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...

Saturday, February 6

Bladder Cancer, An Introduction

Bladder cancer is where a growth of abnormal tissue, known as a tumour, develops in the lining of the bladder. In some cases, the tumour spreads into the surrounding muscles.
Classification Of Bladder Cancer - Bladder Cancer, An Introduction
The most common symptom of bladder cancer is blood in your urine, which is usually painless.

If you notice blood in your urine, even if it comes and goes, you should visit your GP so the cause can be investigated.

Types of Bladder Cancer

Once diagnosed, bladder cancer can be classified by how far it has spread.

If the cancerous cells are contained inside the lining of the bladder, doctors describe it as superficial or non-muscle invasive bladder cancer. This is the most common type of bladder cancer, accounting for 7 out of 10 cases. Most people do not die as a result this type of bladder cancer.

When the cancerous cells spread beyond the lining into the surrounding muscles of the bladder, it's referred to as muscle invasive bladder cancer. This is less common but has a higher chance of spreading to other parts of the body and can be fatal.

Why Does Bladder Cancer Happen?

Most cases of bladder cancer appear to be caused by exposure of the bladder to harmful substances which, over the course of many years, lead to abnormal changes in the bladder’s cells. Tobacco smoke is a common cause, it is estimated that half of all cases of bladder cancer are caused by smoking.

Contact with certain chemicals previously used in manufacturing is also known to cause bladder cancer. However, these substances have since been banned.

Treating Bladder Cancer

In cases of non-muscle invasive bladder cancer, it is usually possible to remove the cancerous cells while leaving the rest of the bladder intact. This is done using a surgical technique called transurethral resection of a bladder tumour (TURBT). This may be followed by a dose of chemotherapy medication directly in the bladder to reduce the risk of the cancer returning.

In cases with a higher risk of recurrence, a medication known as Bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG) may be injected into the bladder to reduce the risk of the cancer returning.

Treatment for muscle-invasive bladder cancer may involve surgically removing the bladder in an operation known as a radical cystectomy.

When the bladder is removed, you will need another way of collecting your urine. Possible options include making an opening in the abdomen so urine can be passed into an external bag, or constructing a new bladder out of a section of bowel. This will be done at the same time as your radical cystectomy.

If it's possible to avoid removing the bladder, or if surgery is not suitable, a course of radiotherapy and chemotherapy may be recommended. Chemotherapy may sometimes be used on its own before surgery or before being combined with radiotherapy.

After treatment for all types of bladder cancer, you will have regular follow up tests to check for signs of recurrence.

Who Is Affected?

About 10,000 people are diagnosed with bladder cancer every year.

The condition is more common in older adults, with the average age at diagnosis being 68 years old.

Rates of bladder cancer are four times higher in men than in women, possibly because in the past men were more likely to smoke and work in manufacturing industry.

Tuesday, January 26

Preventing Insect Bites And Stings

There are a number of precautions that you can take to avoid being bitten or stung by insects. It is particularly important to follow this advice if you have had a bad reaction to an insect bite or sting in the past.
Preventing Insect Bites And Stings

Some of the precautions that you can take to minimise your risk of being bitten or stung by an insect are listed below.

• Move away slowly without panicking if you encounter wasps, hornets or bees. Do not wave your arms around or swat at them.
• Cover exposed skin. If you are outside at a time of day when insects are particularly active, such as sunrise or sunset, cover your skin by wearing long sleeves and trousers.
• Wear shoes when outdoors.
• Apply insect repellent, particularly in summer or early autumn when stings are most likely to occur. This should be applied to exposed areas of skin. Repellents that contain diethyltoluamide (DEET) are considered most effective.
• Avoid using products with strong perfumes such as soaps, shampoos and deodorants, because they can attract insects.
• Avoid flowering plants, outdoor areas where food is served, rubbish and compost areas. Regularly and carefully remove any fallen fruit in your garden, and keep a well-fitting lid on any dustbins.
• Never disturb insect nests. If a nest is in or near your house, arrange to have it removed (see the GOV.UK website's section on pest control services for information about how your local council can help). Wasps build nests in sheltered areas including trees and roof spaces.
• Avoid camping near water, such as ponds and swamps, because mosquitoes and horseflies are commonly found near water.
Keep food and drink covered when eating or drinking outside, particularly sweet things. Wasps or bees can also get into open drink bottles or cans you are drinking from.
• Keep doors and windows closed or put thin netting or door beads over them to prevent insects getting inside the house. Also keep the windows of your car closed to stop insects getting inside.

