Thursday, September 21

Influenza And Your Baby

Influenza And Your Baby

Influenza (or Flu) is an easily spread infectious disease. Children under age 2 have a higher risk of developing complications if they get the flu.

The information in this article has been put together to help you protect children under age 2 from the flu. This is not a substitute for medical advice from your health care provider. If you think your baby may have the flu, you should contact a health care provider right away.

Flu Symptoms In Infants And Toddlers

Influenza or the flu is an infection of the nose, throat, and (sometimes) lungs. Call your baby's health care provider if you notice any of the following signs:

• Acting tired and cranky much of the time and not feeding well
• Cough
• Diarrhea and vomiting
• Has a fever or feels feverish (if no thermometer available)
• Runny nose

How is the flu treated in Babies?

Children younger than 2 years old will often need to be treated with medicine that fights off the flu virus. This is called antiviral medicine. The medicine works best if started within 48 hours after symptoms begin, if possible.

Oseltamivir (Tamiflu) in liquid form will likely be used. Although this drug is not approved for use in children younger than 1 year of age, serious side effects are quite rare. After talking about the risk of side effects against the possible complications of the flu in your baby, you and your health care provider may decide to use this medicine to treat the flu.

Paracetamol, Ibuprofen or Acetaminophen (Tylenol) help lower fever in children. Sometimes, your health care provider will tell you to use both types of medicine.

Always check with your health care provider before giving any cold medicines to your infant or toddler.

Should My Baby Get The Flu Vaccine?

All infants 6 months or older should get the flu vaccine, even if they have had a flu-like illness. The flu vaccine is not approved for children under 6 months old.

• Your child will need a second flu vaccine around 4 weeks after receiving the vaccine for the first time.
• There are two types of flu vaccine. One is given as a shot, and the other is sprayed into your child's nose.
A Baby Receiving The Flu Shot
A Baby Receiving The Flu Shot
The flu shot contains killed (inactive) viruses. It is not possible to get the flu from this type of vaccine. The flu shot is approved for people age 6 months and older.

A nasal spray-type flu vaccine uses a live, weakened virus instead of a dead one like the flu shot. It is approved for healthy children over 2 years.

Anyone who lives with or has close contact with a child younger than 6 months old should also have a flu shot.

Will The Vaccine Harm My Baby?

You or your baby cannot get flu from vaccine. Some children may get a low-grade fever for a day or two after the shot. If more severe symptoms develop or they last for more than 2 days, you should call your health care provider.

Some parents are afraid the vaccine could hurt their baby. But children under 2 years of age are more likely to get a severe case of the flu. It is hard to predict how ill your child may get from flu because children often have a mild illness at first. They may become sick very fast.

A small amount of mercury (called thimerosal) is a common preservative in multidose vaccines. Despite concerns, thimerosal-containing vaccines have NOT been shown to cause autism, ADHD, or any other medical problems.

However, all of the routine vaccines are also available without added thimerosal. Ask your health care provider if they offer this type of vaccine.

How Can I Prevent My Baby From Getting The Flu?

Anyone who has flu symptoms should not care for a newborn or infant, including feeding. If a person with symptoms must care for the child, the caretaker should use a face mask and wash their hands well. Everyone who comes in close contact with your baby should do the following:

• Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue away after using it.
• Wash your hands often with soap and water for 15 to 20 seconds, especially after you cough or sneeze. You may also use alcohol-based hand cleaners.

If your baby is younger than 6 months old and has close contact with someone with the flu, inform your health care provider.

If I Have Flu Symptoms, Can I Breastfeed My Baby?

If a mother is not ill with the flu, breastfeeding is encouraged.

If you are sick, you may need to express your milk for use in bottle feedings given by a healthy person. It is unlikely a newborn can catch flu from drinking your breast milk when you are sick. Breast milk is considered safe if you are taking antivirals.

When Should I Call The Doctor?

Talk to your child's health care provider or go to the emergency room if:

• Your child does not act alert or more comfortable when the fever goes down.
• Fever and flu symptoms come back after they have gone away.
• The child does not have tears when crying.
• The child's diapers are not wet, or the child has not urinated for the last 8 hours.
Read More »

Wednesday, September 20

Blisters, Causes and Treatments

Blister On The Heel
Blister On The Heel
What Are Blisters?

They're bubbles that pop up when fluid collects in pockets under the top layer of your skin. They can be filled with pus, blood, or the clear, watery part of your blood called serum. Most are shaped like circles. Depending on the cause, your blister could itch or hurt a lot or a little. They can appear as a single bubble or in clusters.

Friction Blisters

Friction blisters, named for what causes them, are one of the most common kinds. Think back. Have you ever worn a new pair of hiking boots before you broke them in? Or raked the yard without a pair of garden gloves on your hands? Those are the kinds of things that could cause a friction blister on your heel, toe, thumb, or palm.

Cold and Heat Blisters

Go without gloves in winter and you could get blisters from frostbite. Stay out in the summer sun too long and you might get sunburn. The same thing can happen if you handle frozen goods or touch the stove burner. Both cold and heat are described as “blistering” for good reason: Extreme temperatures can hurt your skin. Blisters are a sign of a type of second-degree burn called partial thickness.

