Uterine Fibroids

Uterine fibroids can cause infertility by presenting as a space occupying lesion. By continuous enlargement and subsequent blockade of the tubes. By formation of adhesions, by exhibiting...

What Is Tonsilitis

Tonsillitis is an infection of the tonsils, caused by either bacteria or viruses. Tonsils are groups of tissue, similar to the lymph nodes or glands that circle the throat. This circle of tissue..

What Causes Diabetes And Types Of Diabetes

A healthy diet, regular exercise, and culturally sensitive care may be helpful in preventing and controlling diabetes, say researchers. The findings are based on recent reviews..

Arthritis Medical Advice And Types Of Arthritis

In order to have an understanding of the two major types of arthritis, it is essential to know a little about the function and appearance of a joint. A joint is designed to allow smooth movement of..

Heart Attack Causes, Symptoms And Signs

The blood supply to the heart is usually stopped by a blood clot in the coronary arteries, causing the heart attack. The arteries are narrowed in places due to plaques - a build-up of ...

What Causes Asthma And Asthma Treatment

Asthma is a condition that affects your airways - the small tubes that carry air in and out of the lungs. People with asthma have airways that are almost always red and sensitive, inflamed...

Friday, April 28

An Introduction To Vitamins


Vitamins are the organic compounds which are required in small quantities for normal growth, reproduction and maintenance of the human body. They are different from other organic food stuff because they do not go through the degradation processes to provide energy and do not enter the tissue structure. Several B vitamins act as a coenzyme in various metabolic reactions of the body. Vitamins are also different from hormones as they are not produced by the body and have to be taken through diet. They are classified on the basis of their biological and chemical activity.

There are 13 vitamins in total that a human body needs. They are as follows:

• Vitamin A - Retinol, Retinoic Acid, Retinal
• B vitamins:
◦ Vitamin B1 - Thiamine
◦ Vitamin B2 - Riboflavin
◦ Vitamin B3 - Niacin
◦ Vitamin B5 - Pantothenic acid
◦ Vitamin B6 - Pyridoxine
◦ Vitamin B7 - Biotin
◦ Vitamin B9 - Folate (Folic Acid)
◦ Vitamin B12 - Cobalamin
• Vitamin C - Ascorbic Acid
• Vitamin D - Calciferol, Calcitriol
• Vitamin E - Tocopherols
• Vitamin K - Quinone

They are classified based on the biological and chemical activity that they perform. They are classified as:

• Fat soluble (vitamins A, D, E and K)
• Water soluble (B vitamins, vitamin C and vitamin A in its beta-carotene form)

Fat soluble vitamins are hydrophobic and lipid soluble. They travel to the general body circulation through the lymphatics of small intestine absorbed in fat globules known as the chylomicrons. These are easily stored in the body.

Therefore, an increased intake of fat soluble vitamins predisposes a person to hypervitaminosis. Main storage sites are liver and fat tissue. Only a small quantity of these vitamins is required, but a deficiency can lead to certain diseases such as rickets.

Digestion of these vitamins is by the pancreatic enzymes. Absorption of fat-soluble vitamins requires adequate liver and pancreatic secretions. Too much of fat in the stool, i.e., steatorrhea can be caused by:

• Pancreatitis
• Pancreatic cancer
• Liver disease
• Crohn's disease
• Celiac disease
• Cystic fibrosis
• Gallstones

Common Causes of Steatorrhea

Basically, anything that reduces enzymes secretion from pancreas leads to steatorrhea.

Water-soluble vitamins cannot be stored in the body and a daily intake of these vitamins is necessary. They are hydrophilic and dissolve in the body. Any excess of these vitamins is simply excreted in urine. Therefore, toxicity is less common.

Vitamin A - Retinol, Retinoic Acid, Retinal

• Dietary source: butter, milk cheese, egg yolk, tomatoes, carrots, spinach, mangoes and corn
• Daily requirement: 400 µg for 2,000 calorie intake
• There is a higher requirement for growing children, pregnant women and in hepatic disease.

• Role in vision: rhodopsin has a role in night vision and retinal is a part of it.
• Role in epithelialization: it prevents keratinization of epithelial cells.
• Helps in bone and teeth formation
• Required for growth
• Plays a role in the metabolism of DNA and protein synthesis.
• Skin becomes dry and scaly in a deficiency of vitamin A.

Therapeutic uses
• Oral leukoplakia
• Acute myeloid leukemia
• Acne

• Nyctalopia (poor night vision)
• Dry and scaly skin
• Decreased endochondral bone formation and osteoblastic activity

• Nausea
• Headaches
• Irritability
• Teratogenicity
• Skin and hair problems

Vitamin E - Tocopherols

• Dietary source: wheat, sunflower, grape seed, canola, almond, margarine, cottonseed oil, spinach and corn oil
• Daily requirement: 10 mg for 2,000 calorie intake
• There is a higher requirement in pregnancy and lactation.

