grow where certain limbs tend to be shorter, or the trunk could be particularly short. There could be a severe lack of height. Conditions related to DSS are often caused by faulty gene and several children born with this disorder have parents of average height while the faulty gene occurs by chance.

These people are treated based on the cause of short stature which is likely to involve several different forms of healthcare professionals. Should the legs be particularly short, DSS could be treated with a leg lengthening procedure though it is uncertain regarding the effectiveness as well as the safety of this and certain children who have restricted growth could be eligible for treatment with human growth hormone.

Most of the people with disproportionate dwarfism tend to have normal intellectual potentials with only rare exceptions to the rule which are the result of a secondary factor like excess fluid around the brain known as hydrocephalus. Latest study shows that Dwarfism gives protection from diabetes and cancer.

This disorder is due to achondroplasia that causes disproportionate short stature resulting in an average size trunk, short fingers, with wide separation between the middle and ring fingers, short arms and legs, particularly short upper arms and upper legs, disproportionately large head, having a prominent forehead with a flattened bridge of the nose, progressive development of bowed legs/swayed lower back and limited mobility at the elbows.

Surgical/Hormone Therapy

Surgical procedure which could resolve problems with disproportionate dwarfism comprises of correcting the direction the way the bones tend to grow, stabilizing and correcting the shape of the spine, increase the size of the opening in bones of the spine, to alleviate pressure on the spinal cord and placing of a shunt to eliminate excess fluid if present, around the brain.

Hormonetherapy is for those with hormone deficiency which involves treatment with injection, a synthetic version of the hormone which could increase the overall height. Regular check-ups with the physician are essential which could help in improving the quality of life in dwarfism.

Friday, 5 December 2014

Laryngitis


Laryngitis – Inflammation of the Larynx/Voice Box

Laryngitis is inflammation of the larynx or the voice box which could be due to irritation, overuse or some infection. In several cases, it tends to get better without treatment in a weeks’ time.The vocal cords in the larynx have a twofold of mucous membrane covering muscle and cartilage and as the vocal cords open and close smoothly,it forms sound through their movement and vibration.

The larynx or the voice box is a tube type of a structure which is at the entrance of the windpipe and the lump in the front of the throat is called the Adam’s apple which is the larynx. It helps to channel oxygen in the windpipe when one breathes, acts like a valve closing off the windpipe when one swallows to prevent food of liquid getting into the airways and contains the cord which vibrate as the air passes through producing the sound of the voice.

But in laryngitis, the vocal cords get inflamed and irritated with swelling that causes distortion of sound produced by air passage resulting in a hoarse voice. In a few cases of laryngitis, the voice could be almost undetectable.

The condition of laryngitis could be short lived or long lasting with several cases of laryngitis triggered by temporary viral infection or vocal strain which are not really serious. Sometimes, persistent hoarseness could indicate a serious underlying medical condition. Symptoms of laryngitis include: loss of voice, sore throat, dry throat, dry cough, tickling sensation and rawness of the throat and hoarseness and often tends to get belter without treatment.

Symptoms of Laryngitis 

The need to consult a physician arises if the condition tends to get serious or last longer than three weeks. Immediate medical attention is needed if the person experiences noisy high pitched breathing sounds when inhaling, drools more than usual, has trouble swallowing, with difficulty in breathing and runs a temperature higher than 103 F.

Laryngitis in most cases is caused by viral infection like cold or straining of the voice and in such cases, the symptoms tend to disappear within a week. This type of condition is known as acute laryngitis. Laryngitis occasionally may have other causes like smoking, allergic reaction or alcohol misuse where the symptoms could last much longer and is known as chronic laryngitis.

To help in the healing of the vocal cord, it is advised to refrain from smoking and avoid smoky atmosphere, drinking of plenty of fluids especially water and provide sufficient rest to your voice as much as possible.

Preventing Laryngitis 

If the case is related to allergic reaction it is necessary to avoid the substance causing the allergy or take medication to help in controlling the body’s reactions to the substance. It is not always possible in preventing laryngitis since it is caused very often by common infections like cold and flu which are difficult to avoid.