Contact Dermatitis

Rub up against a pesky plant like poison ivy, and you might end up with blisters of another sort. They're often a symptom of contact dermatitis, which happens when you touch something you're allergic to. It doesn't have to be poisonous, though. Some people react to soap, perfume, detergent, fabric, jewelry, latex gloves, or things used to make tools, toys, or other everyday objects.
Bed Bug Bites
Bed Bug Bites
Blisters Caused By Bug Bites

Insects can take the blame for some itchy blisters. Scabies are tiny mites that drill into your skin, sometimes leaving curved lines of blisters in their tracks. They often attack the hands, feet, wrists, and under the arms. Flea and bedbug bites can cause little blisters, too. The brown recluse spider has an extra-nasty bite that blisters before bursting to form a painful open sore. If that describes your blister, go to the doctor right away.

Herpes Simplex Blisters

Fever blisters on your lips, mouth, or genitals are a sign of the herpes simplex virus. The fluid in these sores carries and spreads the virus through sex, or by kissing or sharing utensils. Many people don't know they have herpes because symptoms are usually mild. If you have fever blisters or you think you've been exposed to herpes, talk to your doctor. There's no cure, but certain drugs can prevent or shorten outbreaks.
Shingles And Chicken Pox
Shingles And Chicken Pox
Chickenpox & Shingles Blisters

Some viruses can cause blisters. The herpes virus is a common culprit. It's present in chickenpox, a contagious illness that starts with red bumps that become blisters and then scab over. If you've had chickenpox, you also can get shingles, which targets nerves and causes a painful rash with blisters. The CDC says people 60 and older should get a one-time vaccination to prevent shingles. It also recommends two doses of chickenpox vaccine for anyone who hasn't had the disease.

Hand-Foot-and-Mouth Disease

This disease is named after the blisters it causes on these body parts. The infection mostly hits kids younger than 10. The virus spreads through contact with mucus, saliva, feces, or blisters of someone who's already sick. The infection starts out with a mild fever, runny nose, and sore throat. But the blisters are the big clue that leads to a diagnosis.

Keep It Clean and Dry

Some blisters get better on their own. Your skin absorbs the fluid, and the blister flattens and peels off. Until that happens, you can use a donut-shaped piece of moleskin padding or tape to help keep it from breaking open.

Don't Pop if You Don't Have To

Resist the urge to pop a blister unless it's so large - bigger than a nickel - or painful that you can't get around. If that's the case, your doctor might decide to puncture it with a sterile needle to let the fluid drain out. Once it's popped, whether your doctor does it or it breaks on its own, gently wash the area with soap and water and apply antibiotic ointment. Cover it with a bandage to keep it clean during the day, but take the bandage off at night to let it dry

When to See Your Doctor

Go to the doctor if you have a fever, chills, or other flu-like symptoms at the same time you have blisters. You could have a virus or an infection. Other symptoms of infection can include: pain, swelling, redness or warmth, red streaks leading away from your blister, or pus coming from it. Blisters around your eyes or on your genitals are also cause for concern.
Read More »

Preeclampsia Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

Preeclampsia Classic Triad
Preeclampsia Classic Triad
Preeclampsia is when a pregnant woman develops high blood pressure, edema and protein in the urine after the 20th week of pregnancy.

Causes of Preeclampsia

The exact cause of preeclampsia is unknown. It occurs in about 3% to 7% of all pregnancies.

• Autoimmune disorders
• Blood vessel problems
• Your diet
• Your genes

Risk factors include:

• First pregnancy
• Past history of preeclampsia
• Multiple pregnancy (twins or more)
• Family history of preeclampsia
• Obesity
• Being older than age 35
• History of diabetes, high blood pressure, or kidney disease

Symptoms of Preeclampsia

Often, women who have preeclampsia do not feel sick.

Symptoms of preeclampsia can include:

• Swelling of the hands and face or eyes (edema)
• Sudden weight gain over 1 to 2 days or more than 2 pounds (0.9 kg) a week

Note: Some swelling of the feet and ankles is considered normal during pregnancy.

Symptoms of severe preeclampsia include:

• Headache that does not go away
• Trouble breathing
• Belly pain on the right side, below the ribs. Pain may also be felt in the right shoulder, and can be confused with heartburn, gallbladder pain, a stomach virus, or kicking by the baby
• Decreased urine output, not urinating very often
• Nausea and vomiting (a worrisome sign)
• Vision changes, including temporary blindness, seeing flashing lights or spots, sensitivity to light, and blurry vision.

Raised Blood Pressure and Protein in the Urine in Pre-eclampsia

Exams and Tests

The health care provider will do a physical exam. This may show:

• High blood pressure, often higher than 140/90 mm/Hg
• Swelling in the hands and face
• Weight gain

video
Pre-eclampsia Video - Shows how pre-eclampsia can affect the baby.

Blood and urine tests will be done. This may show:

• Protein in the urine (proteinuria)
• Higher-than-normal liver enzymes
• Platelet count that is low

Tests will also be done to:

• See how well your blood clots
• Monitor the baby's health

The results of a pregnancy ultrasound, non-stress test, and other tests will help your provider decide whether your baby needs to be delivered right away.