• It has antioxidant properties and contributes to the oxidation of free fatty acids.
• Involved in aerobic cellular respiration
• Combines with reactive oxygen species and works in conjugation with vitamin C
• More oxygen to RBCs

Therapeutic uses
• Nocturnal muscle cramps
• Atherosclerosis
• Fibrocystic breast disease
• Intermittent claudication

• Hemolytic anemia
• Muscular dystrophy
• Hepatic necrosis
• Immune impairment

Excessive Intake
Interferes with vitamin K and impacts clotting.

Vitamin K - Quinone

• Dietary source: fish, meat, broccoli, parsley, lettuce, kale, collards
• It is synthesized in the body by the normal intestinal flora. Newborns cannot produce vitamin K due to the sterile gut.
• Daily requirement: 80 µg for 2,000 calorie intake

• Promotes blood coagulation. Factor II, VII, IX and X require vitamin K.
• It is an important co-factor in oxidative phosphorylation.
• It enhances the capacity of calcium-binding proteins to deposit calcium in the concerned tissues.
• Deficiency: There is a rare chance of deficiency. Prolonged use of antibiotics and other drugs such as warfarin.

Vitamin D - Calciferol, Calcitriol

• Dietary source: fish liver oil, egg yolk, margarine, lard
• Daily requirement: 5 µg for 2,000 calorie intake. Sun exposure is very important for conversion into an active form.
• There is a higher requirement in infants, children, pregnant and lactating women.

7-dehydrocholesterol is converted into cholecalciferol (vitamin D3) in the presence of sunlight. It then combines with vitamin D2 (ergocalciferol) and gets converted to 25-hydroxyvitamin D3 (calcidiol) in the liver. It is then converted into 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 (calcitriol) in the kidney. This is the active form.

• Absorption of calcium and phosphate from the intestines
• Enhanced mineralization of the bones
• Absorption of calcium and phosphate from the renal system
• Vitamin D lowers the pH in colon
• It has a role in increasing the citrate content of blood and bones

Rickets In Children
Rickets in Children

• Rickets in children
• Osteomalacia in adults
• Renal osteodystrophy

Hypervitaminosis D occurs if it is taken in large doses, 500 times that of the normal dose. Toxicity produces immediate and delayed effects.

• Immediate effects: anorexia, constipation, lassitude, thirst, polyuria, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea
• Delayed effects: metastatic calcification, urinary lithiasis

Vitamin B1 - Thiamine

• Dietary source: rice, peas, beans, whole white bread, bran, prunes, nuts, liver, meat, eggs and milk. It is also synthesized by the intestinal flora.
• Daily requirement: 1.4 mg. This is related to the carbohydrate content taken in diet, not the caloric value of food.
• Dietary requirements increase in case of hemorrhage, increased alcohol intake, prolonged illness and use of antibiotics, increased caloric burnout, fever, hyperthyroidism and pregnancy and lactation.

• It is a coenzyme in multiple metabolic reactions of the body, e.g., oxidative decarboxylation, trans-ketolation reaction in glucose metabolism, etc.
• Required for the activity of enzyme tryptophan pyrolyse (tryptophan metabolism)

Deficiency is rare due to wide distribution in foods. Beriberi is the result of thiamine deficiency. It has the following three types:

1. Dry Beriberi
◦ Symmetrical muscle wasting
◦ Peripheral neuropathy
◦ Confusion
◦ Difficulty in speech
◦ Involuntary eye movements

2. Wet Beriberi
◦ Signs and symptoms of dry Beriberi along with shortness of breath, rapid heart rate, edema in lower legs and cardiac failure.

3. Wernicke-Korsakoff ◦ Confusion
◦ Nystagmus
◦ Ataxia
◦ Confabulation
◦ Mammary body damage
◦ Aphasia

Vitamin B2 - Riboflavin

• Dietary source: yeasts, beans, peas, green vegetables, nuts, liver, kidney, milk, crab meat and eggs
• Daily requirement: 1.6 mg for 2,000 calorie intake
• There is a higher requirement in case of burns, acute illness, broad spectrum antibiotics use, pregnancy and lactation.

• Acts as a coenzyme in certain H-transfer reactions in metabolism
• Red blood cell production

Vitamin B3 - Niacin

• Dietary source: liver, meat, fish, kidney, legumes, coffee, tea and nuts
• It is also synthesized from tryptophan and in a limited amount by the gut flora.
• Daily requirement: 18 mg for 2,000 calorie intake
• There is a higher requirement in illness, infection, high corn or maize diet, pregnancy and lactation.

• Synthesis and formation of NAD+ and NADP which further act as co-enzymes in different metabolic reactions
• Nicotinamide formation
• Cholesterol production
• Nerve function

It can result from B3 or tryptophan. It results in a disease called Pellagra. Following are the clinical feature of Pellagra:
• Dermatitis
• Diarrhea
• Dementia

Therapeutic use
• To treat high cholesterol

• Skin irritation
• Liver damage
• Flushing of skin

Vitamin B5 - Pantothenic Acid
• Dietary source: kidney, yeast, egg yolk, liver, skimmed milk, chicken, royal jelly (richest source) and molasses
• Daily requirement: 6 mg for 2,000 calorie intake
• There is a higher requirement in case of burns, acute illness, severe injury, use of broad spectrum antibiotics, growing children, in convalescence, pregnancy and lactation.