Avoiding Ticks

Ticks are small arachnids mainly found in woodland areas. They attach to your skin, suck your blood and can be responsible for Lyme disease.

The Best Ways To Avoid Ticks Include:

• Being aware of ticks and the areas where they usually live
• Wearing appropriate clothing in tick-infested areas (a long-sleeve shirt and trousers tucked into your socks)
wearing light-coloured fabrics that may help you spot a tick on your clothes
• Using insect repellents
inspecting your skin for ticks, particularly at the end of the day, including your head, neck and skin folds (armpits, groin, and waistband)
• Checking your children's head and neck areas, including their scalp
• Making sure ticks are not brought home on your clothes
• Checking pets do not bring ticks indoors in their fur
• It is also important to remove any ticks you find as soon as possible.


If you are bitten by fleas, mites or bedbugs, you may have an infestation in your home. Try to find the source of the infestation and then take steps to eliminate it.

Signs Of An Infestation

The following are signs of an infestation:

• Fleas or flea faeces (stools) in your animal's fur or bedding are a sign of fleas
• Crusting on your dog's fur is a sign of fleas
• Excessive scratching and grooming are a sign of fleas in your cat
• Dandruff (flakes of skin) on your cat or dog is a sign of mites
• Spots of blood on your bed sheets are a sign of bedbugs
• An unpleasant almond smell is a sign of bedbugs

If you are unsure whether your pet has fleas, speak to your veterinary surgeon.

Eliminating An Infestation

Once you have identified the cause of the infestation, you will need to eliminate it.

For Flea Infestations:

treat the animal, its bedding, household carpets and soft furnishings with an insecticide
thoroughly vacuum your carpets and soft furnishings
For mite infestations, seek advice from your vet as aggressive treatment is required.

For bedbug infestations, your home will need to be thoroughly treated with an insecticide by a reputable pest control company. See the GOV.UK website's section on pest control services for more information about how your local council can help with an infestation.

Travelling Abroad

Seek medical advice before travelling to a tropical area where there is a risk of catching malaria. You may need to take antimalarial tablets to avoid becoming infected.

When you reach your destination, make sure your accommodation has insect-proof screen doors and windows that close properly. Sleeping under a mosquito net and spraying rooms with insecticide will also help stop you being bitten.

Sunday, January 3

Complications Of Insect Bites And Stings

A number of complications can develop after you are bitten or stung by an insect.


Secondary bacterial infections are a common complication of insect bites and stings. They include:

Complications Of Insect Bites And Stings

• Impetigo - a highly contagious bacterial infection that causes sores or blisters
• Cellulitis - an infection that makes your skin red, swollen and painful
• Folliculitis - inflammation (redness and swelling) of one or more hair follicles (the small hole in your skin that an individual hair grows out of)
• Lymphangitis - an infection that causes red streaks in your armpit or groin and swollen lymph nodes (small glands that are part of the immune system)
• An infection may occur if you scratch an insect bite or sting, or it may be introduced at the time you are bitten.

Infections are usually treated with antibiotics.

Lyme Disease

Lyme disease is an infection caused by a species of tick known as Ixodes ricinus. Ticks are not strictly insects, but small arachnids.

Lyme disease is uncommon, there are between 1,000 and 2,000 cases in England and Wales every year. The initial infection is characterised by a red rash that gradually expands outwards from the site of the bite. Antibiotics are usually used to treat the infection.

If untreated, the long-term effects of Lyme disease include problems with the nervous system such as:

• Meningitis
• Facial palsy - weakness of the facial muscles that causes drooping of one or both sides of the face
• Encephalitis

The condition can also damage the joints, which can lead to arthritis and heart problems (occasionally), such as inflammation of the heart muscle (myocarditis) and inflammation of the thin, two-layered, sac-like tissue that surrounds the heart (pericarditis).