Women who had low blood pressure at the start of their pregnancy, followed by a significant rise in blood pressure need to be watched closely for other signs of preeclampsia.

Treatment of Preeclampsia

The only way to cure preeclampsia is to deliver the baby.

Most often, at 37 weeks, your baby is developed enough to be healthy outside of the womb

As a result, your provider may want your baby to be delivered so the preeclampsia does not get worse. You may get medicines to help trigger labor, or you may need a C-section.

If your baby is not fully developed and you have mild preeclampsia, the disease can often be managed at home until your baby has matured. The provider will recommend:

• Bed rest, and lying on your left side most or all of the time
• Drinking plenty of water
• Eating less salt
• Frequent doctor visits to make sure you and your baby are doing well
• Medicines to lower your blood pressure (sometimes)
• Sometimes, a pregnant woman with preeclampsia is admitted to the hospital. This allows the health care team to watch the baby and mother more closely.

Treatment in the hospital may include:

• Close monitoring of the mother and baby
• Medicines to control blood pressure and prevent seizures and other complications
• Steroid injections for pregnancies under 34 weeks gestation to help speed up the development of the baby's lungs

You and your provider will continue to discuss the safest time to deliver your baby, considering:

• How close you are to your due date
• The severity of the preeclampsia: preeclampsia has many severe complications that can harm the mother
• How well the baby is doing in the womb

The baby must be delivered if there are signs of severe preeclampsia. These include:

• Tests that show your baby is not growing well or is not getting enough blood and oxygen
• The bottom number of your blood pressure is over 110 mmHg or is greater than 100 mmHg consistently over a 24-hour period
• Abnormal liver function test results
• Severe headaches
• Pain in the belly area (abdomen)
• Seizures or changes in mental function (eclampsia)
• Fluid buildup in the mother's lungs
• HELLP syndrome (rare)
• Low platelet count or bleeding
• Low urine output, a lot of protein in the urine, and other signs that your kidneys are not working properly

Outlook (Prognosis) of Preeclampsia

Sign and symptoms of preeclampsia most often go away within 6 weeks after delivery. However, the high blood pressure sometimes gets worse the first few days after delivery.

If you have had preeclampsia, you are more likely to develop it again during another pregnancy. In most cases, it is not as severe as the first time.

If you have high blood pressure during more than one pregnancy, you are more likely to have high blood pressure when you get older.

Possible Complications of Preeclampsia

Rare but severe immediate complications for the mother can include:

• Bleeding problems
• Seizure (eclampsia)
• Fetal growth retardation
• Premature separation of the placenta from the uterus before the baby is born
• Rupture of the liver
• Stroke
• Death (rarely)

Having a history of preeclampsia makes a woman a higher risk for future problems such as:

• Heart disease
• Diabetes
• Kidney disease
• When to Contact a Medical Professional
• Call your provider if you have symptoms of preeclampsia during your pregnancy.

Prevention of Preeclampsia

There is no known way to prevent preeclampsia. It is important for all pregnant women to start prenatal care early and continue it through the pregnancy.

Alternative Names for Preeclampsia

Toxemia; Pregnancy-induced hypertension (PIH); Gestational hypertension; High blood pressure - preeclampsia
Read More »

Tuesday, September 19

Malnutrition Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

Malnutrition Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

Malnutrition is the condition that occurs when your body does not get enough nutrients.

Malnutrition Causes

There are many types of malnutrition, and they have different causes. Some causes include:
• Poor diet
• Starvation due to food not being available
• Eating disorders
• Problems with digesting food or absorbing nutrients from food
• Certain medical conditions that make a person unable to eat
You may develop malnutrition if you lack a single vitamin in your diet. Lacking a vitamin or other nutrient is called a deficiency.

Sometimes malnutrition is very mild and causes no symptoms. Other times it can be so severe that the damage it does to the body is permanent, even though you survive.
Malnutrition Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

Poverty, natural disasters, political problems, and war can all contribute to malnutrition and starvation, and not just in developing countries.

Some health conditions that are related to malnutrition are:

• Malabsorption
• Hunger
• Beriberi
• Binge eating
• Deficiency - Vitamin A
• Deficiency - Vitamin B1 (thiamine)
• Deficiency - Vitamin B2 (riboflavin)
• Deficiency - Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine)
• Deficiency - Vitamin B9 (folacin)
• Deficiency - Vitamin E
• Deficiency - Vitamin K
• Eating disorders
• Kwashiorkor
• Megaloblastic anemia
• Pellagra
• Rickets
• Scurvy
• Spina bifida
Malnutrition is a significant problem all over the world
Malnutrition is a significant problem all over the world
Malnutrition is a significant problem all over the world, especially among children. It is very harmful to children because it affects brain development and other growth. Children who suffer from malnutrition may have lifelong problems.

Symptoms of Malnutrition

Symptoms of malnutrition vary and depend on its cause. General symptoms include fatigue, dizziness, and weight loss.

Exams and Tests

Testing depends on the specific disorder. Most health care providers will do a nutritional assessment and blood work.