As per the physicians’ advise, taking the annual flu vaccine could help to reduce the risk of suffering from laryngitis. Besides this, there are also other ways to help in reducing the chances of this condition like avoid straining the voice and consumption of plenty of liquid.

Things to Know About Education for a Career in Holistic Health


shiatsu
An individual who is passionate about natural healing and using natural strategies to maintain health may desire a career that helps people with these goals. At a school such as the Academy of Natural Health Sciences, students complete programs in fields such as massage therapy, nutrition, reflexology and aromatherapy. After they graduate and pass any exams required by the state where they want to practice, they are ready to assist clients with therapeutic activity and other healing techniques.

This type of school may even offer programs in natural pet health. Pet owners increasingly are concerned about the diets of their animals, having learned that commercial pet foods tend to be of low quality and full of ingredients that aren't all that beneficial for animals. A clinical pet nutritionist can help these pet owners get on the right track and see fast improvements in their furry friends.

A person who finds these possibilities intriguing might want to click here for further information on a school that offers a broad range of educational programs in holistic health. Perhaps he or she already has a good idea of a career that seems like the best fit, or perhaps further guidance is needed. Perusing the various topics on the site offers substantial information for helping make that decision.

Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Nasal Polyps


Nasal Polyps
Nasal Polyps – Teardrop Shaped Growth

Nasal polyps are common teardrop shaped, noncancerous growth which form in the nose or sinuses and are usually around the area where the sinuses open in the nasal cavity and mature nasal polyps appear like seedless, peeled grapes. Nasal polyps are fleshy swelling which grow from the lining of the nose or sinuses – the small cavities inside the nose. Sinuses are small air filled cavities which are found within the bones of the face and one can have sinuses on either side of the nose as well as behind the cheekbones, forehead and eyes.

Nasal polyps may cause no symptoms and is often associated with allergies or asthma and if they are small, may not need any treatment. Larger nasal polyps tend to block normal drainage from the sinuses and when too much mucus is collected in the sinuses, it could become infected resulting in thick discoloured drainage in the nose and throat which could affect several people.

Polyps which form in the colon or bladder should not be confused with nasal polyps and unlike these forms of polyps they are very rarely malignant. They should also not be confused with swollen turbinate that are the normal tissue which line the side of the nose and unlike swollen turbinate; they are not painful when touched.

Symptoms of Nasal Polyps

In majority of the cases, nasal polyps are effective with medication or surgery. However it could reappear even after successful treatment and hence it is essential to continue with the medical therapy. Some of the symptoms of nasal polyps include nasal congestion, obstruction, sneezing, postnasal drip, facial pain, runny nose, loss of smell, or taste, reduced ability to smell, itching around the eyes and chronic infections. Besides these symptoms, several peoples also develop asthmatic symptoms like wheezing, sinus infection, and are sensitive to fumes, dust, odours and chemicals.

Few may also face allergy to aspirin and react to yellow dyes. People with nasal polyps have an increased risk of chronic sinusitis and when nasal polyps become particularly large, they tend to push the nasal bones apart and also broaden the nasal bride which could affect the appearance and self-esteem.

Steroid Medication to Reduce/Shrink Growth

Nasal polyps are treated with steroid medication to reduce or shrink them. Surgery is recommended in case of larger polyps and to those which do not respond to medication the procedure of which is known as endoscopic sinus surgery is carried out with the use of equipment known as endoscope.

The endoscope used at the time of the endoscopic sinus surgery comprises of a rigid, metal tube which has a camera at one end. The camera here provides a clear image of the polyps as well as the nasal passages and the polyps are removed with the use of tiny surgical instruments like a micro debrider, a kind of a revolving motorised saw.

The nasal polyps tend to grow back and based on their original size it could take a few months or years, even after treatment of medication or surgery. People suffering from associated conditions like asthma or aspirin allergies are more prone to have recurring instances of nasal polyps.

Monday, 1 December 2014

Parkinson’s Disease


Parkinson’s Disease
Credit:webmd.com
Parkinson’s Disease – Progressive Damage to Nerve Cells

Parkinson’s disease is an ailment wherein the part of the brain tends to get progressively damaged over a period of years. It could also affect the way one moves and is a problem with certain nerves cells in the brain. It is caused by loss of nerve cells in an area of the brain known as substantia nigra which leads to the reduction in the amount of chemical known as dopamine in the brain.