West Nile Virus

West Nile virus is an infection with flu-like symptoms spread by mosquitoes.

There have been no reported cases of West Nile virus in the UK, but there have been cases elsewhere in the world. Since 2001, the HPA and the Department of Health have been raising awareness of the infection.


Malaria is a tropical disease caused by an infection of the red blood cells. It can be transmitted to humans by the bite of an infected mosquito.

Mosquito On The Skin

Each year, there are around 1,500 cases of malaria in travellers returning to the UK. A certain type of malaria, known as Plasmodium falciparum, is potentially fatal and accounts for over half of all annual cases in the UK.

Sunday, December 27

Treating Insect Bites And Stings

Most insect bites and stings cause small reactions that are confined to the area of the bite (localised reactions). They can usually be treated at home.

However, if your symptoms are severe, see your GP as soon as possible.

Removing A Sting
Removal Of A Sting

As soon as you have been stung by a bee, remove the sting and the venomous sac if it has been left in the skin. Do this by scraping it out, either with your fingernails or using something with a hard edge, such as a bank card.

When removing the sting, be careful not to spread the venom further under your skin and do not puncture the venomous sac.

Do not pinch the sting out with your fingers or a pair of tweezers because you may spread the venom. If a child has been stung, an adult should remove the sting.

Wasps and hornets do not usually leave the sting behind, so could sting you again. If you have been stung and the wasp or hornet is still in the area, walk away calmly to avoid being stung again.

Basic Treatment

Most insect bites and stings cause itching and swelling that usually clears up within several hours.

Minor bites and stings can be treated by:

• washing the affected area with soap and water
• Placing a cold compress (a flannel or cloth cooled with cold water) over the affected area to reduce swelling
• Not scratching the area because it can become infected (keep children's fingernails short and clean)
• See your GP if the redness and itching gets worse or does not clear up after a few days.

Additional Treatment

If the bite or sting is painful or swollen, you can also:

• wrap an ice pack (such as a bag of frozen peas) in a towel and place it on the swellingW
• Take painkillers, such as paracetamol or ibuprofen (children under 16 years old should not be given aspirin)
• Use a spray or cream that contains local anaesthetic, antihistamine or mild hydrocortisone (1%) on the affected area to prevent itching and swelling
• Take an antihistamine tablet to help reduce swelling (antihistamine tablets are available on prescription or from pharmacies)
• If local swelling is severe, your GP may prescribe a short course of oral corticosteroids, such as prednisolone, to take for three to five days.

If you have an allergic reaction after a bite or sting, even if it is just a skin rash (hives), you may be prescribed an adrenaline pen (called an auto-injector) by your GP and shown how to use it. You will also be referred to an allergy clinic to see an immunologist for further tests and treatment.


If you develop blisters after being bitten by an insect, do not burst them because they may become infected. Blisters do not often cause pain unless they rupture (burst), exposing the new skin underneath. If possible, use an adhesive bandage (plaster) to protect the blistered area.

Infected Bites

See your GP if the bite or sting fills with pus and feels tender to touch, your glands swell up and you feel unwell with flu-like symptoms.

Your GP may prescribe oral antibiotics (medicines to treat infections caused by bacteria). You will need to take these as instructed, usually two or four times a day for seven days.

Allergic Reaction

If you have swelling or itching anywhere else on your body after being bitten or stung, or if you are wheezing or have difficulty swallowing, you will need emergency medical treatment. Call 999 immediately and ask for an ambulance.

If you have the symptoms of a systemic reaction (SR), it could lead to anaphylactic shock. If you experience anaphylaxis, you may need to have an adrenaline injection, antihistamines, oxygen or an intravenous drip (a drip directly into a vein).

Allergy Clinics

If previous insect bites or stings have caused a large skin reaction, such as redness and swelling of over 10cm (4 inches) in diameter, your GP may refer you to an allergy clinic. The criteria for referring someone to an allergy clinic may vary depending on what is available in your local area.

