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Patient Review Highlights
Stomach problems are one of the most common issues you face. Irrespective of what your age is, it is highly likely that you have an upset stomach once in while. A stomach upset has a distinguishable characteristic - that stomach linings as well as the small and large intestines tend to swell. This is called inflammation. The following are the most common causes of an upset stomach.
Viruses are the most common causes of an upset stomach. It is highly likely that your stomach upset is because of a virus since there are so many types of them.
2. Parasites or bacteria like Salmonella and Escherichia coli
This is also a very common cause of stomach upset. Salmonella infections are usually caused by eating raw eggs, meat and meat products whereas Escherichia coli infections come from raw vegetables as well as milk and dairy products.
3. Allergic reactions
These happen very specifically to people who have a reaction to a certain type of food.
4. Excess alcohol
Most people think that alcohol will only make you pass out or get liver cirrhosis. Many people do not know that alcohol can actually adversely affect your stomach as well.
5. Excess caffeine
Caffeine is also dangerous to your stomach as taking too much of it can cause a stomach upset.
6. Fatty foods
Fatty foods such as cheese, dark chocolates, whole eggs, fatty fish, etc. are dangerous because they are harder to digest than many other types of food. This means that eating even a small amount of fatty foods are enough to cause a stomach upset sometimes.
7. Eating too much
This is also a major cause of stomach upset simply because your stomach can only digest a certain amount of food.
You must also be able to distinguish when you have a stomach infection and when you have Chron's disease as it is basically a chronic stomach upset. Chron's disease causes the whole digestive tract to be inflamed.
Fluid retention is a crushing problem faced by many across the world. The condition can be well understood by paying close attention to its name; the propensity of the human body to store water or fluids in general in the tissues leading to a swollen and bloated appearance can be referred to as 'fluid retention', edema or hydropsy. An observant person must have seen signs of fluid retention in people around. The condition usually surfaces in the form of swollen limbs that can result in soft depressed pits on the application of slightest pressure. Your arms, legs, feet and joints such as the ankles and wrists are more prone to the effects of edema.
The various ways in which fluid retention can be disastrous for your body have been laid down here:
1. Edema can impair your ease while walking. A person goes through so much of pain that walking becomes more of a challenge; limping comes naturally in such a situation. Thus, your gait can completely change under the effect of fluid retention.
2. Fluid retention in the joints can make your joints excessively stiff. It therefore prevents free movement, stretching or bending.
3. There can be alterations in the texture and health of your skin over the affected area. It may turn tender and may itch intermittently.
4. Skin ulcers are also a common phenomenon among patients of edema. Ulcers in the skin are hard to remedy and it is hence best to curb the possibility of their development.
5. Tissues that now have a higher content of fluids are larger in size and face friction between one another. This leads to scarring of tissues.
6. Improper blood circulation is a condition that comes along with edema. The blood vessels narrow down when tissues swell up. As a result, there is a sharp decrease in the amount of blood circulated throughout one's body.
7. Veins, arteries and joints lose their inherent elasticity in this case. Subsequently, expansion and contraction of joints may not take place involuntarily and may thus cause immense discomfort. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a doctor and ask a free question.
IBS is a common intestinal disorder causing pain in the stomach, gas, diarrhea and constipation. The condition affects millions of people around the world, mostly women. It may not fully be cured, but the condition can be kept under control diet and lifestyle changes and in severe cases with medication and treatment. The most common affected age groups are between 6 to 18 and 41 to 60.
Causes: There are several triggers to IBS although doctors are yet to determine a specific cause. Because IBS happens more in women than men, some people believe that hormones are responsible for it. Other studies suggest that IBS is triggered when
- The colon becomes hypersensitive reacting to an external stimulation
- The bowel muscles spasm causing diarrhea or constipation
- The muscles in the bowel don't squeeze normally, causing diarrhea or constipation
- There is an imbalance in chemicals like serotonin and gastrin which are responsible for the communication between the brain and the digestive system
- Certain bacteria in the bowel can cause this condition
So far, there are no extensive studies to back any of these theories.
Signs and symptoms: People with IBS have symptoms that can include diarrhea and /or constipation, sometimes alternating with each other, stomach cramps, gas and bloating and a belly that sticks out. Stress may, in some cases, aggravate the problem.