In normal condition, these nerve cells create an important chemical, dopamine which sends signals to the part of the brain that controls movements. This enables the muscles to move smoothly and perform their functions. When a person suffers from Parkinson, these nerve cells tend to break down and there is not enough dopamine which results in facing problem with the movements.

Parkinson is progressive which means that it could get worse with time and tends to occur slowly over several years. It is unknown to what could cause the nerve cells to break down though scientist are researching on the same, trying to figure out the possible causes which includes aging and pollution in the environment. In some cases, it could be abnormal genes which could lead to Parkinson’s’ disease.

Symptoms of the Parkinson Disease

The four main symptoms of this disease are: tremor which may affect hands, arm or legs, stiff muscles, slow movement as well as problems with balancing or walking. The firstsigns could be tremors and is the most common signs of this disease though not all them face it. The tremors often tend to start in only one arm or leg or one side of the body and may get worse when awake or moving the affected arm or leg. It could also get better when you move the limb or while asleep.

Over a period of time, this condition tends to affect muscles all over the body with possibilities leading to problems like constipation or difficulty in swallowing. In later stage of the disease, the patient may also have blank or fixed expression, problem in speaking with various other problems while some may also lose their mental skills known as dementia.

Supportive Treatment 

People may start to experience these symptoms between the age of 50 and 60 though some may even start having these symptoms earlier. Besides this, a person with this ailment could also experience a range of other physical and psychological symptoms like depression, problems in sleeping, loss of a sense of smell or anosmia and memory loss.

Presently there is no cure for this disease though treatment is available in helping to reduce the main problems and maintain the person’s life as long as it is possible. These may include supportive treatments which may include physiotherapy as well as occupational therapy, together with medication and to some extent even surgery. One may not need any treatment during the initial stages of this ailment since the symptoms may be mild though in consultation with the physician, and the extent of the disease, the condition could be monitored and treatment can be carried out as per the advice of the physician.

Saturday, 29 November 2014

Trigeminal Neuralgia

Trigeminal Neuralgia
Image Credit:Healthtap.com
Trigeminal Neuralgia – Sudden Severe Facial Pain 

Trigeminal neuralgia – TN also known as tic douloureux is a sudden severe facial pain which is described as sharp, shooting like an electric shock. Trigeminal neuralgia affects the trigeminal nerve which is one of the largest nerves in the head wherein it sends impulses of touch, pressure, pain and temperature to the brain from the face, gums, jaws, forehead and around the eyes.

It usually takes place in sudden short attacks which could last for a few seconds for about two minutes and tends to stops abruptly. In majority of the cases, it affects a certain part or all of one side of the face and the pain is mostly felt in the lower part of the face. Sometimes it could affect both the sides of the face though not normally at the same time.

In these situations the person may have regular attacks of pain for days, weeks or even months and in severe cases, these attacks could occur several times in a day. There is a possibility of the pain to improve or disappear altogether for some months or years at a time which is known as a period of remission, though these periods could get shorter with passage of time and some may even develop a more continuous aching, burning sensation and throbbing, at times accompanied by sharp attacks.

Blood Vessel Pressed on Nerve – Brain Stem 

The most common cause of trigeminal neuralgia is the blood vessel pressed on the nerve towards the brain stem which over a period of time, changes occur in the blood vessels of the brain resulting in blood vessels being rubbed against the trigeminal nerve root.

This constant rubbing with each heartbeat tends to wear away the insulating membrane of the nerve leading to nerve irritation. The attacks of pain occurs due to activities which involve lightly touching the face like washing, brushing the teeth and eating though it could also be triggered by wind or movement of the head or the face and sometimes it could also occur without any trigger.

The symptoms features sudden, severe, electric shock like pain or stabbing pain which could last for several seconds and is experienced on the face and around the lips, nose, eyes, scalp and the forehead. Symptoms show up when a person tends to brush the teeth, or applying makeup, touching the face, swallowing or on feeling a slight breeze.

