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...

Sunday, October 30

Anaphylaxis, An Overview

What As Anaphylaxis?

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

What Is Anaphylaxis

Causes And Risk Factors - What Causes Anaphylaxis?

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

Symptoms And Signs Of Anaphylaxis

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

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

Treatment Of Anaphylaxis

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

Call 911 to get emergency medical help right away.

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

What Is In An Emergency Anaphylaxis Kit?

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

Injection Of Epinephrine

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

What Can I Expect After Anaphylaxis?

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

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

Severe Allergic Reaction, Anaphylaxis

How Do I Prevent Anaphylaxis?

The following are some ways to help prevent a reaction:

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

Food Allergy

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

Saturday, October 29

The Approach To Tremor

The purpose of this video is to teach an overview and approach to a patient with tremor.

What Is Tremor?

Tremor is an unintentional, rhythmic muscle movement involving to-and-fro movements (oscillations) of one or more parts of the body. It is the most common of all involuntary movements and can affect the hands, arms, head, face, voice, trunk, and legs. Most tremors occur in the hands. In some people, tremor is a symptom of a neurological disorder or appears as a side effect of certain drugs.

The most common form of tremor, however, occurs in otherwise largely healthy people. Although tremor is not life-threatening, it can be embarrassing to some people and make it harder to perform daily tasks.

What causes tremor?

Tremor is generally caused by problems in parts of the brain that control muscles throughout the body or in particular areas, such as the hands. Neurological disorders or conditions that can produce tremor include multiple sclerosis, stroke, traumatic brain injury, and neurodegenerative diseases that damage or destroy parts of the brainstem or the cerebellum.

The Approach To Tremor

Other causes include the use of some drugs (such as amphetamines, corticosteroids, and drugs used for certain psychiatric disorders), alcohol abuse or withdrawal, mercury poisoning, overactive thyroid, or liver failure. Some forms of tremor are inherited and run in families, while others have no known cause.

Saturday, September 17

Complications Of Type 2 Diabetes

Complications Of Type 2 Diabetes

If diabetes type 2 isn't treated, it can lead to a number of health problems. Even mild type 2 diabetes with mildly raised blood glucose level that doesn't cause any symptoms can have long-term damaging effects.

High blood glucose levels can damage blood vessels, nerves and organs. Below are complications of the raised blood glucose in type 2 diabetes;

• Heart and Artery Troubles

If you don't treat diabetes with a healthy diet and exercise, you're more likely to get plaque in your arteries than people who don't have it. This sticky substance slows blood flow and increases your risk of clots. It leads to hardening of the arteries (called atherosclerosis), which makes you more likely to have a heart attack or stroke. About 2 of 3 people with diabetes die of heart disease.

• Kidney Complications

The longer you have diabetes, the greater the chance you'll get chronic kidney disease. Diabetes is the leading cause of kidney failure. It's to blame for about half of new cases. Controlling your blood sugar, blood pressure, and cholesterol can lower your risk for this complication. Yearly tests and medications can slow the disease and keep your kidneys healthy.

• Eye Problems

Diabetic Retinopathy, Complications Of Type 2 Diabetes

High blood sugar can damage the tiny blood vessels that bring oxygen and nutrients to the retina, a critical part of your eye. This is known as diabetic retinopathy, and it can lead to vision loss. It's the leading cause of new cases of blindness in people between the ages of 20 and 74. Pools of blood, or hemorrhages, on the retina of an eye are visible in this image.

• Diabetic Neuropathy and Nerve Pain

Over time, uncontrolled diabetes and high blood sugar can cause nerve damage. Symptoms include tingling, numbness, pain, and a pins and needles sensation - often in your fingers, hands, toes, or feet. The damage can't be reversed, but there are treatments. Controlling your diabetes can help prevent further harm.

• Foot Injuries Can Take a Toll

Diabetic Neuropathy

Diabetic nerve damage (diabetic neuropathy) can make it hard to feel your feet. You might not notice wounds. At the same time, hardening of the arteries reduces blood flow to the area. Even a small injury can cause foot sores and gangrene. In severe cases, infections can result in an amputation.

• Teeth and Gums Are Targets

High blood sugar levels can feed the bacteria that make plaque. Plaque buildup leads to cavities, tooth decay, and gum disease. Severe gum disease can cause tooth loss. It weakens gums and the tissues and bones that hold teeth in place. That makes it easier to get an infection, too.

Complications Of Type 2 Diabetes

Can Type 2 Diabetes Be Prevented?