Diagnosis: Unfortunately there are no specific tests to identify IBS as the causes itself can vary in a big spectrum. Using your symptoms as a guide, the doctor may run tests to check for food allergies, lactose intolerance, reactions to any medications you may be taking like blood pressure drugs, infection in the stomach, enzyme deficiencies where the pancreas isn't releasing enough enzymes to digest the food properly and inflammatory bowel diseases like ulcerative colitis or Crohn's disease. You may have to undergo a colonoscopy or endoscopy, blood tests, stool tests and allergy tests for your doctor to devise a treatment that can best treat your specific symptoms.
Treatment: Because the symptoms and causes are so varied, there is no one specific treatment of IBS. You will need to identify and understand your specific triggers to isolate it and then make changes accordingly in conjunction with lifestyle change and medication.
Lifestyle changes: Look at IBS as a trigger to make you move into a healthier lifestyle and improved diet. Here are some basic changes that your doctor may prescribe
- Avoid coffee tea and sugary sodas
- Drink 8 glasses of water per day and time your water intake as per your food
- Limit fatty foods, milk and cheese
- Add wholesome fiber to your food.
- Relax and get some me time
- Add a good quantity of regular exercise
There is nothing here that you already didn't know can lead to a healthier life. It's just that you'll have to take it seriously now that the doctor has prescribed it for you. If you suspect that you are suffering from IBS, consult your expert medical practitioner today!
There are many myths surrounding fat and weight loss today. From fad diets to exercises that promise to burn fat in no time at all, the Internet is flooded with material and information that can confuse people. So here is our list of facts and myths regarding fat loss.
Starving: This one is a big myth! Do not starve as this will only make your body store fat from whatever little you may be ingesting. Also, such habits will weaken your bone and muscle strength in the long run.
Snacking: Avoiding snacks for fat loss is a myth. You need to divide your meals into smaller portions for faster fat loss, which means one or two of those meals could actually be snacks. But a snack which comes in the form of a bag of chips is a bad news. So get a salad or almonds for a snack instead.
Carbs: If you have come to believe that all carbs are bad, then you need a reality check. This one is a major myth. The body requires nourishment above all else, and this includes some amount of carbs. While having a cheese burger is a big no, having a potato salad minus the heavy cream dressing is actually a good idea and will give your body plenty of energy. Get the drift?
Calories: While you may have been led to believe that certain kinds of food can burn calories, this is actually a myth. The reality is that there are different kinds of calories and you must choose food that is high in fiber so that the metabolic system gets a boost. Food like oats which come with high dietary fiber can actually help push the food out of your digestive system, faster and more effectively.
Eating Right and Exercising: Many people believe that eating right and exercising are the best ways to banish fat from your life - forever. This is a myth. After a certain age, the metabolism does slow down. Eating right and exercising as a matter of routine helps in avoiding a sudden and massive weight gain. Above all, your diet and exercise should be flexible so that you can accommodate a slowdown without piling on fat.
The fat loss journey is one that is based on a consistent system of eating right and staying within a routine. So avoid myths and get yourself a well nourished, active and well rested body.
Throat pain mainly occurs due to two conditions-'sore throat' or 'strep throat'. Often the terms 'sore throat' and 'strep throat' are used interchangeably, but they don't indicate the same thing. While a sore throat is a condition mostly followed by common cold, runny nose or congestion; strep throat is a bacteria-induced infection. The bacterium called Streptococcus is responsible for strep throat.
The most common reason behind a sore throat is a viral infection like flu or cold. So, if you've a sore throat that is caused by virus, there is no reason to worry as it can be treated easily. But if you are suffering from strep throat or streptococcal infection, then antibiotic drugs for additional treatment will be required to avoid complications.
Signs and symptoms of a strep throat (which indicates that your throat pain is serious and needs attention) include:
- Pain while swallowing food
- Sore throat which usually persists for more than 48 hours
- Small red spots at the roof top of your mouth
- Swollen and red tonsils at times with streaks of pus or white patches
- Swollen, benign lymph nodes in your neck
- Body aches
- Vomiting or feeling of nausea, especially amongst younger children
When these signs and symptoms become noticeable, you need to promptly visit your doctor for test and treatment. And, if the reports indicate strep throat, then your doctor will prescribe you some oral antibiotics to reduce the complications and severity of symptoms so that it doesn't spread to others. You are advised to follow your prescription properly and stay indoors for at least a day after starting your medication.