Most Painful Condition 

Trigeminal neuralgia is considered to be one of the most painful conditions and the pain is experienced on one side of the jaw or cheek though some may feel at different intervals on both sides and the attacks of pain could be repeated one after the other.

This ailment is more common in women than in men and rarely affects individuals below the age of 50.It is usually a long term illness with periods of remission which tend to get shorter over a period of time and is treated with an anticonvulsant medication which is also used to treat epilepsy and the medication needs to be taken till the pain diminishes or disappears totally.

If the person is entering a period of remission and pain disappears, stopping the medication should be done slowly over a period of days or week as advised by the physician.

Hypotonia


Image Credit: Janelle Aby, MD, Stanford.edu
Hypotonia – Decrease Muscle Tone

Hypotonia is a medical term for decreased muscle tone which is the amount of tension or resistance to stretch in a muscle and is felt as resistance to movement. It is not the same as muscles weakness and it can be difficult to use the muscle which has been affected. Muscle weakness could at times develop in hypotonia based on the cause of the ailment.

This ailment is often identified in babies’, immediately after birth or at a very tender age though it could also develop in the later stage of life. Hypotonia is not a medical disorder; it is a potential manifestation of several other diseases and disorders which can affect the motor never that is controlled by the brain or muscle strength.

Recognizing the symptoms of hypotonia in early infancy is quite straightforward though diagnosing the cause could be difficult and not very successful. The effects of hypotonia on the development of a child on long term would depend mainly on the seriousness of the muscle weakness as well as the nature of the cause. While some disorder tends to have a specific treatment, the principle treatment for most hypotonia of neurologic or idiopathic cause is physical therapy and occupational therapy for remediation and probably music therapy.

Symptoms - Children

Hypotonia is presumed to be associated with the disruption of afferent input from stretch receptors or/and lack of the cerebellum’s facilitatory efferent influence on the fusimotor system which is the system that innervates intrafusal muscle fibres in controlling muscle spindle sensitivity.

Hypotonia when present at birth is detected when the child is six months old in infants and young children, if not earlier. Some of the symptoms may include: the child may have little or no control of their neck muscles and hence their head tend to flop, feel limp when held as though they would slip easily through the hands, unable to place any weight on their leg of shoulder muscles, arms and legs tend to hang straight down from their sides instead of bending at the elbows, hips and knees, would be finding sucking and swallowing difficult and may have a weak cry.

Besides this, the child may also take a longer time to reach development like crawling, sitting up, walking, talking and feed themselves.

Symptoms - Adults

An adult suffering from hypotonia may envisage the following problems:
  • Would tend to be clumsy and fall frequently 
  • Have an unusual degree of flexibility in the hips, knees and elbows 
  • Have difficulty in rising up from a lying or sitting position 
  • Difficulty is reaching for or lifting objects
Based on the cause, this disorder may either improve or stay on or may get worse over a period of time while babies with hypotonia caused by premature birth usually improve as they grow up while hypotonia caused by infection or any other condition would improve if the underlying condition is treated successfully though often it is not possible to cure the underlying cause of this disorder. 
If the ailment is inherited, it could persist all through the person’s life while treatment could improve activities like mobility and speech. Treatment may involve physiotherapy, occupational therapy as well as speech and language therapy.

Trying To Get Pregnant


Test Kit
There are some couples who have difficulties getting pregnant. If you are among the people who aren't sure what's wrong, then rapid fertility ELISA kits are an option that can give you answers.

When you can't have children, you want to know some kind of answer as soon as possible. These tests give you those answers so that you can plan other options if you still want children. There are several kinds of the fertility test kits depending on which one would be best for you. Some of them give results more quickly than others. It doesn't take long to get the answers back, especially if the test is done in a hospital or laboratory setting. The test can also help determine who might be the one in the relationship suffering from fertility issues. It can also give couples an idea of when the woman is fertile so that they can plan through the month when to try to get pregnant more than at other times.

A fertility test can give couples the answers they need to many questions that are related to fertility issues. These could be when the woman is ovulating or if there might be something wrong with the sperm count.