Immunotherapy (desensitisation or hyposensitisation) is a possible treatment option if you are allergic to insect bites or stings, although it is more commonly used for wasp or bee stings. It involves being injected with small doses of venom every week and being observed to check for an allergic reaction.

Your body soon becomes used to the venom (desensitised) and will start to make antibodies to prevent further reactions.

When a high enough dose has been reached, the injections will be given monthly and could last for a further two or three years.

Your immunologist will decide how much venom is injected and how long the injections need to continue for. This will depend on your initial allergic reaction and your response to the treatment.


If you have been bitten by a tick (a small arachnid), remove it as soon as possible to reduce the risk of getting a tick-borne infection, such as Lyme disease (a bacterial infection that causes a rash).

To Remove The Tick:

How To Remove A Tick

• Use tweezers, wear gloves or cover your fingers with tissue to avoid touching the tick.
• Grab the tick as close to the skin as you can, and gently pull straight up until all parts are removed.
• Do not twist or jerk the tick as you are removing it because this may cause the mouthparts to break off and remain in your skin once the tick has been removed.
• Wash your hands with soap and water.
• Using petroleum jelly, alcohol or a lit match to remove a tick does not work.

After the tick has been removed, clean the tick bite with soap and water or an antiseptic, such as an iodine scrub.

Do not scratch the bite because this will cause further swelling and increase the chance of infection. Most tick bites will heal within three weeks. See your GP if you develop:

• A rash
• A temperature of 38C (100.4F) or over (fever)

You may need antibiotics to prevent Lyme disease.

Sunday, December 13

Symptoms Of Insect Bites And Stings

An insect bite or sting often causes a small lump to develop, which is usually very itchy.

A small hole, or the sting itself, may also be visible. The lump may have an inflamed (red and swollen) area around it that may be filled with fluid. This is called a weal.

Insect bites and stings usually clear up within several hours and can be safely treated at home.
Insect Bites And Stings - Bed Bug Bites

Types Of Insect Bite

The symptoms that can occur from different types of insect bites are listed below.

• Midges, mosquitoes and gnats
• Bites from midges, mosquitoes and gnats often cause small papules (lumps) to form on your skin that are usually very itchy. If you are particularly sensitive to insect bites, you may develop:

Bullae (fluid-filled blisters)

weals (circular, fluid-filled areas surrounding the bite)
Mosquito bites in certain areas of tropical countries can cause malaria.


Flea bites can be grouped in lines or clusters. If you are particularly sensitive to flea bites, they can lead to a condition called papular urticaria (where a number of itchy red lumps form). Bullae may also develop.

Fleas from cats and dogs can often bite below the knee, commonly around the ankles. They may also affect the forearms if you have been stroking or holding your pet.


A bite from a horsefly can be very painful. As well as the formation of a weal around the bite, you may experience:

• Urticaria - a rash of weals (also called hives, welts or nettle rash)
• Dizziness
• Weakness
• Wheezing
• Angio-oedema - itchy, pale pink or red swellings that often occur around the eyes and lips for short periods of time

Horseflies cut the skin when they bite, rather than piercing it, so horsefly bites can take a long time to heal and can cause an infection.


Bites from bedbugs are not usually painful, and if you have not been bitten by bedbugs before, you may not have any symptoms. If you have been bitten before, you may develop intensely irritating weals or lumps.

Bedbug bites often occur on your:

• Face
• Neck
• Hands
• Arms

The Blandford fly

The Blandford fly (sometimes called blackfly) is found in:

• East Anglia
• Oxfordshire
• Dorset
• Herefordshire

Blandford fly bites are common during May and June. They often occur on the legs and are very painful. They can produce a severe, localised reaction (a reaction that is confined to the area of the bite), with symptoms such as:

• Swelling
• Blistering
• A high temperature of 38C (100.4F) or over
• Joint pain

Types of Arachnid Bites


Tick bites are not usually painful and sometimes only cause a red lump to develop where you were bitten. However, in some cases they may cause:

• Swelling
• Itchiness
• Blistering
• Bruising

Ticks can carry a bacterial infection called Borrelia burgdorferi, which causes Lyme disease. If Lyme disease is not treated, it can be serious.