One of the most surprising things about type 2 diabetes is that you can avoid it. To lower your risk, follow the same guidelines for warding off heart disease:

• Eat a healthy diet.
• Exercise for 30 minutes, 5 days a week.
• Stay at a healthy weight.
• Talk to your doctor about being tested for pre-diabetes.

People with pre-diabetes can avoid getting diabetes with lifestyle changes and medication. Below are the lifestyles that help prevent type 2 diabetes;

* Your Diet Makes a Difference

You can control blood sugar levels by changing your diet and losing extra weight. That will also cut your risk of complications. Carefully track the carbs in your diet. Keep amounts the same at every meal, watch how much fat and protein you eat, and cut calories. Ask your doctor to refer you to a dietitian to help you make healthy choices and an eating plan.

* Exercise Is Important

Regular exercise, like strength training or walking, improves your body's use of insulin and can lower blood sugar levels. Being active also helps get rid of body fat, lower blood pressure, and protect you from heart disease. Try to get 30 minutes of moderate activity on most days of the week.

* Relaxation Is Key

Stress can boost your blood pressure and blood sugar. Some people don't do anything for it. Others turn to food to cope with it. Instead, practice relaxation techniques like deep breathing, meditation, or visualisation. Talking to a friend, family member, counsellor, or a religious leader could help. If you can't beat it, reach out to your doctor.

Type 2 Diabetes, An Overview

Type 2 Diabetes - How Insulin Works

Diabetes Warning Signs

1 in 3 people with type 2 diabetes do not know they have it. Could that be you? Learn below to spot the subtle early symptoms of type 2 diabetes.

What Is Type 2 Diabetes?

When you have this disease, your body does a poor job turning the carbohydrates in food into energy. This causes sugar to build up in your blood. Over time it raises your risk for heart disease, blindness, nerve and organ damage, and other serious conditions. It strikes people of all ages, and early symptoms are mild. About 1 out of 3 people with type 2 diabetes don't know they have it.

What Will You Notice First?

People with type 2 diabetes often have no symptoms. When they do appear, one of the first may be being thirsty a lot. Others include dry mouth, bigger appetite, peeing a lot - sometimes as often as every hour - and unusual weight loss or gain.

Later Symptoms

As your blood sugar levels get higher, you may have other problems like headaches, blurred vision, and fatigue.

Signs of Serious Problems

In many cases, type 2 diabetes isn't discovered until it takes a serious toll on your health. Some red flags include:

• Cuts or sores that are slow to heal
• Frequent yeast infections or urinary tract infections
• Itchy skin, especially in the groin area

It Can Affect Your Sex Life

Diabetes can damage blood vessels and nerves in your genitals. This could lead to a loss of feeling and make it hard to have an orgasm. Women are also prone to vaginal dryness. About 1 in 3 who have diabetes will have some form of sexual trouble. Between 35% and 70% of men who have the disease will have at least some degree of impotence in their lifetime.

Risk Factors You Can Control

Some health habits and medical conditions related to your lifestyle can raise your odds of having type 2 diabetes, including:

• Being overweight, especially at the waist
• A couch potato lifestyle
• Smoking
• Eating a lot of red meat, processed meat, high-fat dairy products, and sweets
• Unhealthy cholesterol and triglyceride levels    

Risk Factors You Can't Control

Other risk factors are out of your control, including:
• Race or ethnicity: Hispanics, African-Americans, Native Americans, and Asians are more likely to get it
• Family history of diabetes: Having a parent or sibling with diabetes boosts your odds.
• Age: Being 45 and older raises your risk of type 2 diabetes.

The more risk factors you have, the more likely you'll get type 2 diabetes.

Risk Factors for Women

You're more likely to get type 2 diabetes later on if you:
• Had gestational diabetes when you were pregnant
• Delivered a baby that weighed over 9 pounds
• Had polycystic ovary syndrome

How Does Insulin Work?

In a healthy person, insulin helps turn food into energy. Your stomach breaks down carbohydrates into sugars. They enter the bloodstream, prompting your pancreas to release the hormone insulin in just the right amount. It helps your cells use the sugar for fuel.

Metabolism Mishaps

In type 2 diabetes, your cells can't use sugar properly. That means there's a lot of it in your blood. If you have a condition called insulin resistance, your body makes the hormone, but your cells don't use it or respond to it like they should.

Insulin Resistance In Diabetes Type 2

If you've had type 2 diabetes for a while but haven't treated it, your pancreas will make less insulin.

How Is Type 2 Diabetes Diagnosed?

Your doctor will take some blood and do an A1c test. It shows your average blood sugar level over the past 2-3 months. If you already have symptoms, he might give you a random blood glucose test, which shows what your current level is.