• Formation of active acetate, acetyl Co-A
• Formation of succinyl Co-A which is involved in heme synthesis and degradation of ketone bodies
• Involved in oxidation of fatty acids
• Plays a role in adrenal cortical function

It is rarely seen due to wide distribution in food and its supply and synthesis by the gut flora but can lead to burning feet syndrome.

Vitamin B6 - Pyridoxine

• Dietary source: yeast, rice polishings, egg yolk, royal jelly and cereal grains
• Daily requirement: 2 mg for 2,000 calorie intake
• There is a higher requirement in the second half of pregnancy and in antituberculous treatment with isoniazid.

• Co-enzyme in transamination reaction and decarboxylation reactions
• Co-enzyme for deaminases and kynureninase
• Takes part in transsulfuration
• Co-enzyme for desulfhydrase
• Neurotransmitter production
• Protein metabolism (transaminases)
• Production of RBCs

Therapeutic uses
• Morning sickness of pregnancy
• Muscular dystrophies
• Hyperoxaluria
• Recurring oxalate stones of kidney
• Radiation sickness

The deficiency of vitamin B6 does not cause any disease but following clinical manifestations are seen:
• Decreased immunity
• Oxaluria
• Peripheral neuropathy
• Epileptiform convulsions in infants
• Anemia
Most common cause of deficiency is isoniazid treatment.

Vitamin B7 - Biotin

• Dietary source: liver, milk, kidney, milk products, molasses, legumes, vegetables and royal jelly. Bacterial flora of intestines can also synthesize this vitamin.
• Daily requirement: 30 µg for 2,000 calorie intake
• There is a higher requirement in pregnancy and lactation and long-term antibiotic therapy.

• It is a co-enzyme for carboxylases enzyme
• Involved in CO2 fixation reactions
• Fatty acid metabolism
• Cellular growth
• RBC production

There is no specific deficiency disease, but two conditions are related to biotin deficiency. These are:
• Genetic deficiency of holocarboxylase synthase
• Leiner's disease

Vitamin B9 - Folate (Folic Acid)

• Dietary source: liver, kidney, yeast, green leafy vegetables, cauliflower, spinach, wheat, meat and fish
• Daily requirement: 400 µg for 2,000 calorie intake
• There is a higher requirement in pregnancy and lactation, cancers and hemolytic anemia.

• Role in one-carbon metabolism reactions. One carbon moiety can be utilized to form several compounds.
• An important role in hematopoiesis
• Myelination
• DNA nucleotide production

• Macrocytic anemia
• Weakness
• Growth retardation
• Granulocytopenia
• Thrombocytopenia
• Megaloblastic anemia (decreased RBCs and hematocrit, increased homocysteine levels, increased MCV)
• Trimethoprim and methotrexate are the drugs that inhibit folate production.

Excessive intake
• Vitamin B12 deficiency
• Renal damage

Vitamin B12 - Cobalamin

• Dietary source: liver, fish, egg, meat and kidney. It is not present in plants.
• Daily requirement: 6 µg for 2,000 calorie intake
• There is a higher requirement in pregnancy, lactation and pernicious anemia.

Stomach acid and digestive enzymes are necessary to remove vitamin B12 from proteins. It then binds to intrinsic factor released by parietal cells of the stomach. Intrinsic factor chaperones B12 to the terminal ileum where it is absorbed.

• Important for the conversion of homocysteine to methionine
• Nerve cell function
• RBCs production
• Fatty acid oxidation

It is due to the following factors:
• Pernicious anemia (autoimmune disease affecting parietal cells)
• Metformin use
• Crohn's disease
• Bowel resection
• Use of antacid and proton pump inhibitors
Deficiency of B12 leads to megaloblastic anaemia because folate cannot be recycled.

Nervous system issues arise because of methyl malanoic acid which causes demyelination. Peripheral numbness, spasticity and loss of proprioception are seen in the case of deficiency.

Vitamin C - Ascorbic Acid

• Dietary source: citrus fruits, papaya, pineapple, banana, strawberry, cabbage, cauliflower, green peas, tomatoes and potatoes. Amla has the highest concentration of vitamin C.
• Daily requirement: 75 mg for 2,000 calorie intake
• There is a higher requirement during infections.

Deficiency of vitamin C can produce Scurvy. One of the main clinical manifestation is swollen gums.

Deficiency of vitamin C can produce Scurvy. One of the main clinical manifestations is swollen gums
Image: "Deficiency of vitamin C can produce Scurvy. One of the main clinical manifestations is swollen gums."

• Involved in cellular oxidation-reduction reactions
• Important for collagen synthesis
• Required for the activity of osteoblasts and fibroblasts
• Cofactor in hydroxylation of tryptophan
• Tyrosine metabolism
• Helps in the maturation of RBCs along with folic acid
• Formation of tissue ferritin
• Iron absorption
• Important in electron transport system of the body.
• Actives arginase and papain enzymes and inhibits beta amylase and urease activity
• Co-enzyme for dopamine hydroxylase
• Carnitine formation in liver
• Fatty acids alpha-oxidation
• Plays important role during stress

Therapeutic uses
• Treatment of scurvy
• Methaemoglobinaemia
• Wound healing
• Treatment of infectious diseases

Low intake of vitamin C leads to a disease known as scurvy. It has the following clinical manifestations:

• Delayed wound healing
• Poor dentine formation
• Fragile capillaries
• Swollen and bleeding gums
• Poorly laid osteoid of bone
• Hypochromic microcytic anemia
• Painful swelling of joints and bones
• Loose teeth
• Bruising

Sunday, December 11

Psoriasis Video

Psoriasis Instructional Tutorial Video

What Causes Psoriasis?