Mites cause very itchy lumps to appear on the skin and can also cause blisters. If the mites are from pets, you may be bitten on your abdomen (tummy) and thighs where the pet has been sitting on your lap. Otherwise, mites will bite any uncovered skin.


Spider bites are rare in the UK, and tend to be more likely abroad, through keeping an exotic pet, or handling goods from overseas.

Spider bites leaves small puncture marks on the skin and can cause:

• Pain
• Redness
• Swelling

In severe cases a spider bite may cause nausea, vomiting, sweating and dizziness. Very rarely, a spider bite may cause a severe allergic reaction.

Types Of Insect Stings

Wasps and Hornets

A wasp or hornet sting causes a sharp pain in the area you are stung and usually lasts just a few seconds.

A swollen, red mark will often then form on the skin, which can be itchy and painful.


At first, a bee sting feels similar to a wasp sting.

However, if you are stung by a bee, it will leave its sting and a venomous sac in the wound. You should remove this immediately by scraping it out using something with a hard edge, such as a bank card.

Do not pinch the sting out with your fingers or tweezers because you may spread the venom.

Allergic Reaction

Most people will not have severe symptoms after an insect bite or sting but some people can react badly to them. You are more likely to have an allergic reaction if you are stung by an insect.

The reaction can be classed as:

• A minor localised reaction - this is normal and does not require allergy testing, although the affected area will often be painful for a few days
• A large localised reaction (LLR) - this can cause other symptoms such as swelling, itching and a rash
• A systemic reaction (SR) - this often requires immediate medical attention as it can cause a potentially life-threatening allergic reaction (anaphylaxis)

Although insect bites and stings are a common cause of anaphylaxis, it is rare to experience anaphylaxis after an insect sting, and it is rarely fatal.

Large localised reactions and systemic reactions are described in more detail below.

Large Localised Reaction (LLR)

If you have an LLR after being bitten or stung by an insect, a large area around the bite or sting will swell up. The area may measure up to 30cm (12in) across, or your entire arm or leg could swell up.

The swelling will usually last longer than 48 hours but should start to go down after a few days. This can be painful but the swelling will not be dangerous unless it affects your airways.

If you are bitten or stung many times by one or more insects, your symptoms will be more severe because a larger amount of venom will have been injected.

You may have an LLR several hours after being bitten or stung. This could include:

• A rash
• Nausea
• Painful or swollen joints
• Systemic reaction (SR)

It is more likely that someone will have an SR if they have been bitten or stung before (sensitised), especially if it was recently. People who have been sensitised to bee stings are more likely to have an SR than people who are stung by wasps.

If you have any of the following symptoms after being bitten or stung call 999 immediately and ask for an ambulance:

• Wheezing, hoarseness or difficulty breathing
• Nausea, vomiting or diarrhoea
• A fast heart rate
• Dizziness or feeling faint
• Difficulty swallowing (dysphagia)
• A swollen face or mouth
• Confusion, anxiety or agitation

It is rare for an SR to be fatal, especially in children, although someone with an existing heart or breathing problem is at increased risk.

Tuesday, November 24

Insect Bites And Stings

Insect Bites And Stings

Insect bites and stings are common and usually cause only minor irritation. However, some stings can be painful and trigger a serious allergic reaction.

In the UK, insects that bite include midges, mosquitoes, fleas, bedbugs and - although not strictly insects - spiders, mites and ticks, which are arachnids

In the UK, insects that sting include bees, wasps and hornets.

An insect bites you by making a hole in your skin to feed. Most insects sting as a defence by injecting venom into your skin.

Symptoms Of An Insect Bite Or Sting

When an insect bites, it releases saliva that can cause skin around the bite to become red, swollen and itchy. The venom from a sting often also causes a swollen, itchy, red mark (a weal) to form on the skin. This can be painful, but is harmless in most cases. The affected area will usually remain painful and itchy for a few days.

The severity of bites and stings varies depending on the type of insect and sensitivity of the person.

In rare cases, some people can have a serious allergic reaction (anaphylaxis) to a bite or sting that requires immediate medical treatment.