Your Diet Makes a Difference

You can control blood sugar levels by changing your diet and losing extra weight. That will also cut your risk of complications. Carefully track the carbs in your diet. Keep amounts the same at every meal, watch how much fat and protein you eat, and cut calories. Ask your doctor to refer you to a dietitian to help you make healthy choices and an eating plan.

Exercise Is Important

Regular exercise, like strength training or walking, improves your body's use of insulin and can lower blood sugar levels. Being active also helps get rid of body fat, lower blood pressure, and protect you from heart disease. Try to get 30 minutes of moderate activity on most days of the week.

Relaxation Is Key

Stress can boost your blood pressure and blood sugar. Some people don't do anything for it. Others turn to food to cope with it. Instead, practice relaxation techniques like deep breathing, meditation, or visualization. Talking to a friend, family member, counselor, or a religious leader could help. If you can't beat it, reach out to your doctor.

Oral Medications Can Help

If diet and exercise can't get your blood sugar under control, your doctor may add medication. There are many types of diabetes pills available. They're often combined. Some work by telling your pancreas to make more insulin. Others help your body use it better or block the digestion of starches. Some slow insulin breakdown.

Insulin: It's Not Just for Type 1

Your doctor may prescribe insulin early in your treatment and combine it with pills. It can also help people with type 2 diabetes who develop "beta-cell failure." This means the cells in your pancreas no longer make insulin when blood sugar is high. If this happens, insulin will become part of your daily routine.

New Non-Insulin Injectables

Non-Insulin Injectables

New drugs called non-insulin injectables are available for people with type 2 diabetes. These medications cause your body to make insulin to control blood sugar levels.

Why Blood Sugar Testing Matters

Your doctor can show you how to use a glucose meter to check your blood sugar. This lets you know how your treatment plan is working. How often and when you test will be based on how well controlled your diabetes is, the type of treatment you use, and how stable your blood sugar is. Common testing times are when you wake up, before and after meals and exercise, and at bedtime.

Complications of Type 2 Diabetes

1. Heart and Artery Troubles - It leads to hardening of the arteries (called atherosclerosis) which make you more likely to have a heart attack or stroke.

2. Kidney Complications - Diabetes is the leading cause of kidney failure.

3. Eye Problems - High blood sugar can damage the tiny blood vessels that bring oxygen and nutrients to the retina leading to diabetic retinopathy.

4. Diabetic Nerve Pain - Uncontrolled diabetes and high blood sugar can cause irreversible nerve damage over time.

5. Foot Injuries Can Take a Toll - Diabetic nerve damage and hardening of the arteries can make it easy for a small injury to progress and cause foot sores and gangrene.

6. Teeth and Gums Are Targets - High blood sugar levels can feed the bacteria that make plaque. Plaque buildup leads to cavities, tooth decay, and gum disease.

Insulin For Diabetes Type II

Can It Be Prevented?

One of the most surprising things about type 2 diabetes is that you can avoid it. To lower your risk, follow the same guidelines for warding off heart disease:
• Eat a healthy diet.
• Exercise for 30 minutes, 5 days a week.
• Stay at a healthy weight.
• Talk to your doctor about being tested for pre-diabetes.

People with pre-diabetes can avoid getting diabetes with lifestyle changes and medication.

Sunday, August 21

Exercise Induced Bronchospasm

Exercise Induced Bronchospasm

Bronchospasm is the contraction of smooth muscle in the walls of the tubes in the lungs known as bronchi and bronchioles, causing narrowing of their lumen and the obstruction of respiration. There are many potential causes but here we are discussing exercise-induced bronchospasm.

What Is Exercise Induced Bronchospasm?

Exercise induced bronchospasm (also called EIB) happens when the airways in your lungs shrink (get smaller) while you are exercising. This makes it difficult to breathe. If you have EIB, it can be hard for you to exercise for more than 30 minutes at a time.

What Are The Symptoms Of Exercise Induced Bronchospasm?

Symptoms of EIB typically start after 5 to 20 minutes of nonstop exercise, and may include wheezing (breathing that makes a hoarse, squeaky, whistling or musical sound), difficulty breathing, chest pain, coughing, and chest tightness.

What Are The Causes And Risk Factors Of Exercise-Induced Bronchospasm

Breathing in air that is cooler and drier than the air in your lungs during exercise may cause EIB. If you have exercise induced bronchospasm, your symptoms may get worse during spring and fall, when people tend to have trouble with allergies.