Treatment of Malnutirtion

Treatment most often consists of:
• Replacing missing nutrients
• Treating symptoms as needed
• Treating any underlying medical condition
Outlook (Prognosis)

The outlook depends on the cause of the malnutrition. Most nutritional deficiencies can be corrected. However, if malnutrition is caused by a medical condition, that illness has to be treated in order to reverse the nutritional deficiency.

Possible Complications

If untreated, malnutrition can lead to mental or physical disability, illness, and possibly death.

When to Contact a Medical Professional

Talk to your provider about the risk of malnutrition. Treatment is necessary if you or your child have any changes in the body's ability to function. Contact your provider if these symptoms develop:
• Fainting
• Lack of menstruation
• Lack of growth in children
• Rapid hair loss
Prevention

Eating a well-balanced diet helps to prevent most forms of malnutrition.
Causes of Malnutrition
Causes of Malnutrition
Read More »

Monday, September 18

Knee Joint Replacement

Knee Joint Replacement: The Prosthesis
Knee Joint Replacement: The Prosthesis
Knee joint replacement is a surgery to replace a knee joint with a man-made joint. The artificial joint is called a prosthesis.

Knee replacement is surgery for people with severe knee damage. Knee replacement can relieve pain and allow you to be more active. Your doctor may recommend it if you have knee pain and medicine and other treatments are not helping you anymore.

When you have a total knee replacement, the surgeon removes damaged cartilage and bone from the surface of your knee joint and replaces them with a man-made surface of metal and plastic. In a partial knee replacement, the surgeon only replaces one part of your knee joint. The surgery can cause scarring, blood clots, and, rarely, infections. After a knee replacement, you will no longer be able to do certain activities, such as jogging and high-impact sports.

Description

Damaged cartilage and bone are removed from the knee joint. Man-made pieces are then placed in the knee.

Knee joint replacement prosthesis

These pieces may be placed in the following places in the knee joint:

• Lower end of the thigh bone. This bone is called the femur. The replacement part is usually made of metal.
• Upper end of the shin bone, which is the large bone in your lower leg. This bone is called the tibia. The replacement part is usually made from metal and a strong plastic.
• Back side of your kneecap. Your kneecap is called the patella. The replacement part is usually made from a strong plastic.

You will not feel any pain during the surgery. You will have 1 of these 2 types of anesthesia:

• General anesthesia. This means you will be asleep and unable to feel pain.
• Regional (spinal or epidural) anesthesia. Medicine is put into your back to make you numb below your waist. You will also get medicine to make you sleepy. And you may get medicine that will make you forget about the procedure, even though you are not fully asleep.

After you receive anesthesia, your surgeon will make a cut over your knee to open it up. This cut is often 8 to 10 inches (20 to 25 centimeters) long. Then your surgeon will:

• Move your kneecap (patella) out of the way, then cut the ends of your thigh bone and shin (lower leg) bone to fit the replacement part.
• Cut the underside of your kneecap to prepare it for the new pieces that will be attached there.
• Fasten the 2 parts of the prosthesis to your bones. One part will be attached to the end of your thigh bone and the other part will be attached to your shin bone. The pieces can be attached using bone cement or screws.
• Attach the underside of your kneecap. A special bone cement is used to attach this part.
• Repair your muscles and tendons around the new joint and close the surgical cut.

The surgery takes about 2 hours.
Knee Joint Replacement Process

Most artificial knees have both metal and plastic parts. Some surgeons now use different materials, including metal on metal, ceramic on ceramic, or ceramic on plastic.

Why the Procedure is Performed

The most common reason to have a knee joint replaced is to relieve severe arthritis pain. Your doctor may recommend knee joint replacement if:
• You are having pain from knee arthritis that keeps you from sleeping or doing normal activities.
• You cannot walk and take care of yourself.
Your knee pain has not improved with other treatment.
• You understand what surgery and recovery will be like.
Most of the time, knee joint replacement is done in people ages 60 and older. Younger people who have a knee joint replaced may put extra stress on the artificial knee and cause it to wear out early.

Before the Procedure:

Always tell your health care provider what drugs you are taking, even drugs, supplements, or herbs you bought without a prescription.

During the 2 weeks before your surgery:

• Prepare your home.
• Two weeks before surgery you may be asked to stop taking drugs that make it harder for your blood to clot. These include aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), naproxen (Naprosyn, Aleve), blood thinners such as warfarin (Coumadin), and other drugs.
• You may also need to stop taking medicines that can make your body more likely to get an infection. These include methotrexate, Enbrel, or other medicines that suppress your immune system.
• Ask your provider which drugs you should still take on the day of your surgery.
• If you have diabetes, heart disease, or other medical conditions, your surgeon will ask you to see the provider who treats you for these conditions.
• Tell your provider if you have been drinking a lot of alcohol, more than 1 or 2 drinks a day.
• If you smoke, you need to stop. Ask your providers for help. Smoking will slow down wound and bone healing. Your recovery may not be as good if you keep smoking.
• Always let your provider know about any cold, flu, fever, herpes breakout, or other illness you have before your surgery.
• You may want to visit a physical therapist to learn some exercises to do before surgery.
• Set up your home to make everyday tasks easier.
• Practice using a cane, walker, crutches, or a wheelchair correctly.