Psoriasis Scalp

It is now clear that there is a genetic basis for psoriasis. This hereditary predisposition is necessary before the disease can be triggered by environmental factors. White blood cells called T-cells mediate the development of the psoriatic plaques that are present in the skin. When someone has psoriasis, their body is unable to offer protection from invaders. Instead, inflammation is promoted and skin cells are on overdrive. When cell growth is increased, old skin cells pile up instead of flaking off, causing psoriasis to occur. Currently, most experts conclude that environmental, genetic and immunologic factors interact to cause the disease.

This genetically programmed inflammatory disease that primarily affects the skin afflicts about 3% of individuals in the United States and 1% to 3% of the UK population. Psoriasis is Not Contagious. It appears as red, raised scaly patches known as plaques. Any part of the skin surface may be involved, but the plaques most commonly appear on the elbows, knees and scalp. It can be itchy, but is not usually painful. Nail changes, including pitting and ridging, are present in 40% to 50% of people with psoriasis and 10% to 20% of people with psoriasis will develop psoriatic arthritis.

Psoriasis is characterised by skin cells that multiply u
What Is Psoriasis
p to 10 times faster than normal. When these cells reach the surface and die, raised, red plaques covered with white scales form. Psoriasis begins as a small scaling papule. When multiple papules coalesce, they form scaling plaques. These plaques tend to occur in the scalp, elbows, and knees.

Is Psoriasis Contagious?

Psoriasis is not contagious. People used to believe that psoriasis was the same as leprosy, but that is not the case. You cannot get psoriasis by touching, kissing, or having sex with someone who has psoriasis. People get psoriasis because of their genes, not their hygiene, diet, lifestyle, or any other habits.

Types of Psoriasis

Although the commonest form features red, raised, scaly plaques, there are a number of types of psoriasis. These look different and may require specific treatment.

Remember, although psoriasis is a chronic condition it can be controlled and can go into remission, often temporarily and sometimes permanently. Not all people will be affected in the same way and doctors will class the condition as mild, moderate or severe.

Plaque Psoriasis

Plaque psoriasis is the most common type of psoriasis and it gets its name from the plaques that build up on the skin. There tend to be well-defined patches of red raised skin that can appear on any area of the skin, but the knees, elbows, scalp, trunk, and nails are the most common locations. There is also a flaky, white build up on top of the plaques, called scales. Possible plaque psoriasis symptoms include skin pain, itching, and cracking.

There are plenty of over-the-counter products that are effective in the treatment of plaque psoriasis. 1% hydrocortisone cream is a topical steroid that can suppress mild disease and preparations containing tar are effective in treating plaque psoriasis.

Scalp Psoriasis

Scalp psoriasis is a common skin disorder that makes raised, reddish, often scaly patches. Scalp psoriasis can affect your whole scalp, or just pop up as one patch. This type of psoriasis can even spread to the forehead, the back of the neck, or behind the ears. Scalp psoriasis symptoms may include only slight, fine scaling. Moderate to severe scalp psoriasis symptoms may include dandruff-like flaking, dry scalp, and hair loss. Scalp psoriasis does not directly cause hair loss, but stress and excess scratching or picking of the scalp may result in hair loss.

Scalp psoriasis can be treated with medicated shampoos, creams, gels, oils, ointments, and soaps. Salicylic acid and coal tar are two medications in over-the-counter products that help treat scalp psoriasis. Steroid injections and phototherapy may help treat mild scalp psoriasis. Biologics are the latest class of medications that can also help treat severe scalp psoriasis.

Guttate Psoriasis

Guttate psoriasis looks like small, pink dots or drops on the skin. The word guttate is from the Latin word gutta, meaning drop. There tends to be fine scales with guttate psoriasis that is finer than the scales in plaque psoriasis. Guttate psoriasis is typically triggered by streptococcal (strep throat) and the outbreak will usually occur two to three weeks after having strep throat.

Guttate psoriasis tends to go away after a few weeks without treatment. Moisturisers can be used to soften the skin. If there is a history of psoriasis, a doctor may take a throat culture to determine if strep throat is present. If the throat culture shows that streptococcal is present, a doctor may prescribe antibiotics.

Nail Psoriasis

Nail Psoriasis

Many patients with psoriasis have abnormal nails. Psoriatic nails often have a horizontal white or yellow margin at the tip of the nail called distal onycholysis because the nail is lifted away from the skin. There can often be small pits in the nail plate, and the nail is often yellow and crumbly.

The same treatment for skin psoriasis is beneficial for nail psoriasis. However, since nails grow slow, it may take a while for improvements to be evident. Nail psoriasis can be treated with phototherapy, systemic therapy (medications that spread throughout the body), and steroids (cream or injection). If medications do not improve the condition of nail psoriasis, a doctor may surgically remove the nail.