Monday, 24 November 2014

Graves’ Disease


Graves’ Disease
Byebyedoctor.com
Graves’ Disease – Autoimmune Disease

Graves’ disease is an autoimmune disease which affects the thyroid which is a small gland in the front area of the neck. It creates hormones known as T3 and T4 which regulates how the body utilises the energy and the thyroid hormone levels are controlled by the pituitary.

 This is a pea sized gland in the brain which makes thyroid stimulating hormone – TSH that enables the thyroid to make thyroid hormone. With Graves’ disease, the immune system tends to make antibodies which act like TSH making the thyroid to produce more thyroid hormone than what is needed by the body.

This is known as an overactive thyroid or hyperthyroidism and an overactive thyroid affects every function of the body in speeding up like the heart rate as well as the rate wherein the body turns food into energy.

This disease is the result of overactive thyroid and is closely related to Hashimoto’s disease which is another autoimmune disease that affects the thyroid.It could run in families and can occur at any age though it is most common in women in the age group of 20 – 40.

 Smokers are more likely to develop this disease. Being an autoimmune condition, the immune system tends to mistake something in the body for a toxic substance and attacks it.

Overproduction of the Thyroid Hormones

In this condition, it attacks the thyroid gland leading to an overproduction of the thyroid hormones. What triggers the immune system to do this is not known and like several autoimmune conditions it is presumed that a combination of both genetic as well as environmental factors would be responsible.

Some people suffering from Graves’ disease may also have their eyes affected where the tissue behind the eyes tends to get inflamed and swollen causing them discomfort and bulging in one or both the eyes.

At times it could also cause double vision which is known as Graves’ ophthmopathy and these symptoms could occur before or at the same time or after the other symptoms of the disease begins to show up. Eye problem often tends to get better without much treatment.

Factors Responsible for Graves’ Disease

Factors responsible for this disease may include Genes wherein some people are prone to this disease due to their genes. Emotional stress or trauma could also trigger this disease, pregnancy also affects the thyroid where 30% of young women who suffer from Graves’ disease have been pregnant in the 12 months prior to the onset of the symptoms which indicates that pregnancy could trigger Graves’ disease in some women.

Sex hormones also play a role which could explain why Graves’ disease affects women more than men. Infection too is responsible in the onset of Graves’ disease though no studies have shown it to be directly the cause of this disease. Graves’ disease can be treated through drugs which helps the thyroid from making too much thyroid hormone.

Radioactive iodine – RAI, treatment can be helpful wherein a pill which contains RAI is swallowed which is a form of iodine that damages the thyroid by giving it radiation and destroys thyroid cells where less thyroid hormone is produced.

Through surgery where most or the entire thyroid is removed though one would need to take thyroid hormones to replace the needed thyroid hormone which the body no longer produces.

Saturday, 22 November 2014

Asbestosis


Asbestosis
Asbestosis – Lung Tissue Scarring 

Asbestosis is a process of lung tissue scarring which is caused by prolonged exposures to asbestos fibres. Asbestos is a term for a group of minerals which are made of microscopic fibres and in the past was extensively used in construction.

Patients with x-ray findings or biopsy results could also have remote history of asbestos exposure and delayed development of this condition. Smoking too could increase the frequency or the rate of progress of asbestosis by preventing the efficient elimination of inhaled fibres through the airways. Asbestos could be very dangerous though not considered as a health hazard if undisturbed.

However if the material with asbestos is drilled, broken, chipped or allowed to deteriorate, it could give out some fine dust containing asbestos fibres and when the same is breathed in, it could enter the lungs and gradually cause damage over a period of time.

Breathing in the asbestos fibres could scar the lungs with a number of symptoms like shortness of breath which may take place after physical activity in the initial stage and eventually tends to be a constant problem. A person may suffer from persistent cough, wheezing, extreme tiredness, chest pain, and in more advantaged situations, clubbed or swollen fingertips.

