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...

Tuesday, November 24

Insect Bites And Stings

Insect Bite

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.

Tuesday, November 3

A Dog In The Home May Lower Childs' Odds For Asthma

A Dog In The Home May Lower Kids' Odds For Asthma

Study findings support notion that early life exposure to microbes, allergens may prevent illness, experts say.

Exposure to dogs or farm animals early in life appears to reduce a child's risk of developing asthma, a new study shows.

Researchers looked at more than one million Swedish children. They found that those who grew up with dogs in the home were nearly 15 percent less likely to develop asthma than those not exposed to dogs.

The new study also confirmed earlier research showing that children who grow up on farms have lower rates of asthma.

While the study can't prove cause-and-effect, it does "support the 'hygiene hypothesis,' in that early exposure of children to microbes may support the development of a healthy immune system," said Dr. Sherry Farzan, an allergist and immunologist at North Shore-LIJ Health System in Great Neck, N.Y. She was not involved in the study.

The findings were published online on Nov. 2nd 2015 in the journal JAMA Pediatrics.

The study was led by author Tove Fall, assistant professor of epidemiology at Uppsala University in Sweden. In a university news release, she noted that "earlier studies have shown that growing up on a farm reduces a child's risk of asthma to about half. We wanted to see if this relationship also was true for children growing up with dogs in their homes."

Fall said, "Our results confirmed the farming effect and we also saw that children who grew up with dogs had about 15 percent less asthma than children without dogs. Because we had access to such a large and detailed data set, we could account for confounding factors such as asthma in parents, area of residence and socioeconomic status."

A Dog In The Home May Lower Kids' Odds For Asthma

Not all of the findings were positive when it came to dogs in the family home, Farzan pointed out. "Interestingly, dog ownership was associated with a higher risk of pneumonia and other lower respiratory tract diseases among preschool children," she said.

But another expert said the findings on pets and asthma are getting clearer.

"In this study, early exposure to dogs and farm animals reduced asthma risk, and this may or may not include other types of pets that children keep," said Dr. Len Horovitz, a pulmonary specialist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City. "The takeaway is that early exposure may reduce the incidence of a later pathological process," he said.

Study senior author Catarina Almqvist Malmros, a professor of clinical epidemiology at the Karolinska Institute in Sweden, stressed that the finding is only pertinent to children who have not yet developed asthma or allergies.

"We know that children with established allergy to cats or dogs should avoid them," she said in the news release.

You may read more information on asthma here »

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Monday, November 2

General Facts About Asthma, Asthma In Children

General Facts About Asthma, Asthma In Children

One of the major facts about asthma is that it is such a common disease. Tens of millions of people worldwide have the condition and more than one-quarter of them are children younger than 18 years. The rates are steadily rising, though no one can state exactly why. There are probably many reasons for the increase. Not only is more being learnt about what causes asthma, but more accurate methods of diagnosing the disorder and better ways of treatment are now available, even in very young children.

Asthma may appear at any age; however, between 80% and 90% of children with asthma develop symptoms by age 4 or 5 years. Fortunately, in the vast majority of cases, symptoms are mild to moderately severe. When the condition is properly managed with medications and environmental measures, most severe, potentially incapacitating flare-ups can be prevented. There are often early warning signs that a child is at risk for developing asthma - eczema starting in the early months, frequent lower respiratory symptoms and problems appearing before the first birthday, and having a family history of asthma.

Recognizing Asthma

Many children suffer needlessly because those around them aren't aware of the warning signs of asthma and do not bring the signs to their pediatricians' attention. Asthma can masquerade for years as chronic or recurrent bronchitis, recurrent pneumonia, chronic cough, or lower respiratory infections. Discuss with your pediatrician the possibility that your child has asthma if he has these masquerading conditions.