Psoriasis Triggers

If you have the genetic basis of psoriasis, a trigger can cause psoriasis to flare up. The following are triggers that may set off one's psoriasis:

* Streptococcal (sore throat)
* Trauma to the skin(cut, scrape, bug bite, infection, sunburn)
* Certain drugs (lithium, high blood pressure and heart medications, beta blockers, antimalarial, indomethacin)
* Stress
* Obesity

Psoriasis Symptoms

Although psoriatic plaques can be limited to only a few small areas, the condition can involve widespread areas of skin anywhere on the body. Psoriasis symptoms vary depending on the type of psoriasis you have. Common psoriasis symptoms can include the following:

* Red patches of skin covered with silvery scales
* Small scaling spots
* Dry, cracked skin
* Itching, burning, or soreness
* Itchy plaques
* Small bleeding points when the scale is peeled away

Psoriasis Before And After Treatment

Psoriasis Diagnosing

Psoriasis is often diagnosed or at least suspected on the basis of its appearance and distribution. However, psoriasis may resemble eczema or other skin diseases and further tests may be required. It may be necessary to remove a small piece of skin (a biopsy) and have it examined by a pathologist to confirm the diagnosis. If there are joint symptoms, X-rays and other laboratory tests may be in order. Psoriasis cannot be cured, but like many other medical conditions, it is controllable with treatment. Your doctor may have you seen by a consultant such as a dermatologist, rheumatologist or immunologist to help diagnose and treat your form of psoriasis.

Saturday, December 10

Ways Of Dealing With Menopausal Symptoms

Ways Of Dealing With Menopausal Symptoms

Here are some of the common triggers of hot flashes in menopause - Caffeine, Alcohol, A hot room and Stress. Keep a diary to track what sets off your hot flashes and try to avoid them. When a hot flash starts, take slow, deep breaths, in the nose and out the mouth. For tough cases, talk to your doctor.

Freeze Out Night Sweats

At night, hot flashes can go on for 3 minutes or more, leaving you drenched in sweat and unable to sleep. But there are ways to keep your cool. Trade the heavy flannels for light PJs. Put a bag of frozen peas under your pillow. Flip the pillow through the night and put your face on the cool side. Choose layers of light blankets over one thick quilt. Use a bedside fan to keep air moving.

Boost The Odds of Sleep

Ways Of Dealing With Menopausal Symptoms

Yoga, tai chi, and learning to meditate have all been shown to help you sleep. Any exercise can make a difference; just quit 3 hours before bedtime. Skip a nightcap, as alcohol will waken you later. Instead, try sipping warm milk. It contains a substance that can help you relax. Still up? Get out of bed and read until sleepy. If the trouble persists, talk to your doctor about short-term sleep aids.

Give Your Body Help

Hormone changes leave the vagina thinner and dryer, which can make sex painful. Lucky for you, lots of products exist today that can help. Try non-prescription, water-based vaginal lubricants or vaginal moisturiser. You can also ask your doctor about prescription vaginal creams or rings, or prescription pills for vaginal dryness and painful sex. The more sex you're able to have, the better for blood flow, which helps vaginal health.

Nurture That Lost Desire

Make more time for sex. Try massage and other acts short of intercourse. Use erotica and new-for-you sex routines as ways to build desire, too. Other causes besides hormone changes can strike at the same time. Ask a doctor about poor sleep, bladder trouble, or feeling depressed or stressed.

Ways Of Dealing With Menopausal Symptoms

It's like premenstrual syndrome (PMS), only amped up - crying jags, happy happies, cranky crankies. These are common in women around the time of menopause. And if you had bad PMS, the hormonal changes that happen during this time may cause even bigger mood swings. Yoga and tai chi can help here, too. So can doing things with others that you enjoy. A low-dose birth control pill, antidepressants, and even alternative treatments are sometimes recommended for mood changes.

Head Off Headaches

Migraines can worsen at or around the time of menopause, or show up for the first time. Keep a diary to see what triggers them and if they show up along with hot flashes so you can take steps to lessen them. Eating small meals through the day can help if hunger is a headache trigger. Lack of sleep is another one, so nap if your nights are messed up. Treatments vary and can help prevent migraine frequency or severity. Talk with your doctor.

When Hair Goes Down the Drain

Hair can thin or shed faster. At the same time, it may show up where you don't want it - on your chin and cheeks. To save what you have, switch to coloring products that don't have harsh chemicals. Avoid the sun, which is drying. Got unwanted facial hair? Ask a skin doctor for advice to help wax, bleach, pluck, or zap it away.

Acne? Now? Really?

Acne In Menopause

You expect to have acne in your teens but not in your 50s. Surprise: It's common around menopause, too. Make sure your moisturizer, sunscreen, cleanser, and other face products are gentle. Look for the words "oil free", "won't clog pores", "noncomedogenic", and "non-acnegenic". Even tough cases can clear with time and a doctor's help.