PFT/Exercise Test/CT Scan

Exposure to Asbestos is divided into three forms, namely asbestosis – lung scarring due to asbestos fibres, disease of the lining of the lung – pleural plaques, scarring or fluid accumulation and lung cancer. Cancer of the lining of the lung due to asbestos exposure is Mesothelioma while cancer of the larynx, throat, kidney, oesophagus and gallbladder is linked to asbestos exposure which is treated based on the kind of condition of asbestosis.

The abnormalities in breathing can be identified with function test like pulmonary function tests – PFT or exercise test which is performed at specialized laboratories since asbestosis could obstruct the airflow and restriction of lung inflation.

Besides, this condition could also affect the ability of transferring oxygen to the blood. In advanced cases, the person could have reduced blood oxygen and would be in needof supplementary oxygen. The abnormalities in the x-ray include thickening of the lining of the lungs with tiny lines marking the lower portions of the lungs. CT scans could be very helpful in separating asbestosis from other conditions which may have similar reports but even a CT scan may not identify the disease of lining of the lung- pleural disease in people with asbestosis.

Biopsy & Microscopic Examination

At times a biopsy and microscopic examination of the lung could help in diagnosing asbestosis where under microscopic examination; some coated fibres are seen with pattern of scarring. The content of coated as well as uncoated asbestos is linked to the severity of this disease and since other particles could resemble asbestos, a clear identification would require scanning electron microscopy.

 Presently, to detect asbestos fibres in the lung tissues and fluid, secretion or sputum could be used to diagnose together with the history of asbestos exposure as well as the characteristic x-ray or the results of the CT.

Since there is not cure for asbestosis once it has progressed and the damage has already been caused to the lungs, it is most important to quit smoking if the person has a tendency to smoke to prevent further damage to the lungs and smoking could also increase the chances of lung cancer to the person with this ailment. Some treatment like oxygen therapy could bring about some improvement and quality of life to these patients.

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Cellulitis



Cellulitis
Cellulitis – Bacterial Infection of the Skin 

Cellulitis is a bacterial infection of the skin and tissues beneath the skin and unlike impetigo, a very superficial skin infection, cellulitis is a kind of aninfection that involves the skin’s deep layers, which is the dermis and subcutaneous tissue. Its main bacteria responsible for cellulitis are Streptococcus and Staphylococcus, which are the same bacterial that could cause impetigo.

MRSA- methicillin-resistant Staph aureus could also cause cellulitis while at other times, bacteria such as Hemophilus influenzae, Pneumococcus and Clostridium species could also be the result of cellulitis. This disease is quite common and can affect people of all ages and races, men and women alike.

Cellulitis is not contagious and sometimes it tends to appear in areas where the skin could be broken open like the skin near ulcers or surgical wounds. Cellulitis is often treated with oral or intravenous antibiotics.

It appears as a swollen, red appearance on the skin which feels hot and tender and could spread rapidly to other areas. The skin on lower areas of the legs commonly tends to get affected though it could affect any area of the body or face. It could also affect only the skin’s surface or also affect underlying tissues of the skin and spread to lymph nodes as well as the bloodstream.

Symptoms of Cellulitis

Cellulitis tends to begin with small areas of tenderness, redness and swelling which may spread to the adjacent skin that would feel warm to the touch and as the red area begins to get large, the person may have fever which at times may accompany with chills and sweats, tenderness and swollen lymph nodes near the area of infected skin.

 Sometimes small blisters may also form and burst. This condition may appear when one or more types of bacteria may enter through a crack or break in your skin. Bacteria is more likely to enter these areas of skin when a person may have had a recent surgery, cuts, puncture wounds, athlete’s foot or dermatitis, besides ulcers.

There could also be certain kinds of insects or spider bites which could transmit the bacteria to begin the infection of cellulitis. Moreover areas of dry flaky skin could also be at risk for entry point for the bacteria.

Treated with Antibiotics – Oral/Intravenous 

When faced with the symptoms mentioned, the person should consult the physician who could distinguish if the inflammation is due to an infection and diagnose the ailment. Cellulitis is often treated with antibiotics which are designed to eradicate the likely bacteria that could be the cause of cellulitis.

At times the treatment may need the administration of intravenous antibiotics in the hospital since oral antibiotics may not provide sufficient penetration of the inflamed tissues to be effective or it could also be administered at home.