Pathogenesis of Exercise Induced Bronchospasm

Diagnosis And Tests For Exercise Induced Bronchospasm

How Can My Doctor Tell That I Have Exercise Induced Bronchospasm?

Your doctor will ask you questions about your symptoms, do a physical exam and perform breathing tests. During a breathing test, your doctor will have you breathe into a spirometer or a peak flow meter. These devices measure how much air you are able to blow out of your lungs. If your doctor thinks you might have EIB, he or she will help you decide on the right treatment for your symptoms.

How Is Exercise-Induced Bronchospasm Treated?

Medicines To Treat EIB Include The following:

• A short-acting bronchodilator: This medicine is usually taken 15 minutes before exercise and lasts 4 to 6 hours.

• A mast cell stabilizer: This medicine is usually taken 15 minutes to 1 hour before exercise and lasts for 4 hours.

• A longer acting bronchodilator. This medicine is usually taken 30 minutes before exercise and lasts up to 12 hours.

• An anti-leukotriene: This medicine lasts up to 24 hours. It is taken every day and helps keep your airways from shrinking.

Exercise Induced Bronchospasm

You and your doctor will talk about which medicine is right for you. He or she will tell you how to take your medicine. It is important to follow your doctor's instructions carefully to make sure your medicine is effective.

A warm-up and cool-down period of at least 15 minutes before and after exercise may help lessen the symptoms of EIB. Avoid exercising in extremely cold temperatures or when you have a respiratory infection, such as a cold or the flu. If you have allergies, avoid exercising when pollen levels are high. Also, if you smoke, stop.

Polymyalgia Rheumatica

Polymyalgia Rheumatica

What Is Polymyalgia Rheumatica?

Polymyalgia rheumatica (PMR) is a condition affecting the muscles. It causes pain and inflammation and is named after many (poly) painful muscles (myalgia). It affects men and women equally, and is most common over the age of 50.

What Causes Polymyalgia Rheumatica?

Despite extensive and ongoing investigations, its cause remains unclear. It is different to rheumatoid arthritis or any other type of joint or muscle inflammation.

What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Polymyalgia Rheumatica?

Symptoms can occur suddenly, over the period of a few days, and are sometimes linked to a recent 'flu - like infection. There is pain and stiffness in the muscles - especially of the thighs and shoulders - which is much worse in the morning and on getting up. The pain can be severe, and make getting out of a car or rising from a chair difficult. The muscles can feel weak and there may be difficulty going up stairs or walking as a result. It is also common to feel generally unwell, lose a little weight or have a temperature.

Some people find they have a headache, or very tender temples. This is due to an associated inflammation of the arteries of the scalp, called temporal arteritis. The temples and scalp are tender to the touch, combing the hair may be uncomfortable, and chewing may cause discomfort on the affected side.

Areas Of Pain In Polymyalgia Rheumatica

Will I Have Any Tests Or Investigations?

Yes. Your doctor will take some blood for testing, especially for an erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) test. This test measures how quickly red blood cells settle at the bottom of a test tube - the sediment. The quicker it settles, the greater the inflammation so someone with PMR will have a high reading. Most doctors feel that a reading of 20 or more is significant, although it rises with age also. At the same time, other illnesses will be looked for from the blood such as anaemia, rheumatoid arthritis and thyroid problems.

On occasions your GP may order some X-rays - such as on the neck or shoulders - to make sure there are no other conditions such as osteoarthritis present.

What Treatment Might I Need?

The mainstay of PMR treatment is corticosteroids. Our bodies produce these naturally, but the treatment is in much higher doses than normal. They are extremely effective (namely prednisolone), often at a starting dose of between 10mg and 15mg per day. They may be prescribed as an 'enteric' form - the tablets are coated to protect the stomach from irritation - and can reduce symptoms dramatically, sometimes within hours. Your doctor will monitor your progress, usually with regular blood tests, and aim to reduce your prednisolone by 1mg every few weeks. Each person with PMR reacts differently to steroids, so each treatment has to be tailored to that person, but in general improvement often becomes slower as the dosage falls.

Polymyalgia Rheumatica

It is important to remember that steroids do not 'cure' PMR. They are simply very good at reducing its symptoms while it settles naturally.

What Course Will The Illness Follow?

The majority of PMR sufferers are able to recover completely and be tablet-free within 12 months of starting treatment. A small percentage require low-dose steroids for longer and sometimes for life, but are able to lead a normal, active lifestyle with no symptoms. Occasionally, someone who has had PMR in the past may have a second episode, but recognise the symptoms and so seek treatment quicker than previously.