Blast Through Mental Fog

"Use it or lose it". That simple phrase can help you fight fuzzy thinking and stay focused during menopause. Challenge your brain in new ways. Learn something new, like a hobby or language. Lowering your stress level can help, too. Women with more hot flashes have more memory complaints.

Friday, December 9

Asthma And COPD, An Introduction

An introduction to obstructive lung disease, including definitions of asthma, chronic bronchitis, emphysema, and COPD, and a paradigm of how the diseases all relate to one another.

Obstructive Lung Disease

There are two types of obstructive lung diseases, asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Asthma is characterised by normal lung function in most asthmatic people when not having an asthma attack, whereas people with COPD never have a normal lung function, they have chronic obstruction. Neither asthma nor COPD are clearly defined diseases, they represent two different groups of diseases in which the symptoms may vary.

In the case of asthma, there is usually a great sensitivity to airborne substances in the environment which as they are inhaled, give rise to irritation and asthma symptoms such as cough, whistling breathing sounds (wheezing) and shortness of breath. People with COPD may also experience problems when they inhale irritating substances, but often not to the same degree as the asthmatics.

Asthma Versus COPD

Thursday, December 8

Erythema Infectiosum Video

Erythema Infectiosum, Fifth Disease Instructional Tutorial Video

Erythema infectiosum, also called 'slapped cheek disease' or 'fifth disease' is a viral infection that predominantly affects children between the ages of 3 and 15.

Parents, or people working with children, are also liable to infection.

The most striking symptom is a red rash on the cheeks. There is no cure, in time the infection resolves.

How Erythema Infectiosum Is Contracted

Erythema infectiosum is caused by a virus called parvovirus B19. The virus is transferred from one person to another via airborne droplets from the nose and throat, for example when coughing or sneezing.

An infected pregnant woman can transfer the virus to her unborn baby.

The incubation period for parvovirus B19 is between one and three weeks and the person will be infectious for about a week before the illness actually becomes apparent.

By the time symptoms are present, the person is no longer infectious. There are 50 to 80 per cent of adults who have been infected with B19.

Erythema Infectiosum, The Slapped Cheek Syndrome

Signs Of Erythema Infectiosum

* A couple of days before the rash appears, mild symptoms of flu and itching may occur.
* A rash and redness may be observed on the cheeks. The rash then spreads to the arms and legs either at the same time or a few days later. In rare cases the whole body is involved.
* Itching is usually present.
* Painful or swollen joints frequently occurs in adults, especially women.
* The patient may have a temperature and suffer from fatigue.
* In many cases, the illness passes undetected as there are no noticeable symptoms. However, even people without symptoms may be infectious.

Wednesday, December 7

Belly Fat, Learn The Truth

Large Belly Fat In A Man

Everyone has some belly fat, even people who have flat abs. That's normal. But too much belly fat can affect your health in a way that other fat doesn't.

Some of your fat is right under your skin. Other fat is deeper inside, around your heart, lungs, liver, and other organs.

It's that deeper fat called "visceral" fat that may be the bigger problem, even for thin people.

Deep Belly Fat

You need some visceral fat. It provides cushioning around the organs. But if you have too much of it, you may be more likely to get high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, dementia, and certain cancers, including breast cancer and colon cancer.

The fat doesn't just sit there. It's an active part of your body, making lots of nasty substances. If you gain too much weight, your body starts to store your fat in unusual places.

With increasing obesity, the regular areas to store fat are so full that the fat is deposited into the organs and around the heart.

How Much Belly Fat Do You Have?

Deep Visceral Fat And Subcutaneous Fat

The most precise way to determine how much visceral fat you have is to get a CT scan or MRI. But there's a much simpler, low-cost way to check.

Get a measuring tape, wrap it around your waist at your belly button, and check your girth. Do it while you're standing up, and make sure the tape measure is level.

For your health's sake, you want your waist size to be less than 35 inches if you're a woman and less than 40 inches if you're a man.

Apple Shape Versus Pear Shape

Having a 'pear shape' - bigger hips and thighs - is considered safer than an 'apple shape', which describes a wider waistline. If you have more abdominal fat, it's probably an indicator that you have more visceral fat.

Thin People Have Visceral Too

Even if you're thin, you can still have too much visceral fat. How much you have is partly dependent on your genes, and partly on your lifestyle, especially how active you are.

Visceral fat likes inactivity. In one study, thin people who watched their diets but didn't exercise were more likely to have too much visceral fat. The key to lesser visceral fat is to be active, no matter what size you are.

4 Steps For Beating Belly Fat

There are four keys factors in the control of belly fat namely: exercise, diet, sleep and stress management.

1. Exercise: Vigorous exercise trims all your fat, including visceral fat.

Get at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise at least 5 days a week. Walking counts, as long as it's brisk enough that you work up a sweat and breathe harder, with your heart rate faster than usual.

To get the same results in half the time, step up your pace and get vigorous exercise - like jogging or walking. You'd need to do that for 20 minutes a day, 4 days a week.

Jog, if you're already fit, or walk briskly at an incline on a treadmill if you're not ready for jogging. Vigorous workouts on stationary bikes and elliptical or rowing machines are also effective.

Moderate activity - raising your heart rate for 30 minutes at least three times per week also helps. It slows down how much visceral fat you gain. But to torch visceral fat, your workouts may need to be stepped up.