Call your pediatrician for an appointment if your child -

• Wheezes
• Coughs regularly, especially at night or with exertion
• Has a tight feeling in the chest
• Is often short of breath

Symptoms may not always be there; instead, they may occur occasionally, such as when your child plays energetically, laughs or cries, or sleeps. Perhaps you notice that your child wheezes or coughs when visiting a home in which someone smokes or has a cat. If symptoms come on at particular times, be sure to mention the circumstances to your pediatrician. The more facts your pediatrician has, the easier it is to diagnose asthma and the sooner treatment can start.

Airways During Asthma Attack
What Happens During an Asthma Attack?

As an attack happens, a child may begin coughing as he or she breathes. The child then may feel chest tightness.

Soon he/she starts to wheeze, beginning with a slight whistling sound and continuing with a shrill rasp as he/she tries to get air into their lungs. The child breathes fast, working so hard that you can see their abdomen going in and out, and their chest being sucked in on every breath. This effect is particularly noticeable in children whose chests are small and flexible. The child may appear restless and fearful.

For a child who doesn't yet know how to get symptoms under control and live with asthma, even the thought of an asthma attack is frightening. They panic at the thought of feeling starved for air and struggling to breathe - an action the rest of us can perform without thinking about it.

Saturday, September 12

Urethral Syndrome: Causes, Signs And Symptoms

Urethral Syndrome: Causes, Signs And Symptoms

What Is Urethral Syndrome?

This is the presence of the usual symptoms of an infection of the urine but without any evidence of such an infection. It is also sometimes called 'symptomatic abacteriuria' and can occur at any age.

What Causes Urethral Syndrome?

The history is important, and the diagnosis of urethral syndrome is one of exclusion.

It is much more common in men than women and there is usually no obvious cause found. Some possible triggering factors include;

• Sexual intercourse - many contraceptive gels and condoms are irritative. Sexual activity e.g, rough intercourse, prolonged oral sex, intercourse in a heavily chlorinated hot tub or in a shower using bath soap as a lubricant may be the etiology of urethral irritation.
• Vaginal douches and feminine hygiene products
• Spermicides, tampons and stress in general
• In women who have gone through the menopause, lack of female hormones may cause a thinning of, and inflammation of the tissues around the opening of the vagina.

What Are The Signs And Symptoms?

These are usually very similar to those of a urinary infection (cystitis);

• Pain or discomfort in the lower abdomen. The lower abdomen (supra pubic) discomfort is neither constant nor as severe as in interstitial cystitis or urethritis (infection and inflammation of the urethra).  The pain may be relieved by voiding. At night, the pain is not severe enough to disturb sleep.

• A frequent urge to pass water (urinate). The urinary frequency associated with urethral syndrome is typically every 30-60 minutes during the daytime, with minimal increased frequency of urination at night (nocturia).

• Pain on urination (dysuria). Dysuria in patients with urethral syndrome is often described as a sensation of constant urethral irritation rather than the searing discomfort with urination that is reported by patients with an active lower urinary tract infection.

• Pain around the genital area generally.

Will I Have Any Tests Or Investigations?

Your doctor will examine you and ask you to provide a sample of urine for testing. This is sometimes called a 'clean catch' specimen where you clean the genital area from front to back with an antiseptic wipe. A small amount of urine is passed in mid-stream into a sterile container, and this is then sent for testing by your doctor for any infection present, and which antibiotics can be effective in killing these.

What Treatment Will I Need?

Treatment of acute urethral syndrome involves antibiotics. For chronic urethral syndrome, a long term, low-dose antibiotic treatment is given on a continuous basis or after intercourse each time if intercourse appears to trigger symptoms.

As a hormonal imbalance may also be considered a source for urethral syndrome, hormone replacement therapy, and oral contraceptive pill (birth-control pills) are also used to treat the symptoms of this condition.

What Course Will The Illness Follow?

Occasionally urethral syndrome may develop into a full-blown urinary infection, with headache, temperature and blood in the urine. Your doctor needs to treat you for this, but if urethral syndrome persists despite you and your doctor having done all you can to prevent it, a specialist may be asked to assess you.