On the day of your surgery:

• You will most often be asked not to drink or eat anything for 6 to 12 hours before the procedure.
• Take the drugs you have been told to take with a small sip of water.
• You will be told when to arrive at the hospital.

After Knee Joint Replacement Procedure

You will stay in the hospital for 3 to 4 days. During that time, you will recover from your anesthesia and from the surgery itself. You will be asked to start moving and walking as soon as the first day after surgery.

Full recovery will take 4 months to a year.
Knee Joint Replacement On Xray
Knee Joint Replacement On Xray
Some people need a short stay in a rehabilitation center after they leave the hospital and before they go home. At a rehabilitation center, you will learn how to safely do your daily activities on your own.

Outlook (Prognosis)

The results of a total knee replacement are often excellent. The operation relieves pain for most people. Most people DO NOT need help walking after they fully recover.

Most artificial knee joints last 10 to 15 years. Some last as long as 20 years before they loosen and need to be replaced again. Total knee replacements can be replaced again if they get loose or wear out. However, in most cases the results are not as good as the first time. It is important not to have the surgery too early so you will need another surgery at a young age or have it too late when you will not benefit the most.

Alternative Names

Total knee replacement; Knee arthroplasty; Knee replacement - total; Tricompartmental knee replacement; Subvastus knee replacement; Knee replacement - minimally invasive; Knee arthroplasty - minimally invasive; TKA - knee replacement; Osteoarthritis - replacement; OA - knee replacement.
Read More »

Sunday, September 17

About Acute Ear Infection

Blocked Eustachian Tube Can Lead To Acute Ear Infection
Blocked Eustachian Tube Can Lead To Acute Ear Infection
Ear infections are one of the most common reasons parents take their children to the doctor. The most common type of ear infection is called otitis media. It is caused by swelling and infection of the middle ear. The middle ear is located just behind the eardrum.

An acute ear infection starts over a short period and is painful. Ear infections that last a long time or come and go are called chronic ear infections.

Causes of Acute Ear infection

The eustachian tube runs from the middle of each ear to the back of the throat. Normally, this tube drains fluid that is made in the middle ear. If this tube gets blocked, fluid can build up. This can lead to infection.

Ear infections are common in infants and children because the eustachian tubes are easily clogged.
Ear infections can also occur in adults, although they are less common than in children.

Anything that causes the eustachian tubes to become swollen or blocked makes more fluid build up in the middle ear behind the eardrum. Some causes are:

• Allergies
• Colds and sinus infections
• Excess mucus and saliva produced during teething
• Infected or overgrown adenoids (lymph tissue in the upper part of the throat)
• Tobacco smoke

Ear infections are also more likely in children who spend a lot of time drinking from a sippy cup or bottle while lying on their back. Getting water in the ears will not cause an acute ear infection, unless the eardrum has a hole in it.
Acute ear infection, Otitis Media
Acute ear infection, Otitis Media
Acute ear infections most often occur in the winter. You cannot catch an ear infection from someone else. But a cold that spreads among children may cause some of them to get ear infections.

Risk factors for acute ear infections include:

• Attending day care (especially centers with more than 6 children)
• Changes in altitude or climate
• Cold climate
• Exposure to smoke
• Family history of ear infections
• Not being breastfed
• Pacifier use
• Recent ear infection
• Recent illness of any type (because illness lowers the body's resistance to infection)
Read More »

Friday, September 15

Hyperemesis Gravidarum, Morning Sickness

Hyperemesis Gravidarum, Morning Sickness
Hyperemesis Gravidarum, Morning Sickness
Hyperemesis gravidarum is extreme, persistent nausea and vomiting during pregnancy. It can lead to dehydration, weight loss, and electrolyte imbalances. Morning sickness is mild nausea and vomiting that occurs in early pregnancy.

Causes of Hyperemesis Gravidarum

Most women have some nausea or vomiting (morning sickness), particularly during the first 3 months of pregnancy. The exact cause of nausea and vomiting during pregnancy is not known. However, it is believed to be caused by a rapidly rising blood level of a hormone called human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG). HCG is released by the placenta. Mild morning sickness is common. Hyperemesis gravidarium is less common and more severe.

Women with hyperemesis gravidarum have extreme nausea and vomiting during pregnancy. It can cause a weight loss of more than 5% of body weight. The condition can happen in any pregnancy, but is a little more likely if you are pregnant with twins (or more babies), or if you have a hydatidiform mole. Women are at higher risk for hyperemesis if they have had the problem in previous pregnancies or are prone to motion sickness.

Symptoms of Hyperemesis Gravidarum

Morning sickness can cause decreased appetite, low level nausea, or vomiting. This is different from true hyperemesis because. people are typically still able to eat and drink fluids some of the time.
Symptoms of Hyperemesis Gravidarum
Symptoms of Hyperemesis Gravidarum
Symptoms of hyperemesis gravidarum are much more severe. They may include:

• Severe, persistent nausea and vomiting during pregnancy
• Salivating a lot more than normal
• Weight loss
• Signs of dehydration such as dark urine, dry skin, weakness, lightheadedness or fainting
• Constipation
• Inability to take in adequate amounts of fluid or nutrition

Exams and Tests

Your health care provider will do a physical exam. Your blood pressure may be low. Your pulse may be high.