Physician is the best judge in choosing a treatment based on the several factors which include the extent and location of the infection, the kind of bacteria responsible for the infection and the overall condition of the person suffering from cellulitis.

If this condition is not treated it could spread the infection rapidly and could be dangerous to the person and hence it is necessary to seek timely treatment.

Saturday, 15 November 2014

Gilbert’s Syndrome

Gilbert’s Syndrome
Gilbert Syndrome – Common Harmless Genetic Liver Disorder

GilbertSyndrome also called Gilbert Meulengracht syndrome is a common harmless genetic liver disorder caused due to increased bilirubin, a chemical which results from the normal breakdown of haemoglobin from red blood cells. It is a condition where high levels of bilirubin tend to build up in the blood. Bilirubin is the yellow pigment which is found naturally in the blood that forms when the red blood cells are broken down.

This disorder is also referred as constitutional hepatic dysfunction and familial nonhemolytic jaundice. The abnormality results in mild elevation of bilirubin in the blood especially after starvation or dehydration. Gilbert syndrome is the outcome of a genetic mutation in promoter region of a gene and the gene is on chromosome 2 while other types of mutation in the same gene could cause Crigler-Najjar syndrome which appears to be more severe as well as a dangerous type of hyperbilirubinemia – high bilirubin in the blood.

The cause of hyperbilirubinemia is the outcome of reduced activity of the enzyme glucuronyltransferase that binds bilirubin with other lipophilic molecules rendering the bilirubin water soluble which is then excreted in bile into the duodenum.

Short Lived Incidents of Jaundice

Persons suffering from Gilbert’s syndrome may experience occasional and short lived incidents of jaundice and the skin and the white area of the eyes may turn slightly yellow while others may have problems during episodes of jaundice like abdominal pain, loss of appetite, feel tired or sick, dizziness, irritable bowel syndrome – IBS, which is a common condition causing stomach cramps, bloating, constipation and diarrhoea and problems on focusing and thinking clearly.

These symptoms may not be directly related to increased bilirubin levels and could also be the result of other disorder, than Gilbert’s syndrome. This disorder produces an increased level of unconjugated bilirubin in the bloodstream though it does not cause any serious consequences. Mild instances of jaundice may occur under conditions of stress, fasting, exertion and infection while severe cases will be yellowing of the skin tone as well as the sclera in the eye.

Faulty Gene

In the case of Gilbert’s syndrome, the person has faulty gene which means that their liver has problems in removing the bilirubin in the blood. In normal situation, when red blood cells reach the end of their life which is about 120 days, the red pigment, haemoglobin that carries oxygen in the blood breaks down into bilirubin where the liver converts it into water soluble form and thereafter it passes into bile and eventually removed from the body through urine or stools.

Bilirubin gives the urine its light yellow colour and stools their dark brown colour. In this disorder, the faulty gene which means the bilirubin does not pass into the bile normally and instead it builds up in the bloodstream causing the skin and eyes with the yellowish tinge. Besides inheriting the faulty gene, there are no known factors for the development of this disorder and are not related to any environmental factors, lifestyle habits or serious underlying liver problems like cirrhosis or hepatitis C.

Though it is a long term condition, it does not require any treatment and is not a threat to health. Episodes of jaundice with any associated symptoms are short term and will gradually pass off.

Thursday, 13 November 2014

Anger Management


Anger Management
Anger – Learning to Control Anger

It is normal to get angry when one may be ill-treated or misunderstood but just like all things has its limitation; anger too should be within its limits. When one tends to get angry, the actions and its reaction could have an impact on the individual and the one to whom it may be targeted to.

 If a person tends to have a hot temper, it could pose as a problem when it harms the person or others. But managing anger could also be a problem for several people who may find it difficult to keep their temper under control. There could also be health issues related to unresolved anger like high blood pressure, depression, heart attack, anxiety, problems with digestion, etc.

Such a kind of a person need to take control of themselves when angry and learn to master the art of anger management which could be helpful when faced with it. Learning to control anger and expressing it rightly could help to build a better relationship, lead a healthy and satisfying life as well as help in reaching their goals.