Should I See A Doctor?

See your doctor if you have a lot of swelling and blistering, or if there is pus, which indicates an infection.

Call the emergency line for an ambulance if you experience any of these symptoms following a bite or sting:

* wheezing or difficulty breathing
* nausea, vomiting or diarrhoea
* a fast heart rate
* dizziness or feeling faint
* difficulty swallowing (dysphagia)
* confusion, anxiety or agitation

Treating Insect Bites And Stings

Most bites and stings are treated by:

* washing the affected area with soap and water
* placing a cold compress (a flannel or cloth soaked in cold water) over the area to reduce swelling
* Try not to scratch the affected area to avoid infection and if you are in pain or the area is swollen, take painkillers, such as paracetamol or ibuprofen.

If you have a more serious reaction, your doctor may prescribe other medication or refer you to an allergy clinic for immunotherapy.

Preventing Insect Bites And Stings

You are more likely to be bitten or stung if you work outdoors or regularly take part in outdoor activities, such as camping or hiking.

Wearing insect repellent and keeping your skin covered will help avoid a bite or a sting.

Try not to panic if you encounter wasps, hornets or bees and back away slowly (do not wave your arms around or swat at them).

Travelling Abroad

There is a risk of catching diseases from insect bites, such as malaria, in other parts of the world such as:

* Africa
* Asia
* South America

It is important to be aware of any risks before travelling and get any necessary medication or vaccination.

Tuesday, November 10

The 'Most Dangerous' Place To Give Birth

The 'Most Dangerous' Place To Give Birth

Mandera county in North Eastern Kenya has been reported as one of the most dangerous places in the world for a woman to give birth.

It has one of the worst statistics of maternal deaths during child birth. Out of every 100,000 births nearly 3,800 women die during delivery.

Watch the video report below of the BBC Africa's Health Correspondent Anne Soy;


Monday, November 9

New Single Tablet HIV Treatment Approved By FDA

New Single Tablet HIV Treatment Approved By FDA

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved a new single tablet for use in the treatment of HIV-1 infection in people aged 12 years and over.

The new treatment called Genvoya, from Gilead Sciences, is a fixed-dose combination of elvitegravir, cobicistat, emtricitabine and tenofovir alafenamide.

It is for use in patients aged 12 and over, weighing at least 35 kg (77 lbs) and who have never been treated for HIV before or for infected adults whose HIV is currently suppressed.

The drug was tested against other HIV treatments approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in four clinical trials involving a total of 3,171 participants. Results showed that it reduced viral loads and was comparable to other treatments.

Genvoya contains a new version of tenofovir, a powerful HIV inhibitor that has not been approved before. Gilead Sciences say that because the new version (called TAF) enters cells - including HIV-infected cells - more efficiently than the previous version (TDF), it can be given at a lower dose that results in 91% less tenofovir in the bloodstream.

The new drug was developed to reduce side effects and the trial results show it appears to be associated with less kidney toxicity and reductions in bone density than previously approved drugs containing tenofovir.

It is suitable for patients with moderate kidney impairment

The FDA notes that while Genvoya is not recommended for patients with severe kidney impairment, those with moderate impairment can take Genvoya.

However, the US regulator also commented that "patients receiving Genvoya experienced greater increases in serum lipids (total cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein) than patients receiving other treatment regimens in the studies."

The drug's Boxed Warning says it can cause lactic acid to build up in the blood and lead to severe liver problems, both of which can be fatal.

The most common side effect is nausea, and serious side effects include new or worsening kidney problems, reduced bone mineral density, fat redistribution and changes in the immune system.

The warning also says Genvoya should not be given with other antiretroviral drugs and may interact with a number of commonly used medications.

HIV In The Blood Stream

Dr. Edward Cox, director of antimicrobial products in the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research at the FDA, said on Thursday:

"Today's approval of a fixed-dose combination containing a new form of tenofovir provides another effective, once daily complete regimen for patients with HIV-1 infection."

There are millions aged 13 and over worldwide know they have HIV and hundreds of thousands more others are infected but do not know it.