The following laboratory tests will be done to check for signs of dehydration:

• Complete blood count
• Electrolytes
• Urine ketones
• Weight loss

Your provider may need to run tests to make sure you do not have liver and gastrointestinal problems.

A pregnancy ultrasound will be done to see if you are carrying twins or more babies. Ultrasound also checks for a hydatidiform mole.

Treatment of Hyperemesis Gravidarum

Morning sickness can most often be managed by avoiding triggering foods that trigger the problem and drinking plenty of fluids when the symptoms let up in order to stay hydrated.

If your nausea and vomiting causes you to become dehydrated, you will receive fluids through an IV. You also may be given anti-nausea medicine. If nausea and vomiting is so severe that you and your baby might be in danger, you will be admitted to the hospital for treatment. If you can't eat enough to get the nutrients you and your baby need, you may get extra nutrients either through an IV or a tube placed into your stomach.

To help manage symptoms at home, try these tips.

Avoid triggers. You may notice that certain things can trigger nausea and vomiting. These may include:

• Certain noises and sounds, even the radio or TV
• Bright or blinking lights
• Toothpaste
• Smells such as perfume and scented bathing and grooming products
• Pressure on your stomach (wear loose-fitting clothes)
• Riding in a car
• Taking showers

Eat and drink when you are able. Take advantage of the times you feel better to eat and drink. Eat small, frequent meals. Try dry, bland foods such as crackers or potatoes. Try eating any foods that appeal to you. See if you can tolerate nutritious smoothies with fruits or vegetables.

Increase fluids during times of the day when you feel least nauseated. Seltzer, ginger ale, or other sparkling drinks may help. You can also try using low-dose ginger supplements or acupressure wrist bands to ease symptoms.

Vitamin B6 (no more than 100 mg daily) has been shown to decrease nausea in early pregnancy. Ask your provider if this vitamin might help you. Another medicine called doxylamine (Unisom) has been shown to be very effective and safe when combined with Vitamin B6 for nausea in pregnancy. You can buy this medicine without a prescription.

Outlook (Prognosis)
Morning Sickness can begin between 4 and 8 weeks of pregnancy
Morning Sickness can begin between 4 and 8 weeks of pregnancy
Morning sickness typically is mild, but persistent. It can begin between 4 and 8 weeks of pregnancy. It typically goes away by 16 to 18 weeks of pregnancy. Severe nausea and vomiting may also start between 4 and 8 weeks of pregnancy and often goes away by weeks 14 to 16. Some women will continue to have nausea and vomiting for their entire pregnancy. With proper identification of symptoms and careful follow-up, serious complications for the baby or mother are rare.

Possible Complications

Severe vomiting is harmful because it leads to dehydration and poor weight gain during pregnancy. Rarely, a woman may have bleeding in her esophagus or other serious problems from constant vomiting.

The condition can make it difficult to continue to work or take care of yourself. It can cause anxiety and depression in some women that lingers after the pregnancy.

When to Contact a Medical Professional

Call your provider if you are pregnant and have severe nausea and vomiting or if you have any of the following symptoms:

• Signs of dehydration
• Unable to tolerate any fluids for over 12 hours
• Lightheadedness or dizziness
• Blood in the vomit
• Abdominal pain
• Weight loss of more than 5 lb
Read More »

Thursday, September 14

Possible Pregnancy Complications

Possible Pregnancy Complications

Complications of pregnancy are health problems that occur during pregnancy. They can involve the mother's health, the baby's health, or both. Some women have health problems that arise during pregnancy, and other women have health problems before they become pregnant that could lead to complications. It is very important for women to receive health care before and during pregnancy to decrease the risk of pregnancy complications.

Before Pregnancy

Make sure to talk to your doctor about health problems you have now or have had in the past. If you are receiving treatment for a health problem, your health care provider might want to change the way your health problem is managed. For example, some medicines used to treat health problems could be harmful if taken during pregnancy. At the same time, stopping medicines that you need could be more harmful than the risks posed should you become pregnant. In addition, be sure to discuss any problems you had in any previous pregnancy. If health problems are under control and you get good prenatal care, you are likely to have a normal, healthy baby.

During Pregnancy

Pregnancy symptoms and complications can range from mild and annoying discomforts to severe, sometimes life-threatening, illnesses. Sometimes it can be difficult for a woman to determine which symptoms are normal and which are not. Problems during pregnancy may include physical and mental conditions that affect the health of the mother or the baby. These problems can be caused by or can be made worse by being pregnant. Many problems are mild and do not progress; however, when they do, they may harm the mother or her baby. Keep in mind that there are ways to manage problems that come up during pregnancy. Always contact your prenatal care provider if you have any concerns during your pregnancy.