Every individual tends to have physical reaction to anger and one could try to keep a reign on their temper and prevent regretting the outcome of it at a later stage.

Recognize Anger Signs

Individuals need to recognize the anger signs when angry like the heart beats faster and breathing tends to get quicker thus leading the person to react. Other signs could also be like tension in the shoulders or the clenching of the fists. Should the person have a history of losing control and comes across these kinds of signs, the best option would be to move away from that situation.

This would help in easing the atmosphere as well as give the person time to cool off the heat. Another option would be counting to ten which can give the person sufficient time to cool and sober down and thus overcome the urge to lash out when angry.

Besides counting, breathing out for a longer time than breathing in and relaxing as you breathe out also helps in the most amazing way since the person automatically breathes in more than out, when angry and this trick is to get the person to breathe out more than in, which helps to calm and sober down, enabling them to think clearly.

Exercises and Relaxation

To manage anger in the long term, one could bring down the general stress level with the help of exercise and relaxation while running, walking, yoga, swimming and meditation could be some of the activities which could be beneficial in reducing stress.

Regular exercise could be a daily routine to eliminate anger and irritation with regular hours for relaxing and making sure that one receives sufficient sleep should be taken into consideration. Other ways could be by getting engaged in creative hobbies like writing, dancing or painting which could release the tension and reduce the feeling of anger within.

Discussion with a trusted person could also be helpful wherein with the exchange on discussions, one could come across several things which otherwise could have been overlooked and get a different perspective on that situation.

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Gout


Image credit:webmd.com
Gout – Crystals of Uric Acid Deposited in Joints

Gout is a kind of arthritis wherein crystals of uric acid tend to get deposited in the joints. It could cause sudden joint inflammation in one joint and severe gout could at times affect several other joints at the same time. This is known as polyarticular gout.

The most common symptom is severe and sudden pain in the joint together with swelling and redness. It is the toe which is commonly affected though it could develop in any other joint. The symptoms develop rapidly and are at its worst within 6 to 24 hours and usually last for around 3 to 10 days. Thereafter, the joint tends to look and feel normal again and the pain also disappears completely.

Gout is the cause of the accumulation of crystals of by-product chemical of metabolism in the joint which is the uric acid and when it tends to accumulate it could cause inflammation in the joint. Elevated level of uric acid in the bloodstream could lead the uric acid accumulation in the tissue of a joint which is found in the body and a normal by-product of the body breaks down on certain proteins known as purines.

Causes of Gout

If too much uric acid is produced or too little is excreted while urinating, the uric acid accumulates and may cause tiny crystals of sodium urate to form in and around the joints.

These tend to gradually build up over the years which are like hard needle shaped crystals and when it reaches a high concentration level crystals in the joint, they tend to cause two types of problems such as, some may spill over from the joint cartilage inflaming the soft lining of the joint resulting in pain with inflammation of an attack of gout while some pack together forming hard slowly expanding lumps of crystals or tophi which could cause progressive damage to the cartilage joint as well as the nearby bone and eventually results in irreversible joint damage causing stiffness and pain on movement.

Some of the common factors of gout is age and gender and may affect a person as they grow old andit is three to four times more likely in men, person having high blood pressure or diabetes, having close relatives who have been suffering from gout, a diet rich in purines like eating sardines and liver frequently and drinking too much of beer or spirits since alcoholic drinks contain high level of purines and being overweight.

Treatment and Relief for Gout 

Gout can be treated by relieving the symptoms which can be done by using ice packs and taking painkillers while in some cases, alternative medication may also be required. Preventing gout attacks in the future through a change in lifestyle which could involve losing weight if found to be overweight and taking medication which could lower the level of uric acids.

It is essential to follow the prescribed medication given by the physician and adhere to any recommended changes in lifestyle. Some complications may also arise which though uncommon may include kidney stones wherein high level of uric acid could lead to stone developing in the kidneys, permanent joint damage due to on-going joint inflammation between attacks and due to formation of tophi in the joint which damages the cartilage and bone if not treated for several years, tophus formation that are tophi of small and large lumps which at times are visible and felt easily under the skin.