Can I Do Anything To Help Myself?

• Remember to drink at least 8 glasses of water each day. Some women find drinking cranberry juice daily a great help in easing their symptoms.
• Use water to wash the genitals and avoid soaps and strong antiseptics
• Keep bubble baths etc. out of the bath
• Use non-perfumed white toilet paper
• Use sanitary products that do not contain perfume or deodorants
• Avoid vaginal douches
• Urinate before and after intercourse
• Avoid sexual positions that seem to irritate the vagina or vulva
• Wear cotton underwear rather than nylon
• Avoid very tight jeans or trousers.

Tell Your Doctor

1. When did your symptoms begin?
2. Have you had similar symptoms before?
3. Are your symptoms linked to intercourse?
4. Do you use vaginal douches or feminine deodorants?
5. Do you drink much fluid each day?

Ask Your Doctor

1. Does urethral syndrome cause any long-term damage?
2. Can I pass anything on to my partner?
3. Is it ever sexually transmitted?
4. Will I ever need any kind of operation for it?
5. Does diet make any difference to symptoms?
Useful Contacts

Patients Association
Address: PO Box 935, Harrow, Middlesex, HA1 3YJ
Telephone: 0845 608 4455
Email: helpline[at]patients-association.com
Website: patients-association.com

Saturday, August 22

Bladder Cancer Causes, Signs And Symptoms

 Bladder Cancer Causes, Signs And Symptoms

What Is Bladder Cancer?

The bladder is the hollow organ in the lower abdomen that stores urine before it is passed out of the body during urination. Cancer occurs when bladder cells lose their ability to form normally and instead develop too quickly and too irregularly. Most bladder cancers form in the inside lining of the bladder, usually looking like a very small mushroom initially. In some cases, the cancer spreads into the surrounding muscles. Men are more commonly affected than women, and it usually occurs after the age of 55 although it can occasionally develop in younger people.

What Causes Bladder Cancer?

The main risk factor is smoking - cigarette smokers develop bladder cancer nearly three times more often than non-smokers. Workers in certain occupations are also more at risk - these include the petroleum, chemical and leather industries - as well as exposure to aromatic amines in rubber and dye industries. In Africa and the Middle East, urinary tract infection with Bilharzia (Schistosomiasis) may predispose to bladder cancer as well.

Occupations at risk due to exposure to certain chemicals and substances include;

• Rubber, leather and textile workers
• Painters
• Hairdressers
• Machinists
• Printers
• Truck drivers
• Petroleum industry workers

Three main types of cancer affect the bladder. They are named for the type of cell that becomes cancerous:

• Transitional cell (urothelial) carcinoma - more than 90% of bladder cancers
• Squamous cell carcinoma - about 4% of bladder cancers
• Adenocarcinoma - about 1%-2% of bladder cancers

What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Bladder Cancer?

The usual sign is blood in the urine. This may be very faint or deep red depending on the amount of blood involved and is usually painless. There may be a desire to pass urine more frequently than usual, and occasionally a burning discomfort on urination.

Will I Have Any Tests Or Investigations?

If you see blood in your urine it is very important that you consult your doctor, who will organise some tests. After taking a history and performing a detailed physical examination, the following will be arranged;

• Examination of the urine for infection, stones and cancer cells.
• Routine blood tests, including a full blood count and kidney tests.
• An X-ray called an IVP - an intravenous pyelogram - where a dye is injected into the body and the kidneys outlined on simple X-rays taken afterwards.
• A specialist will look into the bladder with a thin fibreoptic telescope, passed through the urethra, and which allows a clear view of the inside of the bladder. At the same time, samples of tissue can be taken - called biopsies - which can then be analysed under a microscope for any cancer cells.
• If a cancer is present, a chest X-ray or bone scan may be taken to check if there has been any spread to the rest of the body.