The following are some common maternal health conditions or problems a woman may experience during pregnancy:

Anemia

Anemia is having lower than the normal number of healthy red blood cells. Treating the underlying cause of the anemia will help restore the number of healthy red blood cells. Women with pregnancy related anemia may feel tired and weak. This can be helped by taking iron and folic acid supplements. Your health care provider will check your iron levels throughout pregnancy.

Urinary Tract Infections (UTI)
Urinary Tract Infections: Routine Urine Test Can Help Prevent UTI
Urinary Tract Infections: Routine Urine Test Can Help Prevent UTI
A UTI is a bacterial infection in the urinary tract. You may have a UTI if you have;
• Pain or burning when you use the bathroom.
• Fever, tiredness, or shakiness.
• An urge to use the bathroom often.
• Pressure in your lower belly.
• Urine that smells bad or looks cloudy or reddish.
• Nausea or back pain.
If you think you have a UTI, it is important to see your health care provider. He/she can tell if you have a UTI by testing a sample of your urine. Treatment with antibiotics to kill the infection will make it better, often in one or two days. Some women carry bacteria in their bladder without having symptoms. Your health care provider will likely test your urine in early pregnancy to see if this is the case and treat you with antibiotics if necessary.

Mental Health Conditions

Some women experience depression during or after pregnancy. Symptoms of depression are:
• A low or sad mood.
• Loss of interest in fun activities.
• Changes in appetite, sleep, and energy.
• Problems thinking, concentrating, and making decisions.
• Feelings of worthlessness, shame, or guilt.
• Thoughts that life is not worth living.
When many of these symptoms occur together and last for more than a week or two at a time, this is probably depression. Depression that persists during pregnancy can make it hard for a woman to care for herself and her unborn baby. Having depression before pregnancy also is a risk factor for postpartum depression. Getting treatment is important for both mother and baby. If you have a history of depression, it is important to discuss this with your health care provider early in pregnancy so that a plan for management can be made.

Hypertension (High Blood Pressure)

Chronic poorly-controlled high blood pressure before and during pregnancy puts a pregnant woman and her baby at risk for problems. It is associated with an increased risk for maternal complications such as preeclampsia, placental abruption (when the placenta separates from the wall of the uterus), and gestational diabetes. These women also face a higher risk for poor birth outcomes such as preterm delivery, having an infant small for his/her gestational age, and infant death. The most important thing to do is to discuss blood pressure problems with your provider before you become pregnant so that appropriate treatment and control of your blood pressure occurs before pregnancy. Getting treatment for high blood pressure is important before, during, and after pregnancy.
Risk Factors of Preeclampsia

Gestational Diabetes Mellitus (GDM)

GDM is diagnosed during pregnancy and can lead to pregnancy complications. GDM is when the body cannot effectively process sugars and starches (carbohydrates), leading to high sugar levels in the blood stream. Most women with GDM can control their blood sugar levels by a following a healthy meal plan from their health care provider and getting regular physical activity. Some women also need insulin to keep blood sugar levels under control. Doing so is important because poorly controlled diabetes increases the risk of;
• Preeclampsia.
• Early delivery.
• Cesarean birth.
• Having a big baby, which can complicate delivery.
• Having a baby born with low blood sugar, breathing problems, and jaundice.
Although GDM usually resolves after pregnancy, women who had GDM have a higher risk of developing diabetes in the future.

Obesity and Weight Gain

Recent studies suggest that the heavier a woman is before she becomes pregnant, the greater her risk of pregnancy complications, including preeclampsia, GDM, stillbirth and cesarean delivery. Also, research has shown that obesity during pregnancy is associated with increased use of health care and physician services, and longer hospital stays for delivery. Overweight and obese women who lose weight before pregnancy are likely to have healthier pregnancies.

Infections

During pregnancy, your baby is protected from many illnesses, like the common cold or a passing stomach bug. But some infections can be harmful to you, your baby, or both. Easy steps, such as hand washing, and avoiding certain foods, can help protect you from some infections. You won't always know if you have an infection - sometimes you won't even feel sick. If you think you might have an infection or think you are at risk, see your health care provider.

Hyperemesis Gravidarum

Many women have some nausea or vomiting, or "morning sickness," particularly during the first 3 months of pregnancy. The cause of nausea and vomiting during pregnancy is believed to be rapidly rising blood levels of a hormone called HCG (human chorionic gonadotropin), which is released by the placenta. However, hyperemesis gravidarum occurs when there is severe, persistent nausea and vomiting during pregnancy - more extreme than "morning sickness." This can lead to weight loss and dehydration and may require intensive treatment.
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Tuesday, September 12

Typhoid Fever, A Salmonella Typhi Bacterial Infection

Salmonella Typhi Bacteria
Salmonella Typhi Bacteria
Typhoid fever is a life-threatening illness caused by the bacterium Salmonella Typhi. An estimated 5,700 cases occur each year in the United States.  Most cases (up to 75%) are acquired while traveling internationally. Typhoid fever is still common in the developing world, where it affects about 21.5 million people each year.

Typhoid fever can be prevented and can usually be treated with antibiotics. If you are planning to travel outside the United States, you should know about typhoid fever and what steps you can take to protect yourself.

How is typhoid fever spread?