"Rake leaves, walk, garden, go to Zumba, play soccer with your kids. It doesn't have to be in the gym. If you are not active now, it's a good idea to check with your health care provider before starting a new fitness program.

2. Diet: There is no magic diet for belly fat. But when you lose weight on any diet, belly fat usually goes first.

Getting enough fiber can help. Hairston's research shows that people who eat 10 grams of soluble fiber per day, without any other diet changes build up less visceral fat over time than others. That's as simple as eating two small apples, a cup of green peas, or a half-cup of pinto beans.

The Truth About Belly Fat

"Even if you kept everything else the same but switched to a higher-fiber bread, you might be able to better maintain your weight over time".

3. Sleep: Getting the right amount of shut-eye helps. In one study, people who got 6 to 7 hours of sleep per night gained less visceral fat over 5 years compared to those who slept 5 or fewer hours per night or 8 or more hours per night. Sleep may not have been the only thing that mattered but it was part of the picture.

4. Stress: Everyone has stress. How you handle it matters. The best things you can do is to practice relaxing with friends and family, meditating, exercising to blow off steam and getting counselling. That leaves you healthier and better prepared to make good choices for yourself.

If you could only afford the time to do one of these things, exercise probably has the most immediate benefits, because it gets at both obesity and stress.

Tuesday, December 6

Ebola: Transmission, Symptoms, Diagnosis, and Treatment

The video showing an overview of the transmission, presentation, and treatment of Ebola, including some experimental therapies such as ZMapp.

Proper infection control practices are also discussed in the video.

What Is Know About Ebola Virus Transmission In Humans

Ebola Virus Transmission In Humans

The Ebola virus is transmitted among humans through close and direct physical contact with infected bodily fluids, the most infectious being blood, faeces and vomit.

The Ebola virus has also been detected in breast milk, urine and semen. In a convalescent male, the virus can persist in semen for at least 70 days; one study suggests persistence for more than 90 days.

Saliva and tears may also carry some risk. However, the studies implicating these additional bodily fluids were extremely limited in sample size and the science is inconclusive. In studies of saliva, the virus was found most frequently in patients at a severe stage of illness. The whole live virus has never been isolated from sweat.

The Ebola virus can also be transmitted indirectly, by contact with previously contaminated surfaces and objects. The risk of transmission from these surfaces is low and can be reduced even further by appropriate cleaning and disinfection procedures.

Ebola is not spread through the air, by water, or in general, by food. However, in Africa, Ebola may be spread as a result of handling bushmeat (wild animals hunted for food) and contact with infected bats. There is no evidence that mosquitoes or other insects can transmit Ebola virus. Only a few species of mammals (e.g., humans, bats, monkeys, and apes) have shown the ability to become infected with and spread Ebola virus.

Healthcare providers caring for Ebola patients and family and friends in close contact with Ebola patients are at the highest risk of getting sick because they may come in contact with infected blood or body fluids.

During outbreaks of Ebola, the disease can spread quickly within healthcare settings (such as a clinic or hospital). Exposure to Ebola can occur in healthcare settings where hospital staff are not wearing appropriate personal protective equipment.

Dedicated medical equipment (preferably disposable, when possible) should be used by healthcare personnel providing patient care. Proper cleaning and disposal of instruments, such as needles and syringes, also are important. If instruments are not disposable, they must be sterilised before being used again. Without adequate sterilisation of instruments, virus transmission can continue and amplify an outbreak.

Is Aspirin Really A Wonder Drug?

An Aspirin A Day Keeps The Stroke Away

Is Aspirin Really A Wonder Drug

One thing aspirin does is interrupt the process that makes your blood clot. Taking one every day helps keep your blood flowing smoothly and helps prevent blockages in your blood vessels that can lead to strokes and heart attacks. Talk to your doctor about whether it's a good idea for you.

Regular Aspirin Use May Help Women Avoid Parkinson's Disease

A study found that women who took at least two aspirin a week had a 40% lower risk of Parkinson's. Researchers aren't sure why. Maybe it's because women tend to take higher doses for arthritis and headaches than men take for heart problems.

Aspirin Was Developed In The 1890's

As far back as 1500 B.C, people were aware of the medicinal powers of the willow bark plant. But it wasn't until the 1800's that scientists figured out which part of that plant was doing the healing. In 1897, a scientist used a new form of the drug to treat his father's rheumatism. And the aspirin we know today, acetylsalicylic acid was born.

Don't Give A Child With The Flu Aspirin Because It Can Make Them Sicker

Aspirin is a no-no for kids who have a fever or a viral infection like the flu. It's linked to Reye syndrome, a serious condition with symptoms like vomiting, confusion, and being overstimulated. It causes swelling in the brain and liver and may lead to a coma.

Until age 19, you're usually better off reaching for ibuprofen or acetaminophen, unless your doctor specifically says to use aspirin.

50% Of Older Adults In The U.S. Take Aspirin Everyday?

The No. 1 reason over half of people ages 45-75 pop these pills is to help prevent a heart attack.

Is It Safe To Take Aspirin Another Way Besides Swallowing It?