The Staging Of The Bladder Cancer

The stage of a cancer tells the doctor how big the cancer is and whether it has spread. The tests and scans you have when diagnosing your cancer give some information about the stage. It is important because treatment is often decided according to the stage of a cancer.

The most common is the TNM staging system and is used for all cancers. TNM stands for tumour, node, metastasis. So this staging system takes into account

• How deeply the tumour has grown into the bladder (T)
• Whether there is cancer in the lymph nodes (N)
• Whether the cancer has spread to any other part of the body (M)

The TNM Stages Of Bladder Cancer
TNM Stages Of Bladder Cancer

The T stages of bladder cancer

The T part of TNM tells you how far into the bladder the cancer cells have grown. Doctors find the T stage by a combination of looking at the grade of the cancer cells after a biopsy, examination of the bladder under anaesthetic, and a CT scan or MRI scan.

Stage CIS (also called Tis) - very early, high grade, cancer cells are only in the innermost layer of the bladder lining
Stage Ta - the cancer is just in the innermost layer of the bladder lining
Stage T1 - the cancer has started to grow into the connective tissue beneath the bladder lining
Stage T2  - the cancer has grown through the connective tissue into the muscle
Stage T2a - the cancer has grown into the superficial muscle
Stage T2b - the cancer has grown into the deeper muscle
Stage T3 - the cancer has grown through the muscle into the fat layer
Stage T3a - the cancer in the fat layer can only be seen under a microscope (microscopic invasion)
Stage T3b - the cancer in the fat layer can be seen on tests, or felt by your doctor during an examination under anaesthetic (macroscopic invasion)
Stage T4 - the cancer has spread outside the bladder
Stage T4a - the cancer has spread to the prostate, womb (uterus) or vagina
Stage T4b - the cancer has spread to the wall of the pelvis or abdomen

What Treatment Will I Need?

This depends on a number of factors such as the age and general state of health of the patient, how quickly the cancer is growing and whether more than one is present, and whether it has spread outside the bladder to other organs. A specialist will 'stage' the cancer to assess just how advanced it is by doing the above tests and sometimes a CT (computerised tomography) scan.

Early tumours can be removed at the time of cystoscopy by a procedure called a transurethral resection the bladder tumour (TURBT). If a number of tumours are present, this may be followed by drug treatment where a solution of anticancer drugs (such as cillus Calmette-Guérin, BCG) is put directly into the bladder.

Larger tumours that cannot be removed by a cystoscope are sometimes treated with radiotherapy - such X-rays to destroy the ability of cancer cells to divide and multiply.

If most of the bladder is affected, or the tumour has grown into the bladder wall, the bladder itself may be removed surgically - called a radical cystectomy.

For wider spread of the cancer to the rest of the body, chemotherapy treatment can be used where anti-cancer drugs are injected or given as tablets over a period of weeks and months. The standard pattern is of a period of treatment followed by a rest period for some weeks and this pattern is repeated a number of times.

Bladder Cancer Stage T2

What Course Will The Illness Follow?

The outlook for patients with early bladder cancer is very favourable, and even more advanced bladder cancer is becoming more readily treatable as treatments continue to improve. As each patient is different, your specialist will be able to tell you what you may expect with your bladder cancer and its treatment. Bladder cancer tends to come back, so regular check-ups are important.

Can I Do Anything To Help Myself?

Stopping smoking is vital, as is not being reluctant to ask your doctor about any fears or concerns you may have. Regular follow-ups after treatment are very important - often for several years - since bladder cancers can recur a long time after being initially treated.

Tell Your Doctor

1. Have you noticed any blood in your urine?
2. Do you smoke?
3. Do you work with chemicals or dyes?
4. Do you have to pass urine more frequently than normal?
5. Does your urine sting or burn when you urinate?

Ask Your Doctor

1. What are the side effects of any treatment I may need?
2. Will surgery affect my sex life?
3. Will I need a bag to collect my urine if my bladder is removed?
4. How long will I need to be followed up for in my case?
5. Are my children more at risk of bladder cancer?