Salmonella Typhi lives only in humans. Persons with typhoid fever carry the bacteria in their bloodstream and intestinal tract. In addition, a small number of people, called carriers, recover from typhoid fever but continue to carry the bacteria. Both ill persons and carriers shed Salmonella Typhi in their feces (stool).

You can get typhoid fever if you eat food or drink beverages that have been handled by a person who is shedding Salmonella Typhi or if sewage contaminated with Salmonella Typhi bacteria gets into the water you use for drinking or washing food. Therefore, typhoid fever is more common in areas of the world where handwashing is less frequent and water is likely to be contaminated with sewage.

Once Salmonella Typhi bacteria are eaten or drunk, they multiply and spread into the bloodstream. The body reacts with fever and other signs and symptoms.

Where in the world do you get typhoid fever?

Typhoid fever is common in most parts of the world except in industrialized regions such as the United Kingdom, western Europe, United States, Canada, Australia, and Japan.

Therefore, if you are traveling to the developing world, you should consider taking precautions. Other areas of risk include East and Southeast Asia, Africa, the Caribbean, and Central and South America.

How can you avoid typhoid fever?


Two basic actions can protect you from typhoid fever:
* Avoid risky foods and drinks.
* Get vaccinated against typhoid fever.
It may surprise you, but watching what you eat and drink when you travel is as important as being vaccinated. This is because the vaccines are not completely effective. Avoiding risky foods will also help protect you from other illnesses, including travelers' diarrhea, cholera, dysentery, and hepatitis A.
Routes of Transmission of Typhoid Fever
Routes of Transmission of Typhoid Fever
"Boil It, Cook It, Peel It, or Forget It"

If you drink water, buy it bottled or bring it to a rolling boil for 1 minute before you drink it. Bottled carbonated water is safer than uncarbonated water.

Ask for drinks without ice unless the ice is made from bottled or boiled water. Avoid popsicles and flavored ices that may have been made with contaminated water.

Eat foods that have been thoroughly cooked and that are still hot and steaming.

Avoid raw vegetables and fruits that cannot be peeled. Vegetables like lettuce are easily contaminated and are very hard to wash well.

When you eat raw fruit or vegetables that can be peeled, peel them yourself. (Wash your hands with soap first.) Do not eat the peelings.

Avoid foods and beverages from street vendors. It is difficult for food to be kept clean on the street, and many travelers get sick from food bought from street vendors.

Symptoms & Treatment of Typhoid Fever


What are the signs and symptoms of typhoid fever?
The Clinical Features of Typhoid Fever
The Clinical Features of Typhoid Fever
Persons with typhoid fever usually have a sustained fever as high as 103° to 104° F (39° to 40° C). They may also feel weak, or have stomach pains, headache, or loss of appetite. In some cases, patients have a rash of flat, rose-colored spots. The only way to know for sure if an illness is typhoid fever is to have samples of stool or blood tested for the presence of Salmonella Typhi.

What do you do if you think you have typhoid fever?

If you have a high fever and feel very ill, see a doctor immediately. If you are traveling in a foreign country, you can usually call the U.S. consulate for a list of recommended doctors. For more information about medical care abroad, see Getting Health Care Abroad and a list of International Joint Commission-accredited facilities.

Typhoid fever is treated with antibiotics. Resistance to multiple antibiotics is increasing among Salmonella that cause typhoid fever. Reduced susceptibility to fluoroquinolones (e.g., ciprofloxacin) and the emergence of multidrug-resistance has complicated treatment of infections, especially those acquired in South Asia. Antibiotic susceptibility testing may help guide appropriate therapy. Choices for antibiotic therapy include fluoroquinolones (for susceptible infections), ceftriaxone, and azithromycin. Persons who do not get treatment may continue to have fever for weeks or months, and as many as 20% may die from complications of the infection.
What is Typhoid Fever?
What is Typhoid Fever?
Typhoid fever's danger doesn't end when symptoms disappear

Even if your symptoms seem to go away, you may still be carrying Salmonella Typhi. If so, the illness could return, or you could pass the disease to other people. In fact, if you work at a job where you handle food or care for small children, you may be barred legally from going back to work until a doctor has determined that you no longer carry any typhoid bacteria.

If you are being treated for typhoid fever, it is important to do the following:

Keep taking the prescribed antibiotics for as long as the doctor has asked you to take them.

Wash your hands carefully with soap and water after using the bathroom, and do not prepare or serve food for other people. This will lower the chance that you will pass the infection on to someone else.

Have your doctor perform a series of stool cultures to ensure that no Salmonella Typhi bacteria remain in your body.

Getting Vaccinated

If you are traveling to a country where typhoid is common, you should consider being vaccinated against typhoid. Visit a doctor or travel clinic to discuss your vaccination options. See Vaccine Information Statements (VIS) for more information.

Remember that you will need to complete your vaccination at least 1-2 weeks (dependent upon vaccine type) before you travel so that the vaccine has time to take effect. Typhoid vaccines lose effectiveness after several years; if you were vaccinated in the past, check with your doctor to see if it is time for a booster vaccination. Taking antibiotics will not prevent typhoid fever; they only help treat it.
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