Aspirin comes in different forms: tablets, powder, gum and as a suppository. It's probably easiest to take it by mouth, but it affects your body the same, no matter how it gets in there. Follow the directions on the package.

When Should Your Take Aspirin

When Is The Best Recommended Time Of The Day To Take Aspirin?

It is recommended that aspirin be taken with food or just after food. This is because a some number of people get bleeding in their stomach after taking aspirin. If you should experience pain in the abdomen, dark blood in your stools or black stools after taking aspirin, you should see your doctor.

Too Much Aspirin Could Cause Ringing In Your Ears

High doses can cause tinnitus. The ringing should go away once you stop taking the medicine. The most common side effect is a tummy ache. Eat something before you take a dose to help avoid that. It's possible to have an allergic reaction to aspirin, but it's rare.

You Must Not Take Aspirin For Headache When You Are Pregnant

Is Aspirin Really A Wonder Drug?

For moms-to-be, paracetamol or acetaminophen is a better choice for pain relief.

But if you're at high risk for preeclampsia, your doctor will probably recommend a low dose of aspirin to prevent high blood pressure and protein in your urine.

Since aspirin can cause extra bleeding during labor, you shouldn't take it during the last 6-8 weeks your baby's on board, unless your doctor told you to.

Sunday, October 30

Anaphylaxis, An Overview

What As Anaphylaxis?

Anaphylaxis is a life-threatening allergic reaction. It starts soon after you are exposed to something you are severely allergic to. You may have swelling, itching or a rash with itchy bumps (hives). Some people have trouble breathing, a tight feeling in their chest or dizziness. Some people feel anxious. Other people have stomach cramps, nausea or diarrhea. Some people lose consciousness (pass out). A person who has anaphylaxis needs immediate medical attention.

What Is Anaphylaxis

Causes And Risk Factors - What Causes Anaphylaxis?

Anaphylaxis is most often caused by exposure to an allergen. Normally, when you are exposed to an allergen, your immune system produces antibodies to help you “fight” the allergen. These antibodies are the cause of normal allergy symptoms - normal allergy symptoms aren't life threatening. However, sometimes your immune system can overreact to an allergen and cause a very severe allergic reaction - this can lead to anaphylaxis and is very dangerous.

Symptoms And Signs Of Anaphylaxis

Allergens and substances that may lead to anaphylaxis include the following:

• Foods such as shellfish, nuts, peanuts, eggs, and fruits
• Medicines such as antibiotics, aspirin, over-the-counter pain relievers (such as ibuprofen), allergy shots, and contrast dye for imaging procedures
• Latex or rubber found in surgical gloves, medical supplies, and many products in your home
• Insect stings, especially from bees, wasps, hornets, yellow jackets, sawflies, and fire ants

Treatment Of Anaphylaxis

What Do I Do If I Have Or Someone I Know Has A Severe Allergic Reaction?

Call 911 to get emergency medical help right away.

If the person having an attack has an emergency anaphylaxis kit with an EpiPen (epinephrine injector), give him or her the epinephrine injection right away. Then, make sure he or she still goes to the emergency room for follow-up. Epinephrine just buys the victim some time to get to emergency care.

What Is In An Emergency Anaphylaxis Kit?

An emergency anaphylaxis kit contains medicine to counteract your allergic reaction. This medicine is usually a drug called epinephrine that you inject into your arm or leg (or have a friend inject). Your doctor will prescribe a kit with the right dose of medicine and will teach you how to use it.

Injection Of Epinephrine

Make sure your family, friends, and coworkers also know how to use the kit. Sometimes your doctor will tell you to keep an antihistamine, such as diphenhydramine (one brand name: Benadryl), in the kit too.

What Can I Expect After Anaphylaxis?

You should recover completely with treatment. Most people live a normal, full life. You can get back to your normal activities once you are feeling better. However, you should have someone stay with you for 24 hours after anaphylaxis to make sure another attack does not happen.

If you've had anaphylaxis, you need to be prepared for the possibility that you will have anaphylaxis again in the future. Talk to your doctor about how to minimize your risk for anaphylaxis in the future, and how to use your emergency medical kit

Severe Allergic Reaction, Anaphylaxis

How Do I Prevent Anaphylaxis?

The following are some ways to help prevent a reaction:

• If you have had anaphylaxis, make sure your doctor and dentist know so that it is recorded on your medical chart. Tell them what you are allergic to, if you know.
• If you are allergic to insect stings, wear protective clothing and insect repellent when you're outside.
• Avoid handling or eating foods you are allergic to. Even tiny amounts mixed by accident into your food can cause a reaction. Read the ingredient list on any packaged foods you are going to eat.

Food Allergy

• Wear or carry a medical alert bracelet, necklace or keychain that warns emergency medical technicians (EMTs) and doctors that you are at risk for anaphylaxis.
• Ask your doctor if you need desensitization shots. If you have had anaphylaxis because of a bee or wasp sting, desensitization shots are almost always a good idea.
• Ask your doctor if there are other things you also might be allergic to.
If you are at risk of anaphylaxis, keep an emergency anaphylaxis kit with you at all times. Make sure the people around you, such as your family and friends, know how to use it.

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