Useful Contacts

Cancer Research UK
Telephone: 0808 800 4040
Website: cancerresearchuk.org/about-cancer/type/bladder-cancer/

Patients Association
Address: PO Box 935, Harrow, Middlesex, HA1 3YJ
Telephone: 0845 608 4455
Email: helpline@patients-association.com
Website: patients-association.com

Sunday, August 2

Hepatitis C Symptoms And Warning Signs

How Hepatitis C Is Spread

How Do You Know If You Have Hepatitis C?

1. Overview

The Invisible Disease

How do you know if you have hepatitis C? It can be difficult to determine in the early stages of the infection with hepatitis c virus because most people aren't aware of any symptoms.

A hepatitis virus that can attack the liver hence the condition is serious. In fact, when it comes to the hepatitis viruses (A, B and C), the hepatitis C infection is considered to be the most serious of all.

2. Symptoms Of Hepatitis C

How Can I Tell That I Have Hepatitis C?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, CDC, up to 80 percent of those who have an acute form of hepatitis C will have no visible symptoms. In some cases, however, people will experience certain symptoms not long after the virus has infected them.

These symptoms may be mild but can also be severe for some people and they include;

• a fever
• feeling tired
• having a poor appetite

3. Signs Of Hepatitis C Infection

More Hepatitis C Warning Signs

If you are among the 20 to 30 percent of people who do develop hepatitis C symptoms soon after infection, you might also have these symptoms;

• nausea or vomiting
• pain in your stomach
• joint or muscle pain
• abnormalities in urine or bowel movements
• a yellowing in your eyes or skin

Early symptoms would be most likely to occur around six or seven weeks after exposure to the hepatitis C virus, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, CDC.

4. Delayed Symptoms Of Hepatitis C

While some people may develop hepatitis C symptoms within two weeks of infection, others might experience a much longer delay before noticing any symptoms.

It could take anywhere from six months to 10 years or more before someone with the virus becomes aware of any symptoms, according to the National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse (NDDIC). This is because it can take years for the virus to lead to liver damage.

5. Types Of Hepatitis C

There are two main types of hepatitis C

• Acute hepatitis C and
• Chronic hepatitis C

The length of time you may experience symptoms will depend on the type of infection you have.

With acute hepatitis C, the symptoms are more short-term, lasting only six months or less. Acute hepatitis, however, can lead to another type of hepatitis, chronic hepatitis.

Chronic hepatitis can last for one's entire life because it's very difficult for the body to get rid of the virus.

Time Course Progression Of Chronic Hepatitis C

6. Testing For Hepatitis C

Since it can be difficult to tell based on symptoms whether you have contracted hepatitis C, you can be tested for it. A simple blood test in your doctor's office or lab can confirm whether or not you have the condition.

After your doctor gets the results of your blood test, he or she may recommend that you undergo a biopsy on your liver to determine if you have chronic hepatitis C.

7. Treatments Of Hepatitis C Infection

Treating The Symptoms

If you do have symptoms of hepatitis C, there are treatments available. Your doctor may prescribe medications to prevent damage to your liver. By monitoring your symptoms closely and performing blood tests, your doctor can confirm whether certain treatments are working for you.

If you are diagnosed with chronic hepatitis C, you will likely be prescribed two drugs at once, ribavirin and interferon. Not everyone will benefit from this combination treatment, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, CDC.

8. Prevention, Taking Preventive Measures

Since it's particularly difficult to tell if someone has hepatitis C based on symptoms, it is imperative that one practices preventive measures to ensure one's safe from developing this infection.

• You need to consider taking up safe sexual practices.
• If you get tattoos or piercings, make sure that the employees use clean and sterile needles.
• You should avoid sharing needles as well.

If you do think you may have contracted hepatitis C, talk to your doctor as soon as possible. This may help to prevent potential liver damage by initiating treatment early.

Course Of Illness With Hepatitic C

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