If there are symptoms suggestive of temporal arteritis, it is important this is treated rapidly and with higher doses of prednisolone than usual, since blurred vision, double vision or permanent sight problems (including blindness) can occur if left untreated. Arteritis responds very well to steroid treatment.

Can I Do Anything To Help Myself?

If you are taking steroids, it is important not to suddenly stop taking them without seeing your doctor. It is best to rest in the early stages of PMR, since exercise puts an added strain on the muscles and so the dose of steroids may need to be increased accordingly. Once the PMR is settling, it is quite safe to exercise again.

Tell Your Doctor

1. Have you ever had these symptoms before?
2. Are they worst early in the morning?
3. Is it physically difficult to get out of bed or a chair?
4. Do you have any problems with headaches or your eyesight?
5. D you remember having fflu or a cold just before you noticed your symptoms?

Ask Your Doctor

1. How long will I need to be on treatment for?
2. What are the side effects of steroids?
3. How severe is my PMR?
4. Am I more likely to get other forms of arthritis in the future?
5. Will any natural treatments help?

Useful Contacts

The British Society for Rheumatology
Address: Bride House, 18-20 Bride Lane, London, EC4Y 8EE
Telephone: 020 7842 0900
Email: bsr@rheumatology.org.uk
Website URL: www.rheumatology.org.uk

Saturday, August 6

Zika, Zika Virus Fever Or Zika Disease

Zika, Zika Fever Or Zika Disease

Zika virus infection causes a mild illness known as Zika fever, Zika or Zika disease.

Zika virus is spread to people through the bite of an infected female Aedes mosquito. The most common symptoms of Zika virus disease are fever, rash, joint pain, and conjunctivitis (red eyes). The illness is usually mild with symptoms lasting from several days to a week. Severe disease requiring hospitalization is uncommon.

Outbreaks of Zika have occurred in areas of Africa, Southeast Asia, the Pacific Islands, and the Americas. Because the Aedes species mosquitoes that spread Zika virus are found throughout the world, it is likely that outbreaks will spread to new countries. In December 2015, Puerto Rico reported its first confirmed Zika virus case. Locally transmitted Zika has not been reported elsewhere but cases of Zika have been reported in returning travellers in the USA and UK.

Click here for a full schematic guide of how Zika Spreads »

There is no vaccine to prevent or medicine to treat Zika. Travellers can protect themselves from this disease by taking steps to prevent mosquito bites. When travelling to countries where Zika virus (see map below) or other viruses spread by mosquitoes have been reported, use insect repellent, wear long sleeves and pants, and stay in places with air conditioning or that use window and door screens.

Zika disease is linked to microcephaly in newborns of infected mothers. The current U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued travel guidance on affected countries, including the use of enhanced precautions and considering postponing travel, and guidelines for pregnant women. Ireland issued a similar travel warning, while other governments, such as Colombia, Ecuador, El Salvador, and Jamaica, advised women to postpone getting pregnant until more was known about the risks.

Zika Virus Areas Map

Symptoms Of Zika Virus Infection

• About 1 in 5 people infected with Zika virus become ill (i.e., develop Zika).
• The most common symptoms of Zika are fever, rash, joint pain, or conjunctivitis (red eyes). Other common symptoms include muscle pain and headache.
• The illness is usually mild with symptoms lasting for several days to a week.
• Severe disease requiring hospitalization is uncommon.
• Deaths are rare.

Symptoms Of Zika Virus

Diagnosis Of Zika Virus Infection

• The symptoms of Zika are similar to those of dengue and chikungunya, which are diseases caused by other viruses spread by the same type of mosquitoes.
• See your healthcare provider if you develop the symptoms described above and have visited an area where Zika is present.
• If you have recently travelled, tell your healthcare provider when and where you travelled.
• Your healthcare provider may order blood tests to look for Zika or other similar viruses like dengue or chikungunya.

Zika Virus Factsheet

Treatment Of Zika Virus Infection

• No vaccine or medications are available to prevent or treat Zika infections.
• Treat the symptoms
• Get plenty of rest
• Drink fluids to prevent dehydration
• Take medicines, such as acetaminophen or paracetamol, to relieve fever and pain
• Aspirin and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), like ibuprofen and naproxen, should be avoided until dengue can be ruled out to reduce the risk of haemorrhage. If you are taking medicine for another medical condition, talk to your healthcare provider before taking additional medication.

Zika Virus Complications

• If you have Zika, avoid mosquito bites for the first week of your illness.
• During the first week of infection, Zika virus can be found in the blood and passed from an infected person to another mosquito through mosquito bites.
• An infected mosquito can then spread the virus to other people.

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.

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