HIV-1 is the predominant strain of HIV that causes the vast majority of HIV infections worldwide. When people refer to HIV, they usually mean HIV-1.

Saturday, November 7

About High Blood Pressure

Image Of The Human Heart
Image of The Human Heart

What Is High Blood Pressure?

High blood pressure is a common disease in which blood flows through blood vessels (arteries) at higher than normal pressures.

What Is Blood Pressure?

Blood pressure is the force of blood pushing against the walls of the blood vessels as the heart pumps blood. If your blood pressure rises and stays high over time, it’s called high blood pressure. High blood pressure is dangerous because it makes the heart work too hard, and the high force of the blood flow can harm arteries and organs such as the heart, kidneys, brain, and eyes.

Types of High Blood Pressure

There are two main types of high blood pressure: primary and secondary high blood pressure.
◾Primary, or essential, high blood pressure is the most common type of high blood pressure. This type of high blood pressure tends to develop over years as a person ages.
◾Secondary high blood pressure is caused by another medical condition or use of certain medicines. This type usually resolves after the cause is treated or removed.

Measuring Blood Pressure

Blood pressure is always given as two numbers, the systolic and diastolic pressures. Both are important.
◾Systolic Pressure  is the pressure of blood against the artery walls when the heart beats.
◾ Diastolic Pressure is the pressure of blood against the artery walls when the heart is at rest between beats.

Usually these numbers are written one above or before the other - for example, 120/80 mmHg. The top, or first, number is the systolic and the bottom, or second number, is the diastolic. If your blood pressure is 120/80, you say that it is "120 over 80."

Normal Blood Pressure

Normal blood pressure for adults is defined as a systolic pressure below 120 mmHg and a diastolic pressure below 80 mmHg. It is normal for blood pressures to change when you sleep, wake up, or are excited or nervous. When you are active, it is normal for your blood pressure to increase. However, once the activity stops, your blood pressure returns to your normal baseline range.

Blood pressure normally rises with age and body size. Newborn babies often have very low blood pressure numbers that are considered normal for babies, while older teens have numbers similar to adults.

Abnormal Blood Pressure
Chart listing normal blood pressure and high blood pressure readings
Chart listing normal blood pressure and high blood pressure readings

Abnormal blood pressure is higher than 120/80 mmHg

If either your systolic or diastolic blood pressure is higher than normal (120/80) but not high enough to be considered high blood pressure (140/90), you have pre-hypertension. Pre-hypertension is a top number between 120 and 139 or a bottom number between 80 and 89 mmHg. For example, blood pressure readings of 138/82, 128/70, or 115/86 are all in the "pre-hypertension" range.

A systolic blood pressure of 140 mmHg or higher, or a diastolic blood pressure of 90 mmHg or higher, is considered high blood pressure, or hypertension. Hypertension is the medical term for high blood pressure.

If you have diabetes or chronic kidney disease, your recommended blood pressure levels are a systolic blood pressure of 130 mmHg or lower, and a diastolic blood pressure of 80 mmHg or lower.

Usually Has No Symptoms

High blood pressure is often called "the silent killer" because it usually has no symptoms. Occasionally, headaches may occur. Some people may not find out they have high blood pressure until they have trouble with their heart, kidneys, or eyes. When high blood pressure is not diagnosed and treated, it can lead to other life-threatening conditions, including heart attack, heart failure, stroke, and kidney failure. It can also lead to vision changes or blindness.

Possible Complications Over Time

Over time, high blood pressure can cause;

◾your heart to work too hard and become larger or weaker, which can lead to heart failure.
◾small bulges (aneurysms) to worsen in your blood vessels. Common locations for aneurysms are the aorta, which is the main artery from the heart; the arteries in your brain, legs, and intestines; and the artery leading to your spleen.
◾blood vessels in your kidneys to narrow, which can cause kidney failure.
◾blood vessels in your eyes to burst or bleed, which can cause vision changes and can result in blindness.
◾arteries throughout your body to "harden" faster, especially those in your heart, brain, kidneys, and legs. This can cause a heart attack, stroke, or kidney failure.

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